Thumbs up/thumbs down


Thumbs Down: Strong arm of the law

Early reports indicated

Officer David Bisard was drunk when he got behind the wheel on Aug. 6 and

plowed his police cruiser through three motorcyclists, injuring two and killing

30-year-old Eric Wells. Cops admitted he had tested positive for alcohol, but

stopped short of saying he was drunk. Wells' father stated publicly that

prosecutors told the family Bisard's blood-alcohol level tested at .19 percent

– twice the legal limit. Forensic chemist records confirmed the story,

based on a blood draw to which Bisard consented.But then, troubling developments: turns out, police

respondents never gave Bisard a breath test; the blood draw was taken by an uncertified

technician several hours after the incident; by last week, Marion County

Prosecutor Carl Brizzi had thrown out the blood evidence and dropped the drunk

driving charges. Bikers and concerned residents are howling over

double-standards. Some say it's a cover-up. Some blame Mayor Greg Ballard. Even

the soberest mind wonders how the case would've been handled if the driver

weren't a cop.

Thumbs up: No cuts for

arts funding

Mayor Ballard has long given

public voice to the idea – so often an empty platitude on the lips of

politicians – that the arts are vital to Indianapolis. Kudos to Ballard

for putting (or, keeping, rather) the money where his mouth is. Despite a

projected $50 million budget shortfall for 2011 – double what was

originally anticipated – the Ballard administration has left arts funding

where it was in 2009 and 2010, despite cuts of $22 million to other local

services. At $1 million a year, it isn't much compared to pre-2009 levels. But

it's better than nothing, which is where some feared we were heading."I've learned that when you (fund the

arts), the other funders throughout central Indiana believe that the city has

some skin in the game, and that seems to help," Ballard said in a press

conference after introducing the budget. Whatever the reason, we're just glad

he didn't make things worse. (Stockholm Syndrome, anyone?)

Thumbs down: No Fair

There are few things sadder

than the expiration of summer's too-short lease. And, as everyone in

Indianapolis knows, nothing quite says summertime is winding down like the end

of the Indiana State Fair. After all the deep-fried funnel cake, deep-fried

candy bars and deep-fried Pepsis, from the Kiss concert to the demolition

derby, we'll miss you, State Fair. With sick bellies and sugary lips, we swore

we'd never eat another bite, but we'll be back next year.