River tax part 1

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My new UTW column is up, despite the holiday, and it's a first look at the new river tax proposal. A closer look at details will come in a later column; this is a big-picture analysis of the concepts and the politics of the situation.

I want to remind readers that I do not write the headlines or taglines for my columns, and I do not agree with the harsh, sarcastic tone of the tagline written for this column. I am grateful for the willingness of George Kaiser and other Tulsa philanthropists to contribute to the well-being of this city, and my suggestion that direct investment, rather than matching contributions, may be the best way to make the river the kind of place Tulsans want to enjoy is a suggestion made in earnest.

MORE: Last issue OSU political science professor J. S. Maloy wrote a response to my column about Greenwood, its post-riot recovery and its destruction by urban renewal. In this issue, my reply appears, in which I set out the sources on which I relied, should he want to verify what I wrote.

My reply was edited somewhat. Specifically, a different first paragraph was substituted for what I wrote, setting a more pompous and pugnacious tone than I intended. Here is my original first paragraph:

I'm always pleased to know that someone has given one of my columns a close and critical reading, as OSU Political Science Professor J. S. Maloy has done with my column on the rise and fall of the Greenwood district. This aspect of Tulsa history is important but overlooked, so I welcome his interest. I empathize with his disappointment that so little of Greenwood remains. My column was an attempt to use available evidence to explain why things are the way they are.

The rest of the piece appears unchanged, except for a mention of St. Monica's Catholic Church in a list of things that are still standing in "upper Greenwood" -- the few blocks of Greenwood just south of Pine.

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XonOFF said:

I was going to write you about that tag line.
Pretty harsh on someone's part. I'm glad you cleared that up.

While I am opposed to this River Tax Plan, and agree with most all you suggest, Mr. Kaiser's contributions, despite being in kind or matching, on this deal is only another in a long string of his philantropy towards this City. Of course, then, there's BOK, which is another deal altogether.

But, the tag line almost ruins the article.

BobInTulsa said:

When I see a newspaper/magazine column, my assumption has always been that the headline and tagline are those of the author. It just makes sense. Is there some journalistic justification for having an editor put words in the mouth of the columnist? I'd think that columnists, over the years (decades) would have protested loudly enough to end such a practice.

Natasha Ball said:

I work for a newspaper that welcomes guest commentary. Sometimes we change the headline the columnist assigns to his work to fit a small space - actually, that's the reason we change a headline, nine times out of ten. Other times, the columnist doesn't provide a headline.

In either case, after we have thoroughly read and understand the article, we make sure to consider both the content of the article and the author's intentions when we write or re-write a headline.

G Webster Wormleigh said:

Let us not forget one very important point: The Riverwalk in Santone and the Bricktown backwater in Okie City are both "faux rivers", where we are dealing with a real, live river that, to say the least, has its ups and downs. And, in some extreme situations, there will be very little we can do about it. It is a completely different situation, and we can build it to our benefit without resorting to "fake" canals and pumped and recirculated water.

Bob said:

The Pandering Promoters pimping for a new $.004 River Tax have an enormous embarrassment for any and all of Tulsa to see:

Just LOOK at the raging, swollen Arkansas River. It is inches in places from overflowing its banks!

If the Kaiser river plan was adopted, carving a new narrower channel to actually INCREASE the flow of the remaining river, it would have by now been BURIED under a billion gallons of water depositing TONS and TONS of nasty silt on our "parklands", burying them from view or use. Which by the way, would have been totally under water for the past 30 days!

Are the prospective pimping whinners in their new Tax grab, as always, the Founder Family construction companies, owned by the Flint and Rooney financial interests?? These deft pickpockets, having successfully pimped for new taxes to pick our pockets for the past 100 years, are they now coming back to their favorite street corner at 5th and Denver, pimping for new taxes for the next 100 years as well?

So sadly, Mother Nature in all her fury just deflated their Proposed River Tax Balloon.

I hereby express sincere pity for our poor, little Least Terms. There are probably henceforth to be known as the "Lesser Terns", having by now found no habitable sandy shores for nesting their spindly legged chicks during this critical time in their reproductive cycle.

Are they joining the ranks of the Dodo and the Carrier Pigeon due to this intemperate weather?

On the BRIGHT side, the demise of the Least Terns is one LESS problem for the Tax Pimps to deal with, i.e. a certifiably Endangered Species. Have the Founder Families been salting the clouds from the Lobeck, Flint, and Lorton jets?

G Webster Wormleigh said:

Right on, Bob! I like this Take No Prisoners Naming Of Names Business, but you left out the younger Warren and his crew of tax grabbers and their Channels pipedream. It, too, would right now be under water and would come up looking like that Plymouth they dug up!

Paul Tay said:

I disagree with the whole article, headline and tagline, included. If the River is destined to make a great unconventional for-profit venture, it would have already happened by now.

I say Kaiser, et al should forget about the River and pump money into North Tulsa, Redfork, and other urban rebuilds. There are HUGE chunks of land available, all on SOLID ground.

With a $100 million DIRECT investment, North Tulsa could secceed and re-named Kaiserville.

Let the River be what it really is, an urban nature preserve, Tulsa's MAIN drainage ditch, mixed in with a little rotten-egg smell, untouched by crass development, mixed-use or otherwise.

Bob said:


The Warren Financial Interests "The Channels" Tax Grab was merely a pre-emptive diversionary attack on the Tulsa County tax-payers.

The Founder Families main tax pain assault upon the hapless Tulsa Co. taxpayers is now the much more "reasonable" Kaiser River Plan, costing us ONLY $277,000,000 (for PHASE I!), instead of the $660,000,000 that The Channels purported to cost the taxpayer. SEE, they say, look at all the money that they are saving us! Whew!

Again, these One-Of civil engineering projects would likely absorb enormous additional amounts beyond their estimated costs. And, that will be taken care of by making sure that their is no CAP on the amount of the additional $0.004 tax can raise.

Same as their Vision 2025 ploy, which will over-collect $100,000,000's in its 13-year life.

And, their River Plan cost "estimates" are computed by merely taking the revenue projectsions of $0.004 cents x 7 years, and then working backward on how to spend it all.

P.S. $40,000,000 for each of the damn low-water dams is a 150% higher price than we were quoted in the 2003 Vision 2025 13-year Tax Grab.

They NEED to FEED their GREED.

And, we're their target.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 4, 2007 2:21 PM.

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