What Happened: Free Birds and Jail Birds


  • Courtesy of ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flli

As the people of Indy were partying Saturday on the Cultural Trail, the next chapter in the tale of two parties unfolded ...

Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 621, a piece of legislation which, in the next election cycle will eliminate the City-County Council's four at-large council seats —just as new district maps, designed by Republicans, take effect. Currently Democrats hold all the at-large seats, enabling the party's 16-13 majority. SB621 also gives Mayor Greg Ballard more control over the budget and appointments to his cabinet and the Metropolitan Development Commission. On Saturday, Pence released a lengthy statement (posted in full at outlining his decision. "While I am signing SEA 621 because it strengthens the Mayor's financial authority and protects taxpayers, it is regrettable that this legislation also includes the removal of the four at-large seats on the City-County Council," Pence said. In response, Council President Maggie Lewis issued the following statement: "I am deeply disappointed in this decision but it is my goal to continue to do the work of the people and lead in a fashion that focuses on achieving results for the city of Indianapolis."

And while we're on politics ...

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Monday that David Wyser, who worked as chief deputy prosecuting attorney of the Marion County's Prosecutor's Office from 2005-2010, has entered an agreement to plead guilty to federal bribery charges. Officials found it suspicious that the Committee to Elect David Wyser (as Prosecuting Attorney for Hamilton County) deposited a $2,500 check from the father of a person imprisoned on murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges the day before that sentence was modified at Wyser's request. The matter has yet to be played out in court. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett credited the multi-agency Public Integrity Working Group for its work on the case. The group is charged with investigating charges of waste, fraud and abuse by public officials. Anyone with information on public corruption is encouraged to alert investigators at (317) 229-2443. (NUVO also welcomes news tips on such matters.)

From potential jailbirds to actual free birds ...

Congratulations to Indiana's peregrine falcons! Atop Kathy Q's four eggs hatched at her nest Downtown on Market Tower, at least 17 more have hatched statewide and the Department of Natural Resources is watching nearly 30 more. The birds' successful breeding may lead to their de-listing from Indiana's endangered species list.

Talk about cementing a relationship ...

Horizon House is celebrating its 25th anniversary as the city's only day center in service to the city's homeless population. People and organizations interested in honoring the occasion are invited to purchase a $100 custom engraved brick to be laid in the "Pave the Way " walkway leading up to the agency's door. Horizon House serves almost 3,000 people a year offering everything from a place to pick up mail, do laundry and shower to collaborative partnerships that provide medical care and legal services — all from one location. For details on buying a brick, contact Scott Brannon at 317-423-8909 ext. 326 or

Feed the information flow ...

Reconnecting to Our Waterways, "a grassroots movement that is helping neighbors strengthen waterways, and in turn, helping waterways strengthen neighborhoods," is soliciting a stream of information from community members via online survey. Dive in via

-Rebecca Townsend

Get Involved:

Pedaling Change

The latest in the IndyTalks series brings together experts in transportation, health and community development with end users to discuss how to bolster the city's bikability for all ages. Panelists include, among others, representatives of Health By Design, Ratio Architects, the Marion County Health Department and local Center For Inquiry students.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the LISC Platform at Indianapolis City Market, 202 E. Market St., 6-8 p.m. Free admission


Local Natural History

Tom Swinford, a long-time ecologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, will discuss local natural history of Marion County by highlighting the flora and fauna of the eight state nature preserves in Marion County. RSVP to Stacy at

Thursday, May 16, 2013, Oliver's Woods Nature Preserve, 8825 River Road, 6:30- 8:00


Bike to Work Day

Join a "bike train" and ride in a group, connect to a greenway or make a bus-bike connection via IndyGo. Organizers anticipate more than 1,500 cyclists to join festivities marking the day the City Market's Bike Hub. Free bike parking, free lunch and a Sun King-sponsored happy hour are all on the agenda. Visit to connect with other riders or to ride and bike. Also, visit CIRTA.US to register your rides (and ride-shares) as part of the month-long commuter challenge. Prizes include gift cards, gas cards and bus passes.

Friday, May 17, Citywide, All day


Renewable Energy Forum

The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy and the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI will host a forum exploring "Challenges to Commercialization of Renewable Energy in Indiana." Entrepreneurism, funding, regulatory issues and more are on the agenda

Friday, May 17, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 123 West Louisiana St. 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Relief for Syria

Hear a first-hand account of a country at war with Itself from a Hoosier Syrian. Shadi Alkattan, who was born in South Bend and is now a student a biology student at IVY Tech Community College, is just back from a visit to his parents' home country. He will present a Power Point on prospects for peace. This presentation is sponsored by the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition.

Monday, May 20, Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Room 1B, Bloomington, 7 p.m.



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