Articles

TAWN PARENT Commentary: Playing a game I may not want to win

I’m playing the lottery. But even if I win, I might lose. The stakes are high. It’s a lottery that will have a major impact on my family for the next decade. But this lottery isn’t about money. It’s about education. It’s the Indianapolis Public Schools magnet school lottery. Families submit their choices in the fall, and by the first of March they find out if they have won the right to attend any of their favorite schools. But there’s…

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Funding a chance at success: Bowens have helped 300 find career hope

Sharon Townsel is old enough to be Kori Buford’s mother. But despite the age difference, the women share a common bond: They’re both scholarship recipients of the Bowen Foundation. Robert and Terry Bowen launched the not-for-profit a decade ago and since have doled out $600,000 of their own money to nearly 300 black recipients who want to better their lives. By helping them learn a skill or trade, the object of the foundation is to assist those who need the…

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SUSAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Don’t overlook Benjamin Harrison Home

SUSAN WILLIAMS Commentary Don’t overlook Benjamin Harrison Home Here’s a thought: Celebrate President’s Day (Feb. 21) at the President Benjamin Harrison Home. Let re-enactors take you back to the era of the only president elected from Indiana. Benjamin Harrison built his three-story Italianate Victorian home at 1230 N. Delaware St. in 1875 and lived there until his death in 1901, with a four-year interruption when he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as the 23rd president of the United States….

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New La Plaza says adios to independent NFP operations: Three groups uniting to serve Hispanic community

It took several years and a couple of gentle nudges in the direction of progress, but a streamlined support system for local Latinos is finally taking shape. Three Indianapolis not-for-profit agencies are giving up their own identities-and autonomy-to populate La Plaza Inc., an organization that aims to position itself as the place for the burgeoning Hispanic community to look for help. “When you have three or four groups working with minimal budgets and overlapping services, it can get confusing,” said…

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Portal plan targets humanities teachers: Technology offers access to data, lesson-planning

The Indiana Humanities Council wants to open a new doorway for teachers around the state. IHC has begun testing a trial version of an education-portal program called Smart-Desktop at six central Indiana schools, including three from IPS. The goal of the program is to help teachers teach traditional humanities subjects such as history, social science and literature more efficiently and effectively, said John Keller, teacher-designer and coordinator of K-12 development for the Smart-Desktop initiative. Starting Feb. 1, more than 30…

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SPORTS: A model sports program in our own back yard

The leaders of the NCAA, including President Myles Brand, have a grand vision. They want to see student-athletes who arrive on campus prepared for the rigors of higher academia and who depart in a timely manner with meaningful degrees. They want to see quality coaching and success on the field of play, including the opportunity for those student-athletes to compete on a national level. They want to see the athletic department guided by the academic mission of the institution and…

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JOHN KETZENBERGER Commentary: A line on city’s stadium plan

Don’t bet on gambling revenue as the source of money that nearly doubles the size of the Indiana Convention Center and builds a new stadium just across the railroad tracks. The smart money rides on the notion Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, will take up Mayor Bart Peterson’s invitation to find another source of revenue to back the bonds for the $900 million project. The chairman of the newly created Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee isn’t being coy by revealing…

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Cancer plan enters action phase: State health initiative unveils multi-pronged strategy to take on deadly disease

But Dr. Greg Wilson, the department’s commissioner who stepped down Jan. 25 due to the change in administrations, realizes it’s going to take more than money to snuff out unhealthful habits, such as smoking. “Three-hundred-thousand dollars will not cure cancer in Indiana,” Wilson said. “We really have to utilize the private sec- tor and we really have to involve all the participants.” Those participants include 110 organizations that make up the Indiana Cancer Consortium, an effort initiated in 2001 to…

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Advocacy office leader will keep job with state: Daniels administration retains Kernan appointee, who took new position in July

Amid all the resignations and terminations in state government recently, at least one holdover appointed by the previous administration is remaining on the job. And small-business advocates could not be more pleased. David Dorff, whom former Gov. Joe Kernan tabbed in July to lead the state’s new Office of Small Business Advocacy, received word from Gov. Mitch Daniels in early January that he would remain on staff. Kernan unveiled the agency last summer as part of a series of initiatives…

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VIEWPOINT: Lack of basic skills hurts competitiveness

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? There is a businesseducation slant to the age-old argument. The business community contends that the state’s colleges and universities are not producing enough graduates to meet their needs. Highereducation advocates, on the other hand, say the qualified graduates are in place, but a lack of jobs within Indiana sends them packing to other states. We’ll leave that argument for another day. There is another major workplacepreparedness issue, however, that is rightfully drawing…

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Sale of parent company brings local agency growth: Roman Brand nets record billings year after buyout

Fourteen months after parting from Bates USA, Roman Brand Group is growing quickly. With its new name and a pledge from its new parent company to give the local firm more control, the advertising agency increased revenue 15 percent and added 17 new clients in 2004. Roman Brand CEO Dan Roman projects similar growth in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of London-based WPP Group and its U.S. advertising agency J. Walter Thompson. WPP Group bought Bates’ former parent company,…

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Incubator shakeup puts prez under fire: Rose-Hulman Ventures in turmoil after resignations

But outside his camp, others at Rose-Hulman are calling for Midgley’s scalp. They fear the man who replaced Samuel Hulbert in July is another George Armstrong Custer. A pair of sudden resignations at nationally renowned business incubator Rose-Hulman Ventures provoked the skirmish that now threatens to become an all-out assault on Midgley’s leadership. “We cannot trust him,” said a Rose-Hulman dean who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is by far not the only time I have felt this way,…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Daniels needs Dem. votes to pass budget measure

Lawmakers were treated Jan. 18 to what Hoosiers have quickly become accustomed to seeing from the new governor: a well-conceived strategy perfectly executed. Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, delivered a compelling State of the State address, reminding the audience at the Statehouse-and in living rooms in all 92 counties-of the marching orders they gave him in November. He detailed the daunting but not insurmountable short-term problems Indiana faces, and outlined how bright he believes the future can be in just…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Understanding factors in public-sector job growth

There is nothing like a war and a recession to increase the size of government payrolls. Yet the hiring behavior of the public sector in the last four years has been unusual, when compared with previous recessions. The data tell us much of the growth in recent years has come from state and local governments. But they do not tell us why. There has been much stronger job growth in the public sector than in the private sector in the…

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Outlook is good for entrepreneurs:

Could 2005 be the tipping point for Indiana to become the center for entrepreneurship in the world? That is a pretty bold statement, considering Indiana’s poor track record. As executive director for Entrepreneur’s Alliance of Indiana, I talk with many entrepreneurs that are excited about the direction Indiana is headed. We have in place a strong educational component with several universities ded icated to research and development and the incubation of new ideas. Geographically we have always had an advantage,…

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School-based clinics get boost from grant: Learning Well Inc. operates in 53 Marion County schools

Indianapolis-based Anthem Foundation gave Learning Well Inc. $100,000 to open two school-based clinics in Marion County and support its efforts to address childhood obesity and asthma. But the effect will go much further than that, one board member said. “We’re finally seeing stability and potential for growth,” said Betty Wilson, a member of Learning Well’s executive committee and CEO of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, which has plowed millions into the program and is a driving force behind the…

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NPR affiliate launches local news initiative: WFYI’s goal is to generate daily, original content

The city’s only National Public Radio affiliate is launching a local news department for the first time in its almost 20 years of operation, and has signed a deal that could gain it thousands of listeners south of the city’s center. WFYI-FM 90.1 hired veteran TV newscaster Scott Hoke in late November as local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and will hire a reporter within six weeks. The radio station plans to soon after launch a weekly sports show featuring…

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Purdue, IU out to bolster their life sciences futures: Both universities invest millions in biomedical pursuits Grants help growth ‘A new kind of engineer’

Whenever Indiana and Purdue universities get together on the hardwood or the debate arena, the rivalry is intense. But as various public and private players around the state put on a full-court press for Indiana’s life sciences future, the schools have teamed up like a dynamic backcourt duo. The Scientist, a biweekly publication delivered to 75,000 people worldwide, in November ranked Purdue No. 2 and Indiana No. 10 on a list of “Best Places to Work in Academia,” based on…

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EYE ON THE PIE: We’re saving more than you think

For years, I have been listening to Paul Harvey on the radio decrying the low savings rate of Americans. Our seemingly profligate ways, spending nearly all we earn, will lead us to the poorhouse, if not the eternal fires of debtors’ damnation. Many of my learned colleagues share this view. Americans are spending too much, consuming too much, saving too little. They tell us the personal-savings rate hit an all-time low in October, at 0.1 percent. That means we put…

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Seeking to sway politicians: Lobbyists savor the challenge of playing the game, which requires chess-like strategizing

When Maureen Ferguson was a lobbyist for the Indiana Petroleum Council, she went skiing for the first time, in Colorado. As her ski instructor was taking her up the mountain, he asked her what she did for a living. When she told him, he “went off” on how the oil industry was corrupt and running the government, and she recalled that she found herself fearing for her life. Now when someone asks Ferguson what she does, sometimes she tells them,…

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