Sunday, May 31, 2009

Indy's Not Doing So Well

The Indianapolis Star today is full of dire news, not the least of which is that Bob Grand, president of the Capital Improvements Board, says that he's too busy to figure out a "Plan B" in case the CIB goes broke.

And, oh, yeah, some more Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department members are going on trial for stealing money and narcotics from drug dealers.


The court filing is here. Advance Indiana has more on the dirty cops here, and more on the CIB story here. Indiana Barrister says Gov. Mitch Daniels will unveil a plan to save the CIB later this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Orders to Demolish

This Indianapolis Observer was startled to open today's Indianapolis Star to the page listing demolition orders posted by Indy's Division of Community Development and Financial Services.

Along with a few "order to repair" notices, there are more than 80 buildings on the teardown list, including houses, garages, outbuildings and porches.

It's all there on page C12 of Saturday's edition (30 May 2009).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Impact 100 Unveils Grant Finalists

Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis plans to select the recipient of this year's Impact 100 Grant next month, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The organization has five finalists for the $100,000 award, which is funded through members and company matches. The finalists include proposals for an opera camp, a program to improve graduation rates for at risk or homeless students and a second facility for an initiative to provide training for low-income young parents.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trouble at IMS?

The news reports just keep coming.

It seems that Tony George is still the CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but his tenure may be in trouble.

According to the Associated Press yesterday, track officials denied a report that the board of directors voted to oust the 49-year-old CEO.

However, it's said that George has been asked to create a more efficient plan for spending time running the family's businesses.

Sounds to this Indianapolis Observer like there's dissension in the Hulman family (and, not for the first time).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing

And, they're off! While the Indy 500 is running, check out the action here.


Helio Castroneves is the winner!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

How the Indianapolis Brickyard Fell Into Place

(IMS Photo)

"Racing fans watching the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend are sure to hear dozens of references to 'the Brickyard'. Spectators who have not connected that name with the pioneering racetrack surface of Indy’s past need only look as far as a strip of red blocks at the start-finish line for a visual explanation.

"But when race cars first roared off the starting line at the just-finished Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1909, the track was not yet paved with the 3.2 million bricks that were the source of its nickname. Instead, it was a packed and oiled stone racecourse that came apart quickly, a parallel to what modern drivers contend with on rough public roads in their holiday weekend travels."

Read the rest of it here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dario Franchitti Is Roaring Back at Indy

"A reinvigorated Dario Franchitti is back in the front row at the Indianapolis 500 after a lost year in Nascar racing, and it seems as if he was never gone. That could be because his face smiled out from last year’s race tickets — the honor reserved for the defending champion — even as he was off chasing a Nascar dream that didn’t win him anything."

Read the rest of it here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tribute To America's Veterans at IMS

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its longstanding tradition of honoring America's military veterans during the pre-race ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500 with an expanded variety of tributes, including special recognition of a unique group of American heroes and a dramatic flyover, reports the IMS.

Pre-race ceremonies for the Indianapolis 500 are scheduled to start at noon 24 May, with "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" starting at 1 p.m.

Among the veterans of America's armed forces to be honored will be nine members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

The Tuskegee Airmen enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II to become America's first African-American military airmen. They trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala., and compiled an exemplary record in combat service despite numerous acts of bigotry and racism committed against them at home and overseas.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Marion County Summer Youth Programs to Get Boost

Indianapolis is is awarding more than $100,000 in community block grants to 12 local agencies through the Summer Youth Program Fund, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The funds will provide opportunities for nearly 1,500 youth to participate in recreational, cultural and educational activities. The Summer Youth Program Fund was established in Marion County in 1995 by the Indianapolis Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc.

The recipients are:
Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, Young Audiences of Indiana, La Plaza, Edna Martin Christian Center, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Fay B. Glick Neighborhood Center, Coburn Place Safe Haven, Concord Neighborhood Center, Forest Manor Multi-Service Center, John H. Boner Center, Flanner House and East 10th United Methodist Children & Youth Center.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CIB Chief Paid More Than Mayor and Governor...Combined!

"For 18 years, Barney Levengood has held one of the toughest and most important jobs in the city.

"He oversees the operation of the Indiana Convention Center, Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium as executive director of the Capital Improvement Board.

"He’s also become one of the state’s highest-paid public employees. Levengood, 54, earns a salary of $221,325—more than the governor and the mayor combined. He also gets a $500-per-month car allowance."

Read the rest of Cory Schouten's excellent article in Indianapolis Business Journal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

IUPUI Lands National Sports Journalism Center

The Associated Press Sports Editors, the nation’s largest professional sports journalism organization, is establishing its headquarters at Indiana University’s new National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Indiana University launched the National Sports Journalism Center earlier this year after it hired Timothy A. Franklin, an IU alumnus who was editor of The Indianapolis Star in 1999-2000. The center will begin offering sports journalism courses on the IUPUI and Bloomington campuses this fall.

The School of Journalism at IUPUI will be the first official home for APSE, which was founded 35 years ago and now includes more than 550 members in print and online sports news, reports the IU News Bureau.

As part of this affiliation, Indiana University and APSE will erect a Hall of Fame in the new Student Media Center on the IUPUI campus that will honor the winners of the Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement in sports journalism.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fishing Derby for Kids

Kids ages 4-14 are invited to participate in the eighth annual Fishing Derby sponsored by the Eagle Creek Park Foundation.

It's set for 8 a.m. to noon 6 June near the 71st Street entrance to Eagle Creek Park (rain date is 7 June).

Since advance registration is required, do that at the website.

Oh -- volunteers are needed. If you're interested, contact Rosie.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Abandoned Housing Program Abandoned

The Indianapolis Star's Matt Tulley and the bloggers are playing tag-team today over Mayor Greg Ballard's latest failure: his abandoned housing initiative. See Advance Indiana and Indianapolis Times for more.

This Indianapolis Observer guesses we have to add that to the growing list of Indy catastrophes in 2009! Makes one long for the days of good old Mayor Bart Peterson!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lilly Wins United Way's National Award

For the first time an Indiana company will receive United Way's highest national honor for a corporation, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Eli Lilly and Co. will be presented with the Spirit of America award tomorrow [13 May] in Detroit.

In 2008, the drug maker and its employees gave $11.4 million to the organization. Lilly workers volunteered more than 160,000 hours last year and during the company's first Global Day of Service, 22,000 employees volunteered in more than 55 countries.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Throw the Bums Out: Sigh!

Let's see the Indy chaos so far:

The Capital Improvements Board continues to prove that the Good Old Boys' network is alive and well in Indy.

The Indianapolis Water Company is heading for disaster.

The police department is covering up the impropriety of its officers moonlighting for scrap metal firm OmniSource while "investigating" scrap metal theft by its competitors (Platts Steel Market Daily didn't, but that's another story).

The failure of the legislature to pass a budget (let alone streamline local governments by eliminating the wasteful township trustee system)....

well, I could go on. But, this Indianapolis Observer concedes, it's too damn depressing. If it weren't for Advance Indiana, Indianapolis Business Journal and Indianapolis Times, especially, we'd have no idea things were this bad in the former "star of the rustbelt".

Indy is quickly on its way to third-tier status, and the "powers that be" have lost their moorings.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Throw the Bums Out: Oy vey!

Advance Indiana summarizes today:

"This CIB bailout has nothing to do with the future of this city. It has everything to do with helping the same self-centered, self-absorbed and self-indulgent city leaders who cannot separate their personal gains from the public good."

Wake up, people! There's still time to stop Gov. Mitch Daniels from bailing out his friends. The Good Old Boys have crossed the line this time.

Throw the bums out!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spring Plant Sale

Head on over to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 7725 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, for today's plant sale. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets and planters will be offered during the annual sale in the school's greenhouse. For more information, call 317:253-1481.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Throw the Bums Out: Continued Yet Again

From Advance Indiana:

"If you want to see a good example of why Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to bail out the CIB to the tune of $47.5 million a year isn't selling with the public, check out Ballard's performance at the Mayor's Night out in Lawrence on April 21. You can view the video of the meeting by clicking here."

From IndianapolisTimesBlog:

"Mayor Greg Ballard held a meeting Thursday [7 May] with local business leaders and a single legislator to discuss, in the mayor's own words on Twitter, 'options to fix the CIB.'

"According to those who attended the meeting, Ballard offered no new plans and no new ideas. His only solution to the CIB fiasco? Raise taxes. Lots of taxes. Tens of millions of dollars worth of taxes. Taxes. Taxes. Taxes."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dreaming in Vivid Color: Opening Reception

The opening reception for "Dreaming in Vivid Color" is tomorrow (8 May), in conjunction with the Broad Ripple Spring Gallery Tour.

The reception is from 6-8 p.m. in the Indianapolis Art Center, 820 East 67th Street, Indianapolis, where the exhibition will be on display through 21 June.

It includes work from the 50 visual, performing and literary artists who make up the most recent round of the Arts Council's Creative Renewal Arts Fellows. Works include painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics and jewelry as well as special performances throughout the evening.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship program. Originally conceived as a renewal opportunity similar to an academic sabbatical, this groundbreaking initiative offers 40 artists and arts administrators the opportunity to renew and refresh their creativity through a two-year fellowship with a cash award of $10,000 each. Since the program's inception, 250 artists and administrators have been awarded fellowships through this program. The Arts Council of Indianapolis has awarded more than $1.8 million in direct-dollar support to artists and administrators through this program! The program is funded by a grant to the Arts Council through the extraordinary generosity of Lilly Endowment Inc.

The 2007 - 2008 Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Arts Fellows are:

Nataly North-Lowder
Kenoth Shane Patton
Iris Rosa

Candace Denning
Barb Shoup
David Shumate

Media Arts
Jim Simmons
Mark Williams

Becky Archibald
Anthony Artis
Shannon Forsell
Henry Leck
Ju Fang Liu
Michael Schelle
Michael Strauss
José Valencia

David Anderson
James Leagre
Robert Neal

Visual Art
Mason Archie
Kyle Crossland
Douglas David
Rob Day
James Willie Faust
Izabella Kowalewska-Cole
Tim Kennedy
Judith G. Levy
Caroline Mecklin
Jay Parnell
Melissa Parrott
Jamie Pawlus
William Potter
Kyle Ragsdale
William Rasdell
Anne Robinson
Betty Scarpino
Dee Schaad
M. Jan Schroeder
Jari Sheese
Phillip Tennant
Dante Ventresca

Arts Administration
Carol Baker, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Keesha Dixon, Asante Children's Theatre
Hadley Fruits, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Christy Martin, Indiana Repertory Theatre
James Nottage, Eiteljorg Museum
Thomas Robertson, Phoenix Theatre
David Russick, Indianapolis Museum of Art
John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg Museum
Susan Zurbuchen, Butler University

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Indy Lands IU School of Public Health

Indiana University has announced the formation of two schools of public health, one at IU Bloomington and the other at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The school at IUPUI will grow from the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine, and is expected to focus more on urban health issues. IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz will form and charge a committee with planning for the new school, which will not open before January 2011.

Once the plans for the schools have been approved, accreditation for the schools will be sought from the Council on Education for Public Health. If approved, these would be the first new schools formed at IU since the establishment of the School of Informatics in 2000 and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 1972.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Labor-Management Relations Seminar

"Employees & Employers in Distress: Tips, Traps and Tough Calls", the 30th Annual Seminar on Labor-Management Relations, will be held 15 May at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, 530 West New York Street, Indianapolis.

The seminar, held from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., is co-sponsored by the National Labor Relations Board, Region 25 and IU School of Law - Indianapolis. Enrollment is open to attorneys and labor and management officials.

Registration is required; fee to attend is $200. For more information, contact Shaun Ingram, 317:278-4789.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Strategic Collaborations at BioCrossroads

A conference on how collaboration between and among individuals, universities, and businesses and the sharing of information, ideas and effort translates to idea (product and service) development, raising of resources and capital, commercialization activities is set for 14 May.

Sponsored by the Center for the Business of Life Sciences at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, BioCrossroads, Ice Miller LLP, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana University School of Medicine and Purdue University, the all-day conference will be in the University Place Conference Center in Indianapolis.

Opening keynoter is Bill Cook, founder and CEO of Cook Group Inc. A panel discussion will follow his presentation. Richard DiMarchi, a chemistry professor at I.U. and cofounder of Ambrx Inc. and Marcadia Biotech, will give the afternoon keynote address, which also is followed by a panel discussion.

Registration is $50. For registration information, click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Two Kenyans Win Indy's Mini Marathon

With temperatures barely hovering above 50 degrees and sunshine mixing with overcast skies, the conditions could not have been any better during the today's 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis.

Women's race winner: Janet Cherobon, 30, made it three straight Mini-Marathon wins in a row. A native of Kenya who lives in Rome, Ga., she won in a personal-best time of 1:12.22 – more than two and a half minutes in front of second-place Anzhelika Averkova, a Ukraine native now living in New Jersey. Cherobon’s time was well below her 2008 winning time of 1:14.53.

Kenyan Festus Langat, who lives in West Chester, Pa., made the most of his first appearance in the Mini-Marathon, winning the men’s race in 1:03.55 to finish comfortably in front of fellow countryman Ernest Kimeli. Langat said he took the lead at the 5K mark and never was seriously challenged after that.

Tony Iniguez became a four-time champ in the wheelchair division, bettering his 2008 winning time by more than two minutes. The Illinois resident won the event in 44:59, coming in more than five minutes ahead of his closest competition.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 52 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation. Last year, over 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Indiana Legislature Fails, Again

"Beyond a reasonable doubt, our pathetic legislature is guilty of incompetence, arrogance and backward-thinking.

"After four months of silly games and petty politics, lawmakers ended their 2009 session without fulfilling their only constitutional duty: passage of a new state budget. Despite a winter and spring spent cashing paychecks from taxpayers and enjoying free meals from lobbyists, the General Assembly failed Indiana.

"Badly. Completely. Once again."

Read the rest of Matthew Tully's ascerbic commentary in today's Indianapolis Star.

The late Harrison Ullmann (of NUVO) used to rail against the country's worst state legislature a decade ago. Sadly, nothing much has changed. Which seems to be Indiana's mantra. Why be a leader when being mediocre is so much easier?