Environment

Physician assistants want OK to prescribe drugs: Bill would make Indiana last state to allow itRestricted Content

March 19, 2007
J.K. Wall
Indiana could see a wave of new physician assistants working here if lawmakers allow the medical technicians to prescribe medicine. So say the proponents of House Bill 1241, now being debated in the Indiana Senate. They claim Indiana, as the only state yet to grant the prescribing prerogative, forces doctors to hire fewer physician assistants and so loses health care workers to other states. That's a particularly important issue in rural and some urban areas, where doctors are scarce. Because...
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Tax break would reward patent producers: Indiana legislators view bill as way to attract young, innovative high-tech companies and solo entrepreneursRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Scott Olson
A bill weaving its way through the Indiana General Assembly could give the state an edge in attracting and growing the type of high-tech ventures several states covet. Indiana House Bill 1461, introduced by Rep. Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, advanced to the Senate after sailing through the House of Representatives on Feb. 26 by a vote of 95-3. The legislation that was referred to the Senate's Economic Development and Technology Committee would provide a tax incentive that would shield income from...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Unsolicited advice for IU's next presidentRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Morton Marcus
Congratulations, Dr. McRobbie, on being selected as Indiana University's next president. I've read that you are committed to helping IU become more active in the state's economic development. I've heard that from every IU president since I arrived in 1970. To be successful, it will take major changes. It is not sufficient to appoint a committee of administrators who then request each part of the university to submit a list of its "economic development activities" for ultimate inclusion in a...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: NFL in tough spot regarding Super Bowl church partiesRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Jonathan L.
With the multitude of stories and media activity leading up to the Colts' appearance in Super Bowl XLI, who would have guessed that an otherwise mundane intellectual property enforcement issue concerning the NFL and a local church would take the top headline just days before the Big Game? Such was the case when the NFL sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fall Creek Baptist Church, thereby stopping the church's plans to show the Super Bowl on a 12-foot projection screen and...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: IMA art park is a grand slamRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Lest we overlook it among the rash of crimes, stock-market gyrations and General Assembly shenanigans reported in the media recently, the Indianapolis Museum of Art deserves some major kudos. Amid the chaos, the IMA announced the names of the 10 artists, artists' groups and architects who will create works for its Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park set to open in 2009. It was a grand slam. Unveiled in New York Feb. 27, the list includes individuals or collectives...
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Pets in the workplace: dog days or cat's meow?: Animals a great benefit for some businesses, but others might whine about itRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Scott Olson
Sid Vicious-the cat, not the dead punk-rock renegade-and his feline friend Topper are almost as much a part of Halstead Architects as the eight employees. Perhaps they do enjoy destroying drawings more than sketching them, but their role at the Fountain Square firm has grown from mere mousers to beloved companions. That's especially true for architect Jeff Schroeder, who adopted Sid from the Indianapolis Humane Society after a rodent crawled up his leg following the firm's arrival at a former...
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Goodwill plotting a $10 million reuse strategy: Not-for-profit renovates HQ for expanded charter schoolRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Cory Schouten
Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana supports its job and educational programs by reselling used clothes, household items and even cars. But the virtues of reuse and recycle aren't confined to the not-for-profit's 34 local thrift stores. Goodwill has adapted its headquarters several times since it was built in 1960, to fill a variety of needs. Some of the same space within the 195,000-square-foot building has served as a retail store, an office full of cubicles, an industrial packing facility and...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Coming to the defense of 'sprawl' in the suburbsRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Brian Mann
Since World War II, strong public policies and economic conditions have led to booming homeownership in America, and rapid expansion of a great highway transportation system has accelerated our country's suburbanization. We all know the story; we are participants. In the 1960s, it was often referred to as the American Dream. Although never specifically defined, the American Dream always included having a family, a reliable (maybe even cool) car, a nice home of one's own, and the freedom to work,...
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Guidelines target design of downtown development: New rules will protect urban character, supporters sayRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Downtown developments soon will come under extra scrutiny, once new design guidelines are approved in the spring. Known as Urban Design Indianapolis, the process of developing the criteria fell on the shoulders of several groups: the Department of Metropolitan Development, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Ball State University's architectural school and the Urban Design Oversight Committee. The intent is not to mandate to developers that their buildings meet certain design standards, but rather that the cosmetics coalesce with the existing...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Fate of U.S. auto industry is controlled by investorsRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Patrick Barkey
On the same black Thursday that Borg Warner announced it would close its 780-worker Muncie manufacturing facility in 2009, the price of its stock surged 6 percent. Are the traders on Wall Street heartless, or prejudiced against Muncie, or do they simply like bad news? In truth, none of these answers is probably correct, although we really have no way of knowing. But the divergent reactions of stockholders and workers and their families to the news that nearly a century...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Are we spending too much on pets?Restricted Content

February 19, 2007
Morton Marcus
"It's such a hassle, day after day after day," she said. "What's a hassle?" I asked. "Oh, you know," she answered, mixing her yogurt deep into the cereal. "Why," she continued without continuity, "don't you write about global warming? It's a very serious problem that they need to do something about." "Who are 'they'?" I inquired. "All the big guys," she said "the power brokers, the decision-makers and the office-holders, all of them." "Pandy," I said politely, "global warming and...
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Calendar publisher wants to power his factory with windRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Chris O'Malley
The Time Factory founder and CEO Jim Purcell wants to erect a 150-foot-tall wind turbine above his calendar factory near 62nd Street and Georgetown Road. Purcell figures the $200,000 contraption could power 60 percent--if he's lucky, maybe 80 percent--of his 22,000-square-foot facility.
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BULLS & BEARS: Investors overlooking risk, and that spells troubleRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
I closed my last column by suggesting that the markets seem to be paying little attention to risk across a broad range of asset classes. One measure of risk is stock market volatility, or the magnitude of ups and downs in stock prices. The Wall Street Journal recently reported the following statistics compiled by the market analysts at Ned Davis Research: It has been almost 1,000 trading days since the Dow Jones industrial average has seen a 10-percent decline from...
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Technology-friendly legislation quietly advances: Bills could spur patent commercialization and moreRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
A handful of bills pending in the General Assembly could have a major impact on Indiana's high-tech sector. Legislation under consideration could stimulate increased commercialization of patented Indiana technology, channel more money toward development of alternative fuels, require regular review of Indiana's certified technology parks, and more. Tech leaders are optimistic about the chances their agenda will be approved. "It's the reason we married up with CICP," said Ron Brumbarger, chairman of TechPoint, a trade association for Indiana high-tech companies....
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Expanded recycling catches on in manufacturing sectorRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Tammy Lieber
In manufacturing and industrial-heavy central Indiana, companies are beginning to realize that "going green" can translate into another kind of green--money. Reaching beyond the standard glass, paper and metal, markets are developing for a variety of materials, from tiny bits of processed rubber to leftover cornstarch.
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: This finally may be the year for property tax reformRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
Brace yourself for lots of action in the next two weeks, as the deadlines approach for bills originating in the House to be passed to the Senate, and vice versa. While this is a long session of the General Assembly and one might assume this would lead to more deliberative contemplation, the extra days do not seem to make much difference as deadlines approach. Some of the larger issues that require more massaging and compromise tend not to be drafted...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Good legislation to promote good healthRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary Good legislation to promote good health The newly elected and re-elected men and women of the Indiana General Assembly will debate and vote on many issues of importance during the 2007 session. One legislative proposal upon which members of the General Assembly and governor should quickly reach consensus is the proposal put forth in House Bill 1160, authored by Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka, and Senate Bill 114, authored by Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, that would change the...
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Providers have new rules to take on Medicaid fraud: Many companies required to educate employeesRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Scott Olson
A federal law that took effect Jan. 1 requires hospitals and others serving the Medicaid population to teach their employees how to detect fraud and report it to the government. Medicaid is the joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to the needy and is prone to abuse. In an effort to reduce abuse, the legislation requires companies that do at least $5 million annually in Medicaid business to educate all employees and officers on how to spot fraud....
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Those from corrupt cultures more likely to ignore lawsRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Patrick Barkey
Do we obey laws because we fear punishment? Or is it simply a habit we acquired to which we don't otherwise give much thought? Either way, it is a good thing for our communities, our governments and our entire society that so many of us are, generally speaking, law-abiding. One can scarcely imagine the chaos that would be caused if 300 million people lied, stole and murdered our way through the day without giving it a moment's thought. It's good...
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Recyclers fear competition for fundingRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Indiana recyclers concerned that waste-burning firms could gain status as recyclers--and vie for state grants and loans they've relied on for years--now have a potential competitor on the radar.
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VIEWPOINT: Let's create a culture of hospital safetyRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Vincent C.
As Hoosiers jump into this new year, it is important that all Indiana health care providers resolve to improve patient safety. Since health care providers hold the public trust, they have a responsibility to all patients to deliver optimal health care in a safe environment. Studies show that most medical errors result from "system" errors, not people errors, so our state must create a culture of safety that encourages our medical professionals to report errors and highlight processes and procedures...
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Giant Ford plant could join warehouse conversion trend: Observers say size, age may be obstaclesRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
City officials haven't given up hope on keeping 1,400 lucrative manufacturing jobs at an Indianapolis steering parts plant, but Ford Motor Co. has. The company this month said it will close the facility by the end of 2008. A closure will leave the 1.8-millionsquare-foot building empty, but real estate observers say it could be redeveloped as leaseable industrial space-as shuttered Chrysler, Maytag and Western Electric factories nearby have been. Some of the premier projects in the area are leasing well,...
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Corporate shopping spree: Massive Guidant deal helps make 2006 a record-setting year for local M&A activityRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Last year was a record-shattering period for the Indianapolis-area merger and acquisition market, thanks in large part to the loss of one public corporation. Guidant Corp.'s acquisition by Boston Scientific Corp. for $28.4 billion last year and the related sale of its vascular business to Abbott Laboratories for $4.1 billion made the 2006 Big Deals list bigger than ever. That's because the two deals made up about 85 percent of the $38.5 billion of M&A activity tracked down by the...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: We need less of 'cool' and more of 'can do'Restricted Content

January 22, 2007
Tim Altom
I've been accused of being both technology-besotted and technology-averse. I'm neither one. I'm just interested in using technology in appropriate ways. I'm fond of reminding people that a pair of scissors is perfect for a job that a pair of scissors can do. Scissors don't need Tim Allen-style enhancements. An example popped up from reading "The Soul of a Chef," by Michael Ruhlman, where I ran across the statement by a young chef that a computer system made the difference...
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EYE ON THE PIE: You didn't know him and now he is goneRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Morton Marcus
A quiet gentleman died last week. It did not make the headlines. Ken Miller never did make headlines, but he was part of your life and the lives of all Hoosiers for many years. If you thought of him at all, it was as taking your money, yet all that time Ken was carefully saving you money and modernizing state government. For 14 years, Ken was Indiana's commissioner of revenue. It was to his office that you sent your income-tax...
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