Wow. That’s not overstating my reaction to tonight’s Okie Shorts at deadCENTER tonight. The amount of talent and creativity in this city is incredible.
A full auditorium went nuts over the following:
A top deadCENTER source tells me that people attending the film festival “will see Jessica Alba” tonight.
Last night while speaking at MidTown Rotary I was asked what will be on a MAPS 3 ballot. I will tell you what I told them: if you want the items on this ballot to be decided by this city’s top business and civic leaders, then stay quiet. If you want the council and mayor to reflect your wishes, then NOW is the time to let them know what they are.
To date we’ve heard the following items pushed for a MAPS 3 ballot:
- $450 million to $600 million for a new convention center (this one is almost a certainty being pushed by Mayor Cornett and the chamber).
- $79 million for a new State Fair Park exhibit hall (question: why can’t this be funded by the permanent hotel room tax?)
- Unspecified amount for river improvements (this one has strong momentum among the city’s civic leadership).
- Unspecified amount for a central park (which many say is Mayor Cornett’s desire for a “legacy”).
- Unspecified amount for an extension of the Bricktown Canal which would connect Bricktown with a new convention center, Ford Center and the Myriad Gardens. This one has been supported by Urban Neighbors, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the All Sports Association. But it has not gained a lot of visible support by the mayor or civic leaders.
- Transit. Many say a poor presentation by COTPA’s Rick Cain seriously hurt this proposal, but Cornett insists there will likely be a transit “component” on a MAPS 3 ballot. But what does this mean? Supporters are suspicious.
You can email Mayor Mick Cornett at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office at 297-2424. Other council members’ contact info can be found at www.okc.gov.
You’ve been advised.
When I last wrote about the Oklahoma River, organizers and participants in a triatholon that included swimming were very upset that I suggested that even the appearance of the river water causing some to get sick is a problem for the waterway’s image.
Now comes the hard part: it was the river water.
It’s easy to say “yes” to everything. For anyone who is a leader, a policy maker, I suspect it’s far more difficult to say “no.” I ask again – are Oklahoma City’s river dreams being jeopardized with some of these events? To quote former Councilman Jack Cornett, is there a risk with the river we could “love it to death”?
Check out the latest video in the right side of this blog and you’ll see a discussion between David Morris and I about Jessica Alba and Sharkgate and her apology.
What kills me is this: while we were doing the video, just a few blocks away along Film Row our guest was filming another movie scene with Casey Affleck. I learned about this just an hour after it was over.
Hard-hitting journalism, my friends, that’s what it’s all about. I put all my journalistic skills to test to get an exclusive on the Jessica Alba story today (I called Mayor Mick Cornett’s aide, David Holt and sent a message out on Twitter) seeking to nail our leader down for a comment on this breaking news story.
Here’s Cornett’s take on “Sharkgate”:
“As thrilled as I am to have Jessica Alba spend the summer in Oklahoma City, she is becoming very high maintenance.”
I know, I know … couldn’t I nail the mayor any further on this issue? You bet.
So I emailed the mayor back: “Would you encourage her to attend deadCENTER as a way to make amends?”
And his response? “I encourage everyone to attend. She is very welcome.”
Yep, you heard it here first. Sad to say, however, that the option of me getting my photo taken with Jessica appears to be losing in the poll.
I noticed the posters over the weekend – sharks, everywhere. I learned about the story here, for more about how a Hollywood actress snuck into town in the dead of night go here … (UPDATE: Whitey, the guy behind the posters, apparently pulled his post – the original source of the photos posted here and at The Lost Ogle. To see the site and read about what Whitey is up to, go here).
A few weeks have passed since I saw Jen X’s post on Rainbow Records. I meant to link to it at the time but got distracted. It’s well worth reading …. go here.
It’s difficult to believe just how much Urban Biz Magazine is raving about Oklahoma City with its annual listing of best downtowns. Oklahoma City topped the ranking at No. 1 and highlighted the arrival of the NBA, the canal, housing in Deep Deuce, the emergence of boathouse row on the Oklahoma River and the upcoming Devon tower.
At this point I could add in some quotes from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and post some great photos of the city’s skyline. And of course a link to the list and story is a must – because of course none of you have ever even read or likely heard of Urban Biz.
And that’s because … it doesn’t exist. But I’m getting to a point here: at what point are some of these rankings meaningless, and when do they matter? Don’t get me wrong: I don’t blame the chamber for chest thumping whenever they can. But I dare anyone in this city to prove they subscribe to dFi Magazine, a London-based bi-monthly publication with about 15,000 circulation. The chamber announced through Twitter and sent out press releases the finding by dFi that OKC was deemed one of the “most cost effective” cities in their latest survey.
I followed my editor’s instructions to write it up. But should we really care about a ranking by a magainze nobody has heard of? Now, before anyone accuses me of being a “hater,” it’s odd to me that I never heard of another recent ranking by what I consider to be one of the country’s best business magazines – one that until recently easily could be found at Borders, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere in the city.
To see the ranking of OKC as one fo the best markets for small business, go here.
I’ve got copies of Portfolio at home. I’ve seen the magazine in my doctor’s office and I’ve seen in lobbies at various downtown firms. And I’ll bet some of you have seen it as well.
As far as I know, dFi is still publishing. Portfolio, sadly, joins a long list of magazines going out of business. Some of you may think this post is going all over the place, but it all comes to this: magazines are desparate financial straights, more so than newspapers or local television news. At the same time, they seem to be spending more and more of their time compiling their lists. Do all of these list really mean something, or are they just a way to grab some notice (dFi’s name got into a publication with 10 times their circulation) in an increasingly harsh economy?