First of all, contrary to what the DAR reported, there was no warrant and “Becker’s Assets” are not being seized. In my opinion, the paper’s slanderous headline of “BECKER’s ASSETS” is seriously appalling. Friends and family have been contacting us to make sure we are okay. I really cannot believe that the DAR would make such a terrible statement directed at me personally. In June, the newspaper also made this about me, personally, and not the company. Isn’t this covered in Journalism 101?
As for the photo on the front page of the newspaper, I have it on good authority that the City Attorney has NEVER before asked to go out with the Sheriff’s department to deliver papers until today. I can also assure you that the Sheriff’s department is not who invited the Daily American Republic to come to 1877 N Westwood and take a photo. I’m confident that it was Wally because when I asked about the DAR photographer, Deputy Armes said “I had nothing to do with that and didn’t know he was there until after the picture was taken.”
Deputy Armes who served the papers was very kind. His wife is Vicky Armes and Toni just wrote about her lovely garden a few weeks back on SEMO.net. I know Mr. Armes felt awkward about the whole deal, but I tried to reassure him that I knew it wasn’t his fault that the City had tried to make a spectacle out of all this.
Even funnier was Wally standing in my office asking what assets were Poplar Bluff Internet’s. My entire staff was laughing because it sounded like Duncan was going to grab something and carry it out to his car. It was comical and we’ve laughed about it several times since. I guess that’s why the DAR photographer was hanging out in the parking lot, just in case Wally came out with some PBII spoils. I even offered him a PBII-owned chair that he could carry out, but I guess he decided that wouldn’t be a very good caption: Duncan Seizes Office Chair To Repay City.
I asked Mr. Armes if I could have some time to provide a list of assets. Wally said “What? 24 hours?” I said, “Monday would be better for me.” Wally said, “Friday.” The deputy looked at me and I said, “How about I have a list for you sitting on this counter at 10am on Monday” and he looked at Wally and said I’m out of town on Friday anyway. Wally frowned and nodded his head, and Mr Armes said that would be fine.
Also, I did not say that “most of the assets have been transferred to another company” as Duncan told the paper. I said “sold.” Wally really doesn’t listen well. Of course “transferred” probably sounds more sinister…I guess that was his next option after he decided not to carry the chair out my front door.
In April 2011, at the injunction hearing I testified as CEO/President of Poplar Bluff Internet, Inc., that Poplar Bluff Internet could not sustain the loss of Cable Internet and continue to operate. In early 2012, Poplar Bluff Internet brought in an outside consultant firm who confirmed that there was no way to sustain the company going forward.
Bluff Technologies, Inc., purchased the brand and domain name of SEMO.net and all their users. Bluff Technologies, Inc. hired me as President and all of Poplar Bluff Internet’s staff in 2012 as well. For more than a year, SEMO.net has operated as a “dba” or “doing business as” of Bluff Technologies.
Of course SEMO.net has been and is suffering. We’ve lost a lot of customers and our income continues to drop. We’ve had terrible problems with our wireless service because of all the rain and lightning over the past four weeks which has caused even more problems for us. But we are doing our very best to stay online and continue serving our customers. Our goal is to survive. And we still have every expectation to do so. We even still have hope that some day, when the GOBs no longer control City Council, we will once again have open access to the public network in Poplar Bluff.
Friends, thank you for your prayers and support. We will get through this “asset seizure of Poplar Bluff Internet” just like all the other stuff we’ve gone through. Just know my heart is set to do the right thing and act according to my faith.