Government

EYE ON THE PIE: Economic turmoil hinges on ignoranceRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Morton Marcus
What we don't know does hurt us. Many builders constructed houses assuming there was a continuing strong market of qualified home buyers. Some mortgage brokers and some bankers gleefully ignored or misrepresented the abilities of home buyers to sustain homeownership. Too many home buyers did not bother to learn what their obligations as homeowners would be. They didn't know about paying property taxes or how adjustable mortgage rates could escalate beyond their capabilities to meet their monthly payments. The companies...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Looking back in history to understand this messRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Paul Coan
Where is the stock market headed next? It may help to look where it has been. My clients may have grown tired of hearing how the bull market of the 1990s mirrored the Roaring Twenties-maybe because they knew what came after the Roaring Twenties? You remember the history books and your parents talking about the Great Depression. The more articles you read concerning the recent market turmoil, the more this phrase appears: "Worst (fill in blank) since the Great Depression."...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Veteran builder keeps faith, despite shortage of buyersRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Greg Andrews
Paul Shoopman could have sat on the sidelines savoring the fact that he sold his homebuilding firm in 2004, just months before the market began a calamitous slide. But that's not Shoopman, who'd been building houses since 1971, the year he graduated from high school. His dad loaned him the money for his first lot, and co-signed for the construction loan. Shoopman built Dura Builders Inc. into Indianapolis' fifth-largest homebuilder before selling it to Los Angeles-based KB Home. A little...
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Orchestrating moves: Firm that specializes in relocating businesses conducting transition of its ownRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Scott Olson
Moving coordinating company Relocation Strategies Inc. is used to dealing with companies in transition. Now the firm is undergoing one of its own-albeit of a different sort. Relocation Strategies founder David Bayse is relinquishing ownership to partner Melissa Lamb Brown in a purchase agreement set to be completed within the next four years. She already owns a majority of the business and will acquire the rest in stages. In the meantime, Bayse, 57, will continue to guide Brown, 39, who...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Does reliance on property taxes matter?Restricted Content

September 22, 2008
Morton Marcus
It seemed like a good, simple idea at the time to focus this column on how Indiana taxes compare with those of other states. But that turns out to be more of a job than you might think. For example, which year do we use? The most recent year available from the U.S. Bureau of the Census is 2005-06. But that year won't work because 12 percent of Indiana's revenue came from its state highways in 2005-06. Remember, we leased...
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EDITORIAL: Waiting for fallout of Wall Street rout: More regulation in our future?Restricted Content

September 22, 2008
Waiting for fallout of Wall Street rout More regulation in our future? At IBJ deadline, Wall Street was suffering through one of the most tumultuous weeks in its history, and there was no end in sight to the worry consuming investors. The $85 billion Federal Reserve bailout of American International Group Inc. on Sept. 16 did little to shore up markets that had plunged the day before, after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Bank of America rescued Merrill Lynch. The...
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Planners to pare down commuter-rail options: Vote for light diesel trains would precede designRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Goodbye elevated guideway. Goodbye buses zooming down paved-over rail beds. For that matter, forget about commuter trains running down the median of Binford Boulevard and I-69. Or along Allisonville Road or Keystone Avenue. These northeast corridor rapid-transit options, cheered and jeered by residents in the debate over rapid transit, officially get thrown from the train on Sept. 26. That's if a regional government group votes to accept the recommendation of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization for running diesel light rail...
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INVESTING: Excessive use of leverage now walloping Wall StreetRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
Here's a well-worn saying about businesses that engage in risky behavior: "You only find out who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out." If so, we are nearing low tide and the biggest nude beach on the planet is on display in lower Manhattan. These recent events are historic. Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old firm that survived the Depression and world wars, was forced into bankruptcy due to leveraged bets on subprime securities and risky loans made over the...
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Commentary: Rethinking my presidential pickRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Help me, John. I'm falling off the wagon. I like you. I read your autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers." You are a maverick, like they say, and a patriot. My old boss, Mitch Daniels, made you his early choice. I agree with most of your pronouncements on taxes and the economy, and applaud your willingness to face up to the energy crisis and our dependence on foreign oil. I tentatively decided to cast my vote for you in November. But...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: State buildings to go green thanks to executive orderRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Jason Shelley
Green construction projects in Indiana are becoming more the norm than the exception. More office buildings, schools and universities and even residences are being designed and constructed to improve environmental efficiency. And now, new and renovated state buildings will be a whole lot greener, too. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an executive order this summer establishing the Energy Efficient State Building Initiative, mandating that all new state buildings be designed, constructed and operated for maximum energy efficiency. This is significant for...
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EDITORIAL: Arts, parks need city investment: Amenities keep talent flowing hereRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Arts, parks need city investment Amenities keep talent flowing here Young, well-educated, married people seem to like Indianapolis. That's one of the pieces of good news that came out of a new IUPUI study that was the subject of a frontpage story in last week's IBJ. When it comes to young, well-educated singles, we still have a way to go. Indianapolis lags the national average 17 percent. Cities are chasing such young people to keep their communities and economies strong....
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EYE ON THE PIE: What really drives Hoosier economy?Restricted Content

September 15, 2008
Morton Marcus
I enjoy the propaganda of government agencies pleading the causes of special interests. This is the opening sentence of our state profile prepared by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy: "Small businesses are the heart of Indiana's economy." Frequently, we hear that farming is the beating heart of our economy. Others claim the thumping sound we hear is that of manufacturing. Teachers tell us the economy is only as steady as its educational footing. Steel has a claim...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Fallout from government takeovers likely to be modestRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Mike Hicks
It is hard to know what to think about the U.S. Treasury's takeover of mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other than the imminent demise of such charming company nicknames, what will this mean to workers, investors, creditors, mortgage holders and taxpayers? If you are trying to obtain a new mortgage, the bailout (if that's the right word) should result in modestly lower borrowing costs. If you are an investor (and that mostly means larger banks and a...
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Green building movement picking up steam in Indiana: More than 100 LEED projects in pipeline statewideRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Scott Olson
The portfolios of local architectural firms are beginning to boast more ecofriendly projects. But it hasn't been that way for long. The trend to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification is a recent phenomenon that appeals not only to the tree-hugging crowd but corporations and government entities, too. "We're definitely getting to the point where clients are asking us about the LEED process," said Eric Anderson, a project architect at Axis Architecture + Interiors. "Whereas before, even [as...
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Commentary: Can we Bank on Indianapolis?Restricted Content

September 15, 2008
Tawn Parent
Whoa. Those figures, based on national averages from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., don't paint a pretty picture. People without bank accounts tend to keep cash at home or in their pockets, which increases the likelihood of crime. They create a market in which predatory lenders can thrive. They fail to reach their full potential, and so do the cities where they live. We have a problem. Now what can we do about it? We could take a cue from...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: This election goes beyond just boxers or briefs

September 15, 2008
Mike Redmond
Now that those Laff Riot nominating conventions are over, the major political parties can get down to the serious work of promising to change things by campaigning pretty much the way they always have. Wait. I take that back. I have seen something different about this year's presidential election campaign, and I don't mean the obvious stuff, like John McCain and Joe Biden being (and I can't believe no one has pointed this out) white guys. This is the first...
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EDITORIAL: Off the streets and on the payroll: Make a hire that helps the cityRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Off the streets and on the payroll Make a hire that helps the city Crime fighters unite! If you're a business owner and don't think that call to action applies to you, think again. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police aren't the only ones who have a role to play in public safety. Employers can do their part to fight crime by supporting a new city initiative to find jobs for ex-offenders. As reporter Scott Olson detailed in last week's IBJ, local...
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Commentary: Worker training program must expandRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Brian Williams
On Sept. 28, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order 11246. In so doing, he advanced a revolutionary cause by stating clearly that, "It is the policy of the government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in federal employment for all qualified persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color or national origin, and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a positive, continuing program in each executive department and agency." The...
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NOTIONS: A pregnant GOP primer on civil liberties: Who decides?Restricted Content

September 8, 2008
Bruce Hetrick
Years ago, I wrote an article about Sheila Suess Kennedy, an Indianapolis author who'd written a book called "What's a Nice Republican Girl Like Me Doing in the ACLU?" I didn't know Sheila. I didn't know much about the American Civil Liberties Union, either. So I stopped by her office (she directed the organization's Indiana chapter back then) for an education. Sheila, now a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI, explained to...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Too many governments plague stateRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Morton Marcus
Have you read the Ke r n a n - S h e p a r d report? Don't feel guilty, few have. Its more formal name is, "Streamlining Local Government; We've got to stop governing like this." It's a very strong, readable statement for reforming local government. Unfortunately, it does not get to our root problem: Local governments are creatures trained for obedience by their master, the Indiana General Assembly. Although the report does not say it, there will...
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Daniels still wants more from lottery, through privatizing or bond issueRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is building his campaign for re-election in part on another attempt to cash in a jackpot on the Hoosier Lottery. This time, he's hedging his bet. In case leasing the Hoosier Lottery outright to a private operator is politically impossible, Daniels is exploring a major bond issue backed by its future revenue.

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Doc pay-for-performance program set to launch: Quality Health First signs up Anthem, 700 doctorsRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
J.K. Wall
After four years of development, a payfor-performance plan for Indianapolisarea doctors will officially launch Oct. 1. Quality Health First, the latest service of the Indiana Health Information Exchange, now has 700 primary-care doctors signed up to receive its reports on the quality of the care they give. And perhaps even more important, the program has contracted with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana as the first health insurer to offer bonus payments to doctors based on how well...
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Children's Bureau reaches out: State prevention program helps social-services agency enter new areas, lift budgetRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Andrea Muirragui
Since its origins as the Widows and Orphans Asylum in 1851, the Children's Bureau has been working to fix broken families in Indianapolis. Now the local not-for-profit has expanded its reach into 37 Indiana counties-growing its budget 22 percent in the process. Despite the regional push, the agency remains focused on Marion County, where it's building a $9.2 million service center at 16th and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets. The engine driving the organization's recent growth: a statewide program...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: China, higher education and our economic futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Mark Miles
In mid-September, I'll be traveling to China's Liaoning province as part of a delegation led by Indiana State University, hosted by Liaoning University. We'll arrive in the country too late for the Olympics, but we'll be there to talk about another form of global competition-economic development. It's appropriate that the two universities are co-hosting a conference on economic development issues, given the importance of human capital in our economy. It's especially appropriate for China, where higher education has become a...
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Law targeting controversial landfill only fuels fight: Would-be operator, citizens group are back in courtRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Even for those with a vested interest in the battle over a proposed landfill near Anderson, it's hard to get too worked up over the latest twist before the courts or government agencies. After all, the Mallard Lake Landfill battle is in its 29th year. The latest development, one that opponents of the project had hoped was the silver bullet to fell their garbage Dracula, is starting to look just as inconclusive as countless other chapters, at least for now....
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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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