Government

EDITORIAL: Privatizing MAC worth exploring: Saving cash shouldn't be only goalRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Privatizing MAC worth exploring Saving cash shouldn't be only goal The bad news: The Mayor's Action Center-city government's primary vehicle for responding to citizen complaints-is vastly ineffective. When nearly half the residents who call the center hang up the phone in frustration before reporting their problems, you know something isn't working right. The good news: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard recognizes there is a big problem with the MAC and says he wants to fix it. In late July, he issued...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Wrap-master Redmond on Reynolds e-mail

August 18, 2008
Mike Redmond
I suppose you got the e-mail about Reynolds Wrap. Oh. Well, then, you're among the few Amer icans who didn't Actually, you might want to check your e mail after you finish reading IBJ. It'll probably be waiting in your in-box Although I guess you really won't have to, seeing as how I'm going to go ahead and spoil the surprise. Under a subject line full of typical Internet understatement ("OMG! THIS IS SO AMAZING! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!")...
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Small towns with a heart: Spurning sprawl, more towns upbeat on downtownRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Chris O\'malley
From Andy Griffith's Mayberry, the small town evolved into the likes of Avon, Ind. The tree-shaded bungalow on Oak Street within walking distance of the town center became the vinyl-clad, single-family home planted in a former cornfield with a contrived name ending in "creek" or "woods" or "farms." Residents have to jump in the car if they want to buy a cup of coffee or to patronize the predictable chain restaurants and bigbox retailers. The Best Buy on Avon's main...
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Creating opportunities in tough times: Tightening economy requires 'patchworking' sources of incomeRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Della Pacheco
Women aren't leaving the work force to stay home with their kids-they're being forced out in equal numbers with men. That's the word from "Equality in Job Loss: Women are Increasingly Vulnerable to Layoffs During Recessions," a congressional report released July 21. Often women who face job losses decide to forego the job hunt and opt instead for selfemployment, the report said. Might this job downturn trigger a boom in entrepreneurship for women? Not if they don't already have the...
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Study costs, public support mount for commuter rail: Key vote on northeast corridor could come next monthRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Worsening gas prices and congestion have some commuters demanding faster progress on launching a rapid transit line. They can quibble about slowness in getting it done, but lack of study hasn't been an issue. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Organization spent $4 million since 2002 on a rapid transit study that concluded earlier this year, according to records provided by the agency. Most, or 80 percent, of the funds paid to eight consulting firms came from federal transportation funds, with 20...
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EYE ON THE PIE: This railroad deal is a good dealRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Morton Marcus
Let's get burritogate out of the way and proceed to more substantive, if less spicy, matters. Yes, a guy who works for the Canadian National Railroad paid for a burrito and a beer that I consumed. He did not know then that I wrote this column and hence commanded a vast, influential audience. I did not know then that he had a project to represent. But CN (as the rail line is called) has a most significant project going. It...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why Indiana's AAA bond rating should please all of usRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Mike Hicks
Sometimes, obscure economic issues matter a great deal to our economic well-being. One example is the news that Indiana's bond rankings have risen to the highest level, the highly coveted AAA ranking from Standard and Poor's. Why that happened, what it means and why it is important should matter to Hoosiers. To begin with, all states, like virtually all households, borrow money to ease cash flow issues. States also borrow money to make infrastructure investments. The government essentially takes out...
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Mayor's Action Center might be privatized to cure chronic woesRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Maybe it's a stray dog rooting through your garbage. Perhaps someone has abandoned a car amid the potholes riddling your street. Either way, Indianapolis offers a one-stop shop for irate residents to complain. Just dial the Mayor's Action Center at 327-4MAC. Then get ready to wait. And wait. So long, in fact, that close to half of the MAC's callers hang up in frustration.


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INVESTING: Candid e-mails chip away at Wall Street's credibilityRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
E-mail, today's ubiquitous form of communication, is proving to be the smoking gun in a number of recent financial fiascos. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently released a draft of its investigation into the behavior of bond-rating firms during the subprime-mortgage-securitization craze. The report highlighted e-mails expressing the sentiment of the authors during the period-a sentiment in conflict with the Wall Street sales pitch being used to sell these securities to investors. One e-mail a Standard & Poor's analyst sent...
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NOTIONS: Blessings and benefits of bestowing that first breakRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Bruce Hetrick
Dear Win: I'm writing to say thank you. I'm not sure I've ever adequately done that. I'm not sure I ever can. I'm also not sure I ever quite grasped the gamble you took on me when I was a not-even-graduated college senior 28 years ago-not until the resumes and referral requests started filling my inbox and the risks of hiring rookies sank in. But this isn't just between you and me. I hope this letter will prompt others to...
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Commentary: Energy woes need quick, lasting fixRestricted Content

August 11, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Last month, the front page of The Wall Street Journal featured 25-yearold Saeed Khouri, who paid at auction the equivalent of $14 million of our increasingly worthless American dollars for a license plate bearing "1." His cousin, Talal Khouri, threw in $9 million in pocket change for tag "5" to tool around Abu Dhabi in his Rolls Royce. Get this, the Khouris declined to be interviewed because they didn't want to be the center of attention. I am not particularly...
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Budget cuts loom for arts, parks as mayor tries to lessen deficitRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

After Mayor Greg Ballard's upset victory at the polls last November, local arts leaders were in a panic. They worried the no-nonsense former Marine would put public safety on a pedestal and slash Indianapolis' funding for cultural groups.

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Commentary: Please copy this columnRestricted Content

August 4, 2008
Chris Katterjohn
(In deference to '60s radical Abbie Hoffman and his 1971 cult paperback "Steal This Book," I hereby relinquish our copyright to this column and give you permission to copy it. I'll tell you what to do with it later.) Silly me, I thought Mitch Daniels had really shaken things up and done a great job in his first four years as governor. To hear his Democratic opponents in the upcoming election tell it, you'd think he had provided uninspired leadership...
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Mortgage industry under more scrutiny: Tougher rules don't include yield-spread premiumsRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Scott Olson
A housing crunch resulting from a flood of foreclosures has cast the spotlight on the deceptive practices that cause borrowers-particularly those with weak credit-to unknowingly pay more than necessary for a mortgage. The Federal Reserve earlier this month unanimously approved new lending rules in an attempt to tighten standards and prevent another such crisis. The changes will apply to all mortgage lenders and take effect Oct. 1, 2009. In the subprime category, a lender will have to assess a borrower's...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: State's new mortgage law is regulation gone awryRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Mike Hicks
Indiana is known as a state possessed of thoughtful and minimalist regulatory constraint of business. That's why a littleknown law enacted in 2007, which further regulates mortgage brokers, should come as a shock to many Hoosiers. As of July 1, when the law became effective, roughly 600 Indiana mortgage brokers (perhaps 1/10th of 1 percent of all small businesses in the state) were out of compliance. When a one-month extension granted by Secretary of State Todd Rokita expires next month,...
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A&E: Booker blitzes downtown

July 28, 2008
Lou Harry
It is likely that "Chakaia Booker: Mass Transit," the 10-piece exhibition running through April 1, will invite a greater negative reaction than the two previous public art shows that dotted downtown. Unlike Tom Otterness-with his rounded smileys masking money-is-evil messages-and Julian Opie-many of whose "Signs" could have served as, well, signs-Booker creates work that is abstract, defiant and unpolished. The pieces-constructed from tires-aren't pretty, they aren't funny, they aren't slick and they don't seem aimed to please. As such, they...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Don't blame financial woes on othersRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Morton Marcus
A brief rain shower moves across the Front Range onto Colorado Springs. The clouds change their patterns rapidly above Pikes Peak and I sip my coffee at a Starbucks that is unlikely to close. Here, not far from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a brief drive from the U.S Olympic Training Center, the volume of cash passing hourly is heavy enough to ensure that the cappuccino soy latte and the mint mocha frappuccino will continue to be drawn for months,...
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NOTIONS: Bless the blogosphere, all praise social networkingRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Bruce Hetrick
A few months ago, after considerable cajoling, my friend Erik convinced me to join yet another online social network. This one's called Smaller Indiana. It bills itself as "making people and ideas findable." So now, in addition to being "LinkedIn" with a few hundred of my friends and colleagues past and present, and in addition to being what BusinessWeek calls a "fogey on Facebook," I'm also a Smoosier-the moniker for Smaller Indiana members. No sooner had I become a Smoosier...
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Government officials dangle incentives, attracting firms across county linesRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Peter Schnitzler

Marion County economic development officials are proud of their latest headquarters attraction. Bowen Engineering Corp. will inject 103 high-paying jobs into the Indianapolis economy immediately. And over time, the company expects to add another 138. Their average salaries will top $70,000. The deal didn't require Mayor Greg Ballard to travel to Japan, or even to another state. Bowen Engineering is moving all of 8.4 miles, from its former home in Fishers to the 8800 block of North Meridian Street.


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BEHIND THE NEWS: Former Carmel exec goes from fast lane to jail cellRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Greg Andrews
Just a few years ago, Carmel businessman Edward Okun was living the high life. By last year, his personal holdings had grown to include four mansions, a helicopter, three airplanes, 20 automobiles, and a 130-foot yacht. Today, Okun is in a Virginia jail, is represented by a public defender, and faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars. And, angry investors say, rightfully so. They charge-and government investigators agree-that Okun financed his lavish lifestyle by misappropriating...
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Bank-run scenes create concerns: IndyMac situation unlikely in Indiana, but customers should check out stability of their banks, experts warnRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
It was a scary scene, reminiscent of the Great Depression: Customers lined up outside California's IndyMac Bank branches to withdraw deposits after a bank run led to the bank's failure. The images have driven some central Indiana customers-businesses and individuals-to take a more critical look at the strength of their banks and the safety of their deposits. Even as financial stocks rallied in mid-July, the risk remains for more bank failures. Dismal earnings reports and massive write-downs continued in recent...
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VIEWPOINT: Let's bring government into this centuryRestricted Content

July 28, 2008
Ann Murtlow
In the early 1970s, employees at Xerox Corp. developed a breakthrough version of the desktop personal computer called the Xerox Alto. The innovation was quickly shelved by the company-everyone knew there was no market for a personal computer! It was later licensed to Steve Jobs along with a few other "orphan technologies" for $1 million in stock in his young company, Apple. The rest, as they say, is history. Xerox is still a solid company, valued at $17 billion. Of...
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Community tries to keep up with diverse patient base: Hospital's new system improves cultural understandingRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Katie Maurer
It takes years of research for an anthropologist to understand another culture, but doctors and nurses don't have that much time. With the growing diversity of people receiving health care in the United States, a patient's cultural background is often ignored or misunderstood by care givers. That can make for a less-than-positive hospital stay or doctor visit or, in rare cases, a catastrophic medical mistake. To avoid any such pitfalls, Community Health Network has implemented Culture Vision, an Internet-based program...
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VIEWPOINT: Indianapolis needs to talk trashRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
Tom Henderson
Indiana has generous natural resources. I pumped some of those resources out of my sub-basement twice last month, and pulled some of its finer greenery from my roof and yard as well. The abundance is everywhere, from the farmlands and prairie in the north, to the farmlands, mines and even oilfields in the south. Drop a seed in most parts of Indiana and, if the neighborhood's not flooded out, that seed will grow nicely. Ask me about my tomatoes. Don't...
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New president shakes up nursing home group: Three quarters of staff leaves within months of arrivalRestricted Content

July 21, 2008
J.K. Wall
Steve Smith has shaken up the Indiana Health Care Association so much, the group representing Indiana's for-profit nursing homes is hardly recognizable to those who knew it before. And the way Smith tells it, he's just getting started.
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  1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

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