IBJOpinion

Column on airport got it wrong

November 14, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

In its Nov. 2 issue, IBJ published a Bloomington reader’s Viewpoint regarding the new terminal at Indianapolis International Airport. It was both uninformed and misleading. For example:

• While the writer seems to have a Grinch-like attitude about this new community asset, from numerous sources of feedback it is clear that most people traveling through the new Weir Cook Terminal are proud of this signature facility, find it well-designed and customer-friendly, and understand and appreciate the importance of this attractive and impressive new gateway to the image of central Indiana.

• While the writer asserts “The terminal is losing money,” plain and simple that is just not true. While it is not making as much money as had been anticipated prior to the economic downturn, neither the terminal nor the airport as a whole loses money. Beyond that, none of its funding comes from state or local property taxes.

• While the writer seems to suggest that the existence of the Weir Cook Terminal is somehow causing the airlines to cut flights or try harder to fill their planes, people who understand the facts know that travel is down all around the world, mostly because of the general economic situation, while Indianapolis is actually doing better than many other airports.

• While the writer seems to want people to believe that leadership changes at the Indianapolis Airport Authority over time are a sign of some kind of weakness, most people understand that being a volunteer board member at the airport authority is a public service and not a career. And while it may no longer make as much sense now that central Indiana has a more regional focus, the fact is state statute requires that board members appointed by the mayor of Indianapolis to the Indianapolis Airport Authority Board must be residents of Marion County.

• And while the writer asserts that this project represents an investment that is now “more than $2 billion” the fact is the project was completed, largely by central Indiana designers and contractors, under its approved budget of $1.06 billion, the baseline for which was set almost 10 years earlier.

And the list goes on.

The writer can be a grouch if he wants to be, standing in the way of community pride and economic progress, but he should not try to mislead other proud, informed and forward-leaning Hoosiers in the process.

____________

Randall L. Tobias

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

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  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

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