Tulsa: August 2006 Archives

It don't mean a thing

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Why is it that so many Tulsa parks don't have swings? What good is a park without swings?

Now this is what a city park should be. Swings, slides, and things that bounce and spin.

My correspondent who attended the Jenks City Council meeting also said that this item was on the agenda: "Request to approve Resolution No. 427 approving and adopting the second amended agreement creating the Indian Nations Council of Governments, providing for membership for the Cherokee, Creek and Osage Indian Nations."

When the agenda item came up, Councilor Vic Vreeland said that the tribes are spending so much money in the area they should have a seat at the table. Despite the name, the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) is actually a regional council of city and county governments, created in response to the federal requirement for regional planning as a condition for federal transportation funding.

While I wouldn't reject the idea out of hand, the tribes, which are organized and governed directly under the federal law, are a different class of entity than cities and counties, which are creatures of the Oklahoma constitution and statutes. If anything, INCOG could be a focal point for cities and counties to lobby Congress about problems arising from tribal sovereignty laws.

It may surprise you to learn, as it surprised me, that most of the powers and rights that tribal governments have are not built into the treaties they signed with the United States, but are matters of federal law, laws that can be changed. Tribal commercial activities can have a significant effect on land use regulation (they're exempted from zoning), transportation planning, crime (the impact of casinos, cross-deputization issues), and sales tax revenues, an impact that will only grow as the tribes grow wealthier and take more land into trust. INCOG could be a forum for cities and counties to coordinate their response to these challenges.

Desi Wok, family-style

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Wednesday night it was just my wife, the baby, and I -- big brother was at choir camp, big sister was staying with Grandma -- so we decided to try dinner at Desi Wok, the Indian/Chinese restaurant on Hudson just north of 41st.

The food was very good. We had the chicken tikka masala and the shrimp Thai pepper stir fry.

The service was friendly, too. The baby got restless after a while in his high chair, so I took him out and tried to hold him on my lap while I continued eating while not letting him within grabbing reach of my plate. One of the waitress/order-takers, who had been flirting with him earlier, asked if she could hold him for a while. We said sure, and for the next 10 minutes or so, she or one of her coworkers held him behind the cash register. It was like being at a big family dinner and a cousin offers to hold the baby while you finish eating.

We wouldn't ordinarily pass our baby off to a stranger, but we were at the nearest table to the register, so I could (and did) keep a close eye, and there were enough people around that there would have been plenty of witnesses if anything bad had happened. And I think we felt more comfortable because it seemed to be a restaurant that, like a number of Asian places around town, was owned and operated by an extended family. At this sort of restaurant, it's not unusual to see aunts and cousins, older folks and small children around the restaurant, sometimes helping, sometimes just visiting.

Friendly place, good food, reasonable prices, and, as far as I know, the only place you can get Indian food around town without going to south Tulsa.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from August 2006.

Tulsa: July 2006 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: September 2006 is the next archive.

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