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Five issues that should be on Tulsa’s radar in 2015

A new day
Five issues that should be on Tulsa’s radar in 2015


Jan. 7, 2015 – Tulsa Voice

2 // A critical river review
We need sensible, achievable, affordable objectives for making the Arkansas River a greater asset. We also need clarity on the cross-impacts of the damming/engineering schemes under consideration, particularly as they affect Tulsa’s ever-present floodplain management challenge. Veteran engineer and former Public Works director Charlie Hardt is also a hydrologist. Prior to his tenure at City Hall, Hardt spent much of his career in engineering, consulting for flood management in U.S. cities. Along with land-use planner Ron Flanagan and writer and public policy expert Ann Patton, Hardt has played a major role in Tulsa’s decades-long flood management efforts. Patton wrote the book, “The Tulsa River,” an extremely thoughtful meditation on Tulsa’s intimate and longstanding connection to the Arkansas River, which I highly recommend. Recently, Hardt has spoken publicly about the dangers of over-developing the river. His conclusions are sobering and ought to play a hefty role in the ongoing deliberations about the future of the river and the various capital projects being discussed.

Ann at Sustainable Tulsa’s First Thursday

The Arkansas River has brought up recently and over the years questions about Tulsa’s history, environmental stewardship, and urbanization.  Join us with Ann Patton, a Tulsa-based writer and consultant specializing in disaster management, social justice, and urban affairs. Ann will be speaking about the legend and lore of the Arkansas River at Tulsa.  She will share some of the images from her book, The Tulsa River, which is a book of stories and pictures about the river, “which lured mankind to this spot on earth and has influenced our community in profound ways.”

Come and share about your upcoming sustainability events. 1st Thursdays! is a great place to network and connect. Join us January 8th (And yes this is the second Thursday of January, but you would be in your jammies on the 1st !)

More details, click here

December 2014 book signings for The Tulsa River feature river conversations with local leaders

Local leaders will join author Ann Patton for informal “conversations about the river” at December 2014 book signings for The Tulsa River book.


  • Dec. 5, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 6922 S. Mingo Rd, including informal conversation with in-coming Dist. 7 City Councilor Anna America.


  • Dec. 6, 1 to 3 pm, Sam’s Club at Tulsa Hills, 7757 S. Olympia Ave., including informalconversation with Dist. 2 City Councilor Jeannie Cue.


  • Dec. 10, 4-6 pm, Ida Red Boutique, 3336 S. Peoria Ave, with informal conversation with Dist. 9 City Councilor G. T. Bynum, who also chairs the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force that is examining river development options. Singer-songwriter-pianist Jay Lesikarwill perform an eclectic mix of jazz and classical music. Refreshments will be served.


  • Dec. 12, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 4420 S. Sheridan Ave., including informal conversation with Dist. 5 City Councilor Karen Gilbert, who serves as current Council Chair.
  • Dec. 13, 11 am to 1 pm, Sam’s Club, 12905 E. 96th St. N., Owasso.
  • Dec. 13, 5 pm, DECOPOLIS Books, 607 S. Boston Ave., with former Mayor Rodger Randle; Michael Patton, Metropolitan Environmental Trust director; and Josef Glaudeon solo guitar. Refreshments will be served.

“We’re delighted to partner with community leaders and businesses to offer these pre-holiday events,” said Ann Patton. “There’s a lot of talk about our river now. At these book-signing events, people can visit informally with their City Councilor and other leaders about the river or whatever they want to chat about. Our hope is that this book will help, in small ways, broaden grassroots conversations about our river and our community’s future.”

The Tulsa River is a new book of stories and pictures about Tulsa’s heritage and future with the Arkansas River. The book team includes photographer Vernis Maxwell and editor Tracy LeGrand. Available now in a limited first edition, the coffee-table-style book has 110 full-color photographs and a foreword by former Mayor Robert J. LaFortune.


Drawings will be held at each event to give away free 16” x 20” reproductions of book photos by photographer Vernis Maxwell. The Tulsa River also can be purchased from the website

Ann Patton & Robert LaFortune on Studio Tulsa

On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it’s a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it’s called “The Tulsa River.” But to what degree is Tulsa truly a “river city”? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing — or else taking on new meaning — given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive? And, when it comes to planning to develop any of the Arkansas River as it runs through the City or County of Tulsa, to what extent should Mother Nature be our guide? And what about all those threats of mega-storms and/or flooding? Today’s show looks at Patton’s book while also looking at the history of Tulsa’s river more generally — from the river’s first-ever bridge (which was basically a toll bridge over to where the oil fields were situated) to the establishment of River Parks in the 1970s.

Read more and listen to the segment here

Book Signing and Forum November 17th

Book signing and forum –6:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 17, Tulsa Historical Society, 2445 S. Peoria.

Former Mayors Robert J. LaFortune and Susan Savage will join retired Public Works Director Charles L. Hardt and author Ann Patton in “A conversation about our Tulsa River heritage.”

Mayor LaFortune wrote the foreword to The Tulsa River, and interviews with Mayor Savage and Mr. Hardt are featured in the book. Speakers will share their stories about growing up in a river town, historic events such as the creation of River Parks and the 1986 flood, and their visions for the future. All will join photographer Vernis Maxell and editor Tracy LeGrand for book signings.

New book tells story of Arkansas River development in Tulsa

“The Tulsa River,” a new book that chronicles the influence of the Arkansas River on Tulsa’s history and its future, will officially be launched with an event 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Quik-Trip Pavilion in River Parks, 41st Street and Riverside Drive.

The event will feature appearances by former Tulsa mayors Robert J. LaFortune and Rodger Randle, who will also serve as master of ceremonies for the event…

Read the full story on