Suck will be embraced

Michael Bates has made his official disendorsement for Mayor of Tulsa:

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.

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Now there’s a defense

Terry Simonson, on the local crime rate, in Urban Tulsa Weekly:

[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.)

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Commemorating evil

Tulsa, says Michael Bates, is planning to rename Brady Street and the associated Brady District to something else starting with a B — why not “Bates”? — because of Tate Brady’s involvement with, among other things, the Ku Klux Klan. Certainly no one wants to honor those dumb Klux, but Bates says that the measure doesn’t go far enough to clean up the city map:

Rather than handle these renamings piecemeal, with the potential of a new renaming (and a four-hour long public hearing) at every week’s City Council meeting, the City Council should appoint a diverse commission of historically minded citizens to research the histories of all names under the control of the City of Tulsa and its boards and commissions.

This commission — perhaps to be called the Commission for the Sanitation of Politically Incorrect Names (C-SPIN) — would report back with a comprehensive recommendation to rename certain streets, an estimate of the cost to rename, and a revenue proposal (sales tax or general obligation bond issue) for funding the recommended renamings, including city expenses like street signage and grants to affected businesses and residents to cover signage, business cards, letterhead, and other street renaming expenses.

The commission would have to consider whether a person’s misdeeds rises to the level of deserving the removal of his or her name from a public place. They might wish to set criteria that would be applied consistently to decide thumbs up or down.

A commission like this would strike fear into the hearts of Oklahoma City historians, who have for years been sitting on stories like that one time Harvey Everest kicked a cat, or that Delos Walker actually sat on the school board, and we all know about school boards, don’t we?

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And here’s MacGyver with the seven-day

You might think that TV weather guys are utterly helpless in the absence of those fancy computer displays.

Not necessarily:

Imagine if he’d had some duct tape.

(Via TV Spy.)

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Don’t even fly over

Tulsa, says Self magazine, is the single most unhealthy city for women in the entire country, and at first I thought it might be the disproportionate number of douchebags roaming Brookside, but no: “Poor habits, high disease risk and life expectancy is falling,” they say. (OKC finished tenth, not that I’m inclined to brag.)

Methodology, so to speak:

We polled a panel of experts to find out which factors most affect a woman’s ability to live her healthiest. The panel considered 58 criteria, including rates of disease such as cancer and depression; factors that affect access to health care, such as the percentage of women covered by insurance; environmental and community measures, such as air quality and crime rates; and the prevalence of habits such as exercise, good diet and smoking. Bert Sperling of Portland, Oregon, founder of BestPlaces.net, helped us gather the most recent and authoritative data for 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan statistical areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Numbers are age-adjusted where applicable and women-specific where available. We used the panel’s input to weigh each criterion, and Sperling helped us crunch the numbers.

One of their data sources is the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, which I suspect just might skew their definition of “health care,” but hey, nobody asked me. All such lists, no matter what the criteria or the cultural/political angle, are inevitably slanted toward the direction the “researchers” want them to be: “We want to say X, so we need numbers that add up to Y.”

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Tea for one

Jennifer ZeppelinThe Lost Ogle has a nice little story about KTUL (Tulsa) meteorologist Jennifer Zeppelin, who is filling in at KOCO (Oklahoma City) in the wake of Rick Mitchell’s departure for DFW, until such time as a permanent Enigmatic Weather God can be persuaded to take the slot. (Patrick, who wrote the piece, did actually say “weather deities,” and in this town, as much as in any other and perhaps more than most, the phrase makes sense.)

Of course, to yours truly the real surprise is that someone is actually named Jennifer Zeppelin, and that I was not aware of her existence, despite the fact that she’s been in the biz since 1988. And that’s her real name, too. (She married a guy named Jim Berscheidt, and I suspect there was never any question of her continuing to use her maiden name.) Once again, I am indebted to TLO.

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When a guy’s trying hard to steal signs in your yard

That’s amore politics as usual:

[P]olice Sunday morning arrested a man accused of taking “Dean Martin for County Clerk” signs off of private property. Lee Belmonte, 58, of Bixby, was arrested just before 8 a.m. and booked into the Tulsa Jail on a complaint of knowingly concealing stolen property. He was released Sunday afternoon after posting $1,500 bond.

Pat Key, Martin’s opponent in Tuesday’s Republican Party runoff for Tulsa County clerk, described Belmonte as a volunteer on her campaign. “I did not authorize or instruct him to take down signs,” Key said Sunday.

How did they catch the guy?

Frustrated by weeks of seeing Dean Martin signs disappear — and nearly catching someone in the act last week — Jared Martin [Dean's son] said he got to thinking.

“I was like, you know what, I am just going to get a tracking device,” Jared Martin said. “So I bought this dog-tag tracking device. It was about $100.”

That was Friday. Martin said he used duct tape to attach it to a sign and placed it in a yard he knew had signs taken from it before.

Bingo.

(Via Mike McCarville.)

Update: The Martin campaign sent me a notification to the effect that they were requesting a recount, having lost by a mere 179 votes.

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Well, malsomething, anyway

Deadpan (I think) news story from KOTV:

Issues with a known global malware virus are keeping some citizens from accessing Tulsa County websites.

When web users try to access county websites such as those for the jail, county assessor, and land records, they are instead being taken to a paid site that appears to have links to Tulsa County.

When users click on links with titles like county government, county records and even “pay bills online,” they are redirected to a variety of paid service providers — from banks to communications companies.

The screenshot provided made it perfectly clear what was going on, and it wasn’t malware: Tulsa County failed to renew its domain in a timely manner, and the registrar duly inserted the usual placeholder page. Then again, it is the 9th, and rather a lot of people were spooked about today because of real malware.

(Spotted by a programmer I know well.)

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Pleasantville in color

One of about half a dozen things Chelsea in Tulsa finds unappealing about her home town:

If a nuclear holocaust occurred and archaeologists one hundred years from now were looking for the most pristine example of an all-American suburb, Tulsa between 111th and 71st street would be the perfect subject. The brick and stucco houses, retention ponds, and Bradford Pear trees … the Applebee’s, Arby’s, and Outbacks … the Walmarts, Targets, and oh, the QuikTrips! It’s like a perfect replica of the kind of neighborhoods the creators of The Sims wanted you to create. South Tulsa is my home turf and I haven’t turned into a weird downtown snob or anything, but honestly, a couple Mom n’ Pop establishments in the area wouldn’t hurt a thing.

Forget it. Mom and Pop moved out to Owasso first chance they got.

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Box, sweet box

A Tulsa-area couple is building their new home out of, among other things, old cargo containers:

Their two-story, 2,650-square-foot house will be constructed from almost entirely recycled materials, including five shipping containers — two on bottom and three on top, built upon a 40-by-40-foot slab facing southwest.

They are, of course, blogging the construction. Last week, the second container arrived on site:

The shipping list from its last voyage is still attached to the door. It hauled furniture, 22 chocolate brown sofas, 16 love-seats, 9 chairs, and 6 ottomans, to be exact. That’s more furniture than we will probably have in all five of our containers!

They’re hoping to have the housewarming, or at least the first-story-warming, in December.

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Muskogee on the Hudson

Okay, that’s not happening. However, I do remember this aside from a 2009 thread:

I’m thinking eventually it will all be on the Tulsa grid anyway; several years ago on Route 66, just outside of Bristow, I caught a sign for South 545th West Avenue.

Tulsa, schmulsa. What if it were on the New York City grid? ExtendNY.com calculates the correct Manhattan address, or at least the correct cross streets, for any spot on the globe.

I had no problem locating the palatial estate at Surlywood on 6,915th Avenue, though I wondered how they’d count the east-west streets, since they don’t exist in Manhattan anywhere south of Houston Street. To take care of this little problem, they simply declared South 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on, so there are no missing spots in the grid. You’ll find me on South 16,071st Street.

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Drink different

The city of Tulsa is contemplating, presumably for cost reasons, adopting the use of chloramine as a secondary disinfectant for the water system: it’s effective against microbial contamination, but unpleasant side effects might be waiting in the wings, and Michael Bates, generally the least-alarmist person in the state, says that “there may be reason to worry.”

One of the nastier by-products of chloramine use is n-nitrosodimethylamine, usually abbreviated to NDMA, which can play hell with one’s liver. The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has published some suitably scary information, with the admission that “the levels of NDMA in air, water, or food that result in health effects in people are unknown.” The EPA has no official standard for NDMA in water supplies, though they recommend lakes and streams be kept to below 0.00069 ppb, a distinctly tiny amount, because fish don’t function well in it.

Since Oklahoma City uses chloramine, I checked the current water-quality report [pdf], which states that current chloramine levels run about 10-12 percent below EPA’s Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level. Wikipedia reports that a California study found minimal, if nonzero, concentrations of NDMA in water systems using chloramine.

My thinking: Caution is indeed advisable. On the other hand, frying bacon can produce NDMA, and nobody’s giving that up. If there’s any good news here, it’s that NDMA has no particular tendency to accumulate in one’s body.

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What’s the matter with Tulsa?

About preserving the status quo in America’s Most Dutiful City.

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Dewey believe this?

The Man of the West, on Dewey Bartlett Jr.’s promise to end the ongoing fractiousness in Tulsa city government:

That may sound innocent enough in other cities, but in Tulsa, that sort of thing has a very definite meaning. It means that you have every intention of treating any and every politician or person who will not kowtow to a group some of us refer to as “Midtown Elitists” as errant stepchildren. It means that you will be a tool of the Midtown Elitists.

That’s what he ran on, and Tulsa, apparently not knowing what it means for a local Republican to promise to stop the bickering, elected his sorry ***.

District 7 Councilman John Eagleton, it appears, has basically given up on Bartlett, and is now circulating a petition to have the Attorney General investigate Bartlett’s actions. (Michael Bates has background.) This is one of those times when I’m grateful for our uninteresting — though lately not as uninteresting as usual — Oklahoma City politics.

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We want to be like Mick

You can tell things are getting bad in Tulsa when a Tulsa World columnist actually calls for Oklahoma City to be running things:

What we need to outsource is City Hall.

How much do you think Oklahoma City would charge us to take over governing Tulsa?

I don’t know. How much did Heracles get for beheading the Hydra? It’s a comparable task, and it’s probably easier than rerouting the Arkansas River through 2nd and Cincinnati. And I’m pretty sure OKC Mayor Mick Cornett isn’t champing at the bit to take over.

Actually, Tulsa is contemplating some charter changes, one of which might be the adoption of a council/manager form of government similar to Oklahoma City’s, which is occasionally slow and cumbersome but once in a while manages to do the Right Thing. With Tulsa’s existing strong-mayor system, you have to hope that you elected someone up to the task, which too often you didn’t, which explains why America’s Most Beautiful City (Time, 1950s) has basically turned into the White Detroit.

The ultimate solution may be to dissolve the government entirely and let Jenks annex the city. At least they seem to know how to run things.

It’s either that or turn it over to Charlie Sheen.

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Applied subtlety

Advice from Michael Bates to the Lingerie Football League:

If you do locate here, don’t even think about the possibility of a palindromic team name.

And by “here,” he means “Tulsa.”

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A faint whiff of rodent

The city of Tulsa is suing the state of Oklahoma over this year’s House Bill 2359, which gives the Oklahoma Tax Commission the exclusive right to collect sales and use tax in the state.

We’ll jump right to the punchline:

State lawmakers passed HB 2359 on the final day of this year’s session, but before the governor signed it into law, the city of Tulsa had signed a contract with an Alabama firm to handle the collections.

To quote a NewsOK commenter on this story: “Wonder which politician is related to the owner(s) of that private firm…”

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The heat is on, and then some

How hot is it? Nate caught this with his iPhone in Tulsa:

205 degrees

(Original here.)

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Fashion clippings

Who knew? “The further south you drive in Tulsa, the more layers of clothing people wear to mow their lawns.”

Apparently you have to get all the way down to 31st just to find people wearing shirts.

I don’t live in Tulsa, so I can’t really map myself onto this grid, though there have been times I’ve been worthy of 61st or so and times I’ve been way the hell out in Owasso, IYKWIMAITYD.

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Examples set

Michael Bates goes through the Tulsa water-use statistics, and turns up one example of pure comedy gold:

On average, the six board members of Sustainable Tulsa use 173,167 gals/yr, a bit more than twice the average for a single-family home.

Big Saint Al wouldn’t have had it any other way.

(Disclosure: I use around 25,000 gallons a year.)

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