• Condition of Oklahoma health lab another example of need to use bond issues

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    THE plight of the state’s public health laboratory should grab the attention of Oklahoma’s lawmakers, especially the many who are loath to consider using bond issues for much of anything. The lab, which has been at its current location inside the Health Department building at 1000 NE 10 since 1972, conducts important work for hospitals and medical facilities statewide — everything from newborn screenings to flu tests to communicable disease research. In 2013, the lab received about 194,000 specimens and ran roughly 661,000 tests. But lab employees work in a building that, as reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove recounted in The Oklahoman last year, is in “a fluctuating state of disrepair, with a failing air conditioning unit,

  • Group's actions are contradictory in flap over bibles in Oklahoma schools

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    THE Freedom From Religion Foundation’s purpose, allegedly, is to maintain separation of church and state. But it appears the group simply tries to make headlines. Otherwise, it’s difficult to explain its self-contradictory statements. Earlier this year, the foundation sent letters that appeared to threaten legal action against 26 school districts because Gideons International had reportedly distributed bibles to students in those districts. This led Attorney General Scott Pruitt to issue a letter to districts stressing that “it is in fact legal for schools to allow the dissemination of religious literature and that I will take a stand to defend the religious freedom of Oklahomans.” Andrew Seidel, a foundation

  • Two decades later: A minute that changed our world

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    MOVING imperceptibly from east to west, the morning sun on April 19, 1995, crossed the 200 block of NW 5. A shadow darted out of harm’s way. Clocks advanced from 9:01 to 9:02, Central Daylight Time. A moment in time. A moment of eternity. Lives were brutally stolen in that moment. The lives of hundreds of others were forever changed. A young city aged quickly and visibly, showing lines from worry and despair but also the resilience that the pioneers tapped to survive harsh weather and gutting poverty.

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Low voter turnout a perpetual problem in state

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    THE problem of low voter turnout is a perpetual one in Oklahoma. Recent election results vividly illustrate how that can foster bad government. In Rush Springs, incumbent town clerk/treasurer John Morrow sought another term after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $12,000 from the city. Morrow withheld premiums owed to the city for insurance coverage to boost his take-home pay, gave himself an extra elected position paycheck, and also paid himself advances, according to investigators. Being a known embezzler would normally prevent electoral success in a race for treasurer. Yet Morrow almost won re-election. He lost by just seven votes. One explanation for the close margin is that only 90 people voted. More than 1,200

  • The ongoing battle to fight mental illness stigma in Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Disease touches many in Oklahoma

  • Washington Examiner: Congress needs to have a say in Iran nuke deal

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    FROM the beginning of U.S. negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, it has been clear that their importance does not rest on the mere fact of having or not having a deal. The details of the deal matter. In fact, they are all that matters. It is far less important that a deal be agreed to than it is that the final deal truly serves the goal of preventing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. For this very reason, it is crucial that the deal not be just an Obama administration deal with Iran. The deal must have a buy-in from Congress. Secretary of State John Kerry has recently been quoted disparaging congressional involvement.

  • 'Austerity' certainly hasn't eliminated government waste

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Rep. Steve Russell’s report only scratches the surface

  • Encouraged by potential compromise on wind power incentive program

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Compromise legislation advancing

  • Public buy-in most important in effort to build new Oklahoma County jail

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    OKLAHOMA County Sheriff John Whetsel is trying to build support among community leaders for a new jail. Voters will have the final say, since they’ll be asked to pay for the project, and swaying them figures to be difficult. The push by Whetsel and some county commissioners for a new jail has increased in recent years, particularly following the 2008 release of a federal Justice Department report that was critical of jail operations. The department cited the county for 60 civil rights violations, including everything from “unconscionable violence” among inmates and between guards and inmates, to unsanitary conditions and poor record keeping. The Justice Department threatened to take over jail operations if improvements

  • Ethics, trustworthiness will define Hillary Clinton more than policy

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Valid questions about her judgment

  • EPA actions often much more political than scientific

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Clean Power Plan regulations are an example

  • In politics, partisan affiliations help determine how females are treated

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Women working in male-dominated professions face obstacles their male counterparts don’t endure. But in the realm of politics, double standards are more apparent in the different ways females are treated based on their partisan affiliation, not their gender. Hillary Clinton, who announced her candidacy Sunday, is the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. This has prompted all sorts of “glass ceiling” coverage. One recent news story from McClatchy even pondered whether the fact that people call Hillary Clinton “Hillary” is a reflection of subtle sexism. The story stated that “some Americans, mostly women, don’t think the former secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York and

  • Oklahoma loses a fine public servant in state Rep. David Dank

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The sudden passing Friday of state Rep. David Dank leaves the Legislature without its leading proponent for thorough reviews of tax credits, and the potential elimination of some. Dank was an unflinching bulldog on this important issue. Many conservatives at the Capitol want a continued reduction in the state’s personal income tax rate. Dank, R-Oklahoma City, had no great problem with that idea, but said it was irresponsible to cut the tax rate without reviewing whether tax credits were working as intended. A frequent contributor to this opinion page, Dank, 76, wrote as the session began in 2013 that a tax system should have two features. “It should adequately fund essential state services and it should be fair to all,”

  • Government oversight of diet advice unneeded

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    Oklahomans can figure it out

  • Achievments of Oklahoma science-math school justify its funding

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    IT says something about the state of education in Oklahoma that local officials will fight tooth and nail to prevent closure of even the worst-performing school site, but far less energy is expended regarding the potential loss of one of the state’s best schools: the Oklahoma School of Science and Math. We hope lawmakers realize how much is at stake and ensure the school’s continued viability by doing all they can to appropriate sufficient funding this year. OSSM provides students from across Oklahoma the opportunity to obtain high-level math and science courses they cannot take at their local high school, often instructed by Ph.D. faculty. The students, who mostly live on the campus, have come from all 77 counties with

  • Latest Oklahoma death penalty challenge a key piece of future criminal justice

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    SEEMINGLY numberless are legal challenges involving those who have broken the law in the most egregious manner. Death row inmates are a litigious bunch. Where once the challenges centered on innocence, they now focus on execution protocol. The goal is the same: to avoid paying the ultimate price for doing the ultimate crime. The goal of many of those representing them is to eliminate capital punishment altogether. As executions shifted over the centuries from beheadings to hangings to electrocutions to lethal injections, challenges have only increased. It’s easy to argue that beheading or hanging is cruel and unusual in our time. It’s less easy to make that argument against lethal injections. Yet the arguments keep

  • Oklahoma ScissorTales: Reasons to be skeptical about Iran nuke deal

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    DURING a visit to The Oklahoman this week, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole spoke about his recent visit to Jordan, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The region, he said, is “in turmoil, probably more turmoil than ever.” Part of reason is that the Iranians “are on the move everywhere,” with involvement in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, the Gaza Strip and other places. Cole, R-Moore, said it’s worth noting that Iran “is still a state sponsor of terrorism … they do more of it than anybody else in the world. They’ve never kept their agreements in the past, including the nuclear agreements up to this point.” Meantime, he said, the Obama administration has a long list of foreign policy failures — Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Yemen

  • Chefs offer a shining example of the Oklahoma Standard

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    WHAT’S the “Oklahoma Standard” look like? Dave Cathey offered a compelling example in a two-part series that concluded Wednesday in The Oklahoman. It’s the kind of story that should make any Oklahoman proud. Cathey, the newspaper’s food editor, reported on (and helped with) an effort by Oklahoma City chefs to assist those in our community in greatest need — the homeless who use the WestTown Resource Campus downtown. WestTown was developed by the Homeless Alliance, which has worked for years to assist the less fortunate. The campus, at 1724 NW 4, includes a day shelter that provides housing and support for the homeless.

  • Scuttling pension oversight measure was right move by Oklahoma lawmakers

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    WE’VE had reason on more than one occasion to rap the Legislature for advancing flagrantly bad bills, so it’s a pleasure to praise members for killing bad legislation designed to change oversight of state pension systems. Under current law, officials such as the state schools superintendent, members of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the insurance commissioner, and the director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services either serve on the board of trustees for various pension systems or appoint a designee. Senate Bill 396 would have changed state law to require that those appointees be employees of the state agency headed by the appointing official.

  • Jari Askins is an excellent choice to help work with Oklahoma DHS

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    Her background will be an asset in tough job