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Full Disclosure: Notes from the Field

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Highlight of NUVO News Editor Rebecca Townsend's Super Bowl weekend, meeting hip hop icon DMC.
  • Heather Meloy
  • Highlight of NUVO News Editor Rebecca Townsend's Super Bowl weekend, meeting hip hop icon DMC.

Finally, I can stop sweating the Indiana General Assembly and its seeming inability to do its job and focus on the wonderland the city's become.

3:30 p.m. - Jump on my bike and head downtown from the NUVO offices. First stop: Pick up my credentials at the JW Marriott. The valet area is madness with visitors checking in, celebrity watchers gathered all around and a general hum of people gearing up.

Manners and smiles and a generally well-behaved crowd packs the sidewalks.

UAW workers joined students and former and current hotel workers in protest. - REBECCA TOWNSEND
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • UAW workers joined students and former and current hotel workers in protest.

4:30 p.m. - Head to the Hyatt where Unite Here organized a loud and multi-dimensional protest with local students, Chicago Hyatt employees, UAW and other unions bolstering the numbers of former employees of the Hyatt Regency at the Indiana State Capital.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Player's Association, greets INdy's Council President Maggie Lewis at the protest outside the downtown Hyatt.
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Player's Association, greets Indy's City-County Council President Maggie Lewis at the protest outside the downtown Hyatt.

Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council President Maggie Lewis and DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Player's Association, greet each other at the protest outside the downtown Hyatt. Smith said the NFL Players Association will suspend business with the Hyatt until the issue is resolved. Lewis said the hotel would have "no love" from the city's council president and that she would refuse to attend meetings or do any business there.

Brian Comes, general manager, Hyatt Regency at State Capitol/

5 p.m. - Hyatt General Manager Brian Comes denies that the protest has any merit. Says the hotel employs about 300 people with an average salary of $12 an hour and benefits. He also called protestors' cries of downtrodden workers misleading and overstated. He said the company worked to find positions for people who lost their jobs once the hotel terminated its relationship with temp labor contractor.

Eric (foreground) and Karl Frederiksen (background) shared their stories of malaise during their Hyatt employment experiences.
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • Eric (foreground) and Karl Frederiksen (background) shared their stories of malaise during their Hyatt employment experiences.

6 p.m. - Ex-employees say wages are much lower than Comes said, that the workplace was divisive, that attempts to unionize were met with negative pressure from management and a former employee of the year, Karl Fredericksen, said he was fired in December for a nine second video clip of him with his eyes closed during a quiet moment in the hotel. Otherwise his multi-year second, he says, was spotless. He's taking the case to court.

Indy's downtown cops are used to dealing protests at the Hyatt. "They've been doing it for 5 years," said one officer. "Look where it's gotten them."
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • Indy's downtown cops are used to dealing protests at the Hyatt. "They've been doing it for 5 years," said one officer. "Look where it's gotten them."

7:15 - Quick stop at The Ball and Biscuit for a cocktail (or two). Back on the bike. Zipping through the crowds like nothing.

The crowd loved Willie Hen and Indy's own Kool's Bazaar. - REBECCA TOWNSEND

8 p.m. - The battle of the bands culminated between and Atlanta-based Willie Hen and the Rose Parade and Indy's own Kool's Bazaar. The competition, in fact, was a draw based on the 16 votes emailed in. But DMC, the "King of Rap," and headliner of the benefit concert for House of Restoration Africa cast the deciding vote in Willie's favor.


8:45 - Hometown homegirl Tasha Jones, a master of the spoken word, unleashed an intense poem on homelessness. The audience was impressed with her strength, beauty and honesty. We hear she's joined Lauryn Hill's Moving Target tour.



9 p.m. DMC, aforementioned "King of Rap," rocked an intense set of about a dozen songs.

DMC embraced his fans on stage after the show. Here he signs the setlist for Heather Meloy.
  • DMC embraced his fans on stage after the show. Here he signs the setlist for Heather Meloy.

11:30 p.m. NUVO volunteer Heather Meloy scored the set list for her 13-year-old, Conner, who dreams of becoming a DJ. DMC signs his initials and then "JMJ RIP."


1:15 a.m. - Hop on my bike and roll on back to NUVO where my ride awaited. All and all a pretty excellent night.
DMC embraced his fans on stage after the show. Here he signs the setlist for Heather Meloy.
  • DMC embraced his fans on stage after the show. Here he signs the setlist for Heather Meloy.

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