Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Women's Equality Day (Aug 26)

President Bush has proclaimed August 26, 2006, as Women's Equality Day and calls on Americans to celebrate the achievements of women and observe this day with appropriate programs and activities. (It recognizes the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution and the suffragettes who worked and sacrificed - especially Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Google these women and pay them tribute; they were incredible. (Thanks, Wanda DeBruler, for bringing the proclamation to my attention!)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Kristine Brown of Alva, Oklahoma is 109

Mary Jane Alexander, who is interviewing and photographing Oklahoma's oldest citizens for her "Salt of the Red Earth" project, thinks 109-year old Alva resident Kristine Brown may be Oklahoma's oldest living centarian. Read about Brown in this Alva Review-Courier article. The photo of Brown on her 108th birthday was taken by Helen Barrett. Want to nominate someone to be interviewed? See related story.

Mary Jane Alexander's "Salt of the Red Earth" Project

In the past three months, award-winning writer and photographer Mary Jane Alexander has criss-crossed Oklahoma and logged more than 2,000 miles to create portraits and signature quotes representing 100 Oklahoman centenarians. So far she has interviewed 88 -- from Commerce to Selig to Valliant. Four of the centenarians she has met (all women) were born in the 1890s. She has met one set of centenarian siblings and three married centenarian couples. The project - which is sanctioned by the Centennial Commision but unfunded - will result in dozens of museum-quality prints for a Tulsa Historical Society exhibit in November as well as a 2007 showing in the Governor's Gallery at the State Capitol. If you want to help Mary Jane with this project, contact her at inkfactory at cox dot net.

Amanda Stevens Olympic Bound?

Now that Enid native and OU College of Medicine graduate Amanda Stevens has her MD degree, her next goal is to compete in the 2008 Olympics. She won the 2001 USA National Triathlon Championships and is currently ranked 125th in the world and 15th in the USA.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"Jean Warner Is On A Mission"

Yup. I'm on page 31 of Oklahoma Today's September/October 2006 edition (aka CentennialCollectors Series: First of Eight). I can't show you a copy of the article so pick up a copy or order a copy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

WiLL and Laura Boyd

Among the many hats that former Oklahoma State Legislator Laura Boyd wears these days is National Field Director for the Women Legislators Lobby. WiLL is a national non-partisan network of women state legislators working together to influence federal and state policy and to promote women for elected office at state and federal levels. Approximately one-third of all seated-women legislators are WiLL members.

Say... How about a Women's Lobby for Oklahoma?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Anne McBride Mental Health Court

Kuddos to those working to establish the recently opened Anna McBride Mental Health Court in Cleveland County - especially district judges Bill Hetherington and Jequita Napoli. Former Judge Nancy Coates and OK Dept of Mental Health director Terry Cline worked hard to get one started in Oklahoma County. It is great to see the program spreading to other counties. It saves tax dollars while offering humane treatment to mentally ill citizens who have cross paths with the criminal justice system. Read the Norman Transcript story here.

Darcie Harris of EWF International

Today's Oklahoman has a nice half-page article about Darcie Harris and the company she co-founded, EWF International (formerly Executive Women's Forum). The firm hosts peer advisory groups or "Forums" where women business owners and top executives can discuss business issues in a confidential setting.

Vote Mary Fallin for US Congress Aug 22

Good for the The Oklahoman today for endorsing Lt. Governor Mary Fallin for the 5th Congressional District. Fallin's legislative experience will let her hit the ground running. She has a good understanding of all of Oklahoma's needs and interests. In this red state, a Republican is going to replace Ernest Istook and it should be Fallin - not her opponent. (And I don't want to hear about and supposed personal dirt on this candidate; she went through an unfortunate divorce a long time ago. Give it a rest. Let's run on the issues, please.)

It is time Oklahoma sent a woman to Congress. Women legislators conceptualize problems differently, are more likely to offer new solutions, are more responsive to constituent requests and much more (read the research findings on this here).

All that said, The Oklahoman had me at "Fallin's campaign has generally been clean..." Say no more. Know what I mean, wink, wink? Fallin is a good, honest candidate; she deserves your vote.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Senator Nancy Riley Switches to Democratic Party

Following the Primary Election, State Senator Nancy Riley announced she was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party. She was an unsuccessful candidate for Lt. Governor. The switch is a big deal. Just increasing the number of Senators in the State Senate by one makes it a little harder for Republicans to "take over" the Senate (i.e., gain a majority of members). Counting Riley, there are now 26 Democrats to 22 Republicans. However, six Senate seats held by Democrats are open because those Democrats couldn't run for re-election due to term limits. She said she was switching because she feels there is no place in the Republican Party for moderates, because Republicans are undermining public education and because she feels the party has a lack of compassion for people. She also said part of her problem with the party was because she was a woman. (Could that mean the Republican Party is not women friendly? What party IS?)

Robyn Hilger - Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Okahoma State Teacher of the Year Robyn Hilger is a Suma Cum Laude graduate from Oklahoma City University and holds a Masters Degree in Music. She is band and orchestra director at Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anne Roberts to be Honored

Congratulations to Anne Roberts who has made such a difference in Oklahoma through the Oklahoma institute for Child Advocacy. She is one of five to be honored by HeartLine at their "Festival of Hope" event on September 7 at the Oklahoma City Golf and County Club. for more information, call 405-840-9396 or visit their website.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Join Kim Henry Aug 16 to Promote Internet Safety

On August 16, Oklahoma's First Lady Kim Henry hosts "MyFamily.MySpace.MyResponsibility" - a day focused on promoting Internet safety for children and youth including a 7:00 a.m. First Lady's Prayer Breakfast at St. Luke's United methodist Church in OKC; a luncheon program at the Phillip's Pavillion for educators; and an evening program at St. Lukes. Reservations for the breakfast and evening program are preferred. For more information and how to register, click here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Judicial Criteria & Judge Twyla Gray

When you voted for judges in the primary election, what criteria did you use? This spring, the Oklahoma County Bar Association asked over 4,700 local attorneys to rate the judicial candidates on honesty, intelligence, legal ability and expertise, unbiasedness (sic), temperament, courtesy, diligence and dedication. Voters returned Twyla Gray despite her poor score. I wonder if her refusal to accept campaign donations from attorneys mattered to voters. Congratulations on your re-election, Judge Gray. (I’d link you to the excellent story by Scott Cooper in The Oklahoma Gazette but they don’t seem have it on their website; go figure.)