The Evansville Brownfields Corporation (EBC) currently has no paid staff and a Board of Directors that consists of seven members. The City of Evansville has historically funded the EBC to the tune of $50,000 to $100,000 annually with the occasional contribution that has been significantly more.The EBC buys, or accepts as gifts, primarily vacant lots within the City of Evansville. The nonprofit maintains the lots with the goal of ultimately selling the properties for development. In addition to direct funding from the City, the EBC receives periodic infusions of cash from the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dollars. The annual revenue of EBC is typically in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.As the City Council considers an annual contribution to the EBC that could top $2 million dollars for the foreseeable future, there are changes that must occur within the EBC to gain the trust of elected officials and the public.The current EBC Board, by its bylaws, consists of the Director of the DMD, two appointments by the Mayor with one being a City Council member, an appointment by the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville, an appointment by the Evansville Chamber of Commerce, and two appointments that are made by the other five members. The bylaws do not require regular meetings outside of the annual meeting each March or that the meeting date, location and time be made public.As the City moves forward with a blight elimination plan, it is important that the public buy into the process and trust that public funds are being managed appropriately. Almost as bad as impropriety, is the appearance of impropriety. The EBC must avoid this appearance. The EBC can avoid the appearance of impropriety and gain technical knowledge from relevant practitioners in the community by expanding its Board of Directors, creating committees that advise the Board of Directors and setting a regular monthly meeting that is publicized.The current bylaws should be changed, and the Board of Directors should be expanded to thirteen members appointed to three year terms as follows:The Mayor appoints one at their discretion;City Council appoints one of its members;County Council appoints one of its members;County Commissioners appoints one of its members;The County Auditor or their designee;The County Treasurer or their designee;The County Assessor or their designee;The Building Commissioner or their designee;A representative from Community One/Habitat for Humanity or Echo Housing;A representative from Memorial CDC or CAPE;A representative from the Southern Indiana Builders Association;A representative from the Board of Realtors or the Evansville Association of Area Realtors; andA representative from HOPE;The Auditor determines when properties are tax delinquent, the Assessor determines property values and has significant mapping capabilities, the Treasurer will oversee the sale of vacant and abandoned properties under the new statute (SB 415), the County and City representatives determine funding, the Building Commission inspects properties and determines what must be razed and what can be rehabbed, and the practitioners listed are involved in every aspect of either building, selling, marketing, or rehabilitating residential structures. All are critical to the mission to eliminate blight.Although it has been stated that blight is finite that is not necessarily true. As we eliminate existing blighted structures over the next five years, more properties are at risk of becoming blighted. Without citizens involved on the ground to monitor structures in their neighborhood and strategic code enforcement, we could end up with a never ending supply of blight. It’s critical that committees exist to identify blight, neighborhoods that are trending to blight and the causes of blight, which typically starts with vacancy. There should initially be at least one committee of citizen advisors representing the different areas of the City and County to coordinate with neighborhood associations and monitor properties in their area.The funds contemplated for EBC for 2016 as provided by the DMD are as follows:Acquisition Costs with taxes 210,000Title services 100,000 (closing costs, title searches, etc.)Demolition/Boarding 1,000,000Trash removal/Mowing 250,000Legal Costs 275,000 (quiet title actions, contracts, etc.)Miscellaneous 25,000Salaries with payroll taxes 200,000 (3 full time employees)Benefits 30,000Utilities 20,000 (% of DMD expenses)Vehicle/Gas/Insurance/Maint30,000Training/Education/Travel 5,000Office Supplies 5,000Contractual services 120,000 (web development, inspections, surveying,appraisals, accounting services, etc.)In looking at the causes of vacancy and blight and the coordination of strategic code enforcement to protect stable neighborhoods and rebuild declining neighborhoods, it is hoped that true practitioners with experience in land banking will be hired and able to look at preventing blight while coordinate the work of the EBC with the City and County.It is critical that these final pieces of infrastructure be put in place before the City and County are asked to fund the EBC’s new budget. We cannot and should not have to live with the fear, reasonable or not, that these resources could be squandered. These changes would build public trust and avoid the appearance of impropriety while making the EBC accessible to everyone and giving it a wealth of practitioner knowledge to achieve our common goal of healthier, safer and more stable neighborhoods.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Indianapolis, In. — Over the weekend, the Indiana Association of School Principals recognized Destiny Rutzel, Principal at South Ripley Junior High School in Versailles, IN, as the 2018 Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year. Earlier this year, Rutzel had been named District 10 Principal of the Year. District Principals of the Year are elected by their peers in each of the 12 IASP districts. From these 12 District Middle School Principal winners, Rutzel was chosen as the 2018 Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year.The recognition ceremony was a part of the 2018 Principals of the Year Recognition Celebration at the IASP Annual Fall Conference. The award was presented at a dinner at the Indianapolis Marriott Hotel with the IASP State President, Andrea Korreck, presiding along with Todd Bess, Executive Director.Mrs. Rutzel is in her 5th year as the Principal at South Ripley Junior High School. Under her leadership SRJHS has received many noteworthy recognitions including being named an Indiana Four Star School, a 2018 Common Sense Media School, a 2016 National School to Watch, and a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. Additionally, SRJHS received a Promising Practice award from the Indiana Department of Education in 2016 for their Advisory Program. The school was also recently named a “Champions in the Middle” school by the Indiana High School Athletic Association for their work with Special Olympic athletes.“This is a tremendous honor for Destiny, for the students and staff of South Ripley Junior High School, and for the entire South Ripley Community School Corporation” commented South Ripley Superintendent Rob Moorhead. “Destiny’s hard work and dedication have led to this state level recognition and she is very deserving of this award. ”Rutzel is the second South Ripley Junior High Principal to win the Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year award, following Rod Hite who won the honor in 2014. “To have two of our junior high principals win this award in a four year period speaks volumes about the job that our junior high staff is doing on a daily basis,” said Moorhead.Destiny and her husband, Dave, live in Moores Hill with their two children, Chloe and Easton.The Indiana Association of School Principals is a not-for-profit, professional association serving over 2800 building level administrators in the state of Indiana.
LOS ANGELES — Jerry Turner hand-wrote every name on a piece of paper and posted them above the metal lockers in the old visitors’ clubhouse. This is how the American League All-Stars knew where to hang their uniforms on July 8, 1980, the last time an All-Star Game was held at Dodger Stadium.A’s outfielder Rickey Henderson and Blue Jays pitcher Dave Stieb were in for a surprise. Turner misspelled their names “Steib” and “Hendeson,” respectively. Turner, who manages the umpires’ room at Dodger Stadium, can laugh about the typos now. It’s been a long time.When the All-Star Game returns to Los Angeles in 2020, the nameplates figure to be printed, glossy and proofread. This is but a drop of water in an ocean of changes over the last 38 years. Major League Baseball has inflated its congregation of All-Stars from a one-off game to a four-day procession of speeches, clinics, autograph sessions and corporate grip-and-grins across the host community.Gil Cedillo, who represents Los Angeles’ first district on the City Council, said the economic impact of the 2020 game will be counted in the tens of millions of dollars. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “One of the things we’ve had a lot of discussion about are events that are not core baseball events,” Manfred said. “Concerts; we have a great food-related event that we’re doing in New York next week. We’ve talked about that being part of the All-Star Game program. Anything that draws more people that are not our avid hardcore fans to the All-Star Game programming is important to us.”Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten has been pressing to bring the event back to Los Angeles since Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the franchise in 2012. Years of tumult followed the O’Malley family selling the team in 1997, and that didn’t help the Dodgers’ cause. The relative stability of the last six years did.When the All-Star Game finally returns, it will be a different animal.“I know that was a great moment,” Dodgers coach Manny Mota said of the 1980 game, “but this is going to be better.” “Restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, the cleanup of all that activity – it’s kind of like extra work for our city,” he said. “The economy of our city is driven a lot by tourism, sports and entertainment, and that’s what generates the service aspect of our economy. We’re a service economy city. It’s just a real win-win-win.”To appreciate just how far the All-Star Game has come, begin with a look back at 1980.‘IT’S JUST COME TO THE BALLPARK’Dodger Stadium opened its gates on July 7, 1980, the day before the game. Players worked out on the field, but there was no Home Run Derby, no Futures Game, no celebrity softball game or formal autograph session. Fans showed up anyway.“People were waiting anxiously,” said Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers’ veteran Spanish-language broadcaster. “People started coming to Dodger Stadium just to see what the game was going to be. There was a workout, but really the city was very much involved in the game. They had never had it. Peter (O’Malley, the Dodgers’ owner) did a great job promoting the game.”Fans had one additional reason to get an early peek at the field: The rectangular video board known as “Diamond Vision” was set to make its debut above the left field bleachers. Reportedly built at a cost of $3.5 million, Diamond Vision was touted as the largest color television in the world by its supervisor. It was 20 feet tall and 28 feet wide. The largest video screen currently in baseball, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, is 221 feet wide and 59 feet tall. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Diamond Vision endured at Dodger Stadium for 32 years. It was replaced by the existing hexagon-shaped high-definition screen in 2012.Attendance for the game was announced at 56,088, a sellout. ABC’s national telecast attracted more than 36 million viewers. It remains the second-most watched All-Star Game ever. Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, Al Michaels, Don Drysdale and Bob Uecker comprised the TV broadcast team. Vin Scully and Brent Musberger had the radio call.Michaels, who was five months removed from calling the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey game in Lake Placid, N.Y., regularly tag-teamed ABC’s biggest baseball games with Jackson in those days. Cosell “cherry-picked” his appearances as a color commentator, Michaels said.Pitcher Jerry Reuss, one of the Dodgers’ six All-Stars, recalled that one of the ABC producers had a request for him before the game.“In the event you get into the game could you stall for 10 or 15 seconds, because we wanted to show a highlight of your no-hitter that you threw a week before. I said sure, I’ll try,” Reuss recalled.Reuss entered the game in the sixth inning. Before throwing a pitch, he motioned to Phil Garner, the second baseman from the Pittsburgh Pirates, to come to the mound. They dutifully chatted for a few seconds.“I said, ‘have you seen anything like that TV before?’” Reuss asked Garner, referring to Diamond Vision. “Everybody thought we were talking about scouting reports. We were talking about TVs.”That captured the leisurely attitude around the event. The pomp and circumstance was concise, confined to the pregame ceremonies and the two-and-a-half hour game that followed. Besides the game, the workout the day before, and a formal luncheon in between, there were no obligations on the players.“Everybody stayed at the hotel,” Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell said. “They had a luncheon for them (the players). Other than that, it’s just come to the ballpark.”Scully emceed the luncheon, which was held at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.“Vinny looks at the group and says – I’m paraphrasing – I know a lot of you would probably rather be home or be out fishing for three days,” Michaels said, “but you ought to think about one thing: it is a blink of the eye between an All-Star Game and an Old Timers’ Game. That was so perfectly put.”THE GAMEThe game did not go off without a hitch. By the first inning, a fire had broken out in the dry summer grass of Elysian Park. Helicopters were summoned to douse the flames. The fire was extinguished within an hour.Gerald Ford, three years removed from his final day as president, attended the game. He sat next to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn on the field level, puffing on a pipe. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti sat in the Commissioner’s box as well. They were likely not among those who booed pitcher Tommy John during pregame introductions; John left the Dodgers to sign with the Yankees as a free agent in 1977.John did not get the last laugh. The National League was held hitless for the first four innings. The American League broke through against Dodgers pitcher Bob Welch in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by Fred Lynn. Ken Griffey Sr. ended the no-hit bid with a home run of his own against John. The American League led 2-1.In the sixth inning, John allowed five consecutive batters to reach base, on four singles and an error. Two runs scored. The NL ultimately won 4-2, its ninth consecutive All-Star Game victory. Reuss was the winning pitcher and Griffey was named MVP.“For me, it was a great honor to come to Dodger Stadium – a stadium that you don’t get to see when you’re in the American League,” said Rick Honeycutt, the Seattle Mariners pitcher who has been the Dodgers’ pitching coach since 2006.“For my parents, it was the first time to see me actually play in the All-Star Game,” said Reggie Smith, a Dodgers outfielder. “On the bitter side of it, I blew my arm out in that game making a throw. It kind of changed the direction of my career. I held the runner to a single but I had to have surgery.”FROM A GAME TO A ‘CELEBRATION’The Home Run Derby was added to the slate of activities for the 1985 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. The Futures Game, a showcase for the top minor league prospects in every organization, was added in 1999. By the turn of the century, the 1980 version would seem quaint.When the All-Star Game came to San Diego in 2016, the list of league-sponsored events included a yoga pose, the dedication of a renovated softball field, a 5K run and a children’s hospital visit.“It’s gone from being a game to being a four-day celebration of baseball,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Our goal in expanding the event is just to give more people the opportunity to participate in the All-Star Game festivities.”That four-day “celebration” could expand further in the next two years.Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
For the first time in several years, Guyana last year abstained from voting on a United Nations Resolution in favour of a moratorium on the death penalty.A section of the panellists who attended the high-level meetingGuyana’s position has taken the international community by surprise, since, previously, the country voted against the death penalty ban.In fact, the United Nations Biennial High-Level Panel on the death penalty, which met last week in Geneva, said it has taken note of Guyana’s decision to abstain from voting while Melinda Janki, a member of the High Level Panel, described Guyana’s move as a ‘success’.Though the death penalty is still enshrined in Guyana’s laws, the last execution was done in 1997. As of February 2017, there were 25 persons on death row. The death penalty is directly linked to the period of colonialism but while it still obtains in some Commonwealth countries, the United Kingdom amended its laws in 1965 to eliminate it.Janki, according to a press statement, condemned the death penalty as barbaric and said that “like slavery, the death penalty says that some people are less than others”. She reminded countries that the Dutch and British colonial powers in Guyana used the death penalty to terrorise enslaved Africans and that even today inequality was hardwired into Caribbean societies. She also pointed out that the death penalty was also applied in a discriminatory way.According to her, in the English-speaking Caribbean, death sentences tend not to be imposed on the rich and powerful, but only on the poor and the powerless, the illiterate, the under-educated and the mentally challenged.“Unlike the rich who could secure top-quality legal representation, the marginalised were often left with mediocre legal representation and a serious risk of wrongful conviction,” she highlighted.Janki pointed out that States had an obligation to protect all of their citizens not just those people who Governments and Judges believed should be protected.She added that: “Even the United States of America, which is such a rich and powerful country, is now infamous for the number of innocent people who have been sentenced to death in its courts.”Last December, some 121 States, including Dominica, voted in favour of the UN resolution for a global moratorium on executions, while 32 countries, including Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda, abstained.According to the UN, 35 States, including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and US, which voted against the resolution, are clearly out of step with the global trend towards abolition.