Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

EYE ON THE PIE: It is time to accept I-69 and move onRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Morton Marcus
I don't want to write this column; you don't want to read it. Yet, I must respond to the diehards who insist that building Interstate 69 (and almost any other road) will be detrimental to our state. Several economic and environmental studies support the Bloomington-Crane-Washington-Petersburg route to Evansville. Yet, time after time, supporters of the Terre Haute-Sullivan-Vincennes-Princeton route rise up and demand a reconsideration of the path. The Terre Haute crowd is afraid it will lose something if the Bloomington...
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VIEWPOINT: The Commerce Connector in perspectiveRestricted Content

December 18, 2006
Eric Damian
As one who navigates the tangle of roads at interstates 69 and 465 frequently, my first reaction to the proposed Indiana Commerce Connector was positive-anything to relieve that mess. Looking at a map and considering, for example, a more direct connection between inter states 69 and 70 east of the city seems to make perfect sense. There are many questions to be answered, however, before the state should make a commitment to it. In considering such a major project, it...
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Residents say safety is a growing concern: Survey: Fewer feel comfortable downtown after darkRestricted Content

December 11, 2006
Cory Schouten
Most central Indiana residents feel safe in downtown Indianapolis when the sun is out, but remain leery of the city at night, according to a study by the IUPUI Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management. The annual study, which is designed to gauge the impact of cultural tourism on quality of life, gives the city high marks overall in areas ranging from cultural attractions to cleanliness, public transportation to parking. But it also shows the city has more work...
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EYE ON THE PIE: 'Tis the season for economic foolishnessRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Morton Marcus
This is the best time of the year. Thanksgiving is over and the signs of Christmas have yet to bore us. All the truly crazy people have identified themselves by shopping on the days immediately following Thanksgiving. New and old ideas are blossoming for consideration by the Indiana General Assembly. Gov. Mitch Daniels has given us the Commerce Connector, a nifty addition to our highway road map. This would be a new outer loop around Indianapolis, serving Greenfield, Shelbyville, Franklin...
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Doors still closed on Hamilton County bus service: Local officials continue to nail down preferred routesRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Bus service to Hamilton County won't begin this year, as some commuters and planners had hoped. But the 10-month reconstruction of Interstate 70 across Indianapolis' east side, starting in February, could push the accelerator to get service started. "I'd certainly hope so ....The work on I-70 is probably going to make the commuters' ride a little tougher," said Gary A. Huff, town manager of Fishers. It was another interstate project, the 2003 Hyperfix of the interstates 65/70 split downtown that...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Daniel's toll-road plan futuristic, not datedRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Is building roads innovative? Some reactions voiced in the wake of the Gov. Mitch Daniels' proposal to build a 75-mile beltway around the east and southern quadrants of central Indiana say no. Outer belts, it is said, are a mistaken product of 1960sera thinking, robbing growth from central cities and helping create the faceless suburban landscape that surrounds so many major cities today. Innovative thinking on transportation, one might say, would embrace new technology and get us away from the...
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Schools warm to economic development: Colleges crank out programs to fit latest initiativesRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Academic purists often hold contempt for politicians and executives seeking help with economic development initiatives. It doesn't take a political science degree to wonder if someone is trying to stoke votes, ambitions or profits-on the cheap. But in Indiana, more colleges are tailoring their curriculum to support economic development priorities, realizing what's good for the region can be good for their enrollment. "An increasing number of universities don't view themselves as ivory towers anymore," said Uday Sukhatme, executive vice chancellor...
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Proposed highway could ease congestion, but transit backers say it won'tRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Chris O'Malley
A 2005 study for the state says an outer highway loop-like the one Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed Nov. 9-would reduce traffic northeast of the city, potentially splashing cold water on a rapid transit plan. But supporters aren't backing down.
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East-side businesses fear 'black hole' from 10-month I-70 projectRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Chris O'Malley
The rebuilding of Interstate 70 between downtown and Interstate 465 six miles to the east, starting in February, threatens to devastate a part of town already struggling economically, businesses and community groups warn.
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Indy is ready (and waiting) for rapid transitRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
A new survey demonstrates yet again that community leaders recognize it is time to fix traffic congestion, improve air quality, reduce aggregate fuel use and enhance area accessibility. The study was taken last summer of 377 members of the Lacy Leadership Association, a group of local opinion leaders, by Walker Information, a local market research firm. More than 90 percent of survey respondents indicated that rapid transit is an important component of the solution to these problems. In addition, respondents...
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Techpoint's new leader sees room to grow: Indiana making progress, but could do better, he saysRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Scott Olson
Techpoint, a locally based technology trade group that represents the interests of about 330 members statewide, is undergoing a transition in leadership. Jim Jay, 37, has been named interim CEO following the resignation of Cameron Carter, who has led the organization since 2003. Directors should begin a formal search for a permanent replacement the first of the year. Whether Jay lands the top job remains to be seen. But in the meantime, the Butler University graduate with an entrepreneurial spirit...
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NaClor picks spot for $40 million plant: South-side parcel considered for chemical factoryRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Backers of a proposed $40 million Indianapolis chemical plant are eyeing a south-side parcel near White River, but neighbors worry fumes from the facility will drag down property values nearby. In the spring, local economic development groups trumpeted Indianapolisbased NaClor Inc.'s decision to build the plant here. In return for the 53 new jobs-making bleach and other chemicals used in soaps, detergents and water quality treatment-the state promised $2.8 million in tax cuts and training grants, and the city offered...
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Developer has big plans for long-vacant drive-in: N.Y. firm has 93-acre Lawrence site under contractRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A 93-acre former drive-in south of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison has sat vacant since the theater closed in 1993. But now a Rochester, N.Y., developer has agreed to buy the property and envisions building retail space plus either a light-industrial business park or a medical campus. If it comes to pass, the large development could kick-start Lawrence's efforts to revitalize struggling portions of Pendleton Pike. Norry Management Corp. has had the land under contract since spring and is preparing...
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Kite, Mansur, White pitch airport hotelRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Three developers are vying for the chance to build a four-story, 250- to 300-room hotel connected to the new $974 million midfield terminal and garage at the Indianapolis International Airport.
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EYE ON THE PIE Morton Marcus: Stats born of self-interest not worth the troubleRestricted Content

September 18, 2006
When I arrived at Indiana University in 1970, we had many copies of a 1966 projection of Indiana county populations sitting in file cabinets. Most state and local agencies also had these projections sitting about. Some used them for doorstoppers. After all, they were thick with details for age and sex in each county going out about 30 years, to a distant point in the 1990s. Once the 1970 census was released, Bob Calhoun of the State Board of Health...
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Airport has avoided runway disasters despite some close callsRestricted Content

September 18, 2006
Chris O'Malley
A NASA database shows how airfield mistakes that contributed to a runway crash at a Kentucky airport also occur here, although the number of "surface incidents" has declined in recent years, thanks largely to improvements to taxiways.
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Biofuel plans have suppliers stokedRestricted Content

September 18, 2006
Chris O'Malley
Indiana's plan to become the Middle East of biofuels could be a boon well beyond the rural towns that will welcome more than a dozen refineries . Firms that make and supply parts and expertise needed to build the $1.8 billion in ethanol and biodiesel plants--and related infrastructure--are gearing up.
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Making the right move: For companies planning a relocation, months of preparation are often in orderRestricted Content

September 18, 2006
Scott Olson
CORPORATE RELOCATION Making the right move For companies planning a relocation, months of preparation are often in order Employees of Aprimo Inc. are settling into their new digs at Parkwood Crossing after the fastgrowing marketing-softwaremaker moved its headquarters early last month. While the building may be different, the surroundings are quite familiar. The company remains in the same office complex, albeit across College Avenue from its previous space. But don't tell Dani Hughes, Aprimo's human resources representative who coordinated the...
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Racing toward a new type of learning center: Decatur, Panther team up on educational facilityRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Scott Olson
Mention a career in motorsports to most youngsters and they imagine whizzing around the track like NASCAR's Tony Stewart or Sam Hornish Jr., points leader of the Indianapolis Racing League. But a partnership between Indianapolisbased Panther Racing LLC and Decatur Township Schools wants to introduce students to more practical professions within the sport by providing the resources in a hands-on learning environment. The result is the Panther Education Center, set to open next fall near the racing team's headquarters at...
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BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: The heat will hurt more next winterRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Geopolitical instability and increasing worldwide demand for fossil fuels have caused high energy prices. Indiana tax policies in support of the creation of ethanol and biodiesel production facilities are part of an effort to help wean our transportation infrastructure from fossil fuels. While ethanol may be a poor alternative to fossil fuels, Hoosier entrepreneurs' and policymakers' efforts in this area reflect a broad awareness that we need a sensible, comprehensive energy policy. A corollary to $3-per-gallon gas is increasing home-heating...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Still trying to get it rightRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
We're about to pave a small neighborhood park so that patrons of a bar in a government building will have a place to stash their cars while they drink. What better time than now to revisit a couple of previous columns about urban design? (More on the playground later.) Back in May, I wrote about local entrepreneur Tom Battista's work to restore commercial life to the 800 block of Massachusetts Avenue and what's left of the 900 block. The 900...
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BEHIND THE NEWS:Restricted Content

August 14, 2006
Greg Andrews
In the 1980s, Jim Massey was one of Indianapolis' top bankers. Now, he finds himself in bankruptcy court, the latest former Conseco Inc. director to fall victim to the company's hardball loan-collection tactics. The Carmel-based insurer last month filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition for Massey, 71, the former president of Merchants National Bank. "It is just another forum to try to bring an expeditious conclusion to the problem," said Reed Oslan, a partner with the Chicago law firm Kirkland &...
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Six sites named 'Shovel Ready': State program designed to speed permit process for fast-track developersRestricted Content

August 14, 2006
Scott Olson
State officials have added another arrow to their quiver of economic-development incentives meant to attract companies to Indiana. A new pilot program, known as Shovel Ready, certifies land that can be rapidly developed. The aim is to make the properties more attractive to companies by cutting the time it takes to navigate the permitting process. "The ability to expedite a company's development will make us more competitive than perhaps we have been in the past," said Chris Pfaff, director of...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Orange County casino a losing bet?Restricted Content

August 7, 2006
I'm starting to get a bad feeling about the Orange County casino project. Truth be told, I've had the bad feeling for a long time, and now it's getting worse. The latest blip on the radar in what has been a challenged project from the get-go is the contentious legal battle that has surfaced between the two partners: Bob Lauth of Lauth Property Group and Bloomington billionaire Bill Cook. I guess that's not that unusual. Ed Feigenbaum, publisher of Indiana...
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Moving lessons from classrooms to boardrooms: MBA students get firsthand experience with startupsRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Victoria D.
No matter how many bold and italicized words scholars cram into textbooks, nothing compares to students rolling up their sleeves and testing a theory themselves. For years, Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has offered its Bloomington MBA candidates real-world experience through so-called "academies" focused on specific industries. Now Kelley Indianapolis' evening MBA program is set to launch a scaled-back version for its students. This fall, it will offer three such "enterprise" programs, including one with an entrepreneurial emphasis. The...
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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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