Here are excerpts from recent articles in Oklahoma newspapers:
The Oklahoman. June 19, 2018.
— Naturalization-ceremony: A reminder of this country’s allure
The partisan sniping and the over-the-top rhetoric is so prevalent in our country, the politics (and elsewhere in society) can produce cynicism and malaise. A nice pick-me-up is provided by the naturalisation ceremonies, such as the council of ministers Friday in Oklahoma City.
In a large third-floor courtroom of the federal courthouse, 79 people who have their right hand and promised their loyalty to the United States, is the final step in becoming naturalized AMERICAN citizens. They were greeted with whoops and rousing applause from friends and family.
This latest group of Americans came from 29 countries — places like Trinidad and Tobago, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mexico, China, Burma and the Marshall Islands. They are among the 700,000 to 750,000 who have become naturalized citizens each year, according to the us Citizen and Immigration Services.
Applicants for citizenship must be 18 years of age or older, and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who have lived in the United States for at least five years. New citizens must be “of good moral character,” be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language, and, if the citizen and immigration agency notes on its website “have knowledge of U.S. government and history.” That knowledge comes from learning the answers to the 100 civics questions, some of which may stump many of us born and raised in the United States.
In short, the people who are AMERICAN citizens deserve it — and they find the work is worth the effort.
Carlos Villegas, a native of Mexico, who lives in Oklahoma City, he said that he was excited to be able to be with his wife as a citizen of the V. S. after a three year pursuit of the eea. “Just happy and proud,” Villegas said. “Proud to stand up for America.”
Tsevelmaa Yadmaa of Mongolia, a general surgeon who lives in Oklahoma City, was already more than five years on the process. “I’m happy because I have waited long,” she said. “I’m glad, freedom for me and a lot of opportunity.”
Her husband, Wusthu, previously had a citizen. “I’m delighted that we both became naturalised,” he said. “We have been working together for a while, to get to that point.
The group heard District Judge Joe Heaton, who presided, encourage them to stay informed about public affairs and to play an active role. “I suspect that there is no country in the world where the status of ‘citizen’ is just as important as it is here,” Heaton said.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, told the group that the meeting was a reminder “of what a great joy it is to be an American. . There is no country on the planet, such as the United States of America.”
That sentiment was found in the comments of one of the newly minted citizens, Tony Barton, of Enid through Essex County, England. He is in the United States, more than 13 years and said he has grown to love this country and its rich culture. “It is amazing the amount of diversity under one roof,” Barton said. “I wanted to be part of it.”
These ceremonies provide a vivid reminder of the fact that, despite the problems of this country remains a beacon for the rest of the world. May it always be so.
Tulsa World. June 19, 2018.
— After a few skids and bumps, Tulsa may be on the way to the BMX capital of the world
The road was a bit bumpy and there were some near spills — that is the nature of life in the world of the big dirt-track bike race, but the city has a contract for the headquarters, museum, hall of fame and indoor arena for the USA BMX to an empty industrial estate on the north side of the city centre.
The largest BMX racing organization and the city of Tulsa signed a 30-year agreement with the potential for two 10-year extensions, to enable the former Evans-Fintube site in the group home, and turn the city of Tulsa in what we presumptuously proposals will be of the BMX capital of the world.
The construction on the site is expected to begin this fall and be completed by the end of 2019.
The new facility will be the BMX headquarters, Gilbert, Arizona, and in his museum and hall of fame of Chula Vista, California. An Olympic-quality track and the five-days-a-week racing are part of the deal.
Expo Square is the home of the USA BMX Grand Nationals for 20 years and will continue to host the high-profile event.
When Tulsa voters helped to underwrite the headquarters to move with $15 million in 2016, Vision renewal program, the trade was in the first instance eyes to the site, but that plan slipped in the past year, which leads to the location in the city.
The national focal point for winter Olympic sport increases Tulsa profile, but there are also real economic advantages to converting to the empty industrial site into a working asset. The facility will host more than 100 local, provincial and national events in the first five years, generating nearly $11 million in economic activity.
There is still a lot of work to do, but the contract gives the city BMX plan a solid basis in reality. We have not yet crossed the finish line yet, but we can see the checkered flag from here, and we are ready to tear some dirt.
Muskogee Phoenix. June 19, 2018.
Action must follow on the news
Muskogee received great news on two fronts late last week, but it is what the city does with that information that will determine success.
United States Sen. Jim Inhofe said Friday that he will halt an Oklahoma Department of Transportation proposal could have moved US 69 west of Muskogee.
The same morning, officials from Bacone College announced a sale of the properties may have for the college back up and running this summer.
Both are excellent news.
There were many people opposed to the US 69 bypass of Muskogee.
Entrepreneurs, policy makers, and residents largely agreed with the proposed bypass may impair economic development.
With the bypass option from the table, the city and the county officials should do everything they can to create a positive business environment to stimulate economic growth.
The tracking of the movement runs through the city opens up the possibility for further expansion along the highway — in particular at the intersection of 69 and Shawnee Bypass.
Residents and businesses took a stand and apparently succeeded in removing an obstacle for economic growth.
But now residents see the fruits of that attitude.
Bacone College officials, who suspended operations earlier in the spring, apparently, have found funding through the sale of real estate.
Now Bacone officials must do everything they can to keep the doors open. A second suspension of the activities would undermine confidence in the college that cannot be resolved in the future.
Bacone College has the support of the community in general and its alumni base to keep the doors open for the good.
Muskogee residents, civic leaders and legislators need to see on Friday developments as opportunities to grow in our city.
Otherwise, Friday is good news for nothing.