A Celebration of Pride

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FREE EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY | OKLAHOMA’S INDEPENDENT BIWEEKLY | JUNE 15, 2022

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PRIDE

In uncertain times, Oklahoma’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community celebrates the freedoms that haven’t yet been challenged.


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INSIDE COVER Decades beyond raiding gay bars and clubs along NW 39th Street, Oklahoma City’s Pride celebration now spills across the city and expands each year. By KM Bramlett Photo via Adobe Stock. Cover by Berlin Green

NEWS 5 7 8 10 12 13 14

Citizen Spotlight: Tamara Nelson OKC PrideFest Ramona Waylon Diaz profile District House 88 race English Channel swim attempt Expungement Expo Chicken Fried News

EAT & DRINK 17 18

Summer cocktails Gazedibles

ARTS & CULTURE 21 22

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Lyric Theater roundup OKG Picks

MUSIC No Justice, No Peace Opera Soundcheck: Poppa Foster and the Grits 27 Live music 25

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THE HIGH CULTURE 29 30

Cannabis legislation Strain reviews

FUN 30 31

Astrology Puzzles sudoku | crossword

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VOL. XLIV NO. 12 PUBLISHER Bryan Hallman | bhallman@okgazette.com

AUGUST 27

EDITOR Matt Dinger | mdinger@okgazette.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Berlin Green | bgreen@okgazette.com BUSINESS MANAGER Kelsey Lowe | kelsey.lowe@okgazette.com ADVERTISING advertising@okgazette.com 405-528-6000 CIRCULATION MANAGER Patrick Hanscom | phanscom@okgazette.com CONTRIBUTORS Jerry Bennett KM Bramlett Cassity Gies Donald Gies Evan Jarvicks

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J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM CITIZEN SPOTLIGHT


CITIZEN SPOTLIGHT

Tamara Nelson TAMARA NELSON’S MISSION TO PROVIDE A SMALL NECESSITY TURNED INTO SERVING HER COMMUNITY ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE. Story and photo by Berlin Green

It all started with socks. One may not consider it a luxury to slip into a nice, clean pair of socks, but to many people, that’s exactly what it is. Tamara Nelson is an economic development specialist with the Ok la homa Depa r tment of Commerce. She specializes in historic preservation, with her work taking her into a lot of the state’s older buildings and structures. “I noticed that in these buildings, there were a lot of younger people and older women living in them,” Nelson said. “I just ignored it like everybody else — I’m just here to do my job, and let’s get out of here. But it just bothered me enough, so I started asking them one question, ‘Hey, I can’t fix your problem, but if I could give you something right now, what can I give you?’ And they all have the same answer. ‘My feet hurt. I need a pair of socks.’ Oklahoma’s infrastructure is to move cars, not people. So if you’re homeless and in poverty, you don’t have a vehicle. It’s patent leather for you and if you don’t have proper footwear, your feet are broken down really quickly. Minor injuries can quickly turn infected and in cold weather, you can lose unprotected toes and feet.” On Valentine’s Day in 2016, Tamara and a few friends went out and distributed over 200 pairs of socks to homeless residents in downtown Oklahoma City. “When we were out of socks in, like, seven minutes, I knew it was a problem,” she said. An encounter that day with a woman in yoga pants and a tank top changed her forever. “No socks, no shoes, in February. It’s cold outside, and she’s lying on a trash bag. Her toes were blue, and she was going to lose her toes. When she sat up, she looked like a skunk — she was bruised all the way around. She’d run out of the house because she was being abused. So that’s why no socks, no shoes, no nothing. Her skull was broken. We put like seven pairs of socks on her feet, got her warmed up and tried to help her. That’s

when I knew this was something far bigger and not just some one-off, feelgood kind of thing. These people are out here suffering. It ’s not just because they ’re on drugs or they misuse their mone y or whatever. A Tamara Nelson of Laundry Love and Sox of Love lot of people are just victims of circumstance, Del City, Christine Price. She was so a sock is something that we can picking up families that she knew take care of.” did not send their kids to school. That day Sox of Love was born. They were already three weeks Tamara rallied volunteers and conbehind because they didn’t have tinued to raise money and give out any clean clothes. Their water was socks to unhoused residents and shut off. About 50 percent of the those in need far beyond our state’s people that we serve are elderly, border, but it wasn’t long before she disabled or a grandparent that is noticed a much larger problem. raising a grandchild so they don’t “We learned about two years in have the money to wash clothes. that over half our donations were They are usually using the money going into the trash,” Nelson said. that they should be using for their “People in poverty don’t have the medication, food or gas in their car luxury of thinking about going to wash clothes.” somewhere to wash their clothes. Laundry Love now has more It’s really expensive. It became very than 430 volunteers who help resdifficult for me to continue asking idents in need do their laundry for donations, knowing that the likeevery fourth Saturday of the month lihood of that donation going into at nine different laundromat locathe garbage.” tions across Oklahoma City. They Tamara took the problem to provide ten dollars for the masocial media, requesting anyone chines as well as detergent, dryer interested in helping join her to sheets and bleach. In 2021 alone, discuss the problem. A small group the grassroots non-profit washed gathered at the Wendy’s at NW 36th more than 89,200 pounds of clothes and May Avenue to come up with a and served 2,365 homeless resiplan and Laundry Love soon began dents and families in need. That at the laundromat in the strip mall same year, Sox of Love distributed at that intersection. 28,390 pairs of socks with the help “We thought this was just going of generous donors. Volunteers also to be like more of a homeless outuse that time to get to know the reach to help people with laundry, people they serve and connect them but we really started understandwith more resources to get them ing that this is a poverty issue. The the help they need. very first time we did Laundry “More than anything, we have Love, I noticed this woman that love,” Nelson said. “We’re not a minkept coming back, but she had difistry, we are just neighbors loving ferent families every time. It ended our neighbors. Our hope is to be the up being a city councilwoman from lowest barrier. Simply a friend to

our neighbors. You don’t need an appointment, you don’t need ID or proof of residency, you don’t need proof of anything. If you show up and you say you need help, we’re going to help you. There’s nothing they have to do but show up and we just love them the best way that we can, while they’re here. An average person is with us for 75 minutes. We fill that time with storytime, we serve a meal and offer connection. A lot of people just want to sit and talk while you know what happened and how they got there. They want someone to hear them. We partner with Empowerment Community Services and they have licensed counselors, because a lot of people need more than what we can offer. If a person is needing rental assistance, is about to get evicted, whatever their issue is, we can connect them with the right resource.” Tamara’s goal is to continue growing Laundry Love and Sox of Love so she can serve as many people in need as possible, and she does it all with a very uncomplicated mission. “We have three core values and that’s to build, love and serve. We want to build our community, we want to love our neighbors and we want to serve our neighbors.” To learn more about Laundry Love and Sox of Love and their services, or to donate and volunteer, visit www.soxoflove.org.

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COVER STORY

Love transcends OKC PRIDE ALLIANCE HOSTS PRIDEFEST JUNE 24-26 AT SCISSORTAIL PARK, BUT THEIR MISSION TO SUPPORT THE 2SLGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY CONTINUES BEYOND THE PARADE AND PARTIES. By KM Bramlett

OKC PrideFest is hoping for clear also be present. A Youth Zone is skies its second year after inclement planned at Sky Rink featuring a youth weather derailed their parade plans drag show, dance party, prom, and an on its first run. opportunity for participants to regisThe June 25 parade route hasn’t yet ter to vote. been announced but will still pass city OKC Pride Alliance has made an hall and ends effort to include this year at the assistance in intersection of common areas Oklahoma City of need in the Boulevard and 2SLGBTQIA+ Thunder Drive. community. At It begins at 10 t h e a.m. and ends Community at 1 p.m. with Zone, particithe celebration pants will find cont i nu i ng information on until 11 p.m. resources for The party health care, kicks off at 4 legal name p.m. on June changes, PrEP, 24 and runs STI testing, until 11 p.m. hair a nd and concludes make-up tutoParade participants pose for a photo at the 39th Street June 26, be- Pride rials and panel Pride Parade in 2019. Photo Berlin Green ginning at 10 discussions. a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. There will Precautions have been put in place be food trucks, performances, vendors, to make the festival as safe and healthy and a variety of activities. as possible. Stonewall Security, a local OKC Pride Alliance President CLEET certified private security Ryan Tomlinson explained the sigagency, has been hired to secure and nificance of holding PrideFest at patrol the area and Oklahoma City Scissortail Park. police are monitoring and assessing “It’s a more central, more neutral any threats that arise. location [than NW 39th Street], and it’s COVID-19 protocols will be followed more family friendly,” Tomlinson said. by food or drink vendors and festival He also emphasized the meaningparticipants are encouraged to mask ful contributions of NW 39th Street when they feel it necessary. Free water in the community. will be available throughout the park. “39th Street is very important to The OKC Pride Alliance has a mission LGBT culture and history [in that extends beyond Pride Month. Oklahoma],” he said, and added that “We want to be a bridge, not just in the OKC Pride Alliance remains supJune but year-round,” Tomlinson said. portive of Pride on 39th, which held One way they do this is through its Pride festival and parade earlier Youth Pride Nights held throughout this month. the year. These events take place at Performances will take place Factory Obscura and connect young throughout the festival on the main people with a safe place to have fun and stage and will include drag hours, a get information about important recompetition, and a slate of headliners sources they might need. Remaining yet to be announced. Several local Youth Pride Nights this year are schedperformers will also be highlighted, uled for June 22, Sept. 14, and Dec. 21. as the OKC Pride Alliance wants to The OKC Pride Alliance is operinclude younger and up-and-coming ated by an all-volunteer board and artists. All will be paid for their time community members. Anyone who and talent. wants to chip in with their time, donaA Family Fun Zone will feature tions, or sponsorships at PrideFest or crafts, drag story time, face painting, any other time throughout the year a playground and other activities. Free can sign up on their website. Mom Hugs and Free Dad Hugs will Visit okcpridealliance.org

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COVER STORY

Pride is solidarity RAMONA WAYLON DIAZ ON BECOMING THE WOMAN SHE DESERVES TO BE. By KM Bramlett

[editor’s note: In the more than half a century since the Stonewall riots in New York City, Pride has become increasingly visible and inclusive. 2SLGBTQIA+ people have spent decades forging a path for subsequent generations to be able to openly live authentic lives. What follows is a profile of one such young woman.]

Ramona Waylon Diaz (she/her) is a 23-year-old educator and musician in the OKC-metro. “I teach choir, elementary music. Primarily voice. I am currently a substitute teacher while I look for a fulltime position,” she said. Growing up in California, Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma, she earned a music education degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. While in college, Diaz explored her gender identity, but ultimately found joy and comfort in living and presenting as a woman. “I had been using a nonbinary presentation and neutral ‘they’ pronouns for around a year or so in close circles. I realized then that my body, as it was, I could not grow old in it. I realized the affirmation of hormone therapy was a lifeline for me. My decision to start HRT in July of 2021 was life-changing and lifesaving. Thanks to the kind people at Planned Parenthood and equitable informed consent policies, I was able to swiftly get the treatment I needed. I was prescribed estrogen and realized — I am a girl!” she said. Diaz got inspiration for her new name, Ramona, from a favorite literary character. “My name is Ramona Waylon. Ramona, like Ramona Quimby. Her stories are important to me. I like her fiery, curious, kind spirit. I admire her courage, humility, and all too relatable rashness. Waylon is my middle name. When I didn’t know what I wanted to change my first name to, I went by Waylon. I still use Waylon sometimes. We use both,” she said. Diaz’s parents struggled with addiction and while her family remained tightly-knit, she struggled quietly on her own. “Home life was hard, and got harder. My parents fought more. Their struggles with addiction got worse. I was beginning to grow up in a body that I grew ever more disillusioned from. I watched myself change, repressing and refusing to confront the sad and scared feelings that something was wrong with my body. I had developed a sense that something was different 8

about the way I see my body versus how other Ramona Waylon Diaz. Photo provided. people perceive themselves,” she said. reality for trans people in much of our School was one of Diaz’s favorite home state … Besides the obviously places to be as a child, and she found terrible truth that we live under rule her career path after participating in of actual fascists who are passing disband and choir. criminatory laws harming our trans “School was everything. I loved Oklahomans … I love it. I love it because learning. I loved the structured, safe I get to be the teacher for these kids environment. I loved the teachers, that I wish I could have had,” she said. especially the kind ones. I loved my She has big dreams and aspirations friends and the community. I loved for helping make Oklahoma a better going to school with my siblings … I place for trans people. had found my way of connecting to “There is an implicit understanding others: through community in music. of rapport between queer folks in I had found my calling, and I decided Oklahoma. We are an oppressed comto pursue a college degree in music munity. The honor of being a person education,” Diaz said. who brings strength to our commuIt was in college that Diaz found a nity is immense and not lost on me,” supportive space to be herself, but her she said. transition has not been easy. Diaz knows she can’t win the fight “When I knew, I knew … The alone, and she wants supportive comhardest part was facing my own denial. munity members to know that they I had to learn to love myself, to embrace have the ability to affect change. myself entirely. People talk about a “Fortunately, I think we have more ‘rock bottom.’ I suppose I had just power than we realize. Individual acreached the end of the argument with countability to organize does so much. myself and had to accept it was true. Normal, everyday people who give of The opportunity to explore labels and themselves to help the community. We my presentation was very helpful for need to find other people like us, who me. The relationships in my life that are upset, hurt, taken advantage of, supported this — romantic, friends, whatever. Talk to them and learn. You my siblings, supportive people in my as an individual are capable of initiatcommunity ... These people gave me ing change far greater than the scope the support I needed to have the conof your vision. But we need help. versation with myself,” she said. Together, we can do this. Need someThough Oklahoma is not a welcomwhere to start? Volunteer. Support the ing place for trans and gender-diverse campaigns of local trans-positive legpeople, Diaz has been fortunate to find islators. Help regular people help herself in supportive environments as regular people. The momentum we an educator. build together can topple any terror.” “I am immensely grateful to have Diaz spends a lot of her time conbeen placed at school sites with suptributing to the queer community in portive students, faculty, and staff. My any way she can. time as a student teacher was very “I am always looking for new ways important to me professionally and to get involved in Oklahoma City. Right personally. Schools are supposed to be now, I spend most of my free time safe. My schools were. I was respected serving in local mutual aid organizabecause it is what we do, we respect tions, working front desk shifts or each other. I am sad that this is not a helping plan and work at mutual aid

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events. I am mostly still learning at this point. I want to help other people build networks of safety and affirmation by and for their communities. I do serve on a nonprofit board that works to support LGBTQ youth who have been harmed or cast out of their communities of faith. Oklahoma is a land with many spiritual people and isolation from our communities of faith is a terrible weapon used on trans Oklahomans far too often,” she said. When she’s not teaching or advocating, Diaz is dancing, drawing, painting, writing music and poetry, and exercising. “I have to mention, I am a gamer. I love all kinds of video games … I am very passionate about the ways music and video games create a unique storytelling experience together,” she said. What does Pride mean for Diaz? “I celebrate Pride Month by being the woman I know I deserve to be. Being myself, because I know I am not alone. Pride is solidarity. In solidarity, there is unfathomable strength. We need Pride because Pride brings us the unity and strength necessary for Justice and change,” she said. She is savoring every moment, both good and difficult, through her transition. “I am happier than I was before. I have a long way to go, in regards to whatever personal journey I am on. I think that’s a good place to be at 23. My transition has been an important step in realizing my potential as a young person. I am thankful for the perspective it has given me and the courage it has demanded from me. I am not afraid to fight for myself now and I am thankful for that valuable trait,” she said. “It is good to feel at home in my body.”


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NEWS

The race for House District 88 ON EACH CANDIDATE’S JOURNEY TO POLITICS AND THEIR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES. By KM Bramlett

Ok la homa House of Representatives District 88 contains many well-known OKC landmarks: Oklahoma City University, the Paseo and the Plaza District. In the primary election on June 28, Democrats and registered independent voters will choose who advances to the general election. The winner will face independent candidate Jed Green on Nov. 8. I nc u mb ent Rep. Mauree Turner (they/ them) faces Joe Lewis (he/him). Both recently shared their stories and ambitions for making HD 88 and Oklahoma, a better place.

Lewis: Two of Lewis’s greatest inspirations have been his mother and his experience in the Marine Corps. “My mother is the hardest working person I know. She had me at 15 years old and faced tremendous adversity as a single mom. I have seen her struggle throughout my life, but she

down” the message is not always productive. Some fellow legislators “already don’t like the package” that is delivering the message, so it’s best to aim for the fully-realized vision of the policy changes that Oklahomans need. The policy issues that Turner has dedicated their energy to include

The candidates on what led them to advocacy and the issues that matter most to them. Turner: Though they never imagined themself becoming a politician, when they look back, they see the path to public office was inevitable. “Growing up as a Black Muslim-American Queer Womxn, in Oklahoma of At the table, Representative Turner speaking with community members. Photo, Anna Sokolosky all places, I shared the collective experience of not being seen always managed to pull through. advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights, crimior heard by the folks that make laws That’s why women’s issues are very nal justice reform, equity issues, about our lives, like many important to me, including equal pay, voter rights, issues regarding bodily Oklahomans that share House maternity leave, and a woman’s rightautonomy, and creating better access District 88 with me,” Turner said. to-choose,” Lewis said. to services, resources, and housing. “My mother and my grand“My time in the Marine Corps “Ultimately to create more access mother instilled in me the imporshaped me and made me the man I to resources like night shelters, sheltance of community organizing am today by serving on the biggest ters for unhoused families, transiearly on in life, and a key compostage. It showed me that a group of tional housing, healthcare, quality nent of that is bridge-building. young people from all walks of life education, guidance counselors and One of the key things that I hear can come together and achieve a safe space to talk about mental about what’s going on within our greater things as a whole, than by health issues and get release from district, and even more so within themselves—we are a brotherhood difficult emotions, support to Oklahoma as a whole, is that and that can never be taken away,” prevent and end dangerous selfpeople don’t know what resourche said. medication, access to Narcan and es are available to them. They clean needles...Even when you’re don’t know who provides what The candidates on their legnot doing well you still deserve to services and even more so we have islative priorities be here and be alive. Imagine a world so many people that fall through where we had [sufficient] resources the cracks where services fall Turner: and didn’t have to rely on prisons to short,” they said on their website. Turner explained that “toning fill in the gap,” Turner said. 10 J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM NEWS

Turner also advocates for better access to voting, having already penned a bill that calls for automatic voter registration when people turn 18 years of age and another that would require county election boards to deliver absentee ballots to people in holding facilities or jails before their trials, while they’re still eligible to vote but unable to physically get to the polls. Ultimately, Turner believes that all people should retain the right to vote, even after a conviction, since encouraging people to stay engaged in civic matters could be an integral component toward rehabilitation. Turner believes that our criminal justice system should be focused on rehabilitation, not revenge. A big part of that, according to Turner, is helping people get services they need: shelters for unhoused families to stay together, transitional housing, better access to healthcare, better teacher compensation for the highestquality education, more guidance counselors in schools to give students a safe space for mental health conversations, and other support that prevents dangerous forms of self-medication when people have nowhere else to turn. Lewis: In his door-knocking conversations, Lewis learned that the following issues are very important to HD 88 constituents: “Modernizing our school system, working on the homeless situation in House District 88, defending women’s rights, eliminating sales tax and property tax on the elderly and retired,” he said. His long-term legislative goals include school reform, police reform, and better services and support for veterans. “One of the issues I plan to focus


Lewis (left) at the Diapers for Dads event. Photo provided.

on is our public school system. Our school systems are suffering and we need to start advancing into the 21st century in this technological age. Our school system was built around the Industrial Revolution, i.e., the eight-hour work day, where we sit down, shut up, and do what you’re told. I believe we need two pipelines: one for college prep, and the other into trade or vocational training to prepare students for trade careers even before they exit high school. We need to be teaching kids how to run a business, how to set up LLCs, and corporations, etc. Our youth is our future and we need to do everything we can to set them up for success in this world,” he said. “We need to get back to re-funding our police force, but we also need to pay close attention and make sure that some of that money is being spent on mental health services and demilitarizing police. Also, getting rid of no-knock warrants. Even the military started moving away from these tactics later in the war,” Lewis said. “Lastly and most importantly, I want to focus on our veterans. I’m sick of politicians using veterans for votes and doing very little for our community. We need programs for our veterans to transition their skills gained in the military into real world careers. For example, we need to remove the obstacles for our service members who provide health care support in the military to easily get licensed when they enter the civilian workforce. We also need better programs addressing veteran mental health and a better transition system for veterans returning home, because 22 veterans taking their own lives every day is way too many,” he said. The candidates on how you can get involved in making your own community better

specific concerns. Turner has seen this work to successfully stop harmful legislation. Turner encourages people to run for office. “The new, better leadership you’re looking for might honestly be you,” they said. “Maybe we need people in leadership who look a little different, act a little different, and think a little bit different.” “If you’re not sure where to start, you can first go to the people or groups in your community who are already working on the issues that matter to you. Maybe you live in a food desert, and you could work on finding resources for starting a public garden. Maybe your community needs better after-school programs to support working parents. Maybe the community needs more places to provide healthy release outlets after work or school,” they said. Lewis: “That question is going to be different for every person, so the question they have to ask themselves is, ‘What do I care about, what do I want to change in this world, and where do you want your impact to be?’ Once you can answer those questions, the easiest thing to do is volunteer, seek out organizations you care about, or put your own thing together,” Lewis said. In his own volunteer work, Lewis has been active with Parent Promise in their “Field of Flags” event to advocate for loving and nurturing homes for children. He also recently worked with his American Legion post on an eight-mile ruck march on National POW/MIA Recognition Day to raise money for service dogs for disabled vets through Honoring America’s Warriors. Visit votejoelewis.com and maureeturner.com.

Turner: Turner recommends forming a bill-watching network with friends or community groups and taking action by contacting representatives or the authors of a bill with NEWS OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2

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NEWS

Channel surfing AN OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR IS ATTEMPTING TO SWIM ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL THIS JUNE. By KM Bramlett

Go to Lake Thunderbird any day in any season of the year and you just might spot Piers J. Hale putting in the work. Most swimmers track their distance in meters or yards. Hale counts miles. At the end of June, weather permitting, he will swim across the English Channel. This feat, known as the “Mt. Everest of swimming,” is expected to take him just under 13 hours. The distance across the channel, depending on the tides and currents, could be anywhere from 21 to 35 miles. Hale, who is English, learned to swim at an outdoor pool in his hometown of Woodhall Spa. A retired Royal Navy veteran — or at least a man with lots of anchors, ships and a mermaid or two tattooed on him — ran an informal distance swimming club at the pool. Under his tutelage, Hale swam his first mile when he was 6 years old and has dreamt of this challenge for more than four decades. “I think it was the ultimate aim of all the kids who swam distance at the pool each year. I remember making plans with my neighbor back in about 1978 or 1979. We were going to be the youngest to ever swim the channel. Of course, this never happened, and I figure if I don’t do it soon, I won’t do it at all,” he said. Hale is an associate professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma where he’s been on the faculty since 2007. His expertise is in evolutionary ideas in 19th and 20century England and America as well as medical ethics. “I swim quite a lot given my other commitments. I swam just over 500 miles last year, for instance. I am currently ramping up the weekly yardage and currently fit in about 50,000 yards each week,” he said. That ends up being between 15 and 20 hours worth of swimming each week in preparation for both temperature and weather range in addition to the duration. There is no guarantee of success even for the best-trained swimmer. “Open water swimming is totally unlike pool swimming. High waves, swells and tides mean that the time can vary a lot,” he said. Hale is also conditioning his body

to tolerate the cold waters he’ll encounter. Luckily, winter is his favorite time to swim. “It is cold, but so very quiet in the lake. You can Kids’ Sailing Camp with Lake Thunderbird Educational Foundation, June 2021. Photo provided. hear the fish thinking … I have been working on cold limits, with plans to consume a highSarah Luthman, as well as Steven water acclimatization for several calorie drink every hour and suppleEnglish and John Krause, all of whom winters and am now comfortable ment with Snickers bars as needed. are also swimmers and active with swimming at [around] 60 degrees. The “The channel is the busiest shipping Hale with the Triathlon Club of water in June, when I will make my lane in the world with strong currents. Oklahoma City. attempt, will be between 57 and 59 A registered channel pilot is essential [They] will be my support crew on the boat. They are there to prepare and hand down feeding bottles, to offer moral support and to drink a beer or two with me in either celebration or commiseration afterwards. The most important member of the team, though, is the pilot. I have booked Andy King and his boat the Louise Jane. Andy has been a channel pilot for decades, and he will ensure I swim the shortest route. [He] will also pick what he thinks is the best weather window to make the attempt,” Hale said. Hale is using his effort and GoFundMe to raise money for the Lake Thunderbird Educational Foundation (LTEF), founded in 1998 to advance knowledge of water safety, and facilitate safe and environmentally aware recreational use of the Norman lake. For experienced swimmers interested in open water, Hale recommends joining one of the Triathlon Club of Oklahoma City group sessions that takes place at Lake Thunderbird at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. For people who are less experienced, an indoor Piers Hale in Dover, Kent, UK where his English Channel swim will begin. Photo provided. pool is a better place to start. Hale recdegrees. This is cold water to endure (and required) to make the attempt. ommends the YMCA or swim classes for such a long time.Hypothermia is Then it’s just a matter of booking acwith U.S. Masters Swimming coach one of the main reasons why people commodation, flights and talking David Gray in Norman. who make the attempt fail,” he said. some friends into making the trip who To follow his swim attempt, The regulation attire is minimal will be on the boat to help with the follow the Louise Jane Charters — just a cap, goggles and swim briefs hourly feeding plan. You also have to page on Facebook: facebook.com/ — and there are natural hazards like register your effort with the Channel LouiseJaneCharters darkness, jellyfish and small sharks. Swimming Association, who will “Swimming at night can be hard provide an official to observe the swim psychologically. The cold can feel and check that you abide by the rules,” colder, and the miles longer when all Hale said. around is blackness,” he said. The friends he has convinced to go There is also the need for food and with him likely didn’t need much water as he pushes his body to its coaxing. One of them is his partner,

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NEWS

Jabar Shumate, ULOKC VP for Community Convening and Social Justice, Lead Attorney Lorenzo Banks, Judge Cindy Truong, OKC City Councilwomen Nikki Nice, Senator George Young, County Commissioner Carrie Blumert, and Rep. Ajay Pittman celebrating one of the first expungement candidates for completing the expungement process. Photo provided.

Fresh start After a crowd of nearly 800 people showed up to its inaugural Expungement Expo, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City has expanded its efforts for the second year. “Realizing that over 93.5 percent of expungement eligible records remain unsealed in Oklahoma and that African Americans and other minorities represent the largest amount of those with unsealed records, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City decided to help,” said Vice President of Community Convening and Social Justice Jabar Shumate. “The expungement fair is aimed at providing resources and information to people with nonviolent felony and m i s deme a nor c onv ic t ion s . Expungement can help people with arrests or aging convictions pass background checks and secure stable housing and employment.” Last year, 19 had their prior offenses expunged at a ceremony conducted by the presiding judge for Oklahoma County District Court. Their Young Adult Re-entry Program will have information and resources for those currently or pre-

viously involved in the court system. The program affords the opportunity to get a GED, college entry, career training and job placement. Free COVID-19 vaccines will also be administered. The expo, which is free and open to the public, is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 25 at the Urban League campus, 3900 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. Those who cannot attend can still apply for the program until June 30 through the Urban League’s website if eligibility requirements are met. This includes people who have previously been acquitted, had cases dismissed before trial and those who have completed their sentences — including deferred ones — are potentially eligible. An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation background check — available for $16 through the agency’s website — is required to be mailed or emailed to the Urban League while applying. Visit urbanleagueok.org or call (405) 424-5243.

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Illustrations by Jerry Bennett

Just about everyone seems to have had enough of Kevin’s shit, including members of his own party. Just about everyone seems to have had enough of Kevin’s shit, including members of his own party. On May 27, the legislature convened to override Kevin’s veto of a bill that would allow the Department of Public Safety — the agency that oversees the issuance of driver’s licenses in the state — to count driving offenses that happened on tribal land. “Would it be safe to make the assumption his racist and hateful behavior towards the important tribes in this state are getting in the way of good public policy that

would protect Oklahomans?” asked Rep. Ryan Martinez, an Edmond Republican who serves as the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations & Budget Committee. “I would have to agree with that. We need to put our emotions aside and work with the tribes,” Rep. David Hardin, another Republican, responded. This happened on the floor of the Capitol during official business, mind you. Daaaaaamn. But that’s not all. A few days later, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission kicked

Governor P o t a t o Head to the curb as well. “Its members had met on Tuesday and had ‘agreed through consensus to part ways’ with Mr. Stitt, a Republican. The statement did not offer a reason but said that no elected officials or representatives of elected officials had been involved in the decision,” The New York Times reported on June 1. But there are hints and we’ll

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give you another one. It starts with “critical” and ends with “theory” and the middle word is something white Republicans are terrified to discuss honestly, especially Kevin, who signed a bill this May prohibiting its discussion in classrooms. With internal opposition this strong, it gives a glimmer of hope that we won’t have a second term of his Reign of Error.

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The citizens of Oklahoma County are damned if they do and damned if they don’t when it comes to the jail. On one hand, the towering monstrosity on Shartel Avenue has not only become a cesspool — literally — with sewage routinely backing up its plumbing, but detention inside the building has become a fight for survival with at least eight people dying inside its walls so far this year, including one already this month. On the other, “the proposed new Oklahoma County Jail is expected to cost $297 million. But the bonds also come with an interest rate up to 10 percent over the course of their 30-year-life, commissioners said,” NonDoc reported. As The Village City Councilor and outspoken critic Sean Cummings pointed out, the Criminal Justice Advisory Council canceled its public meeting 12 days prior to the vote.

So just like many of our other city, county and state elections, voters are going to be tasked with choosing the least worst option based upon the slim amount of information about the issue presented to them on June 28. “Everyone acts like money is free,” Cummings told the trust. “(On) $26 million a year for 30 years, that’s $780 million in interest. That’s what they just agreed to put on the ballot,” NonDoc reported in April. The other option is resigning people — many of whom are victims simply of the cash bail system — to hoping they can survive until their court dates. If convicted, most choose immediately to be sent to prisons rather than spend another day there. That’s how bad it’s

gotten.

And asset forfeiture from the numerous jailers who have been arrested, fired and charged with smuggling contraband, including drugs, inside for inmates to supplement their insult-

ingly low pay isn’t going to make a dent in the problem, so the noxious choice is left to us.

CHICKEN FRIED NEWS OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 15


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J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM E AT & DRINK


EAT & DRINK

Slip into summer SCHOOL IS OUT SO LET THE FUN BEGIN. THESE TWO COCKTAILS OFFER A REFRESHING AND TASTEFUL TWIST AS THE DAYS GET HOTTER.

KRAKEN TOUCAN -1.5oz Kraken 94 proof Rum -.5oz Campari -1oz carrot juice -1oz pineapple juice -.5oz lime juice -.5oz simple syrup -3 dashes of bitters -pineapple to garnish Combine all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into large rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

THREE OLIVES CLUB SPECIAL -2oz Three Olives Vodka -1oz limeade -1oz Sprite -Club Soda -lime and lemons to garnish Combine Three Olives Vodka, Limeade and Sprite into glass filled with ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with lime and lemon wedges.

E AT & DRINK OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 17


GAZEDIBLES

Just poke it Poke bowls — a raw fish salad originating in Hawaii — entered the mainstream a few years ago. Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian, referring to chunks of raw, marinated fish tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and flavorful sauces. While we’re far away from the islands, when the hot days call for something cool, here are seven spots to find a quality modern poke bowl in OKC. By Berlin Green

Photos provided.

GoGo Sushi Express

Yuzo Sushi and Tapas

Chae Cafe and Bakery

A sushi bar already has all the ingredients for poke, so why not? Each GoGo Sushi bowl comes with a base of sushi rice topped with romaine salad, crab salad, seaweed salad, avocado, cucumber, masago, edamame, green onions, furikake and poke sauce customized with your favorite protein. Choices like escolar, smoked salmon and yellowtail complete the flavor profile perfectly.

Yuzo offers a modern take on Asian cuisine. Peppered among their menu are all sorts of tropical specialties including salmon ceviche and tuna carpaccio. They offer a variety of bowls, but their poke bowl is quite notable with its large chunks of tuna (or salmon) crab mix, avocado, pico de gallo, seaweed salad, spring mix and chili aurora. Skip the rice and try the poke salad if you want to cut the carbs.

Poke bowls aren’t the primary focus of Chae, whose menu offers a decidedly Korean perspective boasting a variety of savory comfort foods, as well as coffees, teas and breakfast items. Their poke bowl contains a conventional assemblage of spring mix, rice, avocado, and edamame with a choice of fresh tuna or salmon, bursting with f lavor from the spicy sauce.

405-794-3474 • 1611 S. 1-35 Service Rd. www.gogosushinow.com

405-702-9808 • 808 N Broadway Ave. www.yuzosushitapas.com

405-840-7725 • 7300 N Western Ave. www.chaecafeokc.com

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Okie Pokie OKC

Creek Sushi & Poke

Ichiban Sushi Bar & Poke Gogi Go! 405-506-0833 • 6308 SW 3rd St www.ichibanokc.com

405-778-8524 • 1325 N Walker Ave. www.gogigo.co

One of the OKC’s original poke restaurants, Okie Pokie is now located inside The Collective. Choose from one of their specialty bowls like the Cowboy Bowl or the Spam Mail or build your own from a choice of seven different proteins like spicy tuna, crawfish tail or seared spam and a variety of healthy toppings and house sauces.

If you’re looking for a filling bowl stuffed with big chunks of fresh fish, this is the place. Their traditional Hawaiian bowl is a mix of sushi rice, spring mix, tuna, crab salad, edamame, avocado, seaweed salad, green onion, jalapeño, lemon and poke sauce. For a spicier kick, check out the Cajun poke bowl, which comes with crawfish and all the fixins as well as a spicy sauce.

At Ichiban, you can have your poke bowl any way you like it. Literally. Whether you choose rice, lo mein or tortilla chips as your base and select octopus, red snapper or beef tataki as your protein, your bowl w ill be ever y thing your poke dreams are made of. Each bowl is made with fresh ingredients and is available with an astonishing number of topping options, so customize away.

While not a traditional Hawaiianstyle poke bowl, Gogi Go! is a spot worth stopping into for a flavorpacked meal. Their Korean-style BBQ bowls are ripe for customization with plenty of bells and whistles and come with fish, bulgogi beef, spicy pork, Korean fried chicken and/or tofu. Each is made with house sauces and the freshest ingredients.

405-724-7687 • 308 NW 10th St. www.okiepokieokc.com

405-506-0558 • 9517 N Council Rd. www.creeksushiokc.com

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20 J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM ART S & CULTURE


ARTS & CULTURE

A scene from Matilda. Photo, K Talley Photography

Civic sizzle LYRIC THEATRE STAGES THEIR SUMMER WITH THREE LARGE-SCALE MUSICALS. By Adrienne Proctor

Lyric Theatre’s summer series is the stage event of the season. Presenting three dazzling and enormous musical productions at the Civic Center Music Hall is a triumphant return after COVID-19 kept them out of all indoor productions for two years. Pivoting to an unprecedented outdoor season in 2021 by performing Grease on the Bishop-McGuinness High School football field last summer, Lyric finally returns to its longtime home. Opening June 21, Lyric starts the series with their family-friendly production of Matilda: The Musical followed in rapid succession by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and finally the Broadway hit Kinky Boots. Based on the beloved children’s novel by Ronald Dahl, Matilda tells the story of a young girl with extra-special abilities. Matilda has uncaring parents, cruel school administrators and nobody in her corner. She seeks refuge in imagination and finds a little help with her ally and teacher Miss Honey. This slightly-bonkers story has catchy original tunes from musical great Tim Minchin and was adapted for the stage by Dennis Kelly. Matilda is double cast in the titular role with Cassie Magrath and Elaina Dobey playing her in alternate performances. Ashley Wells directs and Brian Hamilton serves as music director. The second show of the summer season opens July 5. Seeking to capitalize on the success of Oklahoma!, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein collaborated on Carousel, which debuted on Broadway in 1945 and a Broadway revival in 2018 brought the show back into popularity. Lyric’s production is directed by

Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron. Lyric hardly does anything small, and this production is going to fill the Thelma Gaylord stage. Carousel stars Courtney Crouse as Nettie Fowler, Julianne Reynolds as Julie Jordan, and Joe Caskey as Billy Bigelow. Carousel contains adult content and may not be suitable for children. Much like Oklahoma!, it has surprisingly dark elements. The third show, opening July 24, is sure to be a hit, and is a much-anticipated production for Lyric Theatre. Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots was a hit on Broadway in 2013 and features music by iconic performer Cyndi Lauper. Charlie Price reluctantly inherits a shoe factory from his father, but when Charlie meets Lola, a drag queen and cabaret performer, the drama begins. Together, the pair hatch a plan to save the factory and provide for the costuming needs of the drag community. Drag performers are at the heart and soul of the queer community and Pride wouldn’t be the same without them. The cast of Kinky Boots is comprised of Jamard Richardson as Lola, Jordan Jacobs as Charlie, Mariah Warren as Pat, and Janna Linae as Lauren. Ashley Wells directs and Jan McDaniel is the musical director. Each whirlwind production only lasts for six days and Lyric at The Civic Center sells out fast, so don’t sleep on getting tickets. Matilda: The Musical runs June 21-26, Carousel runs July 5-10 and Kinky Boots runs July 19-24. All performances are at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. Visit lyrictheatreokc.com.

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OKG PICKS are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.

BOOKS Clamorella’s Daughter/We Promised Utopia two new comic book volume releases, Wed., June 15. Literati Press Comics & Novels, 3010 Paseo St., 405-882-7032, literatipressok.com. WED

FILM il buco (2021, Italy, Michelangelo Frammartino) based on a true story of a group of young speleologists and an old shepherd as their lives begin to intertwine with one another, 8 p.m. June 18; 12:30 p.m. June 19. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT-SUN Montana Story (2021, USA, Scott McGehee and David Siegel) two siblings brought back to the family ranch due to their father’s declining health and must now deal with a deep and bitter family legacy, 8 p.m., June 17; 2 and 5 p.m. June 18; 3 p.m. June 19; 7 p.m. June 23. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI-THU

HAPPENINGS Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival enjoy an evening on the canal with live blues music, craft beer, BBQ, and more., June 17-18. Bricktown Water Taxi, 111 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, bricktownwatertaxi.com. FRI-SAT Cactus & Succulent Show and Sale view and shop a large variety of cacti and succulents along with other plants, pottery and soil, June 25-26. Will Rogers Garden Center, 3400 NW 36th St., 405943-0827, okc.gov. SAT-SUN CannaPride join Bison Extracts for a night a festivities with live music, terp cocktails, giveaways, food trucks and more, proceeds from the evening will go to the 2022 Bison LGBTQIA+ Scholarship Fund., 7:30-11 p.m., June 25. Bar 473, 2224 E. Admiral Blvd., 918-340-5565, bar473.com/. SAT Cocktail Cruise see the Boathouse District, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and more on the sunset cruise with a full cash bar, Fridays and Saturdays thru Sept. 30. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. FRI

COOP Ale Works Beats & Bites Festival returning for its sixth summer this festival features live music, nearly 20 local food trucks, face painting, vendors and more., Sat., June 18. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405-322-6000, Riverwind.com. SAT Dancing in the Garden a monthly event of dancing on the Seasonal Plaza with RACE Dance Company demonstrating the moves for the night’s theme, 7-10 p.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. FRI Edmond LibertyFest 50th Anniversary: Car Show see vehicles in all shapes and size as car enthusiasts model their unique rides in hopes of winning first place in their class and overall in Best of Show., 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., June 25. Hafer Park, 1034 S. Bryant Ave., 405-359-4630, edmondok.com. SAT Fiesta Friday a monthly block party is held in the Historic Capitol Hill District featuring local vendors and food as well as live music and performances., third Friday of every month. through Aug. 19. Historic Capitol Hill, 319 SW 25th St., 405-632-0133, historiccapitolhill.com. FRI Heard on Hurd a family friendly evening featuring food trucks, children’s activities and live music from a variety of local artists with proceeds benefitting nonprofit organizations, every third Saturday through October. Citizens Bank of Edmond, 32 N. Broadway, 405-341-6650, citizensedmond.com. SAT Juneteenth Festival an event of remembrance and celebration featuring live music, guest speakers, activities, and more with fireworks to end the evening, 5:30 p.m. June 18. Reaves Park, 2501 S. Jenkins Ave., 405-366-5472, visitnorman.com. SAT Juneteenth on the East commemorate the end of slavery with a three day celebration kicking off with a 5K run on Friday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon of live music, food trucks, activities and more, then closing Sunday morning with brunch. Festivities will be located on NE 23rd St. between N. Kelham Ave. and N. Hood St., 7-9 p.m. June 17; 3-9 p.m. June 18; 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. June 19. Eastside Oklahoma City, 1800 NE 23rd St, 405-763-9874. FRI-SUN OKC Pow Wow Club Indian Taco and Native American Arts & Crafts Sale enjoy food and shop for crafts at this event benefitting the Native American Heritage Organization and the Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 18. Church of the Open Arms, 3131 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 405525-9555, openarms.org. SAT

Not so Spooky Spiders learn about the different types of Oklahoma spiders and how they are an important role in the garden ecosystem, 9:30-10:30 a.m. June 23. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-713-1125, okiemgs.okstate.edu. THU OKC Pride Alliance Festival & Parade celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community during a three-day festival with live music, art, drag, vendors and more featuring the Pride Alliance downtown Pride Parade on Sat. June 25 starting at Sixth and Walker going all the way to the Scissortail Park main stage, okcpridealliance. org, June 24-26. okcpridealliance.org. FRI-SUN Oklahoma City Summer Bridal Show features over 75 wedding vendors displaying the latest trends and ideas from dresses to florists, cake artists to photographers this bridal show has it all, 1-5 p.m. June 26, okbride.com. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, okbride.com. SUN Purple Sash Gala enjoy a delicious plated meal, a high energy fashion show, live and silent auctions with proceeds supporting domestic violence survivors. 6-10 p.m. June 25. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405951-3333, ywcaokc.org/events. SAT SMO21: ChromaFest Join in a night of adults-only science with hands-on color-mixing activities. Featuring a color stroll, mirror rave maze, signature cocktail and more. Dress up in vibrant attire and there just might be a secret area awaiting for you, 7-10 p.m. June 24. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. FRI SoonerCon a pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, gaming, cosplay and anime convention featuring special guests, art shows, costume contests, film screenings, and more, June 24-26. Embassy Suites Conference Center, 2501 Conference Drive, 405-364-8040, soonercon.com. FRI-SUN Sunday Twilight Concert Series presented by Arts Council OKC and The Chickasaw Nation , come enjoy a free concert every Sunday night this summer, through Aug. 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, artscouncilokc.com/twilight. SUN

Tulsa Juneteenth Festival celebrate the emancipation of salves in America with this 3 day event featuring music by local and national artists, visual arts, educational workshops and more., June 16-18. Greenwood Historical District, 322 N Greenwood Ave, 918-764-8833, tulsajuneteenth.org. THU-SAT Tulsa Pride Festival Oklahoma’s longest running LGBTQ+ festival celebrates 40 years with a 5K run June 24, the annual parade kicking off an evening of Pride in the Park with food, live music, and activities June 25 and a family picnic, June 26, to finish the weekend, June 24-26. Dennis R Neill Equality Center, 621 E. Fourth St, 918-743-4297, okeq.org. FRI-SUN

FOOD Veggie Dinner at Picasso Cafe join Picasso Cafe on the third Tuesday of each month for a four to five-course menu; featuring a fresh and creative take on vegetarianinspired fare with the option to have a wine pairing, third Tuesday of every month. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St., 405-605-2022, picassosonpaseo.com. TUE Eastside Fresh Market a weekly farmer’s market with vendors selling fresh produce, homemade desserts, plants and other unique products, Tuesdays. through Nov. 1. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-713-1125, okiemgs. okstate.edu. TUE Oklahoma Brewer’s Fest back for its second summer this festival features 50 craft breweries with almost 300 beets from every corner of the state, a DJ, live t-shirt screen printed, a photo booth and more, noon - 3 p.m. & 5 - 8 p.m. June 18. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, okcballparkevents.com. SAT

YOUTH

Nature’s Course features artwork over the last 20 years from John Newsom with

large-scale, richly textured, oil on canvas paintings of flora and fauna Free timed ticket required, Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. through Aug. 15. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THU-MON Photo provided

Storytime Science children read a story and follow it up with a fun, hands-on scientific activity related to the book. Included in general admission to museum, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Saturdays, through July 26. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. TUE Early Explorers toddlers and preschoolers explore science through hands-on, come-and-go activities that can be easily replicated with everyday items

GO TO OKGAZETTE.COM FOR MORE LISTINGS 22

J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM ART S & CULTURE

found at home, 10-11 a.m. Wednesdays, through July 27. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. WED Kids Fest a children’s event featuring face painting, an exotic petting zoo, snow cones, inflatables and more, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Scissortail Park, 300 SW Seventh St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SAT Oklahoma City Thunder Youth Basketball Camp children ages 6-14 can learn the fundamentals of basketball focusing on defense, ball-handling, layups, shooting baskets and more, participants will be given a t-shirt, water bottle, basketball and a ticket to a Thunder game. nba.com/thunder/ youthbasketball, Thu., June 16. Earlywine Park YMCA, 11801 South May Ave, 405.378.0420, nba. com/thunder/youthbasketball. THU Thunder Coding Camp childern ages 7-14 can learn the beginning basics of coding as they create their own Rumble video game, 8 a.m. - noon & 1-5 p.m. June 18. Thunder LaunchPad, 308 NW 13th St, 405-208-4800, okcthunder.com/launchpad/. SAT ZZZ’s in the Seas guests can sleep overnight in the aquarium surrounded by all manner of sea life with fun activities until lights out, Fri., June 24. Oklahoma Aquarium, 300 Aquarium Dr, 918-296-3474, okaquarium.org. FRI

PERFORMING ARTS AAA Route 66 Road Fest kicks off the countdown to Route 66 turning 100 years old in 2026 with a two day music event featuring ten bands, classic car show, food and drink, and activities for the entire family, June 18-19. Bennett Event Center, 3101 Gordon Cooper Blvd, 405-948-6700, route66roadfest.com. SAT-SUN Andrea Bocelli an Italian operatic tenor and multiinstrumentalist, Thu., June 23. Paycom Center, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, paycomcenter.com. THU Celtic Throne a dance production that explores the origins of Irish step dance and the people as they migrated through Europe and the United States, 7 p.m. June 19; 2 p.m. July 10. Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S. Bryant Ave., 405-285-1010, armstrongauditorium.org. SUN Color of Art an outdoor event that merge local music, dance and visual arts into an evening of immersive experiences 6-9 p.m. June 26. Scissortail Park, 300 SW Seventh St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SUN Concerts in the Park enjoy a free concert featuring a different artist every week, Thursdays. through Aug. 4. Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W. Vandament Ave., 405-350-8937, cityofyukon.gov. THU Deray Davis stand up comedian, actor and producer, 8 &10:30 p.m. June 17; 8 & 9:30 p.m. June 18; 7 p.m. June 19. Bricktown Comedy Club, 409 E. California Ave., 405-594-0505, bricktowncomedy.com. FRI-SUN Emma Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park presents a new adaptation by Erin Wood of Jane Austen’s tale of love and matchmaking, through June 25. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, myriadgardens.com. FRI-SAT Jazz in June an annual outdoor jazz festival for all ages now in its 39th year with music, food trucks and a beer garden featuring a special beer by 405 Brewing for this year’s event. free, 7:30-11 p.m. June 16-18. Andrews Park, 201 W Daws St., 405-630-7333, jazzinjune.org. THU-SAT

No Justice, No Peace through the lens of a fictional family, the opera tells the story of a father, Harold, as he navigates therapy after his wife died. His son, who is preparing for college, has kept his spirits up since the loss of his wife. Harold begins to find solace in his life, until a turn of events changes his life forever, 7:30-9 p.m. June 24-25; 3:30-5 p.m. June 26. Yale Theater, 227 SW 25th St., 405-2496859. FRI-SUN Pinky Patel TikTok star and stand-up comedian, 4:30 p.m. June 25; 5 & 8 p.m. June 26. Bricktown Comedy Club, 409 E. California Ave., 405-5940505, bricktowncomedy.com. SAT-SUN Riversport Summer Music Series float the night away to live music in the rapids featuring Jeremy Rowe Band, 7-10 p.m. June 18. Riversport OKC, 800 Riversport Drive, 4055524040, riversportokc.org. SAT Roald Dahl’s Matilda this Tony-Award winning musical features a young girl that changes her and her fellow students life with imagination, wit and a


OKG PICKS ACTIVE NRHA Derby watch as horses and riders compete in different completions to show off their skills and precision in this twelve day event, June 15-26. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, okstatefair.com. WED-SUN Free Yoga in the Park an all-levels class on the Devon Lawn; bring your own water and yoga mat., Tuesdays, 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE Roller Derby Weekly Meet-and-Greet! a weekly meet-and-greet where the Oklahoma Victory Dolls Roller Derby will be giving the low-down on the roller derby community, bring a mouth gaurd and skates to join the new recruitment class while there, 6:45-9 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 30. Star Skate Midwest City, 300 Bizzell Ave., 828-773-8720. TUE

VISUAL ARTS

Pollinator Night in OKC join The Nature Conservancy and Okies for Monarchs for a sunset event in celebration of Pollinator Week featuring a varitey of pillinator and wildflower experts, free seeds, live insects and activities for childern 7-9 p.m. June 21. Scissortail Park, 300 SW Seventh St., 405-445-7080, nature.org. TUE Photo provided by Unsplash little secret, 7:30 p.m. June 21-23; 8 p.m. June 2425; 2 p.m. June 25-26. Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th St., 405-524-9310, lyrictheatreokc.com. TUE-SUN

ic to movements that shift culture towards equity, equality and inclusion Free, no reservations required, Thu., June 16, 8-9 p.m. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, okcontemp. org/sanctuaryredefined. THU

Sanctuary Redefined: We Shall Own Our Legacy presented by OKC Artists for Justice in partnership with Oklahoma Contemporary, features a perspective of Black women through poetry, movement, music and song, delving into the heightened anxiety and stress experienced as they move through the world and yet still thrive, adding melanated mag-

Who Shot the Sheriff? a western-themed dinner theatre murder mystery, whodunit.net, Fri., June 17 and Fri., June 24. Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, 1309 S. Agnew Ave., 405-236-0416, cattlemensrestaurant.com. FRI

Back to the Basix an exhibition of Jordan Tacker’s classical method of oil painting using an atelier and representational method, Through June 30. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-8159995, 1ne3.org. TUE-THU Beth Hammack/Shevaun Williams/Sam Echols an exhibition featuring works by three painters, through June 30, Through June 30. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-5286336, jrbartgallery.com. FRI-THU Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Chihuly collection at OKCMOA showcasing five decades of glass and painting telling the story of his groundbreaking career featuring never before seen works in Oklahoma City, through June 18, 2024, June 18. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT-FRI Off the Wall features Oklahoma-based artists, Sarah Ahmad, Romy Owens and Marium Rana, who

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create large-scale works that come in stunning and unexpected forms using fiber, textiles and mixed media, with techniques that range from sewing and quilting to the intricate application of paint and the exploration of cutting-edge technology, 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, through June 20. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org MON Oklahoma City Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival features a wide variety of craft supply exhibits from local and national companies, make-and-take workshops and free educational seminars, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 23-24 ; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 25. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-9486700, okstatefair.com. THU-SAT Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale an annual exhibition and art sale featuring Western paintings and sculptures by contemporary Western artists of landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes, through August 7, Through Aug. 7. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. THU-SUN Synesthesia Factory Obscura’s newest immersive art experience focusing on color and textural elements while guests open their senses to discover what colors sound and smell like. Opens June 4, 3 continues through June 4, 2023. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/ fjjma. THU-FRI

Visit okgazette.com/Events/AddEvent to submit your event or email them to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted. Submissions must be received by Oklahoma For OKG Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday live music fourteen days before the see page 27 desired publication date. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible.

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MUSIC

Liberty libretto NEW ORIGINAL OPERA NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE CONFRONTS AND EMPATHIZES WITH THE TRAUMATIC MARGINS OF POLICE VIOLENCE WITH FORTHCOMING WORLD PREMIERE. By Evan Jarvicks

The phrase “no justice, no peace” has become such a commonplace ca ll-and-response chant in Oklahoma City protest marches over the past few years that it has become as shorthanded as “Boomer Sooner” in some circles. Though not a new saying, it carries the baggage of polarized present-day discourse due to its renewed popularization alongside the Black Lives Matter movement. For some, “no justice, no peace” is just bumper sticker rhetoric that only functions to stereotype its speaker as purely progressive and therefore anti-conservative. However, while politics is often abbreviated as a two-party game, people are more than dots on a field, and that is what the new opera No Justice, No Peace aims to convey by rediscovering the de ep er, t h r e e- d i men sion a l meaning of its titular phrase. “No Justice, No Peace engages with the effects of police violence in ways that are oftentimes neglected,” Chris Prather, music composer, librettist, and producer, said. “What was the family’s life like before and after one of these tragic situations? We get so caught up in the politicization of this issue we fail to see the humanity that is lost, the families that are changed forever, and the lives that are taken away.” Composed as a one-act work with an approximate 90-minute runtime, No Justice, No Peace takes place in Oklahoma and follows the fictional Benson family. While the production has been tight-lipped about plot developments, it has announced that the six-character opera centers around the father and son grieving the loss of their matriarch, some of which is expressed through therapy sessions. How exactly the police become involved will not be revealed until the opera’s world premiere run of performances. Without any major sponsors, No Justice, No Peace is a collaborative grassroots effort hoping to break even through fundraising and ticket sales. It has partnered

with OKC’s chapter of Opera on Tap, an international nonprofit dedicated to making opera more accessible, for professional assistance in the production. While the association has helped the project come to life, the art form’s repu- Lorenzo Butler and Kayla Marshall perform No Justice, No Peace at the 2022 Festival of the Arts. Photo provided. tation for being elitist and out-of-touch has still kept and it doesn’t stop there. It prompolarized discourse. Some may grassroots resources scarce. ises to carry a unique sonic finread this opera as leftist by its “Opera is marginalized in the gerprint thanks to composer premise alone, and others may states and can often seem culturChris Prather’s striking myriad read it as centrist for not claiming ally irrelevant to the average of influences. to be leftist. However, No Justice, American,” Danielle Harrington, “Musically, this opera takes No Peace ultimately wants to be founder of Opera on Tap OKC, said. inspiration from classical music, heard and seen not for any politi“We hope this incredibly relevant blues, and commercial music from cal agenda but for a more authentopic of No Justice, No Peace, and film/video games, including tic representation of human lives. its local perspective will show a r tist s li ke Ni na Si mone, “Writing this opera has been opera is being reimagined.” Benjamin Britten, Billie Holiday, quite the balancing act,” Prather For a historically Eurocentric Yo s h i h i s a H i r a n o , I g o r said. “We wanted to create a story art form whose past is tainted Stravinisky, John Williams, Jake and characters that feel very real with figures like Richard Wagner, Heggie, and this super obscure so that every line that is sung or a groundbreaking composer who JRPG game from my childhood spoken feels like it is coming was also a notorious racist, this that no one will know by composfrom that character instead of it is no small task, but the producers Takeo Miratsu and Dennis coming across like a character is tion believes in the challenge. At Martin,” Prather said. spouting the writer’s beliefs and every stage, it has made strides to The opera also includes spoken opinions. I find that heavy-handdiversify its voice and democradialogue which goes against the ed moments like that take you tize its concept. stereotypical sing-speak of clasout of the story when what you “From top to bottom there has sical operatic works. W hile want to feel is immersed.” been collaboration with everyHarrington noted that this is an While the stakes are higher, thing in this production,” libretovergeneralization — only tradioperas like No Justice, No Peace tist Kenneth R. Woods said. “We tional Italian opera strictly have more to offer for the extra care wanted everybody involved to be adheres to singing — the decision taken in their development. They comfortable with every decision to write and perform natural have the potential to take conscious that was made, every idea we had, speech is essential to No Justice, observation or even verbalization and be able to express themselves No Peace. It not only gives the to a higher level of empathy. Where when they had ideas. story a more approachable strucstreet protesters often chant in “Also there was a lot of commuture to general audiences, but it honor of victims to say their names, nity involvement. We conducted also extends its expressive range. opera offers the invaluable ability interviews with individuals, and “We felt that having spoken to feel their experiences. last August, we did a workshop words versus sung-through added No Justice, No Peace runs June where we invited the community to the drama and realism of the 24-26, at The Yale Theater in OKC’s to come watch a performance of story,” Prather said. “This is esCapitol Hill District. General adthe opera for free, and afterwards, pecially present during the scene mission is $30 with a $10 discount we had a talkback and took feedinvolving an officer encounter. for students. Reserved front-row back from the audience which We wanted that scene to be as reseating with a pre-show meet and helped us in our revision process.” alistic as possible which led us to greet is $40. No Justice, No Peace also having spoken dialogue there and sounds far more contemporary eventually throughout the opera.” than the average opera. By includWhen creating a fictional naring 20th-century music cultures rative focused on controversial like blues and gospel, it reaches national events, that realism is well beyond the classical world, important to avoid the pitfalls of MUSIC OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 25


SOUNDCHECK

Poppa Foster and The Grits - Gravy Baby LED BY A NEIGHBORHOOD LEGEND, THE TULSA ROUSTABOUTS GO ALL-OUT FOR A HOT-BUTTERED BANQUET FOR THE EARS ON THEIR VINYL DEBUT. By Evan Jarvicks

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This is the one. For many years, Christopher Foster has been a rambling Tulsan, bringing his New Orleans ivory tickling and bandleading to a bustling assortment of musical projects. Not often the type to take the spotlight, he has lent his funky Southern ear to produce local recordings for the likes of Dane and The Soup and Winston Churchbus. Even as banjo strumming frontman of ragtag powerhouse Green Corn Rebellion (not to be confused with Green Corn Revival, the band that spaw ned Jared Deck onto the Oklahoma City scene), Foster keeps a modest stage demeanor that can fool casual spectators into underappreciating his compositional genius. What a mistake that is. On Gravy Baby, the debut LP by Poppa Foster and The Grits, Christopher Foster goes big with his latest creative venture. Culled to a tight nine tracks and pressed on 160gram vinyl, it is a gumbo pot of a record blending over 20 performance ingredients from prolific Tulsa musicians. Savory cuts of blues, roots rock and brass band influences simmer with Foster’s soulful and occasionally oddball songwriting spices. The recordings sizzle with jamboree adrenaline thanks to the solid mixing and mastering. This is a label-grade dish even if it is a fully independent release. There are plenty of clues that this is an unsigned project, though. A marketing team would likely question the smudgy potatoes and brown gravy that adorn the vinyl’s center label. Lead single “Dervish,” for all of its catchy, high-octane rock and roll, has a low-budget music video that captures the energy but not the spectacle of its recording. The tracking is also a bit messy, a worthwhile symptom of the band’s kitchen-sink

style but one that jumps all over its spectrum of moods. It wouldn’t be a Foster record without some degree of unkempt do-it-yourself resilience though. His scruffy-whiskered demeanor cleaned up in Sunday morning hat and cane reads like a hobo Buster Keaton, and while his voice is as clear as it has ever been on Gravy Baby, it stops short of being polished. There is too much character in his vocal scuffs for such treatment. It should be emphasized that this is no solo outing. The Grits at its core on this record are Jordan Hehl and Matt Teegarden on bass and drums, a nd beyond them well over a dozen supporting players include Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s Chris Combs and Matt Leland. Poppa Foster can, yes, hold his own as a solo act -- he slipped a collection of beautifully personal demo-style tunes onto Bandcamp a while back -- but his spirit takes flight in the company of others. Highlights are plentiful on Gravy Baby. “Hard to Get” pairs old-school rhythm and blues horns with funkgospel piano to take fun structural turns, ending in an infectious fanfare of saxophone and guitar solos, hand claps, and a shouted choral refrain. “Paycheck Rag” has fun with ironing out its swing time rhythm only to flop back into its floor-dragging poor man’s shuffle when the money’s gone again. What takes the cake, though, is the uplifting communal energy of it all. There are strains of sadness and loneliness in Foster’s lyrics, but with the support of a full family of artists, those concerns feel far away. If ever there was a record that captured the dynamic of what music means to him, this is the one.


Cody Johnson, Paycom Center. COUNTRY Greg Jacobs & Joe Baxter, The Blue Door. SINGER-SONGWRITER

I Am Hologram, Woody & Sunshine, Core4 Brewing. SINGER-SONGWRITER Jason Scott, The Jones Assembly. SINGERSONGWRITER

Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road, UCO Jazz Lab. BLUEGRASS Soft Hands, Tower Theatre. ROCK

SATURDAY, JUN. 25 Anti Mortem/Arkhon/Perseus/Dog Will Hunt, 89th Street - OKC. ROCK Aaron Holt / Camille Harp / Derek Paul / Daniel Walker, The Blue Door. SINGER-SONGWRITER

Blues on the Patio, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. BLUES

Bricks in the Wall, Tower Theatre. TRIBUTE BAND SONGWRITER

These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.

Joshua Ray Walker / Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Beer City Music Hall. SINGER-SONGWRITER

TUESDAY, JUN. 21 Josh Roberts, The Jones Assembly. POP

WEDNESDAY, JUN. 15

WEDNESDAY, JUN. 22

Jesse McCartney, Diamond Ballroom. POP

Chloe Beth, The Jones Assembly. SINGER-

Wizzerd/Psychotic Reaction/Dust Lord, 89th Street - OKC. ROCK

Kishi Bashi, Beer City Music Hall. SINGER-SONG-

SONGWRITER

WRITER

Gasolina, Beer City Music Hall. REGGAETON

THURSDAY, JUN. 23

Intocable, The Tulsa Theater. REGIONAL MEXI-

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Cain’s Ballroom. HIPHOP

Jazz Night, Bradford House. JAZZ Polkadot Cadaver, 89th Street - OKC. ROCK The Nude Party, Beer City Music Hall. INDIE ROCK

FRIDAY, JUN. 24

CAN

Montu/Vintage Pistol, Ponyboy. ELECTRONIC/ ROCK

Nick Shoulder, Ponyboy. SINGER-SONGWRITER ZZ Top, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK

SUNDAY, JUN. 26 Cannons, Beer City Music Hall. INDIE POP Eric James, Core4 Brewing. SINGER-SONG-

THURSDAY, JUN. 16

WRITER

Hosty, The Deli. ELECTRIC

Jazz Night, Bradford House. JAZZ

The Toasters, 89th Street - OKC. ROCK

FRIDAY, JUN. 17

MONDAY, JUN. 27

Burl, Tower Theatre. INDIE ROCK

Artifas/Modern Mimes/Hyperdose/ Letters to a Friend, 89th Street - OKC.

Eric Harris, Core4 Brewing. SINGER-SONGWRITER

ROCK

Just Chels, The Jones Assembly. SINGER-SONGWRITER

Pale Waves, Beer City Music Hall. ROCK

TUESDAY, JUN. 28

Sydnee Lee, Ponyboy. LIVE DJ

SATURDAY, JUN. 18

Picturesque and Outline in Color/Dead American, 89th Street - OKC. ROCK

Blue Morrison/Rat Fink, Ponyboy. POP ROCK BRONCHO, Tower Theatre. INDIE ROCK Cliffdiver/Goalkeeper/Ben Quad/Limp Wizurdz, 89th Street - OKC. POP Jackopierce, Beer City Music Hall. ROCK Junior Brown, Cain’s Ballroom. COUNTRY Ariel Pratt/Taylor Atkinson/Sierra Sikes/ Brandon Bolt, Stockyards Central. COUNTRY Pecos & The Rooftops, Diamond Ballroom. COUNTRY

Susan Herndon & The Bella Counsel, The Blue Door. SINGER-SONGWRITER

SUNDAY, JUN. 19 Hosty, The Deli. ELECTRIC Jayson Douglas, Core4 Brewing. SINGER-

Everclear performing with Sister Hazel and Deep Blue Something as part of COOP Ale

Works Beats & Bites Festival at Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405-322-6000, Riverwind.com. SUN, JUNE 18 Photo by Ashley Osborn / provided

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Visit okgazette.com to submit your lisitngs or email listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

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THE HIGH CULTURE COMMENTARY

Growing up OKLAHOMA’S MEDICAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY IS SLOWLY TRANSITIONING FROM ITS WILD WEST LAISSEZ-FAIRE ROOTS TO A MORE REGULATED MODEL WITH EXPANDED OVERSIGHT AND A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON BUSINESS LICENSURE. By Donald Gies and Cassity Gies

Oklahoma’s legislative session saw nearly a hundred proposed cannabis bills, but after winding their way through the process, only a dozen were ultimately signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt. A two-year moratorium and tiered licensing stirred some angst within the industry with others making fewer waves, but Oklahoma will be seeing some major shifts in current law. One of the largest adjustments centers around the agency regulating the industry — The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will now be a standalone state agency receiving increased regulatory authority. House Bill 1543 separated the OMMA from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. As a freestanding agency, OMMA will absorb duties currently being overseen by OSDH. The executive director of OMMA will be appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the Senate and will have authority to conduct hearings, issue agency orders and impose disciplinary actions. As this is happening, House Bill 3208 places a two-year moratorium on processing new cultivation, processing and retail licenses. Slated to end on Aug. 1, 2024, the moratorium could be terminated at any time prior to that date, if OMMA’s executive director determines that all pending licensing reviews, inspections or investigations have been completed by the agency. Because cannabis entrepreneurs can still transfer licensure, the cannabis industry may be seeing a competitive seller’s market. All applications submitted prior to Aug. 1 of this year will be reviewed and processed and, while OMMA’s licensure numbers slipped more than 3 percent from April to May, the Authority should expect to see a big run on application submissions until the deadline. The most controversial bill passed this season, House Bill 2179, introduces a tiered licensing system for Oklahoma cannabis businesses based upon square footage, production amounts and annual tax revenues. This bill raises serious implications on the constitutionality of the process that led to its approval. The bill’s label includes the word “fees” as its own distinct subpart and

the OMMA promises that this act “will certainly raise revenues.” Why does this matter? Because the Oklahoma Constitution heightens requirements for approving revenue bills, and when HB 2179 passed the House with sixty votes last month, it failed to receive three-fourths vote from both chambers. Unlike other bills, which only require a majority vote from the House, a revenue bill must have either been passed by Oklahoma voters in the general election or passed with three-fourths vote from both chambers. Data shows roughly $60 million dollars of excess revenue from licensing fees alone has been used to support the state government since 2019. In this way, HB 2179 could be a revenue bill in the strictest sense, and if so, its passage violated the mandated procedure. Another bill generating conversation, House Bill 3 5 3 0 , creates the “ C o u n t y Cassity Gies, Photo provided. Sheriff Public Safety Grant Revolving Fund,” which allocates the first $5 million dollars of cannabis excise tax to county sheriff departments. The bill also requires OMMA to establish programs and provide funding to support county sheriffs in enforcing the requirements of state cannabis law. Each county would receive roughly $65,000 annually without adjustment for their population or the number of active cannabis businesses in the county. In addition to laws affecting the Authority and commercial cannabis businesses, some will affect individual patients. Senate Bill 1367 doubles the

initial penalty for cannabis patients or caregivers who share three grams or less with an unauthorized person. Violating this law will now be a $400 fine for the first offense Donald Gies, Photo provided. and a $1,000 fine for second violations and may also be may have slipped through the cracks of accompanied by the revocation of lithe laboratory process, adding proteccenses. Cannabis businesses transfertion for patient safety. Laboratory ring or selling cannabis to unauthorized testing will also be seeing increased individuals will receive a $5,000 initial scrutiny by this time next year under a fine and subseparate bill passed during the session. sequent vioThe recurring theme of cannabis lations will compliance also touches on smaller be $15,000 details in the industry. For example, in addition House Bill 3019 allows edible packagto other ing to be clear so patients can see the penalties. product. The bill mandates opaque exit House Bill packaging at the point of sale and also 3971 will requires new warning language on the bring a more label: “For use by licensed medical watchful eye marijuana patients only” and “Keep to day-to-day out of reach of children.” These are dispensary things secret shoppers will be looking operations for, and, if not clearly understood and and puts implemented, could result in complipressure on ance infractions for cannabis busim a n ager s nesses owners. and owners Oklahoma’s latest legislation introto do their duces additional rules for the cannabis due diligence industry, with increased focus on with training strengthening OMMA’s ability to toward comenforce regulation. These new regulapliance. Also tions, coupled with the mandatory known as the implementation of METRC (the state’s “OMMA contracted seed-to-sale software trackS e c r e t ing system) advance the legitimacy of Shopper the state’s medical marijuana program. Act,” this law will provide for OMMA Now four years old, our medical canto inspect at least 50 dispensaries annabis program could be a model for nually by deploying undercover shopother states creating their own and pers to purchase products and submit having structured rules and processes them for quality control testing. lessens stigmas and quiets naysayers. Multiple parts of this bill inspire optiWith legislation cutting OMMA’s apron mism about the feedback and insight strings and increasing enforcement, that OMMA will receive by participatour beloved baby industry, created overing in the purchasing process with innight by the vote of the people, is no dividual transactions. Double-checking longer eating at the kid’s table. the testing process and deterring dispensary owners from selling to unauDonald Gies is the founder of thorized individuals should encourage Gies Law Firm, which specializes businesses to increase their employee in Oklahoma medical cannabis law. training. This bill creates an opportuCassity Gies is an attorney at nity to catch deficient products that Phillips Murrah. HIGH CULTURE OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 29


THE HIGH CULTURE STRAIN REVIEWS

Strain name: Jealousy Grown by: Blue Collar Criminals Acquired from: Blue Collar Criminals Date acquired: June 9

sun as night. Also got a sneak peak at some strains up next in the pipeline, like an original Runtz cut, but the Blueberry Cupcake strain looks and smells like it could top it and the other pair in the running.

Physical traits: light green and orange

Strain name: Slow ‘N’ Sweet Grown by: Fire Leaf Farms Acquired from: Fire Leaf (Stockyards) Date acquired: June 9

Similarly, this one hits hard and fast but without regret. The high is equally energizing and calming with a taste and scent reminiscent of Cherry Pie and its descendents but with a Purple Punch appearance.

Physical traits: green and purple Bouquet: sweet and sour

Bouquet: gassy and earthy

Review: Continuing the nostalgia tour of OKC cannabis, the second destination was the Fire Leaf location in the Stockyards. Having toured the dispensary’s eponymous farm in its infancy, seeing the resulting flower on shelves years later brought back memories, as did the scent of the selected strain. Fire Leaf always tended towards picking pungently sweet strains to line shelves as well as for use in processing, so the nose on Slow ‘N’ Sweet was an instant reminder of the flower that went into one of their two gold medal finishes at the first Oklahoma High Times Cannabis Cup winner in 2019 (Fruity Pebbles OG).

Review: If you’ve followed The High Culture since the beginning, you know that Blue Collar Criminals (AKA BCC Collective), has always been the anecdotal through-line of the Oklahoma cannabis industry’s developments. Their doors are (quietly) open once again. There’s more to the story, but that will come later. Its strain slate has shifted over the last few years, but Jealousy is at its forefront for a reason. A cross between Sherbert and Gelato breeds, the high is relaxing, but balanced, suitable for daytime consumption during the days when there’s as much

FIND MORE STRAIN REVIEWS AT OKGAZETTE.COM/THEHIGHCULTURE

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY WEEK OF JUNE 19 Homework: If there were a clone of you, what alternate life might they be living? Newsletter. FreeWillAstrology.com ARIES (March 21-April 19)

“The whole point for me is to change as much as possible,” says Aries actor Keira Knightley. What?! Is she serious? Her number one aspiration is to keep transforming and transforming and transforming? I guess I believe her. It’s not an entirely unexpected manifesto coming from an Aries person. But I must say: Her extra bold approach to life requires maximum resilience and resourcefulness. If you think that such an attitude might be fun to try, the coming weeks will be one of the best times ever to experiment.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Taurus poet May Sarton relished “the sacramentalization of the ordinary.” What a wonderfully Taurean attitude! There is no sign of the zodiac better able than you Bulls to find holiness in mundane events and to evoke divine joy from simple pleasures. I predict this specialty of yours will bloom in its full magnificence during the coming weeks. You will be even more skillful than usual in expressing it, and the people you encounter will derive exceptional benefits from your superpower.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Here’s a message I hope you will deliver to the Universe sometime soon: “Dear Life: I declare myself open and ready to receive miracles, uplifting news, fun breakthroughs, smart love, and unexpected blessings. I hope to be able to give my special gifts in new and imaginative ways. I am also eager for useful tips on how to express my dark side with beauty and grace. One more perk I hope you will provide, dear Life: Teach me how to be buoyantly creative and sensitively aggressive in asking for exactly what I need.” CANCER (June 21-July 22) In August 2021, a Canadian man named Jerry Knott bought a ticket for a lottery. He stuffed it in his wallet

and lost track of it. Two months later, he found it again and checked to see its status. Surprise! It was a winner. His prize was $20 million. I propose we make him your role model for now, my fellow Crabs. Let’s all be alert for assets we may have forgotten and neglected. Let’s be on the lookout for potentially valuable resources that are ripe for our attention. More info on Knott: tinyurl.com/ RememberToCheck

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

Hundreds of years ago, people in parts of Old Europe felt anxiety about the Summer Solstice. The sun reached its highest point in the sky at that time, and from then on would descend, bringing shorter and shorter days with less and less light. Apprehensive souls staged an antidote: the festival of Midsummer. They burned great bonfires all through the night. They stayed awake till morning, partying and dancing and having sex. Author Jeanette Winterson expresses appreciation for this holiday. “Call it a wild perversity or a wild optimism,” she writes, “but our ancestors were right to celebrate what they feared.” Winterson fantasizes about creating a comparable ceremony for her fears: “a ritual burning of what is coward in me, what is lost in me. Let the light in before it is too late.” I invite you to do something like this yourself, Leo.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Virgo author Elizabeth McCracken says, “I don’t dream of someone who understands me immediately, who seems to have known me my entire life.” What’s more meaningful to her is an ally who is curious, who has “a willingness for research.” She continues, “I want someone keen to learn my own strange organization, amazed at what’s revealed; someone who asks, ‘and then what, and then what?’” I hope you will enjoy at least one connection like that in the coming months, Virgo. I expect and predict it. Make it your specialty!

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Libran author Stig Dagerman said that when he was sad as a child, his mother kissed him until his mood lightened. When he was older and sad, his mama said, “Sit down at your desk and write a letter to yourself. A long and

30 J U N E 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM HIGH CULTURE

beautiful letter.” This would be a good task for you right now, Libra. Whatever mood you are in, I invite you to write a long and beautiful letter to yourself. I further recommend that you carry out the same ritual once every six weeks for the next nine months. This will be a phase of your life when it’s extra crucial that you express soulful tenderness toward your deep self on a regular basis. You may be amazed at how inspirational and transformative these communications will be.

of obligation or with the expectation of a favor in return. Let’s purge manipulativeness from our dynamic. Let’s agree to provide each other with unconditional support.”

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Sometimes, the arrival of a peculiar event in your life is a good sign. It may mean that Fate has sent an intervention to disrupt a boring phase of inertia or a habit-bound grind. An unexpected twist in the plot may signal a divine refreshment. It could be a favorable omen announcing a helpful prod that’s different from what you imagined you needed. I suspect that an experience or two fitting this description will soon materialize in your life story. Be alert for them. Promise yourself you’ll be receptive to their unexpected directives.

Author Lauren Collins tells us, “Bilinguals overwhelmingly report that they feel like different people in different languages. It is often assumed that the mother tongue is the language of the true self. But if first languages are reservoirs of emotion, second languages can be rivers undammed, freeing their speakers to ride different currents.” I bring these thoughts to your attention, Aquarius, because the next 12 months will be an excellent time for you to begin becoming bilingual or else to deepen your fluency in a second language. And if you’re not ready to do that, I encourage you to enhance your language skills in other ways. Build your vocabulary, for instance. Practice speaking more precisely. Say what you mean and mean what you say 95 percent of the time. Life will bring you good fortune if you boost your respect for the way you use language.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Sagittarius author Edna O’Brien long ago shed the strict Catholic faith in which she was raised. But she still harbors spiritual feelings colored by her tradition. She says, “Ideally, I’d like to spend two evenings a week talking to [novelist] Marcel Proust and another conversing with the Holy Ghost.” I suspect a similar balance of influences will be healthy for you in the days ahead, Sagittarius. My advice is to connect with an inspiration you drew sustenance from while growing up. Spend time equal time consorting with deep-feeling smart people who will stimulate you to rearrange the contents of your rational mind.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

I’ve composed a message for you to deliver to your best allies. It will help you be clear about the nature of your energy exchanges. Say something like this: “I promise to act primarily out of love in my dealings with you, and I ask you to do the same with me. Please don’t help me or give me things unless they are offered with deep affection. Let’s phase out favors that are bestowed out

Piscean-born Robert Evans has been an amateur astronomer since he was 18. Though he has never been paid for his work and has mostly used modest telescopes, he holds the world record for discovering supernovas—42. These days, at age 85, he’s still scanning the skies with a 12-inch telescope on his back porch. Let’s make him your role model for the coming months. I have faith you can achieve meaningful success even if you are a layperson without massive funding. PS: Keep in mind that “amateur” comes from the Latin word for “lover.” Here’s the dictionary’s main definition: “a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons.” Go to RealAstrology.com to check out

Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.


PUZZLES NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE | A MONUMENTAL CENTENNIAL By Daniel Bodily and Jeff Chen | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0605 1

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See 21-Across Premium flight amenity Piercing-free bijouterie Landmark dedicated on 5/30/1922 Raymond ____, Best Actor nominee for portraying this puzzle’s subject (1940) Hades’ collection Rough and uneven Actress Green of “Casino Royale” They watch what you eat, for short Order of doughnuts It’s in, then it’s out

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“Norma ____” Pining away Suitcase He played Ferris Bueller’s droning economics teacher Something easily snapped Pay-____-click (advertising model) Place for an ace Wish to take back Composer Zimmer N.H.L. great Bobby PDF alternative Get the ____ Situated Office

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Big moneymaker Italicize or underline It’s all about me Feature first recommended to this puzzle’s subject by an 11-year-old girl Extendable recording device Rivendell resident, in “The Lord of the Rings” Drink (up) “You with me?” ____ Offroad Fury (2000s video game series) Cable news anchor Cabrera Stuffed pockets Nickname for this puzzle’s subject Eponymous physicist Mach Have ____ (be able to jump high, in slang) Ulysses S. Grant, e.g. Bit of “deets” Locales in a winery tour, perhaps Bikini’s place “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. ____ IV site, for short Choose When repeated, cheer accessory Stretches Trattoria staple Takes part in a pilot program? Sanskrit for “great soul” Sent a letter Govt. aid for a mom-andpop store Some titles with tildes Backs

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Is ____ (probably will) Utmost Classic Pontiac Title role in a Monteverdi opera 11 Win at life 12 One-eyed giant? 13 McCartney of fashion 14 Maker of the Q7 and Q8 15 Cry from one being tickled, maybe 16 Runs well 22 Snug-fitting underwear 24 Greetings sent with a click 28 Tab inits. 29 Unlikely winners in Fortnite, say 30 Earful in an elevator 31 Dead lines? 32 I.S.P. alternative to 84Down 33 Diner order 34 Say outright 35 One epithet for this puzzle’s subject 38 Another epithet for this puzzle’s subject 39 “Buy low, sell high” outcome 40 Aches (for) 43 Nailed 45 Ongoing quarrel 48 Cousin of a bittern 49 Ray of McDonald’s fame 51 Arched body part 52 Utility bill unit 59 Campaign nickname that reflected the rustic upbringing of this puzzle’s subject 61 Beachside locale 62 Loving turndown 63 Accessory in which this puzzle’s subject stashed important documents 64 [Outta my way, slowpoke!] 65 Wrinkly fruit 66 Home to about 75% of the world’s tornadoes 68 Rocker Bob 69 More than unpleasant 70 Island whose capital and largest city is Iraklion 71 Habitual drinker 72 Subject of the sevenletter mnemonic PALE GAS 73 “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” e.g.

75 Fastball stat 77 Hon 84 I.S.P. alternative to 32Down 86 Biting remarks? 87 ____ on over (go somewhere, in slang) 89 Court figure, informally 91 Perfumed pouches 93 Symbols of rebirth in ancient Egypt 94 Goat’s milk cheese 95 Anthony or Joe who directed “Avengers: Endgame” 97 Makeup set? 98 One making a racket? 99 Some arcade machine mechanisms 103 Spooky sounds 105 One chased by un perro 106 Lead-in to historic 107 ____ the Kid, rhyming N.H.L. nickname 108 Otolaryngologist, for short 110 This really blows

Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).

SUDOKU DIABOLIC | N°1876876259 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS Puzzle No. 0529, which appeared in the June 1 issue.

Grid n°1876876259 diabolic

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VOL. XLIV NO. 12 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution. Please address all unsolicited news items (non-returnable) to the editor. For subscription inquiries, email kelsey.lowe@okgazette.com

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