Chamber endorses TPS bond issue
Tulsans are asked to vote YES on a $354 million proposal March 2
Tulsa Metro Chamber stresses the importance of passing the Tulsa Public Schools Bond Issue to continue the improvement of education in TPS without raising taxes.
“The Chamber is committed to educating Tulsa voters about the direct impact this investment will have on the community’s economic development, workforce and quality of life,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal. “With 97 percent of the TPS buildings at more than 30 years old, we have a long way to go, and Tulsa's children deserve safe, up-to-date facilities and high-quality learning environments. Tulsa must continue to invest in our schools.”
A special kickoff event for the campaign is scheduled for 10 a.m., this Saturday, Feb. 20 at East Central High School, 12150 E. 11th St. Those who attend may pick up campaign brochures and yard signs to show support for the bond.
The bond issue is a comprehensive, $354 million proposal that addresses critical needs facing the TPS school system. Formulated over the past year by the Citizens Bond Development Committee, a group of citizens, educators and community leaders, the proposal is a continuation of the citizen-led, 20-year plan that began in 1995-96.
A watchdog Bond Oversight Committee ensures that bond monies will be spent as promised and keeps tax rates level. The committee holds regularly scheduled public meetings.
The proposal allocates $261.4 million for building construction and repairs and focuses on new facilities, classroom additions, heating and air conditioning, replacing aging windows and roofs, and other needs most would consider as basic necessities, according to TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard.
Other crucial-needs areas in the plan are libraries, including six new ones; technology, computer work stations, and learning materials; school safety; school buses and transportation computer software (10,000-plus students ride TPS buses daily); fine arts; and physical education.
“School safety is paramount,” stressed Ballard. “This bond issue includes significant improvements to safely control entry access points at all TPS sites and add and improve surveillance camera systems to make our schools safer not only for students and teachers but for family members, workers and others who visit school sites.”
By state law, passage of school bonds requires a supermajority vote of 60 percent, so the Chamber encourages its members to head to the polls to vote yes.
“The bottom line is that passing this bond issue is the smart thing to do, and tax levels will remain steady,” Neal said. “We are playing catch up with many of the suburban school districts, but we’ve made significant strides in addressing our aging school system with passage of the previous four bond issues.”
For more information, call campaign headquarters at 918.946.1317 or visit the campaign Web site at www.dothesmartthingtulsa.com.
Community leaders compete to sell C-USA tickets
March Madness has arrived early in Tulsa with community leaders competing to sell tickets to the 2010 C-USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships being held March 8-13.
Ticket sales are being recorded through Web sites with unique urls for individual community leaders including Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal and Tulsa Sports Commission Executive Director Mike Dodson.
Local creative agency, Cubic Creative, helped the Tulsa Sports Commission establish the online campaign, but it is up to each participant to distribute their unique url to family, friends and contacts. Individuals have a goal of selling 30 tickets with an overall goal of 4,000 tickets being sold. The leader board and status of participants can be found by clicking the “campaign status” button found on the scoreboard of each individual’s Web site.
“We created this campaign as a friendly competition among some of our community’s key players and strong supporters of C-USA and the Tulsa sports community in general,” said Dodson. “We also felt it was a great way to get the community engaged, involved and excited about the upcoming tournament we’re hosting, which is BIG for Tulsa.”
The women’s competition will begin March 8 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center while the men will take the court on March 10 at the BOK Center. The combined championship will be the first for C-USA and the enthusiasm and community support displayed in Tulsa this year will go a long way in determining the city’s ability to host future championship events.
To find out who is participating in the community competition for ticket sales, contact Whitney Miller or Debbie Majors at the Tulsa Sports Commission or call 918-560-0205. To purchase tickets directly visit BOKCenter.com.
C-USA All-Session (11 games, 6 sessions)
Men's Ticket Prices:
o Lower Level sides $302- (includes ONEOK Club access)
o Lower Level - $172
o Upper Level - $82 & $67
Personal Partner packages with hospitality, parking, advertising (two and four premium tickets, located first five rows) are $1,500 and $3,000 respectively. Please contact Miller about these packages.
Vote for Tulsa kids to earn free bikesPepsi Refresh Project is awarding 10 $50,000 grants to ideas receiving the most votes
The Tulsa Sports Commission is asking the Tulsa region and bike enthusiasts across the nation for their support as they compete for one of 10 $50,000 grants being award by Pepsi through the Pepsi Refresh Project.
Tulsa Tough Ride & Race submitted a proposal to Pepsi outlining the purpose, goals and plan for the Tough Kids Bike Program now in its fourth year. The program awards bikes provided by The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis to kids successfully completing the Tough Kids Challenge. Pepsi accepted the proposal as one of 1,000 ideas competing for a total of $1.3 million in grants. Ideas are posted online and voted on by the public. Ideas receiving the highest number of votes by the end of the month will be awarded grants at various funding levels.
To vote for the Tulsa Tough Kids Program, visit www.refresheverything.com/TulsaTough before Sun., Feb. 28. One vote per person, per day is counted.
The Tough Kids Challenge is a program of the Tulsa Tough Ride & Race scheduled for June 4-6 and was developed to help promote health and fitness to children in grades third through fifth by requiring participants to attend bicycle safety education training, a skills and drills class and participate in the 8-mile Townie Ride on Sun., June 6 to earn a free bike.
Tulsa and Oklahoma face challenging health statistics with high rates of obesity and various societal and health side effects. One goal of Tulsa Tough is to change behavior patterns by engaging the community starting with elementary school-aged children through the Tulsa Tough Kids Bike Program, which combines community outreach, awareness, education and fitness.
“In short, if we can show kids how to safely ride their bikes we may be able to get them to ride to school, to a friend’s house or the store,” said Malcolm McCollam, Tulsa Tough event director. “We can potentially change their future and our own through improved health outcomes and self confidence.”
This year marks a major milestone for the project when the 1,000th bike will be awarded.
“We are beginning to see the impact of the program and believe we are setting a model other communities around the world can use,” said McCollam.
Tulsa Tough was created in 2006 by the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen. The three-day cycling festival is designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles while showcasing the beautiful city of Tulsa, Okla. Tulsa Tough offers events and spectating opportunities for everyone with professional-level races, recreational and tour rides; kids and youth activities; live music; and vendors in one action-packed weekend. For more information, please visit www.tulsatough.com.
Chamber hosts reception for regional elected officials
Please join the Tulsa Metro Chamber on Thurs., Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. on the 30th floor of the Summit Club for a Legislative Reception.
More than 30 area partners recently endorsed the Chamber's 2010 regional OneVoice legislative agenda and this annual event provides a tremendous opportunity to discuss issues important to your business with the region's elected officials.
Last year, the Tulsa region experienced one of its most successful legislative sessions to date. Join the Tulsa Metro Chamber and area partners as we prepare to add to our success in 2010.
Date: Thurs., Feb. 18, 2010
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Summit Club, 30th floor
Cost: $30 for members. Please RSVP by Tues., Feb. 16.
RSVP to Elaine Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org, 918.560.0298 or click here to register online.
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
Integrated Business Technologies
Eric Kehmeier, President
840 S. Aspen
Broken Arrow, OK 74012