Friday, December 12, 2008

Shopping Music

No explanation; if you were listening, you get it.

Ladies suggest:
I wanted to send in my best Shopping song. It would have to be Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. There is a great tempo change in the middle that is just GREAT!

Prince - International Lover

Slow Ride

3 times a lady

time in a bottle

Just the way you are

truly, madly, deeply

endless love (the one with diana ross and lionel richie)

unchained melody

eternal flame

what is love (don't ask me why, I just like it)

so contagious - acceptance

Guys suggest:
Anything Barry White

Diana Krall – Love Scenes

David Sanborn – Pearls

Good songs to get things to jump into your shopping cart (as opposed to pulling them off the shelves):

Pink – Aerosmith (naughty is good)

Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

In These Shoes – from Kinky Boots original soundtrack – Kirsty MacColl

The Man I Love – Etta James

Black Magic Woman - Santana

Popsicle Toes – Diana Krall album is “The Look of Love” (also a good album)

Night Moves - Bob Seger

Chains - Tina Arena (this is really a hot song in my opinion)

Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer

Adult Education – Hall & Oates

Aerosmith - Love in an Elavator.

Bob Rivers - Walking 'Round in Womens' Underwear ;-)

Maurice Rivel, BOLERO

Exile’s song “I want to kiss you all over”.

Album Aeterna by Constance Demby

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama wants to BANKRUPT the Coal Industry.

Don't take my word for it listen to what he says.


Doug Burlison - Statement on City Priorities-Public Safety

Look for Doug to be our guest before week's end!

Since the selection of our new City Manager Greg Burris, we have had some meetings where the Council has discussed our views on what priorities we should pursue as a city. In reality, each Council-member, out of respect to the others, may not have had enough time in these settings to fully elaborate opinions which deal with very important and complicated matters. With this in mind, I personally feel the need to provide more detail from this one councilman's perspective.
First off, the highest priority is to fix once and for all our under-funded Fire and Police pension system. This pension program is one that the voters of Springfield approved, and in my mind, are promises that must be kept. With hindsight being 20/20, we now realize that the pension fund was not sustainable under it's original design. We have already taken steps to improve it's health, such as moving new hires into the state-level LAGERS system, supplementing contribution rates, altering investment strategies, etc. Some of the basic shortcomings have already been addressed, but we still have more work to do. It is becoming apparent that a sales tax is the only way to raise the funds necessary to make the required financial repair in a quick enough time-frame to be effective.
Our challenge at this point, is to provide the tools and incentives to make the duration of this tax as short as possible. I believe that this is what it will take, to win the approval of a majority of Springfield citizens, and to minimize the negative economic effect that higher taxation causes. Taxpayers want to see in the ballot language that this money will exclusively go to fix the pension fund only, and completely. We will also want to see assurances on the ballot of real efforts by our city government to do everything possible to supplement this repair with non-tax revenue. We should designate 100% of available funds from any pending court awards coming to this city for deposit into the pension fund. We should also continue to explore the liquidation of any non-essential municipal assets to supplement this fund. Current legal complications that prevent this from happening may, in some cases, be overcome by specific ballot measures with voter approval. The assets that potentially fall into this category should be discussed and identified for liquidation. In addition, in light of the current economic conditions, we should again look at our pension fund investment protfolio, and consider the possibility of adding high performing precious metals to our investment strategies.
To sweeten this tax request, I would propose a couple of ideas that would make some real promises to the taxpayer. One, is the idea of a tax shadow, a period of time where no new municipal tax measures could be proposed, both during and for some time after the sunset of this tax. We as a city, should determine an appropriate time-frame with which we could guarantee an absence of new requests for revenue from the citizen. To provide incentives to identify the most non-tax revenue that could supplement the pension fund, assuring the shortest tax-duration possible, I propose tying this request to a witholding of 50% of our city government's upper management bonuses during the life of the added sales tax. This would give the city's management team, the people most able to identify non-essential funds/assets, a vested interest in doing so. These bonuses, referred to as deferred compensation bonuses for non-classified personnel, can be altered by Council action, without having to obtain voter approval.
On another front, once we are well on the road to pension repair, we need to examine the current pay structures of our public safety personnel. As a city, we are working on realistically updating the list of other cities which are very similar to us in most areas, to provide an accurate way to benchmark the level of compensation we provide our Police and Fire employees. I believe we need to do this in order to maximize our training dollars, reduce police and fire employee turnover, and ensure the highest level of public safety in Springfield. Providing a decent retirement is one thing, but paying someone to stay to continue doing a good job is also essential. My recommendation would be to identify a compensation level that is close to, if not equal to the same benchmark level that our City Management personnel are at. I realize that in order to afford this, budgetary changes may need to be made, but as we are designing this road to recovery, we need to keep theses adjacent issues in mind. It may mean stretching out lump sum pension payments over a few years, it could mean consolidating some city and county functions, but it is important that the discussion starts.
Make no mistake, the rest of our city's employees deserve to be included in this benchmark re-evaluation, as well. I personally feel that not all departments in our city government should be treated equal, and that Public Safety personnel should be compensated for the extraordinary real dangers that they have a duty to deal with daily. Our other employees, however, are also very important to the functioning of our city, and we need to make sure that we are not neglecting any of them in the big picture of Springfield's future.
In closing, I would mention some options that would be counter-productive and unacceptable. One is a sales tax without some guarantees to the taxpayer. Second, is any kind of legislation that prevents citizens from providing for their own safety. Another is any kind of job-killing earnings tax in this city. I also believe that measures that would require the closing of any fire station to be very unwise. Finally, leaving this economic/public safety problem unresolved is definitely unacceptable. Years from now, I'd like to be able to point out to the time in our city's history when we dealt with our looming issues, instead of passing them on to the next generation. I pray the buck stops here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh my gosh!

Don't think about it, don't find something else to do; just copy and paste this into your browser and then spend 2 minutes getting blown away!

Sarah Palin

OK. She is NOT the second coming, she is NOT the "chosen one", she is just a woman but what a woman. No not her looks....her politics. This lady has almost single handedly resurrected the conservative hopes for 2008.

As you would expect the FLAAPL's {Flaming Liberal Anti-American Pagan Lunatics} are doing all they can to destroy the "hockey mom" from Alaska including "fabricating" stories.

No Vince say it isn't so, FLAAPL's telling LIES!

Here are some links for you to bookmark.

If you have found a good site that debunks the FLAAPL - trap let me know.

See ya on the radio!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


So it was last Wednesday morning, {Aug 6, 2008} I told you Greg Burris would be the new City of Springfield Manager and at 2 pm today {Aug 12, 2008} the city confirmed what you already knew.

My sources tell me the search committee had the rankings #1 Oklahoma, #2 Arkansas and #3 Burris.

The chamber and other powerful people had ALWAYS wanted Mr. Burris and even though his set of qualifications do not match the job posting, {see Jackehammer} Mr. Burris gets the job.

The good old boys strike again...yes.

Discouraging for those of us trying to break their hold and turn this city in a direction beneficial for the many...absolutely


April is coming and we will have the last laugh.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Letters to "Dave" serving Over There!

Vince, please pass this along to all of "our" soldiers in the middle east.

Dave, and all of the men and women serving in the military during this difficult time. I am a retired USAF officer so you know my connection with the military. My wife,Connie and I are very grateful for what each of you are doing to protect our freedom. Words cannot express enough our appreciation and admiration...I have to believe many, many Amercians feel the same. We have a soon to be(June 3) sixteen year old grandson who knows the value of freedom and very definitely respects the men and women serving. He assures us that he is not alone and that many of his peers feel the same way. I see great admiration in his eyes when our thoughts and discussions center on the Middle East and the War on Terrorism. Yes, the younger generation ..."gets it" despite what you may being hearing newswise. Our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you and will be always.

Good morning Dave,
Hope this letter finds you & your fellow soldiers well & in good spirits. It is 10:17 A.M on Friday May 30 2008. Vince read the email you had sent to him this morning. It is good to hear from any one serving over seas. I myself am a former Marine but was never sent overseas but have several friends who were in the sand box. Having never been to war I will not pretend to know everything that you guys must be going through. As per your email you do stand on the shoulders of giants, but someday you will be those giants & a new breed of soldiers will be trying to fill your shoes. Myself & countless others here at home have the upmost respect for you soldiers. It doesn't matter what branch you're in or what your M.O.S. is. It is the fact that you raised your hand & you chose to serve. So since your there & I'm not you have all my respect. Best of luck to you & all those around you. Be safe & keep your head down. Hopefully when you get back home there will be bands & parades. But if there's not, I hope you can find comfort in a job well done & the gratitude of one brother to another.
Semper Fi

Hi Dave,

I heard on the KSGF this morning that you and your fellow guys needed emails to help cheer you up. There are a lot of us here in America that sure owe you guys a lot. You and those with you have done something that most of us have never had the guts to do – and that is to step up to the plate, put on a US military uniform and fight for our country. Sometimes I feel guilty for not joining the military when I was younger. I always thought basic training would be fun..figured a good tough farm girl would have no problems with it….who knows how naive I was, but I always considered myself stronger and tougher than most and figured it would be fun to join up. But, my heart was in agriculture and there were not any jobs in the military that dealt with what I wanted to do in ag. I hope that my job is important. I hope I help people, educate folks, help them make a better living for themselves. To offset the guilt I sometimes feel for letting others fight my countries battles, I try telling myself that after the military, agriculture has to be the most important job. If it wasn’t for the farmers, the world would starve. If it wasn’t for the military I would never have had the right to be in the field I love. So, thank you for allowing me to do what I love.

I don’t understand those who do not support the war. I hate war, I wish we could all hold hands and sing and roast marshmallows (especially the coconut ones..yum) but we can’t. We have to defend this nation and we have to defend those who cannot defend themselves – the Iraqi people. We have women over here hollering about how the military is allowing our young men and women to die but yet those same women said nothing about the treatment of women and children over in Iraq. They have said nothing about the rape rooms, the torture, the shear misery that Sudam and his fellows imparted upon the people. I realize that America cannot save the world, but shouldn’t we save those we can and blow a few terrorists away in the process??? Just makes sense to me.

Again, thanks and I hope you know how special you and your fellow military guys and gals are.


Dear Dave,

I didn’t have time to get the entire scenario about this letter. But because it’s to, and about some of my personal hero’s, the military: I decided to take a little time and write you a letter to reinforce the idea that as an entity; you and your buddies there are certainly appreciated by the real people of this country!

I’ve walked a few miles in your shoes. Well, boots really. But you get the idea. I too have put my (now) fat ass on the line for the stupid ingrates in this country. I went into combat for the U.S. Marines as a non-com in Viet Nam on three occasions. First with the highly politicized Air America flying out of Thailand to support the guys flying helo’s out to pick up their downed colleagues. We were flying those old propeller driven A-6’s that were left over from WW2. But, they got us there and back. And against the poorly armed Vietnamese that we were lighting up at around 300 miles per hour, they worked well. To tell the truth, it was a hoot every time we came across a dugout crossing the Mekong River importing explosives into Thailand for the Communists. When we blew them up it sent enough dead fish down the river to feed the next village down stream for a week.

Then after a time back home I went back over with 3rd Div Recon and was attached to A Co. S-2, 3rd Tank Bn. near the “de-militarized zone” in I Corps, South Viet Nam. Where I guess I got a little careless because I ended up in the hospitals two times and was later evacuated out to the States on the last trip.

Much of what you guys are going through today is similar to what we experienced back in those days. The sort of stuff that you can’t quite explain to folks well enough so that they really get it! You know, if you haven’t been there you can’t really fathom what really happens. Personally I think that it’s tougher on you guys today than it was on us. We had the good fortune to have a tough enemy who was poorly fed, armed, and supported. Where as you are having to fight an enemy who benefits from the “FLAPLS” ( Flaming Lunatic Anti-American Pagan Left-wing Socialists ) in this country as well as the Communist inspired murdering A-rabs that hate everyone, there.

You guys and girls (wait, we didn’t have any girls with us) will make it out and it’s then up to you ALL to get into politics to work for our country to return to the values that we all shared in days gone by. We didn’t do that in our day and look what’s happened to our country now. We have a society that believes that it’s up to you and me to protect them and put our lives and futures at risk for them. They don’t care what happens with us (mostly you). As long as it doesn’t impact upon them. It’s taught to them in schools today.

So take good care of each other out there. You are the only thing that’s keeping the Islamic terrorists out of the shopping malls here. And be comforted in the thoughts that many of us here are praying for your safe return.
Semper Fi

Hello Dave,
Just a note to thank you and your fellow soldiers for what you are doing over there. I am always impressed by someone who puts their civilian lives on hold and voluntarily puts themselves in harm's way.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you daily. Hang in there--though the main stream media continues to spew its bad news, the majority of Americans are supporting you and your efforts to bring freedom to the people of Iraq and defeat radical Islamic terrorism around the world.
Thank you for your service to our country.

Hey Dave, we will keep you in our prayers and thoughts, it is men and women like you that keep this country the strongest in the world. Thank you for your sacrifice.
Keep your powder dry and stay safe.
God Bless all of you.

Dear Dave and fellow servicemen and servicewomen,
My father volunteered in World War II and was in Patton's Army in Europe. My uncle served in the Pacific theater in World War II. Neither of them would talk about their war time experience after the war. I grew up during the Vietnam era when the military was held in contempt. I have been a physician in Springfield for the last eight years and have numerous current and past military personnel in my practice. From speaking with them, I have developed a great respect and admiration for all of our citizens in the military, especially the ones that are willing to pick up a rifle, go into harm's way, and defend our freedom. Thank you for all that you do for our country. You will be in our prayers.

Brothers in Arms,

It was not long ago, or at least it seems, I stepped off of an airplane and hugged my son for the first time in a year.
In my cammies, the onlookers knew the importance of the hug… they applauded.
At that time more than any other I felt the importance of what I had done.
I felt American.

Maybe its at a gas station, maybe its driving down the road on a hot afternoon.
It’s not every day, sometimes a week goes by… but somebody notices my “Iraq Vet” bumper sticker.
Maybe it’s another veteran thanking me, or a citizen that never served giving a salute.
It makes me feel the importance of what I have done. It makes me feel American.

It doesn’t matter how hot the day is.
It doesn’t matter how sleepless the night is.
What you do matters.
You are American.

When I drive with my hand out the window,
On a cool sping or warm summer day,
I have no one else to thank but you,
For the price that you are willing to pay.

When I am at my grill,
Watching my children safely play,
I have no one else to thank but you,
For the price you are willing to pay.

Like many others who have gone before you, you are the few in your generation that is willing to do what is right, honorable and just. Words cannot describe the gratitude that my family and I have for what you did yesterday, what you are doing today, and what you will do tomorrow.

May God be with you. May your hearts be at peace. May the 91st Psalm lead the way.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Your thankful brother,

Dear Dave over there:

I have no idea who you are or the buddies that are with you, but I wanted to thank you guys for being willing to step up and save the rest of us. I know that as long as you are over there, I will not have problems with those guys coming over here.
Also, as a prosecutor, I could not do my job here had it not been for fellows like you. God bless you and all of the people you serve with. May God protect you and bring all of you home safely.

Dear Vince,

Please forward this on to Dave if you think it's worthy. If not, please tell me how I can improve expressing my thoughts and feelings. Also feel free to edit it as necessary for the your blog should you put this there.

The corner flag I told him about is available here: or DeskFlag 1.0.3

The desktop wallpaper is attached.

Thanks for all you do for our military,

Your loyal listener,

Dear Dave and Company,

This is just a reminder that some of us in the U.S. truly appreciate what you are doing for us by your heroic service in the Armed Forces. I had a brother (now deceased) who was in the Navy 25 years, then worked for NASA. And I have a son-in-law who is currently in the Air Force and has been for more than 20 years.

I know you make many sacrifices to do your job. I know that it takes a special "calling" to say "yes" to being in the Armed Forces. And it is a difficult task at best.

I also believe that you are among the very blessed people on earth, in a sense. For one thing, you get tested every day. And you have the courage of your convictions, without a doubt. (That's not to say you aren't afraid or discouraged, especially when you're tired to the bone.)

I believe that you are God's ambassadors, spreading His love throughout the land. You are making a difference every day by the work you're doing.

I have a prayer partner who prays with me every week. Every single time we pray, we pray for all of you in the military. We ask God to keep His holy angels with you 24/7 and ask that they will use every weapon in their arsenal to keep you alive and safe. We pray that God will help you to focus on your job, to be always aware of your surroundings, to be careful in every way, and that you will also ask the Lord to be with you. We also pray for your families and as God to be with them and to help them network together for greater strength, etc.

Please know that we will not forget you; we will always pray for your safety and wellbeing; and we will continue to ask God to help you make a difference with people everywhere.

Remember Jesus' words, "Come unto Me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Look unto Him for your strength. Ask Him to carry the load for you.

We love you and can't wait until you're safely home again.

From one of your fans in the U.S.,

Dear Dave,
It does not matter that I don't know what is hurting your heart because our Heavenly Father does.
He knows the end from the beginning. He knows that trials, tribulations and heartaches do make us stronger.
He does not (always) keep things from us that are so hurtful and troubling. These are the things that cause us to grow into the person He wants us to be.
Children have growing pains but so do adults. We are growing into the ones He would have us to be.
We are growing more character, strength, wisdom and love.
We are forever trying to grow into His image.
Since desserts are fun to eat, they do not give us the grit we need. They might be considered the fun things of life.
Meats, veggies, and fruits are the things that allow our bodies to grow stronger.
My prayer for you dear Friend, is to listen very carefully, submitting yourself, and confessing that you are unable to do this thing alone. May God Bless you. In Christ,

May God bless and keep you and your families in his utmost care. We in our
family say a prayer of thanks each and every day for you all in our
military. We stand firm in our resolve to support our military! You are
true heroes, we believe and support all that are doing and will be
cheerleaders for you all till the job is done and you can return home.
We who live in the very freedom you provide owe you a debt that can never
be paid in full. But we pray that God will shine his light and blessings
upon each and every one of you and your families.
Thanks again.

To the brave people overseas…

I work for a company of 50-60 people. Everyone that I talk to in our company is VERY proud to have brave people
Such as you, who have put yourselves in harm’s way, so that we, in the USA can continue our lives without fear of
Being attacked.
I know you hear day after day, that the war is lost, no one cares, everyone is against you, but, that is far from the
Truth. I have never been so proud as I am, knowing that you are over there, helping a country struggle with the idea
That all men are created equal, and that freedom does not come cheap. There is no better legacy than helping another
Human being pull themselves out of the abyss of a dictatorship, into a democracy.
I make it a point, that anytime I am in public, and see a person in uniform, to shake their hand and say thank you.

Know that all of you are in our prayers, we thank you for the sacrifices that you have made, and that we hope for
Your safe return soon.

God bless!

To: Our US Troops

Do not be discouraged. Your profession and mission are admirable. I truly believe the majority of Americans support you and your efforts. I and my family do, as well as my friends and neighbors. I'm sick of the press and their distorted message but you must not let it get you down. They are WRONG.

You guys are my heroes. I'm sure bringing democracy to the middle east is tough, but do not lose sight of the real reason you're there. The fight against global terrorism and the fight against radical Islam. Fight the good fight, and God bless.


I don’t know what to say but thank you for putting your life on the line every minute of every day so that I am able to raise my children in the greatest country in the world. It is the greatest country in the world thanks to men and women like you. I know it seems like what’s going on over there isn’t a very popular thing but there is one thing you need to know. God forbid something should happen over here while you are there, there are many men like me that will stand to protect your family with whatever it may take until you return. My family and I say many prayers for all the men and women serving to protect and uphold the freedoms we have in this country of ours. I’m really at a loss as to what else to say but thank you.

Dear Dave,

I have no idea who you are, or even what your real name is, other than that you are someone that Vince thinks well of and is concerned about, and that is enough for me.

Vince said you are going through a difficult time. Somehow I bet that is a necessary understatement. You know there is nothing more and nothing less that I can do other than drop you this line, and lift you up in prayer (which I will do).

I want to let you know that I, and others like me, appreciate what you are doing even if we never see it, and even though often our media don't give us the full picture of the good you are doing. We have a volunteer Army and you chose to be a part of it. I believe you chose to become a part of it for reasons of honor and integrity, not as an escape-valve for some anti-social streak or because you could not read well and had no other opportunities (thank you, Steven King).

You have a job that I cannot begin to fathom. You are faced each day with images you would rather not see; a cacaphony you would rather not hear; odors you would rather not smell; concussive changes in air pressure that our bodies were not designed to endure; and with necessary tasks that in a perfect world would be unnecessary. Thank you for what you do.

You put yourself in harm's way because you believe that what you are doing is just, and that your actions are making the possibility of a better life for many. If you are Vince's friend, then I know you see yourself as a servant, both of our nation and also of those for whose lives and liberty you fight today.

You continue to face this day to day, while a few in our nation work to undermine your efforts and steal the dignity of your service (they cannot--they merely display their own lack of dignity); they attempt to do this primarily for their own political gain, though some do it from an innocent ignorance, a naivete that does not accept how human being really believe and what is necessary to protect the vulnerable. They do it while saying they support you, while they do not support your mission.

I support you and your mission, Sir. To paraphrase Martin Luther (not King, but the guy some 500 years ago), he was not certain as a christian that he had the right to use deadly force to defend his own life; but he was certain that he was OBLIGATED to use deadly force if necessary to protect the life of another. I believe that is why you do what you do. Solomon wrote, essentially, that what is there that is better for men than to enjoy the work of their hands while on this earth...

There are those who would look at the Soldier and say, "He or she may take pride in the results of their deeds, but should never enjoy their deeds." Dave, I don't see it that way and I hope that whatever enjoyment God gives you, whatever pride in a job well done, whatever excitement and rush of adrenaline as all your resources are engaged in your task...I hope you take not only pride but also enjoyment, as much as it is possible. If it feels good to accomplish something difficult, even if your actions result in harm or loss to others--enjoy your accomplishment. Do not let others take your enjoyment away from you, but thank God for gifting you to be effective in your calling.

You don't need forgiveness for what you do, but you do need a place of solice and rest and comfort when possible, and a reserve of strength and encouragement at all times. "The king does not bear the sword in vain" is how the Apostle Paul put it. Likewise neither do you, and I pray that your presence and those of your fellow-soldiers will be a terror to your enemies, and that God will set them to flight before you. Would I rather see all men everywhere lay down their arms, beat them into plowshares and (kum-ba-ya, hand me a coke) live in harmony? Of course--but that is not the world in which we live. Instead where others say, "No, that is not my problem," or, "No, that is too dangerous," men like you step into the gap and fight for those who are too weak to defend themselves. As you have heard, during the last century with all our military victories, our nation has never asked for more ground from another nation than that which is necessary to bury our fallen. We truly are unique in that, and men like you are what make us unique.

I hope that as you close your eyes you might say, "God, this is not the world that I would like it to be, nor is this a task I would undertake except of necessity, but I thank you for calling me to this mission and equipping me. Guide and lead me. Strenghthen those around me through your life in me. Teach me in all things to be humble...and humbly to thank you for equipping me for this role today. As your servant David said, "Is there not a cause?" Yes, there is a cause, and thank you for calling me to it."

Dave, do all you do as unto the Lord. Take joy in what you do, and at the same time cast the cares you have on the shoulders of God. Let him do your caring for you while you focus on the task at hand. In those quiet moments, though, when there is some respite from the living hell that surrounds you, let the life of your Lord shine through you and continue to guide you; preach always, and when absolutely necessary, say something. In whatever part of the world you find yourself, when you touch a life and he/she sees that you are no monster, but a servant of righteousness, he/she will be touched by God and shown (whethery they acknowledge it or not) that you are there for their good, and that the love of God and the values of our Republic drive you.

I hope that today you see something that encourages you or gives you a measure of peace. I hope that the thought of completing your task and returning home sustains you. I hope that you can feel proud of the job you are doing and let no one take that pride from you. I hope that as you lay your head down you can sleep deeply and well, knowing that you are fulfilling your calling and have nothing to be ashamed of, but only to be proud of. I hope that you inspire others around you and draw strenght from them, and I hope that your deepest desires are met in due time.

Thank you for serving our nation. We are not worthy of such as you, yet there you of yourself each day and night. All we can say is "Thank you."

Everyday I wake up, I thank God that you are there for my family, and my country. I wanted, want, to join you in arms against the tyrany of Islamism, however my life was guided down a different path. The path of family. Thank you for taking the battle to them, so I don't have to worry too much about them taking the battle to my wife, my child, my parents, my in-laws, friends. God bless you and your brothers and sisters in arms. We will stand by you, as you stand up for Freedom.

Friday, February 22, 2008


WOW. Did we get emails. Check these out we will talk more Monday morning!

I listen to your show today and I had a thought. You know when people get mad or irritated, they don't necessarily direct their attention to the real problem? What do you think about this:

The real problem people have with school closings is due to the fact that over the years the liberals have changed the dynamics of the family. What I mean is that when people say "when I went to school we did this and this, etc", what people forget is mom use to stay home and the dad was able to make a living on one income. Now, it takes both parents working to make ends meet. A parent drops a child off or send them to school and the announcement is made that school is a half a day, or pick up at a certain time, then the parent has to use vacation, sick, etc. day to go pick up the child. It seems that people don't want to or can't "baby-sit" there kids when school is closed or partial day. This is sad to me. It is not about kids being soft or administrator's making bad decisions, it is about parents having a harder time adapting to a changing economic situation that brews over into this issue.

It irritates me sometimes listening to your callers and trying to figure out what the real problem is, not the one they are addressing. We all are guilty of this to some degree, and if you haven't figured it out yet, we "Ozarkers" are againers, yes I spelled it right, againers. We will complain about anything and everything even if we can't substantiate the argument with good facts or not. It is like we all have opinions, right or wrong, however we don't always use good rational facts to back up what we argue. But, that is what makes us, us.

I enjoy your show, I don't always agree with your methods, point of view, or how you use names to label people, but that is what makes America, America. Freedom of speech. Your show is a great forum to get the issues out and talk about them. We have tendency in this country to not talk about the "elephant" in the room. But the only way to make things better is to do what you do, recognize the "elephant" in the room.


In response to all the conversations about school closings here are a few of my thoughts:
Is it really that inconvenient to add a couple of days to the end of the year? In my humble opinion, the true inconvenience is for parents to have an unscheduled absence during the winter. Especially for those that have no one to watch their kids on those days. Find a day care that will hold a spot for a kid that only needs it for a few unscheduled days. YEAH RIGHT, GOOD LUCK! This leaves those parents missing work. I don't know about yours, but my boss doesn't look too kindly at me calling in more than once or twice a year.

Here's a thought: How about announcing the closing the night before, instead of an hour or two before parents have to be at work? Give us time to make arrangements. Nooo, that would be too easy!

It's all about the funding. If all the kids are not in school a minimum number of hours on a scheduled day, the school looses funding for that day.

The same goes for individual absences. I have a child in elementary school in Springfield. She misses very little. A couple of years ago she was sick for a week. We were contacted by the school with threats of hearings if she did not return. While on the phone with them I questioned their actions, & was told about the funding issue. It has nothing to do with the missed education, it's all about the funding.

For years I have been searching for a definitive answer as to why we have a three month break in the summer. I didn't understand this when I was in school, & still don't over 15 years later with my kid.

Why not change the school year and put that three month break in the winter? Or better yet make the school year last all year?

This recommendation was officially made in 1994 by the US Department of Education in a document titled "Prisoners Of Time." It's a quite interesting read, outlining what I feel to be a very well thought out proposal.

In this document they not only recommend school lasting all year, but (here's a radical thought) the schools working with the parents on an individual basis for each students needs on education and vacations. One example they gave was Beacon Day School (elementary) and Beacon High School in Oakland, California, where the school year never really ends. At these private schools, the school day is over ten hours long. There is no set vacation period; parents plan vacations to fit family needs; students work in teams by achievement level, not age; letter grades are unknown. Leslie Medine, co-director of the schools, described different approaches to their two levels of schooling. Based on students' developmental needs, she testified, Day School students attend school 240 days a year, whereas high school students attend 215. Both schools are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 240 days a year, with teachers working on flexible schedules for 210 days. Every six weeks, at least two teachers are on leave throughout the year, their places taken by eight permanent, full-time, substitute teachers known as "flexes." Yes this is a private school, but remember, this was the recommendation of the Department of education in 1994. Here we are 14 years later, using the same model as they were 40 years ago with my parents.

It's not an end all solution but if you want to check it out here's the link:
Keep up the good work! I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I do enjoy your program every morning during my commute.

I'd vote for you if you do decide to run for mayor. You care & it shows, that's what Springfield needs!

Litigation! C'mon Jericho, you've reported on some of the worst of these abuses.

25 kids on a bus slide off the many parents are going to sue the school district? Is there a chance that some "Slip n Fall" lawyer will contact all the parents and try to get something going on a group basis?

I just had a teenager in a brand new Jeep almost take me out and flip her vehicle on a county road. Is there a chance that her parents are going to try to sue the county because that particular curve was not salted and it was on the way to the High Shcol that should have been closed? I bet there is.

I hate to say it, but the culture today makes it even more difficult for administrators to make these calls.

To their credit, maybe SPringfield and most cities can get the major roads cleared by the morning. Sure, you can drive to Joplin and back with no problems. Before you judge the rural schools too harshly, try driving a school bus around icy roads in Forsyth or Chadwick.
It's a little different from I44!

By the way, I have lived and driven in the Pocono Mountains, Philadelphia, Germany and Holland. I would rather drive in after a foot of snow than 2 inches of ice!

Have a great weekend,

Hi. I was listening this morning to the debate over school closings.
Moving back here from Chicago after a 23-year-absence, I think the weather here has changed. We used to get more snow here, and ice was rare. Now it is more dangerous to drive because ice cannot be removed the way snow can be removed. A 2 1/2 foot snowfall in Chicago did not result in school cancelations because the equipment was available to move the snow.

The larger issue, though, and one I'd like to suggest you discuss
sometime: Low educational standards in Missouri. It is quite a shock moving my kids from North Shore Chicago schools to Springfield. School in Illinois goes until June and all snow days are made up. My kids go to Greenwood - which has been a disappointment to say the least - and that school does not make up for educational time lost to snow days.
Before we left Illinois, I sent off for both Missouri and Illinois educational standards. The Illinois standards took up a small book, with learning goals written out for each subject. Missouri's? It was one page, with generalities such as "Missouri schoolchildren will learn to think and analyze." The lack on hands-on inquiry learning styles we've seen here bespeaks antiquated teaching techniques, too, so I worry how Missouri students are going to compete with other states, let alone other countries.

Is this something you could address on your show? Perhaps gets experts from different states to speak to differing standards across this nation? The disparity in tax based funding? Where we used to live, per student expenditure was $17,500 per student; 20 minutes north in the town of Waukegan, IL, it was a fraction of that amount. The levels of achievement between the two areas were astounding. This seems to me a violation of equal access and protection under the law. I'd love to hear a panel of experts discuss this.

Dear Vince,

I am a teacher and I come from CA. The children go to school until around June 17 or so all the time. Some schools are year round. We didn’t have snow or ice, but it could easily be 100 degrees – this is inland about 40 miles. That is the way it is - so what. Also, last week during the previous storm we never got salt on our street and the main street into our subdivision and the farm roads nearby didn’t get any attention until Tuesday night. We live in a hilly area within the city of Springfield. People can side off into ditches on these narrow roads – buses too. Why can’t they plan better and get out during the night or as soon as it starts – like in Omaha or Denver (I lived in Omaha) where they are prepared – if they want to keep schools open. Some people are from other areas – Springfield is growing – more people aren’t used to ice, especially when it is hard to walk. I grew up in St. Louis in the fifties and sixties and we had snow days.


Vince - i've lived in MO my whole life - never have i seen ice like this. we are fogetting to talk about one thing - RESPONSIBILITY. Springfield called it right yesterday because no one got hurt and there were no accidents. One bad crash. One child hurt. Then think of the discussion we would be having now. And also think about the school SI and the hot water he would be in... right now he's a hero. he went against every other school district in the area and kept school in session and it was a good call. Personally I think we should have school year round OR simply build in the snow days and take them off. Extend the school year - SO WHAT! Anyone who has ever experienced a bad accident on ice (and I have) should realize not everyone has the capability or ability to drive in inclement weather. This attitude of "when I was kid we walked to school up hill both ways in the snow, ice, sleet, and rain AND WE LIKED IT!" Is simply irresponsible and frankly stupid. If you're parents knew the risks back then they would have never let you in your horse & buggy! I'm in favor of calling school in inclement weather and i'm in favor of a parent's right to keep their kids home if they feel it is unsafe to be on the roads.


I lived in Southern California since birth, with the exception of one year in Flagstaff. My experience with ice and snow was very limited prior to moving my family here 6 years ago. Bottom line – The schools should be open unless the roads are impassable (blizzard conditions), in order to allow the parents and children who want to make the effort to get there for the benefit of unbroken learning. The schools system should also allow parents to keep their children home if they can not get them to school, and be allotted a certain number of days a year for this outside of the normal number of days allotted for absence. Every time the schools are closed, there is a gap in homework, attentiveness and responsibility. It also forced me to drive my daughter from one end of this city to the other to take her to the daycare at my wife’s work, or forces me to bring my daughter to work with me all day. Fortunately I have both options. We shouldn’t be closing up shop and learning every time we get some bad weather. Learning and responsibility suffer.

You have an awesome show! Thank you for being on top of the issues.

Thank you,


I grew up in Mexico and lived several years in Southern Texas. This is our first experience in Ice and Snow... I agree, yesterday did not merit school closing.

In some place in Mexico we have a term Hydro-Idiots, these are the ones that go crazy behind the wheel when it rains... do you think Springfield has Hypo-Idiots (those that go crazy behind the wheel when it snows or ices over)?

Have a nice day!

In surrounding areas schools close when buses cannot reach country roads not kept up by city or county.

Also it is the cities' inability to keep up with the weather. They don't have the resources like say KC does.

Vince I wanted to make a comment on the Snow Days.
I don't mind driving is this weather at all.
But we seem to have alot more ice or a mix than most places.
And we don't seem to have the infrastructure to clean more than the main roads. If they even decide to clean those off.

GREAT thoughts! We WILL continue Monday

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Thank You and YAHOOOOO!!!

I hope you will indulge me for a moment.

For those of you who have been listening for a while to Kortni and I you know how hard we have worked to become relevant in the Springfield radio market.

I am not going to say we have arrived but man oh man…

I have just got the ratings with the hourly reports for the Springfield market. As you know News Talk KSGF’s Target market is Persons 25-54.

Monday though Friday during our show 6 – 9 am we now rank NUMBER 3!!!!!!!!

Given we were not even top 10 a few years ago so I hope you can understand how excited we are.

Just for fun we rank #1 with Men 18- 34 and #2 with Men 25 - 54; Kortni takes credit for this...come on ladies you are making this middle aged guy look bad. ;-}

I want to thank those who have been in our corner and encouraged us and I want to renew our commitment to you all that we will keep bringing it and be shooting for #2 next book.

As always THANK YOU for listening and PLEASE keep us in your prayers

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ratings are out!

WOW. All I can say is "WOW" and thank you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hey I didn't write this

I received this from a friend of mine who...ah...makes his living......ah..a friend of mine.

Subject: Democrat, Republican or Southerner

Here is a little test that will help you decide. The answer can be found by
posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.
Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks
eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges
at you.

You are carrying a 40 caliber Glock, and you are an expert shot. You have mere
seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?


Democrat's Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!

Does the man look poor or oppressed?

Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?

Could we run away?

What does my wife think?

What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?

What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have an appropriate safety built into it?

Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send
to society and to my children?

Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?

Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?

If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was
stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1?

Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day, and make this a happier,
healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days
and try to come to a consensus.

Republican's Answer:


Southerner's Answer:


BANG! Click..... another magazine into the gun


BANG! Click….another magazine into the gun, scan and holster.

Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow

Son: "Can I shoot the next one!"

Wife: "You're not takin' that to the Taxidermist

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007 Darwin Awards

It's that time when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least-evolved among us.

And the Winner for 2007 is:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold- up in Long Beach , California , would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

The Honorable Mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-
cutting machine and submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop andoffered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.
The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. A Texas teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly
provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer: $15.

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinderblock through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinderblock and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinderblock bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9. The Ann Arbor Michigan News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan , at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.


10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd had in a very long time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

City's Response {Finally} to Pythian Castle

Redacted for public release pursuant to Section 610.024.2 RSMo
TO: Mayor Tom Carlson, Members of City Council and City Manager
FROM: Thomas E. Rykowski, Assistant City Attorney
SUBJECT: Pythian Castle – Issues raised by Tamara Finocchiaro at December 17,
2007 City Council Meeting
DATE: January 7, 2008
This report is in response to issues raised at the December 17, 2007, City Council
meeting regarding Pythian Castle. While this matter may appear to be a recent
controversy, these issues began in 2004. While Ms. Finocchiaro implies that her
problems only began with the City Law Department in 2007, she has been dealing with
City staff in various departments for over three years. This memo will outline the
timeline in which the Pythian Castle owner has had to complete all necessary items to
operate the castle in accordance with all applicable City ordinances. If anyone wishes
to receive a more detailed review of this matter, I will be happy to meet with you.
Under City code, all businesses are required to have a license except those exempted
by state statute. Since 2004, or earlier, the Castle has operated without a business
license or valid Certificate of Occupancy. Springfield requires businesses to be licensed
to (a) keep a record of businesses operating in the City; (b) provide a mechanism for the
City to track sales taxes once a Tax ID number is provided by the State; (c) insure that
buildings being used for business operations are safe for the public; and (d) verify that
the uses of the building are permissible within the City’s zoning ordinances.
Additionally, if the business is an eating establishment, the licensing process triggers
health inspections.
Normally, someone applying for a business license must establish that his or her
proposed business is permitted by the applicable zoning classification for that particular
area. In addition, any structure open to the public must meet certain building code
requirements. Springfield, like many other communities, has adopted and follows the
International Building and Fire Codes. These standards vary for residential versus
commercial uses and safety requirements are even greater for an establishment
providing overnight accommodations. One of the initial uses explained to the City by
Ms. Finocchiaro was to use the facility as a bed and breakfast, boutique hotel, or themeevent
sleeping quarters.
From 2004 to 2007 staff from Planning, BDS, Finance and Fire Departments have had
intermittent contact with Ms. Finocchiaro. Staff has repeatedly advised Ms. Finocchiaro
that she needs to comply with City Code on various items and that she needs to obtain
a business license and Certificate of Occupancy. On occasion, these meetings would
involve Laura Derrick, an architect hired by Ms. Finocchiaro. Staff has also received
anonymous complaints regarding the operation of the Castle without a valid business
In late August or early September of 2007, the law department was approached with an
issue regarding Pythian Castle. Ms. Finocchiaro may have been operating her business
since late 2003 or early 2004 without either a business license or final Certificate of
Occupancy. While City staff was aware of this, enforcement was stayed since Ms.
Finocchiaro appeared to be trying to work through various building issues. However, it
had become apparent to the Building Development Services and Planning Departments
that Ms. Finocchiaro either did not have the means or the desire to fulfill Code
requirements by completing her development plans and making the required building
changes. The requirements placed upon Ms. Finocchiaro were essentially the same
throughout the entire process.
Based upon the apparent unwillingness or inability of Ms. Finocchiaro to complete the
development plans, BDS and Fire requested the Law Department take steps to require
the owner of the Castle to cease operating until the necessary permits and licenses
were obtained. Prior to taking steps to close the business, the City, through various
departments, continued to work with Ms. Finocchiaro to encourage her to comply with
the development process. Ms. Finocchiaro continued to ignore repeated requests to
cease business operations and had been booking parties greater than 60 people and
allowing the public access to all floors in the building. In fact, when inspectors went to
the building on November 16, 2007 to terminate the illegal uses, inspectors discovered
an occupancy sign allowing 300 customers.
Even though immediate closure was warranted due to Ms. Finocchiaro’s willful
violations for over three years, staff continued to assist Ms. Finiocchiaro by trying to find
a way she could continue to operate in order to avoid placing her in breach of future
contracts. It is important to keep in mind that these bookings should never have been
made since the Castle was not licensed at any time. In an effort to show good faith,
staff obtained permission from the City Manager to meet with Ms. Finocchiaro and her
architect to establish a timeline for finalization of her development plans and completion
of the required building modifications while allowing her to continue to operate under her
original proposal.
At that meeting, the City laid out the evidence of improper uses for Ms. Finocchiaro and
her attorney. Once again, Ms. Finocchiaro, her architect and her attorney all expressed
a desire to continue to operate. Following the October 17 meeting, an Interim Use
Agreement was proposed by the Law Department. Ms. Finocchiaro provided a copy of
that Interim Use Agreement to each of you, she omitted page 2 of the document and a
copy of that page is attached as Exhibit 1. The proposal was not negotiable, but
nothing in the Interim Use Agreement was more than had been required by the City
since November 2004.
In the normal process, building permits are not issued until plans have been completely
approved. To allow her to continue to operate under the Interim Use Agreement, one
requirement was the immediate inspection by BDS and the Fire Department. This
inspection resulted in a punch list being provided to Ms. Finocchiaro of items that
needed to be rectified in the final plan, but was designed more to provide a list of
temporary “fixes” that would allow her to continue to operate while more permanent
modifications were being completed. This punch list was essentially the same list that
had been given to her originally in 2004. See Exhibit 2. To the extent building permits
would have been required to make any of the temporary immediate repairs needed for
continued operation under the agreement, those permits would have been issued. Ms,
Finocchiaro ultimately rejected this proposal, and therefore none of the terms of the
agreement were in effect, including the provision allowing her to obtain “special” building
permits without fully complying with standard procedures.
There were two or three events planned during the period that the City was allowing Ms.
Finocchiaro to review the proposed Interim Use Agreement. Since adequate fire safety
measures were not in place in the building, the City offered to allow her to proceed with
these events under the condition that a Fire Marshall was present. This proposal was
not unique to Ms. Finicchiaro. The City had previously utilized this same arrangement
with the Gillioz Theatre. The cost for utilizing a Fire Marshal was set as the cost of
salary and benefits for the Marshal position in the City Salary Schedule. This is the
same process used in calculating the cost of staff time to reply to Sunshine Law
Thereafter, Ms. Finocchiaro’s attorney advised Mr. Rykowski that his client had decided
that rather than attempting to comply with the Interim Use Agreement she would shut
down her business to devote her attention to completing her development plan and
restoring the Castle. In that discussion it was mentioned that, although she was
rejecting the Interim Use Agreement, there were a few upcoming events that she would
like to host and that she would do so with the presence of a Fire Marshal. Since Ms.
Finocchiaro did not agree to enter into the Interim Use Agreement, this option was not
available to her. A confirmation email was sent to Ms. Finocchiaro’s attorney, a copy is
attached as Exhibit 3.
From advertisements on radio, the “Sci-Fi” cable network and the Castle’s website, the
city learned that Ms. Finocchiaro was continuing to operate a business at the Castle.
On November 16, 2007, inspectors from the Building Development Service Department
and the Fire Marshal’s office went to the premises and discovered individuals being
allowed to roam freely on all floors of the building. The Castle was once more held
open to the public without a proper business license or Certificate of Occupancy and
contrary to the representations made by Ms. Finocchiaro’s attorney.
During the November 16, 2007 inspection, cars were parked on either side of the
driveway approaching the Castle. To the east side of this driveway, the vehicles are
parking on land that is apparently owned by Evangel University. One of the
requirements for final approval of Ms. Finocchiaro’s development plan was establishing
a parking area sufficient to accommodate the number of patrons she intended to bring
into the facility. Photographs taken during this inspection are attached: Exhibit 4 –
cars parking on both sides of the driveway; Exhibit 5 – dangerous building placards
posted on the building; Exhibit 6 – 300 maximum occupancy sign; Exhibit 7 – guests
descending from the second story; Exhibit 8 – basement door open to occupancy.
Due to the violations noted above, the building was posted as a dangerous building for
failure to comply with the Springfield Building Code. The building was closed for use by
the public as it does not possess a valid Certificate of Occupancy, is not in compliance
with building and fire regulations to allow public use, and was illegally operating without
a business license.
Staff has made every effort to assist Ms. Finnochiaro in obtaining proper permits and
licensing for her business. She has refused to comply and is very belligerent when
advised of her continuing violations. In addition to building code issues, we have
received telephone calls from caterers requesting temporary liquor licenses for events
at Pythian Castle. Since there is no valid Certificate of Occupancy or business license
for the address, caterers have been advised that no temporary liquor licenses could be
issued. This has been ongoing since 2004 and Ms. Finocchiaro has not obtained
easements from Evangel University or the U.S. Military for access or parking, yet she
continues to operate illegally.
Thomas E. Rykowski
Assistant City Attorney
Complete Timeline
The following represents a timeline of the city involvement regarding Pythian Castle.
• August 18, 2004 – application received for commercial development.
Reported anticipated uses exceed current zoning. Applicant provided GI
regulations, and advised to contact Planning and Zoning to begin process.
• October/November 2004 – preliminary assessment of the items that might be
needed to bring building into compliance provided to owner. See Exhibit 2.
(Note: all major issues identified in this document continue to be unresolved
(It appears as though applicant was already operating the business without obtaining a
business license, Certificate of Occupancy, necessary zoning changes, or submitting and
obtaining approval of plans.).
• Fall 2004 – Licensing Department contacted with questions regarding obtaining a
liquor license. No information reported to suggest business already operating.
Record reflects applicant was unhappy with information provided as to the
procedures necessary to obtain business and liquor license. Blank application for
business license sent to Tamara Finocchiaro.
• November 22, 2004 – to assist applicant, city provided documents from a similar
PD to guide her in preparing her development request.
• January 10, 2005 – letter to Pythian Castle owner advising that her application to
the Planning and Zoning Commission was tabled at her request while she waits
for sealed drawings to attach to her application.
• January 14, 2005 – Licensing Department receives anonymous call inquiring if
Pythian Castle is legitimate business and has all necessary licenses. Check by
Licensing Department and BDS show no registered business at that address.
Anonymous individual leaves advertising flyers for Pythian Castle at licensing
• January 20, 2005 – PD 277 approved by Planning and Zoning Commission 5-0.
• February 10, 2005 – Licensing Department sends letter to Pythian Castle advising
of the illegality of operating without a business license. Pythian Castle is given
10 days to file appropriate paperwork and pay license fee or request a hearing.
• February 10, 2005 – Pythian Castle mentioned in Springfield News-Leader article
regarding Valentine’s Day activities.
Pythian Castle Timeline
January 7, 2008
• February 2005 – License application dated October 25, 2004 received in return
envelope provided by Licensing Department following earlier inquiry.
• February 22, 2005 – City Council approves PD 277. Applicant advised to submit
final development plans for review, comment and approval before building
permits and licensing can be obtained.
• March 2005 – facility toured by development review team. Letter sent advising
of requirements for plan submittal.
• October 2005 – complaint received by BDS that business is operating without
license or Certificate of Occupancy. BDS calls designer and receives no
• November 2005 – BDS sends letter to owner outlining steps to comply, orders
public occupancy to cease and business operations to terminate until property is in
compliance with city ordinances. Plans for phase 1 are still not approved, and
only suggest occupancy limit of 60 and all uses confined to first-floor. Complaint
and investigation reveal occupancies greater than 60 and uses on other floors
being allowed by owner.
• December 2005 – letter to owner outlining required corrections.
• January 2006 – code administrator sends additional letter advising owner to cease
operations until in compliance. Code administrator met with owner and designer
to discuss. Owner advised to discontinue business activities until properly
• January 2006 – Fire Department comments that site does not have adequate fire
apparatus access. Structure needs to have sprinkler system for public use.
Existing private hydrant may not be operational and is unlikely to be sufficient to
fight fire. Hydrant must be tested for proper pressure and sit may need new
hydrants installed. Parking issues still not addressed from initial submission,
storm water issues still pending, Landmark Board approval still pending, no
lighting plan or signage plan submitted.
• February 2006 – ARC meeting held with designer and owner. Unresolved issues
discussed. Designer promises plans to be resubmitted within two weeks.
• February 24, 2006 – Fire Department notes road must be paved, fire truck turn
around must be improved, sprinkler system may be required depending upon uses
of the building.
(No further contact with city by owner or designer until March 2007. During that time,
Licensing Department was contacted regarding temporary liquor licenses for catering
services and a permanent liquor license for facility. No action was taken at this time as
Pythian Castle Timeline
January 7, 2008
licensing believed owner was working with appropriate city departments to obtain
necessary permits.)
• March 2007 – BDS investigator contacts owner twice to establish time frame for
plan submittal and repeats order to cease business uses.
• Plans for phase 1 resubmitted, they are incomplete and are not approved. Plan
review letter sent.
• August 2007 – Law Department sends letter to property owner outlining steps to
comply, orders public occupancy to cease until in compliance.
• Phase 1 plans resubmitted but not approved.
• City Departments meet to discuss the continued illegal operation of this business
and consider options for obtaining cooperation from the owner in moving forward
with the development plans.
• October 2007 – Law department contacts owner advising legal action will be
taken to stop illegal operation. Meeting offered to determine if agreement could
be reached to allow limited uses and a timeframe with definite deadlines to
complete development of phase 1.
• October 17, 2007 – property owner, designer and owner's attorney meet with city
attorneys to discuss project status. Further advised that her activities must cease,
and she must comply with regulations as required of every other business. It was
determined that specific deadlines for compliance should be implemented to assist
the owner in completing her development plans, obtaining permits and finalizing
building modifications. This agreement would also allow her to continue
operating her business while the development process continued, provided such
operations were limited to a maximum of 60 persons on the first floor of the
• October 26, 2007 – Interim Use Agreement provided to owner and her attorney.
Deadline to accept is set forth. See Exhibit 9.
• November 3, 2007 – attorney for owner advises city attorneys that owner will shut
down to devote full efforts and time to completion of the development project.
• Fire Marshal, and BDS inspectors requested to monitor site.
• November 16, 2007 – inspection by the Fire Marshal, and BDS investigator
reveals castle is still operating with the public being given access to all floors and
the owner has posted a sign indicating an occupancy maximum of 300. Building
posted as a dangerous building and closed.
Pythian Castle Timeline
January 7, 2008
Pythian Castle Timeline
January 7, 2008
[Paragraph redacted pursuant to Section 610.024.2 RSMo]
Regarding specific issues raised by Tamara Finocchiaro and her supporters
1) “They are good neighbors and friends to many in Springfield. . .”
City response: Ms. Finocchiaro’s character and “neighborliness” is not at issue, she is required
to comply with City ordinances just like all other citizens.
2) “Tamara is doing a brilliant job of restoring the castle to its original grandeur. She
invested a great deal of work in the castle the first year, then applied for a business license three
and a half years ago. Her business plan included exact uses the castle was originally built to
accommodate, yet she has been delayed by Planning and Zoning, red tape, and senseless
requirements for years.”
City response: The amount of time and or money Ms. Finocchiaro has invested in the property is
unknown to the City as no building permits were ever applied for to show what, if any, work was
done to restore the building. Regarding the statement relating to “red tape and senseless
requirements,” the City has only asked Ms. Finocchiaro to comply with fire and building codes
just like every other business in the City. The primary requests involve basic safety equipment
such as sprinklers, fire hydrants, fire apparatus access, appropriate egress exits and emergency
exit lighting. Any improvements made by Ms. Finocchiaro were not inspected as they were
completed without proper building permits. Ms. Finocchiaro has indicated that her intended uses
of the property may include offices, meeting/banquet rooms, art galleries, theater, an indoor
sports facility, a boarding house, a restaurant, retail uses, schools/studios, a bed and breakfast
inn, and residential uses.
3) “Improper administration and denial of permits, unfairly closing the Castle in the face of
events, and plastering dangerous building on the face of a fireproof castle.”
City’s response: At no time was the applicant advised she would be allowed to take out permits
until her final plans were approved. Interim building permits were offered as part of an Interim
Use Agreement which she declined.
The building is dangerous in as much as it meets the code definition of a dangerous building by
its lack of sufficient life safety and other necessary building requirements. The castle was closed
due to continued illegal operation of the business without obtaining a proper business licensing
or passing an inspection.
4) “Little technical details should be overcome.”
City response: Technical details such as requiring adequate ingress and egress, proper
emergency lighting, and fire safety equipment are hardly “little technical details.” All of the
code compliance requirements could have been completed in a matter of months if Ms.
Finocchiaro had continued to move forward with her project. Ms. Finocchiaro is not being asked
to follow any additional or special procedures that are not required of any other citizen.
5) “The City blocked everything and would not leave their desk to inspect the castle.”
City response: The building has been inspected by the City of Springfield on more than one
occasion and Ms. Finocchiaro has been provided with numerous memos and letters regarding the
steps needed to proceed with development of the property. The first memo came from Bob
Hosmer in November 2004. Additional correspondence outlined the findings of the development
review site inspection in March 2005, ARC responses and findings, and the findings of the
inspection done in late 2007 in connection with the proposed interim use agreement.
6) “Tamara Finocchiaro was forced to sign a contract.”
City’s response: Ms. Finocchiaro has never been “forced” to sign anything. An interim use
agreement was proposed and she voluntarily refused to enter into that agreement. The City has
attempted to accommodate Ms. Finocchiaro and has patiently waited for the final development
plan. After nearly two and half years, it became apparent that absent extreme measures on the
part of the City, Ms. Finocchiaro would continue to illegally operate this business and ignore
City regulations which are applicable to every business within the City.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Thomas Jefferson Education




Students become great by coming face-to-face with greatness; as we spend time with the
greatest thinkers, leaders, prophets, inventors, mathematicians, scientists and statesmen
of history, their greatness begins to rub off.

• The 3 Types of Learning
• The 7 Keys of Great Teaching
• The Phases of Learning
• How to Inspire Math, Arts, and Science through the Classics
• How to Make Every Colloquium Great
• 90-Day Thomas Jefferson Education Start-up Plan
• Colloquium on Little Britches, The Chosen, and The Taming of the Shrew

How can a generation that wasn’t mentored in the classics, mentor their own children in the classics? Do you want to help your children get a superb, leadership education… but just aren’t sure how?

Date: January 11-12, 2008
Location: Branson, Missouri
Cost: Before December 20th $159.00 per person*
$298.00 per couple*
$79.00 per youth*
After December 20th $189.00 per person*
$338.00 per couple*
$94.00 per youth*

This George Wythe College seminar is hosted by the Hughes Brothers Celebrity Theatre and is open to the public.

Registration is limited to 70 participants
For more information or to register, please contact Mara Hughes at:
Phone: (417)239-3845, E-mail:
Or Cindy Hughes at:
Phone: (417)239-1095, Email:

*Seminar fees are transferable person-to-person, not seminar-to-seminar, and are non-refundable.