The Edmond Sun


May 31, 2013

AS I SEE IT: Technological advances in weather forecasting help us all

EDMOND — I’m doing the best I can on this muggy Wednesday morning to get my thoughts together and convey them in logical sequence. Weather warnings befuddle my thinking, and the state of Oklahoma has just been issued another doozy. In the living room, my favorite TV weatherman is telling me I’m going to die at some point before this column hits the stands Saturday if I’m not in the storm shelter the split second he tells me to go.

That’s pretty much the same thing my less-than-favorite weatherpersons competing for my attention on this household’s other three TVs are warning, too. Yes, a total of four TVs, not counting the battery-powered one snuggled up against the down-under hidey-hole that the good folks at Smart Safe dug into the floor of my garage eight years ago. On the heels of what could be last week’s tragic sequel, I’m prepared to snatch up Su-the-dog and race for cover the minute one of those weathercasters says it’s a go.

And no, a total of five weathercasters looking out for my well-being is not overkill. I grew up in the depths of semi-dark dusty Oklahoma cellars huddled shoulder to shoulder with cousins holding family pets, their mothers clutching keepsakes — the family Bible, photo albums, ancestors’ silverware — while the men and older boys stood at the top of the cellar stairs debating the track that whirling black clouds overhead were likely to take, their wives pleading with them to come down.

Spidery insects left the dusty jars of canned goods lining the shelves behind us to examine us cousins where we sat, but we didn’t start trembling in fear until whatever the men had seen topside brought them clattering down to join us, the last of them barring the wooden door and all of them manning the attached chain intended to keep the door closed against the storm’s whirling suction, eager to swoop us up and deposit us in the next county.

After the danger had passed, I wasn’t one of those who climbed out of the cellar to see dwellings intact and the sun breaking through and, like the men, mumble in embarrassed bravado, “Waste of time!” as though they’d have preferred damage. “Let’s get on back to the fields. Wheat’s not going to bin itself.”

No, that wouldn’t have been me as a child, and certainly not as a mid-teen in 1947 when the giant Woodward F-5 tornado leveled over a hundred city blocks, destroyed a thousand homes and businesses, injured almost a thousand people and killed more than a hundred.

Largely because of that tornado, with technologies available after World War II, the National Weather Service set up a media warning system that has contributed greatly to today’s drop in tornado deaths statewide. I can’t tell you how happy I am to avail myself of their services.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

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  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

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    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

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    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
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    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

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    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

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    April 11, 2014


Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

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