Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Attention Homeowners!

December 31 is Deadline for Filing Deductions to be Applied to Your Property Taxes

Mortgage Deduction

If you are buying property on a recorded mortgage or a recorded contract, and you are a resident of the State of Indiana, you could qualify for a mortgage deduction (IC 6-1.1-12.1). The value of the deduction may not exceed the amount of the indebtedness.

In order for these deductions to be applied to your property taxes, you must be the owner of the property and filed for the deduction on or before December 31 in order for the deductions to be credited to the taxes payable the following year. The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $3,000, whichever is less. A person owning more than one property may not receive mortgage deductions totaling more than $3,000. If you refinance or have a deed change at any time, you will need to re-file these deductions.

For more information, or to file online, go to: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/County/Auditor/Services/Online/Pages/AuditorMortgageDeduction.aspx

The Mortgage Deduction is one of many deductions. To learn more about the various deductions available to residential property owners, check out: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/County/Auditor/Services/Pages/deduction_guide.aspx

The Marion County Auditor's Office encourages homeowners to complete the application online, but it may also be completed in person or by mail. The Auditor's Real Estate office is located in the City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St., Suite 841. The office is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. You can reach a customer service representative by calling (317) 327-4646.

Friday, December 24, 2010

State Taking Public Comment on Mayor’s Proposal to Transfer Water & Wastewater Systems to Citizens Energy Group

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), the state agency charged with reviewing Mayor Greg Ballard’s proposal to transfer the water and wastewater systems to Citizens Energy Group, has issued a docket entry setting a hearing to take testimony from the general public.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, in the Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School Auditorium, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. The hearing’s public comment portion will begin at 6 p.m., with an informational session offered by the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) on the regulatory process and public hearing procedures starting at 5:30 p.m.

Additionally, the OUCC, a separate state agency that represents consumers in all cases before the IURC, announced today that it is accepting written comments through Jan. 12. Consumers who wish to submit written comments may send them to the OUCC via:

* OUCC website: www.in.gov/oucc/2370.htm
* E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
* Mail: Consumer Services Staff; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor;
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South; Indianapolis, IN 46204
* Fax: (317) 232-5923

“The IURC’s approval of the request for a hearing to take testimony from the public and the OUCC’s decision to take public comment are very positive steps in this process to review our proposal,” said Mayor Ballard. “We have held countless public forums at the local level, and these additional opportunities for public input demonstrate the State’s commitment to the same kind of open government that we have delivered in the City of Indianapolis.”

The IURC issued its docket entry on Tuesday. At the hearing, members of the public can offer sworn oral and written comments. Oral and written consumer comments carry equal weight and will become part of the official record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision. IURC commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing. However, OUCC, IURC, City and Citizens staff will be available before, during and after the hearing.

“After the proposal receives a full vetting by our state government, I hope it will be promptly approved so we can invest the more than $425 million we will receive to repair our streets, bridges and sidewalks and take down unsalvageable abandoned homes,” said Mayor Ballard. “And, by 2025, Citizens’ customers will enjoy rates projected to be 25 percent lower than they otherwise would have been and utilities that are free from local partisan politics.”

The OUCC’s notice is included with this release. For more information, visit www.indy.gov/utilities or call (317) 327-4MAC. To access the documents filed in the IURC proceeding, visit the IURC’s Electronic Document System (EDS) at https://myweb.in.gov/IURC/eds/. Once you access the EDS, click the Cases link. In the docket number field, type the number 43936, and click the search button. To access the filings, click the Filings\Docket Entries button.

Don't forget--recycle your Christmas tree!

The City’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Indy Parks, will offer seven drop-off locations in Marion County for residents to recycle their Christmas trees beginning December 26, 2010, through January 31, 2011.

The City’s tree recycling program diverts waste from the landfill and adds mulch to our parks and street trees. Last year, nearly 15,000 Christmas trees were recycled through the City’s collection program. Residents are encouraged to help make Indianapolis a more sustainable city and take advantage of this easy, environmentally friendly way to dispose of their trees.

Residents are asked to remove all ornaments, lights, tree stands, plastic bags, nails and other decorations before drop-off. No artificial trees will be accepted. Trees will be accepted at the following locations during normal park hours (dawn to dusk), seven days a week. Follow signs within each park to the specific drop-off locations.

* Broad Ripple Park, 1610 Broad Ripple Ave., south lot
* Ellenberger Park, 5301 E. St. Clair St., west of pool in main parking lot
* Garfield Park, 2432 Conservatory Drive, MacAllister Center
* Krannert Park, 605 S. High School Road, north parking lot
* Riverside Park, 2420 N. Riverside Drive, tennis court parking lot
* Perry Park, 451 E. Stop 11 Road, soccer field parking lot
* Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st St., soccer field parking lot

To learn more about the program or about Mayor Ballard’s vision of making Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest, visit www.sustainindy.org.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cultural Trail Southeast Corridor Construction Update

In preparation for the Cultural Trail's construction, AT&T will begin relocating its lines from the west to the east side of Virginia Ave. between South St. and McCarty St. soon after the first of the year.

WHEN? This work will begin in early January (specific start location is yet to be determined).

WHERE? Both sides of Virginia St. between South St. and McCarty St.

WHAT'S IMPACTED? Virginia St. will remain open and access will be maintained to any existing business or residence. However, traffic lanes will shift in work zones and traffic may be managed by the construction crew. Parking may be restricted in direct work zones only or as required to maintain traffic.

HOW LONG? The work is expected to be completed by April 2011, preferably prior to Cultural Trail construction, which may begin around the same time.

The contractor for the Southeast Corridor construction is Hunt Paving Company. In late January or February, we will schedule a meeting with you (the neighborhoods in this area) and Hunt Paving to discuss its construction schedule.

Monday, December 20, 2010

IndyGo Administers Over $500,000 in Federal Funding to Mobility Services

Job Access and Reverse Commute and New Freedom grant application process for 2011 begins in February

Serving as a grant administrator for the State of Indiana, IndyGo recently dispersed $555,937 in federal assistance between six mobility-based services in Central Indiana. The funding, provided by the Federal Transit Administration’s Job Access and Reverse Commute and New Freedom programs, is awarded annually to local organizations with unmet transportation needs.

The Job Access and Reverse Commute program helps fund employment-related transportation services and activities for low-income individuals, while the New Freedom program supports transportation options for people with disabilities that are beyond those required by the American Disabilities Act.

A review committee—comprised of members from the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority—assisted IndyGo in awarding the 2010 grant funding to the below organizations.

▪ The Central Indiana Council on Aging received $183,525 in New Freedom funds to support the provision of transportation vouchers for elderly disabled individuals in an eight county area within the Indianapolis metropolitan region.

▪ Access Johnson County received $133,282 in New Freedom funds for the continued support of its employment connector service and taxi voucher program, which provides transportation to persons with disabilities so they can access employment and life sustaining services.

▪ The Pathway to Future Learning Center received $89,093 in Job Access and Reverse Commute operating funds to support its transportation services that give low-income individuals access to job training and employment, particularly at worksites outside of Indianapolis and across county lines.

▪ IndyGo received $74,037 in New Freedom operating funds to continue the support of its paratransit taxi voucher program, which provides an alternative transportation option for persons with disabilities.

▪ Family Service of Central Indiana received $44,000 in Job Access and Reverse Commute operating funds for the continued support of its “Ways to Work” car loan program that targets low-income individuals needing vehicles for accessing and sustaining employment. In return, loan recipients are required to car pool with others.

▪ The Catholic Charities of Indianapolis received $32,000 in Job Access and Reverse Commute capital assistance to help fund the purchase of a mini-bus that will provide transportation support to hundreds of immigrants relocating to Indianapolis. The project will facilitate self-sufficiency for these individuals by giving them access to employment and employment training.

In 2007, the State of Indiana designated IndyGo the recipient of these federal program funds, requiring the company to manage the grant administration and distribution process throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan region. Eligible recipients of these funds include public or private operators of public transportation, authorized units of local government and private not-for-profit organizations. Any Job Access and Reverse Commute and New Freedom grants that are awarded require local matching funds to be secured and provided by the grantee.

Organizations interested in applying for future Job Access and Reverse Commute or New Freedom funding should contact Roscoe Brown, IndyGo director of coordinated transportation programs at rbrown@indygo.net with questions. The 2011 call for projects begins on Monday, February 14, at which point grant applications will be available for download at IndyGo.net. Organizations typically have 60 days to complete the application.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Keep the kids entertained during the holiday vacation –inexpensively

Bring the family Downtown during school break

Things to do Dec. 18 – Jan. 3

Most school-aged children are on vacation for two weeks and the budget’s blown on holiday gifts…What’s a parent to do? Downtown Indianapolis is keeping the holiday fun in full-swing with tons of pocketbook-friendly events. Listed below are several ideas to keep the kids busy (and the parents happy) without spending a fortune.


· Bundle up and take a walk around The Canal and White River State Park or Monument Circle admiring the Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 (until Jan. 8) – FREE.

· Go swimming at the Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.

· Go duckpin bowling at Action Duckpin Bowl or Atomic Bowl Duckpin in Fountain Square.

· Take a twirl around the ice skating rink at the Indiana/World Academy Skating Academy in Pan Am Plaza.

· Test your skills at the Amazing Games arcade at Jillian's or try cosmic bowling in the Retro Hi Life lanes. Grab a bite to eat in the Video Café.


· Take a guided memorial tour and visit the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, located in the basement of the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument (open Wednesday through Sunday) – FREE.

· Take a tour through the Indianapolis Museum of Art or check out Christmas at the Lilly House through Jan 2. – FREE (parking included.)

· Kids will love the hands-on approach at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, where kids of all ages are encouraged to touch and let their imaginations take over! Don’t miss The Children’s Museum Jolly Days Winter Wonderland through Jan. 9. This event features a Snow Castle, Yule Slide and photos with Santa. Polar Bears to Penguins exhibit is also on display through Jan. 2.

· Visit the Indiana State Museum’s Celebration Crossing through Dec. 31 and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition through Jan. 16.

· View the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art’s new exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, on display through Jan. 9. (IUPUI students and staff and kids under 4 get in FREE.)

· Visit holidays past at the beautifully decorated Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, dressed up in all the trappings of holidays past at the White House. He was the first president to decorate a tree in the White House.

· Visit the past at the Morris Butler House Museum and the James Whitcomb Riley Home.

· It’s tea time! Take the family to the Indianapolis Propylaeum’s Holiday Children’s Tea "Peter Pan and the Pirates" Dec. 29, complete with scones, tea sandwiches, sweets and flavored teas.


· The Indiana Historical Society hosts Winterfest Dec. 27 -30. Engage your creative spirit and roll up your sleeves for family-friendly, hands-on activities and more!

· Visit the Indianapolis Zoo for Christmas at the Zoo & White River Gardens' Woodland Wonderland presented by Wells Fargo Advisors until Dec. 30. Stroll through the Zoo covered in lights to see animals, indoor exhibits, the holiday dolphin show, Santa’s Village presented by Community Health Network, carolers, Santa’s Sweet Shop, the All A-Glow Light Show presented by Macy’s and more!

* Don’t miss Christmas at the Puppet Studio! This Downtown tradition takes place Dec. 10 - 27 at Peewinkle's Puppet Studio.
* Follow the yellow brick road to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Lilly Theatre for “Dorothy Returns” holiday production Dec. 18 - 19, 21 – 24, 28 - 31 and Jan. 1 – 2.
* Have “Tea with Mrs. Claus” Dec. 19 & 26 in the Indiana State Museum’s L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Mrs. Claus and Raggedy Ann greet guests as they enjoy dainty sandwiches, scones, pastries and tea.
* Take in the spectacular Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Yuletide Celebration through Dec. 23.


· See the Indianapolis Colts in action vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars Dec. 19 or Tennessee Titans Jan. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

· Cheer on your Indiana Pacers as they take on the New Orleans Hornets Dec. 20, Memphis Grizzlies Dec. 26 or Washington Wizards Dec. 31 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

· Check out the Indiana Ice vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints at Conseco Fieldhouse Dec. 26.

For more information about Downtown or the holidays, call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 317.237.2222 or visit www.indydt.com.

Post-Holiday Recycling Event

Don’t miss your chance to recycle in the New Year!

January 8, 2011 - 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.

Broad Ripple Park Ellenberger Park

1550 Broad Ripple Ave. 5301 E. St. Clair St.

Garfield Park Krannert Park

2354 Pagoda Dr. 605 S. High School Rd

Please Bring your:

• Real Christmas trees • Old electronics

• Gift boxes • Magazines & catalogs

• Cardboard boxes • Mail, school and office paper

• Styrofoam (molded, white)

More Information

For more information call 317.327.4932, e-mail Ashlee.Kilpatrick@indy.govor visit www.SustainIndy.ORG

New Electronics law:

The State of Indiana passed a law that goes into effect on January 1, prohibiting residents from disposing of electronics in the waste stream. In laymen’s terms that means that residents can no longer set out electronics for regular trash collection. Anything with a circuit board contains hazardous materials like lead and mercury. Monitors and televisions contain a minimum of 4 pounds of lead, and generally contain other bad nasties like mercury, cadmium, and nickel. Keeping these things from potential groundwater contamination is important for all of our health. DPW and their contracted haulers will no longer accept these items in weekly trash collection.

Our E-Cycle program (http://www.sustainindy.org/ecycle.cfm) accepts computers and computer peripherals year round. But other electronics like DVD players, televisions, vcr’s, radios, cell phones, cordless telephones, etc. are only accepted at special events. Attached is information about the first of those upcoming events for 2011.

There are also many other locations around town that accept those items, usually for free, but sometimes for a fee for televisions. For a list, please go to www.kibi.org/recycle.

Cultural Trail update...this just in.

Southeast Corridor contractor announced

On December 8, Hunt Paving Company emerged as the lowest, most qualified bidder for the Southeast Corridor construction through the Indiana Department of Transportation's procurement process. Construction on this segment, connecting Washington St. to Fountain Square on Virginia Ave., may begin in approximately two months or by March 2011. The contractor must complete this construction by Dec. 31, 2011. Meetings will be scheduled with the contractor and adjacent neighborhoods prior to starting construction. To receive Southeast Corridor construction updates and meeting schedule please contact Gail Payne, 317.713.3333 or Gail@IndyCulturalTrail.org.

Free Tax Prep Program Receives Largest IRS Grant Yet

$150,000 in federal funding will offer boost to local program that helps low-, moderate-income families

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently awarded a $150,000 grant to Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness (ICFF) and the Indianapolis Asset Building Coalition (IABC) to boost the citywide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2011.

The VITA program, known for several years as “Save, Earn and Learn,” works in partnership with ICFF, which is chaired by First Lady of Indianapolis Winnie Ballard. Last year, the effort received $90,000 in IRS funding and worked to prepare 4,500 tax returns for EITC-eligible Indianapolis residents. This year, the program will feature expanded sites and a special Free Tax Prep Kickoff event on Jan. 27, 2011, at Conseco Fieldhouse.

“The IRS VITA grant is a welcome boost for our local financial fitness initiatives,” said Winnie Ballard. “Providing free tax prep for thousands of eligible residents is one of the best ways we can help individuals and families in Indianapolis keep more of their hard-earned money and stay on track for long-term financial stability.”

Locally, the VITA program is a collaboration of public and private entities, including the City of Indianapolis, United Way of Central Indiana, Central Indiana Community Foundation, local banks and financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations focused on asset building and financial fitness. The grant application was submitted through the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, a public-private partnership that also is an ICFF partner and a member of the IABC.

VITA partners provide free federal tax return preparation and electronic filing to low- and moderate-income individuals. For tax year 2010, individuals and families with an adjusted gross income of $49,000 or lower are eligible for assistance.

“The Indianapolis Senior Center (ISC) is proud to partner with Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness to provide free tax prep services,” said Judy Oakley, ISC Operations Manager. “Our residents and members love this service because it’s prompt, their money is deposited into their bank accounts in a few days, and they feel secure in knowing the people helping them have their best interests at heart.

In Indianapolis, six neighborhood community centers and three corporate offices serve as VITA sites, helping recruit volunteers and providing staff support during a variety of hours. They include John H. Boner Community Center, Hawthorne Community Center, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Oasis Christian CDC, Shepherd Community Center, Southeast Community Services, Clarian Health Partners in partnership with Clarian Federal CU, Finance Center Federal CU and Citizens Energy Group.

There also will be one-day VITA sites called Mobile Tax Sites at 20 locations: Heritage Place, ISC, Bosma Enterprises, Habitat for Humanity, Villages at Mills Crossings, Stetson Apartments, Clarian CU, Finance Center FCU, Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center, Concord Neighborhood Center, Missions Place Apartments, Bethesda Temple, ELSA Weed and Seed, Christamore House, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, Goodwill Industries, City-County Building, UNWA, Inc., Celadon, Inc., and CVS/pharmacy Distribution Center.

The VITA grant funds will be used to:

* Enable VITA programs to extend services to underserved populations and hardest-to-reach areas, both within and outside of the City’s urban core
* Increase the capacity to file returns electronically
* Heighten quality control and improve the accuracy of returns prepared by the VITA sites
* Enhance training of volunteers

Individuals interested in volunteering to assist Indianapolis community centers with tax prep and other financial fitness services may visit www.indyscampaign.org to register.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mayor Details $740 Million in Taxpayer Savings for Modified Combined Sewer Overflow Consent Decree

Mayor Greg Ballard today detailed plans to save Indianapolis residents $740 million and provide cleaner waterways faster than originally planned. During a meeting of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee this morning, the Mayor discussed the savings ratepayers will realize from the city’s modifications to the Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). In addition to the savings, the improvements will divert ahead of schedule 3.5 billion gallons of sewage from polluting local waterways.

“Indianapolis was the first city in the nation to successfully renegotiate its agreement with the EPA. This announcement will save hundreds of millions of dollars for our residents, improve the environment and strengthen the city’s position as a great place to do business,” said Mayor Ballard.

The Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Consent Decree is an agreement between the City and the EPA and IDEM, under which Indianapolis developed and is executing a 20-year plan to curb the overflow of raw sewage from combined sewers into waterways. At Mayor Ballard’s direction, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) assessed the decree’s cost-overruns and through value engineering achieved the modification plan, which will allow the City to meet the required Consent Decree performance criteria and 2025 timeline but in a more cost-effective manner.

“With these improvements, we can revise project schedules to increase capacity at the treatment plant as more overflows are captured, prevent more sewage from reaching our rivers and streams earlier, and use more cost-effective strategies,” said DPW Director David Sherman.

The EPA, IDEM and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the plan on June 3. Final approval by the courts is required. The plan will modify 14 of the 32 Consent Decree control measures, provide new projects including pump stations, and change schedules and operational aspects to capture overflows earlier than initially planned.

“Like our community’s streets, bridges and sidewalks, our sewer system is a component of Indianapolis’ infrastructure that is woefully outdated and in need of repairs,” said Bill Blomquist, president of the Infrastructure Advisory Commission. “I am very pleased to see CSO as a priority and one that is being tackled as aggressively as other major infrastructure needs.”

The Consent Decree requires that, by 2025, the city capture and treat 97 percent of the sewage overflows in the Fall Creek watershed and 95 percent in the White River watershed in a typical year. By 2025, overflows will be allowed to occur during two storms per year on Fall Creek and four storms per year on White River and other waterways, in a typical year.

“It is very much in the interest of the business community, as well as that of every resident and organization in Marion County, that we address the sewage overflow issue aggressively,” said Deborah Daniels, chairperson of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. “I am gratified to see Mayor Ballard and his administration making these tremendous strides with efficiency – getting more done than planned, in less time, at lower cost.”

In addition to its environmental and economic impact, the plan will help improve neighborhoods through design and construction of co-functional buildings and improvements at sites around the city including Juan Solomon Park and Coffin Golf Course. The plan has earned recognition from the EPA and other national organizations. Mayor Ballard presented details of the plan at the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCOM) Water Committee in June and the American Water Summit in November and will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to present the City’s major infrastructure improvements to an audience of national leaders at the USCOM Water Summit.

Citywide Tunnel System to Capture Sewage Overflows Years Ahead of Schedule

Currently, when Indianapolis experiences as little as a quarter inch of rain, combined sewers reach capacity and raw sewage overflows into local rivers and streams. To address raw sewage overflows, the City’s Consent Decree requires a citywide storage tunnel system in which wastewater will be stored until space is available at the city’s two wastewater treatment plants – Belmont Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) Plant or Southport AWT Plant.

The citywide tunnel system will be comprised of five tunnels: the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector (formerly the Interplant Connection), Fall Creek, White River, Pleasant Run and Lower Pogues Run. The tunnel system will have the capacity to store 250 million gallons of raw sewage during large storm events and will significantly reduce raw sewage overflows. The tunnel system will address combined sewer overflow locations throughout Indianapolis by serving as a more integrated, underground storage facility for sewage.

The Deep Rock Tunnel Connector, which will extend from the Southport AWT Plant at Southport Road and Tibbs Avenue to north of the Belmont AWT Plant near the White River and Harding Street, will be the first phase of the tunnel system. From the Deep Rock Tunnel Connector, the four remaining storage tunnels will be extended along White River, Fall Creek, Pleasant Run and Pogues Run.

IndyGo Holiday Service Notification

As we enter the busy holiday season, it’s important for IndyGo riders to be aware of how Christmas and New Year’s Days will impact their local travel plans.

Christmas Eve – Friday, December 24

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center closes at 3 p.m.

∙ Customer service retail center at 34 North Delaware closes at 3 p.m.

∙ Buses operating on regular schedules

Christmas Day – Saturday, December 25

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center closed

∙ Customer service retail center at 34 North Delaware closed

∙ Fixed route buses operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule*

∙ Open Door Service operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule

∙ ICE commuter express routes not in service

∙ Red Line downtown circulator not in service

∙ Green Line Airport Express operating on its regular schedule**

New Year’s Eve – Friday, December 31

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center open regular business hours

∙ Customer service retail center at 34 North Delaware closes at 3 p.m.

∙ Buses operating on regular schedules

New Year’s Day – Saturday, January 1

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center closed

∙ Customer service retail center at 34 North Delaware closed

∙ Fixed route buses operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule*

∙ Open Door Service operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule

∙ Red Line downtown circulator not in service

∙ Green Line Airport Express operating on its regular schedule**

*If a fixed route does not normally operate on Sundays, then that route will not offer service on Christmas and New Year’s Days. Such routes are 4, 11, 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30, 34, 55 and 87.

**The Green Line Airport Express is the only IndyGo route not affected by the holidays, making it a great travel option for those flying out of town. This non-stop bus service operates daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. between downtown Indianapolis and the Ground Transportation Center at the Indianapolis International Airport. There are 10 convenient downtown bus stops for the Green Line, located near the major hotels, the Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. Service frequency is every 20 minutes, with an estimated travel time of 15 minutes. Passenger fare is $7, payable on board by Visa, MasterCard or cash. Exact fare is required.

Christmas Sale

2010 Southeast Community Service Center

Christmas Sale

Friday, December 3rd 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 4th 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

2nd Floor Senior Citizen Center

Sponsored By:

Southeast Community Services

901 Shelby Street

Indianapolis, IN 46203

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Indy Connect Announces E-Town Hall Meeting

Indy Connect, Central Indiana’s Transportation Initiative, will host an E-Town Hall meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

The E-Town Hall meeting will open with a presentation about the recently announced long-range transportation plan and provide opportunities for residents to email questions for a question-and-answer session. The meeting will be facilitated by Indy Connect representatives Lori Miser, executive director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Mike Terry, president and CEO of IndyGo.

Those interested in participating in the E-Town Hall can log on to www.indyconnect.org at 7 p.m. to view and participate in the live stream. At that time, viewers also will be given the opportunity to email questions to the meeting moderators.

The presentation and Q & As will be posted on the Indy Connect website following the live stream.

The long-range transportation plan is the result of extensive public comment and planning by regional transportation experts. This is the most comprehensive plan ever for Central Indiana that includes connectivity for the region through bus, rail, roadways and bike and pedestrian walkways.

The E-Town Hall meeting follows a two-week session of community meetings where residents had an opportunity to view details of the plan and provide feedback and comment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Performers ready to entertain thousands at Circle of Lights® presented by The Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 S

Thousands of Central Indiana residents and visitors will be on hand to see live performances by several entertainers who were chosen to perform in the FREE 48th annual Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481event held on Monument Circle in Indianapolis Nov. 26.

Seven exciting acts perform during the pre-show from 6 – 7 p.m. and the live, televised show (WRTV-6) from 7 – 8 p.m. The acts were chosen from hundreds of entertainers. This year’s special guest includes Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration’s host Sandi Patty. Local performers include Brian Harvey, soloist from Zionsville; Extreme Rhythm Project, tap dance troupe from Indianapolis; Jessica Kelley, soloist from Indianapolis; Kim Hicks, soloist from Indianapolis; Tadd Peebles, soloist from Indianapolis and The JB Band, house band from Anderson. In addition, the Smiley Morning Show Glee Club will perform during the 6 p.m. pre-show.

Sandi Patty has won 39 Dove Awards, five Grammy Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and became a Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee in 2004. Her albums have sold more than 11 million units, garnering her three platinum and five gold recordings. As the most-awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history, her voice is the gold standard by which all who follow are measured. This year, Patty is host to Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Yuletide Celebration. Patty had been a long time resident of Indiana until a recent move to Oklahoma City.

Brian Harvey works full time as the creative director for Sonar Studios. He served as the touring lead guitar player for a few years for national recording artist John David Webster. Current projects include songwriting, counseling and freelance writing on everything from iPhone Apps to corporate skits. He and his family live in Zionsville.

Extreme Rhythm Project is Indy’s first pre-professional tap dance company directed by Michele Long. Extreme Rhythm Project is comprised of 21 members all ranging in age from 8 - 17 years old. Extreme Rhythm Project was established on July 17, 2010. The dancers are from four dance studios in the Central Indiana area and all have accomplished resumes. All of the members have won regional and national titles for their tap dancing all over the United States. The dancers participate in master classes and have performed at Penrod and Treefest, just to name a few.

Jessica Kelley, a Soprano, attended DePauw University and received a bachelor of arts in music performance in 2008. Kelley grew up on the south side of Indianapolis where she attended Perry Meridian High School. Some of the notable roles she has performed at local community theaters include Lois/Bianca from Kiss Me Kate, Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Somewhere Soloist from West Side Story. While attending DePauw University, Jessica worked with the DePauw Opera where she portrayed Adele from Die Fledermaus and The Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute. Jessica has been singing since elementary school and was involved with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC) from elementary through high school. She was chosen to play Mayor Moyra in The Trio of Minuet performed at Clowes Hall at Butler University with ICC. She has traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe performing with different groups and as a soloist.

Kim Hicks is a lifelong resident of Indianapolis. She began singing in church during her early teens and continues to serve as a vocalist and worship team member at Calvary Temple of Indianapolis. Hicks has worked as a recording background session and commercial jingle vocalist and has recorded on many projects with the Calvary Temple Praise Choir. She is an elementary music teacher for Lawrence Township schools and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Butler University. She is married to Broad Ripple High School basketball coach Scott Hicks and is the mother of three boys.

Tadd Peebles is a 21-year-old performer, born in Lebanon and now living in Indianapolis. Peebles graduated from Lebanon Senior High School and plans to return to college this spring to work towards his bachelor’s degree. He holds an immense passion for the performing arts and is excited for the opportunity to perform in the Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481

The JB Band is comprised of Trint Castle from Noblesville, trumpet; David Roark from Castleton, guitar & bass; Dan Martin from Sheridan, trombone; Phil Alexander from Sheridan, keyboard; Justin Brown from Anderson, vocals; Joel Abernathy from Martinsville, drums; Greg Wardlow from New Castle, vocals and Aaron Trincado from Westfield, saxophone.


HOLIDAY NOTICE: Thursday, November 25 is Thanksgiving Day

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to remind residents that curbside recycling, residential, heavy trash and leaf collection will operate on a slide schedule this week in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

There will be NO residential trash, heavy trash, leaf collection or curbside recycling service on Thursday, November 25. Thursday routes will be run on Friday, November 26, and Friday routes will be run on Saturday November 27 with all schedules returning to normal on Monday, November 29.

For more information, please call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317.327-4MAC.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mayor Ballard Issues Urban Garden Challenge

Goal is to Create 50 Urban Gardens in Center Township by end of 2011

Announcing a goal of 50 urban gardens in Center Township by the end of 2011, Mayor Greg Ballard today at the Felege Hiywot Center garden in Martindale Brightwood issued his Urban Garden Challenge, joined by neighborhood residents, local health experts and urban gardeners.

“Urban gardens strengthen the fabric of our communities. They turn vacant land into a positive and active space, they grow healthy food for people to eat, they teach individuals of all ages new skills, and they help promote community involvement by actively engaging neighbors to work together toward a common purpose,” said Mayor Ballard. “Urban gardens encapsulate the Thanksgiving message of family, community, harvest and renewal. Creating more urban gardens and engaging more individuals and organizations in growing healthy food at the community and neighborhood level is a worthy pursuit for our city.”

Founded in the spring of 2004, the Felege Hiywot Center created its first 20-square-foot garden in the summer of 2006. Now, its urban garden encompasses a half acre.

“A need for healthy food sources and education about health and nutrition in Martindale Brightwood inspires us to make a change,” said Aster Bekele, executive director of the Center. “At the Center’s summer gardening camp and at the in-school and after-school gardening education classes, each youth participant develops gardening skills, an awareness of nature, a commitment to environmental preservation, an ability to make nutritious food choices and expertise in recycling and composting.”

Marion County Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine, a longtime advocate for Center Township residents, detailed the health and disease prevention benefits of a nutritious diet including fresh produce.

“The Marion County Health Department is very proud to support this initiative to help improve the health and wellness of the people of Indianapolis,” said Dr. Caine. “We recognize that poor nutrition is one of the greater challenges facing our urban populations, one that contributes to an array of diseases and conditions. Changing that equation starts at the source: reversing the shortage of healthy food options. Much of our focus is on preventive measures, from vaccines to environmental issues and much more. We believe expanding urban gardens in the urban core will help contribute to our ongoing efforts to improve the health of the community.”

The Butler Center for Urban Ecology innovatively explores, stewards and enhances urban ecosystems. Its director, Tim Carter, Ph.D., specializes in landscape ecology with a focus on urban systems.

“Urban gardens and urban farms create opportunities to access local food in neighborhoods that did not previously offer such benefits,” said Dr. Carter. “Urban gardens can restore ecological health to the area. Improving biodiversity, giving access to local food and building a sense of community are all components of successful urban gardens and urban farms.”

Mayor Ballard today also announced the Urban Gardening Mentor Program, an effort that will teach and encourage urban gardening and growing food. This program, a partnership between the Office of Sustainability and Purdue Extension of Marion County, aims to assist individuals and organizations who are new to urban gardening.

“This partnership and the mentoring program are a key part of achieving the goal of having 50 urban gardens in Center Township by the end of next year,” said Mayor Ballard.

Mayor Ballard is committed to making Indianapolis the most sustainable city in the Midwest. Urban gardens play an important role in helping Indianapolis achieve that vision. In 2008, Mayor Ballard created the Office of Sustainability, and in June 2010 at the Indy Urban Farming Forum, Mayor Ballard announced the City’s first urban garden program. The collaborative partnership between the Department of Metropolitan Development, the Indy land Bank and the Office of Sustainability allows community groups and individuals to use Land Bank properties for the purpose of growing healthy produce and creating urban gardens.

For more information about Mayor Ballard’s Urban Garden Challenge, visit www.sustainindy.org or email urbangardens@indy.gov.


Garfield Park Conservatory will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland for “Conservatory Crossing.” Thanks to donations and support from the employees of Indiana Rail Road Company, visitors will be able to enjoy G-scale model trains and train villages set amongst a brilliant display of poinsettias, lights and more!

The show opens on Friday, Nov. 26 and will run through Friday, Dec. 31. The Conservatory will be open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Extended hours until 8 p.m. on Dec. 18-23 will allow visitors to enjoy the display in the evening. As darkness falls, the entire Conservatory will be illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights, creating an enchanted holiday atmosphere.

Admission for this event is $2 for adults, $1 for seniors and youth, or $5 for families.

More Holiday Events:

Holiday Crafts – Saturday, December 4, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Ages: 5+

Cost: $4

Everyone will enjoy this opportunity to make unique holiday cards and ornaments out of different natural materials. Please register by calling (317) 327-7580 before December 3.

Train Tales – Wednesday, December 15, 10-11 a.m., Ages: 2-5

Cost: $3

Preschoolers will enjoy this train-themed program that includes a story, craft and chance to enjoy the model trains chugging through the holiday display. Please register by calling (317) 327-7580.

Candlelight Crossing – Friday, December 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $5 per person or $15 per family

Join us for a special evening at the Conservatory! Enjoy the holiday show during an evening reception with tasty treats and warm drinks. Take time from the hustle and bustle to relax with a cup of cocoa and enjoy the warmth and beauty of our tropical Conservatory alive with the twinkle of lights and sounds of holiday music! This event is perfect for couples, families and friends.

Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden is located on the Near-Southeastside of Indianapolis in the 2400 block of South Shelby Street. The Conservatory is open daily and is alive with tropical plants, waterfalls and fish. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Daily admission is $1 per person. For more information, call (317) 327-7580 or visit www.garfieldgardensconservatory.org

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trying to Reach Santa? Send a letter through Santa’s Mailbox on the Circle


Santa’s mailbox is being installed Wednesday. It is decorated festively-- half the box is a reindeer complete with antlers and the other half is dressed like Santa.


United States Postal Service and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.


Installed Wednesday, Nov. 17 before 8 a.m. (Send letters Nov. 17 – Dec. 16. Mailbox will be removed Dec. 17.)


On the east side of Monument Circle, facing Market Street


Donna Hoffman, 317.464.6164, United States Postal Service

Jennifer Hanson, 317.237.2202, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Each year, this holiday mailbox is installed for children of all ages to drop off their letters addressed to Santa. And to every child’s delight, Santa himself personally answers each letter that has a return address. Letters can be sent from Nov. 17 - Dec. 16. In 2009, more than 5,000 letters were sent to Santa.

** Please note - All letters must have a return address for Santa to reply! (stamped, self-addressed envelope appreciated)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Indianapolis Private Industry Council Changes Name to EmployIndy WorkOne Center on Indianapolis’ Northside to Relocate on December 1

Mayor Greg Ballard today announced that the Indianapolis Private Industry Council has changed its name to EmployIndy, which better describes the mission and the organization’s work in Marion County.

"EmployIndy is an important and active partner with the City of Indianapolis and Develop Indy in preparing and training a pipeline of workers to meet the employment needs of existing and prospective new companies, ultimately strengthening the economic vitality of Indianapolis," said Mayor Ballard.

EmployIndy is the Workforce Investment Board for Marion County, administering millions of dollars in federal, state, local and private funds to support workforce development services and initiatives for job seekers and employers in Indianapolis. It is the operator of the three WorkOne centers in Marion County, providing:

* Business solutions to employers, including job recruiting, candidate assessment and placement.
* Educational recruitment to build the educational and occupational skill sets for Marion County’s workforce.
* Candidate training and development, preparing job seekers for work.

“EmployIndy supports partnerships that focus on preparing people to work in high growth sectors, such as life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, motorsports and energy and green construction,” said EmployIndy President and CEO Brooke Huntington. “We are evolving to more strategically direct our funds and services to prepare workers for the high demand jobs of today and in the future.”

WorkOne College Park to Relocate

WorkOne Express, which specializes in services to businesses and experienced workers, will relocate from its current location at College Park and begin operating in nearby space beginning Dec. 1. The center at 8910 Purdue Road, Suite 300, will close for two days on Nov. 29 and 30 and reopen in a new 12,000 square-foot space at Parkstone at 9002 N. Purdue Road, Suite 200. The expanded space will enhance EmployIndy’s business solutions services to area employers and provide comprehensive recruitment and preparation of candidates for EmployIndy’s most recent federally funded job initiatives Health Care Careers Initiative (HCCI) and PriorITIZE.

Mayor Ballard Kicks Off Year-Long Bridge Rehabilitation Project Nearly Ten Thousand Motorists Impacted by Construction

Mayor Ballard, Department of Public Works Director David Sherman and the community gathered together today to kick off the rehabilitation of the Morris Street Bridge over the White River. The bridge will close for one year starting November 16. Signs will be posted along the roadway notifying motorists of the suggested detour route listed below.

“The Morris Street Bridge project is the first among many bridges to be rehabilitated through the RebuildIndy initiative,” said Mayor Ballard. “Nearly ten thousand motorists travel over the 81-year-old bridge each day, which means improvements to this bridge are more than just simple infrastructure improvements; they are a matter of public safety on the southwest side.”

Currently, the bridge deck superstructure and support columns are deteriorating. This project will rehabilitate or replace the existing columns. The bridge deck, beams and surface also will be replaced, and minor work on the arches and piers will be completed. Additionally, sidewalks, railings and lighting along the bridge will be replaced.

“This project will benefit the City in a number of ways,” said David Sherman, DPW director. “By providing better driving conditions for commuters and improving pedestrian safety, the Morris Street Bridge project will create the opportunity to increase economic development opportunities in the area, leading to more jobs for the southwest corner of the City.”

The Morris Street Bridge project, designed by Butler, Fairman & Seifert and constructed by Beaty Construction, costs $7.5 million and is financed with 80 percent federal funding.

For more information about the RebuildIndy program, visit www.indy.gov/RebuildIndy. To request a RebuildIndy project in your area, call the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4MAC (4622). You can also follow RebuildIndy project updates on Twitter @RebuildIndy.


· Kentucky Avenue

· McCarty Street

· West Street (for southbound)

· Missouri Street (for north bound)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Beat the Black Friday crowd the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Garfield Park Arts Center (GPAC)’s Third Annual Preview Show and Autumn Art Fair featuring exquisitely hand-created, family-friendly, affordable items ranging in cost from 50 cents to $500 from 60 regional artists. Groups and individual artists from Indianapolis, Brown County and Central Indiana are now displaying their unique wares at the Preview Show in the GPAC lobby. These items and more go on sale at the Autumn Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sign up for door prizes and view artist demonstrations! FREE parking and admission.

Available items for sale include ceramics, china, collages, drawings, fiber arts, glass, gourds, jewelry, leather, monotypes, mosaics, paintings, photos, poetry and sculpture. And don’t worry about missing the Colts game – it will be played on the radio!

Participating Artists:

Faten Ali-Munger, Len Bibeau, Linda Booker, Brown County Artisans (Pete Bullard, Linda Comstock-Teel, Jerry England, Shelley Frederick, Lynne Lynch Hughes, Sharon Jungclaus-Gould, Tom Lowe, Mary Pendergrass, Ruth Wert), Gene Cooper, Garfield Shakespeare Company (Joe Cook, Brad Jones, and more), Sean Gray, Sylvia Gray, Mary Lee Griffin, Rick Greiner, Mary Ann Habeeb, Debbie Heidelberger, Christine Heisler, Herrons & Egrets (Mac McCrary, Jeanne Scheuring, Diane Werblo), Marti Icenogle, Indiana Gourd Society (Bob and Emily Dillard, Joe Lee, Karen Niemeyer, Emily Wallace, and more), John Jarvis, Frances Annich Johnson, Steven Keller, Anne Kominowski, The Manualaires (directed by Spencer Lloyd), Megan Martin, Valerie May, Lynne Medsker, Penny Nangle, Pam O’Rourke, Cheri Platter, Kenton Ridenour, Karla and Michael Ries, Mike Rogers, Connie Simmonds, Martha St. Clair, Mike Taylor, James Tharp, Susan Threehawks, Charles Ver, Leo Ware, Daniel Westfall, and Richard Williams.

For more information call 327-7135, visit the GPAC Facebook page or go to www.indyparks.org.

Mayor Greg Ballard Encourages Commuters to Recycle during Rush Hour Recycling Events

Green Piece Indy is once again offering Indianapolis area commuters an opportunity to recycle their electronics, cardboard and EPS foam through its partnership with the City of Indianapolis and Workforce Inc. in hosting a series of unique recycling events this fall. This is the third in a series of Rush Hour Recycling events. In the program’s history, commuters have recycled more than 70 tons of electronics, showing their commitment to building a sustainable Indianapolis.

“Rush Hour Recycling is a simple and efficient method of achieving a healthier, cleaner Indianapolis,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This partnership is a perfect example of sustainability in action. It is a piece of the puzzle that brings Indianapolis closer to being one the most sustainable city in the Midwest.”

Green Piece Indy will be collecting electronics, cardboard and EPS foam (polystyrene #6; no food containers) at locations throughout Indianapolis from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the following dates:

* Nov. 15: Bjava Coffee, 5510 Lafayette Road
* Nov. 16: The Coffee Brake, 6215 Allisonville Road
* Nov. 17: Lazy Daze, 10 S. Johnson Ave.
* Nov. 18: The Strange Brew, 4800 W. Smith Valley Road
* Nov. 19: Earth House Collective, 237 N. East St.

A full list of acceptable recyclable items can be found on Green Piece Indy’s website. The recycling sites will be full-service, with volunteers on hand to help unload materials from commuter’s vehicles.

Workforce Inc. requests a $10 donation to recycle a television due to the expenses associated with safely disposing of lead tubes. Our host partners will offer coupons for discounted or free coffee.

For more information about how Mayor Ballard is creating a more sustainable Indianapolis, visit www.SustainIndy.org.

Mayor Ballard recognized Green Piece Indy with a Sustainability Award for hosting 10 Rush Hour Recycling events throughout the city in 2009. Green Piece Indy distributes a twice-weekly email with tips on how to live a greener lifestyle in Indianapolis. Subscribe and view a tip archive at www.greenpieceindy.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Compliments of Beech Grove United Methodist Church

You are welcome to attend a
Free Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Thanksgiving Day
11 a.m. To 1:00 p.m.


Southeast Community Services’
2nd floor Senior Citizen Center
901 Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Installation of lights on Monument Circle set the stage for Circle of Lights® presented by Quality Connection and IBEW 481

Approximately 200 volunteer union electricians will gather on Monument Circle Saturday, Nov. 13 to string the lights for the centerpiece of Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481. This marks the 48th anniversary of this beloved tradition, in which IBEW Local 481 has been involved every year from the start. Rain or shine, volunteers will be on hand all morning to complete this arduous task.

The 4,784 lights and 52 garland strands will be installed. All 4,784 bulbs and sockets, more than six miles of electrical wire, more than two miles of garland and supporting materials were replaced in 2006. (The toy soldiers and sailors, peppermint sticks and banners will be installed the week of Nov. 15.)

Quality Connection represents more than 80 union contractors and more than 2,800 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 481 electrical workers committed to the partnership of labor and management working together.

Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 will take place Friday, Nov. 26 on Monument Circle. The event begins at 6 p.m. with the televised show starting at 7 p.m. This event is an opportunity for the community to join together and celebrate peace and brotherhood. Those in attendance will surely be delighted with a special appearance from holiday entertainers and the larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and peppermint sticks adorning Monument Circle. In addition, Santa will make his first official appearance of the 2010 season!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fill Up the Fountain

Join us in collecting canned goods for Fountain Square's Fill Up the Fountain!

Now thru the end of December, bring in any canned food or non-perishable item to your next appointment and receive $1 off for each food item! (Limit of $5 on discount.)

All canned goods will be donated to the Fletcher Place Community Center and the Salvation Army!

Biz on Fletcher

630 Fletcher Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46203


Help us help our neighbors!

Veterans Day Marks Launch of City's New Veteran Services Portal Site Includes Links to Veteran Resources, Benefits Information, Updates on Events and

Veterans and their families can now access a wide variety of valuable information and resources through the new Indianapolis Veteran Services Web site located at http://www.indy.gov/VeteranServices.

Mayor Greg Ballard has tasked Veteran Service Officer, Russ Eaglin, with connecting Veterans and their families with information regarding federal, state and local benefits, and additional veteran resources which can be found on the Web site and through the Veteran Services social media sites on Facebook and Twitter.

“The men and women that serve our country should be honored each and every day for the sacrifices they make,” said Mayor Ballard. “I have made it a priority of my Administration to help connect veterans with valuable resources, benefits information and business opportunities. Russ brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and I am confident he will be a valuable resource to our local veterans and their families.”

Eaglin, who served in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam, gained experience working with Veteran service organizations across the state in his role as Veteran Service Representative for the Veterans Administration Regional Office in Indianapolis. Eaglin also currently serves as the State Commandant of the Marine Corps League.

“There is an abundance of resources designed to serve Veterans and their families, but often, connecting with those resources can be overwhelming for individuals in need of services,” said Eaglin. “We created the City's portal to provide a streamlined, user-friendly point of connection between Veterans and the resources they need and deserve.”

26 IFD Stations to be Fueled by Energy-Efficient and Cost-Saving “Green” Upgrades

The City of Indianapolis today announced that it expects to complete by year’s end implementation of energy efficiency measures at 26 fire stations through a performance contract with Energy Systems Group, headquartered in Newburgh, Ind.

“This project supports my priority to make Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This grant allows us to explore energy efficiency options for more than two dozen facilities. We want to provide the best infrastructure for the men and women who selflessly risk their lives for Indianapolis residents every day while being good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollar.”

This energy-efficiency initiative is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy. The City’s Office of Sustainability received more than $8 million through this grant late last year and is spending it on several energy-efficiency and conservation projects. The City is using $1.4 million of the EECBG allocation to fund the fire station retrofits.

Energy and water conservation measures being implemented through the project include the following:

· Replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems with 95 percent efficient furnaces and 13 seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) condensing units

· Replacing standard water heaters with high efficiency tankless water heaters at six stations

· Installing seven-day programmable thermostats to ensure consistent temperature in buildings

· Replacing old unit heaters with new high efficiency unit heaters, which utilize radiant tube heaters

· Interlocking apparatus bay heaters with the overhead doors to prevent heating ambient air when the firefighters are out on duty

· Installing weather-stripping and replacing doors for greater insulation

· Installing high efficiency lighting

· Installing water-saving toilets, faucets and showerheads

The energy conservation measures begun in June 2010 will save the city $142,000 per year in utility costs. To learn more about Mayor Ballard’s vision of making Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest, visit www.sustainindy.org.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Art from the Heart in the Heart of the Park

Shop our Autumn Art Fair 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 11/20-21. Affordable, unique items! Made in America! Over 50 local artists! Demos! Door prizes! Surprise guests! Kid-friendly! Portraits sketched! Free parking & admission. Garfield Park Arts Center (2.5 miles SE of downtown) is handicapped accessible. Visit the Conservatory & the Burrello Center!

Sunday’s Colts’ game on the radio!

Ceramics, china, collages, drawings, fiber arts, glass, gourds, jewelry, leather, monotypes, mosaics, paintings, photos, poetry, & sculpture!

GPAC (327-7135), 2432 Conservatory Drive, Indy, is located just east of Madison between Raymond & Southern. Take I-65 exit 109 west on Raymond to either Shelby St. or Pleasant Run Pkwy & follow the signs.

For more information contact aafgpac@yahoo.com or go to “photos, last” on GPAC’s facebook fanpage to see pictures from AAFGPAC '09: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Indianapolis-IN/The-Garfield-Park-Arts-Center-GPAC/190046617512?ref=ts

Participating Artists:

Faten Ali-Munger, Len Bibeau, Linda Booker, Brown County Artisans (Pete Bullard, Linda Comstock-Teel, Jerry England, Shelley Frederick, Lynne Lynch Hughes, Sharon Jungclaus-Gould, Tom Lowe, Mary Pendergrass, Ruth Wert), Gene Cooper, Garfield Shakespeare Company (Joe Cook, Brad Jones, et. al.), Sean Gray, Sylvia Gray, Mary Lee Griffin, Rick Greiner, Mary Ann Habeeb, Debbie Heidelberger, Christine Heisler, Herrons & Egrets (Mac McCrary, Jeanne Scheuring, Diane Werblo), Marti Icenogle, Indiana Gourd Society (Bob & Emily Dillard, Joe Lee, Karen Niemeyer, Emily Wallace, et. al.), John Jarvis, Frances Annich Johnson, Steven Keller, Anne Kominowski, The Manualaires directed by Spencer Lloyd, Megan Martin, Valerie May, Lynne Medsker, Penny Nangle, Pam O’Rourke, Cheri Platter, Kenton Ridenour, Karla & Michael Ries, Mike Rogers, Connie Simmonds, Martha St. Clair, Mike Taylor, James Tharp, Susan Threehawks, Charles Ver, Leo Ware, Daniel Westfall, and Richard Williams.

Indy Connect Announces Regional Transportation Plan

Indy Connect, Central Indiana’s Transportation Initiative, released a long-range transportation plan today that centers on a comprehensive regional bus system that connects to rail, as well as roadways, and bike and pedestrian walkways. The goal is to build a transportation system that connects people to work, healthcare, shopping and education and increases the region’s competitiveness, economic development opportunities and mobility.

The plan follows intensive public outreach efforts that included more than 125 meetings and community briefings throughout the region. The Indy Connect initiative represents the most comprehensive transportation planning process ever involving input from the region’s residents, businesses and community leaders.

“Central Indiana has made great strides toward becoming a world-class region and we need a public transportation system that helps us maintain and grow that position,” said Lori Miser, executive director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, a partnering organization in the Indy Connect initiative.

At the heart of the plan is a regional bus system that would provide three times the service of today’s IndyGo, with more frequency, cross-town and direct routes and extended operating hours for weekday and weekend travel.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would be added to provide a new level of service along five dedicated routes. BRT vehicles have a more modern look than a traditional bus, and the buses run all day with 10-15 minute wait times between buses. BRT makes frequent stops and can control traffic signals to reduce travel time. Fifty-six miles of BRT service would be added to supplement the traditional bus system.

“Indianapolis and our neighboring counties have long-been in need of a comprehensive, sustainable transit system,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, chairman of the Indianapolis Regional Transportation Council. “The Indy Connect initiative and the proposed plan with its unprecedented level of public input has been the catalyst our region needs to advance forward in building a successful transportation model for our next generations.”

In this plan, rail transit would be built along existing rail lines from Union Station, north to Noblesville and south to Franklin, with frequent stops in Marion County. In addition, light rail along Washington Street would be added over time.

Plan Details

Bus Transit:

* More direct service and fewer downtown transfers, with 10 additional cross-town routes outside of downtown Indianapolis
* Buses running until midnight on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends
* Average wait times between buses of 10-20 minutes, compared to today’s 30-60 minutes
* 38 additional routes
* Seven-day-a-week service on all routes, except express routes
* 15 express routes
* 14 community-based circulators for local travel or between nearby communities
* Additional bus shelters, sidewalks, benches and bike racks
* Real-time route information via text messaging and/or displays at bus shelters
* Modern ticketing and fare collection for transfers

Bus Rapid Transit:

BRT lines would be added to highly traveled areas on 38th Street, Keystone Avenue, College Avenue, Madison Avenue and Washington Street.

Rail Transit:

Rail transit would be built on existing rail lines from Union Station to Noblesville and from Union Station to Franklin. If funding allows, rail transit could extend northwest from Union Station to Zionsville. All of these lines would serve multiple destinations within Marion County in addition to connecting to areas outside Indianapolis.

It is expected that light rail, which would run on dedicated lanes but separated from traffic, would replace BRT on Washington Street. Washington Street, from Union Station to the Indianapolis International Airport, would be the first area to have light rail. Over time, the plan calls for light rail transit along Washington Street from the Airport to Plainfield and from Union Station to Cumberland.

Next Steps

While existing and anticipated funding sources will pay for the roadway improvements and bike and pedestrian pathways outlined in the plan, a new dedicated source of local funds will be needed to implement the bus and rail components of this system.

The Indiana State Legislature ultimately will decide what kind of local funding will be used and whether or not voters will be asked to consider an increase in the local option income tax or sales tax dedicated to transit.

It is estimated that residents living in counties participating in this plan will pay an average of $15 per household per month to support new investment in an expanded transit system. It will cost approximately $2.5 billion to build the bus and rail system over the next 25 years and an average of $135 million per year to operate and maintain.

Indy Connect will launch a series of public meetings on November 8 before asking the Indianapolis Regional Transportation Council (IRTC) to adopt the plan as the official Long-Range Transportation Plan for Central Indiana.

For more information on Indy Connect, visit www.indyconnect.org.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


KIB has partnered with AT&T and Republic Services again to provide 18 drop-off locations for phone book recycling this season!

Recycling collection bins for Phone Books Only will be available from October 18th through December 3rd at these 18 locations:

Broad Ripple Park, 450 Broad Ripple Avenue (in boat ramp parking lot near Family Center)
Circle City Recycling, 3617 Southeastern Avenue
Langsdale Recycling, 832 Langsdale Avenue
Perry Park, 425 E. Stop 11 Road
Product Development Corp Warehouse, 2627 S. High School Road
Republic Services-96th Street Transfer Station, 4935 Robison Road
Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st Street

These Local Schools Earn CASH by recycling your old phone books! Please look for the "Project ReDirectory" recycling container in the parking lots of these schools:

Abraham Lincoln Elementary, 5241 Brehob Road
Bunker Hill Elementary, 6620 Shelbyville Road
CHOICE Academy - Decatur Central High School, 5251 Kentucky Avenue
Greenbriar Elementary School, 8201 Ditch Road
Herron High School, 110 E. 16th Street
Irvington Community Elementary, 6705 E. Julian Avenue
Jonathan Jennings Elementary, 6150 Gateway Drive
Northview Middle School, 8401 Westfield Blvd.
SENSE Charter School, 1601 S. Barth Avenue
Southport High School, 971 E Banta Road
(look for the BLUE dumpster to the EAST of the school near the baseball fields)
Sunnyside Elementary, 6345 Sunnyside Road

Republic Services will also accept phone books in their curbside recycling program

Mayor Ballard Makes A Call-To-Action to Help Prevent Youth Gang Involvement

Mayor Greg Ballard was joined today by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief of Police Paul Ciesielski, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joe Hogsett and other community leaders for a gang prevention and intervention summit at Crispus Attucks High School.

More than 150 parents, caregivers, and teachers attended the conference focused on addressing youth gang involvement. As part of the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (C.A.G.I.), the forum was a call-to-action to Indianapolis residents for the early intervention and prevention of gang involvement in school-aged children.

“It is important for our youth to learn that the decisions and choices they make impact their future and that of the community. It is through education and early intervention that we will stop gang involvement and behavior in our youth,” said Mayor Ballard. “To prevent gang activity, it is crucial for parents, teachers, caregivers, and any adults who interact with our youth daily to be involved and proactive.”

Attendees at the summit heard from experts in the gang prevention field who discussed the difference between youth rebellion and gang behavior, the warning signs of gang involvement, and steps adults can take to intervene at the first instance gang involvement is detected.

The gang prevention and intervention conference was held in collaboration with many agencies and organizations, including IMPD, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

In the following weeks, resources for programs and services will be made available at www.indy.gov/gangprevention.

Code Enforcement Issues License Denials to 4 Taxicab Companies

The Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) today announced the denial of license applications of four taxicab companies, representing approximately 32 cabs.

The licenses were denied for failure to comply with a variety of requirements and obligations provided for in the Revised Code. Causes for the license denials include such violations as failure to maintain a dispatch log, failed body or mechanical inspections and failure to maintain a dispatch facility.

The following companies are no longer licensed and should not be operating effective today: Indy Star, Indy Flyer, AAA Best and Ameritaxi.

“These license denials illustrate how DCE uses business licensing as a means to deter illegal behaviors that impact the quality of life in the City,” said Rick Powers, Director of the Department of Code Enforcement. “A core component of the Department is to protect the public from business behaviors that can have a negative impact on the health, safety or convenience of the citizens of Indianapolis.”

Whenever possible, DCE licensing staff will work with the companies who demonstrate that they have corrected any issues to bring their companies into compliance and operate a business responsibly within the requirements set forth by the Code.

“DCE will continue to take action against companies that do not follow the obligations of the Code. These denials are another example of how we are taking proactive measures to protect our residents and visitors from companies that do not comply with the law,” said License Administrator Adam Collins. “We will continue to focus our efforts on ensuring that every company meets the basic obligations of the Code.”

The public is asked to report any of the taxis associated with the above identified companies in operation to DCE via the (317) 327-TAXI telephone line or the taxi@indy.gov email address. Citizens will be asked to include their name and contact information, the taxi cab number, and a brief narrative describing the activity witnessed. More information, including a description of the unlicensed taxicabs, can be accessed via a link on the DCE homepage at www.indy.gov/dce.


The Garfield Park Conservatory will display hundreds of blooming orchids for the public to enjoy at Orchid Fest Nov. 6-14. Don’t miss your chance to see these brilliant colors and unique blooms against the backdrop of the permanent tropical display. Plants and growing supplies will be available for sale for those wanting to try out their green thumb. Central Indiana Orchid Society experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide growing tips and information. Contact Fritz Nerding for more information at (317) 327-7337.

What: Orchid Fest

When: November 6-14

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Garfield Park Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis

Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for seniors and youth, and $5 for families.

United States Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services Takes Steps to Discourage Pest Bird Roosting

Because Downtown property owners, employees, residents and visitors are concerned about health, public safety and clean up costs, United States Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) will implement a variety of methods to discourage starlings and crows from roosting Downtown this fall.

Periodically in the evenings beginning Monday, November 8, USDA-WS staff will use pyrotechnics and lasers to discourage flocks from roosting Downtown. USDA-WS staff will be in uniform and working from sidewalks and selected rooftops. The pyrotechnics make loud shrill sounds and booms. If your employees, visitors or residents hear or see these efforts, please let them know that this is part of USDA-WS’s efforts to discourage these pest birds from roosting Downtown.

City of Indianapolis Invites Organizations to Apply for Sustainability Awards

Mayor Greg Ballard and Kären Haley, director of the Office of Sustainability, announced today in Indianapolis at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Indianapolis National Speakers Series event that the second annual Indianapolis Sustainability Awards luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2011, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

“One of my top priorities since taking office has been creating one of the most sustainable – and livable -- cities in the Midwest,” said Mayor Ballard. “The Indianapolis Sustainability Awards gives the community an opportunity to recognize businesses and organizations that have made the important commitment to improving our local environment for future generations by implementing sustainable initiatives of all kinds.”

The awards, presented by the City’s Office of Sustainability, McKinney Green Initiatives Fund and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, are designed to inspire innovation, showcase impact, reward leadership and promote education around the principles of sustainability. Sara Snow will return to emcee the awards. Projects submitted for consideration must have been completed in Marion County between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2010. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Feb. 4, 2011.

Five awards will be given to honor excellence in each of the following categories:

* Water
* Land
* Air
* Energy
* Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Last year a single winner was named in each of the five categories out of more than 70 applicants. This year the program anticipates even more applicants to the Indianapolis Sustainability Awards, sponsored by Citizens Energy Group, HNTB Corporation, IPL and Performance Services.

For more information or to apply for a Sustainability Award, visit www.sustainindy.org/awards.

Leaf Collection


Fall Leaf collection will begin Monday, November 8th, and run through December 3rd. You may set out 40 bags of leaves each week. If you are in a 96 gallon cart area, please make sure that the leaves are 3 ft away from your trash cart. Please do not set out open bags of leaves. If you are using kraft paper bags, great, but please secure them across the top with a big piece of tape. If the leaves are scattered because the bag is open, the driver is not going to rake them back up.

On the webpage it states that compost is available for free at Southside Landfill. This is only true in the spring, for as long as the compost lasts. You will want to call them before you go out there to see if it is ready, and if there is any left. 247-6808 is the number there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Indy Connect Announces Public Meeting Schedule

Indy Connect, Central Indiana’s Transportation Initiative, will provide details about its long-range transportation plan during public meetings throughout the region, beginning on Monday, Nov. 8.

The long-range transportation plan is the result of an extensive public outreach effort and planning by regional transportation experts. Central Indiana residents provided feedback to a draft transportation plan that connects residents in Marion and surrounding counties through bus and rail transit, as well as roadways and bike and pedestrian walkways. Feedback was collected at more than 150 community meetings and events throughout the region, through the Indy Connect website, a phone line, mail-in questionnaires and face-to-face meetings.

“Indy Connect represents the most extensive transportation outreach effort ever conducted in Central Indiana,” said Lori Miser, executive director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, a partnering organization in the Indy Connect initiative. “The volume of input we received from residents and community leaders helped us identify transportation options that connect people to people and people to places in our region.”

The long-range transportation plan will be shared during public meetings from November 8 through November 18. The following is a list of scheduled meetings:

* Monday, Nov. 8—Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian Street, 5:30 p.m.
* Monday, Nov. 8—Monon Community Center, 1235 Central Park Drive East, Carmel, 7 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 9—Plainfield Public Library, 1120 Stafford Road, 6 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 9—Julia Carson Government Center, 300 E. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
* Wednesday, Nov. 10—Beech Grove Community Center, 5245 Hornet Ave., 6 p.m.
* Wednesday, Nov. 10—Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center, One Hamilton County Square, Noblesville, 7 p.m.
* Saturday, Nov. 13—Fishers Town Hall, 1 Municipal Drive, 10 a.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 16—Pecar Health Center, 6940 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, 6 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 16—John H. Boner Community Center, 2236 E. 10th St., Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
* Wednesday, Nov. 17—IndyGo Training Center, 1501 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
* Wednesday, Nov. 17—Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center, 7320 W. 10th Street, Indianapolis, 7 p.m.
* Thursday, Nov. 18—Robert Sterrett Senior Center, 8950 Otis Ave., Indianapolis, 7 p.m.

Additional Indy Connect briefings are being scheduled for County Council meetings in Marion, Boone, Hendricks, Hamilton, Shelby, Hancock, Morgan and Johnson counties. A list of County Council presentation dates will be available and updated on www.indyconnect.org.

IndyGo Announces November Observances

November brings Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday—holidays that will impact IndyGo operations to varying degrees.

Veterans Day – Thursday, November 11

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center open regular business hours

∙ Retail center at 34 North Delaware open regular business hours

∙ Buses operating on regular schedules (detours and delays possible due to parade)

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 25

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center closed

∙ Retail center at 34 North Delaware closed

∙ Fixed route buses operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule*

∙ Paratransit buses operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule

∙ The ICE commuter express routes not in service

∙ The Green Line Airport express operating on its regular schedule

*If a fixed route does not normally operate on Sundays, then that route will not offer service on Thanksgiving Day. Such routes are 4, 11, 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30, 34, 55 and 87.

Black Friday (unofficial shopping holiday) – Friday, November 26

∙ Administrative staff out of the office

∙ Customer service call center open regular business hours

∙ Retail center at 34 North Delaware closed

∙ Buses operating on regular schedules

If you have any questions regarding holiday bus service, please contact the IndyGo Customer Service Call Center at 317.635.3344. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. until noon.

Circle of Lights Coloring Contest Nov. 1 - 17

Kids can color their way to a very special holiday evening

Participate in coloring contest for a chance to "flip the switch" at the 2010 Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481

Children age 12 and under have the opportunity to "flip the switch" at the Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 Nov. 26 via a Coloring Contest. coloring-sheet2010The coloring sheet depicts a large holiday light bulb, allowing plenty of room for creativity. The contest runs Nov. 1 - 17. Thousands enter every year!

This year, three new partners will support the Coloring Contest: College Choice 529, Dunkin' Donuts and Ivy Tech Community College.

The selected child will be announced Nov. 22. The child will receive a t-shirt,their original coloring sheet entry framed and a photo with Santa on stage. The 2009 winner was 11-year-old Courtney Sackettfrom Brownsburg.

Pick up a coloring sheet Nov. 1 - 17 at any Quality Connection contractor office, more than 20 Dunkin' Donuts locations or print one from www.qc-indy.com. The sheet will also be available in The Indianapolis Star Nov. 5, 7 & 12.

Drop-off locations are Quality Connection, the Electrical Training Institute, Long Electric, Miller-Eads or ERMCO. Or mail to: 1828 N. Meridian Street, Suite 115, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Additionally, coloring sheets can be dropped off at any Central Indiana Dunkin' Donuts location. When a child returns the entry form to Dunkin' Donuts, he or she will receive a free donut! All coloring sheets must be turned in by 3 p.m. Nov. 17.

The Mayor's Citywide Indy Financial Planning Day Nov 13th from 10am to 3pm


You will not be asked for your phone number, credit card, or address

· FREE private consultation on financial issues that matter to you with experts from the Financial Planning Association and highly-qualified Certified Financial Planner professionals.

· FREE educational workshops addressing key personal money and tax issues.

· A NO COST opportunity to get one-on-one advice from basic budget planning,child support, to employment benefits.

Register on-line: www.FinancialPlanningDays.org/Indianapolis or phone: 1.877.861.7826.


Just walk-in….

Hispanic/Latino translators available.

All materials offered in English & Spanish.

Saturday, November 13, 10am – 3pm

University of Indianapolis

Schwitzer Student Center

1400 East Hanna Avenue


Financial Planning Day is a free event organized by The City of Indianapolis and The FPA of Greater Indiana in partnership with national organizations – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Parent’s Call To Action

Parent Advisory: Please be aware this program contains adult language and content. Not suitable for children.

This project was supported by Award No. 2008-PG-BX-0003 by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs


Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative

FREE Prevention & Intervention Summit

Learn the signs of gang involvement
Hear from experts in the gang prevention field
Find ways to take action

For more information or to attend this FREE event contact:
(317) 327—3928

All participants MUST pre-register

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Crispus Attucks High School
1140 Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. St.

TIME: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Refreshments will be served


Looking for some fun, spooky Halloween happenings for the whole family? Grab your craziest costume and get to Indy Parks! We have fun for everyone at Garfield and Christian Parks, so what are you waiting for… Tricks or Treats?

Ghoulish Garfield is a spooktacular family-friendly event at Garfield Park. Take the fun-frightening hayride journey through the historic park and tour the Haunted Conservatory with ghosts and goblins hiding at every turn. Create creepy crafts at the Garfield Park Arts Center and mix a batch of slimy “Goblin-Goo.”

MC900436215[1] Garfield Park and Family Center, Arts Center, Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Dr.
MC900436215[1] Friday and Saturday, Oct. 29 – 30, 7 - 9 p.m.

MC900436215[1] Hayrides $2, Haunted Conservatory admission $1 (recommended ages 10+), all other activities free

Monday, October 25, 2010


New Program Will Enhance Recycling Participation At Sports Venues

The City of Indianapolis is partnering with Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse to implement a plan that will increase recycling participation at the City’s largest sports facilities. In sponsorship of the effort, Indianapolis has been awarded $42,600 in grant funding by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation Challenge Program.

“A more sustainable city is a more livable city,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “Partnerships like this are vital to creating an environment in which residents and visitors alike can recreate while contributing to a brighter future for Indianapolis. Increasing the availability of recycling is a simple way we can encourage our sports fans and City visitors to participate. I commend our partners for their commitment to quality of life in Indianapolis and making our city one of the most sustainable in the Midwest.”

The Enhanced Sports Stadium Recycling Program includes support from the City’s Office of Sustainability, Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, Indiana Sports Corp., the Indiana Recycling Coalition and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. As part of Mayor Ballard’s continuing effort to make Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest, in its mission to increase recycling participation within the City’s sports stadiums, the program also seeks to improve the overall attitude of recycling at these facilities.

The overall objectives of the program at both facilities are to:

· Identify recyclables in the current waste stream

· Develop and implement a holistic recycling education campaign

· Increase awareness of recycling options

· Increase recycling tonnage and improve the facilities’ environmental impact

Both facilities have established recycling programs. Materials collected include aluminum cans, steel food containers, glass bottles, plastic cups, paper and cardboard. The Enhanced Sports Stadium Recycling Program will focus on increased collection of beverage containers including plastic, aluminum and glass.

According to the National Association for PET Container Recycling (NAPCOR), visitors to indoor sports venues typically utilize two beverage containers at events. Based upon NAPCOR estimates, one event in Conseco Fieldhouse with 18,000 visitors could generate more than five and a half tons of recycling. Any and all enhancements to recycling in these facilities will have a huge environmental benefit as well as improve employees’ and visitors’ attitudes towards recycling.

For more information about how Mayor Ballard is creating a more sustainable Indianapolis, visit www.SustainIndy.org.




In the 2000 Census, Indianapolis proved its place among the country’s leading communities as America’s 12th most populous city. If mail-back rate is any indication, when the final count is finished on the 2010 U.S. Census, the Circle City may be in even more elite company.

Indianapolis ranked second among America’s 20 largest cities in the U.S. Census Bureau’s final mail-back rate report for the 2010 Census, producing a 75 percent mail-back rate that trailed only the 76 percent produced by San Jose, Calif.

“Our city’s superb census response in 2010 reinforces what we know to be true of Indianapolis – our residents and businesses accomplish great things when they work together,” said Mayor Gregory A. Ballard. “This effort, directed by a group of outstanding community leaders comprising our Census Complete Count Committee, will guarantee continued access to vital resources and help improve the quality of life for every individual in our city.”

Mayor Ballard formed the Complete Count Committee to promote awareness and help ensure a complete and accurate count for Indianapolis in the 2010 U.S. Census, appointing a group of leaders from across the community working under the direction of committee co-chairs Amos Brown and Steve Smith.

Indianapolis’ mail-back rate was four points higher than the 71 percent produced in the 2000 Census.

“The people of our community clearly recognized the importance of the 2010 U.S. Census, and with this opportunity to tremendously affect our future, they stepped up, made the right choice and made a difference for Indianapolis,” said Congressman Andre Carson. “An accurate and complete census count is critical to ensure that the resources our community needs are available. With an assist from the Complete Count Committee, under the leadership of Amos Brown and Steve Smith, we made sure that in 2010 – and for the next decade – Indianapolis will count.”

Across the city, every township outperformed its 2000 Census mail-back rate, led by a whopping 9-point jump for Center Township, which went from 61 to 70. Likewise, Decatur surged from 70 to 78, Franklin led the way with 81 percent, and all townships produced rates above 70 percent, with Lawrence at 76, Perry at 78, Pike at 75, Warren at 76, Washington at 77 and Wayne at 73.

“This was a great result for the people of Indianapolis,” said Brown, who co-chaired the Complete Count Committee. “By any standing, all of the hard work done by this committee and others throughout government, the private sector, and the community and grassroots groups across Indianapolis made this possible. And of course, the people of Indianapolis made it happen.”

The 2010 Census will help direct more than $400 billion in federal funds each year to communities across the country and to be used for hospitals, job training centers, schools, senior centers, public works projects and emergency services. An accurate count ensures the funds are dispersed properly and determines the number of seats Indiana will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Businesses use census data to help inform business decisions and spur growth, and funding for vital services as determined by the census can make a positive impact on the lives of employees and their families.

Visit www.census.gov/2010census/ to learn more.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Grant will help city incorporate sustainability at the planning level

The Planning Division of the Department of Metropolitan Development will receive $1,197,622 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement sustainable elements at the city planning level in order to improve Indianapolis' quality of life. As a part of HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant, the funding will be used to help update zoning ordinances and development requirements allowing better use of existing developed areas and how to configure new development to better suit future needs. The three year effort will focus on three areas of the City with prototype projects and then evaluate how those prototypes can be implemented on a broader scope.

"This grant is a welcomed boost to our effort to become one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "Incorporating more sustainable concepts into our planning process will help solidify sustainable living as a mainstream practice in Indianapolis for decades to come."

In a parallel move, a task force will be created to address issues on a county-wide basis to help with big picture ordinance revisions. The lessons learned will help redevelopment in the three targeted neighborhoods to devise methodologies that can be applied for the whole county. The areas targeted are near 22nd and Monon Trail, Shelby and Hanna and East 10th street between State and Rural.

"As we reflect on the two years since Mayor Ballard created the Office of Sustainability, we have a lot of great programs to celebrate," said Kären Haley, director of the City's Office of Sustainability. "Receiving this grant will allow us to look for ways to implement sustainable elements early in the planning stages of development. This is just another great step towards Indianapolis becoming one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest."

HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.

INDOT, City of Indianapolis and Indy Parks announce stream restoration project

Partnership includes INDOT’s first off-site stream mitigation with Indy Parks

Today, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced an innovative partnership with the City of Indianapolis, Indy Parks and the Indianapolis Parks Foundation to fund and construct a $1 million off-site stream restoration project. The streams run through Pleasant Run Golf Course on land owned by the City and managed by Indy Parks and are being restored to mitigate impacts from INDOT’s 465/69 Northeast project.

Included in the stream restoration project will be sections of Pleasant Run, South Creek and Spring Branch on the Pleasant Run Golf Course property. The project will restore approximately 1.2 miles of streams using a combination of stream bank grading (earth work) and the naturalization of the habitat in and near the water. “This is a first-of-its-kind off-site stream mitigation partnership for INDOT and Indy Parks and one that we consider innovative,” said Troy Woodruff, INDOT deputy commissioner of operations, at today’s announcement at Pleasant Run Golf Course. “In keeping with our mission, we are excited to restore this stream on the City of Indianapolis’ land and leave the natural habitat better than it was when this project began. INDOT’s stream mitigation on Indy Parks’ land will also allow the improvements to be more readily observed and enjoyed by the public. We think this is a win-win situation for all parties.”

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard also discussed the project along with Stuart Lowry, Indy Parks’ director. “This project will have major positive environmental impacts for the Pleasant Run area,” said Mayor Ballard. “The partnership between Indy Parks and INDOT is one we hope to replicate for future projects.”

The idea to restore a stream located on City of Indianapolis land came from INDOT, which needed to mitigate for stream impacts associated with INDOT’s 465/69 Northeast project. The project is adding travel lanes and improving interchanges along eight miles of I-465, from just east of the U.S. 31/Meridian Street

interchange to just north of Fall Creek Road, as well as more than two miles of I-69, crossing over 82nd Street and ending just south of the 96th Street interchange.

Instead of mitigating land near the project or on other private land – which, depends on the availability of suitable land that meets the mitigation requirements, adds land acquisition costs and requires a willing seller – INDOT partnered with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) professor Robert Barr of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science to come up with a plan to mitigate the impacts off-site from the project but within the same watershed. Federal requirements dictate that when conducting off-site stream mitigation, the area mitigated should be at a 2-to-1 ratio to the area affected by the project, which is how INDOT determined the 1.2 miles of stream for mitigation purposes. After INDOT and Barr developed the strategy and identified a potential off-site location, INDOT then entered into a $240,000 contract with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation to fund the cost for advisors and consultants to put together the mitigation plan.

The regrading of specific sections of the stream banks will result in a more stable stream channel, and the banks will then be replanted with native plant, shrub and tree species. Sections of the stream that will not be regraded will be “naturalized,” meaning all non-native invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native species, improving the overall habitat for wildlife.

INDOT let the contract for bid on Sept. 1, 2010, and it was awarded to Sunesis Construction Company for $760,000 on Sept. 14, making the total cost of the project $1 million. Work is anticipated to begin later this month or next month and is scheduled for completion in late April 2011.

Additionally, INDOT is working with Indy Parks on a preliminary plan to develop a wetland and stream mitigation bank. Mitigation banks are developed for future INDOT projects requiring mitigation not possible on the project site, and they have the potential to save the State of Indiana time and money on individual projects. The proposed Indy Parks bank, if approved, will be developed at various City park locations scattered throughout Marion County.