City of Tulsa

Our guest is Carlos Moreno, a Tulsa-based graphic designer, researcher, and freelance writer who originally hails from California, and who's been living and working in Tulsa since the 1990s. Moreno joins us to discuss his new book, "The Victory of Greenwood." This volume presents a novel and engrossing history of Tulsa's Greenwood community by offering more than 20 different biographical portraits of such key "Black Wall Street" figures as John and Loula Williams, B.C. Franklin, the Rev. Ben H. Hill, Edwin McCabe, George Monroe, and various others.

The CDC moratorium on evictions is ending Saturday, July 31st. At a press conference today, Eric Hallett, the coordinator of housing advocacy for Legal Aid Housing Services of Oklahoma, said next week is going to be a busy one in court.

“We have more than 60 cases on the docket Monday, more than 100 on Tuesday. Next week is going to be very hard on tenants in Tulsa. We probably have 300 families facing eviction next week,” said Hallett.

Tulsa Police

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum wants to put a permanent property tax for public safety on the ballot in August 2022.

Bynum told city councilors Wednesday that’s his plan under a new state law allowing public safety districts, which cities can create to dedicate generally stable property tax revenue to their police and fire departments rather than just sales tax.

Another round of emergency rental assistance funding is on its way to Tulsa.

The city is receiving a $3.8 million initial disbursement from a total award of $9.5 million in the American Rescue Plan. The new funding is on top of $12 million in a previous coronavirus relief package to help pay late rent and utilities. 

City COVID Relief Funds Manager Alisa Dougless said the guidance for the new funds is less restrictive.

Wikimedia

Tulsans really enjoyed their fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday, even though setting them off is illegal within city limits.

Councilor Lori Decter Wright described what she saw that night to her colleagues during a discussion last week. 

"There were up-in-the-air fireworks, 360-degree view; from [I-244] along [U.S.] 169, a haze of sulfur smoke everywhere. And then, even upon arrival to my house, you know, all kinds of things going off well into the wee hours," Decter Wright said.

Updated July 18, 7:40 a.m.  

The City of Tulsa is now the proud owner of 30 undeveloped acres near 71st Street and U.S. 169, land that will eventually be combined with 27 adjacent, city-owned acres for a new park.

City Chief of Culture and Recreation and Parks Director Anna America started working toward a new park there when she was the District 7 city councilor from 2014 to 2018. She said there isn't enough access to parks and green space in the densely developed area.

On this edition of ST, we discuss the Play Tulsa Music program, an initiative of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (a/k/a Tulsa FMAC). Play Tulsa Music was first launched in September of last year as a pandemic-rooted economic recovery effort made possible by Tulsa County CARES Act funding. More than $190,000 was distributed in 2020 to 26 venues throughout Tulsa County, thereby helping to support 700+ local performances.

Courtesy

PSO announced Thursday that Tulsa Deputy Mayor Amy Brown will be their new external affairs manager starting July 26.

As deputy mayor, Brown oversees the city’s administrative and public safety support divisions, serves on the pension board, and works on behavioral health and criminal justice issues on behalf of Mayor G.T. Bynum.

Before being named deputy mayor in 2019, Brown was Bynum's chief of staff. She previously worked for Mayor Kathy Taylor and was Bynum's council aid while he represented District 9 before earning a law degree at the University of Tulsa in 2017.

Lori Decter Wright

The City of Tulsa and housing nonprofits are still trying to relocate residents of an apartment complex near 61st and Memorial a city councilor described as being like a "third-world" country.

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A yearlong beautification project on Route 66 at 11th and Lewis should begin this month.

Improvements in what’s been dubbed the Market District were unveiled Wednesday. Plans include new water and sewer lines, traffic lights, traffic calming measures, dozens of trees and benches, and Route 66 signage.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa has created a lookup tool for people to see if their information was posted online after a ransomware attack.

The redistricting process began in earnest Friday for the City of Tulsa.

The five-member Election District Commission charged with redrawing city council districts based on the 2020 census met for the first time. The commission is made up of two Republicans, John Eagleton and Rick Westcott; two Democrats, Sharon King Davis and Joe Williams; and one independent, Susan Neal. Eagleton, Neal, Westcott and Williams are former city councilors.

Lori Decter Wright

The plight of more than 100 families at a south Tulsa apartment complex has caught the attention of local elected officials.

Vista Shadow Mountain got on the city’s radar over an unpaid water bill of more than $108,000. The entire complex could be shut down Thursday over the bill, which management has not paid while collecting utility fees from residents.

City Councilor Lori Decter Wright visited the complex near 61st and Memorial over the weekend and said the problem is much bigger: Her constituents living there are experiencing third-world conditions.

About 18,000 documents from the city of Tulsa have been released on the dark web after a ransomware attack on city systems in May. Some of the documents contained personal information.

 

The process to start collecting a 3% assessment on certain hotels across the city is before the Tulsa City Council.

Councilors approved a resolution Wednesday telling the city to file an assessment roll for the Tourism Improvement District and set a July 21 public hearing on the matter. The assessment applies to hotels with 110 rooms or more, and funds will go toward marketing efforts that should help them attract business.

Group Seeks Safer Intersections

Jun 10, 2021

The Tulsa Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee took to the streets in downtown Tulsa this morning to experiment with ways to make intersections safer.

 

Using traffic cones and straw, the group set up a temporary protected intersection at 6th Street and Elgin Avenue.

 

Protected intersections use islands to shield pedestrians. They also make drivers slow down.

 

Mitch Drummond is the chair of BPAC. He said speed is a critical factor in fatal accidents.

 

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Updated June 10, 5 p.m.  

A working group is still hashing out plans for the City of Tulsa’s $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, but a leading proposal has emerged.

"There are obviously many ideas for ARPA funds, but at the top of everyone's list is providing for a retention bonus for our employees," City Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper told her colleagues during a committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has reportedly lured another City of Tulsa employee to his office.

City Coronavirus Relief Funds Program Manager Clay Holk will serve as director of a state grant management office, overseeing federal funds for pandemic response and expanding economic opportunity in Oklahoma.

Mayor G.T. Bynum confirmed Holk's departure on Friday. He praised Holk's work at the city to manage a record level of federal funding.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

The City of Tulsa and Tulsa City Council have finalized grants totaling $6.5 million to 74 local nonprofits helping with COVID-19 recovery.

The funding is going to a wide range of projects and organizations to help with things like food security, child development, housing, mental health, and prison and jail re-entry programs. Grants will be given through reimbursements, but City Coronavirus Relief Funds Program Manger Clay Holk said because it has taken so long into the pandemic to award funding, situations where money is needed up front will be considered.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa City Councilors are set to consider a resolution Wednesday to apologize and commit to making tangible amends for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and for discriminatory policies that followed and caused further harm to north Tulsa.

That work includes setting up a process for the community to develop recommendations to aid reconciliation. 

Library of Congress (American National Red Cross Photograph Collection)

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 injured souls, claimed lives, ruined property, and demolished an entire community. Indeed, the damage suffered by the Black citizens of Greenwood took on many forms -- and this suffering went on for decades. Is it possible even to calculate the economic loss that Greenwood endured due to this terrible tragedy, and if so, how could such a tally be arrived at? As the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre approaches, many are wondering about these questions. Our guest is Jason Long, an economic historian at Wheaton College.

On this edition of ST, we are discussing a book that first appeared as a small, privately-printed volume back in 1923 -- it's an extremely important, frequently cited, and quite special book in that it offers a rare, first-hand account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Written by one Mary Parrish, a journalist and teacher, the book is "The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921." In the opening pages of the text, we learn that Parrish was reading in her home in Tulsa's Greenwood neighborhood when the massacre began on the evening of May 31, 1921.

Facebook / Mayor G.T. Bynum

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued an executive order on Friday ending his civil emergency declaration because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The civil emergency that was declared March 16, 2020, officially ends at midnight Friday.

Bynum said the decision was made in consultation with the Tulsa Health Department and because just 1% of hospitalizations are now for COVID. In January, 25% of local hospital patients had COVID.

We're pleased to speak once again with the University of Michigan-based historian and bestselling author, Scott Ellsworth, whose books include "The Secret Game," "The World Beneath Their Feet," and "Death in a Promised Land," the last-named being his account of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a pioneering text which first appeared in the 1980s. Originally from Tulsa, Ellsworth has just published an all-important follow-up to "Death in a Promised Land," which he tells us about.

Tulsa residents’ stormwater charges may go up later this year.

Those pay for infrastructure that drains away rainfall. The Streets and Stormwater Department is requesting a 3% increase to help stay on top of maintenance and repair needs, as well as to implement a comprehensive system to help prioritize future work. 

City Engineer Paul Zachary said a planned 7% increase was scaled back because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic effects on so many people, and that meant reigning in work plans.

Aaron Pruzaniec / Licensed under CC 2.0

A new proposal would see the City of Tulsa repurpose $4 million in COVID-19 relief funds for a program to help historically marginalized entrepreneurs.

Several high-ranking officials delivered remarks today at a groundbreaking ceremony for a school in Tulsa that will train software engineers.

Scott Mueller, Secretary of Commerce for Oklahoma, lauded Tulsa for leading the way in economic initiatives for Oklahoma. He pointed to the success of Tulsa Remote, saying it inspired the passing of HB 2860.

"Our legislature passed a bill to encourage other communities to develop their own remote working programs. Governor Stitt has already signed that bill into law. It's called the Oklahoma Remote Quality Jobs Act," said Mueller.

The City of Tulsa is dealing with a ransomware attack that happened over the weekend. Some systems have been taken offline.

The city's comments have been limited, but we spoke to Tyler Moore, Tandy Professor of Cyber Security at Tulsa University, for some background. Listen or read on to learn how ransomware works, and why these attacks have been getting worse across the country.

Our guest on ST is Anna America, the Chief of Culture and Recreation & Parks Director for the City of Tulsa. The Tulsa Parks Department recently presented findings from a series of public-opinion surveys it's conducted over the past several months regarding its master plan. The consulting firm known as GreenPlay was employed in the execution of these surveys, as America tells us. She adds that more than half of those surveyed said that they'd "probably or definitely support" various potential funding sources for increasing the Parks Department's budget.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday announced funding allocations from President Biden and Congressional Democrats' American Rescue Plan for states, cities, and counties

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