Thumbs up : Thumbs down


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.