Government

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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EYE ON THE PIE: Children are central issue for '08Restricted Content

November 12, 2007
Morton Marcus
The election campaign of 2008 can transform our state if the candidates focus their attention on children. We can develop a healthy economy and become a model of civility if we focus systematically on our children. Many people are convinced government spends too much. What they mean is that government spends for services that don't benefit them or services they wish they did not need. Who wants to spend money on juvenile corrections or adult reading programs for prisoners? Who...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Many are fans of 'the man's' planRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Morton Marcus
This is why I like Mitch Daniels. Speaking about his property-tax program, he said, "When Indiana acts this time, and act we must, our steps must be fair, far-reaching and final," Look at that alliteration ... "fair, far-reaching and final." Who else in public life gives us sentences like that? Look at his idealism: "fair, far-reaching and final." Our state is known for its persistent lack of fairness, its shortsighted special-interest legislation, and its neverending tinkering. Mitch thinks he can...
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Commentary: Is receptionist pay vital information?Restricted Content

November 5, 2007
Mickey Maurer
The office was abuzz when I walked in on a Monday morning in late August 2006. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. staff was upset and it didn't take long to find out why. The Indianapolis Star had published their names and salaries as part of a lead story launched from the front page of the Sunday edition. "Is it the solemn civic duty of the Star to let the world know what I make?" our receptionist asked, crying. A member...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: It's time to use mass-appraisal model on state's homesRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Mike Hicks
In the 10 years since Indiana's property-appraisal system was ruled unconstitutional, taxpayers have spent perhaps $1 billion to remedy the situation. That's more than $350 per household, and more than we spend on environmental protection each year. "Wowser" is the only printable exclamation I can muster. Among other things, Gov. Mitch Daniels' tax plan proposes the elimination of the township assessors (there are 1,008 offices statewide). According to a 2004 Chamber of Commerce study, streamlining the system would result in...
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Fast-growing WDG built on years of industry experience: Veteran of Kite, Lauth branches out on his ownRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Scott Olson
For Mike Wyman, a devastating fire that gutted the family home during his teen-age years laid the foundation for a rewarding career in construction. The 41-year-old Wyman climbed from carpenter to become a leader of projects at two of the city's largest commercial developers before launching his own company in 2005. WDG Construction & Development Services Inc. on East Washington Street downtown has since grown into a firm that expects to top $30 million in revenue next year-double this year's...
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Midwest Mole tunnels into large local projects: East-side company in unusual niche makes markRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In the face of a slumping local economy in the early 1980s, several national construction firms packed up and left Indianapolis. One locally based salesman, Len Liotti, was given a choice-move to St. Louis along with his job at tunneling contractor Affholder Inc., or set out on his own. Seeing the void the big players would create when leaving, Liotti started Midwest Mole Inc. in 1982 to fill it. Twenty-five years later, the privately held firm is thriving thanks to...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Evaluate today before gauging effects of tax proposalRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Mike Hicks
Gov. Mitch Daniels unveiled a tax proposal Oct. 23 designed to remedy a number of widely held concerns over property taxes in the state. In a nutshell, his proposal reduces property tax collections by one-third and generates additional revenue by increasing the general sales tax 1 percentage point. His plan offers a three-tiered property tax rate-1 percent residential, 2 percent rental and 3 percent commercial-and moves taxation (and perhaps budgetary decision making) from the township to the county level. It...
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VIEWPOINT: Corporate transactions: lose-lose dealsRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
John Guy
Corporate transactions, such as the sales of Peoples Bank and First Indiana Bank, as well as mergers of utility companies, benefit no one. For example: Retail customers: No evidence exists that consumers benefit from these transactions. Companies might argue that fees and prices rise more slowly in larger organizations, a result of efficiencies, but no proof is available, and the principle of diminishing returns suggests that, at some point, the cost of running a large entity becomes proportionately greater than...
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Financial education on a roll: Money Bus travels state to make children smarter about financesRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Katie Maurer
Teaching kids about finances used to be as simple as giving them lunch money. With credit card debt and bankruptcy rates soaring among young adults, however, there's a new push nationwide to help kids get smart about money. Experts say even kindergartners aren't too young to learn the ins and outs of spending, saving, borrowing and budgeting. One local program is hoping to do all that in a fun, informative setting. The Money Bus, a sort of traveling classroom, visits...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Is your Web site a cost or an investment?Restricted Content

October 29, 2007
Tim Altom
I don't particularly like to shop, but I like seeing how other people shop, especially online. There are always so many surprises. Of course, the big research is in e-commerce, where buyers spend money online. Studies show the number of people willing to buy online is growing steadily. The Census Bureau shows a consistently upward trendline through August 2007 (www.census.gov/mrts/www/ecomm.html). Most experts seem to believe that not only are more people throwing down their plastic electronically, but established shoppers are...
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THE TRAVELING LIFE: This may not be the end of the world, but...

October 29, 2007
Frank Basile
"A pop-culture update for those who've been living in Bhutan for the last several years....." That was the beginning of an article in a recent Indianapolis Monthly and, while I don't even remember now what the story was about, I knew after reading those words that I had to go to Bhutan. My reasoning: If this country is so remote that it's used as a frame of reference for being out of touch, then I wanted to go there. Turns...
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Feds OK women's biz centers: Program wins affiliation with SBA; details on set up, funding to comeRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
After a 19-year run as a pilot program, a national initiative aimed at helping women start businesses finally has earned a seal of approval from the federal government. As an official U.S. Small Business Administration program, the Women's Business Center concept gains the stability that supporters had been seeking for nearly two decades. And that's good news for women like Krista Bermeo, an Indianapolis artist who makes melted glass jewelry in her namesake Fountain Square studio. Bermeo sought help from...
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Clinton's 401(k) proposal receiving mixed reviews: Experts disagree on whether plan can spur savingsRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Republican presidential candidate Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, leading everyone to believe they would be prosperous under his administration. Fast-forward 80 years and a candidate from the other side of the aisle, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is offering an incentive more fitting for the new millennium: a match on workers' 401(k) contributions. Time will tell whether Clinton becomes president and ultimately fulfills the pledge, but what prompted it is Americans' reluctance...
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Beware stock investors: Credit problems remain INVESTING:Restricted Content

October 22, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
Seemingly unbeknownst to the stock market, problems continue to lurk in the credit markets. Regulators are concerned about the market upheaval caused by structured investment vehicles. Large banks set up SIVs as off-balance-sheet investments to leverage their investment capital and earn higher returns. There are reportedly some 30 SIVs with $400 billion in assets. SIVs employ a simple strategy to make money: They borrow short term (at low rates) and invest in longer-term securities (at higher rates), thereby earning the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Everybody's busy playing the real estate blame gameRestricted Content

October 22, 2007
Brian Mann
There's a game that takes place in most families with young children. You may be familiar with it. It's easy. Mom's cherished (insert any household item here) develops a large chip. Mom sees the chip. Mom begins the interrogation: Who did this? "Not me," says Johnny. and Wall Street. After all, they're the ones that loaned the money. It was too easy to get a loan, the critics say. People were buying homes and building developments with high-priced coffee shops...
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VIEWPOINT: Reform won't require constitutional rewriteRestricted Content

October 22, 2007
Jon Laramore
In July, when Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed the Commission on Local Government Reform to search for ways to streamline and modernize Indiana's system of local government, he recommended considering every option for bringing government into the 21st century. And he raised one particularly dramatic option: convening a convention to rewrite Indiana's constitution, a document that has been amended often, but never rewritten, in 156 years. Times were different in 1851, when Indiana enacted its constitution. The state had fewer than...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Save our cities and towns from neglectRestricted Content

October 22, 2007
Morton Marcus
Whose face is on the dime? It's Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That's no arbitrary choice. FDR had polio as an adult. He fought back and became governor of New York and then the only four-term president of the United States. For two decades, from 1938 forward, The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis campaigned to fight polio epidemics. Each January, children and adults contributed to the national "March of Dimes" to raise funds for research and treatment. FDR was the symbol of...
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Firm sees growth for on-site clinics: Novia thinks workplace care can cut costs, help employeesRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Scott Olson
Doctors who make house calls are about as obsolete as polio. But a fledgling local company is taking a page from the past and reintroducing the practice to the workplace instead of the home. Rising medical costs and the companies desperate to contain them are driving interest in the emerging model of on-site clinics. Large employers such as Toyota Motor Co., Pepsi Bottling Group, Credit Suisse and Sprint Nextel have embraced health clinics in recent years, in hopes of promoting...
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Experts look into the future of health care: Industry panelists disagree on whether current system needs radical changesRestricted Content

October 15, 2007
Five local industry leaders conducted a serious debate over problems and issues facing our health care system during the most recent installment in Indianapolis Business Journal's Power Breakfast series. The event took place at the Downtown Marriott hotel on Sept. 21 The panelists: Robert Brody, president and CEO of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers, the Indianapolis-area's fourth-largest hospital system. Brody has been chief executive at St. Francis since 1996. Dr. Robert Mouser, a primary care physician at Cornerstone Family...
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PEOs bouncing back following shakeout: Professional employer organizations enjoying growth as companies seek better ways to manage benefitsRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Scott Olson
Even though Sentelligence Inc. in Noblesville has only five employees, the tiny tech firm offers an appealing benefits package rivaling that of a large corporation. The designer of diagnostic sensing devices for diesel engines has not discovered the Holy Grail of human resources. Rather, it's using what's known as a professional employer organization. Companies contract with PEOs to handle all the headaches of human resources, including payroll, payroll taxes, Worker's Compensation claims, health plans, and other employee benefits, not to...
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Loss of institute may polarize Statehouse debate: Board considers shuttering respected government research organizationRestricted Content

October 8, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
If the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute remains shuttered due to a lack of funds, the public won't notice immediately. After all, the Indianapolis-based organization focused on long-term analysis of complicated communal questions, such as how to equalize property taxes, diversify state pensions or finance public schools. But taxpayers eventually will feel the impact. For 20 years, the institute has played a key role in Statehouse debate, helping frame major issues with hard facts and figures that conservatives and liberals alike...
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THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW: Hey dude, the boss is parking in my space!Restricted Content

October 8, 2007
Ron Gifford
I'll admit it: Until recently, I thought "My Space" was simply where I stored "my stuff." My bad, it turns out. Just ask that young staffer down the hall: The new place to see and be seen is MySpace, Facebook or one of the other online social communities. This summer, MySpace announced it had more than 70 million unique users in the United States-meaning nearly one in four Americans used the site, for a total of nearly 50 billion page...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Long road ahead for financing transportationRestricted Content

October 1, 2007
Mike Hicks
The recent Indiana Logistics Summit framed a number of issues that matter to Hoosiers young and old. I've done a fair amount of transportation and economic development research, but this conference held in Indianapolis was a chance for me to listen and learn. Here's my take on some of the issues: Nationally, a significant piece of the public transportation infrastructure (roads and bridges, for example) has already outlived its anticipated life span. Solid engineering and construction coupled with continual maintenance...
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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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