Audio

IMO – Poteau & Wolf Ridge Country Club Deal

    Every city and town around the world has its share of management problems. Some more than others and some may be related. It’s no surprise whenever money is involved that it can upset the balance of those who view the city leaders as gatekeepers and shepherds. We mostly elect officials who we feel will help steer our communities and towns in the direction we would like to see that preserves our way of life and to keep our families safe. Whether it’s a growing process or re-birthing, there’s always a little pain that goes with it. Although not everyone will agree with the decisions made, it’s the clear understanding of “why that decision” was made that is important. At all costs, it must be revealed without prejudice and bias.

 

    Recently, the Poteau City Council convened for a special meeting for a public hearing on a proposed budget for the new fiscal year. While I do not know the actual number of town’s people who showed up to this meeting, my understanding is that most of them were there to voice their concerns over an agreement with Wolf Ridge Country Club and the city of Poteau, in which the city would give Wolf Ridge about $3,000 per month for kids to play golf since the city pool is now closed due to badly needed repairs. I couldn’t make it to the “special time” of the meeting, which is a bit flakey to me why they would make it at 5:15pm on a weekday. My guess is that they didn’t want to have much resistance to the decision and had previously planned to shove this thing through. So I, personally, took to social media like so many others who voiced their concerns against the Poteau-Wolf Ridge Country Club proposal.

 

    Let’s do a little history on this really quick. Word came down in early February 2016 that the city of Poteau planned on closing the pool down for some much needed repairs, citing it would cost an estimated $919,000 to bring it up to reliable working condition. At that time, several options were discussed, including building a new pool estimated at $1.2 million as well as to fill in the existing pool and replace it with a splash pad, which would cost around $425,000 and target only younger children. It’s obvious that the city of Poteau couldn’t afford to do anything else concerning the pool.

 

    Now to bring it back a little closer to the present, all of the sudden, we hear that Wolf Ridge Country Club is proposing a deal to allow kids a place to go this summer at the tax payer’s expense. That line alone should raise some red flags. What makes this sound a little tricky to me is the fact that first of all, Wolf Ridge Country Club is out of city limits. The actual physical address is 24175 Clubhouse Ln, Wister, OK 74966. Secondly, the meeting time of the June 13th starting at 5:15pm when most people are either still at work or on their way home. The city manager’s / council members are surely not giving ample time for the tax payers / residents and business owners of this town to come in to voice their opinions. Oh, and even though so many people turned to social media to express their concerns over this ordeal, the city officials chose to ignore the people for whom which will pay for a select few to play golf in the summer time, not for free either, but at a big discount.

 

    According to a recent poll by the Poteau Daily News, 95% were against the agreement. Granted there were only 60 people who took the survey (57 against, 3 for), statistically, that number is a strong indication that most folk knew this was a bad idea from the start. As one citizen said at a meeting, “Wolf Mountain Golf Course is not in city limits, how can the city be subsidizing a privately-owned business that is not even in city limits?” If you ask me, that is the question of the whole issue. And if that’s not the question, then why wasn’t the other golf course inside our city limits not invited to participate or be involved? Representatives from the Choctaw Country Club said they were not approached by the city to see what kind of deal that could offer. However, City Councilman Clay Bennett said “They (Wolf Ridge) were pro-active enough to come to us”.

 

    What’s more disappointing is that the city pretty much blew off Poteau High School boys golf coach Mike Thomas opinion when he voiced his disagreement with the contract at the hearing. He stated that the Choctaw Country Club, a nine-hole course also located near Poteau, offers camps and discounted prices to play or join at the club. Other opponents said Wolf Ridge should offer discounted passes without the city’s involvement, or the city should have hosted a bidding process between the two courses. Unfortunately, by this time, the council had already voted to go ahead with the agreement, although the vote split five yes, three no. To say honestly, I was a bit surprised when I read the “No” votes included councilman Monte Shockley II. However, it’s also good to know that Councilmen Tommy Robertson and Jim Sommers listened to the people and voted down the idea.

 

    For the city’s expense of approximately $36,000, (anywhere from $2500.00 to $3000.00 monthly), the town’s children between the ages of 5 to 18 are allowed access to the Wolf Ridge Country Club 18-hole golf course  after having to purchase passes to play at $2 per day or $25 a year at City Hall or at Wolf Ridge. According to the agreement, those under 14 will have to have a parent or guardian with them. I guess the silver lining is that Wolf Ridge provides the equipment as the contract was entered into June 15. The premise of the contract reads, “Recognizing that the city’s swimming pool is no longer open, the city is seeking to provide alternative outdoor activities for the children of the city and surrounding area.”

    So my next question is, “who will take them out there?” Honestly, I’m not so confident that many parents will take their kids toward Wister and back to Poteau (or beyond) to the golf course to babysit their kids before heading off to work for 8-12 hours. Don’t get me wrong, stay-at-home Mom’s and Dad’s are great, but not everyone can afford to do that lifestyle. Some, not by choice either. This town (much like the whole Arklahoma area) is going through some hard times. So how is the town going to get the money if the people can’t afford it? Yes, Taxes. Yes, there are fines that can be issued to get more money. Now the city officials say there is a 30-day trial period – to see how many kids will utilize the course and see how many kids are interested in golf. The agreement contract will be finalized at the next city council meeting on July 3, 2017. They claim the board meeting will take place at city hall at 7pm.

 

    However, if it’s a “Golf” thing, can’t the public school system offer a summer program since PPS already offers golf anyway? BTW, where do they train at? The $36,000.00 that will be spent for the summer break (2-3 months) could have been used for teaching kids how to play golf by utilizing what’s already in place. But if you take what Steve Scowden with Wolf Ridge Country Club told the council during their meeting earlier this month, he called the golf course an “underutilized asset” for the city. Well, that’s what I call Bravo-Sierra. Make no mistake about it, the Wolf Ridge Country Club IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS and that statement tells me it’s a business currently experiencing financial issues and someone in the city offered a bail out. It may not be much of a bail out, but it is $36,000.00 that doesn’t need to be given to a private business.

 

    If you want to give it to an organization that helps children this summer, here are a few suggestions to offer freely to the community:

  • Start up a community First Aid / CPR training class
  • Pay certified instructors to teach self-defense
  • Set up a park that has confidence courses
  • Let kids shadow / ride along with cops or fire department during the summer that don’t go out on calls
  • Let the teachers have it a either pay raise or bonus if they earned it.
  • Better yet, just give it to the schools! Three schools would be $12,000 each.

 

    Hell, give it to me. For $36,000.0 a year, I’ll become the spokesperson for Poteau. I’d sell you advertising on the TBJS Radio Network. If the Wolf Ridge Country Club considered as an “underutilized asset to the city”, then TBJS Radio Network is a major underutilized asset that this city could have used for a long while. But you know, I’ve made enemies with the management of this town because I’ve pointed out the obvious time and time again. I ticks them off when I’m right, which I usually am when it comes to the bad practices I’ve seen these officials do.

 

      This sounds similar to the Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center debacle of 2014, but on a smaller scale. I would be laughing at that thought if there wasn’t certain people who were also involved with that issue that are involved with this situation. Of course many of us know what happened to the CEO of that hospital, being fired earlier this year and other members being investigated. The one thing that sticks out to me the most is that it feels like they’re playing the “good ol’ boy” system here. It’s bad for business and a bad business practice all together.

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It’s all about knowing who your friends are…

     For some time now, I’ve been thinking about how we, at The Big John Show, TBJS Radio Network, and Pornaudiography.com, could expand and improve our relationship with our respected listeners and readers. Sometimes it’s not that easy to make that first initial contact without someone on either side to make the first move. Since day one, inception, of The Big John Show, I’ve wanted to make that extra move for that connection, something that most other radio DJ’s in my respective market didn’t do or have. To have direct access to the show that would be a better way to interact, even if locally, with each single listener. Sure they’re was email, but that only when so far. So then I went to Social Media. Remember Myspace? Yeah, I still have it. That was so much fun in the early days. Great way to interact with so many listeners, artists, and industry people. Unfortunately, even as it was evolving and ever changing, it was running down.

    So then, in late 2008, I set up thebigjohnshow.com, the show’s official website. A place that no matter what time it was, what event was happening, it would act as a digital landmark, a gateway for you to reach me or to find answers about the show. Over time, it has evolved. Adding things to, taking things away from, designing it as this and that. You make that call on a lot of it, just like the show. It has and still is a very useful way to interact with the show. So much that other Country music DJ’s currently use it for information for their shows. For the record, I know who some of you are that use my site, but hey, somebody has to do the job because you “cheap bastards” obviously don’t. Even though I don’t get to talk about all the information on the website during my show, that’s what it’s there for so you can go see it when you have the free time.

    Not only could you get music news, local concert updates, and other information at that time, it also had a merchandise section where sold t-shirts. Remember the pink and black t-shirts? Pretty basic, but they went out like crazy. We quit selling them when we changed from that manufacturer, but the point is that it allowed you to help support the website. All the money raised went to maintain the site, to keep it going. All the support was and still is very much appreciated. To this day, I still get asked for a t-shirt from the show as well as for TBJS Radio Network. In which, that begs the question what’s it worth to you to have one? In other words, would you still spend your hard earn money to support the very show and network you like? If the answer is yes, then may I direct your attention to the TBJS Marketplace on our websites. It’s available at thebigjohnshow.com, tbjsradio.com, and at pornaudiography.com. Right now, it’s limited, but we do have some choices for you to look over and decide on. We have had suggested items and are looking into making some of these a reality, but it’s up to your support if we can do that. Your support can make a difference and every dime goes back into the show, along with the network the show airs on, and other services they provide.

    Speaking of TBJS Radio Network, since it’s idea was created, it’s main intention was to give the listeners of our geographic area of Southeast Oklahoma and West Central Arkansas (a.k.a. Arklahoma) what they wanted to hear that wasn’t being provided by any of the local radio stations. I wanted to share some of what I could do on my website and broaden it across the immediate horizon. Take what I knew to be true, make something tangible out of digital, take the audience that seemed unhappy by what other stations lacking, and give them a place to come so they could hear the music they wanted. It brought other listeners from other states and around the world, soldiers away from home as well as people who longed for something different other than the cookie cutter sounds that were being made across the radio industry. I’ll never forget what two of my former Program Directors told me: “there’s no demand for Red Dirt around here” One of them started playing it after 2 years of me harping on him. When he finally did, I asked him point blank: “what took you so long?” I’ll never forget that goofy look on his face. It’s mentality like that keeps good ORIGINAL radio down and cookie cutter crap you hear on the analog dial bursting into your ear drums 50,000 watts at a time. That’s why I have to do my own thing, I never could do anything that anyone else wanted me to do and they get so pissed off at me. It’s like they don’t know what to do with me, literally. I’ve had two different people earlier in my radio career, a PD and GM, tell me that. It’s not that I wasn’t doing what they wanted in particular, but the GM told me that I need to be in bigger markets where I would be allowed to do more.

    That’s why I launched TBJS Radio Network in January of 2011. Granted, it’s always been a big dream of mine to actually own a real AM/FM radio station, but this was the next best thing. Most importantly, it granted me a way to do my show how I wanted to do it, for the most part. I had to do it, I could feel it in my body like it had happen. So it did, and it did have some rocky start (technical), but piece by piece, bit by bit, and listener by listener, it is still here. I can’t ask enough for people to share us, TBJS Radio Network and The Big John Show. Sharing us is supporting us. It’s giving a breath of fresh air to each new potential listener and to us. It’s a new connection to that person who needs to know we exist, vice versa. It goes without saying that I would love to see us continue to grow and do more, interact in new ways that make solid bonds between all sides of the spectrum. A way to keep the peace, a place of commitment to set aside our pesky little differences, to come together for common love and music.

   Something else happened over the years on my show. People asked me, “where do you find some of these strange stories you talk about on your show?” Well, it’s simple for me. I’ve always found things in a different way that most others do in this business. A lot of jocks will search for showprep using gossip pages or dirt sheets, hire prep services find things to talk about on the air. Don’t get me wrong, some of it’s really good stuff, but way over priced for what really little intellectual stuff I talk about. I don’t know, maybe I should switch to talk radio, huh? When it comes to Pornaudiography.com, I want to show people where I get my information because it is out there. Really “out there” for you to see. Honestly, I could care less about that the Kardashians are doing, Taylor Swift is dating this week, or what Blake Shelton is tweeting about now. Who cares? You have a life, go live it! I want to talk and share about the other things that seem more intelligent and interesting to me. Share my thoughts (not that it should matter to a hill of beans) and hear yours as well. It’s called “Dialog”. Start a conversation and see where it ends. You never know, it might take you on a wild adventure in your mind, spirit, and soul. Then again, it might spark a change in your whole perspective to make a difference in life.

    Since we are on the topic of having a conversation, there have been a few who have noticed we have something called “The Hub” on our respective sites.  That link will take you to a forum, similar to what a social media site might look like. We are experimenting with that notion of giving you a place for like-minded people to talk without the drama you see of bickering back and forth about politics, shaming, and other Bravo-Sierra that you may see on places like Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, there is no place for a troll in The Hub. So again, it’s an experiment / Beta mode right now, but if you would like to join, please feel free to sign up. It’s free and all we ask is that you keep it real. Who knows where it might take us in the future if we keep it going with enough support from people like you.

    I don’t want to forget to mention the TBJS Radio Network app, it’s a great way to stay up with us no matter wherever you are. Even if you don’t have the data or a wifi connection, we have a couple of phone numbers that you can dial up and listen to us from anywhere in the world. Over the years, we have racked up a really good amount of affiliates who support us by sharing us onto their respective platforms / services. You can see the list of services that offer TBJS Radio Network by clicking on the affiliates link at the top of tbjsradio.com. We are in the works of adding more to that list in the near future. Different platforms allow us to reach more listeners like you.

    I hope you understand the underlying message here tonight. It’s all about earning your support. If you keep sharing us on social media or with your friends, listening to us at work and on the go with the TBJS Radio Network apps, keep up with our services that we offer or purchase items out of the TBJS Marketplace, you help build us up stronger and keep us on longer. For those of you who have and continue to show support, we can’t thank you enough. Not only do we thank you, but the artist as well will also thank you because the more you share us, the greater the chance that the artist get’s heard. Great the chance the artist or song is heard, the more you (the listener) will be listening and satisfied. Don’t believe me, check out the TBJS Radio Network twitter. We keep track of what’s responded to on our social media. You tell us what you like, we try to give it to you. See how that works, it’s all a part of a cycle. Just like anything else you experience in life, if you like it, you keep coming back to it.

    I know this is a bit long tonight, but like I said, I’ve got a lot on my mind lately. This is some of what I wanted to share with you. Who knows, I may lay down more words tomorrow after both shows. Yes, incase you don’t know, I do TWO shows a day. Each are four hours long, one both sides of the great divide. Both are framed differently. The one on TBJS Radio Network is more relaxed, wider variety of topics, and 100% of what I talked about on here tonight while the other one is on 93.1 FM in Fort Smith, AR. I don’t talk much about that one because it’s for another company. What I focus on is all things strictly TBJS related. All I can say is that if you like what you hear during my first show weekdays 10am-2pm on TBJS Radio Network, then please contact your local AM/FM radio stations, Cable or Satellite provider that offers radio stations or music services, or XM Sirius Satellite and let them know you want The Big John Show heard on their platform. It’s a great way for us to be heard and it shows your support for us. Again, I can’t say “Thank You” enough for those who have gone that extra mile for us already.

    Thank you for your time,

        “Big John” Horton

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This Time…

Oh my gosh, what a VERY busy past couple of months it has been! Finally got some time to sit down and try to catch up on what all I missed, including doing this blog update. Kinda funny, I’m listening to TBJS Radio Network right now and Waylon Jennings song, “This Time”, is playing. Absolutely one of my many favorites of his work. So let me take a little time to share some behind-the-scene details of what all has been going on, but where do I start? I’ll try by taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly…

First of all, my apologies for not getting in touch with everyone sooner. I really wanted to get in touch sooner, but schedule conflicts and sudden changes happen. As my old drill sergeant used to say, “the only thing constant is change”. He’s right (and I give credit to Drill Sergeant Brass @ Fort Jackson 1998-99) and changes come when we least expect it. I can’t go into all the details, but I can say we are closer to phase 3 of our 4 phases that we are hoping to conclude by the end of the year.  As I’ve mention before and you may have noticed, we’ve made changes to our websites (TBJS Radio & The Big John Show) and launched a new project call “Pornaudiography”  in which I can’t wait for you to see it at it’s full capacity. 

Second, TBJS Marketplace is up and running. We have so many options on what we can do and want to see happen. I promise, once the overall transition is complete, each of these sites will make so much more sense and flow together. We are going to also have a site that will list ALL of our services together, yet keep them separate because each are going to be their own entity. 

Third, we also have another project in the works that for now is called “Hub”. So far, we have some good results with that during it’s test run and we are tweaking that before we release it out to the general public. I can not go into all the details on this one either, but it will be cool. The “Hub” and “TBJS Marketplace” are pacing together and will be out by the end of our transitional phases. Please continue to bare with us. We are really excited about these two projects and can’t wait to hear what you think about them when it’s all said and done.

Forth, we WILL be making some changes when it comes to licensing. Legally at this time, nothing more can or should be said about that.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came out to see me during my recent event appearances. Whether you listen to my show on the TBJS Radio Network, Today’s Country, The New 93.1, or both, I want to say from the bottom of my heart…thank you! I can’t say enough how much of an awesome feeling it gives me to hear someone say they enjoy listening to either of the shows I do. I always try to connect to at least one person at any of the remote broadcasts / appearances / events I am involved in as you can see below:

 

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Thank you for every moment you share with me, I love you all!

 

    Sincerely,

“Big John” Horton

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Catching Up During This Wet Weekend

(Big John, Pokemon GO 5K participant, & Race Riley of KISR 93.7 in Sallisaw, OK 8-17-16)

 

    What a wild week (or two) it has been on my end. I’ve been “keeping up with the Jone’s” when it comes to staying active. Running and gunning to different towns each night helping people chase invisible creatures from another realm. 

    No I’ve not been sippin’ on peyote (yet), I’ve been representing Today’s Country, The New 93.1 FM, along with KISR 93.7 & La Raza 92.3 FM Pokemon GO 5K events across the area for (in my humble opinion, the best damn group of people in this radio market). If you’ve been keeping up with the events section of this website, you may have noticed that there have been several of these events for the past couple of weeks. Many 12 hour days to say the least, but these events allowed me to go over to:

  • Van Buren, AR (Main Street)
  • Alma, AR (Main Street)
  • Greenwood, AR (Town Square)
  • Sallisaw, OK (Cherokee Street in front of the Memorial Library)
  • Fort Smith, AR (UAFS Clock Tower)

    Let’s not forget the other remotes and appearances in between. Yes, I have been popping up in places at last minute like media meetings for the AR/OK State Fair and the United Way. Fortunately, this is all just a warm up of what is about to come rushing my direction in the near future.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints. I wish I had more time to just “hang out” with people who showed up at these Pokemon 5K events. Honestly, they were more fun than I expected. A (BEEP!!) ton of work to do as well. Whenever I get to out to work a live event, I feed off the energy that I feel from the people who show up. No matter if it’s an Wrestling Announcer gig, Emcee gig, Radio Remote Broadcast, or when I have to get up in front of a group of people, I always try to feel the energy and give it back to the people.

    Again, needless to say, get ready to see my smiling face all over the Arklahoma area again. I got a gut feeling things are about to explode soon, so I will try to keep you updated on here. I do have a few events listed in the events section, so you may want to check on them and maybe come out to one. I would love to meet with you and maybe actually have a face-to-face conversation! I honestly look forward to seeing people at these events, getting to know listeners on both sides of the fence, analog (Today’s Country, The New 93.1 FM) and digital ( TBJS Radio Network ). It’s always good to know that someone out there is giving you their time because they believe in you. I just pray that I never let you down. Until next time, kiddo’s…..

 

    Thank you for your time,

         “Big John”

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Back To School Supplies Givaway

Earlier today, I got to represent Today’s Country, The New 93.1 in Fort Smith, AR for the Back-To-School Supplies Giveaway event held at Central Mall and let me tell you, it was an event! The station along with it’s two sister stations, KISR 93.7 & KREU 92.3, teamed up with the River Valley Smile Center to help out the community. Great turnout, no hassles, and a whole lot of thankful people who showed up. Over 2,000 bags where handed out to school children. That’s quite a lot of supplies when you think about it!

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you to all those who showed up. You all are the reasons why events like this are such a huge success! Keep up the great work!

 

  Sincerely,

     Big John

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Welcome to the updated version of The Big John Show Website!

First of all, thank you for checking it out. If you are reading this blog, then you must have already noticed that we have updated / changed things on this website. It is much different that our previous version which means we will be able to do more in the future when the time comes.

Secondly, this is part of a transition that has been taking place for the past couple of months now. If you have been listening to my radio show only on the TBJS Radio Network (for now), then you’ve may have heard me talk a little bit about what we will be doing in the future. Again, this website change is all part of that. As we launch this version and into the rest of this month, we will be continuously tweaking the features. We also ask you for your feedback on this site. Let us know what you like or don’t like. Let us know what you would like to have us add to it or take away. Your opinion counts and we want to make it the best we can.

Third, as much as I would like to tell you what we are doing behind the scenes, I can’t. At least not yet. Some things are better left seen for yourself and can’t be explained in words. I ask you to please bare with us as we continue to roll out what I feel is going to create a very interesting experience with The Big John Show, Pornaudiography, and TBJS Radio Network.

Fourth, if you look at the top menu and click on “Events”, you will see what I hope to be a growing list of events in the near future that I will be involved with. The reason I let you know this is because we will have all future events I’m involved with posted there with details on how you can come out and be involved. This will include events that I am involved with concerning TBJS Radio Network, The Big John Show, as well as Today’s Country, The New 93.1 FM in Fort Smith, AR.  For booking purposes, this will also be a way to show when I am not available as to when I am. However, that option is explained above the list when you go to that page.

Fifth, you may have also noticed our social media listing on the right side of the screen (those of you on the mobile or tablet may see it closer to the bottom of the page). One thing I want to point out is that we have decided to list our facebook fan page instead of my personal like before. I also mentioned this fan page during my show and some people started “liking” it. Initially the page was created a while back to catch the “overflow” of people who like the show since my personal page was filling up. The facebook limit is about 2500 or so, and I believe I am already close to that. So if I put the people who like the fan page and put them on my personal page, it would put me over the facebook limit.

Something else I didn’t really touch on before, but back in June, I finally got something I wanted to get for over a year. Many of you webmasters may know this trick, but about two years ago, a guy contacted me asking if I wanted to purchase the domain, “bigjohnshow.com“. I’m sure some of you may have typed that in your web browser by accident or not knowing that the word “the” needed to be placed at the beginning and instead of coming to my site, it went to a porn site. That turned off a few of the fans, but after explaining to them what the difference was, they came to my site eventually. Back to this guy who contacted me, he wanted to know if I would buy the domain and I humored him by asking for how much. His reply was over $1400.00! I thought no, and told him so. He kept contacting me, hounding me over and over and finally he stopped after contacted the internet web company who was selling it for him. A little more time went on and I figured it was sold to someone. Well, last June, I ran a check to see if it had been and who were the new owners so I could let my listeners know as a warning when trying to find this site. It was a relief when I saw that no one purchased it. So I bought it at a much lower price than what the man wanted. So, if you haven’t already tried, please know that we are not changing domains, nor the name of the show. It’s still The Big John Show and even though the address is a bit different, it will take you to the site, www.thebigjohnshow.com

Again, thank you for your continued support and loyalty over the years. You have no idea and I can’t put into words on how that makes me feel. May God bless you and continue to be with us.

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Coming Soon….

Keep checking back often for updates! Blogs will be updated soon…