The Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of the boating season. Oklahoma’s lakes will be crowded with boaters, many of whom will be drinking while operating their vessel, which is dangerous but not illegal. It’s only illegal if the operator’s blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit of .08.
The same person drinking at the wheel of an automobile would be hauled off to jail immediately if pulled over by the law. But rules on the water have always been different. Wanna drink while you operate that boat, which can travel at high speeds and has no brakes? Not a problem.
Through the years, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s marine enforcement division has asked the Legislature to pass stronger laws regarding operating a boat under the influence. They’ve been unsuccessful — most lawmakers have shown no interest in rattling that cage. So the culture of “anything goes” continues.
There were a dozen fatal boating accidents last year in Oklahoma. Of those, eight involved alcohol. In drownings involving adults, alcohol is a factor a majority of the time.
Earlier this month on Grand Lake, two 21-year-olds were killed when the boat in which they were passengers smashed into an unoccupied houseboat. Excessive speed, alcohol and operator inattention were cited — according to a preliminary report, the boat’s driver had downed 10 beers and a shot of tequila.
We join the OHP’s lake patrol officers in encouraging Oklahomans to have a great time on the water this weekend. But please, do so responsibly.
A version of this story appears in Saturday’s The Oklahoman.
Tickets on sale Saturday (today) for Blake Shelton’s televised tornado benefit
“Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert,” featuring Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill, is set for Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena and will broadcast live on NBC.
Less than a week after devastating tornadoes ripped through his home state, tickets are going on sale for Blake Shelton’s star-studded Oklahoma City charity telethon.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday (today) to “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert,” which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
“Working hard on putting this benefit together,” the Ada native promised on Twitter Thursday, two days after he announced his plans for a televised tornado relief benefit. “Gonna be (an) unbelievable line up for a great cause.”
The star of NBC’s hit TV show “The Voice” has recruited his Grammy Award-winning wife and fellow Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert, as well as Oklahoma natives and Country Music Hall of Famers Reba McEntire and Vince Gill will perform alongside him at the show.
Additional guests for the concert will be announced shortly, according to a news release.
The show will be televised live at 8 p.m. Wednesday on NBC. It also will air on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT on either a live or delayed basis.
The show will aid victims of this week’s ruinous tornadoes, including the EF5 twister that killed 24 people and injured more than 370 others as it tore through Moore, Newcastle and south Oklahoma City.
“Everyone has their way to help, and mine as an entertainer is to perform to help raise money and awareness for this tragedy,” Shelton said in the news release. “This is why I want to do this special and especially hold it in Oklahoma City, which is near ground zero.”
Tickets are $25, with a limit of eight per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com.
“It is my understanding that ticket buyers will not have to pay any additional fees for this event,” said Ryan McGhee, Chesapeake Energy Arena’s communications manager, in an email.
The event will raise funds for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund. Working with their local community partners, United Way of Central Oklahoma will use the fund for immediate, intermediate and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in Oklahoma following the tornadoes that ravaged Moore on Monday.
Love’s Travel Stops is underwriting the concert cost. The Oklahoma City-based company previously announced it was earmarking $1.5 million of a $3 million total donation to fund a benefit event.
R.A. Clark, who produces the Academy of Country Music Awards, is executive producer for the televised event.
On Tuesday, the day after the monstrous Moore twister, Shelton and Lambert performed a heartfelt acoustic version of Lambert’s emotional chart-topper “Over You” on “The Voice.” The couple co-wrote the song about the death of Shelton’s brother, Richie, in a car accident.
After the live TV episode, Shelton announced that he and NBC were planning the Oklahoma City benefit concert.
This isn’t the first time Shelton has reached out in the wake of tragic tornadoes in his home state. In 2011, Shelton and his longtime friend Reba played a pair of relief shows after an EF3 twister hit the tiny Atoka County town of Tushka. The two sold-out Durant concerts, which featured special guests and more than two hours of entertainment, raised $500,000 for the Oklahoma victims.
“Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert”
Featuring: Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Additional guests for the concert will be announced shortly.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
On TV: Live at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Tickets: $25, with a limit of eight per person.
Ticket sale date: 10 a.m. Saturday (today).
Ticket purchasing: At Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com.
Benefiting: United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
What to do in Oklahoma on May 25, 2013: Check out the Chuck Wagon Gathering at the National Cowboy Museum
Today’s featured event:
Take in the 23rd Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival, which includes children’s activities, live Western music, demonstrations and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63.
This year’s event has been moved indoors due to recent and possible inclement weather.
Every possible activity will be moved into the museum building, reports The Oklahoman’s Sarah Hussain. There will be no activities on the festival grounds, which means the cancellation of the chuck wagon cooking and pony and wagon rides.
The stew meat already acquired for the event has been donated to the Regional Food Bank.
Festival pricing has been discounted to normal admission rates, and discount coupons and passes will be honored. Free parking is available in the main lot and free shuttles will run from Remington Park to the front door as the need arises.
For more information, go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, gave the Republicans’ national weekly address on Saturday morning. Most weeks, the remarks are highly partisan. But in the wake of last week’s deadly storms in Oklahoma, Republicans in Congress chose Inhofe to talk about recovery in the Sooner State.
The transcipt follows below:
“Hi, I’m Senator Jim Inhofe from the State of Oklahoma.
“Let me begin by telling those who lost loved ones during the tragic tornadoes in our state how much we love you guys. My family and I continue to pray for you. We pray for you every day.
“I’ve been in constant contact, in communication, with the Oklahoma Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management officials, and the Leaders of the Oklahoma National Guard – you can see over here – that the direct needs of those affected on the ground are being met. Oklahoma has been hit hard, but we’re not knocked out.
“Fourteen years ago, on May 3, 1999, an eerily similar tornado struck the same area of Moore, Oklahoma, and again in 2003. The images and the stories from the storm earlier this week are nothing new. Oklahoma will persevere and overcome this tragedy as we have demonstrated in the past.
“After the Oklahoma City bombing — we all remember that in 1995 — people saw the many ways Oklahomans took care of each other, from running toward the bombing instead of running away, to donating their blood, and their time and their money.
“This daily display of neighbors helping neighbors became known as the Oklahoma Standard. After each disaster the people of Oklahoma face, the Standard is exhibited again and again. In the aftermath of the Moore tornado we are witnesses once again to the Oklahoma Standard.
“The accounts of two elementary schools that were wiped out by the winds of 200 miles an hour have struck a chord, I think with all Americans – with everyone watching us now — all Americans across the country. It was the last day of school for most of the students — you know how excited they get — when the storm tore through the town of Moore, leaving little in its path. We’re beginning to hear about the selfless acts Oklahomans demonstrated to ensure the safety and protection of their fellow neighbors, and their friends, and their students. Second-grade teacher Tammy Glasgow kept praying with her students and reminding them how much she loved them as she and her students took cover in a school closet; We had Suzanna Haley, she was a first-grade special education teacher in Briarwood Elementary School, suffered a severe injury when part of a school desk was impaled in the back of her leg while protecting the students in her classroom. The most heart-wrenching testimony I’ve heard is from the person who was responsible for matching the missing kids with the missing parents.
“The individuals who lived through these storms are volunteering in the recovery and assisting efforts right now, and they’re America’s real heroes.
“I have seen people from all corners of the state continuing to flock to the devastating areas to give their time, their money, and their energy to help meet the dire needs of those injured or displaced. The Oklahoma Standard has survived an act of terror in 1995 and devastating natural disasters in the past. This most recent storm will only embolden the standard, and encourage the rest of the country to follow our lead.
“But our victims desperately need your help right now, they need your money. If you are able, please visit the American Red Cross website at AmericanRedCross.com or the Salvation Army website at SalvationArmyUSA.com to volunteer.
“I can speak for all Oklahoma today when I thank you for your continued thoughts, your prayers, your support as we begin the recovery process. Oklahoma is grieving and in pain, but the devastation such as this tends to bring us closer together as a country.
“I thank you for listening and God bless those who are suffering today and God bless the United States of America.”
In all the madness of the devastating tornadoes that tore through central Oklahoma earlier this week, I never got the chance to pay proper tribute to Ray Manzarek, one of my favorite members of one of my all-time favorite bands.
Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose complex and indelible keyboards complemented Jim Morrison’s moody baritone, died Monday in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family. He was 74.
According to the Associated Press, he died after being stricken with bile duct cancer.
The Doors’ original lineup, which also included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger, was only together for a few years and they only made six studio albums. But the band has retained a large and obsessive following decades after Morrison’s 1971 death. The Doors have sold more than 100 million records and songs such as “Light My Fire” and “Riders On the Storm” are still “classic” rock favorites.
“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore said in a statement. “Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.”
The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Their records have been reissued frequently and the band was the subject of a 1991 Oliver Stone movie, “The Doors,” starring Val Kilmer as Morrison and Kyle MacLachlan as Manzarek, who complained that the film stereotyped Morrison as a hopeless drunk and also omitted calmer, more humorous times, according to the AP obituary.
The Doors’ fame has hardly faded even though they’re one of the few groups not to allow their music to be used for commercials, a source of great tension among surviving members. Manzarek and Krieger reportedly supported licensing the songs, and Densmore has resisted. The group also feuded when Krieger and Manzarek formed a new group, Doors of the 21st Century. Densmore objected, and Krieger and Manzarek performed under various names.
Other Doors albums included “The Soft Parade,” ”Waiting for the Sun” and their last record with Morrison, “L.A. Woman.”
A Chicago native, Manzarek briefly tried to hold the band together on the albums “Other Voices” and “Full Circle,” neither of which had critical or commercial success. He played in other bands over the years, working with X and Iggy Pop among others. He also wrote a memoir, “Light My Fire,” and a novel, “The Poet In Exile,” in which he imagines receiving messages from a Morrison-like artist who had supposedly died.
He produced four albums for X, including another landmark album “Los Angeles,” and played off and on with the band for three decades.
Before we leave this week behind here a few samplings of my favorite Doors songs featuring Manzarek’s incredible keyboards:
University of Oklahoma student Johannah Walker uploaded a video of her strumming and singing her original song “Oklahoma Strong” to YouTube on Wednesday, just two days after the EF5 tornado ravaged Moore.
The song is about the devastating twister and Walker has dedicated to all the people of Moore.
“My heart is with my home away from home and all those affected by the tornadoes,” she writes on YouTube. “I’m so humbled by the teachers who protected so many children, the first responders that were on the scene immediately, and all the volunteers who are there helping. Make sure to keep sending prayers and donations their way.”
See her “Oklahoma Strong” lyrics after the break.
Junior League 85th Anniversary Chairmen Sara Crooks and Katie Moore. (Photos by Helen Ford Wallace).
400 Oklahoma City Junior League members and guests celebrated the 85th anniversary with a party at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. They recognized the past by introducing past presidents and past award winners. They recognized the present with a video about the impact the JL has had on the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. They recognized the future by presenting 85th anniversary gifts to the YWCA and Myriad Botanical Gardens. Accepting for the YWCA was Jackie Steyn and for the Myriad Gardens was Maureen Heffernan.
Sara Crooks and Katie Moore were co-chairmen of the event and committee members were Taylor Boswell, Mandi Briggs, Kristen Brown, Peggy Burris, Amna Choudry, Matilda Clements, Dana Culton, Janet Daugherty, Mary Delafield, Katherine Hager, Margaret Hoge, Ashley Jackson, Leah Jackson, Caroline Joyce, Kristi Leonard, Alexis Lux, Macey Panach, Jennifer Privett, Jenifer Randle, Cristi Reiger, Leigh Scully, Leah Sullivan, Kimberly L. Swan, Whitney Tero, Danielle Toussaint, Tracy Washam and Christi Woodworth. Cristi Reiger is JL President.
Tall vases of roses and green hydrangeas decorated some of the tables and other tables had short vases filled with roses. Cloths were black and white striped. Thinly sliced beef tenderloin Carpaccio and lobster risotto fritter, white asparagus soup and an assortment of desserts of chocolate truffles, pralines, mini crème brulees, strawberry parfaits and mini cupcakes were served to the party-goers. Another group, who didn’t come for dinner, arrived at 9 p.m. for the Encore Bash and dancing. Souled Out Band played.
For the formal event guests wore long and short dresses including: Karla Wallace, short rose-colored dress with rhinestone straps; Jeary Seikel, white chiffon top with gold slacks; Kay Oliver, navy blue short dress with ruffles; Cristi Reiger, navy blue floor -length dress with chiffon appliquéd overlay; Becky Howell, dusty rose silk long dress; Katie Moore, sequined strapless white long dress; Adrienne Nobles, gray silk long dress; Jose Freede, white glittery pants suit; Miki Farris, black- sequined short dress; Whitney Tero, white rose-patterned ballgown with one shoulder strap.
Junior League President Cristi Reiger.
Becky Howell, Jose Freede, Adrienne Nobles.
Joan Gilmore, Kay Oliver.
“The Bobby Bones Show” auctioning signed guitars from Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood and more for Oklahoma tornado relief
After a devastating tornado tore through the city of Moore on Monday, Premiere Networks’ “The Bobby Bones Show” reached out to friends on Music Row for help. This week, country music’s biggest stars stopped by the program’s Nashville studios or called in to offer their support, perform songs to inspire listeners and donate personal items, concert tickets, signed memorabilia and more.
“The Bobby Bones Show” launched an online auction of the donated items today on eBay.com with all proceeds to benefit the disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross.
Among the items now up for auction at www.ebay.com/bobbybones through Thursday:
• Blake Shelton – 2 tickets, 2 meet-and-greets, hotel and airfare to any show on his summer tour
• Jason Aldean – signed guitar
• Jake Owen – limited edition signed guitar
• Luke Bryan – signed guitar and clothes from his video shoot for “Crash My Party”
• The Band Perry – signed guitar
• Tim McGraw – signed guitar, 4 tickets and meet and greets to any show, suite next to stage, receive signed guitar on stage
• Brad Paisley – signed guitar
• Kenny Chesney – signed “The Boys of Fall” jersey
• Taylor Swift – signed guitar and signed limited edition lithograph
• Kellie Pickler – signed guitar and signed ballroom dancing shoes she wore on Dancing With The Stars
• Carrie Underwood – signed guitar
• Rascal Flatts – 4 tickets and 4 VIP passes to a show
• Zac Brown Band – signed Jack Daniels barrel (empty)
• Hunter Hayes – signed skinned electric guitar
• Dierks Bentley – airfare, hotel rooms, backstage passes to a show and signed guitar
• Toby Keith – signed limited edition guitar
• Florida Georgia Line – signed guitar
• Eli Young Band – tickets to a show, meet-and-greet, and signed guitar
• Kip Moore – signed guitar, 4 tickets, plus meet-and-greet, private show and drinks on tour bus at any stop
• Thompson Square – signed guitar, signed Jay Leno bottle of wine
• Brantley Gilbert – signed guitar, 4 tickets and VIP passes to a show, signed hats
• Little Big Town – tickets and meet and greet to a show in winner’s city
• Chris Young – signed guitar
• Justin Moore – signed guitar
• Lee Brice – signed guitar
• Craig Campbell – signed first cowboy hat, backyard BBQ (at winner’s home)
• Tyler Farr – one-of-a-kind camo signed guitar from “Redneck Crazy” music video
• Will Hoge – BMI guitar for No. 1 song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” with handwritten lyrics on guitar, tickets and airfare to Nashville June 4 show
• CMA Awards – Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack & (30+ other artists) signed guitar
• Montgomery Gentry – signed guitar
• Brett Eldredge – signed guitar
• Cassadee Pope – signed guitar
• Chris Janson – harmonicas
• Colt Ford – signed guitar
• David Nail – signed shirt from “Let It Rain” video
• Dustin Lynch – cowboy hat, signed guitar
• Gary Allen – signed memorabilia
• Greg Bates – signed cowboy boots
• Jana Kramer – signed guitar
• Parmalee – 2 signed Taylor guitars
• Phil Vassar – signed keyboard
• Randy Rogers – signed guitar, trip (airfare and hotel) to see a show
• The Henningsens – signed guitar
• Thomas Rhett – signed guitar
• Tracy Lawrence – song download and signed guitar
“The outpouring of support from the Country music community has been amazing,” said Bones in a news release. “This is yet another great example of Country music banding together to help those in need. The generosity, quick reaction and gathering of resources by the artists and music labels is truly remarkable and we can’t begin to thank them enough.”
In addition to the auction items, Broken Bow/Stoney Creek Records, Black River Entertainment and Big Machine Label Group donated $5,000 each.
Darius Rucker also announced on The Bobby Bones Show that he will be donating all proceeds from his concert in Oklahoma City to the relief effort. Rucker is playing June 8 at the Zoo Amphitheatre. For tickets and information, go to www.protix.com.
Plus, Tracy Lawrence – who grew up in tornado alley – announced on the show that he will record a special mix of his song “Butterfly People,” which will be available for purchase via iTunes with proceeds benefitting the American Red Cross.
For more information, updates, as well as photos and videos of the stars who stopped by The Bobby Bones Show this week to show their support, please visit www.BobbyBones.com.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson, a Maud native and longtime Oklahoma City resident, has been added to the already-impressive lineup for next week’s “Music4Moore” tornado benefit concert
The concert will be staged from 5 to 11 p.m. on Wednesday at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, 429 E. California Ave.
Along with Jackson, artists confirmed to perform on the “Music4Moore” main stage include JD McPherson, Graham Colton, Parker Millsap, Colourmusic, ADDverse Effects, Evangelicals, Taddy Porter, Hosty, Ramsay Midwood, Beau Jennings & the Tigers, Feel Spectres, Kyle Reid, Black Canyon, Skating Polly, Jacob Abello, DEERPEOPLE, The Damn Quails, John Calvin and Camille Harp.
The show will aid victims of this week’s ruinous tornadoes, including the EF5 twister that killed 24 people and injured more than 370 others as it tore through Moore, Newcastle and south Oklahoma City.
“The music community immediately began discussing how we could help and this was the best way we could think of,” Jonathan Fowler, vice president of operations for Fowler Holding Co. and an event co-organizer said in a news release. “To provide something to hopefully distract from the seriousness of what the city of Moore is going through while providing much needed resources is the least we can come together and do. Everyone is doing whatever they can to help, and Oklahoma music supporters want to pitch in too.”
Beer concessions will be provided by COOP Ale Works, Mustang Brewing Company and Budweiser. Cocktails will be available for purchase by Republic Beverage Company.
A second stage will be set up for a free outdoor concert. The musical lineup for the outdoor stage is pending.
Tickets are $25, available at the door and online via TicketStorm.
All proceeds from the event (including admission, parking and concessions) will be donated to the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross.
This concert brought to you by The Oklahoma Standard.
More info will be posted on Facebook and at www.music4moore.com. Twitter: #music4moore.
Employees of Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. are among the hundreds of out-of-state utility workers helping restore power in the wake of this week’s deadly tornadoes.
CenterPoint has about 100 employees in Moore and south Oklahoma City assisting Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. with repairs. While the utilities have worked together on storms before, this week’s restoration has added significance for the two utilities since their parent companies decided to form a master limited partnership for their midstream operations. The deal closed May 1 and will combine OG&E’s Enogex division and CenterPoint’s pipelines and operations into an $11 billion company.
Bruce Baxter, operations manager for CenterPoint, said the utility has several crews in the area, including about 40 workers doing high-line work. Most of the workers left Houston early Tuesday and arrived that evening to a staging area at Crossroads Mall. The high-line workers came in on Wednesday.
CenterPoint has been concentrating on repairs around Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Baxter said. Most of the high-line work has been near Southmoore High School. They are working 16-hour days to restore service and expect to be here five to seven days.
“We’re helping rebuild the infrastructure around the most damaged areas so they’ll have power when they’re ready to rebuild,” Baxter said.
Baxter said CenterPoint has plenty of experience restoring power after hurricanes, but tornadoes aren’t as frequent in the Houston area as they are in Oklahoma. Hurricanes typically inflict damage over a widespread area. He said tornado damage is limited to a smaller area but can be very intense, like the the devastation in Moore and south Oklahoma City.
Outside of the new ties between their parent companies, CenterPoint and OG&E crews get to see some old friends when they team up for power restoration following disasters.
“We’ve worked other storms with OG&E and over the years had a good relationship,” Baxter said. “You get used to seeing some of the same faces.”