Indianapolis Business Journal – March 29 – April 4, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

IndyGo’s new electric buses can’t go the distance

IndyGo says the electric buses it intends to use on the Red Line have been unable to run the 275 miles on a single charge that was promised by manufacturer BYD Ltd.

Ex-employees to testify exec knew drugs were dangerous

Paul Elmer, who founded Pharmakon 16 years ago and shut it down three years ago, faces charges of adulterating compounded drugs, conspiracy and obstructing a U.S. FDA investigation.

Bill Oesterle’s new firm TMap seeks to big data to reverse brain drain

The company’s goal is to find talented people who live out of state but have a connection to Indiana—then lure them here to live and work.

Top Stories

Founder of FACE low-cost animal clinic accuses current leaders of mismanagement

Scott Robinson, a medical doctor who founded The Foundation Against Companion-Animal Euthanasia Inc. in 1993, has filed a complaint with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

Last large undeveloped Meridian Hills plat for sale

A 4.3-acre, wooded site along Meridian Street in Washington Township that has sat vacant and undeveloped for decades is on the market for $1.9 million.

New Indy housing director seeks ‘a better way to do this’

New Indianapolis Housing Agency Executive Director John Hall is charged with sorting out the agency’s finances and improving the city’s federally funded voucher program.

Q&A: Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation is seeking fellows to drive change

The foundation’s first class of fellows is preparing to graduate, after working on projects related to hunger, infant mortality, hate crimes legislation and talent recruitment. Now, it’s looking for as many as 20 innovators for its next class.

Symphony explores office move from Washington Street landmark

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is conducting a feasibility study on its office space needs that could lead it to leave the 17-story, 107-year-old building it owns behind Hilbert Circle Theatre.

Indiana virtual schools granted extra time to defend themselves against allegations

The authorizer of two virtual schools accused of mismanaging state tests, student enrollment, and special education services voted Monday night to give the schools more time to defend themselves—even after they missed a key deadline for submitting a written explanation.

Indiana one step closer to tax breaks for data centers

Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, who carried the bill on the Senate side, said it would make Indiana one of the top five states for tax policy on data centers.

IBJ captures two journalism awards in annual Best in Business competition

IBJ’s podcast and “One City, Worlds Apart” series received international journalism honors from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing in the organization’s annual Best of Business competition.


Homeowners are seeking low-maintenance, party-ready landscaping and lawns

The stuff buyers pack into outdoor living areas varies according to taste. Some opt for outdoor kitchens, though most see the space as a place to chill rather than sling hash. Some spaces are even equipped with outdoor-rated televisions that—allegedly—can stay in the yard year round.

Fountain Square parcels cut off by I-65 get modern makeover with three new houses

The lots were among the last available spaces to nab close to the main drag in Fountain Square, a neighborhood where Fisher and his family’s business, RCA Properties LLC, already owned substantial property.

Residential Real Estate: Marketplace Stats for March 29, 2019

Area builders file to build fewer homes for third straight month

Last year turned out to be the busiest year for builders in more than a decade, but filings have been slowing since the fourth quarter.

Fannie and Freddie return to Senate spotlight as Crapo seeks fix


Editorial: Community needs to act to on income inequality problems

Local companies—be they big corporations or small startups—need a strong talent pool from which to draw their workers. State and local governments need a healthy tax base from which to pull revenue to keep the region’s infrastructure—roads, mass transit, internet access and more—strong enough for business. And the region needs residents who invest time, money and energy into their homes, their schools and their community at large. None of that can happen when a large percentage of the population is economically drowning.

Greg Morris: Teachers’ Treasures helps teachers help kids

Better teachers produce better-educated kids, and that means we have a better, more-productive workforce here in central Indiana. These dedicated teachers deserve our continued support.

Lauren Moore: Support teachers by funding their mentors

Because of our mentoring structure through TAP, our school has been rated an A for the past three years. Before implementing this career-ladder structure, we were a D school.

Justin Ross: Don’t rely on balanced budget amendment to keep Indiana solvent

Every state that can reasonably be described as existing in financial peril has a balanced budget amendment.

PETE THE PLANNER: Get more from your financial adviser

I guarantee, you utilize less than 60 percent of the functionality of your financial adviser, and you suffer for it. The stakes are high. It matters.

Sam Julka: Well-designed workspaces are no joke

One of the most common words we hear related to office space is “outdated.” People don’t need to show up to a workplace with gold-plated file cabinets—although maybe that’s back in. What does Beyoncé have in her office?

Ed Feigenbaum: Republicans’ closed-door debates cut out public input

House Republicans opted to hash out the hate crimes legislation in a private caucus—just like their Senate counterparts did.

Trying kids as adults is wrong approach

Letter: IBJ should use more diverse sources

The lack of an accurate representation of the black community in a recent story could project a false sense of unanimity on our concerns about IPS. But more significantly, it conceals the diversity of perspectives within the black community on the future of IPS.

Letter: Unruly students lead to teacher turnover

Neglected kids become disruptors and dropouts once their hormones start running.

Letter: Time to move away from high-stakes tests

Currently, school success is tied to student performance on high-stakes tests, like ISTEP 10. Our outdated, one-size-fits-all graduation and diploma system limits student potential and does not fully prepare every kid for life after high school.

In Brief

Second Indianapolis Catholic high school counselor losing job

Attorney Kathleen DeLaney said Roncalli High School has notified her client, Lynn Starkey, that her contract won’t be renewed for next school year because she's in a same-sex marriage.

WTHR-TV looks within to fill news director position

WTHR-TV Channel 13 has filled its open news director position, which was vacated late last year when Kathy Hostetter left the local NBC affiliate.

UPDATE: Brickyard 400 moving to Fourth of July weekend in 2020

Speedway and NASCAR officials plan to play up the patriotism theme to promote the event’s new schedule.

UPDATE: Children’s Museum dino project to include two massive Jurassic skeletons

With a budget of $27.5 million, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is heading a research project that will include excavation of fossil-rich land in Wyoming and big additions to its Dinosphere exhibit.


Marshawn Wolley: Slow down and assess what’s working

Innovation network schools are a solution—not the solution for improving education outcomes.

Barato Britt: IPS must stay the reform course

It is the urgency for positive change that I believe has led IPS’ transformative strategies for the past several years.

Adrianne Slash: Let the new women of Congress be themselves

Having a voice in a conversation rather than being the topic of the conversation leads to more equitable outcomes.

Anne Hathaway: How a New York Republican is helping elect women

At a time of gridlock and government shutdown, the ability to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan is necessary.

Deborah Hearn Smith: Do the small things—and big ones—to boost women

Let’s use words like smart, confident, courageous and strong as admirable traits in women and girls.

Jennifer Hallowell: Abandoning Electoral College is bad for Indiana, U.S.

Our political process is far from perfect, but proposals like this will only further divide our country and silence voters.

Una Osili: Payday loans won’t boost Hoosiers’ financial security

Financial literacy in the workplace can help employees cope with emergencies and prepare for retirement.

John McDonald: Indiana’s real March madness

The lack of an inclusive hate crimes law sends the wrong message for a state already in a death match for recruiting and retaining talent.

Claire Fiddian-Green: We need addictions counselors. Here’s how to get them.

Many who need help—especially those relying on low-cost, community-based care—struggle to obtain it.

Karen Celestino-Horseman: Socialist, communist, capitalist—who cares!

It’s time we listen up and explore new ideas and not care where the idea originated.

Dana Black: Holcomb struggles to persuade GOP to follow his lead

He suggests what he wants from his supermajority General Assembly and they send him back something watered down and not meeting the stated goal.

Leah McGrath: Never too late to do right thing for our Vietnam vets

Thank you and welcome home. I can see how those words have healing power.

Brad Rateike: Honoring my mentors by being one, too

I will always believe that, in the history of humanity, no one has ever been upset by receiving a thank you note.

Ed DeLaney: Legislature is a neglectful parent—unless it’s nagging

When it comes to virtual charter schools we simply run away from responsibility, as do all too many parents.


Mike Lopresti: The high school ref is disappearing. Here’s why.

The toxic nature of a culture where people get murdered over road rage, social media giving the most poisonous among us the loudest megaphones … what kind of a landscape is that for an official? Not a good one.