Environment

EYE ON THE PIE: Security depends on flexibility, not stabilityRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Morton Marcus
In one word, what do we want? I suggest that word is security, physical and financial security. We want to live without fear for our lives or our livelihoods. The atrocities of 9/11 made Americans more fearful about their physical security than they had been since the early days of World War II. Our economic condition feels insecure as jobs drift to other nations, as health care costs soar, and as both public and private pension plans are threatened. To...
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Utility customers to receive millions of dollars in credits: Tentative agreement with PSI would settle disputes, compensate ratepayers for risks related to mergerRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Chris O\'malley
PSI Energy Inc. has reached a preliminary settlement with the state's utility consumer counselor on how its 750,000 Indiana ratepayers will fare under the merger of parent Cinergy Corp. with Duke Energy. Details of the agreement aren't ready to be released, said Angeline Protogere, spokeswoman for the Plainfield-based utility. But filings both sides made last month with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission suggest that ratepayers could receive credits on their bills 21 percent greater than previously estimated by PSI. The...
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EYE ON THE PIE: WestClay, prepare for some competitionRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Morton Marcus
U.S. 20 is one of our lesser-known t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l highways. It starts at the Boston Commons, about two miles from the Green Monster of Fenway Park. The route then winds west to a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean at Newport, Ore. U.S. 20 runs through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and such cities as Albany, N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Toledo, Ohio; Rockford, Ill.; Sioux City, Iowa;...
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BULLS & BEARS: Slowing inflation may mean good news ahead for stocksRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Dave Gilreath
Despite natural disasters, war and oil shocks, the U.S. economy has had a good year, with the gross domestic product posting growth of 3.8 percent. Corporate profits will grow this year at a doubledigit rate. And yet the U.S. stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones industrials, has done next to nothing. Here's one big reason: fear of inflation. It's slowed the economic sprint and caused investors to reach for their worry beads. We all know Alan Greenspan has...
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Industry races to promote itself: Statewide motorsports group hopes to thwart competition from other U.S. marketsRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Area motorsports leaders are gearing up for another run at unifying the industry and assuring the region retains its status as one of the world's leading motorsports markets. Organizers of the latest effort promise they won't spin their wheels this time around. They're casting a wider net-going statewide with a motorsports association-to attract more members and build more clout with the media, local and state lawmakers, and service providers, such as banks and insurance companies. The Indiana Motorsports Association Inc....
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VIEWPOINT: Choosing judges: If process isn't broken ...Restricted Content

November 28, 2005
Jon Laramore
As the 2006 legislative session approaches, the business community should urge the General Assembly not to resurrect proposals to change appellate judicial selection it considered last session. These proposed changes are misguided because Indiana's system has worked well to build an appellate judiciary we can be proud of. The proposed changes work against the predictability, stability and sophistication necessary to ensure an appropriate judicial climate, and Indiana's business leaders should oppose them. Although last session's measure may not come up...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: What's protected in United States may not be elsewhereRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Amie Peele
Globalization It's a buzz word and opportunity; a blessing and a curse. The shrinking global marketplace can help jump start companies that learn how to navigate the morass of regulations and potential pitfalls regarding the protection of intellectual property and personal and business information outside of the United States. But compliance with U.S. laws regarding trademark, patent, privacy and other areas does not necessarily equal compliance in other countries. Successful U.S. companies can find themselves facing uphill battles if they...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: State economy looks good, but clouds are on horizonRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Patrick Barkey
It's the time of year to get out our crystal balls and ask this deceptively simple question: What kind of year will 2006 be for the Indiana economy? This year, like any other, finds us making lists of what's going right, and what's going wrong, in our economic environment. Let's start with the good news. It may surprise some of you to know there is plenty to choose from. Topping the list has to be the surprisingly robust health of...
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Rallying around charity: Local event teaches next generation the value of givingRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Tracy Donhardt
Woodard's two eldest children, Taylor and T.J., check in new arrivals as other family members slap vinyl decals on the cars lining up along Bearcat Alley for this year's Van Riper Woodard Family Foundation charity road rally. Finally, at precisely 8:56 a.m., Woodard waves the green flag for the team from public broadcaster WFYI, which drew the pole position. The other teams depart one by one, every 60 seconds. For the next eight hours, the competitors will make their way...
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Indy's Wright of passage?: Conrad's renowned chef could beef up city's culinary reputationRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Matthew Kish
"It gives [Indianapolis] a big-league chef," said John Mariani, food and travel correspondent for Esquire magazine, when asked about Wright's arrival. "It's about time a city like Indianapolis has a restaurant of this caliber." Wright left the kitchen at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He and his wife, Delia, an executive with a restaurantproducts distributor, chose Indianapolis partly because she has business contacts here. Jonathan is accustomed to pleasing an eclectic range of diners. He...
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Sometimes hot growth is not a good thing: Study to explore how to cut cooling expensesRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Chris O\'malley
The definition of an "urban heat island" in Indianapolis would be incomplete if limited to, say, the hot air emanating from the Statehouse during the session. To Qihao Weng, an urban heat island refers to how an entire city remains up to 10 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. The Indiana State University associate professor of geography has launched a study to learn just how Indianapolis' concrete jungle heats up in warm-weather months and by how much. His study funded...
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Omnicity making inroads among the dirt roads: Rural areas served by wireless broadband provider have grown nearly six-foldRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Chris O\'malley
An Indianapolis company that provides wireless broadband service from atop grain elevators, water towers or darned near anywhere the warbler roosts is expanding at a rapid clip and plans to launch Internet-based phone service in early 2006. Omnicity Inc. also plans another private offering to raise cash for its ambitious build-out in rural areas that are underserved by high-speed Internet providers. Improving broadband access has economic development implications in Indianapolis' remote bedroom communities and throughout sparsely populated areas. Now, even...
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BULLS & BEARS: Furniture-maker Kimball may be solid investmentRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Ken Skarbeck
It can take a while to rein in investor expectations after a time like the high-return 1990s. As Jeremy Grantham of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo notes in his quarterly letter, "Even today, with long bonds at 4.5 percent and the earnings yield (on stocks) at under 5.5 percent, the assumption for longterm pension returns is still showing its bullish bias at over 8 percent." So what does an investor do in an environment that requires more humble expectations for investment...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Putting construction, engineering into laymen's termsRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Fred J.
Sometimes those of us in the construction industry-like many other professions-forget we have our own technical vocabulary that many laymen simply don't understand. Like some of my colleagues, I have occasionally started tossing around the lingo of our industry before business and civic leaders from other fields and have seen the confused look that comes over their faces. I have to stop and define my terms. With that situation in mind, I thought it might be helpful to put together...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: It's high time for us to seek alternative energy sourcesRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Don Altemeyer
The Ghawar oil field is the jewel of the Saudi treasure chest. Sometimes called "The King" because of its oil production, this field has yielded more than 55 billion barrels of oil since the early 1950s-more than half of all Saudi oil exports. Today, it still produces about 5 million barrels of oil each day, or about 6 percent of the world's daily supply of petroleum. But all's not well at Ghawar. In August, The New York Times Magazine featured...
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Museum deemed Monumental: Expansion project earns two design firms top awardRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Staff Report
Indianapolis-based firms Fink Roberts & Petrie Inc. and Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects won the Monumental Award for their work on the Indianapolis Museum of Art expansion project. The 28th annual A Monumental Affair was set to take place Nov. 3 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The awards recognize excellence among those who have contributed to the enhancement and beautification of Marion County through the built and natural environment. Local non-profit organization Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. leads the Monumental Affair...
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PLAN OF ATTACK: Anderson's leaders are working to exorcise the ghosts of GMRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Four miles and decades of history separate the Anderson exits along Interstate 69 northeast of Indianapolis. Empty General Motors Corp. plants-as much a thing of the past as single-class basketball-cast ominous shadows at Exit 26, once Anderson's front door. To the west, closer to Indianapolis, is Exit 22 and the trappings of the future: millions of dollars in new infrastructure, a new business park, and the state's largest business incubator-tools Anderson officials think they need to turn this rust-belt poster...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: State's economy humming, so why do we feel gloomy?Restricted Content

October 31, 2005
Patrick Barkey
The days are shorter, the temperatures are colder, and the leaves are falling off the trees. For most normal people, that means it's time to start carving pumpkins, planning for holidays, or even watching the World Series. But for economists, it means something else entirely. It is the beginning of forecasting season. It's a time when organizations of all kinds are thinking about what they can expect in the coming year. For most of us, the state of the economy...
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Industry: Let's build minority business: Construction consortium working on diversityRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A consortium of some of central Indiana's biggest players in construction has set its sights on improving minority involvement in the $8-billion-a-year industry. The Indiana Construction Roundtable, an organization made up of some of the biggest users and providers of construction services, on Oct. 12 approved a diversity outreach initiative. The ambitious plan aims to increase minority participation in the construction industry by rewarding contractors who support education and training, employ minorities and women, and mentor small minority- and women-owned...
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Public markets are sometimes a double-edged sword: Many companies enjoy access to capital, but others complain regulatory compliance costs are just too highRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
For young and growing companies, initial public offerings are a bit like climbing a mountain: a long, harsh toil to reach a distant summit. But planting a flag at the peak isn't enough. To make the journey worthwhile, companies must stay there. The payoff can be enormous, in the form of ready access to capital. But operating at such a high altitude requires careful footing. And the effort costs more than some can afford. "It's a double-edged sword," said George...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Time to realign taxes with servicesRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Morton Marcus
Many folks want to get rid of property taxes. They think property taxes are o l d - fa s h i o n e d , although most who think so have not thought through the issue. These property-tax abolitionists want to use income or sales taxes, which they contend are more "fair," whatever that means. They forget that one aspect of "fairness" is to relate taxes to services received. This is called beneficiary taxation. An example of beneficiary...
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Kipps Brothers still evolving after 125 years

October 24, 2005
Candace Beaty
Walk through the Kipp Brothers showroom and you’ll find the makings of one heck of a birthday celebration: gag gifts galore, endless sugary treats and headgear that puts the traditional party hat to shame.
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Trying to strike oil in public markets: Indianapolis-based Calumet Specialty Products files for IPO, hopes to raise $140 millionRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Tom Murphy
An Indianapolis-based oil company with ties to a wealthy local family plans to go public in what analysts describe as a hot-butvolatile market. Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP wants to raise $140 million by selling 6.4 million units at an expected price of $22 each, according to papers filed this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Calumet has been part of the private business empire of the Fehsenfeld family, which 35 years ago founded Heritage Environmental Services, a...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Luring people with bricks, mortarRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
A parking garage is about to rise on a vacant lot at 120 E. Washington St. It's ironic that a block or so west of the site, a group of architects, city planners, real estate developers and leaders of the city's arts movement meet on a regular basis to plot against such garages. The garage in the works isn't just any garage. In its current design, which is yet to be approved, it's only a garage. No ground-floor retail. Just...
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Backing home again: CID changes out-of-state course, invests $50M in IndianaRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's flagship venture capital firm has changed direction. Often criticized for not investing frequently enough within state lines, CID Equity Partners over the last five years has quietly put nearly $50 million to work in 10 Indiana companies. In the decade before, CID invested in just a half-dozen local deals. And after struggling to weather the 2001 recession, CID's managers believe the wind is finally at their back. Three years ago, massive losses threatened to sink the firm. Since then,...
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