The Edmond Sun


February 10, 2014

Genesis taking place in Oklahoma’s main street communities

TAHLEQUAH — Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst had a monastery in Spain disassembled and shipped to the United States in the early years of the 20th century.

Hearst’s most recent biographer wrote that the publisher intended to erect the monastery on the grounds of his castle in San Simeon, but due to the drop in newspaper sales during the depression he was unable to do so.

A somewhat similar undertaking recently took place in the Oklahoma community of Tahlequah, where a soda fountain purchased from a Dallas antique store was dissembled and installed in the Cook’s Companion and More retail store located there. The interior of that establishment has been nominated by the Tahlequah Main Street Association for consideration as the “Best Interior Design Project” for the awards that will be dispensed May 6 by the Main Street  Division of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The other nominees for that category as well as the other categories, that include “Best Window Display,” “Best Façade Rehabilitation,” and “Best Public Improvement Project” among others, demonstrate the innovation and rebirth that are ongoing in the main street communities in Oklahoma.

The Altus Main Street entry submitted for the “Best Window Display” award are the Christmas images that filled many of the windows of the Altus Town Square during the holiday season that brought people to the area.

Ardmore Main Street Association has nominated Romo’s Mexican Restaurant for “Best Façade Rehabilitation” and the documentation that accompanied that nomination details how the façade of the eatery now features windows that had been covered by aluminum siding for decades. Romo’s is a thriving establishment where cheerful waiters carry large plates that often include flaming fajitas to waiting tables that are reminiscent of the flaming Banana’s Foster that were served for decades at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans.

 Ada Main Street Association has nominated for “Best Public Improvement Project” the downtown locale that is known as “the arts district of Ada” that includes a plaza and conference center that is affiliated with East Central University. More than 100 events have been held in the Ada Arts District in the past year and several new businesses have been started there as well.

Mark Twain wrote of Chicago in the late 1800s — “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows her prophecies faster than she can make them. She is never the same Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”

A comparable observation could be made about Oklahoma’s main street communities where visitors encounter buildings that had been moribund when they saw them previously, but now gleam with a renewed purpose after having been renovated.  

William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.

Text Only
  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014


If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results