Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chocolate—Opiate of the Masses

Chocolate—Opiate of the Masses

By: Chef Wendell Fowler

Do you yearn to travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania, Cocoa Beach, Florida, or Carmel, California? Welcome to the Chocophile Club.

For 2000 years, chocolate has mesmerized humankind as it is the symbol for love, friendship and celebration with its creamy smoothness which melts in our mouths, and not in our hands. Chocolate originates from the cacao (kah Kow) tree known as Theobroma cacao. The tree is pollinated by midges whose wings beat 1000 times per second and birds that make homes in its branches. The seedpod grows on the trunk, not the branches as one might expect. Each pod is the size of a fresh pineapple and holds up to fifty seeds: enough to prepare about seven milk chocolate or two dark chocolate bars.

Actually, the first people to have made chocolate were the ancient Aztec cultures of Central America and Mexico where primarily it was mixed, ground, fermented, and turned into a frothy, bitter, spicy, albeit coveted Mesoamerican luxury beverage. For ninety percent of its history, chocolate was drunk not eaten. The Aztecs spiced their drink with chili pepper, thicken it with cornmeal, or flavored it with honey, vanilla or flower petals. At that time, sugar was not available. Montezuma was rumored to have exacted his revenge upon his domain by harboring all the “liquid gold” in his treasure troves and one would be considered lucky to be offered a frothy cup from the Emperors private stash. The great Emperor was rumored to also have used chocolate to improve his lovemaking.

The University of California, Davis has discovered that chocolate contains flavonoids and anti-oxidants, substances that are good for the heart. Flavonoids, which come from plants, are naturally occurring compounds in the cacao plant, as well as in red wine, tea, fruits, and vegetables. Six hours after eating flavonoids, platelet activity and aggregation, responsible for clotting, is reduced. These flavonoids dilate blood vessels, can help improve blood flow to the heart, and they act as antioxidants which help prevent damage caused by free-radical stress.

Flavonoids assist in keeping low-density lipoproteins (LDL’s) or the bad cholesterol from oxidizing and creating plaque on walls of our arteries. Plaque is what builds up over time and clogs our arteries. According to a press release from The Field Museum, “Contrary to the popular misconception, eating lots of chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains stearic acid, which is a neutral fat that doesn’t raise bad cholesterol (LDL).
Also, the cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a good mono-unsaturated fat similar to that fat found in olive oil that may actually raise good cholesterol.”

Various processing procedures of cheaper brands can deplete chocolate of the beneficial nutrients, and the level of them may vary from brand to brand. High quality, organic dark chocolate is the best, and chocolate made with cocoa butter instead of cheaper palm oils is much better for your heart.

Your mood is in the food. If your mojo needs a jump-start, chocolate improves your disposition since it contains 3 mg/100 g of serotonin. The celestially divine chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant that is chemically similar to caffeine. Theobromine is used to treat high blood pressure since it dilates the arteries. Chocolate also contains a chemical PEA which is the same chemical our earth-suit produces when we are joyful or in love. Cocoa also contains phenyl ethylamine, a compound that increases your production of the brain chemical adrenaline and dopamine, which elevate moods.

Forest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates…” all well and good, except you’ve got to select the right ones. Bummer; milk chocolate and truffles don’t count.

Since we know that consuming fruits, vegetables, green tea and red wine are far better choices for lowering cholesterol, eat in sensible moderation. How about chocolate dipped fruit at your next soiree? Americans spend around 13 billion per year on the seductive food of the gods. Are you doing your part?

“Eat Right, Now!” biweekly on Saturday Daybreak Morning News, 7:50 AM on WISH

Need A Ride To Work?

Need A Ride To Work?

By: SEND Staff

As difficult as it can be to find a job, it is often even more difficult for people to keep a job, especially if their transportation is unreliable. Indianapolis, with its inadequate bus system makes this an even greater challenge. People in the southeast who use the bus system must often spend two to three hours on a bus each day. Even those who have cars, often find insurance, upkeep, and gas too expensive. Many have lost their license for a variety of reasons.
With this in mind, the Southeast Workforce Development Task Force is exploring the possibility of establishing van pools in southeast neighborhoods. A van pool is a group of 8-15 people who share a van ride to work. This federal program provides a van, insurance, and upkeep at a low cost. The participants pay between $25-40 a week to use the van.
Southeast Community Services at 901 S. Shelby would like to establish a van pool in the Fountain Square area. Participants would meet at the Fountain Square Center, take the van to work, and then return in the van in the evening. Two participants would be trained as drivers and receive free transportation. Those interested in participating in the van pool should contact Elaine Cates, SECS, 901 S. Shelby, Indianapolis, IN 46203, 2nd Floor. For more information, please call 317.236.7400 x 241. If there is enough interest, a van pool could form as early as February 1st.

Gray Skies

Gray Skies

By: Irvin Etienne

Yuck. January and February can be so depressing. January usually not quite so bad because you need a little down time after the holidays, so it doesn’t get to you until late in the month. February on the other hand can be murder with day after day of gray sky and March so far away. During these two months every sunny moment is worshiped like a movie star.
“Did you see the sun yesterday?”
“Yes. It was as beautiful as that picture in People”
“I know. I know. But in person you could actually feel the warmth.”
“OMG! I know exactly what you mean.”

It’s just a little pathetic. But most of us really do hunger for the sun this time of year. And something green besides pine trees and hellebores. I’m sure that’s one reason we keep houseplants. Yes they cleanse the air in our enclosed winterized homes but really I think it’s the green we want and those few scraggly blooms on a begonia or geranium in the window. It takes so very little to satisfy us in the winter. Only six leaves and two flower buds on that Abutilon? Good enough. It’s February.

Sometimes though, that’s just not enough. We need to be immersed in green leaves and bright flowers and humid air (Who thought we would so miss July’s humidity?). That’s when I suggest you go to one of the local public gardens with a greenhouse of some sort. I’ve included some contact info as they could be closed on a holiday or when preparing for a special event. Right here on the Southside we have the Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s not even a bad walk on a reasonable day. It’s open daily 10am to 5pm, contact at 327-7184 or . On the Westside of downtown is the White River Gardens, part of the Indianapolis Zoo, and the Hilbert Conservatory. In January and February they are open Wednesday through Sunday, 9am to 4pm, 630-2001 or .

The other spot that comes to mind is of course the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where I work. Now, I don’t actually work at the Greenhouse but at the IMA. We always have blooming plants and lots of greenery and a staff that loves to talk plants (In truth, we just love to talk. Period.) If you can’t fit one more plant in your living room then perhaps you can use a book or birthday card or maybe a vase. We are a full retail shop. The hours are a bit convoluted I admit – Tuesday/Wednesday/Saturday 11am to 5pm, Thursday/Friday 11am to 9pm, Sunday noon to 5pm, closed Mondays, 920-2662, .

I know these are rough times for us gardening folk but we will survive these bleak days of January and February. Remember you can disappear for hours in a stack of seed catalogues or while away some time on the internet increasing your plant knowledge. Don’t forget to checkout some of the garden blogs too. What a perfect segue. I write a blog. Find it at . I just love shameless self-promotion. Stay warm.

Flavors of the Southeast Side

Flavors of the Southeast Side
By: Claire Norton

Fountain Square and the rest of the Southeast Side are flourishing. Proof of the growing vibrancy and appeal of this side of town is the restaurant Siam Square. Located at 936 Virginia Avenue, this new establishment further defines Fountain Square as the place to go to enjoy unique non-chain dining.

One taste and I became a one-woman advertising campaign for the restaurant, encouraging friends, co-workers and even some people on the street to go and enjoy. A sizable menu with an abundance of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options will provide something for nearly everyone. The portions are generous, making it possible to split an appetizer, entrĂ©e and dessert—but only if one is willing to share.

With an overwhelming number of amazing dishes to choose from, it’s hard to encourage one to try any particular dish. The Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles are among my favorites, but be certain to save room for dessert. The Roti Rolls are the most decadent dessert one might encounter, but the Thai Ice Cream with Sweet Rice is a particularly rewarding dessert, especially if paired with the Taro Root ice cream.

Not only is the food worth stopping in for, but the atmosphere is great for evenings out in large groups or small. Its proximity to downtown also makes it a perfect escape for lunch. Siam Square’s full menu can be found at their website, Open every day of the week, I encourage you to try it soon and help support this wonderful addition to Fountain Square.

Southeast Music News

Southeast Music News

By: Ryan Williams

Think of the first couple months as a recuperation period. A lot of bands leave the road to record or recover from their winter shows, and club attendance usually shrink a little as people regain their energy following the holidays. That said, there are still some great shows coming up in the Fountain Square area, so get your sleep and get back out there.

Radio Radio starts the new year with rockabilly powerhouses Bigger Than Elvis on Saturday, January 3rd. L.A.-based roots rocker James Intveld comes to town January 5th, and vaudevillian indie rockers Born Again Floozies return to the stage on January 17th.

Sam's Saloon brings in the roots rock of Kory Quinn and the Comrades with Ten Foot Band on January 2nd. There's also a big showcase featuring shoegaze favorites Yuki, eclectic rockers 83 Feet, Freddie T and The People and Nidus on January 17th. Other acts rounding out the month include The Marionette Resistance on January 9th, The Highway and Fairview on January 10th, the Woodbox Gang on January 16th, and ATHENS! on the 30th. Nidus returns February 21st, and Avero plays February 27th.

Remember that Deano's Vino features acoustic rock, folk and jazz music every weekend, and it's Swing Night at the Fountain Square Theater every 2nd and 4th Friday. Enjoy, and Happy New Year.

Neighbors Together Make a Good Neighborhood

Neighbors Together Make a Good Neighborhood

By: Susan Beauchamp

Have you heard about the Study Circles that have occurred in Southeast Indianapolis? These are part of the Making Connections Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Study Circles are a facilitated discussion between neighbors, friends, and other residents to discuss a particular issue. Through the discussion comes a plan for action to improve the neighborhood. The Study Circle is providing a small host grant ($) that helps fund dinner, childcare, a facilitator, or other challenges to implement the meeting. People usually meet 4 – 6 times at a home, church or other community building for about 2 hours each time. The discussion is fluid for the group to make their own agenda. By the end the series of meetings, the group comes up with an action plan and can receive a mini action grant (more $) to implement their goals. About 30 groups have met in the past several years. Plans have resulted in building block clubs, the Fountain Square Arts Council, youth & teen issues, education, and especially better communication among residents. In 2008, 10 groups have finished meeting and developed action plans. Groups are forming for 2009. It is still possible to make an application, train a facilitator, and plan for spring, summer or fall study circles now. Please contact Elizabeth Ryan, resident coordinator, at 974-5741 or email .

Avoiding a Big Bang: A Memoir

Avoiding a Big Bang: A Memoir

By: Phyllis Nash

Even after the oven glass broke, my mom still used a 2-burner kerosene stove. She would place raised bread dough in the separate oven. She would sit the oven on top of the burners of the kerosene stove and bake light bread that was great when served hot with butter, or even with the oleo that we used and had to color. It was tough being without a big oven, but at least we still had a stove!
Years later, my late husband told me how his mother had what was called a fast recovery kerosene stove that must have cooked food a little like our gas stoves. But my mother’s kerosene stove took a long time, about 15 – 20 minutes, to get to a full flame. I remember going with her to get wicks from the local hardware store.
Also the tank had to be replenished, and I think it would only hold about a gallon of kerosene. My Mom & Dad called it the “oil stove”. She was the one who would go to get the kerosene, but one day, a well-meaning neighbor called out, “Mrs. E., why don’t you have gas yet?” After that, I don’t think my mom went to get kerosene until after dark; she was embarrassed.
None of the older children could go to get the kerosene. They were not living at home or working, and Mom wouldn’t send the younger kids. I hated to see my mom feel humiliated, and I was old enough to go (about 13), yet I also never wanted to be seen with the jug and get asked questions. So I asked my girl friend if she’d go with me after dark. She was delighted to do so, and it became my job.
One time I think we were mistakenly sold gasoline for kerosene. My mom got suspicious and asked the neighbor man what he thought, and he agreed that it smelled like gasoline. She may have saved our lives or kept a potentially dangerous situation from happening.
Eventually my mom got a gas stove, saving us those trips to the gas station and the hazard of possible fire. I remember a special Dutch decal on the new, modern gas stove with the oven inside.

Trailsafe on Pleasant Run Parkway

Trailsafe on Pleasant Run Parkway
By: Jon Clucas

Pleasant Run

In October 2008, Mayor Greg Ballard announced new public safety initiatives for Indy Parks and Greenways trails. In southeast Marion county, the Pleasant Run trail is one of the trails planned to be safer thanks to the new Trailsafe program.

The Trailsafe program will be fully implemented by volunteers who frequent the trails. Any regular Indy Parks trail user is invited to sign up to monitor a 1 – 2 mile stretch of trail and note any vandalism, unsafe conditions, or maintenance issues. With frequent updates from Trailsafe volunteers, the Department of Public Safety will be able to deal with problems efficiently.

Pleasant Run Parkway runs 6.9 miles from Garfield Park to Ellenberger Park. Anyone interested in monitoring a section of Pleasant Run Parkway (or any other Indy Parks trail) should email Annie Brown at . In your email, be sure to include your first name, middle initial, and last name, your full address, at least one phone number, your email address, your social security number, your date of birth, your top three choices for what section of trail you would like to monitor, and how flexible you are regarding these choices.

Indy Parks runs a background check on each of their volunteers. If you show interest in volunteering for the program and submit your information, Indy Parks may select you to monitor a segment of the trail. If you are selected, Indy Parks will contact you with further details, including training and scheduling.

The Trailsafe program allows people who actually use the trails to be responsible for keeping track of the maintenance of the trails they use. This program will thus help Indy Parks and the Department of Public Safety stay up to date with trail conditions, and will also help make sure problems are dealt with in order of importance. As the Trailsafe program gets going, Pleasant Run Parkway will become an increasingly pleasant run.

The SEND Website has lots to offer

The SEND Website has lots to offer

By: Jeff Miller

If you are looking for a bountiful resource of information on what is happening in the greater southeast side, make sure to check out . SEND is very well known for its economic development initiatives, housing programs, and of course Fab 4 Less. However, what has become a major focus in recent years is public space. And the website is a great way to learn about all of the initiatives being undertaken. In particular, you can learn about the following:
  • Infrastructure Assessment: We are undergoing an area-wide survey of our streets and sidewalks. Currently, you can view info on the SECO area which was the pilot site. More info will be added as the survey continues.
  • Neighborhood Resource Guide: This document contains contact info for all of the organizations you need to know such as Health and Hospital, Keep Indy Beautiful, Recycling locations, Police, Zoning, etc.
  • Master Plan: This valuable map of the area shows Bike Routes, Greenways, the upcoming Cultural Trail, possible locations for Public Art, and current IndyGo Bus Routes. This allows us to plan for the future needs of the area.
  • Engagement Map: Our most valuable asset is without a doubt the people that call our neighborhoods home. This map is a visual representation of all registered neighborhood organizations, block clubs, crime watches, etc in the SEND area.
  • Maintenance Plan: The maintenance plan facilitates a regular inspection process to ensure proper maintenance is occurring on our streets, sidewalks, sewers, and other public facilities. Our goal is attractive, well-maintained public spaces that serve as a source of community pride.
  • Pleasant Run: An amenity that slowly meanders through the SEND catchment area is the Pleasant Run Greenway. Watch for beautification efforts to continue in the future, as our goal is to make the trail something that people are proud of and consider a true asset to the community.
  • Public Art: Art and culture are two of the defining elements of the Southeast Side. There are two key groups that are focused on making our area an artful destination: The Public Space Art Sub-Committee and the Fountain Square Arts Council (FSAC). These groups are truly making a marked impact on the area.

So if any of these items seem interesting to you, then visit the website to learn more. Or, better yet, come to a monthly Public Space meeting. They happen every first Tuesday of the month at the SEND headquarters (1030 Orange Street) at 12:00 pm. You can contact Public Space Chairman Jeff Miller at or 917-0545 for more details. Together, we can make the Southeast side a better place to live!

Lucky for Whom?: A Memoir

Lucky for Whom?: A Memoir

By: Phyllis Nash

In the 1940s, dyed rabbits’ feet key chains of many colors were advertised in magazines and stores. They were said to be LUCKY. To me, trying to be fashionable, the dyed green ones were a smart choice. I bought one.
Some time later, my late son may have found my rabbit foot and any event wrote an essay about these items for the Catholic high school he attended. “How would you like for your foot to be cut off?” he wrote. I’m not sure how the rabbit feet were obtained. But in retrospect, I’d prefer to believe the feet were removed after the rabbits were killed and sold for meat. It may not have been the case.
I think with animal rights advocacy groups developing, and Doris Day, a 50s movie star, who won awards as an animal kindness advocate, speaking out, rabbits’ feet key chains were not cool any more! My eyes were opened for sure!

2008 Southeast Neighborhood Leaders

2008 Southeast Neighborhood Leaders

By: SEND Staff

On September 25th, at the Southeast Neighborhood Gathering, residents were asked to nominate the unsung heroes and organizations of the Southeast neighborhoods. In this article and a follow-up in March, we want to celebrate the people who make the Southeast such a great place to live and work. Some you’ve met, and others work more quietly. Together, they are transforming our city.

Becky Besser is a Neighborhood Partner. This means Becky attends many neighborhood meetings, collects and distributes information, and knocks on resident’s doors. She has a reputation for being a good listener and for pitching in wherever necessary. Becky is the member of the Friends and FACT neighborhood.

Rodney Benefield is a resident of Fountain Square and employed at SECS. Rodney helps residents by providing training for financial management and computer use. Rodney has further developed his leadership skills by completing the Making Connections Resident Led Facilitation (RLF) training.

Katie Burke was a resident of the Wheeler and member of the Fountain Square Arts Council (FSAC). She is recognized for enhancing arts awareness in our community. Katie is not afraid to take on new challenges, proven by her participation as a volunteer designer in Fab For Less 2008.

Elaine Cates is a long time resident and serves her neighborhood in many roles. She was president of FACT for ten years and remains active in Friends & FACT. Elaine is a member of the SEND board and the Fountain Square Merchants Association (FSMA). Elaine is often the first to volunteer for neighborhood projects and has had a tremendous impact on the Southeast. Through her day job as Employment Specialist at Southeast Community Services (SECS) she improves the lives of her neighbors by helping them find jobs.

Chris Dockery is one of our emerging leaders. Chris has led efforts in the Bates Hendricks neighborhood to plant over 100 trees and improves green space. Chris is one of the hardy souls who shows up and works on neighborhood clean-up days. Chris also has rehabbed two homes in the neighborhood.

Mary Fuller is a Southeast neighborhood resident known for being a happy person who is always ready with a friendly smile. Mary is appreciated for being someone who you can take at her word and an asset to her community.

Allen Janke has altered the landscape of his neighborhood – literally. Allen designed the landscape plan for the New Jersey Street esplanade. Allen, an architect and Bates Hendricks neighbor, also helped plant the trees and lay the paver circles, often coming straight from work to grab a shovel.

Jerry Keys is a neighborhood resident and active member of Friends & FACT. Jerry is also a member of the SEND board. In addition to his volunteer work, Jerry is an Organizer for Making Connections in the Southeast. In this role, Jerry has brought innovative ways of connecting and informing residents through the use of technology.

Bob Kruse, who passed away in September, was a long time resident and active leader. He served as the Treasurer for Southeast Neighborhood Development and Southeast Umbrella Organization. He was Vice President of the Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association. He was a supporter of the Community Courts program. Bob is and will continue to be missed!

Marti LaMar is President of Indianapolis Churchman Avenue Neighbors (ICANN) and incoming President of the Southeast Learning Partnership (SELP). Marti’s strong leadership skills and work ethic are helping to transform Churchman Avenue. Marti is very active in SEND and was the artist who created the popular horse sculpture featured in Fab For Less 2008.

Jeff Miller is a member of both the Fletcher Place Neighborhood Association (FPNA) and Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) boards. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to his many volunteer projects, including serving as chairperson for SEND’s public space committee.

Jim Mulholland is the President of the Bates Hendricks Association who works tirelessly on improving his neighborhood. In addition to his work in Bates Hendricks, Jim serves on many committees that are having a positive impact on the entire Southeast. Jim is making a difference in the lives of many people through his community service.

Jane Mullikin is a resident of Churchman Avenue where the combination of her warmth and persistence helped form the Indianapolis Churchman Avenue Neighbors (ICANN). Jane is active in SEND and a member of that board. She is well thought of as a leader through her volunteer work and valued in her position as an Organizer for Making Connections.

Major Cliff Myers has been the leader of IMPD’s Southeast District for only a year, but he has already made a terrific impact. Many say he reminds them of Tim Martin – a fine compliment. Cliff is personable, responsive, and serious about working with neighbors to make our city safer. According to the Wright Street Block Club, he is popular in a dunk tank.

Karl Mueller is a resident of the North Square neighborhood and an invaluable asset. He contributes to neighborhood improvement by picking up trash and mowing public areas.

Mark Stewart, though he doesn’t live in the neighborhood, probably spends more hours in the Southeast than at home. As President of Southeast Neighborhood Development, Mark is involved in many neighborhood meetings as well as serving on the boards of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership and the Abandoned Housing Task Force.

Foster Pilcher and Rob Uppencamp have almost single handedly organized their neighbors on New Street. They petitioned to include their block in the Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association and have helped lead a Study Circle. Rob is now on the board of the Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association.

Update on 229 S. Shelby

Update on 229 S. Shelby

By: Richard Campi

As of Monday, Dec. 15, 2009 at 11:57 am, David Kingen (representing the interests of Irish Hill NA and the concerned entities of SE Indy area) contacted Mike Quinn (attorney) representing Joe Collins (owner of the auto savage business). “Mike we were hopeful of hearing from you on Friday, 12/12/08, but as of this time still have not heard from you. Do you intend to proceed with your special exception hearing tomorrow?”
At 3:25 pm, David contacted me, “Sorry that I could not take your call…. I have not been able to sit down with Mr. Collins yet. I would hope that we could continue the case tomorrow and meet with the Irish Hill at their meeting in January. Please let me have your thoughts. Thanks!”
At 4:46 pm, David sent an email to the concerned entities: “It looks as though the special exception hearing on the salvage yard will be continued from 12/16/08 to 1/27/09 at 1 pm. Please mark you calendars accordingly.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, at 6:41 pm, David sent “an early Christmas present. The petition for the salvage yard at this address (229 Shelby St.) was withdrawn today. Thanks to everyone for their efforts, from the support of the remonstrating letters from nearby neighborhood organizations to support from the City County Councilors (and many others), I am sure this had a profound influence on their decision. Thanks again.”
My thoughts on the process to defeat this motions is that many cases are dragged out to have concerned neighborhood protest fall by the wayside while waiting for the case to be heard. This tends to work, as neighbors get tired of attending the hearings. It is human nature to give up and move on. Major Clifford Myers and Capt. Greg Stanton of IMPD gave me a personal call of thankfulness for my involvements and activity.

It is easy being green

It is easy being green

By: Jeff Miller

With all due respect to Kermit, being green is not only becoming the popular thing to do, it is also becoming easier by the day. When I was a young boy, I read the 1972 children’s book “Who Wants A Pop Can Park”, which used creative ways to explain the reasons we should throw our pop cans in the trash rather than litter. It left an impression on me that we need to take care of our world because it is our responsibility. I have now realized over the following years that it may be more than a responsibility, but instead a necessity.

There are several fantastic resources on the internet that help give ideas on how we can make a difference:
The 20-minute internet movie “The Story of Stuff” is a fast paced, often humorous film that examines the social, environmental and global costs of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. From the limited life cycle of personal computers to changes in footwear fashion, the story demonstrates that products are either designed to be regularly replaced or to convince consumers that their stuff needs to be upgraded. This notion of planned and perceived obsolescence drives the machine of American consumerism year round. This excellent video can be viewed at
There are several tips for taking action after seeing “The Story of Stuff.” One takeaway is to realize that recycling doesn’t get to the core of the problem. Why? Because it can take 70 bags of garbage to produce what we see at the store. Thus, it isn’t enough for us to simply recycle what we use. It is important to be sure, but reducing and reusing are even more important. More tips can be found at
To get a good idea of our personal impact on the world, take the Ecological Footprint Quiz and discover ways to live toward sustainability.
Examine the benefits of taking up or enhancing simple living. Since 1996 The Simple Living Network has been providing resources, tools, examples and contacts for conscious, simple, healthy and restorative living. The websites are and
Visit Keep Indy Beautiful’s excellent website and learn about recycling options, waste reduction and tree planting at
Consider constructing a Rain Barrel to capture and reuse this great natural resource. The internet has many great websites for how to build a rain barrel.

As a final reminder of our responsibility, even Disney Pixar is getting in the game. I am quite happy that my 2 1/2 year-old son's favorite movie right now is Wall-E, which has a fantastic message about the importance of protecting our environment. The DVD even comes in an environmentally friendly package. The take away is that we all have a responsibility to care for our world. Even small steps make a difference. As I learned as a young boy, if everyone thinks that tossing their one pop can on the ground doesn't really hurt anything, then before long we are all living in a pop can park.


By: D. DelReverda-Jennings

KUABA GALLERY: 876 Massachusetts Ave. Friday Dec. 5, 2008 from 5-10pm. Kuaba presents "Hope Inspired", new works by artist Christine Drummond and paintings created by orphaned and vulnerable children of Zimbabwe. The paintings by the orphans are a result of an inspirational art project 'Ray Of Hope' facilitated by Drummond. Also showing new large and medium sized sculptures by various Shona sculptors. Exhibition runs through Jan. '09. Free! INFO: 317-955-8405, 317-332-9357.

HOP DEAN JOHNSON: Annual Holiday Show! 646 Mass. Ave. Opening Artists Reception, Friday, December 5, 2008 from 5-9pm. Participating Artists include: Kate Oberreich, Jerry Points, Cindy Wingo, Andrea Eberbachart, Kevin Smola, Susan Mauck, Yasha Persson, Julie Ball, Amy Falstrom, Casey Jo Crist Ailes, Jim Kemp, JC Brooks, Amy Cannady, PT Sinclair, Jacobina Trump, Jerry Points, Teri Barnett, Doug Arnholter, John Domont, Kevin Smola, Carol Jourdan, Amy Kindred, Marco Zehrung, Mint Evans, Bruce Dean, Scott Johnson, D. DelReverda-Jennings. Runs through Jan. Free! INFO: 317-634-8020

IMPACT 100: Greater Indianapolis Grants: This charitable women’s giving circle awards grant of $100,000 for a specific project or program that is 1-2 years in length and has potential to make significant impact in the greater Indianapolis area. Arts and Culture is one of the eligible award areas. Nonprofit’s seat of operation must be in greater Indianapolis area (Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Hendricks, or Boone County) or must be a recognized local chapter of a state or national nonprofit serving this region. Deadline: Jan. 20, 2009 (Letter Of Inquiry). INFO: ,

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Call for Entries: Through My Eyes—Perspectives of Autism: A Juried Exhibition for Artists with Autism during the month of April 2009. Exhibition sponsored in partnership by Riley Hospital for Children Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center (CSATC) and VSA arts of Indiana in honor of National Autism Awareness Month and in conjunction with CSATC’s Autism Awareness Fair. Open to any artist with an autism spectrum disorder, age 8 and above, is eligible to submit artwork for consideration. Artwork in this exhibit will NOT be for sale. Deadline:Jan. 16, '09. INFO: Emily Compton; , 317-974-4123, 1-800-484-8055 (pin 1605) toll free,

CREATIVE RENEWAL ARTS FELLOWSHIP: The Arts Council of Indianapolis believes that a continued investment in our artists and arts administrators benefits central Indiana's overall cultural climate. Applicants must be either professional artists or arts administrators, employed by non-profit organizations; resided at least three years of consecutive residence in one of the following Indiana counties: Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson, or Shelby; have at least 10 years of experience in the arts and at least three years in which the applicant's primary source of income was employment in the arts; applicant's primary source of income over the past three years was work in dance, theatre, media arts, music, literature, visual arts, or multidisciplinary art forms. The fellowship funds may be used for research, instruction, apprenticeships, travel, conferences, or other experiences that will assist the recipient in their exploration of artistry or creative journey. Deadline: February 13, 2009. INFO:

ARTISTS SEEKING MONEY? The Indiana Arts Commission is looking for individual artists living and working in Indiana to apply for up to $2,000 from the Individual Artist Project Grant. The grants are intended to assist Indiana artists with specific project-related costs that will help them further their career and provide significant public benefit through the completed project. Applicants must be 18+, live in Indiana for one year preceding the application date. The program cycle runs from July 1 to June 30 and offers flexibility to respond to artists' needs and goals. Applicants must plan a project, or phase of a project, which can be realized within the requested budget and completed within the proposed timeline. Artists must submit application for IAP grants online. Deadline:February 2, 2009. INFO:

INDIANA ARTISAN PROGRAM:The Indiana Artisan Development program is a joint venture of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture which will support and promote Hoosier artisans and handmade products. The IADP is a wonderful opportunity for Indiana local artists, artisans and food producers. Individuals selected will be given a logo for branding their product as a “made in Indiana item,” receive business development support and funding, have an Internet presence on the IADP website, become part of artisan-related tourism trails, and have their product(s) showcased in artisan outreach programs including trade shows and retail outlets. Individuals must undergo a jurying process to be selected for the program. Guidelines and the online application are available for the 2009 adjudication jury sessions which will begin in May and October 2009. Details and grant guidelines will be available on the IAC website in January 2009; check for program updates and announcements.

GALLERY SEVEN ARTIST CALL: Gallery Seven operated by the Pike Performing Arts Center is a unique exhibition space offering an opportunity to community visual artists to be showcased during regular operational hours and during ticketed Pike Performing Arts Center programs or by appointment. Artist contracts run for one month. Free. INFO: Jared Duymovic, Community Outreach Coordinator; 317-216-5450, ,

CALL FOR SELECT ARTISTS: Regional: Specific: Escanaba, MI: William Bonifas Fine Arts Center: The William Bonifas Fine Arts Center is accepting entries for a juried exhibit entitled "Fires Around the Lakes: Ten Years After,"open to glassworkers living or working in the states bordering the Great Lakes (MI, WI, MN, IN, IL, OH, PA, NY and Ontario, Canada). This exhibit will take place June 25 to July 30, 2009 and is open to all glass media including blown, fused, cast, stained, painted, lampworked and mosaic artwork of original design created in the last two years. Entry Deadline is April 25, 2009. INFO: Beth Cox at the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center; 906-786-3833 ext. 16,

2009 BLUECAT SCREENPLAY CONTEST: Regional: IL: Call For Entries: The 2009 BlueCat ScreenPlay Contest is now open for submission of feature length screenplays! The winner receives $10,000. Four finalists receive $1500. Every writer who submits to BlueCat receives a written script analysis of their screenplay. Entry Fee - $50. Early Bird Script Analysis: Early Bird Deadline: December 1, 2008. Screenplays submitted by Dec 1, 2008 will receive their analysis by Jan 5, 2009. Regular Deadline: March 2, 2009. Late Deadline: April 1, 2009 ($60 Entry Fee.) Submit You ScreenPlay. INFO: , ,

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FSAC Children’s Art Contest

By: Susan Beauchamp

The Fountain Square Arts Council sponsored a Children’s Art contest during Santa In The Square again this year. Fifty-four Children managed to complete drawings about the holidays while they waited to visit with Santa, in spite of cold and snow. The winners were Shampaingn Barton with a picture of a Christmas elf; Madison Darr with a decorated tree; and Jaquan Hankston with a snowman. They received art supplies or a gift certificate from the Fountain Block Building. All of the children’s drawings were displayed in the windows of the Fountain Square Branch of the IMCP Library. The Fountain Square Arts Council plans to sponsor children’s art classes in January or February. For more information, contact

Falling for Fletcher Place

Falling for Fletcher Place

By: Kristen Meyer

As a Social Work major at the University of Indianapolis, one of the classes I was required to take was Social Problems. In the course, students had the option of taking a service learning lab. Being the “hands on” kind of person I am, I eagerly accepted. By signing up for this lab, I was committed to twenty-four hours of volunteer service. I spent some time in researching where I wanted to spend my time, and after having done some looking, I realized Fletcher Place was just where I needed to be.

I started volunteering in early September and immediately fell in love with the place. One of the first areas I became involved in was helping tutor for the GED program. This was something I have thoroughly enjoyed doing. I came in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to work with people in the area to help them practice for the GED exam. I became particularly close with a specific student. It was great to see him improve and progress through his studies. I loved how excited the students would get when they finally started understanding the concepts they spent so much time working on. It's such a great feeling to know that people are truly grateful for the help we volunteers put forth.

As much as I loved tutoring, I feel that what really drew me in was serving a free breakfast on Friday mornings. Instead of going out with friends on Thursday nights, I stayed in to wake up early and volunteer. I normally arrived around 8:30 a.m., a few minutes before we started serving. There was a church that served the meal, so before every meal we would all bow our heads to pray. I passed out the tickets to each individual that came through to eat. I became familiar with many of the faces that came through. Often I would go talk to them when I had a few minutes to spare. The Friday before Thanksgiving, Panera Bread had donated a bountiful amount of bread in different forms such as loaves and bagels. The bread was bagged up, so I was able to give a helping to everyone on their way out the door. All of the people were so appreciative to be receiving this. It's hard to describe just how amazing it feels to know that doing something as little as this can help a person out so much.

My experience at Fletcher Place will always be something to remember. This has helped shape me into the person I am today. I plan to continue volunteering even though I have well over the required hours for the course. Giving my time at Fletcher Place has helped me realize that Social Work is where I want to be. I couldn't have imagined a more fulfilling experience.

2008 Mayor’s Community Service (MCS) Awards

2008 Mayor’s Community Service (MCS) Awards

By: Jane Mullikin

Karen Mitchell, a resident of Grandville Co-operative and a recent graduate of Making Connections Indianapolis Resident Leadership Facilitation training was honored by Mayor Greg Ballard and Deputy Chief Mayor Olgen Williams with one of the 2008 Community Service Awards on December 16, 2008. Following is the essay nominating Karen for the award:

When Karen Mitchell says, “We’ve come a long way, but I’m not finished yet”, she means it--and the more she says it, the harder she works.

Karen worked as a Corrections Officer while raising a family of six, eventually becoming disabled after back surgeries. Not the kind of person who gives up or gives in, Karen became concerned about the dilapidated condition of the Grandville Co-operative on the near Southeast side of Indianapolis. Through the grapevine she learned the Co-op, a low income housing project, was close to bankruptcy created by a lack of oversight of the management company and was possibly on HUD’s closing list. Karen ran for the Board.

After gaining a seat on the Board of Directors in 2003, Karen began a vigorous campaign to revitalize the condition of the buildings and the grounds, to put in place proper oversight of the management company and to insure Grandville would be able to pass all audits and inspections. In her spare time, she went back to college.

Once the set of goals described above had been reached, Karen began her campaign to enrich and transform the lives of the community. She started with HOPE team and provided permanent housing for a group of Katrina families, Prenatal Housing Program from HIP, and has now added Making Connections Indianapolis’ Play and Learn for the preschoolers, Youth Leadership Facilitation training for the teens, a Junior Leadership Committee, and a Study Circle from Making Connections. Subsequently, with the raising of community awareness she was able to instigate a Grandville Planning Committee. She plans and oversees community social activities on a year round basis.

The Board Treasurer estimates Karen’s volunteer hours per month at about 167. Board meetings, hearings, orientations consume about 32 hours; administrative duties (there is no paid staff) at about 35 hours per month; direct services/security will consume around 100 hours. Karen is actually on duty 24/7 and makes every effort to be available whenever a community member needs guidance, comforting, and a ready shoulder upon which to cry.

As the Southeast Organizer for Youth Initiatives with Making Connections Indianapolis, I have been working closely with Karen for some time now. I am a part of a world where many wonderful community members pour themselves into community service, and I still stand in awe of all that Karen Mitchell is accomplishing in the Grandville Co-operative. She stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

SEND Promotes Beaubien To Serve As Vice President: Former Housing Program Manager Will Help Further Non-profit’s Mission

SEND Promotes Beaubien To Serve As Vice President
Former Housing Program Manager Will Help Further Non-profit’s Mission

Contact: Mark Stewart
(317) 634-5079 ext. 104

Julie Beaubien

INDIANAPOLIS (December 10, 2008) – Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND), a non-profit organization serving the city’s near southeast side, has promoted Julie Beaubien to vice president. Beaubien has worked as SEND’s housing program manager since 2004.

In her new position, Beaubien will assist SEND president Mark Stewart in managing the organization’s day-to day operations, including real estate development, personnel management and fundraising efforts. She’ll continue handling the housing program manager’s duties such as counseling homebuyers for homeownership and maintaining the softer issues of housing such as landlord-tenant relations, foreclosure education and pre- and post-homeowner education. She’ll also help implement SEND’s strategic plan as it works to continue supporting and revitalizing the neighborhoods just southeast of Downtown.

“We’re very pleased to have Julie as our vice president. Her hard work and dedication to community development have helped us accomplish important things,” Stewart said. “She’s an important asset for SEND and for the southeast community.”

Before coming to SEND, Beaubien worked at the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development and also served in other planning and community development positions in Florida and Lafayette, Ind.

SEND is a non-profit community development corporation created by residents to revitalize the near southeast side of Indianapolis and to enhance the quality of life of its diverse spectrum of residents. Since 1991, SEND has invested more than $35 million dollars in affordable housing, commercial renovation, youth development, and greenspace improvements.