NORMAN — As we close out the first half of 2013 today and head toward the July Fourth holiday on Thursday, we are optimistic about the remainder of the year on a local level. (Trying to forecast a national outlook is not an easy task.)
To say the least, the past couple of months have not been the best of times, especially the last two weeks of May when Mother Nature unleashed her torrid winds on parts of Oklahoma, including Moore and Little Axe in Cleveland County.
As we were reminded this past week with the demolition of the Moore Medical Center, there is still a lot of work ahead for the tornado-ravaged areas. Unfortunately, for many, this work will continue for months.
Although the national media left the area weeks ago, we, as a strong community, will continue to help our neighbors as the work to rebuild moves forward — after all, that’s what Oklahoma Proud is all about.
Outside the weather-related obstacles, we certainly like the planned growth signs noticeable around the area.
In almost any section of Norman you travel, there is earth being moved and foundations being set. Despite a recent drop in sales tax, our community represents a healthy business environment. Additionally, when many of the new stores open, especially those larger retail outlets on the west side of the city, it should provide a nice sales tax boost as we near the fall.
Also, we were reminded by Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, speaking to a gathering of the Norman Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, that Norman is one of the top sites under consideration for the future GE global research center that will be locating in the metro Oklahoma City area. We are all keeping our collective fingers crossed that this decision is soon favorable in our direction.
In a few weeks, it will be time to begin preparing for the start of another school year, which signals the start of another football season. Whether it’s the Sooners on Saturday or high schools on Friday night, when the stadium seats are full, it typically marks a high point of the year in Norman.
So, if we can continue to get a few rain showers (not storms), we are optimistic about what awaits us from July through December.
We encourage everyone to be safe and enjoy a red, white and blue celebration on Thursday followed by Toby Keith’s Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on Saturday — it should be a good week to start the second half of 2013.