Wednesday, September 28, 2005

OSU-Tulsa Gets a Big Gift


OSU-Tulsa is celebrating a big gift. The university received a $9-million pledge Wednesday from the Helmerich Foundation.

The money will be used to build OSU-Tulsa's first research and technology development center. Walter and Peggy Helmerich hope the facility will take OSU-Tulsa to new levels of achievement and will make a difference in Tulsa and around the world.

Walter Helmerich with the Helmerich Foundation: "The Lord has blessed Peggy and me with a wonderful family and also with the ability to help sometimes in other things and that's why this is important to us."

Construction will begin in October. It will be called the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center. OSU hopes to have it open by the fall of 2007.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Downtown Weekend... 9/23

Two great event's this weekend in Downtown!

Friday Night
White Party 2005- Hurricane Katrina benefit behind the new Downtown Cowboy Sharkies.

Saturday Night
Tulsa One Village Festival - The downtown Blue Dome District at 2nd and Archer will come alive Saturday, September 24 from noon til 6pm with African drumming, joyful multicultural dance, spoken word, children's activities and an outdoor art market.

If I missed something, be sure to post it in the comments!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tulsa Visual Arts Center

The great folks over at Tulsa Now, keep us up to date on the Tulsa Visual Arts Center Project...

!2nd Action Alert!

Thanks to all of you who sent letters to the Mayor regarding your support of the Tulsa Contemporary visual arts center in the Brady Arts District. The letters have made an impact! The visual arts center is being considered for as much as $2 Million in the upcoming 3rd Penny Sales Tax. The Mayor has said that he is in support of this initiative.

As the list is finalized for 3rd Penny Sales Tax, please send a short letter THIS WEEK (the week of August 29) to our nine City Councilors expressing your support for this initiative. Their names and districts are listed below for reference. We still need to show broad support from various constituencies throughout Tulsa.
More here...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Downtown Nightlife

Cronies... is now Cowboy Sharkies Downtown... Located just East of 3rd and Elgin.

Look for a new martini bar next to McNellies coming soon, and a new bar/restaurant also near McNellies in the next year or so.

The reasons to head downtown just keep growing!

White Party

The second annual White Party will be held in Downtown on September 23rd. "As a result of the immense interest that the 2005 White Party has received, and because of the recent devastation in the Gulf Coast, the hosts of this years event have decided to use the 2005 White Party as an opportunity to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina." Don't forget that you have to get your tickets by the 20th... All the details are at the White Party Web Site.

Sense and Disability - A city has to be accessible to all...

Our fellow blogger Michael Bates continues his rise to blog-super-stardom with his latest crossover project as a weekly columnist for Urban Tulsa. His first article focuses on "urban design, walkability, and what that means for Tulsans who, by reason of disability or age, cannot drive."

From Urban Tulsa
Urban design can be a dry topic, and the details of urban design--scale, setbacks, screening--can make your eyes glaze over, but it’s all about the shape of our city and how it shapes our everyday lives.

A few weeks ago, my wife spotted a man making his way down our street, sweeping a white cane in front of him. Like most Tulsa neighborhoods built since the 1920s, when the automobile came into common use, our mid-50s neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, so this gentleman was in the street itself, close to the curb.
Read More Here...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

its all coming back to the heart of things....

New bars & clubs are coming to Downtown...

Club Frog's Ultra Lounge and Blank Slate, which was formerly the Voodoo Room will be opeing in the next few weeks. All are under the management of Michael Sager.

UPDATE: I'm wrong, they are not all under Sager's management... My understanding right now is that Frog's is established under a sub-lease in a building Sager owns. Not sure about Blank Slate

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Friday Night - Hurricane Benefit at McNellies

From YP Tulsa...
A Hurricane Relief Benefit is being planned to help aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina, led by James E. McNellie’s Public House and young professional organizations in Tulsa, including TYPros, YPTulsa, Southeast Jaycees and others. The benefit, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, from 6 p.m. to midnight, will be a block party outside of McNellie’s, 409 E. 1st St., to support the American Red Cross and their efforts to assist victims of the hurricane disaster. The benefit will be open to the public and include live music provided by local Tulsa bands, beverages and food. There will be a cover charge of $5 and all proceeds from the block party and cover charge will be donated to the American Red Cross. In addition, McNellie’s owner, Elliot Nelson is donating a portion of the pub’s proceeds from the evening of the American Red Cross. "McNellie's, at it's core, is a community establishment. It's a place built to foster relationships and discussions, to improve the urban fabric of a depleted inner city,” said Nelson. “Now there is another community in need, and we feel as though it's part of our charge to help - for if we just think of our own community, and not that of our neighbors we become nothing more than hypocrites and don't deserve our self-proclaimed title of ‘community pub’." Organizers are encouraging Tulsans of all ages to come downtown for the benefit on Friday, including those who will spend the day participating in the Tulsa Area United Way’s Day of Caring. Additional donations will also be accepted at the event or can be made by contacting the American Red Cross at 918-831-1100. Sponsors of the event include James E. McNellie’s Public House, Tulsa’s Young Professionals (TYPros), YP Tulsa, Southeast Jaycees, CorporateSurvey, Cox Communications, City of Tulsa, Straxis Technology, Tulsa Parks, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and the Jazz Ambassadors
Laura Chalus, YP Tulsa Director

Cain's Hosting Benefit for Hurricane Victims

6:15-6:45 -A.D.D.
7:00-7:30 - The Effects
7:45-8:15 - Jenny Labow
8:30-9:00 - Jeff Scheel of Gravity Kills
9:15-9:45 - Zac Maloy
10:15-10:30 - Hanson

Updates and Ticket Info HERE.

In Urban Tulsa - Heeding the Call Local musicians help stage a benefit for hurricane victims.

Thinking inside the box / Kitchell's "side of the story"

Two real good reads in the new UrbanTulsa...

Rebuilding Tulsa
As the city’s limits begin reaching critical mass, it’s time to begin thinking inside the box.
Introducing a new series to help citizens become more familiar with issues dealing with the redevelopment of their hometown

Embattled entertainment impresario, Steve Kitchell gives his side.
We add a few clarifications and it all makes for an interesting look into the club business as practiced by one of the local area’s most famous and successful. No matter how you feel about him, no matter how tired anyone is of hearing, reading or writing about him, he shouldn’t be without a chance to defend himself in print, no matter what his reputation is.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Arena Watch

Several Articles from the blog world.

9/1/05 OKC Downtown Guy - They Don't Get It


8/31/05 Vision2025 Official - Mayor's Remarks at Groundbreaking & Pictures

Ummm… Any optimistic views out there?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Casino in Downtown Brady District?

This has been on the rumor mill for awhile. One rumor is even that the Creeks have been talking with the management group that runs the Hard Rock Casino chain.

Transcribed/ summarized from Tulsa World and posted on TulsaNow...
The Creek Nation's National Council is taking initial steps toward building a gaming site in the Brady District.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation could be the first tribe to open a casino downtown, officials said Friday.

The tribe's National Council approved an unbinding memorandum of understanding with Sharp Development to construct a gaming site in the Brady District, according to Creek Chief A.D. Ellis.

One possible site discussed is near the Cain's Ballroom, although the exact location was not given.

Ellis said the tribe was approached by a representative of Tulsa-based Sharp Development about the possibility of operating a casino in conjunction with that business.

"If they can't put the land into trust, then the agreement is voided," he said. "They got a long road to go, but we've got nothing to lose at this point. We're committing nothing yet."

The tribe will work on entering a binding memorandum if a preliminary plan works out, Ellis said.

If the property gains trust status, the Creeks would be the first state tribe to offer a downtown gaming site in an urban area. The casino could be an asset to recent efforts to revitalize downtown Tulsa, said
Mike Flood, a tribal spokesman.

Because the development plans are in the early stages, officials had no details on casino size, machine quantity or employment numbers.

City officials said that while the venture is still in a preliminary stage, Mayor Bill LaFortune has never been a big proponent of casinos in the Tulsa area, said his spokeswoman, Kim MacLeod.

"We are aware of it. Any economic impact would be purely speculative at this point. We haven't done anything yet on it," she said.

"But gaming has not traditionally been a part of the mayor's vision for the revitalization of downtown Tulsa."

Other gaming tribes, such as the Osage Nation and the Cherokee Nation, both operate casinos within their jurisdictional ter-[ 4] ritories, yet their casinos are miles from downtown, in north Tulsa and Catoosa.

The Creeks operate a Tulsa casino near 81st Street and Riverside Drive that is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The opening of a downtown casino would be contingent on obtaining federal trust status for the site, as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Trust status, obtained through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, can be a lengthy process.

However, this trust application could go smoothly because downtown Tulsa is within the tribe's historical jurisdiction.

Ellis said that the offer of putting land into trust was one made frequently to the tribe.

"But people don't have any idea exactly what it takes to do this," he said.

David Sharp of Sharp Development could not be reached for comment Friday. He is listed on a Downtown Tulsa Unlimited Web site under property managers and leasing agents.

His company owns property in the Brady District.

Ellis said the possibility of a downtown casino is just part of the 55,000-member tribe's plans for future enterprises. The tribe recently bought 25 acres along the Arkansas River directly west of its 81st Street and Riverside Drive property.

Ellis said no firm plans had been made about what to do with the newly acquired land but that the tribe hopes to become a part of the Jenks Riverwalk Crossing area.

Friday, September 02, 2005

ALERT - Hurricane Help

We have all seen the devastation throughout the Gulf coast area, and in particular New Orleans. As we keep the victims and aid workers in our thoughts and prayers it is important that we do all we can to help. The easiest way to help is to go to and give your money. No donation is too small.