Thumbs up : Thumbs down


Thumbs up: Ballard steps up

Last week we gave a big thumbs down to the city's botched

handling of the Eric Bisard case, an Indianapolis police officer – by all

indications, intoxicated – who plowed into three motorcyclists with his

patrol car, killing 30-year-old Eric Wells and injuring two others. That thumb

stays down until this city gets some answers.Meantime, we're giving a cautious thumbs up to Mayor Greg

Ballard for his efforts at righting this series of egregious wrongs. Ballard

said he was "well past angry" when DUI charges were thrown out by Marion County

Prosecutor Carl Brizzi over what's widely perceived as a weak evidentiary

technicality. Whatever the reasons for his anger, Ballard has done the right

thing by attacking the perception that IMPD operates above the law. Demotions

were called for and delivered; Ballard sent a hand-written letter of apology to

Wells' family; and, most substantive of all, Ballard called in the FBI to

perform an investigation of what went wrong.

Thumbs down: Moto R.I.P.

What to say about the death of 13-year-old Peter Lenz, who

died during a practice lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday? Lenz

was the youngest racer to die in IMS' storied, 101-year history, and was

warming up on his motorcycle for a preliminary race to the MotoGP when he

crashed and was struck by a 12-year-old driver. The racing community, and the

community at large, is rightly debating whether children so young should be

racing on such dangerous two-wheeled machines. For now, we grieve along with

Lenz family, whose worst nightmare is upon them.

Thumbs up: Daniels gets tough on college admin

Governor Mitch Daniels told an assembly of trustees from

Indiana and Purdue Universities that it was time for the top-heavy days of

ballooning college administrations to end. College leaders are pushing back:

state colleges have had to slash staff, freeze salaries and cut operating

budgets, they say. But as NUVO reported earlier this year ("Adjunct faculty

members suffer low wages, unequal treatment," News, May 26 to June 1), college

tuitions and enrollments have skyrocketed in recent decades, and so have

administration numbers and pay. Meanwhile, colleges rely on fewer full-time

faculty, in favor of part-timers who often don't receive benefits. The

Indianapolis Star reports that nearly every

Indiana college spent more on administration than on instructional expenses

from 2002 to 2008. Further administrative cuts will be painful, but so are the

six-figure student loan debts paying their salaries.

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