Saturday, April 29, 2006

Making our Homes Safer

We hosted a group of our neighbors, about 16 or so, plus 5 speakers at our house this morning. The topic was Tulsa crime and what we can do to make our homes a bit safer.

We had a realtor who suggested we keep our shrubs and landscaping trimmed back so burglars cannot hide in waiting.

A man from a local security company told us how we can get a no initial cost home security system, by paying a monthly monitoring fee.

Another man who sells siding and replacement windows stressed the design of new replacement windows designed so they will not be the place a burglar enters in.

A local inventor of the garage butler, a device that automatically closes your garage door if you leave it open, informed us that the majority of theft in the home is through an open garage door.

Then, our keynote speaker was a lady from the Citizens Crime Commission. She spoke at length about Tulsa's crime. The best prevention is an alert neighbor.

I now know that the motorcyclists who congregate at 51st and Memorial most every evening are a gang from Claremore. There is hispanic gang activity near 31st and Garnett. Crips gang activity on the North Side. Most chilling of all, a group of Ecuadorans called MS-13 are anarchists and there may be as many as 400 here in T-town. She strongly suggested any citizen report graffiti and suspected gang activity to the Citizens Crime Commission.

I have recently noted graffiti on a mailbox at the 51st & Sheridan. What have you noticed in your neighborhood?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are also known as the bill of rights. These amendments were enacted in order to gain approval of the Constitution by certain colonies hesitant to grant such power to a central government, on the heels of throwing off the yoke of King George. They grant us individual liberties, and are the bedrock of our thinking and culture.

The U.S. Constitution is explicit in leaving everything not covered in the document to the power of the states, or to the people:

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Article IV

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

That's right, the United States will protect each state against invasion.

We have seen evidence of the invasion on our TV screens. Evidence of the protesting of hundreds of thousands of illegals. Choose any number you like, we have heard of 11, 13, or even 20 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S. They have all entered here in violation of our laws, without regard for our borders and now threaten the sovereignty of the United States of America.

The United States of America seems not to have the political willpower to do anything about this invasion, except perhaps to throw up their collective hands and suddenly declare them as now legal and law-abiding citizens! Northern states, relatively unaffected by the swarm, sit like arm-chair quarterbacks and scoff at those Southern and Western states suffering under the crushing burden caused by the invasion.

May we all now pick and choose those Federal laws we care to abide by? The end of that is chaos and madness.

I believe this may very well be the most pivotal issue between the Federal and state governments, between individual states as well, since the War Between The States. There has not been one issue as close to breaking our union apart as illegal immigration, not since the civil rights issue of the 60's.

Illegal immigration has the power to escalate and perhaps we may see a disintegration of the union of our states. It has certainly pitted state against state, and breeds a strong resentment by individuals toward our strong central government.

It would be really interesting to see a state choose to enforce the current Federal law and crack down on illegals and the people who employ them. And then see how the Federal government reacts.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Kathy Taylor Photo Montage

The citizens of Tulsa bucked the trend to elect only the "beautiful" people. I'm talking about those genetically predisposed or artificially transformed into media stars. For your pleasure, here is a grouping of Kathy Taylor photos.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

All Hail Queen Kathy!

I feel the earth move, under my feet. I feel the sky tumblin' down.....

Well T-Town, now we will get to know Kathy Taylor better. Certainly not elected with a mandate, she received 51% of the popular vote. I wonder if she will declare a mandate of the people sometime soon?

In her acceptance speech she did the right thing and reached out to all Tulsans. There is no doubt it was the Tulsa Republicans that crossed over and voted for Taylor. There is now no place at the table for anyone like me or who represents my views. And there won't be for a number of years.

The best thing now is for all of us to pray for Kathy Taylor and our city.

The greatest strategic move she could make on Monday is to reinstate Chief Been. With crime out of control, streets in terrible shape and Tulsans taxed to the limit, surely there will only be a limit to the damage Kathy could cause. Heck, she might surprise me and turn out to be a crackerjack major.....not!

I predict a Koran in her office, and a rainbow coalition marching through our streets. In many ways, Tulsa has gotten what we deserve.

One thing is for sure. We have just elected one of the least photogenic mayors in the history of Tulsa.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Results from the Key Homeowners Association meeting

I have just returned from a grassroots meeting of the Key Homeowners Association. This association was revived last year after several years hiatus. For one thing, the past president passed and there didn't seem to be any real compelling reasons to meet.

In years past, we mobilized quickly to stop a topless bar threatening to locate at 61st and Sheridan. Flooding from Little Joe Creek consumed lots of time in the past, as well as neighborhood crime.

Under new management, the association put together a successful grant proposal for its share of Vision 2025 neighborhood funding. Our grant is just south of the maximum $25,000. It will be used to fund improvements to all the major entries into our neighborhood. Labor will be supplied from a long list of volunteers.

Tonight we decided to change the name of our neighborhood. At least as far as the signs go. We decided on Lafortune Park Plaza. This is descriptive of our area being in close proximity to Lafortune Park. We are the neighborhood just East of the park.

We also heard from a representative from the County Parks System about the upcoming construction of a community center/library. This will be located just to the North of the tennis courts off of Hudson. Everyone was pleased with the information.

Our neighborhood has been known as Park Plaza for decades. The problem is that there are numerous areas in Tulsa also known as Park Plaza. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? With all the improvements to LaFortune Park, and its wide recognition among the population, everyone seemed to be in favor of identifying ourselves as being close to the Park.

Our neighborhood would be a great test case to test some of Michael Bates ideas on urban planning. With a few sidewalks and crossways, we could easily connect our area to LaFortune Park with all of its amenities, and with shopping at the Farm. Many of our people walk every day. Not a bad plan if you asked me.

Anyway, it was great to see some of my neighbors. We have all been in hibernation over the winter months. And its great to see our Key Homeowners Assn. active and functioning once again.