You do such a good job with "IN THE CITY" each week (written by newly minted columnist Isaac Farley).
Although we are very different, since I am a middle-aged, very conservative woman, I enjoy your view of life in Tulsa from the perspective of a relative outsider. Even when you are covering relatively risque events, you keep your comments ambiguous enough to be inoffensive and your language clean, and I appreciate that.
Just as an afterthought, when something catches your interest, your interest is piqued, not peaked. Please keep introducing us readers to new facets of our metro area culture.
Urban Tulsa Weekly showed great wisdom when it added your column to its paper!
(OUTTAKE. If we need one)
Real development starts with improving education.
The Economic Thunder of Oklahoma City
Congratulation is in order to Mr. Clay Bennett, Mayor Mick Cornett, and the citizens of Oklahoma City for the recently acquired and named NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder.
Oklahoma City has undergone a tremendous economic renaissance starting with MAPS and the Bricktown development and ending with the NBA team. This amazing transformation has caught the attention of the nation and can potentially usher in a era of economic prosperity for Oklahoma City.
However, this economic boom will be limited due to the continued failure of Oklahoma's public school system. A poorly educated populace, which Oklahoma has, is the most expensive economic cost and real development starts with improving education.
The Oklahoma Education Association continues to cry for more money as the solution to this failure; as recently demonstrated through the Helping Oklahoma Public Education petition drive. More money is not the answer, competition through school choice is!
Oklahoma City can lead the state in an educational renaissance when civic leaders like Mr. Bennett, Mayor Cornett and Former Mayor Kirk Humphreys (Now the Chairman of the Oklahoma City Public School Board) work with the same "Big League City" determination and pass a Universal School Choice Voucher program for the entire Oklahoma City Metropolitan area.
By so doing, lasting economic development will occur and the entire nation will truly hear the Thunder of Oklahoma City!
-Phillip W. Smith
Who Owns Tulsa? is a non-partisan citizen's rights coalition born out of an unsettling and growing distrust of our governing bodies and elected officials due to their failure to include neighborhoods when decisions are made affecting our homes, families and overall quality of life. As the taxpayers who support the everyday operation of our government and support the businesses and industries in Tulsa, you deserve to have a place at the table.
Tulsans are incredibly generous and willing to invest in our city's future. We have shown time and again that we will support projects and even taxes when there is a need, an open process, and adequate accountability. When all parties have an opportunity to participate in the decision making process, the outcome is a happier, healthier, and more livable community. As a partner in the process, Who Owns Tulsa? is committed to identifying workable solutions.
It is time we take responsibility for our own welfare. Politicians come and go, but neighborhoods are the foundation of our city. Our homes are not only our primary investment, but a reflection of our values. This is why we must Take Back Tulsa and reclaim our right as citizens to be included.
All over the country, similar organizations have formed to represent the interests of their city's neighborhoods. 'Who Owns Tulsa' would like to serve as a central resource for all Tulsa neighborhoods working in conjunction with other established neighborhood organizations, businesses, churches and other concerned citizens.
On August 16, more than 50 people from 13 neighborhoods attended our first organizational meeting. We agreed to invite all neighborhoods to appoint a Co-Chair to help guide the early efforts of the organization. We hope you will take a few minutes to learn more, help unite our neighborhoods, and create a permanent structure to support their growth and sustainability.
Please visit our website at www.whoownstulsa.org and register to receive our e-mail updates. We are a young organization and our website is under development so check back regularly. You may contact me by phone (698-6161) or e-mail (email@example.com). I would also welcome the opportunity to speak to your association.
I look forward to working with you to create and maintain safe, attractive and healthy neighborhoods. Please join our effort to Take Back Tulsa and make our voices heard and our votes count!
-Julie H. Hall, Chair
Who Owns Tulsa?
Bone to Pick
I have been a reader of your column ("In The City" by Isaac Farley) since you stated writing it a few months ago. I liked (Mr. Farley's) niche, things to do in Tulsa. As an outsider (actually, Isaac is a new Tulsan), you seemed to have a fresh perspective on what we have going on here in Tulsa.
Considering this, I was disappointed to read your article on my new business, cafe, coffeehouse and bar, The Collective. Instead of being excited about a new "thing to do" in Tulsa, your self proclaimed niche, you berated our establishment, essentially because it was too busy. It was the Grand Opening, after all. Also, if you are going to write a review of a new place, (I was unaware that this was the purpose of your column) one of the priorities on your list should be to try some of the food, maybe a coffee, maybe anything other than the beer.
What I find most dissapointing is the fact that your article is rife with cynicism. Instead of helping a new place succeed by using your power of the press, you downplay any positive experience you might have had at the Collective because you've "learned not to get overly attached to any pubs or nightspots in Green Country."
We would have a greater chance of succeeding and having "staying power" if influential people, such as yourself, weren't jaded and critical of anything new.
We wholeheartedly invite you back to try our Artisan coffee, our unique Tulsa Inspired menu, or to experience any of our local art openings.
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