I just would like people to know that Woodland Hills Mall has NO security cameras in their parking lot. The assistant manager claimed that it is too expensive to have them anywhere but in the food court area. My van was vandalized in front of the mall in one of the front spaces. I also found that it is mall policy not to give any security reports out in this case, they must be subpoenaed by an attorney.
When I explained that this is more than my car being vandalized, what if my child had been abducted--where is the security cameras? I was told by the same assistant manager that A) the abduction would not have been stopped by cameras and B) there had never been an abduction from Woodland Hills--well, the cameras would not stop an abduction, but they would aid in finding the abductor and yes, there has been an abduction--around 1995 there was a young woman abducted from there and found murdered sometime later. The assistant manager claims that the mall does not have the revenue to put in cameras in the parking lots.
Well, I don't have the revenue to ever shop there again. I want everyone to know that they are not safe at this place--their children, their belongings are not safe in the private property area of Woodland Hills Mall. Just one further note--I was parked in handicapped as my child is severely handicapped--now on top of everything else from no electricity for 9 days to lost wages for about the same--I now have a vandalized van that I cannot get painted though insurance due to this "mall security policy". I am feeling a little less than Holiday Bliss this year.
Call to Arms
Our efforts to repeal the Oklahoma tax payers and citizens protections act of (HB 1804) continue. We have a moral imperative to act and speak on behalf of those who are having very difficult times in this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are a lot of empty chairs at the table where the head of households used to seat. Many childrens' hopes of a Merry Christmas have been shattered. Some of them, the fortunate ones, remained in the United States. Some were returned to countries from which they came, but others were deported along with their parents to countries they never knew because they were born in America. Our efforts should not indicate any sign of weakness.
We can not allow other states to follow Oklahoma's example... because there will be continues suffering among millions. Our wounds are still open as well as our hearts, but we can feel the swell of growing tide that will eventually create a just and comprehensive immigration reform in America that will be the foundation for generations of immigrants whose only desire is the American dream.
Dr. Victor Orta, II
Pastor, Iglesia El Pueblo de Dios
Mad About Scrooge
your "scrooged" cover is the act of a coward. anyone who is in the bar business especially the security side breathed a deep sigh of relief when 1804 was passed. you see mexican illegals have no respect for people trying to have a good time. I spent 17 years in the bar business. in 98, 99, and 2000 i was the manager of a gentlemens club in west tulsa. with out fail these "customers" would have knives and guns and all manner of weapons that myself as chief of security and my bouncers had to relieve them of. your cover is a cheap shot at what most oklahomans want and a cheap shot at every bouncer in Tulsa. but most telling it is the act of people who have never spent one day trying to keep the peace in a joint full of intoxicated customers. in other words the act of a coward.
big al johnson
I hated your cover cartoon ridiculing Randy Terrill. What an odious excuse for those who pander to the illegal alien lobby. The worst cover you have EVER had. HB 1804 is an excellent piece of legislation. If you want to make fun of someone hoe about the idiotic Hispanic "ministers' who compared opponents to "Nazis" in their slanderous statements.
If You Can't Say Anything Nice...
I just moved to Tulsa and read a recent issue of UTW for the first and last time. Your articles are rhetorical "jibber-jabber". UTW is basically a "carbon print" eyesore.
Perhaps an investment in one of our city great remedial education facilities might help.
Choice, Diversity in Oklahoma's Future
Someone recently asked me what I thought education in Oklahoma would look like, say, 25 years from now.
My short answer is: I don't know. The God of history--"Divine Providence," in the words of the signers of the Declaration--stands outside of history and directs it without consulting me.
But there's one thing I do know: it makes no sense to continue doing what we're doing. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which gives Oklahoma's school system an F, our public schools are among the worst in the nation--and this in a nation whose schools are among the worst in the industrialized world.
As Oklahoma begins its second century, it's time to move away from our antiquated, heavily unionized, government-owned-and-operated monopoly. We should seek to restore the American tradition of educational freedom and consumer choice, a tradition which predates and lasted longer than our current practice of delivering education through a monopoly.
There's good reason to believe we'll move in that direction in the next 25 years. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are now 23 school choice programs (mostly vouchers and tax credits) in 13 states plus the District of Columbia. As more and more states embrace school choice, it's reasonable to believe Oklahoma will too.
Even our Democrat state school superintendent has said that more school choice is likely in Oklahoma. "School choice is a reality, and we should just get used to it," Sandy Garrett said in 2001. "We have a lot of choice already in Oklahoma, but I think we'll have some sort of a tax credit or something to let children go wherever their parents want."
In a recent advertisement in this newspaper, an open letter signed by 147 Oklahomans, the signatories declared that "Oklahoma will be, in its second century, a more diverse state than ever."
This is true, and school choice is all about celebrating diversity. Parents and children should have the freedom and the ability to choose from charter schools that emphasize core knowledge, specialty schools that focus on the arts, magnet schools that specialize in science and engineering, and dozens more.
They should be free to choose evangelical Christian schools which equip children to love the Lord their God with all their minds. Or Jewish day schools which provide a rigorous, faith-based education and help preserve Jewish continuity. Or Catholic schools, like Sacred Heart in south Oklahoma City, which provide a safe, nurturing environment.
As one Hispanic youngster put it, "My parents transferred us to Sacred Heart because they wanted us to be safe from drug and gang issues. They always wanted us to be able to listen to Christ by going to a Catholic school."
Oklahoma's private schools "by definition help fulfill the ideal of pluralism in American education," says the Council for American Private Education. "They serve diverse populations, and are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural."
"School choice continues to spread, unstoppable now, despite the best efforts of its foes to contain it," education scholar Chester Finn said this year. Look for it to spread in Oklahoma.
It comes as little or no surprise that the Mayor's hand picked advisory committee for the problems with Tulsa streets has come out with a recommendation for astronomical tax increases. There was not one of the appointees known to me that really is conservative, that is believing in smaller government, less spending, and lower taxes. Further, members included representatives of the contractors that would be doing any work on streets, handling bond issues, or preparing the engineering studies, along with the usual "elite" members of the local society.
There has not been one suggestion out of the City management for the reduction of "frill" spending on the part of the budget. It is believed that, typically of government now, the budget of the City is loaded with unnecessary spending on non-critical 'frills' that do nothing to further the true duties of government: Safety (Police and Fire), streets, water, sewer, and now flood control (due to lack of zoning control over the developers). All these 'leaders' seem to think of is 'tax, tax, and more tax. Then they want to have the taxpayers come up with more to pay 'bribes' to businesses considering in moving here. I have news for them. If Oklahoma and Tulsa had a business friendly atmosphere of low taxes, good streets, and reasonable lawsuit and workmen's compensation laws, we would have to be screening them to make sure we even wanted them because there would be so many wanting to locate here.
Instead we have an elite group of self appointed 'experts' whose only interest lies in what they can get out of whatever is going to be done. There seems to be no interest in doing what is best for the City as a whole. Further, there seems to be an attitude in the Department of Public Works of leaving things go until the street is beyond repair so that they can rebuild it, at great cost. (The school boards seem to be of the same mind set). It is hoped that common sense will prevail and these proposed taxes will be defeated at the polls just as the 'river tax' proposal was. If we can not trust the elected and employee officials to keep promises, as in the 5.5 million dollars in 'Vision 2025' listed for 'constructing two low water dams and enlarging the existing one, how can we feel comfortable in trusting them to do what they say they will in the future
Robert W. McDowell, Jr.
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