Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stillwater Domestic Violence Shelter Expansion

The Donald W Reynolds Foundation has provided a grant for $4.85 million to expand the women's shelter in Stillwater. Read more by clicking here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Woman of the Year

Want to be selected "Woman of the Year" someday? Criteria that the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce uses to pick their 2008 "Businesswoman of the Year" (award to be presented Feb 6, 2009) include:

Made achievements in the professional field
Exhibit leadership in their profession
Act as a mentor and role model to other women
Dedicate significant time and effort to philanthropic activities
Exhibit leadership in the community

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Larkin and the Blues Brothers

Here is Larkin trying to fit in with the Blues Brothers at Midway Airport in Chicago. That is one amazing little airport!

Bahai House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois

Have I mentioned that I went home to Chicago last month for a memorial service for my brother Tom? I stayed with my step-sister and her family (Bette and her husband, Phil, are pictured above). They live near the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette so we dropped by to look around and offer prayers for Tom. Thanks, Phil and Bette, for making us feel so welcome.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Portrait of US District Judge Robin Cauthron Unveiled

On November 26, 2008, a wonderful portrait of US District Judge Robin J Cauthron was unveiled as part of a recognition ceremony marking the completion of her term as chief judge of the US District Court for Oklahoma's western federal court district. Congratulations, Robin!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Incarceration: State Names Laura Pitman Prison's Chief of Women

Oklahoma ranks #1 in the USA at incarcerating women, per capita (over 2,700 at present). In fact, we lock up more women per capita than any developed nation inthe world! So it is wonderful that the state has hired a deputy director of female offender operations. She is Laura J Pitmanand she begins her job December 15. Her long-term goal:
reduce the number of women in Oklahoma’s prisons and implement programs inside the system to help women deal with mental health and trauma issues.
Read Oklahoman article here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oklahoman Laila Hajji Elected FFA VP

Laila Hajji of Guthrie, Oklahoma has been elected one of six national officers for the National FFA Organization. She is the central region vice president and the only national officer from Oklahoma. She is a student at Texas Tech (we forgive her though). Congratulations, Laila!

Clara Luper Honored

The Oklahoman has a nice editorial today noting that Oklahoma City civil rights advocate Clara Luper was honored during a Thunders basketball game recently. It is so nice, I am copying the whole thing here. Hope The Okahoman/NewsOK does mind. Here is their link but here is the editorial. Hurray for Clara Luper!

Shining light: Luper merits every new salute
The Oklahoman ~~ Editorial (Published: November 27, 2008)

Fifty years after she began a peaceful fight against racial segregation, Clara Luper remains a beacon of light for Oklahoma City. The memory of her deeds still provides inspiration for people of all colors, here and across the state.

At an Oklahoma City Thunder game this week, the team and Devon Energy honored Luper with a "Community Hero” award. It was one of scores of community service awards she has received through the years. Many of those at the Ford Center weren’t born or were far too young to know of the courage it took to start the sit-ins at Katz Drug Store in the summer of 1958.

When the 50th anniversary was marked in August, teachers across the city reported that few of their students, including their black students, had ever heard of what Luper had done. Many of those same children couldn’t imagine a day when citizens couldn’t be served at a lunch counter solely because of their skin color.

The late 1950s also were a time when at least some teams in the NBA wouldn’t play more than a few black players at a time, so as not to upset the predominantly white crowd. Today, the crowds are still predominantly white, but blacks represent more than 80 percent of the league’s players.

Clara Luper played a role in breaking down all kinds of barriers — at a lunch counter here locally, and across the country in making institutions like pro basketball more color blind.

She’s an Oklahoma institution and deserves every honor she gets.

And I say, "Amen."

OETA Features Wilma Mankiller Sunday at 1 PM

OETA had an excellent program this week featuring Dick Pryor interviewing Oklahoma's treasure Wilma Mankiller.It will re-air at 1 p.m. this Sunday. She talks about a lot of the topics that we are concerned about. Hope you get a chance to watch it. For more, click here -->

Monday, November 24, 2008

Theresa Lee Hernandez- Followup

Dear Amici, Activists, and Allies:

We are so pleased to let you know that on November 19, 2008, after serving only one year from the date of sentencing, Theresa Lee Hernandez was released from prison.

As you know, Ms. Hernandez was arrested in 2004 and charged with first-degree murder (a crime with a potential penalty of 25 years-to-life imprisonment) and second-degree murder for having suffered a stillbirth. The state claimed -- without any scientific basis -- that the stillbirth was caused by her methamphetamine use.

In 2007, as her case approached trial, national and state-based organizations, advocates and experts organized, educated and spoke out against the prosecution. These efforts were instrumental in helping Ms. Hernandez avoid a life sentence and in enabling her counsel, Robin Shellow and Jim Rowan, to negotiate a plea bargain. That plea, entered last November, resulted in a sentence of 15 years, to be revisited after Ms. Hernandez served one year in prison.

As the Tulsa World reported: "Theresa Lee Hernandez, 31, appeared before Judge Virgil Black for a sentencing modification hearing. At the request of prosecutors, Black agreed to "suspend the remainder of her sentence and ordered her released from custody." Ms. Hernandez will go to a private treatment program for 90 days and will be on probation for 10 years.

Just a week before Ms. Hernandez's November 19 release, the second of two public forums regarding pregnancy, parenting and drug use was held. This forum, held at the Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, was co-sponsored by the local chapters of the National Association of Social Workers and of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the YWCA Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma State University's Gender and Women's Studies program. The panel discussion included local experts, doctors Eli Reshef and Dana Stone, and continued a conversation that drew upon evidence-based research concerning pregnancy, parenting and drug use. This conversation had begun at an Oklahoma forum one year earlier, in anticipation of Ms. Hernandez's sentencing.

The extent to which the organizing and public education effort made a difference is not only evident in Ms. Hernandez' early release, but also in what happened on the day of her release, how the media reported the decision, and what the prosecutor, District Attorney David Prater is now saying and doing.

Ms. Hernandez' release was not typical. Even in cases where a conviction is completely overturned, prisoners are almost always returned to prison for processing – something that can take weeks or even months - before they are finally released. In Ms. Hernandez' case, the judge ordered that her handcuffs be removed right in the courtroom and that she be allowed to leave straight from the courthouse to her awaiting family and friends. Ms. Hernandez was thus able, that day, to have her first taste of freedom in four years.

The media reporting was also an amazing example of what can be accomplished through meaningful education, outreach and activism.

The Channel 9 news story: "Freed from Prison" began by noting that "The case created a firestorm with doctors and women's advocates who rallied to the woman's side." Both print and television coverage noted that her release was met by the applause and cheers of family, onlookers, and supporters.

The entire Channel 9 news story was framed in a positive light. The correspondent on the Channel 9 story was asked to report about, "how authorities are now working to prevent another case like this from occurring." The correspondent began his report again referencing the experts: "Medical experts questioned whether the drug use actually caused the death of the baby, and the District Attorney heard those pleas and today asked that the prison sentence be suspended."

Kathleen Wallace, an Oklahoma City University law student, NAPW legal intern, and Oklahoma activist, appeared in the broadcast news report explaining, "It is bad precedent to charge pregnant women with a crime when what they did was try and take their pregnancy to term in spite of a drug addiction." According to Channel 9 news, "the district attorney agreed. . ."

District Attorney David Prater's actions and statements also indicated the extent to which education, outreach and activism made a difference. On the one hand, Mr. Prater stuck to the junk science story that pregnant women who use illegal drugs kill their babies, and the fable that imprisonment serves a social good by giving bad people like Ms. Hernandez a chance to prove themselves and to taking advantage of prison-based treatment programs.

(Surely, though Mr. Prater is aware of a recent case in which Oklahoma county had to pay $385,000 in damages to a woman who suffered a stillbirth as the result of horribly inadequate health care and treatment while imprisoned in the very same County Jail that Theresa Hernandez was held in for three years. )

On the other hand, Mr. Prater emerged as a meaningful spokesperson regarding the value of drug treatment and the need to increase access that treatment. On Channel 9 news, he said, "Drug and alcohol addiction is something that most people don't understand and that people need help in dealing with their drug and alcohol addiction." According to the Channel 9 news report, "Because of this case, Prater is now working to put a pilot program in place to divert pregnant women on drugs into treatment instead of locking them up. And state lawmakers will be asked to fund the program once it is developed."

Significantly, there has not been a single new OK County arrest of a pregnant woman or of a woman who suffered a stillbirth since the state-based organizing and education efforts began.

Nevertheless, while there is real cause to celebrate, there is no cause to stop working to ensure justice for pregnant and parenting women who struggle with drug problems. Although Ms. Hernandez was released to a treatment program, this was only made possible by a private benefactor willing to pick up the costs of her private treatment program – a program that may or may not facilitate her recovery and ensure that she will remain free.

The state needs to address the appalling lack of access to drug treatment and other services that will help pregnant women and families address drug and other health problems and stay together. On June 30, 2004 the Oklahoma Legislature established the Joint Task Force on Prenatal Addiction and Treatment. At their first meeting on Dec. 20, 2004, Sally Carter, an employee with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services reported, "More than 80 percent of pregnant women in OK who need substance abuse treatment do not have access to it." Nearly three years later, on May 23, 2007, the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Terri White, stated:

"Although we are making progress in providing better perinatal services to pregnant women addicted to drugs or alcohol, a large gap in access to services still remains. . . . Not enough resources are going toward this group of women, among the most vulnerable in our society. . . Greater access to services is key[.]"

For Ms. Hernandez's sake and the sake of so many other women and families, we need to keep the pressure on to ensure that health problems are addressed through the public health system, not the criminal justice system, and that supportive, accessible and appropriate services are fully funded and made available to the people who need them. In other words – treatment must become available not as a matter of diversion from the criminal justice system but rather provided as a matter of human rights.

We know that many of you are committed to developing new interventions, programs and policies to support pregnant and parenting women, and we look forward to continuing to work with you on these efforts.


Lynn Paltrow, JD
Executive Director
National Advocates for Pregnant Women

To read the stories and see some of the video coverage, please visit:

1. Mom in Stillborn Case Leaves Prison, (with featured video), News 9, staff and wire reports -, posted and updated: Nov. 19, 2008.

2. Meth Addict Gets Second Chance, Teresa Hernandez's Unborn Baby Died From Her Drug Use, KOCO 5,, posted and updated: Nov. 19, 2008.

3. Meth Mom Wins Early Release: Woman Was Convicted of Murder in Her Unborn Son's Drug-Related Death, Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), Jay F. Marks, Nov. 20, 2008.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Denise Bode

Remember whenFormer Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode left to establish and run the American Clean Skies Foundation in Washington, DC (which is heavily financed by Chesapeake Oil Company)? It's purpose is to promote the use of natural gas. Well now she has changed jobs again and is promoting wind energy as CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

State Representative Ann Coody Honored for Financial Literacy Program

The Oklahoma Council on Economic Education recently recognized District 64 state Rep Ann Coody with their "2008 Friend of Economic Education" award. A Lawton Republican, Coody is a former school teache who chaired the House Education Committee on Common Education. She authored HB1476 that created the "Passport to Financial Literacy" program in our public schools. The law became effective on July 1, 2007. Implementation began in the 2008-09 school year with 7th graders and will graudally expand to grades 7 through 12.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Theresa Hernandez Released from Prison - Yeah!

Pro-Choice Oklahoma reports today that "After almost five years in jail for having a still birth, Theresa Hernandez has finally been released to a addiction treatment center and her sentence reduced today." You can read their blog post and watch a video by clicking here. This woman should never have been incarcerated. I am delighted to see she has been released. Lose a baby, go to jail: only in Oklahoma! Kuddos to Oklahoma County District Attorney david Praster!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carolyn Hart Book Series Based in Oklahoma

From Full Circle Book Store in Oklahoma City:

Carolyn Hart to Sign Newest Mystery Ghost at Work on Thursday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Carolyn Hart returns to Full Circle to celebrate the release of her newest mystery Ghost at Work--which was just named as one of Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of the Year."

Booksellers quickly learn that successful authors as a group are not necessarily easy to work with or always open to their readers. Carolyn is the exception. Oklahoma's most honored (and prolific) mystery writer is charming, articulate and wonderfully talented.

Ghost at Work is the debut of Carolyn's new heroine, the late Bailey Ruth Raeburn, and is her first mystery series set in Oklahoma.

Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at solving mysteries. So why should a little thing like her death change anything? As a freshman member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth's first mission back on Earth finds her back home in Adelaide, Oklahoma. Turns out that Kathleen, the local pastor's wife, is in a fix. With Bailey Ruth's assistance - sometimes seen and sometimes not - Kathleen sets out to thwart a canny killer who has set a devilish trap for Kathleen and her husband.

Join us Thursday evening to visit with Carolyn and celebrate the release of her new series.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Shannon Miller Park (from Kelly)

There is a nice post about Shannon Miller Park in Edmond on the blog America As Seen By Kelly. Check out Kelly's post by clicking HERE.

Elaine Warner Visits Charles Banks Wilson

My friend Elaine Warner is a travel writer and her work takes her to wonderful far away places - and sometimes to nearby spots, too. She recently got to visit the art studio of Charles Banks Wilson and actually visit the the artist himself, too! (Name sound familiar? Think murals in the Oklahoma State Capitol building for starters.) Who knew Wilson painted naked ladies?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oklahoma Magazine Names "75 Great Oklahoma Websites"

Oklahoma Magazine's November 2008 issue has an article (Click here to view it) entitled "75 Great Oklahoma Websites." I am pleased to be named and to be in such fine company. I am also very proud that so many of the websites selected are authored by Oklahoma women!
Photo credit: The above image was lifted without permission from the Oklahoma Magazine website. Did I mention that you can subscribe to this fine magazine by clicking here?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Judy Petry Named Woman of the Year by LRIW

Judy Petry of Elk City, Oklahoma, was recently named woman of the year by the League of Railway Industry Women. Read story here.

Aside: A few decades ago, I was head of the state's rail planning division of the Oklahoma Dept of Transportation. I was also the total staff. In spite of my best efforts, I didn't manage to save many rail lines so I don't admit it too often. At Gov David Boren's request, I agreed to be the initial state rail planner (with emphasis on planner); I was followed in the position by former State legislator Jim Townsend -- who knew a lot more about railroads that me.

Anyway, congrats, Judy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Carolyn Hill Retires as Head of Art Museum

In August, 1994, the Oklahoma City Art Museum board of directors hired Carolyn Hill as its museum director. Hill is a native of Oklahoma City and had previously operated a private art gallery in New York City. She has done a marvelous job steering the art museum including building the new three-story, 110,000 sq. ft. facility with 15 galleries, 3 education rooms, a library, a store, a café, and theater in downtown Oklahoma; adding to the collection including Mary Cassatt's Portrait of Katherine Cassatt, Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Buste de Femme; the 55-foot glass sculpture comprised of 2,100 hand-blown pieces created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly; and 1,500 additional Chihuly pieces of hand-blown glass; numerous spectacular traveling exhibitions and more. Her replacement has been named and she will retire later this year. Thank you, Carolyn, for your wonderful contributions to Oklahoma.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Muriel Fahrion - Illustrator & Blogger

The blog Blogahoma is written by American illustrator Muriel Fahrion who is well known for being the original designer of the famous girl's toy Strawberry Shortcake and also the The Get Along Gang, the Care Bears, the Puffalumps, the Popples, and others. She lives in Medicine Park, Oklahoma. My only regret is that she doesn't post more often.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Seeking Oklahoma Women's Organizations

We are getting ready to invite organizations to join the Oklahoma Women's Coalition. We thought we'd begin by contacting women's organizations in Oklahoma. Here is the list we are working from:

We know it is woefully incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate. We are trying to add new groups to the list as soon as we learn about them (In fact, I just added W.O.M.E.N. at University of Central Oklahoma to the list tonight.)

Would you please look over the list and send me any additions or changes we need to make?

And would you also please pass information about the Oklahoma Women's Coalition along to any women's groups you know of that might want to be apart of this new effort to speak for women and girls at the State Capitol?

Here is our web page: and here is the membership form:

Or just have them email me (jeanwarner at cox dot net) directly.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Become a Member of the Oklahoma Women's Coalition

I hope you will become a member of the Oklahoma Women's Coalition.

If you WANT to get involved, we'll put you on one of our great working committees. You can tell your grandchildren someday how you were a pioneer on behalf of Oklahoma women and girls.

If you DON'T want to get deeply involved in "yet another club," just receive our newsletters and action alerts. Join because we need to be able to tell legislators that we represent lots of people from all across the State of Oklahoma. (And I am hoping that, when you get our Action Alerts, you may even send an email to or call your State Representative or Senator.)

Join because, frankly, we need your $25 to pay for a subscription to a bill tracking service and to pay for other expenses necessary to be the voice for women and girls at the State Capitol.

But mostly join because you'll be helping to make a positive difference in Oklahoma!

We're not a girls club. Men are welcome and encouraged to join, too. You guys have mothers and sisters and daughters and wives (well, one, anyway) and you know Oklahoma has a long way to go in seeing that they don't encounter barriers in achieving their full potential.

So click here for the website or click here to open the membership form. Download the form, fill it out and send it in. Then email this post on to your friends and family.


OK County Clerk Carolynn Caudill Praised

An article in The City Sentinel reports that Oklahoma County Clerk Carolynn Caudill has been recognized for excellence by the Government Finance Officers Association. They say that the latest annual financial report Caudill's office produced earned her their Certificate of Achievement - the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financiqal reporting. This is the 14th year for Caudill to receive this recognition.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Clinkscales Art: Beading for Charity and Fun

I didn't get around to reading the Clinkscales Art blog post on "Beading for Breast cancer" until after Sept 30 (when it was too latge). But this is still worth posting about anyway.
Wish I was clever enough to do this. I'm not even clever enough to find the pattern to purchase. :-(
Pretty, isn't aren't they?!) Here is the post link:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Will Wanda Jackson Finally Be Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fnotame?

Oklahoman Wanda Jackson, the first woman to perform rock and roll, is on the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Final Ballot. There are nine individuals and groups and she still has be be selected (see below). Cross your fingers. The Hall of fame is way overdue in recognizinging this remarkable Oklahoman.

New York (September 22, 2008)—The nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum were announced today. The nine nominees are: Jeff Beck, Chic, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Metallica, Run-D.M.C., the Stooges, War, and Bobby Womack. Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 24th Annual Induction Ceremony on April 4 at historic Public Hall in Cleveland. For the first time, tickets to the ceremony will be made available to the public. For more, click here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Meg Salyer Replaces Ann Simank on Oklahoma City's City Council

Renowned and highly respected Oklahoma City business and civic leader Meg Salyer (right) recently filed for the Ward 6 seat on the City of Oklahoma City's Council. The position is being vacated by Ann Simank (left) because her son is becoming an OKC fireman and OKC has a no nepotism policy. Ann Simank endorsed Salyer bringing her campaign resources, followers and the blessing of a dearly loved and respected public official. Then Salyer's only opponent, Clarence Warstler ended his campaign because of a death in his family. So it is a done deal. Meg Salyer is the next Ward 6 City Councilwoman for Oklahoma City. Yeah for Meg and yeah for OKC because this means there will still be one solitary female serving on the 9-member city council.
Click here to read a nice article on this topic from The Journal Record. (It actually comes to us through since The Journal Record usually makes you have a subscription to access their website. (Boo, hiss, Mary Melon; once a story is 3+ days old, why not put it out on the Internet and bring some well deserved recognition to your excellent newspaper?)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sandra Dickinson, Audrey Pirtle Honored

The Oklahoman reported today that "Four Oklahoma companies were recognized for excellence in service and business performance Thursday evening at the 18th Annual Minority Business Leadership Awards Dinner in Oklahoma City." Two of the four firms were women-owned businesses. They are B&S Quality Printing Inc., a Hispanic-American company owned by Sandra Dickinson in Oklahoma City that since 1984 has provided printing services using the industry’s top multi-color Heidelberg presses and Trans-Tel Central, a Norman-based American Indian company founded in 1974 and owned by Audrey Pirtle, providing solutions in IT, communications systems and information systems. Congratulations to both Sandra and Audrey!

Teresa Moisant Runs Moisant Promotional Products

After years of working for others, with her husbands support and help Teresa Moisant set out in 1990 to run her own business. Today Moisant Promotional Products enjoys $2.5 M annual sales. The firm is an advertising speciality-products comapny that operates out of Moisant's South Oklahoma City home. Best of all, Teresa's two daughters – Christi Moisant and Shelly Moisant Rainwater -- work for the firm and will probably take over the management some day! Read The Journal Record article by clicking here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oklahoma Women's Coalition Launched Today

The first board meeting of the Oklahoma Women's Coalition was held today in Oklahoma City. So, we are officially launched! This board is composed of an extraordinary group of women leaders from across the state committed to advancing the potential and equity of Oklahoma women and girls. We set up committees and elected chairs for Membership, Advocacy, Communications, Day at the Capitol, Finance, Fundraising and Leadership Development. So now we can officially recruit members. I'll blog soon on how to join and what we will be doing. I hope many of you will want to become a member of this statewide effort to provide a voice for women and girls at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tulsa Entrepreneur Colleen Payne-Nabors

The Journal Record recently has a nice article on Colleen Payne-Nabors and her recent book I Did It My way and...It Worked.

Too bad they won't let us link to their article unless we are a subscriber -- boo, hiss, TJR!

Payne-Nabors is CEO and founder of MCI Diagnostic Center in Tulsa. Her firm was named to Inc. Magazine's 2007 list of America's fastest-growing companies. Read about her here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oklahoma Women's Coalition - 1st Intern

Left to right: Donna Lawrence, Jean Warner, OU Intern Gigi McCormick, and Pat Potts at Jean's kitchen table getting ready to launch the new Oklahoma Women's Coalition. Lots of other women have also been involved in this effort including BPW's Connie Douglas, Kathie Tanner and Sharon Baker; AKA's Jacqueline Achong; Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma Karen Morgan and Ingrid Williams, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma Cathy Stackpole, Deborah Gooding, and Crystal Slater, AAUW's Faye Henson and Shelli Wasson, YWCA Tulsa, Felicia Collins-Correia, YWCA OKC's Jan Peery and Sherry Hatherley, Dana Murphy; League of Women Voters President Barbara Wilson and many, many others. Get ready to join! Membership form goes up on the website a week from today.

Linda Haneborg Honored for Lifetime Achievement

At The Journal Record's 2008 Woman of the Year Banquet this evening, JR Publisher Mary Melon (left) presented Linda Haneborg (right) with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Haneborg is only the third Oklahoma woman to receive this prestigious recognition (along with former OKC mayor Patience Latting and reporter Joan Gillmore).

LaRita Aragon Named 2008 Woman of the Year

I attended The Journal Record's 2008 Woman of the Year banquet at the Cox Center this evening. Keynote speaker was Prudence Bushnell; she was the US Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya when Al Qaeda blew up the American Embassy in Nairobi. I was very moved by her remarks. Linda Haneborg received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Four Oklahoma programs were honored for their contributions to Oklahoma women: N.E.W. Leadership [which I am co-founder along with Cindy Rosenthal], the Oklahoma Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" program, Dress for Success, and the YWCA of Oklahoma City. Jan Peery accepted for the YWCA and several of our NEW Leadership graduates got to receive their award. The highlight of the evening was announcement of the 2008 Woman of the Year. Fifty woman are honored each year but one get's the gold ring. This year the very deserving winner was (Ret.) Major General LaRita Aragon. I'm tired so I'll write more of LaRita tomorrow. But you can click here to read a bio on LaRita when she was still in the military. She now works for the University of Oklahoma. This is a fun evening filled with great women. I got to tell Lt Gov Jari Askins about the Oklahoma Women's Coalition. Visited with Jan Peery, Karen Morgan, Andrea Chancellor, Cynda Ottaway, Donna Lawrence, Dana Murphy, many many others, plus I got to meet the new director of NEW Leadership. Fun night!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oklahoma Women's Coalition Coming Soon

I spent most of today at my computer revising an application to the Women's Foundation of Oklahoma. Hope it helps; the Oklahoma Women's Coalition is going to need start up funding.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heather Sparks is Oklahoma's 2008 Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Heather Sparks, Taft Middle School teacher who was just named 2008 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Read full story by clicking HERE. In The Oklahoman article, there are congratulatory quotes from State Superintendent Sandy Garrett and District Superintendent Karl Springer. The one person who got left out but who deserves some recognition, too, is Taft Middle School's exceptional Principal, Lisa Johnson.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Book: Oklahoma's Historical Centennial Cookbook

Tecumseh author Ronnye Perry Sharp has co-authored with Bob Burke another Oklahoma treasure: Oklahoma's Historical Centennial Cookbook ($39.99). It includes recipes from Oklahomans including Barry Switzer, T Boone Pickens, Gov. Brad Henry, Toby Keith, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, etc. as well as vignettes on Oklahoma. There are also recipes from some of Oklahoma's best chefs including Kurt Fleischfesser (The Coach House in OKC), the late Clay Oden (now-closed Grand Boulevard Grill), and Avis Scaramucci (Nonna's). Might make a nice Christmas gift to someone who either loves to cook or just loves Oklahoma.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Tulsa Businesswoman Marsha Watkins

Here is a nice article in The Journal Record about Oklahoma businesswoman Marsha Watkins. She co-owns RainTech Gutter Solutions with her husband. In the article she notes that when customers call the store, most assume she is a receptionist.
“A lot of men don’t want to hear what I have to say because I feel they think I don’t know what I’m talking about,” she said. “Some people we deal with don’t take me as serious as they do my husband.”

Stacy Nyikos - Okie Author

The Journal Record has an article about Bristow children’s author Stacy Nyikos. She uses online resources to promote her work and connect with other writers. She especially likes (including the blog and podcasts). Stacy also has a weblog.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Louisiana Evacuees -- Welcome to Oklahoma!!

Some of the evacuees from Louisiana have arrived in Oklahoma. we are very glad to have them and hope their stay here is good. Read AP story here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Co. Patricia Hoffman New Commander of Tinker AFB's AWACS Wing

By The Associated Press 8/28/2008 5:55 AM

Col. Patricia D. Hoffman assumed command of the wing that flies the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, planes during a ceremony on Wednesday on the base near Oklahoma City.

Hoffman replaces Brig. Gen. Lori Robinson, who is leaving Tinker to assume a new position at the Pentagon.

Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, the commander of the 8th Air Force, presided over the change-of-command ceremony.

Earlier in her career, Hoffman served as an air battle manager aboard an AWACS jet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Okie Women Honored by AARP

AARP-Oklahoma has recognized 50 Oklahomansolder than 50 making a difference in the lives of others. Women honored include Cheyenne attorney Dorothy Alexander, Yukon editor Linda Andrews, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins of Duncan, Woodward teacher Rita Barnett, OKC medical researcher and educator Dr. Marie Bernard; Earlsboro volunteer Phyllis Croswell; Tulsa activist Laura Dempsey-Polan; Ponca City sexual assault nurse examiner Martha Denney; Pawhuska volunteer Janet Drummond; hospice and health ethics advocate Linda Edmondson; OKC volunteer Regina Edwards; Anadarko author, educator and Kiowa language preservationist Alecia Keahbone Gonzales; Pauls Valley community volunteer Lou Hall; Tulsa legal advocate Theresa Hansen; OKC homeless advocate Carolyn Herr; Tahlequah educator and Cherokee County historian Beth Herrington; Lawton displaced homemaker counselor Beverly Horse; OKC ombudsman for the elderly Esther Houser; OKC pantry operator Sister Barbara Joseph; Sallisaw nurse Debra Knoke; McAlester counselor Nora McBee; OKC state director of Medicaid Dr. Lynn Mitchell; Tulsa founder of The Little Lighthouse Marcia Mitchell; Guthrie Areawide Aging Agency planner Karen Orsi; and Chickasha former Okahoma State Rep. Susan Winchester. Read brief bios for honorees at Read The Oklahoman article about this recognition HERE (scroll down).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Increasing Numbers of Oklahoma's Children Raised in Poverty

Last week the Tulsa World ran an article on children and poverty in Oklahoma entitled Tulsa, state schools' free meal eligibility rises. In the article, State Superintendent of Schools Sandy Garrett and Anne Roberts, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and others talked about the challenges of teaching children from very poor families. They also acknowledged that the percent of children in Oklahoma schools coming from very poor families is increasing over time (see below).

Today, The Oklahoman ran an editorial entitled Going Hungry: Poverty devastates children. It didn't offer solutions but at least acknowledged the problem.

The following are statewide percentages of public school students qualifying for free-reduced meals for the last five school years (note the disturbing trend):

2007-08: 55.50 percent
2006-07: 55.40 percent
2005-06: 54.84 percent
2004-05: 54.11 percent
2003-04: 53.23 percent

Source: Department of Education

Monday, August 25, 2008

Swanee Hunt, Unconventional Women Website

In following the conventions, I'm stumbling upon lots of interesting resources on the Internet. This week you can expect them to lean towards the Democratic Party and next week I hope I'll find equally cool republican leaning sites! I'm not toally clear what this ine IS - I think it is hawking an event at the convention. Swaneed Hunt spoke to graduates of the program I co-founded in Oklahoma - National Education for Women's Leadership. (Thanks to the generousity ogf Lou Kerr, I might add.) Hunt is the founding director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government -- a very cool lady. Check out this website

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Congratulations, Dr. Marie Bernard

Oklahoma has been blessed with the talent of Dr. Marie Bernard, Chair of the Department of geriatrics medicine at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the Oklahoma geriatrics Education Center at the OU Health Sciences Center. She is leaving us to become deputy director of the national Institute on Aging which is part of the national Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. We will miss you. Marie; remember your many friends back in Oklahoma as you serve out nation in DC.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Clara Luper

This is a special week as we remember and celebrate the anniversary of the sit-ins at Katz Drugstore in Oklahoma City. To their credit, The Oklahoman is running a wonderful series of articles about the children who participated in those history making nonviolent protests - under the tutelage and loving guidance of Clara Luper.

Clara is Oklahoma's under appreciated hero. She was FINALLY inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame last year. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1993 - still 20 years late! You can read about the precedent setting sit-ins, how they came about and how they influenced the participants by reading some of The Oklahoman's articles:

~ 50 years ago, Oklahoma City children helped change nation when they sat down
~ Clara Luper had to face a mysterious enemy
~ Oklahoma city police peacefully upheld the law
~ Recordings keeping Oklahoma City sit-in's history alive
and ~

Monday, August 18, 2008

Festival of Hope Honors Brenda McDaniel and Linda Lambert

The Festival of Hope will be honoring several individuals and organizations next Friday in Oklahoma City. Proceeds benefit Heartline. Among this year's honorees are Oklahoma City University's First Lady Brenda McDaniel and Oklahoma leader Linda Lambert.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Leona Aranda in Okie Derby Today; Go, Girls!

The Okie Derby, an air proficiency race sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Chapter of Ninety-Nines, is underway. You can read about one participant, Laona Aranda in an Oklahoman article here. Why not visit the Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots this month? If you use Will Rogers Airport, you've driven right past it (click for location). It chronicles the rich history of women aviators from Amelia Earhart to today's women of space including Madame Thible who, before the United States had elected its first president, had ascended as a balloon passenger in Lyons, France. Makes me want to go jump out of an airplane (wearing a parachute, of course)!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sheri Stickley Heads Up "Project Boomerang"

At the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Sheri Stickley is in charge of the state's Project Boomerang - an initiative to lure former Oklahomans back to the state. Click HERE to read an article about Sheri and her program from the July 28, 2008 Journal Record.

The Journal Record's "50 Making A Difference" 2008 Honorees

I apologize for not posting this sooner. Back in late July, The Journal Record (which, incidentally, has several news blogs) announced the 50 women to be honored this September at their Woman of the Year Banquet. Their "50 Making a Difference" publication and the Woman of the Year awards gala (now in its 28th year) are a special tribute to Oklahoma's leading women. The publication includes full page biographical portraits of the 50 honorees and acts as the program for the Woman of the Year black-tie event. This year's event will be held on September 25, 2008 at the Cox Convention Center. I hope you all will buy a ticket and come to the banquet because it is a fabulous evening.

Here are this year's honorees:
* Jennifer Anderson, ASE Productions Inc., Oklahoma City.
* LaRita Aragon, University of Oklahoma-College of Continuing Education, Edmond.
* Dana Birkes, The Flintco Companies Inc., Tulsa.
* Mary Blankenship Pointer, UMB Bank, Oklahoma City.
* Laura Boyd, Policy and Performance Consultants Inc., Norman.
* Mary Clare Buthod, Monte Cassino School, Tulsa.
* Carolyn Caudill, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City.
* Umi Chahal, Choice Home Health/Hospice Inc., Oklahoma City.
* Andrea Chancellor, AEP-PSO, Tulsa.
* Ashley Christofferson-Cunningham, brass brick homes, Oklahoma City.
* L. Sheryl Colton, Colton & Associates, Oklahoma City.
* Elizabeth D. Tyrrell, McAfee & Taft, Oklahoma City.
* Lee Denney, Oklahoma State House of Representatives, Cushing.
* Freda Deskin, ASTEC Inc., Oklahoma City.
* Janice Drewry, Star Performance Inc., Lawton.
* Shannon Edwards, Monnet, Hayes, Bullis, Thompson & Edwards/ Osage Nation, Oklahoma City.
* Robyn Elliott-Scribner, The Chickasaw Nation, Ada.
* Robyn Ewing, Williams Companies Inc., Tulsa.
* Celine Ferguson, Coppermark Bank, Oklahoma City.
* Michelle Finch-Walker, Oklahoma Forest Heritage Center, Broken Bow.
* Jeanne Gillert, The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, Tulsa.
* Carol Gray, The Children's Center, Bethany.
* Noma Gurich, Oklahoma County District Court, Oklahoma City.
* Debbie Harrison, Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority, El Reno.
* Deborah Horrocks, Hertz Corp., Piedmont.
* Liz Hunt, Hunt Media and Marketing, Tulsa.
* Carole Kenner, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center- College of Nursing, Oklahoma City.
* Lou Kerr, The Kerr Foundation Inc., Oklahoma City.
* Karen Langdon, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Tulsa.
* Janet Levit, University of Tulsa College of Law, Tulsa.
* Elaine Lyons, South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma City.
* Melanie MacDonald, World Neighbors, Oklahoma City.
* Kay Martin, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City.
* Elizabeth Ann Nalley, Cameron University, Lawton.
* Susan Paddack, Oklahoma State Senate, Ada.
* Janet Peery, YWCA Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City.
* Nellie Perry, Perry, Gentry, Perry, and Marsh, Stillwater.
* Toni Pickle, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Inc., Kingfisher.
* Tammy Powell, St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City.
* Avis Scaramucci, Nonna's Euro-American Ristorante & Bar and Painted Door, Oklahoma City.
* April Sellers White, District Court of Creek County, Sapulpa.
* Brooke Smith Murphy, Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City.
* Carolyn Stager, Oklahoma Municipal League, Oklahoma City.
* Cheryl Steele, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond.
* Suzann Stewart, Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tulsa.
* Terry Stuart Forst, R.T. Stuart Ranch LLC, Waurika.
* Carolyn A. Taylor, Rogers State University, Claremore.
* Pamela Troup, St. Anthony North, Oklahoma City.
* Angela West, CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma, Tulsa.
* Terri White, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse, Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ann Simank Leaving OK City Commision

Ann Simank, the only woman current serving on Oklahoma City's City Council will resign her post on Thursday because her son is becoming a firefighter with the City. A licensed social worker, Simank has served Ward 6 for 13 years. She is a member of the Association of Central Oklahoma governments and the Oklahoma Municipal League Legislative Committee. Click here to read her biography. She will be greatly missed. Edmond has one woman on their city council. Tulsa has no women on their city council although they do have Kathy Taylor as Mayor. Norman has two women along with Cindy Rosenthal as Mayor. Folks, if we want women's perspective and women's concerns addressed, women need to be sitting at the table when decisions are made. Bottom line: We all need to do a better job of recruiting women to run for public office. Read The Oklahoman's article about Ann Simank's departure by clicking here.

Sue Hale to Speak at National Convention

Jennifer James McCollum, on her Zenobia blog, reports (click here to view her post) that:
Oklahoma City's Sue Hale, vice president of Community Engagement for OPUBCO Communications, Inc., will speak at the national conference for the Association of Women in Communications, September 25-27 in Washington D.C. She will discuss keys to successful multimedia strategies. OPUBCO, which manages, has one of the most popular Web sites in Oklahoma.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Cindy Lopez Named Director of OU's J.C. Penney Leadership Center

A recent Oklahoman article reported that:

The Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma has named Cindy Lopez director of the J.C. Penney Leadership Center, a benchmark program at the college.

Lopez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations from Mount Vernon College and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

The J.C. Penney Leadership Center at the Price College of Business is a selective program that provides intellectually gifted and high-performing undergraduate business students with the opportunity to develop and increase their leadership potential through a variety of learning experiences and interaction with corporate and campus leaders.

Mary Ann McCaffree Joins National Board

Oklahoma City physician Mary Ann McCaffree was recently elected to the board of the American Medical Association. Dr. McCaffree is a neonatologist with OU Children's Physicians. The 21-member board sets policy for the AMA.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Officers Elected for Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women

At the June 27, 2008 meeting of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, the following officers were elected for the coming year: Chair Chris Morriss, Vice-Chair Mary walker and Secretary Lou Kohlman. Jilda Motley will serve as chair of the Advisory Council.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kenya Mission - Books Donated

Several months ago, students at Summit Middle School in Edmond donated books for the children's library I helped launch in Meru, Kenya. Above is a picture of one of the drop off sites at the school. I went there with file boxes and the kids threw the books into my boxes. Those boxes have been sitting at my church and now I'm finally sorting through the boxes and repacking them tightly in preparation for their being shipping to Kenya.

I am actually going to store the boxes in a donated storage unit for a while until I have enough boxes of donated books to fill a 20 foot shipping container. I'd mail the books to Kenya but the postal rate is $1 per pound plus most of what gets mailed to Kenya of any value never arrives at it's destination. Also, there is much rigmarole involved in getting a waiver on books (otherwise I'd have to pay import tax on the assumption the books were for resale in Kenya). It involves getting papers signed by the Secretary of Finance and the Secretary of Education, bribes to officials at the Port of Mombasa and bribes to policemen who stop our truck between the port and Meru... I'm willing to jump through those hoops once for a 20 foot shipping container but not numerous times for smaller shipments.

If you know a middle school that would consider a service project of donating books for the community library located on the campus of the Kaaga School for Hearing Impaired Children in Central Kenya, please have a teacher or school official get in touch with me. My Kenya connection, the remarkable Florence Mubichi, and I will come to the school and show pictures and talk about the need for books and our goal of creating a culture of reading for children of Kenya. Thanks.

FYI, the first picture is my living room hearth where the repacking process has just begun. I am trying to bring home and repack 5-8 boxes a day. I keep wanting to hold back what I consider hugely culturally inappropriate books while my 7th grade language arts school teacher daughter insists we send almost everything donated. I have talked her into letting me set aside the "Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley" series and the "Girl Talk" ("Allison's a model!") series. But Pokemon, Captain Underpants and Scooby-Doo are going to Kenya!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oklahomans Melyanna Hewitt and Kelly Brown Produce Children's Book "A Story of Faith"

The following post is from the Oklahoma Writers & Authors blog and is so good, I am just pasting the whole post here:


"... I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move." - Matthew 17:20

Inspired by a true story, this delightfully innovative children’s story was written for seven-year-old Mary Ann, a little Amish girl who had just been diagnosed with cancer. As Mary Ann lay awaiting the first of many chemotherapy treatments, in walked a complete stranger bearing a cuddly bundle of fur named “Faith.” Faith arrived at Mary Ann’s bedside hoping to become her “bestest” friend and traveling company for the long journey ahead.

This tender story will guide you through Faith’s creation at Build-A-Bear Workshop and her many adventures on an Amish farm. Written and illustrated by two women from Oklahoma, Melyanna Hewitt and illus by Kelly Brown, A Story of Faith spearheads a fund raising effort on Mary Ann’s behalf. Your purchase of this book will help pay a portion of Mary Ann’s medical expenses. For more information, visit the website

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sheila Spurgeon New Director of Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.

Sheila Spurgeon has a doctorate in educational psychology and has taught at five universities but she has always had a special place in her heart for historical preservation. Now, as the new executive director of Preservation Oklahoma Inc, she is a key player in preserving Okahoma's architectural treasures. Read about her in this July 20 Oklahoman article entitled "Historic homes get shot at future."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jo Ann Pearce Leads A Chance to Change Foundation

My husband belongs to the Oklahoma City Downtown Rotary (Club 29) which meets every Tuesday at noon. I have lots of female friends who also belong and one of them, Meg Salyer -- who won the Journal Record's Woman of the Year in 2003, served as president of Club 29 a few years back. So I keep an eye on the organization - wondering if they will ever have a second female president and hoping that a few of their speakers will be females over the course of a year (other than Sherri Coale, that is).

So I was pleased to hear that Jo Ann Pearce, Executive Director of A Chance to Change Foundation, spoke to Club 29 this week. Her organization was founded in 1979 and works with individuals who are affected by chemical dependency and related behavioral disorders. She has an awesome resume and word is she gave a very good talk. Yes!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Janet Lovet Named Law Dean at University of Tulsa

Janet Loven Levit has been named Dean of the Law School at the University of Tulsa.

She is the first woman to serve as law dean at TU and the first female dean of a law school in Oklahoma. So, yippee!

You can read the full story about her and the appointment here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TR's Pictures from China

My new Oklahoma friend TR - who authors the blog From the Faraway Nearby - is a "traveler by trade." He is currently in China working on activities related to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

He has a wonderful eye for images and takes fabulous photos.

Check out his first post from China for a moment of blissful zen!

Pam Peterson and Sue Tibbs Endorse Dana Murphy

Per Mike McCarville's blog, two state legislators - Pam Peterson and Sue Tibbs - have endorsed Republican candidate Dana Murphy in her run for Corporation Commissioner.

McCarville also reports that Chesapeake Energy is throwing money at Jim Roth, the Democratic candidate in this race, which (aside from the ethical issue re taking money from those you regulate) will help his race.

First, though Murphy has to win the primary against an opponent. Based on training and past work experience, Murphy is certainly the most qualified candidate for this post.

OCU Hall of Fame to Induct Ann Felton

Oklahoma City University will induct 6 business leaders to their Hall of Fame October 15 including one woman -- Ann Felton. She is chair and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity and will receive OCU's Lifetime Achievement Award. Read The Oklahoman article here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Carolyn Stager First Women Director of Oklahoma Municipal League

Carolyn Stager, who broke a glass ceiling when she assumed the helm of the Oklahoma Municipal League this month, is a remarkable survivor of the May 3, 1999 tornado. The Oklahoman ran an article on her July 20, 2008 entitled "For first time, woman to lead Oklahoma Municipal League." Congratulations, Carolyn!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mike Korenblit, Respect Diversity Foundation, & NBA's "Oklahoma City Thunder"

Mike Korenblit spoke to my Sunday school class this morning. The son of Holocaust survivors, Mike grew up in Ponca City, worked 19 years with the Close Up Foundation in Washington, D.C. and moved back to Oklahoma in 1992. He is co-author of the book Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust, the story of his parents Manya and Meyer Korenblit. He and his wife, Joan, are co-founders of the Respect Diversity Foundation, a non-profit organization that teaches tolerance and inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to reevaluate their prejudices and biases. The foundation is headquartered in Edmond.

The foundation sponsors an annual state-wide Respect Diversity Symbol Exhibit with art collaborations, by students, that teach the community respect for diversity through the arts. Children across Oklahoma do an amazing job of reflecting the concept of respecting diversity visually. Not an easy thing to do. I have posted just a few of the great art it generates.

That got me thinking. I have heard a rumor that the Oklahoma City NBA basketball team will be called "the Oklahoma City Thunder." But how does one depict thunder visually?

Friday, July 18, 2008

OKC's St. Anthony Promotes Tammy Powell and Marti Jourden

St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City has promoted two women of note: Tammy Powell is now Executive VP/Chief Operating Officer and Marti Jourden is VP, Performance Improvement/Chief Quality Officer. Congratulations, ladies! Read The Oklahoman article here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Geraldine Suiter

Edith Suiter, Geraldine Suiter's daughter-in-law, in Duncan reports that there is so much more to Geraldine's story than I managed to mention HERE. You can find some of it at her online obituary HERE. Edith says there is property in Tillman County that has passed through the generations being owned ONLY by women in Geraldine's family. Imagine that. Let's hear it for empowering women! She did indeed have a passion for life; thanks, Pam, for hooking me up with Edith.

Deborah Barnes Sworn In As Judge of Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals

Tulsa attorney Deborah Ann Browers Barnes was sworn in July 9, 2008 as a judge on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Click here to read Tulsa World article. She was sworn in by her father-in-law and former state Supreme Court Justice Don Barnes. I don't think family got her the post though since Gov. Henry selected Barnes from a recommendation list that was compiled by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. Having served on one of those, I assure you they strive to pick the best QUALIFIED applicants! (I was appointed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission by President Jimmy Carter - that's how old I am!) Barnes replaces John Reif of Skiatook who Governor Henry named to the Oklahoma Supreme Court last October.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tipton, Oklahoma's Geraldine Suiter

The Oklahoman has an article by Ron Jackson today on Geraldine Suiter. She lived near Tipton, Oklahoma for over 92 years and died recently at age 98. She was an Oklahoma pioneer; click here to read the article. Raised in a log cabin; great friend and family member; first female basketball coach in Tillman County; a long career as an educator - this is a wonderful legacy for an Oklahoma pioneer woman.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Forty-Sixth Star Press Publishes "It Wasn't Much"

Forty-Sixth Star Press, a wonderful new Oklahoma publishing company, focuses on telling Oklahoma's story. As part of their "Oklahoma Portraits Series," they recently published It wasn't Much: Ten True Tales of Oklahoma Heroes by Jana Hausburg with portraits by Cheryl Delany. I loved this book!

Aimed at a young audience, this collection of short biographies tells of ten Oklahomans who have contributed in big as well as small ways to the state, the nation and the world. I am delighted that half the Oklahomans featured are women.

Those women are Rosemary Hogan (the angel of Bataan), Fern Holland (who was assassinated for her work on women's rights in Iraq), Bartlesville's gutsy librarian and civil rights leader Ruth Brown, environmental activist Carrie Dickerson, and Oklahoma City Red Cross volunteer Felicia Daugherty.

In addition to the book, there are materials and activities that supplement each chapter including resource materials, websites and discussion questions.

Oklahoma historians, parents, teachers and librarians, you will want to add this book to your collection. I plan to take several copies with me next time I travel to Kenya to add to our library collections in Meru! Here are a few locations where It Wasn’t Much: True Tales of Ten Oklahoma Heroes is available in Oklahoma City:

Best of Books 1313 E. Danforth in Edmond

Cokesbury, 6907 N May Ave in OKC

The Learning Tree 7638 N Western Ave in OKC

Oklahoma Historical Society Gift Shop 2401 N. Laird Ave in OKC

St. Thomas More Books and Gifts 7904 North May Avenue in OKC

Partner Abuse and the Bethel Foundation

There was a good article in The Oklahoman recently entitled Dealing with the reality of abuse in Oklahoma. And here is a related article about Lynda Powell's Bethel Foundation for abused single women. The Bethel Foundation can be reached at its Oklahoma City office at 286-3700, its Edmond office at 348-5826, or toll free at 866-442-1431. The foundation's office is located at 11212 N May Avenue, Suite 110.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jodi Lewis Replaces Dana Shadid as ED of Oklahoma Community Institute

After more than ten years with the Oklahoma Community Institute, Dana Shadid stepped down as Executive Director July 1. She said,
I am excited about slowing down a bit and I am more excited about the
future of OCI. The organization has come a long way since 1995 when Nance
Diamond and the original board of directors acted on their vision of an
organization that focused on empowering local citizens to improve their own
communities. Working with some great board members and staff, I have done
what I can to continue to build on that vision. Now it is my pleasure to
pass that on to someone else to ensure that OCI continues to work for Oklahoma

The OCI board selected Jodi Lewis -- current Director of Development and Planning -- to move into the role of Executive Director. Their press release read:
In addition to her work at the Community Institute, Jodi serves on the City
Council for the City of Piedmont and the board of Places, a Piedmont voluntary
organization that supports the city library and other cultural activities. She
was recently named to the board of United Way of Canadian County. She was also
selected as one of OKC Business's 40 Under 40 this year. Jodi is a graduate of
Oklahoma State University with a BS in Agribusiness. Jodi brings an enthusiasm
and commitment to the position that will serve the organization and Oklahoma
communities very well.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Single Moms' Poverty Spikes After Welfare Overhaul

Women's eNews reports that:
The ranks of poor single mothers have grown since the 1996 welfare overhaul that
weakened their safety net, and 30 percent now live with neither job income nor
public assistance.
Read the post here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Marolyn Pryor Forms Largest Real Estate Firm in Oklahoma

The Oklahoman Sunday ran a nice story about Mustang-based Marolyn Pryor Realtors merging with firms in Tulsa and Sapulpa to form Coldwell Banker Select. With 20 offices and 700 real estate agents statewide, it is the largest real estate firm in Oklahoma. Pryor is a former school teacher who got into real estate in 19977. She is president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of realtors. Nice work, Marolyn! You can read the article here.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Louise Alexander, Nancy Anthony and Ann Simak To Serve on Ford Center Board

The board overseeing how $22 million in improvements to Ford Center get spent includes three remarkable Oklahoma city women leaders -- Louise Alexander, Nancy Anthony and Ann Simank. Alexander ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 4 city council seat in 2005. A retiree, she works as a community volunteer. Anthony is executive director of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and has been a member of the Metropolitan Library Commission for more than 30 years. Simank represents Ward 6 on the city council. Her ward extends from NW 23 on the north to SW 44 on the south. She has been a council member since 1995. You can read The Oklahoman article here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Corporation Commission Candidate Dana Murphy Picking Up Endorsement

Ouch. OkieDoke has a pretty unflattering blog post about Corporation Commission candidate Rob Johnson (pictured here). Johnson faces fellow Republican Dana Murphy in the primary race. Michael Bates' Batesline blog has great things to say about Dana Murphy and she is picking up endorsements including one from the Oklahoma Conservative PAC. Turns out integrity, honesty and being smart, informed and well qualified for the position actually matters to voters. (Disclosure: Dana is a friend and has supported several of my projects including N.E.W. Leadership and the Oklahoma Women's Legislative Coalition.)

BlogOklahoma on Kate Barnard has a nice blog post on Oklahoma's Kate Barnard with lots of useful links, too. You can read the blog post here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Terry Stuart Forst Is President of Oklahoma Cattleman's Association

Terry Stuart Frost runs the Stuart Ranch, the oldest operating family cattle ranch in Oklahoma. She is the newly elected president of the Oklahoma Cattleman's Association. The Journal Record did a nice spread on Forst June 2, 2008. If you can break into their closed archives, it is worth a read. Try viewing the article here.

Susan Illgen Named Director of Smart Start

Congratulations to Susan Illgen who has been named Executive Director of Oklahoma's Smart Start. Illgen was the 2005 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year and early childhood director with the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Susannah Rankin State's First Pew Scholar

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation's Susannah Rankin is Oklahoma's first Pew Scholar. Only 20 were named in 2008 and we have one of them right here in Oklahoma City. Very cool. Rankin is a cell biologist whose research could lead to a reduction in birth defects and possibly cancer, too. The honor includes a $240,000 award to help with her research. Go, girl!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Billie Letts Book Signing at Full Circle Bookstore

Oklahoma author Billie Letts will sign her new novel, Made in the U.S.A., on Friday, June 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Full Circle Bookstore in 50 Penn Place, Oklahoma City.
Bestselling author of Where the Heart Is, returns with a heartrending tale of two children in search of a place to call home. Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, until they are forced to head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind. Join Billie Letts at The Full Circle Bookstore and celebrate her much anticipated new novel. For a map to the store, click here for the Full Circle website.