Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

New rail route connects Hendricks to West Coast: Line should bolster county's distribution industryRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Sam Stall
A new rail route launched last month between Los Angeles and CSX's Avon rail yard could give a further boost to Hendricks County's booming warehousing-and-distribution industry. The county already hosts some 29 million square feet of warehouse space. However, it lacked a direct connection to the teeming Port of Long Beach in Los Angeles, a major gateway for U.S./ Asian trade. Anyone in the Hendricks County area wishing to send or receive goods from that port by rail had to...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: What Halloween can teach us about economicsRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Mike Hicks
The week of Halloween at the Hicks household is also the week we learn about taxes. It is a natural combination-they are both kind of scary and involve giving up something you've worked for to someone else. Having three kids of different ages and interests is especially instructive. My fourth-grader is all about the experience of trick or treating with friends. She is likely to savor every minute chatting, holding hands and skipping along. She is not trying to maximize...
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Flat passenger counts not seen as threat to paying debt on midfield terminalRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Chris O\'malley

The big debt payments on the $1.1 billion midfield terminal at Indianapolis International Airport start coming due in January--just as a recession hits and the battered airline industry cuts capacity. Despite the likely prospect of fewer passengers than projected in the next year or two, airport managers say they don't anticipate problems shouldering the roughly $40 million a year in debt burden over the next 30 years for the new facility.


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Ousted mayor guides local up-and-comers: Peterson named moderator for prestigious groupRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Kathleen McLaughlin
Voters decided last Election Day that they'd had enough of Bart Peterson, but the former mayor is in demand with academics, a think tank, and now the city's premier leadership network. Peterson is moderator of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, which introduces "emerging leaders" to Indianapolis and its problems. "It's something I never went through as a class member. I've always envied those who did," Peterson said of the series, which accepts just 25 applicants each year. "It's...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: We shouldn't let market mayhem obscure progressRestricted Content

October 20, 2008
Mike Hicks
Amid all this joyless market watching, this much is clear: The financial markets and the economy are going to get worse before they get better. But market watching is never a healthy sport, especially since it tends to make us lose track of the real economy at times like these. Over the past couple of weeks, the real economy has shown a bit of resilience. And here in Indiana, really great news has been lost in the wake of the...
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Commentary: Turmoil raises questions about toll roadRestricted Content

October 13, 2008
Brian Williams
On Aug. 28, the investment bank UBS downgraded its rating on the Australian investment bank, Macquarie Group. UBS noted that Macquarie faced the threat of a declining asset base, which it leverages to fund Macquarie's dividend payments. UBS also posited that Macquarie may be inadequately capitalized. Macquarie Group should be familiar to Hoosiers as one of the two entities that leased the Indiana Toll Road in April 2006 for 75 years. To lease the toll road, Macquarie invested $385 million...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Crisis pits fairness against urgencyRestricted Content

October 6, 2008
Morton Marcus
As these words are written, we do not know what Congress will decide to do about the mortgage mess. But it is clear folks are angry about the inequity of rescuing borrowers, lenders or traders with funding from the pockets of the innocent. Among the "villains" are home buyers who took on mortgages they could not afford. Also marked for sanctions are over-eager lenders, highly paid executives, and those who dealt in "innovative" financial products linked to mortgages. Those who...
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THE TRAVELING LIFE: Walking-and dancing and dreaming-in Memphis

September 29, 2008
Frank Basile
In past columns, I have written about travel to far away places, but there are plenty of discoveries to be made and interesting sights to be seen in cities closer to home. Our recent four-day trip to Memphis is a case in point. We made the obligatory stop at Graceland, where the tagline on all their brochures and ads says, "Where Elvis lives." Interesting, but we were more intrigued by Sun Studios, where the story really began. That's where the...
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Will little transit systems make bigger footprint?: Study to look at economies, new opportunities to grow and coordinate rural bus systemsRestricted Content

September 29, 2008
Chris O\'malley
They're overshadowed in all the talk of a commuter rail line and its cosmopolitan allure. And they don't get headlines like Indy-Go does when it launches another route to whisk Carmel and Fishers suburbanites to work downtown. But rural transit providers in the nine doughnut counties quietly generate economic growth by hauling hundreds of thousands of people each year in small buses or vans to doctors' offices, shopping centers and jobs. Suburban businesses have been grousing for years that the...
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Planners to pare down commuter-rail options: Vote for light diesel trains would precede designRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Goodbye elevated guideway. Goodbye buses zooming down paved-over rail beds. For that matter, forget about commuter trains running down the median of Binford Boulevard and I-69. Or along Allisonville Road or Keystone Avenue. These northeast corridor rapid-transit options, cheered and jeered by residents in the debate over rapid transit, officially get thrown from the train on Sept. 26. That's if a regional government group votes to accept the recommendation of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization for running diesel light rail...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: State buildings to go green thanks to executive orderRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Jason Shelley
Green construction projects in Indiana are becoming more the norm than the exception. More office buildings, schools and universities and even residences are being designed and constructed to improve environmental efficiency. And now, new and renovated state buildings will be a whole lot greener, too. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an executive order this summer establishing the Energy Efficient State Building Initiative, mandating that all new state buildings be designed, constructed and operated for maximum energy efficiency. This is significant for...
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Green building movement picking up steam in Indiana: More than 100 LEED projects in pipeline statewideRestricted Content

September 15, 2008
Scott Olson
The portfolios of local architectural firms are beginning to boast more ecofriendly projects. But it hasn't been that way for long. The trend to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification is a recent phenomenon that appeals not only to the tree-hugging crowd but corporations and government entities, too. "We're definitely getting to the point where clients are asking us about the LEED process," said Eric Anderson, a project architect at Axis Architecture + Interiors. "Whereas before, even [as...
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Experts: Building boom not over: Big projects wind down, but new ones fill pipelineRestricted Content

September 8, 2008
Scott Olson
The completion of $2 billion in city construction projects has left a gaping hole in contractor job schedules-as wide as when the roof opens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Even so, industry leaders remain optimistic about staying busy despite the combination of a tepid economy and the end of a local boom that stretched the limits of the labor pool. The $1.1 billion airport midfield terminal project, the $715 million stadium and $150 million Central Library expansion helped to create so...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Laptop hell: Air travel can bounce, bungle dataRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Tim Altom
Travel may broaden the mind, but it's hell on laptops. If your laptop suffers some kind of death-dealing blow, it'll probably be on the road. Air travel is the worst. You're required during security screening to pull your laptop out of its snug little protective cover and submit it to the tender mercies of the Transportation Security Administration's conveyors, X-ray machines and employees. Then there's the jostling scramble to put it back in on the far side of the screening...
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VIEWPOINT: Advancing manufacturing is key to futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Joseph Hornett
We've all heard it: Our economy is creeping to a crawl. Skyhigh oil prices, a weak housing market and the struggling U.S. dollar are discouraging consumers and business owners alike. Fears about our nation's fiscal health are shaking broader confidence in the banking industry, the system of global trade, and even our public image abroad. In the face of such adversity, it's helpful to remember that Americans have faced daunting challenges in the past. In tougher times, such as the...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: China, higher education and our economic futureRestricted Content

September 1, 2008
Mark Miles
In mid-September, I'll be traveling to China's Liaoning province as part of a delegation led by Indiana State University, hosted by Liaoning University. We'll arrive in the country too late for the Olympics, but we'll be there to talk about another form of global competition-economic development. It's appropriate that the two universities are co-hosting a conference on economic development issues, given the importance of human capital in our economy. It's especially appropriate for China, where higher education has become a...
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Airlines say airport's deal with FedEx over expansion is likely to raise landing fees

September 1, 2008
Chris O'Malley

Five airlines at Indianapolis International Airport--all of them paying higher fees and rents to help pay for the $1.1 billion midfield terminal--complain they may be stuck footing the bill for part of the $214 million FedEx cargo-hub expansion.


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VIEWPOINT: How to win Uncle Sam's gas-tax shell gameRestricted Content

August 25, 2008
Ronald Fraser
Between 1956 and 1991, Indiana motorists willingly paid "temporary" hikes in the federal gasoline tax, knowing the money was being used to build the 42,000-mile interstate highway system. In 1991, Congress declared the highway system completed-but the tax lived on and on, growing bigger and bigger. No longer needed to build the interstate, the current 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax-double what it was in 1990-now funds a "highway trust fund" shell game that shifts $866 million a year, and control over...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why the resurgence of railroads will help drive stateRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Mike Hicks
I have two friends who are train fanatics of the worst kind. These guys aren't just dazzled by the sight of a large train; they furtively seek them out. One friend has made it his life's ambition to ride every rail line in Great Britain. The other scours eBay for rail schedules from the 19th century. Both of these wonderful men have exceptionally tolerant wives. I am a bit concerned my 4-year-old is turning into one of these creatures. He...
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Saddling up for a night of work under the stars: Carriage driver encounters romance, drunkennessRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Erik Stegemiller
When she reported to work at 5 p.m. on a recent evening, Taylor consulted a chart and saw she was assigned to Cheyenne, a 16-year-old mare, and carriage number 29. She backed the spotted horse out of the stall, hitched up the carriage-making sure all straps were tightly fastened-and left the Yellow Rose stables at 13th Street and Capitol Avenue. During the half-hour ride to Monument Circle, she explained the personal challenge that carriage driving posed. It wasn't how to...
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Huguenard a billion-dollar broker: Senior vice president at Colliers one of the nation's top deal-makersRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Cory Schouten
John E. Huguenard is on a roll. He's got $1 billion in active industrial listings and is on track to top his $700 million deal volume from last year. The low-key super-broker for the local office of commercial real estate powerhouse Colliers Turley Martin Tucker has closed 17 deals worth a total of $250 million already this year. And that's no fluke: Huguenard, 45, has sold or leased more than 100 million square feet of industrial property in more than...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why the resurgence of railroads will help drive stateRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Mike Hicks
I have two friends who are train fanatics of the worst kind. These guys aren't just dazzled by the sight of a large train; they furtively seek them out. One friend has made it his life's ambition to ride every rail line in Great Britain. The other scours eBay for rail schedules from the 19th century. Both of these wonderful men have exceptionally tolerant wives. I am a bit concerned my 4-year-old is turning into one of these creatures. He...
More

Saddling up for a night of work under the stars: Carriage driver encounters romance, drunkennessRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Erik Stegemiller
When she reported to work at 5 p.m. on a recent evening, Taylor consulted a chart and saw she was assigned to Cheyenne, a 16-year-old mare, and carriage number 29. She backed the spotted horse out of the stall, hitched up the carriage-making sure all straps were tightly fastened-and left the Yellow Rose stables at 13th Street and Capitol Avenue. During the half-hour ride to Monument Circle, she explained the personal challenge that carriage driving posed. It wasn't how to...
More

Huguenard a billion-dollar broker: Senior vice president at Colliers one of the nation's top deal-makersRestricted Content

August 18, 2008
Cory Schouten
John E. Huguenard is on a roll. He's got $1 billion in active industrial listings and is on track to top his $700 million deal volume from last year. The low-key super-broker for the local office of commercial real estate powerhouse Colliers Turley Martin Tucker has closed 17 deals worth a total of $250 million already this year. And that's no fluke: Huguenard, 45, has sold or leased more than 100 million square feet of industrial property in more than...
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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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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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