POSTED ON AUGUST 27, 2008:
Love Letters, Hate Mail
Learn You Good
I was most interested in the great detail that you exposed in the article (see "Man for the Job" in the July 31-Aug. 6, 2008, issue). I am very concerned however on a few of his quotes "on one hand the school board member is the ultimate volunteer, " I believe they are not volunteers; they are elected members of the board. "someone who implements policy and makes things happen." Pardon again I thought that was the reason and duties of the superintendent. Another interesting remark: "I want to be involved at the university level, but not for three or five years." Most interesting, another temp super.
Then the most interesting and freightening remark. He states, "I enjoy the clasroom immensely." The position of superintendent of TPS I believe will occupy his time continually and not being hired to be a classroom teacher. The entire review I believe shows that he is to be a puppet on a string being pulled by someone who possibly desires to have the position but cannot be considered at this time. It is a shame that this man thinks that he will be able to enjoy the classroom, operate t a district many times larger than any he ever handled and in general be a friend to all members of the board.
Tulsa in truth needs a complete overhaul, from superintendent since they so rudely through a non voting board or a board or group that had no business in sticking their noses into the operations of tps, the editoral staff of the Tulsa drab. Just wanted to share a few issues with you. You did a wonderful and complete story on a person whom has a great desire to help education, I believe, but also has a greater desire to be in the classroom a position which is not a part of his position as superintendent.
The interesting thing is he taught the entire board on the proper operation yet something was not working obviosly as the issues as you stated were numerouis. Why did the board allow the mass confusion and failure to follow the very policy manuals that they prepared and accepted and was made a part of every TPS school? If you are not familar with what I am referring to pick up a manual and note, ALL schools are to have the same policy. Why are some schools allowing electronics in the classroom and others following the policy. Why are some schools allowing sagging pants while others are following the policy? Why is it that this highly trained board allows the assistants in many departments to not report to them or the superintendent "ISSUES" that cause problems for the TPS system?
In closing again I want to say you did a wonderful job. I would even recommend you for superintendent if I was on the board. If you desire to copy this and give it to the board feel free to. I pray that the parties involved will pray and ask for guidance. Tulsa needs to work together for the best interest of all of the schools within TPS and for all the students regardless of their needs.
-J Patrick C.
We, the People
Let me begin by saying, I didn't vote for Maria Barnes, because she was never available, didn't campaign, didn't come to neighborhood association meetings when invited, basically was invisible to the community, and I've known her for 10 years. Now I'm sorry I voted for you, Mr. Gomez, and I will not vote for Kathy Taylor next election either. How could you let them do this in your district, why didn't you fight for us? Why did you keep us in the dark about this? Do you honestly think you are going to be elected again? On second thought; do you even live in the district? Is this going to effect YOUR way of life? Is this going to kill YOUR property values? I'd be willing to bet not.
I live in the Crowell Heights area near 11th and Yale. I'm a first time homebuyer and I chose my property carefully, and now this. It's bad enough when the "11th Street Mail Order Brides" (hookers) bring their tricks into our neighborhood, and the apartments on 12th street bring in gangs, violence and drugs. I work at the court house and deal with the homeless 5 days a week, we can't even take lunch on the plaza because almost every place to sit has a homeless person sleeping on it. I've come in on Monday morning and the plaza is covered with trash, there's feces smeared on the walls, vomit all over, and I just pray for the weekends so I don't have to deal with it. Well, that's all going to change now, isn't it? Is there going to be added police protection in our area? Are they going to put up "no loitering" signs at Braden Park. Many families enjoy that park and I walk my dogs there regularly. But once this shelter is built, I'll never feel safe there again.
Why this location? Why not renovate one of the 36 empty buildings downtown? Oh, I digress, that would go against Queen Kathy's plan. What gives the City Council the right to dictate what will happen to the masses? The covertness of our Council is scary, you're elected officials, not a secret society. I realize the homeless have the right to a safe place to lay their heads at night, but what about my rights for the same!! The homeless also have the rights to get a job and become a productive member of society, but we mollycoddle them so much, what's their incentive?
Let me finish by saying: Please, please pull your heads out before someone sits down and breaks their neck.
Call to Arms
Chronically Homeless/Mentally Ill Facility Project: JUST BECAUSE THIS DOESN'T EFFECT YOU DIRECTLY, IT WILL AFFECT YOU. I personally want these cronically homeless and mentally ill people to find shelter, care and food. I hope they find the desire to move forward with their life as well. In Him, all things are possible. BUT, I fear that those who wish to move these people from downtown facilities are only looking out for Downtown businesses and current or future real estate investors.
Opening this facility in Midtown, a family community, will place that community at risk. These risks are unknown but are NOT unreasonable to account for: battery, robbery, destruction of property, rape, etc.. This is not a hospital for people with mental illness. This is a place for people to come and go as they please as long as they abide by the rules of the facility. The chronically homeless are used to living by "fight or flight". What are the statistics for the cronically homeless - murders, robbery, assault, petty larceny, rape, etc...?
This information was not provided. Are we, ALL OF TULSA, willing to move the statically disadvantaged right into a gentle neighborhood... right next door, down the block, a half a mile a way... from everything many of us call "home"? What about your coworkers or friends living in these areas? How much stress will this cause their families?
What about TU? Do you think parents will want to send their fledgling young adults to a beautifully updated private ($$$) college where homeless people walk by during the day and evening? Where many of the houses are up for sale and the real estate values have gone down because no one will want to move near this new facility? What about the businesses in the area (Walgreen's, Target, Sears, WalMart...etc...)? What will happen to the Fairgrounds? How will they survive? It will create a domino effect. Please, get involved! Write your legislators, write the paper, write whomever it takes to stop this action!
-Candy Ogden, White City resident
Editors Note: Unfortunately for the many residents who feel as you do, the Tulsa Housing Authority has already approved building the facility at Admiral and Yale. The campaign to oppose the facility will continue, though, according to its proponents.
Dwayne Davis does a solid job every week with (Left Field). Last week he talked about the onslaught of Olympic coverage NBC will be bringing (see "Banging Out Beijing" in the Aug. 7-13, 2008, issue) and gave me a good laugh when he alluded to the SNL skit where Phil Hartman was the Soviet weightlifter in the "All Drug Olympics".
I realize his article is also an entertainment piece, in addition to the information he provides, but I wanted to remind him about parts of the incredible wrestling tradition in this state that he might be missing.
While Olympic wrestling is not as fast paced and high-scoring as high school and college wrestling, I would challenge the notion that they're as boring as he might suggest (yes, I realize he's having fun teeing off on the Olympics - I do it too). Did you miss Egyptian Karam Gaber at the '04 Olympics? Dude was throwing people all over the place (YouTube his '04 Olympic Semifinal round match). Also, there are two styles. While Greco-Roman is admitedly slow, Freestyle is much like collegiate wrestling and isn't just guys stuck in a "tie-up".
Finally, Dwayne asked what the next career move is for these guys. Well, if he's the MMA fan he seems to be, he'd recognize that MMA IS the "pro league" for wrestlers (WWE is for the wrestler turned actor). If you took all the former wrestlers out of MMA, you'd take a huge chunk of the competitors. Fighters with a wrestling background on the last UFC pay-per-view: Georges St. Pierre, John Fitch, Brock Lesnar, and Roger Huerta. MMA pioneers and current fighters with a wrestling background? Try Randy Couture (wrestled at OSU), Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson, UFC TUF Finalist CB Dollaway - and the list goes on and on.
I'm not asking Dwayne to watch wrestling or even like. He can hate it - it's his right. Just thought a little more respect for this state's most successful sport (look it up) was in line. To be sure, I'm not mad at Dwayne. I'll definitely continue to read his column. He's a good writer. I just wish he'd thought about it before he "slammed" the great sport of wrestling. He said "...come out fighting and let's keep it clean." What can I say? Wrestlers love a good clean fight.
Wrestling Coach, UTW reader
Editor's Note: Thank you for your insightful comments, which underscore the mantra we athletes keep in mind as our rules of engagement: never mess with a wrestler or a hockey player.
Few Americans grasp the ramifications of a piece of legislation entitled "Directive 51," which is very similar to The National Emergency Powers Act that Germany's fledgling democracy adopted after World War I. This piece of legislation was later used by Adolf Hitler to seize total control over all branches of the government, and establish his brutal Nazi regime. It is safe to assume the Bush baddies will simulate a national emergency by staging yet another Terrorist Hoax to cancel the elections this November.
Once again, the United Fascist Union cautions you, watch out for this man, Bush, he is replicating the worst aspects of tyrants from the past.
-Mr. J. Grimes, Presidential Candidate of the United Fascist Union
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