George and Snowflake wait patiently to be adopted at OKC's Animal Welfare. (William W. Savage III)

In a newsroom setting, one could argue that a publication is like a car’s engine that uses ad sales as the fuel.

To extend the automotive metaphor, press releases can be like the bird shit that falls on your windshield while the car sits idle.

They come from any and all directions, whether you’re in the car or out to lunch. You usually see them briefly before removing them from your field of vision. Sometimes, something really impressive catches your eye.

Just as avian excrement signals the presence of birds, so, too, do press releases signal the existence of news (potentially, at least). Without these info droppings, reporters and readers might miss the chirps and tweets that add ambiance and plumage to our environment.

To that end, NonDoc occasionally seeks to take a closer look at the various press releases we receive and process them through our media-centric filter.

Think of them as “pressed” releases, and this installment focuses on ones from the City of Oklahoma City.


A feline emerges from a cat-head snuggle shelter. (William W. Savage III)

With the gestation period of a cat lasting about two months, it’s no wonder local animal shelters see an influx of stray and unwanted kittens each June: Spring-time heat seeking becomes summertime teet tweaking.

That’s why, all through June, the City’s Department of Animal Welfare offers Meowapalooza, a cat-adoption extravaganza. Because of the seasonal influx of felines, adult cats are free to adopt in June, and kittens under 6 months old may be adopted for $30 (down from $60 in both cases).

In other words, CATS! CATS! CATS!

Here’s OKC Animal Welfare superintendent Julie Bank to explain it further:

No matter the month, would-be owners can search for available cats (and other critters) using Animal Welfare’s online form.

On a related note, those of you cursed with allergies or living under the thumb of jerkface landlords can realize your kitten-cuddling dreams vicariously through the Internet Cat Video Fest set to pounce Caturday, Aug. 6, at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

Those rain barrels better have platinum-plated bungholes

The conservation and smart use of water is an imperative for human life on this planet. That’s why it’s nice to see the City of Oklahoma City partner with the Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance to encourage the purchase of rain barrels for watering their plants, lawns and gardens.

“Watering with rain water is better for your plants and it’s free,” environmental protection manager Raymond Melton stated in the related press release.

Good points, and I agree, but just how nice are these barrels? Well, the press release states they’re “discounted” at a rate of $63.50 each from Upcycle Products Inc., an Illinois-based company that refurbishes used barrels.

Those rain barrels better have some fancy bungholes (which is actually the proper term, don’t you know).

Granted, Upcycle Products offers municipal programs for cities seeking to encourage rainwater recycling, and they provide the logistic infrastructure with regard to order fulfillment and delivery, so it makes sense that officials would seek out a turn-key solution for the provision of such items.

But if I were in the market for a rain barrel (and I am), I would contact Bogart Farms, which I found off Craigslist. What he lacks in spelling precision and grammatical acuity he makes up for in bargains: His barrels are only $20 a pop.

Free fishin’

Speaking of saving money, the City has waived permit fees and license requirements for local anglers this weekend in honor of National Fishing and Boating Week. That’s a savings of $3.50 for a daily permit or $18.50 for the annual permit, according to the release.

Here’s a link to accessible fishing areas, and here’s a list of what the city considers “close to home” waters that are fair game for anglers:

  • Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15th St.
  • Dolese Youth Park Pond, 5105 NW 50th St.
  • Edwards Park Pond, 1515 N Bryant Ave.
  • Kids’ Lake, 3200 W Wilshire Blvd.
  • Kitchen Lake, 5501 SE 119th St.
  • Route 66 Park ponds, 9901 NW 23rd St.
  • South Lakes Park, 4302 SW 119th St.
  • Zoo Lake, 2101 NE 50th St.


Pucker up

Filter: Public relations like kissing two butts at one time by William W. Savage III