Large Quake Rattles Nerves, Shakes Up New PR Narrative

On Aug. 16, The Oklahoman editorial board published an in-house commentary, which carried the headline, “Oklahoma on the right course in addressing earthquakes.”

On Saturday, Sept. 3, around 7 a.m., a terrifyingly long manmade 5.6-magnitude earthquake centered near Pawnee rattled this state and neighboring states even though oil and gas industry puppets like the great minds at The Oklahoman had declared the quake crisis all but solved. The earthquake caused one injury and widespread damage throughout the state.

Saturday’s morning earthquake should be considered yet another wake-up call to Oklahomans. If they don’t get it now, they’re never going to get it. The quake was the same size of a temblor that hit near Prague in 2011, but to me it felt longer and more powerful.

Oklahomans need to “get” that state officials, such as Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the oil and gas industry and the corporate media here are not going to do what is obviously necessary to stop what’s causing the earthquakes.

Even the OCC’s decision to order the shut down of a broad swath of injection wells after the earthquake is not enough.

Despite its obvious dire economic consequences for this place, the state and the oil and gas industry needs to eventually shut down every injection well in the state. The corporate media, forever wrong on this issue, needs to step up and call for that action. No more injection wells in Oklahoma.

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More Diversity Needed On State Justice Reform Task Force

The membership of Gov. Mary Fallin’s new task force to study justice reform lacks diversity.

The 17-member board doesn’t include one person of color, according to state Rep. George Young, an Oklahoma City Democrat. In a statement that appeared on the local Facebook page of the Showing Up for Racial Justice organization, Young made these points:

I am disappointed in our Governor’s inability to find and appoint someone of color to her Justice Reform Task Force. This is important to the welfare of our state and our citizens. Once again citizens of color are reminded of the statistics concerning our incarceration rates, but are denied a seat at the table, which could help in understanding and providing leadership in improving our criminal justice system. Thank you, Governor, for appointing 17 qualified individuals without finding one of color.

Here’s a local news story that lists the members of the task force, which mostly include public officials, including former House Speaker Kris Steele, a strong advocate for social justice reform. The task force also includes the presidents of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa chambers of commerce.

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Local Organization Forms To Help OKC Zoo Elephants

A new organization, Oklahoma Friends of Elephants (OFE), has been established in response to the Oklahoma City Zoo’s recent efforts to put up obstacles for those seeking records about the health conditions and treatment of its elephants and to try to protect the animals’ overall welfare and treatment.

The new OFE Facebook page can be found here. I’m a part of establishing this new organization. I urge you to like the page and consider the issues about the overall health conditions right now of all the zoo’s elephants and whether elephants, in general, should live out their days in small, captive enclosures.

Here's a link to an Oklahoma Activist Pointing Left podcast that deals with the issue.

I published a a post here on Aug. 22 about personally obtaining information from a open-records request by the Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants in Seattle. The organization has been concerned about the health condition of 49-year-old Bamboo, who came from Seattle last year, along with 37-year-old Chai, who died recently at the OKC Zoo. The group had vehemently opposed the move and wanted the elephants placed in a sanctuary. The Seattle zoo has closed its elephant exhibit.

Another elephant, 4-year-old Malee, recently died at the OKC Zoo as well.

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