(Another scary-but-funny clipping from Bad Newspaper.)
Archive for Soonerland
Maryland, you may remember, is taxing rainwater. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City wants to encourage you to collect it rather than tax you for letting it fall. From this month’s City News (with the utility bill):
Oklahoma City and the Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance (COSWA) are partnering to encourage residents to conserve water and reduce pollution through the use of rain barrels. The organizations are offering discounted rain barrels online at www.upcycle-products.com starting at $59 plus $2.50 online handling fee. Click on “order forms” on right side of web page and choose “Oklahoma City.” The deadline to order is March 28.
Moore and Norman are also playing. Now what’s the catch?
City Council recently passed an ordinance that allows a maximum of two 85-gallon rain barrels in the front yard. Any number of rain barrels can be placed on the side or back of a property as long as they are not visible from the street. The containers must be securely covered and any openings must be covered with a screen that prevents pest infestation.
Take that, mosquitoes!
Fortunately for me, I get more rain in the back yard than in the front.
Is your homeowner’s insurance bill vaguely, or perhaps not so vaguely, reminiscent of the national debt? Tough noogies, says Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute:
Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in the nation for the price of homeowners insurance premiums — an average of $2,386 in 2011, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Oklahoma is the most expensive landlocked state for homeowners insurance premiums, Hartwig said.
If Oklahomans don’t like what they pay for homeowner’s insurance, moving to Idaho is always an option, Hartwig said.
“Nothing ever happens in Idaho, so they pay about a third of what people in Oklahoma do for their homeowners insurance,” Hartwig said.
Thanks, Bob. If a glacier comes to Coeur d’Alene, I’m going to point in your general direction.
Oh, and the graphic that accompanied this article said that the average Oklahoma premium was $1,386, so one of the two is wrong. Maybe both.
Can you tell the difference between an actual person and a fictional character with the same name? The court says you can:
The real-life Erin Bates says she was devastated when the character with her name became “shallow, materialistic, promiscuous and heartless” in the 10th book of a popular young adult series about fledgling vampires.
“It was very shocking,” said Bates, 27, who once was the personal assistant of Tulsa author P.C. Cast.
So, Bates sued. And, she lost.
Hidden, the tenth book in the House of Night series by Cast and her daughter Kristen, has been generally well received; some Amazon reviewers have been highly critical, but the series is averaging about 4.0 stars. Bates’ complaint:
“The first books — one through nine — the character was a fine character. There were no issues. Right before the 10th book came out, she and I had a falling out … She fired me without any cause … and, then, a couple of months later, the 10th book came out and Erin Bates was a completely different character,” Bates told The Oklahoman.
Cast says no, this was the 10th story in an arc of twelve, and everything was sketched out in advance.
Said the court:
“The Erin Bates character is a teenager while plaintiff is in her mid-20s. The locale of the book is entirely fictional,” Judge Larry Joplin wrote in the appeals court opinion. “The only similarity is the identity of the fictional character’s name and plaintiff’s name.
“Given the fictitious, ‘otherworldly’ setting of defendants’ book and its cast of wholly fictitious vampyres, no reasonable reader of the defendants’ book would conclude the fictional character, Erin Bates, depicts plaintiff acting in the way portrayed in the book.”
Final blow: Bates — the real one — was ordered to pay $5500 toward the Casts’ legal expenses.
We’ll see if Bill Peschel is available for comment.
It’s 80 miles from my house to Gary’s Chicaros in Enid, which is sufficient reason for me not to go there. But I wouldn’t go there if it were next door and my cupboard were bare:
A restaurant in Enid is getting heat after one of its patrons posted a pretty strong message on social media about discrimination.
The restaurant and bar has been open for more than four decades and carries quite the reputation.
Gary James, owner of Gary’s Chicaros, said, “I’ve been in business 44 years, I think I can spot a freak or a faggot.”
He added, “I don’t deal with these people walking down the street with no jobs on welfare.”
Now I’m not about to tell this guy that he has to serve everyone that comes to the door no matter what; it’s his beanery, not mine, and I’m not the local enforcer for Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which as written, and as I read it, doesn’t seem to apply to gay folk or EBT users unless they’re nonwhite. Still, the status quo may be in doubt:
[N]ow that Mr. James’s establishment is starting to raise internet hackles, we wouldn’t be surprised if some legal action from busybodies at the ACLU or NAACP comes his way. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Hackles? Me? Heck, no. I’m just passing on a story that killed my appetite.
Champlin’s KZLS 1640 — not to be confused with Champlin’s KZLS 99.7, once the True Oldies Channel, now classic-country outlet KNAH (is Serutan sponsoring?) — is moving to a news/talk format, and they’ve hired KTOK expat Reid Mullins to do the morning show.
I’m not quite sure how well this is going to work out. The KZLS tower, east of Hennessey, reaches the Oklahoma City metro decently in the daytime, what with 10,000 watts to work with; however, they have only 1,000 watts at night, which barely gets them to the middle of Guthrie. Then again, who listens to news/talk at night? I suspect KZLS will have far more listeners to their Internet stream than to their actual radio signal.
Cliff Branan, who represents Senate District 40 and therefore me, will be term-limited out of the Senate after this year, and already he’s planning his next gig: he’s running for Corporation Commissioner.
And he has some heavy hitters on his side:
Branan said co-chairs of his campaign include Larry Nichols, executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp.; Greg Love, president of Love’s development companies,; Brian Bingman, president pro tem of the state Senate; and Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources.
Any of these guys — well, maybe not Bingman — could finance Branan’s campaign out of pocket change.
A couple of members of the state House, noting the absurdly high divorce rate in these parts, have come up with schemes to make it harder to split up. Arthur Hulbert (R-Fort Gibson) has proposed a minimum six-month waiting period for a divorce — maybe, just maybe, you’ll change your mind — and Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) has called for “incompatibility” to be stricken from the list of legal grounds.
To Patrick of The Lost Ogle, who has at least as much legal background as any of these guys, these approaches are bass-ackwards:
Instead of spending so much time on draconian legislation that makes it harder for unhappy people to get a divorce, maybe our legislature should make it more difficult for people to get married. Crazy idea, huh? Maybe introduce a 6-month to 1-year probation period before a marriage becomes official, or raise the legal marriage age to 25? I bet that would lower the divorce rate.
Or, lacking that:
Another solution would be to make a couple pay a $1,000 marriage deposit. If a couple stays married for 7 years, they get the money back with interest. If they divorce prior to the 7 years, it goes into a marriage education fund. Who would be against that? It would make people seriously consider whether or not they should get married, and encourage them to make it work if they do. It’s an idea so logical and brilliant it will never see the light of day.
Make it $5,000, and this state will never have another budget deficit.
Welch, Oklahoma, not so hard by the Kansas border north of Vinita, is about to get a low-power community radio station:
Voice of Welch Communications, Inc. (VOW) has been granted a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build a low-power FM (LPFM) radio station serving the Welch and Bluejacket areas.
VOW president, Tyson Wynn, said, “Providing radio service to my hometown area has long been a dream of mine. Since first working at Vinita’s KITO during high school, I have been in love with the medium of radio and its ability to provide immediate coverage of local news and events. I’m also thrilled that LPFM is designed to be a very local operation. Welchkins, including Welch school students, will have the opportunity to learn the craft of radio. Dave Boyd trained me and put me on the air at KITO when I was 16 years old, and we’re going to give another generation of young people that same opportunity.”
I’ve met Tyson Wynn, and his enthusiasm is genuine. And I’m definitely pleased that radio service, which has been migrating from small towns to big cities for many years, is showing up in a community of 600.
The Welch facility will broadcast on 94.7 MHz with 100 watts. It will not quite reach Vinita or Miami, the two nearest cities. (And in case you’re wondering, KITO, while still licensed to Vinita, broadcasts nothing of particular interest to Vinita; it’s now just a relay for the Sports Animal’s Tulsa — actually Muskogee — facility.)
State lawmakers are considering throwing out marriage in Oklahoma.
The idea stems from a bill filed by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond). Turner says it’s an attempt to keep same-sex marriage illegal in Oklahoma while satisfying the U.S. Constitution. Critics are calling it a political stunt while supporters say it’s what Oklahomans want.
“[My constituents are] willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all,” Turner said.
If nothing else, this is consistent with Governor Fallin’s decision to deny spousal benefits to National Guard members, gay or straight.
And it’s a challenge to those who say that the states shouldn’t be in the marriage business in the first place. To some extent, I am sympathetic to that position; however, Turner is radiating that strange Soonerland vibe that says “Yeah, this is going to be swatted in the courts, but we don’t care.”
With Doctor No saying no to the last two years of his term, all of a sudden there’s some political news in the state that doesn’t involve gay couples, Satan, or Satanic gay couples.
Congressman James Lankford, never, ever short of ambition, has already announced for Tom Coburn’s Senate seat. And he has name recognition in one-fifth of the state, which surely will help. (Folks down in Little Dixie will go “Who?”)
A more interesting race, I surmise, will involve the selection of Lankford’s replacement. Tom Guild, the previous Democratic sacrificial lamb, has yet to say anything. Meanwhile, former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth has let it be known that he’s around:
“I have always said, that public service feeds my soul,” Roth said. “The citizens of Oklahoma have given me the honor of serving them in public office, and I look forward to discussing the possibility of serving the citizens of this great state, once again, with my friends and family over the coming days and weeks. I do believe our democracy is best when it includes all people.”
The one possibly worrisome aspect of Roth — when he was on the Corp Comm, he seemed awfully buddy-buddy with Chesapeake’s Aubrey McClendon — may or may not have evaporated with McClendon’s departure from CHK. Still, who among the Republicans can beat him? Maybe another Commissioner:
Edmond businesswoman and Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas said today she will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in the 5th District… “My roots here in Oklahoma’s Fifth District run deep, with connections in communities from Shawnee to Bethany,” said Douglas. “All across the district, conservatives like me believe in the same things: lower taxes, limited government, and protecting our Constitutional freedoms.”
The 5th is very Republican — R+13, last I looked — but a Roth/Douglas matchup might be pretty close, and maybe even entertaining.
Senate Joint Resolution 43, filed by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, would allow voters to create a constitutional amendment creating a unicameral legislature consisting of 48 legislators, effectively dissolving the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Because, you know, he’s not going to jeopardize his job by asking for the Senate to be killed.
Anderson says he wants to save a few bucks, not the worst idea in the world, though it would have been nice if he’d said something about Reynolds v. Sims, in which the Supreme Court decided that legislative houses in the states had to be divided into equal population districts. (Before this 1964 decision, each county would have at least one House member, regardless of population.) In effect, this makes one chamber in each and every bicameral state legislature — all 49 of them — largely irrelevant. Then again, Reynolds was decided three years before Anderson was born, so it’s probably not uppermost in his mind.
Lynn could perhaps be a little happier with the weather, or at least with the predictions thereof:
You know what bugs me most about modern weather forecasting? Not that it’s wrong sometimes but that it is, most of the time, too accurate. Yesterday they said that this morning’s low would be 0°F. It was exactly 0°F when I got up at 6:30 this morning. It is now -2°F. So they were off by 2. So far.
Then again, at 6:30 it was still an hour before sunrise. (At Wiley Post Airport, the nearest NWS reporting station to me, the low on Monday was 3°, which happened around a quarter to eight. Sunrise was 7:40.)
I don’t follow NWS Tulsa very closely, but NWS Norman has a habit of recalculating the predicted high for the day right before noon — and often as not, they were right the first time. Then again, clouds and winds don’t respond to our entreaties, or theirs.
The Capitol Preservation Commission, which receives such applications, has declared a moratorium on such things until a lawsuit over the extant Ten Commandments monument is resolved.
Meanwhile, the Temple, through Indiegogo, hopes to raise $20,000 to cover the costs; at this writing, they’re a little over halfway there.
In this state, at least, you can’t spell “gubernatorial” without “goober”:
Though I hold conservative positions on many issues, I am no fan of Gov. [Mary] Fallin, who is a small-scale version of the all-image, little-substance-and-even-less-ability politician dominating many levels of government today and writ largest at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
But has Mr. [Randy] Brogdon done anything since his 2010 bid for the nomination managed to scare up a whopping 39% of the vote to suggest he can defeat Gov. Fallin, who now wields the mighty mallet of incumbency? No, unless being appointed the Deputy Commissioner of the Fraud and Investigations Unit by Insurance Commissioner John Doak has mystical powers of which I am unaware.
At least you can figure Brogdon is, or has been, well-armed.
Still, Brogdon vs. Fallin is just the primary. (My guess: Brogdon prods her on income-tax relief; Fallin sits there, smiles really pretty and all, crosses her legs, and says that she never promised anyone a rose garden.) Whoever survives that circus gets to face Joe Dorman, whom we’ve already discussed:
[T]echnically, Rep. Dorman, you’re suggesting organs be harvested from living people. That sound you heard was Christian Szell saying, “Ew.”
This particular seat, unlike most in state government, is actually attainable by Democrats; let’s hope they find someone with less amusement potential than Dorman between now and the primary (which is the 24th of June; candidate filing is 9-11 April).
One more 6×9 card in the mail. Collin Walke and his wife have no children, but they do have two dogs. Text on the address side: “Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings of love, joy and peace.” For a minute there, I almost thought he was a Republican, just by dint of mentioning the C-word.
But no: Walke’s a Democrat, running for House District 87, currently represented by Republican Jason Nelson. (See previous edition.) Still a couple of days to go.
This particular manifestation of global warming dumped about ¾ inch of ice over the city, similar or slightly smaller amounts across the rest of the state, and generally made life difficult for as many as possible. As late as Friday noon it looked like an inconvenience, but not much more than that — except for this one Weather Guy who called it Thursday night:
Brace yourself for Epic Ice Storm Impact … tonight’s hi-res model has brought in even colder temperatures and lower dewpoints during this entire winter storm and much farther south and east than before. That’s good news for me because it means my forecast from Monday remains unchanged. It also means you’re about to see everyone else change their forecast at the last minute to follow suit. Either that or they’ll wait one more run (the morning one or wait to see other models come around to the same solution) before going all out balls to the wall. Lets just say everyone better hope tonight’s run is wrong or this will be an epic event roughly along the I-44 corridor.
Ah, the dreaded I-44 corridor. I said this yesterday just before what would have been sunset had we any sun:
I propose we decommission I-44, on the basis that every single farging storm we have seems to line up alongside it. #okwx
— Charles G Hill (@dustbury) December 20, 2013
ODOT: Call me.
Damage report for the palatial estate at Surlywood: one of the twin redbuds was cut almost in half; a couple of questionable fence panels are now essentially horizontal; I had to remove low-hanging bits of mulberry above the driveway to get my car out. Otherwise, not too terribly terrible, and probably less heinous than the horror that was the December ’07 storm.
I can only hope that we won’t see another ice storm of this magnitude for another five or six years!
Next time, say “twelve or fourteen.” Or “fifty.”
In the mail yesterday: cards of a sort from local politicians, complete with obligatory Family Pictures.
Jason Nelson, who currently represents House District 87, sent a 6×9 card with “Merry Christmas” on one side and a Bible verse (Isaiah 9:6) on the other.
John Handy Edwards, who hopes to replace the term-limited Cliff Branan in Senate District 40 in 2015, sent a 6.875×10 card, folded once, with “Happy Holidays” on the outside and “Sending warm wishes from our family to yours this season” within.
More as they arrive, if more arrive.
Why, no, I didn’t mention their party affiliations. Did I need to?
In thirty-five states, the Ford F-150 pickup truck is the single best-selling motor vehicle. This of course means that something actually outsells the F-150 in the remaining states, but I have to admit, I wouldn’t have figured this: Oklahomans buy more Nissan Altimas than anything else.
Then again, maybe I should have. If everybody actually shows up to work, the parking lot will be awash in Nissan products: apart from my Infiniti, you’ll find a Frontier pickup, a Maxima, and two — sometimes three — Altimas. (El Jefe has, or at least had for several years, the massive Armada SUV, and I’ve seen him in a Z.) Only Chevy comes close. I’m guessing this is because none of us, El Jefe included, are getting rich.
Weather in these parts was generally terrible yesterday, and I fled the office an hour and a half early to beat (some of) the desperation traffic. I didn’t realize how terrible it was, though, until I pulled up the Mesonet last night:
When an 80-percent probability seems “slight,” you have definitely had a bad day.
Oh, and it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.
If my car could talk, she might say, along with “You know, these seats of mine can only take so much,” something along the lines of “Yeah, I got insurance. You wanna make something of it?”
Okay, she’s got an attitude. That’s part of why she’s here. And the insurance bill has arrived, so it’s time to go over that stuff again.
Premium is up a not-quite-negligible $20.40 this time around, ten bucks of which goes straight to bodily-injury liability, with half of the rest going to property-damage liability. Uninsured motorist coverage remains unchanged; it also remains the single priciest item on the bill. We shall see if the new state law allowing troopers to confiscate the license plates of uninsured motorists — and, even more fun, providing temporary liability coverage to those motorists at a price yet undetermined to be added to their fines and fees — does anything to address that matter.
The number of health insurance policies canceled in Oklahoma as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been minimized due to the efforts of Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak.
“Here in Oklahoma, my office has always focused on the consumer,” said Doak. “We recognized the possibility of cancellations early on and worked with the state’s largest health insurance companies to lessen the consumer impact. That collaboration led to our approval of their requests to modify policy renewal dates, which allowed a majority of Oklahoma policyholders to keep their existing coverage through 2014.”
Technically, this does not extend their existing coverage, but does permit renewals at some figure resembling the previous premium.
Doak, of course, is not impressed by the administration’s shenaniganza:
“After yet another failed initiative, President Obama is just passing the buck,” said Doak. “How can the federal government make this decision without offering any guidance to the state insurance departments or the insurance carriers? Cancellation notices have already gone out. Rates and plans have already been approved. How is this supposed to work? There are a lot of unanswered questions right now. This is what you get when you pass a bill you haven’t read.”
This is consistent with the NAIC statement earlier yesterday. Very consistent.
Real-estate site Movoto.com has rated America’s Small Cities — by “small” they apparently mean “just under 60,000 population” — and based on their criteria, Moore, Oklahoma slides just into the Top Ten:
While the 57,810 residents of Moore have to contend with tornadoes, the people who live in this Oklahoma City, OK suburb also have to be a bit more concerned with crime. That’s because the city has the only above average crime rate in our top 10 at 45 percent above the national average. Fortunately, some other factors help even things out.
For one, the cost of living in Moore is 10 points below the national average, and the median household income, at $55,710, is 5.6 percent above. The median home price is 37 percent below average at 128,000 but there are 169 residents per home for sale.
A real positive standout for Moore is its unemployment rate, which at 4.3 percent is an impressive 40 percent below the national average.
The only other city in Oklahoma meeting their population criterion was Midwest City, which is tied for thirty-first out of 50. At the very top of the rankings is Rowlett, Texas, in a far corner of Dallas County. (The eastern edge slides over into Rockwall County.) Rock bottom: Ocala, Florida.
Both the Taylor and Bartlett campaigns have spent piles of money pushing their preferred memes — positive memes about their own candidates and negative memes about the opposition. Because I wish they could both lose on Tuesday, I’ve spent my limited blogging time during this campaign trying to debunk the nonsense from each side. No, Kathy Taylor did not bring us to the brink of bankruptcy, and Dewey Bartlett Jr didn’t rescue us from bankruptcy. Dewey has been as big a spender as Kathy. You can’t push all the blame for the trash mess onto Bartlett Jr; Taylor deserves a big share of the blame, too. Neither candidate is visionary or competent or bold. Both backed the Great Plains Airlines bailout. Both have had problems working respectfully with those who disagree with them, particularly their fellow elected officials.
Tulsa voters have made a mess. Maybe if their noses are rubbed in it they won’t do it again.
I hear it’s really nice in Bixby these days.
There are times when I fear for the sanity of the 149 members of the legislature, some more than others:
Ordinarily, if one wants a dumb legislative idea regarding crime and punishment in my fair state, one must rely on the Grand Old Party. They’ve got a flap-brained contingent that’s always willing to take a look at doing something to criminals that makes Theodoric of York, medieval judge, say, “Dial it down a bit, eh?”
But we are bi-partisan in our silliness, and comes now the latest proof, state representative Joe Dorman of Rush Springs, home of the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival. Rep. Dorman, one of the few Democrats surviving in state government these days, wants to introduce legislation that will allow death row inmates to donate their organs when their sentences are carried out.
Well, actually, this depends on what the meaning of the word “when” is:
[C]urrent acceptable methods of execution wreck several of the body’s major organs at once and degrade their viability for transfer. That’s where Rep. Dorman borrows from [Larry] Niven, as instead of being killed by lethal injection an inmate being executed would instead be anesthetized and the needed pieces removed before brain death occurred. So technically, Rep. Dorman, you’re suggesting organs be harvested from living people. That sound you heard was Christian Szell saying, “Ew.”
I’d suggest harvesting organs from legislators, but that brain-death issue would still be a factor.
The Oklahoman reported Saturday [behind paywall] that as of the 18th, at least 74, but not more than 82, residents of Oklahoma had managed to sign up for some sort of health insurance through healthcare.gov. (The uncertainty, said Mike Rhoads, John Doak’s deputy at the Insurance Department, was due to the fact that two of the five providers were giving out ranges instead of exact numbers.)
The numbers, incidentally, were not obtained from the Feds; OID simply contacted the actual providers and asked them.
[A]t the end of the day, when you take out the drug killings, gang killings, alcohol-related killings and home invasion killings, for a city of almost 400,000 people, our homicide rate is one of the lowest in the nation.
Marion Barry called, and he wants his assessment back:
Outside of the killings, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
(Via Michael Bates’ Facebook page.)
Welcome to Carlton Landing, Oklahoma, population 56:
[Monday] the Board of County Commissioners of Pittsburg County presented Grant Humphreys, Town Founder of Carlton Landing, with an Order of Incorporation to officially create the Town of Carlton Landing. This follows the October 8th public vote where the residents of Carlton Landing voted to become a new municipality.
The new lakefront community was designed by Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk, the Miami based urban design firm responsible for destination communities such as Seaside and Rosemary Beach, Florida. The property includes 1,650 acres of rolling wooded landscape surrounded by miles of undeveloped natural shoreline on Lake Eufaula, the largest lake in Oklahoma and the 10th largest manmade lake in the country. With direct highway access, Carlton Landing is located in convenient proximity to the Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Dallas/Ft. Worth metro areas.
This is some definition of “proximity” I must have missed, since it’s 90 miles from Tulsa and even farther from OKC and DFW.
Still, the place has its by-the-book charms:
In many ways, Carlton Landing is unlike any other community in this part of the country. As a master planned community, Carlton Landing offers a walkable mixed-use urban environment on Lake Eufaula. Designed according to the tenets of “New Urbanism”, Carlton Landing is a walkable community designed at a human scale with a mixture of home types, sizes and price points all located within a short walk from the Town Center, where residents and guests can enjoy goods, services, dining and entertainment. “For the past 70 years, we’ve seen an urban development model that isolates people and fails to respect the environment,” says Humphreys. Carlton Landing sets a new standard for sustainable community development which shows how a new town can bring people back together while conserving our environment and proving to be financially sustainable.”
I have learned, however, not to argue with Grant Humphreys; if anyone can make this work, he can.
Top story in the Sunday Oklahoman was the disclosure that one county commissioner and the county assessor owned certain properties that were exempt from property tax, inasmuch as those properties were leased to qualifying nonprofits. Somewhere down in the guts of the article, you could find that yes, this is legal: exemptions are not based on who owns the property, but the use made of it. Scandal-mongering? Someone up the line thought so, and the paper was contrite this morning:
From the publisher …
We have published The Oklahoman 365 days per year for 110 years. Thousands of elements and hundreds of employees come together to bring you news stories, photos, graphics, sports scores, obituaries, advertising and more.
Many judgment calls go into this daily equation, and we are hopeful that more often than not our judgment is sound. But it wasn’t Sunday morning when we gave front-page billing to the story about two elected officials and tax exemptions for property owners who lease to nonprofit entities.
As reported in the story, Oklahoma County Assessor Leonard Sullivan and County Commissioner Ray Vaughn did not violate any laws; the referenced exemptions are legal, and their actions were not particularly newsworthy. Our placement on the first page of Sunday’s edition did not comport with the worthiness of the story and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
This was a poor decision on our part and it is our responsibility to our community, and ourselves, to say so. We are mindful of the Purpose Statement below which we publish every day and intend to live by.
Commissioner Vaughn and Assessor Sullivan have been gracious about the article and have our apologies.
When I read the piece Sunday afternoon, I had exactly one reaction: “Big deal.” Then again, one does not expect much from the Sunday front page.
And this was the link; the article has since been plunked into the memory hole.
I get enough traffic on this page to persuade me that there is lingering interest in that brief period (1964-1980) when there were competing newspapers in this town.
OKCTalk has been working with the Atkinson Heritage Center and Rose State College to publish their entire library of old Oklahoma Journal newspapers. The center and college are the repository of these archives.
So far, they’ve digitized six days a week (no Sundays yet) starting with the first of October ’64, which was Volume 1, Number 41. The PDFs are not, of course, as clean as the Oklahoman’s current Print Replica, which is a model for the way these things should be done, but then nobody in 1964 was thinking that far ahead.