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Nichols Hills is being gentrified…

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I guess the downturn in the Oklahoma economy hasn’t been bad for everybody.

Earlier this week, a local energy industry executive announced he’s demolishing an entire block of Nichols Hills rental properties to make way for a fancy new luxury home division. The Oklahoman has all the details:

A blighted street in Nichols Hills will give way to a tight enclave of million-dollar-plus homes after energy executive Tony Say tears down 23 ramshackle rent houses he owns on Cumberland Drive.

Say leads an investor group that will turn the long-neglected street just north of Nichols Hills Plaza into a neighborhood called Cumberland Court. The street, about 800 feet long, extends from N Western Avenue west to Avondale Drive.

Say said the small houses, most of them built in 1946 or 1947, will start coming down in February and that 23 lots will be offered for custom upscale homes by select builders who will follow set architectural standards.

“We’re not going to dictate to the owners what they can build,” he said, but it “has to be within a certain architectural style.”

Whew, that’s a relief. It’s about time they tear down all those “ramshackle rent houses” that people call homes. Wouldn’t it suck to live in a slum where all the homes are valued over $200,000:

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Seriously, I hope these relocated ramshacklers are able to find a more appropriate part of town to call home. We can’t have those $200,000 rent houses lowering Nichols Hills property values.

This new neighborhood, which I think is called “One-Percentville,” seems pretty cool. For example, residents will have a concierge service to take care of all those demeaning, time-killing, monotonous tasks that rich people are apparently too good for:

Apparently Moore city leaders have never driven in Moore

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I think we can all agree that traffic in the Oklahoma City Metro over the past ten years has gotten out of hand. Everything seems to be growing a lot faster than cities can keep up with, which means there are way too many drivers on already terrible streets. And while I definitely feel this traffic problem on Santa Fe when I go to my parents’ house in Edmond, I think we can all agree that no place has this problem quite like 19th Street in Moore.

When I wrote this post about the worst intersections in the Metro, some commenters reminded me I left the intersection of 19th and Telephone Road out. And I did, but not on purpose. You see, the last time I drove through the intersection, it was after leaving the Five Guys Burgers there in 2011. The reason I left was because an old lady drove her Toyota Camry through the front of the store, and showered my cajun fries with glass shards. Then, as I was trying to turn north onto Telephone Road from 19th, a truck in the non-turning lane decided to turn ahead of me, even though he didn’t have a green light, and cut me off, causing me to go up onto the curb. Basically, that intersection was the basis for Mad Max: Fury Road. I think.

The Spaghetti Warehouse is closed…

All good things must come to an end. I guess you can say the same about the bad things, too.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma restaurant world was shocked to learn that everyone’s favorite Italian place to never visit, the venerable Spaghetti Warehouse in Bricktown, was closing its doors.

“Wait? The Spaghetti Warehouse was still open?”

Yes, clever Internet commenter. The Spaghetti Warehouse was still open. This isn’t an old blog post from 2002.

Sadly, it looks like we may be somewhat responsible for the news. We’ve occasionally poked a cold breadstick or two at The Spaghetti Warehouse over the years, and I guess the Ogle Influence finally caught up with us. Check out this blurb from yesterday’s post about important dates in Oklahoma history. It was published an hour or town before the Spaghetti Warehouse news leaked out:

Mary Fallin penned an editorial about the earthquake crisis…

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Back in July, Energy Wire’s Mike Soraghan wrote a great piece that detailed the Fallin administration’s slow, ridiculous, lagging response to the Oklahoma earthquake crisis.

Thanks to his reporting, we learned about gems like the amazing Devon Energy earthquake talking points, secret meetings between Harold Hamm, David Boren and the state seismologist, and Denise Northup’s desire that earthquake preparedness training simply “go away.”

Here’s a recap in case you forgot:

EnergyWire reviewed thousands of pages of emails and other documents provided by Fallin’s office under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. They show a team in the governor’s office that moved slowly to address the quakes even as the earth rumbled more and more frequently.

Her top aide told staffers to “make this go away” when earthquake preparedness came up in the state Legislature after the November 2011 quake. When constituents had questions, her office used talking points borrowed from an oil company. And, with Fallin at the helm, Oklahoma has done far less than other states hit by smaller and less frequent man-made quakes.

Quick question. Why do people live here again? Just curious. I find myself asking that question more and more often.

With her approval ratings dropping and her political legacy nose diving into Bush brother territory, Mary Fallin now seems to suddenly care about Oklahoma’s earthquake crisis. Just a few days after 60 Minutes was at the Oklahoma Capitol interviewing people for what I’ve been told is a story about earthquake-related class action lawsuits, Devon Energy… errr…. Mary Fallin wrote an editorial for today’s Tulsa World that brags about what a great job she’s doing to address Oklahoma’s earthquake crisis.

Check it out:

Mary Fallin had a dinner party with the former Oklahoma governors…

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According to a press release on OK.gov, Mary Fallin recently had a “dinner party” for five of the six living former governors. Larry Nichols, the real governor of Oklahoma, couldn’t make it.

Governor Mary Fallin and First Gentleman Wade Christensen welcomed home five of Oklahoma’s former governors to their former official residence.

Five of the six living former governors and their spouses attended Tuesday night’s dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. Former Governor David Hall, who served from 1971-75, sent regrets that he could not attend as he is caring for his wife.

Hall, in case you didn’t know, was indicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges three days after leaving office in the 1970s. David Walters was really hoping Hall would be there. It’s always awkward being the only indicted ex-Governor in the room.

It was the first time in recent memory that a governor hosted an event for former governors at the Governor’s Mansion.

“I wanted to bring together our former governors and spouses for an historic gathering to thank them for their service, to reminisce about their service as the chief executive of our state and their memories of living with their families at the Governor’s Mansion,” said Fallin. “It was a fun night with great stories and personal recollections.”

Former governors and spouses attending were David and Molly Shi Boren; George and Donna Nigh; David and Rhonda Walters; Frank and Cathy Keating; and Brad and Kim Henry. Boren served from 1975-79; Nigh served from 1979-87 and also served two other times, January 1963 and January 1979 when vacancies occurred; Walters served from 1991-95; Keating served from 1995-2003; and Henry served from 2003-11.

For some, it was the first time they had returned to the Governor’s Mansion since they had lived there.

If we’re being real here, that seems like the worst dinner party ever. No offense to the current governor or former governors, but like, damn. When people ask you if you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, no one says “You know, what if we invited all the former governors from Oklahoma? That will be hella fun.”

That’s why I’m a little suspicious of this gathering. Surely there was an ulterior motive. Perhaps Mary was trying to sign up the other Governors as Essential Oil distributors. The Oklahoma economy is in the tank, you know.

It could also be something more sinister. For example, maybe she tried to host her own version of The Most Dangerous Game right on the grounds of the governor’s mansion. You may think that it’s absurd to intimate that the governor of the state of Oklahoma would hunt down former governors right around her official home, and it is. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Frank Keating hasn’t been heard from since.

Here’s a festive photo from the event: