The Rev. Father Boniface Hardin, the founding president of Martin University, has long been recognized for bearing a striking resemblance to the older Frederick Douglass - that is, until a few days ago when he shaved off his beard and mustache. At this year"s 11th annual Frederick Douglass program, to be held on Friday, Aug. 9, on the exact date 25 years ago that Martin University was founded, Hardin will portray the "younger" Frederick Douglass who also was shorn in his earlier years. Hardin, who had his beard and mustache for 32 years, will be seen without his trademark facial hair for the first time by many in the Indianapolis area. Why did he shave it off after more than three decades? "It was in honor of my mother who always wanted me to shave it off," he said.

Half of Indiana's congressional delegation voted for the public interest less than 10 percent of the time according to the annual Congressional Scorecard compiled by INPIRG, the Indiana Public Interest Research Group. INPIRG rated our elected officials on such issues as protecting the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, passing a strong patient"s bill of rights and lowering the costs of student loans. Evan Bayh scored 60 percent, but Richard Lugar came in at just 5 percent. Julia Carson topped the list with a 95 percent ranking, but Dan Burton underachieved with 5 percent, as did Mike Pence, Steve Buyer and Mark Souder. Nationally, 162 members of the House and Senate scored 80 percent and above; 170 members scored 10 percent or below.

Funding for Project Safe Place, a program that provides a place for children and teens to go when they're in a crisis situation, has been suspended for one year by the Indiana State Legislature. In Marion County, Project Safe Place is administered through the Children"s Bureau of Indianapolis, Inc. Children here can seek help at 260 sites. Last year, the program helped one child every three days. There will be a fund-raiser for Project Safe Place on Saturday, June 22 at more than 20 Marsh Supermarket locations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make a donation to Project Safe Place, call 264-2700.

There have been 42 homicides in Marion County so far in 2002. Twelve of these are attributed to domestic violence.

The City-County Council's Rules and Policy Committee voted unanimously last Tuesday to indefinitely table a proposal to pay city, county and contracted city-county workers a living wage, starting at $10 an hour with benefits, and rising to $15 in five years. Though more than 80 U.S. cities have already passed similar legislation, reporting largely positive outcomes, Indianapolis is not likely to join the movement any time soon. Citing the city's budgetary deficit as the major obstacle to enacting a living wage, the committee instead resolved to form a taskforce to study the issue of whether wages for city workers should be raised, pending the results of a study on the subject to be released later this year. Proposal sponsors from the Community, Faith and Labor Coalition aren"t about to let the prospect of a living wage die. "We knew going in that it was going to be a long haul," said the CFLC"s Nancy Holle. The group will hold a rally in support of low-wage city and county workers at the City Market Plaza from 11:30-1 on June 20.

Congratulations to the Broad Ripple High Theatre Magnet - and to all the good people and businesses that are making this IPS school's trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a reality.

Correct the dots. Last week we provided some voting information that was not exactly correct. Here's the drill from the Indiana Election Division: You must register 29 days before the election day. This year the deadline to register to vote is Oct. 7. However, you do not have to have lived in your place of residence for 30 days to fill out the application. So if you move into a new apartment and expect to live there on election day, you can submit a voter registration application immediately. Under present Indiana law, employers are not required to give you time off to vote, since the absentee balloting regulations allow a voter to vote if they expect to be at work on election day. For full voting information go to http://wwww.in.us/sos/electionstarget, www.state.in.us/sos/elections/

Voters Guide
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