Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another Reason Crime is Sky High

Indy wins again in the race for most foreclosures! Congrats to the leadership of this fine city. Could it be that this terrible economic condition causes the jump in crime?

I would bet yes, but I am not an ecomony man.

Irvine, Calif. – May 23, 2006 – RealtyTrac™ (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its first annual 2006 U.S. Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which ranks the foreclosure rates of the top 100 metropolitan areas. This year’s report, based on data captured over the first quarter of 2006, shows Indianapolis, Atlanta and Dallas having the highest foreclosure rates among the nation’s largest 100 metropolitan areas. Cities in the Sun Belt and Rust Belt generally had the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter of 2006, while cities in the Northeast and Gulf Coast documented some of the lowest.

RealtyTrac publishes the largest national database of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties, with more than 600,000 properties in more than 2,500 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate and Knight Ridder Online.

“Indianapolis narrowly edged out Atlanta as the city with the highest foreclosure rate in Q1,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Most of the cities with the highest foreclosure rates have above-average unemployment rates and below-average home price appreciation. Unemployment is a major reason why homeowners stop making mortgage payments, and slow home price appreciation can make it harder for homeowners in default to refinance or sell to stop foreclosure.”

Saccacio added that other economic factors such as decreasing affordability, rising interest rates and speculative buying can also fuel foreclosures. He cited Jacksonville, Fla. and Las Vegas Nevada, both of which documented foreclosure rates in the top 10 despite below-average unemployment and above-average home price appreciation.

“Because of the high home prices in many areas, more home buyers have stretched themselves financially with creative, and often risky financing that involves adjustable interest rates, interest only and negative amortization loans” he said. “Home buyers with these types of loans are more susceptible to default and foreclosure when interest rates move higher.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Word Kennedy is Becoming a Verb for Mistake

Tim Moriarity
OR
Tim Moriarty

How is it spelled????? I don't know, and honestly, I don't care. However, being that he is supposed to be in charge of something to do with the Kennedy for Prosecutor campaign, you would think that they care.

If one is so inclined to view the humor that is their website, you will find that Tim's name is spelled a number of different ways. On the media page you have the 1st version. On the neighborhood notes (Which have their own tech problems) you find it spelled another way. Nothing against Tim, I am sure he is a great guy. However, it would be refreshing for their campaign to get something right for a change. I mean, this is not nearly as complicated as double jeorpady! I think it appropriate that we start a count on how long it takes the Kennedy people to fix that problem.

That would be similar to the count the Heartland Report started. Check it out!

UPDATE:
The Kennedy website has corrected itself. Moriarty is now spelled the same throughout the website. Glad we could help.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Would She Prosecute Herself?

A story from WTHR reports that the city is paving the way for the Prosecutor to go after ten illegal billboard owners. My question to you is whether or not any of these illegal billboards had the mug of Marion County Prosecutor Candidate, Melina Kennedy?

Indianapolis - The City of Indianapolis is cracking down on big billboards.

Zoning inspectors issued citations to the owners of what the city says are ten illegal billboards that stand next to local interstate gateways. The city says the owners don't have permits, and Tuesday's citations clear the way for city prosecutors to begin enforcement action in court to force the removal of the illegal signs.Indianapolis won a case last year against Pinnacle Media, LLC, the sign company that put up the illegal signs despite a city-issued order to halt construction of the billboards. Pinnacle asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling. The court reaffirmed its decision recently, however.

City ordinances prohibit billboards along interstates inside the I-465 loop. The city says in 1999, Pinnacle took advantage of a loophole in existing laws that left land near interstate highways unzoned, erecting two billboards on the northeast side of the city. Since then, the city has worked to eliminate the loophole and get the billboards taken down. The city says Pinnacle continued to put up billboards even after an amendment to the local ordinance.

Mayor Bart Peterson said the city plans to seek a court order to get the signs removed if the owners don't comply with the citations.

We've Got a Live One!


Yesterday, the FIN had a post about the Indiana Democrats announcing that Joseph R. Pearson will be their candidate for Secretary of State against incumbent Todd Rokita. Now that we’ve had a little time to reflect on the new developments, we’ve got some additional comments.

Apparently Mr. Pearson is a former Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture under Governor O’Bannon and later Kernan. He’s also a former president of the School Boards Association and served on the Blackford County School Board.

Now I don’t want to be a naysayer but I’m a little confused. I don’t know Mr. Pearson or anyone that does know him, but he doesn’t sound like a bad guy. However, I’m not really sure how any of this qualifies him to be Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State has two main responsibilities: administering elections and regulation of the securities industry.

Mr. Pearson sounds like he’d be good at all sorts of things but I’m thinking he lacks the experience in both election procedures and securities law. And since that’s what the office he’s running for focuses on, the Democrats probably should have thought a little harder about placing him on this position on the ballot.

But like Dan Parker said, Pearson was “the best fit for what we needed." He has a heartbeat.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Survey Says

In what can only be considered an accident, Joseph R. Pearson decided to be the sacrificial lamb to run for Secretary of State.

In a related story, Joseph R. Pearson's career ended!

Joseph R. Pearson, a former deputy commissioner of agriculture for Indiana and a former president of the Indiana School Boards Association, will run for secretary of state against the Republican incumbent Todd Rokita.

Pearson will formally be nominated by the state Democratic Party at their June 3 convention in Indianapolis.

Pearson, a Hartford City resident, could not be immediately reached for comment, but Dan Parker, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, called Pearson "the best fit for what we needed."

"He brings a breadth of experience in state and local government," Parker said. "He's spent his life listening to Hoosiers and bringing their concerns to state government."
Republicans, who hold their state convention on June 19 and 20, have long had their candidates set. Rokita is seeking re-election as secretary of state; state Treasurer Tim Berry is running for auditor; and Richard Mourdock, of Vanderburgh County, is running for treasurer.

Democrats, though, are still assembling their ticket. They have yet to announce a candidate for auditor, while Michael Griffin, the clerk-treasurer from Highland, is running for treasurer.
No statewide office, though, is more important to either party than that of secretary of state.
The secretary of state in Indiana has two main functions: overseeing elections and supervising corporate registrations, including securities investigations.

Winning the job, though, has huge importance politically. If the Indiana House is again divided 50-50 after this November's general election, state law dictates that the party that wins the secretary of state's office also gets control of the House.

Also, the secretary of state is chairman of the State Recount Commission, providing a crucial vote in deciding close elections. And the race even affects individual counties. The winner of the race for secretary of state in each county determines which party's candidates go first on the ballot in that county -- regardless of who wins election as secretary of state.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Piecing Things Together


As I read through the goings on in the city today, I notice a disturbing trend. An Airport Officer was shot, a 17 year old was shot and killed, a man was shot outside of a gas station at 16th and Kessler, and Officers killed a robbery suspect at 71st and Georgetown.

That is all in the last 20 hours. Where is a local official to reassure the city that they are on top of curbing the violence. In today's paper, Olgen Williams & Dionne Leslie give their view as to things that need to be done. Olgen Williams is one of the newest members of the IPS School Board. They re taking a step to try and lead the City out of the darkness.

Then you have the other side of the story. Michael Spears, the head of IPD was on WIBC yesterday talking about the price of scrap metal being the root cause of the increase in crime. REALLY!

And the Mayor? He sent out a press release today talking about the huge number of moves in his office. The Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services has 6 new faces, mostly lateral moves within the Mayor's office.

If I am the Mayor, in charge of the city and IPD and crime rises as it has, you start rolling heads. Businesses lose dead weight if they are losing money. As is government. If you are losing in one arena, or another, you have to reorganize and try again. The cost of SCRAP METAL is not the problem.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wrong Candidate: Another "Oops" by the Democrats!


In my spare time, I like to look through candidates' websites. Today, I checked out Beth White's website. I know you are asking yourself who Beth White is. White is running for County Clerk as a Democrat against Donna Edgar, the Republican Candidate.

What amazes me on the site is Beth White's bio. It lists what she has been doing over the past number of years. If you read carefully, you will learn that Beth White prosecuted cases in 1992. The bio reads:

"She began her public service career in 1992 as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Marion County where she prosecuted cases involving major felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile delinquency."

So, not only is Melina Kennedy the least qualified candidate running for Marion County Prosecutor. She isn't even as qualified as one of her fellow Democratic running mates.

You can't make this stuff up folks. It is like the Democrats wanted to make this a joke of an election. When the candidate for Clerk has tried more cases than you, it is time to give up running for Prosecutor.

Let's think about this whole thing for one more second. If you are trying to coordinate a run for Prosecutor with the party, wouldn't you try to do everything in the world to eliminate talk about experience. In so doing, you would encourage those candidates in your party to not highlight their trial experience. I am starting to wonder if the Kennedy camp people are even awake over there and whether or not they are talking to anyone else in the party.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Are You Ready For Your Close-Up


In a decision that may change the demeanor of courtrooms across the State, cameras may be allowed into courtrooms. The Star is reporting that:

Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is expected to make an announcement today on a request to allow still and video news cameras in Indiana’s trial courts.
Cameras have historically been banned in such courts in the state. A step toward allowing cameras would bring Indiana closer in line with the majority of states that allow cameras, with restrictions.

Critics of cameras in the courtroom argue that they could intimidate witnesses and cause lawyers to play to the camera. Proponents say they would help educate the public about the judicial system and prompt attorneys to be better prepared.Shepard will make his announcement in the Vanderburgh County Superior Court at 4:30 p.m. Indianapolis time.Representatives of the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana Broadcasters Association were expected to be present.

Another Jab


Just wanted to point out this story from WISH-TV. It appears that the lack of jail capacity here in Marion County is slowly having a negative affect on Hamilton County. Criminals may not always pay attention to county lines, but they know where the money is, and that is north.

Thieves are hitting one town in Hamilton County hard. Police say as the weather gets warmer, it's bound to get worse.

Fishers has had quite a few thefts and burglaries in the past two months. In a list of recent crimes in the area, several have been on the south side of town near 96th Street and several more as you head north with some along 116th Street and then further north near 141st Street.
Gracepoint Christian Church pastor Richard Clayton showed 24-Hour News 8 the cracks in the window to his church office and chards of glass still on the window sill.

He's not the only victim. Recently, thieves made their mark at Sunblest Farms. Another theft took place at Wellington Apartments and another at Sand Creek Woods Apartments.

"Just the nature of nice weather people like to be outside. And that includes people that want to commit a crime and people that want to victimize somebody and we want to gear up, not just on the police side, but we want the community to gear up," Sgt. Gerry Hepp with the Fishers Police Department said.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Whose on 1st?

Abdul posts an interesting look into who will be the next leader of the Indiana Senate.

"I’ve been on the phone for the past few days talking to members of the Indiana State Senate about who their next leader will be. Three names keep popping up as possible contenders for the job of Senate Pro Tempore. They are current Majority leader David Long, Tom Weatherwax of Logansport, and Brent Steel of Bedford. There is another name, Mike Young of Indianapolis who I will get to in a second. However, based on my conversations here is my assessment of each man’s chances of winning. "

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blunders "R" Us


In what can only be described as a terrible blunder, the Kennedy sex offender ordinance was altered to avoid double jeopardy issues by Carl Brizzi and the City-County Council yesterday.

A City-County Council panel amended a proposal Thursday to ban sex offenders from public playgrounds and other children's gathering places so it won't interfere with criminal prosecutions.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi asked council members for the amendment so a civil penalty from the city does not restrict his ability to put sex offenders back into jail for violating conditions of their parole.

Lifetime parole conditions for sexually violent predators already prohibit them from frequenting areas where potential victims can be found. A new state law, effective July 1, makes a violation a felony offense.

Brizzi's office determined the city proposal could create a situation of "double jeopardy," where a city fine could hamper his ability to prosecute the parole violation, because a person is protected against multiple punishments for the same offense.

"We don't want the whole thing to be struck down as unconstitutional," Brizzi said.
He proposed the amendment so the fines would not apply when there's an option of criminal prosecution.

The council also doubled the initial fines. They would now begin at $600 and move to $1,000 and $2,500 for further offenses.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Crime Rise?

It is nice to see someone talking about the crime rise besides the "FIN."

I have decided to stop blaming the Mayor and Sheriff and just start talking about ways to make the city safer. After a long talk with a friend I realized I was only adding to the problem. That doesn't mean I have changed my mind that a larger jail is what the city needs to decrease the crime numbers.

IPD realizes there is a crime problem and are actively doing things to help because they realize it is their responsibility. Interestingly, I agree with Sharron Franklin that the merger can be slowed so that all resources and concentration can be focused on making things safer.

Paying the Bills

The Star touches on the State's April tax revenue.

Indiana experienced a “monster month” in tax collections in April, Gov. Mitch Daniels said today, with revenue coming in $206 million more than projected in the state’s most recent forecast.

Daniels said about 40 percent of the jump could be attributed to the Department of Revenue processing tax returns faster.

“But after you back that effect out, there’s no missing the point that we’ve had a monster month,” Daniels said. “This reflects, as it sooner or later had to, the strength of the Indiana economy.”Daniels said the biggest increases were in individual income taxes and corporate income taxes, signs that more people are working and business investments are up. Sales taxes also were greater than expected, exceeding the April target by $22.5 million.

With two months left in state government’s budget year, tax collections are nearly $300 million above the revised forecast that was issued in December. They are about $215 million more than earlier projections lawmakers used when they wrote the current $24.3 billion, two-year budget that began last July and ends next summer.