Thumbs up: Gas-free this Thursday
Time to break out the bicycles. In response to skyrocketing pump
prices, National No Gas Day on March 31 is a time to stick it to the man with a
good ol' fashioned boycott. An impressive feat of grassroots activism, the
event was organized by outraged consumers using social networking outlets like
Facebook to spread the word across the nation. Over a million site members have
already their participation. First social media helped orchestrate revolution
in Egypt, and now it's a key ingredient in a nationwide boycott. What's next,
Thumbs up: Back home again...
Compromise has found its way into the hearts and minds of
Indiana legislators. House Democrats filed back into the Statehouse Monday
afternoon after Republicans agreed to several bill changes. Among the
concessions made: Right-to-work legislation was taken off the table, as was a
permanent ban on public employee bargaining and legislation for a private
takeover of public schools; private school vouchers will be limited to 7,500
students the first year, 15,000 the second; and guidelines for Project Labor
Agreements and the common construction wage were reconsidered. Encouraging
progress, but no guarantees that Dems will actually vote for the provisions.
Thumbs down: Parking meters, activate!
At 7 a.m. Monday, Mayor Ballard's urban moneymaking scheme
came to fruition as parking meters were activated downtown and in Broad Ripple
Village. True, it's convenient and pretty tech-savvy that the meters take
credit cards, but we're less enthused about the rate hike from $0.75 to $1.00,
and a three-hour extension of metered parking until 9 p.m. Further, the days of
free weekend parking are over; drivers will have to pay on Saturdays now too.
Coin-operated meters will continue to run at the old rate and hours until
replaced by their younger, sexier upgrades.
Thumbs up: Naptown Solar Farm
Indianapolis' southwest side will become home to the city's
largest solar farm this spring. Energy Solutions began expansion on its
demonstration site at Johnson-Melloh in January, adding a 100-kilowatt solar
array. These linked panels can produce enough energy to power 12 average
American homes. On top of promises to improve the environment and create jobs,
the energy firm is angling for investments from school districts, touting
reductions in long-term operating costs, increased sustainability and saved
teaching jobs. Valid selling points, but we doubt this'll be the cure-all fix
for school funding.