POSTED ON FEBRUARY 13, 2013:
Remembering What Has Come Before
(re: Cover Story, Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2013)
While it is always nice to see roller derby, a sport I've grown to adore, mentioned in any press -- I have to say I'm a little shocked at the fact checking from your article "Hell on Wheels." Roller derby's resurgence in Tulsa did not begin in 2008 in Sand Springs. As UTW should know they have done an article or two on the now defunct Green Country Roller Girls out of Broken Arrow, which began in March 2006. Not sure how the staff of UTW nor the members of Tulsa Derby League let that slip by, given that some of the ex-GCRG skaters are now with TDL.
For shame, UTW garners one massive hip check for ignoring the past.
City Not Bicycle Friendly
(re: Cover Story, Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2013)
To the few up close and personal to Tulsa's cycling infrastructure, it is far from impressive, luxurious, or hard-to-beat. Please hold the Purple Kool-aid.
Tulsa Revised Ordinance, Title 37, Section 622, bans bicycling on public roadways within city limits. Because bicycles are slower than motor vehicles, they "impede" traffic, criminalized by law.
Title 42, Section 1300, the zoning code requires off-street parking only for motor vehicles. Though the city installed bike corrals in front of Councilor Ewing's Joe Momma's Pizza, there is no regulatory guidance for other business owners and developers to install bike parking.
In reference to Kent Morlan's letter of Jan. 30, there is no such thing as free parking. According to parking guru Donald Shoup, the high costs of "free" parking offered by the Utica Square, Promenade, and Woodland Hills malls are simply passed on to the consumer, through the prices of services and goods. Affecting all Tulsa citizens, large empty parking lots at the suburban malls also represent non-revenue producing real estate, and lost sales tax needed for city operations.
The myriad of vague and confusing ordinances under Title 37, Section 600, treat bicyclists like victims. The prevailing, mainstream attitude is cyclists shouldn't be on the roadway in traffic. If they get hit, they deserve it, right?
Contrary to popular belief, bike lanes are not the killer app for moms with kids to replace SUVs with cargo bikes.
According to an influential bicycle advocate, Allison Graves of Portland, Oregon, we start with the recognition that a bunch of white people dressed in spandex rolling $5,000 carbon fiber Lance Armstrong Tour d'France Specials does not make cities bicycle-friendly, no matter what "Buycycling" Magazine says.
If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2016, she won't be the first woman to occupy the office. She would be number two.
Our first woman president was Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson.
After a massive stroke left Wilson paralyzed on one side and with a damaged brain, Edith ran the country for almost two years in 1919-21.
She kept the presidential sickroom, read government reports, screened Wilson's visitors, and relayed his -- or perhaps her -- decisions.
She was called "The Secret President." One senator said, "We have a petticoat government! Mrs. Wilson is president!"
With Wilson incapacitated, there were calls for him to resign, but Edith would hear none of it.
So just what was our first female commander-in-chief like?
1. Dark red hair.
2. Junoesque figure.
3. Extremely charming when she wanted to be.
4. Large and formidable.
5. A presence.
6. Manager of the capital's finest jewelry store and driver of an electric car.
7. Politically naïve but a willing student of the president in the gut-fighter's art.
If Edith Wilson can do it in a petticoat, so can little Hillary (five foot, seven inches) in a pantsuit.
Edith and Hillary prove the wisdom of Pawhuska's Mabelle Kennedy, boss lady of five ranches and a bank as well as assistant treasurer of the United States, who said, "Brains have no sex."
--Virginia "Blue Jeans" Jenner
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