MO-7 Unbridled Tourism

MO-7

Commerce & Industry Trail

The Missouri-7th has been represented by Representative Billy Long since 2011.

Cities & Towns in the Missouri 7th include:

  • Springfield
  • Joplin
  • Branson

 

dixie stampede

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

There are lots of tourism-focused places in the United States: Disney World, Las Vegas, Times Square. But as the city’s website proclaims, there is only one Branson, Missouri. Every day of the year there are dozens of live shows. Today, for instance, you would choose from over 50 attractions listed on Branson.com from an Eagles Tribute concert (or Neil Sedaka tribute if you prefer) to something called Barney Fife Fully Loaded. There are Chinese acrobats, amazing pets and a dinosaur museum. There may be no accounting for tastes, so Branson seems to have accommodated all of them. Or, to put it another way, if someone will buy a ticket to it – they have it in Branson.

The cynical among us would label Branson as one big tourist trap, which perhaps it is. But I don’t view it that way. I challenge you to watch the Dixie Stampede video (linked by clicking on the picture at right) on YouTube and imagine taking your family there and not having a good time. Hokey? Almost certainly – that’s why it’s fun. If we have lost the ability to just have fun then perhaps that explains why our representatives in Congress often seem to be such a joyless lot.

My question about Branson, though, is how did this happen…here? For that I turn to Wikipedia (to which I made a donation today – you should too.) According to the Branson entry, the town was incorporated in 1912 but up until the 1960s its location in the Ozark mountains was the primary draw (and remains a significant part of the attraction.) In the 60’s a variety of musical acts started to move their regular shows to the area on Missouri Highway 76 and then the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre opened in 1983 and brought the area to national prominence. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, duplicated its original offering in her home state of Tennessee, in 1995.

One Great Day in the Missouri-7th

A note about this section.  One day isn’t long enough to spend in any district – it’s not nearly long enough to really understand the place and everything that makes it unique. But time for both real and virtual expeditions is often limited so I’ve chosen a day to try to encapsulate what the district is like. If you go…and have longer to spend, you should.

Furthermore, these are just the things my family and I would find interesting, many of which I’ve never been to – you probably would find and suggest others.  If you want more information on the specifics of each stop please follow the links 

9:00 am: Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center – Joplin. On the short list of things I look for in potential places to check out are the terms…”found only in this area” and “last remaining.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Chert Glades

12:00 pm: Lunch @ Farmers Gastropub – Springfield. The 417 Magazine (named for the local area code) recommends the Stilton Burger. I’m listening

12:30 pm: Pythian Castle  – Springfield. Cool castle – rumors of ghosts – what else do you want to know?

3:00 pm: Titanic Museum – Branson. Where else would the Titanic Museum be?

5:30 pm: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede – Branson. Unbridled Tourism

 

Life in the Missouri 7th

News in and about the district

Ten Links

 

 

What do you think? Do you live in the Missouri-7th? Have we got it right or are there other more pressing issues that will make a difference to you in the next election cycle? If you live elsewhere, do you see commonalities with your district?

 Next Up:

The History Trail continues in MA-3 Friday

The Commerce & Industry Trail heads back south to the Oklahoma-5th soon

NV-4 The Last Straw?

NV-4

Parks & Nature Trail

The Nevada-4th has been represented by Freshman Representative Cresent Hardy since January of this year.

Cities & Towns in the Nevada-4th include:

  • North Las Vegas
  • Tonopah
  • Ely

    The “Bathtub Ring” showing where the high water mark of Lake Mead was in 1983

Full disclosure. The thrust of this district profile is not what I thought it would be when I planned the publication schedule for the Project to Find America. I made the Nevada-4th the second stop on the Parks and Nature Trail based on a day nearly 25 years ago when we went here after a baseball game in Las Vegas, because it was a close place to camp, and found one of the most spectacular lakes I’ve ever seen. By most accounts, Lake Mead is still spectacular. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area was, in fact, the 6th most visited unit in the National Park system in 2014. But it’s not quite the lake I visited in the spring of 1991, there is about 10o feet less of it.

That doesn’t sound like a lot but every foot of decrease in water elevation exposes another 30 feet of shoreline, that is more than a half mile all the way around the lake. Mired in a drought for more than a decade, Lake Mead, which was formed and controlled by the Hoover Dam, set another record low this month for its lake level and it is down more than 150 feet since the high water record in 1983.

This is very serious business in the Las Vegas valley, which gets about 90 percent of its water from the lake, there is more on the impact of this in the video below and what local authorities are doing about it. In the meantime, it is still a beautiful lake as the link above points out and strangely, the lowering water level has had a bit of a silver lining. With water declining, the lake had given up some of her secrets, including the wreckage of a B-29 Bomber that crashed in 1948.

One Great Day in the Nevada-4th

A note about this section.  One day isn’t long enough to spend in any district – it’s not nearly long enough to really understand the place and everything that makes it unique. But time for both real and virtual expeditions is often limited so I’ve chosen a day to try to encapsulate what the district is like. If you go…and have longer to spend, you should.

Furthermore, these are just the things my family and I would find interesting, many of which I’ve never been to – you probably would find and suggest others.  If you want more information on the specifics of each stop please follow the links 

8:30 am: Echo Bay  – Lake Mead National Rec Area. A firsthand look at the lowest lake levels in history

10:30 am: Double Negative – One of the originals of Land Art and a precursor to a project very much in today’s news (see bottom link below)

11 am: Overton – Valley of Fire State Park – Petroglyphs, Red Rocks and 150-million-year old sand dunes

1:30 pm: Rachel – Area 51- The Extraterrestrial Highway and The Little A’LE’Inn

4:30 pm: Ely – Nevada Northern Railway. A nod to Nevada’s mining past…and present.

7:00 pm: Hotel Nevada & Gambling Hall – Built in 1929 – when in Rome…

What Matters Here?

We are trying something new here. The Project to Find Americas goes to YouTube. Let us know what you think!

Ten Links

 https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=issues+cresent+hardy+steven+horsford

http://lasvegassun.com/news/topics/water/

http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/New-straw-to-draw-water-from-Nevada-s-6368863.php

https://hardy.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/hardy-supports-bill-clearly-define-waters-us

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/244640-a-frenzy-over-birdbaths-paddles-and-the-waters-of-the

http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/8625716-74/epa-rule-corps#axzz3fQ81XJPo

http://www.c-span.org/video/?325799-3/us-house-debate-regulatory-integrity-protection-act

http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/what-clean-water-rule-does

https://hardy.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/hardy-introduces-land-act

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-obamas-help-harry-reid-leaving-an-indelible-mark-in-the-nevada-desert/2015/07/07/8131bd88-1e75-11e5-aeb9-a411a84c9d55_story.html

What do you think? Do you live in the Nevada 4th? Have we got it right or are there other more pressing issues that will make a difference to you in the next election cycle? If you live elsewhere, do you see commonalities with your district?

 Next Up:

The Commerce & Industry Trail continues in MO-7 Friday

The Parks & Nature Trail moves up the Colorado River to the Utah-2nd next week

7/7 Gaveling in Another Week

Congress Back in Action Today

 

The House and Senate are back at it today after the holiday break. The House is expected to work on the appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior today and Department of Agriculture tomorrow. The Senate begins debate on the Every Child Achieves Act this afternoon. Follow the link for an interesting op-ed from the head of the National Education Association on what this legislation would do.

Meanwhile, we may also see debate pick up this week on the Export Import bank. Big government agencies or departments don’t get shuttered often but that’s exactly what happened without Congress authorizing funding of the Ex-Im bank last week. While most of the pundits I read don’t expect the bank to go away permanently, there is a significant group, headed by the Chairman of the House Finance Committee, that would like it to.authority

There’s an interesting video on the issue here. By the way, the C-Span site allows users to embed videos including this one on their own site but I couldn’t figure out how to do it in the short time I have this morning so Web gurus willing to work for free to help Find America…drop me a line!

Coming up in district profiles this week, – a new, more concise format. To those of you that have enjoyed my 2 K-word ramblings. Thank you. There is still a book out there in the future, I hope, where your desire to be lulled into torpor by my musings will be met.  However, my Finding America by myself isn’t going to help us reforge the connection between citizens and the people in Congress representing us. That has to happen by getting the word out.

1. The United States faces bigger challenges than perhaps at any point in our history

2. In order to meet those challenges, Congress will have to act

3. But Congress is broken and in order to act will have to behave differently

4. The only way this will happen is if the U.S. voters demand it

Shorter profiles and guest bloggers mean I can try to spend a greater portion of the day connecting this mission with more people. Facebook likes are nice, I guess. But what I really want is you to pass the link  – you can copy it right here – https://projecttofindamerica.wordpress.com on to 5 more people this week. Pretty please?

Back to the districts. This week we will visit the Nevada-4th on the Parks & Nature Trail. the Missouri-7th in Commerce & Industry and the Massachusetts-3rd on the History Trail. Stay tuned