Goodbye, Delicious Rock-A-Billy Roll

On Mon., Dec. 22, Richard Becker, owner of Tsunami Sushi at 307 E. Second St., abruptly and without prior warning to his employees, closed the doors of his locally-renowned Japanese bistro for good.
In a written statement to his friends and the media, sent on Wed., Dec. 24, Becker wrote:
“Well I am very sorry to say that I have closed the last of Tsunami Sushi, (the downtown location). It broke my heart and spirit but after the closing of the Jenks location at RiverWalk in April I found it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the game.
“I wish to thank everyone for the support over the last 5+ years and I hope that you will remember the good times you did have with us and also appreciate that I tried with everything I had (Mind, Body and Soul) to do something good for Tulsa in a different and unique way.
“I don’t know what lies in store for me but I will attempt to land on my feet and continue expanding my dreams and make them a reality! I have learned so much since I first put pencil to paper and designed my first restaurant. I must say I had the most fun designing and building the restaurants than the constant uphill battle I continually found myself in.
“If I do find myself back in the sushi business I certainly hope the bankers, and developers have more integrity than the people I ran across in my endeavors.
“A very Happy Holidays to all of you and again… Tsunami Sushi thanks you for supporting a delicious, locally owned business:-)”
Tsunami was perhaps best know for its affordable lunch specials (which included rolled sushi and either a salad, soup or edamame), midnight sushi and signature rolls like the Rock-A-Billy, Rock-N-Roll, Bamboo and Buddha.
In last year’s Media Issue and in the Book of Lists published December 22, we mistakenly left Waller & Co. and Rollins Communications off of our List of Largest Advertising and Marketing Firms.
Rollins Communications’ capitalized billings for 2007 were $5,000,000, which would have put it at number four on our 2008 list.
Waller & Co. did not disclose its capitalized billings for 2007 or 2008, but, with seven employees, it would have tied with Emerge Interactive Media at number five for number of employees.
We apologize to both PR firms for this error. Their information does appear on this year’s list, which begins on page 13.
The TBJ Book of Lists failed to include The Flintco Cos. in its Largest Contractors List. With revenues in excess of $300 million in the state of Oklahoma, Flintco ranks as the largest contractor in the state.
In the “largest projects” category, Flintco, an American Indian-owned company since 1908, is constructing the $130 million Cherokee Casino Resort expansion, the $90 million Creek Nation Casino expansion, the $60 million Hillcrest Heart Pavilion and the $15 million Center for Creativity for Tulsa Community College. The Tulsa Regional Convention Center on the project lists Manhattan, as the contractor but it was a joint venture between Flintco and Manhattan under the “Tulsa Vision Builders.” The American Indian Cultural Center is also a joint venture between Flintco and Manhattan as “Centennial Builders.”
The Daily Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper, topped this year’s “List of Largest Papers” in the TBJ at 199,519 average total paid circulation.
Those figures are from the company’s Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation, which is filed with U.S. Postal Service annually and printed Oct. 1.
Since then, however, we’ve heard the paper dropped several counties and its circulation is at 165,000.
Tulsa-based Enercon Services Inc., is an engineering, environmental, technical and management services company providing a range of professional services to private, public, and government sector clients throughout the U.S.
Today, Enercon is working on permitting for many nuclear power plants across the nation. One source said the exact number of nuclear plants is widely talked about because of confidentially agreements in play.
There are 104 operating nuke plants in the U.S.
“With the push toward clean power and alternative energy, there is more incentives than ever in the alternative energy market,” one source said.
The problem with nuclear is the exorbitant costs to construct a plant. It can take a decade from inception, to permitting, to flipping the switch.
While many are on the drawing board, most companies are eyeing plant expansions.
Enercon has grown from a company with $30 million in revenues and 250 employees to one with more than 800 employees, 15 offices nationwide and a $130 million in revenues.
We hear that “Baseload/peaking” is “out” and “smart mix” is “in.” The electric industry faces dramatic transformations as it wrestles with the challenges of 2009.
The old paradigm that assumed “baseload” power plants were necessary is being replaced by a new paradigm where both demand and supply are managed in tandem, and electricity is supplied by a smart, clean mix including a high level of renewable and flexible technologies. Under its 20 percent “wind by 2030” scenario, the U.S. Department of Energy found that 20 percent wind would likely reduce the need for new coal and leave the level of nuclear power unchanged.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma announced recently the addition of an autism benefit to insured groups effective their next policy year. This change will not affect current medical coverage that has always been available to children with autism. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is responding to market interests in certain autism-related medically necessary services.
“We want to commend the Oklahoma legislature for allowing the market to work,” said Bev Binkowski, director, public affairs. “Rather than having a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mandate for all companies, we have been able to develop a benefit to meet the needs of our members.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma will provide “a clinically reasonable benefit that doesn’t unduly create a price impact on small employer groups and affect their ability to provide health care coverage to their employees,” said Dr. Joe Nicholson, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s chief medical officer and vice president of health care management. Benefit enhancements are expected to include evaluation and management procedures, speech, physical and occupational therapies. The health plan is targeting a January 2010 implementation date for this new benefit.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has been able to develop a benefit that won’t dramatically increase premiums,” Binkowski said. “This decreases the likelihood that the increased benefit will result in employers dropping coverage and adding to the state’s uninsured population.”
“This action will allow us to provide a benefit for proven therapeutic services while research continues to identify effective treatments or medical solutions for children with autism,” Nicholson said.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is a member of the Affordable Access to Health Care coalition.

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