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Grand Opening Fri. June 1st and Sat. 2nd for Turley Library & Community Center

You and your family, friends, neighbors, won't want to miss these events. Come and go as you can but stay as long as you can and meet new people, renew friendships, and support our Turley.

Free concerts, lectures, presentations, events for children, free animal tags, a community-wide potluck meal and game night will highlight the grand opening celebration of "a third place," 6514 N. Peoria Ave., the new Turley Library and Community Center, on Fri., June 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sat. June 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The events are open to all Tulsa area residents and visitors, with special invitations to former Turley residents. The new center includes a free library, free internet space, coffeehouse, bargain room, community bulletin boards, meetingplace, art and more.

Events will kick off with a free all-community potluck meal and board game night Fri. June 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. Plates and utensils and cups will be provided. Bring a food item or non-alcoholic drinks to share. We have several board games but feel free to bring others as well as puzzles.

Saturday's program will include all-day free animal tagging sponsored by Saving Pets of Turley, a community volunteer organization, art activities and more for children, a 10 a.m. welcome and talk on the community center, a 11 a.m. lecture presentation "Think Globally, Garden Locally" by Dr. Bonnie Ashing, native and resident of Turley, of Let Turley Bloom, a community volunteer group. See posts below about SPOT and Let Turley Bloom.

Also Sat. noon a concert by Bobby Cooper's bluegrass band "Verdigris Valley Boys," a 1 p.m. Turley history presentation and conversation with Robert Cooper, Sr. and others, followed by 2 p.m. presentation and conversation by the Turley Community Association on Turley's present issues and future and the issue of incorporation and related legislation recently approved by the State House and Senate and signed by the Governor.

At 3 p.m. Saturday there will be a fiction and poetry reading by Turley native and resident Ron Robinson, who received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship among other writing awards, with an open mic for local writers or musicians at 4 p.m. Also we will be taking sign ups for a local writers group and book discussion group. Open mic sign-up by Friday night at contact information below. A solo vocalist will perform at 6 p.m.

The event will conclude with a free concert by the wonderful Rock and Blues Band, "The Remnants" from 8 to 10 p.m. You won't want to miss any of it, but especially not this concert.

For more information or for offers to volunteer, contact the center at 794-4637,

Board of Adjustment Denies Turley Halfway House Project

In a 4-0 vote, the Tulsa Board of Adjustment denied the request for a zoning change to allow a halfway house to be operated for released prisoners in the old Cornerstone Baptist Church. The Board decided it was too intensive a change for the location, especially given the community opposition and the fact Turley already supports one of the area's major halfway houses. See the post below for background. Also see the comments to this post for my own reflection.

It was a packed meeting for over two hours with about 60 to 70 people present to protest and support the proposal (I'd say about two thirds to protest and a third to support, most of whom were connected with the Cornerstone Church.) The attorney for the group wishing to operate the halfway house presented for over 30 minutes and then was followed for another almost thirty minutes by a director of a halfway house in downtown Oklahoma City which was roughly used as a model for what this would be--though that pointed up the difference in the proposals, as Turley is more of a small town rural/urban area as opposed to downtown OKC, and the effects would not be the same. County Commissioner district one John Smaligo ( spoke first on the side of the opponents although he said his arguments weren't the same as many of those who opposed it; his position was that the community already was doing its share and the project would have an adverse effect. Jeff Kirkham, chair of the Turley Community Association, drew applause when he said that if it were true that the project would bring millions of dollars of benefits into the area then why weren't other communities bidding for the project. Many people, on both sides, spoke of the good benefits of halfway houses; some in favor of it spoke of the transforming work it does; some opposed said halfway houses were good but that this one still had logistical problems with transportation and infrastructure issues. Some opposed said it was another incident of North Tulsa and Turley getting something that other areas would be up in arms against.

One member of the Board of Adjustment who initially leaned in favor of the halfway house project said he was stunned to learn that people thought of Turley as its own area, as he had always thought of it, and of North Tulsa, as just parts of Tulsa. Almost all the officials, and those involved in the project, seemed unaware of the Turley Community Association, the history of Turley, and of the years-long effort to incorporate Turley as a city (see post below for latest news).

A good point was made by Jeff Kirkham to those in attendance who opposed the project, that he would love to see such a turnout for the regular community-building work and ongoing projects of the Turley Community, and not just to be opposed to something.

See comments for further reflections.


Legislation Allows Turley to Move Forward On Vote on Incorporation as a City

Word has reached us that Gov. Henry has signed the bill approved by the State House and the State Senate that would fix the earlier problems with legislation approved and which now opens the way for the efforts to proceed on holding a vote to incorporate a portion of our area as the City of Turley.

More information on this and other community matters will certainly be addressed at the next Turley Community Association meeting to be held Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at O'Brien Park Recreation Center.

At the April meeting it was reported that the legislation had been approved by the state legislative bodies. It was stated that the move is to help the Turley residents to preserve our identity as small town, rural, near urban area, to help with efforts to clean up property, but to fix it so animals can still be on homes and in front yards and all the other things that make Turley unique and special in this era of areas that seem like they all have to look and act alike.

Survey work has to begin now to create the exact legal area that would be covered by the incorporation; then a petition will be circulated to gather the required number of signatures of those in the area who would call for the election on incorporating; the manner of city government would also be outlined ahead of time. It was reported that much of this work has already been done in past presentation, but I suppose nothing has yet been final. More voices will be needed, and more hands to help with taking the process to the next step.


Controversy on Proposed Turley "halfway house"

First, the information: People are then invited to post questions and comments in the comment section.

There will be a second meeting (first was 5-9) to be held tonight, 6 p.m. including dinner, Thurs. May 10, 2007 with a dinner and presentation by the people proposing the new "halfway house." The invitation reads: "Progressive Rehabilitation Services, LLC (PRS) has invited family and interested neighbors to attend an informal meeting at the Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church at 7770 North Whirlpool Drive. The meeting is scheduled for 6:00 PM and will last til approximately 8:00 PM. They will be serving a barbecue dinner and discussing the plans for the old Cornerstone church facility at 1825 E 66th St North. Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church 274-3918, Progressive Rehabilitation Services 743-0288 to confirm attendance.
Steve Chamberlain CEO, PRS
Matthew S Crum Executive Director, PRS
Phillip White, President PRS
Rev. Curtis Linton, Advisory Board, PRS"

This relates to a request to the Tulsa County Board of Adjustment that at its Tuesday, May 15, 1:30 p.m. meeting in the Aaronson Auditorium of the Central Library Downtown, 400 Civic Center, it approve a special exception to permit a halfway house in an AG (agricultural?) district (Section 310) at the former Cornerstone church location. For more information call INCOG offices at 918-584-7526. Applicant is Stephen A. Schuller, an attorney.

There is local opposition to this proposal. A petition drive has been started by some residents near the facility and other residents. The petition is available at various locations in Turley, including "a third place" community center. (As coordinator of the center, I would be glad to have both pro and anti petitions available for people). Those opposed cite objections of no access to public transportation for the residents, that the AG zoning is actually O"Brien Park and recreation area, that nearby families include those with children and the elderly, that the facility would put an added strain on the volunteer fire department and area law enforcement already overburdened, and that the existing structures are not designed to support a multi-residential facility.

One flyer opposing the project circulated without any author attribution mentions there will be 99 residents in the facility with up to 300 possible in expansion. This was confirmed at Wednesday's meeting.

It was stated that the church that currently leases the building has it through October and has the right of first refusal on whether or not to purchase the building and property which has been listed in the $750,000 and above price range.