POSTED ON JULY 29, 2009:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
OK on Corporate
In response to Natasha Ball's wonderful article "Grassroots Local" in the July 15th edition of Urban Tulsa, I wanted to let everyone know that the Whole Foods store in Tulsa has since been wonderful to work with!
The corporate folks responded promptly to my comments in Natasha's article and we were able to work everything out and get our local produce on the shelves within the week. As I said in the article, I do not think that our initial experience with Whole Foods can speak for the entire company. We have already seen that at corporate level and especially at the Tulsa store, Whole Foods is filled with professional, friendly employees who believe in healthy, sustainable, local foods, and who are willing to do what it takes to stock those products on their shelves.
If you support local foods, next time you visit Whole Foods, tell them "thank you" for buying local produce, and look for our beefsteak tomatoes, yellow squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. You can also support local farmers by shopping at The Blue Jackalope and Elote Cafe, as well as all the Farmers' Markets.
- Chelsea Coleman, Bootstrap Farm
What's happening to our beloved Urban Tulsa?
For some time, I have counted on Urban Tulsa to be the no. 1 source on "telling it like it is." From creative human interest pieces, to honest coverage of local politics, to comprehensive updates on Tulsa's cultural offerings, your paper has generally shown that an alternative weekly could successfully inform and entertain in a smaller market.
But one element of the paper has been out-of-whack lately--design, especially cover design. The design for "Feeding Downtown" in the July 22 issue is evidence that Urban Tulsa is slipping. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the Ramen noodle spoof for June 17, your photographer's enchanting photo of Fiawna Forte on June 24, and--to some extent--your out-of-the-box ABoT cover art. But otherwise, Urban Tulsa covers have been trending downward.
I thought we had hit rock bottom when the June 3 issue ("Marked Territory") came out with the most visually uninteresting cut-and-paste job I had ever seen. (PETA, cover your eyes for a moment.) Even the dogs on the cover looked like they wanted to be put down for being associated with the poorly-conceived, poorly-Photoshopped doggie parking lot. The Bark Park Task Force deserved better to highlight their efforts in creating dog-friendly areas around our fair city.
Then, the paper sunk to a new low. As I wrote above, the Fiawna Forte photograph provides for a great cover. But you should be ashamed for "pimping out" your paper's face with a casino advertisement over the title. I'd say that's something I'd expect from the daily paper across town, but they would never stoop that low.
If I'm generous, "Feeding Downtown" is mediocre. Maybe I'm alone here, but flying hams, floating lobsters and whatever's hanging from the Mid-Continent Tower just don't do it for me. Let's get back on track. Rally the troops. Peek at other alt-weekly's across the country. Be creative. Shouldn't Urban Tulsa offer style to go with its substance?
Jack A. Harris
Editor's Note: According to our Publisher, the 23-29 July Cover, "Feeding Downtown", is one of his favorite Covers of all time. That's good enough for us!
Thank you for including our announcement for Julia Serano in [last] week's edition. I appreciate you using the picture of Ms. Serano. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and their supportive allies [were] excited about her visit to Tulsa.
I know there are tons of special events happening in downtown Tulsa this week, and I am sure many of your clients wanted premium exposure. For you to make room for us was very generous and kind.
I enjoy your paper and I also really liked the article on a downtown grocery store. I am moving downtown to one of the loft apartments at the Mayo Hotel and will have to reconsider adjusting my grocery shopping and what drug store will be most convenient. I have worked and worshipped downtown for several decades, and I remember how much we utilized the Safeway, then Homeland. When the store at 11th and Denver closed, it created a real problem for downtown workers who needed to make a quick run to the store on a lunch hour.
Thanks for focusing on this issue also.
President, Oklahomans for Equality
Gates of Hell
Here we are, we 21st century Americans, at the gates of racial hell again--you know all of us who sit around fondly remembering Jim Crow laws [like most of us today could provide a definition of these laws without going on-line?]. Although, I do think most of us know for a fact, JC law = BAD.
We've all had a belly full of this week's poster child for America's cowardly approach to race relations. That is what our U.S. Attorney General would say, right? This week's special is brought to you by the impeccable truth tellers of the Harvard faculty. You know the guys who trained the Truth Teller in Chief, none other than our newest reality show judge and President who concludes--admittedly without knowing all the facts--the police "acted stupidly." BHO's buddy Mr. Gates had no responsibility to act responsibly--right? Guess all those guys sent to the cooler on COPS when they go out of control have been profiled as--well, for lack of another description--guys out of control?
So don't get Henry Louis Gates, Jr., P.O.'d at you 'cause he's got rights--lots of them. Apparently the cop who arrested him being a specialist trained to spot and end racial profiling forgot the right of Mr. Gates to verbally abuse him in a public place. I mean if things are as the victim class proclaim, that a cop specially trained by the government at taxpayer expense to identify and root out police profiling, then at the drop of the hat [or was that contemptuous out of control conduct?], engages in police profiling, well that makes me comfortable with the same gang telling me I'll be just fine with the government training and supervising my healthcare workers, right? Let's make sure to keep us simpleton Jim Crow "reminiscers" mesmerized by the duality of our victim class arguments.
Perhaps the next time Mr. Gates actually needs assistance to check out a reported break-in at his residence he can call his friend, President Obama--sure he'll make that under seven minute response time.
I'm certain Mr. Gates was sure to identify himself in no uncertain terms as an internationally esteemed Harvard Professor with all the amplitude and with all the gentlemanly aplomb he could muster--I'm sure that's what he did, right? Why else would he get sent to "time out?" Mr. Gates is sure he's within his rights. Officer Crowley is sure he acted properly. Our President is sure he has reached the obvious conclusion.
Given all this input, it would seem appropriate that the rest of us, having not been there nor having all the facts (but certain the police acted stupidly--so sayth the messiah), can be sure about what happened. Right? I wonder what a wise Latina woman would be sure of? We're soon to find out in the monumental lawsuits to come. We are all most welcome to the Harvard Professor Gates teaching us racial profiling 101--it's a hell of a story.
- BoBeCo JO
Life's Too Short
Geezers don't like change. I know first hand because I am married to one of these eccentric old gentlemen.
So, I was not surprised when another geezer, Oklahoma's 74-year-old U.S. Senator, Jim Inhofe, had a cow when Minnesota elected Democrat Al Franken to the Senate.
"The clown from Minnesota," huffed Republican Inhofe.
Fraken ripped it when Inhofe when made fun of Republican talk show king in his best-seller, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations."
Here are the other things that make Franken "Public Enemy No. 1" to Inhofe's right-wing gang:
1. He can be the 60th vote to permit Democrats to stop Republican filibusters.
2. He's a liberal.
3. He loves to debate Inhofe's No. 2 hero, talk show host Sean Hannity.
4. He's from a lower middle class family. His daddy never made more than $8,000 a year.
5. He wrote for NBC-TV's hit series, "Saturday Night Live."
6. He does funny and fearless monologues that can make him a Senate star.
7. He supports government-mandated universal health insurance.
8. He adds a sense of humor to a humorless Senate.
The late Okie Admiral, William J. Crowe Jr. said, "As you progress, nothing will stand you in better stead than a sense of humor. In a perfect world this would not be so important. We would be serious about every subject without harm. But, unfortunately, life does not meet that criterion."
Virginia "Blue Jeans" Jenner
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