Top Stories


  • A classic case of injustice

    Published: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    Regarding “Oklahoma City retirement home files for bankruptcy relief after $15.1 million judgment” (News, July 19): What’s amazing about this story is the fact that the Hicks still live at Epworth Villa. If the abuse and neglect was that bad, why would they remain there? Looks like maybe their attorney saw the potential for a little green. This is no more than a classic case of injustice. I do believe the Hicks should be compensated for the injury. However, $15.1 million is excessive — perhaps by as much as $15 million. It was not the beliefs and practices of this facility that she suffered abuse. It was the acts of a single individual. It’s also sad to think a business related to health care would have to train its

  • Learning at a higher level

    Published: Sat, Jul 26, 2014

    Regarding “Oklahoma City school board decision to reject enterprise school contracts frustrates parents” (News, July 22): I’d like for board members to see things from the viewpoint of a parent of two Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School students. Both of my kids are of above- average intelligence. Most people would say that they have things easy when it comes to education. The problem is, these are the students who need to be challenged. Schools tend to spend the majority of their time, effort and money on kids who are on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Let's get back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic

    Published: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    Regarding “Barresi says new standards will take some time, study” (News, July 18): I guess I’m an old dinosaur, but it seems to me we had a pretty good education system during the first 60-odd years of the 20th century. After all, those graduates went on to create and develop the richest, most advanced and most charitable nation the world has ever known. I don’t understand the difficulty in giving children a good education. Teaching techniques are a little different due to advances in technology, but two plus two still equals four, math formulas haven't changed much, English is still English, the U.S. and world history curriculum has been rewritten but is still teachable.

  • Political food fight

    Published: Fri, Jul 25, 2014

    Angie Tagtow, a self-styled “environmental nutrition consultant,” was recently appointed executive director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. One of her first major projects will be overseeing the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), whose work can be seen on nutrition information labels found on the back of every package of food sold in America. Unfortunately, Tagtow has a generous interpretation of the scope of “nutrition policy.” She will further radicalize this year’s DGAC. The committee is already stacked with a homogenous group of career academics with minimal experience working in the real world of food science.

  • Still awaiting justice for other airliners shot down

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 brings to mind similar previous incidents of passenger airliners shot down. The Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, effectively marked the end of that iconic airline; it folded three years later. The death toll was 270 (including those on the ground when the plane went down), with agents of Muammar Kaddafi’s Libyan government implicated in the crime. Kaddafi later paid compensation to the families of the victims. Let’s not forget the Oct. 6, 1976, downing of Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455 shortly after it took off from Barbados. Seventy-eight passengers and crew lost their lives, including the Cuban fencing team. Both Venezuela and Cuba have requested

  • Discrimination for other immigrants?

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Asians, Africans and Indians must go through lots of hoops and bureaucratic paperwork, and years on a waiting list, to get permission to live in the U.S.

  • It still happens

    Published: Wed, Jul 23, 2014

    Crystal Mapes (Your Views, July 16) questioned Don Walkup’s view (Your Views, July 11) that everyone should buy his or her own contraceptives. I agree. Mapes seems to believe that the government providing everyone with all type of contraception or possibly sterilization will somehow prevent high-risk pregnancies and premature infant births. These issues can occur no matter who does or does not provide prevention and whether the pregnancy is planned or unplanned.

  • A country of freedom and justice

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    The influx of minors from Central America challenges us to control our borders while upholding basic ideals. We should consider the following: A 2008 anti-trafficking law states that minors can’t be turned away at the border without a hearing to determine if they’re in need of aid. This law must remain intact. Minors should have legal representation during trials. The government isn’t currently required to provide lawyers to illegals but it is required to provide a fair trial. Many children go unrepresented. Such hearings can’t be fair when federal lawyers are pitted against children who may not speak English and who may be unaware of how to request representation. Raising the number of refugee visas is

  • Our leaders need to show same bravery as Founders

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    An atheist was allowed to open a town council meeting in Greece, N.Y., on July 15. This would be humorous if not so serious. The atheist concluded his remarks by urging the town board “to honor the enlightened wisdom and the profound courage of those 56 brave men,” referring (I assume) to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If we were to actually do that, to honor the Founders’ “enlightened wisdom,” it would lead one to believe a Christian prayer would be in order. An honest reading of nonrevisionist history, and knowledge of the lives and writings of “those 56 brave men,” could lead you to no other conclusion. Local, state and national leaders do this country a great and dangerous disservice by backing so

  • A win-win suggestion on immigration reform

    Published: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    According to the Obama administration, an estimated 60,000 unaccompanied alien children will illegally cross the southern U.S. border this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011. To put this figure in perspective, OSU’s Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater has a seating capacity of 60,218. Perhaps the best solution to this crisis would be for the U.S. to increase foreign aid, assistance and trade in the three main Central American countries from which these minors came, but only on the condition of them being returned. This would be a win-win all around. The children will be seen as heroes in their homeland for inducing concessions from the U.S., which will help alleviate the turmoil in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

  • Something's wrong with Oklahoma education

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Common education in this state has a price tag of $12,206 per child, per year, according to the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. At this cost to taxpayers, parents should have school choice, private or public. Children with disabilities should be in schools that specialize in working with children in this category. Oklahoma ranks 42nd in fourth-grade math and 45th in eighth-grade math. We rank 40th in fourth-grade reading, 43rd in eighth-grade reading and 30th in high school graduation. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that about a fourth of high school graduates can’t pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which measures math and reading. These graduates don’t qualify to join the military in any capacity.

  • Currie Ballard was the epitome of dedication

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Oklahoma and the inmates in the prison system have lost a champion, someone who listened, with his mind, his judgment and his heart, to their cases, their words. He would listen and vote with a stern demeanor, but there were times when an inmate's testimony was so powerful and moving that he wept. I was very moved by this man's heart. I have a loved one incarcerated on a 40-year sentence for a nonviolent charge, so I sit in. Currie Ballard always took a moment to say hello; when he learned that I'm attending early, just to learn and be ready, he chuckled and commended me on my dedication. This man epitomized dedication. He grew up impoverished; his parents did time in prison.

  • Regarding immigration, it's time to take the gloves off

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    The Latin American countries responsible for and which are turning a blind eye to the child immigration problem need to be sent a strong message. It’s time to take the gloves off. Let’s send those countries our immigration bill. Let’s withdraw U.S. foreign aid and shut down U.S. tourist travel to their vacation destinations. These countries don’t care about their children's perilous journey to our border. They don’t care about American taxpayers footing the bill. I do care. Latin America is no longer on my “places to visit” list.

  • Parents most responsible for instilling religious beliefs in their children

    Published: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Lisa Sheppard (Your Views, July 6) wrote that “the same government that refuses to allow my child to pray in school sees no contradiction in telling me I should be more Christian about millions of illegal immigrants.” I want to clarify that all American public school students have the right to pray in school. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling of 1962 concerning school prayer (Engle vs. Vitale) only prohibited prayer led or sanctioned by the school, leaving the responsibility of religious guidance to parents. Americans follow many religions; even among Christians there are wide differences. Religion promoted in school may not be compatible with what a parent wants their child to learn.

  • Americans seem blind to growing dangers

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Only some people saw the foolhardiness, or worse, when Barack Obama ordered only a fraction of the military force deemed necessary to successfully conclude hostilities in Afghanistan. Members of the “Axis of Terror” (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) are now in recovery, growing stronger by the day. Americans seem blind to the growing dangers in the formation of a terrorist Muslim caliphate with a clearly stated objective of our very destruction. The U.S. border has been opened to a cynical exploitation of children, to be used as pawns in political extortion. Little is said about the terrorists and criminals among these innocents. The lessons of Neville Chamberlain and his infamous attempts at making peace with Adolf Hitler seem to

  • Can't we as a nation have compassion?

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Regarding the children crossing our borders to escape violence, rape and unbelievable persecutions endured in their homelands: America has always offered a haven for people enduring these horrors. In my lifetime we’ve had natives of Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc., as well as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia — and on and on — who found respite within our borders. These parents have sent their children to us for a chance at a better life. These children have faced hardships in their home country and on the dangerous journey to get here.

  • Is there a pharmaceuticals double standard?

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized nearly 20,000 packages of pharmaceuticals from foreign sources. This was done, the FDA said, because some countries have less stringent drug manufacturing regulations than the U.S. On July 11, I stopped by two stores to buy a prescription med called Omeprazole. The stores carried two types. One type read, “Made in India.” The other said, “Made in Israel.” Could it be that U.S. retailers are allowed to buy drugs cheaply overseas and then sell them to us but we’re no longer allowed to buy them directly from overseas? Robert Reeder, Binger The FDA said the seized packages contained unapproved or suspected fake drugs from a number of countries.

  • Contraception arguments are about controlling sexual behavior

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Many people conflate health insurance coverage of contraceptives with “sex without consequences” and say that they “don’t want to pay for you having sex.” Some claim that contraception isn’t a health issue and shouldn’t even be considered for health insurance coverage. These arguments are really about controlling the sexual behavior of women. Let’s consider female contraceptives through a health care lens. Unintended pregnancy increases risk of preterm or low birth weight babies. Related health and developmental problems result in higher costs for health care, education and social services, sometimes for a lifetime. Contraceptive use allows couples to space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes.

  • Quarantine of immigrant children at Fort Sill is good idea

    Published: Sat, Jul 19, 2014

    Quarantine urged State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, believes the illegal immigrant children should be quarantined at Fort Sill. A physician himself, Ritze made the point that the countries the children come from have diseases not commonly seen in the U.S., such as leprosy, scabies and TB. This could cause a medical nightmare for U.S. citizens, especially the young and old. Think about people who have arthritis and other autoimmune diseases or are being treated for cancer. Federal officials have said the children were vaccinated before they arrived in Fort Sill. Also, the Oklahoma Department of Health says any medical treatment of these children is a federal issue, not a state issue.

  • Finding kindred spirits in Oklahoma City

    Published: Fri, Jul 18, 2014

    As an employee of an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas company, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to your city often. There I have found many dear friends and kindred spirits. Patriotism is most certainly in vogue in your area. I have stood at the gate waiting to board a flight back to West Virginia and joined in the applause when the gate agent announced over the PA system that we had the honor of flying with members of our military. One such time, our service personnel were invited to board before the premium passengers. It was easy to pick out the veterans in the crowd because they stood a little taller as our soldiers passed by. Some of the older vets removed their caps in respect, a gesture I’ve seen my own father make