Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Company seeing big growth in family entertainment: Firm supplies parties with oddball acts from acrobats to mimes to ventriloquistsRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
When Kathy Fitzgerald has a group of 85 day-camp kids to entertain, she needs someone who can hold their attention-easier said than done considering they range in age from 6 to 13, not counting the 12 young adults who work as camp counselors. If an act bombs, the result can be chaos. That's why Fitzgerald, assistant park manager for Broad Ripple Park, has locally based FamilyTime Entertainment Inc. on her speed dial. FamilyTime can deliver a fully produced magic show,...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: Wing and a prayer: Surviving today's air travel

April 21, 2008
Mike Redmond
One of the great struggles of the day-Airlines vs. Human Beings-has taken some interesting turns lately, but the score remains the same as it has been for years: The human beings are not winning. Consider these touchdowns, so to speak, just from the last couple of weeks: A piece of a wing detaches itself from a US Airways jet and smacks into several of the plane's windows before falling to the ground somewhere in Maryland. "May I have your attention,...
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VIEWPOINT: Lest we forget, 'solid and stable' is goodRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Tim Kern
"I moved to Indiana on purpose," I've been telling people since the move from Florida last August. The Indianapolis area attracted me and my business for a number of reasons-reasons which, I'm more convinced each day, Hoosiers take for granted. Someone might want to consider the good that's right in front of our collective noses: Unlike Florida, whence I emigrated, people here know who can get things done, where businesses are, and whose reputation is good. A state full of...
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Under Grueninger, Ambassadair division chartering growthRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Michael Grueninger, president of Grueninger Travel Group, has learned since his company bought Ambassadair in 2005 from now-defunct ATA Airlines that many travelers once enamored with dirt-cheap fares they can book online want something more than low price. They are willing to pay for service.
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IU leader's goal: global integration: CIBER director wants center's work to influence all areas of business educationRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Scott Olson
Barbara Flynn, a veteran of academia who arrived at Indiana University in 2006, is director of the IU Center for International Business Education and Research. CIBER, founded in 1981, creates business research and study opportunities for IU faculty and students, with the ultimate goal of preparing graduates to compete in today's global economy. The center mostly is funded federally and operates on a $500,000 annual budget. The 55-year-old Flynn has a degree in psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin and...
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ATA plan ticks off terminated pilots, attendantsRestricted Content

April 14, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Former ATA Airlines employees are trying to comb the wreckage of the bankrupt carrier, looking to grab their financial belongings before managers and lenders cart off what little is left. Pilots and flight attendants are opposing retention bonuses for managers who will spend the next several months turning out the lights of the 35-year-old carrier.
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Charter schools face long wait for county funding: State, local money based on outdated mechanismRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
The property tax reform plan recently signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels is expected to provide relief-eventually-for most homeowners. Unfortunately, the tax crisis wasn't fixed fast enough for charter schools. Because property taxes haven't been calculated yet this year, schools didn't get funding advances from Marion County, something 15 of the county's 21 charter schools needed last year. At least one school-Irvington Community Academy-has received help from the Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation in getting an emergency bridge loan of...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Sales tax increase helps cut government spendingRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Mike Hicks
Indiana's sales taxes rose a penny this week, to 7 percent. The increase was a necessary remedy to our property tax mess. But it's worth laying out its impact on our economy. Sales tax is paid by Hoosier residents, visitors and businesses alike. By my estimates, Indiana households will pay $640 million in additional sales taxes, businesses $500 million more, and out-of-state visitors an extra $160 million. The two effects economists might worry about with a tax hike are changes...
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VIEWPOINT: Get on board with transit, or miss the busRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Dennis Dye
The Crossroads of America is at a crossroads-a transportation crossroads. And the direction we choose will affect our area's competitiveness and economy for decades. It's imperative that we embrace mass transit. Mass transit matters because it correlates to a key concern for companies planning to move or expand: access to a qualified work force. In choosing a community, companies assess obvious factors such as site acquisition costs and taxation, but even those typically take a back seat to work-force access....
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Charities are feeling pain of gas price spike: Groups scrambling for volunteers, dollars to beef up transportationRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
With gas prices on the rise-and expected to reach $4 a gallon this summer-local not-for-profits are losing volunteers and throwing money at skyrocketing transportation budgets. Indianapolis Meals on Wheels Inc. Executive Director Barb Morris is used to fielding calls from reporters whenever gas prices fluctuate. In the past, she quashed their theory that high prices at the pump drove away volunteers. Not now, though. "If you'd asked me four or five months ago, I would have said, 'Absolutely not,'" Morris...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Business isn't losing any sleep over new technologyRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Tim Altom
I've been looking over some business polls from 2007 and 2008, and I have to tell you I'm disappointed. As a technology columnist, I'd hoped that companies would be perpetually lathered over all sorts of thorny technical issues that only new purchases could solve and that I could critique. Silly me. But still, I went into the exercise with high hopes. After all, isn't every aspect of a business permeated by breakable, worrisome technology of all kinds? And doesn't every...
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Construction in the Fast Lane: Flush with Major Moves funding, INDOT streamlines its approachRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Northern Indiana motorists and Democratic opponents of Gov. Mitch Daniels were screaming bloody murder. Daniels in 2006 convinced the Legislature to lease the vital highway and plum of political patronage-the Indiana Toll Road-to an Australian-Spanish consortium for nearly $4 billion. Some managers at the Indiana Department of Transportation also were screaming-with panic. Despite winning the departmental lottery of all time-an annual budget for new roads would now quadruple from $213 million a year to $874 million by 2015-Daniels wanted 200...
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Monarch eyes vacant Lawrence drive-in for HQRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Cory Schouten
The state's largest beer and wine distributor is considering a long-abandoned drive-in theater in Lawrence for a new headquarters. Monarch Beverage Co. has outgrown its home along Interstate 465 just east of the airport and has been looking for a place to move for a year.
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Legislators tackle range of business-related measures:Restricted Content

March 24, 2008
Property tax reform took center stage during the just-completed session of the Indiana General Assembly. But lawmakers also grappled with a host of other measures with business implications. A roundup appears below. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT One of the session's most divisive issues-whether to penalize companies that hire illegal immigrants-died during the waning hours. Under the legislation, introduced by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, companies could have had their business licenses suspended, or revoked after three instances. The Senate and House passed...
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VIEWPOINT: Indianapolis' utility acne syndromeRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Tom Henderson
It took decades of turning a blind eye to get here: Indianapolis has draped itself in utility poles. Walk, ride, jog or drive to any major street in Indianapolis, with the exceptions of a few designated boulevards, streets and avenues. Take a mental picture of where you are. Now, with Photoshop in your mind, remove the web of utility poles and wires from that picture and quickly open your eyes. We're visually strangled by them. Few streets are exempt from...
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Hoosier Heartland Highway pumps up hope on prairie: Expressway construction starting two years earlyRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Chris O\'malley
LAFAYETTE-For years, they've driven on little more than paved-over wagon trails pioneers carved into the hills nestling the Wabash River. Motorists on State Road 25 between Logansport and Lafayette have grown desperate for a replacement: the final, 33-mile western leg of the "Hoosier Heartland Highway." Today, the Hoosier Heartland expressway ends in Logansport-the western terminus of a newly improved, four-lane U.S. 24 that runs east, to Fort Wayne. But last month Gov. Mitch Daniels surprised highway proponents with word that...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Just when you thought airport lines couldn't get any longerRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Tim Altom
This isn't a column about business technology per se, but I couldn't resist the temptation to write about a half-dozen states thumbing their noses at the federal government and potentially backing up travel this spring at airports all over the country, including some of the world's busiest, all over a piece of plastic. After the tragedy of 9/11, one of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations was to create a hard-to-fake identity card for Americans. In 2005, Congress passed a huge defense...
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Telamon on the rebound: Diversification puts Carmel technology firm back on fast track, prevents layoffsRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
In 2003, Carmel-based Telamon Corp. hit rock bottom. So, founder Albert Chen returned to his roots. Taiwanese native Chen, 63, had spent two decades building his firm to serve telecommunications giants. But when the dot-com bubble burst, the telecom industry tanked along with it. Telamon-then Indiana's largest minority-owned business-saw its annual revenue plummet $300 million, down from $456 million in 2001. Most managers would have chosen to shrink Telamon to reflect its new reality. But Chen doesn't do mass layoffs....
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Nitty-gritty details yet to be resolved in tax-reform planRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Ed Feigenbaum
We've come a long way since the beginning of this legislative session, and lawmakers are edging closer to assembling a property tax reform acceptable to both chambers, both major parties and the governor. Lawmakers faced competing pressures from constituents, the governor, business interests, schools and local governments, and citizen groups as they tackled the issue, but they resolved to labor with a minimum of partisanship. Of course, they frequently make the same pledge when dealing with major issues, but an...
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Indy to host Urban Forum: Group that helps revitalize properties to showcase city's projectsRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Scott Olson
Visitors in Indianapolis for the Urban Forum in April might patronize Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza in Irvington not only to sample the food but also the success of a neighborhood business district revitalization program. The pizzeria benefited from an effort called Fostering Commercial Urban Strategies, or FOCUS, through a $16,000 facade grant from the Indianapolis chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corp. Indianapolis is one of 30 cities boasting LISC chapters. Nationally, they invested more than $1 billion in low-income...
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Mann, Opus team up to develop Ingalls industrial park:Restricted Content

February 25, 2008
Scott Olson
Locally based Mann Properties is stepping outside its comfort zone of small office/flex projects to develop a 140-acre industrial park and logistics center along Interstate 69 in Madison County. Mann is teaming with Illinois-based Opus North Corp. to put together plans for 1.5 million square feet of industrial and office space near the town of Ingalls. The two developers are optimistic that ground can be broken yet this year on the $100 million project called I-69 Trade Center. A potential...
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Streetcars work in Portland, but viability here uncertainRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Chris O'Malley
If the introduction of modern streetcars to one West Coast city can be replicated here, Indianapolis would see new, higher-density housing and related retail and restaurants shadowing the line. Fallow areas crossed by the tracks would become fertile for new investment. At least that was the case in Portland, Ore., a city mesmerizing to Indianapolis civic leaders, who last month formed Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corp. They risk being run out of town on a rail: a streetcar line will cost...
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Changes down road for transportation planning group?: Metropolitan Planning Organization weighs mergerRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Chris O\'malley
The prospect of urban sprawl might swallow up even those agencies tasked with planning for sprawl's consequences. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization is exploring a merger with Anderson's MPO, according to the Indianapolis agency's 2008 Unified Planning Work Program report. "The rapid growth of the Northeast Corridor has blurred the boundaries between the Anderson and Indianapolis MPOs; a joint committee is currently exploring whether consolidation is warranted," states the report. MPOs are virtually invisible agencies to the public even though...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Readers respond to Indiana stampRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Morton Marcus
On Jan. 14, I wrote about the new Indiana stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. I objected to the selection of a farm tractor with a cityscape in the distance as being typical of Indiana and invited readers to comment. Below are a few typical remarks: From a reader in Tennessee who grew up in Kokomo: "As I read your column, I was torn between what you were saying and my warm fuzzy memories of my childhood. ... Indiana represents...
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Green group touts its mission in HQ project:Restricted Content

February 11, 2008
Scott Olson
The Fountain Square property that Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. has purchased to house its headquarters is undergoing a massive renovation that will transform it from abandoned derelict to an environmental showpiece. In the process, the not-for-profit environmental group is hoping to set a green example for other developments and draw attention to its mission. KIB bought the building at the corner of Fletcher and Shelby streets for $410,000 in October from the Southeast Development Neighborhood Corp. A $1.3 million redevelopment...
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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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