POSTED ON MAY 25, 2011:
Love Letters/Hate Mail
(In response to "Between Hospitals and History" in the May 12-18 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
I am pleased with the thought of the city encouraging Hillcrest and St. John's to have a small area plan. I am also pleased that this article mentions working with the stakeholders who will be affected by such plans.
I am however concerned, since we are talking about two powerful institutions, that the neighborhoods have equal representation and influence at the planning table. Can lowly neighborhood advocates successfully argue logic and reason with lawyers, investors, developers and hospital administrators about such seemingly trivial things as historic preservation and mixed use infill with bureaucrats who may not understand the vision of PLANiTULSA? Who will educate them? Who will they listen to? Will they care?
Who will be in charge of seeing that politics do not influence the planning process with these two institutions or anyone else? Who will represent the neighborhoods? Will they have a place at the table?
Did the Brady Village and Pearl District small area plans set a precedent for all others to follow? If so, then politics should have no place at the table. PLANiTULSA is our new comprehensive plan and it is the law.
Since these kind of growing pains seem inevitable, I wonder if the city is going to hire a planning director or just hire outside firms to do our planning for us? If so, what will a planning director do once we hire one?
We already have a very capable planning department. They are just grossly understaffed.
Wouldn't it be more prudent to invest in Tulsa's future by expanding our existing planning department and hire planners who live and work in Tulsa? Wouldn't they have more of a stake in the outcome?
Besides, how do we know that an outside party will work in the best interest of everyone concerned and not just their client?
Who will be the advocate for neighborhoods? The developers, lawyers, investors and hospital administrators? I think not.
(In response to "Bridge to the Brady" in the May 12-18 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Tulsa is a fantastic city and exploding arts culture. This is a fantastic way to emphasize and expand the west Brady District and the arts and entertainment venues of this section of Tulsa.
The Brady is booming. This bridge construction will definitely be a boon to the district. Thanks for the vision.
Job Well Done
(In response to "Bruise Dues" in the May 12-18 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Thank you for this story. This is one of the hardest working clubs in Tulsa. The effort and commitment of the team is truly something the city of Tulsa should be proud of, and their success is a direct result of talent and hard work.
(In response to "Osama Bin Laden's Ultimate Victory" in the May 12-18 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
In a perfect world, the killing of bin Laden by a U.S. Navy SEAL team would not have happened. But this would have: The SEALS don't breach a comfortable compound, shielded by Pakistani military. They don't deliver a double-tap to the forehead of a coward using a woman as a human shield. Instead, the SEALS arrive at bin Laden's cave where he's been living in squalor for 10 years, advancing the righteous cause of radical Islam. The SEALS approach, the Lion of Islam charges forth, a snarl on his lips, and with blazing AK-47s in each hand, he succumbs to a martyr's death, but not before taking half the SEAL team with him.
Or maybe this one is better: The SEALS get permission to talk to bin Laden. They knock on his door politely and ask him to step outside. They invite him to a pub for some beers. Bin Laden doesn't drink -- because of his bad kidneys and because he's a radical Islamic warrior who would not defile himself with alcohol, that too. But he goes along as the designated driver. In a gesture of additional good faith, the SEALS let bin Laden keep their Humvee. Bin Laden drives it back to his compound shouting, "Allah Akbar! And God bless the Navy SEALS!"
Bin Laden, now consumed with good will for the Great Satan, issues a fatwah ordering all holy warriors to no longer show respect for their vanquished combatants by decapitating them and dragging their bodies through streets behind trucks. "From now on", says bin Laden, "we'll stick a cigar in their mouth and set them on fire."
And in that fashion -- in the perfect world, anyway -- radical Islam and the Great Satan are reconciled.
(In response to "Cooking With Love" in the May 5-11 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
Besides being warm and hospitable hosts, the Afsharis are knowledgeable about all aspects of Persian culture. I mentioned a little-known Iranian film to Mrs. Afshari and she knew it well. Later I was trying to remember the name of a famous 16th-century Persian painter. To help me, her husband listed them all, including the one I was after, Behzad.
Don't call the USA "Uncle Sam" any more. Just make it "Uncle Sucker."
How else can we face the music of our ally Pakistan being more in bed with the al-Qaeda terrorist network than us -- and we keep sending them billions of dollars in aid?
Fresh evidence of Pakistan's double-dealing is its hiding of the world's mass murderer Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader who called the shots in the 9/11 attack.
Here are the facts: 1. Navy SEALs killed bin Laden where he had been lounging in a million-dollar mansion and compound located in the wealthy Pakistani town of Abbottabad for five years. 2. His home was surrounded by walls ranging from 10-18 feet and topped with barbed wire -- a red flag if there ever was one. 3. A pit in the backyard was used for burning household trash, another red flag. Garbage men squeal. 4. Three of bin Laden's buddies, Umar Patek, Abu Faraj al-Libbi and Tahir Shahzad lived in the area. 5. Pakistani military brass and a brigade of the Pakistani army lived in the same town with bin Laden. 6. The military academy was a mile or two down the road. 7. His only guards were two couriers. He didn't need any more when the establishment was on the take.
This harboring of bin Laden cost hundreds of American fighting men their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan wars. With our boys' blood on their hands, I wouldn't give Pakistan another dime. And they tell us to never set foot in Pakistan without letting them know about it.
Pish-posh, hogwash, horse-feathers.
--Virgina "Blue Jeans" Jenner
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