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4 State medical marijuana petition 6 Health tobacco and youth 8 Education Embark Haul Pass 10 State apprenticeship grant 11 Community Keep Oklahoma Beautiful 12 Chicken-Fried News 14 Letters
compares local hip-hop artist Jabee (pictured on cover) to workingman hero and folk troubadour Woody Guthrie. Yes, Woody Guthrie. In this issue, Jabee and Chuck D comment on Jabee’s latest project, Black Future, scheduled for an Aug. 13 release show in OKC. By Ben Luschen. Cover photo Garett Fisbeck.
35 Cover Jabee’s Black Future 38 Event Robotic Wednesdays turns 10 39 Event Dolly Parton 40 Live Music
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NEWS Clinton Wiles assists Randi Thacker during a recent Oklahomans for Health petition signing event. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
list. Instead, physicians would have the authority to prescribe medical cannabis as they deem necessary. The group calls for the Oklahoma State Department of Health to regulate the licenses of patients, dispensaries, growers and transporters. Additionally, medical marijuana would be taxed at 7 percent with revenue first going to pay for regulations. Excess tax funds would benefit Oklahoma State Department of Education’s general fund at 75 percent and state Department of Health’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs at 25 percent. “The number one question I receive is, ‘Is this going to be full legalization?’” Dorman said. “I tell them it’s not. This is only for medical treatments when under the care of a doctor. For minors, it would take two doctors to sign off.” The movement seeks statutory reform and is required to collect signatures of registered voters equal to 8 percent of the last gubernatorial election: 65,987.
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Driving change Oklahomans for Health enters the final week of collecting signatures for its medical marijuana petition. By Laura Eastes
Stories of hope and healing keep volunteers like Mike Lee standing in the summer heat. Lee supports Oklahomans for Health, a grassroots organization pushing to legalize medical marijuana in the Sooner State. Since May 14, volunteers have canvassed the state, connecting supporters to State Question 788, an initiative petition to create new laws for Oklahomans who wish to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. Stationed at the intersection of Meridian Avenue and Northwest Expressway under a pop-up tent, Lee greets people with a smile and a pen. In return, he said he and other volunteers see proof of the need and benefit of medical marijuana treatments and hear powerful testimonies from everyday Oklahomans. Recently, a woman told Lee about topical cannabis she applied to her arms, which are weakened by a bone disease. The cream alleviated pain and allowed her the relief she needed to live her life. Now, the former California resident goes without. Frank Grove, Oklahomans for Health board member, said an elderly couple — both battling cancer — signed the petition out of frustration. Their physicians could consider medical marijuana to ease chemotherapy side effects or relieve pain. However, those aren’t legal options in Oklahoma. “When you hear of people suffering all day long, it’s hard not to act,” Grove said. 4
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“We are doing everything we can to help.”
On Aug. 11, Oklahomans for Health will submit signed petition sheets to the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office as part of the organization’s drive to bring medical marijuana to a public vote in November. The Capitol visit is not the organization’s first, but leaders like Grove and Joe Dorman are optimistic it will be their last. During the summer of 2014, Oklahomans for Health volunteers collected more than 75,000 valid signatures in support of a medial marijuana question appearing on a statewide ballot. Proposed as a state constitutional question, the group fell short of collecting the necessary number of signatures. Dorman, a former Oklahoma legislator and gubernatorial candidate, joined the movement this spring. Leaders rewrote the petition language after reviewing other states’ laws. “We took some of the best points from other states, but some of this is unique to Oklahoma,” Dorman explained. In some states, in order to qualify for medical marijuana, a patient must be diagnosed with specific qualifying medical conditions, such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. Oklahoma’s proposal, however, includes no qualifying
The big question plaguing supporters and volunteers is, Will the signature requirement be reached? Oklahomans for Health’s petition is the third medical marijuana effort launched in as many years. A separate group, Green the Vote, collected signatures for a constitutional amendment in the fall but fell short. Dorman believes Oklahomans want a medical marijuana question on the November ballot and cites a 2013 SoonerPoll that found 71 percent of Oklahomans favor medical cannabis use. “We know that number has grown since the poll,” Dorman added. “The difficult part is getting [medical marijuana] on the ballot. That’s why those folks who want to see it on the ballot need to find a place to
sign. We can’t take this for granted.” With 16 days left to collect signatures, the mood was optimistic among volunteers and signers at the tent in northwest Oklahoma City. Every hour, volunteers hear at least a few drivers honk car horns and wave in support. A few hundred signatures are collected each day at the OKC spot, where volunteers work 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Voter registration forms are offered beside petition sheets on the table. Lee said they’ve helped hundreds of Oklahomans register to vote. Not everyone supports medical marijuana use. Oklahomans for Health volunteers related a handful of negative interactions with opponents and, at times, law enforcement officers. Some voters stop by to share their support but don’t sign the petition, referencing pressure by employers and fear of people linking their name to the effort. If the effort succeeds in getting onto the November ballot, Oklahomans for Health volunteers will continue advocating and educating voters on the issues at stake. Medical cannabis is not a miracle cure for anything; however, studies show it helps treat multitude illnesses. Personal testimonies, like those of children who have daily seizures and adults who experience multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms, will be recorded and shared on social media in the weeks leading to the election. The stigma attached to medical marijuana use is the greatest challenge before Oklahomans for Health, organizers said. “People will tell us they drove by once or twice before they stopped to sign,” Lee said. “Either someone in their family could have benefitted or they know of a situation that could have ended differently with marijuana.”
Oklahomans for Health promotes its statewide petition to bring a question on medical marijuana before voters. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
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NEWS Front lines
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Signs like this one are posted in all Oklahoma stores that sell tobacco. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
The number of Oklahoma minors buying tobacco products continues to climb. By Laura Eastes
Under Oklahoma state law, clerks must refuse tobacco sales to anyone under age 18. That doesn’t always happen. When IDs aren’t checked, clerks ring up sales, collect the money and slide products across the counter to minors. As detailed in 2016’s annual Synar report, Oklahoma’s Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement (ABLE) Commission, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMH), records convenience and grocery store compliance efforts as part of a federal program. The results from the unannounced, random compliance checks are later reviewed by federal officials, who then distribute federal funds based on the report’s findings. Twenty years ago, ABLE agents determined nearly half the convenience and grocery stores they checked sold cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and cigars to youths under age 18. That was the first year states reported Synar findings, and Oklahoma earned a noncompliance rate of 48.3 percent, state records show. Increased youth-directed tobacco use prevention programs and community-based education directed toward business owners and clerks, along with a number of programs introduced by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) after the millennium, helped drive state’s noncompliance rate down. Four years ago, Oklahoma achieved a noncompliance rate of 6.8 percent, the lowest ever recorded for the 6
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state, according to ODMH. Since 2012, Oklahoma’s noncompliance rate has slowly risen. Recent figures released by state officials show the noncompliance rate doubled over four years and now sits at 14.1 percent.
In 1992, federal lawmakers passed the Synar Amendment, which set 18 as the minimum age for tobacco purchases in all 50 states. The program was named for late U.S. Rep. Mike Synar, who represented Oklahoma’s second congressional district. The federal legislation required states to monitor and document the rate of tobacco sales to minors. States are required to maintain a noncompliance rate below 20 percent each year or they lose federal dollars tied to substance abuse prevention and treatment services. Nationally, the noncompliance rate was 40.1 percent in 1996. The most recent national data, as reported by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, shows the 2013 noncompliance rate at 9.6 percent. Federal officials tout the success of the Synar report, which was intended to prevent youth use of tobacco products. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 1995, 38.7 percent of student smokers under age 18 obtained their own cigarettes through purchases at stores or gas stations. That same survey found the percentage had dropped to 14 percent in 2011.
Annually, ABLE agents make hundreds of compliance checks through a partnership with fellow state agency ODMH. This year’s results are a concern for a number of reasons, including tobacco’s link to unhealthy outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports one in three cancer deaths could be avoided if no one smoked cigarettes. Additionally, smokeless tobacco contributes to diagnoses of oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancers. “The most effective way to stop future problems caused by tobacco use is to prevent it from ever occurring in the first place,” Terri White, ODMH commissioner, said in a media release. That’s why White and others find it troubling to see the state’s noncompliance rate rising. “Store owners who ignore compliance requirements are putting their own profits ahead of our children’s health,” White said. “The fact that so many retailers didn’t sell these products to minors suggests there is no excuse for the others to continue breaking the law.” If Oklahoma’s noncompliance rate continues to increase, millions of federal dollars pumped into treatment for Oklahomans with mental health and substance abuse disorders could be in jeopardy, said Jeff Dismukes, ODMH communications officer. Most recently, Oklahoma was awarded $17.1 million in a substance abuse block grant, he said. “We’ve talked frequently and it’s been well publicized; [ODMH] does not have enough resources to meet treatment demand in the state,” Dismukes said. “The potential loss of any treatment dollars would be devastating.” The department estimates six of every 10 Oklahoma adults do not receive needed mental health and substance abuse treatment.
There was a common theme among the questions Tanya Henson heard when leading Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) for four years in Oklahoma County. Often, SWAT teens asked about addiction to tobacco products. The program works to equip preteens and teenagers to revolt against tobacco. “‘If this is so bad and costs so much money, why do people continue to do it?’” Henson asked, stating a common question she heard among local SWAT participants. “They didn’t understand addiction and why it can be so hard for people to stop using tobacco products.” A prevention specialist at Oklahoma City’s Eagle Ridge Institute, a nonprofit providing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs and youth mentoring, Henson explained the organization’s goal is to prevent youth from ever trying tobacco products and other dangerous substances. Through Eagle Wings, elementary and middle school students hear about the effects of tobacco but also discuss tobacco companies’ advertising, which is often geared toward minors. According to the Campaign for TobaccoFree Kids, the tobacco industry pumps $172.8 million worth of advertising into Oklahoma each year. Currently, 27,300 Sooner State high school students smoke and an estimated 3,300 minors a year become daily smokers. “We talk about the advertising, which targets youth to get them hooked to their products and become lifelong customers,” Henson said. “When youth are aware the message by the tobacco companies is specific to them — for the purpose of getting their money for a lifetime — it is impactful.” Henson reviewed this year’s Synar report and interpreted the results two ways. Tobacco prevention efforts must increase to reach youth, and more education efforts are needed to inform business owners and clerks of the laws and penalties. In Oklahoma, it is unlawful to sell cigarettes, vapor products, cigarette rolling papers, cigars, bidis, snuff, chewing tobacco and any other tobacco product to individuals under the age of 18. Under state law, the ABLE commission requires storeowners to post signs reading, “It’s the law. We do not sell tobacco products to persons under the age of 18.” Retailers are required to repeat the laws to employees, who must sign a statement stating they understand the law and promise to abide. Violators face fines of $25 to $200 and possible jail time for the misdemeanor offense. Unpaid fines can result in a revoked tobacco license. “It is important to educate the retailers about selling tobacco to minors,” Henson said. “As Commissioner Terri White points out, some retailers are putting profit before health. We want to make sure the retailers realize sales are monitored and there are consequences in place. But we have to stay on message with our youth. We have to discuss tobacco prevention, tobacco’s effects and what a lifelong addiction can look like.”
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OKCPS students can enroll in Embark’s Haul Pass program. | Photo Gazette / file
Next destination Oklahoma City’s public transit system offers OKCPS students an affordable and flexible alternative to school busing. By Brett Dickerson
As Oklahoma City Public Schools expands student choice with alternative and charter schools, the district’s transportation budget has dwindled due to deep funding and budget cuts enacted earlier this year by the Oklahoma Legislature. That creates a problem. As bus routes are consolidated and schools adjust operating hours, some families now utilize alternative transportation to get their middleand high-school children to school. Embark, the city’s public transit system, is in the third year of offering its Haul Pass program designed to meet that need. Haul Pass offers significantly reduced fare cards and opens its full transit schedule to students enrolled in Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS). “Haul Pass … allows students to attend a school that meets their particular needs without being limited to just their neighborhood school bus schedule,” said Michael Scroggins, Embark public information officer. An Embark-issued Haul Pass photo ID allows qualified riders unlimited use for a $10 monthly fee. Cards are shown and swiped as students board transit buses. OKCPS middle and high school students must first validate Haul Pass applications, available on the website, with a school administrator. Next, they must be submitted in person at Embark’s Downtown Transit Center location at 420 NW Fifth St. A youth ID card is issued with the pass. Learn more and apply at embarkok. com and then click “Use,” then “Programs,” then “Haul Pass” tabs. “Many city transportation systems only allow students to use their student passes on school days and during specific time windows,” Scroggins said. “Our card allows students to use the system … to go anywhere [transit buses run].” 8
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Embark Haul Pass » Valid only for OKCPS students » $10 per month for unlimited use » Valid 30 days from activation date » Requires Embark-issued youth ID » For school, work and leisure use » Apply at Downtown Transit Center location, 420 NW Fifth St. » Call 405-235-7433 or visit embarkok.com/use/programs/ haul-pass
In its first year, Embark reached out to Emerson High School, the district’s oldest alternative school. Its student population’s needs are diverse, as it includes nontraditional and working students and young parents, among others. The Haul Pass program proved popular and successful, and OKCPS administration and Embark’s governing board approved expanding the program districtwide. “Since the program’s launch, we have issued 1,563 Haul Passes,” said Megan White, Embark marketing director. Many Embark buses also feature Wi-Fi, and White said it allows access for many Haul Pass users who might not have internet access at home. Also, the access saves students time by allowing them to work on homework while riding to and from school or work. “What students found in the pilot year and since is that the bus system is safe and reliable,” Scroggins said. “We think that if they learn the advantages of public transportation early in their lives, they will continue to do so into the future.”
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Erin Risley-Baird talks about a recent grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities. | Photo Emmy Verdin
Oklahoma recently received a grant to study apprenticeship development.
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One hundred occupations are identified as “critical” to Oklahoma’s future, according to Oklahoma’s Office of Economic and Workforce Policy. Forty-one of those 100 jobs require associate degrees or higher to attain. Fifty-nine others can be attained through vocational, career tech and onthe-job training, shows the office’s study Oklahoma’s Ecosystems: Accelerating the Growth of the State’s Economic Prosperity. In fact, 48 of those 59 occupations can be filled by some form of on-the-job training. That’s where Erin Risley-Baird, executive director of Oklahoma’s Office of Workforce Development, enters the process. The office is part of a larger Oklahoma Works initiative launched several years ago by Gov. Mary Fallin. Oklahoma Works is a coalition of state agencies, businesses, training schools and other groups that connects job-seekers, employers and employees with available training, information and programs. In short, the initiative facilitates earning and employment opportunities between jobseekers and businesses. The state Office of Workforce Development recently received a $200,000 accelerator grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to study state career tech and apprenticeship programs, interact with leadership of critical organizations and state agencies and develop a plan to create more apprenticeship programs. “Our hope is that we can identify specific apprenticeships to expand,” RisleyBaird said. “We want [to find] new avenues that we could explore for creating a new apprenticeship opportunity that fits in with the industry that we have in Oklahoma.” She said the goal is to help train people while they’re employed while aiding Oklahoma employers as they expand their skilled workforces.
“It’s not just for getting them in the door,” she said, “but getting them the skills they need and then getting them to be loyal and have that professional development opportunity.” The funds are from the first round of U.S. Department of Labor grants awarded as part of its ApprenticeshipUSA program, which promotes apprentice training. “There’s a big push by the [U.S. Department of Labor] under the Obama administration to get apprenticeships out there,” Risley-Baird said. “They’re putting a lot of money where their mouth is. It’s definitely in tune with what we are trying to do in Oklahoma.” In 2016, U.S. Department of Labor committed $90 million with the goal to “double and diversify” apprenticeships by 2018. Of those funds, $60 million is committed to state initiatives developed with accelerator grants, like the one Oklahoma received. The other $30 million will be awarded to industry partners to diversify U.S. apprenticeship programs. The U.S. Department of Labor identified 1,800 jobs as being of a sort that can be entered by those who undergo an apprenticeship rather than classroom training outside the workplace. “All of the numbers are telling us that we will get nowhere unless we can get people more educated,” Risley-Baird said. “And by educated I mean credentialed in some way.” She said with the state’s unemployment rate steadily rising, especially after oil prices fell, there is a large need to give more people a new avenue into the workforce. Risely-Baird’s office is now developing a plan it hopes will allow the state to win a larger U.S. Department of Labor implementation grant.
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Dino Lalli and Jenifer Reynolds cohost last year’s honors. | Photo Keep Oklahoma Beautiful / provided
Beautiful calling Nominations are now open for Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s annual Environmental Excellence Competition. By Christine Eddington
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, the state branch of Keep America Beautiful, was founded 51 years ago with a mission to empower residents to preserve and enhance the state’s natural beauty and its sustainable resources, said Keep Oklahoma Beautiful spokeswoman Natalie Sacket. Community groups, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that exemplify this mission can be nominated for Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s annual Environmental Excellence Competition through Aug. 8. Winners are announced at the organization’s Nov. 17 banquet. The organization encourages hands-on engagement through programs like Great American Cleanup, America Recycles Day, community improvement workshops, End Litter Video Contest and its annual Environmental Excellence Competition. “We celebrate innovative community efforts to uphold our mission,” Sacket said. This year’s awards feature nine nomination categories: law enforcement, KOB youth awards, business, collegiate effort, K-12 educators/educational institutions, government programs, nonprofits, volunteer group and affiliate champion. “The criteria for the awards include going above and beyond to keep Oklahoma clean and green,” Sacket said. Last year, Covanta Energy Tulsa earned one of the competition’s highest honors, the Towering Spirit Award, for the second year. Covanta Energy Tulsa specializes in sustainable waste management solutions. “In 2014, our nomination and win were the result of a partnership Covanta formed with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics designed to help fight Oklahoma’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” said Matt Newman, Covanta Tulsa director of business management. Years ago, OBN Director Darrell Weaver formulated a plan to create secure drop
boxes where residents could safely dispose of prescription medicines they no longer needed. The drop boxes could be placed at every police station in the state. “We heard about this and thought, ‘Great, but what are they going to do with the drugs?’” Newman said. “So we ... offered to have the drugs brought under armed guard to Covanta, where we would throw them into our boilers for free. ... And we said, ‘Let’s put boxes in all 175 precincts.’” Since the program’s summer 2012 launch, more than 100,000 pounds of unused medication has been destroyed. In 2015, Covanta helped solve another environmental challenge: helping people recycle old-fashioned dial thermostats after companies like OG&E replaced them via free, energy-saving programs. “Programs like Smart Hours are great for energy savings, but they inadvertently created the problem of tens of thousands of old thermostats, which contain mercury, going into our landfills,” Newman said. Mercury exposure is tied to cognitive and neurological damage. Covanta formed a partnership with Thermostat Recycling Corporation, Locke Supply and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). “Now every welcome packet from OG&E’s Smart Hours comes with information about safe recycling of old thermostats,” Newman said. “Locke Supply provides collection bins at its locations.” Newman looks forward to Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s annual awards luncheon each year. “Everyone is doing such good stuff all around the state,” he said. “It’s wonderful and inspirational to see so many great people doing really great things for the environment.” Learn more at keepoklahomabeautiful. com/award-categories. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
It might be time to check your wieners. Oklahoma-based Bar-S Foods Company announced in July that it was recalling more than 372,000 pounds of its chicken and pork franks and frozen corn dog products. The company cited fear of listeria contamination as reason for the callback. Among the recalled items are various packages of franks marked with a use-by date of Oct. 10-11 and corn dog packages with use-by dates between April 6 and 9, 2017. A release from the United States Department of Agriculture on the recall said listeria “can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.” A report from Time.com says the company had not yet received test results confirming listeria when the recall was issued but had concerns about “recurring Listeria species issues at the firm.” Bar-S has production plants in Altus, Clinton, Lawton and Seminole and a distribution center in Elk City. There are a lot of foods Americans eat without thinking twice, but hot dogs possibly contaminated with listeria should not be added to that list. It might be a good idea to check out the packaging on your franks before firing up the grill this summer. Go to bar-s.com for specific recall details.
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Captain America was here in OKC! No, really. He was. He has been visiting cities all over the country since 2009, raising money for veterans. You just thought he was busy filming blockbuster movies for Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment. He’s really good at illusions like that. The patriotic superhero — also known as Allen Mullins from Dalton, Georgia — celebrated walking his 80,000th mile when he planted his soldier boots onto OKC soil in mid July. He told NewsOn6.com that he has walked through some rough areas of the country and was even arrested a few times. According to The La Grande Observer, Mullins accepts donations on behalf of local veterans and uses the money to do things like rent homeless veterans hotel rooms.
After sustained annual budget reductions and this year’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall tackled Oklahoma, public school districts are losing classes, teachers and something even more important to average taxpayers: football coaches. As Fort Smith, Arkansas, TV station FFSM reported, coaches are crossing the border from Oklahoma to Arkansas to earn
more money. Roland Public Schools superintendent Randy Wood said he doesn’t blame the coach who left his school for seeking a better payday. “Oklahoma teachers and coaches haven’t had a raise since 2008, 2007, nine years, so when you can make a short move as close as we are to the border and make $10,000 as a teacher, $20,000 as a coach, that’s kind of a no-brainer,” Wood told KFSM. It’s a call so obvious, even a football coach could make it. And Roland isn’t the only district losing pigskin professors. Last year, Poteau High School football coach Greg Werner left to lead the Pointers
in Van Buren, Arkansas, and McAlester High School’s Bryan Pratt left for Bentonville. This year, Mike Loyd departed Grove to head up Rogers High School’s football team and former Tulsa University and Tulsa Union High School coach Bill Blankenship made his way to Fayetteville. Werner said the mass exodus from Oklahoma schools will continue as long as Arkansas offers better pay. “If we have a job opening in Van Buren, half the applicants will be from Oklahoma,” he told the TV station. “You hate to say it’s just money, but the money
is better. The benefits are better. The retirement system is better and just the fact that it’s a more certain situation than what it is in Oklahoma.” If the prospect of our Friday Night Lights dimming doesn’t spur action by Oklahoma legislators, it’ll be fourth down for even more Oklahoma athletic programs next season.
If binge-watching Orange Is the New Black has taught us anything, it’s that the justice system isn’t great or fair, especially for drug offenders. Oklahoma might do something to remedy that a little bit. If passed, State Question 780 would “reduce simple drug possession in Oklahoma to a misdemeanor,” KOCO.com reported. However, Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha, is firmly against it. Oh no! An Oklahoma representative is against something! Stop the presses! Or just consider it another normal day in a notoriously red state. Biggs believes the measure would cause increases in crime and danger. According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 10 percent of prisoners in Oklahoma are jailed for possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Just last year, Oklahoma corrections director
Robert Patton told lawmakers the state’s prison system is over capacity and dangerously understaffed. While reducing the number of drug offenders in Oklahoma prisons would obviously have a significant impact, Biggs remains unconvinced. “We don’t need to be the guinea pig for these liberal ideals that put the public at risk,” Biggs told KOCO 5. Biggs believes SQ 780 would make “Oklahoma the most liberal in the country when it comes to drug laws” and has requested an interim study to compare Oklahoma’s drug laws to other states, KOCO.com reported.
occurrence in Dallas. “Those five heroes last night didn’t expect that to be their last shift. Every day, we have law enforcement officers across the country and here in this county that put on a uniform and go out to protect our citizens, never knowing whether that’s their last shift or not,” Whetsel told News 9. These officers are thanked for their actions in a time when they are faced with violence and the unknown during every shift. It’s things like this we need in our media, promoting random acts of kindness and the common good.
In the wake of the Dallas shootings in June, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office recently received a nony mous thank-you notes. The notes showed up on Oklahoma police vehicles and on the office’s front entrance. They read, “Praying for police officers everywhere. Your lives matter! Thank you for your service. God bless you all.” It was a positive act in exchange for the horrifying
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NEWS sition. I would like to know Melissa McLawhorn Houston’s salary as Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor (News, “Public servant,” Laura Eastes, June 29, Gazette). She said she doesn’t believe in “gotcha” regulations, but that’s what OSHA is all about. Most Oklahoma politicians and plutocrats are in it only for their own enrichment. Most real journalism includes data from the other side. Thomas L. Furlong Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to email@example.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.
In response to the commentary on KD syndrome (Opinion, Commentary, “KD syndrome: Can we get over it?” Robin Meyers, July 20, Oklahoma Gazette), very simply, bravo! What is the matter with people that they are more concerned about the professional athlete making millions of dollars than the culture in which they live? Is this culture solely defined by its professional teams? The worst thing about it, Oklahoma is not the only state in dire straights financially, with the same issues and obsessions. This is a national problem. Mary Jo Fleming Oklahoma City
Fraction action? Although math has never been my strong suit, I decided to some
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Jesus saves? calculating after noticing how many earthquakes were popping up here in Blanchard, U.S.A., population 8049, size 11.1 square miles. In the U.S., 41 earthquakes were reported in one day on earthquaketrack. com. Five of those were in Oklahoma, giving us 8 percent of the action. That’s 342 across the U.S. in a week versus 38 in Oklahoma (11 percent), or 1,411 a month in the U.S. and 107 in Oklahoma (8 percent) and 22,209 annually in the U.S. to 2,806 in Oklahoma (13 percent). Of those 2,806 Oklahoma quakes in a year, 417 were here in Blanchard, giving us a whopping 14 percent of the action. Looking at the bigger picture, Blanchard has 2 percent of the nation’s yearly quakes.
Take that, Calfornia! Vice-Mayor Michael Scalf has encouraged the citizenry to write to Oklahoma Corporation Commission to express their concern, suspecting the quakes to be related to a recent well in city limits drilled by Newfield Exploration Corporation. So if you want to feel the earth move under your feet, c’mon down! Janine Sotomayor Blanchard
The former mayor of Edmond said she had a real heart for public service. I would as well if I were being paid a quarter of a million dollars annually to head the TSET program in a brand-new, just created po-
Too bad a Dallas racist probably shot the good, justice-loving cops protecting the black crowd instead of the bully corrupt cops. America needs to return to the God of love, the Savior of red, brown, yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the unborn and grown-up children of the world. Time to go back to the ’50s with a rifle in the back window of every pickup truck. When President Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots,” I don’t think he had in mind good cops, and I doubt if he would consider racist terrorists as patriots. Michael Moberly Oklahoma City
EAT & DRINK After Keith joined the team, he phased out made-ahead meatloaf and replaced it with dishes that have broad appeal, like the pan-seared salmon the restaurant served in June during Oklahoma City Restaurant Week. Herb-crusted fish is served over a bed of sautéed spinach, quinoa and asparagus and reflects his passion for cooking seafood. Wilson said the dish was a hit during Restaurant Week, which served as a test run for the new concept.
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Head chef Keith Frank prepares pan-seared salmon at E.S. Founder’s restaurant. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Founder’s father With new chef Frank Keith at the helm, E.S. Founder’s inside Embassy Suites is looking to become a dining destination. By Greg Elwell | Photos Garett Fisbeck
The staff at the new Embassy Suites hotel downtown has no illusions about how the public generally thinks of hotel food. “There are definitely a couple of challenges,” said sales and marketing director Tasha Houck. “First, there’s the perception of quality.” That has made the relaunch of E.S. Founder’s, the restaurant inside the hotel at 741 N. Phillips Ave., an interesting experience. That’s one reason Houck and restaurant manager Josh Wilson are so excited about the menu introduced last week by new head chef Frank Keith.
Though he most recently worked as head chef at Whiskey Cake, Keith’s first kitchen job was for famed Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans. “He was a great teacher,” he said. “He was one of the most patient chefs I’ve ever worked with.” Perhaps the most important lesson he learned was about mise en place, the French term meaning “everything in its place.” Mise en place is the art of having everything someone needs ready before they start cooking, and in a job where Keith cooks for parties of four and banquets of 400, it’s a vital skill, he said. “It’s all in the prep work,” he said. “If you’re not ready, the guests will notice.”
Instead, Keith hopes guests notice that his dishes are fresh and approachable.
Keith knows the new menu has to walk a very fine line. It needs to be familiar enough for anyone to feel comfortable ordering lunch or dinner, but also different enough that people choose to eat there. What he has hit upon is a subtle nod to his experience with Prudhomme, adding unexpected flourishes of flavor to traditional dishes. His chili-poached shrimp presents as a fairly straightforward shrimp cocktail, but the draw is in the details. The zing of cocktail sauce and the mild sweetness of large, perfectly cooked shrimp is a favorite for a reason. But Keith’s addition of an avocado salsa below a layer of smoked tomato cocktail sauce gives each bite a different dimension. Poaching the shrimp with peppers imbues each tender bite with mild spice, making the appetizer irresistibly delicious. Another favorite addition is Black and Blue Quesadillas, partly because Keith said he can eat one while standing. While convenience is important for a chef on the go, he has also made some changes to keep what could be a ho-hum appetizer interesting. Chicken is blackened to add spice and then folded in with cheddar, mozzarella
and blue cheese and onion marmalade. “It’s spicy and sweet with a hint of red onion and the saltiness of blue cheese,” he said.
Though E.S. Founder’s is geared toward restaurant diners, part of Keith’s job is feeding large groups who are staying or meeting at the hotel. “You have to be able to simplify your ideas,” he said. Putting together quality plates of food for any size group requires planning, skill and dedication. He cooked for large groups at Whiskey Cake, but Embassy Suites further elevates the concept. Keith is still dedicated to using fresh products and receives fresh produce six days a week rather than stocking kitchen pantries with shelf-stable ingredients. That is what toppled meatloaf, one of the fledgling restaurant’s biggest sellers, off the menu.
It can be hard enough to run one successful business, much less two under the same roof, but Houck said Embassy Suites’ secret weapon is its location. With quick access to interstates 235 and 40, the hotel brings in plenty of regional visitors. Proximity to Bricktown is another selling point for guests. “It’s a very approachable area. We get that from all ages,” Houck said. “It’s an easy place to come for a drink before you go down to Bricktown.” Guests from rural areas are sometimes intimidated with the bustle of the city’s entertainment districts, so Embassy Suites offers free shuttle rides within a five-mile radius of the hotel. There was also a summer “staycation” special for people looking to get away without going very far, she said. And that’s a draw for the restaurant, too. Being so close to the State Capitol and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Houck said people visit for low-stress lunches or after-work drinks. Still, without a sign out front or a hostess stand inside, it can be challenging for people to find E.S. Founder’s. Part of the draw of hiring Keith as head chef is that when people do make their way to the restaurant, they will remember it. “We wanted an affordable, approachable and forward-thinking menu,” Houck said. “And with his banquet experience, Frank really is the best of both worlds.” After the staff has the new menu down, Keith said he will roll out daily specials and work on dishes that might become the restaurant’s next menu.
Pan-seared salmon | Photo Garett Fisbeck
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EAT & DRINK
Barbecue rescue Almost 30 years after leaving the restaurant business, Marvin Preston finds new life on the grill. By Greg Elwell | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Marvin Preston was about 22 years old when he opened his first restaurant. His father owned a barbecue restaurant when Preston was growing up, and when Preston was old enough to strike out on his own, he did. “I opened one and it did well, so I opened another,” he said. “But I was too young to know what I had.” He left the restaurant business behind and sold cars. He sold medical supplies. He toiled his way into management positions and sustained himself with decades of hard work. So when Preston told his friends and colleagues he was leaving to own and operate a barbecue restaurant, he got some funny looks. At some point, he said, a man can’t live his life just to make more money; he has to do something he loves, something that makes him happy. That’s how the 50-year-old ended up at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 2800 NW 63rd St., Suite 500.
While considering where to open his restaurant, Preston discovered a franchise location in trouble. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is a massive, Texas-based, national chain with more than 500 locations, but the establishment at French Market shopping center was struggling. “My business partner and I went in Undercover Boss style,” he said. The pair wanted to find out why the location wasn’t earning money, so for weeks they often ate lunch and dinner there as they examined processes and how employees and customers interacted. “They were reheating stuff,” Preston said. “They would carry it over three or four days before tossing it out.” Changing the food wouldn’t be difficult, he said, but winning back customers
who had sub-par experiences would be more challenging.
“I try to follow [Dickey’s] protocol, but I smoke the meat my way,” he said. The franchise’s name might be on the sign, but Preston said the restaurant is his. When they took over the store in November, he began blending Dickey’s products with his own. “I own this store. This is how I want to do it,” he said. That means his sole smoking wood is hickory and he uses the same smoker his father used in his restaurant 30 years ago. The technology to make great barbecue might have added bells and whistles over the last few decades, but all Preston needs is good wood, top-quality meat and patience. “Any fruit wood is good, but there’s something about that hickory smell,” he said. All the meats are marinated for 24 hours before they see the heat. “Brisket and pork are slow-smoked for 13 hours at 225 degrees,” he said. “The ribs take three and a half hours at 250 degrees.” The results are tender meats with a deep, sweet and smoky aroma suffused in every bite.
combination, Preston said, with sales up 75 percent over the previous owner’s and a growing number of customer testimonials. However, the real proof of success is in repeat business. Preston said he sees the same guests returning time and again, and he keeps introducing them to different dishes and sides to keep them from getting burned out on one dish. In addition to the usual pork and beef barbecue, Dickey’s serves smoked turkey — a mild meat that really soaks up the flavor of the smoke — and a chicken that Preston calls “out of this world.” “We have great baked potatoes loaded with meat,” he said. “Even our salads are great. The chicken Caesar salad sells well.”
Meat might be the main draw for a barbecue joint, but Preston knows the way to lock in a customer is with great sides and desserts. His favorite combination is a two-meat plate with ribs and brisket, a serving of his wife’s baked beans, baked potato casserole and pickles and onions on the side. For dessert, he turns to his mother-inlaw, who makes pies and banana pudding. “My mother-in-law makes a worldfamous banana pudding,” he said. “We sell a ton of it.” It has quickly turned into a winning
Owner Marvin Preston slices brisket at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
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Though he goes his own way on some recipes, Preston does appreciate the support Dickey’s provides with new products. “They’ve added tacos and sliders,” he said. “There are a bunch of different delivery systems to get barbecue to your mouth.” It’s fun to watch customers order a big batch of barbecue tacos and do “the hunch,” Preston said. It’s gratifying to see people who love the food so much they can’t wait to take the next bite. Preston is already working on opening up a new restaurant in Yukon, though he said it won’t be another franchise. At 22, he might not have known what he had, but these days, he’s happy to spend his time cooking food people love.
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b rie f s By Greg Elwell
Hooters along the Bricktown Canal closed in July. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
July was the last month for Hooters in Bricktown, 111 E. California St. One of the original eateries along the downtown canal, Hooters survived many comings and goings since it opened in 2001. “Hooters is planning to relocate to another location in or around Oklahoma City within the next year,” said Hooters of America senior vice president of global development Mark Whittle. “We hope our longtime guests and employees can be a part of another Hooters family very soon.” The wait for a new restaurant might be long, but fans of Hooters wings and scantily clad waitresses still have Oklahoma City options — the restaurants at 3025 Northwest Expressway and 2019 W. Interstate 240 remain open.
Photo Greg Elwell
“It’s almost there, brother.” While flipping his famous burgers (with cheese and everything) at Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Justin “Nic” Nicholas discussed the imminent opening of his second restaurant. Nic’s Place, a two-story diner and lounge, opens soon in Midtown at 1116 N. Robinson Ave. Most of the venue is complete, with just a few mechanical issues and inspections necessary before it can open. “It looks as sweet as any place there is,” Nicholas said. Once inspections are done and staff is hired, he said he will open “when it feels right.” Midtown hosts plentiful competitors, including The R&J Lounge and Supper Club, Packard’s New American Kitchen, Irma’s Burger Shack, Louie’s and The Garage Burgers & Beer. But Nicholas said he thinks his eatery will be a help more than a hindrance. He hopes to bring new customers to Midtown. “I just do the best I can do and let it fall where it does,” he said. “The only real competition is competing with yourself.”
FREE THAI DUMPLINGS WITH PURCHASE OF AN ENTRÉE
Expires 12/31/16. Free 2pcs. Thai dumplings for appetizer with the purchase of an adult entree. Limit one per table/per visit. Not valid for alcohol sales. Not valid for online orders. Not valid with other offers or discounts. Taxes no included. No cash value. Offer valid at participating restaurant only.
1333 N. SaNta Fe, edmoNd #123 | 405-471-6587 SaLa tHaI | 1614 NW 23rd, OKC | 405.528.8424 taSte oF tHaI | 1801 S. Air depOt, MWC | 405.732.1519
Once former Oklahoma City Thunder baller Kevin Durant decided to make his way to California, the survival of Kd’s Southern Cuisine (pictured), 224 Johnny Bench Drive, became extremely unlikely. By the time the venue closed July 24, Hal Smith Restaurants, which partnered with the basketball superstar to open the eatery, had announced plans to reopen after Labor Day as a new concept. Much of the menu, including the restaurant’s much-loved fried chicken, will stay the same, but other changes are still in the works. “Our restaurant has become a tradition for many in our community for an evening out or to celebrate a special occasion, which is an honor we don’t take lightly,” said founder and CEO Hal Smith. “We know our guests, we listen to them and we think they’ll be really pleased with this transition.” The staff, which was given the option to maintain restaurant positions with pay until the venue reopens, are also likely pleased with the transition. A new name and other details should be announced later this month. Photo Gazette / file
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EAT & DRINK
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Wackymaki roll | Photo Garett Fisbeck
An immaculate dining room and fresh ingredients await visitors at The Sushi Bar.
By Greg Elwell | Photos Garett Fisbeck
Growing up without cable, I watched a lot of unsuccessful comedies on local broadcast stations. One of my favorites is Richard Pryor’s Brewster’s Millions. Tasked with spending $30 million in 30 days, his character asks a woman to keep redecorating a room in a hotel until he finally tells her, “Marilyn, this is the room I could die in.” I found the room I could die in without spending nearly $30 million. It’s in The Sushi Bar, 6432 W. Memorial Road. This is the restaurant’s second location, but it’s the more beautiful spot by a country mile. (The original is at 1201 NW 178th St. in Edmond.) The dining room is open and well-lit, especially during the day, when sunshine filters through the windows for a natural but not overwhelming bright feeling. In addition to the usual sushi bar with pull-up seating, there’s a giant round table for diners to sit, shoeless, in the traditional style with tatami mats and enough space for parties of eight to 12 who want a classic Japanese experience. Honestly, there didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house, regardless of the number of your dining companions. Baja California roll | Photo Garett Fisbeck
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The first dish delivered to the table was agedashi tofu ($6). If you want a light way to start your meal, this is a good choice. Silken tofu is cut into cubes, rolled in starch, fried to a strawlike gold and served in a dish with tempura dipping sauce. It’s more of a textural dish than a flavorful one. The crust has a mild crispiness while the tofu is so tender teeth nearly glide through it. Be sure to roll it around in the sauce at the bottom of the dish, which is where most of the flavor is hidden. The miso soup ($2) also is quite light but satisfying. For me, it’s almost not a sushi experience without miso soup. But The Sushi Bar saves the biggest flavors for its namesake. The restaurant offers plenty of fried rolls and rolls made with cooked ingredients, in case you’re averse to eating raw fish. By this point, it seems like most people would be used to the idea of raw fish in sushi, but this is Oklahoma and we are a landlocked state. If you only eat cooked fish, this menu is friendly territory. Speaking of friendly, the Baja California roll ($7) is what some might call beginner’s sushi. But the great thing about a California roll is that it is popular
from caramelized onions with a jammy sweetness that doesn’t The Sushi Bar overpower the other ingredients and serves as a counterbal6432 W. Memorial Road thesushibarokc.com | 405-470-8123 ance to the honey mustard ginger dressing served on top of What works: The restaurant is beautiful it. and the fish is of great quality. Veggie rolls can be extremeWhat needs work: Some of the fried rolls ly simple — a cucumber roll or need a better flavor balance. an avocado roll are just $4 — and they add heft to a meal Tip: The Triple-Bypass roll filled with fried pepper-jack and cream cheeses is one to rather than flavor. The Master share with a large group. Room roll is light on calories, generous with flavor and probably pretty healthy all around. and ubiquitous for a reason. Less healthy are tempura-fried rolls, Inside the rice and seaweed are crabincluding J’s Special roll and Wackymaki sticks (a mishmash of cooked fish colored a roll ($9 each), which are dipped in batter, vague, crablike pink), cucumbers and dropped into the fryer until golden brown, avocado — classic flavors that won’t really and then sliced into bite-sized portions. offend anyone, regardless of palate. On top, I had high hopes for Wackymaki, stuffed the chef drizzles spicy mayo, wasabi mayo with smoked salmon, jalapeños and and masago (tiny orange fish eggs). avocado, but the flavor of the fish and the In sushi terms, this is comfort food. The heat of the pepper seemed smothered by sauce gives each bite a little added pop while the tempura and the sweet sauce drizzled the filling has a bit of crunch and chew for on top. texture. If you’re looking for smoked salmon The vegetarian-friendly Master Room flavor, a better choice is the Philadelphia roll ($10) was a favorite if only for the roll ($8), an American sushi classic. Smoked unique blend of flavors missing from some salmon, avocado and cream cheese are other rolls. Inside each piece, diners disrolled up in rice and seaweed. It’s a great cover a base of marinated shiitake mushselection for someone who might be nervous rooms paired with kaiware (sprouts from about trying sushi or who, like me, loves the the daikon radish), asparagus, cucumber flavor combination. J’s Special roll was better with a filling and romaine lettuce. The big flavor comes
of baked eel, avocado, cream cheese and crabstick. If it seems like a lot of these have avocado and cream cheese in them, they do. With a squirt of spicy mayo and sweet sauce on top, J’s Special roll was more balanced than Wackymaki, but it was still kind of heavy. If you want a meal that won’t weigh so heavily, stick to the fresh rolls menu. A pretty straightforward example is Hatori Hanzo roll ($9), which pairs fried calamari with spicy tuna and asparagus.
The flavors were good, but to my palate, the mix of chewy calamari and the macerated tuna was an odd one. A dining room alone does not make a restaurant outstanding, but the care in the design of The Sushi Bar is reflected in its food presentation, attentive service and quality of the fish. It’s a menu and a space sushi fans will want to explore.
Master Room roll | Photo Garett Fisbeck
e th t a Be summer heat by stopping in for Whiskey Cake’s
Boozy Ice Cream Social. We are offering Real Beer Floats with Roxy’s Ice Cream Social Vanilla Ice Cream and Founder’s Brewery for $5! The Real Beer Floats will be flowing August 12th from 5:30-8:30 all summer long! O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
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The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and home is where the heart is ... so the best way to get home is through food? Look, this is a newspaper, not an algebra textbook. All we know is Oklahoma City has plenty of restaurants that used to be houses, so make yourself right at home in a few of these residential eateries. By Greg Elwell Photos Garett Fisbeck
Jamil’s Steakhouse 4910 N. Lincoln Blvd. jamilssteakhouseokc.com 405-525-8352
For more than 50 years, Jamil’s Steakhouse has been the sole resident of a two-story house on N. Lincoln Boulevard. Originally opened by Jim “Jamil” Elias, it was given to his nephew Greg Gawey in 1976 under the condition that it remain open another five years. Well, it has been a bit more than that. For some of the finest broiler steaks at the best prices in the city, you should call a booth at Jamil’s home.
Pho Cuong Restaurant 3016 N. Classen Blvd. 405-524-5045
If it weren’t for the neon open sign in the window, people might still mistake the little blue-green house on Classen Boulevard as somebody’s domicile. But local slurp enthusiasts know it as Pho Cuong, home to some of the finest Vietnamese beef and noodle soups around. Get comfortable in a cozy booth and enjoy a plate of freshly fried pork egg rolls and some pho tai nam gau full of fatty brisket, eye round and flank steak.
5805 NW 50th • Warr acres • 603.3997 2106 sW 47th • OKc • 601.2629 OpeN 7 days a WeeK Sunday-ThurSday 11am-8pm • Friday & SaTurday 11am-9pm 20
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J. Bruner’s at The Haunted House 7101 Miramar Blvd. jbruners.com | 405-478-1417
How haunted is J. Bruner’s at The Haunted House? That depends on who you ask. The late owners, Art and Marian Thibault, purchased it at auction in 1964 after the deaths of owner Martin Carriker, shot by a .22 caliber rifle, his ex-wife Clara Carriker and his stepdaughter Margaret Pearson (who was acquitted of Martin’s murder). The venue has plenty of history from which new owner Patrick Boylan and head chef and general manager Cally Johnson can draw.
New Owner & New Menu
8027 NW 23rd • Bethany • 405.789.7111
Sara Sara Cupcakes
7 NW Ninth St. sarasarabakery.com | 405-600-9494 Ninth Street’s growing dining and retail hotspot just off Broadway Avenue used to be a little neighborhood with a few twostory houses right by the railroad tracks. One of those is where Sara Sara Cupcakes (and Pierre Pierre Crêperie) set up shop. You’ll be inundated with flavor combinations, both sweet and savory, but be sure to try one of the restaurant’s signature cupshakes, a cupcake blended into chocolate or vanilla ice cream.
El Fogón de Edgar 2416 NW 23rd St. 405-602-6497
The Stove of Eddie doesn’t have quite the same flair as El Fogón de Edgar, but no matter what you call it, this colorful little house is home to some vibrant Colombian food. The layout is familiar to anyone who has lived in an older house and includes a window to the kitchen from which you’ll often see the chef wave. This restaurant came by its “lived-in” feel naturally, which makes it easier to have a bite and relax.
820 N. MacArthur Blvd. castlefalls.com | 405-942-6133 Anyone wanting a fairytale setting for dinner can thank World War I soldier Bill Blecha for bringing home a dream from his time abroad. He and wife Opal built and lived in Blecha Kastle, inspired by the castles he saw in Europe. Years later, the magic continues as the residence was transformed into Castle Falls, a two-story restaurant featuring a continental European menu with American influences.
Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria
1226 NE 63rd St. gabriellasokc.com | 405-478-4955 Long before Gabriella’s offered customers the flavor of classic homemade Italian cuisine, the building was a speakeasy with a shady past, including the discovery of a body in the servants’ quarters. Formerly Lincoln Tavern and Kentucky Club in the 1920s and ’30s, the spot was probably best known to modern residents as barbecue restaurant County Line until Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria came along to revive the classic venue.
beat the heat with a
Thai Tea Learn to Brew
lunch buffet - M-F |11am-2pm
6900 N May • OKC • 286-9505 2307 S. I-35 • MOOre • 793-Beer (2337)
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It’s time to go back to school. Whether that’s college for yourself or grade school for your kids, Oklahoma City offers countless options for finding stylish and affordable fashion, fitness gear or even day planners or class organizers. Oklahoma’s sales tax holiday runs 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Sunday, and qualified items are exempt from local and state taxes. Visit ok.gov/tax for more information and tax-exempt items. By Gazette staff | Photos Garett Fisbeck
200A SE 8th St. • Moore • 912-4450 forrestfireplaces.com
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KC’s #1 Explore O age Shop Vint
• Keedo Kids Clothes
12100 N. May Ave. facebook.com/keedokids 405-607-0887 This kid-friendly boutique recently completed store renovations and is centrally located inside Northpark Mall. It offers cute and quirky Native and Mini Melissa kids shoes, Ella Moss rompers, Vera Bradley bags and is OKC’s only location to find ethically sourced, global-inspired Tea Collection youth fashions, including boys, girls and infant clothing sets.
essories Clothing • Accot Records & hesr curious good
• Lush Fashion Lounge
in the Plaza 1759 NW 16th • Oklahoma City • 405-528-4585 Open Tues-Sat 12-7 • Like us on Facebook
art classes, jewelry, crafts, handmade art, furniture, gifts with an edge! fOllOW us! 5924 NW 38th | OklahOma City
• AMP Variety
7429 N. May Ave. ampvariety.com 405-843-2330 American Made Products, or AMP Variety, offers exactly what you’d expect. Father-daughter team John and Melanie Seward sell only high-quality, American-made goods, from sustainably made JadeYoga mats to Duke Cannon Supply Co. men’s beauty soaps (Ahem, Big Ass Brick of Soap, anyone?), Duluth Pack handcrafted totes, purses, backpacks, book bags and more. 22
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14101 N. May Ave. lushfashionlounge.com 405-936-0680 Lush Fashion Lounge staff has spirit, yes they do, they have spirit, how ’bout you? The local shop and its employees offer forward-thinking fashion and plenty of state and college pride. Grab a Sooner Schooner ringer shirt for the kids or a Cowboys minidress for you. You’ll also find “Okie” trucker caps, “Okie bro” men’s tees and gameday looks that show your pride in the Sooners, Pokes, Thunder, Bronchos, Oklahoma City and more. Plus, if you’re looking for on-trend jeans in multiple colors, Lush sells those, too.
Nancy Farha’s Women’s Clothing and Accessories
Casady Square Shopping Center 9207 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 405-235-7848 Teachers, professors and parents deserve quality fashion, too. This longtime local retailer recently moved to Casady Square
Shopping Center and celebrated its grand re-opening Monday. It served the community for almost 30 years at its former location inside First National Center and faced the move to its new location after the property was sold to developers. Nancy’s offers adorable and stylish denim dresses, silver wristwatches, simple yet elegant statement necklaces, decorative yet understated leather handbags, colorful tunics and legwear, classy-casual footwear and more.
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1227 N. Walker Ave. shopmode.fashion 405-601-3895 Layered dresses, spaghetti-strapped rompers, skinny jeans, open-toe booties, ponchos, collared tunics, beaded necklaces and bracelets — mode. keeps you (and your new oversized fringe leather bag, which holds your wallet) fashionable and comfortable. Some of its best-selling items include a statement-making silver coin necklace, Tobey perforated booties and a knee-length, skinny-striped, collared tunic with roll-up tab sleeves. Look at that! We just put together a killer ensemble for around $100. You can, too.
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Key to a spirited life!
• Nearly New
9218 N. Western Ave. facebook.com/nearlynewokc 405-848-4141 This fashion consignment mecca also is an Oklahoma City institution. During the school year, there are always dances, contests, award presentations, friends’ weddings, special events, date nights — finding fashionable, affordable clothing and accessories can be challenging. Make your shopping expedition less troublesome by stopping here first. The family-owned business has served the Oklahoma City metro for over five decades, selling men’s and women’s gently used, high-end fashion, including formalwear, suits, dress shirts, slacks, blazers, boots, ties, jackets and coats and much more. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
A u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m
ARTS & CULTURE
Hugh Meade tells stories from his days working in a porn shop Thursday at The Root. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Double exposure Local artist Hugh Meade turns life experience into performance art with his Shovelin’ Porn show. By Jack Fowler
Like all good storytellers, Hugh Meade show, Shovelin’ Porn, scheduled 8 p.m. knows his A-list material. Thursday at The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave. Spending any amount of time with in Paseo Arts District. The show is a colMeade can test one’s calection of stories about his pacity to retain interesttime working as a night ing information. He has manager at an adult video Shovelin’ Porn scientific stories about and novelty store in his native South Carolina. Saturn’s rings, captivat8 p.m. Thursday Meade said the perforing tidbits from Tunisia The Root in North Africa, fascinatmance grew out of people’s 3012 N. Walker Ave. ing facts on Freud — all understandable curiosity facebook.com/therootokc somehow woven seamwhenever his previous 405-655-5889 work experience would lessly and joyfully into a Free continuous narrative come up. that makes an hourlong discussion feel like a five-minute chat. ‘Larger meaning’ However, when it comes to tall tales “As a storyteller by nature, I get how there from his own life, he knows just where to are lots of great stories about lots of differstart and grabs listeners by the lapels. ent jobs I’ve had, and there are life lessons “There are few experiences that will to be taken from all of them,” Meade said. make you question your place in the world “But the stories people really want to hear like chasing a man down the streets of seemed to come from my time working at Atlanta with his pants full of stolen dildos,” the porn store. It grew out of that and he recently told Oklahoma Gazette. became something that I wanted to shape It’s just another stranger-than-fiction and polish into a performance.” anecdote from his one-man spoken-word The stories are funny, filthy and fasci-
nating. However, Meade said his goal is to weave some truth and perspective into the otherwise bawdy two-hour routine. “Most of it is really funny, obviously,” he said. “It’s just a bizarre place to spend time, and you get all kinds of people coming into a porn store at night. Although a lot of the material is prurient, I hope that the show has some larger meaning for people.”
Meade talked about a Mexican immigrant employee who was charged with cleaning up the store’s “private viewing booths,” a task ranked somewhere between parachute tester and coke mule on most Americans’ lists of dream jobs. “You can imagine what that’s like, if you even want to imagine it,” Meade said. “I can’t think of too many things worse than that, especially if it’s your day-to-day job. “Since I was the only guy who worked there that spoke Spanish, I kind of got to know him after awhile, and he started showing me his letters from home. He showed me the house he was building, showed me pictures of his family that he sent money to every month. He also made three dollars more an hour than everybody else, which, come on, he deserved.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Meade said working around the porn industry also put him in front of some moral questions he hadn’t previously considered. “There was a woman who bought her own video so nobody could see it,” Meade said. “She made some videos when she
was 18, and when it was released, she went around to every single store that carried it and paid full-price for every copy. She was that adamant that she had made a mistake. “I can’t help but think of that as a moral question. If you’re 18 and you sign a contract for anything, it may be something you regret. But the way I looked at an 18-year-old girl when I was 26 and the way I look at one now at 46? There’s a huge difference there. The law says that at 18, you become an adult. But should it be legal to pay an 18-year-old girl to get on camera and fuck a man?”
Despite some of the heavier themes he said he’d like to explore, most of Shovelin’ Porn is a light-hearted affair, and all of it is vintage Meade — a series of fascinating stories, loosely constructed but somehow polished, skipping back and forth between funny and poignant. He’s turning the spoken-word performance into a book and said every show is helping him tighten the narrative before he puts it on the page. “I view the world with a different lens than I did back then, so I do hope that there’s some different elements in the performance that appeal to people. But for the most part, it’s just because people really like these stories,” Meade said. “We made some things that you would just not expect people to put inside themselves.”
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
ARTS & CULTURE
Buy a Ticket. Join the party.
August 9 - 13 Civic Center Music Hall
405.524.9312 LyricTheatreOKC.com Allied Arts | Oklahoma Arts Council | NEA
A u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m
Tune in Classic Radio Theatre’s second season is audio worth watching.
from left Classic Radio Theatre Live! cast members Brett Bower, Michaela Bishop, John Wilson, Jodi Nestander, Bill Brewer, Kris Schinske, Mike Waugh, Randall Kemp and Kent Jones. | Photo Terri Myers / TerriTookIt Photography
and The Great Gildersleeve,” she said. “The fact is, not too many years ago, we didn’t have access to things like this. You used to have to order a tape or something from someone who had them archived.” As people rediscover old-time radio By Greg Elwell programs, she said, they remember their childhoods and learn more about the past. People at Classic Radio shows told Madden When Margie Madden’s mother was a they’d seen Abbott and Costello routines young girl, she had a ritual. Before her faon TV but didn’t realize they originated on vorite radio shows came on, she’d get in her the radio. That’s the magic of the “theater of the pajamas, grab a mug of hot chocolate and mind,” she said. a bowl of popcorn and settle in to listen. With just a few sound effects and voice “There were hundreds of different programs, hundreds of episodes,” Madden actors, a show recreates a world in listeners’ said. “I had no idea there were so many.” imaginations so rich it would cost millions Or she didn’t, at least, before she began to reproduce visually. producing Classic Radio Theatre Live! “There were a lot of really popular sci-fi last year. shows you’d think would cost a fortune to The group performs radio shows from produce on TV,” she said. “And some of the the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s at ACTS Theatre, content’s not really appropriate anymore.” 30 NE 52nd St., and Madden searches for But the ability to listen to the original scripts, transcribes audio and designs the shows yields a lot of material, De Long said. variety of each show. “Before rehearsing, we all go back and “I’m more character-specific now,” she listen for reference,” she said. “If it’s a said. “I look for stuff with more characters known property, like Burns and Allen, you and more female roles. Radio at that time need to have a pretty good impersonation. was predominantly male.” But lesser known shows, you do have some More characters also means actors play dramatic license.” But drama will likely be the last thing more roles, which they love, said director Michelle De Long. on actors’ minds at the all-comedy show, When the troupe started, they worked she said. In the small ACTS Theatre, they with a cast of about 15, but over time, they listen for something only the audience can winnowed it down to about eight actors per provide — laughter. show, De Long said. It’s more efficient, but During a longer, more cerebral piece, the it also allows actors more versatility. audience can become quiet as they concenMost shows mix trate on the plot or solving mystery, science fiction, the mystery, she said. With drama and comedy, but the comedy, the reaction is imAug. 13 event is an all-commediate and visceral. Classic Radio edy showcase. “It’s nice to get laughs Theatre Live! Madden is still choosing and applause,” De Long the shows and putting tosaid. “That’s a pretty good 7 p.m. Aug. 13 drug for an actor.” gether scripts. ACTS Theatre “I think we’ll have a Tickets are $21.67 and 30 NE 52nd St. Rocky Fortune, The Big include complimentary classicradiotheatre.com beer, wine and hors Show, Bob and Ray, Popeye, 405-769-9876 maybe a The Life of Riley d’oeuvres. $21.67
Jon-Philip Olsen is Boolie and Bonnie Lanthripe portrays Daisy in Jewel Box Theatre’s Driving Miss Daisy. | Photo Chuck Tweed / provided
Driving creativity Jewel Box Theatre production director Chuck Tweed celebrates almost four decades with the company with a new season and Driving Miss Daisy. By Keaton Bell
When Chuck Tweed started working at Jewel Box Theatre nearly 39 years ago, there were only 239 season ticketholders. “I’ve done shows where the actors onstage outnumbered the audience,” he said. “But I still think those three people had a wonderful time.” During almost four decades with the theater company, Tweed has helped elevate Jewel Box from those humble beginnings. With more than 2,500 season ticketholders and an increasingly diverse production roster, Jewel Box has developed a reputation as one of the city’s best outlets for local theater. A large part of its success can be attributed to Tweed. The Jewel Box production director helped spearhead some of its biggest and boldest creative projects. For instance, he recently allowed season ticketholders an opportunity to pick the opening show for the new season. The result is Driving Miss Daisy, and it is set to play at Jewel Box Aug. 18-Sept. 11. Written by Alfred Uhry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows a crotchety white Southern woman and her driver, a proud, soft-spoken black man, who develop a special bond that endures for 25 years. Bonnie Lanthripe stars as Daisy and Jon-Philip Olsen portrays her son,
Boolie, in Jewel Box Theatre’s production. “I love the premise of two people on opposite ends of the spectrum who come together by not only forming a friendship, but also a special love for each other that was unheard of back in 1948, when this takes place,” Tweed said. “It’s just an absolutely beautiful play about two people coming together out of respect for one another.”
[I try] to find humor no matter how dark the material is. Chuck Tweed
Tweed noted that each production comes with its own set of challenges. Tweed has directed nearly everything from flashy musicals to intimate plays and perfected his approach to the material. “What you want to do is not reinvent the wheel, necessarily, but figure out what you can bring to it,” he said. “My thing, which I always try and bring into a
production, is trying to find humor no rather uneventful casting session. matter how dark the material is.” “We had our first rehearsal already, Tweed doesn’t go out of his way to turn and I don’t even have a Hoke,” Tweed said, his art into slapstick comedy, but he referring to the titular driver in Driving certainly loves unearthing bits of comedy. Miss Daisy who’s featured in nearly every “There are always situations and scene and plays a pivotal role. things characters say A potential choice that I think could be a was unable to commit to little more lightthe rehearsal schedule, hearted,” he said. “It’s another would’ve been Driving Miss a director’s job to add absent for a show and Daisy your own perspective, one actor even dropped but you also don’t want out because he didn’t 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays feel com for table to tread on what made and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, performing the play’s the material so iconic Aug. 18-Sept. 11 era-specific dialect/ in the first place. You Jewel Box Theatre stick to the source language. 3700 N. Walker Ave. material but try and But after several jewelboxtheatre.org sleepless nights, a inject new life into it.” 405-521-1786 That is especially frantic casting process $15-$20 necessary for Driving and countless other Miss Daisy, a staple of road-bumps, Tweed is 20th-century theater determined to deliver that become even more renowned with the best possible version of Driving Miss Daisy. the 1989 film adaptation starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. “This type of show is stunning and But if Tweed ever feels overwhelmed seeps under your skin because one is by the source material’s reputation and normally so used to the razzle-dazzle of the audience’s familiarity with it, he the stage,” he said. “Instead, you get to doesn’t show it. enjoy these nice little moments and In fact, he welcomes the comfort it concentrate on the words.” seems to bring. With Driving Miss Daisy set to open “People absolutely love it, and seeing Aug. 18, Tweed also has the rest of Jewel Box’s season to look forward to. it at the Jewel Box Theatre will bring back With a slate of productions including memories whether you’ve seen the film, Heaven Can Wait and South Pacific, a lot a national or even local production,” he said. “Watching Driving Miss Daisy is like has changed since Tweed first stepped in putting your feet in a pair of warm, fuzzy to assist the fledgling theater so many slippers. You’ll get comfortable because years ago. “I’m just so proud of where we started you know it well, and you’ll leave smiling and where we’ve come after 39 years. It’s because you enjoyed a night embracing just nice to sit back and look at all of the something so warm and welcoming.” wonderful things the actors, directors and ‘Nice little moments’ board members have done here,” he said. Audiences should feel grateful watching “I get to play every single day, and who the finished project, Tweed said, as the wouldn’t love a job like that?” production almost didn’t happen after a O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
ARTS & CULTURE
v i s ua l a r t s
Symone Henson created art for the 2015 show, The Journey of a Survivor. | Photo provided
Girl Scouts at OJA Secure Center work through their emotions by creating. By Adam Holt
Paint on canvas tells tales of troubled young The theme of the show staged in the women. The words and images brushed Inasmuch gallery is The Journey of a and splattered onto the woven material Survivor. The exhibit stopped at Mainsite vary as much as the colors from which they Contemporary Art in Norman, the are composed. The works line the walls of University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Inasmuch Foundation Gallery at Oklahoma Zarrow School of Social Work, Del City City Community Library, Northwest Library and Ralph College (OCCC). Some of them Ellison Library before its The Journey of speak of heartlast showcase at OCCC, a Survivor break, others of 7777 S. May Ave. hope; in some, the Though the setting is 1-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays through two intertwine. unconventional, the Aug. 12 They are all stateyoung women are a fullInasmuch Foundation Gallery ments from women fledged Girl Scout troop, Oklahoma City Community yearning for brightcomplete with a troop College er futures, often number. 777 S. May Ave. with pained pasts. “They have their occc.edu The artists are 14 uniform sash. They earn 405-682-1611 to 19 years old and badges and patches just Free like they would in a trareceive gender-specific treatment at ditional Girl Scout troop,” said Katelyn Gleason-Dockery, the Office of Juvenile Affairs’ (OJA) Secure Center in Norman. The unit is referred to GSWO community programs specialist as 4G, short for “For Girls.” and 4G Girl Scout troop leader. The grant-funded art program is a joint An instructor taught the scouts basic effort between the OJA and Girl Scouts technique during the program’s first Western Oklahoma (GSWO) to help pasession. For many, it was their first experience tients develop coping and life skills and with art and they were encouraged to exgive them a voice. The partnership launched in 2008. Art was introduced into periment with multiple mediums. The the program in 2014. goals are to help women develop positive 28
a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m
stress-coping mechanisms and express themselves. “Each girl has her own canvas, so she really gets to make the decision on what she wants hers to be about and how to tell her story,” Gleason-Dockery said. “This is their voice for the world right now. … This is their way to get their story out.” Often, those receiving treatment at 4G emerge from backgrounds marked with instability. As with any art, emotion inspires painting and drawing, which tends to spill onto the canvas. “The girls are typically from poverty areas and also girls who have encountered abuse, neglect — all those type of things,” Gleason-Dockery said. “A lot of the girls share that in their artwork … when you get to see their canvases and wall scripts, you get to hear the story of what they have been through and some of the special problems that they face.”
One such student is 18-year-old Symone Henson. In treatment since age 15 for firstdegree robbery, she arrived from an unstable home from which she was removed when she was 14 years old. She is now in her second year with the Girl Scout troop. “I was thinking about how I grew up and the environment I came from,” said Henson, speaking of her art’s inspiration. “When I was first locked up, I viewed it as ‘This is horrible.’ I didn’t want to be there. But then, as I got older, I viewed it as a second chance because if I had been 18 at the time I did it, I could be in prison already.” Her work features the sun, a tree and a horizon. Above the horizon, near an orange-and-black orb, the words “regret,” “pain” and “hurt,” among others, describe her early days at 4G. Below the horizon, near the tree, are “hope,” “courage” and “dream.” The words reflect her new outlook on life. “When I get out of this program, I’m going to go take GED classes and get my GED,” Henson said. “Then I’m going to go to Mid-America [Christian University] to get my LPN license to become a nurse.” The art often inspires those who view it, many of whom share their gratitude with the artists. “We’ve also had people write letters and send them to me just expressing what the artwork meant to them,” Gleason-Dockery said. “That way, they know the effect it is making and how it is inspiring people and people are moved by it.” The theme for another 2016 show will be Even Stars Cannot Shine Without Darkness. GSWO hopes to revisit many of the galleries with a final showcase at OCCC. Gleason-Dockery said the public display of the works inspires viewers and artists. “Whenever it is displayed somewhere, I take a picture and bring it into the building to show the girls, ‘This is what your artwork looks like hanging in this gallery,’” she said. “You can tell it really excites them; they feel really accomplished.” The Journey of a Survivor is on display in Inasmuch Foundation Gallery at OCCC through Aug. 12. “From Bad to Good” | Image provided
Come by and see us for quality supplies, excellent equipment, and the best customer service in OKC, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Treva McNeill works on an arrangement at The Floral Chateau. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
131 NW 23rd Street, OKC | 600-6610 Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am - 8pm | Sunday Noon - 5pm
A metro woman takes a leap of faith and launches a florist career in her 50s.
By Christine Eddington
“I would rather create a casket spray than eat dinner. I absolutely love sympathy work,” said Treva McNeill, newly minted florist and owner of The Floral Chateau, 1829 NE 23rd St. “One day, as a part of my five-year plan, I would like to be able to use my business to give community service, maybe to a hospice or something like that.” Business at The Floral Chateau, opened at the end of May, is a little bit slow, but steady, and McNeill is optimistic. On a particular Saturday morning, she was wrestling with a large Christmas garland, determined to repurpose it into something a client can use outdoors, but she was short on time. “I’m on my way to Stillwater for the Oklahoma State Florists’ Association conference this morning,” she said. “The ten o’clock session is on succulents, and this afternoon at one, it’s about dish gardens.” She speaks with the enthusiasm of someone who loves her craft but also shows a twinge of anxiety. She has had a few tough years and needs to make a solid go at her business. As she told her story, a man came in to look at houseplants. She smiled as she patiently answered questions about watering and lighting needs. “From the time I was a young adult, I had worked at Lucent Technologies. I worked in the financial departments, in payroll and accounting. When they closed, I was 43 — too young to retire,” she said. “So I worked for the Department of Public Safety for five or six years, and then I left and became a TSA agent at Will Rogers World Airport.” It was there, as she headed in for a 3:30 a.m. shift, that things changed.
“I fell on my way into the building. I sustained an injury, and I couldn’t pick up and throw heavy bags anymore,” McNeill said. “Even though I was coming to work when it happened, at the airport, clearly not there to catch a flight, it was decided that I was not eligible for worker’s comp. They told me that I should file a claim against the airport or the city but my injury would not be covered.” She hung on for two years and tried to transfer to a less physical department like accounting, but she was ultimately fired. There is no self-pity as she tells her story, but her fear as a new business owner and her fierce determination are obvious. “I spent a lot of time praying, asking the Lord what I should do, what I could do,” McNeill said. “I’ve always been an artsy-craftsy person, and I’ve always been a busy person. I like to stay busy, and I have to pay my mortgage. So I decided to go back to school, and I went into the horticulture program at Metro Tech.” While in school, she worked part-time at a church-owned Christian bookstore. She was in the right place at the right time, and serendipity soon brought her a retail location right there in the bookstore. “The church committee came to me and said when I got out of school, I should come back and run the bookstore fulltime,” she said. “I thought, ‘Well that’s dumb. Why would I want to run a bookstore when I’ve just gone back to school?’ But their offer was that half of the space could be for my business, that I could do flowers, too.” And The Floral Chateau was born. Call 405-314-3883 or visit The Floral Chateau at 1829 NE 23rd St.
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open daily 11am - 2 am
corner of classen & Boyd, norman 405.329.3330 | themont.com O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
ARTS & CULTURE
Cheryl and Edward Shane started the e-commerce company Hoot of Loot. | Photo provided
Cheryl and Edward Shane, frustrated by the expense and time teachers spend buying their own classroom supplies, launched a Craigslist-style resale website. By Christine Eddington
Hoot of Loot, a website launched by Oklahoma couple Cheryl and Edward Shane, is sort of a Craigslist for teachers, minus the hook-up listings. If its founders succeed, it might revolutionize how teachers buy and sell school supplies. The husband-and-wife team came up with the idea in 2008. Cheryl, a teacher with more than 17 years of experience, understood the struggles teachers face when trying to supplement meager classroom supply budgets with their own money. As luck would have it, one of the many things her husband’s business, Shane Media Productions, does is produce websites. “On average, according to studies, teachers spend about $500 apiece each year on classroom supplies,” Cheryl said; she also noted that Oklahoma is ranked almost dead last nationally in state spending per pupil. “Teachers will fill funding gaps by buying their own classroom supplies on some of the lowest salaries in the nation. As teachers, we love our students and want to make the most of our classroom, so we make an investment in education materials.”
One day, as Cheryl sorted through her teaching supplies in an attempt to downsize a bit, she wondered if a website existed specifically for teachers to buy and sell secondhand supplies, thereby saving money and recouping some of their supply investments. There was not. She decided to create one. “The main thing we want to do is help educators and schools,” Edward said. “Hoot of Loot is free for teachers [to use], and we’ve opened it up to companies wanting 30
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to sell their overstock at a discount.” It is designed to be incredibly userfriendly, Edward said. After a seller creates an account and lists items for sale, buyers and sellers are connected and work out pricing and delivery between themselves. “One feature that’s really convenient is the alert system,” he added. “If you don’t see what you need listed, you can set it up so you get an email when somebody lists that item.” Hoot of Loot’s website traffic is in an upswing, too. When summer break began, around 200 to 300 users visited the site per day, Edward said. Now, 250 visitors is a slow day, and most days see traffic at around 500 or 600. “People are spending quite a bit of time on our site,” Edward said. Hoot of Loot currently has more buyers than sellers, and they are recruiting sellers via social media platforms and some advertising. Ad rates are cheap at $3 per ad, whether a company lists one item or 100, Edward said. There are also a few banner ads available, but the couple said the revenue generated by the site goes to keep it up and running. It’s not yet a moneymaker. Eventually, the Shanes hope to donate a portion of Hoot of Loot earnings to education-related causes. “We know that teachers are always looking for a good deal,” Cheryl said. “We want to become known as the place to go first if you need to sell or buy educational supplies, both in Oklahoma and nationally.” Learn more at hootofloot.com.
co m m u n i t y
GreenAcres Market holds a pet adoption day complete with free dog washes and fun.
By Christine Eddington
For three hours Aug. 13, GreenAcres us,” Smith explained. “We want people Market, 7301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., hosts to know that we are here to help. And we an event dedicated to canine companions. need help. We need donations of dog food “It’s the first time we’ve done it at this and donations of cash.” On the third Saturday of each month, store,” said Kesha Cross, GreenAcres events coordinator. “We’ve done it for 30 volunteer drivers head to the warethree years at our Kansas City store, and house to pick up food and supplies. Each now we’re trying it at other locations.” drives a designated route, delivering susCross filled the day with free dog tenance to the shaggy companions of washes, adoptions, pet homebound seniors. treat samples, puppySmith said the group sitting services, a pooch also works with Oklahoma GreenAcres kissing booth and more. First Indian Church of the Market “We’re having a Hot Nazarene, Skyline Urban dog event Dog contest, and there Ministry, Jesus House and are three categories: best the Homeless Alliance to 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 13 dressed, best trick and help feed homeless peoGreenAcres Market best owner-dog lookaple’s pets. 7301 S. Pennsylvania Ave. like,” Cross said . “If we learn of a tent greenacres.com The event features community, we go try to 405-681-6060 fun and games, but Cross help them, too,” she Free most w a nt s the added. GreenAcres event to help Smith, who is retired, dogs and owners in need. estimates she volunteers at least 20 hours each week. The group’s coverage area inForever Yours Dog Rescue hosts pet adoptions all day. The Pet Food Pantry of cludes Oklahoma City, Norman, the Oklahoma City also will be there to “help Mid-Del area, Edmond, Yukon and Moore. people feed their dogs by providing dog Online donations can be made at petfoodfood to pet owners who may be homeless pantryokc.org. or unemployed,” she said. “I do this because of my love for animals. The Pet Food Pantry was founded in Why let an animal that is loved and has a home go to a shelter when we can prevent 2010 in a garage by Kim and Mike Pempin. it?” Smith said. “After six years, we are in a warehouse. We take care of 120 senior citizens and GreenAcres agrees and regularly more than 100 homeless people each opens its doors to nonprofits. “GreenAcres is unique,” Cross said. month,” said pantry board vice president It’s family-owned, and the first store Judith Smith. “We go through three tons of dry food a month.” was opened in Wichita, Kansas. Soon, the It takes a squad of about 75 people, plus Hoffman family expanded and opened community donations, to make The Pet three more locations in that city. Food Pantry work. Seven of those people “Then came the Lawton store [and] also are members of the board, but it’s a our Oklahoma City store, which is in the working board. old Health Food Center location, and then “We go to as many events as we Stillwater,” she said. “They ended up with can so people will know about eight stores after about two years.” The Oklahoma City location is the biggest at about 23,000 square feet. In addition to events, GreenAcres screens documentary films like Forks Over Knives or Vegucated each month and offers free classes and tasting fairs weekly.
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GreenAcres Market’s dog adoption event features a Hot Dog contest, a dog wash, dog treats and possibly a dog kissing booth. | Photo bigstock.com O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
ARTS & CULTURE
Writer Larita Blandon left and director Kelvin Carrington worked together to film Pain Reliever. | Photo Pain Reliever / provided
Local actress Larita Blandon wrote Pain Reliever as a therapeutic post-breakup release. By Ben Luschen
A new year is an opportunity to begin anew, which is exactly what Larita Blandon had in mind when she sat down to write Pain Reliever. It started out as a journal entry, a way to let out the emotions she was feeling after her last relationship fell through. Blandon, also known as Larita Charmayne, is an actress and acting coach for John Casablancas Center. She so enjoyed what she was writing that that she expanded it into a short film screenplay. Blandon wants Pain Reliever to remind women of all ages not to wallow in postbreakup depression. “It’s talking about how in a relationship you lose yourself to your partner and you forget your own identity,” she said. “Once you break up, you realize that you can live your life again. Don’t be heartbroken.” Pain Reliever is currently in editing. Director Kelvin Carrington said he hopes to have the 10- to 15-minute short ready for an Oklahoma City debut in late August. The project was shot in June. It follows a fashion consultant and famous blogger, portrayed by local actress Dani Marie, who draws romantic interest from a longtime client, played by actor Steven Bruner. The blogger is recovering from a broken heart and initially rejects her client’s advances. “She’s a business woman, kind of a workaholic,” Blandon said. “She’s independent, so she’s the type of woman who probably feels like she can do it by herself, but he’s going to bring her back to reality.” Carrington said Pain Reliever is a romance with engaging drama. “A lot of women — and men — they go through the exact same thing,” he said. “We felt like the script is relatable. That’s what we attempted to capture on film.” Carrington has acted in a number of commercials and worked on the sets of Bringing Up Bobby, Rudderless and television series Prison Break. This is his first time directing, and he said he loved doing it. 32
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“It’s challenging because I have to take what she has on paper and try to capture it on film,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of experience working with other directors as an actor, so now it’s time to see what I can do.” Blandon and Carrington met on the set of a Nike commercial starring Kevin Durant, one of the basketball star’s first TV spots. They kept in touch, and after they worked together on another short film this year, Blandon approached Carrington about her screenplay. Carrington has worked in film fulltime for 13 years. He decided to try acting after seeing a series of beer commercials on TV. “I thought those were so hilarious,” he said. “I was like, ‘You know what; I think I’m going to try and do that.’” Blandon discovered her passion for acting as a college student. Friends asked if she could be an extra in a movie they were involved in. When the lead actress was a no-show that day, she was bumped into a principal role. She was hooked. Carrington said they plan to submit Pain Reliever to film festivals, including the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. They also want to host a local screening later this month at Sweets Cafe, 1000 NE 63rd St., where they filmed the project. However, with greater than expected interest in the film, they might opt for a larger venue. Blandon hopes women find the film as therapeutic to watch as it was for her to write. “It’s just an inspirational movie for women to continue to focus on their career,” she said. “Don’t be down and depressed and get your heart broken. Take risks, even if you might get your heart broken. You never know; he might be the one.” Search “Pain Reliever short film” on Facebook to find the project’s official page.
calendar are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
BOOKS Book Signing, author Rand Charles signs Fall Irmgard, 3-5 p.m. Aug. 6. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT Oklahoma Voices: Monthly Poetry Reading, poetry by Todd Fuller followed by an open mic, 2-4 p.m. Aug. 7. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. SUN
Beer Cinema: Top Gun, (US, 1982, dir. Amy Heckerling) a group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll; enjoy the film paired with Founders Redankulous, 5 p.m. Aug. 6. The Patriarch, 9 E. Edwards St., Edmond, 405-2856670, thepatriarchedmond.com. SAT Hunt for the Wilderpeople, (NZ, 2016, dir. Taika Waititi) hit of this year’s deadCenter Film Festival that tells the heartwarming tale of Ricky, a rebellious, unwanted tween, and Hec, his surly ex-con guardian, as they undertake a monthslong fugitive journey through the New Zealand bush, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Aug. 6, 2 and 5:30 p.m. Aug 7. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT-SUN Internet Cat Video Festival, festival back by popular demand featuring 75-minute romp through the internet’s finest cat video offerings; food trucks, live music and more, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens. com/events. SAT Oklahoma! screening, free showing of the 1955 film starring Gordon MacRae. UCO Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, 405974-2000, uco.edu. SAT Tuesday Night Classics: Titanic, (US, 1997, dir. James Cameron) a 17-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind artist aboard the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic, 7 p.m. Aug. 9. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres.com. TUE Chef, (US, 2014, dir. Jon Favreau) after losing his restaurant, a chef starts a food truck to reclaim his creative promise while working to bring his family back together, 8 p.m. Aug. 9. The Bleu Garten, 301 NW 10th St., bleugarten.com. TUE
Creative Visions Exhibition NewView Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Museum of Art partner to give visually impaired artists a platform for their works. Several artists display works in various mediums. A reception is 4-8 p.m. Friday at the future home of NewView’s low vision clinic, 4301 N. Classen Blvd. Admission is free. A cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Visit newviewoklahoma.org or call 885-811-9699. Friday Photo NewView Oklahoma / provided
FILM Summer Movie Fun: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, (US, 2012, dir. Eric Darnell) Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe, where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, 9 a.m. Aug. 3-5. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres. com. WED - FRI Wide Open Wednesday Western Movie Matinee: Comancheros, (US, 1961, dir. Michael Curtiz) Texas Ranger Jake Cutter (John Wayne) arrests gambler Paul Regret (Stuart Whitman), but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros, 1 p.m. Aug. 3. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. WED Sonic Summer Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark, (US, 1981, dir. Steven Spielberg) archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis, 8 p.m. Aug. 3. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/events. WED Her Man, (US, 1930, dir. Tay Garnett) Paris bargirl with a tough “protector” falls for a young sailor, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Aug. 4. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa. com. THU Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made & Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, (US, 2015, dir. Jeremy Coon) and (US, 1989, dir. Eric Zala) view the films along with interviews with cast and crew followed by a Skype Q&A with filmmakers, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI FAA Credit Union Summer Movie: The Goonies, (US, 1985, dir. Richard Donner) in order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits sets out to find a pirate’s ancient treasure, 8:30 p.m. Aug. 5. Riversport Rapids, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org. FRI
Wide Open Wednesday Western Movie Matinee: The Cowboys, (US, 1972, dir. Mark Rydell) when his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen (John Wayne) takes on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market and avoid financial disaster, 1 p.m. Aug. 10. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. WED Dive-In Movie: Jurassic World, (US, 2015, dir. Colin Trevorrow ) a new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park and everything goes well until its newest attraction escapes; pull up a tube or lounge chair and enjoy a family-friendly flick in the wave pool, 9 p.m. Aug. 10. White Water Bay, 3908 W. Reno Ave., 405-943-9687, whitewaterbay.com. WED
HAPPENINGS Influence & Brown Bag: Instagram 101, learn how to use this tool to grow your business and get more customers, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 3. The Barn, 1601 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-822-6917, thebarnokc.com. WED Smarty Pants Trivia Night, fundraising event to make a difference in the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis, 7-10 p.m. Aug. 4. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-5212491, okhistory.org/historycenter. THU
Rum University, explore the world of run and sample four styles of rum, learn the history and an introduction into how it’s made, 6 p.m. Aug. 4. WSKY Lounge, 228 NE Second St., 405-606-7171, wskylounge.com. THU 2016 Cheese & Wine Smackdown, pit big cheese making countries against one another to determine which one has the best cheeses, 6:45-8:15 p.m. Aug 5. Forward Foods-Norman, 2001 W. Main St., Norman, 405-321-1007, forwardfoods.com. FRI Edmond Farmers Market, locally grown produce, raised meats and extras such as salsa, pasta, baked goods and more, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 6. Edmond Farmers Market, 24 W. First St., Edmond. SAT Weekly Farmers Market, shop goods from local produce, bakers and artisans, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Aug. 6. OKC Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave., 405232-6506, okcfarmersmarket.com. SAT Summer Daytime Bash, enjoy the onsite food truck, OKC’s hottest DJs, games, giveaways and more, 1-7 p.m. Aug. 6. Cosmopolitan OKC, 7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-225-1956, cosmopolitanokc.com. SAT Beats & Bites, outdoor food trucks and live entertainment, local vendors and wineries, a beer garden, bounce houses and more, 6 p.m. Aug. 6. Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, Norman, 405-322-6000, riverwind.com. SAT Western Avenue Beer Olympics, join restaurants along Western Avenue for the 2016 Olympic Games kickoff; each participating bar/restaurant offers a bar game for teams of five to compete in, 6 p.m. Aug. 6. Will Rogers Lobby Cafe & Bar, 4322 N. Western Ave., 405-604-4650, willrogerslobbybar.com. SAT Red Brick Nights, enjoy music, food and shopping in downtown Guthrie, 7 p.m. Aug. 6. Wentz and Oklahoma avenues, Guthrie. SAT Eat Your Bugs, learn more about fermented foods and how you can make them part of your diet for health and happiness, 2-3 p.m. Aug. 7. Natural Grocers, 7013 N. May Ave., 405-840-0300, naturalgrocers.com. SUN Dress White, Drink Pink: The August Wine Dinner, featuring fine Rosé wines paired with a four-course dinner prepared by the Vast culinary team, 7 p.m. Aug. 8. Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-702-7262, vastokc.com. MON The ABC’s of What You Eat: Watermelon, learn about watermelon, including nutritional benefits, and how to select, store and serve them, 10 a.m. Aug. 9. Buy For Less, 3501 Northwest Expressway, 405-946-6342, buyforlessok.com. TUE
Be the Dinosaur, A state-of-the-art video game exhibit that turns the player into a virtual Triceratops or a T-rex. Tickets are $2 for a 30-minute session. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-325-4712, snomnh.ou.edu.
Titanoba: Monster Snake, exhibit of a realistic replica of the largest snake on record weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons and measuring 48 feet long. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-3254712, snomnh.ou.edu.
Kids Bowling, kids bowl free all summer long; program designed to give back to the community by providing a safe, secure and fun way for youths to spend time this summer. Sooner Bowling Center, 550 24th Ave., Norman, 405-360-3634. Little Chefs Learn to Serve, teaches children that cooking can be creative, full of discovery and a lot of fun while discovering how to give back to their community by using skills gained from this course, 2-5 p.m. Aug. 3-4. Edmond Mobile Meals, 25 W. Third Street, Edmond, 405-341-3111, edmondmobilemeals.org. WED -THU
Paseo First Friday Gallery Walk, see what the historic Paseo Art District has to offer; galleries and shops host receptions for new shows and featured artists along with live music, food trucks and local restaurant options, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 5. Paseo Arts District, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.org. FRI
Paint, Cut, Collage, use the Matisse in His Time exhibition for inspiration, learn about Henri Matisse and his style of art, create a unique collage using high-quality materials; ages 6-10 + adult, 10 a.m.noon, Aug. 6. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT
Oklahoma City Pet Expo, check out exhibitors and rescue groups, live demonstrations in obedience training, pet care and activism, giveaways and prizes, talent and costume contests, retailers and more family fun, Aug. 6-7. Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, 3001 General Pershing Blvd., 405-948-6700, okstatefair. com. SAT-SUN Beginning Tatting, learn the fascinating and historic art of lacemaking through this hands-on class from instructor Irene Morgan of Lacemakers Guild of Oklahoma; learn technique of tatting using a shuttle; previous lacemaking experience is not required, 1-4 p.m. Aug. 6. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory. org/historycenter. SAT
FOOD Beer 101 Class, try six styles of beer, learn their origins, history and what they’re made from, paired with small plates, 6 p.m. Aug. 3. Slaughter’s Hall, N. Central Ave., 405-606-6063, slaughtershall. com. WED Australian Wine Tasting, join Adam Rott of Thirst Wine Merchants and taste delicious wines from Australia, 7 p.m. Aug. 3. Bin 73, 7312 N. Western Ave., 405-843-0073, bin73.com. WED Art After 5, enjoy the OKC skyline along with live music, friends and cocktails on top of OKCMOA, 5-11 p.m. Aug. 4. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THU
Hip Hop Dance Battle Think you’re the best hip-hop dancer this side of Usher? Here is your chance to prove it, or watch others take their shot at a $1,000 prize in Rhythm & Dance Studio’s Hip Hop Dance Battle. Showcases begin 4 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma Expo Hall #2 at State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd. Dance battles begin at 6 p.m. Admission is $25. Visit grindaholikmedia.com or call 817-4761054. Saturday Photo bigstock.com
Story Time with Julie, kid-friendly story time with the latest children’s books, 10:15 -11 a.m. Aug. 6. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT
PERFORMING ARTS GLOW Riversport Adventures Oklahoma City’s GLOW celebrates everything that’s great about warm summer evenings. Guests at this week’s event can hear live music from Americana rock band North Meets South, take in an outdoor screening of The Goonies and enjoy the activities Riversport has to offer. Festivities begin 6 p.m. Friday at Riversport OKC, 800 Riversport Drive. Music begins at 8 p.m. The movie screening is 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Visit riversportokc.org or call 405-552-4040. Friday Photo Warner Bros / Everett Collection / provided
go to okgazette.com for full listings!
The Rajun Cajun John Morgan, stand-up comedy show revolving around hilarious stories about what he loves and what he hates, 8 p.m. Aug 3-4, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Aug. 5-6. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, loonybincomedy. com. WED -SAT Kurt Braunohler, comedy show presented by OKC Comedy; Braunohler has been featured in various publications and featured on shows such as Bob’s Burgers, The New Girl, Chelsea Lately and many more, 8 p.m. Aug. 4. ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-974-4700, acm.uco.edu. THU The Dinner Detective, this improvised show is just another ordinary dinner, with one exception: Someone in the midst is guilty of murder, and that person just might be sitting right across from you, 6-9:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Sheraton Hotel, 1 N. Broadway Ave., 405-235-2780, sheratonokc.com. SAT
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calendar Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/historycenter.
continued from page 33 The Drowsy Chaperone, Tony-Award winning musical; this musical-within-a-comedy combines rogue gangsters, comic asides and larger-than-life leading ladies, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9-10. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. TUE-WED
Da Vinci: The Genius, the most comprehensive exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s work ever created; interactive experience immersing guests in da Vinci’s timeless brilliance through full-scale interpretations of the mastermind’s inventions and unparalleled studies of his iconic art. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org.
Drop-In Art: Drawing with Scissors, join guest artists each Saturday as they interact with families to create extraordinary works of art inspired by the museum’s collection, exhibitions and special occasions, 1-4 p.m. Aug 6. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa. com. SAT
Rowing Camps, half-day camps focus on rowing; full-day camps include rowing plus Riversport Adventures in the Boathouse District and whitewater rafting, through Aug. 5. Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-552-4040, boathousedistrict.org. Ultimate Adventure Camps, camp lets kids try adventures like zip lining, SandRidge Sky Trail, high-speed slides, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and whitewater rafting, May 30-Aug 12. Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-5524040, boathousedistrict.org. USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships, four-day event includes competitors of all ages from across the country and includes US Masters National Championships, Aug. 3-6. Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-552-4040, boathousedistrict.org. WED -SAT OKC Dodgers vs. Round Rock, minor league baseball game, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 3-6. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000. WED -SAT Riversport Run, timed 5K race starting at Riversport Rapids heading out on the Oklahoma River trails and back again, celebrate after the race with whitewater rafting or tubing and live music, 6 p.m. Aug. 5. Riversport Rapids, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org. FRI Sizzlin 6K, third annual OneHealthyBod Sizzlin 6K in conjunction with the OneHealthyBod Fitness Expo, 7 a.m. Aug. 6. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, coxconventioncenter.com. SAT Sailing at Lake Hefner, sunset sailing and lessons aboard a full-size boat; sails from Oklahoma City Marina and East Wharf, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6. OKC Municipal Marina, 4407 S. Lake Hefner Drive, 405-922-7787, SailorBrains.com. SAT Beer Yoga, join Brooke Larson for a one-hour, beginner-friendly class followed by a pint of beer, 10 a.m. Aug. 7. The Bleu Garten, 301 NW 10th St., bleugarten.com. SUN
The Outsiders House Renovation Fundraiser and Car Show “Stay gold, Ponyboy!” Even if you don’t know the film or Oklahoman S.E. Hinton’s book, you definitely recognize the saying. Fans of the 1983 movie, which was filmed in Tulsa, will be happy to discover that the house featured prominently in the film has been saved from demolition and will be turned into a museum. A fundraiser for the museum starts 5 p.m. Saturday at IDL Ballroom, 230 E. First St., in Tulsa. Live music featuring Larry Arnett Band, Swan Lake Gentlemen’s Society and Crazy Horse starts at 6 p.m. C. Thomas Howell and Darren Dalton, who played Ponyboy and Randy Anderson in the film, will sign autographs, and Danny O’Connor of House of Pain hosts a meet-and-greet. A general admission ticket, $25-$30, includes entry into IDL Ballroom and the ability to participate in a silent auction, raffle and free giveaways. Guests must be at least 18 years old to enter IDL Ballroom. Youth under 18 years old may participate in the events outside. Make the road trip and support this special project. Do it for Johnny. Visit tulsashrine.com. Saturday Photo Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / provided
VISUAL ARTS 39 Days, collection of photography and mixed media art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy that represents a moment in time where she put the worst 39 days of her life behind her; the collection also took 39 days to create. 1219 Creative, 1219 N. Classen Blvd., 1219creative.com. A Beastly Affair, metal sculpture by Stephen Schwark and photography by Arlie Mornhinweg presents modern-day beasts as they are — fearful beings constantly consumed by the fight to survive — in an effort to expose such suppressed tendencies in ourselves. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo, 405-315-6224, paseoplunge.com. A Hiding Place, group exhibition of poetry, video and visual art. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-9995, artspaceatuntitled.org.
Vodka Trot Drinking and running is a great idea! Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. Drinking is mostly fun, and running is sort of fun, so … you get the picture. Vodka Trot features a fun run, a vodka festival (featuring OKC’s own Success Vodka), dancing, music and food. It even has contests — of the lip-syncing, dancing and costume variety — and vodka pong. The party starts at 4 p.m., and the race starts around 6 p.m. Saturday at Remington Park, 1 Remington Place. Registration is $25-$60. Visit vodkatrot.com. Saturday Photo Gazette / file
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Art Show at INTEGRIS Cancer Institute, features more than 200 works by artists whose lives are touched by cancer. Integris Cancer Institute, 5911 W. Memorial Road, 405-733-6400, integrisok.com. Artwork by Linda Hiller, exhibit on display through August. 50 Penn Place Gallery, 1900 Northwest Expressway, Suite 113-R, 405-848-5567, 50pennplacegallery.com. Brushstroke Dreams, bold brushstrokes and bright colors in expressionist paintings by local artist Brad Price. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. Craftsman Class: Leather Handled Tote, create a leather-handled basket, approximately eight inches high, 10 inches wide and six inches deep, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 6. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT Crossroads of Commerce, exhibit showcasing the growth and development of Oklahoma’s economy from 1716 to statehood, the Dust Bowl, the depression and all the way to present day.
Edmond People, Edmond Politics, showcases political memorabilia and historic photographs that illustrate the many ways Edmondites have participated in local, state and national politics; political brochures, elections guides and even a Bellmon Belles dress with matching jacket complement the many posters on view in the Sign of the Times exhibit. Edmond Historical Society & Museum, 431 S. Boulevard, Edmond, 405-3400078, edmondhistory.org. FiberWorks 2016, an annual, juried fiber exhibition giving artisans an opportunity to showcase their works, from traditional crafts to innovative art. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave, 405-232-6060, individualartists.org. FRI Fresh stART, exhibit features artists who are experiencing homelessness who are part of the fresh stART program; exhibit enables them to express themselves creatively, manage emotional issues, develop social skills and skills transferable to employment, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 5. Homeless Alliance, 1724 NW Fourth St., 405-415-8410, homelessalliance.org. FRI
The Creator, exhibit showcasing work by Behnaz Sohrabian who hopes that her body of work about the female character and form can help dispel the objectivation of women that is so prevalent in our society. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. The Modernist Spectrum: Color and Abstraction, explore the invigorating ways in which postwar American artists, especially those associated with the Washington Color School, made it new, producing novel work that sought to reinvent abstract art through an alternatively rigorous and playful manipulation of color, line and shape. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo and Microscopy, the second of two Galileo’s World exhibitions; the Academy of the Lynx, or Accademia dei Lincei, were responsible for the first published report of observations made with a microscope (Apiarium, 1625), as well as with the telescope. At the same time Galileo was making his telescopic discoveries, he was also experimenting with lenses to magnify the small. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-325-4712, snomnh.ou.edu. Tiny Works: Miniatures and More, artwork by Chris Harjo and Jeannette Herrera. Kasum Contemporary Fine Arts, 1706 NW 16th St., 405-604-6602, kasumcontemporary.com. Turn, painter AK Westerman and metalsmith Nancy Jackson pair their lush creations celebrating nature’s seasonal beauty and cycles of birth. The Project Box, 3003 Paseo St., 405-609-3969, theprojectboxokc.com.
Icons of Badassery, group show featuring the art of Todd Bane; see artistic interpretation of badassery in the years that lead up to 1984. Studio 3108, 3108 N. Classen Blvd., 405-210-5701. Janet Massad, showcase of Massad’s ceramic pieces. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. Jerron Johnston, artist showcases work in watercolor, pencil pastels and oil, opens Aug. 5. In Your Eye Studio & Gallery, 3005-A Paseo St., 405525-2161, inyoureyegallery.com. Just A Tish Trunk Show, jewelry by North Carolina designer Tish McDermott, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 5. The Purple Loft Art Gallery, 514 NW 28th St., Suite 400, 405-412-7066. FRI Matisse in His Time: Masterworks of Modernism from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, experience the full scope of Matisse’s career through nearly 50 of his paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints dating from the late 19th Century to after World War II; including major works by Picasso, Renoir, Braque and more. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Noble Figures, artist John Brandenburg showcases his paintings and mixed media drawings of figurative as well as semi-abstract and organic or landscape-like content. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com.
Pop-Up Plaza at The Crossroads What’s better than tax-free weekend? A pop-up plaza during tax-free weekend! Head over to Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Blvd., for vendors, music and prizes 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Featured food vendors and food trucks include That Pie Truck, Aroy Dee Thai Food Express, Margarita Mamas, Kita’s Desserts and New Orleans Classic Cuisine. Call 631-4422. Saturday Photo bigstock.com
O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master, over the course of five decades, O. Gail Poole built, tore down and rebuilt his artistic style with breathtaking regularity, creating one of the most diverse bodies of work of his generation; a headturning collection of the master’s portraiture and landscapes. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, oklahomaheritage.com. Oklahoma Roots on Route 66, exhibit of original artwork by Shel Wagner featuring a selection of her whimsical, must-see assemblage pieces. Spraycan Creative, 420 West Main St., Yukon, 405-494-0321, spraycancreative.com. Our City, Our Collection: Building the Museum’s Lasting Legacy, exhibit tells the story of the museum’s history as a series of transformative gifts, bequests and acquisitions; including artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Rembrandt van Rijn, Gustave Courbet and others. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com SAT Outta the Ball Park, work by photographer Alan Ball and oil painter Nancy Park. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. Savages and Princesses: The Persistence of Native American Stereotypes, exhibit curated by America Meredith features 16 Native American artists and explores the stereotyping of Indigenous peoples using an often humorous approach. 108 Contemporary, 108 E. Matthew Brady St., Tulsa, 918-895-6302, 108contemporary.org.
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Jabee pictured found support from hip-hop icon Chuck D, who contributed to the local rapper’s new album. | Photo Garett Fisbeck
Public Enemy’s Chuck D says the spirit of folk icon Woody Guthrie lives on in OKC rapper Jabee and his new Black Future album. By Ben Luschen
Hip-hop artist Jabee list ranks Public Enemy at Black Future and genre-defining rap No. 44. That said, commerrelease party icon Chuck D appear cial success is not why Chuck strikingly different, D is an imposing figure. 8 p.m. Aug. 13 despite their common His is the voice behind the The Criterion goals. politically and socially 500 E. Sheridan Ave. Jabee Williams, charged music act that called criterionokc.com known publicly as out American pop-culture 1-800-745-3000 Jabee, enlisted the relics Elvis Presley and John $10-$65 famed political rap Wayne as “straight up racist” heavyweight and Public in Public Enemy’s powerful Enemy frontman for his new album, Black and enduring hit “Fight the Power.” In Future, set for an Aug. 12 release. recent months, the New York musician also called Donald Trump a “clown,” Hillary The original Clinton a “liar” and former NYC mayor Jabee is warm and approachable. He isn’t Rudy Giuliani’s continued presence a tall, and his recently trimmed frame con“nightmare.” tributes to him looking more like a tattoed Chuck minces no words, a fact an college kid than a grown father of two. But Oklahoma Gazette reporter kept in mind his knowledge runs deep. when he joined the artist for a late June Broad-shouldered Chuck D, on the other interview inside The Granada, a theater in hand, speaks in a bellowing monotone Lawrence, Kansas, ahead of recent Public Enemy gig. dense with decades of voluminous wisdom. There is some solace in knowing Jabee He is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with well, about being prepared to discuss why three platinum albums under his belt. Rolling Stone’s seminal 100 Greatest Artists Jabee’s Black Future feels like the one of
the most ambitious albums any Oklahoma rapper has created — or how huge and generous a gift Chuck D’s work on the project really is, or how respected Jabee is locally for his own generosity in the northeast Oklahoma City community he proudly represents. Instead, Chuck D just shook his head. Two minutes into the interview, he cut to the point. “You guys had Woody Guthrie rapping out there,” he said of the politically outspoken Okemah-born folk musician. “He’s the original rapper,” the Public Enemy frontman declared, as if Guthrie’s place in hip-hop history is as obvious as James Brown’s or Kurtis Blow’s. In a “what’s now?” genre historically obsessed with geography, world-traveling Chuck D has little patience for the tight restrictions of time and space rap music often places on itself. “The tie between Woody Guthrie and Jabee is not as distant as people think,” he said.
Before his rap career, Jabee endlessly studied cultural thought and history. He read Malcolm X’s autobiography several times. While a student at Northwest Classen High School, he asked his social studies teacher Sally Kern, who coincidentally went on to become a state legislator, if she could tell him more about activist Huey P. Newton, who co-founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. Kern instead asked him if he meant scientist Sir Isaac Newton.
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D. Photo Sarah Edwards / provided
The tie between Woody Guthrie and Jabee is not as distant as people think. Chuck D
Jabee’s longstanding interest in civil rights and social activism explains why it bothers him when people claim he only addresses those issues now because they’re topical. His social and political truths were woven into his earliest songs and life excontinued on page 36
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唀倀䌀伀䴀䤀一䜀 䔀嘀䔀一吀匀 䄀吀 䘀䤀刀䔀䰀䄀䬀䔀 䄀刀䔀一䄀 Jabee’s Black Future album cover
continued from page 35
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periences, and they still are. In Black Future track “Flashes,” Jabee recalls an instance when someone he considered a friend called him an Uncle Tom because he perceived the artist’s fan following as largely white. “How can I be an Uncle Tom when I was a kid who was homeless and never had anything?” Jabee said in a recent interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “I’m still from the eastside. I’m still the same person.” Black Future is not solely about black issues or any one group, despite its title. Jabee said it’s about humanity — in the city and across the globe — at a crossroads. Which path will people chose in a world that feels increasingly chaotic? “We can have a bright future or a dark future,” Jabee explained. “That’s across the board for blacks, whites, whoever. We all want a bright future. We all want to see tomorrow.” Black Future was inspired by a poem of the same name written by his friend NajahAmatullah Hylton. The narrated prose, broken into three tracks, creates the framework for the album. “In the Black Future,” she says in the album intro, “there’s a place so dangerously absurd that words reemerge as our tools and our friends rather than by the means The Man condemns us to ignorance.”
㐀 㔀ⴀ㈀㜀㌀ⴀ㘀㌀㜀 ∠ 䘀䤀刀䔀䰀䄀䬀䔀䄀刀䔀一䄀⸀䌀伀䴀 㠀㐀㔀 伀䰀䐀 刀䄀一䜀䔀䰀䤀一䔀 刀䐀 ∠ 匀䠀䄀圀一䔀䔀Ⰰ 伀䬀 䘀䤀刀䔀䰀䄀䬀䔀⸀䄀刀䔀一䄀 䘀䤀刀䔀䰀䄀䬀䔀䄀刀䔀一䄀 36
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Hylton was set to perform her work alongside Jabee for the first time at a 2015 gig. But the rapper never showed up. Earlier that day, Jabee visited Penn Square Mall for a haircut before the show. He’s not sure why, but he felt like pulling up his sweatshirt hood as he walked through the shopping center. Security guards soon stopped him and said they already warned him about wearing his hood up inside the mall. Jabee told them he arrived just a few minutes before and had not spoken to anyone. He said they must have him confused with someone else. “They were like, ‘No. We saw you with your video camera,’” Jabee recalled. “I’m like, ‘Video camera? Who has a video camera? It’s 2015. Why would I have a video camera?’” A crowd gathered as the debate continued. Not wanting to cause a scene, Jabee decided it would be best to leave the mall. He stepped onto an escalator, and a police officer grabbed him as soon as he got to the bottom. “He goes, ‘Oh, you don’t want to leave? You’re going to jail,’” Jabee said. “I’m like, ‘You’re kidding.’ I promise I thought he was joking.” He was not. Jabee was handcuffed and taken to jail for trespassing. As he was escorted out of the shopping center, a white woman wearing a jacket with the hood up walked past him as she pushed a
We all want a bright future. We all want to see tomorrow. Jabee
stroller. Jabee spent 18 hours in jail, missing the show and the income he would have earned for doing it. “If [the officer] doesn’t look at me and see somebody he needs to protect as he sees her, then he isn’t doing his job right,” he said. “The same things that she’s afraid of, I’m afraid of. The same things that she’s worried about, I’m worried about. But I’m a young black man with a hoodie on, so it’s different.” Jabee was released after paying bail — around $400. He maintains his innocence and said he didn’t pursue the matter because he was embarrassed and just wanted to move past it. Not long before his arrest, Jabee said in a TV interview that he had never been arrested, which he said was uncommon for too many people who encounter law officers in northeast Oklahoma City communities. His night in jail helped put his career in perspective. “All this cool stuff? It don’t matter, man,” he said. “In a way, it did help shape the album because it showed me I have so much more work to do and so far to go — not just for me, but for our city as a whole.”
I’m the meanest man that ever had a brain, All I scatter is aches and pains. I’m carbolic acid, and a poison face, And I stand flat-footed in favor of crime and disgrace. These are not lyrics found on Black Future. They belong to Woody Guthrie, though the opening lines to “Mean Talking Blues,” recorded in the 1940s, would be appropriate on any of the menacingly verbose projects by Eminem or Wu-Tang Clan. Guthrie is perhaps best known as the musician who wrote the lyrics for “This Land Is Your Land,” but he was also a tireless troubadour and poet. He helped popularize the talking blues style, a type of vocal delivery that emphasizes rhythmic, narrative-driven speech. In many ways, Guthrie was more of a true emcee than some of today’s self-proclaimed rappers. His legacy as an outspoken force against political and social injustices in the face of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl eras is not lost on Chuck D. The Public Enemy frontman said it is not an exaggeration to say Jabee and his contemporaries face comparable battles. “Today is a Dust Bowl of a different sort,” Chuck D said. “You have a political climate that’s akin to a Dust Bowl, and it’s swirling in the minds of confused Americans.” The two first connected after Jabee submitted some of his music to RapStation. com, a hip-hop focused multimedia “supersite” founded by Chuck D. They later exchanged direct messages on Twitter and eventually met at South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas, before Jabee finally approached him about contributing to Black Future. In June 2014, Chuck tweeted that Jabee’s music “has the potential to change the world” — high praise from an artist
who has literally changed the global musical landscape. But before any artist can affect the world, they first need to know they have a place to call home. “It takes [Jabee] to acknowledge the community,” Chuck D explained, “but also a community to say, ‘This is a person who’s necessary, and whatever way that we can keep him in our community or just keep his mind in our community, we’ll make the way he makes his living possible.’”
Jabee was headed to the studio to polish “The Monument,” Black Future’s Chuckassisted track, when his mom called and told him to come home right away. “Pretty much the whole front of the house was just gone,” he said. “There were big holes in the wall. I’d never seen anything like it before, but I’ve never been in a fire either.” An electrical fire, which began in an adjoining apartment, destroyed Jabee’s home and many of his possessions. Much of what didn’t burn had smoke or water damage. There’s no good time for a house fire. In addition to finalizing his album, Jabee was scheduled to join Los Angeles indie rapper Murs on tour that weekend. The child who grew up living in a series of temporary resting places with his mom found himself in a familiar situation as he crashed with friends or in hotel rooms. While Jabee was on tour, the community he spent years contributing to returned the favor. Without saying a word to the musician, friends launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to support him. It quickly raised more than $4,500, exceeding its stated goal by more than $2,000. In late July, rapper LTZ, area artists and Power House bar also hosted a benefit show. Neo-soul and hip-hop band Bowlsey donated catered food. LTZ said Jabee would do the same thing for anyone else in need. “Ninety percent of our hip-hop scene is a direct beneficiary of Jabee’s hard work,” LTZ said. “If you’re his age or younger, he’s the one who took this type of music to where it is today.” Jabee said the community response was inspiring and comforting. “It almost brought me to tears,” Jabee said. “After that, I wish I could have just said, ‘Well, my album release show is going to be free.’ That would have been my dream, but it’s just impossible because stuff costs so much.” Black Future feels like a project on the edge of something unprecedented from Oklahoma hip-hop, and the community is ready to help make that feeling a reality. When he takes The Criterion stage Aug. 13 for his Black Future debut, it will be as a man ready to face the first day of the rest of his life. “People will make sure to be at three things: your graduation, your wedding and your funeral,” he said. “For me, this is all three.”
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MUSIC was easy to fill. “It just kept growing and growing. Then we actually started bringing in some money to do things like buy new sound and lights,” Raunborg said. The founders remember how the event rose to new heights during the summer of 2011. Dubstep and the festival scene went mainstream. Raunborg remembers setting up at 7 p.m. at Kamps as people lined up to come inside. Another memory is how obscenely hot it got on that dance floor. Kamps now has a new air-conditioning unit. “You would leave here so showered in sweat,” Raunborg said. “People were dancing so hard there’d be an inch of water on the floor from all the sweat.”
Chad “Rad” Raunborg DJs a set at Robotic Wednesdays. | Photo Robotic Wednesdays / Ti Nguyen / provided
Robotic Wednesdays celebrates a decade with a special anniversary party. By Ben Luschen
Robotic parties are dance parties that can’t Early days be stopped — almost literally. Not much was expected of the dance night Organizers say only one or two when it launched a decade ago at Sidecar Wednesday nights were skipped in the Lounge (now The Drunken Fry), said Bryan weekly event’s 10-year history. The Robotic Peace, another Robotic cofounder. Wednesdays series has The event’s origins are fairly simple. The metro become synonymous with Oklahoma City’s mid week. dance scene had been domRobotic: 10 Year inated by Bricktown clubs “We can never do Anniversary Robotic any other night of that refused to veer away the week now because it’s from the radio Top 40, Peace 9 p.m. Aug. 10 always been Robotic said. There was no place for Kamps 1310 Lounge Wednesdays,” said Chad “hipster” dance music or 1310 NW 25th St. dance rock, so he joined Raunborg, one of Robotic’s facebook.com/roboticwed Raunborg and co-founder co-founders. 405-524-2251 The impressive run is John Bourke and the team $25 celebrated during Robotic’s hosted their own parties. Note: Admission is 10-year anniversary show “All the original people age 18 and older. Aug. 10 at Kamps 1310 that started it had all been Lounge, 1310 NW 25th St. DJing for a while,” Peace Mystee Yannarella, Robotic promotions said. “We were just going to throw a couple and marketing manager, said they began of parties and move on. I don’t think anyone contemplating show ideas about a year ago. expected one single party to last 10 years.” So far, 16 DJs have confirmed they’ll Raunborg said the first Robotic crowded perform, and organizers said guests should almost 100 people into a space with a capacexpect surprise additions to the roster. ity of 35. Attendance eventually leveled off Guests also will find an additional stage, after that initial high. Peace said some people which will be set up outdoors on the patio. early on had the impression that shows Marco’s Pizza will provide free slices for would feature all techno or drum-and-bass music. guests. Still, each party they threw was well atIn fact, Raunborg said a number of surtended. It was a popular enough event that prises that Robotic regulars will enjoy are they started to get noise complaints. planned for the night. Organizers said their Peace said one day, several resident DJs goal for this party is to give back to everyone who has supported the event through the gathered at Electro Lounge and talked about years. the challenges Robotic faced with its venue. “As long as everyone just has the best time The owner overheard their chat and offered they’ve ever had at Robotic,” Raunborg said, them a new home. “That’s the key with this one.” “That’s when it really kind of exploded for a while,” Peace said. 38
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Robotic’s time at Sidecar lasted less than one year. Its Electro Lounge run spanned a productive year and a half. “Electro Lounge was cool because it was like a 100-cap room,” Raunborg said. “So it was more like 100 of your best friends showing up every week for the best house party you could ever throw. That was the atmosphere there.” Peace said hosting electro house producer Steve Aoki at the venue is still one of his favorite Robotic memories. It did not take long until the weekly party again outgrew its host and organizers needed a new venue. Kamps approached Robotic about permanently moving the event to its venue after Robotic hosted several seasonal Halloween and Christmas parties there. The 2009 move doubled maximum capacity, a space that
Peace and Raunborg said they enjoyed their roles introducing new music to the masses, but crowds are becoming more knowledgeable about music in general. “Now I think more people know what they want to hear,” Peace said. “You definitely have to play more to the crowd now.” Raunborg said he is not sure where Robotic will go from here because everything to this point developed organically. One thing he knows is that organizers will be creative and take chances. “We’ve always tried to be a little offcenter with how we do things with our themed parties and our guests and stuff like that,” he said. “I think that’s helped with the branding because people remember it. It’s something you don’t forget.” Fun, Raunborg said, is what has made Robotic successful in its first decade. “Everything we make from Robotic, the majority goes back into the party, whether it’s throwing themes or improving the production or the sound and stuff like that,” he said. “We never really viewed this as a business; it was just to throw a fun party for our friends.” Learn more about Robotic Wednesdays at facebook.com/roboticwed.
I don’t think anyone expected one single party to last 10 years. Bryan Peace
Mysti Jynx DJs a set at Robotic Wednesdays. | Photo Robotic Wednesdays / Ti Nguyen / provided
Better thaN tax Free:
Larger-than-life small-town country artist Dolly Parton launches a new album and tour.
Dolly Parton 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 BOK Center 200 S. Denver Ave., Tulsa bokcenter.com 918-894-4200 $55-$125 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 WinStar World Casino & Resort 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville winstarworldcasino.com 800-622-6317 $65-$500
By Keaton Bell
There’s just something special about Dolly Parton. In a genre known for being white, straight and Southern, the country superstar has built an empire on her ability to bring people of all backgrounds together. Whether young or old, gay or straight, black or white, most people can’t help but love Dolly. “I’ve often said that people don’t come to see me be me; they see me to be them. They know I’m different myself, and I fought for the right to be allowed to be myself,” Parton said during a recent roundrobin phone interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “I ain’t out to preach no sermons. I’m just out to do my work, sing my songs, share them with the world and spread as much love as I can.” That was certainly the mindset Parton had going into her newest album, Pure & Simple, out Aug. 19. After over 50 years in the industry building a career on songwriting, musical ability and down-home charm, she said she has nothing left to prove and simply does what she loves. “The entire album is all love songs because I was married 50 years this past year to my husband, Carl Dean,” she explained. “But they’re also pure in nature and pretty simple like some of the old records I used to record that some of my true fans will really appreciate.” To help promote her newest release, Parton is setting out on one of the biggest tours of her career with more than 60 dates across the country, including three nights in Oklahoma. Mirroring the aesthetic of the record, she promises the Pure & Simple Tour will be a love-fest where she connects with fans, free of any pomp or circumstance. “People have seen me do a lot of shows, but this one is the simplest one I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s called Pure & Simple because that’s exactly what it is.” She hits Tulsa’s BOK Center Aug. 12 and returns to the state in December for two nights at WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville. Expect the usual hits (“Jolene” and “9 to 5”), some new tracks (“Outside Your Door”) and even some deeper cuts (“Smoky Mountain Memories”). With a backing band of only three musicians, these shows are akin to a communal experience filled with music and anecdotes. Onstage, almost every aspect of Parton’s career comes together: person, performer, entrepreneur, songwriter and storyteller. Dolly Parton’s latest tour includes three Oklahoma shows. | Photo Fran Stine / Webster PR / provided
“I’m as gaudy behind the scenes as I am onstage,” she said and then unleashed her trademark, high-pitched giggle. “I just wear my heart on my sleeve, say what’s on my heart and on my mind, and people have come to know me the past 50-some years like that.” Parton’s history, from growing up in a “Tennessee mountain home” as one of 12 siblings to her 1964 move to Nashville to pursue a music career, is well documented. Between more than 40 studio albums, multiple film roles and other business ventures (Dollywood, anyone?), she makes success look easy. But Parton’s nothing if not a hard worker. “I made all of my dreams come true, and now I have to be responsible for it,” she said. “You don’t get to have a dream come true and just let it go — you’ve gotta work it and decide how you can rework it and what else you can branch out into.” She has always challenged the sort of sexist stereotyping that accompanies her dolled-up look, and songs like “Dumb Blonde” and “Backwoods Barbie” express her desire for others to look past appearance and never underestimate her abilities. “Everyone’s got their own history and their own kind of background, but I think a lot of people relate to me because they know I came from very humble beginnings with a lot of faith, a lot of grit and a lot of guts,” she said. “I always had a great respect and understanding of men, but I also had a lot of power because of my five sisters,
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You don’t get to have a dream come true and just let it go. Dolly Parton
my mother and my grandmother.” It’s that power — fierce energy combined with a sincere sweetness — that makes her one of the most enduring symbols of popular music. She makes fans cry as she sings a few lines from “I Will Always Love You” one minute and makes them erupt in laughter the next as she talks about the time she entered a Dolly Parton lookalike drag contest and lost. Despite the trials Parton faced on her way to the top, she never stopped radiating joy and positivity to her fans. Once listeners look past the fame, the hits and the rhinestones, Parton is a good ol’ country gal who works hard to make people happy. “I see so much darkness in this world,” she said. “I wanna be some sort of light and do something that can lift the spirit of somebody.”
3127 S. 4th St. Chickasha, OK 405.825.3529 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a u g u s t 3 , 2 0 1 6
LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
WEDNESDAY, 8.3 Bruce Benson, Musashi’s. JAZZ Camille Harp/Lauryn Hardiman, The Deli. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Grant Wells, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. PIANO Nuclear Wizard/March of Death, Your Mom’s Place. ROCK
THURSDAY, 8.4 Connor Hicks Band, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY David Morris, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. PIANO Derek Harris, Flint. ROCK Otakunauts/Cryptogram, The Deli, Norman. ROCK Sex Snobs/Shut Up Matt Jewett/ Masterhand, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Stars, Red Rock Canyon Grill. COVER
FRIDAY, 8.5 Avenue, Riverwind Casino, Norman, Norman.
Traindodge 20 Year Anniversary Show Oklahoma City rock act Traindodge celebrates two decades of music this month. A milestone like that deserves a landmark show, which is exactly what they plan to offer fans. Traindodge will perform music spanning its extensive history. It’s joined by local band Giant Stride and Austin, Texas, act Magnet School. The all-ages show begins 8 p.m. Saturday at 89th Street Collective, 8911 N. Western Ave. Tickets are $8. Visit ticketstorm.com or 89thstreetokc. com. saturday Photo John Thomas / provided The So Help Me’s/Haniwa, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK
Wino Browne, Newcastle Casino, Newcastle. ROCK
Buddy South, VZD’s Restaurant & Club. ROCK
Christian Pearson/Gary Johnson, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. PIANO
Anthem Live Music Series: Tennessee Stiffs, Anthem Brewing Co. COUNTRY
Cody Jinks/Whitey Morgan/Tony Martinez, Diamond Ballroom. COUNTRY
Edgar Cruz, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. ACOUSTIC
Eric Dunkin, Red Rock Canyon Grill. ROCK
Michael Kleid, Flint. VARIOUS
Found Footage/Ugly Duck/Junfalls/ Brother Rabbit, Power House. ROCK
Mike Hosty, The Deli, Norman. ROCK
H/K/S/Megafauna/Sun Riah, Opolis, Norman.
Scott Lowber/Will Galbraith/Rick Toops, Friends Restaurant & Club. COVER
Henna Roso, The Deli, Norman. VARIOUS
Summer Breeze Concert: Hosty Duo, Lions Park, Norman. ROCK
Max Ridgeway Trio, Full Circle Bookstore. JAZZ
Tanner Miller, Grady’s 66 Pub, Yukon. COUNTRY
Michael Kleid, Fuze Buffet & Bar. VARIOUS
Mike Ryan Band/Parker McCollum/Blake Pettigrove, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. COUNTRY
Mike Satawake/Chebon Tiger/Clint Strickland/ James Keys, The Deli, Norman. VARIOUS
Old Bulldog Band, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. ROCK Overdrive, Remington Park. ROCK
Paul Cauthen, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY
Caleb McGee/Spacedog Jam, The Deli, Norman.
The Remedy OKC Band, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK
Daryl Hance Powermuse, Red Brick Bar, Norman. ROCK
SATURDAY, 8.6 Aaron Newman, TapWerks Ale House. ROCK Daniel Jordan, Fuze Buffet & Bar. ACOUSTIC Deuces Wild, Baker Street Pub & Grill. ROCK
Shaun Suttle, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. COVER Soul Time Tuesday with DJ Tom Hudson, Blue Note Lounge. VARIOUS Tequila Azul, The Depot, Norman. ROCK The Normandys/Lotta Tuff, The Drunken Fry.
Elizabeth Willis, The Blue Door. SINGER/
Forever Young, Remington Park. ROCK
Grant Stevens, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. PIANO Kali Ra/Jarvix, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK
Annie Oakley/Derek Paul/Wink Burcham, The Deli, Norman. SINGER/ SONGWRITER
Katie Williams, Grady’s 66 Pub, Yukon. COUNTRY
Dirty Heads, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK
Lip Service, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK
Grant Wells, Skirvin Hilton Hotel. PIANO
Matt Blagg, Red Rock Canyon Grill. BLUES Midas 13, Landing Zone, Midwest City. ROCK Miss Brown to You, Full Circle Bookstore. JAZZ Oakville, The Deli, Norman. POP Parker McCollum, Wormy Dog Saloon. SINGER/
Replay/Kristen Stehr, Norman, Riverwind Casino, Norman. VARIOUS Shawn James & The Shape Shifters, The Vanguard, Tulsa. ROCK Smilin’ Vic, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. BLUES
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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. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
go to okgazette.com for full listings!
free will astrology Homework: Is it possible there’s something you really need but you don’t know what it is? Write Truthrooster@gmail.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19) I apologize in advance
for the seemingly excessive abundance of good news I’m about to report. If you find it hard to believe, I won’t hold your skepticism against you. But I do want you to know that every prediction is warranted by the astrological omens. Ready for the onslaught? 1. In the coming weeks, you could fall forever out of love with a wasteful obsession. 2. You might also start falling in love with a healthy obsession. 3. You can half-accidentally snag a blessing you have been halfafraid to want. 4. You could recall a catalytic truth whose absence has been causing you a problem ever since you forgot it. 5. You could reclaim the mojo that you squandered when you pushed yourself too hard a few months ago.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) August is Adopt-aTaurus month. It’s for all of your tribe, not just the orphans and exiles and disowned rebels. Even if you have exemplary parents, the current astrological omens suggest that you require additional support and guidance from wise elders. So I urge you to be audacious in rounding up trustworthy guardians and benefactors. Go in search of mentors and fairy godmothers. Ask for advice from heroes who are further along the path that you’d like to follow. You are ready to receive teachings and direction you weren’t receptive to before.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) When a parasite or other
irritant slips inside an oyster’s shell, the mollusk’s immune system besieges the intruder with successive layers of calcium carbonate. Eventually, a pearl may form. I suspect that this is a useful metaphor for you to contemplate in the coming days as you deal with the salt in your wound or the splinter in your skin. Before you jump to any conclusions, though, let me clarify. This is not a case of the platitude, “Whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” Keep in mind that the pearl is a symbol of beauty and value, not strength.
By Rob Brezsny
CANCER (June 21-July 22) It’s your lucky day! Spiritual counsel comparable to what you’re reading here usually sells for $99.95. But because you’re showing signs that you’re primed to outwit bad habits, I’m offering it at no cost. I want to encourage you! Below are my ideas for what you should focus on. (But keep in mind that I don’t expect you to achieve absolute perfection.) 1. Wean yourself from indulging in self-pity and romanticized pessimism. 2. Withdraw from connections with people who harbor negative images of you. 3. Transcend low expectations wherever you see them in play. 4. Don’t give your precious life energy to demoralizing ideas and sour opinions.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
You’re not doing a baby chick a favor by helping it hatch. For the sake of its well-being, the bird needs to peck its way out of the egg. It’s got to exert all of its vigor and willpower in starting its new life. That’s a good metaphor for you to meditate on. As you escape from your comfortable womb-jail and launch yourself toward inspiration, it’s best to rely as much as possible on your own instincts. Friendly people who would like to provide assistance may inadvertently cloud your access to your primal wisdom. Trust yourself deeply and wildly.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
I hear you’re growing weary of wrestling with ghosts. Is that true? I hope so. The moment you give up the fruitless struggle, you’ll become eligible for a unique kind of freedom that you have not previously imagined. Here’s another rumor I’ve caught wind of: You’re getting bored with an old source of sadness that you’ve used to motivate yourself for a long time. I hope that’s true, too. As soon as you shed your allegiance to the sadness, you will awaken to a sparkling font of comfort you’ve been blind to. Here’s one more story I’ve picked up through the grapevine: You’re close to realizing that your attention to a mediocre treasure has diverted you from a more pleasurable treasure. Hallelujah!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Could it be true that the way out is the same as the way in? And that the so-called “wrong” answer is almost indistinguishable from the right answer? And that success, at least the kind of success that really matters, can only happen if you adopt an upside-down, inside-out perspective? In my opinion, the righteous answer to all these questions is “YESSS???!!!” — at least for now. I suspect that the most helpful approach will never be as simple or as hard as you might be inclined to believe.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Your strength seems to make some people uncomfortable. I don’t want that to become a problem for you. Maybe you could get away with toning down your potency at other times, but not now. It would be sinful to act as if you’re not as competent and committed to excellence as you are. But having said that, I also urge you to monitor your behavior for excess pride. Some of the resistance you face when you express your true glory may be due to the shadows cast by your true glory. You could be tempted to believe that your honorable intentions excuse secretive manipulations. So please work on wielding your clout with maximum compassion and responsibility. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Did you honestly imagine that there would eventually come a future when you’d have your loved ones fully “trained”? Did you fantasize that sooner or later you could get them under control, purged of their imperfections and telepathically responsive to your every mood? If so, now is a good time to face the fact that those longings will never be fulfilled. You finally have the equanimity to accept your loved ones exactly as they are. Uncoincidentally, this adjustment will make you smarter about how to stir up soulful joy in your intimate relationships.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) You may experience
a divine visitation as you clean a toilet in the coming weeks. You might get a glimpse of a solution to a nagging problem while you’re petting a donkey or paying your bills or waiting in a long line at the bank. Catch my drift, Capricorn? I may or may not be speaking metaphorically
here. You could meditate up a perfect storm as you devour a doughnut. While flying high over the earth in a dream, you might spy a treasure hidden in a pile of trash down below. If I were going to give your immediate future a mythic title, it might be “Finding the Sacred in the Midst of the Profane.”
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) I’ve worked hard
for many years to dismantle my prejudices. To my credit, I have even managed to cultivate compassion for people I previously demonized, like evangelical Christians, drunken jocks, arrogant gurus, and career politicians. But I must confess that there’s still one group toward which I’m bigoted: super-rich bankers. I wish I could extend to them at least a modicum of amiable impartiality. How about you, Aquarius? Do you harbor any hidebound biases that shrink your ability to see life as it truly is? Have you so thoroughly rationalized certain narrow-minded perspectives and judgmental preconceptions that your mind is permanently closed? If so, now is a favorable time to dissolve the barriers and stretch your imagination way beyond its previous limits.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Are you lingering at the
crux of the crossroads, restless to move on but unsure of which direction will lead you to your sweet destiny? Are there too many theories swimming around in your brain, clogging up your intuition? Have you absorbed the opinions of so many “experts” that you’ve lost contact with your own core values? It’s time to change all that. You’re ready to quietly explode in a calm burst of practical lucidity. First steps: Tune out all the noise. Shed all the rationalizations. Purge all the worries. Ask yourself, “What is the path with heart?”
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.
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puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle Out of this World
VOL. XXXVIII No. 31 1
By David Steinberg | Edited by Will Shortz | 0731
ACROSS 1 Note in the B-major scale 7 Platter letters 10 Boston megaproject completed in 2007, informally 16 Semiformal jacket 17 Item of winter gear with multiple straps 21 Touch down, say 22 Bro’s greeting 23 Sarcastic “Wonderful!” 24 Word after smart or sugar 25 Some female athletic gear 27 Pinstriped team 29 Cybercrime target, for short 30 Newsman Brown 31 ____ manual 32 Sacramento-to-San Diego dir. 33 Grade to be concerned about 34 Pass, of sorts 37 Bothers 39 Admire oneself a little too much 42 Homer Simpson exclamation 44 – 48 Healthy yogurt mix-ins 49 One not looking for an expensive night on the town 52 Precollege 53 High degree in math? 54 Bris official 56 Approached aggressively 59 Scout group 60 Expired 62 Occupied, as a seat 66 “____ over” (dispiriting message) 68 Latin for “of the sun” 70 They can sleep if you play with them 71 Arctic lights 72 Washington suburb 74 Palindromic elemento 75 PC task-switching combo 76 Twosome 78 Stripe on a zebra, e.g. 81 The pack in a six-pack 84 Legendary Bruin 85 A kid may exchange it for money 87 Capone rival 89 P 90 Silent Spring subject 91 1970s-’80s craze that’s the theme of this puzzle 95 Radio format 96 Anise-flavored drink
98 Bettering 99 Loch Ness monster, e.g. 100 Lat. or Lith., once 102 One who’s been tapped on the shoulder? 103 Big name in electronics 106 Cry from the enlightened 108 Defunct spy org. 110 Response on un questionnaire 112 Mission requirement 116 Place to get drunk before getting high? 121 Inspiration for Lolita 122 Alfredo, for one 123 “Never ____ Give You Up” (1988 No. 1 hit) 124 Sometimes-sung pieces 125 Scraped (out) 126 Ball to keep an eye on DOWN 1 No miniature gulf 2 Pours poorly 3 Wore 4 Color of la Méditerranée 5 Some complications 6 Event for select customers 7 Ocean eyesores 8 Six-pack inits. 9 Chandon’s partner 10 Common Coke go-with 11 Affixes, as a patch 12 Grasp intuitively 13 Sights in New Orleans 14 Prestigious school group 15 Noisy flight crew? 17 George on an annual Forbes list 18 ____ Academy (means of online education) 19 Iolani palace locale 20 Statistical tool for comparing means 26 It may start at 10 28 Buckingham Palace guards 33 Detoxing hurdle, for short 34 Tree hugger? 35 “You betcha!” 36 It may change because of weather, in brief 38 Not let bygones be bygones, say 39 Golf-course obstacles 40 24/7, for instance 41 Friend of Lucy Ricardo 42 Live-broadcast feature, oxymoronically
91 97 100
VP, CORPORATE AFFAIRS Linda Meoli
Marketing Manager Kelsey Lowe
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Symbols of speed Fruit used in wines and syrups Trig angle symbol Trig’s law of ____ Agitated, with “up” Beach shade Popular reds Yellow dog of the funnies Bust ____ (guffaw) Highlands designs Politician’s asset Palindromic nut Literary governess Palindromic blast Biblical kingdom Language with only 14 letters Nelson ____, The Man With the Golden Arm novelist “You betcha!”
75 Jumper cable connection 76 Dummy 77 Language that gave us “punch” 79 Sister of Cronus 80 Eastern ecclesiastic 82 Unnamed object 83 10th: Abbr. 86 Manage 88 Sketchy place? 92 Parts of sneakers 93 Spinoff series with two spinoffs of its own 94 Luxury Italian label 97 Certain Honshu resident 99 Umbrella holder, maybe 101 Queen of ____ 104 Sleeping Beauty was under one 105 OB/GYN’s prefix with -gram 107 “____ Lang Syne”
Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com
109 Advertising buzzword 111 Apiece 112 It may collect dust 113 Fareed Zakaria’s channel 114 ____-Jo (’80s track star) 115 Specialty-shoe spec 117 Bother 118 Digs 119 Bother 120 Not working anymore: Abbr.
O R O Y P L P E A T I T A N A
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T A T A
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M I T R A L K E E P S A B L E O C D
E A T C A P E O R G E R W O R E A L G S I E N C O C A M A R Y F A L L P E D I N I R A C Y D E S I A T R W T H E D R Y O E E P E R N S X E B E E R I O U S A K A N E I E S T
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Puzzle No. 0724, which appeared in the July 27 issue.
T A R S I
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New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers A M F A R
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Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).
Sudoku Puzzle Hard
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publisher Bill Bleakley Associate Publisher James Bengfort
43 45 46 47 50 51 54 55 57 58 61 63 64 65 67 69 71 73
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