Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "There is nothing so American as our national parks.... The fundamental idea behind the parks...is that the country belongs to the people."
As a state legislator, I believe that we have an obligation to protect Oklahoma's natural beauty, which is embodied in our state parks and a testament to our cultural and natural heritage.
Our Oklahoma land stretches across almost 70,000 square miles, and within these miles we have 46 state parks that have lakes, mountains, sand dunes, or forests in which we can all hike, bike, fish or just enjoy the natural beauty of our great state. Our public parks are for the benefit and inspiration of all, and as such must be permanently safeguarded.
However, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department recently made a unilateral decision to close seven of our state parks on August 15th of this year. Citing budget cuts as the reason for these closings, they determined, without input from the public and without an economic impact study, to close Adair State Park in Stillwell, Beaver Dunes Park in Beaver, Boggy Depot Park in Atoka, Brushy Lake Park in Sallisaw, Heavener Runestone Park in Heavener, Lake Eucha Park in Jay and Wah-Sha-She Park in Copan.
They did not petition the Legislature for funds to keep these parks open; they did not provide alternative actions or cost-cutting measures that could be implemented instead of closing these parks. Rather, they appear to have simply shrugged off the relevance of these parks to their communities and merely stated they hope local entities or tribal leaders will step forward to keep the parks open.
I am very concerned about these actions and the potential impact these closings will have on the welfare and quality of life of our citizens. In my childhood I played in parks and would often stare in awe at the beautiful work of our Creator; as a teenager and adult these sentiments grew to include a sense of state pride.
Oklahomans value having access to local recreation opportunities, and our parks are all the more needed during these difficult economic times when budgets are tight and vacation opportunities for working people are limited.
Our state parks belong to the people of Oklahoma, and as such are not just another tract of real estate in which the Tourism and Recreation Department can maintain or dismiss at their discretion.
I am not alone in my concerns, as fellow colleagues have spoken out against the actions of the Tourism and Recreation Department, most notably state Representative James Lockhart, D-Heavener, whose hometown may soon see the closure of Runestone Park. Rep. Lockhart has vocally opposed these closings as he states that tourism is big business in Eastern Oklahoma, and given the higher cost of traveling, parks are one of the only recreation options for our citizens to spend time with families on vacation. We both agree that closing our state parks is bad for economic development not just in Eastern Oklahoma but across the state.
Our state parks are for public use, and we must protect the beauty, dignity, and nobility of each and every one of them for the sake of all citizens and our future generations to come.
--Rep. Seneca Scott D-Tulsa
Badge of Dishonor
Lord Action, we need you in Tulsa.
The Lord said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
No better example of that is in the recent indictments or naming of eight present and former Tulsa police officers for crimes related to stealing cash that came from drug dealers.
Their years of police service are 16 years, 26 years, six years, 12 years, 21 years, 20 years, six years and four years.
That raises the question of corruption by "old guard" law officers posed by former Tulsa County district attorney S.M. "Buddy" Fallis, also known as "Little Caesar."
Fallis said, "Sometimes, as prosecutor, or in law enforcement you get the feeling that everybody's bad. But, they're not. It takes a toll. You get burned out. You get mad; you get mad at the world."
"I didn't want to leave criminal work but my family realized that my negative attitude was such that they urged me to reconsider."
After 14 years as the D.A., Fallis resigned at mid-term and entered private practice
And, so should have these indicted or named police officers who could have become well-paid detectives.
They became so ego-locked that they couldn't give up the power voluntarily. They should have been knocked off the perch.
Because it is human nature to become corrupt with power, we limit presidents to eight years and state legislators to 12 years.
We should limit the time you can be a cop to the same time.
With a badge and a gun, you begin to think you are king of the world.
Asked at what point you become corrupt, the wife of a Tulsa politician said, "The first 10 minutes you have power."
--Virginia Blue Jeans Jenner
March 17, 2011, a day which will live in infamy. Today the Oklahoma House of Representatives, in a blatant disregard for the voice of Oklahoma citizens, voted to accept $54,482,000 from the federal government to implement Obamacare when they approved HB 2130, the "Economic Development Generating Excellence Fund" bill.
The 41-page agreement that provides the money ties us to implementing Obamacare by law. It is a contract that will be upheld in any court in the land. In November We the People voted, with 70 percent of the voters in favor, for SB 756 that said we are opting out of government health care. Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a lawsuit against provisions of Obamacare.
Today, with the blessings of Gov. Mary Fallin and the Republican leadership, our state House voted to accept money that will negate not only the voice of We the People but also the lawsuit that the Oklahoma Republican Party successfully used to run on last fall. This is the same kind of activities that we voted against when we voted Democrats out of office.
The Republican leadership has lied by saying Sen. Tom Coburn supports this and they lied by saying the Heritage Foundation supports this. I wonder if this is the kind of representation we voted for in November. I urge all who read this to contact your state senator and insist they vote no when it comes to a vote in their chamber in the next couple of weeks.
The money monsters have gobbled up the American prosperity by bilking small investors and diverting American jobs to slave and desperate workers around the world.
Greed has no patriotism, and no public morals -- it is an unquenchable madness -- an evil without boundaries that spawns every other evil thing. It is a mindless and unmerciful curse upon U.S. -- it is the slavery of the minority elitist in their ivory towers. They use propaganda, censorship and corruption to fool the fools, the unread, uninspired and shallow thinkers of old people and religious sheep in America.
They are lead by the greedy old goats in the Republican Party -- GOP means Greed Old Phartes -- there is no goodness in them -- they are empty without any human value to US. There has been a raging war against the poor, the sick and unfortunate in America since Reagan--Bush and few know it.
Republicans are savage beasts that impose on US the evil laws of the jungle again. It is impossible for me to believe Americans are so stupid not to know who their real enemies are, and yet the republicans still get back in -- the elections must have all been rigged.
Americans have now lost their rights and not a shot was fired -- the slavers are back. One Nation under God is a cruel joke on U.S. all and the Republicans are laughing all the way to their banks. Republicans do not create jobs -- they eat them up!
--J. Ray Hunt
Turn a Blind Eye
(In response to "News Updates" in the March 24-30 issue of the Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Oh good, more of our tax dollars for North Tulsa. They can't even mow the medians on Memorial and keep the trash picked up in South Tulsa; but that's where the tax payers live, work and shop. Let's spend all that money where nobody lives.
South Tulsa looks like H_LL with weeds on unkempt medians, dead trees up to 20 feet tall along Yale and the Creek Turnpike and pavement in all shopping areas wall to wall with hardly a tree in sight.
Go look at the towns in Northwest Arkansas and their planning and new shopping. Go look at the landscaping in Plano and even in OKC. Tulsa is turning into a real eyesore.
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