Thursday, August 29, 2013

One Unintended Consequence of the Cricket Park

"The city of Indianapolis will pay at least $15,000 to replace one home water well and lower pumps in three others because they're being sucked dry by an irrigation system at a park where crews are building international sports fields," reports the Associated Press at

Your Indianapolis Observer notes the AP's choice of the term "sucked dry" and ponders that it might be used in a broader context regarding the city's expenditures for the World Sports Park and other ill-advised ventures.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No Money for Cops; Plenty for Pacers

"If you don't wake up and start firing every politician in this town who says he or she supports public subsidies for the wealthiest man in Indiana who doesn't even live in our city, then you deserve the poor government services you receive for the eternally higher taxes and fees this city can impose upon you."

You can read the rest here: CIB Prepares To Gift Another $11 Million To Billionaire Herb Simon's Indiana Pacers While Mayor Demands Taxpayers Pay More For Fewer City Services.

This Indianapolis Observer, who often disagrees with Gary R. Welsh, thinks he's spot-on for this topic. Can't understand how Republicans just roll over.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Indy's Slovenian Festival

Celebrate Slovenian heritage with music, food, beer and polkas at the almost annual Indy Slovenian Festival.

It all begins at 10 a.m. 1 September on the Slovenian National Home picnic grounds, 1340 Yates Lane, Avon (map).

Admission is $5 (note: kids 16 and under are free with a paid adult admission).

Beginning at 1 p.m., the Slovenian Festival serves sausage produced locally by Yaggers Conservation and Laško Pivo (beer). Other refreshments include typical Slovenian dishes such as potica.

The Slovenian National Home, sponsor of this event, has been a cultural organization since 1918 within the Haughville neighborhood.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Daniels' Education Scandal Continues

"[Former Indiana superintendent of public instruction Tony] Bennett changed the grades of privately run charter schools on behalf of his financial backers. Indeed, as the Associated Press reported, 'When it appeared an Indianapolis charter school run by a prominent Republican donor might receive a poor grade, Bennett’s education team frantically overhauled his signature ‘A-F’ school grading system to improve the school’s marks.'"

School reform is based "not around policies that would most help children, but around legislation that would most quickly expand the profit margins of its donors in the for-profit education industry" (and, more broadly, the pet project of the prominent GOP contributor in Indy whose charter school "might receive a poor grade").

As David Sirota concludes on, "If you are backed by enough money, you will almost always retain your status in America — no matter how wrong you are and how many lives you ruin."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Are You Doing With Our Money, Greg?

"[Indiana] Attorney General [Greg] Zeller is using his public office to advocate for his personal religious views—views that are highly divisive in an increasingly pluralistic society. Such use of an elected office is improper, and it should stop."

So says Sheila Kennedy in "Fight the Culture War On Your Own Nickel, Greg".

This Indianapolis Observer agrees: "If lawyers in the office have enough spare time to work on numerous legal matters not germane to state business, it would seem the office is overstaffed."

What say you, Gov. Pence?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Indiana’s public schooling is doomed

The news on the education front only gets worse.

It's not enough that the defeated superintendent of public instruction in Indiana rigged charter school ratings to benefit a GOP contributor and that the governor tried to remove a textbook from classrooms, the beat goes on.

"Indiana’s public schooling is doomed," proclaims the headline on "As governor, Mitch Daniels cut $150 million from higher education. He'll wreak more havoc as Purdue's president."

"It shouldn’t surprise us that Daniels — known for his disdain towards public education and teachers — would be appointed the head of a leading public university," write Tithi Bhattacharya and Bill V. Mullen for an article which first appeared in Jacobin (the head line there is "What’s the Matter with Indiana?").

"During Daniels’ term of governor, student tuition at Purdue increased nearly 100 percent due to state funding cuts, and student debt reached a record high of $26,000 per student."

"Indeed, his decisions at the state level made him attractive as the ideal candidate to complete the job of dismantling the public infrastructure of a land grant university such as Purdue."

"The outcomes of these processes are striking: there is now a nation-wide drop in college enrollment — according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a decline of 2.3% this year alone.

Can there be any way faster to race to the bottom than by attacking public education?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blame Canada?

Really? Eli Lilly & Co. is suing Canadians 'cause the Indy-based company didn't make enough profit?

Seems that "under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a company can sue another NAFTA country if that nation’s laws affect its expected future profit. In this case, Eli Lilly is 'losing profit' because Canadian regulators dared to act within Canadian laws and rightly denied patents on two of Eli Lilly’s expensive drugs."

Read the whole thing here: Eli Lilly is Suing Canadians for $500 Million.