...on subjects that interest me, including but not limited to Tulsa, technology, politics, religion, and life.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Two things of note today.
1. A few people gathered in front of Kathy Taylor's mansion to protest the layoff of 21 Tulsa Police Officers. I was there to take some pictures.
2. Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith is attempting to remove District 2 Appointee Elizabeth Wright from the TMAPC. (full agenda here.)
Over at the Tulsa Now Forum Michael Bates had this to say.AGENDA
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tulsa County Administration Building
500 S. Denver, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Room 119, 9:30 A.M.
VI. NEW BUSINESS
D. Request for Public Hearing - (Board of County Commissioners) - to Consider the Removal of Elizabeth Wright as the District 2 Appointee, from the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, to be held11/23/09 at 9:30 a.m.
Karen Keith has been lobbying Wright to resign, claiming that she wants to appoint someone for geographic balance. Wright has refused; her term expires in January 2011. Now, evidently, Keith is going to try to remove Wright for cause.
I have heard that developers don't like Wright because she asks questions they'd rather not answer.
Geographic balance is important, but I would hate to lose a planning commissioner who brings a neighborhood perspective to the table, understands zoning, and is able to stand up under pressure.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 6:05 PM
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The short answer, technically he was not actually an active member of the group. The long answer is much more complicated.
One of the primary reasons I have been so opposed to Dewey Bartlett Jr. was my belief that he was a member of the Tulsans for Better Government. This is the group that pushed for at-large councilors, and for non-partisan local elections.
I had good reason to think he was a member:
A Tulsa World article (from 2005)
Their website (now archived) (from 2006)
A Batesline article (2005)
Last Sunday, I was a part of a small group who met with Mr. Bartlett to ask him questions (This will be another post). I told Mr. Bartlett that one of my primary concerns regarding his candidacy was his involvement with the Tulsans for Better Government. I told him that I found the idea for at-large councilors extremely concerning. The implication in my statement was that I could not support anyone who wanted to take control of the City Council in a way that would focus power in downtown and midtown, and disenfranchise the other parts of the city.
What he said, shocked and confused me. With regard to his involvement with Tulsans for Better Government, he said that he did not know about the at-large councilor push, that it was tendered without his knowledge. He suggested that he was asked to joined the group years ago but never really had anything to do with them, and certainly had nothing to do with the idea of at-large councilors. I asked him what he thought of at-large councilors and he said the he did not think it was a good idea, and that our form of government should not be changed.
I found that extremely hard to believe. Later I told his campaign manager that I would need a lot more information. A few days later he claimed that Dewey Bartlett was never a member of the Tulsans for Better Government. With seemingly conflicting information out of the Bartlett campaign I had to do some investigative work.
I reached out to some known members of the Tulsans for Better Government. I contacted Steve Schuller and Ted Sherwood directly, and I had indirect information from John Brock.
The story that I've been able to piece together is that Bartlett was contacted by some unknown person within the group asking that he lend his name to their cause, presumably to lend credence to their petition for at-large councilors. Schuller and Sherwood told me that he never had any other interaction with the group, that he was not an active member.
Bartlett claims that he really had no knowledge of the at-large councilor idea, that he thought he was signing up for "one of these kind of good government uhh, let's help somebody get elected" groups.
While it is good that Bartlett is seemingly on the right side of the at-large councilor issue, and while it is good to find out that Bartlett was not really a part of this Tulsans for Better Government group, I'm still rather disturbed my two nagging problems I have with this entire ordeal.
1. Remember that Bartlett was on that very first city council back in 1990. While I wasn't living in Tulsa at the time, I'm told that the push away from the city commissioner form of government toward the form of government we have now was a rather contentious issue. Bartlett was a part of this change, he was there on day one and should be sensitive toward any change to the form of government. Tulsans for Better Government was formed in 2005 for the express purpose of pushing for at-large councilors, so if we assume that since Bartlett claims he didn't know anything about the at-large councilor idea, it means that he let his name be used with out knowing what it was for. I would like to know what he was told, but if it was anything like what Randi Miller was told when she let her name get used, red flags should have gone off in his mind and he should have gotten more information before he let his mid-town buddies use his name.
2. In 2005, when the story about the Tulsans for Better Government and their push for at-large councilors broke, it was a huge deal. Anyone who was paying even just a little bit of attention to local politics knew about this. Bartlett's name was in the paper associated with this change. A huge stink was made, and a rather large group of people from all over the city, from all political ideologies, and from all walks of life rose up and fought this. If he didn't understand what he had lent his name to in the beginning, I find it extraordinarily hard to believe that he didn't figure it out afterward. Why didn't he call for a retraction? Why didn't he ask to have is name removed from the Tulsans for Better Government's website? Dewey Bartlett Jr should have known better but instead he was silent.
Again, this became a major campaign issue in this year's primary, yet as far as I know, Bartlett did nothing to correct the record. His involvement may have at first just been incredibly naive, however, by doing nothing to distance himself from this group in 2005 or earlier this year makes him complicit in my mind. So I'm right back to where I started before I knew that Bartlett really wasn't a part of the Tulsans for Better Government.
I see a man who unwittingly let his name be used in an effort to disenfranchise most of the city, presumably because one of his mid-town buddies suckered him into doing so. I'm not sure if that is not worse than being an unapologetic member of the group.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 11:36 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
There is no doubt that Bartlett backed Taylor in 2009 before she dropped out of the Mayor's race. But did he support her back in 2006? Based on what I thought I remembered, what others were saying, and a 2009 Tulsa World article, I had reported that he did, but after digging a little more, I'm not so sure.
One of my fiends received a communication from the Bartlett campaign categorically denying that he supported her in 2006. Finding that rather shocking, I decided to dig a little deeper.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 12:28 PM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
From The Oklahoma Department of Commerce:
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce recently submitted a comprehensive plan to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the state’s Energy Star Appliance Rebate program that is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Oklahoma was approved for a $3.5 million federal grant for the ARRA appliance rebate program.
The DOE is expected to notify Commerce if the state's plan has been approved by November 30. The program will likely begin in early spring of 2010.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 11:10 AM
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I was just forwarded an email from The City of Tulsa Communications Department to City Employees. The subject, "You're Invited to the Mayor Hotel to Welcome the WNBA to Tulsa!"
Is Mayor Taylor considering moving City Hall again!?
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 3:19 PM
I'm very excited to announce that pomegranate season 2009 has started in Tulsa! Keep an eye out for these amazing fruits at your grocer's produce section. If your grocery does not carry pomegranates, I know you can find the Pom Wonderful variety at the 71st and 169 Super Target.
Last year I reported that the season typically started in September and ran until January. I spoke with Pom Wonderful today and was told that if I was seeing pomegranates in September they weren't Pom Wonderful. The season for the Pom variety runs from mid October until January. However, I was told that this year is going to be one of the better harvests in recent memory. Pom Wonderful is forecasting that we might even go into the first part of February this year! (no promises)
If you've never tired a pomegranate, this is the year to start. Go down to the store and pick one up! For more information about how to choose a pomegranate, how to open one, and more, check out this handy Pomegranate 101 guide.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 1:14 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Michael Bates has created a map showing how Tulsa Republicans voted in the last mayoral primary.
I have put together a very crude map showing the variation by precinct in the results in last month's Republican primary for Mayor of Tulsa. The base map is from the University of Oklahoma Center for Spatial Analysis. I added dots, using colors to indicate Dewey Bartlett Jr's share of the vote in each precinct: Under 40%, 40%-49%, 50-59%, 60-69%, 70% and over.
Check it out, I found the results to be fascinating, expected...but fascinating.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 1:52 AM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
A few weeks ago I sent an email to each member of the Tulsa City Council asking them some questions regarding possible subsidies paid by Tulsa tax payers to fund the operation of a high-speed rail line between OKC and Tulsa. Councilor Westcott was the first to respond, Councilor Bynum the second, Councilor Troyer third, and now Republican candidate for district 6 council, Jim Mautino, has thrown in his two cents.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 4:46 PM
Saturday, October 10, 2009
A few weeks ago I sent an email to each member of the Tulsa City Council asking them some questions regarding possible subsidies paid by Tulsa tax payers to fund the operation of a high-speed rail line between OKC and Tulsa. Councilor Westcott was the first to respond, Councilor Bynum the second, and now Councilor Troyer has responded
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 11:22 AM
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I have recently discovered a great website called NewsFifty.com. NewsFifty is like 50 Drudge Reports, one for each state. Oklahoma’s own Sid Burgess, the National Director of NewsFifty, spent sometime giving me some more information about the site via IM and e-mail.
It is important to us that you know that we are not a news aggregator like so many other websites you might visit. In other words, we are not a “programmed” website that automatically updates itself every 5-10 minutes using RSS feeds from thousands of news sources.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 2:06 PM
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I received this letter from the Tulsa County Republican Party, I pass it on for informational purposes, not because I support Mr. Bartlett.
Dear Tulsa County Republican Party,
We have arrived once again at a crossroads. This election will decide the future of our city and the differences between my opponents and I could not be clearer. I am a conservative businessman who has survived in the good times and the bad. I served in the Air National Guard for six years, and I have a Masters Degree in Finance.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 3:02 PM
A few weeks ago I sent an email to each member of the Tulsa City Council asking them some questions regarding possible subsidies paid by Tulsa tax payers to fund the operation of a high-speed rail line between OKC and Tulsa. Councilor Westcott was the first to respond. Councilor Bynum has also responded.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 1:03 PM
ARTHUR: Good idea, oh Lord!
GOD: 'Course it's a good idea! Behold! Arthur, this is the Holy Grail. Look well, Arthur, for it is your sacred task to seek this Grail. That is your purpose, Arthur -- the Quest for the Holy Grail.
ARTHUR: A blessing!
LAUNCELOT: A blessing from the Lord!
GALAHAD: God be praised!
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 11:52 AM
Sunday, October 04, 2009
In the first chapter of Leviticus Aaron is told to offer up two goats for the Day of Atonement. One was to be sacrificed to the Lord, and the other, the scapegoat, was to be released into the wilderness symbolically carrying the sins of the people on it.
Today the scapegoat refers to the innocent person who is blamed for the sins or the sufferings of others, even though they are probably not responsible.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 4:36 PM
I fear that the unintended outcome of Lamons’ latest legislation to require a doctor’s prescription in order to get pseudoephedrine (PSE) will result in suffering of many Oklahomans who can find relief of their congestion no other way. While clearly his intention to limit the criminal’s ability to produce Methamphetamine is a laudable, I believe it to be entirely misguided.
As I pointed out in my last post, this is an illogical way to curb Meth abuse/production as it leads to the limited availability of good drugs that work, in favor of crummy drugs that don’t. We already see this today with the current law in Oklahoma that requires law abiding citizens to retrieve their needed PSE from behind the counter, albeit without a prescription. As more and more states restrict the sale of PSE, two things are occurring: 1. drug companies are replacing the PSE in their popular allergy and congestion drugs with Phenylephrine (PE) and 2. pharmacies are reducing their stock of drugs containing PSE because of reduced demand.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 2:48 PM
Friday, October 02, 2009
Substitution of phenylephrine for pseudoephedrine as a nasal decongeststant. An illogical way to control methamphetamine abuse
I read something in the Tulsa World today that made my head explode (probably because my head was already so congested), "State Rep. Lucky Lamons said Thursday that he will introduce legislation next session to require people seeking pseudoephedrine pills to have a prescription."
I've done a little research on the matter; after searching Google, reading a few study abstracts, reading anecdotal evidence tendered by pharmacists, and discussing the matter with a tenured professor of immunology at OU, I've determined that this is a really bad idea. So I sent the following letter to Lucky Lamons.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 11:04 AM
I was sent this wonderful article about managing the folks in your IT staff. I found it to be wonderfully insightful. I even learned a few things about my self. Here is my favorite section.(emphasis added)
IT pros are sensitive to logic -- that's what you pay them for. When things don't add up, they are prone to express their opinions on the matter, and the level of response will be proportional to the absurdity of the event. The more things that occur that make no sense, the more cynical IT pros will become. Standard organizational politics often run afoul of this, so IT pros can come to be seen as whiny or as having a victim mentality. Presuming this is a trait that must be disciplined out of them is a huge management mistake. IT pros complain primarily about logic, and primarily to people they respect. If you are dismissive of complaints, fail to recognize an illogical event or behave in deceptive ways, IT pros will likely stop complaining to you. You might mistake this as a behavioral improvement, when it's actually a show of disrespect. It means you are no longer worth talking to, which leads to insubordination.Ohh, man, that is so true. The entire piece is really good, if you are in IT, or you manage IT staff this article is highly recommended.
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 1:52 AM
Thursday, October 01, 2009
I came up with some alternative lyrics to Destiny's Child - Independent Women
Hillary... with my boy, Timmy... Eric H. and Joey B
Obama’s Cabinet, Come on
Uh uh uh
Question: Tell me what you think about Him
Takin’ us on the road to Socialism
Only give you rights that are convenient
If you don’t like it please get up and leave
Question: Tell me how you feel about this
Try to speak up, boy you’ll get dismissed
We’re payin for your health care, and for all yo’ bills
Makin sure you dependant in this relationship
Posted by Steven H. Roemerman Sr at 10:33 AM