Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ruth Lilly Dies

Ruth Lilly, 94, a philanthropist who was the last surviving great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, died yesterday in Indianapolis.

The New York Times has the story here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sewer Payments Returned

From a press release submitted by Lindsae Gogulski of International Society of Primerus Law Firms in Grand Rapids, Mich.:

The outlook for the New Year just got a little brighter for 31 families in the Northern Estates subdivision located on the northwest side of Indianapolis. In the case of City of Indianapolis v. Christine Armour, decided on December 18, the Indiana Court of Appeals found that, due to a violation of the U.S. Constitution, the City of Indianapolis is required to pay back $8,968 to each of 30 households for a sewer assessment that they paid in 2005. An additional household will receive about half as much as a result of this decision. The City has also been ordered to pay interest and attorney’s fees to each of the homeowners.

In 2004, the City assessed each property owner $9,278 per parcel for a sanitary sewer project in the subdivision. The following year, the Indianapolis Board of Public Works decided to change the way it financed sewer projects and in doing so, adopted a policy which forgave 90% or more of the sewer assessments to the residents of Northern Estates who had elected to pay in installments over many years. However, the Board denied any forgiveness to those homeowners who had paid in one lump sum. As a result, the lump sum payers were out of pocket the full amount of $9,278 while many of their neighbors paid only $309 for exactly the same City service. In its opinion, the Court of Appeals concluded that this different treatment of similarly situated homeowners violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Court of Appeals found that the City did not have an adequate reason to justify its different treatment of lump sum and installment payers. The court affirmed an order entered in December 2008 by Judge John Hanley of the Marion Superior Court requiring the City to equalize the burden by refunding to the lump sum payers the same amount that had been forgiven from the installment payers.

The homeowners were represented by Ron Waicukauski and Davy Eaglesfield of the firm Price Waicukauski & Riley, LLC.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

IUPUI Commencement Set

Commencement ceremonies will be held at Indiana University-Purdue University 8 and 9 May 2010. For more details, email.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Countdown to Noon at The Children’s Museum

Now, this is the way to do it! Celebrate the New Year while you're still awake!

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 North Meridian Street, hosts a "Countdown to Noon" on New Year’s Eve, giving children and families an opportunity to participate in the excitement of the countdown to the New Year together. Activities in the museum's Sunburst Atrium from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday (31 December) include face painting, noisemakers, music and dancing. At noon, confetti cannons will herald the "Noon Year" and everybody'll join in the singing of "Auld Lang Syne", that most traditional of New Year's tunes.

As every Indy resident knows (or should know!), the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. Wow!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why Ballard's Gonna Lose

"If anyone wonders why I and other Republicans are disgusted with Mayor Greg Ballard's performance in office, one need only look at the tax increases he pushed in 2008," writes Indy blogger Paul K. Ogden.

When even his fellow Republicans are jumping ship, what chance does the "accidental mayor" have in the next election? Sayonara!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Use for Defunct YMCA Property

The Center Township Advisory Board has picked Buckingham Companies to redevelop a 2-acre property the township owns at 860 West 10th Street near the Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis campus, reports Cory Schouten of Indianapolis Business Journal in "Property Lines".

The locally based developer plans to tear down the former YMCA branch and replace it with a $20.5-million mixed-use project featuring retail space, a fitness center and 210 apartment units.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ponzi Probe Ensnares Indiana Businessman

That's the headline on a page one story in the "Money & Investing" section of The Wall Street Journal today. "The federal investigation into Timothy S. Durham, who is also known for is extensive car collection and 30,000-square-foot mansion, is roiling Indiana politics, where Mr. Durham was a big contributor to Republican politicians, including Gov. Mitch Daniels," reporter David Kesmodel writes.

(And, just for chuckles, note that Durham was born in and grew up in Seymour, Ind. -- hometown of Johnny "Cougar" Mellencamp.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Housing Statistics Continue Upward Trend

Double-digit increases dominated the market in November, according to statistics released today by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS®.

Both units sold and pended increased by 16 percent during the September to November 2009 period, when compared to the same period in 2008. Units sold and units pended also increased 6 and 9 percent, respectively, during the six-month period ending in November.

Total sales volume, average sale price and median sale price also increased during the three-month period. Total sales volume increased 19 percent to $950 million, while average and median sale price increased 2 and 4 percent, respectively.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Glazed America: The History of the Doughnut"

The doughnut isn't as simple as you'd think. In "Glazed America: The History of the Doughnut", Paul Mullins uses the baked good as a lens onto North American culture and society. Both a breakfast staple and a snack to eat any time of day or night, doughnuts cross lines of gender, class, and race like no other food item. Favorite doughnut shops that were once neighborhood institutions remain unchanged -- even as their surrounding neighborhoods have morphed into strip clubs, empty lots, and abandoned housing. Blending solid scholarship with humorous insights, Mullins offers a look into doughnut production, marketing, and consumption. He confronts head-on the question of why we often paint doughnuts in moral terms, and shows how the seemingly simple food reveals deep and complex social conflicts over body image and class structure.

His presentation takes place at 11:30 a.m. 11 February in the Faculty Club, University Place Conference Center, 900 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis. For information, contact Gail Williamson. Registration for the presentation is online.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Star Needs Good Copyeditors

Downsizing at The Indianapolis Star provides many chuckles, but today's snafu is golden. On the graphic accompanying the "Holiday Night Lights" feature on the front page of the Metro+State section, the interstate highways are mislabeled.

I-65 heading north is labeled I-74, I-74 heading west is labeled I-65, I-74 heading east is labeled I-65 and I-65 heading south isn't labeled at all.

Good job, guys! BTW, it's obvious the folks producing the paper don't really live in Indy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Well, It's Not Exactly Indianapolis

but, what the heck: Indy can claim John Mellencamp 'cause he grew up just down the road apiece in Seymour! In any case, his youngest son has a campaign to get his dad to stop smoking. And Mellencamp said he'd quit if 1,000,000 joined his Facebook page. What are you waiting for? Go here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cultural Trail on Track Toward Completion

Individuals, foundations and corporations have donated more than $1 million this year to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. To date, $43 million of the $55 million budget has been raised by both private and public funding for the eight-mile trail connecting downtown cultural districts and greenway trails. Details on donors are online.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Shrinking of the Merry Month of May

The month of May is getting shorter at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, reports Inside INdiana Business. IMS officials say activities leading to the 2010 Indianapolis 500 will be shortened by a week. Opening Day at the track will be 15 May 2010, with the race slated for 30 May 2010. Officials are also planning to condense Pole Day and Bump Day into the same weekend.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Indianapolis Catholic Schools Seek Charter Status

Two Roman Catholic schools in Indianapolis are applying to become mayor-sponsored charter schools, reports Inside INdiana Business. St. Andrew & St. Rita and St. Anthony are operated by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and are struggling financially. They are among six schools that operate within the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies, which has a combined annual budget shortfall of more than $2 million.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lilly Endowment to Help Upgrade Indy Parks

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the Indianapolis Parks Foundation a grant of $7.3 million, reports Inside INdiana Business. The funds will be used for critically needed capital projects in parks that serve primarily low-income residents.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Patterson and Coffey Lose on Appeal

Two former editorial writers at Indiana’s largest newspaper failed to prove they were the victims of religious discrimination, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday (8 December), reports the Indianapolis Business Journal

James Patterson and Lisa M. Coffey claimed their former employer, The Indianapolis Star, engaged in systematic discrimination against “traditional Christians” who believe homosexual conduct is a sin. The Circuit Court affirmed summary judgment for the Star, finding the two failed to make cases of religious discrimination. In addition, the court ruled, neither former employee could prove they were meeting the Star’s legitimate performance expectations – Coffey repeatedly violated the overtime policy and Patterson continually made factual errors within his writing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kudos to Paul K. Ogden

Paul K. Ogden, an attorney with the Indianapolis law firm Roberts & Bishop announced today that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of defendants who have appeared, or will appear, before the Marion County Traffic Court and Traffic Violations Court.

In the Complaint, three identified plaintiffs, Toshinao Ishii, Matthew Stone, and Adam Lenkowsky, allege that the courts violate the United States and Indiana Constitutions by punishing defendants who choose to have their day in court rather than simply pay the traffic or parking ticket they receive.

The Complaint alleges that Judge William E. Young of the Marion County Traffic Court fines defendants up to an additional $500 if they litigate their case and lose.

The Traffic Court website, according to lawsuit, threatens $10,000 fines. The complaint also cites a press release that City intends to authorize the new Parking Violations Court to fine defendants up to $2,500 if they challenge their parking tickets.

The lawsuit also notes that the Traffic Court’s additional practice of closing its courtroom to the public is unconstitutional.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

$2,500 for a Parking Ticket?

"On December 1st, the City of Indianapolis will pilot a parking citation court in an effort to improve the way the city collects revenue from parking citations," reads the press release from the mayor's office.

And, just what is this way to "improve" collection? "If citations are not paid prior to their scheduled hearing, the City may request a fine of up to $2,500 per citation. Upon receiving a judgment for an unpaid citation, individuals responsible could be subject to collections actions or having their vehicle registration suspended."

Hearings, of course, are inconveniently scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Guardian Home,5751 University Avenue, Indianapolis. Gee, thanks, Mayor Ballard! This Indianapolis Observer is in shock!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Next Shoe: Brizzi?

"For the sake of the integrity of our criminal justice system in this county, Carl Brizzi needs to resign his office immediately. Brizzi is knee deep in the Durham Ponzi scheme madness. He's not just a friend as he would like to describe him. He is a business partner and beneficiary of the largesse Durham acquired through his alleged Ponzi scheme." Thus writes Advance Indiana today.

Blogger Paul K. Ogden also chimed in, with "serious doubts that the apparent income of Prosecutor Brizzi can be explained without his being knee-deep in the Durham mess. Additionally, I have to wonder about whether the Internal Revenue Service may be paying a visit to Brizzi sometime in the near future."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ToxDrop Reopens on Lafayette Road

The ToxDrop Trader’s Point Collection Facility, 7550 North Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, will resume its usual hours of operation on the first and third Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Upcoming dates are 5 and 19 December. For a list of accepted materials and additional collection sites, go online.

Monday, November 30, 2009

IUPUI Has Turned Into Ticketmaster?

The following notice was emailed to students at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis today:

"The credit card payment method is becoming prohibitively expensive because of transactions fees charged to the university. In order to continue to accept credit cards, payments made with MasterCard, Discover, and American Express on student accounts at IUPUI (Indianapolis) will be assessed a 2.75% 'convenience fee' by the third party vendor on the payment amount effective 1 August 2010. Unfortunately, because of limitations imposed by VISA, we will no longer be able to accept VISA as a payment method, effective 1 August 2010."

This Indianapolis Observer is aghast! At least IUPUI could have the integrity not to disguise the charge as a "convenience fee". Yikes!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Cabaret at the Columbia Club

The American Cabaret Theatre -- now known as The Cabaret -- moves to the Columbia Club on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis Tuesday (1 December).

The Cabaret will now be able to offer its patrons dinner packages, overnight stay packages and expanded food and bar service through the Columbia Club. After the show, the bar will stay open so that patrons can extend their evening enjoying cocktails and conversation. Note: Cabaret patrons will not have to be members of the Columbia Club to come to The Cabaret; however, special incentives will be available to guests who want to become members.

The Cabaret's holiday show is “A Song for the Holidays: Four Enchanting Broadway Voices, One Enchanted Holiday Evening.” Featuring Broadway favorites and holiday standards performed by Brian Lane Green, Lee Lessack, John Boswell and Joanne O'Brien, it will run for five performances from 10-12 December. For more information and tickets (@$40), go online or call 317:294-7005.

The Columbia Club, the Cabaret’s new home, is a private club established in 1889. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most Cabaret performances will be in the French Room on the Club’s third floor, but some will be on the Crystal Terrace or in the Grand Ballroom. The Cabaret, a professional, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, also will have office space in the club.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Next Shoe?

Next to bail: Tim Motsinger, Republican candidate for Marion County Sheriff, has quit the race. He's said to be a close associate of Tim Durham, who recently held a fundraiser for him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tim Durham, Carl Brizzi, Greg Ballard...the list goes on

Interesting political and criminal developments in Indy this week involving Mayor Greg Ballard (and the mess that is called the Capital Improvements Board), Tim Durham (involving an FBI search warrant) and Carl Brizzi, the Marion County prosecutor who's not only a friend of Durham's but also is whispered to have conspired to convict an innocent man in order to garner headlines.

This Indianapolis Observer wonders what shoe's gonna drop next!

In the meantime, check the blogs (especially Advance Indiana and Ogden on Politics) for the latest shenanigans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cherub Keeps Watch Even Though Ayres is Long Gone

Here's the story, according to Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

It was 1946. World War II was over and thousands returned home from military service. Among them, Virginia Holmes--a prize-winning commercial artist--came back to Indianapolis and began her job in the advertising department at L.S. Ayres, a Downtown department store. When it came time to compose the 1946 holiday catalog, merchandise was still in short supply, so Holmes created whimsical cherubs to fill the somewhat empty pages. The cherubs captured hearts and began an Indianapolis holiday tradition that continues today.

Customer response to the cherubs was so great, Ayres perpetuated their appearance in its 1947 holiday advertising. It was Ayres’ 75th Anniversary, and that called for a special addition to their holiday celebration plans. Ayres commissioned nationally recognized Indianapolis sculptor and Herron School of Art instructor David Rubins to create a bronze cherub for the store’s landmark clock, located on the outside of their building on the southwest corner of Washington and Meridian streets.

As the story is told, the whimsical Cherub mysteriously appeared atop the clock on Thanksgiving Eve 1947 to keep a watchful eye on the holiday shoppers until Santa took over on Christmas Eve. In the 62 years since, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers and visitors have seen the Cherub perched atop the famous clock each holiday season.

The May Department Store Company purchased L.S. Ayres in 1986, and in 1992, moved the Cherub to its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. There was tremendous public outcry when the Cherub did not appear that holiday season. Humbled, the May Company donated the Cherub to the City of Indianapolis, and in 1994 Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., became the Cherub’s legal guardian.

So keep an eye out… the Cherub is due to arrive Wednesday evening!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Synchronized Swimming Championships to be at IUPUI


The world's most elite synchronized swimmers will gather in Indianapolis 11-15 August for the 2010 Esynchro FINA World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships. The event will be held at the Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, and will consist of National Team athletes ranging in ages from 15 to 18 years old.

United States Synchronized Swimming is headquartered in Indianapolis.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Indy's International Festival Award Winners

Awards for the just-completed 2009 International Festival have been announced. First and second place awards are given to Nationalities Council of Indiana member-groups in each of five categories: theme, educational value, creativity, quality and food. In addition, the best overall culture booth received the grand prize trophy, nicknamed "The Betty".

Winners are as follows:

Creativity: 1st - Confucius Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis; 2nd - India Association of Indianapolis.
Educational value: 1st - Indiana Association of Chinese Americans; 2nd - Italian Heritage Society of Indiana.
Quality: 1st - Sons of Norway; 2nd - Scottish Society of Indianapolis.
Theme: 1st - Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis; 2nd - Swiss Club Of Central Indiana.
Food: 1st - Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis; 2nd - German American Klub.
Best Overall Cultural Booth Trophy: Indiana German Heritage Society (pictured).

This year's Volunteer Service award (nicknamed "The Steve") went to Dan and Sophia Anderson.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tomorrow's the Last Day of the 2009 Festival!



The Parade of Nations is a highlight of Saturdays at Indy's International Festival. Today -- Sunday, 22 November -- is the last day for 2009. Get to the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, between noon and 6 p.m. today (keeping in mind that most of the ethnic food booths sell out early!).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Indy's International Festival Underway at State Fairgrounds
















Here are some pictures of "real dolls" taking part in Indy's International Festival, now through Sunday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis. Come see for yourself!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indy's International Festival Underway at State Fairgrounds







Two pictures from Thursday's Student Day at Indy's International Festival, taking place through Sunday (22 November) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1201 East 38th Street, Indianapolis. Y'all come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Indy's International Festival is 19-22 November

It's almost time for Indy's International Festival! The first day -- 19 November -- is for student groups, but the public is welcome on the three other days. Come see Indy's ethnic diversity!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Building Trust

Topic for the annual symposium sponsored by the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis is "Building Trust". The event begins at 9 a.m. 8 December and runs through 6:30 p.m. Although the cost is $250 per person, the last two events are open to the public at no charge. They are the Indiana Achievement Awards Reception and Ceremony, from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m., and the Donikian Family Lecture, beginning at 5:15 p.m. All events will be held in the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How "Suite" It Is!

The Indianapolis Business Journal has a cover story this week about how the Lucas Oil Stadium suite holders are "crying foul". Seems that the NCAA can appropriate their suites -- and resell them at inflated prices -- during the men's basketball Final Four next April.

So, they're not getting full use of what they paid for. In the opinion of this Indianapolis Observer: It couldn't happen to a "better" bunch of corporate suits! The taxpayers of Indy aren't getting what they paid for either!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some Events Defy Explanation

Dmitri Zakharov of Columbia University will discuss "A Discrete Analogue of the Generalized Weierstrass Representation of Surfaces in Pseudo-Euclidean Space" at 10:30 a.m. Monday (9 November) in Room LD 265, Science Building, Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, 402 Blackford Street, Indianapolis.

It's part of the IUPUI Mathematical Sciences Seminar Series. For more information, contact Alexander Its.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Volunteers Sought by "500" Festival

Do you want to be a part of next year's "500" Festival? Head downtown RIGHT NOW for the Volunteer Fair hosted by Pacers Sports & Entertainment in Conseco Fieldhouse (it ends at 7 p.m.).

The non-profit organization is looking for volunteers to help produce a variety of community events and programs that celebrate the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Is That a Threat or a Promise?

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is providing a $6 million grant to the Wishard Foundation for construction of a new Wishard Hospital, reports Inside INdiana Business. The gift is the single largest philanthropic contribution in Wishard’s 150-year history. The grant is contingent upon Marion County voters approving the hospital project in a referendum Tuesday.

This is NOT a "grant"; it's a bribe. (Wouldn't the hospital need the money even more if the referendum is not approved by the voters tomorrow?)

Does anyone think this announcement is just plain wrong on a number of levels? This Indianapolis Observer is horrified that "the powers that be" would think this sort of blackmail is appropriate behavior in the 21st Century! Those involved should be ashamed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween is the Perfect Time to....

set your clocks back one hour.

Daylight Savings Time expires at 2 a.m. Sunday, 1 November. So, after you've sorted all the kids' candy (and snagged your favorite pieces), set those clocks back.

The good thing: you get back that hour of sleep you lost last spring, when DST kicked in.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Governor Hands Out Hoosier Candy on Halloween

On Halloween, Governor Mitch Daniels and First Lady Cheri Daniels will be passing out candy from five Indiana companies, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The Danielses will host trick-or-treaters at the Governor’s Residence, 4750 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween night (31 October), dressed as characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

Abbott's Candy Shop of Hagerstown, DeBrand Fine Chocolates of Fort Wayne, Mundt's Candies of Madison, Schimpff's Confectionery of Jeffersonville and Zachary Confections of Frankfort have donated an assortment of candy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Surfaces Within" Closes on Saturday

"Surfaces Within", an exhibition featuring a variety of 2D and 3D artwork. closes Saturday (31 October) in the Indianapolis Artsgarden, above the intersection of Illinois and Washington Streets in downtown Indianapolis. The display was created by Herron School of Art’s student council and Active Student Artists (ASA), in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Current Herron undergraduates and graduates were given the opportunity to submit up to three entries for consideration by a panel of jurors. The show received over 150 entries from departments including ceramics, photography, sculpture, furniture, visual communications, painting, drawing, and printmaking. Active Student Artists strives to provide its members with both academic and social opportunities focused around art, resulting in this show organized by students for students.

The image, titled "Brewers Bucket" is oil on canvas by Chad Waples -- and it can be yours for $1,200. For information, contact Jazmyn Wieder, show coordinator and ASA President.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vote on Smoking Ban Set for Tonight's C-C meeting

And, it just might pass this time. according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the smoking ban.

UPDATE:
Nope. Didn't pass. Maybe next time!

This Week's Question for Mayor Ballard

Courtesy of The Indianapolis Times:

"Even though the law calls for redistricting to occur after new census data is released (something that won't happen until 2011), the mayor wants to spend $500,000 to redraw the council boundaries a little early by relying on census data that's nearly a decade old."

This Indianapolis Observer joins the chorus: Why? Surely not for purely partisan gain!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Women of Influence

Allison Melangton (pictured), President and CEO of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, will be the guest speaker at the Women of Influence breakfast at 8 a.m. 3 November in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, downtown Indianapolis. Tickets are $35.

The annual event is sponsored by The Indianapolis Business Journal. For more information, contact Patty Johns, 317:472-5319.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Genealogy and Local History Fair

The Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, is hosting a "Genealogy and Local History Fair" from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday (24 October). Admission is free and the fair is open to the general public.

Presentations include:
"A Grave Matter in Indiana" by Jeannie R. Regan-Dinius
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the History Reference Room

"Women in Nineteenth-Century Indiana" by Nicole Etcheson
11 a.m. to noon in the History Reference Room

"Pioneer Migration into Indiana" by James H. Madison
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the History Reference Room

Visit the tables in the “midway” to collect information from genealogical and local history organizations and Indiana libraries and shop the commercial vendors. The speakers will be on hand for book signings after each program.

Additional Indiana authors will also be present at the special group signing from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the IHB book shop (fair attendees will receive a 20% discount on purchases).

They are:
Theresa Baer, Finding Indiana Ancestors: a Guide to Historical Research
Brian Hasler, Author, and Angela Gouge, Illustrator, Casper and Catherine Move to America: an Immigrant Family’s Adventure, 1849-1850
Lucy Jane King, Madame President: 1901-1905 Nellie Fairbanks, Path Finder to Politics for American Women
Connie Rendfeld, Peopling Indiana: the Ethnic Experience
Ashley Ransburg, Evie Finds Her Family Tree

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So...Let's Privatize Lucas Oil Stadium

"The city of Indianapolis is considering ways to get out of the professional sports stadium and convention center management business", reports Peter Schnitzler in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

"Yesterday afternoon [Tuesday, 20 October], the city’s Office of Enterprise Development released a Request for Information and Qualifications in conjunction with the Capital Improvement Board, soliciting proposals for private-sector operation of Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"King Lear" and More at Butler This Week

Actors From The London Stage are in residence at Butler University this week. In addition to leading acting workshops for Butler theatre majors, the group will also lead classes for a wide variety of courses across campus.

And, as a bonus, five actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre will play all the roles in an inventively-staged full version of King Lear at 7:30 p.m. in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall tomorrow (21 October) and Thursday (22 October). Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes with 1 intermission. Tickets, available at the door, are $20.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Anyone for Peterson for Mayor?

"If you're like me, you supported Greg Ballard's election in 2007, in part, because he opposed higher taxes. He opposed the 65% increase in the local option income tax, and he promised to fight for the repeal of property taxes. After he got elected, he made the income tax increase permanent, even after the State picked up Indianapolis' huge public safety pension liability as part of a 1% increase in the state sales tax, he supported the $27 million a year tax increase and borrowing plan to bail out the Capital Improvement Board, he has pushed double-digit rate increases for water and sewer, he wants to raise parking fees, and he's raised a host of other fees. To add insult to injury, Ballard is pushing adoption of the Wishard referendum but is chiming in with the proponents in falsely claiming that it proposes no property tax increase. He also promised to end the big public give-aways that personified the Peterson administration. That didn't stop him from pledging more than $20 million of your tax dollars to help political contributor Tadd Miller develop his retail/housing project downtown. Had enough Indy?"

From Gary Welsh's Advance Indiana blog. This Indianapolis Observer thinks he's on a roll!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why Should We Give Sports Teams Any More Money?

Gary Welsh hits the nail on the head in his blog:

"I'll be damned if we give more subsidies to these billionaire sports team owners when we can't even fund our city parks and repair our crumbling infrastructure. Enough is enough."

This Indianapolis Observer agrees. Why are we subsidizing sports team owners in the first place? If there aren't enough fans to fork over the dough "needed" by the Pacers or the Colts, let 'em go to a city where there are enough fans. Good riddance.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Changes at Indiana State Museum

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is planning to merge the Indiana State Museum, 12 historic sites and state library under one new agency, according to sources close to the museum. The new agency would be run by an appointee of the governor."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contract with IBM Kaput

Governor Mitch Daniels said today the state has terminated its contract with IBM for the delivery of welfare services. The contract was canceled because the company did not make satisfactory progress to improve services to welfare applicants and recipients under a plan to correct deficiencies.

There's more here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heartland Film Festival Opens Thursday

Among the 87 films that will screen at the 18th annual Heartland Film Festival are nine films with ties to Indiana, including a few native Hoosier filmmakers as well as some transplants. These Official Selection films will screen Saturday (17 October) through 24 October at AMC Castleton Square 14 (6020 East 82nd Street) and AMC Greenwood Park 14 (461 South Greenwood Park Drive).

For more information, check the website.

The nine films with ties to Indiana that will screen during the Heartland Film Festival are feature-lengths: D Tour, Spooner and My Name is Jerry, and shorts: The Best Part of My Day, Chicken Cowboy, Free Wall, Grande Drip, Ragman and Weathered.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sure: It's All About Politics, Again

You'd think that the City-County Council would want to CONSERVE money in this recession-influence budget cycle, but, no. They want to spend close to $300K on absolute political maneuvering.

As Advance Indiana notes:

"I, along with many of my friends in the Republican Party, strongly object to what the council Republicans are trying to do here. The law clearly mandates that redistricting must occur the second year after the decennial census data becomes available. The Republicans are convinced they will lose control of the council in 2011 under the current map. This must be largely based on their belief they cannot win the four at-large council races, which tend to follow the outcome of the mayor's race. In other words, they don't believe Greg Ballard has a snowball's chance in hell of being re-elected. Assuming a redistricting occurs next year, an argument could be made that Indiana law would require a second redistricting to occur in 2012."
This Indianapolis Observer says: Contact your C-C councillor and tell 'em you object to this stupid waste of money!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oops? Ballard Goof: Illegal or Merely Unethical?

According to Advance Indiana, it seems that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has crossed an ethical line in a recent email:

"Should Mayor Greg Ballard be using a taxpayer asset to lean on city-county workers to support the November 3 Wishard referendum? An e-mail a commenter passed on to me that Mayor Ballard sent to all government workers on Thursday sure makes it look that way. The e-mail purports to solicit city-county workers to volunteer as poll workers on election day, but it throws in what looks an awful lot like a pitch to support the passage of the referendum with an extremely misleading statement."

The statement in Ballard's email? This: "In less than 30 days, Marion County voters will go to the polls to participate in a countywide referendum election to vote on whether the Health and Hospital Corporation should improve Wishard at no cost to tax payers."

This Indianapolis Observer wonders who's advising Ballard these days. Obviously not someone versed in the law or that "improve Wishard at no cost to tax payers" statement wouldn't have passed muster on an email sent to all city employees!

As Gary Welsh says, "I have no problem with Mayor Ballard asking city workers to help out as election workers, but I have a serious problem with him using the city-county e-mail system to promote passage of the referendum."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indy Hosts Bicycle Summit

The first-ever bicycle summit for Indiana will be held 17 October by Bicycle Indiana, an organization of Indiana cyclists formerly known as the Indiana Bicycle Coalition. The objective is to address ways to make the state more bicycle-friendly.

A fully-supported morning bicycle ride (9 a.m. to noon) is open to all free of charge. Cost for the luncheon and afternoon sessions is $30 for non-members. It all happens at the Indiana Government Center in downtown Indianapolis. For more information, check the website, send an email or call 317:466-9701.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Complaint for Disciplinary Action Against Brizzi

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi is facing state disciplinary charges over comments he made about two high-profile murder cases, including the infamous Hamilton Street slayings, according to the Indianapolis Times blog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IMA Receives Award

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has been named one of 10 recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries.

The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental, or economic contributions to their communities. The Indianapolis Museum of Art will receive the National Medal at a ceremony held later in Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 award.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Couldn't say it better myself

"After barely ten months on the job, Mayor Greg Ballard has fired Indianapolis Animal Care & Control Director Doug Rae. Essentially, the administration is miffed that Rae moved two dog catchers to work at the animal shelter and accuses him of making it too easy for people to adopt pets from the shelter. It's disappointing that the administration is not as exacting in its expectations of the people who run the Capital Improvement Board and the Indianapolis Water Company. Mismanagement of those public bodies have resulted in higher taxes and higher water rates. The IACC runs on a shoe-string budget."

From Advance Indiana.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Irsay on Forbes 400 List

"Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has joined the ranks of the richest Americans, earning a spot on this year’s Forbes 400 list of the nation’s wealthiest people," reports Indianapolis Business Journal.

"Irsay, 50, ranked 347th with an estimated net worth of about $1.1 billion, according to the list released Wednesday.

"Other Hoosiers on the list include Cook Group patriarch Bill Cook, at No. 85 with $3.5 billion; White Lodging chief Dean White, No. 202 with $1.75 billion; and Simon Property Group co-founder Herb Simon, No. 317 with $1.25 billion."

Of those four, this Indianapolis Observer notes that three have received taxpayer-paid subsidies. Guess we all have a stake in their prosperity!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Founder of C-SPAN Speaks in Indy

Brian Lamb, Founder and CEO of C-SPAN Networks, will speak at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis on Thursday (1 October) as part of the Mary Tucker Jasper Speaker Series sponsored by the President Benjamin Harrison Memorial Home, 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis. This year is the 30th anniversary of C-SPAN.

A reception will be held at the Harrison Home at 5 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. at the Columbia Club by his presentation, which will include a preview of his new feature series, "Supreme Court Week".

Reservations are required; call 317:631-1888.

Monday, September 28, 2009

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange fall show

The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange fall show will be held on Friday (2 October) from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday (3 October) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

The IHE will feature 70+ vendors, live roller girls, live music by A Squared DJs, Shirtless Biddles, Mandy Marie Luke & Mo Foster, The Jack Davies, Julia Schafer & D. Mark Conway, and Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. Admission is free.

The INDIEana Handicraft Exchange is a contemporary craft fair that consciously celebrates modern handmade goods, the relationship between creator and consumer, and local, alternative economies.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Next Audiences Summit 2009 in Indy

The Arts Council of Indianapolis will host a national forum on sharing best practices and innovations that develop and engage next generation (20-40 year old) art patrons 15 and 16 October at various venues in Indy. The complete schedule is here.

This year's presentations include:

"Selling Pixie Dust to New Generations" by Faron Kelley, Director of Marketing for Disney Parks; "Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential" by Dan Pallotta, "Best Practice sessions: Hands-on Web 2.0 and Social Media breakout sessions" with Sarah "Intellagirl" Robbins, Joshua Ligenfelter, Director of Marketing at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University; Marti, Lead Arts Consultant and 2EO of Next Generation Consulting; Mark Newman, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, The Indianapolis Symphony, and Katie Fox, Program Director, Arts Education, S.C. Artists' Ventures Initiative, South Carolina Arts Commission; "Building Next-Gen Audiences Through Intentional Design" by Rebecca Ryan.

Registration information is here. The cost is $229 per person.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial Era Concours d'Elegance, featuring some of the world's finest classic and antique automobiles and motorcycles, is moving to 17-19 June 2011, reports the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The event, originally scheduled for 18-20 June 2010, is shifting to the new date due to the challenging state of the world economy. IMS officials anticipate strong participation from concours and industry enthusiasts based on the tremendous initial response since the Centennial Era Concours d'Elegance was announced in March 2009.

The Concours d'Elegance will be a featured event during the Speedway's Centennial Era, honoring the 100th anniversaries of the opening of the fabled facility in 1909 and the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. The event will celebrate the significance of vehicular transportation and competition to Indianapolis.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scientech Club's 90th Anniversary

Interesting piece today in The Indianapolis Star's "North Indy" on the Scientech Club, which has been meeting every Monday for lunch for 90 years now.

Founded by 164 charter members* with science backgrounds, it celebrates its anniversary at 5:30 p.m. 3 October in Northside Knights of Columbus Hall, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis (tickets are $25). Speaker will be John Herbst, CEO of the Indiana Historical Society, whose topic is "Time Travel in Popular Culture".

Their next regular gathering is 28 September, when Dr. Christopher Leamon will talk about "Folate Targeted Therapies for Cancer".

You can read more abut the club on its website, which notes the following about membership:

"Scientech club membership represents a broad array of knowledge and experience, and persons from all disciplines are welcome to join the Club. In accordance with the Club Charter, 'members are good-natured all of the time, serious in purpose most of the time, given to fun part of the time, and free from bitterness at any time.'

"You can obtain a membership application by coming to a meeting, introducing yourself, and joining in the conversation over lunch. You will have a name badge identifying you as a visitor."

Ten members have received Sagamore of the Wabash honors from the governor of Indiana:
Elton T. Ridley (1986), Bob Annis (1987), Dr. William H. Dick (1990), Dr. Larry L. Heck (1990), J. Darrell Bakken (1994), Robert S. Sorensen (1997), Dr. John N. Pittman (2000), Leland Tanner (2000), Malcolm Mallette (2004), and Dr. Charles R. Thomas (2006).

*Charter members included D.J .Angus, Hugh J. Baker, Elwood Haynes, W. H. Insley, Eli Lilly, Willbur Shook, and Dr. Frank Wade.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Indy Launches "Bank On" Program

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife, Winnie, will unveil a new financial education program Thursday, reports Inside INdiana Business. "Bank on Indy" will offer financial services to low-to-moderate income residents who don't have a checking or savings account.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Politics As Usual?

Two current examples:

1. The Marion County Health & Hospital campaign for a new campus.

2. The transfer of ownership of Pan Am Plaza (pictured) without compensation.

This Indianapolis Observer is grateful to bloggers Paul K. Ogden and Gary R. Welsh for keeping us all up to date on these shenanigans.

And, where is Doris Minton-McNeil?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Comcast Offers Discovery Education "On Demand"

Comcast Corp. is making videos seen on the Discovery Education channel available on demand to its Indianapolis-area digital subscribers, reports the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Central and Northeast Indiana are the first regions in the country where Pennsylvania-based Comcast will offer the service, called Discovery Education On Demand.

Discovery Education, a unit of Maryland-based Discovery Communications LLC, provides educational videos to half of all U.S. schools, as well as to home subscribers. The new service, however, will allow parents and their kids to pause, fast forward and rewind more than 200 educational videos—and watch them at any time.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kroger to Replace Altum's on Michigan Road

Cory Schouten of Indianapolis Business Journal writes, "Kroger has signed on to anchor a new shopping center along Michigan Road near 106th Street on the site of Altum's Garden Center. The plans call for a full-size Kroger store, Kroger-branded gas station, small shops and a couple of outlots, possibly for restaurants, north of an existing Marsh store between 106th and 116th streets, said Angie Conn, Carmel's planning administrator.

According to Schouten, "The planning department expects a developer will file formal plans by 16 October, in time for a 15 December public hearing. Kroger does not yet have a store in the Zionsville/West Carmel area. Its closest locations are along West 86th Street just west of Township Line Road and at 71st Street and Georgetown Road. The owners of Altum's plan to remain open until the deal closes and then hope to build a new nursery within a mile of the current location."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Indianapolis Civic Theatre

The 95th season of the Indianapolis Civic Theatre is well underway ("Evita" started on 11 September).

Other plays scheduled are "The Elephant Man", "The Wizard of Oz", "Bus Stop", "Carousel" and "A Flea in Her Ear". New this year are two concerts: "Camelot" and "My Fair Lady". All productions for the 2009-20 season will take place on the campus of Marian University, 3200 Cold Springs Road, Indianapolis.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indiana Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

From the New York Times:

"An Indiana appellate court on Thursday (17 September) struck down a state law requiring voters to show identification — a law that the United States Supreme Court declared constitutional just last year. The court said the law violated the Indiana constitution by not treating all voters impartially."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

R.I.P.

Reports say both Myles Brand (of the NCAA) and Mel Simon, who started what is now the country's largest shopping mall company, died today of pancreatic cancer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

$1.5 Million Grant to Biology Prof at IUPUI

Assistant professor of biology at the School of Science at IUPUI, Guoli Dai, has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the role of a transcription factor in liver regeneration.

Dai is new to the School of Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center. He plans to use the grant to blend his research to better understand the molecular mechanisms governing hepatocyte proliferation in response to liver injury. Dai earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the College of Agricultural and Animal Sciences at Jilin University and his masters in molecular and cellular biology from Changchun Veterinary University in China.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Riley Heart Center Symposium Underway

Global experts on pediatric cardiology are gathering at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children for the second Riley Heart Center Symposium on Cardiac Development, reports Inside INdiana Business. The two-day event, which began today (14 September), focuses on issues related to cardiovascular development. Researchers from Indiana University, Germany and the United Kingdom will make presentations.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Author of "Eat, Pray, Love" Comes to IUPUI

Elizabeth Gilbert (pictured), author of Eat, Pray, Love, will discuss "Traveling the Road of Life during a 7 p.m. presentation 28 September in Room 450 of the Campus Center of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 420 University Boulevard, Indianapolis.

Gilbert’s appearance is hosted by the Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management at IUPUI. It is part of the annual Efroymson Lectures on International Art, Culture and Heritage. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Water Company Running Tests

Indianapolis Water is putting the finishing touches on a new, $12 million ultraviolet disinfection system at its largest water treatment plant, White River, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The new disinfection system protects against viruses and pathogens which can cause gastro-intestinal illness.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all surface water treatment plants to comply by 2012 with the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Indiana Authors to Gather For Inaugural Fair

Hoosiers interested in writing a book or getting one published can learn from experts at the Inaugural Indy Author Fair, reports Inside INdiana Business. Participants can talk one-on-one with dozens of regional and national authors with Indiana ties at the 26 September event at the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library. It will also feature a panel discussion, programs, book sales and signings. Indiana Authors Award finalists will be honored that evening at an awards dinner.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Library Receives Early Literacy Grant

The Herbert Simon Family Foundation has given the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation a $1 million gift to expand its early childhood literacy initiative, reports Inside INdiana Business.

"Ready to Read" helps preschoolers develop the basic skills for learning to read. The funding will allow the library to quadruple the number of children in licensed, home-based daycare centers who receive book deliveries and listen to story time programs monthly. It will also provide more programming, child-friendly computers and increase staff training.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The IPS Board Can't See the IPS Budget?

That's what Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, told Kelly E. Bentley, an IPS board member, according to The Indianapolis Star today.

Supt. White "said he wouldn't waste the board's time by giving it the entire budget to review," according to "Behind Closed Doors".

"'We have not, and we don't intend to, give you the specificity of each of those items,' White said. 'It would be too prohibitive for you to go through that. . . . We're not going to bring that to you. We're asking you to approve the budget, and to go any deeper than that would take a lot of your time and be ridiculous.'"

This Indianapolis Observer thinks that Ms. Bentley, who was the only board member to vote against the budget as presented, is the only IPS board member worth the title.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pedrosa Led the Way Friday at MotoGP

IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com's Eric Powell reports, "Spaniard Dani Pedrosa led the first day of MotoGP practice at the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Friday, 28 August, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, turning a top lap of 1 minute, 51.507 seconds in wet conditions on the No. 3 Repsol Honda Team entry.

"Nicky Hayden, of nearby Owensboro, Ky., was second-quickest at 1:51.662 on the No. 69 Ducati Team bike, and defending Red Bull Indianapolis GP winner Valentino Rossi was third at 1:51.814 on the No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team MotoGP entry on the Speedway's 16-turn, 2.621-mile road course.

"Rossi's teammate No. 99 Jorge Lorenzo was fourth-quickest at 1:51.894, and Alex de Angelis was fifth at 1:52.264 on the No. 15 San Carlo Honda Gresini machine."

The preliminaries continue tomorrow, with the big race scheduled for Sunday, 30 August, at the IMS.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Indy Hosts Regional Figure Skating Championships

The 2010 Eastern Great Lakes Regional Figure Skating Championships, hosted by the Ice Skating Club of Indianapolis, will take place 16-20 October 2009 at the Carmel Ice Skadium. The event will feature more than 600 competitors representing 60 figure skating clubs from across the Midwest.

The Ice Skating Club of Indianapolis (ISCI) is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 to promote the sport of figure skating in the Indianapolis area. Skaters range in age from preschoolers to adults, beginners to skilled competitors who represent the club at regional, sectional, collegiate, national and adult national levels.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John Stossel to Speak at Economic Club

The Economic Club of Indiana has scheduled John Stossel (pictured), co-anchor of ABC's "20/20", to speak at its luncheon gathering at noon 6 October in the Indiana Convention Center, 100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis. Non-member tickets are $30; call 317:264-3165.

UPDATE (10 September 2009):
John Stossel is leaving ABC News for Fox, where he'll host a weekly show on Fox Business and host a series of specials for Fox News.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If Republicans were Chippendales...



There really are no words possible to comment on this JibJab video....

Check it out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mayoral Race Starts Early

Paul K. Ogden has a fascinating comment on his blog today:

"Mayor [Greg] Ballard comes into the election with about a 45% base Republican vote. He has gone out of his way to alienate Republicans by backing off on virtually all of his campaign promises and snubbing his die hard supporters who backed the Mayor when he was seen as having no chance against [then-mayor Bart] Peterson."

Tree Trimming by Public Utilities

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will hold its Central Indiana field hearing on 2 September in Pike Township High School, 5401 West 71st Street, Indianapolis. The topic is tree trimming. If you want to testify, please arrive before 5:30 p.m. to register; testimony begins at 6 p.m.

Citizens are invited to appear to give their views on Indianapolis Power & Light's tree trimming practices, and that testimony will become part of the legal record of this investigation. You can also submit written testimony if you prefer not to speak.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yet Another Reason to Drop The Indianapolis Star

"Gannett is prepared to begin launching self-publishing obituary publishing at its newspapers," reports Gannettoid.com.

"According to a memo sent Monday from Annette Gould, Gannett's manager of advertising technology, and obtained from a source within the Interstate Group’s production arm, The Indianapolis Star will be the first site, with a scheduled transition for the week of 7 September....

"Gannett has contracted Wave2 to provide the software. Customers will be directed to a Web site where they can select a template, fill in their individual information and submit the obituary. The program then takes the information, formats it and posts it to the newspaper’s host system."

Well, there you have it. The last good reason to subscribe to the paper is gone as of Labor Day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indianapolis Prize Deliberations Begin

Nominations are now closed for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize, so the nominating committee (which narrows the field to six) and the jury (which selects the winner) are set to get to work.

Members of the nominating committee are:

•Devra G. Kleiman, Ph.D., zoologist and consultant on conservation projects worldwide who serves as Adjunct Professor for the Department of Biology at the University of Maryland and as Senior Scientist Emeritus for the Smithsonian Institution.

•Robert Lacy, Ph.D., population geneticist in the Conservation Biology department of the Chicago Zoological Society and faculty member on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago.

•Georgina Mace, Ph.D., director of the National Environment Research Council Centre for Population (Imperial College London); Fellow of the Royal Society; and former director of Science at the Zoological Society of London.

•James Murtaugh, program director of The Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation since 1991 and former curator at two of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s facilities - the Central Park Zoo and the Wildlife Survival Center on St. Catherine’s Island, Georgia.

•George Rabb, Ph.D., president emeritus of the Chicago Zoological Society; a spokesman on wildlife conservation issues worldwide; and former director (1976-2003) of the Brookfield Zoo.

•George B. Schaller, Ph.D., senior conservationist of the Wildlife Conservation Society and recipient of the 2008 Indianapolis Prize; a field biologist who studies wildlife throughout Africa, Asia and South America.

•Beth Cate, associate general counsel of Indiana University, where she also serves as adjunct faculty in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a member of the Indianapolis Zoo Board of Trustees.

•Myrta J. Pulliam, director of special projects for the Indianapolis Star; past president of the Board of Trustees for the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.; chair of the Indianapolis Prize; writer, reporter and editor, who also serves as a jury member.

•Jan C. Ramer, DVM, associate veterinarian at the Indianapolis Zoo and affiliated with the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, and the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

•Denise L. Solso, active in community affairs, including the Indianapolis Zoo and Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Southwestern Art.

Members of the jury are:

•David Ehrenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biology at Rutgers Cook College; founding editor of Conservation Biology, and author of a number of books.

•John Flicker, Ph.D., president of the National Audubon Society, who has overseen the addition of more than two dozen Audubon Centers, including 10 in urban areas.

•David W. Macdonald, who heads the wildlife conservation research unit at Oxford University.

•Carter S. Roberts, president of the World Wildlife Fund.

•John W. Terborgh, Ph.D., research professor and co-director of the Center for Tropical Conservation at Duke University.

•Jeff Trandahl, executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

•William W. Chin, M.D., vice president of discovery research and clinical investigation at Eli Lilly and Company; a molecular endocrinologist and author/co-author of more than 270 papers, chapters and books.

•Christel DeHaan, philanthropist, founder of Christel House International and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation; President and CEO of CD Enterprises, who is also an honorary chair of the 2010 prize.

•Paul Grayson, deputy director and senior vice president of science and conservation programs at the Indianapolis Zoo.

•Myrta J. Pulliam, who also serves as a nominating committee member.

The third biennial $100,000 Indianapolis Prize will be awarded in September 2010. It is the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world. The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo as a significant component of its mission to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. It was first awarded in 2006 to Dr. George Archibald, the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. In 2008, the Indianapolis Prize went to Dr. George Schaller, a field biologist and vice president of science and exploration for the World Conservation Society.

The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation has provided funding for the Indianapolis Prize since 2006.

The Honorary Chairs for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize are:

Cristal DeHaan (who also serves on the prize jury), actor Harrison Ford, writer Carl Hiaasen, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R.-Ind.), businessman Roger W. Sant and Bren Simon, businesswoman and civic activist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jane Pauley Community Health Center

Construction is underway for the new Jane Pauley Community Health Center located on Indianapolis' eastside, reports Inside INdiana Business The facility will be housed at the Renaissance School and will offer medical, dental and behavioral health care to patients regardless of insurance or income. Warren Township Schools donated the space and Community Health Network has made a capital commitment of $350,000 to renovate the center. Pauley, a Warren Central High School graduate, will be in Indianapolis in September for the ribbon-cutting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Food Still a Favorite Purchase at The Indiana State Fair

Many visitors to the Indiana State Fair go to the event to eat, reports Inside INdiana Business. With so many items to try, organizers have designated tomorrow (18 August) "$2 Taste of the State Fair Tuesday." Concession stands throughout the fairgrounds will have specials available all day long. In honor of the Year of Tomatoes presented by Red Gold, five new tomato-based foods are being offered, including deep-fried pizza and a pizza cone. Those with more adventurous pallets could be tempted by deep-fried green beans and chocolate-covered bacon. The fair closes 23 August.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

IndyFringe 2009

53 performers!
270 shows!
Six stages!
And 10 days of splashy spectacle, provocative pageantry and outrageous outbursts of off-beat theatrical fun!

It's Year Five of the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, a big, bold and bodacious celebration of innovative and accessible performance arts.The fifth IndyFringe Festival takes place 21-30 August.

The festival centers on six stages at five venues—the Earth House at Lockerbie Central United Methodist Church, the IndyFringe HQ Building on East St. Clair, Theatre on the Square (Main Stage and Stage 2), ComedySportz Indianapolis, and the Phoenix Theatre. But the fun also spills out onto the streets with street buskers, performing poets and visual art exhibitions among other fringy festivities, transforming the Massachusetts Avenue Arts District into a colorful showcase of traditional (and not-so!) theatre, dance, music, improvisation and a wide range of other performance and visual arts, all performed and created by local, national and international artists.

Fringe shows run 60 minutes or less. Admission is $10 per person, per show at the door. First-come, first-served. Discounted tickets are $7 for students and $5 for kids 12 and under. Advance tickets are available online for $11 per person, per show (until half the house for each show is sold). Festival-goers also need to buy a one-time festival badge for $3 onsite, good for all 10 days of the festival.

The complete schedule is here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cutting Edge Lecture Series Announced

The Cutting Edge Lecture Series at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis offers opportunities to engage in dialogues with university professors about rapidly changing fields of inquiry.

The schedule includes:

9 September: "Noir Logics of New Media" by Richard L. Edwards, New Media Informatics

23 September: "Can we Rescue Civic Literacy?" by Sheila Kennedy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

7 October: "Field Nutrition Research in Kenya" by Judith Ernst, Nutrition and Dietetics

21 October: "A Clean Mouth for a Healthy Body?" by Michael Kowolik, Dentistry

28 October: "The Constructed Journey: Fine Art Photography and Video" by Linda Adele Goodine, Herron School of Art and Design

11 November: "CSI Run Amok: The Future of Forensic Science" by Jay Siegel, Forensic Science

All lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Lilly Auditorium of University Library, 755 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis. Sponsored by IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs, the lectures are free and open to the public with no reservations necessary.

For additional information about the lecture series and the speakers, please go online or contact Lisa Riolo, 317:278-4693.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Longest Dinner is...TONIGHT!

The Longest Dinner runs from 6 to 10:30 p.m. TONIGHT (13 August), centering on the IndyFringe Building (located "on the Fringe of Mass Ave, St. Clair Street and College Avenue). For your $50 ticket, you get a a three-course sit-down dinner prepared slow-food style, cash bar, IndyFringe buskers, live music and more.

It all benefits the IndyFringe building and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. For more information and tickets, call 317:522-8099.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Abdul Hakim-Shabazz writes in his blog today: "there have been no calls to either the Mayor’s office nor the Council office from citizens complaining about the tax increase."

What's the matter, folks? Dulled by the heat of August, or all that deep-fried pizza at the Indiana State Fair? Isn't Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard the guy who promised, during his campaign for mayor, not to raise taxes? This Indianapolis Observer wonders where all the "no new taxes" voices have gone!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well, the CIB Bailout Passed the C-C Council

Paul K. Ogden sums it up on his blog, Ogden on Politics: "I never thought I would see the day when the Marion County GOP Chairman would actually issue a press release bragging about how a Republican Mayor and Republican-controlled City-County Council pushed through a tax increase, in particular one that is destined to end up in the pockets of the city's elites, including billionaire professional sports owners. Chairman Tom John speaks for the country club wing of the GOP."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tonight's C-C Meeting is Must-See TV

Two hot button items are slated for discussion/voting at tonight's City-County Council meeting: a panhandling ordinance and the CIB bailout.

The blogs are all over (especially) the second -- and most expensive -- topic:

Advance Indiana: "The convention business for this city won't suffer one bit if this proposal is voted down."

Indianapolis Times: "As of this weekend, the mayor still didn't have enough votes to pass the plan because even his fellow council Republicans don't have the stomach to raise taxes."

Ogden on Politics: "As I have argued all along, today's CIB bailout/tax increase vote will likely have political repercussions. The Indianapolis Star today and Abdul in his blog Indiana Barrister have argued that there will be no political consequences because it is a 'visitor' tax that is being voted on. That's wishful thinking."

Indiana Barrister: "I frankly think this will be a game of political chicken tonight, so I’ll be watching to vote tally closely."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Library Outlines Computer Expansion Project

The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) is adding more than 80 computers to its branches for users to access the Internet, conduct job searches and improve basic computer skills, reports Inside INdiana Business. IMCPL's PC Expansion Project will cost approximately $187,000 and boost the number of computers to 619. The project will be administered in three phases and scheduled to be completed by 31 October 2009.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Case dismissed, questions remain"

If the powers that be at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department thought that the insupportable inaction of one of its detectives would slip under the radar, they were sorely mistaken. The Indianapolis Star has had an item on the strange case of the IMPD officer accused of promoting prostitution for three days this week. Today, it's an editorial:

"A year ago, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Jeremy Lee and his wife were arrested on charges that they had operated a prostitution ring out of their Johnson County home. Lee, a new probationary patrolman, was promptly fired. But now the case against Lee and his wife has been thrown out of court because the IMPD detective in charge of the case, Jean Deddish, repeatedly failed to produce confidential informants who were the key to the accusations.... It's critical for IMPD to be beyond reproach when handling criminal accusations involving one of its current or former employees. It didn't meet that standard in this case."

Now, asks this Indianapolis Observer, where's the public outrage?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Marion County Snubs Johnson County, Continued

Details only get murkier today as The Indianapolis Star's Jason Thomas takes up the tale of the Johnson County diss (you can read it here (at least until the story expires). "At issue is IMPD Detective Jean Deddish's handling of subpoenas from a Johnson County court to produce confidential informants," writes Thomas. "IMPD officials said Wednesday that they are investigating why Deddish failed to produce the informants after being subpoenaed three times."

This Indianapolis Observer wonders how Deddish avoided -- evidently without any consequences -- not one, but three subpoenas!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marion County Snubs Johnson County

This Indianapolis Observer is quite intrigued by an article in today's Indianapolis Star. Vic Ryckaert writes that because an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective "lost interest" in prosecuting a couple accused of running a prostitution ring, Johnson County's prosecutor had to drop the charges.

According to Ryckaert, "court documents show that [the detective] had received subpoenas for the witnesses, but she would not deliver them because she did not work on weekends".

Say, what? Something doesn't "smell right" about this.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

'Everything Must Go' at Indianapolis Airport Auction

Tens of thousands of items from the old Indianapolis International Airport hit the auction block today, reports Inside INdiana Business. Officials say everything from tables and chairs to ticket counters and x-ray machines must go. Unique pieces including a massive iron Statue of Liberty and a 35-piece series of framed posters illustrating Princess Diana will go to the highest bidder. The Indianapolis Airport Authority says its goal is to raise more than $500,000 to offset revenue shortfalls.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Penrod Society Sues to Recover $380,000

The Penrod Society has filed a lawsuit against former treasurer Brandon Benker, seeking to recover more than $380,000 it alleges he embezzled last year, reports Kathleen McLaughlin in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

"The society is a group of professional men who organize the annual Penrod Arts Fair, a fund-raiser that draws about 25,000 people to the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art each September," she writes. "The lawsuit, filed late last week, alleges that Benker 'embezzled and converted for his own use' $381,742 from the not-for-profit group between Feb. 29 and Nov. 12, 2008."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Major Taylor to be Honored

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hoosier Craftsmanship: Works from Indiana Artisans

Some of Indiana's finest artisans will be showcased from 5-7 p.m. Friday (7 August) at the Indiana Humanities Council, 1500 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis. Stop by and check out the specialty cookies, wines, candy, jewelry, textiles; paintings, photographs, and more. The work comes from the artists and value-added food producers who juried into Indiana Artisan, a program that supports and promotes Hoosier artisans and handmade products. (That's Tom Wintczak's pottery, pictured.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Animals and All That Jazz

Mark your calendars for the next installment of "Animals & All That Jazz" at the Indianapolis Zoo. On 6 August, Harvey & the Bluetones (pictured) will perform from 5:30-8:30 p.m. -- and, if you click here, you can access a $5 off coupon for that evening.) As usual, this event is free for members and included with regular Zoo admission.) Future concerts are 13 and 20 August.

Music-lovers can relax at the CafĂ© on the Commons picnic area (seating available on a first come first serve basis) or can gather around a picnic table or bring their own lawn chairs. "Don’t worry if you see a few clouds rolling in—the concert will move into the Party Pavilion in inclement weather," the Zoo notes. "Enjoy the music while you visit with friends or come and go from the concert to see the animals. The exhibits, rides, and the Kroger Splash Park will run until 7 p.m." There's more about "Animals & All That Jazz" online.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Capital Improvements Board Waltzes Along

"I'm glad I didn't waste the time to go over to the City-County Council meeting tonight," writes Gary R. Welsh in his Advance Indiana blog, "to listen to more than three hours of BS from high-paid downtown elites who've been doing the same song and dance for the past couple of decades that got the CIB in the financial mess it's in today, and each of whom has a personal financial stake in the outcome."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Council members are getting played...."

Did we elect naifs to the City-County Council? This Indianapolis Observer once thought that only seasoned politicos (or, at least friends or relatives of seasoned politicos) got elected. Guess not!

Here's what Paul K. Ogden reports on his blog today (emphasis added):

"I was at a Pike Township town hall meeting hosted by Councilors Jose Evans and Mike Speedy last week. CIB's representatives at the meeting were CIB executive director Barney Levengood and CIB board member Dorothy Henry. Like at the council meeting, Levengood and Henry attempted to skate by the Pacers $15 million question without answering it. Unlike the council committee meeting last night, in Pike the audience would not let them off the hook. They kept asking follow-up questions. Levengood and Henry eventually conceded that, yes, the $15 million Pacer subsidy was still part of the package and that the CIB intended to go through with it. Councilor Mike Speedy seemed stunned. I think he had been led to believe the CIB had dropped the idea."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back-to-School Event at the Children’s Museum

Celebrate the start of the new school year with games and activities at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis. Best part: admission is free -- because the event is scheduled during Target Family Free Night on Thursday, 6 August.

After meeting Indiana Fever basketball star Tamika Catchings and mascot Freddy Fever, families can enjoy fun activities for children of all ages relating to back-to-school AND see the museum’s permanent exhibits. For kindergartners, a yellow school bus will be parked outside to practice getting on and off before the first day of school. All kids can learn to dance to Zumba, a fusion of Latin music that doubles as fun and fitness.

Families should plan to arrive early to see Catchings (between 4 and 5 p.m.). The back-to-school event will run from 4-8 p.m.