"Fall Creek development dooms acres of trees

Hundreds of mature trees now growing on dozens of lots to be developed as part of the Phase IV development of Fall Creek Place are scheduled to be clear-cut, all in the name of urban development. The cutting was temporarily halted when the Indiana Department of Natural Resources discovered a hawk nest complete with eggs waiting to hatch. The land sits on 23rd Street and Broadway Street next to the Oaks Academy. The academy used the land for field days, trail walks and nature observations. Now it will be the site of single-family homes. The neighborhood and school are scheduled to lose the mature trees and grassy knoll as soon as the hatchlings fly the coop in mid-July. NUVO will have a full story on the development and local efforts to stop the clear-cutting next week.

IndyGo seeks to grow

IndyGo has unveiled plans for a new downtown Transit Center to be built on the site now currently occupied by the main downtown post office. Last week’s open house featured an introduction by IndyGo President Gil Holmes, a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the benefits of the proposed changes and a question and answer session where the public was invited to make comments.

There are two primary sources of impetus for pushing forward on the project now: the suitability of the only recently available location, as well as the pending expiration of some of the $30 million in federal grants set aside specifically with the intent of building such a structure in Indianapolis. The proposed transit center also features prominently in facilitating the growth of other forms of public transportation, like commuter trains or light rail, which are able to more effectively service outlying suburban areas, by providing the critical link between the rail stations and downtown. Long-term plans include scenarios envisioning up to three circulator/transit centers placed strategically to service future rapid-transit corridors, two north and one south (the currently proposed center). The complete IndyGo PowerPoint presentation for the new Transit Center can be viewed here.

Peace Corps looking for new recruits

“It’s still the toughest job you’ll ever love,” says Alfonso Montero, a Peace Corps recruiter, harking back to an old advertising slogan from the ’60s and ’70s to describe Peace Corps overseas volunteer positions. Montero will be in Indianapolis on Wednesday, July 5 conducting an information session on the Peace Corps at the Indiana State Library History Reference Room, 140 N. Senate, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will also be an information meeting on July 6 at noon at IUPUI’s University College, Room 115.

Peace Corps volunteers serve in six broad capacities: teaching, health education, business consulting, community/youth development, agriculture and environmental education. The length of service is 27 months, which includes three months of intense training in a foreign language, cultural training and skills training. Volunteers earn a monthly stipend that covers living expenses, as well as health and dental coverage. At the conclusion of service, volunteers are given a $6,075 readjustment allowance to use upon returning to the U.S. For more information on the Peace Corps go to www.peacecorps.gov.

Fighting factory farms

The GRACE Factory Farm Project (GFFP) is co-sponsoring a strategy session with the Hoosier Environmental Council in order to address Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and restrictions. GRACE works to eliminate factory farming as a mode of production and to revitalize a sustainable food production system that is healthful and humane, economically viable and environmentally sound.

The all-day event will be held on Saturday, July 15 at the Anderson Fine Arts Center, 32 W. 10th St., Anderson, Ind. Guest speakers will include Dr. Bill Weida, Terry Spence, Michele Merkel, Karen Hudson and Helen Reddout. A registration fee of $9 is required. For more information, contact Barbara Sha Cox at 765-962-2184 or barbarasha1@msn.com.

NUVO writer wins national award

The winners of the 2006 AltWeekly Awards were announced June 16 in Little Rock, Ark., at a luncheon held as part of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ Annual Convention. NUVO Contributing Editor and Senior Writer Laura McPhee took second place in the News — Long Form division for “For Sale: How Special Interests Groups Get Their Money’s Worth in the Indiana General Assembly,” a March 2005 cover story.

This is the 11th year of the annual awards contest, which recognizes the best work from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 124 member papers, and the first AAN award for NUVO. Winners will be collected in a book, Best AltWeekly Writing and Design 2006, to be published in the fall. McPhee’s winning article can also be found in the NUVO archives at http://www.nuvo.net/archive/2005/03/02/for_sale.html.



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