Archive for City Scene

And all will be fulfilled

AP wire, late May:

Amazon.com announced plans to open its first fulfillment center in Oklahoma, creating more than 1,500 full-time jobs by the end of 2019. The more than 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will be located in Oklahoma City.

“We’re excited to open our first fulfillment center in Oklahoma and in a city with an outstanding workforce and a commitment to providing great opportunities for employment,” said Mark Stewart, Amazon’s Vice President of North America Customer Fulfillment. “Amazon is committed to creating a positive economic impact in Oklahoma City and enhancing the customer experience throughout the region.”

Oklahoma City building permits, The Oklahoman, 7 July:

Seefried Industrial Properties, 9201 S Portland Ave., office-warehouse, (Amazon), erect, $150,000,000.

A sensible place for Amazon, a mile and a half southeast of Will Rogers World Airport and a quarter-mile west of Interstate 44, just inside Cleveland County. The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust has already approved $1.7 million worth of tax incentives for Amazon, in exchange for job creation and capital investment at the facility. There eventually will be about 1500 jobs for actual humans at the plant, and God knows how many robots.

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Where a need was seen

Saturday’s Oklahoman generally contains a list of Oklahoma City building permits, and this one was on top yesterday: Positive Tomorrows, 901 N Villa Ave., school, erect, $8,000,000.

This is not what you’d call an up-and-coming neighborhood:

Bing map of NW 8th and Villa, Oklahoma City

Then again, this is exactly where they need to be:

As Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically for homeless children, we give kids stability and a quality education while their parents get the support they need to create a better life. For over 25 years, we have filled our scrapbooks with countless success stories, but the need continues. Together we can break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

The new school doubles the available space, though there’s no possible way they can accommodate more than a tiny fraction of the estimated 4,000 homeless kids in the area.

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The wild, wild northwest

Prompted by Chuck Pergiel, I tried this out myself:

Copernix.io view of near-northwest Oklahoma City

Copernix tells you about the most interesting places around using info from Wikipedia.

This is their idea of near-northwest OKC, and while some of it is fairly inarguable, “Uptown Oklahoma City,” which lies largely along NW 23rd Street east of Classen (and of “The” Classen), is nowhere near where Copernix (and presumably Wikipedia) says it is.

The northwestern-most point of this map is roughly at NW 60th and May.

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Shooter now inactive

It started something like this:

Shortly thereafter:

Zach Nash of the city’s public-information office passed this around:

There is no longer an active threat following a shooting this evening near Lake Hefner. Avoid the area of Britton Road and the Lake Hefner Parkway.

A family reunification center has been opened at the Lighthouse Center, 3333 W Hefner Road.

The media will be briefed as soon as possible at a news conference to be held on the east side of the freeway near Britton Road.

The only confirmed fatality is the suspect. He was apparently shot to death by an armed citizen. Three citizens were injured, two of whom were shot. A large number of witnesses are detained.

Um, thank you, good guy with a gun. (Who, says a local news guy, had a concealed-carry permit.)

Update: CNN’s take on the story.

Updae again: They’re saying the two victims — there may be a third — were females, which somehow makes this look just a tad less random.

Further update: An Oklahoman reporter tweeted this Friday:

Sounds like some legislators in this state.

The Gayly interviewed Tilghman back in January. Guy was a total nutbag.

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Having gone around

Why, look, it’s coming around again:

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. has struck an agreement to acquire lease rights to Oklahoma City’s Frontier City and White Water Bay, the Texas company said Tuesday.

Frontier City and White Water Bay, as well as the three other out-of-state parks acquired by Six Flags, are operated by Premier Parks LLC of Oklahoma City. The deal returns the two local parks to Six Flags, which controlled them more than a decade ago.

Backstory:

In 1989, two amusement industry executives started Premier Parks in Oklahoma City with the acquisition of Frontier City, followed by White Water Bay in 1991. The success of those parks ignited Premier Parks’ growth and led to the acquisition of Six Flags Theme Parks in 1998.

Child devours parent.

In 2007, Florida-based CNL Income Properties Inc. bought the two Oklahoma City parks and five others from former owners Six Flags Inc. for $312 million.

Six Flags itself went up for sale in 2005; at the time, the largest single shareholder was Red Zone LLC, owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Regrets (I’ve Had A Few) Dept.: I have never actually been to White Water Bay. Officially, this is because I am a mediocre swimmer at best. Back in the early 1990s, I admitted to someone that I thought swimsuits were silly.

She gave me a “You didn’t know?” look. WWB, she said, had one late-night session each summer in which swimsuits were deemed, um, unnecessary. I never did find out for sure.

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As another closes

I’ve never met Caleb or Jessica Hill, and I have no reason to think they’re at all related to me. But by some weird bit of cosmic timing, I got to see their names twice in the paper this weekend, under the same heading: Land Sales.

First:

Whitney Fisher and Randell C. Fisher from Caleb and Jessica Hill, 3308 Oak Hollow Road, $740,000.

Quail Creek Golf and Country Club is sort of a horseshoe shape, open at the east end; this house sits on half an acre close to the middle of that open end. It was built in 1966, and this is still considered one of the better northside neighborhoods; the Hills arrived in 2012 for just about half the price they got for the sale. Nice return if you can get it.

But maybe they don’t need the space as much as they did. Here’s the second listing:

Caleb Hill and Jessica Hill from Traci D. and Jeff D. Turley, 6116 NE 105, $465,000.

Never been out to Oakdale Valley, where this home is located; I know from Oakdale School, a highly regarded PreK-8 school in its own little district, but there’s not a whole lot out there nearby. Then again, 73151, at the far northeast of the OKC ZIP code map — cross Hefner Road, three blocks to the north, and your mail goes to Edmond — might be the wealthiest ZIP in the entire range. This house sits on a smaller lot (0.31 acre, barely bigger than mine), and is smaller than where Caleb and Jessica used to live. Let’s see what Trulia had to say about it while it was on the market:

Entering through the double doors into the spacious entryway and dining area you will feel right at home. The living area is charming with a cathedral ceiling, floor to ceiling stone fireplace and windows that light up the room. You will enjoy cooking in the kitchen with a gas cooktop, ample counter space, and lighted custom cabinets. Wind down after a long day in the master suite, Jacuzzi tub or a steamy shower. Each of the 3 large additional bedrooms have bathroom access and are on the other side of the house. The upstairs bonus room is the place to be for fun and entertainment. The view on the patio is just beautiful. Exquisite landscaping designed by Oakleys. Oakdale Valley is a fantastic neighborhood that offers a gated entrance, community pool, clubhouse with exercise facility, greenbelts, fishing, rolling hills and acres of trees.

And, five will get you ten, a Homeowners’ Association. (Addendum: I got my ten.) I have to wonder if “gated entrance” was a major factor in the buying decision.

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Bomb bursting in air

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a place like no other; no one who has seen it — around 300,000 visitors a year — has been unchanged by it.

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Around the corner

If for some reason you’ve always wanted to live by me, this home will put you on the next block:

4708 North Miller Avenue, Oklahoma City

Built in 1947, this house has three bedrooms, two baths, and about 1881 square feet of living space. They’re asking $189,900.

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I read about blue and green

Big Blue, of course, is the city’s standard trash bin, picked up once a week. Until recently, there existed a Little Blue, a curbside box for recyclables. This never really caught on, and so a green bin, slightly smaller than the blue one, is being distributed to city homes, and which will be picked up every other week starting in the summer. I got my Green Monster today; since it will be some time in July before they start picking up recyclables, I think I’m going to see how many pizza boxes (cardboard, y’know) it takes to fill the bin.

The horror story at okc.gov: https://www.okc.gov/departments/utilities/recycling.

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Welcome to the jungle

It starts in your back yard:

The boy reports he was sitting on the patio last night smoking his cancer sticks and minding his business. He looked up and there stood a large red fox staring at him, about 10 feet away. The boy jumped and the fox did too, both thinking “What is he doing here?”

Okay, maybe not in your back yard, but almost certainly nearby:

You might not think this so very strange, the ‘burbs are populated by wildlife — coyotes, coons, opossums, deer, chipmunks, and such. The neighbors reported a fox a few times last fall. What is unusual is that my backyard is surrounded by a 6’ tall privacy fence. The boy said he wondered how the beast got in, only to get his question answered. He watched the fox turn and with a quick burst of speed the fox jumped the fence easily.

Chipmunks may not seem like much of a threat, unless you’re maintaining a bird feeder. Deer, however, have treated friends’ gardens like their own personal salad bars.

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On offer in Middle-Earth

From this weekend’s Oklahoman real-estate section:

Houses on Endor Court in P. B. Odom III's Rivendell addition in south Oklahoma City

This cul-de-sac ends the 12900 block (I think) of Endor Court in the nearly thirty-year-old Rivendell Addition on the city’s south side.

A map of the area shows very clearly that one does not simply drive into Rivendell:

Map of Rivendell addition in south Oklahoma City

A long-standing city policy in action: as long as you keep the east-west streets consistent with the city grid, so the fire department can find you, we don’t much care what you call the north-south (or whatever) streets.

Future expansion might reach as far as 134th.

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Just around the corner

NextDoor dropped this little zinger into my threads:

100 homes in your neighborhood

I need hardly point out that I live a lot closer to 33rd Street than to that snazzy Gaillardia-area manse.

And these two houses are a good twelve miles apart, a half-hour drive if traffic is unfavorable, which it usually is.

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Turn here, or somewhere

Not geared toward the tourists, anyway:

I wasn’t here when the townships of Oklahoma City and South Oklahoma were merged, way back in 1890, but the ironclad grid we have today wasn’t quite so griddy back then:

One of the most compelling shots is from Day Three — the 24th of April, 1889, two days after the Land Run — showing rows of tents (there were no permanent structures yet) seemingly knocked out of position along the sides of the rudimentary street. This was a legal matter: two different townsite companies were platting the place, and their survey lines didn’t quite match. For decades thereafter, north-south streets downtown had a noticeable “jog” at Clarke Street, later Grand Avenue, now Sheridan Avenue.

Which says something, since the nearest section-line road is Reno, two blocks south. Six miles north of it, at Wilshire Boulevard, there are jogs even today. Six miles south is the Cleveland County line.

(Via Dustin Akers, who used to live in these parts.)

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A mayor to be named later

“It’s been pretty steady,” said an official at the precinct when I arrived to cast my ballot for Mayor of Oklahoma City. The place was empty at the time, so it must have been steadily slow. Ballot #169 went into the box at almost precisely 5 pm. I’ve seen worse, but not much worse.

(For those keeping score: we use paper ballots, optically scanned. I don’t think anyone in this town would prefer that fancy computerized stuff.)

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Promised once more

From November 2006, a revelation from Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman:

NW 50th from Pennsylvania to May, one of the more wretched stretches of pavement in this town, will be scraped off and resurfaced in 2007.

Which it was. But it didn’t last:

Sixteen critical street resurfacing projects are the first projects to be funded by the MAPS for streets sales tax extension approved by voters in September.

In a nod to politics, the initial list contains two projects in each of the city’s eight city council wards.

And sure enough, right here in Ward 2: “NW 50 from N May Avenue to N Pennsylvania Avenue.” It’s not quite as bad as it was a decade ago, but it’s legitimately terrible. (The other one, 36th from Western to Penn, is also pretty dire.)

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Twice in a millennium

A 500-year rain, by definition, has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year; it does not mean that occurrences are 500 years apart. How much water would that take? From the Sunday Oklahoman:

For Oklahoma City, the following rainfall amounts would be considered 500-year rainfall events, according to Gary McManus, state climatologist, who referenced a report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey:

  • 2.6 inches of rain in 15 minutes.
  • 3.7 inches of rain in 30 minutes.
  • 5.2 inches of rain in one hour.
  • 6.8 inches of rain in two hours.
  • 7.6 inches of rain in three hours.
  • 8.4 inches of rain in six hours.
  • 9.6 inches of rain in 12 hours.
  • 12.5 inches of rain in 24 hours.
  • 14.8 inches of rain in three days.
  • 15.5 inches of rain in seven days.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the first three of these, and maybe more, during the 40+ years I’ve lived here. Example:

11.26 inches recorded on 6-14-2010 at a station 6.1 miles north of downtown Oklahoma City.

That’s almost certainly the OKC North Mesonet station. The “official” total for that day was 7.62 inches at Will Rogers World Airport, where the National Weather Service takes readings.

Yours truly reported at 8:53 am that day:

I think we can kiss that record goodbye. One of the Mesonet stations in town has already made it up to 8, the others aren’t far behind, and it’s still raining. The office ranges from 0.5 to 4.5 inches of water inside. Jesus Christ could walk through the parking lot, but He’s just about the only one.

On the upside, this served as a test for my new $10,000 roof, installed a few days before.

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Where it all goes (’17)

Every year about this time, Butch Freeman, the County Treasurer, dispatches the property-tax bill, and this year it varies hardly a whit from last year or the year before. As is the custom in these parts, a breakdown of where everything is spent accompanies the bill (last year’s numbers in [brackets]):

  • City of Oklahoma City: $123.21 [$120.39]
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools: $479.27 [$482.54]
  • Metro Tech Center: $124.74 [$125.29]
  • Oklahoma County general: $91.64 [$96.57]
  • Countywide school levy: $33.43 [$33.65]
  • City/County Health Department: $20.91 [$21.05]
  • Metropolitan Library System: $41.98 [$42.27]
  • Total: $915.19 [$922.07]

Somewhere this got rounded up by a penny. This year’s millage is 113.35, down a pittance from last year’s 113.43. (Record millage: 117.58, 2011.) The actual value of the palatial estate at Surlywood, per the Assessor, is within a Benjamin or two of a hundred grand.

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For me and my gallons

When I got home yesterday, a 4×6 card was stuck in the doorway, bearing the official OKC seal and the following notice in LARGE PRINT:

IMPORTANT
UTILITY NOTICE
READ OTHER SIDE

Well, yeah, since there wasn’t much of anything else on that side.

What was going down:

A field representative from the Oklahoma City Utilities Department changed out the water meter at this address today. The meter was changed out as part of the City’s standard preventative maintenance program.

Hmmm. I’ve been here for a few days short of 14 years. How long does a water meter typically last, anyway? An Australian government site says “about ten years.” So maybe this one was due.

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Braum’s backs down

Braum’s Inc., operator of about 300 ice cream and dairy plus neighborhood markets in this part of the world, came up with the notion of scraping off a semi-historic building along the old Classen Circle and replacing it with #301. I thought this was a bad idea:

I think potential customers will pass it by, mainly because access is difficult: if you miss it the first time, you’re going to have to loop for more than half a mile, or you’re going to end up on Interstate 44. I can’t imagine a local firm not knowing these issues, so I suspect this is someone at Braum’s HQ who is shocked — shocked! — that there is drinking going on in those establishments.

Braum’s has now withdrawn its proposal for the new store. Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid reports:

Braums has withdrawn its application. Thanks to all those who resisted and fought for what is unique and special in OKC. This is what brings us together as a community and makes our city great. Thanks also to Braums for making the socially responsible decision. Almost no one thought it probable that the protesters would win (including myself); let’s all remember that as we look to other ways to improve our lives and city. Thanks to Pete Brzycki and okctalk.com for originally discovering [the] plan through open records request and giving us a chance. Next step is to find a buyer for the properties (one has publicly offered) and restore the properties. Now my kids and I can eat frozen yogurt at Braums again!

Brzycki has long been an astute observer of the scene, even during the period when he didn’t live here.

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Turning up for turnout

There is, I decided, not a whole lot of emotional gratification in the absentee ballot; mostly, it reminds me that I am old and infirm. And frankly, passing in front of a mirror tells me that every stinking day.

So I betook myself to the actual polling place and hiked (well, with the walker) about 50 feet uphill. A guy in a Cox truck stared at me in disbelief. “Where’d you park?”

I pointed to my car, six spaces away.

“You want me to move your car up here?” “Up here” was along the side of the building, adjacent to the one officially marked handicap space.

“I’ll be all right,” I said.

He nodded — this is not something anyone wants to argue about — and grabbed the door for me.

And at about 5:03 pm, I started on the three pages of ballot. I’d pretty much made up my mind beforehand, so I really didn’t need to read all that legal verbiage. And the machine responded with 1024, 1025 and 1026; assuming everyone filled out all three pages — there’s no reason to assume otherwise, since there’s one poll worker dedicated to the task of handing you all three of them — I was the 324th voter.

Incidentally, the person in front of me was a long-legged young woman in a short leg cast; as I was leaving, a gentleman about my age arrived in a wheelchair. Had I had any doubts about what I was doing, I would have felt vindicated right about then.

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On the ballot tomorrow

They’re asking for a whole lot of money, as usual:

  • Ordinance No. 25,750: A new quarter-cent sales tax, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Ordinance No. 25,751: A temporary, 1-cent sales tax to begin Jan. 1, 2018, and expiring April 1, 2020, to fund capital improvement projects.
  • Proposition 1: A $490.56 million bond issue for street construction and repair projects.
  • Proposition 2: A $26.795 million bond issue for bridge construction, repair and rehabilitation projects.
  • Proposition 3: A $27.585 million bond issue for the construction, repair and maintenance of traffic control equipment.
  • Proposition 4: A $60 million bond issue for economic and community development, including job creation programs.
  • Proposition 5: A $137.72 million bond issue for construction, expansion and improvement of city parks.
  • Proposition 6: A $23.91 million bond issue for the construction of a new library and remodeling, equipping and improvements at existing libraries.
  • Proposition 7: A $20.185 million bond issue for renovations, furnishings and improvements at buildings in the Civic Center Complex.
  • Proposition 8: A $20.395 million bond issue for upgrades to the city’s transit system, including the purchase of buses and improvements to bus stops.
  • Proposition 9: A $13.085 million bond issue for expanding, renovating and improving the city’s Central Maintenance Facilities Complex at SW 15 and S Portland Avenue.
  • Proposition 10: A $62.17 million bond issue for improving and equipping the city’s drainage control system.
  • Proposition 11: An $8.865 million bond issue for repairs, renovations and improvements at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
  • Proposition 12: A $30.84 million bond issue for the construction of a new Police Training Center, to be a part of a new combined Police-Fire Training Center.
  • Proposition 13: A $45.35 million bond issue for the construction of a new Fire Training Center, to be a part of a new combined Police-Fire Training Center.

I expect all the bond issues to pass, since nobody will notice how they’re paid: through a small levy as part of the property tax. Over the years, the city has made an effort to keep that levy at or below 16 mills; it is currently 14.81 mills.

The MAPS 3 sales tax ends 31 December 2017; this new penny would kick in the next day. So the only “new” tax is that quarter-cent, which is intended to pay for more firefighters and police officers. This is over and above the 0.75 cent currently levied for public safety. Should both sales-tax measures pass, the combined state and city sales tax will rise to 8.625 percent.

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I don’t think it helped

Still, kudos to whoever it was at ODOT who came up with this warning sign:

Drive safe or we will hide the sun

(Via KFOR-TV.)

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Something’s going on in the Paseo

About a decade ago, I met architect Brian Fitzsimmons. (At his house in SoSA, if you care.) The man definitely goes his own way. And I’m always curious when he plans a restaurant.

Drawing for new Frida restaurant in The Paseo

OKCTalk has the scoop:

Work is set to start soon on Frida, a new restaurant and bar to be constructed on a vacant lot at the south edge of the Paseo Arts District.

The proprietor is Shaun Fiaccone of Humankind Hospitality Service which also operates Picasso Cafe and The Other Room in the Paseo.

The design by Brian Fitzsimmons features modern Spanish Revival architecture to complement the surrounding structures and includes 4,386 square of enclosed space along with a 698 square foot outdoor courtyard sheltered by a trellis and 989 square feet of outdoor patio.

Fitzsimmons Architects has designed some of Oklahoma City’s more stunning restaurants, such as Hatch, Broadway 10 and both Sidecar locations.

Haven’t been to Sidecar, but I know Broadway 10 and Hatch well enough.

Now about that name…

The name Frida is an homage to Frida Kahlo the Mexican painter.

I should have thought of that. But instead, I went Swedish:

Anni-Frid Synni, Princess Reuss of Plauen, was either the first or the last A in ABBA. Not sure it matters which. (She’s now seventy-one, which seems impossible.)

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Watering holes to be dried up

The weirdly-shaped building where 50th meets the no-longer-circular Classen Circle is about to be replaced by More Fast Food:

Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores has filed plans that show the demolition of several historic structures near the old Classen Circle.

The company acquired a small house next to the HiLo Club, Drunken Fry and Classen Grill in 2015.

They have filed to rezone .48 acres which is all the properties bound by Classen, NW 50th and Military Avenue and documents show plans to raze all existing buildings and construct a new Braum’s.

Also on this block: a beauty salon and a record store. This is not any kind of historic or otherwise-special district, so as far as the city’s concerned, it’s just a matter of zoning.

Oklahoma City Twitter has been denouncing the plan all day, typically like this:

Personally, I think potential customers will pass it by, mainly because access is difficult: if you miss it the first time, you’re going to have to loop for more than half a mile, or you’re going to end up on Interstate 44. I can’t imagine a local firm not knowing these issues, so I suspect this is someone at Braum’s HQ who is shocked — shocked! — that there is drinking going on in those establishments.

If they must put up a new Braum’s, let them put it in Kansas City. The demand is there.

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A high point in town

This gorgeous private home on the city’s northeast side was on the 2014 Architecture Tour:

Mass Home on Persimmon Hill

At the time, I said:

Up on Persimmon Hill you’ll find the National Cowboy Museum, Coles Garden, and this five-acre plot, which used to be occupied by a small 1920s cottage, expanded a few times, and then rebuilt following the December 2007 ice storm. Somehow the place looks both traditionally rural and up-to-date suburban, which I attribute to the fact that they didn’t raze the original storm-damaged structure, preferring to incorporate it into the new one.

It is Bad Form, I think, to speculate on “What is this place worth?” at the time you’re getting a peek at the inside. But three years later, they’ve sold it — for $890,000.

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Spiteful? Us?

Found on the City of OKC Instagram account:

Sports Illustrated cover with Kevin Durant being recycled

I think they’re sending a message right there.

(Via Adam Kemp.)

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A lot of nowhere to go to

I-44 from Lake Hefner Parkway to I-35 is three lanes wide in each direction. This is the first time I’ve ever seen five lanes blocked:

A busy metro thoroughfare was narrowed to one lane each direction for the majority of the afternoon Wednesday following a semi rollover.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that at approximately 12:48 p.m. June 14 multiple lanes of both eastbound and westbound Interstate 44 are blocked near the Kelley exit following a crash semi rollover.

Authorities say the semi traveling eastbound rolled over throwing copper wire onto westbound traffic. A motorcyclist was transported to the hospital after striking the wire. A third vehicle was struck in the crash along eastbound traffic.

It was actually worse than that: when I came through at 4:45 pm or thereabouts, all three westbound lanes were blocked, and traffic was forced onto the shoulder. They were still picking up the wire, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who was asking “What the actual fark is that on the road?” There seemed to be one lane open on the eastbound side, but traffic was backed up to beyond Western (two miles). Grateful am I that apparently no one did anything stupid during our exile from the roadway, unless you want to count flooring it once past the accident. (Would I stomp the pedal under those conditions?)

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There seems to be a theme here

See if you can figure out what it is:

Bacon Restaurant, Oklahoma City

Sean Cummings, who used to run an Irish pub at this location, has decided that what we really want in this town is bacon. Lots of bacon.

Today's Bacon

Did I say lots of bacon?

Even the drink menu comes with bacon. The Bacon Whiskey Smash comes with Whiskey, bacon, simple syrup and mint. Or if you’re in the mood for a good Bloody Mary, they have a bacon one too.

Oh, and seven bucks will get you a Bacon Cheesecake for dessert.

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How much do we lose?

We’re learning more about the nascent Oklahoma City streetcar system. For one thing, it won’t run on Sunday, at least at first, unless there’s something like a Thunder game going on. I blame this on Embark, the local transit agency, which couldn’t be persuaded to run any actual buses on Sunday for many years.

What I’m really curious about, though, is how much they expect to lose on this shiny new toy:

Based on ridership estimates from around 2013 and taking the upper range of those estimates, the streetcar could have just under 500,000 riders per year.

Herzog Transit Services of Irving, Texas will be operating the system, and will be paid $3.2 million for the first year. So each ride will cost something like $6.40. No way, of course, is anyone going to be expected to drop six bucks in the fare box:

Fares would be expected to offset 10 to 11 percent of the operating expenses once the system is established.

So, 75 cents a trip, then?

Herzog also operates the Kansas City streetcar system. It runs seven days a week and riders are charged, um, nothing. What are we doing wrong?

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Waiting in your breakfast line

It’s probably been a fairly long time since any kid in Oklahoma City Public Schools felt stigmatized over qualifying for free, or even discounted, lunch; for several years now, the majority of OKCPS students have thus qualified.

And next year, all of them will:

Officials announced Tuesday that next school year, all 44,000 students will be eligible for free meals at every school site, via USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision.

Free meals had been provided at 55 sites, now adding an additional 23 sites. Officials said the initiative is funded through the Community Eligibility Provision, a USDA Federal Program that subsidizes meals for schools and school districts in low income areas.

CEP will help feed nearly 44,000 students in the school district by serving free nutritious breakfasts and lunches. Officials said the program will reduce administrative paperwork previously required for eligible students, thus allowing schools to focus on preparing and serving good foods.

This is probably expensive, but undernourishment exacts a pretty terrible price of its own, and I’d just as soon not ask the kids to pay it.

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