Last summer, I drove to Tulsa for a brief business trip. I went to our state’s Second City for a variety of reasons, but primarily so I could:
1. Have drinks with some 21-year-old college girl who wanted to write for us
2. Grab lunch with a couple of dudes behind some “new media” upstart called This Land
3. Tell people I was actually taking a blogging business trip
Overall, the business trip was a success. We now have a Tulsa writer named Chelsea. Those two dudes – This Land Editor Michael Mason and Publisher Vincent LoVoi – took me to some trendy Brady District spot for some sort of ritualistic Pork Belly Ramen soup. And several people, including my grandparents, thought it was a big deal that I took a blogging business trip.
Anyway, that new media upstart This Land is upstarting pretty well. In addition to their bi-weekly newspaper and various blogs and podcasts, they have recently launched a new half-hour television show that’s shown on their website and Cox Cable.
I sat down with the new media outlet’s editor Mr. Michael Mason for a Lost Ogle Q&A. We talked about new media, This Land’s possible expansion into the Oklahoma City market and about the Oklahoma City – Tulsa rivalry. We didn’t talk about This Land being an advertiser on The Lost Ogle or anything, because we didn’t want this to look like a shameless promotion. Because it’s not.
Anyway, check it out. It’s pretty good.
And then there were four.
After rigorous online voting, snarky comments and name calling, it comes down to four remaining competitors for the Ogle Madness V crown. Here’s the updated bracket:
The first game of the day will feature:
(1) Kevin Durant vs. (3) Emily Sutton
Will this be an upset? Kevin Durant is a basketball superstar and Emily Sutton is a beloved weather girl who is responsible for my DVR being full of random Channel 4 newscasts. Sure Durant once gave me some free shoes and said I was the coolest person he’s ever met (not true) but I don’t want to make out with him. Just saying.
Make sure to check back at 11:00am for the match-up between Good Russell Westbrook and Carrie Underwood. Either way, someone you don’t know is going to beat someone you don’t know which is like every time I see Brian Abrams out anywhere.
Last week we told you about the infuriating and somewhat sad tale of Brett Allred. He’s the lobbyist who lost his temper and wrote some very mean and inappropriate things to a married mother of five on Twitter.
Well, it looks like Brett Allred isn’t the only one who knows how to lose his temper. Yesterday, NewsOK.com reported that the married mother of five who was the target of Allred’s ill-advised attack— Rachel Hernandez — was charged with the hideous crime of “outraging public decency.” The charge stemmed from an incident that occurred at Deer Creek Elementery School last September.
Rachel Renee Hernandez, 32, of Oklahoma City, was charged Monday with outraging public decency, a misdemeanor, in connection with a Sept. 9, 2011, incident at the school, 4704 NW 164.
Hernandez, according to a probable cause affidavit, became irate over her child’s school records from the previous year and refused to leave school property.
Deer Creek’s principal said Hernandez followed staff around campus, interrupted normal school activity and used profanity in the presence of children, a deputy reported.
Hernandez refused to cooperate with the deputy and refused to leave school property, stating that “if I touched her she would punch me,” the deputy said.
When the deputy attempted to take Hernandez into custody, she “became combative and struck me in the head with a file folder,” the deputy said.
Earlier this month, a judge dismissed three felony charges against Hernandez — assault and battery upon a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing — at the request of prosecutors, court records show.
Did you notice that there is no comment or statement from Rachel Hernandez or her attorney that gives her side of the story. Not even something like “Ms. Hernandez refused to comment.” Fortunately (or unfortunately), we’re here to do the dirty work for a publication that refers to itself as “the state’s most trusted news.” We talked to Rachel, and this is an ultra Cliff Notes version of what we learned:
As Patrick pointed out in August, the Oklahoma legislature is determined to imitate the state of Florida by implementing a program that requires welfare recipients to submit to drug testing. Supposedly, the additional drug testing will save money even though other states have found that it costs more to administer regular tests to people who have no reason to be suspected of being users (aside from their lack of money), than it saves in benefits to those who do partake.
However, since logic is not a strong point among Oklahoma legislators, the bill was overwhelmingly supported by the state House of Representatives. The House’s minority caucus decided to take this as an opportunity to actually find out if the most recipients of public money were clean. Knowing the bill would pass, House Democrats introduced an amendment requiring that anyone who wanted to run for public office submit to drug testing. Surprisingly, it passed with bipartisan support.
According to this, that is not enough to make a bill a law. It also has to pass the state Senate and they are wary of having to pee in a cup.
Calling the provision a “stunt,” senator David Holt stripped the provision the bill before it was considered by the body at large. My question is this: How is it a stunt?
The issue, if you listen to a legislator in favor of the bill, is that the taxpayers of Oklahoma should not be supplementing the drug habit of people who ask the state to pay their bills. It has nothing, if you listen to a legislator in favor of the bill, to do with punishing poor people.
Except it has everything to do with the latter and little to do with the former. Someone who asks for TANF benefits (the program targeted by this law) is limited to $292 per month in benefits. If they remain in the system for a full year, that comes to $3,504 annually. Meanwhile, David Holt will make $38,400 from the tax payers of Oklahoma for his part-time job. And as far as elected officials, that makes him one of the lower paid employees of the state. Governor Mary Fallin (who is in line for a raise) made $147,000 last year. Then, if including federal offices, that means guys like Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe would have to pass a test to collect their $174,000.
I’d say that has a lot more potential for saving Oklahomans from supplementing drug habits.
It also costs taxpayers a lot of potential comedy. The first politician to bomb a test is bound to blame the liberal media (you know, The Oklahoman), or at least blame it on eating a poppy seed muffin (at a local bakery, naturally).
So, Oklahoma made another worst list. No, it wasn’t about the worst health in the nation. It wasn’t about the worst place for recovering meth addicts to escape the crystal darkness. It wasn’t even the worst place to spend the summer of 2011, though we all know it totally was. No, readers, the list our great state made was iVillage’s Top 5 Worst U.S. States for Women.
The write-up from Time.com primarily focuses on the lack of reproductive options in the state:
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