Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Look Alike At First Watch Restaurant In OKC

Over the past several  days the  New York City   Democratic Congresswoman firebrand  Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez  has been taken to task by some right wing  commentators for the video that has recently been unearthed from years ago  that shows her as    performing dance steps that are similar to the ones immortalized in the classic john Hughes film “The Breakfast Club” that starred Ally Sheedy and   Molly Ringwald. The lawmaker is often referred to as “AOC” just as certain  celebrities and politicians have become known by  only their first names.
And it has been observed that if those conservative pundits  are upset by her  youthful dance moves one can only imagine how apoplectic  they will be when she begins introducing proposed legislation in accordance with her stated agenda to reduce inequality in the U.S.   On a recent Sunday morning several  observant patrons of the upscale Oklahoma City restaurant First Watch noticed a resemblance between  Ocasio- Cortez  and a smiling waitress at that establishment who is only  known  by the name of Monique. The lawmaker, who is only 29 years old, and  describes herself as a “Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx,”  has told of how she was employed in the service  and  hospitality industry where she tended bar and waited tables  in that  New York City Borough    before her election to Congress.  And Monique  displayed a  friendly and welcoming demeanor  that was similar to the ones exhibited  by Ms. Ocasio- Cortez  in her public appearances during her campaign and since she has taken her seat in the U.S. Congress. While Monique  she did not  perform any dance steps, the physical grace that she displayed while tending to her customer during a  busy morning suggests that she would be able to do so.  First Watch  dispenses food that is healthier than most other breakfast and lunch places in the Oklahoma City area, and sees fit to  list the number of calories contained in each of its menu items appears to have developed   a  racially and ethnically diverse clientele that is concerned with healthy eating. The formerly rotund proprietor of the establishment, was said to have born a resemblance to the great British actor Sydney Greenstreet before he began a weight loss regimen that included eating many of the items that his place offers.  Dabbour, whose face reflects both personal tragedy and success, is a constant presence there  where he divides his time with greeting  many of his long time patrons and overseeing both his kitchen and wait staff. And he has indicated that he would be proud if any of his employees were to emulate Alexandria Ocassio Cortez and enter public life.


Muslim Woman From Oklahoma Assaulted In Dallas

Muslim Women Visiting From Oklahoma Say They Were Attacked Outside Reunion Tower
Jenan Ayesh

In October of 1963 UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson was  physically attacked by a woman in Dallas after he gave a speech in that city who was carrying a sign that that called for the U.S. to leave that international organization, and that assault prompted one commentator to advise President John Kennedy not to make the visit to Dallas that he and the First Lady had  planned for the following month. And a young  woman  from Oklahoma, Jenan Ayesh,  who  was wearing a Muslim headscarf, known as a “ hajib,” was  recently physically assaulted by  a woman in Dallas  in a similar act of violent intolerance. .In a press conference  in Oklahoma City convened by the Oklahoma chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations, which is known as “CAIR,”  Ayesh, who is 33 years old and is a native of Enid,  Oklahoma, explained that she and  members of her family were celebrating the holiday’s at the Reunion Tower in Dallas, a female assailant hit her, pulled her headscarf off, and told her to “go back to your country.” The victim poignantly told of how she specifically lamented the fact that the attack was witnessed by both her mother and her daughter, and that she told her attacker “that I am an American Muslim.”   In response to a query from a media representative, Ayesh told of how she was in pain after the event, and went to a hospital for medical treatment. She further revealed that the event began when the attacker made some disparaging comments to her mother, and that  the physical attack began after she did so. And while Ayesh asked the woman to move along, she responded with cursing and blows to her head. Many other people were present, and disconcertingly several of them sought to comfort the attacker rather than Ayesh and her family.  “Its Ok sweetie,” the attacker was told by one bystander.
Adam Soltani, who is the Executive Director of CAIR- Oklahoma, told the assembled media representatives that the attack was the result of the  “Islamaphobia” that is present in  American society  today, and faulted commentators and political leaders  who encourage it. He further said that the Dallas chapter of CAIR  is also looking into the incident and is contact with the Dallas Police Department as well.  Veronica Laizure, Civil Rights Director of CAIR Oklahoma, expressed sorrow that the nation was experiencing hate crimes of that  type, and asked Ayesh to join with her to celebrate a  “world hajib day” that will be celebrated at some future date. She also told of how similar acts of intolerance have taken place in Oklahoma.
“I want her to go to school instead of jail,” Adlai Stevenson was reported to have said after he  was assaulted  when he was asked  if he thought that his female attacker should be incarcerated. And Jenan  Ayesh displayed a similar  forgiveness when she told another reporter that the only sanction that she wanted to have imposed on her attacker was the knowledge that she had hurt her and her family and that “she did not have to be afraid of me.”

When Talking Pictures Came To Los Angeles

In “The Mirage Factory,”  which chronicles the emergence of Los Angeles into a major American city, author Gary Krist details how the  development of sound in films  altered the movie industry in a dramatic way. Moving pictures, originally known as “flickers” were first made primarily  on the East Coast in New York City and neighboring locales, including  Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey,  and were considered to be unworthy of the work of serious stage  performers,  and when Cecil B. DeMille , who was a Broadway actor, decided to  enter the world of film he was  urged not to by his brother William  who worried that his doing so would tarnish the DeMille family’s good name in the theatrical world. But as told in a recent biography of DeMille he fortunately ignored that advise and  while he initially intended to begin production  in  Arizona  where Oklahoma cowboy Tom Mix  was making popular  movies,  he got off of  the train that was transporting him in Los Angeles since he had performed on stage there and concluded  it’s  weather  was  conducive to filming.   The first movies that were made in Hollywood, Krist reminds us, were very humble  undertakings that were made  in public places and unused buildings. But D.W. Griffith , who  in 1910 was affiliated with  the small Biograph Studio in the Big Apple,  persuaded  the new president of that entity to allow him to take  thirty actors and crew members to Los Angeles, and Krist   writes “Biograph had come West, and the nascent movie industry had come with it.” Griffith would go on to make the  classic   film  “Birth of a Nation” which   despite its racism and sympathetic portrayal of  the Klu Klux Klan  resulted  in    film  being  perceived  as a  legitimate art form and may have been the first movie shown in the White House. And soon Los Angeles was home to movie starts such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks,  and  Oklahoma resident Buster Keaton and others who were often making  sophisticated films that had artistic merit such as Keaton’s “The General” and Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush.”
When sound first emerged in films in 1927, in the “Jazz  Singer” that starred  singer Al Jolson,   film critic Robert Sherwood  wrote  in “ Life Magazine” that “I, for one, realized that the end of the silent era was in sight.”  But that was not a unanimous conclusion, the author details,  and some commentators lamented the fact that talking distracted attention from the actors on screen, and one studio mogul dismissed talking pictures as a fad that audiences would soon grow tired of.  Yet  soon even bad films  that featured actors speaking were generating revenues for their makers,  and people were calling theaters to ask if the movies being shown there were “talkies,” and attendance at silent films fell off dramatically. And  just as IT people have become a formidable presence in offices today, the author writes of how  sound engineers  became  powerful forces  on all  film sets. Very often the microphones they installed were concealed in tables and other pieces of furniture and actors were filmed standing in close proximity to them to ensure that their words were heard. Several stars failed to successfully make the transition to sound and  faded into a painful obscurity. And is it possible that today’s film stars will in time be replaced by pixel images that are computer generated?

Supposed Santa Claus Sighting At Old School Bagel Cafe On May Ave.

Wayne Hansen Of Old School Bagel Cafe

In a recent article in the Washington Post, a prosecutor from the Watergate era who was legally pursuing then President Richard Nixon told of how he and several of his  colleagues from New York City lamented the absence of quality bagels in Washington D.C. in that time  and how one of Nixon’s attorney’s, Len Garment, thoughtfully brought them a bag of bagels from the Big Apple after he spent a weekend there visiting relatives. And residents of Oklahoma City are not dependent on the kindness of others when they wish to partake of bagels but can devour them from a variety of locales that bear the name  “The Old School Bagel Café.”  The flagship of that operation is situated in  Quail Plaza strip shopping center on the intersection of  May and Hefner Avenues, and an imaginative variety of bagels are dispensed there that include   French toast and  chocolate chip and other flavors that are probably unique to Oklahoma City . It has been reported that an actual Santa Claus has made appearances there on several different occasions recently, and greeted children with warmth and also has given them small candy canes. While some have disparaged those sightings  as possibly being the result of  the strong drink that some imbibe this time of year,  a photo of that Santa was memorialized in a cell phone photo and is now said to be found on the Old School Bagel Café’s website. It has also been reported   that he made such appearances in previous Christmas seasons.  Interestingly, that Santa is shown in that photo  sitting alone at one of the metal tables that are in front of that store, and it has been suggested that if he were real he would have been photographed with others present. The operator and co-owner of that establishment, the genial and welcoming  Wayne Hansen, has told his patrons of how it was formerly the location of a movie theater, and that some of them viewed a version of  “ A Christmas Carol” that starred the late  Alec Guinness there in the  early years of the seventh decade of the recently concluded century. A smiling  Hansen has also spoken of the appearance of Santa there but since he smiles most of the time it is not clear  if he is serious when he  tells  of that alleged occurence.
In recent days large billows of smoke have ascended into the heavens from night time  bonfires  on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Louisiana, and those fires are lit to assist the Cajun Santa Claus, “Papa Noel” to navigate his sleigh to the homes of the  French speaking children who reside along the bayou. And the smoke that is rising  from an outdoor broiler at the adjacent Norick’s True Value Hardware Store may be indicative of an emerging Oklahoma City holiday tradition in which that place’s owner and operator, Lance Norick, cooks celebratory fare for his customers and employees. And it is possible that  the wisps of smoke from Norick’s outdoor cooking and the arrival of Santa Claus at the bagel shop  may  herald the beginning of  Oklahoma City Christmas traditions  that people will recall with fondness in the years to come.

Free English Classes At Two OKC Churches

Arlita Harris  of Immigrant Center Facility At Western Oaks Nazarene Church.

Amidst all of the ongoing discussion of the president’s plan for a wall with Mexico, some Oklahomans are in a sense seeking to  building bridges to Hispanic and other   immigrants through a program designed to help  them learn English as a second language without cost  and also offering to assist   those who are holders of  permanent resident cards  who are eligible to became U.S. Citizens. Those programs will be offered through two  Christian houses of worship , The Immigrant Connection located in the  May Avenue Wesleyan Church on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, at 11:00 AM and the Immigration Center Facility located within the  Western Oaks Church of the Nazarene on Saturday, January 12th, 2019, at 9:30 AM or 1:00 PM.  Arlita Harris, who is  the executive director of  the Immigration Center at the latter church, explained that  the attendees will receive an orientation at those times that will assess  their current command of English and placed in classes  that will begin the week of January 14th, 2019 that will take place twice a week for a period of eight weeks at each church location for a period of 2.5 hours. All the classes, materials, and legal assistance will be provided without cost to the participants.   Holders of U.S.  permanent residence cards can file for U.S. citizenship after they have held them for five years and if they are married to US citizens they can apply after only three years. But they are required to demonstrate a proficiency  in spoken English when they are interviewed by immigration officers for citizenship,  and the classes offered will work to  provide them with the degree of fluency required. Those students will also  receive assistance in the  completing of the citizenship  application as well.   Under the leadership of Harris, the Immigration Center affiliated with her church has provided  extensive services to immigrants in the Oklahoma City area including a forum that included a presentation from attorney Melissa Lujan, who formerly served as the chair for Immigration Law Section of  the Oklahoma Bar Association, in which  they  were told of their legal rights when dealing with the relevant federal authorities, and also the steps that some of them may be eligible to take to obtain lawful resident status in the U.S.  Harris, who served  for several years as the librarian at the African  Nazarene University in Nairobi Kenya,  and is now a councilwoman on the Bethany City Council,  often quotes the biblical injunction that directs  that “strangers be welcomed” and she believes that this new program, which is funded in part by a grant from USCIS  to Oklahoma City University to train English as a second language teachers, is in accordance with that requirement.

OKC Democratic Rep. Collin Walke Holds A Meeting With His Constituents

Representative Colin Walke Meeting With His Constituents.

In the United Kingdom there is a time honored tradition of members of Parliament meeting  their constituents in gatherings that are known as “surgeries.” Where that term originated is not known, but has been in common usage for some time, and biographies of British political leaders often reference  how they become  aware of issues of  concern to their constituents through such gatherings. . And   Oklahoma  City  Democratic  Representative Collin Walke  held  such a meeting   at  a private room in the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop on Saturday , December 15th, 2018 with a group  of his concerned and  well informed constituents . His wife, the Reverend Lori Walke, was also in attendance.
He explained that as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives he is authorized to submit  a total of eight  legislative proposals and that he has submitted  proposed bills  that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for alternatives to opiates if such   alternatives  are  available. In addition, the lawmaker wishes to reinstate the  earned income tax credit for low income  Oklahomans.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services currently has in place a requirement that minors  who have had their parental terminated  have  guardians appointed for them . Walke has submitted a  proposed bill would prohibit the appointment of guardians for   young people  whose parents have had their parental rights terminated.
The legislator  explained that he has long been concerned about the fact that treatment for autism  ends at the age of 15 in Oklahoma , and he has introduced proposed legislation that would  raise the age to 18.
Court reporters are  currently state employees , but they did not  receive the pay raise that other state employees recently got, and the fair minded  and thoughtful Walke  would like for them to receive a raise as well, and one of his proposed bills would grant them such an increase .
He told of how he has  had long conversation with  the staff of the  Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and that have of the budget of the state’s district attorneys comes from the fees and costs that are assessed on criminal defendants, and that he believes that the amount of funds appropriated to them should be increased as a result. He also wondered if the Tulsa and Oklahoma County prosecutors office could assist their rural counterparts with funding and other services.
He spoke with conviction  of the need for criminal justice system reform, and said that many stakeholders are in favor of it. Walke, who is an attorney,  has an impressive record of settling  cases in mediation and perhaps for that reason he indicated that he would like to meet    with all of the relevant parties to the criminal justice debate and have them to ascertain what reforms are possible  by agreement.  He wanted  to introduce a measure to raise Oklahoma’s minimum wage, he explained, but said that he has been advised that another legislator is doing so.
In response to a question as to whether or not  Medicaid  will be extended to low income Oklahoman’s  during the upcoming legislative session, he said that there is a group of citizens that will work to have it placed on the ballot  as a constitutional  measure if it is not approved by the Legislature  in the upcoming session .  In response to another inquiry, he said that committee assignments have yet to be made by the Democratic Party leaders in the House, but that he has indicated to the leadership that he is interested in serving on several different legislative  committees, including  Insurance, Judiciary, Budget  and several others.  As the meeting concluded, Walke thanked the attendees for their interest, and said that he looked forward to further meetings, and that his door is always open to them.

Zimbabwean Celebration In OKC

The Zimbabwean community  of Oklahoma City came together at the evening of Saturday, December 15th, 2018, at the home of Walter  and Celia Damiso. The occasion was the graduation of the  Damiso’s daughter, Gamuchirai Hativagone, from St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio and her admission to the Texas Bar. Wearing a black tee shirt that read “ Black Lawyers Matter,” Hativagone greeted the guests in both  the Shona language of Zimbabwe and English in a spirited and hospitable  manner and embraced many of the young children who were present. Walter Damiso was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee from Zimbabwe years ago, and the pride he took in his daughter’s accomplishment was evident  as he showed a video of her law school graduation and the ceremony that admitted her to the Texas Bar. In keeping with Zimbabwean  tradition, copious amounts of food and drink were served  after a Christian prayer was said  that included tasty South African sausages known as “boerewors.”  A film was shown of the “Graceland” concert that a young Paul Simon performed in 1987  with several  African musicians in  Rufaro Soccer Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, including singer Mariam Makeba and trumpeter Hugh Masekala  and the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo   and sang songs from the album of that name that was made by Simon. That outdoor event  brought  many of Simon’s fans from South Africa to Zimbabwe, and the  media coverage and subsequent  film showed many  black and white attendees enjoying  Simon and the other artists music and  served to ease racial tensions in Southern Africa, and several years later the white electorate of South Africa voted to end the system of apartheid that had  denied political rights to that nation’s black majority.  Damiso said that he was in attendance at that event, and recalled the joyous and optimistic spirit that it generated. A video  was shown of  Zimbabwean singer Oliver Mtukuzi which prompted several of the guests to push a coffee table to the side of the room so that they could dance to his music in an expressive manner, and it was explained that Mtukuzi was responsible for the development of “Tuku  Music,” and that he has on occasion performed in Dallas, Texas, to sold out crowds.  Hativagone   explained that she likes residing in San Antonio and that her brother lives in the Austin. She works for a firm in that city and is interested in  the field of immigration law and that she would like to assist those who are currently being detained    by U.S  immigration officials. And the young attorney also said that she and her family are grateful to Oklahoma for the opportunities it has  provided to  them.