Friday, January 17, 2014

Interesting Domain Name Registrations

Those familiar with domain name registration know about WHOIS, where one can query any web address and find out who the registered owner is.

I got to wondering, and found a couple of interesting web addresses that have been registered, but which do not have websites attached to them - yet. is registered to Ross Wells, who LinkedIn shows works in Government Affairs for Frost, Brown, Todd here in Indy.  It was created on August 15, 2012.  Unless renewed, it is set to expire on August 15, 2014. is held by Domains by Proxy, which provides private registration of domain names so that the true owner's name and contact information is not readily available.  The domain name was created on November 18, 2013.  DeLaney's Indiana House campaign site,, is registered to a Denver Abernathy at Promethius Consulting, an IT and website design service company here in Indy.   That domain name was registered back in 2008, renewed for only a couple of months on November 25, 2013, and is currently set to expire on February 28, 2014. is held by Frank Short of Short Strategy Group.  It was created on November 15, 2013.  This registration, unless renewed, will expire on November 15, 2018.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ameriplex Donates 50 Acres To Land Trust

Holladay Properties, owners and developers of the AmeriPlex Industrial Park situated in Decatur Township, has donated 50 acres of land to the Central Indiana Land Trust.  The Land is mostly wooded and Flynn creek runs through two of the three parcels.

Most of this property runs along the north side of Flynn Road.  This donation will serve to keep this land as a lovely public Preserve to buffer the residents of 'old' Camby from the whirl of the industrial Park.

In their press release, Cliff Chapman, interim director of the Land Trust, says "This is one of the most valuable gifts of land to a land trust in Indiana's history."  The land is valued at $4.3 million, but Chapman attaches value from the endangered bat species that thrive in the area.  The Land Trust "will enhance the area with plantings of native trees and shrubs, as well as other restoration work that will encourage Indiana bats and other wildlife to use the property.  To support these efforts, Holladay also is donating $125,000 for a stewardship fund."

This is an outstanding development.  The community has long wanted a park use on this property, and the donation to the Land Trust will ensure it will be a nature preserve for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pretzel Logic

If two adults love each other, they should be able to wed, and thereby obtain all of the legal benefits and obligations of any other married couple.  I truly do not understand why we even have to have a discussion about it.

Here in Indiana, however, we aren't talking about legalizing wedlock for same-sex couples. 

We aren't even talking about banning same sex marriage, since that is already the law.

No, Indiana has set the wayback machine to Neanderthal days, and is 'debating' enshrining the ban on same sex marriage in the State Constitution.

Yesterday the Indiana House Judiciary Committee took testimony regarding a bill that would require a referendum to decide if the Constitution should be amended.

We heard from a number of people how their Jesus Christ and their Yahweh required this bigotry against same sex couples as a core principle of their religion.  It was as if their religion would collapse if this bigotry was not enforced by Constitutional amendment.

I suspect that these same folks would be appalled if a group of Muslims were trying to enact sharia law into the Indiana Constitution.

It is the same reaction I have to their attempt to enshrine their personal religious beliefs in that same Constitution.  I find their attempt abhorrent, appalling, and against the founding principles of our nation.

For all the world they sound like the aggrieved parties; that somehow they suffer from the intolerance of others who do not share their intolerance of gays and lesbians.  Their pretzel logic draws a direct consequence to their ability to practice their religion from the lack of a Constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

I've said it before, if you don't like same sex marriage, don't do it.

Among America's founding principles is that the rights of a minority should not be abridged by the whim of a majority.  As the Eric Millers of this world see the majority opinion shifting away from their bigotry, they push ever harder to make their societal view legally unchallengeable.  They are willing to cast about outrageous lies to create a climate of fear against the marriage of gay or lesbian couples.

We cannot let Miller and his ilk succeed.  One amendment proponent testified yesterday that life is too short.  Yes, it is.  It is too short for real people who live now, and who simple want to be able to say 'I love you' and 'I do'.  Why is that so hard to deal with?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Property Tax Relief - How the City/County Has Faired

I don't usually 'do' twitter.  I'm on a steep learning curve yet in that realm.  Not to mention how I'm not prepared for such short notes.  But an exchange between Matt Stone of IndyStudent blog 'fame', and Matt Tully of IndyStar 'fame' (and another man I don't know but very likely has his own arena of 'fame') caught my attention.

Tully was claiming that the 'small' tax increases since the property tax caps were instituted did not make up for the lost revenue.  Stone disagreed.

Stone is correct.  The short view is simple enough.  The state took over more than $100 million in City/County obligations - Family and Childrens Services and pre-1970 police and fire pensions.  The former was $99.6 M in 2007 and $107.5 M in 2008.  I could not find numbers for the latter.

The tax caps give relief to the taxpayers.  But, any taxpayer relief is equal to tax revenue that cannot be collected - referred to as 'circuit breaker' penalties.  The City/County did not see any circuit breaker reduction in its property tax collections until 2009.  That year the City/County collected $278 M in property taxes AFTER subtracting $26 M in circuit breaker penalties.  The circuit breaker penalty has steadily grown, but so too has the net property tax revenue actually collected by the City/County.  For 2014 it its expected that this unit of government will collect $306 M in property taxes AFTER subtracting $55 M in circuit breaker penalties.

This was not the only thing happening during this time.  Let us not forget the reason Ballard was elected Mayor in the first place was because then Mayor Peterson raised income taxes for a new 'public safety tax'.  The reason for this tax was to cover the pension obligation.  Once Ballard was inaugurated, his fellow Republicans in the State Legislature agreed to take that pension problem off his hands - freeing up some $74 M in 2008.  Total income tax revenues to the City/County have fluctuated mildly since then, running from $247 M in 2009 to $239 expected in 2014 - not much difference in the scheme of things. 

With the Great Recession ebbing, income tax receipts and property tax receipts should be climbing once again as we move forward from here.

So, before you swallow the City's PR machine's woe-is-me, tax-caps-are-so-bad, line of bull, check out the real numbers.