THUMBS UP: GREEN BUILDING INCENTIVES
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced a plan last week to
encourage more sustainable building around the city. Specifically, the program
offers builders as much as a 50% rebate on all building permit fees for
projects seeking any level of certification based on the U.S. Green Building
Council's standards of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED).
Unfortunately, that criterion offers pretty wide berth: projects do not have to
be LEED-certified or LEED-registered. But it's a step in the right direction,
said Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.
"It remains to be seen how much cutting permit fees will drive green building
investment," he said. "We'd like to see the city commit to all future
government-owned buildings being LEED-certified."
THUMBS DOWN: SUMMER OF VIOLENCE
As if we needed a reminder after the Black Expo shootings,
news this week of a drive-by shooting at a birthday party on the city's
northwest side, in which two were killed and six wounded, was a stark reminder
of the nasty cauldron of violence this city sometimes becomes when temperatures
soar. It's enough to make you need to take a nice, relaxing walk... Too bad
that's gotten dangerous as well. On Sunday at 1 a.m. (Saturday night, really),
a young man and woman were mugged on the trail in Broad Ripple, just south of
61st Street. The young man was struck with a set of brass knuckles
and the young woman's purse was stolen. The attack was the fifth on the trail
this year. Something's rotten.
THUMBS DOWN: BACK TO SCHOOL
Today's kids aren't old enough to remember the halcyon days
when school started just after Labor Day. But they're old enough to know that
going back to school on Aug. 2 is insane. Citing dozens of staff cuts, Warren
Township started school early, in an attempt to help students pick up where
they left off a little faster. State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) has gone as far
as to introduce legislation officially extending summer vacation until Labor
Day – a resolution that's been twice approved by the Senate, but failed
to get a hearing in the House. That students will be in school during the State
Fair is more than a bummer. It means lost revenue. That pools will be a little
emptier for a full month is mostly just a bummer. But, worst of all, Warren
Township is only making the best of a bad situation, in which schools suffer
while the Simons get taxpayers' millions to honor a contract that's supposed to
be good until 2019.