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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Snowstorms make you wonder

February 19, 2007

CHRIS KATTERJOHN

Commentary Snowstorms make you wonder Television weatherpeople are weird creatures, and I mean that in the nicest way. I know a few of them, and they are very fine individuals.

But while most folks get anxious over "weather events" like Feb. 13's snowstorm, TV weatherpeople get excited, downright giddy.

Their eyes gleam with intensity. They become more animated. Their nervous systems crank to high alert. They are like the veritable kid in the candy store.

Weather events are what weather experts live for. There's nothing duller to your average weatherperson than your average weather day. It's like publishing a newspaper when you don't have a blockbuster lead story. A little boring, kind of vanilla.

But it's more than the weather itself that gets these people going. During these relatively infrequent major weather events, weathermen and -women become Numero Uno at their stations. They become the kings and queens of the newsroom.

The entire organization gets focused on weather; reporters are dispatched all over the city to report live. At these times, the newsroom staff, particularly the managers, look to the weather anchors to be front and center and take leadership in the chaos that ensues.

Not only are they in charge, but they're on the air what seems like a thousand times in one day. It must be exhausting.

But it's heady stuff. And, considering the relative monotony of weather, I can't begrudge them their times in the spotlight and the adrenalin rush they feed on when something extraordinary occurs in their world of temperature, precipitation and wind chill.

But while television weatherpeople were cranking into high gear on Snowstorm Day, I was stuck at home on the plains of northwest Clay Township watching the snow pile up and blow across my frozen tundra of a yard.

The drifts in my driveway grew to 2 feet by 3 p.m., and as I sat staring at a 4-foot snowdrift up against my glass patio door, my mind began to wander. I wondered about a lot things, for instance:

Will the Indianapolis Colts win a second Super Bowl next year?

Will that valley in my roof that now has 2 feet of snow packed on it start leaking through the ceiling anytime soon? Will we ever get to have our 40 Under 40 reception, postponed now two Tuesdays in a row because of snow? Will the Indiana Pacers ever regain their status in our hearts by behaving themselves off-court and winning more consistently on?

Will the Indiana General Assembly embrace the concept of bipartisanship and pass legislation that promises to improve Hoosier quality of life and competitiveness, such as: full-day kindergarten; consolidation of local government services like township assessors and fire departments; and property tax reform?

Will Hoosier voters ever wake up and vote Julia Carson and Dan Burton out of office, replacing them with some new blood and new ideas?

Will Hoosier voters ever demand that gerrymandering voting districts be banned from the political landscape forever?

Will those five buildings across the street from my office on Washington Street ever get knocked down and replaced with something more appropriate for such a high-profile intersection?

Will our culture ever grow out of its adolescent celebrity worship of television, movie and sports figures? Will city planners and the powers-that-be ever seriously embrace the concept of mass transit in central Indiana?

Will we as a world community ever accept the reality of global warming and the need for alternative fuel development and try to do something about them?

Will this snow ever stop?

Will I be able to get into work tomorrow?

There is at least one thing I don't wonder about anymore: whether the Indianapolis Colts are really Indianapolis' team or still just a transplant from Baltimore. The victory in Super Bowl XLI closed that chapter of the Colts saga forever.



Katterjohn is publisher of IBJ. To comment on this column, go to IBJ Forum at www.ibj.comor send e-mail to ckatterjohn@ibj.com.
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