'B' is for barely relevant?
Expect lots of debate at Thursday's Tulsa City Council meeting, with an ordinance changing the name of Brady Street to Burlington Street expected to be put on the agenda for a possible vote.
The name Burlington was found on some city documents more than a century old, apparently as a potential street name before being marked out in favor of what's now known as Brady Street.
The street is named after Tate Brady, a city founder but also a one-time member of the Ku Klux Klan. Some research also indicates he may have had a role in the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot in which approximately 300 people were killed. A newspaper account from that time states Brady was a night guard who counted five dead bodies.
Burlington is a town in Kansas, which was named after a town of the same name in Vermont.
Recently, KRMG and The Tulsa World have published news about a possible link between the Burlington name and a family named Burling who were involved in the early days of the American slave trade. Though it's not known for certain, some have said the Burlington in Vermont is named after the Burling family.
Alfred Brophy, a law professor who has written about the Tulsa race riot, said trying to link the Burlington name to some sort of new naming controversy doesn't make sense.
"I don't think that the possible connection to slavery of the Burlington name that goes back centuries would be a reason not to rename it from Brady to Burlington," Brophy said
He added: "No one is naming it for the Burling family now; it's being named for another town."
In his view, historical evidence suggests Tate Brady did plenty that was harmful, even though Brady helped found the city.
"There's certainly enough evidence there to justify renaming," Brophy said."
He offered no opinion on whether the street should be renamed. "I think what I'd do is look a lot at the attitudes of the people who live on that street and work on that street," he said.
But as far as the original Brady name, Brophy said he thinks it's important to note the street was given the Brady name before 1910, according to documents -- before the events of the race riot or other incidents (including some anti-union violence) linked to Tate Brady.
"It makes the naming look less evil, less suspicious initially," Brophy said.
Compared to what historical research suggests about Brady, the idea ofthe Burlington name somehow being tainted is "much more remote," he said.
The baggage of the Burlington and Brady names, for Tulsa, anyway, are "not equivalent," he said.
O is for 'Uh-Oh.'
Reports continue about a threat to the supply of oranges and orange juice, but there's still plenty on the shelves of Petty's Fine Foods at Utica Square.
Store manager Mike Griffeth wasn't completely familiar with what's known as citrus greening. The disease could eventually wipe out many of the orange groves worldwide,, with scientists unable thus far to figure out a way to combat the problem and ensure that oranges have a bright future.
What Griffeth has noticed is that customers still love orange juice compared to other juices.
It's "far and away" more popular, Griffeth said, though lots of other juices, including pomegranate and blueberry have been taking up a greater share of the market.
Orange juice prices have also steadily increased over the years, though Griffeth couldn't say if that's related to citrus greening.
If the threat intensifies, Griffeth suggested it will be easy to predict what to expect.
"The price will go up. People aren't going to react positively," he said.
A is for 'Another Meeting.'
Talk about the preferred housing mix for a portion of southwest Tulsa included a city planner describing relative size of their neighborhood.
City planner Steve Sherman pointed out that the area in question is roughly six square miles. With maps, Sherman illustrated how the neighborhood in question is more than twice the size, for example, of downtown within the Inner Dispersal Loop and the Pearl District combined.
Residents recently rose up to fight a proposed large apartment complex in the neighborhood, citing concerns about crime and a lack of infrastructure. After sharing their concerns with the Tulsa City Council, the council voted to table the issue pending the already-ongoing small-area plan being developed for the West Highlands/Tulsa Hills neighborhood. The July 31 meeting was the latest in a series of meetings to try and hammer out that plan.
Part of the issue is the relative sparseness of development, with many living there wanting to maintain a rural feel even as they acknowledge that development will happen.
Sherman told the group at the July 25 meeting that the neighborhood's ratio of apartments to single-family housing is about in line with the goals of the city's comprehensive plan, but noted that other factors matter when determining what's best for a neighborhood.
The 13 people in attendance offered some ideas about what housing types they prefer, with another meeting scheduled for Aug. 12.
F is for 'Finally.'
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has backed a bill that would allow the financially-strapped U.S. Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages, Reuters news agency reported last week.
If enacted, the bill would replace legislation dating back to 1909. The Postal Service estimates it could bring in $50 million in revenue annually.
Coburn is co-sponsoring the bill with a Democrat, Tom Carper, from Delaware.
COURTESY OF JASON WATTS
Coburn told Reuters the proposal is part of an effort to "protect taxpayers and ensure the Postal Service can remain economically viable while providing vital services for the American people." The agency last year was unable to properly fund benefits for future retirees, leading to nearly $16 billion in losses last year.
Reuters reported that both senators hope the bill will have a hearing in September.
B is for 'Bringing It Back.'
It's been rumored for a while. The idea even got some traction out toward Coweta before the city politely declined. But Bell's is on its way back.
Currently, a much-smaller-than-what-you-grew-up-with version of the iconic Tulsa amusement park that lost its lease and had to pull up stakes in 2006 is growing over in west Tulsa.
Last year, Robby Bell, grandson of Robert, the original Bell, found a location at a flea market. Since then, he's been rebuilding the rides by hand in order to bring back a place that Tulsans still pine for, even seven years after it vanished from the fairgrounds.
"We have rides stashed all over the country in storage," Bell told Fox23. "We will try our best to bring back everything."
And the ride you're wondering about is definitely in the cards. At least at some point.
"Hopefully someday that will culminate with 'Zingo' up and running again," Bell said.
The new Bell's is currently open 10am-5pm on Saturdays and 1-5pm on Sundays. Rides cost $1. Bell has also set up a Facebook page and a PayPal account to accept donations from people who want to relive the memories of the place that figures in the memories of so many Tulsans.
The scaled-down park now sits at 5802 W. 51st St.
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