Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hoosiers in the News

According to the New York Times, "Biomet, the medical devices company being sold to its rival Zimmer Holdings [both are based in Warsaw, Indiana], is suspected of helping to bribe government officials in Mexico and Brazil, according to the confidential documents, which have not been previously reported."

Read more about the unfolding scandal here.

The Great Train Show

The Great Train Show is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. January 3 and 4, 2015, in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis.

Admission is $9 at the door; children 12 and younger, free.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

IMA's Boneheaded Decision

It's kinda ironic that the following article appears just as the Indianapolis Museum of Art decides to impose an admission fee (albeit not until next April).

Yes, the IMA is #5 on the list of "19 Free Art Museums You Should Visit Over The Holidays".

The IMA is withdrawing from the ranks of such stellar collections as the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Saint Louis Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The IMA tried charging admission last decade, and admissions dropped so precipitously that they gave up the experiment. How does that maxim go? Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it?

Friday, December 5, 2014


The G355 German Theatre Class at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis presents Katharina Schlender’s "Dornröschen Oder Das Märchen vom Erwachen" (Sleeping Beauty or a Tale of Awakening), an adaptation from Grimm’s Fairy Tales (abridged).

It starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday (10 December) in CA 003 (also known as the basement of Cavanaugh Hall), 425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis.

The traditional tale of the princess awakened from her enchanted sleep by the kiss of a charming prince is dramatized in a new adaptation that reworks the familiar threads of the Grimm’s fairy tale into a comic drama of female rebellion.

Oh -- and, best of all, it's presented in the original German.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Eagle Creek Park Closed Thanksgiving Weekend

Yes, we need to reduce the number of deer in Marion County. But, really: do we need to schedule the slaughter for a holiday weekend? When we'd like to relax a bit and show off one of Indy's jewels to visiting family and friends?

Those of us planning a stroll (or a jog or a bike ride) through Eagle Creek Park Friday through Sunday (28-30 November) are out of luck.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will close the park to the public for the initial deer reduction phases of its Deer Management Program. All park sponsored activities and programs are cancelled for that weekend.

Yes: the deer (with no natural predators in Indiana) are causing deforestation, loss of biodiversity, a loss of species and a general change in the nature of the forest. But should the shooting take place on what otherwise would be a busy weekend for the park?

A second phase of the initial deer reduction will occur through professional services provided by the United States Department of Agriculture at later dates which have not yet been determined. The dates of the second deer reduction activities will be provided to the public once they are set.

Deer carcases will be processed off-site and the meat will be offered to Wounded Warriors Outdoors, local shelters and food banks.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Indy's International Festival

If you think Indy is monochromatic, you haven't been to the International Festival.

It features exhibits from the 50+ ethnic groups represented in Central Indiana as they gather to share their rich cultural histories and traditions with their neighbors.

Highlights of the festival include authentic foods from 20+ ethnic vendors; continuous ethnic music and dance by local and national performing groups; Culture Booths hosted by volunteers in traditional dress where you can connect with your own ethnic heritage; artisans demonstrating traditional crafts; a Naturalization Ceremony (welcome our newest American citizens) and an International Marketplace offering gifts from around the world.

The festival is the signature event of the Nationalities Council of Indiana, showcasing Indiana’s ethnic diversity, celebrating our unique ethnic traditions, and encouraging cultural exchange.

The next one is November 21 through 23, 2014, in the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Our Own Philip Gulley Nails It

"The merit of a position can be gauged by the temperament of its supporters, and these days the NRA reminds me of the folks who packed the courtroom of the Scopes monkey trial, fighting to preserve a worldview no thoughtful person espoused. This worship of guns grows more ridiculous, more difficult to sustain, and they know it, hence their theatrics, their parading through Home Depot and Target, rifles slung over shoulders. Defending themselves, they say. From what, from whom? I have whiled away many an hour at Home Depots and Targets and never once come under attack."

"I’ve come to believe “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” no longer promotes our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but daily threatens them. How free are we when more people are shot and killed each year in America than populate the towns in which many of us live? How free are we when a backpack that unfolds into a bulletproof covering is a must-have item for schoolchildren?"

The Quaker pastor from Indy's western suburbs wrote his essay for Salon. Read it all here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Extra Hour: More Booze

IBJ.com reports that alcohol sales in the Hoosier state will be legal for an extra hour on Sunday morning along with the end of daylight saving time.

IBJ notes that the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission allows sales to continue until 3 a.m. November 2 -- although this Indianapolis Observer could find no press release or other information on the commission's site to back up that claim.

In any case, you do remember that it's "spring forward, fall back", right? Adjust your clocks back to 1 a.m. November 2 when daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. And get ready to drive home in the dark.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Indiana Orphans the Toll Road

"A state official says no effort will be made to reclaim the Indiana Toll Road from its private operator, which filed for bankruptcy protection in late Sepember," reports IBJ.com.

This Indianapolis Observer is speechless.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ballard Won't Run Again

According to Advance Indiana, "Mayor Greg Ballard is expected to announce shortly that he won't be seeking a third term as Indianapolis mayor next year."

Anyone surprised?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Only the Strong Persist

The Indiana State Museum will host a major retrospective exhibition of 40 paintings and drawings, a sculpture and several pieces of hand-painted china by Hoosier artist William J. Forsyth (1854-1935), from November 8, 2014, through March 29, 2015. The works selected for the show capture the essence of Forsyth, an award-winning artist known for his volatile personality and artistic versatility.

The exhibition William J. Forsyth: Only the Strong Persist is drawn from the Indiana State Museum's permanent fine art collection and several private collectors, including Susan Forsyth Selby Sklar of San Marcos, Calif., granddaughter of Forsyth and noted art collector. This exhibit will accompany William J. Forsyth: The Life and Work of an Indiana Artist (Indiana University Press, 2014), a comprehensive book about Forsyth that will be available for purchase in the museum's Indiana Store.

"The attention to Forsyth, an important artist and teacher in Indiana who was an Indianapolis eastside Irvington resident, is long overdue. He was part of the original Hoosier Group artists, one of five Indiana painters who garnered nation acclaim for their work." said Mark Ruschman, curator of fine art. "Many of the works in the exhibition borrowed from private collections will be seen by the public for the first time. Exhibition co-curator Rachel Berenson Perry has assembled an impressive selection of works highlighting the artist's tremendous talents and impressive career."

The opening reception will take place from 6:30 to 8 p0.m. November 6. Reception ticket prices are $25 (members) and $35 (general) each and will be available through Eventbrite and the museum's ticket office.

The exhibition is included with museum admission.

(Image from Fosyth painting courtesy of Indiana State Museum)

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Luncheon with Hapsburg Royalty

A luncheon reception in honor of the Archduke and Archduchess of Austria, Markus Salvator and Hildegarde von Habsburg-Lothringen, will be held from 12:15 to 2 p.m. 19 September 2014 in the first floor auditorium ballroom of the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.

It's sponsored by the Indiana German Heritage Society.

Tickets at $20 per person are available online; registration deadline is 15 September 2014.

The royal pair are visiting Indiana to help commemorate the 175th birthday of Ferdinand. The archduke is the great-great-great-nephew of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, for whom the town was named.

Archduke Markus and his wife reside at the Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl, Upper Austria, the former summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

They will arrive in Ferdinand 20 September, to attend the Ferdinand Folk Festival. Joining them will be two relatives who now live in the states, Renate Princess Windisch-Graetz and Count Ferdinand Graf von Seefried auf Buttenheim.

Friday, August 29, 2014

About the Sudden Need for Security Gates at the Governor's Mansion...

Mike Pence "is getting a closer look as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and there’s a growing sense among GOP operatives that he has a leg up over other contenders when it comes to winning the favor of the political network fronted by the billionaire conservative megadonors Charles and David Koch.

Read the speculation here.

"A former talk show host who led a crusade to defund Planned Parenthood in the House, Pence has worked to spotlight the fiscal issues that animate the Kochs’ political giving."

Oh, my!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Indiana's Cocktail Contest

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is "shaking things up" with an invitation to submit recipes for the Making Indiana's Cocktail Contest, a competition designed to select the Hoosier state's 2015 unofficial cocktail.

The competition comes at a time when the museum is preparing to host the national traveling exhibit "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" and its grand opening fundraiser "Indiana Spirits".

All Indiana bartenders are encouraged to submit a recipe by the September 12 deadline. One of three required spirit brands must be included for the contest: American Harvest Vodka, Knob Creek or Jack Daniels (because the event is co-sponsored by Republic National Distributing Company of Imdiana). Bartenders are also encouraged to connect their recipe to Indiana's rich history and culture.

Guests attending "Indiana Spirits" October 3 will sample the top three recipes. Following the opening event and continuing through January 1, 2015, Hoosiers will be encouraged to visit the three bars represented by the finalists and partake in public voting to name Indiana's 2015 cocktail.

Rules for Recipe:
• No homemade ingredients (i.e., aged vermouth/bitters, spirit infusions, etc.)
• Easily available ingredients (i.e., sodas, tonics, juices, bitters, simple syrups, etc.)
• No more than five ingredients per cocktail, including one of the required spirit brands
• Submit recipes by September 12 to the Indiana State Museum or your RNDC sales representative
• If recipe is selected as a finalist, attendance is required at the Indiana State Museum's Indiana Spirits event October 3 to showcase cocktail

• Creativity
• Practicality
• Representation of Indiana
• Taste (presentation, flavor, balance, use of brands and ingredients)

• The top 10 recipes will be judged and selected by a committee of local beverage professionals, bartenders and community representatives
• The top three recipes will be represented and showcased at "Indiana Spirits"
• October 4 through January 1, 2015, people's choice online votes will be tabulated culminating with the selection of Indiana's 2015 cocktail

Top three prizes
• Basket of spirits
• two Indianapolis Colts tickets
• Showcase at "Indiana Spirits" October 3

Top prize
• Voted Indiana's 2015 cocktail
• Featured in The Beverage Journal
• VIP tour of the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Clermont, Kentucky or Jack Daniels Distillery, Lynchburg, Tennessee. (hotel and travel included)

(Photo by Stephanie Syjuco)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

International Market Day

It's got an unfortunate name -- Manthan International Market -- but the idea is a good one.

Indy presents the world in a one-day marketplace set for noon to 5 p.m. 30 August 2014 near the intersection of Mass Ave, College Avenue and St. Clair Street. (The actual street address is the Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416, 748 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana.)

It's an event that'll be repeated from noon to 5 p.m. 27 September 2014.

Despite what you may think from looking at the name, this market isn't envisioned a masculine endeavor. Manthan is a Hindi word that means "churning of knowledge."

This Indianapolis Observer wonders why Manthan Market hasn't already partnered with Indy Ethnic Food -- another non-profit with congruent goals. Seems like there'd be instant synergy.

(Photo Courtesy of Manthan International Market)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Squirrel Hunting Season Begins Today

No, I'm not making this up.

The 2014-2015 fall hunting season has arrived with the opening of squirrel hunting season today, 15 August 2014.

Squirrel season will continue through January 31, 2015.

Hunters may harvest both gray and fox squirrels (that's a fox squirrel, at left), and can "harvest" (that's the DNR term) up to five squirrels per day.

To hunt squirrels, Indiana residents must purchase the annual hunting license for $17 ($7 youth consolidated license), and nonresidents must purchase the $80 annual hunting license or the $31 five-day hunting license ($17 annual youth hunting).

To purchase a hunting license, go to IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov. Additional information on regulations and licensing is at wildlife.IN.gov.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bait-and-Switch Bikes

"You can buy a 24-hour pass for $8 as part of Indy's new Pacers Bikeshare program and get unlimited use of a bike for 24 hours.

"But there's a catch. If you don't check the bike in every 30 minutes at one of 25 stations dotted along the Cultural Trail, that $8 bill will skyrocket to $194 for 24 hours."

This Indianapolis Observer is appalled. Who rides a bike, stopping along the Cultural Trail for less than a half-hour at a time? That's not enough time to browse in the Kurt Vonnegut Museum or savor a coffee at Starbucks or shop at Circle Center Mall or make a trip to the library.

What idiot/ approved this get-rich-quick scheme?


More reasons to avoid the Bikeshare program are outlined here:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

On Our Way to a Record

"Indianapolis' violent year has become more so with two holiday weekend shootings, including one that killed a decorated officer."

Yes, we made national news again today (this report is via the Associated Press) -- and not in a good way.

This Indianapolis Observer wonders where all the trolls who attacked Mayor Bart Peterson for the homicide rate are hiding, now that Mayor Greg Ballard's administration is cruising toward the all-time high number of homicides in a single year (and it's only July).

But, look! shiny! we've got the Pacers and the Colts and Indy Eleven and a Cricket Park and a soon-to-be-renovated Natatorium...!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Rathskeller's Number One

Thrillist compiled the 21 best beer gardens in the United States, and our very own Rathskeller is first on the list.

Way to go, Indy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Johnson County Buys a 55,000-pound MRAP Tank

"Rural counties across Indiana have been purchasing Afghanistan-surplus tanks with gunner turrets and heavy armor; most recently, it was Johnson County, whose Sheriff, Doug Cox, justified the purchase by saying, 'The United States of America has become a war zone'."

Read it all here: "Small town sheriff buys tank"

And, watch out for those land mines evidently littering that Hoosier county south of Indy.


It's even worse than this Indianapolis Observer thought:
"In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war."

From:"War Gear Flows to Police Departments"

Calling All Prospective Beekeepers

The Indiana Beekeeping School takes place Friday and Saturday (June 13 and 14, 2014) in the Normandy Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The registration fee of $120 includes textbooks, notes and meals on Saturday. Attendees can bring additional family members for $95 each.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yet Another Reason to be Glad Mourdock Didn't Win

Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, who mounted an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2012, says America is going the way of Hitler's Nazi Germany, according to a report in the Huffington Post.

"Mourdock broke down the comparison in detail on Saturday [7 June], the day after the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy," writes Igor Bobic.

""The people of Germany in a free election selected the Nazi party because they made great promises that appealed to them because they were desperate and destitute. And why is that? Because Germany was bankrupt," [Mourdock] told a supportive crowd at the Indiana Republican Convention in Fort Wayne...."

This Indianapolis Observer is grateful this clown was not elected to represent us, as (given statements such as that) he certainly does not. Gov. Pence needs to distance himself from such inane comments pronto.

IBJ.com reports today (9 June): "Indiana Republican Chairman Tim Berry said he did not hear Mourdock's remarks, but said comparisons to Nazis are generally inappropriate."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trash Pickup Delayed by Memorial Day

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to remind residents that curbside recycling, residential and heavy trash pick up, will operate on a slide schedule next week in observance of Memorial Day, Monday, 26 May.

There will be NO residential trash, heavy trash or curbside recycling service on Monday, 26 May.

All routes will operate on a slide schedule. Services for the week will be delayed by one day through Saturday, 31 May.

All services will return to normal schedules Monday, 2 June.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Xi'an's Terra Cotta Warriors Visit the Children's Museum

If a picture says 1000 words, this should convince you to buy a ticket for the Xi'an Terra Cotta Warriors on view at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. Open through 2 November 2014.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pence as Pontius Pilate: An Easter Meditation

"Pilate politics is when a governor, in the face of thousands of lives that could be saved, still chooses to deny Medicaid to people in his or her state, due to some gauzy longitudinal theory or misplaced fiscal principle."

(Yes, Governor Pence: he's talking about you.)

This is from "The Politics of Pontius Pilate: How Not to Lead" by Joshua DuBois, posted on the Daily Beast.

He writes, "But in seemingly benign ways every day, our leaders still practice a lesser form of Pontius Pilate politics — with dangerous, deadly consequences..."

"It's a difficult thing to go against the will of the crowd, to buck the norms of a given party, system or age—but in doing so, you never know who you might save."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Misplaced Priorities

On a day when a 16-year-old thug, accused of two murders, is (finally) brought before a judge after not one or two but 13 probation violations, this Indianapolis Observer can only wonder at Mayor Greg Ballard's misplaced priorities.

Computer programmers are being gunned down on the streets and we're giving (literally) hundreds of millions so a couple of billionaires can enjoy owning sports teams?

As Gary R. Welsh writes today on Advance Indiana:

"Indianapolis taxpayers have contributed more than $1 billion to support [Jim} Irsay's Colts organization and by extension his drug addiction, but the City will have no money to pay for basic city services in next year's budget unless you agree to fork over additional money by agreeing to pay higher taxes. But yes, it has $160 million to give to our other billionaire sports team owner, Herb Simon, over the next ten years."

I hope the misguided crew who brought down Bart Peterson [ironically over the homicide rade] are happy with the city they've managed to destroy by installing someone in thrall to "big business". Under Lugar, Hudnut (brief hiatus for Goldsmith) and then Peterson, we had a great run.

These days? We're known as the city with a homicide rate greater than Chicago's. Terrific.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Is It About the Artifacts...or Something Else?

As Gary R. Welsh writes, "Seriously, The FBI Devoted Massive Resources To Seize A 91-Year Old Man's Private Collection Of Artifacts?"

Rush County's Don Miller is, indeed, a collector of long-standing -- and his collection of pots, arrowheads, bones etc. is enormous.

But it hardly seems to warrant FBI overkill (when we can't even find all of Tim Durham's more contemporary assets).

Although this Indianapolis Observer is not a fan of Welsh's conspiracy theories, he does raise valid questions here: is there something else the Feds are looking for while using the artifacts as a smokescreen? Such as (he suggests) information on the space program of the former USSR -- a project in which Dr. Miller evidently was involved.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Poet Richard Blanco Reads at IUPUI

Poet Richard Blanco (pictured) will read some of his poems beginning at 7:30 p.m. 10 April in the Basile Auditorium of the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, 735 West New York Street.

The event is part of the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series and is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research as part of IUPUI’s Research Day 2014.

In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States.

The poet was born in Madrid in 1968, immigrating as an infant with his Cuban-exile family
to the United States. He was raised and educated in Miami, earning a B.S. in civil engineering and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University.

He has been a practicing engineer, writer and poet since 1991. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, Writer’s Center and Central Connecticut State University. Blanco currently lives in Bethel, Maine.

His books include City of a Hundred Fires (1998), Directions to the Beach of the Dead (2005), Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012), One Today (2013), Boston Strong (2013), and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (2013).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hoosiers Fail Math 'n' Reading

According to the Associated Press, Indiana is the first state to withdraw from the Common Core reading and math standards that were adopted by most states around the country.

This Indianapolis Observer is betting that's because the Indiana State legislators took a look at the level of competence the standards required, and couldn't pass muster.

Hoosiers don't want their kids to be less illiterate or innumerate than they are, don't you know? Book learning drives a wedge between parents and children.

Ignorance starts with adults who should know better.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When You're Here, You're Home

Yes: "Parks and Recreation" soars where the Indiana Department of Tourism crashed.

The fictional Pawnee decided on "When You're Here, Then You're Home", which (edited to remove the "then") would indeed be a perfect tourism slogan for Indiana.

The show's second palce slogan, "Storied Past, Bright Future", is better, too, considering Indiana's Bicentennial is in 2016. (Hat-tip to Paul K. Ogden for the information.)

This Indianapolis Observer thinks that "Honest to Goodness" is indefensible, and definitely not worth the $100,000 wasted on its development. The Hoosier State could have spent that money on tourism ads during "Parks and Recreation" had had a better return on its investment.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sinkholes in City Streets vs. Luxury Condos

This Indianapolis Observer doesn't have much to add to Gary R. Welsh's commentary on Advance Indiana: A Thought About Priorities.

On the same day a firetruck falls into a hole in the street ON THE WAY TO A FIRE, the City-County Council votes to give millions to a developer for an apartment (not coincidentally on the very land that SHOULD be used for expanding the justice center).

If only.... If only Indy had government watchdog journalists to shed light on the decisions to shovel tax dollars into private hands instead of projects that benefit the public....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Indiana vs. Pi

Your Indianapolis Observer finds it oddly comforting that Indiana's state legislators have been clueless dolts like, forever.

Today's example? "In 1897, the state of Indiana passed House Bill 246 dictating that the mathematical constant pi would officially have the value 3.2."

Read more about it here, in honor of Pi Day.

Yes, March 14 (for obvious reasons) is Pi Day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Going Green: Curbside Recycling

Curbside Recycling will take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday (15 March) during the Going Green Festival, a two-day event at the Indiana State Museum, 650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday (14 March) and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (15 March). It will showcase eco-friendly products and services, local environmental leaders and lifestyle activities. The festival is included with museum admission.

RecycleForce will be on hand Saturday at the museum's Washington Street entrance to collect electronic waste and other recyclables and deconstruct the materials and disposes of them safely and cleanly. There's no charge to drop off recyclables.

Scrap metals and other reusable material collected will be sold to help pay for job training programs and employment opportunities through RecycleForce targeting formerly incarcerated men and women reentering society and the workforce.

Residents who recycle will receive $2 off general admission for up to four guests. A list of items that will be accepted include:

• Telephone systems • Cellular phones • Air Conditioners • PCs (personal computers) • Laptops/Notebooks • Dehumidifiers • Desktop Computers/CPUs • CRT Monitors (no bare CRT tubes) • Mainframe computers • Scanners • Printers • Fax machines • Back-up power supplies systems • Photocopiers • Toner cartridges • Microwaves • CDs/DVDs/Blue Rays • Floppy disks/Thumb Drives • Electronic motors • Televisions • Integrated Circuits (IC) • Computer mice • Microphones • Computer Keyboards • VCR/DVD/CD Players • Games Systems (Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation, etc.) • Power Supplies • Surge Protectors • Computer boards • Copiers • Cash Registers • Satellite Components • Aluminum • Copper • Brass • Nickel • Cardboard • Phonebooks • Copy paper (No carbon paper) • Styrofoam (No dirty containers) • Plastics 1-7 • Amber Glass • Green Glass • Clear Glass • Batteries

Monday, March 10, 2014

International Women's Day Celebration

The 15th annual International Women's Day Celebration at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (12 March) in the Lilly Auditorium of the University Library, 755 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis.

A part of the Reiberg Reading Series, featured performers include poets Rachel Sahaidachny and Saundrajo Holiday, fiction from Sarah Layden, and visual art by Anila Agha.

A multicultural, multilingual open mic follows at 8:15 p.m. Women’s organizations and activist groups will be on hand to talk about the work in our community.

Reiberg events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Soccer Revenue in Doubt?

According to IBJ.com, "The Indy Eleven soccer team would generate just $2 million to $4 million a year in ticket sales, a fraction of the $51 million that owner Ersal Ozdemir has estimated a new downtown stadium would generate including non-soccer events, according to an independent analysis by the Legislative Services Agency."

Is anyone surprised?


More here and here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Most Dangerous US Cities

Yeah, once again Indianapolis is in the news -- and not in a good way. In article on Huffington Post, Indy is tagged as the sixth most dangerous city in the United States.

We come in after Detroit, Baltimore, Memphis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, but in front of Oklahoma City, Washington DC, Houston and Dallas.

This Indianapolis Observer wonders how the Mayor's office is taking the news! (No wonder Butler University wants to separate itself from its own hometown.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Religion and the State

Indiana State Representative Eric Turner (R-32) proposed amending Indiana’s civil rights law to allow religious institutions doing business with the state to hire and fire employees for religious reasons.

As if people need yet another reason to avoid moving to or doing business in "Honest to Goodness" Indiana.

As Sheila Kennedy writes:

"Look, if despising GLBT people, or Jews or Muslims or whoever, is really, really important to your religious organization, go for it! Hire people based upon religious criteria, provide services only to people who agree with you, preach your dogma to whoever will listen. No problem.

"Just don’t demand tax dollars to subsidize those activities.

"No one is interfering with your freedom to discriminate. We’re simply declining to finance it."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One of Those Head-Slap Moments

Just when the City of Indianapolis is complaining that it can't afford more police, and Mayor Greg Ballard is trying to explain why snow removal, pot-hole repair and trash collection are in such dire straits -- the city decides to spend $1.5 million on behalf of Butler University to help the private institution in "distinguishing the college from the surrounding neighborhood".

Yes, folks, Butler wants a visual barrier between its ivy covered self and Butler Tarkington, and we taxpayers get to pay half of the cost.

Check out "Butler embarking on $3M, year-long streetscape project" on IBJ.com.

This Indianapolis Observer is appalled at the city's spending priorities, once again.

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's Not Only Target

The massive security breaches regarding credit cards also include White Lodging Services Corporation (operating 168 hotels in 21 states).

Yep. Proving once again that every good story has an Indiana connection, The New York Times is reporting that the Merrillville-based corporation says "the breach might have resulted in the fraudulent use of hundreds of credit and debit cards used for payment (of food and beverage services) at Marriott hotels between March 2013 and the end of the year."

Among their properties: two in downtown Indianapolis (the J.W. Marriott Hotel and the Marriott Hotel).

If you've dined at a Marriott operated by White Lodging in the last year, folks, this Indianapolis Observer suggests that you review your credit card bills.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Clueless Hoosiers. Sigh!

Amending the Indiana constitution is merely an attempt by the GOP "to keep GLBT folks in second-class citizenship status" (as Sheila Kennedy puts it). She writes: "...the most high-profile battle of this session–HJR 3–has given the rest of the country the impression that Hoosiers are 19th Century yahoos determined to buck the headwinds of change."


Here's how the Daily Kos looks at it: "Things are falling apart for Indiana's chief bigot, state House Speaker Brian Bosma. He's the guy who's trying to ram an extreme anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment through the state legislature.

"When his fellow Republicans in the judiciary committee rebelled against the amendment, Bosma yanked it from that committee and put it in a friendlier one. He figured it would sail through there, and it pretty much did. But then he hit the wall of opposition from fellow Republicans in the full House.

"With a 52-43 vote, the House removed the worst part of the amendment, a provision that would have banned civil unions and could have ended protections for straight, unmarried couples in civil unions.

"That's triggering a delay, meaning that even if both chambers of the General Assembly pass the revised amendment, it likely won't go before voters until 2016."

This Indianapolis Observer hopes that maybe, just maybe, the Hoosier State will have joined the 21st Century by then.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Indy is Closed

Mayor Greg Ballard has decided that the city will be closed tomorrow (28 January) due to the weather.

This Indianapolis Observer hopes that the Super Bowl Bid Committee is taking notice of Indy's (in)ability to deal with typical winter weather.

They're not doing too well with this year's wintry Super Bowl on the East Coast. Thousands of tickets remain unsold and hotels are cutting their rates.
Rooms are opening up and the Super Bowl that billed itself as so big it needed two states to host may have oversold its expectations to the hospitality industry.
Doesn't bode well for an Indy bid (we lucked out on the weather last time).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Trash Fail, Redux

Trash pick up is cancelled --again -- tomorrow (Monday) through Wednesday.

Regular service resumes Thursday, and those on routes from the first three days are allowed to put twice as much refuse out on their regular day next week (week of 3 February).

When a city can't provide essential services (yet it can built stadia for billionaire sports team owners) something's wrong.

This Indianapolis Observer wonders why Indy can't get its act together regarding snow removal and cold-weather trash pickup. Maybe a call to Minneapolis or Winnipeg might provide some ideas.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Indy Trash Fail, Again

Due to subzero temperatures, the Department of Public Works has suspended residential trash, heavy trash and curbside recycling tomorrow (Friday).

Trash collection is already on a slide schedule as a result of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Thursday routes will be collected Saturday, and Friday routes will be collected on Sunday.

Routes that were not completed today (Thursday) because of freezing temperatures will resume on Saturday.

If your route is not completed, please leave trash out for collection the following day, weather permitting.

Altered Pick-up Days:
If Wednesday and not picked up today (Thursday), then Saturday.
If Thursday, then Saturday.
If Friday, then Sunday.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"I miss having real news."

Sheila Kennedy has a great column online today on Why the Absence of Journalism Matters.

This Indianapolis Observer, a longtime journalist, remembers what it was like when The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News fought tooth and nail to cover the issues that matter to Central Indiana (and picked up a Pulitzer or two along the way taking close looks at the Statehouse and City Hall).

In these Gannett days, all we get are the Colts, the Pacers and the Kardashians.

Critical coverage of statehouse shenanigans (the "debate" over the marriage amendment comes to mind), not to mention Gov. Pence's refusal to allow the federal government to pay for healthcare coverage for lower-income Hoosiers, the abysmal snow removal efforts in Indy, the escalating homicide rate -- heck, even the kind of petty thievery that occurs in broad daylight in Westside restaurant parking lots -- nothing. Instead we get such banner headlines as "a vegetarian survival guide to Devour Downtown" and "did Leaf conspire to assure Colts took Manning".

As Kennedy says, "I don’t know about you, but I’m curious about all the stuff we don’t know."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Trash Sliding Again

There will be NO curbside recycling, residential or heavy trash collection on Monday, 20 January, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

As a result, all curbside recycling, residential and heavy trash routes will run one day behind for the entire week: Monday routes will be serviced on Tuesday, 21 January; Tuesday routes will be serviced on Wednesday, 22 January, and so on, with Friday routes being serviced on Saturday, 25 January.

All services will return to normal schedules on Monday, 27 January.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

We're Number 34

Indy is number 34 on the New York Times' list of 52 places to visit in 2014!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

No Trash Pick Up Tomorrow or Tuesday

Due to anticipated subzero weather conditions, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) announced that all trash collection will be canceled tomorrow (6 January) and Tuesday (7 January).

There will be NO residential trash, heavy trash or curbside recycling service on Monday or Tuesday. All routes will operate a double pick-up the following week beginning 13 January for Monday and Tuesday routes. A double pick-up means haulers will allow for double the amount of normal collection to accommodate the canceled service for curbside recycling, regular trash pick-up and heavy trash.

Residents who live in areas with 96-gallon bins will be allowed an additional 10 bags and bag collection areas will be allowed a total of 20 bags for collection. Additional bags should be placed a least a foot away from your 96-gallon bin. Severe weather is expected with high winds and very low temperatures. Residents are encouraged to secure their trash until their designated collection day. Wednesday, January 8 through Thursday, January 9 routes will remain on schedule, weather pending.