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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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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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April 4, 2017 11:16 AM

The Indiana Electoral College

A few weeks ago, Bloomington Representative Matt Pierce unsuccessfully introduced an amendment to add Indiana to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. That’s the effort to circumvent the Electoral College by having states promise their electors to the national popular vote winner – once enough states have signed to give that winner the magic 270. In making his case, Pierce challenged majority Republicans: “How would you like it if we elected the governor based on…

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April 2, 2017 6:08 PM

Boomers vs. Millennials

As a member of the baby boom generation, I must come to a sad conclusion – the boomers have largely made a mess of things.  I can only hope the millennials will do a better job. We boomers grew up during the 1950s and 1960s.  We did accomplish some things, but on balance, we have provided America and Indiana with badly split politics and governmental inertia. There is some debate about how to define millennials,…

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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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March 9, 2017 5:34 PM

Sticks and stones, softly

I hope I’ll never utter sexist slurs against Kellyanne Conway or send death threats to Indiana Congressman Luke Messer, and I won’t bother to take up the free-speech sword on behalf of those who do. At the same time, though,  I don’t much feel much like joining the chorus of mainstream folks, liberal and conservative, who’ve themselves embraced the right-wing umbrage over these latest episodes of nastiness toward men and women in power who wield…

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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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