Name removed to protect a job

Here is a recent letter to the editor titled “Regents prove their stupidity” that appeared in the O’Colly. The letter was authored by an associate prof in engineering.

It seems to summarize the sentiments of many faculty members

http://www.ocolly.com/read_story.php?a_id=29498

{link also at left of site under “letters to the editor” – O’Colly}

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Board of Regents Mtg.

Board of Regents meeting CHANGED: Now scheduled to meet in the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center in the Click Allumni Hall at 10:00 am, Friday, March 3. Vote for dis/approval of the proposed 5 year master plan is scheduled.

Posted in Calendar | 5 Comments

Petitions delivered

I have delivered the signed petitions to the Board of Regents. I enclosed the following note and asked that it be read to all the regents preceeding the Mar. 3 meeting. I typed all names and addresses into excel in order to sort them to check for any duplications. There were NONE. I will also take a copy of the signed petitions to the City Commissioners with a similar note, in order to impress upon them the necessity of standing strong for the city and its residents.

Petition to STOP the Condemnation/Eminent Domain Property Takeovers in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the “Athletic Village”, Oklahoma State University.

This petition in no way purports to be a legal document. We are simply petitioning you, the Oklahoma Board of Regents of Oklahoma A&M Colleges, to “do the right thing”. It is your responsibility to oversee and approve or disapprove actions of the university. You are the decision makers. We look to you for leadership and guidance.

The petition was simply posted on the website: OkStateExpansion.com, February 4, 2006, only 24 days “lead time” before petitions needed to be returned. There are 872 signatures: 699 Stillwater residents. 172 residents of the state, in cities other than Stillwater and 1 Nevada. There are NO duplicate signatures.

Obtaining signatures for the petition was not an “organized” endeavor. No meetings were held regarding the petition, or people who went to public places to stand outside and obtain signatures. Businesses were not asked to place petitions at their establishment, since it was not desired to put anyone in a position in which their business might be affected in any way. Petitions placed in a business establishment were placed at the owner’s request. Petitions were also placed on the windshields of automobiles parked at the Library on February 21, 2006, during the OSU Town Hall meeting.

Anyone who wanted to print the petition and obtain signatures, at their own initiative, could do that. Some petitions were returned with only one or two signatures and a few people made a concentrated effort to obtain signatures.

Most people do not get involved in protesting an issue unless they feel they are directly affected. We understand that fact and are amazed that so many individuals, not living in the proposed acquisition area, chose to obtain signatures and/or sign the petition.

Individuals have stated various reasons for their opposition to the proposed “Athletic Village”. Some are concerned for the loss of revenue to the City of Stillwater, closing of streets and for property owner’s rights and lack of “fair compensation”. A few feel the “segregation of Athletes” is wrong. Many are upset about OSU’s seeming focus on athletics rather than academics. And many who have loved and supported OSU for years now feel “betrayed”, have a great distrust in the leadership of the university and feel their university has become a corporation. There is also concern regarding national adversity and unfavorable “attention” due to this situation. Kindredship and support for the university, has diminished. All feel that OSU should build the “village” on property it already owns.

As initiators of the petition effort, we feel the entire presentation and handling of the proposed master plan and acquisition has been a disaster. These signatures lament the unfortunate decision by OSU to be a “bully” rather than a “partner” in what could have been an awesome undertaking for the City of Stillwater and for the University.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

New tricks

  • BEWARE of “New Tricks”. Many property owners have had calls from Curtis Roberts appraisers and been asked to appraise their property concerning the OSU project. I called the number given on my answering machine as 918-296-0700 and they asked when I would like to schedule an appraisal. I asked who had requested the appraisal and was told that it was Cinnabar. I KNEW IT WAS NOT ME!!!!

    So, if you are NOT a “willing seller”, do NOT fall into this “trap”!
    And in answer to the question, “Do I have to sign a non-disclosure or an agreement not to sue OSU?” “NO”, it is NOT mandatory that you sign ANYTHING similar to that.
     

  • Posted in General | Leave a comment

    Habitat

    I had asked Gary last time I talked to him, about the possiblity of OSU or property owners donating to Habitat, any applicances, building materials, etc. not taken by property owners. He didn’t think Habitat was interested, but was going to get in touch with them to check. Gary said today that he still needed to talk to Habitat again, but that they may be interested. Property owners might talk with Habitat regarding a donation and have a tax deductible donation, if Habitat is interested. Might keep that in mind. I’ll try to let you know anything further. Gary is going to report back to me when he talks with them again. As of May 3, I still have not heard back from Gary regarding Habitat. June 1: Gary has not called me regarding Habitat, however, I have been told that when OSU demolishes a unit that Habitat will come and get any materials they can use.

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    Vandalism

    ALERT!!! HELP? There has been a great deal of vandalism in the neighborhood. Windows have been broken, items taken from vacant houses, light fixtures destroyed, etc. Some of the vandals have been caught by the police. However, the vandalism is still occurring. Last night many of the houses were spray painted. It is obvious from the message left in paint on the houses, that they feel they are retaliating against OSU.

    This is NOT the case. First of all, OSU doesn’t want to be in the business of selling houses. The price they are getting on these properties is minimal in the eyes of OSU. Simply demolishing and clearing lots would be much more to the expedience of implementing OSU’s plans, which we know is a priority.

    This vandalism is another “slap in the face” to property owners in the area. Houses that have signs stating they are to be moved/sold are houses that have been purchased from OSU already, by one individual. He is moving the houses to another area of Stillwater and renovating them to provide low cost housing and to keep these properties on Stillwater’s tax roll. Some are being moved to another location in Stillwater by the previous owner of the property, and some by individuals who will move & renovate properties for rental.

    I do NOT feel that anyone who visits this site would be a part of such action. However, if anyone out there hears information that might help to stop the vandalism, PLEASE contact the proper authorities. Let’s try to get the word out that this vandalism is NOT hurting OSU, but it is again hurting those who have owned property in the area, and some good individuals who are trying to make the best of a bad situation and help the community.

    Posted in Eminent Domain | Leave a comment

    Town Hall Mtg. w/ OSU

    Town Hall Meeting with OSU, Stillwater Public Library 5:00-6:30pm.

    Posted in Calendar | 1 Comment

    Letter to the editor, by John Bryant

    The following letter to the editor was published in the Stillwater News Press, February 18, 2006.

    An Open Letter to Mr. T. Boone Pickens

    Dear Mr. Pickens,

    Both of my parents graduated from OAMC/Oklahoma State University, as did I. My father served on the faculty of OAMC/OSU from 1942 until his untimely death in 1968. I returned to Stillwater and the OSU faculty in 1977, serving as a school head here for almost a decade before rejoining the teaching faculty. I retired from the active faculty in 2000. In total, my immediate family has been very closely associated with OAMC/OSU from 1927 until the present time: almost 80 years. Despite that history, I would not presume to speak for the OSU Old Guard or anyone else; however, I do believe that my blood is about as Orange as anyone’s.

    Unlike many recent letters mentioning your name, I do not write to besmirch you, your career, reputation or your legacy. Quite the reverse: I am a real and true fan of T. Boone Pickens. I became a fan some years ago, after reading your first autobiography, Boone (1987). Of course, like any other autobiography, Boone told the story from your own viewpoint. Nevertheless, I came away thoroughly impressed by a young Holdenville kid of modest means who garnered almost uncountable success through hard work and the application of an unusually creative mind. The fact that your success came in an already mature industry, dominated by giant corporations, rather than in an infant but burgeoning industry (Gates and Turner), speaks clearly to your own unparalleled achievements. I was and continue to be very proud of the fact that you graduated from OSU. I became even prouder when you gave so generously to the OSU Geology Department that now bears your name. Bravo and Well Done! And thank you for putting academics first in your generosity to our university.

    It must be bewildering and saddening for you to see the negative responses of so many of the OSU Community to your truly unprecedented generosity. It is hard to imagine that someone who gives almost a third of a BILLION dollars to a university could become a target of such continuing anger and vituperation. It must be startling to find ones self a laughing stock and a target of highly uncomplimentary editorial cartoons in the student newspaper and – internationally – on the internet, after setting such an excellent example of gratitude to your alma mater. You cannot but wonder “What in the world has gone wrong here?”

    What has gone wrong, Mr. Pickens, is that you (and OSU) have been astoundingly poorly served by President Schmidly and his administration. Dr. Schmidly and his minions have been literally bullying and threatening many defenseless elderly citizens of Stillwater. They have used tactics that have been rarely seen in this country (I hope) and remind many of us of the horror stories of Occupied Europe. Dr. Schmidly, his hand-picked assistants and incompetent consultants have been successfully forcing innocent citizens out of their homes and costing them substantial portions of their life savings, using very unethical tactics…. all in your name, Mr. Pickens. Perhaps some of the early miss-steps of the current OSU administration could be forgiven in their excitement and gratitude at your unprecedented largess. However, the utter lack of integrity and the unethical bullying behavior of this administration continue to this very day. It is policy, led by a man who has stated publicly that he does not care about “process,” only about “results.”

    Upon his arrival at OSU, Dr. Schmidly instituted an administrative bloodbath, the likes of which this institution had never seen. Highly regarded Vice Presidents and Deans were fired wholesale and replaced with hand-picked people whose first loyalty was to Dr. Schmidly, not to Oklahoma State University. Far more than any other, in this administration, the Buck Stops at the Top.

    The bungling of Dr. Schmidly and his regime in this entire affair is seriously damaging your legacy! Your generosity, like that of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford, should be publicly celebrated for generations into the future, not publicly ridiculed.

    Mr. Pickens, you have never tolerated this startling lack of competence in your business affairs. Why tolerate it now?

    John H. Bryant

    {Moderator’s note: I do not know why the Stillwater Newpress sometimes fails to put all the published letters to the editor online. However, John Bryant had sent this letter to me earlier and I told him I would wait until it was published and then include the link on the website. I have emailed the newspress several times to ask why some letters were not included online and have never gotten an answer.

    Since this is one of several that have not appeared online with the Newpress Website, I will put it on this site for those of you who do not subscribe to the Stillwater NewPress.}

    Posted in Stillwater NewsPress | Leave a comment

    Beware of new “tricks”

    Many property owners have had calls from Curtis Roberts appraisers and been asked to appraise their property concerning the OSU project. I called the number given on my answering machine as 918-296-0700 and they asked when I would like to schedule an appraisal. I asked who had requested the appraisal and was told that it was Cinnabar. I KNEW IT WAS NOT ME!!!!

    Perhaps I have misunderstood OSU in saying that it was up to property owners to call to arrange an appraisal with Cinnabar. This seems to be a new pressure tactic. Considering the fact that Dr. Schmidly and Gary Clark have said negotiations were between a willing seller and a willing buy, I find it disconcerting that Cinnabar is now contacting property owners to suggest that an appraisal appointment must be scheduled.

    So, if you are NOT a “willing seller”, do NOT fall into this “trap”!

    Posted in Important Notices | 4 Comments

    Staff Forum

    Staff Forum, Click Hall, Alumni Center 4:00-5:30pm

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