Thursday, December 30, 2010


This Indianapolis Observer was oblivious to this morning's magnitude 3.8 earthquake (Thursday, 30 December 2010 at 07:55:21 a.m. at epicenter -- 75 km NNE of Indy).

Anybody else notice it?

More online.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Indy's Mini-Marathon is Sold Out, Again

The 500 Festival has announced that the 35th running of the Mini-Marathon was sold out as of 28 December, with 35,000 entries from all 50 states and nine countries. The event is scheduled for May 7, 2011.

Registration remains open for the 5K run until 31 March 2011 -- or until the date the maximum field of 4,000 is reached.

The Mini is the nation’s largest half marathon with 35,000 runners and walkers. This is the tenth consecutive year the event has sold out.

The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo, open to the public, takes place on 5 and 6 May at the Indiana Convention Center. Participants pick up their race packets and visit the booths of more than 80 companies and vendors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Get Those Electronics Into the Trash This Week?

Effective 1 January 2011, Indiana households, public schools, and small businesses will no longer be allowed to mix unwanted electronics with municipal waste that’s intended for disposal at a landfill or by burning or incineration, according to the City of Indianapolis. This ban is implemented in cooperation with state law.

Indianapolis and Marion County residents can dispose of unwanted electronics such as computer monitors and equipment, televisions, printers, DVD players, and fax machines through the City’s ToxDrop program. The program is opened to all City residents to drop off their electronic and household hazardous waste to be recycled and/or disposed of properly.

Electronics (everything from cell phones to computers) may contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury. These materials, if buried in a landfill, can contaminate groundwater and cause serious health issues for people.

Residents are limited to disposing of five computer systems per visit. ToxDrop locations are open year round and the service is free of charge. For more information about the ToxDrop program, go online or call 317:327-4TOX (317:327-4869).

ToxDrop Locations and Times
Belmont Avenue Collection Facility - 2700 South Belmont Avenue - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
IMPD Training Facility (located near Superior Court 13) - 9049 East 10th Street - 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Perry Township Government Center - 4925 South Shelby Street - 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Traders Point Collection Facility - 7550 North Lafayette Road - 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Polite Puppy Club

The Humane Society of Indianapolis promises both family-friendly and dog-friendly training classes for your four-footed family members of the canine variety.

The Polite Puppy Club is for 2- to 4-month old dogs. Tweener Club enrolls dogs 4- to 6-months old. The Obedience Level program is for dogs 6 months and older.

Those interested in visiting long-term medical facilities or educational programs with their dogs should sign up for the Therapy Level Program.

Ten sessions are $165, and 16 sessions are $225. For information on what's included and how to register your pet, go online.

The Humane Society of Indianapolis also offers private training and behavior lessons. They're $75 per hour at your home or $50 per hour at the shelter.

Oh, they offer cat training too. (Who knew?)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Catch the Titantic Before It Steams Off

The blockbuster "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" takes you on a journey back in time to experience the legend of Titanic like never before. The galleries in this exhibition feature over 240 real artifacts recovered from the ocean floor along with room re-creation and personal stories, each highlighting a different chapter in the story of the Titanic's maiden -- and final -- voyage.

But it closes 16 January at the Indiana State Museum, 650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, so don't wait much longer to see it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Terry Border: Bent Objects

Indianapolis artist Terry Border turns everyday objects into works of art by giving them “human” forms and personalities. Border animates these formerly mundane objects (such as food, toys, and household items) in light-hearted ways that help viewers relate to these “Bent Objects.”

They'll be on exhibit in the Art Gallery in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center at University of Indianapolis, 1400 East Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis 17 January through 11 February.

The exhibition, open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., is based on Border’s book Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things.

Some of his objects are pictured here, and you can see more samples of his work on You Tube.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Toys 2010 at Gallery 924

There are just two days -- tomorrow and Wednesday -- left to see the "TOYS 2010" exhibition at Gallery 924 of the Indianapolis Arts Council, 924 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis.

The invitational holiday art exhibit, sponsored by Primary Colours, features invited artists each of whom interpreted the theme. It comes down 22 December.

Primary Colours is a nonprofit arts organization that facilitates interaction between visual artists and the community.

The photo shows a detail of "Steam Train" by Justin Cooper, mixed-media on wood completed in 2009.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Story You Didn't Read in The Star

A former manager in The Tampa (Florida)Tribune sports department pleaded guilty in January 2010 to charges he stole the identity of a one-time friend and colleague to apply for credit cards and buy a house. By pleading guilty to a charge of grand theft, Tom Brew (pictured) faced a maximum five-year sentence, but he was sentenced to two months of probation.

Brew is assistant sports editor at The Indianapolis Star.

There's more on Ruth Holladay's blog.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spa to Reopen at Conrad Hotel

Conrad Indianapolis says it has reached an agreement with Indiana entrepreneurs to re-open the hotel spa, reports Inside INdiana Business. Todd and Cindy Leuck will invest $400,000 to launch The Spa & Salon at Conrad, which is expected to open by the end of March. In September, Spa Chakra filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Leucks are "second generation hair designers" from Lafayette with more than 25 years of experience in the hair industry, according to their website.

This Indianapolis Observer finds it odd that the first "purpose-built" Conrad in the entire chain has been without a spa for this long, and also that it was unable to maintain its own restaurant on site (Capital Grille is a chain franchise). These are probably two of the reasons it wasn't able to get five-star status in AAA (or any other) ranking scheme.

(Photo courtesy of the Conrad Indianapolis)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Law Enforcement Study Commission Hearings

This evening, Darryl Pierce, Ron Hicks and John Conley told the Law Enforcement Study Commission about the events of the day K-9 Officer David Bisard crashed his police cruiser into a group of motorcyclists, killing one and seriously injuring two others, reports Gary R. Welsh in his blog, Advance Indiana.

"These three men could not have done a better job of explaining the events from a factual standpoint for the first time. Their testimony totally discredits the report Public Safety Director Frank Straub and IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski issued to support their demotion of the three officers and other actions taken in the wake of the incident."

Read more here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do You Have a Soft Spot for Homeless Pets?

Volunteers are an ongoing need at Indianapolis Animal Care & Control (they donate more than 18,000 hours each year). Doing what? Dog walking, grooming & bathing, kennel cleaning -- yeah, just about anything.

Check out the website and see if this commitment to community service is for you! (Fido and Fluffy will thank you.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Central Indiana Home Sales Down

Home-sale agreements in the nine-county central Indiana region dropped 17.5 percent in November compared to the same month a year ago, according to a report released Monday morning by F.C. Tucker Company.

The decline marked the seventh straight month that year-over-year home sales have slumped in central Indiana.

Read more here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tully is Clueless?

In today's commentary in The Indianapolis Star, Matthew Tully outlines his reasons why Mayor Greg Ballard won't win re-election. They are police scandals, crime, his status as an incumbent, the Democrats' county majority and his "apolitical" stance.

Say what?

This Indianapolis Observer wonders why he didn't mention the elephants in the room! You know, that herd of mistakes that includes big bucks to the Simons for the Pacers, big bucks (via Lucas Oil Stadium) for the Colts, big bucks to Buckingham for NoSo, big bucks to ACS for the parking meter lease, big bucks (still to come) for the towing contract, big bucks to hire Frank Straub, big bucks for....

Meanwhile, the library has to cut back and IndyGo continues its decline. IPS is a shambles.

Well, you get the idea. Too bad Tully doesn't get it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Indiana State Fair Stays at 17 Days for 2011

The Indiana State Fair Commission today approved the State Fair Board’s recommendation to continue the State Fair’s 17-day format into the foreseeable future, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The switch from 12 days to 17 days first took place in 2009. The decision means the fair will continue to start five Fridays prior to Labor Day for at least the next three years. Dates for those fairs are as follows:

- 5 – 21 August 2011

- 3 – 19 August 2012

- 2 – 18 August 2013

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Andy Warhol at the IMA

You'd better get a move on if you want to see the exhibit "Andy Warhol Enterprises" at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis.

The exhibit examines Warhol’s lifelong exploration of commerce, consumerism, and the business of art making. With artwork ranging from shop window designs and commercial illustrations of the 1950s to his groundbreaking paintings of consumer products and stars of the 1960s, and ultimately to his ventures into television, film and magazines of the 1970s and 1980s, Andy Warhol Enterprises serves as a window into the world of commerce and art, and the ways that Warhol intentionally blurred the lines between the two.

Or as he put it, "Good business is the best art."

The IMA will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 1 January -- a good thing, since the exhibit closes 2 January. Exhibition admission is $14, with children 6 and under admitted free (as are IMA members).

Image Credit: Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1963-64, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution (c) The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 1998.1.810

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday for Strings

Combine lunch, music and a bit of shopping on 15 December when the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association hosts “Holiday for Strings” at the Hilbert Circle Theatre on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

ISO Principal Harp Diane Evans (pictured) will perform, lunch will be served and unique holiday gifts will be available for purchase. Tickets range from $50 to $75, and proceeds benefit the ISO.

There'll be two shopping periods in the boutique and Symphony Store, one beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. Lunch is served at noon.

The event is open to the public. To make reservations call the ISOA office at 317:262-4068 or send an email to the office at (reservations deadline is 10 December).

(Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Freeman Leaving Martin University

Controversial Martin University President Algeania Freeman will retire 31 December after three years at the school, officials said late Monday morning (6 December).

The report on notes that former NCAA executive Charlotte Westerhaus will serve as acting president while the predominantly black university conducts a nationwide search for a new leader.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ballard's Delusions

"Mayor Greg Ballard says he is running for a second term because people think he's been such a great fiscal steward. Say what?" -- Gary R. Welsh

"Ballard has to be delusional if he thinks he is going to be able to win re-election running as some sort of fiscal conservative who has been a responsible steward of our tax dollars." -- Paul K. Ogden

This Indianapolis Observer thinks the upcoming primary contests should be great fun to watch. If only the future of our favorite city weren't at stake....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Crime Novelist to Speak at Butler

Elmore Leonard (pictured) will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday (6 December) in Clowes Hall, Butler University, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, as part of the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series. Admission is free.

Leonard, a crime and suspense novelist, is the author of Glitz (1985), Freaky Deaky (1988), Tishomingo Blues (2002) and Road Dogs (2009). Films made from his novels include Hombre (1967, starring Paul Newman), Valdez is Coming (1971, starring Burt Lancaster), Get Shorty (1995, starring John Travolta), Jackie Brown (1997, starring Pam Grier, from the 1992 novel Rum Punch), Out of Sight (1998, starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez) and The Big Bounce (2004, starring Owen Wilson).

Leonard has written several screenplays, including Joe Kidd (1972, starring Clint Eastwood) and Mr. Majestyk (1974, starring Charles Bronson). The current FX network series Justified, about a U.S. marshal named Raylan Givens, is based on his novella Fire in the Hole.

Friday, December 3, 2010

GOP Searching for New County Chair

According to the Indianapolis Times, "[D]uring [Tom] John's tenure [as Republican chairman for Marion County] , the GOP lost every countywide race in 2010, the number of straight Democratic Party votes in Marion County soared and Republicans have been caught up in an ever expanding culture of corruption."

This Indianapolis Observer thinks John (pictured) will be a hard act to follow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vonnegut Library Gets More National Press

"Now open on weekends and open full-time in 2011, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library has been a labor of love for volunteers like President Julia Whitehead and her board, which includes all of Vonnegut's children and friend Morley Safer. Although its collection is still taking shape, it features a virtual reliquary of Vonnegut's personal effects, many of which will be familiar to readers of his novels."

Read the rest of Matt Sledge's report on the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conner Prairie by Candlelight

'Twas the night before Christmas more than 174 years ago and you and your family are in Prairietown helping prepare for the holidays! Visit homes in Prairietown in a family-friendly, 60-minute guided tour. Join the Ullman's Hanukkah celebration and meet the German Pennsylvania Santa Claus. Join the Rowdies at the bonfire to warm up your hands in the cool night air.

Stay as long as you like at the Campbell's holiday party! Dr. George Campbell is the founder of Prairietown and the only college-trained physician; he and his wife love to meet visitors and entertain them at the family home during the holidays. Join in singing, dancing, good conversation and partaking of cookies and drinking chocolate. Hopefully, Dr. Campbell won't be called away to attend to a patient in the midst of the festivities!

All this takes place at Conner Prairie by Candlelight, the annual weekend celebration at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers. Tours begin every 10 minutes between 5 and 8 p.m. 3,4,10,11, 17 and 18 December. It's $14 for adults and $12 for youth (ages 2-12). There's an additional fee if you intend to stay for dinner.

Reservations are required by calling Guest Services at 317:776-6006 or 800:966-1836.