The Edmond Sun


May 14, 2013

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Department of Commerce highlights Main Street successes

OKLA. CITY — The 24th annual Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet was at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum last week. Oklahoma Department of Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez addressed the gathering, and spoke of how the Commerce Department works with Main Street organizations throughout the state that are working to improve their downtown areas. Lopez pointed out that the partnership between his department and those local organizations has brought new life to those communities and that the attendees would see some of that revitalization in a video presentation. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin also addressed the gathering, and said the Main Street program has resulted in more than $1 billion in investments in the state and more than 1 million volunteer hours in its 24 years of operation.

Oklahoma Main Street Director Linda Barnett and Ron Frantz of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Architecture announced the communities, individuals and organizations that had been nominated for  awards.

The Premier Partner award was given to the Canadian County Historical Museum that operates the El Reno trolley. The program told of how the El Reno Main Street has worked with the museum to ensure that the trolley, which brings visitors to El Reno, remains in operation. The Pauls Valley Main Street was honored for having the most creative new event in “Living Dead Center Festival and Zombie 5K Run.” That event was planned in conjunction with the Pauls Valley Art Council’s Monster Art and Glow Show, and each runner was given four flags to represent their arms and legs to place on their belts. As the runners made their way on the route they were confronted with groups of “zombies” who tried to take their flags from them, and the runners who managed to cross the finish line with at least one surviving flag received awards. The Oklahoma Blood Institute conducted a blood drive in close proximity to the finish line under a sign that read “We Want to Take Your Blood.”

The Collinsville Main Street was honored for having the most outstanding web presence, and it was explained how those who wished to participate in the annual car show there could register for it on the website and also find  weather information for the area on the day of the show on the site. The Perry Main Street also was recognized for its website that allows for a “downtown virtual walk” for those who visit it. The Altus Main Street won the award for best new business downtown for “Dora Lou’s Place” that is in a renovated building. It now displays the original pressed copper tile ceiling and black and white checkered wood floor that were its features when it served as a drug store decades ago.

The “Friend of Main Street” award was bestowed on the Tribes and Tribal Nations of Oklahoma for the work that they have undertaken in partnership with local Main Street organizations. The Ardmore Main Street was honored for its partnership with The Chickasaw Nation’s Re-entry Program that assists individuals who recently were released from prison. Former prisoners who are in that program have worked to refurbish buildings in downtown Ardmore.

Franz detailed how other Main Street communities, including El Reno, Muskogee, Newkirk, Okmulgee, Ada and other locales also have planned activities and events with tribes in their area in the past year and that more such joint undertakings are currently being planned.

As the event concluded, Barnett thanked the guests for coming and asked them to continue the work they are doing for the revitalization of their downtown areas.

WILLIAM F. O’BRIEN is a retired Oklahoma City attorney.

Text Only
  • 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

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 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