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Thumbs up: RequestIndy

Got a problem on your street? RequestIndy is an online portal that uses GIS mapping technology to help you request City services, report issues, and open service requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can access an aerial street level view of an area to report locations of potholes, graffiti, high weeds and grass and other problems. Requests will be submitted to the correct agencies in moments, regardless of the day or time, and you can check on the status of submitted requests. To access RequestIndy, visit www.indy.gov/mac. You can also still call the Mayor's Action Center at 317-327-4MAC.

Thumbs down: Lip service

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is launching a feel good program wherein people are being asked to tell their personal "environmental success stories" at a web site, www.HoosiersCare.IN.gov/5599.htm. A link takes browsers to a page of environmental tips about everyday things people can do to save money and protect the environment. That's nice. But what would be even nicer would be for IDEM, the Governor and the State Legislature to get serious about enacting policies that would tax polluters and establish programs to enable Indiana to climb out of the basement in terms of water and air quality.

Thumbs down: Republicrat

Tim Crawford says he's a Democrat, but when it comes to explaining what that means, well, he's not sure. A recent video demonstrates that Crawford can't even name three Democratic policies he supports. He says he's against health care reform and abortion rights. But that hasn't kept voters in the 5th Congressional District from putting Crawford on the ballot, where he'll be running against the increasingly saggy Dan Burton. Could Crawford's rightwing portfolio be what it takes to finally punch Burton's ticket to retirement?

Thumbs down: The City's proposal to sell its water and sewer systems to Citizens Energy Group has a number of things that argue in its favor. But giving up ownership of the historic Central Canal, the Canal Towpath and Geist and Morse reservoirs represents a major stumbling block. These properties not only feed our water supply, they are also vital recreational and place-making assets. At the very least, any sale should include explicit provisions that speak to their preservation and care.

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