Monday, February 28, 2011

More Public Handouts To Political Insiders

"Topping tonight's agenda of the Indianapolis City-County Council meeting," notes Advance Indiana, "is another downtown project that will be funded with taxpayer dollars. That would be the North of South project for the Downtown's southside."

More here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More About Mitch in the New York Times

"The experience of a nearby state, Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels eliminated bargaining for state employees six years ago, shows just how much is at stake, both for the government and for workers [in Wisconsin]. His 2005 executive order has had a sweeping impact: no raises for state employees in some years, a weakening of seniority preferences and a far greater freedom to consolidate state operations or outsource them to private companies."

Read all of it here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

David Brooks on Mitch Daniels

The New York Times opinion writer pens today's column about our very own governor:

"This is the G.O.P. quandary. The man who would be the party’s strongest candidate for the presidency is seriously thinking about not running."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Like This Was Some Sort of Surprise?

Lawmakers from Indiana, home of next season's Super Bowl, are urging the NFL and players union to avoid a work stoppage that would have a "devastating impact" on the state's economy, reports the Associated Press.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deputy Attorney General Fired for Tweets

According to The Indianapolis Star, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has dismissed a deputy, Jeff Cox, for posting inappropriate comments online critical of the labor union protesters in Wisconsin.

Among other comments, he advocated using "live ammunition" against the crowd.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not Just White Bread and Mayonnaise Any More

Check out this article in today's New York Times:

In Indianapolis, the World Comes to Eat

And, just so you know, the local go-to source for information on all this wonderful food from around the world is!

Civil Disobedience

"Democrat members of the Indiana House of Representatives failed to show up for work today in an apparent walkout," reports Inside INdiana Business. "The move comes as hundreds of union members protest so-called right-to-work legislation at the Indiana Statehouse."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Civic Investment: Glitzy Hotels or Neighborhoods?

"[A]s the city prepares to put forward the best possible face for next year's Super Bowl, visitors won't have to venture far from Downtown to find neighborhoods unlikely to make it on any postcard.

"Travel in any direction from Lucas Oil Stadium and within minutes, you'll end up in a neighborhood where blight has set down deep roots."

Just a snippet from an excellent story by Erika D. Smith in today's Indianapolis Star.

Especially interesting when contrasted with the excessive coverage of the private gala at the new J.W. Marriott. Couldn't some of the tax dollars invested in that project benefiting the White family of Merrillville been put to better use in rebuilding Indy?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tony George Back at IMS

Tony George has been voted back onto the board of directors of Hulman & Company, which oversees the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hulman & Company voted yesterday (17 February) in a regularly scheduled shareholders meeting to add four members to the existing board, expanding it from four members to eight members. The additional members are Anton “Tony” H. George, Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith and Jerry W. Throgmartin.

After today’s announcement, composition of the Hulman & Company board is Mari Hulman George, Nancy L. George, M. Josephine George, Katherine M. George-Conforti, Anton “Tony” H. George, Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith and Jerry W. Throgmartin. The first director listed is Tony George's mother, and the next three are his sisters.

According to a report in, "Tony George stepped down as CEO of Hulman and Co. and resigned from its board in June 2009. His departure came after board members—namely Tony’s three sisters—squabbled over his management of the track."

The centennial running of the Indianapolis "500" is 29 May 2011.

Founded in 1850 and headquartered in Terre Haute, Hulman & Company’s holdings include Clabber Girl Corporation, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and its affiliated companies including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC, INDYCAR, IMS Productions and INDYCAR Entertainment.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jazz & Sushi at Earth House Collective

"Jazz & Sushi" are promised at tonight's fundraiser for Earth House Collective, 237 North East Street, Indianapolis. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m.;tickets are $20.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bad News for Borders

Borders today announced it has filed for reorganization relief under Chapter 11. As part of this reorganization, Borders is implementing a Strategic Store Closure program in which it will close approximately 200 Borders superstores nationwide.

In Indianapolis, those closing are Downtown Indy (Meridian and Washington streets) and Carmel. Five Indy area stores not on the current closure list are Castleton, River Crossing, Indianapolis International Airport, Greenwood and Noblesville.

(Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Fraud of Shocking Proportions

"Fair Finance Co.’s bankruptcy trustee on Tuesday [14 February] filed a lawsuit alleging that Tim Durham perpetrated “a fraud of shocking proportions,” draining huge sums from the Akron, Ohio, firm for years to mask that his business empire had collapsed," reports

"By the time Durham and fellow Indianapolis businessman Jim Cochran bought Fair in 2002, his Indianapolis-based buyout firm—Obsidian Enterprises Inc.—already was effectively bankrupt, the suit says."

Read the rest here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

If You've Ever Wanted to be a Star....

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre will host a Musical Theatre Audition Workshop for actors age 17 and older starting 26 February.

The workshop, which meets twice a week until 14 March at the theatre, 9301 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis, will be instructed by the Beef & Boards artistic team of Eddie Curry, casting director, and Terry Woods, musical director.

The class will focus on preparation and execution of a good musical theatre audition. Each participant will be given the chance each week to work through their audition pieces with constructive instruction in a safe and positive atmosphere.

For registration or more information, email Eddie Curry. Participation is limited to nine people.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

City Reports Snow Removal Costs

According to the Office of the Mayor:

· As a result of last week’s ice storm, the preliminary numbers show that the City spent an estimated $3.4 million from January 31 to February 7 when the operation ended at 7:00 p.m. Monday night. This includes salt, equipment, labor and contractor costs.

· Indy Snow Force drivers worked more than 19,000 hours. They worked non-stop 12-hour shifts and the City maintained the 24 hour operation throughout the ice and snow storm. In addition, support staff worked more than 472 hours during the week.

· The City activated more than 200 contractors from February 2-February 6. The City estimates that these contract services of salting and plowing neighborhood streets will cost $532,500.

· Indy Snow Force dropped 27,923 tons of salt from January 31 to February 7. This includes putting salt on the City’s 6,000 plus lanes miles of primary thoroughfares and secondary streets. Contractors assisted Indy Snow Force with an unprecedented move of salting connector streets, main streets and intersections near schools. The City continued to go above and beyond by salting more than 67 Indianapolis school parking lots. Plus, contractors assisted Indy Snow Force with dropping salt on more than 4,000 lanes miles of residential areas. The total cost of salt for this storm was just over $2 million.

· The City budgeted about $7.3 million for snow removal this calendar year. So far in the 2011 calendar year, the City has spent approximately $5.4 million on fighting snow and ice storms.

(Image courtesy of Kriss Szkurlatowski)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Harrison Center On the Road

Join Harrison Center artists Kyle Ragsdale, Kathryn Dart, William Denton Ray, Quincy Owens, Shannon Hinkle and Kipp Normand at the Grand Opening of Allisonville Meadows, 10312 Allisonville Road, Fishers, a new senior healthcare community.

There'll be live music, art demonstrations and food by Mills Catering from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (15 February).

(Image courtesy of Harrison Center)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sin and Redemption Has Been Rescheduled

The wintry weather has had its effect even on such traditional activities as Carnival! "Sin and Redemption", this year's celebration at the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis, was postponed when ice and snow made the roads treacherous (not even the band could make it into town for the party!).

"Sin and Redemption" is promised now for February 26. There'll be dinner, dancing, entertainment and more. Tickets and reservations are available at the door or (if you want to be certain there's still room for you), reserve in advance with James Gould of the Athenaeum, 317:655-2755 ext. 1.

This pre-Lenten celebration done in the traditional style of Cologne, Germany, benefits the historic Athenaeum. It's sponsored by the Athenaeum Foundation, Athenaeum Turners, Indiana German Heritage Society and the Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Committee.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Microbrewery Coming to Fountain Square

A trio of entrepreneurs plans to open Fountain Square Brewing Company at 1301 Barth Avenue later this summer, according to

The three partners, Bill Webster, Jeff Gibson and Justin Brown, described themselves to IBJ as avid home brewers with diverse business backgrounds.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ice Storm Parking Citations Voided

The Department of Public Works and the Indianapolis City Prosecutor’s Office have announced that all parking citations issued for overtime meters last Tuesday and Wednesday (1-2 February).

During the worst of the ice storm, the City understands that tickets were issued to cars that were iced in and unable to be moved. Those who have already paid their tickets will receive refunds in a few weeks.

Individuals who received parking citations last week, for reasons other than parking at an expired meter, may request a hearing if they believe they have a weather related defense. A hearing may be requested through the City’s denial process.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Doug Calisch: The Biography of Objects

"The Biography of Objects", an exhibition by Doug Calisch, will be on display in Gallery 924 at the Arts Council of Indianapolis, 924 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, through 25 February.

Calisch "rescues" discarded objects that have already served their original purpose and gives them new life and new meaning in these thoughtful and detailed sculptures.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

A teacher and artist, Calisch has recently completed his twenty-ninth year of teaching at Wabash College. He received his M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Minnesota in 1979 and his B.F.A. in 1976 from the University of Illinois.

"That each collected article shows signs of natural wear or past human activity intrigues me and suggests each sculptural assemblage has an expansive history beyond my involvement with the materials. It is not unlike archeology. The work becomes collaborative, combining my actions with acts previous to mine," he writes.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Interesting News Bites

1. Indiana utility regulators approved a 26 percent increase in water rates for Indianapolis Water customers yesterday.

2. The Mayor has left Indy to watch the Super Bowl in Dallas. Or, as The Indianapolis Times says, "The side streets are still like skating rinks and sidewalks in most parts of the city remain impassable, but that doesn't stop Mayor Greg Ballard from heading out of town on another taxpayer funded junket."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Plays by Arabs at IndyFringe Theatre

Three works by Arab playwrights will be staged at IndyFringe Theater, 719 East St. Clair Street, Indianapolis, at 7:30 p.m. on both February 18 and 19.

In the one-act plays, audiences are transported to the Middle East to examine these war-torn lands. "Between War and Peace", "Baggage" and "A Tree at the Border" offer the perspectives of playwrights from Egypt, Palestine and Jordan on what it means to be human in such trying times.

"Between War and Peace" by Tawfiq al-Hakim of Egypt is a comic allegory. The seductive Politica, wife of War, sits in her boudoir flirting with her clandestine suitor Peace.

"Baggage" by Fateh Azzam of Palestine is a one-person drama featuring off-stage voices. In an airport waiting lounge, a traveler struggles with the baggage of his past. He is torn between boarding a flight to his future and leaving his baggage behind, or checking it once more for a return flight to his emotional memories as young refugee.

"A Tree at the Border" is a new play by Mahmood Zyoudi of Jordan. In a little village far from the halls of power, there is a great tree around which life has revolved for generations. However, one day a Blue Hat from the United Nations appears to announce a cease-fire in a war no one understands. A new international boundary cuts the village, and their tree, in half. How can the villagers unite one more time around their tree? Perhaps an arranged wedding between a lowly laborer from one side and an orphaned girl from the other will succeed where all else fails.

The trio of plays are presented by the Hanover College Theater. Tickets, available online, are $15 for adults.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Bowl...Minus One Year

As Dallas gears up for Sunday's Super Bowl, Indy is contrasting its snow and ice handling abilities with that of the Lone Star State. As reports today, questions for the Indianapolis 2012 committee at the media event in Texas Stadium revolved around the weather.

Indy's theme for next year's bowl embraces the season with “Get your winter on! It’s cool.”

While careful not to disparage Dallas' snow removal efforts, Indy committee members pointed out at today's media event that wintry weather is a central Indiana constant, and that we're prepared.

Meanwhile, there's been only one change to yesterday's announcement about trash pickup. Regularly-scheduled Tuesday pickup is postponed to next Tuesday. As noted yesterday, Wednesday through Friday pickups will run one day later.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

City Services Affected by Weather

All City and County employees not essential to Public Safety and Public Works operations will be sent home at noon today (1 February). Sworn police officers and Department of Public Works fleet, forestry and other support services for the ice storm, including the Mayor’s Action Center, will continue to work, and primary routes and thoroughfares will continue to be treated for the next 48 hours or more.


The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) has suspended solid waste services for today. This includes residential trash (hand collection, automated collection, and containerized collection from condominiums), heavy trash, and curbside recycling. Weather permitting, all services will resume tomorrow (2 February), and will run one day behind for the rest of the week.

(These announcements from the mayor's office.)