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'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

"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.)