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Five things you may have missed over Christmas

12:02 PM EST on December 29, 2014

Originally, I planned on not writing anything this week so I could focus on other site related things that I need to get done (i.e. outline a re-design of the website, work on a new web project, day drinking). So far, I've only made progress on one of those things. Guess which one?

Anyway, in an effort to avoid doing that really boring work that takes planning and decision-making, I thought it would be fun to recap five random news stories that you may have missed while you were doing last-minute Christmas shopping or waiting in line at Byron's or attempting to hide from your family.

Here you go...


1. The Lake Hefner Frackers were defeated...

On Friday, the day after Christmas, when companies try to release news that will hopefully go unnoticed, Pedestal Oil announced they no longer want to drill and video tape gay cruisers at Lake Hefner. They decided this because they were about the only people who thought drilling next to our city's water supply was a good idea. Even Mayor Cornett, a strong ally of chambers of commerce and energy companies everywhere, thought it was bad idea:

“I want to thank Pedestal Oil for recognizing the importance of Lake Hefner to our community and withdrawing their recent proposal. I also want to thank the many people who contacted my office and shared their views on the topic. We always feel Oklahoma City is most successful when our residents are informed, engaged and able to participate in an ongoing public process,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said in a statement.

Good job Oklahoma City residents. Way to get your voices heard.


oklahoman sign

2. The Oklahoman is excited about a new digital sign

Because they can no longer afford or justify the Dark Tower along the Broadway Extension, The Oklahoman is moving to a much smaller downtown office space in February. One "cool" thing about the new headquarters will be a digital billboard where The Oklahoman can share news headlines, host karaoke contests and cater to their few remaining advertisers:

The testing of The Oklahoman’s Big Screen is nearly finished and the first step of the company’s move back to downtown Oklahoma City begins Monday with programming in bright lights that will include news, weather, advertising, sports and fun...

“We’re really excited to have a new canvas, a new platform to bring people news, weather, advertising and information about what is going on in our city, state and world,” Editor Kelly Dyer Fry said. “This screen will have a level of engagement that is different from a typical digital billboard. We consider the Big Screen to be a modern-day town crier.”

Testing of the video screen began a week ago, and the community quickly responded via social media with photos and programming suggestions. David Morris, director of video at The Oklahoman, is taking notes and following instructions from the bosses to “be serious, but let the community have fun, too.”

“The feedback we initially have had with social media and talking to people is remarkable,” Morris said. “It’s been a positive reaction — people are saying downtown has needed this.”

The feedback includes suggestions that the board be used for birthday greetings and karaoke nights — both of which are doable, Morris said. Directional audio speakers also will allow The Oklahoman to not just be seen, but also heard within a peripheral zone near the screen.

“It’s similar to the ‘Today’ show in New York City,” Morris said. “We hope to gather folks to be a part of our programming.”

When The Oklahoman makes its move in February, the screen also will offer broadcasts from a ground-level video studio where reporters will visit with newsmakers on a routine basis.

First of all, if you hold a sign and stand outside the ground-level studio, I hope Nolan Clay mouth-breathes on you.

Second, this may be the most boring digital billboard of all time. Karaoke and birthday greetings? The "community" (a.k.a. five people on social media who probably replied to a David Morris tweet) sure is "creative." I bet Oklahoman readers can't wait to look through the top lens of their bifocals and see all the headlines and ads.

Speaking of that, this is just going to be a giant billboard, right?

Wayne Snow, director of advertising at The Oklahoman, said programming for the Big Screen will allow for rotation of advertisers in a mix that will be 50 percent advertising and 50 percent news, sports, weather, public announcements and interactive content.

“This Times Square experience causes total focus on the advertising message without clutter. Between those that work in the downtown area, those that visit for business purposes, Thunder crowds, and 375 downtown events, footfall in the area is estimated at 15.5 million people,” Snow said.

Snow added the screen also will be used to support community oriented organizations. “As part of our responsibility as a strong corporate citizen, we understand our role in helping to lift up our community.”

Hey, let's get a group together and look at the Devon and Continental Resources ad on The Oklahoman sign. I can't wait!



3. Three Oklahoma Bars Made a Random Internet List of the Best Dive Bars in America

Last week, some random clickbait site put together a list of the top 32 "dive" bars in America. Three Oklahoma City bars made the list. KFOR was so desperate for content that they actually mentioned it on the news:

Can you guess which metro bars made the list?

Impulcity has released a list of the top 32 ‘diviest dive bars’ in America, and three metro bars made the list.

According to Impulcity, HiLo Club, Edna’s, and The Drunken Fry are some of the best dive bars in America.

I guess it's neat some writer for Impulcity probably went to school in Oklahoma City and suggested three bars that are all within a drunk Snuggie Pub Crawl of each other to the list, but the only problem is that Edna's, HiLo and The Drunken Fry are not true dive bars. They're just trendy, popular normal bars that want to be known as dive bars. It's like they're fake vintage shirts you get at Urban Outfitters. Seriously, The Drunken Fry is owned by the Deep Fork Group. Nothing divey about that. If you want to go to a real dive bar, check out the Store Club or Booger Reds or any other bar none of your "cool" friends want to go to because it smells like smoke, urine and sadness.


patrick anderson

4. Some nutty legislator is getting tired of people challenging all of our unconstitutional laws 

The guy who looks like he owns a sultry collection of old lady underwear is State Sen. Patrick Anderson. He's getting annoyed by activists who challenge Oklahoma laws that are unconstitutional (87% of all Oklahoma laws are unconstitutional) and has a great idea to stop it. Put a statute of limitations on challenging unconstitutional laws!

From the Enid News Eagle:

State Sen. Patrick Anderson has filed legislation to limit the public’s ability to challenge some laws as unconstitutional.

Senate Bill 51 places a one-year statute of limitations on lawsuits that target logrolling, which is the term used when lawmakers write several seemingly unrelated subjects into a single bill. The Oklahoma Constitution prohibits logrolling.

If Anderson’s bill passes, any lawsuit against logrolling would have to be filed within a year from when the challenged bill becomes law.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent has become well known in the state for suing and winning against logrolled bills, and he said this week that Anderson’s bill won’t past muster, either.

“The constitution is the supreme law of the people, and a state statute cannot limit the constitution,” Fent said.

Fent was surprised Anderson filed this bill, considering the Enid Republican previously joined him to challenge a funding scheme to build a new medical examiner’s office.

Anderson said he is not opposed to Fent or anyone else raising those points, but said an earlier attempt by Fent to challenge a decade-old law was too much.

“That got me thinking that we need to have some sort of time limitation for when you can raise these issues,” he said. “If there’s a concern about it, raise it quickly. Otherwise, let the law stand as it is.”

Can we put a statute of limitations on electing idiots to run our state? That sentence doesn't really make a lot of sense, but oh well, it beats working on administrative shit.


janet barresi

5. As predicted, the Oklahoman is trying to prop up Janet Barresi's reign as State School Dictator of Education

Wait for it... Wait for it....

Outgoing Oklahoma state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi reflects on challenges of leading Education Department...

Janet Barresi is proud of the work she’s done to improve public school education in Oklahoma. She only wishes she had four more years to build on reforms she implemented as the state’s superintendent of public instruction.


If you remember correctly, I kind of predicted The Oklahoman would produce a softball piece like this and try to paint Barresi as some sort of misunderstood victim. It feels good to be right.

My next prediction is that The Oklahoman will give Barresi her own show to be broadcast on the fancy new billboard. I hope it's egg proof.


Anyway, I really am going to try to work on site related stuff this week. Have a Happy New Year.

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