I was contemplating posting more riveting video of Saturday’s storm, but …
Sorry for my lack of posting yesterday – I had to deal with some curve balls being thrown at me as I try to report what’s going on in our fair city. Anyway, time for coffee talk again. We know quite a bit where the mayor and chamber are leaning when it comes to MAPS 3 and future development of downtown and the river. The council, meanwhile, is staying pretty quiet.
So maybe now is the time to get out all the questions, air all concerns involving MAPS 3, the convention center, Core to Shore, a central park, transit, a canal extension and the river.
This post is about what you the readers have to say, what questions you have – it’s all about you. And in this new media age, your voice can not be easily ignored.
Warning – you may want to watch paint dry instead of this video. Only for the truly fanatical Bricktown weather watchers.
DON’T FORGET WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED IN YEARS PAST….
Fireworks displays fizzle, spectators say
By Jean Plumberg
Saturday, July 6, 2002
Edition: CITY, Section: TODAY I, Page 01
Linked Objects: (Click image for details)
Hopes for great booms went bust for some Oklahomans this Fourth of July.
Visitors to Oklahoma City’s downtown fireworks shows complained about the size, location and tardiness of the displays.
“We waited over an hour,” said one disgruntled great-grandmother. “I was disappointed in the city for putting them where no one could see them.”
But Oklahoma City didn’t put on the shows shot off from the Cox Convention Center roof and from near NE 2 and Oklahoma Avenue, just north of Bricktown.
Downtown OKC Inc. was in charge of those displays and used money from private companies to fund it, said Karen Ocker, director or marketing and design for the company.
She blamed the time misunderstanding on those who helped get word out about the shows.
“It’s too bad the media reported it incorrectly,” Ocker said. “The plan was always to shoot them off between 10 and 10:30.”
But there’s some dispute about the time the two shows started. If possible, they were to be coordinated with the fireworks display at the SBC Bricktown Ballpark, which was to begin after the game’s conclusion.
The RedHawks took the Tacoma Rainiers into 12 innings before losing their sixth straight Fourth of July game.
Fireworks began booming from the other two locations before the game ended about 10:50 p.m.
Ocker was sure her 17-minute shows ended before 10:40 p.m.
Many watchers expected the shows to begin at 10 p.m. Children became sleepy and parents became weary waiting for the downtown and Bricktown fireworks.
The displays were to be coordinated with music simulcast on two radio stations, but Ocker said, “People weren’t listening to updates on KTOK and KJ-103.”
One of the problems was a change in location of the downtown show. The site previously used for launching fireworks is where the new downtown library is under construction. Organizers were forced to change the location.
“People traditionally don’t do rooftop fireworks in Oklahoma City, so it was a test,” Ocker said. “It was in-your-face, high-intensity color and low-distance rising.”
Not everyone agreed.
The 66-year-old great-grandmother traveled with four-generations of her family to see the shows.
“I think it was very mean of them not to make it a large notification in the newspaper that it was going to be changed and we needed to find alternate places to view it,” she said.
“The Roman candles they shot off… that’s all we could see,” she said. “All they (the children) saw was maybe two or three little sparklers.”
If nothing else, organizers plan to learn from this year’s experience.
“Are we going to tweak it next year? Yes, absolutely,” Ocker said.
The simulcast will be back in some form next year, and more rooftops may be added to the downtown show. But for Chrysanthemum fireworks, viewers may have to look elsewhere.
“This was not taxpayer money,” Ocker said. “And it’s frustrating to hear anyone complain when a lot of the activities were free.”
But money isn’t always the most important thing. As the Oklahoma City great-grandmother put it, “A hundred years from now it won’t matter, but it sure was disappointing for the children.”
Just watch this report and you be the judge. As Kelly Ogle stated on KWTV’s separate report on this interview, this “OKC and the Thunder are struggling” bit is now pretty much an exclusive theme come out of Seattle….
Today I threw some hardball questions at him, did some tough analysis of his handling of MAPS 3 on the blog, and when I hit him up at the press conference Thursday, he found a way to remind everybody that even when we’re in potentially adversarial positions, we can still keep it friendly.
Thanks to David Holt, the mayor’s aide, for grabbing this video and emailing it. Everybody, be sure to have a great July 4th weekend. And if you want to start up a great new tradition of having a free outdoor downtown symphony performance every July 4th weekend, you’ve got to start it. The Red White and Boom performance starts at 8:45 p.m. in the parking lot east of the ballpark and will be followed by fireworks. Also be sure to fill the seats Friday night (Saturday there will be no performance) for the Shakespeare in the Park performance at the Myriad Gardens.
Now, don’t get me wrong: if you have a death wish, just walk around downtown Seattle with an Oklahoma City Thunder shirt and “I Love Clay” button. But for the past year we’ve seen the bitterness over the Sonics/Thunder situation translate into slanted anti-OKC coverage and ridicule of our town.
Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer recently visited and reported back to his readers that maybe, just maybe, we’re not all that bad:
Easiest assignment ever: Go to the town that abducted the Sonics and write some impressions.
Or, in other words, sip some Hater-ade and let ‘er rip.
But a crazy thing happened on this disdainful mission. I learned to tolerate Oklahoma City. Then I learned to kinda, sorta like the place. And then, shocker of all shockers, I learned to accept it as an NBA city and stop connecting the Thunder with the Sonics.
(Comment: now, if Jerry had met Mayor Mick, I could see Jerry actually being talked into making Oklahoma City his new home).Thanks to Paige Gregory for bringing this column to my attention!