Recent Articles

SHABAZZ: Thank you for choosing to smoke, or not

November 14, 2009
Anti-smoking advocates like to push the image of servers forced to work in a smoke-filled bar because they have no choice. Sorry my friends, in real life the facts tend to lead otherwise.

Township jobs offer benefits, money for little work

February 23, 2009

Just like Willie Sutton, who liked to rob banks because that's where the money was, I'm going to get myself a job in township government because, "There is gold in them thar hills."


Commentary: All the signs of an upset were there

December 3, 2007
I recently had a post-election conversation with a good friend who is a staunch supporter of Mayor Bart Peterson. We were talking about the two-term incumbent's loss to the little-known challenger, Greg Ballard. My friend told me, "Abdul, I never thought Bart Peterson would lose." My response: "Neither did he and that's why he did." I am amazed at how many people were shocked at what happened less than a month ago, because, if you paid attention, you saw it...

Commentary: To the victor go the schools?

November 5, 2007
I have no idea who will get the job of mayor of Indianapolis come Nov. 7. But whoever it is can make a real difference in this town by tackling its most pressing issue: public schools. Good schools are the lifeblood of any community. They increase property values, lower crime and make your municipality more attractive to companies looking to relocate. Marion County schools haven't had the best track records. Whether it's Indianapolis Public Schools and its academic performance, Washington...

Commentary: Here's how to make a living (wage)

October 1, 2007
Of all the topics I could have chosen to write about this week, the one I kept coming back to was the whole issue of "living wage." You guys are a pretty sharp audience by the fact you read this publication, so maybe one of you can help me figure out the living wage crowd. I just don't get them. If you saw last week's IBJ, you probably read Michael Dabney's story on the ongoing efforts by the Service Employees...

Commentary: Is this any way to run a government?

September 3, 2007
As someone who writes and pontificates about the events of the day, summer is usually my slow season. I have to work hard to find things to write and talk about for public consumption. However, this summer has been a whole different matter. We have all been taken aback by the tax protests and subsequent government actions to mitigate the damage. But that wasn't the big story that caught my attention. The story that stuck in my craw was the...

Commentary: Mo' money causes mo' problems

August 6, 2007
Many of you who read this column know I do a number of things to make a living. I host the morning radio show at WXNT-AM 1430, practice law, write this column, teach at the University of Indianapolis and Ivy Tech Community College, act, perform stand- and most recently started doing commentary at WRTV Channel 6. I make a pretty good living and, with the exception of my son, who inherited his adopted father's bad spending habits, I don't do...

Commentary: Don't like new taxes? Voter, blame thyself!

July 2, 2007
A lot of people across Marion County are going to be upset this month as their property tax bills start landing on their doorsteps. Taxes are expected to increase an average of 24 percent. Although that means there will be some people with tax increases much less, there will be a lot more with increases way above that number. I've already heard stories of 30-percent increases in tax bills, 50-percent increases, and one poor soul told me he got a...

Commentary: Super Bowl pales compared to other woes

June 4, 2007
I had originally planned to write this month's column about the "Titanic-Hindenbergesque" disaster that was last month's primary election in Marion County. I had the best lines all set about the incompetence of the County Clerk's office, the disenfranchisement of more than 3,000 voters, or the hypocrisy of the Amercian Civil Liberties Union, the Indiana Legislative Black Caucus and other groups that oppose Voter ID and don't speak out about the voters who were not able to cast their ballots....

Commentary: It's time to split Indiana in two

April 2, 2007
A couple of years ago, during the daylight-saving time debate, a caller into my radio show suggested Indiana be divided into two time zones, one Eastern, one Central, with U.S. 31 as the dividing line. The caller suggested that, this way, people who wanted to be in the Eastern time zone could live in the eastern half of the state and those who wanted to be on Central time could live in the western half. I told the caller he...

Commentary: If they can't teach 'em, let's sue 'em!

March 5, 2007
I have always been a big believer in education. It's something I got from my parents. They told me that, since I wasn't born into money and had no athletic ability, I better get a good education if I wanted to improve my chances of being successful in life. I've been very fortunate that the teachers I've had over the years, from my public grade and high schools in Chicago to graduate school to law school, have been awesome. In...
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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing