Archive for Soonerland

Seven decades ago

I found this in an old copy of Broadcasting magazine, from 1947. There were a lot of ads like this at the time:

Advertise on KTUL and KOMA

At the time, both these stations were owned by John Toole Griffin and family, who also owned Griffin Grocery Company in Muskogee. Both those sets of call letters have migrated a bit, KOMA across the dial to the FM band, and KTUL to a Tulsa television station.

And in the 1960s, both stations were local Top 40 powerhouses, something that couldn’t even have been imagined in 1947. (KTUL had already transformed into KELI.) The Griffins own a cluster of stations in Tulsa, but not this one, which was acquired by Clear Channel Communications, later rebranded as iHeartRadio. KTBZ, the current call (1430 The Buzz) has run some sort of sports format for two decades, and has gotten a daytime power boost to 25 kw. KOKC, still a corporate sister to KOMA, runs news/talk on its 50 kw blowtorch, owned by Tyler Media, based right here in the 405. (Come to think of it, when the current telephone area-code system went into effect in the late 1940s, the whole state was “the 405.”

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An auspicious beginning

I really wasn’t expecting the Legislature to accomplish a great deal in the next session. But I find this action heartening:

Casey Murdock, a Republican from Felt, at the far end of the Panhandle, is a, um, er, rancher.

And should this pass, I assure you that I’m not going to burn them to a crisp just because Donald Trump likes them that way.

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The sky gods know where you live

PJR has moved to Oregon, but you never really put Oklahoma behind you:

Redbird Smith is, of course, named for Redbird Smith (1850-1918), one of the strongest voices for Cherokee traditions and against the “reforms” of the Dawes Commission.

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Mood indigo

When I moved over here fifteen years ago, you’d have been able to characterize this area as center-right and leaning Republican. Redistricting came after 2010, and suddenly it was a virtually-even split. Precinct-level numbers for 2018 indicate Vastly Increased Blueness, as follows:

Governor: Edmondson (D) 836; Stitt (R) 375; Powell (L) 40.

Lt Governor: Pittman (D) 699; Pinnell (R) 467; Holmes (L) 79.

Attorney General: Myles (D) 737; Hunter (R) 504.

Congress District 5: Horn (D) 815, Russell (R) 430.

State Senate District 40: Hicks (D) 819; Howell (R) 379; Hensley (I) 43.

County Commissioner District 1: Blumert (D) 804; Reeves (R) 421.

The first three, all statewide races, were won by the GOP, but Democrats took the remainder. (There was no race for State House District 87; incumbent Collin Walke (D) drew no opposition.)

And that Congressional race was legitimately a squeaker: winner Kendra Horn pulled in 50.7 percent, a difference of about 3300 out of 238,000. She’s the first Democrat to represent District 5 since John Jarman switched to the GOP after the 1974 election.

Disclosure: I had a yard sign for Carri Hicks.

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Working the clichés

Newly elected Oklahoma County District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert had to put up with several iterations of this same script:

Which is not to say that only men caused her to raise an eyebrow:

And she had to knock on a lot of doors. Under the commissioner system, each county gets exactly three commissioners; each of them, in this county, has to cover an area home to a quarter-million people. (No State House or Senate member has as large a constituency.) Yes, we voted for her.

Carrie Blumert making the rounds

And yeah, we’d do it again.

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As I picked them

Without going into too much detail over what is, after all, a secret ballot, I will reveal the following facts:

  • I voted down all five state questions.
  • In general, if there was a woman running for a seat, I voted for her over whichever guys made it to the ballot, mostly because I’ve seen most of these guys before.
  • I could work up no enthusiasm for either of the two major-party men running for Governor, opting instead for the Libertarian.

This is the Libertarian in question:

And I should mention here that while I have no particular quarrel with incumbent Congressman Steve Russell, I vowed on the day of the primary that I would vote for Democratic challenger Kendra Horn, who did a great service to the state by sparing us the indignity of yet another uninspiring, and inevitably losing, campaign by Tom Guild, the state’s closest equivalent to Harold Stassen.

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Speed is of the essence

Last weekend, I felt sufficiently drained to figure that maybe I’m not up to standing in line for a long, long time, which, not at all incidentally, has been more or less true for the last couple of years. Accordingly, I duly hit up the Oklahoma State Election Board Web site and requested an absentee ballot. They processed the request on Monday; the ballot was delivered on Wednesday.

Thursday around noon, I dropped the completed ballot in the mail.

Friday evening, I got a text message:

Hey Charles, it’s Erica with the OK Democrats. According to state records, you have not returned your mail ballot yet. Since it must be notarized and received by Election Day, can you put it in the mail tonight?

Only two weird aspects of this:

  • The call was apparently placed from a Tulsa (area code 539) number. State Democratic HQ is just down the road from me, at 36th and Classen in OKC.
  • Per the Election Board: “Physically incapacitated voters and voters who care for physically incapacitated persons who cannot be left alone are not required to have their signatures on the absentee affidavits notarized. They are required to have their signatures witnessed by two people.”

As of 5 pm Friday, the state reported the receipt of 17,179 mail ballots from Oklahoma County: 8278 from registered Republicans, 7718 from registered Democrats, 56 from registered Libertarians, and 1667 from registered Independents. It’s not hard to see why the Democrats might push the panic button.

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Your 2018 State Questions

Nine questions went through the mill; five of them will appear on the General Election ballot next month.

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And now here’s Jim Donovan

The Cleveland Browns Radio Network includes a couple dozen signals in Ohio, one in Pennsylvania, one in West Virginia — and one in Norman, Oklahoma:

Norman’s KREF (SportsTalk 99.3 FM and 1400 AM) announced Friday it will broadcast all Cleveland Browns games for the remainder of the season, giving Oklahoma fans the opportunity to follow former Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The radio station will also broadcast pregame and postgame coverage, as well as Browns coach Hue Jackson’s weekly show on Monday nights.

Which is not unheard of for KREF, which picked up Rams games (from, um, St. Louis) while Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was A Thing. But Bradford was lost for a season with an ACL tear after a particularly vicious sack, and the Rams dealt him to Philadelphia.

If you’re keeping score, Bradford was done in during an exhibition game against, um, the Cleveland Browns.

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Too late to cancel

Sooner or later this, um, japery had to appear in the Oklahoman, and today it made Page 1A:

Tribe tells High Court they have a reservation

Since you’ll ask:

In 1893, Congress directed federal representatives to travel to what was then Indian Territory and what is now eastern Oklahoma and convince Creek tribal members to hand over their land or break it into allotments. The meeting didn’t go well.

The Creeks “would not, under any circumstances, agree to cede any portion of their lands to the Government,” wrote members of the Dawes Commission. Due to “this unanimity,” the federal commission told Congress it would “abandon” this approach.

One hundred and twenty-five years later, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation says such abandonment by the Dawes Commission is evidence that Congress never formally disbanded its reservation. It is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to agree with a lower-court ruling and formally declare that the reservation, long thought to be eliminated during Oklahoma statehood, still exists to this day.

Four years after the Land Run, you have to figure the Creeks had had plenty of opportunity to observe their new, um, neighbors.

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Best hashtag of the 2018 election

So far, anyway:

(Everything you always wanted to know about Kevin Stitt.)

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Nomenclature update

A note from the lawn service:

Since 2004, I have worked hard to provide friends in my neighborhood the best lawn care services. Over time, people started recommending me to their friends and my little business expanded to other neighborhoods where I made even more friends.

Now I have a crew helping me provide the same top-notch service to even more people. Therefore, to reflect this growth, Andrew’s Lawn Service has been renamed LAWNSTER.

“LAWNSTER”?

Then again, “Ground Control,” as Major Tom could tell you, has been taken.

Still, were this a woman-owned enterprise, I doubt if they’d have come up with “LAWNSTRESS.”

And their tag line, in quotes under the name: “We Mow Grass”. Um, yeah, I guess you do.

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Coming out in the wash

Or, um, something to that effect:

A University of Central Oklahoma professor has been accused of exposing himself at a laundromat.

William Franklin Stockwell, 67, was charged Monday in Oklahoma County District Court with a felony count of indecent exposure and a misdemeanor count of acts resulting in gross injury. If convicted, Stockwell could spend years in prison.

Stockwell was arrested Aug. 7 after Edmond police received a report that he had dropped his pants in front of a woman and her child, revealing his buttocks, according to a court affidavit. The incident occurred at the Edmond Laundromat at 317 E 2nd St.

Most exciting thing that’s happened in Edmond in weeks.

I shudder to think what might have prompted this, um, revelation.

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Ghouls on film

It’s too damn early for Halloween stuff in the stores. Then again:

Quit ringing my doorbell you little sheets

(Spotted at Walmart in Elk City by @programwitch.)

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Expect no discount

Today in the Oklahoman:

Now on sale at Dollar General Stores

I’m assuming the price of the paper — $1.50 daily, three bucks on Sunday — will remain unchanged, despite the name over the door.

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Where it all comes together

And it’s not so far away, either:

The “Center of the Universe” is a little-known mysterious acoustic phenomenon. If you stand in the middle of the circle and make a noise, the sound is echoed back several times louder than it was made. It’s your own private amplified echo chamber.

As the legend goes, a foghorn could be going off in the center of the circle and those on the outside wouldn’t hear it. This may be an exaggeration, but your voice does sound extremely distorted when heard from outside the circle. It’s an incredible effect.

Explanation: There isn’t one, really:

Like the Lake George Mystery Spot — another acoustical vortex that seems to defy the laws of physics — the effect is thought to be caused by the sound reflecting off a circular wall, in this case a nearby planter. Still, though many people have studied the cause of the odd anomaly there’s no clear consensus. Whatever the causes of this natural sonic distortion may be, it is truly an amazing place.

And it’s nearby, in the unit block of Archer in downtown Tulsa:

A brick path leads to the pedestrian bridge that goes over the railroad tracks, accessible from the corner of W. Archer St. and N. Boston Ave. It is located directly northwest of the old Union Train Depot (now the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame), and immediately north of the Williams Center Tower.

Not a likely place for a foghorn, but what the heck.

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A rare talent indeed

Girl catches fish with teethWhen I saw this on page 11A of yesterday’s Oklahoman, my first thought was “That couldn’t have been easy for her, using her teeth to catch a fish.”

The spiritual ancestor of this story, of course, is the famous Captain Spaulding, the African explorer, from the motion picture Animal Crackers (1930): “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” I mean, we’re talking an interpretation with eighty-eight years to back it up, and besides, who’s gonna argue with the likes of Groucho Marx? Certainly not I. But no, that’s not what it meant at all:

Pacu fish caught at Fort Cobb Lake

An 11-year-old girl has quite the fish tale: A rare pacu with human-like teeth chomped down on the worm at the end of her line while she was fishing with her grandparents and brother in an Oklahoma lake.

But Kennedy Smith isn’t exaggerating when she describes her catch. Caddo County Game Warden Tyler Howser confirms that the fish was a pacu, a relative of the piranha that is native to South America and can grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms).

Kennedy’s fish weighed about 1 pound (half a kilogram), according to Howser and Kennedy’s grandmother Sandra Whaley.

Kennedy says she initially was “really excited” to have caught a fish Sunday in Fort Cobb Lake, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City. She was shocked when the fish bit her grandmother, as Whaley removed the hook from its mouth.

How did this wee but scary beastie arrive here?

Howser said the fish was likely purchased as a pet and was released into the lake when it grew too large for the aquarium of the family that owned it.

This is how species become invasive, guys. Don’t do that.

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Still I wonder, who’ll start the rain?

One of the relatively pleasant side effects of tax increases:

Officials say Oklahoma expects to deposit a record $370 million in its fund created to protect the state during economic downturns.

The Tulsa World reports that the state is expected to announce the actual deposit amount for the Rainy Day Fund in August.

Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokeswoman Shelley Zumwalt says the state hasn’t made a deposit to the fund in the last four fiscal years. Oklahoma deposited a record $326 million into the fund in fiscal 2012.

The Rainy Day Fund was created in 1985 for an emergency, to make up for a shortfall in fiscal year collections and to make up revenue if next year’s general revenue fund collections are forecast to be less than the current year. Zumwalt says the fund currently has about $70 million.

Yeah, but some of us remember this from 2011:

Nothing quite as comforting as having almost a quarter-billion to spare. Then again, it wasn’t so long ago — 2009, specifically — that there was almost $600 million stashed away in what is officially called the Constitutional Reserve Fund. Unlike some other governments we could name, Oklahoma isn’t allowed to run a deficit, so the Fund was repeatedly raided, and the balance dropped to $2.03. That’s two dollars and three cents, which won’t get you so much as a footlong cheese coney from Sonic.

There is apparently a statutory cap on the Fund: $756 million.

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As the smoke clears

State Question 788, authorizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, passed by about a 5 to 4 margin, much to the surprise of national pundits, who don’t realize we have running water here, and of local officials, who were hoping to push the whole thing under the rug.

Precinct-level vote counts are now being circulated, and here’s how we did: 804 Yes, 250 No. A solid 76 percent.

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Well, isn’t that specialist

The local VA Medical Center took care of brother James during his last couple of years; he’d rather come up here, he said, than take his chances with whatever Texas had to offer. He did mention, once or twice, that they seemed to be short of doctors, and it turns out he was right:

Under federal employment laws, no federal employee can have a higher salary than the president of the United States, who earns $400,000 per year. That poses challenges for VA hospitals seeking specialists.

Take, for example, cardiothoracic surgeons. The Oklahoma City VA hospital needs four but recently lost one, so they’re recruiting to fill the slot. The problem is that cardiothoracic surgeons can earn far more than $400,000 at private hospitals.

President Trump, so far, has not been actually collecting his salary from the Treasury — he’s been donating it — but that doesn’t make any difference as far as the law is concerned.

One workaround is federal contracts, which can exceed the $400,000 limit. For ophthalmologists, the VA contracts with the Dean McGee Eye Institute at a cost of $600,000. That includes overhead expenses it wouldn’t have to pay if it could hire its own ophthalmologists.

Director Wade Vlosich says it is what it is:

“It is just the way it goes at a VA hospital, because we’ll never reach that salary level for those doctors. So, no, it doesn’t worry me,” Vlosich said. “Areas that worry me are filling inpatient hospital positions, primary care positions and then some of the hard-to-recruit nursing positions, and engineers. Those are really the ones that keep me up at night.”

For what it’s worth, the first psychotherapist I saw this decade moved out of a group practice and into a VA slot. I have no idea how much she was making at either place.

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And they’re out of here

OKCTalk reports that Sears is working on completing the task of abandoning this town:

The last Sears department store in Oklahoma City is set to meet its demise.

On Friday, the company added 10 more stores to their closure list including the 160,000 square foot location at 4400 S. Western.

The move is part of a rapid contraction due [to] flagging sales and revenue. Sears now operates 894 stores compared to 1,980 just five years ago.

The SW 44th and Western Sears store was built in 1965, includes a Sears Automotive Center and sits on 23.66 acres. To the south of the store, Sears leases land to Walmart for a Neighborhood Market which should not be affected.

This will leave only two full-line Sears department stores in the state, one in Norman, one in Tulsa.

At its peak, Sears had stores at NW 23rd and Pennsylvania (closed in 1991), Quail Springs Mall (closed in 2013 and now a Von Maur) and Heritage Park Mall in Midwest City (closed in 2017).

The 23rd and Penn store was actually razed; a McDonalds and a strip mall sit there now.

I remember buying my very first VCR at the 44th and Western Sears store in 1982. Built by Sanyo, it cost something like $750, including (yes!) a wired remote.

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The saga continueth

This story began with what we may assume was a certain amount of animosity:

A contest of candidacy has been filed by Nick Mahoney against Rep. Kevin McDugle, claiming Kevin has not met his residency requirements to file as a candidate for State House District 12.

Nick Mahoney, who is running against McDugle for the GOP nomination for House District 12, explained the basis for the challenge, “We have been made aware of evidence that strongly suggests Kevin McDugle has not lived in District 12 for at least the last six months. In fact, court documents show that McDugle vacated his residency that he claims in his filing for election in April 2017.”

Now turn the knob just a trifle higher:

Nick Mahoney, a Republican candidate for House District 12 and a seven-year Wagoner County Deputy Sheriff, was terminated abruptly Monday morning by the Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott. His termination was preceded by statements made by Elliott to fire Mahoney if he did not exit the race for House District 12 along with statements made by Judy Elliott, Wagoner County 911 coordinator and Elliott’s wife that “(Mahoney) running for State House District 12 will have consequences.”

What does District 12 think? We’re not exactly sure:

At the very least, Mahoney is writing a check:

The cost charged to a candidate initiating a recount depends on the counting method that they request: The cost for retabulation conducted by machine is $600 per county. [Section 26-8-111(A)(2).] The cost for a recount conducted by hand is $600 for the first 3,000 ballots to be counted, and $600 for each additional 6,000 ballots, or fraction thereof, per county. [Section 26-8-111(A)(4).] Requests for both retabulations and hand recounts for statewide offices (all those filed with the State Election Board) must include an additional $300 beyond the amounts listed above. [Section 26-8-111(A)(5).]

It shouldn’t take long to recount 4,671 (more or less) ballots.

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Scripps scraps Tulsa cluster

The E. W. Scripps Company, owner of 33 TV stations and the National Spelling Bee, is getting out of the radio business, starting with its five Tulsa stations, one AM (KFAQ 1170) and four FMs (KBEZ 92.9, KVOO 98.5, KXBL 99.5, KHTT 106.9), which are being dealt to Grffin Communications, owner of two TV stations in Oklahoma City and two in Tulsa, for a reported $12.5 million.

“This transaction is a promising start to the sale of our entire radio station group, which was one of the pillars of our strategy for returning value to shareholders. We expect more announcements soon,” said Adam Symson, CEO of Scripps.

Griffin’s television division owns KWTV (9) and KSBI (52) in Oklahoma City, and KOTV (6) and KQCW (19) in Tulsa. Scripps will retain its Tulsa TV station, KJRH (2), named for longtime Scripps Broadcasting chairman Jack R. Howard.

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Where security costs less

The Scott Pruitt stories just keep getting weirder:

Even before his Senate confirmation, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt mulled running the EPA at least part-time from his hometown of Tulsa, seeking office space there, emails show.

Pruitt ultimately dropped that plan, the EPA told members of Congress in a letter dated June 19.

“Although the EPA staff did explore whether office space was available in Tulsa, this possibility was ultimately abandoned,” Troy Lyons, associate EPA administrator, said in a letter to members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

House Democrats were unsurprisingly not keen on this idea:

“Establishing a new EPA office in Tulsa may be personally convenient for you, but it seems ethically questionable, professionally unnecessary, and financially unjustified,” House Democrats wrote in a letter to Pruitt in May.

And the agency itself, it appears, had some qualms:

“‘gifted’ or ‘donated’ space could be an optics issue. We can investigate other Federal agencies with office space in Tulsa, or even Congressional space in Tulsa, such as Sen. Inhofe’s district office, but I didn’t want to wave that flag yet. Again, optics. But let me know,” [an] EPA staffer wrote.

Another issue was that the EPA did not want the cost of the new office space to show up as a line item in a congressional bill.

Now there’s the bureaucracy we know and love.

Actually, I like the idea of decentralizing the government generally, but I concede that it would complicate Congressional oversight, in the event that Congress actually wants to oversee anything.

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Dashed nuisance

I was renewing my car registration using the Tax Commission’s CARS (Convenient Auto Renewal System), and got hung up on the page that asks for your insurance company’s NAIC code, which I had, and policy number, which I also had but which it didn’t like. Cut and paste from the insurance company did not work; apparently CARS is not prepared to handle a policy number with a dash, or maybe it was a hyphen, in it. So much for my efforts to avoid typographical errors.

Oh, and the cost of registration seems to have gone up this year, the state having had to jack all manner of revenue sources to get itself out of its self-inflicted budget hole. (Using the site itself incurs a $2 fee, which rises to $2.70 if you have the temerity to present a credit card. Like they’re going to take PayPal or something.)

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The full horror of brush

As only a botanist can tell it:

We have several viney things — some kind of wild grape, a blackberry, and fringed twine-vine, as well as greenbriar, that will grow seemingly inches in a day, and will smother anything they can grow over. And neither the grape nor the blackberry makes very good fruit, and the twinevine smells like teenage-boy sweat-shirts that have been left in the back of a hot car for three weeks. We also have several trees — mulberry, privet — that are planted by birds and that ALSO will not die unless you can dig out the extensive roots, which I can’t. And we have various trashy elm species that have tiny seeds that get everywhere. So it’s an ENDLESS thing and my yard always pretty much looks untidy but I ignore it, mostly, though I worry about the city coming after me.

I know from mulberry. Not only are they seriously persistent, but they go through a protracted period of hurling their own sick brand of fruit, and you dare not step on it because you’ll never get it off your shoes. I started out with just the one; eventually a second one appeared in the back yard, literally right on top of a cottonwood. For now, the two trees continue their tortured embrace, and the battle appears to be a draw. (There’s an evergreen of some sort just up the fenceline, which so far has refused to get involved.)

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Perhaps grudging satisfaction

Nobody, I suspect, really likes property taxes. But some folks have a greater tolerance for them than you might think.

There are about 330,000 parcels of land in Oklahoma County. The Assessor’s office puts out fresh valuations every spring; once they’re out, there’s a 30-day appeal period, and under the law, any property owner may file an appeal. Few do:

The Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office said Monday that it had a record low number of appeals of property values set by the office this year — fewer than 150, or a rate of 0.0007 percent of nearly 200,000 property owners with a change in value.

Average county appeal rates range from 6 percent to 12 percent, “and it appears Oklahoma County has the lowest rate of appeals in the more than 3,000 counties in the U.S.,” said Larry Stein, chief deputy assessor.

It doesn’t hurt that there are strong cap laws in place, to keep valuations from jumping upward at the expense of longtime owners, and that the county in recent years has kept actual tax rates from rising more than a few mills; my tax bill has been within a grocery bag of $900 for several years, and is not likely to change much this year.

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Bars unpassed

More than one percent of the state’s population is in the slammer:

Oklahoma’s incarceration rate is 1,079 per 100,000 people, leading the nation after previously sitting at No. 2, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. Louisiana, which previously held the top spot, has an incarceration rate of 1,052 per 100,000 people.

It wouldn’t be difficult to find several chaps who probably should never, ever be let out. But then you have folks like this:

We take these people who were selling some grass or their leftover pain pill prescription and we throw them into a camp for several years that is populated only with felons. You sleep with felons and you shower with felons and the only people you have to talk to all day are felons. Is it really so remarkable that after being thrown into a criminal frat house for a few years, some people might have more criminal tendencies when they leave than when they enter? And then after they leave, they are met at every turn with the brand of being an ex-felon, making it hard to get a job or do things we take for granted. So we put someone away in a training camp for criminals for a few years, and then make it really, really hard for them to find good paying ways to support themselves afterward, and we are surprised they go back to crime?

I have a guy, who I won’t name for privacy reasons, who works for me in Arizona. Over 10 years ago, barely over 18, he was convicted of some non-violent drug crimes and locked away. Had I done the same things in my youth, my rich dad likely would have kept me out of jail but as a poor Hispanic in the world of Sheriff Joe’s Phoenix, he went to jail. Over ten plus years later, he had a stable marriage and had his civil rights restored, but was still mostly doing minimum wage labor. He has been a good, reliable maintenance person at one of our campgrounds, in a job where he could work with his wife. One day a customer got in some sort of dispute with this man’s wife, looked him up online, and found he had a prison record. This customer then started sending me messages that I must fire this person immediately or else this customer would file suit against us for creating a dangerous environment for her. When I refused, she then started posting yard signs around town that we hired felons and telling people on social media that they needed to shun our maintenance guy in any number of ways and accusing him of running a narcotics ring out of the campground.

If we must lock up people for ridiculous lengths of time, let us start with the doxxers — after exposing everything from their Mastercard balance to the color of their shorts.

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Ah, sweet Missus Ree

Remember when Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, was just a blogger?

That was then. This is, um, wow:

I note in passing that Drummond’s Wikipedia page is about three times the size of Pawhuska’s.

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Not really poaching

But the incentives are considerable:

The Ed Biz is a bit different in Texas: Independent School Districts — all but one are so designated — fall under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency, but TEA does not set salaries and no longer mandates specific textbooks.

Says the Fort Worth district about the billboards:

The passion and concern for children recently demonstrated by thousands of Oklahoma teachers who rallied at the state capital are exactly the attributes Fort Worth ISD wants for our classroom leaders.

Fort Worth Independent School District is a vibrant, growing urban district of 86,000 students, 143 campuses and more than 10,000 employees. Our new teacher starting salary is $52,000. The District is committed to a plan of improving early years literacy, achieving significant success in middle years math, and ensuring that ALL students are prepared for college, career and community leadership.

I assume that FWISD faces the same challenges as other urban school districts: they’re not all that rich.

And the Tulsa World’s Sam Hardiman notes:

Ouch.

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