Dee Morales, Working both sides of the camera

Episode 60 – To have spent decades working both in front of the camera and behind it is what we talk about in this episode. Viewers in the Oklahoma Cit market have seen Dee’s name in credits here for many years now. Today, she is in her second decade of being a freelance producer of a wide variety of TV news and entertainment shows from many different networks. We also talk about what it means to be in that business as a woman.

Fr. Jorge Cabrera – Little Flower Catholic Church

Friar Jorge CabreraEpisode 59 – Two aspects of Little Flower Church set the congregation and ministry apart from the rest of Catholic Churches in the Oklahoma City metro: First, they are and have been the key Catholic Parish in OKC that is focussed on the city’s Hispanic culture since their founding in 1922 at SW 10th Street and Walker. Second, the church was founded by a branch of the Carmelite order – Discalced (literally “shoeless”) Carmelites. The house of friars and nuns at Little Flower is still a vibrant part of the order. We talk about the history of Little Flower church and current unique outreach in their part of the city.

Susan Moring on OK Coders boot camp

Susan MoringEpisode 58 – Susan Moring sees the potential in working hard to build support for Oklahoma’s code developer boot camp called OK Coders. She doesn’t write code herself, but uses her organizational skills to put together a very popular and affordable boot camp in Oklahoma. The benefits to startups in Oklahoma are many. Rather than having to lure code developers in from another city, why not grow your own?

Read the companion story on the January OK Coders boot camps in Oklahoma City Free Press.

Aspasia Carlson – Principal, trust-builder

aspasia carlson principalEpisode 57 – Aspasia Carlson is in her seventh year as principal of John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Carlson explains some of her background and how that prepared her for leadership at John Marshall. She also talks about some of the deeper understandings of teachers and students that only long-term leadership can achieve.

See the corresponding story in Oklahoma City Free Press about the roll out of new Internet hot spot devices on Thursday, Dec. 1. The move is only one of many aspects of being a school that serves students from families who struggle to make ends meet.

Robert Ruiz – Mariachi band leader – music ed promoter

dsc_0070Bonus Episode 56 – From the same interview session as episode 55, Robert talks about the importance of Mariachi music in OKC for Hispanic children. He has been instrumental in getting Mariachi music taught in Oklahoma City Public Schools. In just the next year after three popular programs were started, two had to be eliminated due to state budget cuts to the district. Robert tells us about a new organization and its money-raising efforts to fill the gap.

Robert Ruiz – Strengthening Hispanic culture in OKC

img_4622Episode 55 – For the past several years Oklahoma City has had a Mexican Independence Day celebration held in various locations. Robert Ruiz, President of Scissortail Community Development Corporation, has been one of the key organizers.

We talk about the development of the celebration and its meaning to local residents of Mexican descent who make up the largest portion of Hispanic culture in OKC.

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated by the solemn ringing of a ceremonial bell on Sept. 16, the day in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, read his Grito de Dolores, or “Cry of Dolores,” a revolutionary declaration that launched the Mexican War of Independence by natives of Mexico against their Spanish masters of 300 years. You can read more about it HERE.

Collin Walke – New Democratic Party representative in a Republican state

collin-walke-squareEpisode 54 – Collin Walke was one of several urban Democratic Party candidates in this year’s election cycle to buck the statewide trend of the Republican Party gaining an even bigger super majority in the Oklahoma Legislature. Running and losing the race to represent House District 87 in 2014, he persisted and won this time. We talk about what it took to win that district and what he thinks about the upcoming legislative session.

Civic Hacking, Tulsa-Style

Episode 53 – Luke Crouch and Carlos Moreno are involved on their own unpaid time developing new tech tools to help all of the people of Tulsa connect to Tulsa city services and government. They are leaders in Code for Tulsa, an affiliate of Code for America, which promotes civic work by web and mobile code developers joining with civic activists.

Jesse and Amanda Harlin at Thunder Plains 4!

Episode 52 – These two interviews were conducted during day 2 of the Thunder Plains code developer conference that is in its fourth year. Jesse and Amanda Harlin have provided core leadership of the conference and its sponsoring organization Techlahoma Foundation from the beginning. I talk with Jesse and Amanda about how Thunder Plains has developed over four years and then talk with Aaron Endsley, a developer new to the work who became seriously interested when he attended his first Thunder Plains conference.

Third Presidential Debate – Watch party comments

Episode 51 – We interviewed attorney Craig Johnston before the debate began and then interviewed Amanda McClain-Snipes afterward. Both had some interesting and thoughtful insights on the candidates and the process. Thanks to Cathy and Sean Cummings for hosting the event at their restaurant, Vito’s.

Sandino Thompson – Guest on episode 1, now 50! What has changed?

s-thompson-square-small-img_4609Episode 50 – Sandino was our guest in episode one and now is back to check in at episode 50! We discuss what has changed – or maybe not changed – in a year when it comes to Maps for Neighborhoods and neighborhood issues in OKC. He is deeply involved in two organizations that help people to improve their lives and shape their communities in positive ways as the Director of Urban Services at Public Strategies consulting firm and the executive director of It’s My Community Initiative that works to strengthen families. The organization develops workforce programs across the state.

Cyndi Munson – Back into the neighborhoods of HD85

img_4607-square-smallEpisode 49 – We visit with Cyndi once again almost a year later than her appearance on Intersections the first time. Then, she was only the second guest we had and she had completed a successful campaign to win the seat for Oklahoma House District 85 after the unfortunate death of long-time legislator David Dank. Because that was mid-term, she has been campaigning for that seat once more, this time in the regular two-year cycle. We explore the main questions around what happens to the dynamic between legislator and consituency when the legislator has been on that many doorsteps that many times in a few years.

Ziva Branstetter – Editor, investigative reporter, muckraker

head-sq-smallEpisode 48 – In April, Ziva and reporting partner Cary Aspinwall were named finalists for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting for their coverage in the Tulsa World of Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett. The same day they heard that news, they joined with Dylan Goforth and Kevin Canfield to begin working on The Frontier, an online news startup in Tulsa. Ziva is the Editor in Chief and is a staff writer.

Paxton Cavin – Elementary Art Teacher, OKC Public Schools

cavin-img_4603-squareEpisode 47 – In her third year teaching Art at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary in Oklahoma City Public Schools, Paxton is starting to see the value of longevity and continuity in teaching. We talk about that and about the things students learn from art beyond the mechanics of pencil to paper.

Matt Chandler – Developer – Code for OKC

m-chandler-square-smallEpisode 46 – Computer code developers have volunteered their time and knowledge to bring greater transparency to city governments across the U.S. Code for OKC is a group of like-minded code developers who are working to make the budget of Oklahoma City much more useable for people who are not used to looking at massive city budget data. Matt tells us about the process and their progress.

Doug Sorocco – Unique lawyer in a unique law firm

d-sorocco-squareEpisode 45 – Most ordinary people might recognize the name “DC on Film Row” as that cool, intimate outdoor music and party venue on the east end of the Film Row district. But “DC” stands for Dunlop Codding, the law firm that lends that space to the community. The firm protects intellectual properties, a unique, specialized part of federal law. And Doug is one of the unique principal partners.

Matthew Payne – TV and travel writer, teacher

matt-payne-squreEpisode 44 – Matt spent considerable time in the rarefied environment of the Los Angeles television and film industries. Now he has moved back to Oklahoma to pursue a new life with his wife after their recent marriage and to pursue his expanding travel writing career. Because of Matt’s experience he has started The Point, a writers workshop in Oklahoma City with classes beginning this fall. For information go to .

Angela Clark Little – Mom, public school advocate, political target

angela-clark-little-square-smallEpisode 43 – Nearly 40 episodes after Angela was our guest the first time, we talk about the progression of her public school advocacy into electoral politics. Leading up to the primaries in June, she formed a Facebook group that promotes candidates for the Oklahoma Legislature who openly and passionately support public schools. It got her far more public attention than she sought, becoming the political target of one of the candidates in the primary runoffs recently ended in this week.

Brian Winkeler – Brand and comic book creative

brian-winkeler-squareEpisode 42 – As the principle of his firm, Robot House Creative, Brian leads two other members of his firm in developing brands for the boutique firm’s clients. But also, he is the writer for a comic book series that is now available in bookstores and Amazon. We talk about all of that and compare his boutique shop to the Mad-Men television series type of big ad firm.

Dallas Koehn – Public school teacher – lightning rod

dallas-koehn-1-sq-smallEpisode 41 – Dallas has been willing to engage in the regular push and pull of social media squabbles over education politics in Oklahoma. His blog “Blue Cereal Education” has often made the thick-skinned teacher a lightning rod of criticism. But the intensity of criticism of bloggers like him increased when a group of teachers and a few parents have pushed particular candidates for public office, offending some who think that teachers should stay in the political background.

Dennis Spielman – Filmmaker

d-spielman-square-smallEpisode 40 – This episode was recorded and first published between the end of the Oklahoma City 48 Hour Film Project and the showing of the finished products on the following Sunday. I talk with Dennis, one of the entrants, about that short-deadline, high-pressure process and what it takes to produce a good product in such a short time. We also talk about the two movies that each of us share on our list of all-time favorites.

Tommy Yi – Champion of tech co-working spaces in Oklahoma City

img_4557_00001Episode 39 – First was the Unconference which led to OKC CoCo co-working space. Then came the 404 co-working space. Now, Tommy is once again in on another ground floor development of a new co-working space. This one is called StarSpace46. We talk about the opportunities that these co-working spaces have offered especially to startups and the tech community in Oklahoma City.

Bonus Episode – “The fierce women of OklaEd”

Episode 38

The "Fierce Women of Oklaed"
The “Fierce Women of Oklaed”

“Oklaed” has become a rally hash tag for many different people and groups who support public and publicly funded education in Oklahoma. Starting out as a joke, “Fierce women of Oklaed” turned into a social gathering of like-minded teachers and administrators from around the state. These are a few interviews that I caught on that first evening they met at The Mule in Oklahoma City, an always noisy place.

Catherine Lippert – Code Developer, collaborator

img_4553-sqEpisode 37 – The solitary computer coder alone in a room is just not how code is developed any more. Instead, according to Chatherine, it is a collaborative, team effort that takes strong communication and social skills. She tells us about working for a company that values kindness and what it means to be a woman in a previously male dominated line of work.

Tamya Cox – Civil rights activist

tamya-cox-2-squareEpisode 36 – The Black Lives Matter Rally in Oklahoma City on Sunday, July 10 was a positive experience for all of Oklahoma City. People at the rally were peaceful and passionate. The police connected with the crowd in a positive way. Tamya Cox was one of the speakers whose words did much to make it a strong rally. In this episode we dig deeper into the main points of her speech.

Jack Fowler – Visual artist, writer, radio talent

jackfowler-squareEpisode 35 – Some people know Jack Fowler as that guy who has a show on KOSU’s The Spy on Sunday evenings. Others admire his paintings and are getting excited about the huge octopus mural that he is preparing to put on the side of a building in Bricktown. Yet, others know him as one of the writers for the Oklahoma Gazette. We talk about all of that in this episode!

Forrest Bennett – Door to door politics in HD 92

F Bennett - squareEpisode 34

He’s seen a shooting and had his car stolen. But Forrest Bennett is still knocking doors and getting to know people in Oklahoma House District 92 which cuts across almost 10 major neighborhoods on the south and near north sides of Oklahoma City. This is what he’s talking about.

Tracey Zeeck – Growing a PR firm from one

Zeeck - squareEpisode 33

Maybe Bumbershoot PR firm takes different paths because that’s what founder Tracey Zeeck does. Starting at a small desk in her bedroom at home, she has developed a firm with four full-time employees and a summer intern, each carrying out multiple tasks to help a unique assortment of people and organizations reach their goals.

Kim Haywood – How to make deadCENTER film festival happen

Kim Haywood IMG_4522 squareEpisode 32

The 16th deadCENTER Film Festival just wrapped up their 16th festival. While using hundreds of dedicated volunteers, the festival’s staff is made up of only 4 people. As Director of Programing and Education, Kim Haywood is one of those. I talk with her about how this year’s dC went and how they put together such a big event each year.

Yousef Kazemi – First-time filmmaker – “Yes, we’re open”

Y. Kazemi - squareEpisode 31

Bonus episode from the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City
“Yes, we are open” is the title of the short film that was on the Okie Shorts program at this year’s deadCENTER Film Festival. This is Yousef’s first film, so his reaction to the Q&A and the comments film-goers made afterward are touching.