Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday's Tobias stories

And Good Riddance?

The champagne corks were popping at the Agency for International Development late Friday upon news that administrator Randall Tobias had resigned. President Bush's polls may be low, but he can take solace that Tobias's popularity amongst the rank-and-file was even lower.

Tobias had resigned in yet another incident of inappropriate massaging. There was Bush's quick shoulder massage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July at a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. In November came news of Colorado minister Ted Haggard's massages with a Denver man. And now Tobias, with an escort service.

A recent American Foreign Service Association poll of 368 AID folks found that only 21 percent thought Tobias had been doing a good job in getting resources for the agency and its workers. One-third rated his efforts as poor and 45 percent described them as fair.

The agency is going through a reorganization that many call a "stealth merger" with the State Department. The survey found 67 percent said overall work conditions were worsening. About 48 percent said morale was "low to poor" and only 12 percent said it was good. One person, perhaps a bit ahead of the curve, thought morale was excellent.

The massage is the message?

Thus writes Al Kamen in The Washington Post.

And, of local interest, there's this in the Taking Down Words blog.

According to Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, "Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator will address the 2007 J.D. and LL.M. graduating classes on Sunday, May 13 at the Indiana Convention Center."

Will he? The bets are running against a public appearance so soon after his fall from grace!

And, although there was NOTHING in The Indianapolis Star about l'affair Tobias today, there's a delicious romp around the subject in Wonkette:

"So, after we had had signed off on Friday to go talk over the day’s events with some vodka, it apparently came to light that Randall L. Tobias’ awfully suspicious retirement was awfully suspicious for good reason—he was up to his chin in Central American call-girls, courtesy of the one-day-will-tell-all DC madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey. This should have been apparent—no one just retires by choice."

Over at Salon, there's this:

Next time, try Domino's

Confronted with the fact that his name and phone number appeared on a list of clients of "D.C. madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias told ABC News that arranging for women to visit his condo was like ordering pizza.

What it wasn't like: The behavior Tobias pushed through an abstinence-first program and an anti-prostitution pledge while working as George W. Bush's global AIDS coordinator.

Tobias, who is married, resigned Friday for "personal reasons." He's insisting that there was "no sex" involved when "gals" would "come over to the condo to give me a massage." -- Tim Grieve

A second posting on Wonkette today:
"Our network of operatives are always watching. One such tipster offers a little background into Randall Tobias’ past:
"The resignation of Deputy Secretary of State Randy Tobias, for being a client of a DC escort service, came as no surprise to me. Randy was a department head in Marketing at AT&T in the early 80’s and we worked together. It was common knowledge at the time that he was a womanizer. One day we had a new female member of our project team and I was quietly told that until recently she had been a secretary. Randy had promoted her to so she could accompany him on business trips."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

L'Affaire Tobias continues

"I asked him if he knew any of the young women, their names. He said he didn’t remember them at all. He said it was like ordering pizza."
from Daily Kos.

"The demise of a call-girl ring and pending trial of an alleged madam claiming thousands of clients has the US capital riveted by the chance powerful men may now be caught with their trousers down, with a senior state department official apparently first to fall."
from Breitbart.

"On Friday, Randall L. Tobias resigned as deputy secretary of state one day after confirming to Brian Ross of ABC that he had patronized the Pamela Martin firm. Speaking yesterday on "Good Morning America," Ross said Tobias told him Tobias's number was on Palfrey's phone records because he had called "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." There had been "no sex," Ross quoted Tobias as saying, and that recently he has used another service, "with Central American gals," for massages."
from Washington Post

"Randall L. Tobias, the top foreign aid adviser in the State Department, became the most prominent person on the list to be publicly identified when he resigned after acknowledging to ABC News that he was among Ms. Palfrey’s clients.... Mr. Tobias, who was the director of foreign assistance and the administrator of the Agency for International Development, ran agencies that required foreign recipients of AIDS assistance to explicitly condemn prostitution, a policy that drew protests from some nations and relief organizations."
from New York Times

Saturday, April 28, 2007

L'Affaire Tobias

The hits just keep on coming.

From the Daily Kos.
Excerpt: "It seems that this administration just can't stop 'restoring honor and integrity' to Washington."

And this:
Excerpt: "Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation."

And The Washington Post:
Excerpt: "Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, abruptly resigned yesterday after he was asked about an upscale escort service allegedly involved in prostitution, U.S. government sources said. Tobias resigned after ABC News contacted him with questions about the escort service, the sources said."

And ABC News blog.
Excerpt: "Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation."

And the Huffington Post:
Excerpt: "Another GOP hypocrite bites the dust. Joining a dishonor roll that includes anti-child predator predator Mark Foley and anti-homosexual homosexual Ted Haggard is Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, a pro-abstinence zealot who couldn't abstain from enjoying the services of D.C. Madam Jeane Palfry's escort service."

And Slate:
Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias resigned April 27 after confirming to ABC News that he's on Jeane Palfrey's little list. Palfrey is a D.C. madam under prosecution who's been negotiating with lawyers for various prominent johns over whether to release their names to the public. Tobias is administrator of the state department's foreign aid programs.

And, from Wonkette:
"Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, USAID Administrator, resigned today in order to spend more time withholding vital aid from his family."

Friday, April 27, 2007


WASHINGTON (AP) - Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's foreign aid programs, abruptly resigned Friday after his name surfaced in an investigation into a high-priced call-girl ring....

No doubt, there will be more about Indy's own former Lilly CEO in the news tomorrow!

Saturday's New York Times writes this:
"The head of the Agency for International Development, Randall L. Tobias, resigned abruptly on Friday for what he said were 'personal reasons', but an administration official said Mr. Tobias’s name had come up in an investigation of a suspected Washington prostitution ring."

Saturday's Star has this rehash of wire service accounts.

And, the State Department issued this statement.

Percussive Arts Society opens in Indy

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) has opened its new headquarters in Symphony Centre in downtown Indianapolis.

Percussive Arts Society
32 East Washington Street, Suite 1400
Indianapolis, IN 46204
P: (317) 974-4488
F: (317) 974-4499

Thursday, April 26, 2007

City Market Signs ADA-Compliant

More than 50 new signs for the newly renovated Indianapolis City Market are being designed and built by workers at Bosma Industries, who are blind or visually impaired.

The company says the logos, signs and menu boards will be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. This summer the City Market will complete its renovations, which will include space for new merchants, purveyors and a new shared use kitchen.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Nobel Peace Prize Nomination!

A humanitarian response to the African HIV/AIDS pandemic by Indiana University School of Medicine and its education partner in Kenya, Moi University School of Medicine, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The program, AMPATH (Academic Model for Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS) was only a concept 7 years ago. Through the efforts of its field director, Joseph Mamlin, M.D., and faculty involved in the IU-Kenya Partnership, AMPATH now treats 42,000 HIV-positive Kenyan patients at 19 clinical sites throughout western Kenya. It also provides food assistance to 20,000 people and job and agricultural training to thousands more.

More than 1.3 million Kenyan men, women and children are living with HIV/AIDS. AMPATH addresses the social stigma of the disease while providing medication and helping people become self-sufficient by providing food, jobs and agricultural assistance.

In the Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Scott Pegg, Ph.D., from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Butler University's David Mason, Ph.D., both professors of political science, noted that AMPATH has been recognized as one of the world’s most comprehensive and innovative AIDS control programs.

"This partnership is not only one of the largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS programs in the world, it is a model of U.S.-Africa institutional cooperation. This model can be replicated throughout the developing world, and thus put a halt to a pandemic that may soon pass the Black Death to become the most brutal killer in human history," Pegg and Mason said in the letter of nomination.

Pegg and Mason also cited Dr. Mamlin, professor emeritus of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, as a driving force behind the program.

Dr. Mamlin was a team leader of the collaborative medical education program at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya, in the early 1990s. At that time, he witnessed 85 patient deaths over the course of a year. When he returned full-time to Kenya in 2000, he saw more than 1,000 patients die during a similar period. From that poignant loss, AMPATH was born.

"I find encouragement that thousands around the world are responding faithfully to some of the real pain suffered by so many," says Dr. Mamlin. "While much of this pain is physical, the real tragedy is the loss of hope in single individuals. When any of us find a moment in our lives when we can relieve pain and restore hope, we have already won the Nobel Peace Prize."

Robert Einterz, M.D., IU professor of medicine and director and co-founder of the IU-Kenya Partnership, says, "The Hoosiers that are leading the global fight against HIV are the same Hoosiers that are teaching at the Indiana University School of Medicine and serving vulnerable populations in Indianapolis. Through this partnership, Indiana University demonstrates its commitment to health for all people."

AMPATH is one of 181 nominees for the 2007 Prize, whose winner will be announced in mid-October. In 2006, Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank, which provides micro-credit for low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world, won the Peace Prize.

SOURCE: IU School of Medicine

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

500 Festival 50th Anniversary Legacy Art

The 500 Festival has announced that Illinois-born artist Donald Lipski (pictured) has been chosen to create the 500 Festival 50th Anniversary Legacy Art piece.

Lipski is a sculptor who has received critical acclaim for his use of ordinary objects such as books, guitars, bicycles, flasks, chairs and buoys to make extraordinary sculptures.

Since the 500 Festival Legacy Art Project is being managed collaboratively by the 500 Festival, 500 Festival Foundation, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and funded through donations to 500 Festival Foundation, Inc., this Indianapolis Observer wonders why an Indianapolis artist wasn't chosen to create this legacy art piece.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wilderness EMT training

St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital is partnering with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to provide wilderness emergency medical technician training, according to Inside INdiana Business.

The training will provide education to various groups about poisonous plants, venomous snakes and how to treat victims in the wilderness.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

IndyPartnership to retain brand, mission

According to Indianapolis Business Journal, IndyPartnership, the not-for-profit that markets central Indiana to prospective businesses, will keep its brand name and sales mission in a merger its board approved Thursday with Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, another not-for-profit that represents CEOs of Indiana's largest corporations.

The parties also agreed to carve out a separate economic development organization for Marion County, said CICP chief executive Mark Miles. Miles said his board will vote on the merger 24 April.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Video Art from Sam Easterson Coming to IMA

The Indianapolis Museum of Art will feature a special exhibition of video art by Sam Easterson, a San Francisco-based artist who has been collecting footage from the perspective of animals and plants since 1998.

Nature Holds My Camera: The Video Art of Sam Easterson will include short videos of animals in their environments. The videos allow viewers to imagine life from a different point of view through seeing the world from the perspective of animals. The footage is captured from animals in action: running or moving slowly through their habitats, interacting with other animals, drinking and eating, and recording their own shadows.

Check it out here.

The exhibition opens 24 June, closing 15 July.

Located at 4000 Michigan Road, the IMA is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. (The IMA is closed Mondays and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day.)

For more information, call 317.923.1331 or visit IMA's website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh, my!

Moody's Investors Service today said it has downgraded Indianapolis' general obligation rating to Aa1, citing the city's deficit, pension liabilities and growing public safety needs, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Racy Stuff at the Morris-Butler House Museum!

The current exhibit at the Morris-Butler House Museum, 1204 North Park Avenue, Indianapolis, is "Victorian Secret: A Nineteenth-Century Underwear Exhibit."

From heavy crinolines to elegant corsets -- it takes visitors through the history and changes in 19th-century underwear. See beautiful hoop skirts, multi-layered petticoats, and unique Victorian bustles.

Cost is included with a tour of the house -- $5/adult, $4/senior, $3/student/child.

You'll have to get a move on, though. The exhibit closes 28 April.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Call to make reservations, 317:636-5409 or send an email.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The count for 2007 is up to 38?

We've had more than three dozen homicides so far this year, according to Indy Undercover.

The latest was a stabbing on the eastside -- the preliminary story is online at The Indianapolis Star, and there will be presumably more in tomorrow's print edition.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Windy City Wins One

"By pitching its vision of an Olympic Games along Lake Michigan and backing it with a solid financial plan, Chicago prevailed over Los Angeles Saturday to become the U.S. entrant in the international competition for the 2016 Summer Games," reports the Washington Post.

Hmmm. Chicago's just a three hour drive from Indy!

Monroe Gray gets a pass

"The Marion County Ethics Board "voted 4-0 [Friday] that [Monroe] Gray's failure to disclose that his company did subcontracting work for a major city contractor was a violation. Gray had answered "no" to a question on his 2006 statement of economic interest about whether he received compensation from any business entity doing business with the city."

Ths Indianapolis Observer wonders how Monroe Gray can stay in office as City-County Council President if he's so, ummm, disconnected from reality?

Read more here.

And, some interesting commentary at IndyUndercover.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Indy's Eyes Are Grateful to the Glicks!

Eugene and Marilyn Glick are donating $30 million to establish the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The Glick's gift will support both the construction of a new building and the advancement of research, education and eye care at the School. Of the gift, $20 million will support the new facility – its location to be determined – and $10 million will create an endowment that will advance research in eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and other eye diseases of aging, as well as eye diseases in children.

Many of these diseases presently are not curable and are prevalent among older adults. As the population of aging adults increases, vision loss from many of these diseases is expected to increase.

This gift will enhance the School's ophthalmology programs, creating opportunities to recruit specialists with demonstrated success in attracting research funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, and who will attract talented residents who are training to become the next generation of ophthalmologists.

SOURCE: IU School of Medicine

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Century-old Coke Plant to Close

Citizens Gas & Coke Utility says it will close its Indianapolis Coke Manufacturing Division, eliminating 300 jobs. The utility says it worked for eleven months to find a buyer for the facility and at one time had 20 entities interested, but no final deals could be reached. Citizens Gas says the plant will close down over the next several months. The utility notified workers in February that it could cease plant operations. The plant has been a part of the utility for nearly 100 years.

SOURCE: Inside INdiana Business

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Football vs. Teetotalers

What trumps religion? Sports, of course.

According to Inside INdiana Business, the Indiana House has voted to let the governor suspend the Blue Law for a day, if the city lands the 2011 Super Bowl.

In case you've forgotten, religious interests in the Hoosier state have kept in place for decades the antiquated rule (called a Blue Law) prohibiting stores to sell alcohol on Sundays.

But, heck, Indianapolis wants to host the biggest Sunday of the year, the Super Bowl -- and fans need their beer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Celebrities" announced for 500-Festival Parade

Is this Indianapolis Observer just cranky today, or are the "celebrities" participating in this year's 500-Festival parade even more obscure than usual?

The IPL 500 Festival Parade, scheduled for noon, Saturday, May 26 in downtown Indianapolis, will include Zachary Quinto, Jessie Metcalfe, Eric Braeden, Tyler Christopher and General Chuck Yeager.

OK. I've heard of Yeager (although his claim to fame happened in 1947, when he became the first person to break the sound barrier, and he retired from the military in 1975 -- yes, more than three decades ago). But the others? Evidently all appear on television shows, mostly soaps, that I've never seen.

Oh well. You, too, can pay $13.50, $17 or $30 for a seat at the parade -- or watch it on ESPN2 from 5-6:30 p.m. or WISH-TV-8 from 8-10 p.m.

There's more at the 500 Festival website.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Indy's Pea Shake Houses

3725 N Keystone

3300 N Central

3801 N Capitol

2041 Sheldon

1502 Columbia

SOURCE: IndyUndercover and updated with IndyU's links.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Illinois State Police honor UIndy professor

Illinois State Police Sgt. Matt Davis visited the University of Indianapolis last Wednesday (4 April) to present forensic anthropologist Stephen Nawrocki with a citation for his contributions to a serial murder investigation.

Nawrocki, a noted Indiana expert who has served as an external case reviewer in forensic anthropology for the Illinois State Police for the last several years, will receive a Department Unit Citation, the highest level of commendation, for his role in the Larry Bright investigation in Peoria. Bright confessed in May 2006 to seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of drug-induced homicide in a case involving the disappearance of eight prostitutes in the Peoria area.

As an external reviewer, Nawrocki serves as an adviser during the process of recovering and analyzing bone at crime scenes, and verifies investigative findings. Davis called him to the Bright case in January 2005 after it was discovered that the suspect had burned bodies and distributed the fragments in various locations around Peoria. The evidence had to be collected, cleaned, processed and inventoried properly.

“With Dr. Nawrocki’s assistance, we were able to positively identify one victim and establish that there were a minimum of three additional victims in the large sample of evidence,” Davis said. The evidence was forwarded to the district attorney’s office, and charges were filed. Bright pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial to avoid a possible death penalty, Davis said.

Nawrocki, director of UIndy’s graduate program in human biology, is well known to Indiana police agencies for his help in investigations, including several high-profile cases such as the disappearance of Indiana University student Jill Behrman and the Herbert Baumeister serial murder case in Westfield that involved the deaths of at least 11 men.

SOURCE: University of Indianapolis.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Joshua Bell as subway busker

Pearls Before Breakfast
Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let's find out.
By Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2007

"HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play."

Yup. That was Indiana's own Joshua Bell. Playing for tips. Read the whole sordid tale here. (Giggle!) OK, OK, he was born in Bloomington, but that's close enough for this Indianapolis Observer!

Forbes downgrades Indy for business, careers

Indianapolis slipped to 27th from 10th in Forbes' latest annual ranking of the best places for business and careers.

Check it out here.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Peabody Awards to WTHR, WISH

WTHR-TV Channel 13 received a Peabody for exposing problems with the state's tornado warning system, and a second for showing how area pharmacies discarded patient subscription records into open dumpsters.

WISH-TV Channel 8 has won a Peabody award for an investigative series showing how a $30 helmet pad could save soldiers' lives in a blast.

They're among 35 recipients of the 66th Annual Peabody Awards, announced Wednesday (4 April) by the University of Georgia`s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2006, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus.

There's more on the official press release.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Minority firms receive 22 percent of airport contracts

Minority-owned companies have snagged 22 percent of the $749.1 million in contracts committed through 2006 for the midfield terminal project at Indianapolis International Airport, the airport authority told the Indianapolis Business Journal today.

Minority companies received $167.5 million of the total contracts. Women own slightly more than half of the 189 minority companies that received the contracts. Racial minorities own the balance.

The $1.1 billion project is expected to be completed in late 2008. It will include the terminal, a parking garage and new roads.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Manufacturing institute launched at Ivy Tech

Ivy Tech Community College and the Indianapolis Private Industry Council have started an Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Ivy Tech’s downtown campus to train manufacturing workers, says Indianapolis Business Journal.

The institute will work with trade groups specializing in welding, metalworking, ventilation and fluid power to train and retrain workers for the 2,300-plus manufacturing positions Ivy Tech and the council expect to be available in the region in the next three years.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Indianapolis TV stations sold in Tribune deal

Tribune Co., the Chicago media company that owns Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN-TV Channel 59 and the local CW network affiliate, WTTV-TV Channel 4, said it has accepted an $8.2 billion acquisition offer from cross-town real estate magnate Sam Zell, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Tribune's flagship properties are the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

Zell said he would put Tribune's Chicago Cubs baseball team up for sale because he owns part of the Chicago White Sox.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

If it's April 1st, it must be April Fool's Day

else -- why this notice from Gmail?

New! Introducing Gmail Paper

Everyone loves Gmail. But not everyone loves email, or the digital era. What ever happened to stamps, filing cabinets, and the mailman? Well, you asked for it, and it’s here. We’re bringing it back.
A New Button
Now in Gmail, you can request a physical copy of any message with the click of a button, and we'll send it to you in the mail.

Simplicity Squared
Google will print all messages instantly and prepare them for delivery. Allow 2-4 business days for a parcel to arrive via post.

Total Control
A stack of Gmail Paper arrives in a box at your doorstep, and it’s yours to keep forever. You can read it, sort it, search it, touch it. Or even move it to the trash—the real trash. (Recycling is encouraged.)

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe
Google takes privacy very seriously. But once your email is physically in your hands, it's as secure as you want to make it.