Commentary

Fri
19
May

George Kaiser: 'In a race to the bottom,' 8 myths about Oklahoma persist

Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared in the May 14, 2017, issue of the Tulsa World.

 

By George Kaiser

Like many Oklahomans, I am deeply disturbed about the deterioration of our state over the past five years, while our leaders looked away. I have lived here for more than two-thirds of the life of the state, and I have never seen the situation so desperate or the governmental response to the plight of our people so dismissive.

Fri
19
May

Congratulations Class of 2017

By PATRICK FORD

Okmulgee Times Editor

 

The saying is true that “time flies.”

A group of young adults will complete their high school careers this evening as they receive their diplomas during the 2017 commencement ceremony for Okmulgee High School.

It’s been a long journey, not only for the students, but for their parents, grandparents or guardians.

It seem like only yesterday, I was watching a young boy enter the Okmulgee Times office in our old location on East Seventh Street. His mother was an employee at the time, and as a single mother, was constantly worried about the young man who was in elementary school.

I’m sure he was a handful for her, as most boys are at that age.

However, she was always there to ensure that he did his work, listened to his teachers, and become the best student that he could be through the coming years.

In a moment, I’ll get to rest of the story.

Fri
19
May

Green Ideas for Green Country

Green Ideas for Green Country

I wouldn’t call myself a hippie (though I know some of you who may self-identify as one), but it’s hard to write off the positive effects that recycling and “going green” can have on our local economy and community image. The benefits are tangible: green initiatives can create jobs, and they will change the way people perceive our town. When we’re better stewards of our resources, it positively affects our life in a variety of ways. Read through my thoughts below on ‘Green Ideas for Green Country’, and see which ones you can start doing today. Most of these are free, and none of them will take too much of your time. These are simple steps we can build on, as an entire community, towards a greener local economy.

Fri
19
May

Lighting the Path Ahead

Progress is the process of advancement and the way we measure if something is moving in a positive direction toward improvement. Sometimes progress is only a gradual betterment, but other times, it is much more distinct and noticeable. For instance, if you got a B on your last test and a B+ on this one, that's  progress. Or if you’re on a long trip, every mile you drive toward your destination, that’s considered progress too. Basically, any time you are moving toward a desired goal, you are making progress. 

It really seems like Okmulgee is making a lot of progress right now. Every time I open the local newspaper or browse social media, I learn about something that has been improved in this town or something moving in a positive direction. 

This week, I would like to respond to a couple of questions about the “progress” being made within the Old Post Office.

Q: How are things coming along inside your construction project downtown?

Wed
17
May

Night at the Orpheum with Kaitlyn Dillard

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

The newly released King Arthur: Legend of the Sword takes the well-known aspects of the myth of King Arthur and adds a new, almost modern, spin to it. The film falls in line behind other King Arthur movies, following Arthur as he discovers who he is as a king, but where the film differs is with its villain. King Vortigen, portrayed by Jude Law, is the cold-hearted uncle of Arthur who vies for the kingdom, even usurping his brother, Uther Pendragon’s, throne. He’s a fascinating character played well by Law, who invokes a sense of uneasiness with his relentless greed. 

Wed
17
May

Mullin It Over by Congressman Markwayne Mullin

Your Health Care Questions, Answered

 

 In this week’s Mullin It Over, I’d like to take the time to answer a few of the questions that constituents posted on my Facebook and Twitter pages recently.  Like many Americans, Oklahomans are concerned about our country’s health care system.  Health care is personal to all of us and it’s important that your questions are answered.

 

Do you know how this repeal will affect Indian Health Services? And could you please explain how you expect this to affect the Native people here in Oklahoma?

Posted on Facebook on May 5, 2017.

 

Fri
12
May

The Living Faith

Faithless Heart is always a Restless Heart

There are many modern prophets in media and in secular as well as religious circle who conduct many crisis management workshops, write so many books about it. Contrary to those secular world philosophers’ empty promises and solutions, Jesus’ words are full of truth and revelation from God the source of consolation and power. Jesus our Master offered us a Gospel of life management, which includes crisis management too. To teach humans some strategies regarding our ‘crisis-management, he came to this world. Not only did Jesus speak about it but he lived it also. As a Good Samaritan and Good Shepherd Jesus throughout his life went all the way out of his self to console and strengthen by deeds the people affected and hurt by human life’s crises.

Fri
12
May

Lighting the Path Ahead

In this world, there are people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened. We have all three types of people in Okmulgee. There are people who are actively involved in efforts to improve our community. We also have people who are sitting on the sidelines, just waiting to see if something good will happen to our town. And there are those who are listening to the naysayers and still can’t believe Okmulgee will ever amount to much of anything.

This week, with my 100th column submission, I have selected a question that will allow me to highlight how we are all involved with lighting the path ahead. 

Q: I can’t afford to buy or renovate a building in downtown Okmulgee, so how else can I play a part in Okmulgee Rising?

Fri
12
May

Life on Council House Square

Okmulgee Community Heroes

Time to highlight another community hero! Every few weeks, I focus my column on people who are leading the way in ‘Okmulgee Rising’ whether they realize it or not. As I’ve said before, they’re not necessarily developers or activists who are stepping out and trying to get things done, but what they do is so natural and so excellent that they likely don’t realize how much it is advancing our community. You may not realize it either. This week my focus is on Shawn Fritsche, more commonly known as ‘Maverick’, who is not only our Okmulgee City Code Enforcement Officer but also a Morris City Councilman.

Wed
10
May

A Week at the Capitol with Rep. Scott Fetgatter

There are a lot of people at the Capitol talking about the budget right now. Unfortunately, very few of them seem to have any understanding of what to do about our budget shortfall. The democrats are using numbers that don’t make any sense, republicans are supporting taxes and the governor… well, let’s just say she isn’t helping things at the moment. If you are like me, you are probably pretty frustrated by the emphasis of politics over people.

 However, the thing that bothers me most is the conversation that is not taking place. The new taxes, repealing old tax credits, ending tax loop holes, these are all ideas on how to increase the state government’s share of total funds in our state. The conversation that is not happening is how do we actually increase the total funds? Or to put another way, how do we get more high-paying jobs in Oklahoma?

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