• Why are Oklahomans electing so many slow learners?

    Published: Wed, May 6, 2015

    State Rep. Weldon Watson, R-Tulsa, who is starting his fifth term, said recently that many legislators are just becoming thoroughly familiar with the state’s finances when they have to leave the Legislature because of term limits (12 years). Why are we electing so many slow learners? Maybe prospective legislators should be subjected to the same Oklahoma testing programs we subject our students to.

  • If there is another MAPS project, it should be for water

    Published: Sun, May 3, 2015

    Oklahoma City has come a long way in the 22 years I have lived here. We have had several tax-supported MAPS projects, we acquired an NBA team and downtown has been rejuvenated. During that same period of time, the city’s population has grown significantly. Add the building boom and this increased demand to the prolonged drought, and a great strain is being placed on the city’s water supply. Yet the city’s fix for this problem seems to only be “conservation” and rationing, and putting continual pressure on the economy of Canton. It’s long past time for a city plan for “Big League Water.

  • Our nation was built on disrespect

    Published: Sun, May 3, 2015

    Regarding the letter by Dub Whalen (Your Views, April 26): How have we forgotten that our country was built on disrespect? Did the British feel respected when we destroyed private property in protest by throwing it into the Boston Harbor? Were their officials experiencing respect when they were tarred and feathered? If we only asked one question of immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship, I think it should be, “How do we feel about authority in this country?” The answer would be that we do not tolerate tyranny, and we do use our own moral judgment. Unfortunately, now, as then, we mean that only white people deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It gets us fired up when blacks don’t show us “respect.

  • Easy to understand disciplinary process needed

    Published: Sun, May 3, 2015

    Regarding “Superintendent calls for overhaul of discipline code at OKC schools” (News, April 22): Terrific idea. However, the entire stated process is convoluted, full of modern-day political correctness, and fails to mention a word about parents and responsibility. Senior educational administrators appear not to understand, or have forgotten, that kids do bad things and teenagers do really bad things. It’s how adults react to these events — laying the ground rules of consequences — that teaches children that all bad actions have penalties and establishes rules regarding what will and won’t be tolerated. And it all starts at home. That’s where a child learns ethics, values, courtesy, manners and responsibility. School is

  • We're responsible for who we elect, America

    Published: Sun, May 3, 2015

    One thing that amazes me about corrupted politicians, especially those in Washington, is that they’re people who, by anyone’s standards, have it all. They usually have the respect and admiration of their constituents or they wouldn’t have been elected. They have the power to get things done. They have security, with their excellent salaries and gold-plated retirement and hospitalization plans. But for some in Washington, that isn’t enough. As the headlines about Hillary and Bill Clinton seem to indicate, they want more — more respect, more admiration, more power and influence, more attention (but not too much), and especially, more money. The issues facing this nation and our people are complex.

  • Teach For America instructor is filled with gratitude

    Published: Sat, May 2, 2015

    As I start to wrap up my first year of teaching at Fillmore Elementary School, I am filled with gratitude for the kids, families and hidden beauty of our state. I teach primarily children of color, and I know the odds are stacked against them. They face higher rates of poverty and lower rates of educational attainment than their white and wealthier counterparts. So many factors drive these inequities — but their ability isn’t among them. Every day, my kids come in eager to dive into their work and think of new ways to solve problems. They constantly push themselves to overcome the obstacles they face. I am consistently humbled by their brilliance and persistence. I am Native, so I know what it’s like to face systemic

  • Democratic Party has been hijacked by extreme socialist liberals

    Published: Sat, May 2, 2015

    The once-great Democratic Party has been hijacked by extreme socialist liberals renaming themselves “progressives.” Progressives are adept at defining who conservatives are, but who are they? Progressives are the American citizens who have never served in the military, but want to command it. These are people who have never had a job away from government bureaucracy, but want to regulate yours. Progressives have carved out a niche for themselves immersed within gluttonous bureaucracy, lavishing in lifestyles they could never earn in the free market. As leaders, progressives use the unfortunate among us as pawns to keep and gain power under the guise of helping them. Over decades of “progressive” help, no progress has been

  • Oklahoma bills targeting same-sex marriage are unnecessary

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    Regarding “Oklahoma Senate, House send bills targeting same-sex marriage to Fallin’s desk for consideration” (News, April 24): I called the governor’s office and told the receptionist that I had been an ordained minister for over 50 years. During those years, I never had anyone tell me who I could perform weddings for or who I could not perform weddings for. In every case, the decision was mine. By passing the bills, the Legislature sends a message of approval to those clerics who might need an excuse to refuse to marry racially mixed couples, or tall couples, or couples who have had plastic surgery or even same-sex couples.

  • Oklahoma highway cable barriers are life-savers

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    I can attest to the safety that Oklahoma’s highway cable barrier system provides. On April 25, I was traveling north on Interstate 35, about five miles south of Norman. I was in the left-hand lane as I noticed a motor home that was traveling south, in the left-hand lane. The motor home left the pavement, heading right at me. As the vehicle hit the cable barrier, at an angle, debris from the motor home began to litter the roadway. Had the barrier not been in place, I know the motor home and I would have been in a head-on collision and I probably wouldn’t be here today.

  • School discipline starts in the home

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    “Superintendent calls for overhaul of discipline code at OKC schools” (News, April 22) and “Neu up-front in facing problems” (ScissorTales, April 25) don’t address the root of the numerous problems in the Oklahoma City Public Schools. This is the extreme lack of discipline in the home. When our two children started preschool, we asked the teacher whether we should we teach them numbers and the ABC’s. She quickly and firmly replied “No, just teach them to get along with the other children and follow our instructions.” This meant doing what the teachers and administrators told them to do — two very simple and important rules that seemed to cover just about everything. These require disciplinary action.

  • Traffic nightmare in far northwest Oklahoma City

    Published: Fri, May 1, 2015

    The traffic situation at NW 150 and Portland just got worse than I thought it could be, and that’s saying a lot. Are all westbound drivers seriously to be forced into just one lane? I cannot imagine who thought this was a workable way to handle traffic during construction. How long will this last? The cars back up at least a half mile even during non-rush hour times.

  • Let's be leaders in education

    Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Oklahoma City Schools Superintendent Rob Neu believes there are inconsistencies in the district's discipline policies. Some solutions he has suggested are behavior support programs and hiring more minority educators. These are strategies that former educator Stephen R. Covey would say are “striking at the branches” rather than at the root. If we’re going to make significant positive changes to education in Oklahoma, we must focus on the roots of behavior, and that is character. We need to cultivate character in our schools, our communities and in our leadership. As adults, we can do this by studying and cultivating Covey’s principles in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

  • Letter writer said it well about Brooks

    Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Regarding “Thunder fan thanks Scott Brooks” (Sports, April 24): Thank you David Paulson for saying what so many of us feel. I truly hope Scott Brooks sees your letter. Thank you for including the other 93.7 percent of us in closing your letter.

  • OKC half-marathon is a wonderful race

    Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    I wanted to find a way to say thank you to the people in Oklahoma City. This is the second time I’ve run the Memorial Run half-marathon. The race is well organized, the course is fun but challenging, the volunteers and those who come out to watch and give encouragement are among the nicest anywhere. Oklahoma has taken a few hits to the image in recent months but you've got an awful lot of good folks up there.

  • Using nitrogen gas in executions is humane

    Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    Those who worry about the humaneness of nitrogen asphyxiation to carry out the death penalty should try it — under medical supervision, of course. Nitrogen asphyxiation is a type of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, and it has the same symptoms as altitude hypoxia. Both are treacherous because there are no symptoms other than unconsciousness and, ultimately, death. I experienced it several times in an altitude chamber as part of my military pilot training. One by one, we trainees removed our oxygen masks at a pressure altitude of 35,000 feet, and begin putting pegs into a daycare pegboard. Everyone laughed as each of us struggled to put square pegs into round holes, and ultimately became nonresponsive.

  • Who's in charge of all the shaking going on under my home?

    Published: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    I’m confused. House Bill 2178 modifies the powers of cities and towns to regulate oil and gas drilling or production. If passed, this would seem to mean the right of cities and towns impacted by man-made quakes wouldn’t have the legal right to regulate the impact at the local level. There’s implication that the three members of the Corporation Commission, who have expertise in this area, would make the decision. Yet “USGS includes much of state in its induced quakes report” (Business, April 24) noted that commission officials “have said they don't think they have the legal authority to issue a moratorium” on wastewater injection wells. Who does have the authority? As a homeowner who just experienced another 3.

  • Shouldn't we stop this irresponsible process?

    Published: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Regarding “State geologists release statement concerning quakes, disposal wells" (Business, April 22): The Oklahoma Geological Survey concluded that the ongoing earthquake swarm was “very unlikely to represent a naturally occurring process.” Kim Hatfield, chairman of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association regulatory committee, said he didn’t see the report as shocking. If it’s now true that the process is damaging our properties and the industry doesn't know how bad it may get in the future, shouldn’t we stop the process? Who do property owners hold liable for damages? Most insurance companies don't think they’re liable for unnatural quakes.

  • Support carbon fee and dividend

    Published: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Few favor regulation such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to address climate change. Even President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address urged Congress to “pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change.” What kind of market-based solution would actually help most of us? A study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. found that a carbon fee and dividend (CF&D), which puts a fee on carbon at the mine or wellhead, and passes those revenues on to consumers, would grow the economy, create jobs and leave two-thirds of U.S. households wealthier than they are now. By incorporating the true cost to the taxpayer of burning fossil fuels, a carbon fee stimulates market demand for clean, renewable

  • 'Right to Farm' is another ridiculous bill

    Published: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    House Joint Resolution 1012, the “Right to Farm” bill, will enshrine industrial agriculture in the Oklahoma Constitution if voters approve it in 2016. HJR 1012 provides that: “The Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the right of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest.” What agriculture technology and ranching practices? Define a compelling state interest? The Legislature is about to abdicate its right to regulate factory hog and chicken farms. No one knows if HJR 1012 will jeopardize Oklahoma scenic rivers and other natural resources.

  • Children need our protection

    Published: Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    “Child abuse is epidemic problem in state, CARE Center CEO says” (News, April 17) noted that one in three girls and one in five boys are abused in Oklahoma County. Child abuse impacts more families than any childhood disease. The abuses include sexual and physical abuse, malnourishment, neglect and children sold into human and sex trafficking. Shockingly, 90 percent of the abusers are somebody known to the child, such as a family member, teacher, clergy, neighbor or friend. This despicable crime leaves the children physically and psychologically scarred and reluctant to report the incident because their abusers threaten to harm them or their loved ones.