Published Monthly at the Lake of the Ozarks
LAKE OF THE OZARKS
Lake area provides ample opportunities to give – and get in the Christmas spirit
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
It’s time to deck the halls, ring the bells and bring out the figgy pudding because jolly old St. Nick will be here before you know it. And there are plenty of activities around the area to celebrate his soon-to-be arrival.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 7 children and their parents are invited to attend the annual Christmas on the Square on the Courthouse lawn in downtown Camdenton. Activities include games, ornament making, chocolate snowmen, prize drawings, craft tables, music, bounce house, petting zoo, hot dogs, hot chocolate, entertainment by the Camdenton School children’s choir and the Xanadu dance team, cookies and more. Santa Claus will arrive at noon and will be visit with children to hear their wish lists. All activities are free. However, everyone is encouraged to bring canned goods that will then be turned in to the Lamb House food pantry. In addition, participants can register to win turkeys and hams provided by Camden County elected officials. Christmas on the Square is sponsored by the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information call the Chamber at 573-346-2227.
The community is also invited to celebrate the Christmas season at the 29th Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 14. The parade, which will begin at 1 p.m., will feature a variety of floats and Santa Claus riding Lake-style in his boat led by reindeer. In addition, children can visit with Santa at The White House building located on Bagnell Dam Strip. The parade line-up begins on Route 242 and travels down the Bagnell Dam Strip. For more information, call 573-365-2460.
There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy Christmas music. Main Street Music Hall continues its special Christmas show until December 22. Show times are 7 p.m. daily and 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 573-348-9500 or 800-348-9501.
The Greater Lake Area Chorale will perform two more times in December – at 3 p.m. Sun December 8 at New Life Nazarene in Camdenton and at 7 p.m. Monday December 9 at Versailles UMC in Versailles.
If lights are your thing, you won’t be short-changed.
This year’s Enchanted Village of Lights display at the Laurie Hillbilly Fairgrounds is bigger and better than ever. The display, which features more than 200 displays, is open nightly until January 1. Admission is free but donations are accepted. For more information, call Susann at 573-374-8776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a few miles north on Highway 5, is the Shrine of St. Patrick’s Festival of Lights featuring 4,000 strings of lights and displays focusing on the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus. The display, which is free and open to the public, will be open daily from 6 to10 p.m. through Jan. 1. For more information, call 573-374-7855.
The City of Versailles will light up its City Park December 2 through December 31 for the Unity Circle of Lights. The holiday light park, which will include some 40 lighted exhibits and animated holiday scenes, is located at the park entrance at the junction of Highways 5 and 52. The park is open from dark until midnight and admission is free. For more information, call 1-800-386-5253.
And to make sure everyone finds something under their Christmas trees this year, organizations are asking individuals and businesses to dig deep in their pockets and purchase gifts, toys and warm clothing for underprivileged children.
The Lake Ozark Rotary Club is once again hosting Candyland, located at Stone Crest Mall and open “for business” until Friday, December 6. To participate, stop by the YMCA or the mall and select one or more candy canes from the Christmas tree. The canes contain wish lists of children who attend Osage Upper Elementary, Osage Beach Elementary, Leland Mills Elementary, Eldon South Elementary or Eldon Upper Elementary. After the gifts are purchased, they can be returned to either location where they will be wrapped and delivered to the schools. The schools will be responsible for making sure the gifts are distributed to the families in time for Christmas. Last year, Candyland provided gift with an average value of $75 per child to 323 children in the Lake community. For more information, contact Nicole Kever, 2013 Committee Chair, at 573-964-2068 or emailing email@example.com.
The Camden County Child Advocacy Council provides opportunities to “adopt” families and provide items on children’s wish lists by visiting the council’s thrift shop at 77 Dawson Road, behind Save-A-Lot in Camdenton. Last year, donors made dreams come true for more than 600 children in some 400 families. Cash donations are also needed to purchase gifts for those children who weren’t adopted. Gifts are also requested for the 50-some children in foster care or in the court system in Camden County. To participate, stop by the Camdenton Walmart and select one or more paper ornaments, which includes the child’s age and gender, off the Christmas tree.
After purchasing the gifts, they can be dropped off at the council’s thrift shop.
The Miller County Child Advocacy Council also will be taking donations of gifts, toys and warm clothing for more than 200 children through its annual Holiday of Hope program. Donations can be sent to the Miller County Child Advocacy Council at PO Box 223, Eldon, MO 65026 or they can be dropped off at the Eldon Advertiser.
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Those hoping to someday fly to infinity and beyond might want to look into the National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center. Located north of Philadelphia, the facility includes classrooms and training bays that test the body’s and mind’s ability to withstand space travel. Fifteen flight simulators include such things as a state-of-the-art centrifuges that simulate the G-forces of space flight, and flight pods with mock-up altimeters, “nerve-tingling” surround sound speakers, motion simulators that create the force of a rocket blast and a video feed that allows participants to see what astronauts see when they blast off from earth. To date, more than 300 researchers and future space-tourists from around the world have taken the course in preparation for commercial spaceflight that soon will be available through such companies as Virgin Galactic and Space X. A 2006 NASA survey on Public Space Travel showed that by 2021, the space tourism market could bring in some $650 million from an estimated 13,000 passengers. However, according to experts, space travel is grueling and makes huge physical, mental and emotion demands on passengers – especially on untrained travelers. NASTAR is now working with the Federal Aviation Administration and researchers with the University of Texas Medical Branch to study the effects of simulated space travel on civilian volunteers who have common health problems. For more information on the program, visit www.nastarcenter.com.
Those planning to fly a little closer to home might be interested in the results of a survey conducted recently by website Airfarewatchdog.com. The site looked at performance in five key areas – canceled flights, on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, denied boardings and customer satisfaction – to determine the top 10 airlines in 2013. Frontier took first place followed by Virgin America, JetBlue, Alaska, Southwest, Delta, AirTran, U.S. Airways, American Airlines and United. Last year, Frontier ranked fifth. Their rise to the top was credited to the fewest cancelled flights, most on-time arrivals and fewest mishandled bags.
Airlines’ desire to maximize profits means minimized seat space for passengers. A story in the Wall Street Journal reports that although many airlines are choosing to add other comfort features, at the same time, they’re opting for smaller seats and revising cabins to allow additional rows of seating. For 20-some years, the standard setup in the back of a Boeing 777 was nine seats per row but last year the switch was made to 10. And those early seats had a width of 18 to 18.5 inches. Today’s average seat is 17 inches – and the newer, narrower Airbus jets feature rows with nine, 16.7-inch seats.
In late October, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decided it was safe, after all, to allow passengers to use personal electronic devices during all phases of flights. As part of the change, airlines were required to complete a five-step process to prove their planes could handle the electronic emissions and submit paperwork before adopting the measure. However the day after the announcement was made, passengers on Delta and Jet Blue were allowed to use the devices. Airline officials explained that they could move more quickly than other airlines because they were both members of the Portable Electronic Devices Aviation Committee, which took part in the study and made recommendations to the FAA to allow their use; they knew ahead of time what paperwork and tests would be required; and they took care of those requirements before the announcement was made.
The latest “security” move may leave people wondering just how safe and secure they are while flying. Some airports are looking into the possibility of replacing “live” screening agents with automated, self-service security checkpoints. The screening kiosks are made of sensors that check for dangerous-looking items and sniff for chemicals and nuclear material. Travelers using the machines place their bags inside, scan their tickets or boarding passes and then close the door. The machine, created by Silicon Valley based Qylur, scans the contents and compares their characteristics to every item it has ever scanned, reportedly catching more prohibited items and avoiding more “false positives” than real live screeners. According to company officials, one machine could replace five Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint security lines.
An examination of another TSA program, “Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques,” found it is also allegedly under-performing. The investigation was conducted by the Government Accountability Office. Findings stated that the program, which uses agents to identify “suspicious-looking” people, talk to them while studying their body language, and then determine whether or not they pose a threat, was not worth the nearly $1 billion spent on the program in the past six years. A Congressional committee recently was formed to look at the report and determine if the profiling program should continue. Israel has long employed the practice at its one major airport, Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv, which handles about 11 million passengers a year. To date, that airport has remained terror-free.
Small businesses can see big earnings this Christmas
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Those looking for a unique, one of a kind gift for that special someone need look no further than their local small business.
That’s the message that the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Saturday is attempting to get out this holiday season. The Small Business Saturday campaign, which attempts to get shoppers to “think small,” was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need – more customers. It’s since grown into a nation-wide celebrated event supported by major corporations, elected officials, public and private organizations and millions of Facebook users.
Sponsoring organizations are provided with a variety of items including doormats, shopping bags, magnets, pens, stamps, gift cards to hand out to businesses to help them promote the event.
This year, for the first time, the Camdenton chamber joined forces with the group. Although the promotion fell on November 30, Trish Creach, executive director of the Camdenton chamber, said the ideas designed to boost business can be employed all month – and all year – long.
“It’s actually in response to Black Friday, which for the most part involves only big-box retailers, and Cyber Monday, which includes large retailers with an online presence. The campaign focuses on getting people to think about checking with their locally owned shops for those special items that won’t be found in your big box stores. We were excited about being of part of it because it really ties in with the chamber’s goal to support our small businesses. That’s good for everyone because it creates jobs and keeps more money in our local community,” she said. “Businesses that get involved and use this as a launching point can really benefit.”
Proof of the campaign’s success is in the numbers. Organizers reported that, nationwide, last year’s “Small Business” participants enjoyed sales of $5.5 billion.
In a prepared release, Camdenton Chamber President, Corey Leuwerke said that by supporting Small Business Saturday, it “demonstrates a commitment to the Camdenton area in which we live and work while creating goodwill within the community.”
The Small Business Administration and Small Business Saturday teamed up to provide 12 tips to help business owners plan and execute events that can be used throughout the Christmas shopping season to attract new customers.
1. Set a goal. Do you want to attract local media, create awareness of your business, build a mailing list of potential customers or sell products? Set goals first and then determine the type of event to best achieve them.
2. Figure out the scope of the event. Will you have refreshments, entertainment, workshops or speakers? Scale the event’s scope to your level of experience.
3. Time it right. Timing is crucial to the success of your event. Consider key dates or annual events in the community that might compete with – or compliment - yours, or choose a theme to highlight.
4. Choose your team. Who will be in charge of the event? Whether it’s you or a key employee, you need one person to take ownership and manage all the details, then others to help with the rest of the moving parts.
5. Think it through. Sit down with your team, and mentally walk through every step of the event. Envision it happening. Picture everything you will need. Also consider how much manpower you’ll need, what could possibly go wrong, and what and who you’ll need to have on hand to handle those snafus.
6. Set a budget. You may find costs are adding up to a price beyond your means. That’s when it’s time to either scale back or find a way to bring in additional money. Depending on the event, consider seeking a sponsor - perhaps one of your vendors or suppliers - or partnering with a complementary business to share the costs.
7. Create a marketing plan and allow plenty of time to get the word out.
8. Alert the media, which critical to building awareness of your event. Send local reporters a press release or notice about your upcoming event, invite them to attend and then send a follow-up press release. The publicity will help get the word out about your business even to those who can’t attend but who may drop by afterward.
9. Use social media to get your target audience excited. Tease the event well in advance, post pictures of and news about your preparations and invite customers. Keep the social media energy high by having an employee live tweet and post pictures and video from the event. People respond very favorably to news and photos of themselves and their circle.
10. Develop promotions. Figure out how you’ll market to customers when they’re at the event, whether with business cards and brochures, discount coupons or gift cards, product giveaways or contests. Be sure to capture attendees’ contact information, too. This can be as simple as having them write their email addresses on a form or putting their business cards in a fishbowl for a drawing to win a great, not necessarily expensive prize.
11. Be positive! Be prepared the day of the event. But also accept that you probably haven’t planned for every eventuality. When mistakes happen, your attitude is what matters most. Stay positive, keep your sense of humor and make your customers feel welcome and happy they came.
12. Follow up. Your work isn’t done when the event is over — in fact, that’s when it really starts. Follow up with customers who attended the event to thank them and offer them something special such as a discount, free trial or invitation to your next event. Ask them to rate the event so you can learn for your next one. Assess how well your event achieved your goals. How many new customers showed up? How many were returning customers? How many units did you sell? How many attendees make purchases in the months following the event? Developing your own metrics and tracking them will help ensure your events pay off in more than good feelings.
“More important than any one-day, or even month-long revenue boost, however, is the opportunity Small Business Saturday represents to attract and engage friends and neighbors on an ongoing basis,” the site states. “After all, what’s more important, a large holiday sales volume or a good, permanent relationship with your community?”
Great gifts from small businesses
Oil changes or car washes
Golf club membership
Tools from the hardware store
Bird feeders from farm and home stores
Vintage finds from antique or thrift shops
Restaurant gift certificates
Manicure or massage gift certificates
Basket of locally made food items
New MO program to help companies increase exports
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Some 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside American borders. To help Missouri’s small businesses – primarily manufacturers – tap into that market, the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) Division of Business and Community Services developed the Global Market Access Program (G-MAP).
G-MAP is a cost-sharing program that helps small businesses to participate in international trade activities, trade missions and foreign market sales trips so they can get their products in front of a global audience. Some of the marketing activities that qualify for funding include trade show exhibitions, foreign trade missions and sales trips, subscription services, language translation fees and market media.
“We’ll provide the help so they can connect with the right buyers. The cost-sharing funding limit through G-MAP per Missouri business is $12,000 per year. The companies may apply for a max of $5,000 per trade show; $3,000 per trade mission – all with a company match,” explained Amy Susan, communications director for the DED. “Many of our small business owners already know how to market themselves – they just need help getting to the right location that will allow them to do that.”
Several trade events are set for 2014 including the January 14 to 17 IBP Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada – touted as the “largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries; the April 8 to 11 Food Hotel Asia in Singapore featuring the food and hospitality industry; the August 26 to 28 IBP Farm Progress Show featuring agribusiness; and the September 27 to October 1 IBP WEFTEC Show in New Orleans, which focuses on water quality.
For a complete list of trade shows, visit http://www.exportmissouri.mo.gov/exports/trade-events.
However, the deadline to submit applications for trade activities in 2014 is December 31, 2013. Notice of awards will be made in early January. The program is administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s (DED).
G-MAP is open to Missouri companies that meet the following requirements:
•Businesses must have been operating for at least three years
•They must employ 500 workers or fewer
•They must gross less than$25 million in annual sales
•They must currently export to at least one market and at least 51 percent of the value of the exported product must be derived in Missouri
•They must have a strategic plan for exporting
Complete guidelines and an application for the Global Market Access Program are available at www.ExportMissouri.mo.gov.
Susan said businesses that are interested in exploring their options for exporting but that don’t meet that set of criteria might be eligible to receive assistance in other ways.
“We have ‘boots on the ground’ - numerous programs and customized services in place to help them get their products in the hands of consumers around the world and we can also get them in touch with financing services,” she said.
To contact one of the international trade specialists, call 573-751-4855 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Downing, acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said that more than 5,000 Missouri businesses, of all sizes and in all parts of the state, already export and find it to be a great way to increase sales.
Missouri’s exports totaled $13.9 billion in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Division and WISERTrade. Quarterly averages exceeded $3.1 billion and were led by first and second quarter activity. Twelve export categories increased exports by over $15 million, including three categories which increased by over $100 million. The top two categories for net increases in exports were Agricultural Products, with a $171.4 million increase, and Food and Kindred Products, with a $162.0 million increase. The fastest growing export categories include Fresh or Frozen Fish and other Seafood (239 percent) and Oil and Gas (209 percent).
Susan said the list of exporters from Miller, Morgan, and Camden counties includes forestry companies, a pet products exporter and a wood products company, among others.
In August, Osage Catfisheries, owned by the Kahrs family and located in Osage Beach, was named Missouri’s 2012 Agricultural Exporter of the Year. Founded in 1953 as a bait shop for local fishermen, the farm now supplies 32 species of fresh water fish to recreational and commercial aquariums, zoos, research markets and state and federal agencies.
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, half of all Missouri’s export income came from the top three recipients. Canada purchased $4.1 billion in goods, followed by Mexico ($1.8 billion), and China ($1.1 billion). In the past 10 years Missouri exports increased from $7.24 to $13.91 billion, which is just over 92 percent growth.
Parties prompt Lake Ozark to tighten ‘no rentals’ rule
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Weekend renters have been known to party like there’s no tomorrow, disrespect neighboring homeowners, park anywhere and everywhere, and fill every trash receptacle on the street full of beer cans and booze bottles on their way out of town.
That’s why Lake Ozark is stiffening a law that prohibits homeowners from renting out their homes for less than 30 days at a time. The first reading of Ordinance 2013-35, which clarifies several other zoning regulations as well, was held November 12. Aldermen supported the measure unanimously. The second reading was scheduled for November 26, after this edition of the “Lake of the Ozarks Business Journal” went to press.
“Instead of having their house sit vacant, some people put their houses on a vacation rental program. The problem is that a lot of those vacationers think they’re coming down here ‘incognito’ and they can do whatever they want – act as wild and crazy as they want – because nobody will know. With the way many of these homes are built, they don’t have a lot of space between them so when renters are whooping it up next door, it’s almost like they’re in your house,” said Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee. “We welcome tourists – they do bring additional revenues into our city – but we also want to protect the rights of our homeowners.”
He said over the summer, 25 people showed up at one Lake Ozark home that was “smack dab” in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The weekenders filled the entire street with cars; they played loud music day and night; and they partied on neighboring docks – even going so far as to eat food and drink beverages from the refrigerator on one of those docks.
“We felt we had to put a stop to it sooner rather than later,” he said, explaining that instead of adopting a new ordinance, they just clarified wording on an existing law so it now mirrors the state statute.
It’s also similar to an ordinance that’s been on the books since the summer of 2004 in the Village of Four Seasons. Village Clerk Tom Laird said trustees were quick to adopt the ordinance once they learned that a homeowner had started renting to entire fraternities and sororities – a practice that already was prohibited by the Four Seasons Property Owners Association, a homeowners association that governs activity inside its boundaries.
“I got a call from Carolyn Loraine, who was still presiding commissioner of Camden County at the time, asking me to come over to her house so I could see for myself what was going on. Literally – there were 100 cars. They were parked on every single yard on the street and they filled a tennis court that was owned by an individual that lived at the end of the street,” he said. “Fifty people were on that home’s dock – it was barely above water – and they had taken over neighboring docks as well. The fraternity president was very polite when I knocked on the door. In fact, he told me that if I thought it was crowded then, I should have seen it the night before when the sorority was there partying with them!”
Laird said now when they learn that homeowners are violating the ordinance, in addition to issuing citations, which can come with up to a $500-per-day fine, they also report it to the Camden County Assessor’s Office.
“Currently, single family residences are assessed at 19 percent. However, if it’s being used as a commercial property – and if you’re using that home as a money maker that makes it commercial – the assessment goes up to 39 percent. We want people to know that we plan to make it as difficult as possible for them if they’re going to violate the law,” he said.
Van Dee said those who continue to violate the Lake Ozark code could be assessed a fine of up to $100.00 a day. The municipal judge would determine the amount of the fine.
“If we have to pursue the matter through district court the penalty could be in the form of a permanent injunction enjoining them from continuing to violate the code and if they did, it could be treated as a contempt of a court order action,” he said, adding that he also will inform the state that the homeowners are operating as a hotel. “And the regulations for hotels are a whole lot stricter and include regular inspections and certifications. I really don’t think it would be worth the time and trouble.”
Kathy Beeler, president of the Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors, said while she understands why people wouldn’t want partying renters in their neighborhoods, she feels that is the exception rather than the norm. She also said by adopting laws prohibiting nightly rentals, municipalities and subdivisions are restricting the sale of properties in their areas.
“We get a lot of people who are buying five or 10 years out from retirement. They know they want to move to the Lake when they retire so they buy a house now in hopes of renting it often enough to make the payments. When showing homes, we tell them that won’t be possible in these areas so they look elsewhere. I know of several cases where homes were passed over because they couldn’t be rented,” she said.
Cary Patterson, city planner for Osage Beach, said they’ve taken a slightly different approach than Lake Ozark and the Village. So far, he said it seems to be working. They’ve had just three reports of problems in the 15 years he’s worked for the city – and one was about a mom and dad with three adult children that each drove their own vehicle, resulting in extra parking on the street.
“We understand this is a resort community and expect rentals. However, in our single family residential, we expect single-family residential activity and behavior – regardless of which family is staying there and the length of their stay. We try to head off problems by regularly reminding property rental firms of those guidelines in writing.
If that ever stops working we have the capability of enforcing our regulations. We’ll start by writing a letter, then we’ll start issuing citations. If we get a homeowner that refuses to comply – that continues to have an inordinate amount of trash, an inordinate amount of parking problems, an inordinate amount of noise – we’ll just send a compliance officer there daily. A judge can set fines of up to $500 per day,” he said.
New Year will bring new higher minimum wage
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
The latest change in Missouri wage law is a “good-news, bad-news” situation.
It’s good news for minimum-wage employees, who will see a jump in pay from $7.35 to $7.50 per hour; bad news for employers who are required to pay the higher rate as of January 1, 2014. The only businesses exempt from the hourly wage rule are retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are less than $500,000.
Missouri law requires that minimum wage rate is calculated once a year and may increase or decrease based on the cost of living, measured by the previous year’s Consumer Price Index. However, Missouri law does not allow the state’s minimum wage rate to dip lower than the federal minimum wage rate, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour. That translates to $15,080 per year for a full-time worker. According to information provided on the website, raisetheminimumwage.com, if the federal minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years, it would currently be set at $10.74 per hour or $22,339.20 annually.
A spokesperson for the local branch of the Missouri Career Center said because in the summer there are more jobs than employees in the Lake area, most businesses already pay more than minimum wage. He said it wasn’t unusual for fast food employees to make $9 per hour. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers, $2.13 per hour, has not increased in more than 20 years.
Missouri has several other laws on the books governing pay:
-In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no minimum or maximum number of hours an employee may be scheduled or asked to work.
-Time spent commuting from home to the workplace is not considered work time. But time spent traveling during normal work hours as part of the job is considered work time and employers are required to pay employees for that travel time, which figures into the equation to determine whether employees are being paid minimum wage.
-Employers must pay at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay once overtime pay is in effect. Overtime pay begins once an employee works more than 40 hours in a work week rather than more than 8 hours in a work day.
State and federal law does not allow employees to voluntarily waive their rights to overtime pay and accept straight time instead. Any employer that asks an employee to do so is in violation of the law and employees can file a wage complaint.
-Employers are not required to provide vacation pay, holiday pay, or severance pay. Those are benefits given at an employer’s discretion or when an employer has entered into a contract where certain benefits are established by agreement.
-Employers also are not required to offer paid sick leave or any other type of paid fringe benefit. As with holiday or vacation pay, this is left up to the employer’s discretion, or to any contract the employer may have with its employees. In addition, an employer may provide sick and vacation benefits to one group of employees, but not to others, as long as the employer does not discriminate based upon age, race, sex, religion, national origin, etc.
If an employee missed work due to either his or her own illness, the employee may qualify for job protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal law administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Under state law, no such protections exist. Federal law states that covered employers must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee; for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care; to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
-Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees, including youth workers, a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract. The entertainment industry, however, does require breaks and rest periods for youth workers. A youth cannot work more than five and one-half hours without a meal break. Additionally, a 15-minute rest period, which counts as work time, is required after each two hours of continuous work for youth in the entertainment industry.
-An employer may reduce an employee’s wages, providing the employee is given a 30-day advance written notice of a reduction in wages. This notice requirement does not apply if an employee is asked to work fewer hours or changes to a different position with different duties. Any company or corporation violating this requirement shall pay each affected person $50, which can be recovered through court action.
-An employer may deduct funds from an employee’s wages for cash register shortages, damage to equipment, repayment of a cash advance or loan, for purchases made at the place of business, or for similar reasons. Deductions can be made from an employee’s wages as long as the deductions do not take the employee’s wages below the required minimum hourly wage rate.
OB clarifies wireless infrastructure legislation
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Just so there’s no misunderstanding, the city of Osage Beach sent a letter to State Rep. Rocky Miller suggesting language that would exempt municipalities from the effect of any future legislation regulating cell phone towers.
Last year, Miller introduced a piece of legislation that gave cell phone companies carte blanche. It was approved and set to take effect August 28. However, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce issued a preliminary junction and then struck down the law, declaring it invalid. Cell phone companies are expected to pressure lawmakers to reintroduce similar legislation next January.
Currently, the city’s municipal code allows them to turn down an application if the tower would conflict with safety and safety-related codes and requirements or the historic nature or character of a neighborhood or historical district; if the use or construction of wireless telecommunications facilities is contrary to an already stated purpose of a specific zoning or land use designation; or if placement and location of wireless telecommunications facilities would create an unacceptable risk, or the reasonable probability of such a risk, to residents, the public, employees or anyone else. The ordinance also regulates, among other things, tower height and visibility, security measures and signage and outlines fees. Applicants are required to make an initial deposit of $8,500 to cover the costs of a consultant and to pay a fee of $5,000 for construction of a new tower and $2,500 to co-locate on an existing tower. Osage Beach, Camden County and a few other entities around the Lake area contract with Dick Comi, an engineer who specializes in telecommunications equipment, to handle the permitting process.
The letter states it would be possible to exempt cities such as Osage Beach from the application of the new law if two sections were rewritten to read:
“Authorities may continue to exercise zoning, land use, planning and permitting authority within their territorial boundaries with regard to the siting of new wireless support structures.” It also proposes language stating nothing in certain sections should apply to municipalities administering regulation over wireless telecommunication facilities. The four-page letter goes on to outline the city’s preference of facility location, addresses costs associated with permitting and discuss safety issues, among other things.
In the meantime, last month the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in a special meeting to issue a 60-day moratorium on construction or modification of all cell phone towers within city limits.
City Administrator Dave Van Dee said they hoped that would provide them with enough time to draw up an ordinance that will establish guidelines and set forth an application process similar to what Osage Beach has on its books.
“We haven’t regulated them in the past but since it’s obvious that phone companies want to take away all rights, which, by the way, is unconstitutional, we felt it was important to draft an ordinance to cover the city in the future. I’m not opposed to cell phone towers – I have a cell phone. As far as I’m concerned, the more towers the better,” he quipped. “However, it’s important that the city can determine where they can and can’t go and that we have a third party to look at them – make sure they’re not of inferior quality or located somewhere where if they fall, they’re going to do a lot of harm.”
William W. Jenkins, vice president of CIS Communications, a telecommunications site acquisition and construction company, attended the Lake Ozark meeting but did not address the board.
In a separate interview he said co-locating antennas is always their first choice.
“Whenever possible, we use an existing structure – rooftops, water towers, anything that’s available and 100 to 250 feet high. This is still pretty much a ‘line-of-sight’ technology. In the flat lands of Kansas, it’s not a problem but in Missouri, and particularly Lake of the Ozarks, where you have nothing but hill after hill, it’s much harder to transmit. There already are literally hundreds of towers in the Lake area but to provide service to everyone at all times, you’d need hundreds more,” he said.
Regional trail network could redefine Eldon
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
What began several years ago as an attempt to use the section of the former Rock Island Railroad that runs through Eldon as a recreational hiking and biking path has grown into a project that could establish the city as the hub of a regional trail network. If all goes as planned, when finished the trail will extend from Kansas City southeast to Eldon and then northeast to St. Louis, possibly even providing a connecting route to Lake of the Ozarks.
Earlier this fall, the St. Louis and Kansas City chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects announced they were adopting the project as their own, designing the trail and developing a comprehensive plan to obtain funding – and they’re providing their services free of charge.
“This is amazing! It’s a credit to our community’s willingness to work together. From the start, we really believed we were going to build this trail. We didn’t know how, we didn’t know where we’d get the funding – or even where it would lead – but we stuck it out and stuck together. I think that’s why, every step of the way, everything needed to make this happen has fallen into place,” said Daphney Partridge, community resource director for AmeriCorps, who heads up the ad hoc Rock Island Trail Task Force.
The first step toward building the path began in 1999 when Mac McNally, regional planner for the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG), helped Ameren Missouri acquire rights to the 3-mile long railroad right-of-way through the subsidiary Missouri Central Railroad, in partnership with General Railway Corporation. Then Ameren gave permission for volunteers to clear the right-of-way.
“While working as a realtor, I had the Fasco building in Eldon listed. It ended up getting leased but in the process of finding a buyer, I started looking at healthy living options in Eldon. A lot of companies look at quality-of-life issues before locating in areas,” McNally explained in an earlier interview. “That’s when I started looking into the Rock Island Line project. I felt that if we could accomplish this, we would have the opportunity to hold bicycling events and attract a whole new crowd to the Lake area.
As the project moved forward, many others, including Partridge, Eldon city officials, the Eldon Chamber of Commerce, elected officials and community members, joined in and began working together to clear the trail.
Partridge said the land was overgrown with weeds and had become a dumping ground for everything from household trash to dead appliances. By the end of the work session, they had removed 110 truckloads of debris.
The project generated a lot of attention – so much so that in the fall of 2012, the National Park Service, who had heard about the work – became a partner. Kim Shafer, head of the Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, made two visits to the area to discuss the plans. Partridge said she felt that partnership was instrumental in getting help from the National Civilian Community Corp, which spent five weeks clearing the right-of-way.
The Missouri Department of Conservation also got on board and last November, crews armed with chain saws spent one whole day taking out trees.
Last December, during a community work day which was attended by many, they were able to finish cleaning up from Business 54 to the east end of the property. In addition, Mayor Ron Bly was able to convince the Missouri Central Railroad to cover the cost of clearing from 54 west to Highway Y.
Then, according to Partridge, everything went on “hold.”
“We didn’t have any funding to do anything else. However, unbeknownst to us, Kim had been working behind the scenes looking for someone to partner with us on the project. She’s the one that hooked us up with the American Society of Landscape Architects. They looked at what we wanted to do, saw the huge amount of support we had from the entire community and decided that since we were right in the middle of their two chapters, they’d take it on jointly,” she explained, adding that members from the group came down this past September to assess the site and again in October to provide preliminary plans.
They returned in November to make a presentation that featured Eldon as the hub of a regional network of trails that will allow bicyclists or walkers to travel from one side of the state to the other.
“This is going to transform our community,” she said. “When you look at what the Katy Trail did for little cities like Rocheport, you can understand how important this will be for Eldon. We have the key components in place to make it successful – access to Highway 54, a first-rate north-south highway; plenty of room for expansion; an established downtown area with that ‘old-town’ feel; we’re 10 minutes from Lake of the Ozarks and we’re in an absolutely beautiful part of the world. Most importantly, we have proven support from the community. I can envision a day in the not-too-distant future where dozens of new businesses will be flocking here to take advantage of the crowds of people that will be traveling through. New businesses mean new jobs and new money injected into our community.”
The Eldon right-of-way is part of the larger Rock Island rail line which runs 245 miles from Maryland Heights, near St. Louis, to Pleasant Hill, near Kansas City. The Department of Natural Resources is currently constructing a 42-mile trail on the right of way between Windsor and Pleasant Hill that will connect to the cross-state Katy Trail. Federal Rails to Trails legislation allows for conversion of unused railroad right of ways to recreation use. Such corridors could revert to rail use in the future, if needed.
The Katy Trail, one of the most successful biking/hiking projects in the nation, is an example of the conversion of rail lines to recreational use. The Katy runs more than 200 miles along the Missouri River from St. Charles to Clinton.
SBA accepting 2014 National Small Business Week Awards nominations
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
More than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business. Those 28 million small businesses are credited with creating two out of every three jobs in the U.S. each year.
Now business owners with amazing success stories can be recognized in the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards.
Since 1963, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized the outstanding achievements of entrepreneurs in all 50 states and U.S. territories for their contributions to their local communities and to the nation’s economy.
According to information provided by the SBA, winners for each award are evaluated based on a number of factors and chosen based on different sets of criteria specific to the category.
The list of awards includes:
-National Small Business Person of the Year (chosen from among state award winners from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam)
-Phoenix Awards (recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery)
-Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year
-Small Business Subcontractor of the Year
-The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence (recognizes large prime contractors who have used small businesses as suppliers and contractors)
-SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year (for recent graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program)
-Exporter of the Year
-Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation Award(nominations of SBA-funded SBDC Service Centers)
-Women’s Business Center (WBCs) of Excellence Award(nominations of SBA-funded WBCs)
-Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award (nominations of SBA-funded Veterans Business Outreach Centers)
To apply, visit http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/. Nominations can also be sent directly to SBA District Offices, which can be found by visiting www.sba.gov/districtoffices. All nominations must be submitted online, postmarked or hand delivered to the SBA no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on January 17, 2014.
Winners of the Small Business Person of the Year award and other award categories will be invited to Washington, D.C., in 2014 to compete for national titles and to attend National Small Business Week events.
Are you a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for the 2014 National Small Business Week Awards. Nominations are currently being accepted online at http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/.
For more than 50 years, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions in their local communities, and to our nation’s economy. Winners will be announced during National Small Business Week – May 12-16, 2014.
Last year, we honored small business owner John Stonecipher—CEO of Guidance Aviation—with the National Small Business Person of the Year Award. John turned his childhood fascination with airplanes into a successful business. Today Guidance Aviation has a staff of 55, fourteen aircrafts and a waiting list of students ready to take flight into their futures.
Are you our next winner? Apply online today: http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/. In addition to the portal, nominations can also be sent directly to SBA District Offices, which can be located online at district offices. All nominations must be submitted online, postmarked or hand delivered to the SBA no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on January 17, 2014.
National Small Business Week award categories include:
•Small Business Person of the Year Awards
•Small Business Exporter of the Year
•Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
•Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery
•Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
•Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award
•Federal Procurement Award- Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence
•8(a) Graduate of the Year Award
•Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award
•Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
•Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
For more information, visit http://nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/.
Anglers hope for red hot fishing action in ice cold water
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Although not often - fishing tournaments have been called off due to severe weather conditions. However, few have followed these guidelines:
“If the temperature for the tournament day is forecast by the National Weather Service to be less than 20 degrees for the entire day of the tournament and/or if 2 inches or more of frozen participation 48 hours prior to take off or during the day of the tournament is expected, the event will be cancelled.”
Sound interesting? Challenging? Stimulating? Then don’t put away that fishing gear. Instead, visit www.bassingbob.com and sign up for the hottest new competition at the Lake – the Bassing Bob – Robin’s Resort Winter Bass Challenge Tournament Series. The first-of-its-kind competition – as well as the website – is the brainchild of devoted fisherman and Lake-area resident Bob Bueltmann.
“I’ve owned a condo here for the past five years. When I sold my software companies earlier this year, retired and moved here full time, I knew I wanted to keep my hand in the business world. I decided to combine my love of bass fishing with my background and create a website that offered everything for fishermen – videos; articles; maps; daily, weekly and monthly fishing reports; tournament news and a complete listing of every tournament held here,” he said. “It’s designed so everyone from a recreational fisherman to a professional angler can learn more about fishing at Lake of the Ozarks.”
The site, which offers both free and paid memberships, went live July 1. Since that time, membership has grown steadily, with more than 1,600 signed up to date. The site gets 800 to 900 visitors per day, resulting in some 50,000 page views.
Bueltmann, who fishes Lake of the Ozarks nearly every day, year round, likened it to a “soap opera for fishermen” with some “very religious followers.” But because he also wanted others to discover the beauty and rewards of fishing on the Lake in the winter and because he wanted to attract out-of-towners to the Lake in what has traditionally been the “off season,” he didn’t stop there. Instead, he also decided to organize the wintertime tournaments.
“Some of the biggest bass are caught on Lake of the Ozarks in the winter. Contrary to popular belief, big bass do not go dormant once cold weather sets in. While the basses metabolism slows during the winter months, the big fish with higher metabolism feed daily and thus an angler is more likely to catch a big bass this time of the year,” he said.
The Missouri Department of Conservation backs up that statement. In fact, their data shows winter is when some of Missouri’s biggest fish have been caught, including a:
-20-pound-8-ounce Hybrid Striper
-91-pound Blue Catfish
“Fishing on Lake of the Ozarks in the winter is also a lot more peaceful. The scenery – especially when there’s a blanket of the snow on the ground – is absolutely beautiful. And better yet, you don’t have to deal with the big boats and their huge wakes or water skiers and wake boarders whizzing by! Since I’ve been out on the water in December, January and February, I know first-hand that we have many mild days with lots of sunshine. And if you dress appropriately, it’s really not all that cold,” Bueltmann promised. On the website, he advises wearing “layers of clothes, thick socks, leather gloves, hats/ski mask” and using toe warmers and hand warmers. “You will be surprised at how comfortable you will feel on the water.”
The tournament dates are set for December 28, 2013 and Saturday, January 11; Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, February 9, 2014.
Bueltmann said because of the significant promotion, he expects hundreds of anglers to participate. Many will bring spouses or family which will result in an even larger injection into the economy.
“Some 500,000 fishermen come to the Lake each year. We’ve already built a database of 10,000 fishermen just from the 100-plus bass fishing clubs in Missouri and from our relationships with tournament organizers, including Anglers in Action, the organizer of the Big Bass Bash. As word continues to get out – and pictures of ‘hawgs’ are put up on our website – I estimate our numbers will grow exponentially,” he said, adding that the payout structure should also entice out-of-towners to compete. “Locals have the edge because they already know the ‘hot spots.’ However, we aren’t going to just pay out for the top weight. We’re also paying 5 percent of the pot to the lowest weight for five keepers and 10 percent to the highest weight that is 5 pounds less than first place. We have the complete breakdown of prize money on the website.”
In the meantime, he’s recruiting sponsors for the tournaments and for the website – local businesses that want to reach that captive market.
“This is the only website of its kind for Lake of the Ozarks and we have a tremendous following. I want to line up a few businesses that are interested in directly tapping into that market. I haven’t started promoting it yet but since we’re taking only a limited number of sponsorships, I imagine they’ll go fast. I’ve put together a nine-page prospectus to share with those that are interested,” Bueltmann said.
Revised schedules in December, January
Both Lake Ozark and Osage Beach have revised their meeting schedules for the coming months.
The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen, which usually meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, will be meeting on Tuesday, December 10 but have cancelled their December 24 meeting and will not meet again until January 14.
The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen, which usually meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month, will meet at their regularly scheduled times in December but in January, they will meet the second and fourth Thursdays – January 9 and 23.
Because of the holidays, the Lake of the Ozarks Business Journal is also revising its December schedule. Deadline for submission of press releases for the January issue will be December 19.
Sexuality addressed in federal workplace bill
By Nancy Zoellner-Hogland
Although the Senate easily passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which bans workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, proponents aren’t expecting the same support in the Republican-controlled House. However, because alleged opponents and business groups stayed silent and didn’t speak out against the bill, and because many Fortune 500 companies endorsed the legislation, organizers, who have the backing of President Barak Obama, said they aren’t giving up.
In November, the president penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post in support of the bill, saying LGBT discrimination was “offensive” and “wrong,” and needed to stop, “because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fire-able offense.”
Supporters said they next plan to call on the public to contact their elected representatives and tell them to vote “Yes” if and when the bill is placed on the calendar. However, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who controls which bills go to the floor for a vote, has stated in press conferences that he is opposed to the bill because he feels it will increase frivolous litigation. He cited a September 2013 study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that said ENDA would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to hire 110 more employees, which would cost some $47 million.
Currently, 21 states have laws on the books protecting lesbian and gay workers from discrimination and 17 adopted laws protecting the rights of transgender workers. If passed, ENDA’s protections would extend to all federal, state, and local government agencies; employment agencies; unions and private employers with 15 or more employees. Businesses with fewer than 15 employees and religious organizations would be exempt from ENDA, as it is currently worded. Several senators argued that the religious exemption should be expanded to larger organizations, such as school and hospitals that are run by a religious organization, however, that amendment failed.
In 2010 Missouri adopted laws prohibiting discrimination against sexual orientation but as of November 2013, had not adopted any laws addressing gender identity discrimination. The state is one of 10 that have executive policies in place that protect some gay and transgender employees of the state from discrimination, albeit the order doesn’t extend past the executive branch. Article I of Order 10-24, issued by Gov. Jay Nixon on July 9, 2012, reads:
The executive branch of the State of Missouri shall ensure that all present and prospective employees are afforded equal opportunity at all levels and phases of employment within state government with respect to, but not limited to, hiring, recruiting, training, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, demotions, terminations, rate of compensation, and recalls from layoffs. It shall be the responsibility of the State Office of Equal Employment Opportunity to monitor all departments of the executive branch of state government and assist them to ensure equal employment opportunity. The State of Missouri shall work to ensure that there will be no vestiges of discrimination against persons on account of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability; not only in employment practices but in the provision of services and the operation of facilities.
The executive order does not provide employees who have been discriminated against with a private right of action. No complaint numbers are available because Missouri does not compile information on sexual orientation discrimination.
According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, up to 43 percent of gay and transgender workers have reported experiencing some form of discrimination on the job. According to the Williams Institute, a think tank out of UCLA School of Law, “17 percent reported being fired because of their sexual orientation, 13 percent reported being denied a promotion of receiving a negative job evaluation, and 20 percent reported being harassed verbally or in writing on the job” because they are gay or transgender. In a 2011 survey, 90 percent of transgender respondents reported encountering some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job, or took actions to avoid it, and 47 percent reported experiencing some sort of “adverse” job outcome, including 26 percent who said they were fired due to gender identity discrimination.
Glimpses of the Lake's Past
By Dwight Weaver
On the north side of the Camdenton Square is a building that currently houses the law offices of Deputy and Mizell, LLC. The left portion of the building has a sign that reads “Harwood 1933.” The distinctive façade of this structure was built in 1932-33 by Boyd H. Harwood and son Boyd W. Hardwood Jr. of Kansas City. Until 1938 it housed the Ozark Tavern Hotel. The word “tavern,” which originally meant a place of lodging and fine food, fell into disfavor during Prohibition and the Great Depression years. By 1940 nearly all lodging places in Missouri using the word “tavern” had changed the word to hotel, inn, or lodge.
In 1938, the name of the business was changed to Harwood Hotel under the management of B. W. Harwood Jr. By this time Camdenton had four restaurants, two churches, two doctors, one dentist, a theater, a bank, a bakery, four food markets, two drug stores, service stations and garages, and about thirty fishing and vacation camps within a radius of five miles.
Architecturally, the two brick-veneered Tudor-style buildings were among the most handsome and imposing buildings on the Camdenton Square in the early years. A small narrow building connected the twin halves and housed a gift shop. In 1959 the advertising for the gift shop said “See Missouri’s largest collection of antique plates.” A sign on the café and hotel portion read “Approved by Duncan Hines.”
In 1950, the name of the establishment changed slightly with the addition of “motor lodge” and was operated by the Fordyces (see 1950s postcard photo by Lewis Studio, Sedalia) The Harwood Motor Lodge survived to the 1960s. Although the façade of the buildings have seen remodeling in the recent years enough of the original shape and looks remain to make their historic fronts recognizable.
This historical sketch is from the collection of H. Dwight Weaver. He is the author of six books on the history of Lake of the Ozarks.
The author’s latest book on Lake history – Images of America, Osage Beach – is now locally available and is a pictorial history of Osage Beach from 1880 to 1980.
Weaver’s book “A Pictorial Guide to Ha Ha Tonka State Park” contains more than 300 photos of the park, which include all of the park’s significant natural and man-made features along its trails and boardwalks.
Contact him at: email@example.com or call 573-365-1171. Visit www.lakeoftheozarksbooks.com to obtain more information or to purchase one of his books on line.