Local Impact

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How federal decisions a ​ ffect local lives and communities BY LAURA EASTES P.4




JULY 329&4 MAR.

JULY MAR. 30 17

MAR. 30 JULY 18








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inside COVER P.4 All politics are local. Oklahoma Gazette launches a impact news series examining how federal policies, budgets and programs impact everything from metro arts and education to critical infrastructure. By Laura Eastes. Cover Chris Street

NEWS 4 8

Cover federal policy, local impact state CAIR Oklahoma

10 State “anti-protest” legislation

11 State Oklahoma Indian gaming

impact study

12 Letters

14 Chicken-Fried News

EAT & DRINK 17 Review ZamZam Mediterranean

Grill & Hookah 18 Feature Chefs’ Feast is March 23 20 Briefs

21 Feature Girl Scout cookies

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22 Gazedibles naming rights



24 Culture Creative Oklahoma and

its 2017 Creativity Ambassadors

Bus Stop

26 Theater Jewel Box Theatre’s

26 Culture BrickUniverse LEGO

Fan Convention

Nature Conservancy

Oklahoma’s Excellence Gala


27 Community OKC Zoo and 28 Community Leadership 29 Active OKC Dodgers 29 Active OKC Ballet’s Golden Swans 30 Shopping thrifty office finds

32 Books Becoming Brave by Sharon

and Mary Bishop-Baldwin

34 Calendar

MUSIC 37 Event Samantha Crain at Opolis 38 Feature Brandon Bee

38 Event The Claudettes at

The Depot

at WinStar

APR 8 Tickets Starting at $50

39 Event Willie Nelson & Family 40 Event Styx at Riverwind 41 Live music

FUN 41 Astrology

42 Puzzles sudoku | crossword

OKG Classifieds 43

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Local impact

In the early weeks of our country’s new administration, metro leaders and communities consider the potential consequences of federal policies and priorities. By Laura Eastes

Federal policies and programs can strongly affect the daily lives of Americans and the states, cities and communities in which they live. Decisions made by the president — from executive orders and budget priorities to signing into law new regulatory policies — ripple from Washington, D.C. into local households. All politics are indeed local. Throughout his election campaign, Donald Trump, the nation’s 45th president, pledged “total change.” His promises hinted he would reshape America by creating at least 25 million jobs, lowering corporate tax rates, eliminating the $19 trillion national debt within eight years and “completely repealing” the Affordable Care Act. When localizing these promises, many wonder what Trump’s “total change” might mean for themselves and metroarea communities. In his first 50 days in office, the president signed more than a dozen executive orders, one of which tripled immigration forces and intensified efforts to deport undocumented immigrants. As Oklahoma Gazette has reported, the measure was met with fear and anxiety among Oklahoma City’s immigrant populations, including religious minorities, college students and families. Another executive order allows TransCanada to apply for its cross-border

permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, transporting oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect with existing lines and travel south through Oklahoma and Texas. The order was greeted with high praise by oil and gas industry supporters and maligned by local environmentalists. The next few weeks will continue to bring changes as the president’s full budget proposal is released and Cabinet picks settle into new roles. In the interim, the Gazette spoke with metro officials monitoring the local effects of the administration’s policies.

Arts funding

The day before Trump was sworn into office, a report circulated that his administration was crafting a list of agencies and programs that could see funding trimmed or eliminated. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) — the largest single funder of the arts in America — is one of those agencies. The news churned anxiety within Oklahoma’s arts community, which could take a hit from federal budget cuts. During fiscal year 2016, NEA gave $733,300 to Oklahoma Arts Council, which uses that funding to support community arts groups and programs. Additionally, NEA granted individual awards to four non-

profits, including Oklahoma City-based Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC). Federal arts dollars have benefitted the Sooner State since the U.S. Congress created NEA in 1965. Its funding impacts museums, music programs, community theaters, festivals and cultural programs while making arts more accessible to rural and inner-city communities, explained Julia Kirt, Oklahomans for the Arts executive director. Arts advocates have a strong message for congressional leaders, regardless of whether the impending federal budget proposal includes drastic NEA funding slashes. Early next week, Kirt and fellow Oklahomans, along with advocates from across the nation, will gather on Capitol Hill for annual Arts Advocacy Day. The federal budget, which has been touted as lowering government spending, is the prelude to Congress’ appropriations process. Where congressional leaders stand on arts funding is uncertain, and a strong argument can be made about its effect on local communities, Kirt said. “We have to speak to our congressional leaders that decisions are made locally for federal arts funding,” Kirt said. “I think there is worry that this is a national agency telling Oklahoma what to do in arts and culture, but really the money flows to the Oklahoma Arts Council, which has local priorities. … These are funds that really get a lot of local control.” NEA receives about $148 million annually, or about 0.012 percent of the federal budget. Congress has argued the value of the NEA, as some see the agency as an unnecessary branch of government. While state and local art organizations are often financed in myriad ways, when public funding is slashed, they become more dependent on state and private dollars. In recent years, state and private Julia Kirt visits Washington, D.C. Monday and

Jane Abraham | Photo Gazette / File

dollars also have dwindled due to budget holes and local economic volatility, creating a vise that wrings out budgets and opportunities. Supporters of public art funding argue many important organizations cannot survive without public funding. Kirt said advocates must stand ready to share how arts and culture illuminate their inner lives and enrich their world. “Don’t assume everyone understands the value of art,” Kirt said. “For people who love the arts or are involved in the arts, they assume others have experienced the benefits of the arts. You have to help people see.”

Grants and infrastructure

Another of Trump’s campaign promises is to revitalize U.S. roads, bridges and airports. In late February, the president called on Congress to invest $1 trillion in a national infrastructure program. The promises piqued the interest of City of Oklahoma City officials. Oklahoma City received $45 million in federal funding, or about 4 percent of its annual budget, for fiscal year 2017, according to its City of Oklahoma City 2017 Adopted Budget report. With more than 900 grant programs offered by 26 federal grant-making agencies, the U.S. government has often played a role in city projects. City officials, regardless of the administration in Washington, D.C., track appropriations processes. “We always watch it closely because it sets the tone for how Congress will meet the different spending priorities of the president,” said Jane Abraham, the city’s community and government affairs manager. “A lot of what we are looking at is the programs.” The city maintains more than 8,000 lane miles of roads. Federal funding for street projects would go a long way to build and maintain state infrastructure,

Tuesday for Arts Advocacy Day and will speak to federal lawmakers about the importance of public arts funding. | Photo Gazette / File 4

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continued on page 6

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ers into silence about their experiences, Wilder explained. People’s experiences are crucial. “The most important thing you can do is tell your story,” Wilder said. “Right now is the time to come out of the shadows and talk about the care that we need. We need to put a real face to what politicians are attempting to do.”

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Abraham said. “We are behind,” Abraham explained. “It is not really possible to keep up with all the maintenance needs. We would really like to see it and get caught up on maintaining our infrastructure.” A key part of a federal infrastructure project might be the relationship between the federal government and states. States can often be the middleman between cities and the federal government. Abraham and others at City Hall would like to see provisions for cities to participate. Similarly, the city’s new CNG Embark public transit buses were purchased with Federal Transportation Administration dollars. A new park and sidewalks through northeast Oklahoma City’s Classen North Highland Parked neighborhood were made possible with a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant. Police officers give out free gunlocks to city residents as part of a Department of Justice program. Additionally, the city has been awarded nine Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield grants, which go toward cleanup and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites. One grant helped cleanup of asbestos during Skirvin Hotel redevelopment. Another was applied to cleanup efforts for a future Downtown Park, a MAPS 3 project.

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Health care law reform

A day after the U.S. House Republicans released plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), about two dozen Planned Parenthood supporters in Oklahoma City rallied and waved signs that read, “Protect our care,” outside Planned Parenthood Great Plains on NW 23rd Street. Aaron Wilder, Oklahoma organizer of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, oversaw the rally organized in 24 hours. The large turnout matched the response 6

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he has witnessed since the November election. During his campaign, Trump joined other Republicans in vowing to end federal funding for the national nonprofit, sounding an alarm among the supporters of the reproductive health care provider. “The calls and emails started immediately after Election Day, and those calls and emails never stopped,” Wilder said. “People wanted to help defend [Planned Parenthood]. We’ve processed more than 1,000 volunteer applications since the election, and that’s a huge increase.” Under the proposed AHCA, Medicaid patients are blocked from accessing Planned Parenthood services for preventive and primary care. Federal law already prohibits any reproductive health care provider from using federal funds for abortion services.

The calls and emails started immediately after Election Day, and those calls and emails never stopped. Aaron Wilder AHCA draft legislation calls for offering individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance. It also would restructure the Medicaid program, which is funded jointly by federal and state governments to help low-income citizens and individuals with disabilities. The legislation has received mixed reviews, as experts claim it will be harder for lowincome people to obtain health coverage. The legislation will likely take on many forms before any floor vote, but with many Republican lawmakers determined to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, the organization sees a long fight ahead. For Planned Parenthood, politics should not shame patients and support-

On the campaign trail, Trump made specific environment and climate promises, from lifting fossil fuels development restrictions and canceling the Paris climate change agreement to dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency. The promises were alarming to environmentalists and scientists, including Sierra Club Oklahoma chapter director Johnson Bridgwater. “There is pretty strong consensus that people have never seen such a concerted effort to go after environmental issues the way Trump is doing,” he said. “There is a great deal for potential harm, but it is not something he can do via executive order.” Any efforts to reverse environmental regulation must go through the lengthy rulemaking process, which doesn’t guarantee any certain outcome. That’s why when an executive order was signed concerning the Clean Water Rule, an EPA regulation to clarify which streams and wetlands fall under federal clean water protections, it gave new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt authority to begin the federal rulemaking process. The former Oklahoma attorney general must replace regulations with new versions and define them in court, a long process with an uncertain outcome. In recent years, environmental rhetoric reveals that clean air and water and a healthy environment are seen as partisan political issues when, in reality, the EPA and its legislation has long enjoyed support from both sides of the aisle. Environmental protections as “job-killers” is false narrative, said Bridgwater, who advocates for further development of the renewable energy industry for growing the economy. He said claims of environmental regulations reducing economic growth are unfounded. “They are trying to create and turn citizens against the environment and environmentalism, which troubles me more than anything,” he said. “Sadly, I don’t see that getting better soon. I would ask people to actually look at the economics of renewable energy versus the rhetoric. Anyone who is studying this sees the clear facts; you can absolutely have a clean environment, pursue renewable energy and attack climate change without killing the economy.”

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Speaking up

A new push by CAIR-OK leaders seeks to further build bridges in the state Legislature. By Laura Eastes

Confronting fears of Islam and countering Islamophobia — both by-products of ignorance and negative stereotyping — Oklahoma’s Muslim community entered the “people’s house” for the third annual Muslim Day at the Capitol on March 2, sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Oklahoma chapter. Just three years earlier, the leader of CAIR-OK heard comments of fear and uneasiness from Oklahoma Muslims over visiting the Capitol to experience the empowerment of citizen advocacy. Because of their faith, they feared they wouldn’t be welcomed. Human chains of volunteers, who protected participants from protestors, coupled with a growing lineup of panels with state legislators paved the way for a growing advocacy event for Muslims, who are players in the state’s social and political fabric. In year three, after morning workshops empowering participants to make their voice heard in face-to-face meetings with lawmakers, Muslims began their visits. When three students ventured into the office of Sallisaw Republican Rep. John Bennett, known for making anti-Muslim remarks in his official capacity, and were handed an Islamphobic questionnaire, it made national headlines. Sadly, the incident is the latest on a long list of anti-Muslim events in Oklahoma, a state in which its leadership often promotes religious values. Months earlier, Bennett conducted an interim study on “radical Islam” in which a presenter called CAIR a terrorist organization. Oklahoma Muslims face many challenges, but so does Oklahoma, where repeated bigoted and racist comments and actions plague a faith community. New efforts underway by CAIR-OK seek to


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build bridges and help others gain a better understanding of Islam at the state level.

New position

“My focus is to be a present advocate for the Muslim community at the state Capitol on a regular basis, such as committee hearings and floor proceedings,” Anna Facci explained. “I also do the groundwork to build deeper and stronger relationships with state representatives and state senators.” In January, Facci transitioned from CAIR operations and event director to government affairs director, a new position for the Oklahoma chapter. While her work included legislative work, CAIR-OK leaders wanted an established CAIR representative as a Capitol fixture after Bennett’s interim study and a rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric in the recent presidential campaign. As the legislative session began in February, Facci promptly crafted CAIROK’s legislative agenda focused on correcting Oklahoma’s budget crisis, strengthening state hate crime laws, opposing anti-religious freedom legislation, reducing the number of incarcerated women and protecting social services. “Oklahoman Muslims are just like every other Oklahoman who wants to see their values represented in their government,” Facci said. “For Muslims, many of our issues revolve around social justice and public education. The state’s budget crisis is a moral issue to us. As Muslims, it is important for us to look out for the social safety net because it is looking out for the least among us.”

Empowering Muslims

Muslim Day at the Capitol provided Facci and other CAIR-OK officials an opportunity to educate the community on how government operates, teach political advocacy and discuss issues surrounding

their legislative agenda. In the afternoon, members were encouraged to meet with their elected officials. Facci and Soltani led the charge encouraging the 200 attendees to stop by their legislators’ office. “No matter what your identity is, your legislator makes decisions for you and behalf of you on a daily basis,” Facci said as she recalled a message she repeated with CAIR members. “You have an opportunity to be part of those decisions.” As members began to trickle out of representative and senators’ offices, Soltani heard of friendly conversations, some lasting as long as 30 to 60 minutes, with lawmakers. While CAIR-OK has built relationships with some lawmakers, some members reported quality interactions with lawmakers not familiar to the organization, Soltani said. “It signaled that we are making inroads toward having our voices heard,” Soltani said. “Muslim Day at the Capitol can be the catalyst to encourage and motivate people to advocate year-round. In adding the position of government affairs, that’s where we will see the value. It’s no longer just one day. … Sustained advocacy from community members is where we feel we can most affect change.”

Anna Facci and Adam Soltani at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Muslim Day at the Capitol on March 2. | Photo Provided


Standing a short distance from the committee hearing room where the Islam interim study occurred months earlier, Soltani receives a citation recognizing the contributions by Oklahoma Muslims on the Sooner state by Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City. It was a defining movement for CAIR and its supporters, who have faced opposition because of their faith when engaging in citizen advocacy, but also outside the Capitol, where actions include passing insults telling Muslims to “go home.” Muslim Day at the Capitol returns in 2018, and with Facci as government affairs director leading members in citizen advocacy, both Facci and Soltani see Muslims stepping up to play a larger role in politics. It will require individuals from the Muslim community as well as Facci continuing their advocacy efforts and countering Muslim stereotypes. “The goal is to prove,” Facci said, “we are not that which they say we are.”

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NEWS Johnson Bridgwater told Oklahoma Gazette. “For those of us who work with Oklahomans to practice democracy and for them to be treated or dealt this hand by practicing democracy is appalling.”

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The debate

Debating speech

As Oklahomans take to demonstrating for and against everything from human rights to pipeline development, state lawmakers take a preemptive look at intensifying trespassing laws. By Laura Eastes

The Boston Tea Party — the first recognized act of organized rebellion and protest in the country — was a catalyst that spawned the American Revolution and establishment of an independent nation. With freedom and liberty as the underlying ideals of democracy, America’s history features a succession of social movements, including abolitionism, the women’s suffrage movement, civil rights marches, anti-war protests and the anti-abortion movement. Although social movements can vastly differ from each other, they share the characteristic of responding to an injustice, just like the Boston colonists tossing chests of tea into the harbor in a protest against taxes. Following a year of local and national demonstrations over police violence, oil and gas pipeline development, immigration reform and women’s rights, Oklahoma lawmakers are considering legislation to curb mass protests on private property. The two bills passed to the Senate in February include House Bill 1123, which seeks to protect critical state infrastructure by enhancing trespassing laws, and House Bill 2128, which would hold protesters and individuals or entities that financially aid them liable 10

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Attorney Ryan Kiesel speaks about possible unintended consequences surrounding House Bills 1123 and 2128 last week at the Oklahoma State Capitol. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

for any property damage. While the words “protest” and “demonstration” aren’t used in the bills, both bill authors, when on the House floor, framed Oklahoma’s need for such legislation by citing protests against pipeline development near tribal lands in North Dakota. “Across the country, we have seen time and time again these protests have turned violent, these protests have disrupted the infrastructures in those other states,” Chickasha Republican Rep. Scott Biggs said on the House floor when introducing HB 1123. “This is a preventative measure … to make sure that doesn’t happen here.” While HB 1123 is pitched as a measure to deter people from destroying or tampering with infrastructure and HB 2128, authored by Moore Republican Rep. Mark McBride, is a tool for property owners to bring lawsuits against trespassers and their event organizers, social advocates see both measures as efforts to squash free speech. “This violates the fundamental principals that America was founded on,” Sierra Club Oklahoma chapter director

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states are considering measures similar to Oklahoma’s HB 1123 and HB 2128. The bills, which are described by their authors as improving and protecting infrastructure, public safety and order, have received backlash from political and social advocates, who view the legislation as anti-protest and intimidation meant to stifle First Amendment rights. Citing existing state laws criminalizing trespassing on and vandalizing private property, Oklahoma City attorney Doug Parr sees HB 1123 as a preemptive push to rein in public speech. “It ups the penalties for people wanting to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience,” said Parr, who has represented environmental activists. If HB 1123 were to become law, under the threat of liability, organizations would opt not to organize demonstrations, Parr warned. Such a law could encourage provocateurs looking to violate the law and thus hurt an organization. “There is no other purpose of putting that provision in other than to intimidate and threaten an organization that might organize a nonviolent, nondisruptive political protest,” Parr said. Speaking on the House floor, Biggs said, “The fines are so steep because this is a deterrent to make sure these people don’t destroy, don’t tamper with and don’t interfere with clean, fresh drinking water or from the lights coming on when you flip a switch.” Biggs did not return a call from the Gazette requesting further comment. Bridgwater argued Oklahoma’s HB 1123 proposal could create overlap between federal and state laws, as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the nation’s power grid and other critical infrastructures. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration monitors and enforces regulations surrounding pipelines. Typically, demonstrators understand civil disobedience incurs consequences, like a criminal trespass charge, explained Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). If the two house bills became law, Kiesel said demonstrators would face disproportionate fines, longer jail sentences and, potentially, lawsuits. Further, the ACLU argues antiprotest bills in Oklahoma and elsewhere violate guaranteed First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful protest. “The first amendment protects our right to stand in the Capitol rotunda,” Kiesel said to Oklahoma Gazette as he stood inside the Capitol. “It also protects the rights of Oklahomans and Americans to engage in speech and activity, knowing that if they engage in civil disobedience,

that the penalties they face should not be disproportionate. If we chill and keep people home, away from the cameras and away from the public they are trying to wake up on any number of issues, we are doing a real disservice to our democracy.” The disservice, argued Biggs, is not taking measures to further protect critical infrastructures, like state dams, water treatment facilities, gas processing plants and pipelines. “This bill does not stop ... protestors,” Biggs said. “This bill doesn’t say you cannot protest. All this bill says is you cannot trespass onto private property or damage critical infrastructure.”

Law language Last month, after nearly an hour of discussion on the floor, Oklahoma House members passed House Bill 1123 as an emergency measure by a vote of 68 to 25. Now headed to the Senate, the five-page bill calls for creating a new section of law to Oklahoma Statute Title 21 called Crimes and Punishment. The legislation proposes punishments for those who enter the property of a critical infrastructure facility without permission. According to HB 1123, an individual who walks on to such a property would be considered, upon conviction, guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000, by six months’ imprisonment in the county jail or both. If a court determines the individual intended to “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, tamper with equipment or impede or inhibit operations of the facility,” they will be guilty of a felony and punished by a fine not less than $10,000, one year imprisonment or both. Additionally, individuals who willfully damage or tamper with equipment of critical infrastructure face felony charges punishable by a fine of $100,000, imprisonment of no more than 10 years or both. If an organization were “found to be a conspirator with persons who are found to have committed any of the crimes,” the organization would be fined 10 times the amount of individual fines. In the case of a felony tampering charge, an organization could face a $1 million fine. House Bill 2128, which would create a new law under state civil statutes, would allow for a person “arrested or convicted of trespass” to be held liable for any damage to personal or real property. If another person or entity “compensates or remunerates a person for trespassing,” the person or entity could be held liable for damage to personal or real property. The House passed the bill 68-23.

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Hot streak

WinStar World Casino and Resort and Oklahoma’s other casinos have a profound economic impact on the state. | Photo WinStar World Casino and Resort / provided

A recent study shows that Native American gaming contributed $7.2 billion to Oklahoma’s economy. By George Lang

According to a new economic study commissioned by the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, the state just hit the jackpot. The study, released in January and covering the economic impact of gaming operations in Oklahoma for 2015, reports a total impact of $7.2 billion from operations and construction, up from $6.9 billion in 2014. While Oklahomans notice the impact based on heavy traffic and packed parking lots at Thackerville’s WinStar World Casino and Resort, the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant and other gaming powerhouses in the state, the new report puts numbers to the visuals. Sheila Morago, executive director of OIGA, said the number accounts for dollars generated from in-state use of facilities as well as out-of-state visitors. “If you think about it, that’s new money that would not be coming into the state if it weren’t for those operations,” she said. Morago said the numbers are also not necessarily dominated by the biggest gaming facilities. Casinos such as the Choctaw Casino Hotel in Pocola near Fort Smith, the Quapaw Casino in Miami and the Kaw SouthWind Casino in Newkirk are all bringing in significant cash from both in-state and over-theborder customers. It all adds up to substantial windfalls for the surrounding communities, which benefit from increased traffic for adjacent non-casino businesses and an expanded tax base. “If you look at the study, we have 45.9 million visits to the gaming operations in 2015,” Morago said. “In that number, 18.7 million came from out of state.” But one key section of the study indicates that Oklahoma tribal casinos disproportionately impact rural areas. Of the 45.9 million visits, nearly 30

million were to casinos located in rural areas. Additionally, the industry created 48,942 jobs from annual operations and construction, and nearly two-thirds of those jobs were in rural districts. The spillover from casino business in rural areas can often be even more impactful than around larger, metroadjacent facilities. Larger facilities such as WinStar are essentially their own economic ecosystems featuring hotels, dozens of restaurants, stores and other non-gaming activities.

They get paid higher than minimum wage, and then they take their money and spend it in their local community. Sheila Morago The benefits of such large-scale casinos come from dramatic tax base increases as well as massive employment opportunities. According to 2015 figures from its website, WinStar World Casino and Resort employs over 3,200 people, which makes the Chickasaw Nation property one of the largest employers in the state, creating income for workers throughout southern Oklahoma. The operations and employees also paid nearly $325 million in payroll taxes, including more than $33 million in state income taxes. “They get paid higher than minimum wage, and then they take their money and spend it in their local community,”

Morago said. “Grocery shopping, rent and housing, day care — anything an average family would have to pay for.” The study argues that as rural population numbers stagnate and more Oklahomans relocate to population centers for employment, employers such as the gaming facilities create opportunities for those who choose to remain in smaller towns. Morago said the study is made available to the general public and distributed to legislators, the Department of Commerce and other government entities. It can impact public opinion regarding future facilities and be used for lobbying purposes, among others. “We definitely make sure that the Legislature knows about it,” she said. “It gives them the information, because everybody has their own ideas, but we want people to know the exact impact we have.” In early February, Morago attended the International Casino Expo in London, an annual conference where gaming entities from around the world discuss industry trends, regulations and the emergence of new markets. Morago spoke at the Tribal Gaming seminar and said that despite the worldwide knowledge of WinStar as the largest casino in the world, most of the other attendees were surprised at the sheer level of activity throughout Oklahoma. “The biggest takeaway was, ‘Really? Oklahoma?’” she said. “It’s interesting; gaming around the world is not like it is here in the United States. There aren’t many models that replicate what we do in terms of land-based, brick-and-mortar facilities. Much of the world has gone on to technologically based, online mobile gaming scenarios. They aren’t destination resorts until you get to places like Rio and Macao. “While we don’t do that here right now, it’s always good to make sure that you understand those technologies. So if that’s the way it starts going in the United States, we’ll be familiar with that.”

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NEWS 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 jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Corporations aren’t people

Sen. Lankford’s article in the March 1 issue of Oklahoma Gazette (News, “Say what?,” Laura Eastes) addressed taxexempt status of churches and other nonprofit organizations. He wants churches to be able to support candidates for public offices in word and funds but keep their tax-free exemption. The tax exemption is for the organization. The organization is not a person and, therefore, it has no right of free speech conferred by the Bill of Rights. One of the greatest of errors of rulings by the Supreme Court was to claim corporations are people and that money is speech and that the corporations can contribute unlimited funds in elections. We the (Real) People do not want another travesty like Sen. Lankford is proposing. Chadwick Cox Norman

Sold out

I am intrigued that nearly all six showings of the movie I Am Not Your Negro sold out Oklahoma City Art Museum. They’ve added three more shows because so many were turned away. I’m glad that such expression truth can still draw a crowd in my old hometown. Bill Byrd Oklahoma City

Not a bigot

In response to Jay Hanas in the Jan. 25 Gazette (Opinion, Letters, “Trumpf nation”), I say the following: Mr. Hanas, I do not appreciate you calling me a bigot. I am married to a minority, and we both voted for President Donald Trump. I have many friends across the country who are minorities who voted for Trump for economic, security and foreign policy reasons. I have traveled to 55 nations in the world, experiencing most every culture on the planet. I also lived in a third-world nation for a number of years. There are a lot of people from various nations that support Trump because of the tepid and weak policies of President Barack Obama. My suggestion to you is to marry your rapidly aging wingnut mentor Dr. Robin Meyers and take a permanent honeymoon to New Zealand or Cuba. Michael James Oklahoma City


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Why lie?

Why do we lie? In my opinion, we learn how to lie when we’re children. Through our childhood, we’re apt to hone our skills to a degree that if we do it right, we can get away with most situations. After all, it’s our word against our parents’. As we mature, we could come to the conclusion that it’s better to tell the truth and be out front, as opposed to our “old ways.” Well, that’s the way it should be in a moral and adult sense. But it doesn’t seem that well-intentioned ideal is shared by everybody. There are quite a few among us that believe they can live and rely on this childhood platform. You probably know many friends, coworkers, bosses and teachers who fall into this slot. The problem is those same people who live in that make-believe reality also run for political offices. Of course, one of the major problems is that the people who think as they do vote those kinds of people into office and believe that they’re normal. After all, how would they know the difference? Joe Wright Oklahoma City

Role play

The hilarious and karmic irony of North Carolina’s HB 2, the proposed Texas Privacy Act, and all other “bathroom bills?” In their race to be the most ignorant and hateful, the authors of these statutes failed to realize that they force fully transitioned, post-operative transgender persons to use gender-specific facilities that no longer correspond to their apparent biological identities. To wit: A girl who identifies as a boy and who subsequently undergoes testosterone therapy, breast reduction surgery, a hysterectomy and has surgically created male genitalia (and who, by the way, is almost certainly attracted to females) is now forced into the restrooms, locker rooms and public showers with women and girls — our daughters/

sisters/grandmothers. Does this make them safer? Is this how we “protect” women and girls? (A red herring lie that was never the purpose of this spiteful legislation.) What about having preoperative male to female transgenders in a wig, full makeup, high heels and a dress using urinals in the mens’ rooms instead of facilities that match their identity? Will that sort of scene make cisgender men feel more confident in public restrooms? I can’t wait to see the first stories about Christian women clutching their pearls in horror after seeing what appears to be a man — with facial hair, body hair, pectorals, biceps and a penis — showering next to them at the health club or changing next to their precious virginal daughter in the high school locker room or standing up to urinate in the next stall of the Wal-Mart ladies’ room. Karma has a funny sense of humor. Jeffrey Wells Edmond

Curbing harassment

The disclosure that the former Speaker of the House used $44,500 of state funds for a confidential settlement with Hollie Anne Bishop (former assistant to Rep. Dan Kirby) and her attorneys for a wrongful termination suit after she reported sexual harassment elicited rightful public outrage. As a result, a special investigative House committee was appointed. Then, Carol Johnson, another former Kirby assistant, disclosed to the press her complaints of sexual harassment. A shocking picture emerged of a highly dysfunctional working environment. Kirby solicited and received topless photos of Johnson. Furthermore, one of the photos was taken in Kirby’s office. The committee recommended Kirby’s expulsion. In the same report, a complaint by a female high-school page against representative Will Fourkiller that his com-

ments made her “feel uncomfortable” and resulted in his being banned from the high-school page program. Kudos to the committee for recommending annual sensitivity training for legislators on sexual harassment and for requiring signature of an anti-fraternization agreement every election term. The fact that Bishop had to take her grievance to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for wrongful termination due to lack of action after reporting Kirby’s sexual harassment, and similarly, the fact that when Johnson took her complaint to the House Human Resources Office she was placed on paid leave and then assigned to another legislator, indicates that this office needs to be more involved in handling these complaints. Let’s hope that clear regulations will emerge from this “snafu” and that no more tax dollars will be used to pay for legal expenses arising from moral transgressions of our elected officials. Raoul Carubelli Oklahoma City

Weak candidates

I am one of the Feb. 14 nonvoters. Here’s why: I spent nearly an hour in an attempt to discern who to vote for in my ward. The result: three Republicans, all “humble and loyal family men,” according to their websites. Nothing about how they stood on any important issues whatsoever. I decided to stay home instead of throwing a dart at this meaningless exercise in futility. Holly Hunter Oklahoma City


The March 8 Chicken-Fried News story “New Where-land” (News, Oklahoma Gazette) included the wrong location of New Zealand. It is southeast of Australia.

NomiNatioNs opeN for the CLass of 2017 help us recognize the men and women who are shaping oklahoma City and its future. to nominate one of oklahoma City’s brightest young leaders visit okc.BiZ today.

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Strip search

There’s more than one way to bring home the bacon. Oklahoma City Police say stuffing packages of the meat candy into your shirt at a grocery store shouldn’t be one of them. On March 1, Oklahoma City Police Department posted a picture to its official Facebook page of a man accused of stealing six packages of bacon from Smart Saver, 2001 NE 23rd St. The photo was taken from the store’s surveillance system. According to the Facebook post, the man left the store with $30 worth of bacon concealed under his shirt. When confronted by an employee, he refused to relinquish the breakfast staple or pay for his haul. “Hey, I like bacon as much as the next guy,” the OKCPD Facebook post said, “but you can’t just go around stealing it.” Bacon is regarded by many as one of the finest delicacies available to man. To be honest, writing about it alone is making this Chicken-Fried News writer quite hungry. There are a lot of things bacon lovers would do for a strip of the good stuff — some of which we’d probably not be proud to admit. Still, laws are laws. If everyone stole six pounds of bacon, the world would eventually run out. And who would want to live in a place without bacon? So next time you pull up a chair at your breakfast diner of choice, be thankful that there’s plenty of bacon and eggs for all of us. And be sure to save a seat for a certain hungry local news correspondent.


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Questionable judgment

The state’s Days Without a National Disgrace counter was reset to zero by Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, during Muslim Day at the Capitol when he refused to meet with Muslim students unless they filled out a questionnaire in advance. Filling out a questionnaire isn’t a big deal. Why is that news? It’s not like he asked school kids a bunch of blatantly Islamophobic questions like “Do you beat your wife?” and “Do you denounce the terrorist organization Hamas?” Because that would be absur— Oh wait. That’s exactly what he did. Adding another layer of insult, Bennett then refused to meet with them. Though with his attitude, maybe he did them a favor. The Sallisaw lawmaker gained notoriety in 2014 when he posted a Facebook message that said, “The Quran clearly states that non-Muslims should be killed” and warned people to “Be wary of the individuals who claim to be ‘Muslim

American.’ Be especially wary if you’re a Christian.” “[Islam is] a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out,” Tulsa World quoted him in September 2014, but he bristled at being labeled an Islamophobe. “For us to sit back and listen to their lies and deflection and let them continue on their claims that this is all racist and I’m an ‘Islamophobe,’ it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” Bennett said at the time, according to KFOR. Yeah. Totally ridiculous. He’s not an Islamophobe. He’s just scared of Islam and doesn’t trust Muslim Americans. You know, the definition of Islamophobia. Maybe it’s time for members of other religions to grab their texts and make appointments with Bennett. They could even discuss the bible’s Mark chapter 12, verses 30 and 31: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” John Bennett’s questionnaire

prompted an answer from a fellow politician. “Friendly reminder that there are two Bennetts in the Legislature,” Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City, said on Twitter. “Two very, very different Bennetts.”

Suspicious supplier

The past few years, Oklahomaheadquartered nonprofit Feed the Children might not have been doing such a great job of keeping its eye on actually feeding the children. The internationally known nonprofit that has fought to end childhood hunger since 1979 is under investigation by the state attorney general’s office and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, NewsOK.com reported. Former U.S. congressman, University of Oklahoma star quarterback and president and CEO of Feed the Children J.C. Watts left the nonprofit in November after sending a Sept. 27 letter detailing some concerns he noticed during his tenure. The Oklahoman obtained Watts’ letter.One of the biggest issues concerned $2.3 million Watts alleged was paid to “Christian bands, artist

managers, a Christian comedian and a husband-and-wife Christian marriage therapist team” since January 2013. Watts believed the funds were misused in a plan to raise funds to attract child sponsors during these performances, NewsOK.com reported. Only one act fulfilled its contract, and “at least six groups performed zero dates,” Watts wrote. Other problems involved disorganization and a questionably high salary for the nonprofit’s CEO, who also was president of the forprofit trucking company and main Feed the Children carrier. NewsOK.com reported that Watts contacted the attorney general’s office after he advised the nonprofit’s board to and, like teenagers who can’t seem to find the time to clean their rooms, they just didn’t. Feed the Children’s future and the outcome of the investigation remain uncertain. “There are a number of things that could happen,” Prater told NewsOK. com, “all the way from determining that no wrongdoing’s occurred to criminal charges, potential civil injunctions or civil lawsuits.” Chicken-Fried News has more questions: Who will feed the children if the nonprofit can’t, and how many

children are actually being fed now, anyway?

Tribal court

Ask a scientist why Oklahoma is rattling and you’ll get an answer based on fact-based research. Injecting oil and gas drilling wastewater into deep underground wells causes many man-made earthquakes, they say. Based on the science, coupled with extensive damage caused by quakes in places like Cushing and Pawnee, lawyers are now jumping into Oklahoma’s fracking fracas. The latest lawsuit comes from the Pawnee Nation, which claims several oil companies injected wastewater into wells and caused the 5.8-magnitude quake that hit Pawnee in September. The tribe seeks compensation for physical damage to real and personal property as well as punitive damages, Associated Press reported. “We are a sovereign

nation and we have the rule of law here,” Pawnee Nation executive director Andrew Knife Chief told AP. “We’re using our tribal laws, our tribal processes to hold these guys accountable.” That’s right — the Pawnee Nation is taking Cummings Oil Company, Eagle Road Oil and others to tribal court. Any decision appeals would go before the tribe’s Supreme Court. We at Chicken-Fried News will be watching this case closely. Now that scientists have linked the dramatic spike in earthquakes to underground disposal of oil and gas production wastewater, let’s see the arguments play out in court. “We understand the industry is very important to the economy of Oklahoma, and the last thing we want to do is come in and shut the operations down,” Curt Marshall, the tribe’s attorney, told AP. “But we do want the oil and gas industry to act responsibly environmentally, and we want them to be held accountable for the damage they’ve created.”


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Zam good

Pita the fool who doesn’t explore ZamZam Mediterranean Grill & Hookah’s excellent menu. By Greg Elwell

ZamZam Mediterranean Grill & Hookah 3913 N. MacArthur Blvd. ­­| zamzamgrill.com 405-789-8008 What works:The Mediterranean dips and tahini skillet are wonderful. What needs work: Grilled fish is lacking flavor. Tip: Enter from the north side if you want to skip the hookah lounge.

Life has become very grim indeed when the idea of a gyro doesn’t make you smile. The famous Greek sandwich is a fastfood favorite of ground, seasoned beef and lamb meat packed on a skewer and cooked on a rotisserie. Gýro (pronounced YEE-ro) is Greek for “turn.” The chef shaves gyro meat off the cone, which exposes more meat to be slowly roasted. The shaved meat is put in a warm, pliant pita, topped with lettuce, tomato and onion and served with a spiced yogurt sauce called tzatziki. While gyros are often made of the same ingredients, there are differences between restaurants in how the sandwiches are served. At ZamZam Mediterranean Grill & Hookah, 3913 N. MacArthur Blvd., the meat is thickly cut, giving its gyros a substantial quality and chewy texture. A gyro wrap ($5.99; add a side of fries for $1.79) is not a snack; it’s a capital M meal that will quickly silence the rumbling of the hungriest stomach. The warm pita has enough tensile strength to hold in the contents but begins to weaken when the juice of the meat and vegetables starts soaking into the bread. Do not despair! This is nature’s way of lowering the gyro’s defenses so we can eat it while it’s still warm. If that challenge seems too bold to handle on an empty stomach, warm up your chewing mechanism with ZamZam’s delightful mesabbaha appetizer ($4.99). Hummus makes a wonderful appetizer, but mesabbaha (sometimes spelled musabaha) takes that creamy blend of chickpeas and tahini a step further with the addition of chunky smashed chickpeas, crushed red pepper sauce and olive oil. The texture reminds me of a slightly creamier rustic guacamole. Mesabbaha is served with sliced, toasted pita halves that are a perfect conduit for moving the mild dip from bowl to mouth. Based on the number of options available at ZamZam, dipping seems integral to Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to hummus and mesabbaha, the restaurant serves baba ganoush

(tahini and roasted eggplant dip), foul (a dip made from tahini, fava beans and chickpeas) and labne (sour Greek yogurt and olive oil dip) for $4.99 each. If you do not dig red meat, ZamZam still has plenty of options, including the tasty chicken shawarma wrap ($5.99). Shawarma is like a slightly more rustic gyro. Seasoned chicken breast meat is piled on a skewer and cooked on a rotisserie. When the meat on the outside cooks, the chef shaves it off and puts it on a pita with pickled cucumber, garlic and tahini. I adore shawarma, and ZamZam’s version is good, if a bit dry. That’s why the tahini sauce is such a welcome addition. Tahini is toasted, ground sesame seeds blended with oil. The creamy sauce has a slightly bitter taste, which provides a nice counterbalance to the spiced meat. The sauce makes another appearance in the aptly named tahini skillet ($9.99). A kufta kebab patty is covered in potato slices and placed in a small pool of tahini before it is baked. Kufta kebabs are usually seasoned ground beef cooked on skewers, but the baking process is actually ideal for the meat. Where kufta can sometimes become too dry and chewy on a skewer, in the oven, it soaks up the tahini, staying tender and flavorful. The potatoes have a buttery quality, and their added starch helps stabilize the dish. The skillet is served with toasted pita bread, which I recommend dipping in the sauce. The spice of the kufta leaches into the sauce, countering the mild bitterness. It’s a symphony of textures and flavors. Like many great dishes, it’s easy to eat and fun to ponder. I was not as impressed with ZamZam’s grilled fish dinner ($13.99), which was cooked well but lacked flavor. The rice and salad were fine, but when hunting for spice in the fish, I was stumped. The fish is marinated and grilled, with evidence of seasoning on the tilapia, but that’s where the trail went cold. It’s a good dish for those who are counting calories or shy away from bold spices, but I likely won’t choose it again. Those looking for a more substantial meal might turn to the chicken shawarma dinner ($10.99), which provides a pile of succulent meat with garlic sauce, an oil-and-vinegar-dressed Greek salad, french fries and fresh pita bread. The meat lovers sampler ($17.99), which isn’t kidding around, is a little more expensive but a lot more filling. Don’t get this if you sort of like meat. Served with a choice of two sides, includ-

Tahini skillet with tahini over kubedah patty and potatoes. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Patrons enjoy hookah at ZamZam. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Gyro with fries | Photo Garett Fisbeck

ing hummus, baba ganoush, rice and salad, this massive meal includes kufta, chicken, beef, lamb and gyro meat. Though I’m not one for smoking, ZamZam offers another taste of Middle Eastern culture with a large hookah lounge. The sweet smell of the flavored smoke is evident in the main room but is barely noticeable from the nonsmoking portion of the restaurant. If you’re in the mood, they serve up shisha tobacco flavors including double apple, watermelon and golden grape for $10.99-$16.99 at each two-person hookah. It’s a good place for conversa-

tion and relaxation. It’s fun, even from the nonsmoking area, to listen to the animated arguments between friends sharing a hookah. The restaurant is quiet and well cared for. The food is tasty and pretty affordable. I’ll keep going back for the gyros and the smile that spreads across my face whenever the staff at ZamZam delivers one to the table. You can find a smile there, too.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | m a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7


Christi Cooper, KGOU sustainer

F e at u r e


Happy meal One night at Chefs’ Feast helps keep hungry Oklahoma children fed all year. By Greg Elwell

Spring 2017 Fund Drive

#PowerKGOU17 Give at www.kgou.org


m a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Chefs’ Feast wasn’t always a guaranteed sellout event, said Platt College chef instructor Don Thiery. “The first few years I was involved, we would get 186 or 260 people,” he said. “Now we have to find the largest places we can get to have it.” Now in its 30th year, the annual evening of gourmet tasting is the largest fundraising event for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Proceeds benefit Food for Kids programs. That’s why Thiery comes back each year. Chefs’ Feast is 6-9 p.m. March 23 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. “The main thing for me is the Backpack Program. It’s so vital,” he said. At-risk children are sent home each Friday with backpacks filled with nutritious, nonperishable foods to keep them fed throughout weekends and holidays. Without them, some students simply go hungry, Thiery said. “One of the days I think about is when we had inclement weather and the kids couldn’t come and pick up their backpacks for the weekend,” he said. “Some

A volunteer pours a drink through an ice luge at Chefs’ Feast in 2016. | Photo Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma

of these kids live on these backpacks for the weekend.” Thiery has become an annual chairman of Chefs’ Feast, an honor he shares with Aunt Pittypat’s Catering co-owner chef Christine Dowd and US Foods executive chef Robert Johnson. “I think it’s so important the food bank is here,” Thiery said. From humble beginnings, started out of the back of a truck, the organization grew from giving out 280,000 pounds of food in its first year to distributing that much every couple of days, Thiery said. That kind of massive impact on an area can truly change lives. “We can come in there and bust our tails for a day or two and the food bank reaps the benefits all year long,” he said.

The headliners

This year’s Chefs’ Feast includes dishes from 25 local restaurants, caterers and chefs with a focus on Oklahoma-inspired foods. In addition to the coordinators, par-

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma founder Rodney Bivens celebrates with C2 Catering, part of Dunaway Hospitality Group, which won Foodie Favorite at Chefs’ Feast in 2016. | Photo Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma / provided

guest thanks to his work with US Foods, which donates a lot of unused product to the food bank. “We’ve had a really good relationship with them for a really, really long time,” he said. “I got invited to go, and it was an amazing event. So I approached the leadership and said, ‘How can I get in and be one of the chefs for the event?’ Since then, I’ve been a big supporter.” Like Thiery, Johnson said the Backpack Program drives his interest. His wife works for Edmond Public Schools and sees its impact. But there’s another reason he keeps coming back. “I look forward to the looks on people’s faces as they’re eating the food; the joy in their faces,” he said. “And at the end of the night, when they say, ‘We raised this amount of money today,’ and everybody cheers, that’s what it’s about for me.”

Food bank

Started in 1980, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma feeds more than 126,000 hungry residents weekly through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable food programs throughout central and western Oklahoma. The nonprofit organization puts a special focus on feeding hungry children with its Food for Kids programs, including the School Pantry program giving chronically hungry middle and high school students food for after school and weekends; the Backpack Program; Kids Cafe and Snack Sites providing food, mentoring and activities to at-risk kids; and the Summer Feeding program giving meals to Oklahomans 18 years old and under during summer months when free and reduced-price meals aren’t available at school. Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is always in need of donations of food, funds and volunteers. Visit regionalfoodbank.org.

Chefs’ Feast 6-9 p.m. March 23 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. chefsfeast.org | 405-600-3174 $150


ticipating restaurants include chef Kathryn Mathis’ trio Back Door Barbecue, Big Truck Tacos and Pizzeria Gusto; Guthrie favorite Gages Steakhouse; and Good Egg Dining Group entries Republic Gastropub and The Drake Seafood and Oysterette. It’s called a feast, but Thiery said firsttime guests should be prepared for a marathon of small bites. Size is not an indicator of flavor, though. To paraphrase Shakespeare, though they be little, the dishes are fierce. Thiery’s group, including students from Platt College, is preparing a trio of tiny flavor bombs. “We are going to do a Vegas Strip, almost like an Egyptian street food,” he said. “We’ll also do a vegetable dish — a lot of vegetarians go to these, so we try to give them options.” For dessert, he’s planning something like a mango-strawberry swirl, which might have a kick of alcohol in it. The Oklahoma inspiration is the reason he uses the Vegas Strip, which is a cut of beef developed at Oklahoma State University by cutting a long, thin strip steak out of the beef shoulder. Cooking for so many people — Chefs’ Feast feeds 900 guests, including volunteers — requires a lot of work, Thiery said. “I try to tell all the chefs, especially the first-timers, to be as self-contained as you can be,” he said. “You can’t expect to use the oven or the proofer once you get there.” It’s a three-week process from application to event, Johnson said. “Speaking from the chef’s side, at three weeks out, you submit the menu to the food bank,” he said. “Then we have to turn in our meat order to Chef’s Requested Foods,” which donates protein to each participant. When chefs get the meat a week and a half before the event, they start doing prep work so everything can come together the day of. “Twenty-four hours out, it’s all on,” Johnson said. “And a lot of these places have operations going on at the same time. They’re doing restaurant duties while trying to get the food ready.” Chefs’ Feast adds a lot of stress and effort to an already maxed-out workload, which is what makes the chefs’ willing involvement even more impressive. “The donation of their time and effort is huge,” Johnson said. He first attended Chefs’ Feast as a

For the Chef in all of us


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Oak & Ore celebrates its second anniversary with a week of events. | Photo Eric Peyton

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Beer-focused website CraftBeer.com named Oak & Ore the best beer bar in Oklahoma in its annual Great American Beer Bars competition. To celebrate the honor, as well as the venue’s second anniversary, owner Micah Andrews planned a week filled with activities starting Sunday. Sunday through March 25, kids ages 12 and under can eat free from the kids menu and customers with Keep It Local cards will receive a 20 percent discount on the regular food menu. Oak & Ore is also using the opportunity to debut new menu items. The official second anniversary party is noon-5 p.m. March 25. The bar taps special-release beers each hour, and all 36 taps will exclusively pour Oklahoma craft brews. Door prizes are drawn hourly, and those who buy an Oklahoma craft beer receive entry into a drawing for a limited-edition Oak & Ore anniversary T-shirt. Andrews said after a successful first year, the bar and restaurant shifted focus to helping the community. The venue hosted several events bringing together lawmakers and constituents to discuss changes to state liquor and beer laws. Along with three other Plaza District venues, Oak & Ore started a monthly Plaza Beer Walk event to raise funds for public schools near the Plaza neighborhood. So far, the events brought in more than $1,500 for Eugene Field and Gatewood elementary schools. “We hope to do even more with the Plaza Beer Walk this year,” said Andrews in a media release. “And for everyone wondering about the 2017 Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit, we have a big announcement coming soon.” Visit oakandore.com.

Beer Club



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Nani ended in 2015 after founders and chefs Colin Stringer and Andon Whitehorn were shut down by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, which took issue with the restaurant’s classification as a private supper club. But wonderful things persist, which is why Whitehorn and Stringer joined Anthem Brewing Company for a new project: Beer Club. Starting with dinners 7-9 p.m. April 3 and 4 at Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., each evening includes eight-10 courses (but if you ever attended a Nani dinner, you know they’ll probably sneak in at least one extra) of beers paired with bar fareinspired dishes. “Colin and I have been scheming on these dinners for a good bit because it’s been a couple of years since we’ve cooked together in a ‘formal’ setting

and we wanted to do that again before my wife and I left this state for Vermont this summer,” Whitehorn said. “We’ll also have Taylor McKenzie doing his thing as DJ Nowhere Sands, spinning a selection of vinyls.” Each dinner has a scarce 24 tickets available. If they go well, Whitehorn said they will likely host more collaborations. The dishes will be familiar, he said, but with adventurous twists. “It’ll be more playful,” Whitehorn said. “We’re having these dinners in a taproom, for goodness’ sake.” Beer Club dinners are 21-and-olderonly events. Tickets are $75 and are available at eventbrite.com.

EAT & DRINK Roughtail cofounder Blaine Stansel uses a Randall to infuse Everything Rhymes with Orange beer with Girl Scout Savannah Smiles cookies. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Two newcomers found themselves together when Stansel paired Roughtail’s new Adaptation Ale #007, released in January, with the newest Girl Scout offering, S’mores. Adaptation has a crisp, hoppy bite that S’mores cut into with a burst of chocolate and marshmallow sweetness.

F e at u r e

Sweet anniversary

Perfect pairings

Roughtail Brewing Company and Girl Scout cookies make a sweet duo. By Greg Elwell

Roughtail Brewing Company cofounder Blaine Stansel is no stranger to tasting beer. In fact, it’s one of the best parts of his job. The task got even tastier when he teamed up with Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma to find the perfect brews to accompany the scouting organization’s famously popular treats. Stansel said he tried to match cookie ingredients with those in the beer, either with complementary tastes or contrasting ones that highlight flavors. “Some of the more fruity beers work well with lighter flavors, while the darker beers, which are heavier, go with a heavy cookie,” he said. That’s how he put the rich imperial stout One Trick Pony with Samoas. The coconut and caramel confection is finished with stripes of dark chocolate, which can hold its own with the cocoa nib and vanilla bean-infused beer. One Trick Pony is only available on draft or in growlers at the brewery, 1279 N. Air Depot Blvd., Suite 10, but it’s worth a drive to Midwest City. The beer is almost pitch-black and has a smooth, roasted flavor that brings out the sweetness in Samoas. And at 9.0 alcohol by volume (ABV), it’s definitely a drink that is best enjoyed when you don’t have to be anywhere soon. Stansel said the pairing of lemony Savannah Smiles with the brewery’s citrus-focused Everything Rhymes with Orange IPA was so easy they were pairing them a year ago in the tap house. Orange and lemon are complementar y flavors, so the crew used a machine called

Samoas and One Trick Pony | Photo Girl Scouts

a Randall to run the beer through some Savannah Smiles, infusing their sugary taste in the glass. The half-moon cookies are dusted with powdered sugar, which helps cut through some of the IPA’s hoppy bitterness, as well.

This year is a big one for Girl Scout cookies, especially in the Sooner State, said Misti McClellan, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma public relations and communications specialist. After all, an Oklahoma Girl Scout troop launched the now-famous sales. “What started as a little idea from a girl in Oklahoma is now the largest girlled business in the world. Pretty stinkin’ cool,” McClellan said. “The girls in the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee had an idea to fund their community service project. They baked cookies and sold them in their school cafeteria to raise funds that they used to buy Christmas bags that they sent to the Oklahoma soldiers stationed in Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas.” The business really took off in 1935, when “Girl Scout Cookie” first appeared on boxes. In the next few years, commercial bakeries began to help bake them to keep up with a growing appetite. Today, two bakeries make Girl Scout cookies, which is why different parts of the country have different names and sometimes recipes for the treats. Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma uses Little Brownie Bakers. McClellan said S’mores cookie sales are strong with some troops reloading supplies just a few days into the season, which began Feb. 3. “We’ve had girls who have already beaten their goals and are hitting their stretch goals,” she said. “Everything is firing at 100 percent this year.” Sales support community projects, programs and maintaining camp properties. They also raise funds to provide financial assistance to girls who couldn’t otherwise afford to be Girl Scouts members. “I know we have one troop who has been saving their troop proceeds the last few years, and their goal is that with this year’s earnings, they will all go to Savannah to the birthplace of Juliette Low and Girl Scouts,” McClellan said. “We have another troop using their troop funds to travel to our national convention in Ohio in October.” Sales end March 26.


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Naming rights

It takes some guts to put your name on a business. Saying, “This is my restaurant,” invites people to judge you along with the food. So when you see someone’s name on a sign, you know they’re proud of the food they make and the service they give. Often, it’s the owner, his family or even a beloved pet to which they dedicate the business. Here are a few new and classic local eateries that aren’t shy about letting customers know who inspired the creation of their next favorite meal. By Greg Elwell Photos Garett Fisbeck, file and provided

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Chef Curry To Go

Ned’s Kitchen

Yuzo Sushi Tapas

Don’t go in expecting just Indian or Thai food at Chef Curry To Go, one of the newest restaurants on busy Western Avenue. Executive chef Kendall Curry is a veteran of the local restaurant industry, including a stint at Ranch Steakhouse, but he knows his way around casual food, too. For a meal on the go, Chef Curry can whip up a mean grilled veggie sandwich, crispy eggplant Parmesan and a sautéed mushroom, bacon and Swiss burger that will make you want to go back.

There are actually two Neds, but neither of them is the evil one. Ned Shadid Jr. and Sr. own a successful catering company, and now they run the kitchen inside Cock O’ the Walk Bar and Grill. The food has never been better inside the venerable old bar than it is right now, with unbelievably flavorful hot wings, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly burgers and baseball cut sirloin steaks. Cock O’ the Walk is still a smoking bar, so if you’re not into cigarettes, order your food to-go.

Named for executive chef Yuzo Toyama and run with veteran restaurateur Tomi Le, Yuzo Sushi Tapas is revving foodie engines in Automobile Alley. Fusing Japanese and South American cuisine with top-notch service and presentation serves the new restaurant well. The hamachi (yellowtail collar) ajillo (garlic) with sultry slices of fish, crispy minced garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and ponzu sauce is worthy of notice. It’s a must-have every time you go.

5701 N. Western Ave. chefcurrytogo.com | 405-608-8050

3705 N. Western Ave. cockothewalk.net | 405-524-0304

808 N. Broadway Ave. yuzosushitapas.com | 405-702-9808

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Hank’s Coffee & Wine 1227 N. Walker Ave. hankscoffee.com | 405-778-6294

The eponymous Hank of Hank’s Coffee & Wine was a very good boy. And though the “cow” dog now chases coffee carts in the sky, his name lives on at this Midtown coffee bar. Those who wake up early can start the day with one of the restaurant’s delicious espresso drinks. Out late? Stop in for a glass of wine and enjoy watching the bustling district after the lights are out. And if you have your furry friend with you, bring it inside — Hank’s is friendly to your personal Hank, too.

Chef Ray’s Street Eats

mobile facebook.com/chefraysstreeteats | 405-531-2871 Owner Raymond Wilson could serve his eats anywhere he wanted and the crowds would come because this food truck turns out some of the tastiest food in the metro. His from-scratch banana pudding is a crowd-pleasing hit, and his Nashville-style hot fried chicken brings diners to tears with bold heat and a flavor so fine, you don’t want it to end. The menu changes frequently, but with Chef Ray in the truck, the quality never strays from excellent.

Camilya’s Cafe 10942 N. May Ave. 405-418-4141

For ridiculously tasty Mediterranean cuisine, OKC knows to trust Camilya. The menu runs the gamut from ultra-healthy dishes including musakaa (eggplant cooked with tomato sauce, green peppers, garlic and onion) to ultra-indulgent fare. Her lamb shank is tender and flavorful, and the gyro plate comes piled high with plenty of pita bread. Best of all, Camilya’s is known for excellent service. Good food brings the people in, but friendly staff keeps them coming time and again.

Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market 3131 W. Memorial Road. nunuscafe.com | 405-751-7000

Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market pays homage to Nunu Farhood and her mother, Abla Musallam, who taught her daughter all about Lebanese cuisine and being a gracious hostess. Owned and operated by Nunu’s son Clayton Farhood, the restaurant remains a warm, inviting place with some of the finest Lebanese food in the metro. Try Nunu’s signature hashwa dish. Made with seasoned beef and rice, the delicacy is cooked with clarified butter and topped with toasted almonds.

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Moving forward Creative Oklahoma finds ways to encourage innovative thinking. By Brian Daffron

Oklahoma is certainly known for its creative minds, and especially its artists. Many of the state’s towns and cities have a singer, musician, writer or broadcaster they claim as their own. Ingenuity includes inventions; the yield sign, shopping cart, pressurized flight suit and even pesky parking meter have the minds of Oklahoma citizens behind them. But can creativity be taught, or is it innate? Can it be nurtured and developed on a large scale? Furthermore, can creativity be implemented in the business world? Statewide leaders, primarily from the private sector, started asking each other questions like these over 10 years ago. They would eventually be the impetus of Creative Oklahoma. “[It] began in 2005 with a small group of people who came together looking at ways for Oklahoma to be more economically prosperous in the 21st century,” said Susan McCalmont, Creative Oklahoma president. “We were looking at education issues. We were looking at economic issues and societal issues.” At the time, McCalmont was director of the Kirkpatrick Foundation. Shortly after these talks began, she and other nonprofit leaders met documentary filmmaker Michael O’Connell. “[O’Connell] was concerned that America was losing its competitive edge,” McCalmont said. “He was looking for someplace in the country where creativity and innovation is still alive and well.” After accepting an invitation from McCalmont and other Oklahomans, O’Connell traveled to Oklahoma to film ReCreating America: Creativity and Learning. The film shows four Oklahoma schools, including Santa Fe South High School, that focus on the precarious

Oklahoma City hosted 2015’s fact-finding Reverse Mission for the Districts of Creativity. | Photo Creative Oklahoma / provided

balance between teaching creativity and improving test scores. Through O’Connell, a formal connection was made between Oklahoma leaders and Sir Ken Robinson, an arts education advocate whom Queen Elizabeth II knighted for his work in Northern Ireland. Through Robinson’s encouragement and guidance, Oklahoma Creativity Project was launched. Two years later, the project changed its name to Creative Oklahoma.

Educating Oklahomans

Creative Oklahoma’s emphasis is on three key areas: education, commerce and culture. Its plan began with the idea to change schools to a new model with emphasis on creative collaboration and innovation. Then, according to the development model, commerce would follow suit. The melding of education and commerce would, ideally, create a “a quality environment in your communities that embrace the arts, embrace beautification, embrace the importance of architecture and look at health and environmental issues as well,” McCalmont said. In the past 10 years, Creative Oklahoma has built a roster of accomplishments. Examples include hosting the internationally focused Creativity World Forums; Oklahoma Innovation lecture series; establishment of its Oklahoma ArtScience Prize for high school students to work with Harvard University professors; establishing FIRST Robotics Competition in Oklahoma City; and being a catalyst

behind Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO). Another program within Creative Oklahoma reaches people outside Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Oklahoma Creative Communities trains civic leaders, usually those who have not been elected to office, to identify more leaders and find creative solutions unique to their particular community. After an online application process, Creative Oklahoma selected eight municipalities for this training: Tahlequah, Ponca City, Enid, Okmulgee, Altus, Durant, Guthrie and Locust Grove. “Applications came from a variety of places,” McCalmont said. “Some came from chambers of commerce. Some came from arts councils. Some came from existing main street organizations. There has to have been a catalyst in the community that really wanted to engage in the process.” One civic leader who benefitted from the program is Loran Mayes, a small business owner from Altus who is member of the Altus Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Main Street program. “[Creative Oklahoma trainers] give us the tools and really push us outside of our comfort zone,” Mayes said. She said Creative Oklahoma doesn’t have a strict set of guidelines about their methods. “The organization is set up in a way that they don’t really tell you what to do,” Mayes said. “It is actually each town’s project that they guide us in the process. They reel you back in when you’re getting off track. They encourage you when you’re getting down. They give energy and ideas in the group. They have helped us pull out people within our own community who may not be involved in things.”

Future development

While education initiatives and community-based training has been a portion of the group’s focus, there is always room for individual development. Creative Oklahoma executive director Dave Evans said Creative Oklahoma is developing Oklahoma Venture Mentoring Service, a program to expand entrepreneurial networking and pair i nvent ive Ok la homa ns w it h Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) representatives. Evans also stressed the importance of Creative Oklahoma being a noncompetitive program and the nonprofit organization’s desire to “be inclusive of everybody in the state.” Oklahoma’s challenges include prison overcrowding, drug addiction, teacher pay and economic concerns, McCalmont said. Therefore, there is always room for innovation and people with solutions. “We need people who are coming up with new ideas and working together to solve these problems in any creative way,” she said. “We need solutions that no one’s thought about before.”

Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. Chaired by volunteer Mary Blanken-

“We have created a volunteer task

fetes chef, restaurateur and author Rick

Forum twice in recent years — in 2010

force in partnership with the governor’s

Bayless; Oklahoma City Thunder gen-

and 2015.

office, have conducted a feasibility

Since its inception in 2008, Creative Oklahoma has honored 48 men and eight women as ambassadors at its Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala events. Its 2017 class increases those numbers to 55 and nine at its now-annual gala April 3 at Civic Center

study and are in the process of devel-

tional leaders, which has raised Oklaho-

oping an online tool which provides a

homa Chief Gary Batton; petroleum

ma’s level of visibility,” McCalmont said.

guide and a framework for teachers to

geologist, author and philanthropist

“Oklahoma is probably better known

add creative learning to their lesson

Robert Hefner III; forensic artist Harvey

as a center of creativity in other parts

plans,” McCalmont said.

Pratt; Oklahoma country musician Blake

of the world than it is here in the state

Shelton; and 2017 Young Oklahoma

Districts of Creativity Network.”

“We will also have a very big sur-

By Christine Eddington

“We have toured groups of interna-

Chris Harrison; Choctaw Nation of Okla-

and Broadway actress Annie Funke.

Ambassadors Gala celebrates its 2017 class of Oklahoma innovators and leaders.

for teachers statewide at no cost.

hosted the esteemed World Creativity

Creativity Ambassador and television

Extoling imagination

tional tool that will soon be available

North America. The Sooner state has

ship Pointer, the evening’s celebration

eral manager Sam Presti; television host

Annie Funke

Network, Oklahoma is the only one in

One Creative Oklahoma program to benefit from April 3 gala proceeds is Oklahoma’s Innovation Index, an educa-

Teachers can upload their ideas for others to adapt or adopt, ultimately creating a creative learning community. Another initiative is Oklahoma Mentorship Program, a commerce col-

prise that night,” Pointer said. “I can’t

laboration with MIT, for “anyone with

tell you what it is, but it will be fun.”

an idea,” McCalmont said. “Whether your idea is for a business

Pointer said Creative Oklahoma anticipates hosting around 400 guests

or something to make the community

and generating $300,000 that evening.

better,” she said, “you’ll be able to

Proceeds help subsidize several Cre-

come to Creative Oklahoma and we will

ative Oklahoma programs that focus on

help you by connecting you to people

education, commerce and culture. The

and resources.” Visit stateofcreativity.com.

committee that selects each year’s ambassadors also uses those three areas as a template when choosing a slate. “Our goal has always been to raise

Oklahoma Creativity Ambassadors Gala

the visibility for Oklahoma as a region for creativity and innovation,” said Susan McCalmont, Creative Oklahoma

8 p.m. Aug. 22


Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater Oklahoma City Community College

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T h e at e r


Love notes

Bus Stop takes a closer look at relationships. By Ben Luschen

yo u t h

Terry Veal was a young college theater student the first time he read Bus Stop. He immediately fell in love with it. Veal finally gets his first opportunity to direct the play this month, as Jewel Box Theatre debuts its version of the production Thursday through March 26 at its downtown venue, 3700 N. Walker Ave. Bus Stop was written by William Inge, who died in 1973 as one of America’s most talented and prolific playwrights. Some of his other notable works include Pulitzer Prize-winning Picnic, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and the screenplay for Splendor in the Grass, which won him an Academy Award. Inge was sometimes called the Playwright of the Midwest for his accurate portrayals of inland small towns and the people who live there. “I think [Inge’s] characters are so interesting and have so many levels to them,” Veal said. “I like that a lot. To get to dig into those characters and find out those things that have been going on in their lives and why they are the way they are — that’s what we love about theater.”

Bus Stop in particular is a strong character study. In the romantic comedy, occupants of a bus are stranded in the wee hours of the morning at a small-town diner due to a massive snowstorm. Several romantic relationships — all with different characteristics and dynamics — spark between different character pairings. Veal said the play is a look into different types of love and relationships and audience members relate their experiences to what they see onstage. Couples featured in the production include young and inexperienced former orphan Bo Decker (played by Craig Musser) and experienced, well-traveled Cherie (Claudia Fain); strong-willed alcoholic college professor Dr. Gerald Lyman (Rob May) and teenage waitress Elma Duckworth (Alix Golden); and bus driver Carl with Grace Hoylard (Deborah Franklin), the diner owner whose previous encounters with Carl have been more lust than love. Other characters include the tough, righteous sheriff Will Masters (Larry

Block party

Ingenuity and innovation are on display at BrickUniverse’s upcoming LEGO Fan Convention. By Ian Jayne

Any work of art is always composed of various parts. The LEGO art that will be on display at BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention March 18-19 definitely fits the bill. Held at Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, the convention includes local display exhibits, building zones, challenge zones and a brick market. The event also features special guests Daniel Siskind, Brickmania founder, as well as artists Rocco Buttliere, Paul Hetherington and author Marcie Colleen. In addition to helping plan the convention, Greyson Beights, who spoke with Oklahoma Gazette via email, is a history student and the author of Medieval LEGO, which features scholarly historical information paired with LEGO illustrations. Medieval LEGO was published in 2015, after Beights turned 15. Beights’ love for history and LEGO coalesced early in the form of a special Christmas gift. “I received a LEGO castle set,” he said. “And after that, my involvement has snowballed into where I am today.” Now, Beights has a variety of roles 26

M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

with BrickUniverse, including marketing, planning and executing various conventions, which has given him the opportunity to travel and connect with fellow LEGO enthusiasts. According to Beights, inspiration remains a hallmark of BrickUniverse’s larger goal of encouraging creativity and ingenuity through LEGO to the next generation. “People love LEGO because the possibilities are endless — the only limit is one’s imagination,” Beights said. LEGO, which recalls the Danish phrase for “play well,” has come a long way since the company released its first set of interlocking bricks in 1949. While LEGO is certainly popular with its younger demographic, Beights said the bricks have a lot to offer. “LEGO can help foster science, technology, engineering, math and even history,” he said. “I have seen everything from a working LEGO car to a working robotic LEGO space launch complex.” Guests at BrickUniverse’s LEGO Fan Convention can play with LEGOs and enjoy displays Saturday and Sunday at Cox Convention Center. | Photo BrickUniverse / provided

Harris) and Virgil Blessing (Chris Crane), an older cowboy who acted as Decker’s childhood caretaker. Veal said he is fortunate to have a strong cast and a stellar group of behindthe-scenes contributors, including costumer Jeffrey Meek and head of props Sheila Sewell. Both were tasked with giving Bus Stop a distinctly 1950s feel. “This group has really come together, and we’re getting along and having a great time,” he said. “That’s part of it, too. That’s the process. People think you get in there one day and it’s all there. No; it takes four to five weeks to get all this stuff put together. I think people forget that.” Veal said the show should take audiences through a range of emotions and

Beights said the convention also provides “the ultimate LEGO fan experience” for first-time visitors. “Right at their arrival, attendees will be [immersed] in a world of creativity and inspiration,” he said. “There are amazing art galleries with massive displays.” BrickUniverse’s Fan Convention also hosts a space for Oklahoma LEGO User Group (OKLUG), an Oklahoma-based group of LEGO hobbyists that meets

Craig Musser and Claudia Fain star in Jewel Box Theatre’s production of Bus Stop. | Photo Jim Beckel / Jewel Box Theatre / provided

leave them with something worth contemplating long after the curtains close. “There’s some lines that really are touching and very telling of who we are as people,” he said. “Those are throughout, so there’s something for everyone.” Visit jewelboxtheatre.org.

Bus Stop 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and March 23-25, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and March 26 Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N. Walker Ave. jewelboxtheatre.org | 405-521-1786 $15-$20

monthly, to display their creations. Beights characterized the LEGO brick artist culture as interesting and unique. The convention features works by artists such as Brooklyn-born Jonathan Lopes, who creates urban landscapes from LEGO bricks. “He’s up-and-coming and really doing it the right way with his mindset, creative process and execution,” Beights said. “I’ve been honored to have seen his work up close for the past few years.” The Fan Convention also hosts many vendors, including The Brick Show, Yorkie Toys, Brixalotl, eclipseGRAFX and Brickmania. Convention guests can purchase new and retired LEGO sets, mini-figures, apparel and accessories, Beights said. Oklahoma City-based Funny Figs also will create custom LEGO caricatures during the convention. “If you can think it, it will most likely be at the show,” Beights said. General admission tickets are available for $15 each day on brickuniverse. org/okc.

BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention 10 a.m.-4p.m. March Saturday-Sunday Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens brickuniverse.org/okc $15

Co m m u n i t y


Natural allies

OKC Zoo and Nature Conservancy team up for research. By Christine Eddington

The Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden and The Nature Conservancy have formed a five-year partnership designed to monitor and preserve natural habitats in several of the conservancy’s Oklahoma preserves. The zoo provides funds that the conservancy uses to gather data useful to both groups. Three projects have already been started this year. A small mammal survey, like an inventory, is being conducted in the conservancy’s preserve near Ada, the Oka’Yanahli, which means “flowing water” in Chickasaw. Zoo funding enabled the conservancy to hire a University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) biology professor to complete the work. A second project enables the conservancy to engage another UCO faculty member to gauge the frequency and history of fires in the Hottonia Bottoms preserve in southern Oklahoma. “Scientists can look at tree rings from stumps on the preserve and identify fire

scars within the rings,” said Jay Pruett, The Nature Conservancy director of conservation. “Scientists can then tell us when historic fires have occurred, which helps us prescribe controlled burns for maintenance of the land.” The third project underway monitors the Ranavirus and Chytrid fungus in amphibians in the Oka’Yanahli and Pontotoc Ridge preservations. “These diseases have caused extinctions in the tropics, so it’s important that they are closely monitored,” said Dr. Rebecca J. Snyder, curator of conservation and science at the zoo. At present, there is no need to deploy disease-combating tactics, so researchers mainly take samples from animals and then release them back into their habitat. “The zoo now has six legacy conservation partners. This partnership with The Nature Conservancy is important because it’s a local project,” Snyder said. “We were looking for a way to enhance the conservation of native species. We

are able to fund these partnerships with resources from the [Oklahoma] Zoological Society, generated primarily through zoo memberships.” The partnership gives the conservancy annual, unrestricted $20,000 grants for five years. Anyone at The Nature Conservancy can submit a project for consideration. The ones that are the most useful and of interest to both agencies tend to rise to the top of the list. Pruett is thrilled with the new partnership. “We had been working informally with the zoo,” he said. “When we found, for example, research opportunities, we would work together. When new people began managing the zoo, they came to us and wanted to discuss this partnership. We really liked the idea, and we know that the partnership is strengthened by both of our organiza-

Nature Conservancy work day volunteers help along the Blue River on the Oka’Yanahli Preserve. | Photo The Nature Conservancy / provided

tions’ commitment to conservation.” The Nature Conservancy manages 13 nature preserves in Oklahoma totaling about 70,000 acres. Snyder encourages regular people to take small steps in their daily lives to help protect and conserve the environment. She suggests recycling, composting, using cloth grocery bags and trying to throw away as little as possible. We can all help pollinators easily, too. “Everyone can plant pollinatorfriendly plants in their gardens, like butterfly bushes or milkweed,” Snyder said. “Every milkweed planted makes a difference.” Together, the zoo and the conservancy hope to make a significant difference for the state.

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Co m m u n i t y


Influential initiative

Leadership Oklahoma honors longtime community luminaries at its annual Excellence in Leadership Gala. By Sara Yonker

Leadership Oklahoma, a statewide program that helps foster leadership skills in promising young professionals while educating them about issues facing the state, honors longtime business and community leaders Steve Turnbo and Tom McDaniel at its annual Excellence in Leadership Gala April 1 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. The organization also celebrates the contributions of business leader Russell Perry and his Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Company and Oklahoma Energy Resources Board agency for its efforts to rehabilitate oil and gas sites across the state.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom McDaniel Leaders might need intelligence and vision. But what sets apart the great leaders from the rest are those who have a strong sense of humility, McDaniel said. McDaniel receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from Leadership Oklahoma for his years serving community businesses and organizations. “You need personal humility to engage others in any endeavor,” he said. “You need to make them feel important and that you care about them. It’s about others; it’s not about yourself.” McDaniel is president of American Fidelity Foundation, the former Oklahoma City University president and chancellor and retired Kerr McGee Corporation vice chairman and director. He also served as Northwestern Oklahoma State University president and State of Oklahoma administrative director of courts. He said of all the teams he has led in his career, the most important one was at home with his three sons.

“My wife and I worked hard to instill a sense of servant leadership in our boys,” he said. “We wanted them to know they need to give back.”

Distinguished Graduate

Steve Turnbo The business of public relations is all about getting people to listen to your mission and message. But for Turnbo, chairman emeritus of one of the largest public relations firms in the state, leadership requires the opposite. “A really good leader has to be a good listener,” he said. “You learn by listening. A lot of folks are more interested in sort of communicating before they can listen. It’s really important to be a good listener before assessing and speaking.” Turbo, who served as CEO of Schanke Turnbo Frank consulting firm before retiring to the emeritus position, receives Leadership Oklahoma’s Distinguished Graduate Award. Turnbo was a member of the fourth class to graduate from Leadership Oklahoma. As a graduate of the program, he has dedicated his life to serving his community and investing in the people around him, a statement from the leadership organization said. In addition to leading the company, Turnbo served 28 years on the University of Tulsa Board of Trustees and was inducted to the Collins College of Business Hall of Fame in 2015. His volunteer work is extensive. He has worked with the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice for 31 years and also served on the board for Leadership Oklahoma. “I’ve always felt like being involved in the organization, you have an obligation to give back to the organization,” he said.

Business Leadership Award

Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Company When Russell Perry started his business, there wasn’t a black person working as a reporter at any newspaper in Oklahoma. Perry changed that when he launched Oklahoma City’s weekly The Black Chronicle in 1979. “I hired people of color, for the most part, who didn’t have the training to be a journalist,” he said. “I trained them.” Part of that training, Perry said, was to give his newspapers what he described as a “strong personality.” “A newspaper needs to be a reflection of the community, and there was part of the community back then that was not being reflected,” he said. That tie to the community is also what he believes can make a business a leader. “For a business to be a leader, it needs to have quality, integrity and honesty, but I think most of all, it should have a commitment to the community,” he said. He did that for the black community by not only hiring and training black journalists, but by making sure he paid competitive salaries to keep them there. In 1994, the company expanded to include broadcast radio stations, giving jazz, R&B and rap a venue that he said it hadn’t had previously. The company has since acquired additional stations in other markets. It currently owns and operates 16 radio stations H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H


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Statewide Community Award

Oklahoma Energy Resources Board Twenty-four years ago, a group of Oklahoma oil producers and royalty owners formed Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) with the goal of restoring abandoned oil drill sites. It receives the Statewide Community Award for continuing that mission. “Today’s industry is not only taking responsibility for environmental problems caused decades ago but is continually developing more environmentally responsible ways to produce oil and gas and protect our land, air and water,” executive director Mindy Stitt said in a media statement. The program has spent more than $100 million restoring 15,385 orphaned and abandoned well sites across the state and currently restores two to three sites a day, making it the most successful program of its kind in the country.

Excellence in Leadership Gala 6-8 p.m. April 1 Southern Hills Country Club 2636 E. 61st St., Tulsa leadershipoklahoma.com | 405-848-0001 $125+

Ac t i v e

Home run

OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation’s last run was the 2015 Dodger Dash. | Photo OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation / provided

OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation’s CommUNITY Run brings people together. By Michael Kinney

Ac t i v e

During 2016, “tension” and “drama” seemed to be the main buzzwords hanging over the country. Individuals and groups found themselves at odds over various topics stemming from politics, religions race and more. Minor League Baseball (MiLB) officials wanted to do something to alleviate those tensions. A call to action was issued to fans around the country to think of ways to be a positive influence in their families and communities and help end violence and discrimination. It was called CommUNITY. “Back in August, Minor League Baseball launched a community initiative for all 160-plus teams across [the minor leagues] to come together regarding recent tensions that were going on nationally,” said Jennifer Van Tuyl, managing director of OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation. “Baseball is a place where people can come into a stadium and support each other and celebrate unity.” Seeing how well the initiative went for

MiLB as a whole, the foundation decided to take the concept and transfer it into its inaugural CommUNITY Run. The run is March 25. It starts on Joe Carter Avenue by the ballpark and ends on the field at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive. There are three runs. Participants in the 5K and 1K will get a T-shirt and medal, and there will also be a kids run. Registration fees are $5-$25. “The money will go to the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation,” Tuyl said. “We’re also working with the [Oklahoma City] Police Athletic League to bring some awareness to them during the event.” Officials are hoping to attract as many as 500 participants. The 1K starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K starts at 9 a.m. The kids run begins after the 5K is over. “We knew we wanted to do a 5K again. You don’t have to be a runner, and you can walk,” Tuyl said. The Oklahoma City Dodgers Baseball Foundation is a nonprofit corporation

whose mission is “to impact the lives of families in the state of Oklahoma, provide educational opportunities for our youth and support the first responders of our state, through charitable contributions and programming initiatives.” Since coming to Oklahoma City, the Dodgers strived to become part of the surrounding community. This CommUNITY Run is just the latest endeavor in which they have found a way to help. “We get requests from so many organizations to help them with their fundraising or spread awareness for their cause,” Tuyl said. “So we know that we’re a really important pillar in the community, and we want to make sure we stay that way. What can we do to help everybody? They depend on us a lot.” Once CommUNITY Run concludes,

runners and fans are encouraged to stay around for the third annual Fan Fest. The festivities start at 10 a.m. and include a hot dog eating contest, food trucks, kids games, a home run derby and an autograph session. “You can come to the run and cheer on the runners then head into the ball park and enjoy the Fan Fest,” Tuyl said. Visit okcdodgers.com, email foundation@okcdodgers.com or call 405-2181000.

OKC Dodgers CommUNITY Run 8:30 a.m. March 25 Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive okcdodgers.com | 405-218-1000 $5-$25

Golden dancers

Oklahoma City Ballet offers a class to help seniors stay fit. By Jessica Williams

It’s never too late to become a ballerina. Residents at The Fountains at Canterbury retirement home stretch their dance muscles with Oklahoma City Ballet’s Golden Swans class. “I think I’ve learned more from them than they’ve learned from me,” said teacher and longtime dance instructor Laura Ward. “My students are in their late 70s to early 90s, but when they’re in class, it’s like they’re ageless.” Enter The Fountains on a Wednesday, and you’ll find OKC’s local elders pliéing and gliding across the floor to the same classical music professional ballerinas use during rehearsals. “This is all about creating an authenticity for the students,” she said. “I incorporate a series of stretches, dances and opportunities for freestyle that let students feel like they’re truly part of the OKC Ballet.” The class was initiated in December as part of OKC Ballet’s growing list of outreach programs, and The Fountains at Canterbury was chosen due to its strong support of OKC Ballet. “A group of folks at The Fountains sponsor a young dancer from OKC Ballet,

and she came to perform a number for the whole center recently,” Ward said. “After her performance, people at OKC Ballet and The Fountains wanted to create a program that involved its seniors more actively.” Golden Swans is a way for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Stretches and light exercises keep students flexible and strong, and the added ballet element makes them stay. “Each week, the classes grow larger and larger,” Ward said. “I can’t talk about it without smiling. I’ve gotten to witness each individual become more confident and develop their love for ballet by actually performing it.” The popularity of Golden Swans quickly grew. No prerequisites are required to join Golden Swans, and Ward tailors each exercise according to her student needs. “At the beginning of each class, I start with basic stretches while watching how each student responds,” she said. “I structure classes based on each individual’s abilities while still creating an environment that will challenge students and inspire creativity.”

Balance and coordination dwindle with age, so Ward seeks to supplement these facts of life with different weekly classes. “Even though my students are seniors, I still teach the core principles of ballet,” she said. “I use the proper names for each movement, incorporate the bar into each lesson and eventually encourage a freestyle portion of the class where students can use the entire floor. It’s a unique and educational experience for everyone.” Although Golden Swans is in its fledgling year, Ward said the rewards of teaching ballet to enthusiastic seniors have already manifested. “[In December], during the intermission of an OKC Ballet production, I ran into an entire row of my Golden Swans students in the theater,” she said. “I was

The Golden Swans class at The Fountains at Canterbury helps seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle. | Photo Stephanie Pitts / provided

absolutely elated to see that the class has motivated them to go see ballet. They told me watching professional dancers made them want to continue the class. It doesn’t get better than that.” Thanks to Golden Swans’ rapid success, Ward anticipates more classes for senior citizens throughout the local area. “This is a great way for seniors to feel involved in the arts and to try something different in their later years,” she said. “I have a blast teaching them and hope to see this program grow.” Visit okcballet.org.

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Posable monkey frame at Heart & Hand Thrift Center

Senior league StartS tueSday april 4th Games are at 240 Sports Complex (Old Boomer) at 6:30PM Spring season runs 12 weeks 24 games Complete teams allowed or individuals age starts at 43 for ‘A’ division teams and 60 for ‘B’ division teams

ContaCt Darrell Pinkerton

dArwAnP@COx.net | 405-634-3544

“Bow Wow Wow” twerking dog doll at Heart & Hand Thrift Center


Vintage piggy bank at New E Nuff

Bargain hunt

Go on a thrift store safari for a budget-friendly workspace makeover. By Ben Luschen | Photos Garett Fisbeck

If your office or cubicle has all the personality of an off-brand stapler or a free paperweight, don’t fret. Any workspace can go from boring to fun and chatworthy with just a little money and a lot of imagination. There are many destinations in the metropolitan area for budget-conscious buyers to peruse secondhand goods. But where to start? It’s a jungle out there, and shopping destinations are certainly plentiful. Thrift stores are a great place for those looking to build up their wardrobe or find some simple accoutrements to turn their house into a home. But can one achieve office chic while shopping pre-owned? Yes, you can. With an air-tight budget of just $25 and a couple hours, these four area thrift stores happily helped fulfill a mission to fill a hypothetical work space with as many animal-themed wares and decorations as they could.


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Bargain Thrift Store 4545 NW 16th St. bargainthrift.com 405-948-1092 Hippo cardholder ($1.99) Taco Bell Chihuahua doll ($1.49)

The first stop on the local thrift tour led to a pair of dirt-cheap finds. Many visit Bargain Thrift Store for its racks of secondhand clothing, but shoppers should not overlook the shelves of knickknacks, books and toys that line its outer walls. This hippo cardholder at under $2 might be the best utilitarian find of the bunch. Office visitors and coworkers will always seize the opportunity to grab a business card from between its mighty jaws. And for a price equivalent to the cost of a Doritos Locos Taco, the Taco Bell Chihuahua figurine provides stressed workers with intermittent bursts of comforting nostalgia.

June 3rd

Wines of the West

11am-4pm Sample some of Oklahoma’s finest wines in stores throughout our district.

Ceramic frog at Decades Revisited: A Vintage Mall

October 7th

Stockyard Stampede

10am-3pm All Day Live Music • Kid’s Zone Local Craft Vendors Little Mr. & Ms. Stockyards City Pageant Hippo cardholder and Taco Bell dog at Bargain Thrift Store

Heart & Hand Thrift Center 7901 NW 23rd St. olivetbaptistokc.com 405-470-0431 Poseable monkey frame (78 cents) “Bow Wow Wow” twerking dog doll ($1.58)

All money raised by Heart & Hand Thrift Center, an extension of Olivet Baptist Church ministries, directly supports homeless women and children in the community. That charity, combined with nearly unbeatable prices, turns many patrons into repeat customers. The furry, brown monkey frame with arms stretchable in a variety of directions is the perfect display vessel for a picture of a precious child or a childish friend. But no personal office space is complete without a conversation starter. The electronic twerking dog doll, including its “Bow Wow Wow” shirt, could serve as a centerpiece. For less than $2, watch time and time again as coworkers press down on the doll’s foot and see the canine jiggle its pronounced derriere. New E Nuff 3901 N. College Ave., Bethany facebook.com/newenuff 405-603-8878 Vintage piggy bank ($10)

Bethany’s New E Nuff was a step up in quality wares, but that also included a small step up in price. Nevertheless, a sign on the door ad-

vertising sales from 10 to 50 percent off gives all who enter hope for a score. Several attractive items in the store would have fit well with the animal theme, but a restricted budget made the shopping experience highly selective. At last, a cute vintage piggy bank proved itself worthy of our office decor. Not only is the bank adorable, but it gives workers someplace to save all the change from their once-daily (or twicedaily — who’s counting?) trip to the vending machine. Decades Revisited: A Vintage Mall 3639 NW 39th St. decadesrevisited.com 405-601-6800 Ceramic frog ($6)

Looking to kill some time on a day off? Get lost in the cavernous trove of treasures that is Decades Revisited. Odds and ends from past eras are packed into the large space, which includes extra inventory in the back room. There’s no way someone could see everything in one trip. Thankfully, a single voyage was all that was necessary to locate a ceramic frog for the desk. The forest-green frog is a jack-of-all-trades for the workspace. Paperclips, thumbtacks, breath mints and paper footballs could all be stored inside its enormous mouth. Our amphibious friend helps pass along a princely impression at a tadpole price.

November 17th @ 6:30 PM

Christmas Tree Lighting

Watch Santa spread some Christmas magic in SYC

December 2nd

A Cowboy Christmas Parade 10am Come and enjoy antique cars, tractors, groups and clubs of all sorts, and take pictures with the famous Cowboy Santa!


office@stockyardscity.org O kg a z e t t e . c o m | M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7



Music Issue Gazette’s annual music issue is the top hit of the year for music lovers! 2017’s extended coverage will feature statewide Oklahoma music festivals, local live music venues and info on OKC’s hottest bands. This music issue rocks!


Tony and Pulitzer Prize-Winner


I AM MY OWN WIFE By Doug Wright Directed by Michael Baron

The true story of Berlin’s most famous transvestite, who survived the Nazi and Communist regimes hidden in plain sight – as a woman. MATTHEW ALVIN BROWN

Stars as over 30 Characters!


“Terrific story ... thoroughly mesmerizing.” – New York Times

$18 Student Rush Tickets Available!

BUY NOW FOR BEST SEATS AT THE BEST PRICE! Limited, 2-Week Run Begins March 29th • Tickets Start at Just $25

Charge Tickets by Phone: (405) 524-9312 and LyricTheatreOKC.com 32

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Call your account executive at 528.6000 or email specialsections@okgazette.com today to reserve your space!

Hidden strength Two lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit that ultimately brought marriage equality to Oklahoma share their story. By Ben Luschen

For a long time, Sharon and Mary Bishop-Baldwin waited for someone to step up. In October 2014, two of the lead plaintiffs in a long-battled lawsuit that eventually brought marriage equality to Oklahoma were at last able to say their “I do’s.” Over a decade earlier, though, the couple hoped someone else — a leader or hero of some kind — would take on the fight that would make marriage a reality for the state’s same-sex couples. It soon became clear, however, that if they wanted to see marriage equality sooner rather than later, they would need to do more than hope. “The more we talked about it, the more we realized we needed to do it,” Sharon said. Sharon wrote and self-published Becoming Brave: Winning Marriage Equality in Oklahoma and Finding Our Voice with her spouse Mary. The book, published in January, is a firsthand account of the couple’s experiences as they navigated the momentous, yearslong legal battle. During the legal process, the couple was often complimented on their

Sharon and Mary Bishop-Baldwin spent nearly 10 years in a legal battle to win the right to marry in Oklahoma. | Photo Gazette / file

bravery. Sharon said at first, she didn’t understand the praise — all they did was file a lawsuit. “Looking back, I see that they were right, to some degree,” she said. “The changes we made to our lives for that lawsuit — somewhere in the book, I liken it to being parents of a new baby. Suddenly, you have this other thing that you’re living for.” They never imagined they would be seen as role models or champions for a marginalized community. Their story is a reminder that pioneers and history makers are not just the figures read about in textbooks. Anyone can make history, and heroes walk among us. “I think Becoming Brave is really about finding out that we were the advocates that we are,” Sharon said.

Making the leap

Sharon and Mary met while working as editors at Tulsa World in 1995. By 1997, they’d moved in together. As was the case for many other

same-sex couples in Oklahoma and across the country, marriage was not yet a possibility. Nearly a decade later, after convincing themselves they needed to take their battle for marriage equality to the courts, the couple approached their bosses at the newspaper with their plan. Common ethics practices prevent journalists from becoming part of a news story. They also knew that their employers might not want to be associated with a high-profile, controversial case like this. Sharon said they both believed they could be fired for their decision, but they did not let that deter them from pressing forward. Tulsa World didn’t make Sharon or Mary give up their jobs. The couple’s involvement in the case did present several coverage challenges to the newspaper, but Sharon said management recognized they were acting as individuals in the case. Ethically, a stipulation of their involvement was that Tulsa World wouldn’t touch any news involving the case as it progressed through the legal process. Sharon said the stipulation seemed to evolve to restrict coverage of many stories related to same-sex marriage. Still, Sharon said she was fine with a lack of coverage if it meant they could pursue the potentially groundbreaking case. She said the paper was supportive of the couple and even those who might have disagreed with them always acted professionally. Sharon and Mary were mostly just happy they were able to keep their jobs while all of it was going on. “That was a real gift,” Sharon said.

The more we talked about it, the more we realized we needed to do it. Sharon Bishop-Baldwin

Fighting on

The couple first thought of writing a book about their experiences around the time Tulsa federal judge Terence Kern ruled in their favor in January 2014. They eventually left their Tulsa World jobs to split their time between writing the book and working at the nonprofit Oklahomans for Equality center in Tulsa. Sharon underestimated the amount of work required to write the book. “I thought going into this, ‘Oh, this will be much easier than writing a traditional book because I lived all these things and it won’t take much research,’” she said. “Well, that was


totally wrong.” A lengthy index resides on their project’s final pages, and reading through the text, it becomes obvious how well-sourced and researched the book is. Sharon wrote most of it with input and editing from Mary, who also wrote her own chapter. Sharon said writing Becoming Brave was like exercising all the editing skills she learned during her tenure at the World, along with the added learning curve of writing a book for the first time. They hosted five book signings and plan to hold more. They love hearing from people in the community. Sharon said during a recent signing at Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City, they met a couple that has been married for two years but together for 48. “I look at people who are 30, and I think, ‘This would have happened in your lifetime eventually, whether Mary and I did this or not,’” Sharon said. “Marriage equality was going to happen; it was just a matter of when. But then I look at something like this woman and I think how close it was.” Sharon and Mary are often met with reminders that examples of inequality and hatred still exist after their court ruling. On March 6, office employees at Tulsa’s Dennis R. Neill Equality Center found 13 pellet gun marks on the building’s door and bulletproof windows. Sharon said her advocacy work with Mary will continue for as long as they see a need. “We never said marriage was the last mountain to climb,” she said. “In fact, we emphatically said the opposite.” The book is available at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway. Signed and personalized copies can be ordered at facebook.com/becomingbraveoklahoma.

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

BOOKS China, Inc., The Graying of the World and Friendship, bestselling author Ted Fishman lectures on the effects China imposes on the world during Oklahoma City Town Hall. Fishman is particularly interested in how big global economic trends bear on people’s everyday experiences, 10:30 a.m. March 16. St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th St., 405-232-1371, stlukesokc.org. THU Midnight Man, in the summer of 1994, Dean Goodnight, the first Choctaw Indian employed by the Oklahoma County public defender’s office, pulls a new case; the brutal murder of a once-promising basketball star. Author David Tomlinson signs his crime novel, 6 p.m. March 16. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU New Ink: featuring the works of Oklahoma’s newest authors, book signings for Kaci Cronkhite’s Finding Pax; KJ Bryen’s Dare to be Brave; Tiffany King’s My Story: The Good, the bad, and the ugly: preparation for my destiny and others, 3 p.m. March 18. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT A Gorilla Ridin’ on a Half a Hot Dog, author H. Rick Goff sings his book about a reflective look over the early lives of his two sons, observing them as they grow and innocently experience life, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 18. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. SAT Hollywood’s Transition Westerns: Bridging Traditional and Modern in the Old West, during the Brown Bag Lunch Series, join film historian Elizabeth Anthony, author of ReelClassics.com, as she leads this cavalcade through iconic transition Westerns, 12-1 p.m. March 22. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. WED

FILM I Am Not Your Negro, (Brazil, 2016, Raoul Peck) writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House, March 15. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. WED Toni Erdmann, (USA, 2016, Maren Ade) a practical joking father tries to reconnect with his hardworking daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO’s life coach, March 16. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THU

Read for Adventure Two of Oklahoma City’s best educational resources teamed up to promote community literacy. Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden and Metropolitan Library System wrote and published children’s book Our Day at the Zoo. To join the Read for Adventure program, youngsters check out the book with a Metro Library card from any of the system’s 19 library locations through March 31 to receive four general admission ticket vouchers to the zoo, 2101 NE 50th St. Visit okczoo.org or call 405-424-3344. Wednesday-Wednesday, ongoing Image Rick George / provided

Trash Dance, (US, 2012, Andrew Garrison) a documentary following choreographer Allison Orr as she finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks and in the unseen men and women who pick up our trash, film series in partnership with deadCenter Film and OKC Film Society, 8 p.m. March 17. 21c Oklahoma City, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com/ oklahomacity. FRI My Life as a Zucchini, (US, 2016, Claude Barras) after losing his mother, a young boy is sent to a foster home with other orphans his age where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love, March 17-19. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI The Quiet Man, (US, 1952, John Ford) a retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love, 4-9 p.m. March 18. The Paramount, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-517-0787, theparamountokc.com. SAT A Contemporary Evening, Harald Lander’s homage to classical ballet and Alexei Ratmansky’s colorful folklore-inspired Russian Seasons brings some of the best dancers in the world together with masters of contemporary choreography presented by Bolshoi Ballet, 11:55 a.m. March 19. Cinemark Tinseltown, 6001 N. Martin Luther King Ave., 405-424-0461, fathomevents.com. SUN

Good Wine + Dirty Minds Get out your Cards Against Humanity set and answer this question: What do you get when you mix a hilariously profane card game with a selection of excellent bottles of wine? Good Wine + Dirty Minds is a weekly Cards Against Humanity tournament 8-10 p.m. Wednesdays at The Pritchard Wine Bar, 1749 NW 16th St. The game is free to play, but the restaurant does ask for participants to reserve a spot for their group of three or more by emailing shelby@ pritchardokc.com. Visit pritchardokc.com or call 405-601-4067. Wednesday Photo Koch Communications / provided


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Merchants of Doubt, (UK, 2014, Robert Kenner) a documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change. Hosted by OKC Citizens Climate Lobby with co-sponsors Sierra Club Cimarron Group and SixTwelve, 7:30-9 p.m. March 22. SixTwelve Venue, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, sixtwelve.org.


HAPPENINGS Brown Bag Lunch Series: They Were the Kind of Clothes That Top Hands Wore, Laurel Wilson, professor for the Department of Textiles and Apparel Management at the University of Missouri, discusses the history of cowboy dress in the American West, 12-1 p.m. March 15. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum. org. WED Irish Pub Block Party, annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration with music, games, beer and more, 10 a.m. March 17. James E. McNellie’s Public House, 1100 Classen Drive, 405-601-7468, mcnelliesokc.com. FRI Midtown Block Party, St. Patrick’s day event featuring live performances by DJ Tom Hudson, Josh Sallee, Mike Turner

and My So Called Band, 11 a.m. March 17. Kong’s Tavern, 1012events N. Walker Ave., 405-602-2074, These are recommended kongstavern.com. FRI

by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. ForDay fulllot calendar listings, St. Patrick’s party, live music, lawn games, drinks and limited edition go to okgazette.com.

T-shirts, 12 p.m. March 17. Tapwerks Ale House & Cafe, 121 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-319-9599, tapwerks.com. FRI Home Gardening 101 Workshop, three-day gardening workshop providing hands-on experience giving knowledge and resources to start the growing season right. Discuss proper soil preparation and composting, irrigation and water conservation and much more, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18. Will Rogers Garden Center, 3400 NW 36th St., 405-713-1125, ones.okstate.edu/oklahoma. SAT Cowboy Round-Up, the seventh annual tradition including special activities such as rope making, Dutch oven cooking, side shows and more. Dress the part with boots and cowboy hats, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 18. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/ historycenter. SAT International Women’s Day, celebrate the women of Africa and sisters throughout the world with fun, food and facts, 2-4 p.m. March 18. Nappy Roots Books, 1800 NE 23rd St., 405-410-2677, facebook.com/nappyrootsbooks. SAT Tattoos Against Cancer, donate a new, unwrapped toy along with a minimum of $20 to receive a flash-art tattoo. Proceeds will be donated to the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 12-8 p.m. March 19. Black Magic Tattoo, 29 NE 9th St., 405-443-6066, blackmagic.tattoo. SUN Suited for Success Spring Cleaning Week, clothing drive accepting donations for business attire to assist women joining the workforce. Spring and summer business and interviewappropriate clothing will be accepted to directly

Spring Youth Camp, spring-break children’s activities including: Once Upon An Art Camp, Can You Hear the Art, Dress the Part and Skyscraper Challenge, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 15-17. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-9510000, oklahomacontemporary.org. WED - FRI Photographing Downtown OKC, explore the art of digital photography by visiting Myriad Botanical Gardens, Devon Tower, Bicentennial Park and more at this youth camp ending with a photography reception displaying the students’ works, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 15-17. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-2363100, okcmoa.com. WED - FRI Spring Break Blast, fun-filled week featuring added attractions including moon bounces, inflatable slide, wrecking ball ride and more, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. March 15-17. Andy Alligator’s Fun Park, 3300 Market Place, Norman, 405-321-7275, andyalligators.com. WED - FRI Making History: Spring Break at the Museum, craft a windsock while learning about wind in Oklahoma, make a themed cornhole game, create a stained glass activity and more at this educational and free way to spend spring break, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 15-17. Edmond Historical Society & Museum, 431 S. Blvd., Edmond, 405340-0078, edmondhistory.org. WED - FRI Spring Break Adventure Week in the Gardens, have an adventure with this action-packed slate of activities. Begin with Mad Science Monday and plan to return for Touch-A-Truck Tuesday, followed by Workshop Wednesday and Theatrical Thursday, March 15-17. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, myriadgardens.com. WED - FRI

OklahOma histOry Center invites yOu tO put On yOur fanCiest western duds and jOin us fOr Our

7th A nnuAl Artrageous A colorful explosion of all things art is up next in Oklahoma City Community College’s Performing Arts Series. Artrageous is a high-octane ride through the best of art and music. Audiences will wonder at larger-than-life works of art and creativity. The event begins 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave. Admission is $25. Visit tickets.occc.edu or call 405682-7579. Tuesday Photo Oklahoma City Community College / provided impact the lives of underserved women who are making their best effort to join or reenter the workforce, March 20-25. Suited For Success, 4149 Highline Blvd., 405-521-1089, suitedforsuccessokc.com. MON -WED Prescription Drugs Community Forum, diverse panel of experts educating students and the public about prescription drug misuse and abuse, signs of a prescription drug overdose, testimonies from individuals and families affected by the growing epidemic and more, 8:30-10 a.m. March 21. Metro Technology Center, 1900 Springlake Drive, 405-548-5059, dccca.org. TUE Kaleidoscope Of Colors, a unique perspective on the colors of spring in a new orchid and spring flower show. See thousands of tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs in the celebration of spring, 9-5 p.m. through April 15. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, myriadgardens.com.

YOUTH Youth Sewing Camp, spring break workshop for youth between 10 and 19 years old to learn basic sewing techniques. Learn how to construct items such as pants, shorts, skirts and blankets, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. March 15. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-7131125, oces.okstate.edu. WED



Family • F ree a dmission

SatURDaY, M aRCh 18 | 10aM-2 PM

Red Dirt Dinos, following a journey around the state and across the world, the dinosaurs that once roamed over Oklahoma’s red dirt landscape return to Science Museum Oklahoma; three interactive, lifelike robotic dinosaurs and a variety of hands-on components help visitors explore Oklahoma’s dinosaurs, through Mar. 20. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-6026664, sciencemuseumok.org. WED - MON edZOOcation LIVE! Series: Zoo Babies, interactive learning experiences and up-close encounters with the zoo’s animal ambassadors, 2-3 p.m. March 16. Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden Education Building, 2000 Remington Park, 405-424-3344, okczoo.org. THU Mad Science Activities, build air-powered vehicles, learn science tricks and tips and more, 4-5:30 p.m. March 16. Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker Ave., 405-631-4468, metrolibary.org. THU

for more info contact education@okhistory.org or 405.522.0765 | 800 nazih zuhdi dr, oklahoma city

Spring Break Drop-In: Hollywood Hunt, a special screening of The Cowboys starring John Wayne. After the film, partake in a scavenger hunt through the temporary exhibit Hollywood and the American West and the museum’s western performers gallery to explore the classic icons of Western films, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 17. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. FRI

continued on page 36

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

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calendar continued from page 35


Hip-Hop 4 Kids, little ones learn the latest moves from the SO Southside hip-hop dance duo, 3:30-5:30 p.m. March 17. Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker Ave., 405-6314468, metrolibary.org. FRI

Riversport Adventures Spring Break, outdoor adventures for all ages such as whitewater rafting, kayaking and tubing, plus adventure courses, a zipline, pump track, flatwater kayaking and more, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through March 19. Riversport Adventure Park, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc. org. WED -SUN

After-School Art Program, activities include visits to the museum’s galleries with related projects and guest speakers/ performers, 3-4:30 p.m. through March 31. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. Power and Prestige Children’s Gallery, designed to complement the temporary exhibition Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains, the museum offers a fun activity space to explore bravery, pageantry, artistry, community and respect for culture and diversity, through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. Ugly Bugs!, contest with an exhibition of largerthan-life photos of insects all captured by the contest’s 2016 winners, through June 18. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu.

PERFORMING ARTS Dustin Ybarra, actor and writer known for We Bought a Zoo, 21 & Over and Hop, March 15-18. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, loonybincomedy.com. WED -SAT HubBub Improv, Take One slays funny bones with fast-paced games, followed by HubBub Improv playing quick long-form scenes based on real-life stories, 7:30-9 p.m. March 16. District House, 1755 NW 16th St., 405-633-0454, districthouseokc.com. THU Broadway’s Best with Joel Levine, presenting a night of Broadway favorites old and new, featuring seven decades of music from the Great White Way. Enjoy featured guest vocalists including Ben Crawford and the OKC Philharmonic Pops Chorale, led by Vince Leseney, 8 p.m. March 17-18. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-2972264, okcciviccenter.com. FRI -SAT wellRED Comedy Tour, stand-up comedy and writing partners Trae Crowder, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester tour in support of their best-selling book Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie Outta the Dark, celebrating all that’s good about the South while leading the redneck revolution and standing proudly blue in a sea of red, 7 and 10 p.m. March 18. ACM Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-974-4711, acm.uco.edu. SAT Matt Sadler, high-energy approach and machinegun delivery, Sadler takes on everything from trivial matters like the universe and immortality to marriage, cocktails and more, March 22-25. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-2394242, loonybincomedy.com. WED

Unfinished: Thoughts and Narratives Watercolor vignettes of Oklahoma and beyond take center stage in artist Larry Hill’s Unfinished: Thoughts and Narratives. Hill can often be found painting out in a field — perhaps from the bed of his truck or near a serene pond. An opening reception is 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Hojas Artspace, 960 Center St., in Goldsby, just five miles south of Norman. Admission is free. Visit hojasartspace.com or call 405-310-9065. Saturday Photo Provided


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Men’s Basketball, OKC Thunder vs Sacramento Kings, 2 p.m. March 18. Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, chesapeakearena.com. SAT Go Girl Run, half-marathon and 5K benefiting the Stephenson Cancer Center supporting patient care, research, clinical trials and emergency funds, 7 a.m. March 19. Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, okcballparkevents. com. SUN Men’s Basketball, OKC Thunder vs Golden State Warriors, 7 p.m. March 20. Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, chesapeakearena.com. MON

VISUAL ARTS A Yard of Turkey Red: The Western Bandanna, a rare collection of period bandannas provides museum visitors a glimpse of authentic neckwear once sought after by young horsemen on the range and later popularized in Western fiction, through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. Abbreviated Portrait Series: Poteet Victory, Victory’s portraits employ common mental cues or triggers commonly associated with popular personalities, the titles of which are abbreviated in a manner akin to popular acronyms, through April 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. After the Floating World: The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints, images carved onto wooden blocks used to create colorful prints on paper are among the most famous Japanese art forms. These prints, popular in Japan from the 17th through the 19th centuries, are known as ukiyo-e, which translates as pictures from the floating world. Ukiyo-e artists produced prints in a variety of subject matter including actors in the kabuki theater, female portraiture, folktales and mythology and landscapes, through May 14. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Child Labor in Oklahoma: Photographs by Lewis Hine, 1916-1917, highlighting a collection of 25 powerful photographs taken by Hine while he was in Oklahoma 100 years ago, through March 20. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/historycenter. WED-MON

Go Green, St. Patrick’s Day Friday is everyone’s lucky day with a day of Irish-themed events at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Go Green, St. Patrick’s Day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at 301 W. Reno Ave. The day begins with Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums and Hill Irish Dance School performances in the bandshell and activities, including crafts and storytelling, on both the Great Lawn and Sheridan Lawn. Admission is $5. Acoustic group Casey and Minna perform noon-2 p.m. Visit myriadgardens.com or call 405-445-7080. Friday Photo Joe Donley / provided

Jeffrey Gibson: Speak to Me, internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition features recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage, aesthetics and traditions, through June 11. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. Kiowa Black Leggings: Through the Lens of Lester Harragarra, exhibit features photographs of the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society as seen through the camera of the award-winning Yukon, photographer, through March 31. Red Earth Museum, 6 Santa Fe Plaza, 405-427-5228, redearth.org. Lowell Ellsworth Smith: My Theology of Painting, features watercolor studies and Smith’s own words and observations, it introduces the man, his methods and his belief in the power and potential of creative energy, through July 9. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Cloudscapes, 16 oil-on-canvas works by Oklahoma artist Marc Barker, drawing inspiration equally from his background in science and art, March 16-May 14. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-2973995, myriadgardens.com.

Oklahoma Pride: The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma, artists in the wake of WWII took a new look at creative expression and progressive politics; they focused on self-expression, self-discovery and concepts beyond arts ordinary function, through April 8. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, oklahomaheritage.com.

Expressionist paintings, Bert Seabourn is an expressionist painter, printmaker, sculptor and teacher. Seabourn makes each piece of art a unique fusion of design, color, form and composition, using a layering of texture with drips, smears, runs and splatters, through April 29. 50 Penn Place Gallery, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-848-5567, 50pennplacegallery.com.

Photo/Synthesis, photography by Will Wilson extending the body of portraiture of Native Americans in Oklahoma while shifting preconceptions about the historical narrative within which the native community is often presented, through April 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma.

Fictive Selves of Color, curated by Jane Hsi, showcasing a wide array of mediums, including paintings, sculpture and photographs reinforcing the need to be culturally aware of and celebrate the differences that make us all unique and beautiful, 8-5 p.m. through March 24. The Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, Norman, 405-3252691, art.ou.edu.

Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science., stories from four indigenous communities providing real-life examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science together provide complementary solutions to ecological and health challenges we face today, through May 7. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu.

Her Flag: A Solo Exhibition of New Works by Marilyn Artus, exhibit receptions, lectures, demonstrations, interactive installations, special performance events and seasonal patron events, through March 28. Kasum Contemporary Fine Arts, 1706 NW 16th St., 405-604-6602, kasumcontemporary.com. Hollywood and the American West, candid, intimate and raw, these photographs showcase private access to the greatest movie stars, musicians and directors of all time. Subjects include John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Ann-Margret, John Ford and more, through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. It’s Spring! Solo Exhibitions, featuring four artists with strong connections to the University of Oklahoma: Tom Toperzer, Todd Stewart, Haley Prestifilippo and Jason Cytacki, through March 26. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405528-6336, jrbartgallery.com.

The Artistry of the Western Paperback, study the works of A. Leslie Ross, Robert Stanley, George Gross, Stanley Borack, Tom Ryan and Frank McCarthy and decide: Is it art or something else? Does it belong on a bookshelf, on exhibit or both? through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. The Complete WPA Collection, the museum’s Works Progress Administration collection features rural American landscapes and depictions of labor, infrastructure and industrial development. All are figurative, as was favored by the WPA, and there are significant representations of female and foreign-born artists in the museum’s holdings, through July 2. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. The Cultivated Connoisseur: Works on Paper from the Creighton Gilbert Bequest, Gilbert was a renowned art historian specializing in the Italian Renaissance and was one of the foremost

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authorities on Michelangelo. The bequest includes a total of 272 objects, the majority of which are works on paper, spanning a time period from the 14th century to the 20th, through June 4. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. The Unsettled Lens, by converting the familiar into unrecognizable abstract impressions of reality, by intruding on moments of intimacy, by weaving enigmatic narratives and by challenging notions of time and memory, these photographs take viewers to unfamiliar and often unsettling places within the bounds of their own minds, through May 14. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. The Works of Nicole Emmons-Willis and Jerry Allen Gilmore, Willis is a filmmaker and animation artist specializing in stop-motion. Her films have screened at film festivals and on television shows as varied as Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and NBC’s Community. Gilmore creates works that are autobiographical, repurposed and retraced narratives, such as identity, sexuality, spirituality, beauty and mortality, through April 1. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-2326060, iaogallery.org. Wild Illuminate Opening Celebration, join Amanda Zoey Weathers and Downtown OKC during the celebration for the opening of Wild Illuminate, a light box installation, while enjoying coffee and donuts from Holey Rollers, 9-10:30 a.m. March 22. Bricktown Canal, 115 E. California Ave., 405-235-3500, downtownokc.com. WED Wonderful Watercolors, Connie Seabourn teaches a two-day workshop for beginning painters or for those wanting to add some powerful paint manipulations and techniques to their personal bag of tricks, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. March 15-16. The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman, 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. WED -THU

Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions cannot 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 email them to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

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Fond farewell

Shawnee-born Samantha Crain lets the good times roll on her fifth studio album. By Ben Luschen

Samantha Crain stood in the bathroom of her Norman home, peering into a blood-splattered tub. Thankfully, there was no need to call 911. Though Crain stood with a knife in her hand, no one had been killed or even injured. The beads of crimson streaking down the white bathtub and into the drain were not real blood, but a prop synthetic purchased in the first days of November. “It was really easy to go into all the Halloween stores and get all their clearance stuff,” the Shawnee-born indie folk rock musician said in a recent Oklahoma Gazette interview. The grisly scene is the centerpiece of Crain’s music video for the single “Oh Dear Louis” released in January along with the announcement of the songwriter’s fifth studio album, You Had Me At Goodbye. Crain marks the album’s March 24 release with an 8 p.m. show that night at Norman’s Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave. As gruesome as a bloody bathtub might sound, Crain’s video feels more like a mind-bending indie art film than a Hollywood gorefest. With bright colors and cuts of a hauntingly manic Crain, it’s a video worthy of the song’s infectious chorus and quality lyrics describing the retroactive guilt many people feel when dealing with others’ mental illnesses. The video was shot and produced by Jarod Evans of

Norman’s Blackwatch Studios. Evans is primarily known as a sound engineer but has recently found success in video production, including the video for Broncho’s 2016 single “Fantasy Boys.” Evans pulled off some vintage campiness in “Oh Dear Louis” by shooting on an old-fashioned camcorder. Crain said she specifically sought him out as the video’s producer because he’s so fresh to filmmaking. “I think whenever people are really excited about a new art form, that’s when they’re at their most creative,” she said. “Sometimes when you get someone who’s been making videos for years and years, it might technically look good, but there’s not a lot of inspiration behind it.”

Musical maturation

The trippy music video for “Oh Dear Louis” might be one of the first signs fans have that Crain is cutting loose on her new album. The 30-year-old has been playing music professionally since she was a teenager. Her first gig at Opolis was when she was 19. People immediately noticed her talent for songwriting and, perhaps unfairly, stuck her with some lofty expectations and descriptors. She latched onto the “old soul” moniker in particular. “Because I was really young and didn’t really know who I was, I just grabbed ahold of that label and let it permeate me,” Crain said. “I was super serious about what I was doing, and I think I missed out on some of the fun that comes along with making music and art as a young person.” The older the musician gets, the less she cares about satisfying other people’s impressions of her. It is not that music has become any less important, but the realization that she is defined by more than others’ perceptions. Having fun and cutting loose is more of a general philosophy and guiding inspiration to the album than it is a tangible lyrical theme. Crain writes songs in the same way (but maybe even more skillfully) than she has before. John Vanderslice, who produced Crain’s last two full-length albums, rejoins her for You Had Me At Goodbye. The biggest difference this time around is that this project shows an even rockier, more electric edge than past releases. Many of the songs have a more distinct pop structure, and there are fewer acoustic instrum e nt s f e at u r e d overall. Learning to let go does not mean accepting work of substandard quality. In fact, Crain has never been more on top of her Samantha Crain’s You Had Me At Goodbye drops March 24. | Image provided

game. “I’m still just as focused, and I have probably more of a vision than I’ve ever had as far as the things I want to make,” she said. “I’m just not taking it as serious because in the end, I don’t have control over how it’s received.”

Distant lands

Crain began writing for You Had Me At Goodbye on a train somewhere in Europe while touring in the fall of 2015. The musician has become a popular performer across the Atlantic Ocean and will return to Europe for a twoweek tour just days after her Oklahoma release shows at Opolis and March 25 at Tulsa’s The Shrine. Though she still enjoys playing shows in the United States, Crain believes the European market offers musicians at her level a more ready audience than can be found in Oklahoma or any other state. At times, it seems like a live band can be found in the corner of every bar and watering hole throughout a city. The saturation has become so dense that some people see live music less as a special occasion and more as background noise as they see and talk with their friends. Crain said her experience in Europe has seen more shows starting in the evening in front of a crowd at music-

Samantha Crain | Photo Shore Fire Media / provided

centered venues than the more American late-night show at a place where music is not the focus. “The live music scene [in the U.S.] is completely built around unemployed 20-year-olds,” Crain said. “That’s a very small group of people that I’m growing out of.” Album release dates are typically a tense time for Crain. Each new release had the potential to be either the wave to ride on the way to success or the thing that could sink her title as “the next big thing.” On her new album, Crian waves a bon voyage to self-imposed pressure. “I’ve always had a sense of there being something to gain or lose at an album release,” she said. “But now I think I’ve lost that ideal. I think I’m in a point in my life where I just want to make art and if people hear it and like it, then they do. And if they don’t, fine.” Preorder You Had Me At Goodbye at samanthacrain.com.

Samantha Crain with Husbands 8 p.m. March 24 Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman opolis.org | 405-673-4931 $10-$12

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f e at u r e

Brandon Bee | Photo provided

Brandon’s beats

OKC rapper Brandon Bee makes a buzz with his “10k Gold” video. By Brian Daffron


Many musicians, especially in Oklahoma, refuse to let themselves be falsely represented. One of these Oklahoma City musicians and producers is Brandon Bee. The 24-year-old hip-hop artist works at embodying his personal sense of “expressionism” in his rhymes and his style. “Self-expression sets the boundaries

Beyond blues

The Claudettes blend jazz, blues and punk to create its gonzo sound. By Brian Daffron

Piano player and songwriter Johnny Iguana moved from Philadelphia to Chicago to play jazz and blues. He learned from some of the masters — Junior Wells, Otis Rush and Buddy Guy, to name a few. Yet two major influences also placed a stamp on Iguana’s approach to music: categorization-defying Mose Allison and Bobby Timmons, whom Iguana called “the bluesiest of the jazz piano players.” So when he decided to form a two-piece band from the Chicago blues piano tradition, it ended up being infused with his early rock and punk experiences. “I started this band as a duo,” Iguana said. “I started it as a piano-and-drums duo with an attempt of spilling off of the Chicago history and tradition of great piano players and piano blues. … I thought that would be a good time for myself.” 38

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for individuality and outlines confidence as well,” Bee said. “Expression is usually going to signify artistic capability.” With his first two albums, Expressionism and Expressionism: The Defining Point, and his accompanying videos, Bee’s music demonstrates effortless rhymes with layered beats and inter-

Eventually, he expanded his sound, adding two singers, one of them also on bass. “We split our sets between vocal songs and instrumentals, which I think keeps it really moving, keeps it really lively,” Iguana said. “Most of our songs range from two and a half to three minutes. In an hour set, we’re liable to play 20 songs, and in a 75-minute set play 25 songs. That’s high-energy.” The full four-piece band, comprised of Iguana on piano, bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn, Matt Torre on drums and singer Berit Ulseth, brings its take on jazz, blues and roots music to the metro 7 p.m. Sunday at The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., in Norman. The name Claudette goes back to the act’s early days and one of its biggest fans. The original Claudette owned a bar outside Chicago, and Iguana and his group were the house band. “She was eccentric, to say the least,” Iguana said. “She was really businessoriented about selling beer while we were playing. She even started coming to some of our shows — outside in her car — and wanting to sell beer while we played, wherever we played. … After we stopped touring with her, we kept the name on as a reminder of where we began on this journey together.” Over the past two years, The Claudettes have had two albums carried on the Memphis-based Yellow Dog The Claudettes | Photo Jaka Vinsek / The Claudettes / provided

play of guitar and organ. While he doesn’t shy away from foul language, at the same time, he doesn’t let it define him. With his song “Jazzy,” Bee lets listeners know that “expression is [his] confidence,” while with his latest, “10k Gold,” Bee states he “don’t do this shit for show.” “When you listen to me, when I write a song, I’m realistic,” Bee said. “I’m not trying to live up to any stereotypes of any rap artists. I’m not trying to make music that sells on the radio or what is popular. I’m always trying to do what feels good to me.” Bee’s approach to fashion is similar to his approach to music. His look is cleancut, more along the lines of Russell Westbrook and Michael Bivins than Lil Jon or Jay Z. One of his first videos, “Supa Fly,” is, in a sense, a caricature of the hip-hop industry. It begins with a Mercedes Benz rolling into the frame. The door then opens with an unlikely green Nike stepping out. “That’s always been a part of my personality since high school,” Bee said. “I’ve always worn matching shirt and shoes. It’s just the way I carry myself.” The “10k Gold” video is his most highly noticed effort to date. At press time, the video had garnered nearly 29,000 views since its early January debut. As the video opens, Bee’s wearing small chains, a gold bomber jacket and matching shoes, a

white tee and dark jeans. He lets his audience know that he’s wearing all he needs. There is no room in Bee’s rhymes or style for mimicking artists. Bee summed up “10k Gold” by saying, “This is appearance, but at the same time, I’m still being myself.” Yet Bee isn’t satisfied and was quite candid with Oklahoma Gazette about OKC’s hip-hop scene. Although he wants to be his own man, he is willing to walk the precarious line between art and business. He said he doesn’t want to live outside the city but would like others in the area to understand that hip-hop isn’t just an art form. “Rap is actually a business,” Bee said. “People look at it like it’s a dream or something that people want to be because of the hype or popularity. I don’t think [Oklahoma City] is a good scene because I haven’t seen anyone actually make a business out of it.” In the meantime, the musician works at building up his music that might, in turn, create a better local music community. In this respect, he can make hip-hop his own. “I would call it clean, but it’s still cool and has a good vibe to it,” Bee said about his brand of hip-hop. “It’s not going to be your typical rap.” Visit thisisbrandonbee.com.

Records label: Infernal Piano Plot… HATCHED! (2013) and No Hotel (2015). The act has played everywhere from Paris, France, to Missoula, Montana, which Iguana said was one of his favorites. The Claudettes have also played established jazz and blues venues such as Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis and Dakota in Minneapolis. Unlike some bands, The Claudettes don’t focus solely on other jazz sounds such as big band swing or bebop. “The tones are all warm, and the music is played with a certain intensity that makes it hard to categorize as blues

and jazz,” Iguana said. “It’s a little more sort of gonzo than that. We’ve got a certain quality of instrumentals that I think is perfect for animation such as new Looney Tunes. We should certainly be doing the soundtrack for that.” Tickets are $20. Call 405-307-9320 or visit pasnorman.org.

The Claudettes 7 p.m. Sunday The Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., Norman pasnorman.org | 405-307-9320 $20


Harmonica heaven

For decades, Mickey Raphael has been an integral part of Willie Nelson’s sound. By Brian Daffron

Willie Nelson’s music is distinctive, to say the least. Shotgun Willie’s voice and Trigger, Willie’s guitar, cannot be imitated. An integral part of The Family, as Willie’s band is known, is the sound of Mickey Raphael’s harmonica. He has been a member of Willie’s touring band and recordings since the early 1970s, and “Midnight Rider,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Blue Skies” and “City of New Orleans” are only a few that have his stamp on them. Raphael has also recorded and become family to multiple country and rock hitmakers over the years: Oklahoma’s own Leon Russell, Emmylou Harris and multiple generations of country royalty, including Johnny and Rosanne Cash, Waylon and Shooter Jennings and Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah. He also has made many guest appearances over the decades, including Motley Crüe’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” Don Johnson’s Heartbeat album and even Snoop Dogg’s “Superman.” In fact, Raphael said he’s a “big fan” of hip-hop’s primary weed advocate, but he pointed out a big difference between two of the music industry’s major marijuana standard-bearers. “Willie can smoke you under the

Willie Nelson | Photo James Michin / provided

table,” Raphael said. “I saw that in Amsterdam. That’s marathon stuff. It would kill a normal human being.” Raphael’s interest in the harmonica began as a teenager in the Dallas area around the late ’60s and early ’70s. “I just loved the tone,” he said. “I just loved the way it sounded.” An early influence during this time was Donnie Brooks, who eventually played alongside Waylon Jennings. But an A&R rep or band manager didn’t discover Raphael. Country music connoisseur and University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal did. “[Royal] called me up and left a message with my folks’ house in Dallas and said [the Longhorns] were in town for a ball game,” Royal said. “‘I want to meet you. Why don’t you come over and bring your harmonicas and meet some of my friends? We’ll just have a little jam session.’” Barrier-breaking country legend Charley Pride happened to be at that little jam session, as was a Nashville songwriter named Willie Nelson, who had recently moved back to the Lone Star State in order to find himself as an artist. In 1973, at age 21, Raphael made

enough of an impression on Willie that he was asked to play a few Texas gigs and the Max’s Kansas City venue in New York City. “It was pretty rough,” Raphael said about the early days. “We didn’t have a bus. We traveled with our own cars sometimes. [Nelson] was just touring around Texas. It wasn’t like we really had far to go. It was pretty exciting. We were playing a lot of club dates.” Willie made a name for himself in Texas, but the “outlaw country” sound wasn’t yet a worldwide phenomenon. One particular studio session changed that forever. “[Nelson] just shows up at the studio and said ‘I’ve got an idea for a record,’” Raphael told Oklahoma Gazette. “We’re hearing the songs for the first time as we’re recording them. It was very simple, very basic — we were sitting there listening to it while the tape was rolling. There were no extravagant arrangements or anything.” The record, Red Headed Stranger, was Raphael’s first recording with Nelson. The label executives didn’t understand it, Raphael said, but Nelson knew what he wanted. “It was so simple; [executives] were wanting something a little more extravagant,” Raphael said. “‘This is such a nice demo; why don’t you put strings on it?’ kind of stuff like that. Willie said, ‘No. This is what you get. This is the record.’” Since then, Raphael has been in demand as a session player and producer. Raphael said recording time is rather short compared to being on the road. Last year’s session time included work with Chris Stapleton. In 1987, Raphael released a solo album, Hand to Mouth, which was re-released in 2000. “A studio session takes a few hours and no more than a day for the record I play on,” he said. “My parts are done in a couple of sessions — six hours, something like that. The bulk of my work is on the road with Willie.” Raphael added he doesn’t know how many times a year he’s asked to record; he just shows up and plays his best. “I try not to leave the studio until I’m happy with [it],” Raphael said. “I make sure that everything is cool.” When Nelson, Raphael and the rest of The Family roll across the Oklahoma/ Texas border to perform a sold-out show 9 p.m. Friday at WinStar World Casino and Resort, Raphael said there will not be a set list. There never is. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Raphael said. “You can be guaranteed a good show. Every show is unique; we’re just following him. It’s not planned out in advance.” Visit winstarworldcasino.com.

Willie Nelson & Family 9 p.m. Friday Global Event Center WinStar World Casino and Resort 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville winstarworldcasino.com | 1-800-745-3000 Sold out O kg a z e t t e . c o m | M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7




Seventh heaven

Classic rockers Styx get lucky with a St. Pat’s gig at Riverwind Casino. By Ben Luschen

Styx’s seventh studio album is a classic. With songs like “Come Sail Away” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” The Grand Illusion was famously released on July 7, 1977 — or 7/7/77. With that bit of numerical trivia in mind, it is logical to conclude that the band’s St. Patrick’s Day show 8 p.m. Friday (3/17/17) at Norman’s Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, will be one of the luckiest nights local classic rock fans could ever hope to experience. Expect an emphatic holiday performance from the Chicago-formed band considered by many as an institution of progressive rock music. Keyboardist and vocalist Lawrence Gowan, who joined Styx in 1999 after the departure of founding member Dennis DeYoung, said he will do his best to make Shamrock Day a craic. Gowan, who recently spoke with Oklahoma Gazette via phone, said he is the product of a very mixed national heritage. The Toronto-raised musician speaks with a distinctly Canadian accent despite performing in one of America’s greatest hitmakers. Gowan was born in Scotland to a Catholic, Northern Irish father who served in the British Royal Navy. In the Gowan household, St. Patrick’s Day carried more significance than an excuse to wear green. “I have to observe it in some way,” the musician said. The show marks the third time for Styx to play an Oklahoma show in two months. The band has a blockbuster tour with REO Speedwagon and The Eagles’ Don Felder set for the summer, 40

M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Styx | Photo provided

so Gowan said Styx is providing fans outside the markets scheduled for those shows a special, extended set. As one might expect, audiences feature plenty of longtime fans pining to hear nostalgic songs of their youth. Styx — like many other still-touring classic rock bands — also has added a fresh following of millennials in the last decade. “A lot of the time now, I’d say a little more than half the crowd is under 30 years of age and weren’t even born when some of the biggest Styx records were produced,” Gowan said. “They seem to have as much enthusiasm for the music as people who were there all along.” In Styx’s case, the youth surge could be explained by a combination of factors. Perhaps most significantly, YouTube and streaming music expose younger fans to music that predates them. With a few clicks, fans of all ages can access almost any band’s catalogue. “That’s not how the music industry was in the past,” Gowan said. All the band’s current members deliver an amazing rock performance, though only vocalist/guitarist James “J.Y.” Young and bassist Chuck Panozzo remain as original members in Styx’s cast of six. Some fans might not be open to seeing a mostly newer lineup, but this is the only roster some have ever had a chance to see. “The cool thing for us is that at some point, they hear something and connect to it enough to go, ‘Oh my God! They’re coming to town; I want to see this show,’” he said. “That’s the one thing they cannot download.” Gowan, who won and was nominated for several Junos (the Canadian Grammys) as a solo artist before joining Styx, said concert guests will experience a top-level rock performance. “There’s just something magical about a live rock show,” he said.

Styx 8 p.m. Friday Riverwind Casino, 1544 State Highway 9, Norman riverwind.com | 405-322-6464 $60-$170

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

Havanah Affair/Don’t Make Ghosts/The So Longs/ Lost Empires, Lost Highway Bar. ROCK

The Direct Connect Band, Elmer’s Uptown. R&B

MONDAY, 3.20

Jami McNeil/Pete Moran/Frank McGlynn, Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar. PIANO

Creepoid/Ecstatic Vision, 89th Street Collective. ROCK

Klamz, Blue Note Lounge. PUNK

Fruit & Flowers/Big Bliss/The So Help Me’s, Deli, Norman. VARIOUS

Matt Cowell, Noir Bistro & Bar. ACOUSTIC

WEDNESDAY, 3.15 Jazz Samurai, Lobby Bar. JAZZ

Larry V TheRemedy, Oklahoma City Limits. ACOUSTIC Platinum Boys/Wildings/Masterhand, Power House.

Souled Out, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. VARIOUS

St Basic/40% Dolomite/From a Broken Oath/Only, Paramount Theatre. VARIOUS

THURSDAY, 3.16 Brad Fielder/Damn Union, Deli, Norman. VARIOUS Crunk Witch/Johnny Manchild and The Poor Bastards/Saint Loretto, Red Brick Bar, Norman.

Superfreak, O’Connell’s Irish Pub & Grill, Norman. COVER

Tribute to Joni Mitchell, Blue Door. VARIOUS Tyrel Draper Band, Sliders. COUNTRY

SATURDAY, 3.18 Aaron Lewis, Riverwind Casino, Norman.


Melody Pond, JJ’s Alley. FOLK Oklahoma Uprising, Wormy Dog Saloon. ROCK

Varsity/I Hate Heroes, Paramount Theatre. ROCK

Matisyahu, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. REGGAE

Power Trip/Iron Reagan, 89th Street Collective. PUNK Randy Cassimus, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC


Jukebox Romantics, Blue Note Lounge. PUNK

Portal Immortal presents an evening of U2, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery. VARIOUS


Amante, Lobby Bar. JAZZ Buffalo Rogers, Noir Bistro & Bar. FOLK Casey & Minna, Anthem Brewing Co. FOLK Clare Costello, Blue Note Lounge.

FRIDAY, 3.17


Slingshot Dakota/Ratboys/Limp Wizurdz/Carvist/ Kyler Selby, Power House. VARIOUS

Meanstreak Who says you need to play nice on St. Patrick’s Day? Things get unkind when Meanstreak hits the stage. The Oklahoma City rock quintet knows how to party. Cover and original tunes populate a lively set, as do engaging vocals by Terry Golden. The show begins 9:30 p.m. Friday at Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S. Eastern Ave. There is no cover charge. Visit oclimits.com or call 405-619-3939. Friday Photo provided The Remedy, Oklahoma City Limits. VARIOUS Trout Monkey, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery. COVER Violet Vonder Haar/Troy Petty/Burn the Past, Red Brick Bar, Norman. VARIOUS

Brandi Reloaded, So Fine Club. POP

Howard Brady, Full Circle Bookstore. ROCK

Brian Lynn Jones and the Misfit Cowboys, Remington Park. COUNTRY

Jeremy Thomas Quartet, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ

SUNDAY, 3.19

Chance Anderson, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY

Reliance Code/Solidify, Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar. ROCK

Blindside USA, 89th Street Collective. PUNK

Charlie Wilson/Fantasia/Johnny Gill, Chesapeake Energy Arena. R&B Dirty Red and the Soulshakers, Bourbon Street Bar. BLUES

Suede Panther/Mike McClure Band, Wormy Dog Saloon. ROCK The Commodores, WinStar World Casino, Thackerville. R&B

Mike Hosty, Deli, Norman. VARIOUS

TUESDAY, 3.21 Dawes, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. ROCK

WEDNESDAY, 3.22 Electric Six/Residual Kid, Opolis, Norman. ROCK Kenny Holland/Jarvix/The Ivy, Paramount Theatre. VARIOUS Jamie Lin Wilson, Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

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 listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

free will astrology Homework: What are the main dreams you want to accomplish by 2025? Testify at Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

The more unselfish and compassionate you are in the coming weeks, the more likely it is you will get exactly what you need. Here are four ways that can be true: 1. If you’re kind to people, they will want to be kind to you in return. 2. Taking good care of others will bolster their ability to take good care of you. 3. If you’re less obsessed with I-me-mine, you will magically dissolve psychic blocks that have prevented certain folks from giving you all they are inclined to give you. 4. Attending to others’ healing will teach you valuable lessons in how to heal yourself -and how to get the healing you yearn for from others.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

I hope you will consider buying yourself some early birthday presents. The celebration is weeks away, but you need some prodding, instigative energy now. It’s crucial that you bring a dose of the starting-fresh spirit into the ripening projects you’re working on. Your mood might get overly cautious and serious unless you infuse it with the spunk of an excited beginner. Of course only you know what gifts would provide you with the best impetus, but here are suggestions to stimulate your imagination: a young cactus; a jack-in-the-box; a rock with the word “sprout” written on it; a decorated marble egg; a fox mask; a Photoshopped image of you flying through the air like a superhero.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Many Geminis verbalize profusely and acrobatically. They enjoy turning their thoughts into speech, and love to keep social situations lively with the power of their agile tongues. Aquarians and Sagittarians may rival your tribe for the title of The Zodiac’s Best Bullshitters, but I think you’re in the top spot. Having heaped that praise on you, however, I must note that your words don’t always have as much influence as they have entertainment value. You sometimes impress people more than you impact

them. But here’s the good news: In the coming weeks, that could change. I suspect your fluency will carry a lot of clout. Your communication skills could sway the course of local history.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Your world is more spacious than it has been in a long time. Congrats! I love the way you have been pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the wilder frontier. For your next trick, here’s my suggestion: Anticipate the parts of you that may be inclined to close down again when you don’t feel as brave and free as you do now. Then gently clamp open those very parts. If you calm your fears before they break out, maybe they won’t break out at all.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

I like rowdy, extravagant longing as much as anyone. I enjoy being possessed by a heedless greed for too much of everything that feels rapturous: delectable food, mysterious sex, engrossing information, liberating intoxication, and surprising conversations that keep me guessing and improvising for hours. But I am also a devotee of simple, sweet longing . . . pure, watchful, patient longing . . . open-hearted longing that brims with innocence and curiosity and is driven as much by the urge to bless as to be blessed. That’s the kind I recommend you explore and experiment with in the coming days.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You know that forbidden fruit you’ve had your eyes on? Maybe it isn’t so forbidden any more. It could even be evolving toward a state where it will be both freely available and downright healthy for you to pluck. But there’s also a possibility that it’s simply a little less risky than it was before. And it may never become a fully viable option. So here’s my advice: Don’t grab and bite into that forbidden fruit yet. Keep monitoring the situation. Be especially attentive to the following questions: Do you crave the forbidden fruit because it would help you flee a dilemma you haven’t mustered the courage to escape from? Or because it would truly be good for you to partake of the forbidden fruit?

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

I expect you will get more than your usual share of both sweetness and tartness in the coming days. Sometimes one or the other will be the predominant mode, but on occasion they will converge to deliver a complex brew of WOW!-meets-WTF! Imagine chunks of sour apples in your vanilla fudge ripple ice cream. Given this state of affairs, there’s no good reason for you to be blandly kind or boringly polite. Use a saucy attitude to convey your thoughtfulness. Be as provocative as you are tender. Don’t just be nice -- be impishly and subversively nice.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“I want to gather your darkness in my hands, to cup it like water and drink.” So says Jane Hirshfield in her poem “To Drink.” I bet she was addressing a Scorpio. Does any other sign of the zodiac possess a sweet darkness that’s as delicious and gratifying as yours? Yes, it’s true that you also harbor an unappetizing pocket of darkness, just like everyone else. But that sweet kind -- the ambrosial, enigmatic, exhilarating stuff -- is not only safe to imbibe, but can also be downright healing. In the coming days, I hope you’ll share it generously with worthy recipients.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Saturn has been in your sign steadily since September 2015, and will continue to be there until December 2017. Some traditional astrologers might say you are in a phase of downsizing and self-restraint. They’d encourage you to be extra strict and serious and dutiful. To them, the ringed planet is an exacting task-master. There are some grains of truth in this perspective, but I like to emphasize a different tack. I say that if you cooperate with the rigors of Saturn, you’ll be inspired to become more focused and decisive and disciplined as you shed any flighty or reckless tendencies you might have. Yes, Saturn can be adversarial if you ignore its commands to be faithful to your best dreams. But if you respond gamely, it will be your staunch ally.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Born in the African nation of Burkina Faso, Malidoma Somé is a teacher who writes books and offers workshops

to Westerners interested in the spiritual traditions of his tribe. In his native Dagaare language, his first name means “he who befriends the stranger/enemy.” I propose that we make you an honorary “Malidoma” for the next three weeks. It will be a favorable time to forge connections, broker truces, and initiate collaborations with influences you have previous considered foreign or alien.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

EVERY relationship has problems. No exceptions. In the beginning, all may be calm and bright, but eventually cracks will appear. Here’s the corollary to that rule: EVERY partner is imperfect. Regardless of how cool, kind, attractive, or smart they may seem in the early stages, they will eventually unveil their unique flaws and troubles. Does this mean that all togetherness is doomed? That it’s forever impossible to create satisfying unions? The answer is HELL, NO! -- especially if you keep the following principles in mind: Choose a partner whose problems are: 1. interesting; 2. tolerable; 3. useful in prodding you to grow; 4. all of the above.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

Would you like some free healing that’s in alignment with cosmic rhythms? Try this experiment. Imagine that you’re planning to write your autobiography. Create an outline that has six chapters. Each of the first three chapters will be about a past experience that helped make you who you are. In each of the last three chapters, you will describe a desirable event that you want to create in the future. I also encourage you to come up with a boisterous title for your tale. Don’t settle for My Life So Far or The Story of My Journey. Make it idiosyncratic and colorful, perhaps even outlandish, like Piscean author Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

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.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7


puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle It’s Elementary By Timothy Polin | Edited by Will Shortz | 0312

VOL. XXXIX No. 11 1





5 19


ACROSS 1 Big hits 5 Something repeatedly hit with a thumb 13 Flat bread 18 Zeitgeist 20 Recurring theme in Philip K. Dick novels 21 Cousin of a mandrill 22 [Circled letters]-filled contraption 24 Cry for more 25 Affirm one’s humanity? 26 Tangible 27 Swell 29 Capote, informally 30 World landmark built with [circled letters] 35 Being repaired, as a car 38 Spots 39 It’s hard to bear 41 Halfhearted, as support 42 Can’t wait to find out, in a way 45 [Circled letters]-based drugs 51 Check out 52 Unvarnished 53 Great confusion 54 Sea serpent of old cartoons 55 Citrus hybrid 56 Bomb developed in the 1950s 58 College party epicenter, often 59 Homeland of Spartacus 60 [Circled letters]-advertised establishment 63 “What did I tell you?” 64 Berried conifer 65 Existentialist Kierkegaard 66 Language heard along the Mekong 67 Banana-liqueur cocktail 69 Poorly 72 Letter on a dreidel 73 Picture displayed on a [circled letters] surface 78 Fails to 80 Kind of developer 81 Conservative portfolio asset, for short 82 Convinced 83 Worthless 84 Now hear this! 86 Obsolescent players 87 Put a stop to? 88 [Circled letter]-consuming activity

91 “That’s great!” 92 Strain to avoid? 93 Stinky 94 Underlying cosmic principle 95 Ones getting all the breaks 99 Sports implement often made from [circled letters] 105 Smokers should knock it off 106 Soldiers’ assignments 108 Betray surprise 109 Be behind 110 Evergreen State airport 113 [Circled letter]-fueled device 118 One given a citation 119 Not so awkward 120 Hair 121 Certain navel 122 Au courant 123 “What fun!” DOWN 1 North American flycatcher 2 SNL alum Cheri 3 Unloading zone 4 Happy hour habitué 5 Jack ____ 6 Guerrilla leader in For Whom the Bell Tolls 7 Constellation near Scorpius 8 Low-____ 9 8 x 10, e.g.: Abbr. 10 Fool 11 Garlicky spread 12 Wouldn’t shut up 13 “Geez!” 14 Epitome of simplicity 15 Condition contributed to by a lack of [circled letters] 16 Rider of the horse Tornado 17 Outdo 19 Turns into confetti 21 Seaman’s chapel 23 Ingredients in some London pies 28 Top story 31 Things bouncers are supposed to catch 32 Sylvan 33 Denouement 34 “ASAP!” 36 Beowulf or Gilgamesh 37 Jewelry-store gadget 40 Watch, as a criminals’ hiding spot 42 Do a wine steward’s job 43 Waffle brand








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Accounts receivable Karen Holmes Digital Media & Calendar Coordinator Aubrey Jernigan
















44 She, in Salerno 45 Incense 46 ____ twins of 1980s-’90s TV 47 State confidently 48 Mire 49 Minute ____ 50 Dispatched, as a dragon 52 Foreign capital whose name sounds like a water passage to San Francisco 57 He married Daisy Mae in 1952 59 Homes on the range 61 Lad 62 Ride hard 63 Who wrote, “I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating” 67 Branded footwear with open backs 68 “Everything’s fine”

69 Think piece? 70 Capital of Togo 71 Fabled [circled letters]-hiding trickster 73 Quatre halved 74 Exhibits one of the seven deadly sins 75 Modern acronym for “Seize the day!” 76 Trudge 77 Eliciting nervous laughter, say 79 Market share? 80 Poverty, e.g. 84 Issue for a noble family? 85 Tiny amount 89 WWII moniker 90 KPMG hiree 91 Certain platonic friend 94 Shock, in a way

120 123

95 Yogurt-based Indian drink 96 Employ against 97 Brand with classic “But wait, there’s more … !” infomercials 98 Leave at a loss 100 Everglades wader 101 Ballet-school supporter 102 Muff 103 Came to 104 To the point 107 Tartan wearer 111 Numerical prefix 112 Big heart? 114 British can 115 Itinerary abbr. 116 “Now I’ve got it!” 117 Image on a Wisconsin state quarter


M a r c h 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m












Assistant EDITOR Brittany Pickering Staff reporters Greg Elwell Laura Eastes Ben Luschen Contributors Brian Daffron, Christine Eddington Jack Fowler, Ian Jayne, Michael Kinney George Lang, Jessica Williams, Sara Yonker Photographer Garett Fisbeck Circulation Manager Chad Bleakley Art Director Chris Street

Graphic Designer Anna Shilling Megan Nance

New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0305, which appeared in the March 8 issue.


EDITOR-in-chief Jennifer Palmer Chancellor jchancellor@okgazette.com

Production coordinator Arden Biard

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

Sudoku Very hard | n°2752 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com

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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Federal Fair Housing

Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, preference or discrimination. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of this law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings in our newspaper are available on an equal housing opportunity basis.





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