The Norman Transcript


May 24, 2014

Down-home activism making a difference

NORMAN — It wasn’t unusual for Oklahoma activist Carrie Barefoot Dickerson to call local newspapers about environmental concerns from the nursing home where she lived the last years of her life.

“The health of our nation has been left in the hands of the companies whose goals are mainly to make money — not to protect the public welfare,” Dickerson said in an interview with The Tulsa World weeks before her death. “It’s our job to tell companies — and our government — that we want safer alternatives.”

For nine years during the 1970s, Dickerson led the fight to stop Public Service Company of Oklahoma from building the proposed Black Fox nuclear power plant near the farming community of Inola. Dickerson was an ordinary person who won an extraordinary battle against big business.

She remained involved in environmental work for the remainder of her 89 years of life. Born May 24, 1917, in a log cabin 13 miles west of Okmulgee, she died in her sleep in Nov. 17, 2006.

Barefoot Dickerson is not alone. Today, people in ordinary walks of life engage at the grassroots level in various ways. In honor of Dickerson’s birthday, The Transcript is focusing on ordinary women fighting for the environment.

Happy, birthday, Carrie, and thank you.

Blue Thumb volunteer: Norman resident Karen Chapman has been wading into creeks as a Blue Thumb volunteer for the past three years. A friend saw the notice that Blue Thumb was doing a training program and suggested that it might be fun. Both have been monitoring streams ever since.

Chapman pulled on full-body waders, slung a backpack full of testing supplies over her shoulders and grabbed her walking stick before heading down to the site she monitors on Bishop Creek.

“The walking stick is important on mossy rocks,” she said.

The amateur photographer said she has always loved photographing nature, but the creek monitoring program has expanded her knowledge and understanding of watersheds.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014