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Thumbs down – Underdogs undercut

City budget cuts are poised to cripple the animal shelter's efforts to reduce the euthanasia rates for the city's homeless cats and dogs. A $200,000 cut to the budget line covering daily operating expenses will render Indianapolis Animal Care and Control unable to keep up its current standard of care. The same hard financial times that force municipal budget cuts are also causing a spike in surrendered animals as owners lose jobs and homes. "More than ever, IACC cannot stand this incredible budget cut; IACC is already understaffed and underfunded, barely equipped to handle the 18,000+ animals that pass through their back door on a yearly basis," IACC Board Member Sue Hobbs wrote in an emailed plea for help. She encourages animal supporters to attend the Sept. 14 Public Safety Committee when councilors will review the IACC budget.


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Thumbs up – Hug a bridge inspector today

We've seen how these things can go terribly wrong, so it's a huge relief that in their efforts to repair the Sherman Minton bridge linking 1-64 from Indiana to Louisville that engineers discovered cracks in the bridges' steel support beams in time to prevent collapse. The bridge closure is causing commuter nightmares and underscoring what dangers may emerge when we depend on "structurally obsolete" infrastructure. The state is now mulling repair or replacement options with no word yet on the expected cost. The silver lining of the miles-long, smog-forming traffic jams may be that they provide a poetic setting to ponder ways in which we can retool our transportation system in more innovative ways.


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Thumbs up – Standing strong under fire

The temptation here is to stick it to Brebeuf Jesuit high school football for creaming Arlington 80-0. In an angry letter to the school, Brebeuf parents did just that by lambasting the "selfishness and elitism" displayed by the coaching staff that is supposed to be committed to the Christian principle of living "for others." The school of sports is divided on the issue. Football may never grasp the mercy concept. But great players do understand perseverance. So thumbs up to the young men of Arlington, for never giving up and exhibiting unflagging sportsmanship throughout that punishing game. One of Coach Vince Lombardi's popular maxims can be traced back to the Bible. It remains timeless in its truth: "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." And one more little saying to mull for next year, this one often attributed to the publisher Malcolm Forbes: "Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat."

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