ï Prozac for everyone! Eli Lilly and Co. Chairman Sidney Taurel has been named to a 16-member Homeland Security panel by President Bush. Taurel"s role will be to advise policymakers on pharmaceutical tools needed to fight bioterrorism. ï In other drug-related news ... There were 427 methamphetamine busts in Indiana in 2000; 681 in 2001. Law enforcement predicts there will be 800 busts this year. The Indianapolis Police Department confiscated 19 pounds of meth in 2001 - cops nabbed 17 pounds of the stuff in April of this year alone.
ï Last week, the interim director of Indiana"s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, Tony Armstrong, resigned to take a job in Michigan. In April, the Fund"s budget was slashed by Gov. O"Bannon. So much for Indiana"s high tech economy future. We can rely on our service economy, right? Unfortunately, it appears that Indiana leads the nation in lost retail jobs. The Indiana Business Research Center says that the state"s retail sector shrank 2.1 percent over the last two years - that equals 12,000 lost jobs. Indiana also took the biggest hit to nonfarm employment over the past two years. Employment went down by 3.7 percent, 110,300 jobs.
ï A committee has formed to support the Domestic Partner Benefits Ordinance submitted to the Indianapolis City-County Council by Councilor Karen Celestino Horseman. The DP Benefits Steering Committee consists of representatives from Indiana Stonewall Democrats, GLBT Republicans, HRC, Justice, ICON Gender Fairness and the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. This committee is planning an action for July 23, 2002. This is the date that the ordinance will be heard in the Rules and Public Policy committee of the City-County Council.
ï While the Living Wage Ordinance didn"t exactly pass the City-County Council, the Community Faith and Labor Coalition launched a new Web site last week, www.indylivingwage.org
ïTwo worlds collide: Edward M. Buckner, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Rev. Greg A. Dixon, senior pastor of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, will debate on the issue "Is This a Free Country or a Christian Nation?" Sunday, June 23 at 2 p.m. in Ransburg Auditorium in the University of Indianapolis. Admission is free, but seating is limited; contact the Humanist Friendship Group at 885-1612 or firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets. There will be time for audience questions afterward, so come with an open mind and be ready for some unexpected conclusions.
ï Mayor Peterson broke ground last week on a new extension of the Fall Creek Trail. This phase of the Fall Creek Trail expansion connects the existing trail to the Monon Trail. The new extension will run for two additional miles, or a full 5.5 miles along Fall Creek. A pedestrian bridge will cross Fall Creek at the 4400 block of Fall Creek Parkway. Completion is expected in November.