OKC’s Walkability Score

Well, we aren’t at the very last place, but we are #36 our of 40 large cities ranked at http://walkscore.com/rankings/most-walkable-cities.php for our walkability factor.  Our score is 43, the #1 city is San Francisco with a score of 83.

My neighborhood, Gatewood, at least is ranked as “somewhat walkable”, with a walk score of 68 out of 100.  When you type in your address at the website, it gives you a score for your neighborhood, and it also gives you the distances between your house and various neighborhood amenities like parks, grocery stores, libraries, bars, etc.

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OKC ranks at the bottom “again”

Yet another study finds that Oklahoma City ranks near the bottom of our nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in an important sustainability measure — carbon emissions. We are significantly above the national average for both residential and transportation carbon emissions. Our emissions did decline slightly, 2000 to 2005, but we have a long ways to go. View the study at http://tinyurl.com/3rqap9 , OKC is listed at page 63.

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Easter Island SLAM DUNK!

EASTER ISLAND SLAM DUNK!
Easter Island leaders hit a slam dunk for the Island with news that voters approved allocating the rest of the island’s coconut palms to build the Most Giant Statue Ever! “We really are creating a city where people want to be, and this is the beginning of a Golden Age for Easter Island. We are now a Most Giant Statue Island!”

The Mayor discounted the concerns of those opposed to the plan, such as “what will we eat if we chop down all the palm trees?” “First of all, there is no hunger on Easter Island. Everyone who says that there is hunger here is an activist with an agenda.* Second, we all know how ‘those kind of people’ think. They want us to be frugal and conservative with public expenditures and take care of important needs first, but yesterday’s vote is a clear statement that in the race between the Grasshoppers and the Ants, the Grasshoppers are certainly slam dunk victorious. Besides, what is more important than building the Most Giant Statue ever?”

* This was an actual statement made privately by Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City to a reporter from Seattle.

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Once again, OKC evades the transit issue

Once again, OKC government evades the transit issue. After all the attention given to a city survey process last year to determine priorities, which clearly set mass transit as a major priority, what’s the City’s first move? Proposing a sales tax to fund renovations to the Ford Center. “MAPS FOR MILLIONAIRES!”

Meanwhile, oil is spiking to $100/barrel, and $4 gasoline will come to us in 2008.

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Obituary of Max Waldrop

In grief, and yet in a sure and certain hope for the resurrection of the dead, I announce the death of my father, Max Waldrop.
Robert Max L Waldrop Sr. died December 7, 2007 at his home in Arvada, Colorado, after a long struggle with cancer. He was born September 9, 1925, in Frederick, Oklahoma, to William Glen Waldrop and Dovie Irene Bagwell Waldrop.
His grandparents, L.E. and Mollie Howdeshell Waldrop and Americus Madison and Eva Lena Smith Bagwell, came from Texas to Oklahoma Territory before statehood.
His grandfather A.M. Bagwell participated in the opening of the Big Pasture in 1906, the last large tract of land opened for settlement in Oklahoma, and his grandfather L.E. Waldrop served on the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture. The Waldrops came from Sherman, Texas, in 1903, at first settling near Chattanooga, Oklahoma, and then moving closer to Frederick.
L.E. Waldrop was the son of William Henry and Elmira Louisa Gossett Waldrop. Max L graduated from Henderson and Union schools in rural Tillman County, and served in the Merchant Marine during World War II.
After the war, he attended Cameron College in Lawton, Oklahoma, and married Betty Jo Cassidy. They had two children, Robert Jr. and Susan Marie. He was a farmer until 1975, when Betty Jo passed away and he moved to Colorado, first to Lake City, and then to Denver. In Colorado he worked as a commodities broker. In 1981 he married Claudette Copper of Arvada, and became father to her two children, Terry and Ann.

Max L greatly loved his family, the outdoors, hunting, and fishing, and was always willing to lend a helping hand to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. He could fix anything with baling wire and duct-tape. He knew the agricultural markets from the grassroots, as a farmer and later as a professional trader in agricultural commodities. He was a life-long blood donor, giving gallons of his own blood to help others. He could ride, hunt, fish, shoot, fly a private plane, and play poker. He was a member at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arvada.

He is survived by his wife Claudette of Arvada, his daughter Susan of Arvada, son Robert Jr. of Oklahoma City, and his family with Claudette — Terry and his wife Tammy and their children Tanner and Alisa of Arvada, and Ann and her husband Shannon and son Christopher of Stratford, Colorado. We are who we are today because of his great love, principles, and example.

Graveside rites with military honors will be held Tuesday, December 11th, at the Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, at 2 PM. The funeral service will be Wednesday, December 12th, at 2 PM at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arvada. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to your favorite charity or to the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House.

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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Who’s next on the hit list?

I sent the following letter to the Oklahoman last night.  RMW

The prosecution of Paul Jacob and others for the alleged “crime” of using out of state petition circulators, and the law on which that prosecution is based, are dangerous attacks on our constitutional right to petition for redress of grievances.(Grand jury indicts 3, October 3, 2007) The tradition of coming to the political assistance of others is well established in American history, law, and practice. Should Virginians have stayed home during the Revolution and not assisted the other colonies? Should people not have gone to Alabama in the 1960s to fight injustice? According to the legislature, and the Attorney General, the answer is “yes, they should have stayed home”. Their attitude is hypocrisy, since I bet that an examination of the contribution reports of every legislator who voted for this law and the Attorney General who enforces it, will show contributions from “out of state interests”. These politicians are evidently more interested in protecting their “culture of corruption” than they are in preserving our constitutional rights.

Our elected officials intend to control and limit the political choices available to Oklahomans. Anyone who disagrees will be punished. That’s why they want to send Paul Jacob to prison for 10 years for the “crime” of petitioning for redress of grievances “with out of state circulators”. Who’s next on their political hit list?

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A threat to political freedom in Oklahoma.

Later today (Tuesday, October 2nd), a multi-county grand jury here in Oklahoma City is set to strike a serious blow against our constitutionally protected right to petition for redress of grievances. They will charge 3 people for the alleged “crime” of paying non-residents to circulate an initiative petition in Oklahoma, whose law requires that paid circulators must be “residents” of the state of Oklahoma.

Nobody has actually been arrested and tried for the alleged “crime” of being a “non-resident circulator”. None of the three people likely to be charged later today solicited any signatures in Oklahoma. I guess their crime will be a “conspiracy to violate the law”, but what is really happening here is a conspiracy to violate “under color of law” the constitutional right to petition for redress of grievances of everyone in this state.

This is an issue that transcends the political spectrum. Every one of us — left, right, center, and all points in between — has a dog in this race. All of us may, in good time and for pressing issues, decide in the future to exercise our right to petition for redress of grievance via the initiative petition process. We may want to invite people in other states to come to our assistance. Any limitation on that right is therefore a direct attack on the common good.

The charges will be unsealed at 1:15 PM today (Tuesday, October 2nd), at the county courthouse, 321 W. Park Street. I believe it is on the 7th floor, but it is not known to me at this time whether people will be allowed in for the actual opening of the charges. Even so, there will be a gathering on the ground floor or outside to show solidarity for the people being charged and talk about what can be done about this.

The particular issues these people were involved with were an anti-eminent domain proposal (which I totally supported), and a statutory restriction on state spending (which I did not support).

But the political affiliation of these people isn’t actually the issue. Our problem is that this prosecution is part of an on-going process to structurally restrict our political choices. That’s why the “culture of corruption” has been so endemic in our politics ever since the Klan took over the state legislature and most county governments in the 1920s. One reason our state is in such a political mess these days is because our choices are so limited.

This prosecution stinks to high heaven of good-old-boy back room machinations. “We’ll teach those damn east coast yankees a lesson about coming in here and causing trouble for our back-room deal-making.” The law is likely to be ruled unconstitutional — the case law is pretty clear that for political purposes, your place of residency is the place you “intend” to be your residence. Even so, in the meantime the defendents will be out a large sum of money for the political crime of coming to the assistance of their friends in a different state. If that is going to become a crime, what are we to say about all that out of state money the members of the state legislature and other politicians and candidates for political office report every year?

If you can come to the court house later today, please do. One of the persons being charged is my good friend Paul Jacobs, originally from our neighbor state of Arkansas, whom I have known for 20 years. He is a husband and a father and a grandfather and a good hearted person and even if I disagree with him on a few issues, he is still a friend and a companion on my journey.

Paul Jacobs does not deserve to be the target of political retaliation from corrupt politicians who want to limit the political choices available to all Oklahomans. I consider this attack on him just the same as if it was an attack on me personally, and I invite all to join in that solidarity.

In the future I will probably have some other ideas about how we can defend this important right. By bringing these charges, with such uncertain constitutional grounds, some state officials may be participating in a conspiracy to violate our rights under color of law, which is a serious federal crime. The FBI certainly has considerable institutional experience in ferreting out corruption in Oklahoma governments. Perhaps we should ask the FBI to investigate this situation.

To facilitate organizing support for Paul and the others being charged, I have started a listserv, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theokiethree/ . Please show your solidarity and sign up for the discussion group.

I am signing this email with my religious affiliation, because I believe that of the various “hats” I wear, it is the most relevant, since this indeed is a moral issue and it is a social justice issue.

Please feel free to pass this information along to others who may be interested.

Bob Waldrop, founder

Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City

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LETTERS FROM OSAMA

Dear People of America,

Thank you for your continued financial support of our activities. The petro-dollars that you send to the Middle East each year give us the resources we need to buy bombs and guns to kill your soldiers and any civilians who get in our way.

We could not do what we do without your support. So please buy more automobiles and drive them anywhere you want to go, whenever you want to go. Trash your bicycle. Never walk or take the bus anywhere. Tell your politicians that mass transit is a waste of money. Abandon any thought of energy conservation!

Remember: Every time you buy gasoline or diesel, you send me some money. So buy more gasoline today! With your support, we can continue to kill and destroy. I promise you we will do this.

Sincerely,

ma Bin Laden

pdf flyer and postcard versions at http://www.energyconservationinfo.org/

Dear President and Congress of the United States, 

Thank you for not supporting public transportation. Your generous funding of road construction is greatly appreciated. Your trucking industry subsidies are critical to our success. The petro-dollars you send to the Middle East give us the resources we need to kill your soldiers and any civilians who get in our way. To continue helping our cause, I recommend the following policies:

+Mass transit is a waste of money. Radically slash funding for existing public transportation services. Give the money to your friends and campaign contributors who deserve it. Prosecute the war on Amtrak until it is gone forever!

+ Show disdain for energy conservation at every opportunity. Waste is good! The future belongs to the earmarked! Build more bridges to nowhere!

+ Generously subsidize the automobile and road construction industries. Ignore all that looney talk about increasing fuel economy standards.

These actions will drive increased petroleum consumption. More money for me! I promise to repay your generosity with death, suffering, and destruction. Politicians of America, I salute you! You are among my best friends and supporters anywhere in the world. Thanks to the aid and comfort you give me, one day my flag will fly over your White House and Capitol in Washington, D.C.

incerely,

Osama Bin Laden

pdf flyer and postcard versions at www.energyconservationinfo.org 

Dear Oklahoma Politicians,

Thank you for not supporting public transportation. Your generous advocacy for building more roads is greatly appreciated. Your subsidies for the trucking industry are critical to our success. The petro-dollars you send to the Middle East give us the resources we need to kill your soldiers and any civilians who get in our way. To continue your unbroken record of help for our cause, I recommend the following public policies:+ The state legislature and county governments should continue to ignore mass transit. Cut existing bus service at every opportunity. Destroy the rail interchange at Union Station in Oklahoma City as soon as possible.+ Build more four and six lane highways. This has the additional benefit of hastening the destruction of rural communities that are by-passed by your freeways. People will then move to larger cities where they will be easy targets for nuclear terrorism.These actions will drive increased gasoline and diesel consumption. More money for me! I promise to repay your generosity with death, suffering, and destruction. Politicians of Oklahoma, I salute you! You are among my best friends and supporters anywhere in the world.

Sincerely,

Osama Bin Laden

pdf flyer and postcard versions at http://www.energyconservationinfo.org/

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More Welfare for the Rich at City Hall

Pity those poor rich people. We should all feel so sorry for them. They are so deprived. They need a nice luxury hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. After all, rich people are important and must be treated nicely. So let’s just hand a blank check to a developer and start running up the renovation bill for the old Skirvin hotel and lie to the people from the very beginning about how much this is going to cost.

The city’s “share” of the Skirvin renovation costs are now reported by the Daily Oklahoman to be $22 million, which is only $6 million less than the full cost of the project was reported to be when this mess got started in 2001. The developer is claiming “increased construction costs”.

Once it gets opened — if it ever gets opened — I bet the owners will be back before the city council asking for an operating subsidy. After all, why should the not-poor people who will stay there pay the full bill for their extravagance when Uncle Sugar at City Hall has such deep pockets?

If renovating the Skirvin was actually a market-based proposition, the market would have provided the financing. The unwillingness of the marketplace to provide 100% of the money for this boondoggle is a VERY LOUD HINT that this deal will never pay its own bills, much less make a profit. If there was actual money to be made, banks would have lined up to cover the costs. But they didn’t, because unlike Uncle Sugar at City Hall, they don’t have the deep pockets of local government on their payrolls, and the projects they fund have to show that they can make at least enough money to pay back the loans.

We have heard, ad nauseum, how beautiful and significant the Skirvin is. We are told, endlessly, about how we have to save this “historical treasure”. Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda.

We hear very little, of course, about how the incompetent planning commisars of Oklahoma City destroyed downtown Oklahoma City.

The city council has never confessed and repented for the institutional racism that drove the City to destroy the Deep Deuce area just next to downtown with a due process riot.

They tell us how wonderful the medical research corporations are over by NE 13th and Kelley, but nobody ever talks about the neighborhoods they destroyed and are planning to destroy in the future.

 

And the City has gone along with the State’s plan to destroy the rail yards at Union Station for the sake of a ten lane mega-million dollar highway that could have easily gone elsewhere.

But that’s Oklahoma City for you. Give mega-buck welfare to the rich, and cut bus service for the poor to pay for it. Make sure the golf courses have everything they need, but close pools in poor neighborhoods to pay for it. Lavish millions on a hotel for the rich, and destroy heritage transportation infrastructure that could serve the entire metropolitan area. Subsidize upscale development in the suburbs, and cut services to the inner city areas to pay for it.

Now they are thinking about gerrymandering the city’s election districts to utterly destroy any voice that folks in the inner city have in city govenment.

Behold the power of wickedness and evil in government.

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More on Republican Hissy Fit. . .

Since the president of the NW Oklahoma City Republican Club is making false and slanderous statements about the religious tract he is referring to as a “threatening letter”, I thought I should put the document on the internet so that everybody can see for themselves what I had to say.  http://www.justpeace.org/immigration.htm has the full text.  Here is the mp3 file of the question about this tract asked by the president of the NW OKC Republican club and the answers given by four candidates for the Republican Party nomination for Congress in Oklahoma City.   http://www.bobwaldrop.net/GOP-debate-question.mp3 .

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