Hudgens at Heartland, poker with Mel Daniels, and more

September 20, 2013
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—The Heartland Film Festival announced its lineup Thursday. The Oct. 17-26 festival opens with a screening of "Gimme Shelter" which, no, is not the Rolling Stones documentary concert. It's a drama about a pregnant teen, and star Vanessa Hudgens is expected to attend. She'll be receiving a Rising Star award at the Oct. 19 award ceremony (which I'll reserve judgment on until seeing the film, which also features Indianapolis native Brendan Fraser). The festival closer is "The Book Thief" with star Geoffrey Rush expected to be here. In between, look for 132 other films. Watch IBJ for my picks closer to festival time. (FYI: I served on the documentary jury this year and have some definite favorites.)

—Speaking of Heartand, founder Jeffrey Sparks is stepping down as the name above the title. Story here.

—Meanwhile, the spell-checker's nightmare, Krzysztof Urbanski, has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchesra. The new deal will keep him at the podium through 2018. More here.

—A number of weeks back, I blogged about the Celebrity Poker Tournament I was invited to compete in at Indiana Grand Casino (See posts here and here). Rather than pick a charity to represent, I opted to blindly draw from among not-for-profit central Indiana arts groups that posted on the blog. The recipient turned out to be Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre, presenters of summer Shakespeare at White River State Park. And I'm happy to report that after a brutal four or so hours of play, I outlasted the likes of Rik Smits, Slick Leonard and others as the field whittled down from 84 to 19. At that point, the collective decision was made to chop the pot which, combined with cash for being one of the last two "celebs" in the game (NBA Hall-of-Famer Mel Daniels being the other), allowed me to check out with $900 for HART. Almost as fun as the game was dining with Daniels and his teammates, and hearing stories of the early days of the Pacers. (No, I'll never tell.)

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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