A Great Day For Branson - A Great Day For Democracy

Branson Missouri

Yesterday was a great day for Branson. Belk's opened boasting 300 attendees at the mixer. The Branson Landing is beggining to open. The Hollister Chamber of Commerce hosted political Debates and the Branson Chamber of Commerce released the most extensive data to date on the marketing plans for the city.


I found an open door in the Mayor's office and feel grateful for having the opportuntiy to have met Lou Schaefer.

I found an open door at the Mayor's office in Hollister and am grateful for having met David Tate.

I met several members running for the school board in Hollister and am grateful that so many men and women who believe they can make a difference.

I met a widower who manages a news outlet while raising his daugher alone.

Hero's all of them....

But of all of these great men and women one really stood out.

One individual showed me unmatched courage. He's on a mission to change the world and he's doing it. He's going to change the world by changing himself. His name is Shawn Hawkins.

Shaun comes from a family with some problems. When living at his mom's house near St. Louis he watched addiction destroy her life and decided it wasn't going to destroy his. He grabbed his brother, called a cab and went from city to city until he arrived here in Branson. He found refuge at his father's house who he lives with today. Things aren't perfect but they're a lot better.

This is where he began his mission, he promised to break a generational curse that plagued his family.

He's even going a step further. Shawn is in the process of making a Movie. The fifteen minute movie is going to be called the Ripple Effect. The movie shows the effect of drinking and driving. It's going to be shown to the senior class before the end of the year.

The idea is that our actions have an effect on everthing and everyone around us.

Shawn's under no illusions. His life is too full of realities to have them. Sometimes he gets discouraged cause these 16 year old eyes have seen milleniums of distruction. He sees hypocrisy everywhere, but, he finds hope becuase these same individuals are offering support. He has faith because he knows where's he's from and the love of a father.

The Branson Edge has a nightlife guide. We spend a lot of time checking out the entertainment at night. We are known to have a Guiness and we support entertainment in the evenings. We have created a nightlife guide becuase we like music and we like to hang out late and sometimes we even like to have a beer. We're not going to lie to you, we're not going to sell you on our piety today. We're not even going to tell you what we do is wrong. We are however going to support you. We are going to promote you. We are going to encourage you. We are going to remind you that your mission comes from somewhere higher, though you already know that. We are going to make sure everything is done to ensure you are in every newspaper, local television and linked to every page of our website. Mostly, we are going to be inspired by you.

You are not a ripple; YOU are a tidal wave.

Thank you Shawn.

The Following Companies and indiduals are surfing Shaun's wave.....

Round The Clock Realty

Reserve Branson

Urban Edge

Agape Primary Care Morris Oil & Gas

Pure Country Conoco

SAM Productions,Ad America

Lacy Properties L.L.C

Mark Hawkins

Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home

White Raven Music Industries

Cox Air Care

Kanakuk Kamps

Tim Oliphant

Missouri State Highway Patrol


Branson Edge

The Police Fire, and Ambulance Departments of Branson

Kyah Hoffmann

Tyler Osborne

Keith Smith

Jeremy Long

Ellen Denny

Jared Robbins

Shayna Lyons

Tawny Robinson

Hilary Williams

Chloe Delgadillo

Jami Ussery

Jeremiah Sharp

Seth Urban

Tyrell Ransom

Michelle Murphy

Chris Sheets

Cameria Klein

Shawn Turner

Kat Mcginnis

Kevin Barker

KC Stresak

TJ Dorsey

Josh Keen

Sarah Day

Mark Bolger

Levi Casey

Caleb Freeman

Luke Treat

Coy Dale Thomas

Johnathan Rice

Ashley Hutton

Tessa Bulgier

Alyssa Rice

Jordan Stewart

Mandy Sutton

Caity Powell

Chris Mcgauley

Rick Weaver

Josh Hayes

Cara Longo

Nataile Meyer

Rachel Dillard

Denikka Depew

Skylar Mckinney

Amber Sparks

Andrew Sparks

Alexis Erwin

Erica Erwin

Janie Dennison

Haley Stallings

Bethany Mcspadden

Brooke Asher

Stephanie Myer

Alex Melton

Chris Melton

Joe Halberdier

Michael Urban

Jim Urban

Jen Gant

Luke Parrott

Wayne Hicks

Meet Wayne Hicks - A little Bit of Country - A little Bit of Rock and Roll

January, 2006

I'd been spying him for 8 months before he caught up with me. Few Branson reporters want to point out a Hick from the Sticks (sorry Bradleyville) this man would probably not be too ashamed.

I first caught wind of Wayne 8 months ago while working with Reserve Branson. Wayne admittedly had much to learn about Branson and what it takes to succeed here - apparently he's learned his lessons well building a multi-million dollar Branson Portfolio in the last 10 months. As I was saying before - on first appearance he came off as a rebel rouser with an uncanny resemblance to Jerry Garcia.

The first sign that things had changed was an unusual presence in the office. I dropped by to see Chris Davis at the Wire Stream recording studio. They were recording a talented young country singer brought Wayne to town. Apparently, he got in a little bit of trouble mid-season 2005; as a result, TUSK took the spotlight with a new show called "The Road to Rock" - which will go down in history as Branson's first modern rock show. The Gaslight theatre, which Wayne now owns, has been redesigned and renamed the "House of Rock". Wayne has also managed to purchase the Magical Palace where Kirby Van Birch will be performing at this season. Wayne gives full credit to his wife for managing a highly successful digital check system called ISIS. Wayne also owns a recording studio, digital video production house and has written extensively for the Sierra Times.

Did I mention he likes to print his own money? (more on this later)

All of this to the side, everyone I've mentioned so far are extremely talented and creative individuals. At first sight my concern is what appears to be the impossible task of managing such an array of creative personalities then I spotted Cindy Merry - the marketing power behind many of Branson's top shows. Seeing her was a sign that Wayne had chosen to move with the grain.

Wayne apologizes for not being able to meet for lunch as scheduled - he casually mentions he's decided to buy Aero surf a local wireless company. Nice power lunch....

Until I actually sat down in the man's house for a two hour discussion I was certain I had met a loose cannon ripe for a misfire. "I don't want rebel rousers", Wayne retorts to my description of the Motley looking Crew known as WireStream Networks. Though I wanted this story, the true intent of our meeting was "business". Though I promised myself I would stick to the agenda, Wayne's personal stories and passion for media were more reward than the silver I would have gained from my meeting. (I suppose this would be an appropriate time to apologize to my partner - who entrusted me with the business transaction I was supposed to conduct -)

We crept upstairs past an indoor waterfall to a small office. It was clear Wayne values his time with his family and though it felt awkward not acknowledging them - it was clear Wayne appreciated his privacy and our time together was something of a favor. Though my work entails evangelism of a world economy, Wayne shares something uniquely American - not uncommon among Branson political ideologies. He's clearly an Ozark Libertarian.

Wayne Hicks reminisces about his tenure as owner of a restaurant called the Liberty Tree in Berryville, Arkansas. The Liberty Tree is named after an early American tradition during colonial rule. Each town assigned a tree where citizens would meet to speak of freedom and the American way, the designated tree was called the Liberty Tree. Wayne recalls a Vietnam Vet who was asked to quell a possible citizen uprising during the Vietnam years', "Would You ever shoot an American Citizen?", Wayne asked. "Yes", the patron replied, "If I was asked to shoot a civilian I would have turned that gun around and shot the sergeant - and he was an American citizen". Telling the story, Wayne begins to choke up a little.

Wayne's son and owner of a Berryville ISP wrote custom software suite which updates Wayne on daily activities from all of his managers. He runs through the list while we're in the office. Wayne briefly discusses his faith in his newly assigned CEO with at this point wasn't announced to the public. He's happy he'll be able to get a little more creative time.

I can say a closer look at Wayne's organization revealed a much different man and company than I had anticipated. Among radical ideas and "pushing" of the envelope I found a sober Jerry Garcia.

Branson Rock

The majority of Branson Rock is performed in studios after dark or at nightclubs in the area. Branson Rocks has video footage of local bands performing in area venues. Over the past several months while everyone else was livin' it up the Branson Edge was out capturing the action for you.

Look, you're coming to Branson - you might need to know where to take your wife girlfriend or buddies. Don't be uninformed, afterall this is what we're here for. We're here to assist you in your quest for nightlife in Branson. The nightlife guide is being redesigned to give you intel on what's happening tonight.

But hey, what not just see for yourself? The video is lo-fi which is why our prices are so low. But you can get the idea. If you're looking for something special let us know! New content added all the time.... :)

We rock.

Viewing the Titanic - January Footage

The Titanic museum is an amazing addition to Branson, tourists that have visited have held it in high regards. Reporter, Hutch Christianson sent some bootleg footage a couple of months ago. Enjoy

Why I entered the field of Netizen

Branson, MO

My carefree days in Venice Beach are long gone but the fire ignited in my heart remains. When I first entered this field I was among a small group of peers. We were technologists filled with the hope of a digital democracy. Our publications spoke of a revolution, of empowering of being free at last.
A younger generation will always come with vision of grasping power from the generation before. Ours, of course, was the most beautiful. In an information economy, the more you give, the more you have. You don't lose information you share, it becomes more valuable, simply because you know who has it.
I remember watching a new breed of men arrive. They had no knowledge of a democracy but were excellent capitalists. A changing of the guards occurred somewhere in the late 90's. This new breed knew little of geek idealism but much of bribery, of salesmanship of old media that once was new. They inflated the market, which led to it's eventual demise. Senior management remained old school - silver slick salesman lacked technical prowess - they were masters of the buck but never where it stops. As an expert in Geodemographic marketing and Web Analytics I was responsible for a multi-million dollar warchest when the new school arrived.
Over time, I've watched more men become millionaires than 10 dollar an hour jobs that the Branson Landing will create. Our field had a greater respect for brain power than momentary gain. This realization occurred in 1997 when I was taken out to lunch by the CEO of Double Click. Here I was with a revolutionary in digitally targeted advertising. At the time, Double Click had the ultimate ad delivery system - they could measure Frequency, SIC codes, fortune 500 and geographic ad delivery - a traditional marketers dream. As this executive ate his breakfast of blueberries and cream he spied a geek being recruited by a headhunter - the great leader was starstruck by great geek.
Before this time I was somewhat of a beach bum with a passion for technology. It wasn't soon before my days on the beach were traded for flights to New York and time weekly shuttles from LA to Silicon Valley.
My career route in high tech cam via Cyberjava, a cultural center for digital culture in the Westside of Los Angeles. 4 engineers set up this shop that hosted the major networks first moves into "cyberspace". An up and coming show called "Friends" was one of those customers. The cast came to Cyberjava to engage "the online community" in a chat. More to my liking was the groups of Technology Innovators that would meet each week. My job as a barrista kept me in the center of action helping experiment and debug some of the core technologies we have the priveledge of taking advantage of today. It was also a great way to pick up side work. It wasn't long before a consultant from the #1 computer manufacturer at the time needed a netizen (we were few at this time). I went from the beach to writing corporate strategy for Packard Bell/NEC. In my niche I had bypassed my professors and made moves in pioneering my field. I was too young and inexperienced to truly know how plush a job writing strategy is. I was paid to study and prophesy technologies path. Today, this work is still valid but the cycle is much more rapid. Strategy wasn't enough, I needed action and action I got developing our first online sales operation. The bigwigs were scared of our success. They feared revenue streams provided by Sears would be threatened. Whose going to buy a computer from anywhere other than Sears? Yeah, well, that's the problem with being an advisor - your work is taken as advice and even with great vision it's up to the suits at the top to call the shots. Even though my groups best advice was not taken, much of it was and meeting with the top technology executives had its own reward. I kept these contact cards like a kid keeps rookie baseball cards. It wasn't until an irrate girlfriend destroyed them three years ago that I lost possession of them. I miss my Jerry Yang my Mike Eisner.
Years later when I entered online advertising as a buyer I kept this idealism. Million dollar contracts had provisions for charities though I never had the time to execute them. Interns from USC and UCLA lacked the experience to implement - handing operations of goodwill over were exercises in futility.
Eventually, I left this field. I was fed up, saw too much corruption, too much of a souless new school. I cashed out, unplugged and went into the woods to live life deliberately.
It's different today though I haven't lost a vision for a better world. I'm older now and have a two year old reason to make sure the world is a better place. I've learned that it's not about the money because some men will do for 5 dollars what I thought men would do for a million. I've learned where my flaws are, learning how to correct them. Still, I haven't lost faith that a wretched soul like me can achieve something great.
Over the past few weeks I started working on a site for the Salvation Army in Branson. It means a lot to me, because this technology can do great things. This little sites success online means more to me than any 7 digit deal. It can make the fire burn brighter that at times grows dim.

Music in Branson - Tori Sings Plush

A couple of years ago I met a Baptist minister from Kansas City. Mostly, we discussed the love of a father and shared a moment of awe about the unbelievable love we as men can feel for our own. His message was to describe the essence of God, the love of a father.

The Baldnobber's were the first show in Branson. As the minister explained it, they would drive down the road with a megaphone shouting an invitation to entertainment at a local barn.

This is what makes this area great, an innate desire to make music, Americana style. Tori and Katie often perform at the Outback Pub in Branson, MO - at least throughout the Winter. It's more of a gathering than anything else. Friends get up to jam onstage and after the legal closing time for the bar. Late at night locals such as Sam Clayton host an ad hoc jam session until the sun rises.

It's something that happens organically and a part of our local culture.

A letter to Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach,

You are our neighbors, friends and family. It would be far too difficult for me to write this without expressing my great sorrow for the condition I have witnessed or your city. I have great hope that your city will one day return to the glory it once had. I have such great hope - as it has great beauty and potential; though for some reason the powers that be have left a despot. This has given rise to a solution for poverty against the better judgment of a larger community. I speak not just of Taney County but of the entire state of Missouri.

In a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be an attorney I was told,
Higher Crime, Bankruptcy, Divorce - Gambling is good for my business

I fear there are others here that feel the same way. The proposition of gambling fills a few pockets at the cost of a greater good. Please, do not take my observations as condemnation. Again, I write with sorrow as I understand the dire circumstances many of your citizens live in. I also write with anger as little "sunshine" has been shed on backroom negotiations, our Uncle Tom's, your silent supporters. (I'll never tell or take for granted my right as reporter)

You make me wish I had greater means, a louder voice, a larger wallet. I wish I could rid your town of the drug labs, crime and poverty that plague you. You have schools with smart boards and no air conditioning. I've seen the horror of your lowest places. I remember visiting a Rockaway dwelling smaller than my college apartments packed 5 deep with a child so confined at 2 years of age he could not walk. It's hard for me to imagine an evil greater than this and understand your reach for any solution. Still, this messiah you promise comes with a great plague and a promise to sell our daughters into prostitution. For them, it's just business.

I would speak of a solution but will not waste my breath as it would most certainly fall on deaf ears.

Millions were spent to stop you. They promised to build a Great Wall! I warned them that the enemy was already within the compound. I had hoped someone would build you a Great Exposition.

May God bless you with a shepherd from these hills to lead you through a Golden Gate where no Great Wall is needed.

Demand for Branson on the Rise

Demand for Branson on the rise. The stats are indicative of interest in Branson, Missouri. The chart above shows media mentions about Branson over the past 180 days.

Hipster Store to Open in Branson - URBAN EDGE

Branson, MO

The Urban Edge will be opening in Branson by April 1st. Proprietor Debbie Haskins began plans to open the store late last year. Debbie traveled extensively to find unique labels that would cater to a younger demographic. Urban edge will feature Lucky Jeans and Split for women among other brands.
Kansas City Artist Donald Ross was commissioned to decorate the interior of the store. The Branson Edge will be posting footage of the design process and digital imagery of the design process.
Urban Edge will be located two blocks west of the Dixie Stampede in the same shopping center as Fuddruckers, Go Fish and the Coldstone Creamery.

Branson Plane Crash Pilot Revealed -

The AP report the Tampa Newspaper ran is consistent with local reports.Eyewitness Tommy Rials noted the plane "almost" made it to a clearing.

Texas pilot and dentist Paul Johnson may have saved scores of lives when he crashed his twin-engine plane into a self-storage unit yesterday just off the main drag of Branson, Missouri, a resort town which was bustling at midday even in the off-season.

Sunrise Over Branson Hills

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Branson, Missouri - Four Die in Plane Crash near Strip

The newsroom at Branson Daily News headquarters emptied out today as a plane crashed into a storage building on Highway 76. After numerous rumors about the incident the FAA reported all 4 passengers were dead.

Photos taken of the incident will appear tomorrow morning on the front page of the Branson Daily News.

Branson Daily News reported emergency transmissions from the twin-engine Secnecca II headed towards Lubbock, Texas. The plane was headed back to Taney County Airport after refueling at the College of the Ozarks before crashing into the storage building. An eyewitness, Jeremy Denny, reported watching the plane make a hard left and a hard right before crashing.

Noelle Caylor and Cliff Sain own editorial credit for the information posted above.

Printed photo's in tomorrow's paper were taken approx. 1 hour after the accident took place.

The FAA has yet to post an incident report online, however, more information is anticipated tomorrow. Preliminary reports are posted in a special section of the FAA website.

Mark Twain National Forest Land - Usable, Accessible and Valuable -

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
Mark Twain

We've been hearing a lot about the missing maps; that is, the maps the government is required to show is before the proposed sell of public land.

Matt Blunt sent a letter on to Mark Rey Undersecretary For Natural Resources and environment , USDA.

Matt's review of the missing maps, apparently now available, found the land to be usable, accessible and valuable.

Matt also notes the majority of funds from the land sale will go out of state.

“Missouri’s natural resources are not a commodity. They are intended to be enjoyed by all, not to be sacrificed just to fill holes in the federal budget,” Blunt said. “The proposed sale takes two blows at our state – one targeting us for significant land sales, and two putting the money generated by any sale in other states’ hands.”

The original bill authorizing the sale of land can be found here.

If you'd like the contact the govenor's office call:
Spence Jackson, 573-751-0290

Sunshine Week Report - NO MORE Mc JOBS

Sunshine Week is over.

The Branson Edge behaved nicely all week. We were so nice we made ourselves sick. We felt kinda dirty doing it. Which brings me to the clip going up this week... Bucky singing, Dirty Deeds.

On my weekly route through Branson City Hall, I was informed that I can in fact video record chamber meetings as long as advance notice is given.

As a public service video footage of Branson City meetings will go live online. "Branson Spoke", just doesn't give us all of the details. It's our special way of spreading sunshine. :)

last week we played down the Branson - Hollister rivalry. Inquiries into the topic were fruitful. The truth is sometimes Branson helps Hollister. Two examples given by city officials in Branson were the freeway and an industrial park. Their are circumstances where the cities compete - such is the case of Wal-Mart.

Hollister is the region's upcoming star. Co-operation between these two cities is vital to regional development. My 2 cents..play nice.

Many of us lack knowledge of TIFF fund specifics. We're happy to report that the Branson City Administration has been open to discuss and educate us on the issue. A suggestion of qualifications for entities worthy of TIFF's was submitted by Randy Anglin and is available for your viewing pleasure at Branson Attorney Randy Anglin Proposed TIFF legislation.

I think the point is you brought new jobs...great, but can you feed your family with these jobs? Was the business going to already help the community through a deal with a neighbor? Is your value as a city so low that you have to subsidize corporations to come here? Were they going to come to the community anyway?

If the jobs they provide have no future, provide no insurance, and take more money away from the community than provide...than the company should still be welcome here...at full price.

We don't need any more Mc Jobs.

Branson Salvation Army Captain Speaks About Katrina

The video blog post is part of the prelaunch of a Branson Salvation Army Website. The site will enable residents to make online donations to local efforts. A need was found during recent disasters. Some of these issues were addressed and some still need to be addressed. Everyone in our community made substantial contributions but some of the basic needs were difficult to meet. Captain Ron Keys discusses some of these issues how they can be dealt with and what we can do in the future.

The Branson Edge is working with local entities on an online emergency broadcast system. This will help us communicate and coordinate local needs during an emergency. The project and the Branson Salvation Army Website are being funded by Round the Clock Realty.

Message to "Roy Blunt"

I'm always pleased when politicians take personal time to view opinions and actively show concern for citizens.

Roy Blunt's office stops by and visits one of my sites at least every other week. It's nice to know.

Return Message to Roy Blunt
We're doing well and pleased to know you're working hard in the Senate. We know you're doing important work for our country and well, it's nice to see that you're taking the time to listen to us.

Branson is doing very well. Though January employment in the state hit record lows we will soon be reporting a record 1st quarter gain. I say this with confidence as I'm out on the beat everyday. This will be a banner year.

We have something unique here and were trying hard to grow without losing our soul. An example of a city with a soul is indicated by the fact thier were no murders in Branson last year. With the amount of transient individuals we have that's impressive, something no other city can boast. In this and many other ways we are a city on a hill.

As the real estate market lowers in other parts of the country ours is still rising. This is mainly due to the fact our real estate market is considerably undervalued. Who wouldn't want to live in a place with great schools, no reported murders and a thriving economy? I do!

I have more to say and problems that need to be addressed; however, these are issues being engaged at the county and state level. I have confidence our leaders will move quickly to correct them.

As we support Matt's Ethanol legislation it should be seen as a favor to Indiana, Iowa and other corn producing states. They're doing their part to cure the energy crisis, but we need legislation that supports biodiesal as well. Integrating a biodiesel blend could help increase demand for regional crops, boost our local economy, reduce emmissions and lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Missouri can do this and you can help.

We have more to discuss, but, we'll talk later, right?

YMCA NEEDS YOU! - Red Hat Gangs - Democracy

City Leaders Ask for Assistance to build YMCA Aquatic Center

I received a lot of complaints that people couldn't see this video. Here it is in Google format...

(I blame this on Apple Computers. They apparently are a cult bent on making sure the world swear allegiance to their platform. Meanwhile Microsoft stole my idea and created a new video network...hmmm. I'm going to be using Google for now on. They only share my information between their datacenters and the government.)

Now to the serious stuff. I went to the Mayor's office via convoy sponsored by Round the Clock Realty. They're currently working on an emergency broadcast system for the Internet and have donated a "Web Presence" to the Branson Salvation Army. A video will be released tomorrow. Back to the story, I then proceeded to the Hollister Chamber of Commerce....Once again...Nobody home.

It felt like the Western's of old. I was coming to threaten a kindness contest. They knew I was coming and hid to leave tumbleweeds.

As you can imagine I was feeling like quite "the man" until I ran into a threatning gang of brightly dressed women. The gang leader, aka Mary Ann Raemisch Grand Duchess of the Dazzlin' Darlins' of Dane County, made some vicious statements about the techno illiterate and demanded that I download her pictures, which I did, to avoid being mugged.
After trading hacks with the "Duchess", I was told to give up ownership of a Website dedicated to Branson History. Her no nonsense attitude and threatening gang apparel led me to believe I best not take my chances and granted her the title of Queen Webmaster BransonHistory.com. She can be reached at {Maryarae@chorus.net }. Word to the wise, be careful. In fact, I recommend sending snail mail to 644 Eiserman Ave. Branson, MO 65616.(Just to be safe).

After acquiring video intel from the Branson engineering department on the new Skyway, {Video available tomorrow} I met Fire Chief Carl Sparks to continue dialogue about the upcoming aforementioned Internet Emergency Broadcast System. Dialogue proceeded with Captain Ron Key at Salvation Army headquarters, once again, video to follow.

After talking to the city GIS department about the necessity of a purple route I was referred to another engineer. The conversation was unenlightening as for some reason the engineer expressed no interest in helping me whatsoever with the MLS mapping system that I will inevitably create. Once again, my inability to communicate intentions of brotherhood were in vain. Engineers are the bullies of the 21st century.

After confirming my employer's media buy I remembered Western Taney County Commissioner Ron Herchend's statement, "I'm not a politician". In a panic I went to the YMCA and demanded staff verification of political leader's claims of weight loss as I pledged a dollar for each pound they lose (close call). The staff member had no appreciation for my sense of humor which gave me a much needed chuckle. Though, no numbers have been verified, the front desk clerk was adamant I address the health fitness advisor to acquire "top secret" information. What happened to the good old days when you could just slide a 20 across the desk? I didn't leave empty handed as I retrieved several photo's of the YMCA facility.

My exhaustion was catching up with me. I went to Starbuck and pounded three cups of dark roast coffee while thanking Microsoft PR superstar Scooble for asking Bill Gates some very serious questions that I demanded answers to months ago. I also thanked him for condemning anti-democratic practices in China. Once again, this was months due, though, I'm grateful that Scooble admitted I was right and Microsoft was wrong. Thanks dude for helping me stick it to the man. Did I say man? My boss is a woman...hmmm.
Between sending technical specs to the "Woman's" full time engineer I watch a video feed of Bill Gates pitching the gospel of Microsoft near our employee's office three block away from our facility in Hyberdad, India. That snake! Maybe we're better off working for the Woman.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I spot a local out of uniform. Though enraged, I politely explain to the gentleman, picture below that using blue tooth may key tourists in that we actually have running water here in Branson, Missouri. Can you imagine this guy blowing our cover and ruining the entire tourist market for all of us? Thankfully, he acted with great speed in concealing all gadgetry inside of his overalls. But first he offered his services as a Frank Sinatra impersonater (Video Not Included).

After my third pot of coffee, I surrender to my heart and write a post in a local online community to a local Netizen who is having a real hard time living here.
My hands ache from typing, the technical specs are being requested from Hyderabad, all the video I promised isn't quite up yet and I ponder something my father told me when I was a child. "Remember Who You Are" and it's no longer a wonder why a man as poor as I could feel so very rich.

Sunshine Week

This week is Sunshine Week. Attorney General Jay Nixon made a list of 10 things citizens should know about the Sunshine Law -

Top 10 things you should know about your Sunshine Law

1. When in doubt, a meeting or record of a public body should be opened to the public.

2. The Sunshine Law applies to all records, regardless of what form they are kept in, and to all meetings, regardless of the manner in which they are held.

3. The Sunshine Law allows a public body to close meetings and records to the public in some limited circumstances, but it almost never requires a public body to do so.

4. A public body generally must give at least 24 hours' public notice before holding a meeting. If the meeting will be closed to the public, the notice must state the specific provision of the law that allows the meeting to be closed.

5. Each public body must have a written Sunshine Law policy and a custodian of records whose name is available to the public upon request.

6. The Sunshine Law requires a custodian of records to respond to a records request as soon as possible but no later than three business days after the custodian receives it.

7. The Sunshine Law deals with whether a public body's records must be open to the public, but it generally does not state what records the body must keep or for how long. A body cannot, however, avoid a records request by destroying records after it receives a request for those records.

8. The Sunshine Law requires a public body to grant access to open records it already has, but it does not require a public body to create new records in response to a request for information.

9. When responding to a request for copies of its records, the Sunshine Law limits how much a public body can charge for copying and research costs.

10. There are special laws and rules that govern access to law enforcement and judicial records.

As America's we know that public disclosure is vital to democracy. Unlike repressive regimes that dictate what freedoms its citizens have and what types of information its citizens are allowed to retrieve and deliver. This is the school of Mao, the school of Stalin the school of Hitler and a school I hope our nation never attends.

Our country was founded on a free and open society, it's what our forefathers fought and died for and the only reason any military action is justifiable. We have a sacred responsibility to participate and ensure the transparency of our employees. Our employees, of course, are the leaders we elect. Let us not ever forget that. The moment we do we shame those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

When questions are raised regarding government transparency it's of great importance that our leaders respond.

Our economy is strongly dependent on the interests of churches and families. Whether or not their interests follow along any one man's particular ideologies this fact is hard to dispute. We have something special here and its why so many people come from around the nation and around the world.

Here in Branson, our light to the nation is the existence of a strong moral economy. Outside of this there is little special about Branson and little to ensure our future prosperity. We have a place you can go and not have to cover your children's eyes as you walk down the street. We have a place where national publication's surrender, "This is the way America ought to be".

I personally believe in our leaders and their ability to pass public scrutinization, which is why I believe they will act quickly to remedy any issues that are addressed in regards to the Sunshine law.

Actions are being taken to assist our governing bodies with tools which will assist them in bringing a greater level of visiblity.

As owners of the community it is our responsiblibity to have dialogue with our servants. It's also important that we shed light on business's and entities that threaten our economy.

We will have problems, every community does. It's the way we address these problems that defines our character. Much of this relies on our media and their willingness to shed light, "sunshine", on issues that exist in our backyard.

We, the media, should at all costs resist the temptation to cover up or protect ill will, criminal or psuedo-criminal behavior in the community. When we do so we reward darkness, disrespect the public and enable societies most hideous elements. This is of no favor to the community but rather a vote for the communities destruction.

Hollister, Missouri Chamber Luncheon

Candlestick restaurant is known for serving some of the finest food in the Branson area. But, no matter what they served it would still be worth the price just to glimpse the view. The establishment sits above Lake Taneycomo overlooking the Branson Landing . It also serves as the location of the Hollister Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

Hollister, as Branson, is in a state of rapid growth. A symbiotic relationship exists between the two cities both socially and economically. Hollister's development strategy relies on a greater emphasis in serving locals. Housing and services for the "human infrastructure" needed to ensure Branson's successful growth is what Hollister is betting on. Like Branson, housing and commercial development in Hollister is at an all time high. There was a time when Hollister was was the region's center of gravity (Mayor Tate likes to point this out)

This month's meeting featured a presentation of the YMCA's current and future offerings. The facility provides a wide range of services from Adult Wellness counseling to a sports leagues serving those as young as 3 years old.

Both Taney County wastern district Commissioner Ron Herschend and Hollister Mayor David Tate livened things up with their usual antics (Hams - the both of them).

The YMCA in Hollister is currently seeking funds for an aquatic facility. Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziggenfuss made a heartfelt speech regarding the importance of community participation in acquiring the needed money. "We can easily get millions of dollars to build a new freeway, but this takes a direct community effort."

It was impressive to see such a wide range of guests sitting together in one place. Of note was a representative from the Branson Chamber of Commerce defuncting rumors of an "East Coast - West Coast" feud along Lake Taneycomo. :)

Optimum health of Branson and Hollister are dependent on the two cities working together . The services each city provides contributes to the greater good of the larger community.

You can make donations directly to the YMCA (Contact Info Below)

175 Industrial Dr.
Hollister, MO 65672
417-337-YMCA (9622)

Darren Romeo Takes National Spotlight

Darren Romeo, Branson In National Spotlight Tonight
New Illusion Featuring Jeff Gordon’s #24 Car to Premiere Friday
(Branson, MO) - On the eve of his 2006 opening night performance, producers of “Entertainment Tonight”
(ET) plan to air a segment on Darren Romeo and his innovative magical-musical production in Branson. The ET
segment will air locally on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. on CBS affiliate KOLR 10.
Excitement has been building since the November 2005 announcement that a new alliance between Jeff
Gordon, Darren Romeo and Welk-Sullivan Productions would result in an all-new, original illusion featuring one
of the best known NASCAR drivers and his famous “fire and flames” No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet.
“Entertainment Tonight” interviewed Romeo during a photo shoot with Jeff Gordon in New York. Romeo’s
mentor, Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy, also attended the photo shoot. The ET segment scheduled to
air on March 9 will focus on Romeo, his show and new illusions in the 2006 show. Romeo will unveil the “Two
Men Living Their Dream” illusion on Friday evening, March 10 at the Welk Resort Theatre in Branson.
“A key element of Darren Romeo’s show to date has been his inspiring testimonial about fate, destiny and
following your dreams,” said Joe Sullivan, executive producer of Welk-Sullivan Productions. “This exciting new
illusion will bring together Darren Romeo and Jeff Gordon – two young men who are living their dreams. We
think this will be entertaining and inspiring to the young and the young-at-heart who visit Branson and appealing
to NASCAR fans.”
“Being in the national media spotlight again benefits not just Darren Romeo and The Welk Resort Theatre, it
also benefits Branson as a community and major tourist destination,” said Sullivan. “Presenting positive
messages and images about what’s happening in Branson today to large national audiences is priceless.”
“Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “EXTRA” and The Associated Press (AP) reported to their
national audiences in November on Darren Romeo’s mentors, Siegfried & Roy, visiting Branson for the first time
ever and attending Romeo’s performance at the Welk Resort Theatre.
Romeo’s one-of-a-kind musical, magical production features classic and contemporary music punctuated by
dramatic illusions, including Romeo’s original magic/music combination tribute to his namesake, Bobby Darin,
and Blackstone’s famous Floating Light Bulb illusion. The critically acclaimed show received BransonCritic
Awards’ “Best Show” designation in 2004 and 2005. Romeo was named 2004 "Magician of the Year" at the
Magic Castle Awards in Hollywood by the International Magicians Society.
Romeo’s 2006 schedule runs from March 10 through Labor Day at the Welk Resort Theatre. For tickets or
more information call 417-337-7469 or go online to www.sullivanshows.com.

Titanic Branson - Construction Pictures

The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri is scheduled to open - well , yesterday. The construction took a bit longer than expected as there were setbacks, mainly, a shortage of steel.

The Branson Edge took a tour earlier this month. The "Model" sits on the second level and outside of the artifacts (few were there at the time of our tour) it is one of the tour highlights.

The photo gallery of the construction can be viewed at Tour Branson. You may be asking, who's that girl and why is she in the photos? The young lady shown was married on the staircase during the construction process. Bootleg videos should be posted in within the next day. Enjoy....

Smokestack of the Titanic with Wet Paint
Photo by Dad

Vacation Channel Trophy Room

  Posted by Picasa

Haygood Stalker 2 of 2

The Haygood Stalker continued. Every costume, every song, every video - this girl knows it. Great lo-fi submission of a Branson oddity.

Haygood Stalker Video I of 2

Patrick had a birthday this week. I'm sure this yound lady knows. A Branson Edge writer went undercover to explore the secret life of a Haygood stalker.

California Bar and Grill - Low Quality Video Clip

The California Bar and Grill is not longer but this very low quality video clip survived. The Branson Edge is integrating video clips into the Branson Nightlife Guide

Branson taking the spiritual lead

This vacation hot spot is more than just the fun it promotes. The author of a book about faith in Branson says religious themes are found in the shows, theme parks and the area's landscape.

Linda Leicht

After attending plenty of Branson shows, sometimes three in a day, many visitors wrap up their vacation with another kind of show — church.

Tim Hill has been taking the stage at the Jim Stafford Theatre every Sunday morning for about five years, not to entertain his audience with Branson-style singing and dancing, but with the word of God.

"We are seeing miracles," Hill said. "People are accepting Jesus Christ and people are being healed in the theaters in Branson."

The sense that Branson has been divinely elected to bring people to faith is the subject of an upcoming book.

Aaron Ketchell has been visiting Branson since he was a teenager. The 34-year-old religion and American studies scholar at Kansas University has turned his interest in the Ozarks into a book about the spirituality he has seen develop in his family's vacation spot.

"Holy Hills: Religion and Recreation in Branson, Missouri" will soon be published by Johns Hopkins University Press, but the public is invited to get a preview of Ketchell's work at a Monday lecture at Missouri State University.

"In Branson, church reveals itself outside church doors," said Ketchell, whose lecture will focus on the "very, very subtle brand of religiosity" he finds at Silver Dollar City.

Ketchell recalled a visit to the theme park when he noticed that the rock cairns had speakers in them and were playing gospel music.

"The religiosity is even woven into the landscape itself," he said.


Jack Herschend, co-owner of Silver Dollar City with his brother, Pete, has overseen much of the park's development.

Herschend, 73, came to Branson from the Chicago area when he was a teenager after his parents purchased the park. He was no Christian when he arrived nor was Branson much of a religious place, he said.

"There really wasn't much of a Christian culture in Branson before the 1950s," said Herschend, who recalled that the Presbyterian church, the largest church in town, had an attendance of about 75 each Sunday.

Herschend's own conversion experience has some distinct similarities to the city's own embrace of Christian spirituality. Both were introduced to religion by a single man. Herschend credits a "traveling hardware salesman," John Shanahan, with giving him the time and interest, and eventually a book, that changed his life when he was 28.

The man he credits with doing the same for Branson is Joe White with Kanukuk Kamps. White, whose father started the camps, moved to Branson in the 1960s, working at Silver Dollar City, and returning to live. He became a "pied piper for kids in the Branson community," said Herschend.

"He led many of those young people to Christ," he said. "We're in our third generation of those young people."

The culture that White and Shanahan planted in Branson has produced fruit all along Missouri 76, straight up the mountain to Silver Dollar City.

The Herschends both became committed Christians and both used their faith as the basis for their business decisions.

"We found ourselves with this tremendous new experience and new reason for doing things," said Jack Herschend. "We met on a log out behind the Wilderness Church (in Silver Dollar City) and agreed that God has blessed us with this tremendous asset in the cave and the park. We wanted to figure out how to use it for the Lord."

Like Branson, all of the Silver Dollar City properties are geared to welcome all visitors, no matter what their faith. But the bottom line for the Herschends is they and their employees live by "Christian values and ethics" and that is reflected in their businesses.

One way that is done is through the company's Servant Leadership program, that uses a biblically-based business style. The program also was introduced to the community business leaders.

The result is not a business style that "hits you over the head" with religion, but provides a fertile ground for Christian values.

"The Christian culture is something that is fragile," said Herschend. "It can easily be lost, particularly in a community that's changing and growing so fast."


Hill came to Branson from California, where he had a thriving business, was building a new home and saw himself as an evangelist in a community where exciting things were happening.

In the Ozarks hills he not only found a place that welcomed Christianity, but he was sure God had sent him there to work. He was convinced that he was headed to the right place when relationship expert and author Gary Smalley, now a good friend, told him the story of a prophecy by Corrie ten Boom, author of "The Hiding Place." The Dutch woman had a vision of angels as she was flying over Branson and declared that it was going to be a place that would be blessed by God.

For Hill, that prophecy has come to fruition. "This has been an incredible harvest ministry for souls," he said.

Hill's service is one of several worship services in theaters around the city on Sunday mornings.

"A lot of people use their show services as a capstone to their stay," said Ketchell. "It's a crescendo for their vacation."

With 600 to 700 people in the theater during the tourist season for Hill's service, that appears to hold true. Hill says many of those people want even more.

He has opened a new church, Church of the Acts, in an old theater on Missouri 76 near Silver Dollar City. The church doesn't use a theater style performance. Instead, it relies on an ancient style of worship found in the Bible's book of Acts, with those attending sharing a meal, celebrating Communion and listening to a teacher.

The church offers services on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, when the area theaters are filled with audiences for their featured acts.

But Hill said he will never abandon his Sunday morning theater service, which offers a unique venue that draws people of all faith backgrounds.

"All the stigma is gone when they come in to worship," he said.


There may have only been a handful of churches and few worshippers when the Herschends arrived in Branson in 1950, but today there are countless churches, some as big as the theaters on the strip.

First Baptist Church of Branson was a "very small" church in the 1950s, Herschend recalled. Today, the church has 1,200 members, and about 750 people attend each Sunday morning. Most are residents. Many are tourists.

Jay Scribner came to the church in 1977 and retired as its pastor last year. In that time, the church has grown by at least 500 percent.

"I've seen a very positive thing happen with Christianity and religion in Branson," he said.

He has watched the growth in theater ministries, especially over the past five years. He also has seen more tourists arrive in his church, preferring a more traditional worship style.

"In the 21st century culture, I think there's room for both, especially in a place like Branson," he said.

Ketchell has watched the rise in religious expression in Branson. He has poked around looking for it's signs and opined on its development. He has pointed out the nostalgic idea that the little city tucked away in the Ozarks hills represents a pure form of Christianity, a nondenominational brand of religion that isn't tainted by sectarian feuds. And he has witnessed the modern expression of those ideas broadcast from faux rocks and performed on theater stages.

It is the story that brought Branson into the public consciousness in the 1920s that reveals the message of Branson, he said. Harold Bell Wright, who wrote the book "The Shepherd of the Hills," offers the "meta-narrative of the city and the region," he said.

It is the story of a preacher struggling with his faith who comes to the Ozarks to find solace, Ketchell said. It's a story that continues to inspire millions who visit the city, whether they know it or not.

Branson Edge January 2006

Branson Edge January 2006, originally uploaded by Branson EDGE.

The January Cover of the Branson Edge http://www.bransonedge.com was

derived from this rare photo of the Hollywood Sign. The photo was

taken from the Griffith Observatory Winter 2004.

The cover was a St. Louis Post parody. The national newspaper called

Branson what Hollywood would be like if thier were no gays. Still they

claimed their would be no one to make the costumes.

Due to the fact nobody picked up on the correlation I was forced to

punish all my users by keeping the story up all winter.

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local Tour of Afghanistan

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Branson Local - Tour of Afghanistan Pictures

Water Tower

Water Tower
Originally uploaded by Branson EDGE.
Too Good Not to View





This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.