POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2013:
The City's News
If 911 audio recordings were released in the past, that doesn't mean it's always been city policy to make them public, according to Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan.
Jordan responded after the Tulsa World screamed in a front-page article on Sept. 12 that the decision to withhold a 911 recording signaled a change in the city's policy. The World requested calls related to an off-duty Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer fatally shooting a man outside a Tulsa motel.
When the recordings weren't released, the World tried to emphasize that the lack of disclosure represented an about-face for the city.
The city eventually released the 911 audio relating to incident, which thus far, at least, has not resulted in any criminal charges against the off-duty patrolman.
But Jordan and then later the city also issued written statements attempting to clarify -- and justify -- the department's position.
"There has not been a reversal of policy," Jordan's statement read. "We have both released and denied access to recordings in the past based on the circumstances. That will also hold true in the future."
In the statement, Jordan said he deliberated over releasing the recordings because of "the fact that it was a state issue."
The city's legal team also came out with a statement.
"The Open Records Act is clear that sound recordings can be open records and 911 calls can be open records too, which explains why calls have been released in the past," the statement read. "But that does not mean that all recordings and 911 calls are open records. When a 911 call relates to calls for police services, that sound recording is not included in the statute for law enforcement records that are required to be released."
Despite the city legal department's statement, Oklahoma's Open Records Act does not specifically say anything about 911 sound recordings. A lawsuit filed by a city workers' union in June asked for the release of some 911 audio recordings, stating that they relate to action taken by the city against a 911 call taker. That lawsuit remains pending.
It's a local issue, but also one that has been up for debate elsewhere. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that six states -- including Missouri -- keep 911 audio confidential, while five other states place some restrictions on the release of such audio.
Pink with embarrassment.
Turn Tulsa Pink has a high-profile in Tulsa, raising awareness of breast cancer in part through efforts to literally paint pink a variety of eye-catching Tulsa objects. Most recently, a Tulsa Transit bus was transformed into a pink-hued vehicle for cancer awareness.
But the organization has run into a bit of trouble relating to its non-profit status, as reported by KJRH Channel 2 news.
The Turn Tulsa Pink campaign is an offshoot of an organization known as Breast Impressions. This organization, founded by Judi Grove, went three years without filing tax returns, KJRH reported, and the IRS responded by revoking its status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a designation that allows for donations made to the effort to be tax deductible.
Turn Tulsa Pink
Grove replied with a statement to the Sept. 12 report, in which she wrote that "due to an administrative oversight we failed to send the proper forms to the IRS." She wrote that "all of the funds we have collected have gone to the charities we support, individuals we were able to help fighting the battle who did not fit the criteria of the charities guidelines, and we have provided scholarships to college bound students affected by cancer."
Grove also posted additional thoughts on the report on the Turn Tulsa Pink Facebook page.
"When KJRH called to do the story ... I informed them everything had already been sent to the IRS, and I sent the station copies of everything that went to the IRS," Grove wrote.
According to the IRS website, revocation occurs automatically if a nonprofit fails to satisfy filing requirements for three consecutive years. An organization seeking to have its status reinstated "must file an application for exemption and pay the appropriate user fee."
A Turn Tulsa Pink event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, at Cain's Ballroom will continue as scheduled, with proceeds to "be distributed directly" to nine local cancer charities, according to the Turn Tulsa Pink Facebook page.
From making laws to enforcing them?
State Senator Brian Crain has announced plans to seek the Tulsa County District Attorney office.
Crain, who served as an assistant DA in Tulsa County in the late 1990s, made the announcement Sept. 11, describing himself as a "major conservative voice" in the legislature.
"Gang violence and human trafficking have been on the rise in Tulsa County for the past generation," Crain said in his statement. "This is a problem for all of us and not one particular area. The District Attorney can lead law enforcement in making Tulsa County safer for its citizens."
The post will be decided in a 2014 election. Tim Harris, who has held the district attorney post since 1998, has not stated publicly whether he plans to seek reelection.
The comforts of art.
Sofas of very specific styles will highlight a street festival Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood.
Artists have been encouraged to revamp some second-hand furniture, and the results will be on display at the event beginning at 5pm just west of E. Admiral Boulevard and S. Lewis Avenue.
Mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor will be among the judges, with a prize of $500 going to the creation judged to be the best. One piece, dubbed "At Rest with Jackson Pollack," features a plain white sofa chair transformed into a paint-splattered-yet-stylish object.
All the entries will be available for sale via a silent auction. Food and music will also be part of the free event, inspired by the neighborhood's newest shop, Urban Furnishings.
From Tulsa to Hollywood and now back again.
A Tulsa icon will be in town Saturday, Sept. 21, to talk about her latest film project.
Jeanne Tripplehorn and her husband, Leland Orser, star in Morning, a dramatic tale centered on the raw emotions of a couple dealing with the accidental death of a child. Both actors will appear at 5:30pm for a special VIP reception at the Circle Cinema before a 7pm screening of the movie and a question-and-answer session.
Tripplehorn left Tulsa to find fame in big-budget Hollywood movies, including the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. She now appears as a series regular on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.
The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Circle Cinema Foundation, with $50 tickets to attend the private reception.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A64063