Friday, February 29, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
"one of the highest per capita rates -- 129 per 100,000 residents, a figure that is right behind Texas, the federal system and California. Oklahoma’s imprisonment of women rose a stunning 1,237 percent from 1997 to 2004."
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We're number one . . . woopee.
Advanced Programs was established in 1964 as part of the university's continuing education and public service commitment. OU's College of Continuing Education pioneered the intensive teaching format, which includes advanced class preparation, a one- or two-weekend class session and post-class work. In all aspects except time, Advanced Programs courses are identical to those taught on the Norman campus, officials said. Thousands of men and women throughout the world have completed their degrees through Advanced Programs and OU Outreach. The program serves personnel at 31 military bases in North America, Europe and Asia, offering 10 master's degree programs and one doctoral program in organizational leadership.
The Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council recently named Paddack as their 2007 Legislative Advocate of the Year.
The Council's announcement reads in part:
The Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council is a statewide organization of economic development professionals and advocates promoting a competitive business climate in Oklahoma through legislative initiatives, coalition building and professional development. View OEDC's press release here.
Paddack has shown she is a true advocate for business in her voting record, her support of education and workforce issues and for her support last year in voting for tort reform, an issue that has been high on OEDC’s legislative agenda for several years,” stated Yowell. “We appreciate Senator Paddack’s dedication to education issues because we as economic developers know that education means a better workforce and makes Oklahoma more competitive in the global economic development arena.”
Paddack joins a list of distinguished past recipients including Co-President Pro-Tempore Senator Glenn Coffee, Representative Susan Winchester, former Speaker of the House Todd Hiett, Representative Clay Pope, Senator Scott Pruitt, Senator Dave Herbert, Senator Jim Maddox, former House Speaker Lloyd Benson, Representative Jack Bonny, Senator Ted Fisher and Representative Don McCorkell.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Click here to read today's Tulsa World article and The Oklahoman article.
Will it once again take court intervention to improve how Oklahoma treats children placed in the custody of the State? Does anyone remember the "Terry D" case that challenged how Oklahoma treated emotionally disturbed and dependent children including "incorrigibles" and runaways (today we call them "children in need of treatment")?
The State of Okahoma took "Terry D" away from his mentally ill mother and alcoholic father when he was 9. After several unsuccessful placements in foster homes, he was declared a "dependent and neglected child" and was placed in a state reform school. When he was 15, a class action suit was brought by three civil liberty groups on behalf of "Terry D" and 7 other juveniles. The suit against DHS and its chief administrator, Lloyd E. Rader, charged that over 900 juveniles were being held in and abused at state "training schools." These emotionally disturbed children had never committed a crime yet were being housed with juvenile delinquents.
In 1982, the Oklahoma Legislature passed HB 1468 that brought about sweeping reforms. Five state training schools were closed and the Legislature created the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) to conduct unannounced, independent monitoring of children and youth held in the state system. (In the 1980's while working at OSU's Policy Sciences Group, I was privileged to help OCCY design inspection survey instruments and analyze the data OCCY staff collected during their unannounced visits to children's facilities. I also worked on a study for Governor Henry Bellman on how "children in need of treatment" were being treated by Oklahoma's court system.)
So, yes - I am old enough to remember the Terry D lawsuit and the stories that came out regarding abuse and neglect of children held in state institutions. I still have a copy of "Hearings before the Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 97th Congress, 2nd Session on Allegations of Serious Abuses and Misconduct in the Detention of Juveniles in Institutions Maintained in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Feb 11, May 26 and 27, 1982. Serial No. J-97-95." It was not Oklahoma's finest hour.
One other great institution came out of this period. In response to the Terry D case, the Gannett Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to establish what became the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. You can read remarks by OICA's excellent Executive Director Anne Roberts on the history of child advocacy in Oklahoma here.
The "Terry D" case was about children held in state institutions and I want to believe that DHS (with OCCY watching over them) does a much better job with those children today. This new lawsuit is about children in Oklahoma's foster care system. Children's Rights notes in their suit that in the last 5 years, Oklahoma has twice been rated the worst program in the nation in terms of children being abused while in foster care. How will Oklahoma fare this time through the courts? Watch and see. And watch the Oklahoma Legislature, too. Will our elected officials vote against additional funding for our state's foster care and adoption programs while voting for more money for roads and bridges? Money talks. Watch how we allocate our state funds and you'll understand Oklahoma's true priorities.
(And if all of this shames and/or upsets you, show where your own personal priorities are by making a financial contribution to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy!)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The Drop Edge of Yonder—Donis Casey
Set Sail for Murder—Carolyn Hart
The Hellfire Conspiracy—Will Thomas
Way to go, ladies! If you live in Oklahoma City, pay a visit to Full Circle Bookstore's Oklahoma section. Curl up in a comfortable chair in front of a warm fire and check out Oklahoma's many talentede writers. To view other nominated categories, click here.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
"Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., A non-profit economic development organization focused on business financing and business incubators. REI has diversified its services over the years to include, a down payment and closing cost assistance program for rural homebuyers, an equipment program for small manufacturers, international trade assistance, manufacturers assistance and a Rural Women's Business Center."Read The Journal Record article here.
The report cards are designed to draw attention to the discrepancies between the protections afforded to adult victims of violence as compared to teen victims. States were graded on an A through F scale. Those states that do not allow minors to obtain restraining orders were given an automatic failure.
Fifteen states received an "F", while only three - California, New Hampshire and Oklahoma - received "A's." Along with the grades, Break the Cycle released recommendations for improvement of state domestic violence laws. Click here to read the Oklahoma Summary and the full report.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Carol Axley, education. Axley is a student advocate at East Central High School. She has been instrumental in establishing collaborative relationships among students, parents and the school community in order to improve the educational experience.
Carla Lawson, health. Lawson is the executive director of Ability Resources. The Tulsa organization assists people with what some call disabilities attain and maintain their personal independence through advocacy, education and service.
Karen Schafer, business. Schafer is president of Tulsa Global Alliance, a group whose mission is focused on promoting world peace and understanding of different cultures through education and advocacy.
Virginia "Ginny" Le Doux, arts and humanities. Le Doux is a middle school teacher at Holland Hall and executive director of the Tulsa Children's Chorus. She is known for her dedication to children's involvement and access to the arts.
Glenda Love, community service. Love is the executive director of the Tulsa Ronald McDonald House, which provides shelter and hope for ill children and their families. Barbara Santee, spirit. Santee has advocated for women's health and social justice issues for three decades.
Carmela Hill, rising star. Hill is an executive assistant with the Bank of Oklahoma. In addition to playing a key role in the bank's adoptive relationship with Emerson Elementary School, Hill also does volunteer work for groups such as the American Red Cross, the Oklahoma Blood Institute and Junior Achievement. She also is diversity crew leader with the Tulsa Young Professionals and spent considerable time on last fall's river development effort.
Mayor Kathy Taylor also is scheduled to receive a special Pinnacle Award for her leadership during last month's ice storm.