Friday, May 28, 2010

Mayor Ballard Proposes Short-Term Solution for Projected IndyGo Budget Shortfall

Mayor Greg Ballard announced today a potential short-term solution to halt fare increases and route terminations that could otherwise result from a projected budget shortfall at IndyGo, the municipal corporation that provides public transit throughout the Indianapolis area.

“IndyGo is not alone in this. And neither are the IndyGo riders who depend on this service to get to and from their jobs, doctors appointments, schools. There are many in our community for whom public transit is the only form of transit – and the only means of connecting to opportunity,” said Mayor Ballard. “Connectivity is vital to our local economy, and we will work as partners in this to ensure that short-term needs are met and also to develop a long-term, sustainable solution.”

The proposed short-term solution leverages existing dollars from a number of sources, including IndyGo’s existing general operating balance, the rebalancing of IndyGo’s revenues in 2011 between operating and capital, the use of a $5 million line of credit, and other IndyGo reserves. The stop-gap measure would be used to prevent fare increases and route terminations through 2011.

“We’re encouraged by the Mayor’s interest in collaborating with IndyGo to explore options and resources that may help the City achieve a transit system that better meets the community’s needs,” said Mike Terry, president and CEO of IndyGo. “It’s a pivotal time for Indianapolis, and we’re facing far better outcomes by moving forward together to address our challenges.”

Mayor Ballard indicated that the proposed short-term solution should provide adequate time for development of a long-term solution, but that a long-term solution is imperative and should engage the High Performance Government Team, community organizations and local businesses in the development process.

Mission Possible! Special call for volunteers

Help KIB and KaBOOM! build a playground in 6 hours!

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful still needs 70 volunteers for its KaBOOM! project on Saturday, June 5th. We're asking for your help.

When: Saturday, June 5th, 6AM-12PM (rise and shine, bright and early!)

Where: Jireh Sports, 2259 Ralston Avenue. Jireh Sports is an alternative sports program for kids

How can I help?: Sign up online at KIB's Volunteer Calendar. We'll register you, and you'll receive an email with directions, where to park, etc. a few days before the event.

KaBOOM! is a nonprofit organization that believes there should be a safe place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is partnering with KaBOOM! to build a large playground and beautify the grounds of Jireh Sports, with side projects such as shade structures, benches, picnic tables, and tree plantings.

At this project, you'll be working alongside other partners like Clarian Health employees and The Bob Sanders Chasing Dreams Foundation - hopefully we'll have 200 people overall working that day to build a playground in only 6 hours! Please sign up with KIB today!


Newest Mayor-sponsored charter school offers opportunity to earn high school diploma while obtaining post-secondary credits

Mayor Greg Ballard joined Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett and leadership from Goodwill Industries, Ivy Tech Community College and other community leaders to outline the nationally unique educational model and expectations for The Excel Center.

The Excel Center, which was recently granted charter approval by the City-County Council, will provide students ages 18 to 22 the opportunity and support to earn a high school diploma and begin post-secondary education tuition free, while developing career paths that offer better than average employment and growth opportunities.

"We are committed, through our Office of Education Innovation, to finding original and inventive ways of addressing our most critical education and community needs," said Mayor Ballard. "The collection of unique and thoughtful elements that make up The Excel Center serves as a national model for how to serve students who are or are thinking about becoming high school dropouts. I am confident this program will become yet another example of the innovative and creative thinking that is common in Mayor-sponsored charter schools."

The Excel Center, which will target 18-22 year old high school dropouts or students at-risk of dropping out, will offer customized and traditional high school courses and students will be required to meet all Indiana academic standards in order to earn a high school diploma. In addition, The Excel Center will pay tuition costs for students to take the first steps toward earning industry-recognized certificates or undergraduate degrees at Ivy Tech Community College. These credentials will facilitate opportunities for students to earn employment with higher wages and career prospects.

"I have every confidence The Excel Center will serve as a model for districts and communities hoping to encourage high school graduation and post-secondary training," Dr. Bennett said. "The Center provides adult learners non-traditional and flexible opportunities to be successful in college or the workforce. I'm excited to see both the positive results The Excel Center can generate for Hoosier students and the positive impact those students will make on their communities."

Students who take advantage of The Excel Center will have control over when, where and how they learn. The Center is an educational option designed with the student in mind so that they can learn any time, any place and at a pace that meets their needs. Students will work with staff to create personalized learning plans that will include a combination of customized instructional techniques including traditional classroom, online, and small group learning, and one-on-one tutoring.

In addition, each student will be teamed with a small group of his/her peers with similar life circumstances or interests. Each team will be facilitated by a Coach who will be responsible for identifying and mitigating life barriers that may prevent students from being successful and to facilitate 21st Century life skill development such as critical thinking and teamwork. The Center's organizational structure is intentionally developed to meet the needs of working and non-working students. It will be open year round, with flexible morning and evening hours Monday through Saturday. Depending on student need, the Center may also open satellite locations in Indianapolis beginning in its second year of operation.

"In these economic times, employment options are severely limited for young adults who do not have a high school diploma," said Scott Bess, CEO Goodwill Education Initiatives, Inc. "The mission of The Excel Center is to not only increase the high school graduation rate in Marion County, but to increase the number of adults who are ready to fill the skilled jobs that businesses seeking to relocate tell us they need. This approach, coupled with the strong social supports, makes The Excel Center unique."

The Excel Center is open to any Indiana resident who does not have a high school diploma or GED and is structured to best meet the needs of students aged 18-22. Classes start Sept. 7, 2010. Space is limited.

The Excel Center is located at 1635 W. Michigan St. For more information visit; email:; or call (317) 524-4141.


Mayor Greg Ballard today announced the City of
Indianapolis is awarding $99,600 in community block grants to 12 local
agencies that provide enrichment opportunities for youth. Recipients of
this year's Summer Youth Program Fund will provide a total of more than
1,800 youth between the ages of 4 and 19 with the opportunity to
participate in recreational, cultural and educational activities.

"The programs offered by the award recipients add value to traditional
summer youth programs by providing important educational and cultural
enrichment activities such as the arts, literacy, community service, and
college and career exploration," said Mayor Ballard. "The City of
Indianapolis awards these agencies this funding to continue and expand
their unique offerings that encourage growth and improve the quality of
life for children and teenagers in our community."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the grants
to the Department of Metropolitan Development. The Summer Youth Program
Fund was established in Marion County in 1995 by the Indianapolis
Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc. This is the 15th year that the City
of Indianapolis is participating in the Summer Youth Program Fund.

The city's 12 award recipients are:
1. Coburn Place Safe Haven - $3,900
Summer camp for 30 children, ages 5 to 17, living in a domestic violence
transition shelter. Offers a broad spectrum of educational, cultural,
and physical activities meant to encourage growth and coping techniques
for underprivileged youth.

2. Damar Services Inc. - $9,000
An academic enrichment program for 230 children facing developmental and
behavioral challenges. Academic lessons, recreation activities, art and
music classes and community service opportunities will be provided with
the goal of developing adaptive living skills and promoting social

3. La Plaza - $13,500
A summer enrichment program designed for 120 elementary students to
further develop critical reading and math skills while simultaneously
integrating physical education, arts and culture, community service,
career exploration and technology.

4. John H. Boner Community Center - $4,500
A neighborhood summer enrichment camp that partners with local service
providers to offer 230 youth ages 4 to 13 educational, cultural,
physical, recreational and community service opportunities.

5. Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center - $13,500
A summer camp that reinforces school learning and addresses summer
learning loss for 180 children and youth ages 4 to 16. Hands-on
academic, science, arts, cultural, and college/career exploration
activities are led by professional staff and AmeriCorps members.

6. Southeast Community Services - $2,200
A math, science and literacy summer enrichment program for 15 youth,
ages 9 to 16, using environmental issues-based projects as learning

7. Hawthorne Social Service Assn Inc. - $6,500
A summer enrichment camp addressing the social and economic barriers to
academic achievement facing 230 low-income youth, ages 9 to 16.

8. Concord Neighborhood Center - $5,500
A summer enrichment camp with the goal of increasing the math, science
and literacy skills of 140 youth, ages 4 to 16. Key focus areas are
reading for grades K-3, math skills by grade 5, and writing skills for
those in grades 6 and above.

9. Community Alliance of the Far Eastside Inc. - $12,000
A reading and math enrichment program with a focus on exposure to the
arts, physical activity and career exploration for 105 youth, ages 4 to

10. Young Audiences of Indiana - $12,000
Summer arts camp for 350 youth ages 4 to 16. Professional artists engage
underprivileged children in self-expression and performing arts
training, while reinforcing literacy skills.

11. East 10th United Methodist Children & Youth Center - $12,000
Licensed teachers focus on programs heavy in reading comprehension,
vocabulary and problem solving through a cultural education project for
85 youth, ages 6 to 18.

12. Flanner House of Indianapolis Inc. - $5,000
A summer enrichment program with a focus on increasing ISTEP scores for
90 youth, ages 4 to 13. Includes an educational program designed to
expose low-income, urban youth to environmentally focused careers,
issues, and remediation.

In addition to DMD's annual allocation to the Summer Youth Program Fund,
the City recently awarded a $302,000 Community Crime Prevention Grant
that funds support staff for summer youth programs throughout

Through this teen jobs initiative known as "Youth Working for Indy," 28
organizations will collectively hire 150 teens ages 15-19 from socially
and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. The program teaches
at-risk youth to earn summer income and develop a work history, while
also increasing the capacity of the agencies' summer programs.

The Central Indiana Community Foundation administers the "Youth Working
for Indy" program by distributing mini-awards to host sites of summer
youth programs. The City-County Council approved the funding for "Youth
Working for Indy" following recommendations by Mayor Ballard and the
Community Crime Prevention Advisory Board. Councilors Vernon Brown and
Monroe Gray, along with Council President Ryan Vaughn, led the
bipartisan effort to secure the $302,000 for the grant, the largest
award of any 2010 Community Crime Prevention Grant, to fund summer jobs
for at-risk youth.


Indy Parks and Recreation will operate 15 aquatic centers across Indianapolis after a $6.5 million investment for renovations and repairs to fix leaking pools and decaying infrastructure. Pools will open in two waves for the summer season on May 29* and June 5*. Radio Disney’s Move It! Program – an initiative to promote healthy and active lifestyles will be jamming at Sahm Park Aquatic Center May 29, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and Gustafson Park Pool June 5, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

“Last season, Indy Parks’ pools leaked 35 million gallons of water costing city money to operate and address damage from the leaks at the pools. Extensive repairs have brought that number down to nearly zero,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This investment into the heart of the city is important for the youth of our communities and for generations to come.”

When Indianapolis residents visit Indy Parks’ pools, they will see a transformation designed to give an enhanced experience at each aquatic center. New amenities include shade structures, climbing walls and deck furniture, plus an overall “facelift” with newly painted slide structures, updated bathhouse facilities and additional installations of spray features. These investments were made possible by capital improvement dollars, grant funding, the Lilly Endowment Inc., and new public-private partnerships. Some of the highlights include:

• A new spray feature at Riverside Aquatic Center
• ADA chairs at all aquatic centers
• A three-story tube slide at Sahm Park Aquatic Center
• New spray ground at Gustafson Park Pool
• $75,000 worth of renovations at Martin Luther King Jr. Park Aquatic Center
• Spray ground renovations and new frog slide at Garfield Park
• New penguin slide at Perry Park Pool
• New pool at Bethel Park opening this July
• Fully updated beach house at Eagle Creek Beach
• Plunge Harbor slide and aquatic obstacle course at Eagle Creek Beach
• New deck chairs at all aquatic centers
• New picnic tables at all aquatic centers
• Updated chairs and umbrellas for our life guards

“This is an exciting new decade for Indy Parks’ pools. With the money and partnerships elevating the investment into this valuable infrastructure, we have made a huge leap in the sustainability of our pools by leveraging our public dollars. We are thrilled to have a team of highly-skilled lifeguards and staff readying numerous activities, programs, and additional swim lessons at our pools, and they are ready to make a splash this season with the upgrades,” said Indy Parks’ Director Stuart Lowry.

This year, Indy Parks will open five pools at the Krannert Family Aquatic Center, Northwestway Park, Perry Park, Garfield Park and Sahm Park May 29. The remaining pools will open June 5. Closing dates will be staggered with nine pools closing on August 8 and six pools closing August 1. Admission to Indy Parks pools ranges between $1.50- $5.00 for youth (ages 3-17) and $2.50-$6.00 for adults. Indy Parks will offer Gator Passes that provide a 20% discount off of the regular pool admission rates. These passes can be purchased at the pools. Visit, call 327-PARK or pick up an Indy Parks Summer Fun Guide for details on hours, amenities and locations for each pool.

Indy Parks’ Aquatic Facilities are staffed by award winning professionally trained lifeguards. Guardians are responsible for supervising their children; Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring a safe environment and reacting to emergency situations.

Spray Grounds
Indy Parks also operates 18 spray grounds, or “spray pools” — a fun and free alternative to cool off on hot summer days. These zero-depth, concrete pads feature water spray and splash features and operate by motion sensors. When activated, a spray feature will run for 3 minutes before turning off. Please note lifeguards are not on duty at spray grounds.

*Pools may not open if air temperature is at least 68* F or lower. Patrons are encouraged to call their local facility directly to confirm hours of operation.


Each year, Indy Parks and Recreation produces a full season of music, movies and more for you and your family. Featuring a wide variety of artistic styles - classical and popular, fun and romantic, hot and smooth - we bring it all to a comfortable outdoor setting near you. From folk music at Eagle Creek Park to jazz and blues at Watkins Park, there is a colorful selection of concerts and artists for all. Most events are free, and all feature gifted local and regional artists that you're sure to enjoy.

June marks the beginning of a new alternating series of concerts at Eagle Creek Park on Wednesday evenings at the Marina-"Jazz on the Point", featuring Owl Studios artists, and "In Concert with Nature," Eagle Creeks' own home grown family of acoustic, bluegrass and folk favorites. "Jazz on the Point's" first artist is Everett Greene on June 2, followed by Mike Clark on June 16, and Bossa Rio on June 30. "In Concert with Nature's" first offering is Brains Behind Pa on June 9, followed by Acoustic Catfish on June 23. Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. $5 gate fee still applies.

Also FREE in June:

"Summer Concerts Series" at Holliday Park begins with The Tides on June 10 and features Matt Roush on June 24. Concerts start at 7:00 p.m.

On June 13, the alternating blues and jazz series at Watkins Park continues with Mercedes, Johnny Dial & Friends performing on June 20, and J. Majors & Hook Up round out the month with jazz on June 27.

On June 19 the "Friends of Irving Circle Park Concert Series" begins featuring the Greater Greenwood Community Band.

The "Irvington Artist Series" at Ellenberger Park continues on June 26 presenting the Indy Jazz Orchestra.

Cool off at our poolside "Family Fun Night Concert Series" at Broad Ripple Park Pool on Friday, June 18 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Pool gate fees still apply.

"Movies in the Parks" begins in June starting at Ellenberger Park on June 5 followed by Sahm Park on June 12 and Rhodius Park on June 19. Showtimes are at dusk. Call 327-PARK for movie titles.

Come celebrate the performing arts with Indy Parks this June!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Students tour out-of-state colleges through Indy Youth Achievers Program

Curious about college? Indy Parks and Recreation is offering a unique program to local students interested in furthering their education. Indy Youth Achievers program takes qualified students on two guided tours to out-of-state colleges to gain knowledge about educational options for life after high school.

Nearly 100 youth will check out campus life at Old Dominion University, Duquesne University, Fairleigh Dickerson University, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, and Bellarmine University in two guided tours. Leading up to the visit, students will spend several weeks preparing with weekly workshops focused on goal setting, creative thinking, conflict resolution, financial management and interview training. They will also complete community service projects to round out their training.

"These tours give students a helpful perspective about additional educational opportunities that they might not have been exposed to because of financial hardships," said Indy Parks Director Stuart Lowry. "Indy Parks provides programs to keep kids active and engaged over the summer. By giving students a first-hand look at college life, students will be able to picture a brighter future."

The tours will be lead by professional staff to offer perspectives on educational development. The students will tour each university's campus, develop contacts with admissions staff and discuss scholarships and financial aid requirements.

The Indianapolis Parks Foundation received $18,000 for the Indy Youth Achievers program, thanks to the generosity of the Summer Youth Program Fund. The fund is a collaboration among many donor partners, including Lilly Endowment Inc., The Indianapolis Foundation, and Lumina Foundation for Education.

The Indy Youth Achiever College Tour is open to all middle and high school students entering 7th through 12th grade with a minimum 2.5 cumulative G.P.A and enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars Program. Students must also complete an application and staff interviews. Cost is $40 to reserve your seat and covers all food and hotel expenses.

City Ramps Up Enforcement for Mowing Season

The Office of City Prosecutor and the Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) are adopting a no-nonsense approach for the high weeds and grass season. Multiple property owners who have historically refused to mow their properties as required by City ordinances will now receive a letter detailing legal action that will be taken against them.

“Fighting blight in our neighborhoods is key to our commitment to making public safety job one and increasing quality of life for our citizens,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “As unkept properties remain a problem throughout the city, we must take action now to maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods.”

Typically, violators are simply cited and fined with few cases ending up in Court. This year, 50 of the City’s worst offenders have been sent letters which outline the legal course of action if they fail to comply. If an inspection shows that they have a property with high weeds and grass, and fail to abate, a civil complaint will be filed in Environmental Court. Property owners determined to be in violation are subject to a fine up to $2,500 per violation, plus court costs.

“This year, we are taking a more aggressive approach against chronic offenders,” said City Prosecutor Helen Marchal. “Last year the City mowed thousands of properties, some multiple times. The letter makes clear that one failed inspection and failure to respond will result in aggressive prosecution. “

“DCE developed a nuisance abatement section to specifically identify problem property owners who are not only draining City resources, but are having a negative impact on the quality of life and safety in our neighborhoods,” said Director of the Department of Code Enforcement Rick Powers. “This is one last warning to problem owners to be a good neighbor and take responsibility for their properties or face tougher consequences.”

Since the mowing season began, DCE has issued over 4,000 notices of violation to property owners maintaining weeds and grass over 12 inches in height. The City is only required to send one notice of violation per calendar year, and an owner has five days to abate the nuisance from the date of the notice. If a property owner fails to mow the property, the City will dispatch a mowing vendor to cut the property and bill the owner for the mowing service.

To report a property with high weeds and grass, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at 327-4MAC (4622).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stadium Village Farmers Market

Shapiro’s Parking Lot – this is the only Summer Downtown grower/producer farmers market and will be opening Tuesday, June 1 with all of your favorite products. Get organic, local, natural products made by the people that sell them. Visit on Tuesday evening and enjoy the time with live music and a prize drawing for visitors.
See us on Facebook by searching Stadium Village Farmers Market


(317) 840-0448 - Theresa Stites, Market Master

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 Summer Food and Supervised Play Sites

Summer Supervised Playground Sites 2010

Al Polin Park
100 E. 29th St.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
1702 N. Broadway St.

Andrew Ramsey Park
310 W. 42nd St.

Fall Creek & 16th Park

Arsenal Park
1400 E. 46th St.

Gateway West Park
3110 Moller Rd.

Bellamy Park
9501 E. 36th Place

Gustafson Park
3110 Moller Rd.

Bertha Ross Park
3700 N. Clifton St.

Oscar Charleston Park
2800 E. 30th St.

Centennial and Groff Park
2300 N. Centennial

Pride Park Center
1129 Vandeman St.

Clayton & LaSalle Park
401 S. LaSalle St.

Red Maple Park

Cloverleaf Apartments
5714 W. Wilkins St.

Riverwood Park
7201 Crittendon Ave.

Coburn Place
604 E. 38th St.

Stringtown Park
1605 W. Ohio St.

Hearts Landing Apartments
9350 E. 43rd St.

Summer Meal Sites 2010

Al Polin Park
Talbot & 29th St.

Amber Woods Cooperative Apts.
10119 John Marshall Dr.

Andrew Ramsey Park
310 W. 42nd St.

Arsenal Park
1400 E. 46th St.

Baltimore St. Church of God
3170 Baltimore St.

Beech Grove Village
4651 Mimi Dr.

Beachwood Gardens
2915 N. Graham Ave.

Benjamin Harrison YMCA
5736 Lee Road

Bellamy Park
9501 E. 35th St.

Bertha Ross Park
3700 N. Clifton

Blackburn Terrace
3091 Baltimore Ave.

Centennial & Groff Park
2300 N. Centennial St.

Clayton & LaSalle Park
401 S. LaSalle St.

Cloverleaf Apts.
835 Cloverleaf Terrace

Concord Eagle Creek
3125 Concord Creek

Covenant Baptist Church
4201 W. 30th St.

Douglass Park
1616 E. 25th St.

East 91st St. Christian Church
6049 E. 91st St.

Fall Creek & 16th Park
Fall Creek & 16th St.

Fay B. Glick Center
2990 W. 71st St.

Fountain of Truth Christian Church
9809 E. 42nd St.

Garfield Park
2345 Pagoda Dr.

Gateway West
6150 Gateway Dr.

Gustafson Park
3130 Moller Road

Harvest Christian Fellowship
923 E 25th St.

5244 E. 32nd St.

Hearts Landing Apt.
9350 E. 43rd St.

Krannert Park
605 S. High School Road

Laurelwood Apts.
3340 Teakwood Dr.

Martin Luther King Park
1701 Broadway St.

Mount Moriah
2349-51 Keystone Way

Municipal Gardens Playground
1831 Lafayette Rd.

Northside New Era Baptist Church
517 W. 30th

New Light Christian Church
2902 Cold Spring Road

Oaklandon Church of Christ
6701 Oaklandon Rd.

Oscar Charleston
2800 E. 30th St.

Postbrook East Apts.
9265 E. 41st St.

Pride Center
1129 Vandeman St.

802 Edgemont Ave.

Ransburg YMCA
501 N. Shortridge Rd.

Red Maple Apts.
2901 Tabor St.

Riverside Park
2420 N. Riverside Dr.

Riverwood Park
7201 Crittenden Ave.

1353 S. Riley Ave.

Stringtown Park
1605 W. Ohio

Thatcher Park
4649 W. Vermont

Town & Terrace Apts.
4023 Hampshire Ct.

Twin Hills
2210 E. 36th St.

United Northeast Side Comm.
3636 E. 38th St.

Victory Memorial VMC
1930 Woodlawn Ave.

Washington Park
3130 E. 30th St.

Watkins Park
2360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Be a Champion for Youth: Rally for IndyGo Funding on Thursday!

Lack of transportation options limits access to potential job opportunities, as well as the programs and services that are critical to positive youth development. Now is your opportunity to show your support for IndyGo, the only transit option for many of the families in our community.

When: Thursday, May 20th, 4:45pm - 5:30pm. (IndyGo hearing follows rally at 5:30 pm)
Where: Indianapolis Convention Center- Capitol Street entrance
Who: Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transit and all citizens interested in public transit in Marion County

IndyGo is facing a $3 million shortfall in funding for 2010. If this deficit is not eliminated, IndyGo will be forced to make further service cuts, leaving many Indianapolis residents, including those with disabilities, without transportation to work and community services, and leaving Indianapolis businesses with employees who can't get to work. The IndyGo cuts will come even as bus ridership has grown in the first quarter of this year, and city residents and businesses are still struggling to recover from the economic recession.

The Indiana Citizens' Alliance for Transit is calling on Mayor Ballard, the Indianapolis Marion County City-County Council, and IndyGo management to maintain current IndyGo funding and service levels.

Monday, May 17, 2010

901 Farmer's Market

The 901 Farmer's Market opens this Sunday, May 23rd with an offering of fresh fruits and vegetable, eggs, jewelry, fresh-baked pies, plants and crafts.
Admission is free. Vendors are welcome. Space is $10 each. Table can be rented at $5 each. Please call 607.3235 05 283.8748 for more details.

The Market will be open every other Sunday through October 2010.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

City Launches Utility Transfer Document Library

Public Web site offers detailed analysis of proposed transfer

Mayor Greg Ballard and Citizens Energy Group today launched, a Web site dedicated to improving the accessibility of hundreds of documents related to the transfer of the City’s water and wastewater utilities to Citizens.

“Making these many detailed documents more accessible to City-County Councillors, residents and advisory groups is imperative to providing an open and transparent process,” said Mayor Ballard. “My administration and Citizens have spent the past two months detailing the benefits of the transfer, and now, we encourage the public to visit the Web site to review the background documents that support the millions of dollars in savings the transfer will provide to ratepayers.”

More than 500 documents reside on the Web site, with additional documents to be added as they become available. Residents and ratepayers can access the Web site by visiting and entering the following login information:

Username: public

Password: public

“This library provides a detailed look at Citizens’ water and wastewater utilities proposal and the documents that created the public charitable trust, which exists only to benefit the citizens of Indianapolis,” said Carey Lykins, Citizens president and CEO. “Providing easy access to detailed information is essential to building strong, trusting relationships with water and wastewater customers, elected officials and community leaders, just as we have with our gas system for more than 100 years.”

Since March 10, 2010, representatives of the City of Indianapolis and Citizens have participated in nearly 40 public meetings to discuss the utility transfer. In the coming weeks, representatives of the City and Citizens will attend more town hall meetings hosted by City-County Councillors. Upcoming town hall meetings include:

May 18, 6-7:30 p.m.: Councillor Ryan Vaughn’s Town Hall Meeting
Broad Ripple High School, 1115 Broad Ripple Ave.

May 19, 7-8:30 p.m.: Councillor William Oliver’s Town Hall Meeting
Washington Park Family Center, 3130 E. 30th St.

On March 10, 2010, Mayor Ballard and Lykins signed a Memorandum of Understanding to transfer the water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. Before final approval of the transfer, the City must receive approval from the Board of Waterworks, City-Council Council and Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The Board of Public Works unanimously approved the transfer on April 14.

As a result of the transfer, the City will receive more than $425 million that will be directly invested in the City’s crumbling infrastructure. In addition, Citizens agrees to assume approximately $1.5 billion of City debt (combined debt of waterworks and wastewater). Citizens expects to be able to lower utility rate increases by 25 percent over the next 15 years through more than $40 million in annual savings that will be achieved by combining the water and wastewater utilities with Citizens gas, steam and chilled water systems.

On May 17, the City-County Council will consider ordinances filed by Councillor Mike Speedy to approve the PILOT financing and permit the City to proceed with negotiations to transfer of the City’s water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. The Council will analyze the utility transfer and must approve any final agreement.

For more information about the utility transfers or to submit feedback, visit or call (317) 327-4MAC.

Volunteers needed.

Please join in the effort to landscape the north and south banks where Prospect and Morris intersect, the "Triangle". This project is a great combination of landscaping and public art. Plus, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet with others who love their community. Free lunch is provided after the shift is completed!

Where: North and South banks where Prospect and Morris intersect

Date: Friday, May 21st

Time: 9am – 1pm

Thursday, May 13, 2010


On Monday, June 7, the local board of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission is scheduled to hear requests for alcohol sales licenses from 28 Indianapolis Walgreens locations.

The type of permit requested in Marion County would allow for the sale of beer, wine and hard liquor in each Walgreens location.

Marion County already has 169 permits for package-liquor stores; 202 beer and wine dealer permits for convenience, drug and grocery stores; and 105 liquor-dealer permits for pharmacies, either in stand-alone drug stores or as part of a grocery store.

“We are concerned about this sudden increase in alcohol-license requests,” says Nancy Beals, project coordinator for Drug Free Marion County. “We believe neighborhood associations and residents need to be aware of these new license requests, especially in those zip codes already over-saturated with alcohol outlets.”

The ATC hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in room 260 of the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis and is open to the public.

Drug Free Marion County offers a complete list of Walgreens locations seeking alcohol licenses, along with an online Remonstration Manual that explains the local hearing process and the steps citizens and groups can take if they are concerned about a license request in their area. DFMC also has available detailed information about the number of existing alcohol licenses within particular Marion County zip codes and alcohol license quota information. To access these documents, visit

Drug Free Marion County – a not-for-profit organization – plans, promotes, implements and coordinates community efforts to prevent and reduce the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among youth and adults.

Office of Education Innovation Joins CICF, Twenty-First Century Scholars Program, & GIPC in Effort to Increase Student Post-Secondary Participation

The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), the Twenty-first Century Scholars program, and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) announced today their partnership in the Twenty-First Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge, an effort to increase the number of 7th and 8th grade students in Indianapolis enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program.

The Twenty-first Century Scholars program, established in 1990 by the State of Indiana, encourages low-income middle school students to prepare for post-secondary opportunities. In exchange for academic and civic accomplishments during high school, enrolled students receive post-secondary tuition assistance to attend any public college or university in the State of Indiana. The estimated 8th grade Twenty-first Century Scholars enrollment rate for Marion County is approximately 40 percent. The Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge goal is to enroll over 75 percent of all eligible 8th grade students into the program in 2010 and 2011.

“No student should be denied access to post-secondary opportunities because they can’t afford it,” said Karega Rausch, OEI Director. “The leadership of state, city, civic, and philanthropic leaders promoting this initiative mitigates the financial barrier for families struggling in these tough financial times.”

The Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge is a part of CICF’s College Readiness Initiative, funded by The Indianapolis Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education. CICF will provide thousands of dollars in incentives to encourage county-wide enrollment prior to the June 30th 8th grade enrollment deadline. GIPC will serve as the fiscal agent for this initiative.

Each school will be given a target enrollment number to achieve prior to the end of the school year. If a school successfully meets their enrollment target, the lead representative at the school will receive a gift card of at least $100, and up to $400. Each school will be publicly recognized for meeting their enrollment targets in a community recognition ceremony in the Fall of 2010.

“Overall, a student enrolled in the Twenty-first Century Scholars program is significantly more likely to complete high school and go on to college compared to their low-income peers,” said Roderick Wheeler, CICF Grant Officer. “This initiative provides extraordinary opportunities for our students, and it is our hope that through this partnership, more families are made aware, not only of the program itself, but of the importance of post-secondary education,” said Roderick Wheeler, CICF Grant Officer.

Parents or guardians must enroll their child(ren) between 6th and 8th grades to qualify to receive the Twenty-first Century Scholarship. Students are also required to sign a pledge that promises they will: (1) graduate from an accredited Indiana high school with a diploma and at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, (2) abstain from the use of alcohol, drugs or committing a crime, (3) apply for college admissions, and (4) complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on-time.

For more information about the Twenty-first Century Scholars Enrollment Challenge, please contact Jonika Hudson, 317.274.1592, or You may also find additional information about the Twenty-first Century Scholars program by Clicking Here.

For more information about CICF’s College Readiness Initiative, please contact Roderick Wheeler at 317.631.6542, ext 138, or

For more information about the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, call 317.327.3601

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SAFETY FIRST BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO INDY PARKS' POOLS May is National Water Safety Month, Indy Parks' lifeguards practice life-saving skills

Become more "water aware" as Mayor Greg Ballard declares May National Water Safety Month. Indy Parks and Recreation will open 16 outdoor aquatic centers this summer and water-safety is our number-one priority. On May 15, Indy Parks' lifeguards will showcase their training at George Washington Community School Pool.

For the past 16 years Indy Parks has been an award winning aquatic facility, with more than 300 supervisors and guards maintaining safety standards at each location. Each guard participates in an extensive training program through the Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) to ensure they are ready for the water which includes preventative lifeguarding instruction, first aid, water rescue skills, individual and team emergency scenarios, adult, child and infant CPR for professional rescuers and training for Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

"With the summer months upon us, our efforts in water-safety education remain vital as more and more families head to the pools to enjoy our top notch aquatics facilities," said Mayor Ballard. "This year we have invested $8 million into our pools and spray grounds for an enhanced and improved experience, and our commitment to safety has never changed."

Last year Indy Parks' aquatic staff handled 127 injuries and made 259 water rescues. There were no unconscious rescues or drowning.

"Our lifeguards are highly skilled in emergency situations and continually receive valuable training," said Indy Parks Director Stuart Lowry. "Each year SAI audits our facilities through unannounced visits, secret tapings of lifeguards working and random emergency scenario checks."

In addition, the Department of Education awarded a yearly $25,000 grant for the next five years to the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center who partners with Indy Parks to create expanded recreational opportunities at George Washington Community High School. Indy Parks provides lifeguards for physical education classes and gives neighborhood kids free swim lessons along with other beneficial recreational activities.

WHAT: Lifeguard Training, Proclamation Reading

WHEN: Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m.

WHERE: George Washington Community School Pool
2215 West Washington Street

Editor's Note: Lifeguards will perform water rescue drills


Indy Parks and Recreation offers fun for the whole family this Saturday! Visit Garfield Park to learn how to fold, cut and "plant" paper at Paper Jam. In the spirit of popular events such as Christmas at Garfield and Ghoulish Garfield, all three facilities at Garfield Park have coordinated to create a unique park-wide attraction around a seemingly unassuming thing - paper!

At the Burrello Family Center you can design and fly paper planes with paper plane technician, Mac McCrary and The Hoosier Kitefliers Society will also be on hand to share the secrets of making a high-flying paper kite. At The Conservatory and Sunken Garden you can work with Indy Parks' horticulturalists to create paper containing seeds you can plant in your garden. At the Arts Center you can learn origami with Brian Webb from Indiana-Regional Origami Network (IRON) of Folders and study the art of paper cutting with artist Beatriz Vasquez-Schlebecker.

Keep on "jamming" to live music by Last Drop Jugband at the Arts Center - you can even make your own paper instrument and play along.

While at the park, visit the playgrounds, monuments, creeks and other natural attractions. Bring a picnic and make it 'A Day at Garfield Park.'

Discover Garfield Park this weekend! For more information, call The Arts Center at 327-7135.

WHAT: Paper Jam at Garfield Park
WHEN: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 15, 2010
WHERE: Garfield Park, 2345 Pagoda Drive

Mayor Previews Planned Investment in Ailing Infrastructure

Revenue from proposed transfer of utilities would help rebuild crumbling roads, sidewalks, bridges

Mayor Greg Ballard today previewed the planned investment into the City's ailing infrastructure using revenue from the proposed transfer of the City's water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group. The investment would create local jobs while rebuilding crumbling roads, sidewalks and bridges and demolishing unsalvageable abandoned homes.

“This investment will directly benefit the citizens of Marion County and positively impact every area of the City," said Mayor Ballard. “The transfer of utilities to Citizens Energy is a transformational project, one that will enable us to address hundreds of millions of dollars in critical infrastructure needs. More importantly, it will put our water and wastewater utilities into a public trust where they will be best managed without political interference and allow us to repair the frayed fabric of our community in places neglected for decades.”

In addition to dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild deteriorating thoroughfares, residential streets, sidewalks and bridges, a portion of the planned investment will be used to demolish unsalvageable abandoned homes that pose a public safety threat to neighborhoods.

Mayor Ballard also announced that a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be posted to the City of Indianapolis Web site for an unsafe buildings program administrator. The move will position the City’s unsafe buildings program to take action quickly to make the most of resources when they become available.

On March 10, the City of Indianapolis and Citizens Energy Group announced the MOU to transfer the water and wastewater utilities. The proposed transfer places the utilities in Citizens’ nonprofit charitable trust. This move would mitigate future rate hikes by 25 percent by 2025. In addition to the ratepayer benefit, the transfer provides the City with more than $425 million for direct investment in Mayor Ballard’s infrastructure proposal. Since the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 10, Mayor Ballard, his administration and Citizens Energy have held public forums, attended neighborhood and business advocacy meetings and briefed City-County Councillors to gain feedback on the MOU and infrastructure priorities.

“From listening to residents at the public forums and Mayor’s Night Out meetings, we heard a resounding need for critical infrastructure improvements, including increased focus on addressing unsalvageable abandoned homes,” said Mayor Ballard. “Moving forward with the planned improvements will not correct all of the infrastructure problems facing our city. However, this investment represents an unprecedented effort and a significant boost for all areas of the City."

City-County Councilor Mike Speedy filed a proposal April 19 to approve payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) financing and permit the City to proceed with negotiations to transfer of the City’s water and wastewater utilities to Citizens. The Council will analyze the utility transfer and must approve any final agreement. If approved by the Council, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission then will review the proposal.

For more information on the utility transfer or to view videos from the public forums, visit

Summer Camp Opportunities

Sign up your child today!
Love Letters Camp

Space is still open for kids 11-14 who are interested in participating in a free, week-long writing, book discussion and technology workshop on the topic of healthy teen relationships that will feature author John Green. The idea is that we'll talk how healthy relationships should work as kids become teens. And the topic of teen relationships is a big part of Green's books.

The deadline for applying is May 15. Do so by emailing Second Story director Jim Walker at All that's required is a commitment to attend sessions June 7-12 from 9 a.m. until noon. This is a partnership between Second Story, The Learning Curve and Start Strong Indy. Lunch is also provided each day of the camp.
Camp at Garfield Park

This will be our second year for a creative writing camp at the Garfield Park Park Art Center. Here, we'll work on both creative writing and related art projects and experience the great outdoors in this lovely park setting in the heart of the city. To sign up, just email Jim Walker or contact the Parks Department at 327-PARK

Monday, May 10, 2010

INRC's Front Porch Fridays

Last year marked our inaugural community building event, Front Porch Fridays. This event celebrated a time when people met on their neighbor's front porch to build relationships, exchange ideas and share resources. We welcome all of you to bring your lawn chairs, stories and neighbors along to share in this collaborative event.

May 14th, June 11th, July 9th, and August 13th

from 11:30am - 1:30pm

at INRC (1802 N. Illinois St.)

The topic for our May discussion will include conversations about Public Allies including who they are, what they do and how you can join them. Current Allies will be present to discuss the program. We encourage you to learn more about the program at

For more information or to RSVP for the event, please call 920-0330, ext. 100 or We look forward to seeing you on the porch!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Indy Parks and Recreation presents the Indiana Photographic Society fourth annual showing of Through the Lens opening this Saturday through June 13 at the Garfield Park Arts Center. This year the exhibit theme is "Artistically Speaking" and was inspired by the late Ernie Crow, a member of the Indiana Photographic Society. The opening reception will be held 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, May 8, 2010. Admission is free.

The exhibit will feature work by the society, an Indiana group that uses old and new technology to produce and promote fine art photography. The exhibit will freely interpret "Artistically Speaking" with wonderful creativity. Expect landscapes, animals and birds, architecture, and whatever else catches the eye of the photographers! Founded in 2006, the society meets Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Garfield Park Arts Center. It provides opportunities for members to take part in photo excursions and educational programs, show in exhibitions and share new work. Membership in the society is free and all are welcome.

"Ernie (Crow) loved photography. He always had praise for the work of others and enjoyed sharing comments on his own work," said Indiana Photographic Society member Marikay Kapke. "With his passing on Labor Day 2009, we wanted to dedicate our exhibit this year in memory of his enjoyment of photography which infected us all."

In addition, the GPAC's Lower Level and Lobby Galleries will feature new work by University of Indianapolis photography students.

On Saturdays and Sundays, visitors to the GPAC can take part in free hands-on arts activities in the Arts for All room. Families will use photo-sensitive paper to create "Found Object Collages."

Who: Indiana Photographic Society

What: "Through the Lens: Artistically Speaking" Opening Reception and Exhibit

Where: Garfield Park Arts Center
2432 Conservatory Drive

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 8, Exhibit runs through June 13

Seeking Public Input on 2011 Federal Funding


The closest meeting to SE Indy is at KIBI, 1029 Fletcher on Tuesday May 18th at 1:00PM.

There is another at Spades Park Library, 1801 Nowland on Monday May 17th at 6:00 PM

For more information call 327-5444 or email

Douglas S. Hairston


Mayor's Office of the Front Porch Alliance

Phone: 317-3274336

Fax: 317-327-5271



If the City picks up your trash

If you have DPW service for your trash, (some of you may have Republic) would you please provide me with a list of vacant/abandoned homes in your neighborhoods? DPW is currently deploying the new trash carts and we would rather NOT leave one at a home that is not occupied, to keep it from being stolen.

I appreciate your time and attention!

Lisa Laflin

Mayor's Neighborhood Liaison

South Center Township

Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services

2160 City-County Building

200 E. Washington Street

Indianapolis, Indiana 46204


Lots of News from INRC

Front Porch Fridays

Last year marked our inaugural community building event: Front Porch Fridays! This event celebrated a time when people met on their neighbor's front porch to build relationships, exchange ideas and share resources. We welcome all of you to bring your lawn chairs, stories and neighbors along to share in this collaborative event.

This Spring and Summer, Front Porch Fridays take place on the 2nd Fridays of each month:

May 14, June 11, July 9 and August 13. All Front Porch Fridays will be 11:30am - 1:30pm at INRC, 1802 N. Illinois Street.
The topic for our May discussion will include conversations about Public Allies, including who they are, what they do and how you can join them. Current Allies will be present to discuss the program. We encourage you to learn more about the program at

For more information or to RSVP for the event, please call 920-0330, ext. 100 or We look forward to seeing you on the porch!

Indianapolis Community Building Institute (ICBI) Spring Graduation

Join us as we celebrate the Spring 2010 Indianapolis Community Building Institute (ICBI) graduating class! The event will be Wednesday, May 19, 5:30 p.m. at INRC, 1802 N. Illinois Street.

The celebration will include a short program featuring remarks from some of the graduates about ICBI, their community involvement, and stories of how they are working in their neighborhoods. Light refreshments will be served.

The evening's keynote speaker is Dennis Ryerson, editor and vice president of The Indianapolis Star. Please plan to join us as we celebrate neighborhood leadership!


Indy's Matching Awards for Great Indy Neighborhoods Engagement

IMAGINE provides financial resources for projects, events and activities designed to increase resident engagement, promote neighborhood action, and establish new and stronger relationships among grassroots organizations and businesses.

The next IMAGINE deadline is 5pm on Wednesday, June 2. Eligible not-for-profit neighborhood organizations can apply for between $500 to $5,000 in IMAGINE support.

Attendance at a technical assistance session is mandatory for submission of an application. The final session before the June 2 deadline is Saturday, May 15 at 10am at INRC's office, 1802 N. Illinois St.

For more information, call (317) 920-0330 or visit

Summer 2010 Trainings at INRC

INRC will again host summer courses during the months of June and July. Courses this year will offer a wide array of trainings that have garnered interest in year's past, as well as some new courses. INRC is pleased to announce the following classes to be offered this summer. All courses are FREE and will be held at INRC's offices, 1802 N. Illinois St.

Demystifying the Zoning Process: Thursday, June 10, 6:00-8:30pm

It all starts with an innocuous notice in the mail. Soon you are thrown into a bewildering process of rezonings & variances and the "land use decision-making" process. What does it all mean? What are the rules? How can one person have an impact? Find out these answers and more from Tammara Tracy, Principal Planner with the City of Indianapolis, with 19 years experience in the field.

Youth and Adult Partnerships: Thursday, June 17, 6:00-8:30pm

This course is for youth and adults that want to learn how to work more effectively together and neighborhood organizations that are trying to engage youth of their community. Representatives from the Near West Collaborative and the Latino Youth Collective will share the experience of creating and implementing the Near West Youth Summit 2009 that was created and implemented by the youth of the Near West community in partnership with adult volunteers. Participants will learn the elements of great youth and adult partnerships and how to tap in to the energy of youth in their neighborhood.

Made For Each Other: Arts as Engagement:

Tuesday, June 22, 6:00-8:30 pm & Thursday, June 24, 6:00-8:00pm

(participants must attend both sessions)

Social practice art is about using creative approaches to work with people in ways that benefit society. In this workshop, we'll talk about and experience great ways to build community by engaging and involving neighbors in creative activities that help us connect with one another and improve our communities. Participants will engage in a project that helps us accomplish one of the main goals of social practice art - getting to know each other better.

IMAGINE TA Session: Wednesday, June 30, 6:00-8:30pm

Be sure to submit your application for the next round of the 2010 IMAGINE grant opportunity! Eligible not-for-profit neighborhood organizations can apply for between $500 to $5,000 in IMAGINE support. All interested IMAGINE applicants are required to attend a Technical Assistance (TA) session before submitting an IMAGINE application.

Accessing Resources: Thursday, July 8, 6:00-8:30pm

This course introduces the potential of using information and information technologies to better understand communities. It also includes an exploration of online sites, both local and national, that will assist any resident with gaining the knowledge needed to have data available to make tough decisions, create plans, and to make community change.

Animal Welfare in Indianapolis: Tuesday, July 13, 6:00-8:30pm

Indianapolis is working towards being a model city for animal welfare in its ability to balance safety in its neighborhoods with the humane treatment of its animals. As a result of significant collaboration among City agencies responsible for public safety and the Indianapolis Animal Welfare Alliance, the community is being become informed and engaged in helping Indianapolis achieve key goals for dogs, cats and other animals in need by 2020. This discussion will talk about the critical role that community groups can and should play in achieving these important goals.

Department of Code Enforcement: Tuesday, July 20, 6:00-8:30pm

The newly developed Department of Code Enforcement has streamlined the City's licensing, permitting, and inspection functions under one agency to implement a more comprehensive code enforcement effort and one-stop shop to improve livability, safety, convenience, and quality of life for citizens. Whether you need a business or contractor license, a permit for development, environmental, or special event, or an inspection related to zoning, high weeds and grass, weights & measures and more, the new Department of Code Enforcement is here to serve you.

How to Produce a Neighborhood History: Tuesday, July 27, 6:00-8:30pm

One of the recent trends in neighborhoods across Indianapolis is coming up with creative ways to research and tell about the unique history of their communities. This class will bring together neighbors that have produced histories, the Neighborhood Alliance Press whose mission is to help communities tell their stories, the IUPUI Digital Archives and the IUPUI Department of Anthropology that is using students to partner with neighborhoods to produce histories. Learn about these projects and how your community can begin this work.

All classes will be held at INRC, 1802 N. Illinois Street. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your space today by calling Nita McCormick at INRC at 920-0330, ext. 100 or

INRC Celebrates 16 Years

of Strengthening, Developing and Empowering

Neighbors & Neighborhoods

INRC invites you to join us for our 16th Annual Meeting Celebration on Monday, September 27th at 6:00pm (location TBA). Please mark your calendars for this upcoming event. There will be a brief program honoring achievements of INRC and Indianapolis neighborhoods. In addition to a keynote address by IMPD Chief Paul Cieselski, there will be a 'tailgate' party to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day on September 28. Stay tuned for more information!