Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tully Series On The Phoenix Sputters To An End

What promised on Sunday to be one of the best feature stories the Star has run in quite some time sputtered to a halt with a simple conclusion: The Phoenix is a lost cause. The only quote I see in the story from a member of the mayor's staff is this quip from Carl Clark, a neighborhood liaison in the mayor's office as he and Tully drove out of the complex one day: "You just left Indy's Fallujah." In the first day of reporting, there was an interview with former Mayor Steve Goldsmith (R) who readily admitted the Phoenix had been the "grandest failure" of his administration. But at least he tried. There's not one scintilla of evidence from Tully's reporting that the Peterson administration or other Democrats who've been in charge of this city for the past 8 years have done anything to clean up this place. Yes, new-comer Sen. Jean Breaux (D) is talking to Tully about changes she wants to bring about. But where is Mayor Peterson, Rep. Julia Carson, CCC President Monroe Gray, Jean Breaux's mother, Billie, who represented the district before becoming Marion Co. Auditor, and all the rest of the people in charge of this city? Sadly, the Star didn't want to risk offending any of them by asking them a few simple questions about the Phoenix.


Sir Hailstone said...

With that, it smells of hit piece. Think about it - the only politico of any importance they interview - is Steve Goldsmith. He admits he tried, and it went sour.

The Rag didn't want to embarrass the current Mayor this close to an election. Sad thing is the people who do live there and are registered to vote, will vote for the same people who keep them in this condition - the Democrats.

Gary R. Welsh said...

"Sad thing is the people who do live there and are registered to vote, will vote for the same people who keep them in this condition - the Democrats."

All 22 of them. That's about all that voted in the last election according to Tully.

Anonymous said...

Hail, you started out OK, then veered into incoherence.

Goldsmith tried, with a Cub Foods store in this area, but Cub threw in the towel after five years, because they couldn't withstand the shrink (theft). Not even after an IPD substation was placed inside the store.

Rozelle Boyd represented this are as the district councilman for over 20 years. He's an at-large councilman now, but he never had his finge ron the pulse, unless the city was there with cash.

Monroe's district is just west of here, and he's never lifted a finger. He drives through in his city car every once in a while.

Tully's piece was blatantly incomplete. Remember the Oscar Robertson-Smoot connection, which almost resulted in criminal convictions? Hands in the cookie jar up to their elbows...all under Goldsmith.

So, Goldy is guilty of trying, but cronies took over and the cash ran out of town.

Bart is guilty of ignoring it.

THe result is about the same.

Because try though you might, you cannot govern where people choose to live. And right now, the choice there, is poores tof the poor or drug dealers.

There isn't a trained sociologist in the world who can figure that one out, absent a huge pile of cash and new construction.

Once again, Tully disappoints. He didn't do his research or he'd have come up with the Smoot-Robertson connection--it was all over his paper 120-12 years ago. No surprise.

Anonymous said...

Tully didn't dig deep enough. The demolition of the Parkwoods Apartments and subsequent redevelopement of the property, combined with new construction and renovation at Sherman Forest Apartments, is a fine example of what can be done with this type of environment. It's right freaking next to the Meadows - I don't know how he didn't notice it. Now, what the area will look like in 10 years is anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

Wondering who now collects the money to run the Phoenix? Does that company comply to an audit yearly as to how the money is spent? Only curious, as I realize if you put in plumging someone pulls it out to sell but those questions should be answered. It is a lost cause perpetuated by Democratic liberal socialist failed policies which they never want to give up.

Anonymous said...


That is the Politics of Fear. The fear of losing what little they do have (by being told that the "other guy" would take their homes away).

Anonymous said...

Sir Hailstone writes, "The Rag didn't want to embarrass the current Mayor this close to an election."

I beg to differ. Tully did all the research for this piece over the summer, and it is just now coming out, less than one month before the election? I think the Indy Star's attack on the Mayor is quite clear here.

Anonymous said...

Tully is not a credible journalist. He reported that Melyssa took pictures at the democratic fundraiser, yet he was not there, she did not take a single photo, and she was not interviewed by him.

Is Tully part of the democratic machine?

Anonymous said...

I too was disappointed. My initial thoughts were that the people in the establishment who are MOST directly aware of the situation there over the years are police (old IPD) and prosecutors who handle the huge volume of cases.

The people who SHOULD be fully aware AND doing something are city officials (from reports from police/prosecutors above) and the city-co councillor who has the Meadows in his/her district (past and present, since they redrew the lines 4 yrs ago-- who is it, did any of the 3 articles even SAY who reprsents the district in the CCC? I only recall state legislators, who certainly have an interest but CCC should be moreso. Who represents it now? Who had it for all the years before? The CCC should have been pushing the CITY official and the CITY should have on its own done whatever it could not only w. community programs, but what about housing violations- based on descriptions of conditions? The "out of state landlords" got a couple mentions-- but who is holding them responsible for housing code??

Which brings me to my final point-- what about the Housing Authority?? Don't they have a role? I didn't see one mention? DOn't they run section 8? I do recall (last year?) recently they had to shut down their "housing police" who dealt w. fraud. No mention of that angle? It was hinted at as to women w. children allowing "illegal" men to live there with them-- that's fraud. Isn't that a federal law violation? Where is fed oversight? Who was responsible for funding cuts to the "housing police" and what effect did that have? What is the federal/local interaction/funding scheme? Are federal laws being broken and who is responsible for that? I thought we'd have a lot more after the "federal government" mention on day 1. It would seem to me an across the board police/prosecutors/city/housing auth/federal JOINT approach (combining those with knowledge of the situation and those with power to do something) is called for and should be pushed for by the CCC rep for the area and state legislators (tho w/o direct role) could help push it.

I get that the hugely transient population, who mostly only live there as a last resort, and most looking for the first chance to get out, are not going to be a neighborhood force as homeowners are. But there seems like there is a lot that could be done...

I did take it as a hit on the Mayor just before the election, and maybe one that is deserved, though it could have been much more effective with more targeted examples of lapses or options that are going unused.

Anonymous said...

The residents of the Phoenix will not work since they are on sec. 8. There are guidelines for people living in sec. 8 and if the salary exceeds a certain amount they are kicked out of the program. Plus if you had police on every corner the crime will still occur. Where are the black churchs, the 100 Black Men groups, the ex-cons that are trying might be the only hope that area has. Give them the tools and money to reinvent the complex a section at a time.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 9:10, as I understand it, the Phoenix is in Scott Schneider's district, who has only been proactive in opposing whatever the mayor is proposing. Fortunately, he isn't seeking another term on the council. I don't know whether the R or D candidate, neither of whom I know much about, will make any difference. That council district is primarily in Lawrence.

Anonymous said...

AI, I'm curious to know, what specifically do you think the Mayor, council, and sheriff should do about the Phoenix?

Anonymous said...

This story is a real concern for many neighborhoods. All it takes to drive this city deeper into the criminal element is to demolish the Phoenix. Displace all the residents into houses scattered throughout the city.

You know, it only takes one drug house on the block to bring down all the surrounding blocks.

That is what will happen when the phoenix is razed. I just hope that there is enough room in the jail to relocate the residents, and a judiciary that won't release them back to victimize the city.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 10:25, I would start with code enforcement. The city has dragged single family homeowners all over town into environmental court for some pretty petty offenses. Reading Tully's account, it looks like there's some cleaning up of the common areas to be done. Secondly, the mayor and area leaders needed to use their leverage with federal housing authorities to force the landlord to comply with federal housing regulations or lose its more than $2 million in rent subsidies. Instead, I understand they helped him get it renewed so the landlord could sell to another company. The owners, I believe, should be providing some security for the place. There seems to be a problem with people living there who aren't supposed to. This should have been addressed. City police should have used outstanding warrant lists to conduct sweeps of the area. It appears this place is seen as a safe haven for criminals. That has to change and our law enforcement can make that happen if they wanted it to happen. Those are just a few steps, but there is much more to be done.

Sir Hailstone said...

I'm definitely not Gary, but to answer this:

"AI, I'm curious to know, what specifically do you think the Mayor, council, and sheriff should do about the Phoenix?"

Same thing that happened to Brokenburr Trails aka Brick City. Knock it down, it appears only 25% of the people there are legit residents, correct? Perhaps with an effective cong... ahhh I'm not going there right now. I'll save that for later.