Saturday, July 12, 2014

Star Columnist Touts $10 Million City Gift To Repair Natatorium As Boost To Westside Neighborhood

This would be laughable if it wasn't so serious. At a time the Ballard administration claims the city is too impoverished to hire additional police officers promised to Indianapolis taxpayers seven years ago when our income taxes were hiked 65%, Star columnist Erika Smith is actually touting a plan by Ballard to donate $10 million to Indiana University to make repairs to the Natatorium that the cash-rich university has deliberately allowed to fall into a state of disrepair as a way of improving blighted neighborhoods on the near westside on the opposite side of White River as part of a $30 million spending plan around the university campus. The Lilly Foundation will foolishly waste another $10 million on repairs to the Natatorium, while an additional $10 million will be spent by the university as part of a plan to convert New York and Michigan Streets from one-way to two-way streets through the campus and provide new street-scaping and bike lanes. This we're told is for the purpose of connecting the run-down neighborhoods on the other side of the river with downtown to help impoverished residents living in Haughville, Hawthorne and Stringtown.

In her latest column, Star columnist Erika Smith actually bought this total BS hook, line and sinker. She wants us to believe that the plan is designed to connect impoverished near westside neighborhoods on the other side of the river that have "sat in the shadow of downtown" and "cut off from the economic engine of the state." She seems completely oblivious to the fact that the administration is simultaneously planning to build a new criminal justice center in the heart of their neighborhood that will house a new county jail, which will release thousands of criminal offenders directly into their neighborhood annually as part of an effort to rid downtown of undesirables who flow in and out of the criminal justice facilities currently housed there so those properties can be redeveloped at taxpayer expense by the mayor's campaign contributors. Anyone with their eyes wide open knows that this is a plan designed to benefit IUPUI's campus and the downtown mafia. It has nothing to do with improving rundown neighborhoods on the near westside, except perhaps to provide an incentive to developers to buy up rundown properties in the area and force the current residents out. The people living there now aren't a part of this plan.

This columnist is either totally blind or engaged in nothing more than writing press releases for the 25th floor, either of which is not favorable to her credibility as a journalist. And once again, the Ballard administration will use downtown TIF dollars for a purpose that would be deemed an unlawful use of those funds but for the fact that the spending idea originated from the 25th floor at the same time it is pushing another increase in income and property taxes for the supposed purposed of hiring more police officers we never got the last time they raised our income taxes 65% for that purpose.

UPDATE: The Star revised Smith's column on its website to now read that the city's contribution is for street improvements and not the Natatorium. There is no acknowledgement the earlier printed version was in error. Must have been getting a lot of blowback. So our esteemed mayor has money to blow in an area where the streets are already well-maintained but nothing to repair other streets elsewhere in the city that are in a decrepit state.


Unknown said...

That's because Erika Smith is an extremist liberal, who believes the only answer to anything she determines to be a problem is for the taxpayers to give more money to fix it.
She has been brought up to believe that it is the government's job to solve all her problems.

Flogger said...

Erica has used her Star-Crony-Capitalist template and thesaurus for her article. Her Press Release contains the usual approved words and phrases when writing a column for The Star
Such as: impoverished neighborhoods ( fill in the blank where they are at),economic engine, partnership, the city will kick in (fill in the dollar amount), tourism dollars, cherished community asset (insert name of sports facility), mention is made of Shogun Vaughn approving the scheme.

Some how converting Michigan and New York into two ways and adding bike paths is going to save the West side. Erica says the West side has been "cut off from the economic engine of the state by the White River."

I checked a Google map and the White River is currently bridged by New York and Michigan. So the West Side has not been cut off.

I have noticed in the decades since I began following the Corporate Sports Welfare Model, the need to tie in building, or renovating Sports Facilities with Public Dollars with a side mention of how this facility is just a part of greater project. This greater project will help us "Proles."

The Natatorium is just one more false front for the so-called economic engine of Downtown.

$10M the City "kicks in" for a big swimming pool, but no money to hire more police, or build some more swimming pools in the neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Its east Michigan Street that needs beautification. I drove downtown from Emerson on E Michigan today and nowhere will you see more boarded up buildings. Block after block of old, commercial buildings mostly. I’ve lived around here 25 years and most of them have been distressed at least that long. The city ought to tear them down. We also have 20 acres or so of undeveloped land where the old RCA building was at Michigan and Sherman. Its just growing weeds right now. I’m thankful they didn’t want to build the new justice center there. The last thing it needs is a prisoner magnet. All we want in these neighborhoods is gentrification. It isn’t an absentee landlord problem, which is the meme du jour at the ccc, because most of these boarded up buildings are in the land bank. Its failure of the Metropolitan Development to see beyond downtown. Why are we giving Indiana University 10 million for their pool when they’re the richest government entity in the state paying administrators and professors well into the six figures. Ten million dollars at Michigan and Sherman would literally transform a concrete jungle into something, anything but blight. This is failure of the city leadership, not something that can be blamed on local homeowners.

Anonymous said...

One of the of the suggestions for long term funding of IMPD recruits and maintaining the city's infrastructure was to impose a user fee formula for some of the not for profit institutions in the city who own the largest and most valuable parcels of land in Marion County. They usurp plenty of the city's public safety and infrastructure resources without adding a penny of property tax revenue to the city's budget coffers. IUPUI should be giving the city money for infrastructure improvements, not the other way around.

C. Roger Csee said...

I moved here in 1971. As I recall, Michigan & New York Streets were both 2-way from West Street to White River.
Then the city got the big idea that it would help "something" if they made them one-way, and they have been since about 1975 or so.
As Flogger said, nobody is "cut off" from anything. There are bridges at New York, Michigan, and 10th Street.
So, just how is Stringtown going to prosper from making the two streets two-way again?
I remember their CC Councilor a few years ago publicly fought the new church being built at N. White River & Washington. He said he was flat against it. "We got enough churches, already." "What we need is a liquor store."
Perhaps that answers some questions.
No one in the leftist, liberal, agenda-driven MSM has questioned Mayor Marine as to why he is giving up another hard-earned $10 MILLION tax dollars to a state owned and operated entity.
And if his excuse is (as it says in todays Red Star Rag) that the money is for street reconstruction, tell me how it will cost $10 MILLION to change some street signs.

Anonymous said...

The push to reduce Michigan and New York to two-lanes of travel, instead of fast, comfortable and safe one-way travel reveals that there's another game afoot.

IUPUI doesn't need the cash, and the roads are best the way they are currently configured, so it looks like Indianapolis is trying to buy its way in to that part of the campus. The question is why?

Indianapolis and IUPUI have joint plans for those grounds that are probably only known to Ballard, IMPD, the head of IUPUI and Barnes & Thornburg.

Indianapolis is trying a new type of downtown. Indianapolis is moving away from all other forms of downtowns that are based on Monday-through-Friday office-building commerce and workers, and Indy is moving toward a permanent residential downtown with full residential downtown shopping and activities.

Indy's IUPUI efforts fits with the new downtown plan, but we don't quite know how, just yet.

What does a two-way street allow the City and IUPUI to do with that area?

Anonymous said...

I never had any faith in Erika Smith...she came her from Cleveland and, clearly, has a Cleveland liberal spin to her columns...

By the way Cleveland, with all it's liberalism, has a police force that exceeds Indianapolis by about 300 police officers. The population of Cleveland is half the population of Indianapolis!