POSTED ON JULY 27, 2011:
Aarp: Tulsa One of the Most Desirable and Affordable Places to Retire
Tulsa was chosen as one of the ten best places to retire by AARP.
In a Friday afternoon press conference, a handful of Tulsa's shining stars (including Jeremy and Libby Auld, owners of Elote, and Jeff Martin, local writer and Philbrook Online Communities Director), a couple of AARP representatives and Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. happily announced Tulsa's recent recognition.
Mayor Bartlett said, "With the amenities, cost of living and quality of life, not only is Tulsa a destination to retire, but a great city to be born, grow up, have a career and raise a family."
Tulsa, along with its local business, art and culture, will be featured in the September issue of AARP the Magazine, the most widely circulated magazine in the world.
The top ten cities were chosen out of more than 350, and were selected for lower cost of living, stability of the economy, state tax rates on pension and Social Security. Additionally, quality of life measures were taken into account, like restaurants, museums, recreation and proximity to airports.
Oklahoma's AARP State President Marjorie Lyons said, "From the low cost of housing, tax rates to fantastic recreation and climate to arts and culture, Tulsa is a city that is both affordable and livable, which is key for retirees."
Downtown Mexican restaurant Elote, the BOK Center, the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Tulsa International Film Festival were all mentioned in the article, along with the city's 26-miles of paved cycling and walking trails.
The top cities, including Tulsa, were also mentioned by USA Today and CBS.
Other cities selected were: Winchester, Va.; Gainesville, Ga.; Wenatchee, Wash.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Columbus, Ind.; Harrisburg, Penn.; Ithaca, New York; and Midland, Texas.
Forty Fresh Police Officers Join the Force
A graduation ceremony for 40 new police officers was held at the Tulsa Police Training Academy on Friday, July 22.
The recruits began their 26-week journey to the force on Jan. 24.
Officers must complete more than 900 hours of training, with lessons in firearms, defensive tactics, report writing and officer survival, among others.
But not so fast, these new officers still have another 16 weeks as Officers-in-Training in each of the department's patrol divisions: Gilcrease, Mingo Valley and Riverside.
After their training is done, the new officers will patrol on their own, and fill vacancies in these divisions.
We've Got a Plan: Tulsa Transit's Draft Unveiled
A draft plan for a restored and enhanced Regional Transit system is available for public review and comments until August 22.
Further review will be conducted for options such as rail, rapid transit, streetcar and bus.
"Based on a rigorous technical review of current data and extensive valuable input from the public over the last seven months, we have developed a transit plan which we believe will bring the Tulsa region up to speed with other mid-size U.S. cities," said James Wagner, Transportation Projects Coordinator for INCOG.
Some of the draft's recommended improvements to the current bus system include: simplifying circuitous routing; replacing Nightline service with evening and nighttime hours on key routes; setting a standard frequency system-wide; adding real-time arrival displays at key bus stops and transit centers; and constructing additional transit facilities.
The plan also includes ideas for funding regional transit in the future.
As for now it's still just a draft, pending adoption by the INCOG board of directors later this year. Make your voice heard by adding your own comments online at fastforwardplan.org.
A Word of Thanks from the Mayor's Office
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. genuinely appreciated his Absolute Best of Tulsa Awards for Most Genuine Public Servant and Most Effective Public Servant, said Terry Simonson, the mayor's chief of staff.
As a side note, Mayor Bartlett is also an avid collector of UTW's political cartoons drawn by Dave Simpson. He maintains framed copies of the cartoons at his business office at Keener Oil and Gas Co., 17th Street and Boston Ave.
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