Wednesday, May 11, 2011

city prepared to tackle high weeds and grass

The City of Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) continues its high weeds and grass program this week, dispatching inspectors to private properties that have been reported for high weeds and grass and assigning properties in violation to City mowing vendors.

Vegetation over 12 inches in height is considered high weeds and grass and is an environmental public nuisance. Property owners receiving a notice of violation have five days from the date the notice is mailed to mow their overgrown property. If a property owner fails to mow the property, the City will send a mowing vendor to mow the property and will bill the owner for the service.

“The Mayor’s Action Center fields thousands of calls related to high weeds and grass each season, and the City is prepared to tackle these property maintenance issues that can often mean the difference between a blighted neighborhood and a vibrant neighborhood,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This year, the City will engage several neighborhoods in the high weeds and grass program through a pilot that will complement DCE’s existing efforts and will empower neighborhoods to help protect the quality of life in their own communities.”

As part of continued improvements to the high weeds and grass program, DCE will pilot a neighborhood mowing vendor program in a partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) and South East Neighborhood Development (SEND) this year. As contracted high weeds and grass vendors, KIB and SEND meet the necessary insurance and equipment requirements and will work with several India­napolis neighborhoods to participate and perform work on behalf of their organizations.

“DCE continues to implement improvements to the high weeds and grass program and is fully prepared this season with 20 mowing vendors and a full-time inspection staff,” said Rick Powers, Director of the Department of Code Enforcement. “Last year, DCE vendors mowed more properties than ever before, over 10,600, and we will continue to build on our past successes.”

More information about the City’s high weeds and grass program is available at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Indianapolis Sustainability Report

Mayor Greg Ballard and the Office of Sustainability announced the 2010 Sustainability Report to Our Community on April 1, 2011. The second annual report highlights information about the state of the environment in Indianapolis. The report includes a series of benchmarks and measures that help the community see where the sustainability efforts for the City have been and where they are going.

The report is viewable in electronic form at or link directly by clicking here.

Thank you for your continued support in making Indianapolis a more sustainable city.

Abandoned Housing Intervention Training

Tuesday, May 3rd, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Immanuel United Church of Christ, 402 E. Prospect

Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) is excited to sponsor abandoned housing intervention training for neighborhood residents in Indianapolis. SEND has been working with Southeast residents over the past three years to inventory, prioritize, strategize, rehabilitate and remonstrate against abandoned properties. This training will share the learnings from this three year initiative and assist residents in better addressing the abandoned properties in their neighborhoods.

In this training, participants will learn:

· How to identify and rate the condition of abandoned property.

· How to develop strategy for addressing specific properties.

· How to find ownership and history on an abandoned property.

· How to report abandoned property.

· How to expedite the process by which property moves through the legal system.

This training is free. Those wishing to participate should contact Jim Mulholland at to register by April 29th. For more information, call 503-5852.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tire Amnesty Day

In conjunction with the Great Indy Cleanup and in partnership with Health and Hospital Corporation’s Mosquito Control and West Indy Development Corp, we will be hosting Tire Amnesty Day on April 30th from 10am – 2pm at 1802 W. Morris. This is a 1-day only event for residents (NO businesses) of Marion County.

Residents may bring tires, on or off rims, to this one day event and dispose of them for free. The tires are sent to a shredder who recycles them for playground mulch, asphalt additive, and fuel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mayor Ballard Details 2011 Bike Lane Projects Throughout Indianapolis

Mayor Greg Ballard today announced eight bike lane projects throughout Indianapolis totaling 32.52 miles will begin construction starting in May – and will more than double the bike lane miles in Indianapolis in 2011.

“At the end of the 2011 construction season, bike lanes will run from county line to county line with more than 63 miles of bike lanes installed since I became Mayor in 2008,” said Mayor Ballard. “We have made great strides in our efforts to become a more bike-able city, and the construction of additional bike lanes in 2011 will provide a tremendous resource for those who bike Indianapolis and is another step toward a better quality of life for our residents.”

Mayor Ballard was joined for the announcement, part of Sustainability Month, by cycling enthusiasts at the intersection of 56th Street and Lafayette Road, the site of one of the next stretches of bikes lanes soon to be under construction along Lafayette Road. Bike lanes are being installed along Lafayette Road from White River Parkway and north on Lafayette to 71st Street. A bike lane project constructed last year already connects 71st Street to the northern county line. In addition, new bike lanes will be installed along sections of Shelby Street, Madison Avenue, Illinois Street, Capitol Avenue, 46th Street and 52nd Street.

The City’s green infrastructure checklist initiative implemented in January was utilized in the planning for the recent set of bike lane projects, and as a result, 4.66 miles of bike lanes will be added to road construction projects. The Green Checklist requires City staff and contractors to evaluate each RebuildIndy infrastructure project for possible sustainable elements, such as rain gardens, porous pavement, sidewalks, green spaces and bike lanes. These techniques can provide a wide variety of potential benefits, including reduced storm water pollution, increased safety and lower maintenance and operation costs when applied to the right projects.

“This is an exciting time for sustainability in Indianapolis,” said Kären Haley, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability. “The financing of these particular bike lanes through a Department of Energy grant is another great example of the City looking for ways to maximize infrastructure improvements.”

Construction of bike lanes in Indianapolis has steadily increased since 2008, at the start of which Indianapolis had less than one mile of bike lanes. In 2008, the City constructed 2.41 miles; in 2009, 20.36 miles; in 2010, 7.86 miles; and in 2011, a planned 32.52 miles.

Bike Lanes Projects Scheduled for 2011

* Lafayette Road from White River Parkway West to 71st Street
* Shelby Street from the Cultural Trail to Madison Avenue, and Madison Avenue south to County Line Road
* Illinois Street from 16th Street to Westfield Boulevard
* Capitol Avenue from New York Street to Westfield Boulevard
* 46th Street from College Avenue to Keystone Avenue*
* 46th Street from Keystone Avenue to Emerson Avenue*
* West 10th Street from I-465 to Lynhurst Drive*
* 52nd Street from Meridian Street to College Avenue*

* Projects identified and added as a result of the 2011 launch of Mayor Ballard’s RebuildIndy Green Checklist initiative.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Keys to the Neighborhood

A Unique Night of Open-Air Piano Music, Historic Homes, and More.

April 30th, 2011 – 6 to 8 p.m.

1526 South New Jersey Street in

the Historic Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood

· Dedication and Music at the Piano, under the Gazebo

· Tours of 5 Historic Homes including the Bates- Hendricks House

· Hors d’oeuvres and Cocktails, under the Tent

· Silent Auction of Local Art

· Meet the Mayor

Tickets – $25.00 per Person – All proceeds benefit SEND

To purchase tickets, contact Angie Calvert at 634-5079 x101 or

April 20th meeting on Bike Lanes

We will be holding a follow-up meeting on the bike lanes from Prospect to Madison, on April 20th, from 6:00 pm – 7:30pm at South East Services Senior Center, 901 S. Shelby. The Senior Center is on the second floor.

Thank you all very much who attended our last meeting. We appreciate all of your comments and concerns.


Mayor Ballard Launches 2011 RebuildIndy Construction Season

Over $87 Million Being Invested to Resurface More Than 383 Lane Miles, Repair 16 Bridges and Pour More Than 105,000 Linear Feet of Curbs and Sidewalks

Mayor Greg Ballard today marked the start of the 2011 construction season by highlighting road resurfacing along Arlington Avenue in Franklin Township, one of dozens of projects getting underway as weather is allowing for work to begin on 2011 RebuildIndy projects and completion of many projects started last fall.

“This summer will bring an unprecedented level of road construction work to the City,” said Mayor Ballard. “Motorists may experience short-term inconveniences with travel delays, but our RebuildIndy initiative is making long-term improvements for Indianapolis. The result will positively impact residents and visitors, who will benefit from improved infrastructure, the creation of local jobs and increased public safety.”

From September 2010 through this summer, RebuildIndy will invest over $87 million to resurface more than 383 lane miles, repair 16 bridges, and pour more than 105,000 linear feet of curbs and sidewalks. Residents are encouraged to check often for construction updates and road closures and to stay up-to-date on work in their areas.

RebuildIndy is Mayor Ballard’s initiative to transform the City of Indianapolis through investment in infrastructure improvements, restoration of deteriorating thoroughfares, residential streets, sidewalks and bridges, as well as correction of neighborhood drainage and flooding issues. The City also will remove abandoned homes that are unsalvageable, and which pose a public safety threat to neighborhoods.

One of the most exciting infrastructure improvements underway in Indianapolis is the Michigan Road project, one of many that support Mayor Ballard’s commitment to make Indianapolis one of the most livable cities in the Midwest.

“The residents of this area worked together and came to the City to express their desire for increased connectivity to make that area safer,” Mayor Ballard said. “Through RebuildIndy, the City is working on several infrastructure improvements, including means to enhance connectivity and enable safer conditions for the many pedestrians who travel near there."

RebuildIndy is not only improving neighborhoods and creating jobs – it is creating opportunities for Indianapolis business owners. RebuildIndy outreach hosts meetings and open houses to share details of how the construction work in various areas and the final results may impact local businesses. This week alone, RebuildIndy hosted two open houses for businesses for this purpose.

Some examples of 2011 RebuildIndy projects include:

o 56th Street Bridge over Eagle Creek Reservoir: Complete rehabilitation, deck replacement and railings. Construction will take place in conjunction with the 56th Street Lift Station and Force Main project. Traffic will be maintained during construction.

o Southwestside resurfacing projects such as portions of County Line Road and Hanna Avenue.

o 56th Street Bridge over Fall Creek: Rehabilitation with repair to the deck overlay. Traffic will be maintained during construction.

o West 10th Street: Resurfaced from Main Street (in Speedway) to Raceway.

o Resurfacing of High School Road, Edgewood Avenue, Illinois Street, Meridian Street, Emerson Avenue, Georgia Street and 38th Street.

Monday, February 28, 2011

City Unveils New, Aggressive Pothole Plan

The City of Indianapolis has announced an advanced, aggressive plan for attacking potholes. At Mayor Greg Ballard’s direction, the City is creating a plan to utilize private contractors to come along side AFSCME #725 union crews to assist with pothole repair. In addition, the City is working with local asphalt plants to get access to hot asphalt earlier than usual.

“Mayor Ballard has made it clear that our priority at the Department of Public Works (DPW) is to make the streets safe for travel,” said David Sherman, director of the Department of Public Works. “His direction is for our team to be as proactive as possible and this aggressive approach will help Indianapolis residents and commuters as they travel our streets.”

Asphalt plants typically close during the cold weather season as demand declines. With the increased demand from the City for both pothole repairs and RebuildIndy construction projects, we have been working with the local plants to see if they can open early. Having access to hot asphalt means that the repairs made by pothole crews will last longer. Typically during this time of year, the crews use a cold asphalt mix that works as a short-term fix until the asphalt plants are open.

This is in addition to the City’s efforts last weekend and this week with a pothole blitz that sent out extra crews daily to repair potholes.

The freeze-thaw cycles of Indianapolis weather cause potholes to be formed, sometimes overnight. DPW crews are working diligently to address them as quickly as possible.

Residents and commuters are encouraged to let the City know when a pothole is spotted. To report a pothole, please visit Potholes can also be reported by calling the Mayor’s Action Center at 327-4MAC.


Did you know that it takes about 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? Or that real maple syrup is fat free and has the same amount of calcium as whole milk? Visit Holliday Park and Southeastway Park on Saturday, March 5, for a celebration of one of nature’s sweetest treats!

Families will discover how to turn maple sap into sweet maple syrup, plus learn how Native Americans collected sap, what the early pioneers did to turn it into syrup and how modern-day syrup farmers are able to make enough syrup to satisfy every person’s sweet tooth. Children and adults can try their hand at drilling a tap-hole, treat their tongues to a taste test and even create a maple souvenir to take home.

Dress for the weather and join us anytime at Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Road, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Cost is $5 per person and includes a pancake and sausage breakfast with real maple syrup. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, or for more information, please call the Holliday Park Nature Center at (317) 327-7180.

Or go to Southeastway Park at 5624 South Carroll Road, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $4 per person and pre-registration is required. To sign up, or for more information, please call Southeastway Park at (317) 861-5167.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For as little as $350 a month… you can own your own home!


No need to RSVP!

Home ownership Program Orientation

for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis

For as little as $350 a month…
you can own your own home!

Fountain Square Library*
1066 Virginia Avenue
-Tues., March 1 @ 5:30pm

You are invited if you fit the following criteria:

NEED: Have lived in substandard, overcrowded or unsafe housing, paying excessive rent, not accessible to people with
disabilities, or government subsidized housing. Do not own their own home and will be a first time homebuyer.

RENTAL HISTORY: At least 18 months to 2 years of good rental history and needs to be a resident of Marion County

INCOME: Steady employment earning a limited income for 2 years and/or verifiable Social Security or SSI income for 2
years that will meet our income requirements.

CREDIT: Must not have any judgments and any bankruptcies must have filing dates of discharges greater than 2 years.

WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER: Complete 450 hours of work-equity in homeownership education classes & home

*This program is not sponsored by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

Partner with us in working towards owning your own home!

Notification of Feb. 23 Cultural Trail public meeting

As you know, construction will soon begin on the Southeast Corridor of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail - A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. Please join us on Wednesday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fountain Square Theater Building for a public meeting where you'll learn the latest updates from ICT organizers on the construction schedule. Also, representatives from contractor Hunt Paving Company will be there to introduce themselves, take questions and meet residents and business owners from the area. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Celebrate Black History Month with Indy Parks at the Garfield Park Arts Center (GPAC)’s Sixth Annual Black Pearls Exhibition opening reception. Meet the artists while enjoying the accompaniment of live jazz as the Steven Weakley Jazz Trio performs as you peruse the Art Center’s beautiful Main Gallery. The free reception kicking off the exhibition is 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. The exhibition continues through Sunday, March 27.

Featuring original works from up-and-coming as well as established local, regional and national artists of African descent, this engaging exhibition offers a glimpse at how these artists push the visual arts into exciting territories. The exhibition, coordinated by local artist LaShawnda Crowe Storm, includes textiles, video installments, paintings, drawings, dolls and sculptures.

Guests at the opening reception are invited to take part in a hands-on family art activity in the Arts for All Studio. Celebrate the creativity of the Black Pearls exhibition and the richness of African-American culture by designing a “Freedom Quilt” and learn about the history of how the quilts were used. This free activity also is available from Feb. 5 through March 27 on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Black Pearls Exhibition will be on display during regular GPAC hours from Feb. 5 through March 27: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. There is no cost for admission to the Garfield Park Arts Center, Black Pearls Exhibition and opening reception. For more information on this and other Garfield Park events, please call (317) 327-7135, go to or visit the GPAC page on Facebook.

City of Indianapolis, Bank On Indy Partners to Host Free Tax Preparation Kickoff

All Indianapolis residents and community partners are welcome to attend Indy’s Free Tax Preparation Kickoff event at Conseco Fieldhouse from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011. Marion County residents who earned less than $49,000 in 2010 may qualify for free tax preparation onsite, available through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an Internal Revenue Service program brought to Indianapolis residents by Indy’s Campaign for Financial Fitness (ICFF) and Save Earn Learn: Indianapolis Asset Building Coalition. ICFF is First Lady of Indianapolis Winnie Ballard’s initiative to achieve financial literacy for all Marion County residents. Attendees who wish to have taxes prepared onsite may call 2-1-1 to learn what to bring.

VITA helps working families take advantage of all of the tax credits they are eligible for including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) and education credits. Volunteers from the community help prepare basic, current-year tax returns for eligible taxpayers free of charge. Indy’s Free Tax Preparation Kickoff also will provide Marion County residents information about other ICFF programs, such as Bank On Indy to establish bank accounts, and offer these financial workshops to learn how to budget, build credit and more:

* 11 a.m. “Avoiding Fraud,” Office of the Indiana Secretary of State
* Noon “Take Charge of Your Money,” Charles Schwab
* 1 p.m. “Money Management,” Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnerships
* 2 p.m. “Successful Renting,” Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnerships

Free parking is available in the Virginia Avenue garage adjacent to Conseco Fieldhouse. Free tax preparation offered by this program continues through April at sites throughout Marion County. For more information, visit

WHAT: Indy’s Free Tax Preparation Kickoff

WHO: Mayor Greg Ballard, First Lady of Indianapolis Winnie Ballard, Brighthouse Networks Indiana Division Vice President of Finance Rick Langhals, United Way President and CEO Ellen Annala, Charles Schwab Director of Portfolio Consulting Rob Hurst, IRS Territory Manager Ken Williams

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, January 27, 2011 (Remarks at 10 a.m.)

WHERE: Conseco Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis

4th Annual Light the Night for Life to be Held to Remember Victims of Homicide

Join the City of Indianapolis and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the 4th Annual Light the Night for Life vigil remembering the lives of the victims of homicide from last year. Held in collaboration with City and County agencies, the event encourages the community to honor the lives lost in 2010 and to come together against violence. The gathering will recognize and honor Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer David Moore, who was killed this week in the line of duty.

WHO: Joe Hogsett, U.S. Attorney Southern District of Indiana; Olgen Williams, City of Indianapolis Deputy Mayor for Neighborhoods; Chief Paul Ciesielski, IMPD Chief of Police; Terry Curry, Marion County Prosecutor; Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis; Other City Officials and Community Leaders

WHAT: 4th Annual Light The Night For Life

WHERE: Fervent Prayer Church 10512 E. 38th St.

WHEN: Thursday, January 27 6:30pm – 8pm

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrate Black History Month Downtown

February is Black History Month and venues throughout Downtown are offering a wide range of events celebrating African-American heritage and traditions. For a complete calendar of events, call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 237.2222 or search online at

Experience living Black History on Indiana Avenue

Indiana Avenue is a powerful version of the American dream through an African-American lens. The Avenue is the historic African-American commercial, entertainment and worship center. Today’s landscape is filled with enduring landmarks, a burgeoning university campus, contemporary residences and a lush waterway. Indiana Avenue truly is rhythm reborn. The rich heritage comes to life on stage, in public art, museums, art galleries, nightlife and in the church. Visit for more information about Indiana Avenue.

Also located on Indiana Avenue is the historic Madame Walker Theatre Center. The Madame Walker Theatre Center, housed in the historic Madame C.J. Walker Building, has long symbolized the spirit of creativity and community pride in Downtown Indianapolis. Celebrate Black History Month with the Walker Theatre by joining Freetown Village for an evening dinner theatre called “This Little Light” on Feb. 18. Enjoy live music and a lesson in history at this living history museum. Also join the Madame Walker Theatre for Jazz on the Avenue Feb. 25 in the Ballroom for live jazz and cocktails. Call 236.2099 or visit for more information.

Art & Soul at the Indianapolis Artsgarden

Don’t miss more than 18 FREE performances throughout the month of February as part of the 15th annual Art & Soul in the Indianapolis Artsgarden, which kicks off Jan. 27. This annual celebration of African-American art and artists celebrates Black History Month. The performances feature a broad range of musical, dance, spoken word, poetry and living history from both established and emerging artists. Highlights throughout the month of February include Billy Wooten Jazz Trio, Gregg Bacon, June Rochelle, the Asante Children’s Theatre and many more. For more details and a schedule of events, visit or call 631.3301.

Learn about black history

Join The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis as black history comes alive during the month of February. Don’t miss Target Family Night Feb. 3 from 4 – 8 p.m. Celebrate African-American heritage and achievements in history, science, art and music FREE of charge. Experience a slave’s flight to freedom and learn to navigate using the Big Dipper during Follow the Drinking Gourd starting Feb. 1 at 11 a.m. On Feb. 3, 5 and12, celebrate Black History Month in Lilly Theatre with vignettes exploring the lives of Levi Coffin and Madame C.J. Walker at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1 p.m. on Saturday. To learn more, call 334.3322 or log on to

In celebration of Black History Month, the Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) invite children and families to learn about Indiana’s rich African-American history by participating in the Indiana Black History Challenge. The Indiana Black History Challenge is a contest that invites participants to investigate famous African-American Hoosiers and their contributions to society. The 10-question challenge can be taken online beginning Feb. 1. Printed game cards will also be made available at the beginning of February at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, as well as all branches of the IMCPL.

The first 5,000 entrants to the Indiana Black History Challenge will receive a prize. All participants who complete the challenge and answer all questions correctly are entered into a drawing for the grand prize and runner-up awards. The grand prize is a Family Fun Pack that includes an overnight stay at the Omni Severin Hotel in Downtown Indianapolis; four tickets to special exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; a $25 gift certificate to Weber Grill Restaurant and a family membership to the Indiana Historical Society, which includes free admission to the Indiana Experience for a year. One winner from each IMCPL branch and the History Center will receive a runner-up prize of a family four-pack of tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game. For more information, contact the IHS at 232.1882 or e-mail

The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s (IMA) Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial exhibition will open Feb. 25. As an artist, Dial explores the truth of American history and culture in all its complexities and contradictions. This exhibition includes more than 50 pieces of Dial’s work that range from sculptures to paintings and that address some of the most compelling issues of our time. Find out more information on the exhibition at or call 923.1331.

Visit the Indiana State Museum for their “African Americans in Indiana” gallery search starting Feb. 1 to uncover the rich culture and contributions of Indiana’s black communities. Meet President Lincoln on Feb. 12 and enjoy period music and activities or see Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches in the Legacy Theater through the end of March. Log on to or call 232.1637 for more information.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will host the 4th Annual Leon Jett Memorial Lecture featuring Dr. Quintard Taylor, professor of American History at the University of Washington, on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. Taylor will discuss how African Americans helped shape and develop the American West. A new exhibit that is partnered with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian called Red Black: Related Through History will open Feb. 12. Red Black will showcase the interactions between early black slaves and Native Americans. Log on to or call 636.9378 for more information.

Head over to the Garfield Parks Art Center for “Black Pearls”: An Artistic Celebration of Black History Month starting Feb. 5. The FREE exhibit showcases African and African-American artists and will display sculpture, drawing, painting and ceramics. Hands on creative family activities will take place every Saturday and Sunday throughout February. Hours for Garfield Parks Art Center are Tuesday – Thursday 2 – 9 p.m., Friday 1 – 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. For more information call 327.7135 or visit

Black History performances

The Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) presents Charlayne Woodard’s Going Solo: Neat from Feb.10 – March 6. In this sequel to Woodard’s “Pretty Fire,” teenaged Charlayne encounters boys, high school, civil rights and her own vivid imagination, all while learning to live with her disabled aunt, Neat. Tickets, show information and a schedule of consortium events are available by calling 635.5252 or visiting

Join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for the 26th Anniversary Celebration of Black History Concert Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The ISO’s annual concert celebrates the significant impact of African-American culture on classical and symphonic music as well as the superb artistry and creativity of black artists, composers and conductors. This year the concert will be conducted by an Indianapolis audience favorite, Thomas Wilkins. This event is FREE and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for general seating. Log on to or call 639.4300 for more information.

E Pluribus Unum receives $50,000 Joyce Award

Central Indiana Community Foundation is proud to announce it has received the prestigious Joyce Award from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation in support of E Pluribus Unum, a public art project by Fred Wilson commissioned for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards program has been the only granting opportunity exclusively supporting artists of color in major Midwestern cities. The $50,000 award is made directly to arts organizations, and is meant to support the work of individual artists as well as significant community engagements.

Since October, E Pluribus Unum has been on hold while the CICF and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee's Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network hold additional community conversations in 2011.

“Receiving a Joyce Award is a great honor,” said Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) President and CEO Brian Payne, who is leading the Cultural Trail's $2 million investment of new public artwork along the Trail. "While we remain fully committed to a process that will allow much more dialogue about this project, a process that is fully supported by the Joyce Foundation, this type of national recognition acknowledges and celebrates the vital role art is playing in creating the opportunity for dialogue around race relations in Indianapolis."

For more information visit

Friday, January 21, 2011

We Need Your Help! Share your Powerful Story at Neighbor Power!

Request for Powerful Stories
Deadline: February 7th

Do you want to share your powerful grassroots story with more than 300 people in Indianapolis? Do you want to talk about ways your neighborhoood or organization was successful in making our city an even better place to live, work, and play? If so, we want you to be involved!

Join us at Neighbor Power!, an annual event that helps people across the city focus on the great things that can happen when we work together to revitalize our Indianapolis neighborhoods. The free conference will include discussions and workshops on neighborhood issues and awards to recognize activities that are already working to improve our city.

We're seeking people to share powerful stories during discussions and workshops on the neighborhood issues we all face. We need YOU to inspire and empower others with your stories. Together, we can make a difference, so let us hear from you. To complete a presenter application click here or go to

Neighbor Power! is put together by Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Making Connections Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis Coalition for Neighborhood Development.

Please forward to your friends and colleagues. Remember: deadline is February 7th. For more information email Shawn Thomas at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


After three months, the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office still has nearly 500 smoke alarms to distribute, free of charge, to lower income Hoosiers who are deaf or hearing impaired. The Indiana State Fire Marshal is calling on the public to help spread the word.

"Since the program was first announced, we have identified families and individuals to receive roughly 700 of these smoke alarms," said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. "Applications are moving along, but we need help to spread the word in every Hoosier community. If you are deaf or hearing impaired or have a family member who is deaf or hearing impaired, go online and apply for a free smoke alarm. If you know of an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired in your neighborhood, workplace, community or elsewhere, encourage them to apply as well. Our primary objective is to get these alarms into the hands of Hoosiers who need them most."

The Indiana State Fire Marshal is also urging fire departments statewide to reach out to their communities with this message.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).

Funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, a $300,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant was used to purchase 1200 alarms in October.

The smoke alarms consist of a strobe light and bed shaker to allow the person who is deaf or hearing impaired to be awakened at night or see the strobe light while awake. The alarms, which usually cost several hundred dollars, will be installed in homes by local fire departments free of charge to recipients.

Individuals who are interested in receiving one of these smoke detectors, and who cannot afford to purchase one on their own, should apply online at by clicking on "Application for Smoke Alarms."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trash Collection Schedule Adjusted for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Curbside recycling and trash collection will operate on a slide schedule during the holiday week

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) would like to remind residents that there will be NO curbside recycling, residential or heavy trash collection on Monday, January 17, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

All residential trash, heavy trash and curbside recycling routes will run one day behind for the entire week. Monday routes will be serviced on Tuesday, January 18; Tuesday routes will be serviced on Wednesday, January 19; and so on. Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, January 22. All services will return to normal schedules on Monday, January 24.

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Action Center at (317) 327-4622 (MAC).

IndyGo Service Adjustments for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

IndyGo would like to remind riders that its local fixed route service will follow a Saturday schedule on Monday, January 17, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

IndyGo’s Open Door paratransit service as well as its Red Line Downtown Circulator and Green Line downtown/airport express will operate on their regular schedules. The company’s customer service call and retail centers will be open regular business hours, while the administrative offices will be closed.

If you have any questions regarding IndyGo operations on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 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. You can also visit for more information, which includes an easy-to-use Online Trip Planner.

Downtown honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, Jan. 17 is a day dedicated to the achievements and the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many Downtown venues will hold special events. For a complete calendar of events, call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 237.2222 or search online at

Madame Walker Theatre Center and Indiana Avenue

To celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday, the Madame Walker Theatre Center will host a free breakfast at the Urban League at 10 a.m. before the annual Freedom Walk on the Avenue. The Freedom Walk will begin at the Indianapolis Urban League on Jan. 17 at 10:45 a.m. and will follow the walkway of Indiana Avenue to the Madame Walker Theatre Center. Preceding the Freedom walk, The Madame Walker Theatre Center will commemorate American icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a film produced by the College of Aspiring Artists at 11a.m. and then begin a commemorative celebration at noon. The program entitled Feel the Movement will feature local and national artists, dance ensembles, prayer and guest speakers. This program will also be filmed as part of a national documentary for the Presidents Library in Washington, D.C. This annual celebration is FREE to the public. For more information, call 236.2099 or visit at

FREE admission at White River State Park attractions

Visitors who bring a canned good for Gleaners Food Bank will receive one FREE admission per person per attraction in White River State Park on Monday, Jan. 17 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Bring donated items to the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, IMAX Theater, Eiteljorg Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions and Victory Field. There is one FREE admission for each can of food contributed. The Park is also offering FREE parking on MLK, Jr. Day. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field and in the lot across from Victory Field next to the Visitor’s Center.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the West in the RB Annis Western Family Experience. See how four families live in the West and walk into a Navajo Hogan or climb aboard a true-to-life stagecoach. More information is available by calling 636.9378 or visiting

Visit the IMAX Theater and experience in IMAX® 3D a great adventure from the dinosaur age with Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World. Immerse yourself in a lost age and get ready for a face-to-face encounter with the T-Rex of the seas! Five FREE show times for Sea Rex are 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. The IMAX will officially launch this movie in February. Call 233.4629 or log on to for more information.

Join the Indiana State Museum’s celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with documentary films and performances throughout the day, along with FREE admission to the museum galleries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ODD Indiana in the new Lincoln Financial Foundation Gallery will be open, along with the core galleries on the first and second floors. Visit for more information or call 232.1637.

The Indianapolis Zoo will be open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors can walk the grounds and see lots of animals and enjoy the exhibits with smaller crowds. Favorite activities will include the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. dolphin shows, shark petting in the nation’s largest shark touch pool and heating things up with the meerkats in the Deserts Dome, where it’s a comfy 82°. Log on to or call 630.2001 for more information.

The NCAA Hall of Champions will have several student-athletes from IUPUI to lead fitness clinics at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Throughout the day, there will also be small arts and crafts and opportunities to win official NCAA merchandise. Come learn about what will take place on April 4 when the NCAA commemorates Senator Robert Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech that took place on the evening of Dr. Martin Luther King’s tragic death. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Log on to for more information.

New this year will be FREE health screenings indoors at Victory Field, courtesy of Wishard Health Services. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings will also be offered, along with healthy advice regarding portion sizes and what folks should eat relative to their weight, etc.

The Indiana Historical Society will offer FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 17, as it honors and celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy FREE admission to the Indiana Experience, behind-the-scene tours of the History Center, programs featuring You Are There historic interpreters and crafts, as well as family-friendly fare in the Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin To Go. The History Center will also host the Martin Luther King Community Center's Living the Legacy Awards in the Frank and Katrina Basile Theater. Performances of music, poetry and dance will take place throughout the day. The History Center is normally closed on Mondays but will be open on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate the life, dream and legacy of the late Dr. King at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The museum will offer all guests special entertainment throughout the day with FREE admission! For more information, log on to or call 317.334.3322 for more information.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from noon – 5 p.m. Spend the day exploring the galleries with the docents, playing art-related games and make some of your own art. FREE. Visit or call 923.1331 for more information.

IUPUI's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is an annual campus tradition. Hundreds of IUPUI students, faculty, staff and guests volunteer at community sites across Indianapolis from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a way to honor Dr. King's commitment to service and social justice. Visit for more info.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mayor’s Office, United Way Kick Off 2011 Winter Assistance Fund

Area Donors Step Up to Ensure Local Residents Who Need Help Most Stay Warm

Mayor Greg Ballard and United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) President and CEO Ellen K. Annala today kicked off the 2011 Winter Assistance Fund drive by accepting $215,000 from four local donors, putting the fund within $135,000 of the goal of $350,000 set by United Way and the City of Indianapolis.

“The Winter Assistance Fund is one of Indianapolis’ great collaborations,” said Mayor Ballard. “It speaks volumes about the character of our local companies, foundations and residents that we are able to meet the needs of so many Indianapolis residents. The fund has had a dramatic impact on the community and so have the contributions of individuals who recognize how great the need is for their neighbors.”

Calls for utility assistance to Connect2Help, a United Way agency that operates the 2-1-1 telephone information and referral service, have skyrocketed 387 percent in the past five years, and United Way anticipates the increased need to continue. The start-up contributions announced today are $75,000 from Citizens Energy Group, $50,000 from Indianapolis Power & Light, $80,000 from Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and $10,000 from The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate.

The Winter Assistance Fund is for Marion County residents whose income exceeds guidelines for government energy assistance, yet still have difficulty keeping up with high winter heating bills. Last year, the fund helped 1,376 households, including seniors and families with children, by raising $450,167 in assistance.

“We are now in the third year of this economic downturn. Families who have been ‘just holding on’ are moving into crisis, and the organizations who serve them are also facing resource challenges. Keeping people fed, in their homes, and warm must be a priority for our community, if we are to avoid increases in homelessness, hunger and death,” Annala said.

Residents can dial Connect2Help 2-1-1 to find the nearest neighborhood community center or township trustee office to apply for help through the Winter Assistance Fund.

Customers of Citizens Energy Group and IPL will receive Winter Assistance Fund contribution envelopes in their gas and electric bills, providing opportunities for individuals to give to the fund. Contributions are tax deductible and can also be made online at or by mailing a check to: United Way of Central Indiana, Winter Assistance Fund, P.O. Box 660054, Indianapolis, IN 46266-0054.

Indianapolis Sets Record for New Job Commitments, Capital Investment in 2010

More than 8,700 new jobs and $934 million in investment promised by 73 companies

Mayor Greg Ballard and Scott Miller, CEO of Develop Indy, announced today that Indianapolis secured commitments for 8,737 new jobs and $934 million in capital investment in 2010, setting new record highs for both. The announcement was made today on the City’s Northwestside at Hat World, Inc., one of 73 companies that committed to hiring new workers.

“Our aggressive pursuit of new jobs is paying off,” said Mayor Ballard. “Not only did we secure commitments for more new jobs and a greater amount of capital investment in 2010 than any other year on record, we exceeded the total number of new job commitments secured from 2003 through 2005 combined. Our pro-business attitude and the business-friendly climate that exists in Indianapolis continue to allow us to retain and grow our existing companies while making it much easier to attract new companies to our city.

The greatest number of new job commitments came from the life sciences industry with 3,761, followed by information technology with 1,466 and logistics with 1,323. The average wage for new jobs is $23.81 per hour, as compared to $21.48 in 2009.

Develop Indy also worked with Indianapolis-based companies to retain 7,159 jobs with an average wage of $22.59 per hour, as compared to $21.83 in 2009. The greatest number of retained jobs was in the life sciences industry with 3,391 jobs. The second and third highest numbers of retained jobs were in advanced manufacturing with 1,168 and logistics with 1,043.

“We are thrilled that even during challenging economic times, companies overwhelmingly chose Indianapolis as the place to hire new workers and invest capital,” said Miller. “However, with many Indianapolis residents still looking for work, we won’t take these successes for granted. We will continue to implement strategies to retain and grow our existing companies and attract new companies to our city, concentrating our efforts on industries such as life sciences and information technology that are poised for further significant growth.”

Dow AgroSciences, Arcadia Health Care, AIT Laboratories, Hat World, Inc., Ascension Health, Beckman Coulter, Dallara, Clarian Health, USA Football, Exact Target, and Fusion Alliance were among the list of new and growing companies in Indianapolis in 2010.

Miller also noted an increase in the ratio of private dollars versus public dollars invested through incentive programs, including tax abatement.

“In 2010, for every dollar of public money invested in tax abatement, the City received private investment commitments of $17.88, the highest ratio in the past decade. Simply put, more private investment is following the public dollars used to attract these businesses than any other time in the recent past,” Miller said.

Since 2008, Develop Indy has secured commitments from companies to create or retain 36,500 jobs and invest more than $1.4 billion in Indianapolis. In early 2010, the City of Indianapolis increased its funding of Develop Indy so the organization could add additional staff and provide additional resources to companies seeking to expand or locate to Indianapolis.

The Develop Indy 2010 Jobs Report can be accessed online at

Fifty-Count Complaint Filed Against Alleged Negligent Landlord

Nuisance case is first to be filed of many under investigation and review

INDIANAPOLIS – City Prosecutor Helen Marchal and Health and Hospital Attorney Amy Jones today filed a 50-count complaint against property owner Peter Kisenko for alleged health code and zoning violations at 15 of Kisenko’s rental properties in Marion County. The filing is a joint effort between the City’s Department of Code Enforcement, Health and Hospital Corp., and the City Prosecutor's Office.

“Peter Kisenko has a troublesome track record as a landlord. For more than a decade, his rental properties have been the subject of numerous code violations and police activity,” said City Prosecutor Marchal. “This case serves as proof that a comprehensive, multi-agency enforcement approach transcends traditional efforts. We no longer are just responding to complaints; we are proactively investigating negligent landlords.”

In addition to the code violations, the City alleges that Kisenko’s actions and failures to act as a responsible landlord have created a public nuisance. This claim allows the City to request reimbursement for costs associated with the inspection and enforcement time and resources related to the adjudication of health code violations, civil zoning violations, and criminal violations as well as punitive damages. Kisenko faces possible civil fines of more than $300,000 if found in violation of the current code violations. If determined to be in violation of the state public nuisance count, the City also would request substantial fines.

“Great cities are made up of great neighborhoods. For the past three years, we have been dedicated to revitalizing our community by investing in our crumbling infrastructure, strengthening public safety and building neighborhoods of which our residents can be proud, and we are committed to continuing these efforts,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “For too long, negligent landlords have been a drain on city resources. If you are in the business of rentals and income-producing properties, you must be responsible to your tenants, your neighbors and the people of Marion County.”

The case against Kisenko is the first complaint to be filed of many nuisance cases under investigation and review by the Department of Code Enforcement; Nuisance Abatement; Health and Hospital Corp. and the attorneys representing those entities.

Spring 2011 ICBI Application Deadline Approaching

Application Deadline Approaching! Act Now!

The Indianapolis Community Building Institute (ICBI) curriculum is designed to empower participants by making them more effective leaders. Participants learn many things, including connecting with resources, constructively dealing with conflicting views, and successfully facilitating meetings. They also learn how to effectively market their neighborhoods, develop collaborative partnerships, and leverage existing resources, while connecting with residents from across the city.

INRC will offer the next cycle of ICBI on the following dates:

Intensive Track One:

Saturday, January 22 and Saturday, January 29

8:30am to 3:00pm; INRC will provide lunch

Intensive Track Two:

Saturday, March 5 and Saturday, March 12

8:30am to 3:00pm; INRC will provide lunch

Intensive Track Three:

Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 30

8:30am to 3:00pm; INRC will provide lunch


Thursday, May 13

5:30pm to 8:00pm - Program begins at 6:00pm

Note: Participants must attend all sessions

With your feedback, INRC has fine-tuned the ICBI workshop offerings, including the expansion of some topics and removing some from requirements.

To be part of this program, please contact your INRC Neighborhood Development Specialist at 317-920-0330 or visit to begin the application process for this FREE training opportunity!

Cliff Myers moving up...

Good afternoon.

Today is my last day with the IMPD Southeast. I will be moving over to Investigations as the Deputy Chief. It has been my honor to serve you and work along-side you. We have had great success!. My replacement has not yet been named.

Thanks for the best three years of my career!

Cliff Myers