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Star biz columnist leaving to lead Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute

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Indianapolis Star business columnist John Ketzenberger is leaving the newspaper to become president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, the organization said today.

Founded in 1987, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-partisan research on Indiana’s major public-policy questions, particularly matters related to tax policy and the state budget.

Ketzenberger will begin his new role Sept. 14.

“I am excited to join the institute and look forward to continuing the organization’s mission of being the leading, credible source for research and analysis,” Ketzenberger said in a prepared statement. “I truly want the institute to have a statewide presence, and am ready to grow our membership. After speaking with elected officials and business leaders, it is clear to me that the institute’s work is vital to Indiana’s future.”

The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has been largely dormant since former CEO Steve Johnson resigned in August 2007. Johnson had led the institute since 2003. At the time of his departure, Johnson complained that he’d been forced to devote most of his time to raising funds, not policy analysis. Since then, it has intermittently released policy papers written by volunteers.

Ketzenberger has been one of the Star’s most visible columnists in recent years, appearing frequently in promotions for the newspaper. He also is regular commentator on Indiana Week in Review, which airs statewide on public television stations. He spent seven years as managing editor of the Indianapolis Business Journal before joining the Star as lead business columnist four years ago.

Over its history, Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has analyzed subjects as diverse as property-tax assessment, public pension management, Hoosier school funding, technology progress, daylight-saving time policy, the college brain drain, welfare and Medicaid reform and the Hoosier Lottery.

“We are thrilled to have John lead our organization,” Steve Rahn, chairman of the institute’s board of directors, said in a written statement. “His vast experience and knowledge of both the political and budget processes will not only serve the institute well, but also the taxpayers of Indiana.”

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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