Friday, June 30, 2006

A Response to Osama

I understand that Osama Bin Laden is calling for the release of Zarqawi's body to his relatives. I would reply that we would be happy to deliver the corpse directly to Osama himself!

P.S. to Osama: Update your photograph already!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Census Confirms Ominous Trend

The latest US Census data released today confirms a growing trend. People are continuing a slow but steady exodus from T-Town. Here is the data:

2000: 392,839
2001: 391,892
2002: 390,884
2003: 387,560
2004: 383,380
2005: 382,457

Tulsa's population has declined every year since the 2000 census. In fact, our population has declined by 2.7% in the past five years. Over that same period, three of Tulsa's suburbs, Bixby, Jenks and Owasso had the highest percentage growth rate in the state of Oklahoma over the same 5 year period. By the way, Broken Arrow, Catoosa and Claremore all had substantial gains over the period.

Oklahoma City had a respectable 5% gain over the period.

Tulsa is still far and away the 2nd largest city in Oklahoma and that doesn't look like it will change anytime soon.

Let's face it, the prospect of a longer commute time to work is more than offset by the lack of the hastle factor in the suburbs. By hastle factor, I mean Tulsa's deteriorating streets, undermanned police force, high crime, dismal public schools, empty houses, increased homicides, decreasing property values, high property taxes, too many stop signs/lights, and so on.

Tulsa is aging. It is more and more a city of the elderly and of the minority. Sadly, many from both of these camps are just not the type to roll up their sleeves and turn things around. The majority of those people are now firmly entrenched in our suburbs, making them a better place to live.

Tulsa is dying on the vine.

Tulsa was once the Oil Capital of the World.
Tulsa was once America's most liveable city.

How would you describe Tulsa today?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Main Street of America

I spent some time this afternoon in downtown Jenks, along the main road. I was waiting for someone and had a chance to just sit at a bench and watch the world go by. Jenks was really bustling this afternoon. People were parking and walking to the various antique shops, hair salons, coffeeshops, restaurants, etc

For the most part, it was mainly young females. Most of the males were in pickup trucks traversing the main drag. Maybe the crowd was due to school being out now.

One very interesting thing was that a political ad was being filmed for TV. It was Scott Pruitt, whom I have met once while lobbying for my pet cause, charter schools. He was then fairly powerful, politically speaking and a ranking Republican. In person he is rather short of stature and frail. As he waited for the film crew, anxiously pacing around, a woman would appear every few minutes and powder his nose. Screens were meticulously placed and it appeared they were waiting for just the right light to start the filming for a commercial. This glimpse into the making of a political ad made me think of how contrived and phoney they all are. Carefully crafted bits of neo-reality for the masses.

The real activity in "Jenks" though is across the river (on the Tulsa side) up and down Riverside Drive between 81st and 101st streets south. Casinos, shopping, dining, banking, and lots of places to just hang out. The nightlife hotspot there is at the Riverwalk.

I did enjoy my laid back afternoon on the Main Street of Jenks, America.