Government

Kenley a go-to guy in taxing situations: Influential senator sees public service as his dutyRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Take a look at some of the most complicated, heated and thankless Statehouse negotiations and chances are you'll find Republican Sen. Luke Kenley smack in the middle of the fray. While some Hoosiers are hard-pressed to attend a school board meeting or even try to understand their property-tax bills, the 62-year-old chairman of the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee sits through hours of public hearings and even more hours of closed-door negotiations. This General Assembly promises to be one...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Are unions really that important?Restricted Content

December 10, 2007
Morton Marcus
Uncle Uriah Marcus visited us on Thanksgiving. It took over a week to recover. He blames "the @#%$# unions" for most of our state's woes. Uncle Uriah asserts "them big unions scares businesses away from Indiannie." A sample of his views: High property taxes: It's the teachers' union's fault because teachers keep pushing up their earnings and reducing their responsibility. Congestion in cities: Bus workers' unions keep fares too high for anyone to ride the bus. The battle between the...
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INVESTING: Investors shrugging off home-mortgage turmoilRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
Nov. 20 was one of the stranger days in the stock market that I have seen for some time. On the surface, it came and went like any other business day, with the Dow Jones industrial average ending up a decent 50 points. However, if you had told me the stock prices of both the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and the Federal National Mortgage Association would collapse 25 percent that day even as the Dow rose, I would have...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why eliminating property taxes is a bad ideaRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Mike Hicks
Judging from the many yard signs I've seen, a repeal of property taxes is a popular sentiment in the state. Too bad, because that would be an uncommon departure from Hoosier practicality and wisdom. Like most states, Indiana taxes income, consumption and wealth. We use these taxes to fund different levels of government. Critics of Indiana's property taxes are right to be flummoxed. I've even argued that many of the consequences of Indiana's property taxes are worse than most critics...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Privatization of lottery is a winning ticketRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Morton Marcus
It happened on the day that does not exist. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is not a good news day. This year, we got an extra serving of admonitions about obesity from the Centers for Disease Control. Beyond that, we heard the usual stories of indignation and indigestion, miracle recoveries from swallowed wishbones, and promising/disappointing retail sales. Also on that day, Gov. Mitch Daniels deferred for another year his proposal to "privatize" the Hoosier Lottery. Last year, the state...
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PROFILE: Silverback Consulting Group: Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank businessRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Ed Callahan
Silverback Consulting Group Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business In the jungle that is today's business world, businesses can't survive without information systems. And if they need help finding their way through all the technological underbrush, a local consulting firm wants to be the 500-pound gorilla that clears a path for them. Silverback Consulting Group was founded in 1997 to help businesses upgrade their internal computer and phone systems. Its consultants plan...
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High-speed rail still on slow track in state: Economic study, innovative financing exploredRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Chris O\'malley
The effort to put high-speed trains into service in Indiana and eight other Midwestern states sometimes seems as fanciful as the first manned flight to Mars. There have been years of talk and countless meetings. And it will be many more years before a vehicle is fueled-and-ready, if ever. In the 13 years since the Indiana High Speed Rail Association was formed in Highland, the closest thing to high-speed rail Hoosiers have seen is an occasional speedy European locomotive brought...
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Vets serve country, customers: Franchises offer breaks to would-be entrepreneurs leaving the militaryRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
On Veterans Day this year, retired U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Robert Flores didn't attend parades or reminisce with friends. Instead, he worked from open to close at his Little Caesars Pizza store at 11530 Westfield Blvd. "I've been here every day since we opened," Flores said, who debuted the Carmel shop Oct. 31 after receiving assistance from a Little Caesars program created to help veterans become franchise owners. As part of the program, Flores, 45, received a discount of...
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EYE ON THE PIE: An open letter to new mayorsRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Morton Marcus
It's strange, but we don't know who will be the mayors of our Indiana cities for the next four years. Ah, yes, you and I read results in the newspapers and saw jubilant winners on TV congratulated by humbled losers. But how do we know for sure until the state tells us? I didn't find the latest results on the secretary of state's Web site. It does have the May 7 primary election results, which provide fascinating information for those...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Politicos set framework for debate over property taxesRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
Lawmakers returned from their respective districts across the state for Organization Day activities Nov. 20, with many already weary of having their ears bent by constituents frustrated over property taxes. Instead of finding some respite in Indianapolis, they were greeted at the Statehouse by protests from both citizen activists and organized interest groups-such as the Indiana Farm Bureau-seeking substantive property tax reform and not simply another round of short-term property tax relief. The Libertarian Party of Indiana even bought Indianapolis...
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NOTIONS: Surefire CPR for the high cost of governmentRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
Last Saturday, my wife Cherí and awoke to a beautiful fall day. Having no o b l i g a t i o n s , w decided to take spontaneous trip to Orange County, to see the restored West Baden Springs Hotel Despite the rash of stoplights on State Road 37 and a flurry of pre-game traffic for the Old Oaken Bucket clash, the drive was a breeze. Cherí had never been to West Baden Springs. So the beautifully...
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What's new is old for Brooks: Former U.S. attorney finding familiar ground in Ivy Tech positionsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Tracy Donhardt
Susan Brooks seems to have returned to her roots in her new role with Ivy Tech Community College. The former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana began Oct. 1 leading the post-secondary educational institution's work force and economic development functions, as well as becoming its general counsel. Brooks spent her growing-up years in Fort Wayne watching her father, a high school teacher and football coach, push his students and players on the football field and in the classroom....
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Leader program builds following: Center for Leadership Excellence set to welcome third class of execsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Ten times a year, for 24 hours, a select group of executives leaves the comforts of career to embark on an experience meant to mold the participants into better leaders. They gather on Thursday evenings for dinner, bunk overnight at a hotel, and spend the following day listening to the likes of Dennis Perkins, author of "Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition." Or, they may travel to Saint Meinrad in southern Indiana...
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INVESTING: Long slide of U.S. dollar has many repercussionsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
Few economic topics get more complicated than those about the U.S. dollar. The interrelated causes, effects and ramifications of changes in the value of the U.S dollar can make anyone's head swim. Because the dollar has been the "reserve currency" for the world-the currency held in store by foreign central banks and used to settle economic trade in things like oil-the prolonged slide in the dollar's value is of concern to many around the world. For example, the greenback has...
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Ballard book favors positive, forceful leadership styleRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Students complained about Greg Ballard when he taught college business courses. The man they called "the Colonel" had strict rules and high expectations. Frustrated, undergraduates sometimes tried to go over his head. His boss, Indiana Business College administrator Marc Konesco, encountered them in his office. But students never got far. Konesco refused to overrule the Colonel's decisions. "I always said, 'That's his classroom,'" recalled Konesco, the college's vice president of marketing and enrollment. "His style was one where the students...
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Hancock developer's plan matures: Copper Leaf would be region's largest, most comprehensive senior housingRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Chris O\'malley
What started as Jim Brothers' search for an assisted-living facility for his mother could end up as the region's most comprehensive retirement "resort." The president of The Bradford Group, an Indianapolis residential developer, has been working several months to get the zoning he needs for Copper Leaf. The 177-acre community on the east side of McCordsville would be home to 400 to 600 residents and sport a nine-hole public golf course. About 30 acres would be set aside for restaurants,...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Tax reform to take center stage on Organization DayRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
In this column 10 years ago, we told you that, typically, our "short" electionyear legislative sessions are swift and relatively sweet. With the biennial budget the priority of the long, odd-year sessions, significant fiscal matters are usually untouched in the short, even-year session. Major issues that threaten to divide often are left undebated as the two major political parties avoid issues making them look bad in the eyes of voters. Only a decade ago, lawmakers prepared to enter just such...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Pushing my luck with two good trips to the BMV

November 19, 2007
Mike Redmond
Like a lot of people-which is to say, most Indiana residents-I have long greeted going to the license bureau with the enthusiasm customarily reserved for dental surgery. The difference, of course, is that you get drugs for your root canal, but not even a double helping of nitrous oxide could make a fun afternoon out of getting new license plates. Well, hold on to your hats. I had to go to the license bureau twice last month, once for a...
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Health care top choice in career poll: Student interest in technology jobs holds steady, state survey findsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Recent results from an annual survey show health services remains the most popular career choice among Indiana high-school juniors planning to go to college. The questionnaire was administered by Learn More Indiana, an effort to promote college and career planning supported by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, as well as a few other state agencies. Learn More Indiana has existed for about 20 years, but had been known as the Indiana College Admissions and Placement Center before the arrival...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Resurrecting important tax reformsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Morton Marcus
With new mayors and council members in many of our cities, it's time to drag out some previous suggestions for fiscal reform. First, it's time to reconsider propertytax abatement. But we can't understand property taxes and their abatement if we don't understand assessment practices. And, it is not clear what is happening these days with property assessment. For example, does a property's assessed value change automatically when it is sold, or does it change only in line with the trend...
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EDITORIAL: Stunning victory a call to change: But Ballard shouldn't forget pastRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Stunning victory a call to change But Ballard shouldn't forget past The shock has faded and reality is starting to set in. Indianapolis really will have a new mayor in 2008. Republican Greg Ballard's victory over two-time incumbent Mayor Bart Peterson was more than an election stunner of historic proportions-it was a rare case of voters turning over a city to someone they knew little about. Ballard, under-funded and under-supported by his own party, pulled off his epic upset for...
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Commentary: A bibliophile's view of IndianapolisRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Brian Williams
A public library preserves the record of humanity's intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements, as well as its failures. Those records and the people who facilitate the community's access to them support democracy, encourage economic development, sustain lifelong learning, and foster an information- and technology-literate community. A community's investment in its public library system symbolizes the importance of the civic role of public libraries in ensuring an informed society. In our community, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation raised more than...
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City looks to business for efficiency advice: Using Six Sigma, Fort Wayne saved $30 millionRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Seeking to increase its efficiency, Marion County government is enlisting a group of volunteer business experts. Their recommendations could lead to lower taxes and better service-just the sort of initiative incoming Mayor Greg Ballard says he wants to embrace. The new High Performance Government Team was approved last month by the City-County Council. Created on the recommendation of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, it is modeled on a similar effort in Fort Wayne, where Mayor Graham Richard, a Democrat,...
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THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW: It's standing-room only at the seat of justiceRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Ron Gifford
Based on a couple of recent Indiana cases, it seems someone has parked a "No standing" zone around the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The first case involved Indiana Right to Life and its judicial candidate questionnaires. The group claimed two provisions of the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct violated the First Amendment by preventing judicial candidates from answering questions about topics such as abortion and other social issues. Although a federal district court judge agreed with the group's arguments,...
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NOTIONS: Profiles in courage and political consequencesRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
After Tuesday night's vote tallies, after the candidates' acceptance and concession speeches, after Wednesday's Indianapolis Star trumpeted Greg Ballard's upset of Mayor Bart Peterson in 120-point type, I pulled from my bookshelf my copy of John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." There were two courageous acts on the Indianapolis mayoral stage this year. First, there was courage by Ballard. When all the prominent Republican politicians chose not to challenge Democrat Peterson; when most of the usualsuspect Republican donors gave to...
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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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