Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Colts didn't beat the Patriots after all!

According to DC blogger extraordinaire, Wonkette, Boston cops reacted like such idiots to all that cartoon promotional hype today because it's "a city still reeling from the Patriots’ loss at the hands of al-Qaeda".

It's about time!

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is committing $1 million toward a bid by Indianapolis to host the 2011 Super Bowl, the city announced this morning.

Irsay will co-chair the organization created to pursue the event, Indianapolis 2011 Inc. Other co-chairs are Mayor Bart Peterson, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George, says the on-line report.

The Incredibly Shrinking Star Shrinks Again!

The metro and business sections of The Indianapolis Star are on the road to consolidation.

Steve Berta, the assistant managing editor of business, will also oversee a combined business and metro desk, according to a report in the University of North Carolina's "Talking Biz News" -- not mentioned, of course, in the local rag itself.

"As to how the combined desks will work together, Berta said, 'I’ll let you know when we work out the details' in an e-mail."

Let's see: living, arts, books, comix, entertainment and travel have been "combined", metro and business have been "combined".... We're down to two sections plus the ads!

UPDATE: Biz writer J.K. Wall is leaving The Star to write for the Indianapolis Business Journal in the latest high profile escape from Gannettland.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Indy's Super Bowl Bid Announcement Tomorrow

Inside INdiana Business reports that Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and Governor Mitch Daniels will announce a formal bid for the 2011 Super Bowl at the Indiana Convention Center, downtown Indianapolis, Wednesday morning, 31 January.

IndyGo Installs New Bus Stop Signs

With green on one side and blue on the other, the new IndyGo bus stop signs show: a person boarding a bus, the front of a bus with the wheelchair symbol to alert passengers about all buses being accessible for persons with disabilities, a unique number and a list of routes that serve each bus stop.

This week, IndyGo will continue to install new signs along Routes 3 – Michigan Street, 5 – East 25th Street/North Harding, 8 – Washington Street and 17 – College Avenue. The sign installation will continue through the summer and include all remaining routes.

There's more in today's IndyGo news release.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Captain Crunch - Art on the High Seas

Sail on over to the Harrison Center for the Arts (1505 North Delaware Street, Indy) on Friday, 2 February, between 6 and 9 p.m. for the opening of the Haddad Family Community Art Series.

"Captain Crunch – Art on High Seas" will feature work from local artists including Casey Roberts, Dee Dee Davis, Emma Overman, Bryan Moore, Jason Pierce, Dustin Peterman and William Keihn.

During the opening are promised "grog, pirates, hardtack, costumed swashbucklers from Indy Sabre Fencing Club, stargazing in the courtyard with the Indiana Astronomical Society, live music and more".

The work hangs through February 24th.

Questions? Send an email, or call 317:396-3886.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Incredibly Shrinking Star!

More favorite features have disappeared as the arts & entertainment, Indiana living and travel sections are disemboweled and the remnants recycled into an expanded TV guide. The debut was today in The Indianapolis Star. Won't take you five minutes to read everything.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mayor to Colts' fans: Come out

Mayor Bart Peterson is calling on Colts’ fans to come out in force on Monday to support the team as the city kicks off “Super Blue week” in Indianapolis.

Two events are scheduled Monday to stoke the fan frenzy:

• CBS The Early Show Pep Rally. CBS’s The Early Show’s Dave Price will broadcast live from Indianapolis Monday morning starting at 6:30 a.m. The nationally-televised show will break in periodically from the RCA Dome’s 12th Man Alley, directly south of the Dome. Fans are invited to join Price, Mayor Peterson, Blue Crew members and others. Fans can park in Lot 3 behind the Dome free until 9 a.m.

• All City Rally & Kick off Super Blue Week. The city and the Colts will kick off “Super Blue Week” in Indianapolis on “Super Blue Monday” on Monument Circle, Monday, January 29 at noon. The event will be hosted by Q-95’s Bob and Tom, and feature Mayor Bart Peterson, Governor Mitch Daniels and representatives of the Colts. The event will officially send the Colts off to the Super Bowl and kick-off week-long events to celebrate the Colts and their playoff run.

Friday, January 26, 2007

66 Vie to be "500 Festival" Princesses

Indy's own "500 Festival" will complete the selection process to choose 33 princesses to represent the 2007 Festival and the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at this year’s events and statewide outreach programs.

The “500 Festival” received 235 applications from women between 19 and 23 representing 70 Hoosier cities and towns and 18 colleges and universities across the state.

Last Saturday the Festival narrowed the field to 66 finalists who will return tomorrow for second-round interviews.

At the conclusion of those interviews judges will select the final 33 women who will serve as ambassadors for the 2007 500 Festival, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, and the “500”, set to run 27 May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Headline events for the “500 Festival” include the Mini-Marathon on 5 May and the parade on 26 May.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

If you're 21-40, check out Indy Hub

Indy Hub is a network for young professionals 21 to 40 years old in the Indianapolis area. The website has information about a variety of civic and cultural organizations, non-profits looking for volunteers, and a calendar.

First up for Indy Hubbers is a chance to join members of Agave, the "young professionals auxiliary" of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art at Pop Goes the West Party! It's 5:30-8 p.m. next Thursday (1 Feb.) and features guided tours of the new Roy Lichtenstein: American Indian Encounters and Andy Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians exhibits plus DJ Greg Campbell, live music by Yoko Moment, food by Kahn’s Katering, a signature drink by Jagermeister, a chance to win 15 minutes of fame and more. Cost is $5 at the door.

Allison Transmission to be sold?

General Motors Corp. today made official a long-expected announcement that it is considering a sale among other options for its Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission commercial and military operations, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

GM said in a brief statement that the facility in the 4700 block of West 10th Street "is not central to GM's mission" of selling cars and light trucks. Allison Transmission employs 3,400 people, IBJ reports.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Coverage of Indy: down; coverage of Fishers: up

Two local blogs are taking on The Indianapolis Star again.

Taking Down Words takes aim at the newspaper’s posting of a job opening in Fishers.

"The Indianapolis Star seeks a versatile reporter for its growing news staff. The reporter will be based in The Star's Hamilton County newsroom at the center of some of the nation's fastest-growing communities. This would be an education beat focusing on local schools, with coverage appearing in The Fishers Star and”

Meanwhile, over at Ruth Holladay’s blog the discussion gets more personal:

“But the word wafting out of 307 N. Penn -- that dungeon of human discontent and disappointment, where the abandonment of journalism principles is daily practice -- is that Tim Swarens and Jane Lichtenberg are being moved out of the Star's editorial section. Jim Herman, a longtime Gannetteer, will take over their duties.
"Tim and Jane are both respected journalists, and maybe the change is not all bad news for them. But one thing is certain -- the Star is continuing its "cut and gut" policies for which Gannett is known. The features department is undergoing that process, as longtime editors are bounced in favor of newbies and what will eventually be a trimmed-back section in the "tradition" of INtake. Basically the Sunday living and arts/entertainment sections will roll into one.”

You can read the whole thing – and the commentary – here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Puck Gets a (Partial) Boot from the IMA

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Museum of Art has revoked Wolfgang Puck Catering's exclusive contract for events at the museum after the Los Angeles-based company failed to deliver at a big event last year.

Their afternoon e-news blitz reports that the IMA sent a letter Monday to 10 caterers that are locally based or have a local presence in order to gauge interest in catering future events at the museum.

Puck will remain as operator of the museum's restaurant and café but will have to compete for the lucrative catering business, IBJ says.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Indy's Blue Heaven, Part Two

Who knew?

Today's Indianapolis Business Journal Daily says that "Las Vegas odds makers have the Indianapolis Colts as a seven-point favorite in their Super Bowl match-up with the Chicago Bears".

Indy's Blue Heaven

Sure, we've now got bragging rights.

But, according to Inside INdiana Business, yesterday's AFC title win brings us bonus business.

This morning's edition reads:

"Colts fans will likely be lining up at a number of retailers today including the Colts Gift Shop, Finish Line, Dick's Sporting Goods and Hat World to get their AFC Championship t-shirts and hats. Reebok's manufacturing facility on the Indianapolis eastside has been humming all night printing apparel, which in many cases was delivered early this morning to retailers. As Colts fans move toward the Super Bowl so does Reebok. Eddie White, vice president of team properties for Reebok, says work begins this morning on printing the official Indianapolis Colts-Chicago Bears t-shirts and other Super Bowl apparel. Another company that will find itself busy this week is Sign Masters in central Indiana in St. Paul. The family-owned business paints the commemorative game balls each week for the Colts and other NFL and college teams."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Go Colts!

The only thing on our minds today is the AFC championship.

Nevermind the cold and snow, "Go Colts"!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Devour Downtown?

Make plans now to discover Downtown's culinary delights, exclaims the latest newsletter from Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

The Indianapolis Downtown Restaurant and Hospitality Association presents Devour Downtown Winterfest, a two-week event running Jan. 24 - Feb. 2.

Thirty different Downtown restaurants will offer special menus that include items not usually available. You will have your choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $30.

Be sure to ask the waiter for the official Devour Downtown Winterfest menu. Reservations for are not necessary, but recommended.

For a complete listing of participating restaurants and event details, visit the website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Local Blogs on Carjackings and State o' State

Taking Down Words has an hysterically funny minute-by-minute blog entry on Gov. Mitch Daniels' State of the State address before the Indiana General Assembly this evening.

Meanwhile, over on Indy Undercover, the LEOs are talking about the rash of carjackings in the Circle City. Add that to the homicide rate and, well, things aren't looking too world class around here.

Maybe we can keep our problems under wraps when the national spotlight shines on the Colts-Patriots match-up for the AFC East on Sunday night?

Monday, January 15, 2007

From Palo Alto to Indianapolis

Inside INdiana Business reports that Beckman Coulter, Inc. will move its Palo Alto, Calif. life sciences operations and 212 jobs to the Indianapolis area. The company develops and manufactures centrifuges. Indianapolis is already home to the company's discovery and automation division.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Do You Have Historic Pix of St. Mary's Church?

Dr. James J. Divita, retired professor of history at Marian College, is writing the sesquicentennial history of St. Mary Church in Indianapolis.

St. Mary's was founded in 1858 to serve German Catholics in Marion County, a status it retained at least for the northside of Indianapolis until 1949.

Of interest are photos of the church exterior or interior (both East Maryland and New Jersey Street locations), its pastors and parishioners, especially founding pastor Simon Siegrist and those prominently mentioned in church records: Henry Seyfried, Magdalena Maus, George L. Paetz, John Ittenbach, Jacob Buennagel, and Joseph Nurre.

Contact Prof. Divita via email or phone, 317:293-4607.

New Southside Bark Park Opens

Canine companions wanted! Bring your four-legged friends to the new Paul Ruster Bark Park. Located at 11300 E. Prospect Street, the 4.8-acre park features a gated area complete with grassy paths, rolling hills and benches to enjoy.

General construction was finished in December 2006, with final additions including water fountains and electricity set to be complete this upcoming spring.

Like many popular dog parks around the city, Paul Ruster will provide a place for owners and their dogs to socialize, exercise and practice good citizenship.

In order to enjoy all Indy Parks’ Canine Companion Zones, all dogs are required to have a Pooch Pass. To learn more about the new bark park or to purchase a pass, please visit website.

2007 Creative Native Art Competition

Indy Parks and Recreation will host the second annual Creative Native Art Competition on January 20-21, at the Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive.

Sponsored by the Friends of Garfield Park Inc., and Comcast Cares, the event brings together local artists to create original works. A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded for “Best of Show” in three categories pertaining to Garfield Park: “The History of Garfield Park,” “Nature of Garfield Park,” and “Garfield Park Today.”

A diverse jury panel will select winners based on technique, quality of work and how well each theme is communicated through the artwork. The winning entries created at the competition will be retained by the Arts Center and displayed in the “Garfield Park, We Remember - Celebrating 125 Years of Garfield Park” exhibit at the Arts Center through February 28.

For more information, see website.

Two Events to Celebrate the King Holiday

Freedom Walk on the Avenue
Indianapolis Urban League
Preceding the annual Dr. King Commemorative Celebration at the Madame Walker Theatre will be a commemorative "Freedom Walk on the Avenue" from the Indianapolis Urban League Building to the historic Madame Walker Theatre. Doors at the Indianapolis Urban League open at 11:30 a.m. for interested participants. IUL and Walker staff will greet walkers with hot chocolate and donuts. The procession will occur on the sidewalk and begin at 12 p.m. Call 317.236.2099 for details.

"Let It Ring" Dr. King Commemorative Celebration
Madame Walker Theatre
The Madame Walker Theatre Center will commemorate the life and legacy of American icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a one and a half hour commemorative celebration Monday, January 15 from 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. in the Madame Walker Theatre. The annual event, FREE and OPEN to the public, will showcase several local gospel choirs, dance ensembles, literary artists and community leaders. Special appearance by internationally known Lyric Soprano Paula Dione Ingram. Call 317.236.2099 for details.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Carson Pirie Scott comes to Downtown Indy

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Bon-Ton Stores Inc. plans to include a 15,000-square-foot home store in the 144,000-square-foot Parisian at Circle Centre mall, the new owner of the store said.

Bon-Ton, of York, Penn., bought the Circle Centre location and three other Parisian department stores from Belk Inc. in October. Construction on the Indianapolis project is to be completed in July, and operate under the Carson Pirie Scott nameplate.

Diversity Week at IU School of Medicine

Stephen Robbins, PhD, a writer and consultant on diversity issues, will present “Unintentional Injustice” to kick off the Jan. 15-19 Diversity Week noon activities at Indiana University School of Medicine.

His presentation, which is co-sponsored by Clarian Health, will be in the Riley Outpatient Center lower level auditorium, IU School of Medicine campus in Indianapolis.

Other presentations at the same time and place are:

  • Tuesday, Jan 16 – Freeman Hrabowski III, PhD

  • Wednesday, Jan 17 – Aaron Shirley, MD

  • Thursday, Jan 18 – Hilton Hudson II, MD

  • Friday, Jan. 19 – Rita Beckford, MD

For more information on the 5th Annual Diversity Week Celebration, contact Erica Pugh.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Indianapolis Museum

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Superhero collector Dane Nash has secured permits to open an American Superheroes Museum downtown.

The Fishers resident has one of the world's largest collections of superhero memorabilia and plans to display items—including a Batmobile and costumes worn by every actor who has played Superman—in the 3,200-square-foot space, which once housed Kipp Brothers.

Nash, 52, hopes to open the museum and a small gift shop in the spring, says the report in today's IBJ Daily. The museum is on Louisiana Street across from Union Station. Admission would cost $5, but children under 8 and "real-life heroes," such as firefighters, police officers and members of the military, would get in free.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Peterson’s Plan, the 2007 Sequel

Peterson’s plan would pay-off looming public safety pension costs once and for all, clear way for investing millions more in aggressive crime fighting, prevention, according to a press release issued by the Mayor's office.

Mayor Bart Peterson [Jan. 9] unveiled his plan for funding and addressing the city’s long term crime fighting needs during a primetime speech to the people of Indianapolis.

Peterson’s crime fighting package includes investing $85 million more annually to:

  • Aggressively fight crime, drugs and gangs by keeping more police officers on the street, keeping criminals in jail and fixing the county’s long-broken criminal justice system

  • Payoff the city’s looming, unfunded public safety pension obligation and solve decades-old financial problems once and for all

  • Ramp-up crime prevention efforts as called for in today’s report issued by the Community Crime Prevention Taskforce by spending millions annually in city funds on prevention programs; and

  • Give much needed property tax relief to residents, allowing the city to invest more in public safety without raising property taxes.

“Our city has under funded public safety for decades, and last year’s rise in crime was an all too harsh wake up call,” Mayor Peterson said. “Recent investments in public safety – including $36 million added to this year’s budget for new crime-fighting initiatives – mark progress, but that will be short-lived unless we sustain the increased spending for our criminal justice system and invest in crime fighting for the long term.

“We must ‘right-size’ the criminal justice system for decades to come, and that means securing the necessary funding needed to keep improving public safety, and this cannot happen by continuing to patch our budget together every year with string and baling wire.”

Stepped up crime-fighting for long term. Approximately $50 million is needed annually to continue the overhaul of the criminal justice system, keep up the intense street-level fight on crime, and pay for the Mayor’s commitment to invest in crime prevention programs. The efforts include:

  • Increasing police presence in neighborhoods by continuing to strengthen the police force, fund police overtime and add 137 officers to street through efficiencies gained in the police merger;

  • Continuing the warrant strike team that apprehends felony defendants for failing to appear in court;

  • Continuing night court, the operation of the new felony courts and adding prosecutors and public defenders;

  • Keeping in place hundreds of additional jail beds leased last year;

  • Eliminating the backlog of firearms/ballistics tests at the crime lab;

  • Dedicating city funds to support crime prevention programs that are proven to work.

Paying-off looming $450 million pension obligation. To invest the necessary resources in these initiatives and shore up public safety for the long-term, the Mayor’s plan calls for putting the city on firm financial footing for the future by solving – once and for all – the decades-old, unpaid pre-1977 public safety pension obligation, which totals more than $450 million in today’s dollars. To do this, the city would borrow $450 million and invest those funds to cover the future costs. This would allow the city to stabilize the annual pre-1977 pension payment.

The annual payment under the Mayor’s plan would be consistently around $35 million a year and the fund would be backed by a dedicated funding source.

Once thought untouchable, retiree pensions are now coming under attack as corporations -- and even some cities -- across the country renege on retirement plans. The Mayor said he will not let that happen in Indianapolis.

“We must keep our promise to our retired public safety heroes,” Peterson said.

Funding the crime fighting package. To cover the $85 million needed for the Mayor’s crime fighting package, the city will aggressively lobby the state legislature to enact four legislative proposals:

  1. -Indianapolis Works. The city will once again renew its efforts to consolidate the township fire departments into the Indianapolis Fire Department. The savings from the eight remaining mergers would account for at least $15 million in annual savings.

  2. - Hometown Matters. This proposal, backed by bi-partisan local leaders throughout the state, allows city’s and towns the fiscal flexibility to cut their reliance on property taxes and provide tax relief while raising revenues through other local options.

  3. -Pension legislation. The Mayor will ask the legislature to pass a measure that allows Indianapolis to borrow money and remove the pension obligation from its operating budget.

  4. - Property tax relief through State takeover of child welfare. The Mayor will ask legislators to have the state cover the growth of the child welfare budget dating back to 2005, which would remove a significant line item from the city’s budget and provide local taxpayers with nearly $40 million in tax property tax relief. Local government and taxpayers have been forced to pay for the state’s Department of Child Services even though the state manages the services. Costs for child welfare have risen by 65 percent over the past three years.

“We need the state’s help – not a handout,” Peterson said. “We are simply asking for the authority to let us solve our own problems.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

MLK Holiday Trash Schedule

There will be NO TRASH COLLECTION on Monday, January 15, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Day.

All trash services (including residential trash collection, heavy trash and curbside recycling) will be delayed one day for the entire week.

Monday’s trash will be collected on Tuesday, Tuesday’s trash on Wednesday, etc up to and including Friday’s trash collected on Saturday.

All trash services will resume normal schedules on Monday, January 22.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Raking The Star Over the Coals, Again

Meanwhile over at Taking Down Words, the usual suspects are taking potshots at The Indianapolis Star and its hapless editor, Dennis Ryerson.

C'mon, guys! The paper is such an easy target these days!

Just when we thought the rag couldn't get more lame, they come up with a website for "moms to talk about their lives". Can you say timesuck?

Mayor Peterson's Crime-Fighting Plan

Mayor Bart Peterson will announce his plan for funding and addressing the city’s long term crime-fighting needs during a primetime speech to the people of Indianapolis.

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 9

Where: City-County Building (Beurt SerVaas Public Assembly Room)

The announcement will outline the city’s long-term plan for funding stepped-up crime-fighting initiatives and the ongoing overhaul to the city’s broken criminal justice system. The mayor also will unveil plans to put the city on firm financial footing for the future and solve – once and for all – the decades-old unpaid public safety pension obligation, which totals more then $450 million.

Contact: Justin Ohlemiller, [317] 327-3690

Capital Improvements to Indy NonProfits

According to today's Indianapolis Business Journal Daily Email, the United Way of Central Indiana has received a $20 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand United Way's capital improvement program. Funds from that program have been used to renovate and expand partner facilities and services.

Priorities, priorities, priorities!

"Prayer is expected to return to the Indiana House of Representatives today as the Indiana General Assembly begins its 2007 session."

So sayeth The Indianapolis Star this morning.

Nice to know our legislators have a handle on what matters in this state!

(When does common sense return?)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

What are the cops talking about?

There's always something provocative on Indy Undercover, a blog for and about LEOs -- that's law enforcement officers (get it?).

Today, the discussion is on a city worse off than Indy -- New Orleans has had eight homicides so far this year, and we've suffered "only" two!

I've got my eye on you!

Got opinions on our heartland hometown? Let's talk!

We can start with the homicide rate, or the coroner's office, or the paucity of ESL classes or the devolution of hometown media.

What's your pleasure?