Urban Tulsa Weekly: April 2007 Archives

This week's column in Urban Tulsa Weekly is a farewell salute to KFAQ's Michael DelGiorno, who wrapped up his 17 years in Tulsa media last Friday and is now holding court on Nashville's WWTN:

Many readers' brains may explode as they read the following sentence, but it's true nevertheless: Politics and public dialogue in Tulsa are better off for Michael DelGiorno's tenure here.

Here's a bit of newspaper trivia you may find interesting. Writers don't write the headlines or cutlines for their stories. Those tasks are performed by a copy editor. At times the copy editor also adds text to provide a smoother transition between paragraphs or to provide some explanation that he feels the reader may need. Deadlines being what they are, I don't get a chance to see those changes before I see them in the paper. Those kind of edits don't happen often, but there was one this week. Here's what I submitted:

There was a niche to be filled, and DelGiorno, a conservative Republican and Southern Baptist, persuaded Journal Broadcast Group to let him step in and fill it.

Here's what's in the paper:

Until DelGiorno began to exploit the obvious. Just like some transplanted Tulsans discover fertile, virgin soil in untapped treasures (much as coffee table book author Michael Wallis discovered as he began cultivating interest in Route 66 with his "Mother Road,") there was a niche to be filled, and DelGiorno, a conservative Republican and Southern Baptist, persuaded Journal Broadcast Group to let him step in and fill it.

The phrase "began to exploit the obvious" reminds me of Roger Clemens's record-breaking 20 strikeouts in a game against the Seattle Mariners. Some baseball fans dismissed the accomplishment because Clemens did it against the worst team in the American League. But every other pitcher on every other team had faced Seattle. If it was so easy, why hadn't anyone done it yet?

As for Michael Wallis, I'm a fan, and as someone who loves Route 66, I'm glad he traveled the road and gathered stories and photos when he did -- so many of the people and places are gone now.

MORE: Here are my earlier thoughts, and the comments of other bloggers, about the changes at KFAQ. And Tennessee political blogger Bill Hobbs has taken note of DelGiorno's arrival in Nashville. (Also, Hobbs is looking for center-right political bloggers in Oklahoma. Drop your recommendations in his comment box. I've already sent along my list.)

(Also, fixed the number of Clemens's strikeouts. 19 in a nine-inning game was the record he beat, held by Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan.)

FOR NOW at least, you can still download the podcasts of Michael's farewell show, which included replays of many of the best radio cartoons from the show:

Preshow, Hour 1, Hour 2, and Hour 3

The song with which he ended the final broadcast, "Build It Anyway," by Martina McBride, was an appropriate and touching ending.

One of my favorite state senators, Randy Brogdon of Owasso, is profiled in the current issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. One of the many things I appreciate about him is that, unlike some Republicans, he believes that being pro-business means reducing government's burdens on all business, not providing special subsidies to politically favored businesses. When asked for examples of government waste, here's what he told UTW reporter Brian Ervin:

So, where is the government spending irresponsibly?

"Corporate welfare," answered Brogdon as an immediate example.

The governor's Opportunity Fund and EDGE Fund were specific examples he cited.

"It's not right for the state government to spend money to handpick which companies are going to prosper," he said. "If was governor and I was going to make that decision, I would set a level playing field and set up a free market."

Senator, are you announcing your candidacy for governor in 2010?

"Not today," answered Brogdon in mid-laugh.

I hope he will.

Elsewhere in the issue, sports columnist Dwayne Davis reviews a Tulsa and Muskogee-based sports talk station called the Sports Animal. This paragraph caught my eye:

[Host Geoff Haxton] is joined by local sports broadcasting legend Bob Carpenter and/or Channel 6's John Holcomb depending on the day of the week. It is refreshing to hear Tulsa talk from guys who understand the town.

Interesting note about Carpenter. For years he could be found on sports talk rival AM 1430 The Buzz. The 'Carpenter Call' was a staple of the afternoon show with Pop and Plank.

Dwayne is probably too young to remember this, but Bob Carpenter was a pioneer of local sports talk back in the late '70s, with his nightly hour of Sportsline on KRMG. (Sportsline was 6-7, Nightline with David Stanford was 7-8, then Johnny Martin came on with big band music until one o'clock in the morning.)

I missed this when it first ran two weeks ago, but Katharine Kelly gave a very good review to a Filipino restaurant called Phil-Asia, near 36th & Sheridan. We'll have to give it a try.

My Urban Tulsa Weekly column this week is on two very different events: last Saturday's Oklahoma Republican State Convention and last Friday's inaugural gala for the National Fiddler Hall of Fame. The convention story covers the race for state party chairman and a brief description of what delegates were saying about next year's presidential race. (More about the NFHOF gala in a separate entry.)

This week in Urban Tulsa Weekly, I take a look back at the decision of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority last fall to evict Bell's Amusement Park from the Tulsa County Fairgrounds. Although it's not a new story, the way the eviction was handled sheds some light on the question of the City of Tulsa's annexation of the Fairgrounds (to be decided this Thursday night by the City Council), currently an unincorporated enclave surrounded by the City of Tulsa. Expo Square management and TCPFA members have made a number of claims about the effects of annexation, and those claims need to be weighed in light of the board's credibility and transparency -- particularly the credibility of the three TCPFA members who were on the board prior to 2007.

Here's another doubtful decision: Last year the Tulsa State Fair reached the one million attendance mark for the first time in four years. In December, the 2006 Fair won six awards for Marketing and Competitive Exhibits at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) in Las Vegas. Amber Phillips, who was manager of the Tulsa State Fair in 2004, 2005, and 2006, overseeing increased attendance each year, didn't get to enjoy the fruits of her hard work and creativity, because Expo Square CEO Rick Bjorklund had fired Phillips a week earlier. (Officially, her position was eliminated in a "reorganization," but it's not as though they're going to stop having a Tulsa State Fair, and someone has to manage it.)

You can read more commentary and background about the Bell's eviction here (including an interesting look at Bjorklund's career trajectory). And this website has a number of articles on Bell's and other amusement parks in this region, including Frontier City and Joyland in Wichita. Here's his evaluation of what was done to Bell's.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Urban Tulsa Weekly category from April 2007.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: March 2007 is the previous archive.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: May 2007 is the next archive.

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