Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Murat Files Naming Rights Lawsuit

The battle over naming a popular central Indiana entertainment venue is headed to court, says Inside INdiana Business. Network Indiana/WIBC reports that the Murat Temple Association, which owns the Murat Centre in Indianapolis, has filed a lawsuit claiming Live Nation has breached its lease. The entertainment promoter recently announced a deal to name the venue Old National Centre.

Monday, March 29, 2010

SABEW Convention Heads to Indy in 2012

Indianapolis will host the annual conference and convention of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), reports Inside INdiana Business. The Board of Governors of SABEW have selected the Circle City as the site for its spring conference in 2012.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Butler's in the Final Four

There's no more news for today!

Friday, March 26, 2010

National Nursing Confab Coming to Indy

The American Organization of Nurse Executives will hold its 43rd annual meeting and exposition in downtown Indianapolis next month, reports Inside INdiana Business. The 9-13 April event will bring nearly 2,500 attendees together to address nursing and health care issues.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gang Violence on Indy's Northside

Diana Vice has this on her blog today: "According to an inside source, school police officers working at Washington and Pike Township Schools were put on high alert today for potential gang violence after the IMPD reportedly issued a warning that threats were made by gang members from North Central High School against gang members who are associated with the Pike Township high school."

This Indianapolis Observer is speechless!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ivy Tech Hosts National Conference in Indy

Ivy Tech Community College will host the 47th National Conference on Technical Education in Indianapolis next month, reports Inside INdiana Business. The American Technical Education Association (ATEA) is an advocate for postsecondary technical education and a driving force behind work force development. The event will include a choice of four business and industry tours, a trade show and more than 40 sessions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Terra Cotta Warrior Emerges

Underground archaeological excavation in China and the treasures produced will be one of three major areas of interest for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis' new $4.2 million exhibit. Inside INdiana Business reports that museum officials opened a second crate today for the National Geographic Treasures of the Earth exhibit, which featured a Terra Cotta Warrior replica. The museum also announced it was partnering with the Xian Municipal Museum to help with the project.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Utility Public Meeting Schedule

Public meetings have been scheduled to garner feedback from Indianapolis residents concerning the memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer the City of Indianapolis’ (City) water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group (Citizens). They are as follows:

* Tomorrow (23 March), 6:30-8 p.m.: George Washington High School Cafeteria, 2215 West Washington Street, Indianapolis

*29 March, 6:30-8 p.m.: Aldersgate Free Methodist Church, 9035 East 21st Street, Indianapolis

*13 April, 6:30-8 p.m.: Family Life Center, Nu Corinthian Church, 5935 West 56th Street, Indianapolis

*20 April, 5-6:30 p.m.: Divine Savior Lutheran Church, 7315 East 75th Street, Indianapolis

Representatives from Mayor Greg Ballard's administration, Carey Lykins, Citizens CEO, and other key Citizens staff will be on hand to answer questions from residents and ratepayers regarding the transfer of the water and wastewater utilities.

On 10 March 2010, Mayor Ballard and Lykins signed the MOU to transfer the water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. Pending negotiation of final agreement and Board of Waterworks, Board of Public Works, City-Council Council and IURC approval, the City will receive more than $425 million that will be directly invested in the City’s crumbling infrastructure. In addition, Citizens agrees to assume approximately $1.5 billion of City debt (combined debt of waterworks and wastewater).

The Indianapolis mayor intends to file legislation for the utility transfers with the Indianapolis City-County Council on 16 April. In addition to approval by the City-County Council, the utility transfer must be approved by the Board of Water Works, the Board of Public Works and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Full approval would likely take place in late 2010.

For more information about the utility transfers and the schedule for public meetings, go online or call 317:327-4MAC.

Before attending one of the "information" sessions, this Indianapolis Observer suggests that you read this blog post.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Alexander Ralston: Architect of Indianapolis

Alexander Ralston came to Indiana in 1815, and designed its new capital, Indianapolis. Born in Scotland, he was a protégé of Pierre L'Enfant -- who famously designed Washington, D.C. (Indy's Mile Square grid crossed with diagonals and centered on a circle makes more sense now, doesn't it?)

Ralston will be the subject of a public lecture at 10 a.m. 14 April in the Indiana State Library, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. For more information, contact Elizabeth Schoettle.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Murat Naming Deal in Question

The new name for a central Indiana entertainment venue may soon be facing a legal challenge, reports Inside INdiana Business. Live Nation announced earlier this week that the Murat Centre has been renamed Old National Centre. However, Network Indiana/WIBC reports the group that owns the building says Live Nation did not have the authority to make the change. The Murat Temple Association says it is looking into what its legal options are to challenge the renaming.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Outrun the Sun

"Join the race against melanoma" as you "Outrun the Sun" on a 5-mile run, 5K run/walk or 1-mile run beginning at 7 p.m. 5 June at Fort Benjamin Harrison on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Promised are live music, food and a kids' zone and teams are welcome. For more information, go to, an Indianapolis-based organization dedicated to building national awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers, educating communities about preventive measures that reduce melanoma’s incidence rate and to raising funds for melanoma research.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As Noted on the Blogs

"The law firm of Riley, Bennett & Egloff LLP, took out an ad in the latest issue of the Indianapolis Business Journal to welcome its newest attorney -- Mark Massa, the Republican candidate for Marion County prosecutor, reports The Indianapolis Times.

This is so wrong on many levels that this Indianapolis Observer doesn't know where to how about this question: "Will the Riley, Bennett ad show up on Massa's pre-primary campaign finance report as an in-kind contribution?"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ballard Set for Life?

Comment of the day from the blogosphere:

"[Indianapolis Mayor Greg] Ballard has been told that if he plays his cards right, he'll be set in Indy for the rest of his life."

This Indianapolis Observer is horrified.

Monday, March 15, 2010

F1 Considers Return to Indy for US Grand Prix

According to the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, "Indianapolis is still a logical venue for a US Formula One grand prix and a return is on the cards, according to the sport's commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

"'It is [a possibility]', Ecclestone said. 'It's only the fact that it's all the wrong crowd and the wrong people ... nothing worked there really, we'd have to have a big change round. But we'd like to get back there.'

"Asked whether the United States could be back on the calendar as early as next year, he replied: 'We can have a look'."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Depressing Thoughts on a Gray Sunday

According to blogger Gary Welsh: "we have leadership [in Indy's Republican party] dripping with ethical issues and a growing appetite to tax the little guy to death while passing out big handouts to businesses that never produce the jobs they promise to produce when they are awarded our public tax dollars. When our Mayor recently used a clawback for a company that failed to meet its goals, he passed the money out to the agency that promotes downtown conventions and the economic development council that funds his international travels instead of returning it to the taxing districts that had been deprived of those revenues in the first place."

(This Indianapolis Observer notes that Ballard's in Brazil this month, and heading to India in April.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Paddy's Day

Next week is the day when everyone's Irish -- St. Patrick's Day, of course.

The celebration in Indianapolis begins with the annual "greening" of the Downtown Canal by Mayor Greg Ballard at 6:45 a.m. 17 March. Then, the 30th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at 11 a.m. along Indy's traditional downtown parade route. This year's "Irish Citizen of the Year" is the Rev. Glenn L. O'Connor.

Other St. Patrick's Day events in downtown Indy include the 18th annual St. Patrick's Day party from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Battery Park Saloon; a "Shamrock & Roll Tent Party" by Claddagh Irish Bar from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; corned beef & cabbage, Guinness and green beer from 8 a.m. to close at Elbow Room Pub; "Howl at the Moon St. Paddy's Day Bash" at What's Happening from 5 p.m. to close; Celtic fiddling by Emily Ann Thompson on the mezzanine of the Indianapolis City Market from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., The Rathskellar Restaurant's 13th Annual Indianapolis Downtown Irish Fest is 11 a.m.-close...and there's no doubt more going on throughout Indy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"A Feast for Your Eyes"

Peter Cook, a deaf performing artist, presents "A Feast for Your Eyes" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (13 March) in the theater at the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. Tickets are $18 at the door. The performance is part of "Storytellers Theater" presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and the Indiana Historical Society.

Cook's presentations are a "potpourri of American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting and movement". A voice interpreter will speak his signs for hearing audiences.

He also will perform "The Wacky Faces of Peter Cook" especially for audiences of children at 2 p.m. Saturday (13 March) at the IHS. Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Water Utility in Flux

According to the website, Mayor Greg Ballard and Citizens Energy Group CEO Carey Lykins will hold a joint news conference at 9 a.m. tomorrow (10 March)in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 25th floor of the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis.

Then, at 11 a.m., Michael Huber (director of Enterprise Development), David Sherman (director of the Department of Public Works) and Matthew Klein (executive director of the Department of Waterworks) -- but not the mayor -- will tell the public what they've decided (without public input, of course) about the City of Indianapolis' water and wastewater utilities. This event will be in the Riley Room of the Central branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 40 East St. Clair Street, Indianapolis.

Way to go, guys. This Indianapolis Observer loves how "transparent" the Ballard administration is when dealing with city matters -- not!

UPDATE (11 March 2010):
Indy's Painfully Objective Political Analysis blog has great commentary on this shameful episode in city government: Ballard "says we need to get our utilities out of the hands of 'politicians' so no office holder can be blamed at election time for implementing necessary rate hikes." Oh, lordy. Help our mayor keep from justifying "necessary" actions! (Has anybody told him a mayor is supposed to, ummmm, lead?)

Book & Author Luncheon

Five authors will talk about their work during the 30th annual Book & Author Luncheon sponsored by the Christamore House Guild. The benefit begins at 10 a.m. with books available for purchase and signing. The luncheon program is 11 a.m to 2 p.m. (although, if truth be told, it usually runs later than that). Diane Willis is mistress of ceremonies for the event, held in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

The authors and books are William Alexander (52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust), Elizabeth Berg (The Last Time I Saw You), Anna Fields (Confessions of a Rebel Debutante), Peter Hedges (The Heights) and Norris Church Mailer (A Ticket to the Circus).

Tickets are $85. For information, contact Jane Kroot, 317:849-5330. Proceeds from the luncheon support the Frances Carter Coburn Scholarship Fund and educational programs offered through Christamore House, 502 North Tremont Street, Indianapolis. Since 1981, more than $1 million has been awarded to more than 570 scholarship recipients from Indianapolis' Haughville neighborhood.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Indianapolis Art & Antiques Show

The 2010 Indianapolis Art & Antiques Show and Modernism in Design is next weekend in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis. It begins with "A Taste of Elegance", the preview party held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday (11 March), featuring tastings from 20 restaurants (tickets are $75 per person or $125 per couple).

The show itself is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday (12 March), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (13 March) and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (14 March). "Artful objects" from the 1800’s through the 1960’s will be on offer from 100 antiques dealers, art galleries and regional artists. Tickets are $10 at the door; fairgrounds parking is $3.

Friday's luncheon lecture, 11 a.m., will be given by former Indianapolis resident Suzanne Kasler. Tickets are $60. For the last 15 years her interior design business has been based in Atlanta, Ga. She is the author of Inspired Interiors.

Saturday's brunch lecture at 10:15 a.m., titled "Fabulous Flowers, Festive Fêtes" features floral designers and interior designers from the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, who arrange flowers on dining tables laden with colorful fabrics, antique and vintage china and silver. Admission is $30.

The show is presented by Methodist Hospital Task Core in partnership with Methodist Health Foundation in support of Methodist Hospital.

Friday, March 5, 2010

March Madness Underway in Indy

* 4-7 March -- Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament (Conseco Fieldhouse)

* 11-14 March -- Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament (Conseco Fieldhouse)

* 12 March, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. -- Big Ten Conference Career Expo (Union Station)

* 14 March, 11 a.m. – Big Ten Hoops Day 5K (Downtown Indianapolis)

* 14 March, 1:30 p.m. – Men’s Pep Rally (Ober parking Lot)

* 27 March, 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. – IHSAA Boys State Basketball Finals (Conseco Fieldhouse)

* 27 March, 3 p.m. 100th Anniversary IHSAA Celebration Parade (downtown)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clown Around at Circus Day

Celebrate Indiana's circus history at the 9th Annual Circus Day in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. It's 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 27 March.

This celebration of Indiana’s circus history will feature performances from the Peru Amateur Circus, Key School Circus, and Snakehead Ed. Other entertainment elements include clowns, magic, juggling, humor and more. From 3-5 p.m., Radio Disney will also be on site with music, games and prizes.

Activities also include face painting, balloon sculpture, crafts, photo opportunities, carnival games and a calliope. The Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin To Go, will be open, and snacks will be available for purchase.

Evidently there'll be an admission charge to the IHC, because of the new Indiana Experience (opening the previous weekend), but this Indianapolis Observer could find no indication on the IHC website of what that admission charge will be.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Woodard Buys Canterbury Hotel

The new owner of the Canterbury Hotel in downtown Indianapolis says customers can expect a unique, "non-corporate" property that will have a local warmth and flavor, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Indianapolis entrepreneur Turner Woodard is buying the Canterbury, "rescuing the landmark 99-room hotel from an uncertain future". Woodard believes the Canterbury can compete nicely as a locally owned boutique hotel, like those seen in other major U.S. cities.

Turner also owns The Stutz buildings downtown.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Davidson Street Encampment Decamps

This Indianapolis Observer notes that the city has (finally) done something about the squatters on the near eastside of downtown. Eviction (and fencing off the sidewalk!) is a temporary solution, alas! They'll just set their tents somewhere else and start frightening and harassing another Indy neighborhood.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Stranger Things have Happened"

Mitch Daniels for president in 2012? Ross Douthat of The New York Times thinks it possible. In today's paper, he writes: "For a Daniels candidacy to catch fire, what’s left of the Republican establishment, currently (if reluctantly) coalescing around Mitt Romney, would have to decide that he’s the better pick. That would mean gambling that the best way to defeat the most charismatic president of modern times is to nominate a balding, wonky Midwesterner who reminds voters of their accountant."