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June 8, 2017 6:53 PM

An Open Letter To Jeff Hern

Dear Jeff, I have known you nearly as long as I have written a local Fishers news blog, and that goes back to 2012.  I have always found you a friendly and engaging person.  From everything I know, you did a good job as Fall Creek Township Trustee, a position that required you to help needy people in a generally affluent area.  As you know, just because Fall Creek Township contains lots of wealth, there…

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May 14, 2017 6:42 PM

Scott Fadness, Jennifer Messer & Legal Contracts

I began covering Fishers with my news bog in January of 2012 when Scott Fadness held the job of Town Manager.  I have witnessed his transition from an administrator by trade to a politician serving his first full term as mayor. When I read reporter Brian Slodysko’s story on the Associated Press news wire May 11th about the city’s contract with attorney Jennifer Messer, many thoughts ran through my mind. The first ones related to…

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May 3, 2017 10:55 AM

Hamilton County Voters Once Again Say Yes to Education

Last year was Hamilton Southeastern’s turn for a school referendum vote, but for three other Hamilton County school corporations, 2017 was a referendum year.  Normally, Indiana does not hold elections the year after presidential balloting. The only exception to that rule is a school referendum for more funding.  If a local school board chooses to hold a referendum asking taxpayers for more money, it’s the school system’s responsibility to pay the costs of the election,…

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April 28, 2017 2:50 PM

Trump, tax cuts and a jolly old elf

If President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cut package demonstrates anything, it is that our long national fantasy that business people are animated by the same motivations as Santa Claus continues. Trump’s plan at this stage is about as detailed as a stick figure drawing, but it appears that it offers the wealthiest Americans 50 percent of the tax cuts and devotes only about 7 percent of the trims to the middle class – and those…

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April 25, 2017 2:58 PM

Goodbye and good riddance to HEA 1523

Gov. Eric Holcomb deserves applause for his swift veto of HEA 1523, the legislation that would have allowed public agencies to charge a search fee for public records requests. He joined his predecessor, former Gov. Mike Pence, in refusing to give public agencies another tool to obstruct public oversight. In his letter to House Speaker Brian Bosma, Holcomb wrote: “Providing access to public records is a key part of the work public servants perform and is…

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April 18, 2017 3:08 PM

Balancing Privacy & The Right To Public Records

As a retired federal civil servant, I understand the importance of privacy in my employment records.  But as someone that returned to journalism after a 28 year interregnum, I also understand the public’s right to know what public employees are up to. Those two concepts have come together in the case of the Fishers High School varsity football coach’s recent five-day suspension.  Striking the right balance is a challenge, and is part of a tug-of-war…

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April 9, 2017 12:49 PM

Kurt Vonnegut and ‘original virtue’

So it goes. April 11 marks the 10th anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut’s death. He and I were friends – actually, “pals” was the term he used – during the last years of his life. Whenever I traveled to New York, generally four or five times a year, we would get together to swap stories and talk about life over Italian food (for lunch) or French cuisine (for dinner) at two of his favorite haunts in…

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March 19, 2017 3:22 PM

Fishers & Noblesville – Rail vs. Trail

The Nickel Plate Rail Line, made most famous as the route used by the Indiana State Fair train for a very long time, is now the subject of a major debate.  The outcome will determine how that line will be utilized years into the future. On one side of the debate are those in favor of preserving the rail line, which runs from Indianapolis all the way north to Tipton.  There are proposals to repair…

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March 13, 2017 9:42 AM

Our long national Knightmare

Once upon a time, Bob Knight was a hero of mine. When I was in high school in the mid-1970s, my friends and I planned large swathes of our lives around Indiana University basketball. When star Scott May, who apparently dated a girl from our high school for a time, was injured in 1975 and the Hoosiers failed to win the national title, we grieved. The next year, when IU went undefeated and claimed the…

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February 19, 2017 5:21 PM

In dark days, 2 candles

The last time I saw Michael Gradison, I was helping him struggle up the steps of the City-County Building to join a demonstration on behalf of unionization for hotel workers making poverty wages. The last time I saw Joe Zelenka, I was trying and failing to lift him into bed in a nursing home room bedecked with memorabilia of his humanitarian work and his large, close family. Michael died Feb. 12 after fighting through pain…

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