Government

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS Patrick Barkey: Though state revenue rises, property tax hikes lurkingRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Is there such a thing as good news about taxes? Perhaps not. Muscles tense and faces frown at the mere sound of that three-letter word. But you should know there is a quiet tax increase occurring in the state that few, if any, of its residents are complaining about. We're all paying more in taxes to the state-quite a bit more, actually-and the governor and the General Assembly have little to do with it. What's happening, of course, is that...
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NOTIONS: The Wiccans and the Speaker: Two cases, one topicRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
A few months ago, I had lunch with Fran Quigley, executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. We'd never met, but we'd exchanged emails about one another's newspaper columns. As we ate, we did the getting-to-knowyou dance. We talked about our wives and kids, faith and friends, grief and recovery. After that, work wormed its way into the conversation. We talked about our mutual interest in writing, law, government, politics and our often-frustrating quests to save the planet from...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Columnist ignores the good newsRestricted Content

June 13, 2005
Morton Marcus
"Bad news, the downside, grousing-that's all you ever offer in your column," Fred Fetid declared. We were sitting on his deck enjoying the songbirds and the new green of the trees about us. Fred and I have been neighbors nearly 20 years. He is the greatest complainer I have ever met. "There's lots of good stuff out there to talk about, but all you do is moan about the world," Fred persisted. "Just look at the Indiana General Assembly this...
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VIEWPOINT: Arts are a good investment for business

June 6, 2005
Frank Basile
This summer, there are two red-letter days for the arts and cultural scene as well as our city and state: the official opening of the new home of the Herron School of Art on the IUPUI campus, which was set for June 3, and the dedication of the Indianapolis Art Center's ARTSPARK Aug. 21. These events are only two of the many activities in 2005 that will help position Indianapolis as an arts and cultural destination, a goal set by...
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Long commute for former Lt. Gov.: Kathy Davis to lead South Bend tech firmRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Her days as lieutenant governor are finished, but it didn't take Kathy Davis long to find a new management role. She's accepted a job leading South Bend-based telecommunications connectivity provider Global Access Point. "After we lost [the election] and I knew I'd be looking for a job, I thought it would be ideal if I could find some entrepreneur who was very technical and needed some help on the management side," Davis said. "Then I was fortunate that opportunity came...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Party loyalty is ruining CongressRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Morton Marcus
"Congress is the root of all evil" is a line from the delightful musical comedy built on the characters of Al Capp's "Li'l Abner." I always saw that as an exaggerated point of view coming from the far right or the far left. But today, I am beginning to believe it. I am neither far right nor far left. Yet I cannot understand how our society could be sustained without an independent judiciary to protect us from Congress and their...
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A 'little' oil boom: More drilling expected in state as prices stay near recordRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Chris O\'malley
"There is increased drilling. There's a lot of broke-ass oil producers down here that are experiencing a little boom," said Andrews, president of Vincennes-based Andrews Oil Properties. Oil producers like Andrews, "still driving the same Cadillac I had 15 years ago," know bet- ter than to entertain fantasies of striking it rich, however. Indiana oil production has been on the wane since a 12.6-million-barrel peak in 1956. Last year, only 1.75 million barrels were extracted from Indiana's sedimentary rock, according...
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Not-for-profits affect state's bottom line: Health organizations account for more than half of state's not-for-profit workersRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
From 2000 to 2003, a period during which the state experienced an overall decline in jobs, employment in the notfor-profit sector grew. That finding, among others, is part of a study of not-for-profit employment in the state, and an update of a report issued two years ago, by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Johns Hopkins University. The 5-percent increase in not-for-profit employment, compared with a 6-percent decline in the for-profit sector, suggests...
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Hospitals sue over Medicare: 27 Indiana providers team up to pursue $15M in paymentsRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Tom Murphy
More than 20 Indiana hospitals have banded together to sue the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over an estimated $15 million in Medicare payments they claim they should have received years ago. Clarian Health Partners, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and Wishard Health Services, among others, allege that the department and its secretary failed to make the proper percentage of "outlier" payments from 1991 to 1996. M e d i c a r e makes these additional...
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Government intervention: cure is as bad as disease ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Government intervention: cure is as bad as diseaseRestricted Content

June 6, 2005
Patrick Barkey
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS Government intervention: cure is as bad as disease As you get older, you come to appreciate the old adage about doctors: They don't actually cure you, but they do sometimes let you trade in one ailment for another. That could be said equally for almost every situation where governments intervene in the privatesector economy. The solution to a problem inevitably creates a new problem. And in some cases, the cure is worse-and longer-lived-than the disease. We have come...
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Up to the challenge: Stadium project leader has been here beforeRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Andrea Muirragui
John Klipsch didn't necessarily set out to take control of one of the largest public-works projects in Indianapolis history, but he prepared for it nonetheless. "My degree is in counseling," he said with a wry smile. "This is how my career has evolved over the years." So here he is, two months before work is scheduled to begin on a $900 million stadium construction and convention center expansion project, relying on his professional experience and personal dedication to get the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: What you can do if you're concerned about your pensionRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Paul Coan
Will your company's traditional pension plan be there when you retire, and what can you do now to prepare for the possibility that it might not be there? The last few years have seen the implosion of several major corporate pension plans, particularly in the airline and steel industries. Hundreds of other companies have reported to the federal government that if their pension plan ended today, they wouldn't have enough money to pay their future obligations. But there are steps...
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Anderson incubator represents 'beginning': Officials hope new center will help revive economyRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Scott Olson
Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems LTD is the type of high-tech company Anderson officials are coveting for their new small-business incubator, the Flagship Enterprise Center. Founded in 2002 by Pete Bitar, XADS has a contract with the U.S. Marine Corps to develop a long-range, wireless stun gun, known as the StunStrike system. The patent-pending technology delivers a non-lethal electrical current to disable a human target. The prototypes include a rifle that can fire up to 15 feet and a vehiclemounted unit...
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Wishard owner fishes growing revenue stream: Health and Hospital Corp. buys 19th nursing homeRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Tom Murphy
The owner of Wishard Memorial Hospital added a 19th nursing home to its investment portfolio earlier this year, as it continues to pull revenue from a market filled with struggling competitors. Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County purchased American Village Retirement Community, a complex of garden homes, apartments and a nursing home near the intersection of East 54th Street and Keystone Avenue, for $2.6 million, said Matt Gutwein, Health and Hospital president and CEO. Gutwein said the deal, like...
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BULLS & BEARS: To avoid pension turmoil take the money and investRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Dave Gilreath
On May 13, Tiger Woods missed a putt and, for the first time in seven years, didn't make the cut in a PGA tournament. Tiger wasn't so happy, but the guy who made the cut because of Tiger's miss was delighted. Two days before Tiger's historic miss, in a crowded Chicago courtroom, United Airlines won permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to renege on some of the pension payments it owed to retirees and employees. The decision was historic, as...
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Busy session for insurance forces: Compact passage highlights plethora of industry-related legislation considered by the General AssemblyRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Tom Murphy
State lawmakers also killed a bill that offers "mandate lite" health coverage and kept the topic of vicious dogs at bay during the 2005 legislative session. Insurance lobbyists and regulators say they just wrapped up one of the busiest sessions in recent memory. Topics ran a wide gamut and crowded committee calendars. Last year, five industry-supported bills made it through the General Assembly, according to Dan Tollefson, corporate counsel for the state Department of Insurance. This year, 15 did, and...
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Rule changes to get scrutiny: State agencies now must consider economic impactRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Scott Olson
Indiana's small-business owners will encounter a friendlier regulatory environment in July, when sweeping legislation takes effect requiring state agencies to consider the impact of their policies on small businesses before adopting them. House Enrolled Act 1822 should help ease the burden of what advocates consider unnecessary regulations on small businesses by requiring agencies that intend to change or adopt a rule to provide an economic-impact statement first. The statement must include a regulatory-flexibility analysis that evaluates alternative methods that could...
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A business-friendly approach: New insurance boss hopes to speed approval process, attract firms to stateRestricted Content

May 30, 2005
Scott Olson
Jim Atterholt may not have been the governor's top choice to lead the Indiana Department of Insurance. But the former state representative who has dedicated his career to public service is no consolation pick, either. Those who know the 43-year-old Atterholt say his calm demeanor and his sharp people skills should serve him well in his new role as an administrator. He took the helm as commissioner Feb. 22, about a month after Harold Calloway declined the appointment. Atterholt since...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Expect more rate hikes by the Federal ReserveRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Patrick Barkey
If the Federal Reserve's steady diet of interest rate increases is giving you or your business indigestion, I've got a suggestion for you-get used to it. The inflation winds in the U.S. economy are whipping up like they haven't in almost a decade, and it's up to our central bank to do something about it. We learned a few years ago that rapid advances in technology and globalization didn't make the national economy recession-proof, as some foolishly boasted. It looks...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Well-designed buildings shouldn't forget securityRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Geof Odle
The recent 10th anniversary observance of the bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by a domestic terrorist is once again a reminder to all of us in architecture-and all those who buy our services-that security has become more important in many cases than esthetics and efficiency these days in building design. We also are reminded by the events of nearly four years ago, when foreign terrorists used commercial aircraft as guided missiles to level the World Trade...
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Competition stakes claim on hospital's turf: Dialysis center would sit 1 block south of MethodistRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Tom Murphy
A real estate company has filed plans to build a medical office building and dialysis center downtown, in the shadow of Methodist Hospital and Clarian Health Partners. A and T Realty wants to plop a 13,416-square-foot office on what now is a parking lot a block south of Methodist, according to plans filed with the city. The development has no connection to Clarian, according to Mike Quinn, a lawyer representing A and T. Clarian, whose three downtown hospitals all offer...
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Finances another obstacle for Rose: University's money problems predate controversial leaderRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
In Terre Haute, his management style has come across like a bull in a china shop. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's faculty and students voted "no confidence" in his abilities. The university's staff will soon take a vote of its own, and an upcoming trustee meeting will likely address the matter. But as the tide of opinion turned against Rose-Hulman President Jack Midgley, detractors stopped asking a fundamentally important question: Could Midgley be right about the need for change? Last September,...
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HIGHER (cost of) EDUCATION: Students' college burden continues to rise in IndianaRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Andrea Muirragui
With state funding flat and operating expenses rising, Indiana's public universities are turning to a familiar source to make up the difference-students. Tuition and mandatory fees at state institutions are set to climb an average of 5 percent next school year and higher in 2006-2007, if proposed rates stand. That's a far cry from the double-digit increases most universities imposed just a few years ago, but observers say it's worrisome nonetheless. "Tuition has been rising at twice the rate of...
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Digital TV for the masses: Thomson venture to roll out alternative to HDTV sets at prices 'Middle America' should loveRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
Chris O\'malley
People with cars-up-on-blocks in their front yards could afford to buy this digital television. TCL-Thomson Electronics Corp., the Thomson joint venture known as TTE, plans to launch ultra-inexpensive "SDTV'' digital sets this fall to aggressively court what some say is an ignored segment of the consumer electronics market. If Bharath Rajagopalan and his colleagues are correct, TTE could get an edge on competitors who've been too drunk on profit margins from big, $5,000 plasma screen sets to worry about digital...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Vibrant city can be built without oceans, mountainsRestricted Content

May 23, 2005
In late April and early May, two things happened. The Legislature adjourned on time and Forbes magazine released its seventh annual list of the best (and worst) metro areas to develop businesses and careers. Forbes based its ranking on business costs, living costs, education levels of the work force, qualityof-life issues as well as job and income growth and migration patterns. Indianapolis ranked 33rd out of 150 of the country's largest metro areas, and there's some good news in that...
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