Hi all. You haven't received an email from us lately because of the busyness of the season here at A Third Place Community Foundation and the The Welcome Table missional community in the Turley and Far Northside area. But we have been grateful for your support, your partnerships, your connections, your helping to spread the word about our service and social justice actions here. We hope your own Christmas and holiday seasons have been as blessed, and if you like many have been struggling during these particular days we hope that simple gifts of peace and hope will come your way. Know that you are in our prayers.
I have been thinking of lights amid the darkness lately, and not just because that is a cliche of the seasons. Here in our area there are big swaths of North Peoria, as I have written about often, with no streetlights, no sidewalks, and no holiday decorations lighting up the businesses or public buildings along our busiest street. In fact, several months ago I attached photos of various abandoned unhealthy dangerous rundown and burned out buildings on North Peoria Ave when I sent out a letter from us, and those buildings remain as they are and have been, untouched, still eyesores right across from Cherokee School even as we try to attract groups to come relocate and repurpose the closed school with us. Whether it is utilities, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, salons, car salvages, I know of only one that has put up lights to show a little Christmas spirit to the community. It is part of what happens when people who run our businesses, etc. don't live here anymore, and that we don't have a group along this corridor to support and encourage one another, and the community association of residents, like so many of our barely getting by neighborhood associations in our area, are low on money and energy.
And yet, you know I am going to write "and yet..." I think of how our group has, in good Charlie Brown Christmas Tree style, put up decorations by the welcome sign to our area on North Peoria, including a tree this year; and how we have put up solar lights (so as not to have to use school electricity) on the community Christmas tree that is still by the memorial arch at Cherokee School even now two winters since the school is closed, lights that flash on and off and that cover just half of the tree, a sign of the barely hanging on life, but that still shines and reminds of its existence, and perhaps to some unknown child going down to the grocery store in the dark without sidewalks, or waiting for the bus nearby, it will at least bring some cheer; and how up on the hill just west of the Cherokee School we have started lighting up one corner of our Community KitchenGardenPark and Orchard, there where so much trash and burned out homes once stood amid the grass higher than the roof, like too many of our homes still in this area just out of sight and out of mind of most people in the Tulsa area. Just one little corner lighted this season, but it has inspired us to begin plans for next year when we will have a Garden of Lights for all in our area there, and weather permitting hold community events there during the season as people walk through the orchard and around the gardens and the new shed and enjoy the views and the lights. (if you would like to donate light decorations or can buy them at after Christmas sales, please do as we start our planning for this new venture of lights next year). And how we have put up our own few but meaningful lights at the community center for people passing by to enjoy, a reminder that we do have enough even though we don't have enough that we can still share a little generosity of spirit, of beauty.
Of course, these lights are just signs of the many other kinds of ways we have recently been illuminated ourselves by our neighbors, and how we help bring light into lives and neighborhoods. Here are a few below:
---Our food justice pantry continues to expand; we had a great mobile van food day at the center and gave out 5 tons of food; we continue to increase by 30 percent our outreach to those hungry in just our own three zipcodes we serve; we will have given out some 75 turkeys alone. We had great 125 or so people at our Christmas community meal and carols and gift giving when the kids were able to get about 5 gifts apiece. And our garden has been producing herbs and peppers almost right up to Christmas. In the new year we are going to be concentrating our Mobile Van Food Days to connecting with new residents of our area and those whom are in need but haven't been able to learn about or get to our pantry; we are going to target school families in our areas to receive our vouchers for the food on those special days when the Mobile Van comes, as a way to connect them with our ongoing resources. We will also be offering meals on those special days too. Our next one will be Friday, Jan. 25 from 10 am to noon followed by the meal.
--In fact at the same time for those whom we already serve with food and meals we are expanding the food pantry to add being open on the first Saturdays of each month, beginning Jan. 5, from 11 am to 1 pm besides our weekly hours. And we will couple the food days with the new Community Art Days, which is another way this season we have been bringing light of art into people's lives as well as helping them to make inexpensive and meaningful gifts to give.
---And we are working on service learning projects with both OU Graduate Social Work classes to give them experience understanding poverty and healthy responses to it, and will be working in the new year with McLain School on a new Smart Choices=Healthy Living grant to expose the students in our area to how they can help create healthier communities and set good patterns for their own lives for giving back and growing healthy.
---We continue to be involved in the kind of light-giving that doesn't show up as much, but that is cultivating the soil of the spirit and hope here in the 74126. We are working to help the volunteer fire department grow by becoming a Fire Board independent district; we are working still on abandoned buildings (see above) and on a Disaster Response Network; we are still trying to recruit and show groups the vision of what Cherokee School could become rather than just another large abandoned building attracting criminals in our area, or arsonists; we are after the first of the year beginning a steering committee to bring back a Turley Area Senior Citizens Center, one that had been abandoned years before when funds were cut; now there is no senior nutrition site available for miles and miles and they are often already full; on the other end of our hunger spectrum (and remember that in our area half of our population will soon be either over 60 or under 18, the most vulnerable population groups) we will be planning the return of our daily summer meal for all under 18, a program that we had no home for this past summer due to another school closure in our area. And we are still researching and hoping we can attract in the new year people who want to help us build relationships and affect lives through taking on low-income low rent homes in our area in the subdivisions where so many abandoned homes seem to dominate. And we want to help recruit volunteers to our partners for their projects, especially the inspiring ground breaking work being done at Sarah's Residential Living as they try to take more of these abandoned homes and transform them into intimate group living spaces for those in need here; and for the North Tulsa Farmers Market. We also want to continue enriching our partnership with the new Health Dept. wellness center nearby, using our experience and contacts to connect residents with the emerging care available there through the OSU Physicians clinic and the health dept programs.
---We are hopeful in the new year of getting grants to make the gardenpark into a community art space, but whether we get the grants or not, we will continue creating it as such, tapping into the gifts and lights of the people who live nearby and who are still finding out about the garden, and that it is for them, and that they can use it. There will be much growth at the park which was just dedicated this past summer, and we hope the Garden of Lights at the end of next year will be the culmination of how the park is a beacon of hope in the area throughout the year. Planting will be resuming in February by the way so plan now to bring teams to help.
---Some of our signature events have been the summer festival, the Halloween and Christmas meals and parties, where we connect with hundreds of our neighbors in a fun way and provide information and resources. We want to expand those community parties and find ways to take people on excursions around town or even as we recently helped to do to take a hike up on Turley Hill to find the legendary Runestone Rock. We will want to help expand and spread the word about our ongoing resources we have such as the clothing room, the computer center, and now with the closure of our community laundramat we need to hook up and make available at times our own washer and dryer; we are going to be getting more organized with a new Crafts Co-op and hope to have booths set up at farmers markets where our folks can have their items sold; we have our Auction items remaining to bring in needed money for our projects, and so if you can help sell them on craigslist or help us get them to a consignment auction somewhere let us know; And we have begun to improve some of the grounds around our Center and want to do more in the coming year to create a deck, and welcoming places where people can use our wifi and our space even when the building itself might not be open, and to help transform the neighborhood, so we have many building and construction projects on tap right on our own properties, even as we look to other properties as well.
---And finally I know I have missed out on some of the ways we brought light into our area this past year, with your help and with your donations to www.turleyok.blogspot.com, and I definitely know that there will be many new projects and undertakings and just simple small acts of justice done with great love that will emerge that I can not even imagine now, because they are in the imagination and inspiration of someone reading this, or someone whom we haven't even met yet, but who will find through us a way to put their gifts and passions into the crevices of a broken world here.
---For example, I am about to leave to go get things started for a special Free Christmas Store today for a few hours that just came up over the weekend as we got so many donations in of toys and turkeys, etc. that we needed to begin setting up a special time when people can just come and look and receive. It will be open from 2-4 pm today, but then our Food Pantry will be open on the day after Christmas too as we continue to help people share in the holiday, reminding them that Christmas begins, not ends, on Dec. 25. To find ways that on each of the 12 days of Christmas, the spirit of incarnating the Holy can be born even here in the burned out places, in the new Nazareths, in the mangers where the homeless and the addicted and the mentally ill and the learning disabled and the unemployed and the abused and the just released from prison felons and the sick, and those who refuse to leave them and live elsewhere, and those who love this area and its people and return to it, and those who are drawn here for some reason to be blessed by all here (as surely it is a blessing to have seen those lines of children at the christmas party we hosted, to receive their spirit that was much deeper and more beautiful than anything we could give them), that all of this can be born every day, even here, even now.
Thanks for your presence with us, and for all you do wherever you are. We look forward to joining with you in the new year.
And a P.S. to those interested in our missional community: we have Christmas Eve candlelighting service for the community at large tonight at 6 pm followed by cider and cookies, etc. And on Sunday Dec. 30 we will have a special Christmas communion and a celebatory fun outing perhaps breakfast at El Rio Verde and then on to somewhere else to be determined. And on Sunday, Jan. 6 stay tuned for news of a special 10 year Anniversary of our church, first begun on Jan. 6, Epiphany Day, 2003 in Owasso OK as Epiphany Church then later moved to Turley and as The Living Room Church and then six years ago we transformed into the missional church at A Third Place and now January will have been two years since we moved here into this building and became The Welcome Table.
www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com to read through the years of history of posts.
We have enjoyed this Advent season watching and discussing the new monastic DVD called The Awakening of Hope, and it and the anniversary have spurred us to begin the new year with conversations and prayers and new visions of what we still are called to become. Definitely more on that as the New Year and Epiphany draws near.....
Thank you (did I mention end of the year donations are very very much needed and appreciated and can be made at the new GoFundMe site for us at http://www.gofundme.com/1msvm8 or still at www.turleyok.blogspot.com or by mail to A Third Place Foundation at 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Turley, OK 74126.) and blessings and more to come,
Posted by Ron at 10:05 AM
Community Free Christmas Party, plus Movie and Meal, plus Candle Making at the Community Art Day, and More Events Growing Community For All
Our Annual Community Christmas Party and Meal, with Santa and carolling and videos and gifts for children, will be held Sunday, Dec. 9 from 5 to 7 pm at the Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave. Come and enjoy the turkey and the company and the carols and the community.
Here are the other coming events in our community. Please share.
Here are the other coming events in our community. Please share.
1. Free Meal and Documentary Movie, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices,” Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6:30 pm, community center.
2. Food Pantry, Nutrition Advisor, Pastoral Counseling, Computer Center, Clothing Room, Library/Free Bookstore each Wednesday Noon to 4 pm, community center. See below for the new expansion of the Food Pantry to first Saturdays.
3. Turley Area Art Studio Free Community Art Day at the Center, making candles for gifts, Sat. Dec. 15 9 am to 4 pm. All ages welcome.
4. Northside and Turley Community Connections Meeting with State Reps. Seneca Scott, Kevin Matthews, and State Sen. Jabar Shumate, Sat. Dec. 15 10 am Rudisill Library, Pine and Greenwood.
5. Legal Aid Services of Eastern Oklahoma with The Welcome Table. Call Sara Cherry 918-295-9461 for appointments for free help.6. “GROW TURLEY” Planning Meeting Thurs. Jan. 3, 3:30 pm, community center.
7. The Welcome Table worship gatherings during the holidays. Call 918-691-3223 or go to www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com
8. Pancake Breakfast, Sat. Jan. 12 8 to 10 am, Odd Fellows, 6227 N. Quincy Ave. $5 for all you care to eat; kids under 10 eat free.
9. “Life 101” Relationship Class with Rev. Ron Robinson, 10 am Wednesdays, followed with meal. Call 918-691-3223 to enroll for free.
10. Volunteering at the Community GardenPark, 6005 N. Johnstown Ave. call 9183463475.
11. New…Saturday Food Pantry Day… first Saturdays beginning Jan. 5, 2013, 11 am to 1 pm.
12. Join Us in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight walk Sunday, Jan. 20, 5 pm, downtown, and in the Parade, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 9:30 am. Call for information.
13. Next Mobile Van Food Giveaway Day, Friday, Jan. 25, 11 am, at the Community Center.
13. Next Mobile Van Food Giveaway Day, Friday, Jan. 25, 11 am, at the Community Center.
13. Recovery 12 step groups. Saturdays, 6 pm Jerks Anonymous, 7:30 pm, Alcoholics Anonymous, community center
14. Turley Water Board Public Meeting, Last Working Day of Month, 8:30 am, 6108 N. Peoria Ave. Turley Fire Dept. Meetings Thursdays, 7 PM, Fire Station, 6408 N. Peoria.
Posted by Ron at 8:22 PM
A Third Place
Community FoundationWho we are …
A small group of ordinary folks.
What we do …
Small acts of kindness with great love to promote healthy lives and neighborhoods in far north Tulsa and Turley.
More specifically, we …
Operate a large community center which includes an art space, food pantry, clothing room, lending library, computer center, meeting space, and more;
Maintain a local park with a community garden, fruit tree orchard, outdoor kitchen, picnic space, etc., from what was once an abandoned city block;
Sponsor community events …holiday parties, family fun days, garden gatherings, art days, etc.;
Work to organize community members and civic leaders to bring about greater awareness of the needs of our community and citizens;
Do many small acts throughout the year to bring hope, health, and beauty to our residents and neighborhoods.
How we do it …
Each of us contributes as we are able,
And we rely on donations from folks like you.
We couldn’t do the things we do without people like you.
We appreciate you and your support of our work.
Give Today. Surprise Yourself, Our Neighbors, And The World with your gift. Use the Donate Button Above, safely and easily, or send checks to A Third Place Community Foundation, 5920 N. Owasso Ave., Turley, OK 74126.
And enjoy reading below all the ways we are growing healthy lives and neighborhoods, creating miracles among the ruins.
And come see us. We would love to meet you, show you around, answer your questions, connect your passions with the needs of our place.
Posted by Ron at 7:40 PM
1. Our Big Invitation: Please come on Sat. Nov. 10 at 7 pm at the Hyatt Regency downtown Tulsa, 102 E. Second St., for a wonderful "An Evening of Promise" dinner and program which will be held by the new Tulsa nonprofit, Friends of Anita Hill, www.friendsofanitahill.com that will be a fundraiser for north side nonprofits and will honor "Keeping The Promise Honorees" award recipients Rev. Dr. G. Calvin McCutcheon of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, State Sen. Judy Eason-Mcintyre, Marvin Blades, Sr. of 100 Black Men of Tulsa and retired from Tulsa Police Department, Neighbor For Neighbor, and me with A Third Place Community Foundation. www.turleyok.blogspot.com.
Money raised will also go to A Pocket Full of Hope youth music nonprofit and Antioch Baptist Church. Music for the evening will be provided by Eldredge Jackson and A Pocket Full of Hope. Tickets are $75 and can be ordered through the website above and at 918-272-6778. More information through the Friends of Anita Hill website above.
A keynote talk will be given by Professor Anita Hill who began assisting and supporting northside nonprofits when she was on the faculty of the law school at Oral Roberts University and has been committed to finding ways to continue supporting them. She began her career in private practice in Washington , D.C. before becoming a law professor, she worked at the U. S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma , College of Law , where she taught contracts and commercial law. Hill was also a law professor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. Currently, at Brandeis University , she teaches civil rights courses. As counsel to Cohen Milstein, Anita Hill advises on class action workplace discrimination cases. Hill’s latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home. She has also written her biography, Speaking Truth to Power and co-edited with Professor Emma Coleman Jordan, Race, Gender and Power in America : The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings. Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine have published Professor Hill’s commentary and she has appeared on numerous national television programs.
We hope all can make this inaugural event a success in Tulsa; if you are unable to attend, we hope you can purchase a ticket and give to us so we can use to help bring members of our community who are unable to attend otherwise, or donate for it directly through our website at www.turleyok.blogspot.com. And we hope all can help by spreading the word to their networks about this event and the chance to help not only our community work but those of others in our area too, while enjoying a fine meal and entertainment, honoring a brave woman and hearing a great talk. Thanks for sharing this announcement with others. I am attaching a flier for the event and hope you can share it and post it in your churches, organizations and places of work.
Second, this Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 am to 6 pm we are hosting another Community Art Day for all ages, free, at our Welcome Table Community Center, 5920 N. Owasso Ave.; healing lives and neighborhoods through the power of art. Stop by, have fun, share in the art projects. We will repeat it again on Sat. Nov. 17 same time this month. Thanks to graduate art therapy student Clara Corn for facilitating. Come dream and discuss as well of other ways to inspire art in our public areas especially in our struggling neighborhoods.
Third, this Monday Nov. 5 at 1:30 pm we will host a service learning class visit from the OU Graduate Social Work Dept. working on projects related to our zipcodes. This will be their opportunity to meet local residents and partners and learn more about the issues and the work underway here. Come be a teacher and learn more through their eyes and about their projects.
Fourth, on Tuesday, Election Day, Nov. 6, 7 pm before heading to your various respective watch parties for different political parties, we invite you to come to a Communion Service emphasizing unity, civility, compassion, courage, conscience and the commitment to community, held by our small missional community gathering and in The Welcome Table Center; see more at www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com. Part of a nationwide network of Election Day Communions. Please share.
Fifth, we are still searching for potential nonprofits and other groups interested in partnering to help reclaim and repurpose the closed Cherokee School on North Peoria. Here is the link to a recent local NPR news story on our initiative, http://kwgs.org/post/group-wants-repurpose-closed-school on how it can benefit not only our area but the Tulsa Public Schools which have been hit with drastic funding cuts. Please contact me about exploring partnerships for use of the building and grounds, in great shape, for the people of our 74126 and nearby zips.
Sixth, this month we are moving our Food Pantry days and time and extending our resources. Each Wednesday beginning Nov. 14 the pantry will be open from Noon to 4 pm for those in our 74126, 74130 and 74073 zips. We are also offering morning prayer service at 9 am Wednesdays, and then a life skills class I will teach at 10 am called Life 201, based on the fables of relationships by Rabbi Edwin Friedman, and then a common meal and noonday prayer followed by the Pantry hours of service. We also continue to have our counselor from Legal Aid Society of Eastern Oklahoma available, and a nutritional counselor from the OSU Extension Office, and Rev. Debra Garfinkel providing pastoral presence.
And speaking of food, On Thursday, Nov. 15 from 11 am to Noon we are holding another Mobile Van Food Giveaway Event with the community food bank of eastern oklahoma, this time at our community center; we need volunteers to come help us sort the food from 10 to 11 am and then load the food for families from 11 am to noon during the event. Those who have received vouchers for the event through our pantry will be able to receive the 60 or so pounds of food apiece; those who did not this time receive one of the allotted 125 household vouchers may come at 12:30 pm to see if there are any leftover items as there normally are for them to receive.
Seventh, on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 pm we will host a documentary film on the struggles of veterans and a free meal and discussion of ways to better serve the population of veterans in our underserved low income low life expectancy area.
A look at our Sunday gatherings coming up weekly from 9:30 am to 1 pm: Nov. 4 we will finish our study of Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw's book, Jesus For President; see the previous three week's conversation points at www.progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com. Then on Nov. 11 we will begin a six week Thanksgiving and Advent Series, "The Awakening of Hope: Why We Practice A Common Faith" based on the book and DVD curriculum by the new monasticism leader and author Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Nov. 11: Introduction and Why We Eat Together and Why We Fast; Nov. 18: Why We Make Promises; Nov. 25: Why It Matters Where We Live; Dec. 2 (travelling to preach in Galveston, TX); Dec. 9: Why We Live Together; Dec. 16: Why We Would Rather Die Than Kill; and Dec. 23: Why We Share Good News. We follow our conversation and check-ins with communion and common meal.
More events coming up in November and December in a later email news.
Finally, a thank you to all who helped make the community free Halloween party at our community center an amazing success again this year, with near 300 people throughout the event. All of our folks volunteering, our partners, the people and families who came and pitched in during the event, the way we were able to create such an event of goodwill and feeding not only bodies but spirits here where few opportunities exist for children and youth to experience these, or any, entertainment events. Some people said they would be afraid in our area to get that many "strangers" together, especially in such a multi-ethnic fashion reflecting our diverse community as we do, and without security forces present, not to mention on Halloween and its mischevious spirit; and they were amazed at the feeling of generosity that was grown. Some people said they couldn't imagine how hungry the children and families were who showed up (not knowing we would have more for them than treats) and it was an eye-opener to the hunger we talk about, and what our folks in the schools see all the time. Just wait, I told them, until you see the Community Christmas Party spirit...
And thinking of children, first in our hearts and on our minds this week, is one of our students, and his family, and the students and faculty and staff at one of our area partner schools, The LightHouse Charter School, who was hit and killed by a car on his way to school early in the dark; Elijah, 7 years old, didn't live in our area of service but over about six miles away and was hit enroute to catching a bus to come here to school. We keep all of them, and the driver, in our prayers.
The work of renewal goes on....
Posted by Ron at 1:19 PM
Rev. Ron Robinson and A Third Place Foundation Among the first "Friends of Anita Hill" Award Receipients. Please Share. Please Come Support Tulsa Northside Nonprofits and Hear Professor Anita Hill Sat. Nov. 10, 7 pm Award Dinner at Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown Tulsa
It is a humbling honor that A Third Place Community Foundation and I have been selected to be among the award receipients for this first "Friends of Anita Hill" Award for nonprofits working on the northside of Tulsa. Please come celebrate with us and the other esteemed award recipients and their organizations of honor, and hear Professor Anita Hill give the keynote speech, and help raise funds for the organizations being honored and help launch this new nonprofit and event that should have not only Tulsa North, but all of Tulsa, all of Oklahoma, and all of the nation effects.
We have been inspired and as a new nonprofit here these past few years we have inherited the many years of work done for renewal and reconciliation by many others, especially owing a debt to the other honorees: The Rev. Dr. G. Calvin McCutcheon of historic Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Marvin Blades, retired Tulsa police officer and leader of the hard-working on the streets organization 100 Black Men of Tulsa making a difference in turning lives of young people and their families away from violence, State Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, long time but now retiring state legislator who has been a prophetic voice in the state capital for justice on many fronts; and for the ground-breaking organization here in our area, Neighbor For Neighbor which was founded by one of our inspirations, Father Dan Allen back in the late 1960s, who helped create an anti-poverty organization that has changed and saved lives and spun off many newer organizations continuing to connect neighbors with neighbors on the northside. Our vision and our work here draws from much of the spirit of these others, and we know this award will help us, as the most recent groups of activists and peaceful presences and dreamers-and-doers, to carry all of this Spirit forward in new ways for our new and emerging times here.
Come celebrate with us and the others. Help us, if you can't make it, to afford to bring some of our hard working volunteers who won't be able to attend otherwise because of financial concerns. Buy an extra ticket for someone here, but we hope you will come too and find out about all the wonderful things being done on the northside in the midst of its continuing struggles and neglect.
Here is more about the evening and the new nonprofit, Friends of Anita Hill:
The “Friends of Anita Hill” is a newly formed organization to support Tulsa North non-profit agencies. In the early 1990’s while teaching at the Oral Roberts University School of Law, Ms. Hill became involved with numerous Tulsa North non-profit organizations, where she served on various Boards. Although she moved away from Oklahoma years ago she has always wanted to give back to the Tulsa Community. Therefore, the “Friends of Anita Hill – Evening of Promise”, fundraiser dinner to support Tulsa North organizations is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2012. This gala event will be held at 7:00 in the evening at the Hyatt Regency Hotel- Downtown. The evening includes a fine meal, keynote speech by Anita Hill, an awards ceremony and entertainment by Eldredge Jackson and A Pocket Full of Hope. The following individuals will be honored during the dinner because of their dedication to improving the quality of life for Tulsa North residents - Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen, Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, Marvin Blades, Rev. Ron Robinson and Neighbor for Neighbor. Proceeds will benefit the following organizations - A Pocket Full of Hope, Neighbor for Neighbor, Antioch Baptist Church and A Third Place Community Foundation.
Information about Anita Hill
Anita Hill began her career in private practice in Washington , D.C. before becoming a law professor, she worked at the U. S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma , College of Law , where she taught contracts and commercial law. Hill was also a law professor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. Currently, at Brandeis University , she teaches civil rights courses. As counsel to Cohen Milstein, Anita Hill advises on class action workplace discrimination cases. Hill’s latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home. She has also written her biography, Speaking Truth to Power and co-edited with Professor Emma Coleman Jordan, Race, Gender and Power in America : The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings. Time, Inc., Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Ms. Magazine have published Professor Hill’s commentary and she has appeared on numerous national television programs.
Announcement by Reggie Ivey of the Tulsa Health Department.
Posted by Ron at 5:39 PM
A Happening Place That Needs Your Presence: Art Day, Cherokee School Project, Benefit Dinner for Us, Food Day, An Award, and Much More
Hi all. Please share with others. Feel free to friend me on facebook for updates and like our page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/athirdplace.
What is shown below is a context for all I write and all we do; just a few of the abandoned, burned out, and health hazard buildings and properties right here in the most public visible and accessible places in our immediate area, on North Peoria Ave and along the Osage Prairie Trail and the road going to our park and orchard, and on one of the busiest residential avenues; some are new and some have been here for months and years; it just scratches the surface of the blight that contributes to isolation, crime and poor health outcomes. People ask if there was one external-oriented thing that I would like to see happen in order to aid community renewal, and removal of such structures is number one on my list, and consistently rates tops in the community forums we host. The very first project we did with an intern from OU Graduate Social Work was an abandoned properties project. Many of them remain and these now add to it. Come to our monthly planning and community townhalls as we seek to address these continuing roadblocks to renewal.
Also, we are educating ourselves about many of the occupied houses, or potentially occupied houses in the far north subdivisions with possible partnership to promote community renewal through locating residents into low-rent housing here, and connecting them to a supporting sponsor nonprofit such as a church or civic group or school that would act as mentor. If you have experience, or interest, in affordable housing coupled with family mentoring or know someone who might study this with us, please let me know as we research this possibility. More in the meetings.
A Quick Look ahead:
Friday, Oct. 19:
9:30 am to Noon: Food Pantry and Community Center;
1 pm Project Tour for you and all who are interested in knowing more and possible partnering with us in buying and repurposing Cherokee School, 6001 N. Peoria Ave. into a one-stop shop of services and more right here in the heart of the 74126 that links both far north Tulsa and unincorporated Turley communities; see more from our recent interview on local news at http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/news/local_news/turley-residents-trying-to-find-new-use-for-closed-elementary-school; Please share with other nonprofits and companies who might be interested in a coalition too.
3-9 pm, Community Art Day at the Center, making more free tyedye and Halloween masks and more. Free, facilitated by graduate art therapy student.
Saturday, Oct. 20:
Noon-4 pm Food/GloriousFood Day, for national Local Food Week, at the new North Regional Wellness Center, Tulsa Health Dept. close by at 56th St. N. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd (formerly Cincinnati Ave.)
5-7 pm Benefit Dinner to help raise funds for us and our partners and projects, Super Spud Spectacular, at the Odd Fellows Lodge, 6227 N. Quincy Ave., $5 all you care to eat, kids ten and under for free. Please support our work; we go month to month putting it all into mission. If you can't make the dinner, be with us in "a virtual dinner" by contributing here on this page through the donate button; you don't have to have paypal to use it.
Monday, Oct. 22, 6:30 pm. A Third Place Board meeting, at the Community Center, dinner provided.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 6-8 pm Biggest event of the year: 7th Annual Free Old Fashioned Halloween Party at the community center. The Turley townhall is also that evening at 7 pm at O'Brien Park Center.
More events and news below but We have had a great past few weeks in October with many anti poverty and community growing events; from www.thelinemovie.com discussion to the Far North Community Renewal Conference this past weekend here and the Taste of North Tulsa at McLain, along with a presentation to Tulsa Librarians about our community gardening and health initiatives, and a service learning class here with OU Graduate Social Work students following up on presentations on their campus. In between the daily helping of families continues, and so does the macro-planning for growing partneships that will help us grow leaders from our community to give back to it. We have finished our campaigning for the online grant from Tom's of Maine and hope to hear by mid-November if we won one of the grants for our kitchengardenpark and orchard here.
Then Sat. Nov. 10, 7 pm at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown Tulsa, come to the gala fund raising dinner for the newly-formed "Friends of Anita Hill Awards" supporting northside nonprofits and honoring community leaders. Professor Hill began helping north side nonprofits years ago when she taught law at Oral Roberts University and is committed to doing so still; she is at Brandeis University currently. She will give the keynote address. Community leaders and nonprofits to be honored at the event include Dr. G. Calvin McCutcheon of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Marvin Blades, Sr. of 100 Black Men of Tulsa, State Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, Neighbor For Neighbor, and also yours truly for A Third Place Community Foundation. More info coming but please set aside that date to come and support this new and significant way to support nonprofits supporting the north side. It is truly an honor to be included in this group of awardees of people who have worked here far longer than I have, and for our foundation and its mission which is the new kid on the block. I see it as yet another way to begin bridging leaders and groups and histories across generational and ethnic lines, and in that way it deeply captures the spirit and the promise of the north side.
Wednesday, Nov. 14 we are switching Food Pantry Days to be midweek, from Noon to 4 pm every Wednesday. People are also invited to come at 9:30 am for Morning Prayer with The Welcome Table, followed by 10 am "Life Skills 201: Fables For Living" as I facilitate a class on self-growth and relationships based on Rabbi Edwin Friedman's famous Fables. Then common meal at 11 am before the Pantry service begins at noon.
Thursday, Nov. 15 10 am to Noon, Mobile Food Van Day, help us give out several tons of food in one hour from 11 am to Noon, this time here at the Community Center. Vouchers are being given away at the Food Pantry now. Volunteers are needed to come set up at 10 am and help us load food in cars and carts and bikes and bags and the many ways people come to get their food beginning at 11 am.
We continue to harvest and build more and grow more at The Welcome Table Kitchen Garden Park and Orchard. We are setting up a new clothing room, expanding the food pantry, continuing to improve the new Earth, Garden, Spirit Artspace at the community center, and are pleased to be organizing with local residents a new Sewing Coop Circle. We still have many items left to sale from our Auction.
In the missional community worship gathering on Sundays, this Sunday Oct. 21 we will continue our exploration and discussion of the book "Jesus For President: politics for ordinary radicals" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haws at 9:30 am followed by communion and common meal. This Sunday's topic will be "When The Empire Got Baptized: what is a Jesus follower to do?"
One of the things we can do here as followers of Jesus is to be persistent advocates for those who suffer the most, those invisible, those overwhelmed, and those most vulnerable; and one way to do that is to keep bringing to the table issues like the abandoned buildings that sit there and seep into the consciousness of despair of those who must live near them, ever fearful that the house abandoned on the other side of them will be the next to be burned and left.
And while we seek to transform Cherokee School, now the biggest empty building in our area, and to take on other macro-level projects and events and move into new phases with our GardenPark and with our Community Center, we continue to remember that it is people and not projects that carry the seeds of real renewal, and so our deepest calling is to be a simple healthy life-affirming diversity-embracing presence with each one we are privileged to be with here.
Thank you, and blessing, and definitely more soon, and hope to see you too soon, Ron Robinson
918-430-1150, 918-691-3223, 918-794-4637
ps I will be in Boston next week on retreat with the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship Board. Prayers asked for our work, travels, and for your week ahead too.
Posted by Ron at 5:50 PM
Here are the notes on the places we tour during our introductions of our service area to others, and ourselves. It is important for people who seek to partner with us, to get a glimpse of our sense of place, to see the big picture even as we do small acts of justice with great love. This is part of our vision, not a complete picture, because each of us here adds to our Vision, each person carries gifts for new partnerships and projects of renewal. It is good for all of us who live here to be able to see beyond our own part of the area too, to see the connectedness of our community, Turley and Far North together, as it is for us to see how we are connected with North Tulsa and it with other areas; we have much to learn, and to teach, one another. This Virtual Tour is a call to come be with us and we will tour with you, or come be with us as you can.
Far Northside Community Renewal Leadership Conference
The “Getting Worse and Better At The Same Time” Tour
Ron Robinson, Executive Director, A Third Place Community Foundation
1. The Welcome Table Community Center: Has been a community facility since a brush arbor built here in 1909 for what became known as Turley United Methodist Church. A wooden church building in 1910 was later moved to Sperry for a church there and is now a part of the funeral home there. This red brick complex was begun in 1925; in 1940 the north bldg. was added and in 1952 the south bldg was added. There is also an abandoned residence that was the parsonage. In the mid-60s TUMC moved west to Johnstown Ave. and the Witt Memorial Indian Methodist Church used the building. In the mid 1980s they merged with another Indian Methodist Church in Tulsa and the building was sold to Zion Baptist as church and child care center; in the early 2000s the pastor was shot and killed in a school parking lot; the building went into foreclosure and abandoned; they later set up the Zion Plaza on 46th St. A part time clothing ministry was in the building for a while but it was mostly empty and used by squatters; it was vandalized just before we purchased it at the end of December, 2010. The vision for use of the building will develop depending on the future of our other community projects and possibilities; currently used for food pantry (mobile food van days four to six times a year too) and legal aid counseling and pastoral listening, clothing room, crafts room, sewing circle, Turley Community Studio artspace, library, computer center, community meetings, office space, and storage; we plan to use the south building for a community room and a kitchen and may move many current projects into it and develop remaining space for arts and meditation and classes and offices.
2. Nearby the Center: Dr. Martin’s clinic, he is a D.O. who used to have his clinic full time here, is mostly unused except for one morning a month to see existing patients who live in the area. To the south of the Center is a house that is currently unoccupied and for sale; we are trying to negotiate to buy it to complete our ownership of the block and use it as a house of hospitality for people who are coming to work with us, or for some new project of ours.
3. Old Turley MainStreet Business District and Old Grocery Stores. The rock bldg. at Owasso Ave. and E. 60th Pl. N. is the old Hamiltons Grocery Store that was operational until the early 1960s. Around the corner from it was a limestone building that was one of the first and oldest buildings in Turley until it was gradually falling down and then cleared out last year after being used as a place for dumping trash; it had housed the original Cullison’s Grocery. Also in this area on E. 60th St. was Bussman’s Store, old hotel, hardware, post office, beauty shop, lumberyard, church. All vacant now. Note constant trash in street alongside Trail.
4. Osage Prairie Trail, used to be Midland Valley Train that ran into the early 90s, now a bike and pedestrian trail from downtown Tulsa to Skiatook area; some beautiful land but also plagued with stray animal packs and lack of lighting; also not supposed to be used by motorized vehicles but little enforcement; we planted wildflowers at one point on the trail; our plan is to put up signs directing people to turley venues, to also have lemonade stands for cyclists, to hold a Trail Day where the communities and neighborhoods along the Trail host cyclists and others to promote the use of the Trail and advocate for its improvement. On again off again Walking Club to promote the trail and health. Note the burned out buildings along the trail here in Old Turley district, all within the past year and a half; only the church that was burned has been cleared so far.
5. Welcome Table Community KitchenGardenPark and 40plus Fruit Tree Orchard Area: Miracle Among the Ruins project. A block of abandoned houses and trashed properties on top of scenic overlook hill, in midst of other abandoned and rundown or soon to be rundown houses and overgrown weedy properties (the kind that has been lately attracting arsonists). An example of effective three-legs of stool foundation for anti-poverty project: local grassroots effort, and supported by nonprofits (a third place community foundation, indian health care resources food for life grant, Tulsa community gardening association also, Tallgrass Resource and Conservation District grant support, National Fruit Tree planting association, Up With Trees, local churches and Texas church on mission trip) and by government (federal stimulous funds through county and INCOG for removal of abandoned properties, part of some 25 removed recently in the unincorporated Turley area; also support from OU Tulsa graduate social work, graduate design studio, OSU Extension) and by private companies (local Freedom Bank sponsored grant from Federal Home Loan Bank Program, and orchard grant and work support by Edy’s Fruit Bars). Waiting to find out if we won a Tom’s of Maine Grant for next phase of construction of KitchenShelterPavillion and rainwater collection system; also currently applying for federal ArtsSpace grant to turn it into a community art location. Hope to get new chickens to replace ones stolen; to build Stage and Deck, and complete veggie playhouse huts and garden art for kids, signage art, chainsaw art, new welcoming Table at entrance. Besides families in area having garden beds, we also have share beds, and produce healthy food for use in our Food Pantry. A bridge location serving both city of Tulsa and old Turley residents who share low income status and issue of abandoned houses; increasing multi-ethnic neighborhoods on both sides but still weighted African American on city side and White and American Indian on county side; growing Hispanic presence in both.
6. Home-Made Trail, Native Prairie Land. Residents have made own trail to connect Suburban Hills edition to the west with the business district to the east, and used to use it for children to go to Cherokee School and back home; push shopping carts. No lighting. No sidewalks anywhere as you walk to grocery store and businesses and community center, etc. The land to the north of the trail by the cedar trees is a currently wonderful native plants area when not mowed; we would like to gain ownership of it to use as an educational area and rest area for those who use the home-made trail, and for an addition to the park usage; we began our demonstration community gardening in this site thanks to partnership with the Methodist church. Their building is a wonderful 1960s era structure; they partner with us on special Garden Days; they have space to be used for new outreach programs.
7. 61st St. and Frankfort; one side is city and one side of 61st is county; this is a constant illegal dump site; note recently burned abandoned house, one of several lately. Usually since the owners are not local and don’t carry insurance, the houses sit burned and as hazards for years. To the north loop: beautiful view of Turley Hill, the rural edge of proposed city of turley boundaries.
8. Suburban Hills: City of Tulsa, 60s development was predominantly white during school segregation days. Blend of well kept properties alongside and running into abandoned houses. 58th St. sample.
9. In The Lighthouse School Area: Correctional Facility, Turley Residential Center, pre-release private owned facility for women. Meeting space can be used by community. Interested in a garden on site. In past women have worked on litter clean up days. Small commercial strip uninviting appeal. Lighthouse Charter School, TPS sponsored, private arts-infused currently in first year here, K-4 adding one grade each year is the plan, in building that was Horace Greeley Elementary School that was closed this past summer. In our immediate Turley area now where there was Cherokee and Greeley, and before that Cherokee and Morse elementary, the public default elementary school is now Gilcrease Elementary which was originally a junior high. We had done the landscaping at Greeley and supported with monthly pizza lunches for student of the month celebrations; partnering now with The Lighthouse and looking for ways to deepen it. Somee 65 former Greeley students remained at The Lighthouse; interested in finding out the current zipcodes of current students.
10. Northgate addition: Another late 60s developed addition, predominantly white during school segregation days. Notice where green space has been opened up with abandoned houses torn down; the prominence of abandoned houses still in some sections. Boulder Ave. and Elwood as examples.
11. Vining Park, city park historically neglected and under-equipped and has recently begun improvements, and awarded recent community development block grants.
12. Turley Hill 66th St., Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd becomes Cincinnati Ave. again at this point northward; encourage people to drive past on it around the hill, beautiful area but also illegal dump areas and animals dumped; a small rural housing along OakCliff Drive west of Cincinnati Ave. You can take 76th St. and wind back to Peoria Ave. or go to 86th St. and take direct street back to Peoria Ave. We will stay on 66th St. views of downtown, also of dumping. Back to Peoria Ave. Most houses in this area are on bigger lots or small acreages until you get back closer to Peoria. The hill is undeveloped, no utilities, have heard hard to get water wells, some have lived off the grid at very top; a quarry now uses the top of the hill for a dump. Local legend: The Turley Viking Runestone. At 66th and Peoria on north side is where the former Smith’s grocery store was located, and also the original site of National Bank of Turley which is now Freedom Bank with branch in Skiatook too, around the corner.
13. Peoria 66th to 76th St. Corridor: local restaurant King Taco, great tamales, was site of historic drive-in burger joints in our area; where the bldg. is with Sheriff sale banner was a series of restaurants and was original Lions Club bldg. when that civic group was active. Currently Odd Fellows only civic group or lodge left and many of its members now live outside Turley; it is located on Quincy behind the Cullisons store area but we won’t go by it today; although they are partners and do monthly breakfasts and dinners. Most businesses are automobile related and biggest is Salvage; some environmental complaints both for smell in past and also for pushing salvaged materials over into the trail area; at first when trail was put in they were also victims of thefts by people using the trails. Salvages often patrolled by sheriff’s working on catching copper thieves and others with stolen vehicles. Salvage also provides source of income for residents who get main income from scrapping, Will go past old Star Café abandoned building where Star Sign pole is out front; mix of residential homes along here too. The Daylight Donuts is popular remaining gathering spot for morning visits. We did a beautification on the corner of the donut store with beautiful flowers but a water project disrupted it; need to re-do it. We also had done a beautification project in a planter out front where King Taco is now; also need to re-do it with the new owners. And we had done a beautification project on the Turley sign across from Donut Store area but it was mowed over though sign improvement we did here and at other turley sign near 56th st. with small grant from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. More can still be done on these.
14. Golden Hills addition. 75th St. sample from Peoria to Victor. Note again the blend of well kept homes struggling alongside abandoned burned overgrown and trashed out properties some also occupied. As throughout our area, we also have mobile population, also high percentage of registered sex offenders who locate here because restrictions elsewhere prevent them especially now with the closing of Cherokee School. Along Victor back to 66th St. in Golden Hills you will pass the vacant land to the east of Victor where the Samuel Morse Elementary School was once, all pre-fab buildings, closed in 1965; was used as a dump site by TPS until this past year when original owners purchased it back for grazing. Also pass the Rodeo Grounds and the old Community Center building (round top roof falling in) and where oil pumpers are now used to be little league diamonds just north of the rodeo grounds, some evidence remains)
15. 66th to Lewis Ave. New business Crown Hill Funeral Home has gone in where Cornerstone Church was; a halfway house was proposed for that site but resident opposition defeated it; funeral home has been welcomed by community; they also own the Crown Hill cemetery, a historic African American cemetery located just east of Highway 75 on 66th St. To the south is city owned property for water and sewer (much of turley, east of Peoria, uses Tulsa Sewer; it buys water from Tulsa but has private nonprofit company that manages the water distribution); Creek subsidiary from Delaware and Bird Creek that cuts through Turley and ends up in new fishing lake by the trail off 56th st. At the intersection of 66th and Lewis, a busy one where people coming from Highway 75 come into our area, we have taken over its management because it was neglected overgrown and trash-strewn with periodic poisoning to kill grass; we are working to develop it with planting, paths for those crossing, and welcome sign).
16. O’Brien Park and Recreation Center, Park Meadows Mobile Home Community. County park partner, the recreation center constructed in mid 1960s, hosts community meetings, classes, gym, walking trail, golf course, sports facility, recently rebirth of a north Tulsa youth baseball and softball program after years of not having one local so that the facilities were mostly used by people outside the community; this was facilitated by the removal of several shelters that served local residents in order to put in golf course, but now a few more shelters in the works. We support the citizens advisory board there and are also members of Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society. A great resource but limited by access to many residents without convenient transportation. Has a pool but budget cutbacks threaten it; need to have one year-round for health of residents who take water aerobics etc but this year problems cut it back to just a few weeks use; often pattern of cutting back service then saying not enough usage to keep it open (same as in post office recently closed); we support the park with pool parties for local residents and this summer helped it to have biggest turnout for one event of any pools in county parks. Mobile Home Park needs tornado shelter; there is not one anywhere in our area; Obrien Center is an evacuation site now but it is not a shelter.
17. GreenPark Tulsa, Vann Industrial, 61st St. An industrial park where tax incentives and property incentives are used to try to attract businesses to locating in our area; free land for certain number of employees, though most employees don’t come from our area but drive in and out to work from other locations, just as our residents to get jobs with companies have to get back and forth to them outside of our area. They are expanding by soon acquiring the old VFW building that recently closed and has been abandoned. Even after VFW closed property was used for Turkey Shoot events. Boyer Hill on Utica and about 59th, high point, scenic but also constant illegal dump site, especially bad on road going back to Vann and when trying to entice businesses to the GreenPark.
18. 56th St. to Highway 75 area. We will go along on the southside, or city of Tulsa side of the Street the Newsome Community Farms and North Tulsa Farmers Market and other sustainable projects, a partner of ours, two story green-colored house with hoop house and gardens and orchard and a compostable toilet demonstration built by Architects without borders. Near Highway 75 is the new city SkatePark. East of 75 is the new city Soccer Complex. Vision 2025 funding. At both 56th and 66th Street entrances and exits to Highway 75 we did roadside wildflower planting with the state transportation dept; they have since closed that program they did with the state native plant society and matching funds from us, but by not mowing they allow it to be naturally seeded and look nice. To the north on the county side is the Turley Trash Mountain, a landfill that has grown from nothing in the past 15 or so years to becoming one of the highest landmarks of the area; it is currently shut down for environmental reasons as it was polluting into Bird Creek. Has burned for months at stretches in the past. With its closing, for good reasons, also came increase in illegal dump activity. We have held Turley CleanUp Litter Pick Up days where we have worked on cleaning up illegal dump sites; need to again; also need way to constantly bring to attention of county highway dept because they are getting good at response for dumping of all kinds of materials one will find, including dead animal dumping. Notice there is no Turley sign on Highway 75 directing traffic to it from 56th and 66th St. as there is for Owasso and Sperry; on old Highway 75 there was one but it was removed and the state has refused to put one up for Turley now; took three years to get the small Turley designated green sign at 56th St. and Peoria.
19. 46th and Lewis corner of our service area. Quick Trip busy place. Go west to Victor turn north and go into Berry Park neighborhood where Monroe School and Penn School area also. Monroe was jr high then closed then used by both TPS for adult education and GED classes and testing and by Margaret Hudson program for educating unwed moms, and now is used by Pre-K to 1 dual immersion Hispanic and English classes plan to add a year each year and by middle school demonstration school, both current small enrollments; also community and parent outreach programs for the area housed there. Penn is elementary. Sarah’s Residential Living and 53rd St. stretch of abandoned houses. Sarah’s is innovative nonprofit taking abandoned houses and fixing them up to be used for small homes for seniors who do not need intensive care but watching and helping companions.
20. Back to 46th St. and past the original St. Jude’s Catholic Church site and where Neighbor for Neighbor started, the Dan Allan Boulevard. West past old Suburban Acres Shopping Center that is now Zion Plaza with some child care and other uses also still much empty, pass Suburban Acres Library community asset and partner, past Louisa May Alcott school which was abandoned in 2011, past good burger joints, past the Dream Center operated by Victory Christian Church located on southside; many programs within it; we have some overlap with its service area. Carriage Trails addition: many abandoned houses, also will go by one resident’s house where nicely gardened and with an open space behind her where house was removed she has expanded beautification for community enjoyment.
21. Chamberlain Recreation Center, addition. Notice difference in house and lot size and improvements from just across MLK Blvd where we came in Carriage Trails. Also as you get away from this area into Valley View more abandoned houses again. Take 53rd back to MLK Blvd. Across is Bunche Early Education Center which used to house Houston Elementary which was closed in 2011.
22. 56th St. Corridor to Peoria beginning with Gilcrease, now elementary school, a community school model year round school,especially noteworthy the new Tulsa Health Dept North Regional Wellness Center with a Primary Care Medical Clinic also from OSU-Tulsa, partnering with us. It has community kitchen, plans for community garden, classes, has clinics, offices. Empty church building caught up in dispute over community development block grants. Abandoned Post elementary School closed many years ago but was used until recently by YWCA and by Health Dept, now vacant again. New Greater Grace church, with its own school and community programs sponsored.
23. The Far North Main Street Corridor and Vision. 46th to 66th North Peoria Ave. Go up to 46th and Peoria into space of Generation for Destiny (mostly unused, see same dispute over federal funds). By Walgreens, which recently purchased MedX which is closing as we will see in McLain Village. Between here and 66th St. on North Peoria is a corridor of businesses that once connected McLain High School and Cherokee School (elementary and junior high). Imagine it now with continuous redbud trees and planters as beautification to tie it together as one again, attractive to business serving the neighborhoods again, and walkable and bikeable small communities given the transportation problems with cars that residents face and with public transportation bus line to the full area, and with the proximity of the Prairie Trail bike path nearby). Signs marking this as a special neighbhood area ala Brady Heights etc, sculpture and entrance, better and consistent bus stops. And the development of a Far North Peoria Economic Development Association acting as a kind of chamber of commerce. Highlighted by McLain (now a 7-12 grade school and both struggling but with great success stories, and a new foundation and renewed alumni association support, with greenhouse and other programs underway and new statewide focus). Note abandonment of Northridge Shopping Center, where movie theater once was just north of McLain, and just a few shops and child care in it now, and also the demise of the McLain Village Shopping Center, with MedX soon to close; only shops are on southside, but include great carryout restaurant Heart and Soul. This project could help spur development and community pride as outlined also in PlanIt Tulsa project. Note stand alone abandoned commercial structures along this stretch; for years rundown abandoned Wilshire Bar and adjacent building were right across from McLain but finally got them torn down. Vacant church building where Northside Christian Church originally was and with sign out front we have been thinking of partnering to take over and beautify; At 56th and Peoria note old Bussman Corner house that is abandoned and overgrown and an entrance visible for the turley community; auto places across the street have improved some in not being too junky; Note recent burned building across from Cherokee School; we wonder how long it will be open to kids and others like that?; Ruby D’s great consignment shop; busy Turley Tag Agency, smaller businesses, formerly vacant businesses on east side (feed store and old fire dept building) have recently been auctioned and should see some use again soon. Water Dept. building. The used appliance business is community sorepoint as its junky appearance used to be on both sides of the Peoria but now just on one side; and when not open the junky front is more visible than when refrigerators block it, but often appliances spill over near Creek. Current Feed Store and Cullison’s as family owned independent hardware store one of community’s treasured assets and community supporters. Simple Simons pizza is only carryout but community supporter. Warehouse Market is biggest sales tax revenue potential, and spot where most people intersect. Gas station also 24 hour busy; across from it is another blight and hazard building that has been unsecured abandoned with glass and more for years; closed restaurant that was the local eating place; Shorty’s great burger joint with new spaces now in its new place for more sit-down eating. Laundramat and Funeral Business and a new business going in, a flower shop, where post office was located for about 30 plus years before it was shut down last year (mailboxes left but service is reduced to two sites either northside station on Apache fourplus miles away or Sperry same distance north). The corridor would end with the Bank on one side and the commercial center and Bobby Cooper’s sign shop residence on the other.
24. The Turley Center Vision (where Cherokee School currently is) One of the anchors for this economic development and community renewal corridor would be to put into the community again the Cherokee School which was originally Turley Schools site from 1908, with high school built in 1920. In mid-30s the high school and independent district was closed and merged with Tulsa Schools; high school students went to Central and then later in 1959 to McLain; the junior high was closed in 1965; the elementary was closed in 2011. We have a chance to purchase it for very low price compared to its estimated appraised value, as a local community nonprofit venture only, and we would like to see it become a Far North one-stop shop for wide variety of non profit services, a Healthy Food Hub, a place for community meals daily for both over 60 and under 18 (none anymore in our area), for an inter-tribal Indian Event Center for pow-wows and programs indoors and outdoors, for a business incubator for food oriented small businesses like Mobile Healthy Food Trucks and caterers, and possible City of Turley City Hall if incorporation were to happen, a renewed Turley area historical society display as used to be in when it was a school, commemorating its history as a school. Many possibilities for sharing the building and properties include art studio space, office space for county depts like Sheriff's substation, and for adult education center with G.E.D. classes, job skills, life skills, and more, including such ventures as aquaponics or other "green ventures."
Posted by Ron at 8:42 PM