• Oklahoma soaring as a result of energy boom that has legs

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    THOUSANDS of Oklahomans weren’t yet born the last time this state was in an energy bust. What’s been booming since then isn’t the baby population. It’s oil and gas production and its related economic effects. Throughout the history of petroleum exploration and production, the industry has exemplified the boom-or-bust cycle. Busts inevitably followed booms, as happened in the early 1980s. That was the era of high-flying independent energy companies. It all came tumbling down, most notably on July 5, 1982, when a 22-year-old shopping center bank was declared insolvent. The Penn Square Bank failure took other, larger institutions with it. Months of economic doldrums followed.

  • Congress doesn't need to become involved in NFL troubles

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    New York senator showing an interest

  • Tulsa case underscores importance of Innocence Project efforts

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    IN an op-ed published Saturday in The Oklahoman, the executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project noted that since 1989 there have been 27 cases in Oklahoma where a person sent to prison was later exonerated. “So we know that Oklahoma’s criminal justice system has made some mistakes,” Lawrence Hellman wrote. “Not a lot of mistakes, but some serious ones.” Michelle Murphy is a case in point. Murphy, 17, was convicted in 1995 of killing her infant son. The 15-month-old boy was stabbed several times on Sept. 12, 1994. Murphy discovered the body in her kitchen. According to the national Innocence Project in New York, which assisted in her case, she immediately went to a neighbor and called police.

  • Tanning tax is an illustration of government folly

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    It’s included under Obamacare

  • President Obama needs to reverse course on defense spending

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 16, 2014

    Analysis demonstrates need for proper spending

  • Program helps kids learn more than fundraising techniques

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 15, 2014

    They also learn about manners

  • U.N. has more pressing concerns than climate change (thank goodness)

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 15, 2014

    MATT Ridley calls himself a “lukewarmer,” a person who’s somewhere in between when it comes to positions on global warming. Apparently, the number of such folks in high government positions is on the upswing — unlike the temperatures themselves. A United Nations climate change summit this month will have some empty seats. They would otherwise be occupied by officials from China, India and Germany, among others, who’ve decided that global warming isn’t quite as urgent as the U.N. and President Barack Obama think it is. Ridley noted in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that the U.N. “no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades.

  • Oklahoma pension reformers should be encouraged by R.I. primary result

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 14, 2014

    NORMALLY the outcome of a Democratic gubernatorial primary in Rhode Island would have little bearing on Oklahoma politics. This year’s race is an exception. In the Rhode Island primary on Tuesday, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Democratic gubernatorial nod, defeating two others. This is notable because Raimondo championed public pension reform in 2011 that Wall Street Journal editorial writer Allysia Finley declared “may be the country’s boldest …” Among other things, Raimondo supported ending cost-of-living adjustments for retirees until pension funds become 80 percent solvent. She supported increasing the retirement age from 62 to 67.

  • 'Repeal and replace' now more than a slogan

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 14, 2014

    One proposed alternative far cheaper

  • ScissorTales: An investment that's paying off for Oklahoma drivers

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Sep 13, 2014

    IMPROVEMENTS at driver testing sites in Oklahoma are proof that spending money wisely can pay dividends in state government. The Department of Public Safety had a public relations nightmare on its hands for a number of years, resulting from teenagers having to arrive in the middle of the night in hopes of landing one of the handful of spots available to take the driving test needed to earn a license. Too-few examiners, and no way to reserve a spot in advance, made for a miserable experience for many. In 2013, the Legislature gave DPS additional funding, which allowed the agency to hire more driver’s license examiners. DPS also has implemented an online system that lets folks make appointments to take the written test or the

  • Effects on Oklahoma families another reason to embrace corrections reform

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Sep 12, 2014

    THE debate over Oklahoma’s corrections policy generally focuses on how the state’s tough-on-crime approach has left its prisons crammed with men and women who are monitored by outmanned, overworked prison guards. It’s a costly, potentially dangerous mix. One facet of this debate that is too often overlooked is the effect that Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate has on the families of those who are locked up, particularly their children. No state locks up more females, per capita, than Oklahoma. Overall, our incarceration rate is among the five highest in the country. However many inmates are serving time for nonviolent offenses – from fiscal year 2005 to FY 2012, 44 percent of nonviolent admissions were drug related.

  • Education successes offer template for Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    STUDENT achievement has surged dramatically in several countries around the world, surpassing the United States. Journalist Amanda Ripley convincingly suggests those nations’ experiences should inform education policy in Oklahoma. In writing “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,” Ripley reviewed other nations’ school systems and interviewed foreign-exchange students. (This included a look at Oklahoma.) She discussed her findings at a luncheon last week hosted by Stand for Children, which advocates for better schools. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international test for 15-year-olds administered in reading, math and science.

  • Debate over arming of police departments sure to linger

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    Both sides have valid arguments

  • Planning is vital in Oklahoma City's streetcar effort

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    Other systems critiqued

  • Ray Rice case shines a spotlight on domestic violence

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    “GREAT job.” That was Jan Peery’s reaction to the news Monday that the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens had cut ties with their star running back, Ray Rice, after video from inside a casino elevator showed Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face, knocking her out cold. The video broadcast by the website TMZ is startling. But as Peery knows all too well from her many years as head of the YWCA in Oklahoma City, such brutality occurs regularly in homes across Oklahoma. Indeed on the same day the Ravens-Rice news broke, the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., issued a report showing Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men. “I was really pleased to see the organization take a stand,”

  • Oklahoma stands to benefit from new budgeting effort

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 9, 2014

    THE National Association of State Budget Officers noted in a recent report that many states are in a similar situation fiscally. They have “limited resources with numerous demands for spending and not enough revenue to go around,” NASBO said. Oklahoma feels their pain. Agency directors go to the Capitol each year to (almost always) ask lawmakers for more money. Whenever they can, lawmakers try to oblige. This has been the practice for decades, although since the Great Recession most agency heads have seen their budgets shrink a bit, or perhaps be held steady. It’s a flawed system. When times are good, the Legislature writes bigger checks. When they’re not so good, the checks get smaller.

  • Report highlights importance of engaged college, university regents

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    MOST Oklahomans would be hard pressed to name a single person charged with the responsibility for the state’s colleges and universities other than perhaps a few highly recognizable school presidents. In a new report, a national organization suggests that the governance of the nation’s higher education system is out of whack. The report says weak governing boards are doing students and the general public a significant disservice. In its Governance for a New Era report, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni said trustees need to remember that they’re more than just boosters and that their responsibility isn’t just to institutions. Instead, their “primary obligation” is to taxpayers and students.

  • Still plenty of ignorance about U.S. energy industry

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    Poll findings a concern

  • Report makes clear, Oklahoma must improve its execution policies, procedures

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    THE Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett leaves no doubt that Oklahoma must improve its policies and procedures for carrying out capital punishment. It can’t have another experience like this one. Lockett was executed April 29 for killing a 19-year-old woman in Perry in 1999. He shot his victim twice with a shotgun and then had two accomplices bury her alive. Cases like his are made for the death penalty. But the DPS investigation outlined a troubling series of events that resulted in the execution going awry. Prison officials eventually lowered the blinds and Lockett was pronounced dead 43 minutes after the procedure began.

  • Residency issue a challenge for some candidates

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    Two U.S. senators face questions