Odds and ends from the Hoosier state:
I'm glad to see the Clyde Theatre renovation project got the last piece of its funding with a $1 million grant from Regional Cities. The aim in renovating the 21,000-square-foot theater is not just restoring a 66-year-old movie theater, our Bob Caylor has reported, but transforming it into a multi-use entertainment and events facility, including a performance hall with seating for 2,200 and a 6,000-square-foot two-story art gallery. Renovations are scheduled to begin next month and expected to be complete by early 2018.
I don't begrudge downtown all the work going on there, but it's nice to see something major like this in my neck of the woods. The idea that I could walk to a concert or performance, or hell, a street fair, has a lot of charm. And I wouldn't even have to buy an overpriced condo.
The Clyde was one of the movie theaters of my youth, along with the Rialto, Jefferson and Embassy. (And, to a certain extent, the Indiana on Broadway. By the time I was in high school, it was showing Spanish-language films, and our Spanish teacher liked to take us there for field trips.) The distinction of the Clyde was that, if you got tired of buttered popcorn, it had hot dogs, a treat few theaters at the time had.
I hated to see the Jefferson go, and the current state of the Rialto is sad. I'm glad the Embassy has been such a treasure, and I hope the Clyde can one day contribute as much to Fort Wayne.
The Indiana Institute for Working Families has put together a nifty little interactive calculator that lets you know how much money you need to survive without outside assistance based on which county you live in. Just enter your county and the number of dependents you have, and the algorithm takes care of it.
It matters which county you live in. For instance, the amount needed to make ends meet for one adult and one preschooler varies from $13.58 per hour ($28,681 annually) in Cass County to $23.18 per hour ($48,951 annually) in Hamilton County. A family with one parent, a baby and a preschooler would need a $55,388 annual income to survive without any help.
As a single adult with no children, I would need a job paying $8.90 an hour, or $18,811 a month, to be self-sufficient here in Allen County. In Marion County, I would need $9.77 an hour or $20,637 a year. In Hamilton County, I would need $11.39 an hour or $24,046 a year.
The Institute points out that these are “bare bones" amounts that don't "include ordering pizza or coffee, or buying a birthday present.”
Three voucher-receiving private schools in Indiana have asked the state to delay the consequences for failing grades, less that two weeks after Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a law allowing such schools to make the request. Voucher schools that receive D or F school grades for two consecutive years face consequences that can include being unable to accept new voucher students until school grades improve. Three schools are asking the board to let them accept new voucher students — and state money — in the upcoming school year.
This seems like a big mistake on the state's part. We've written several editorials saying that any education experiment — which vouchers still are — needs to include a strong evaluation system, and that the state needs the courage to pull the plug on any experiment that isn't working. Letting voucher schools slide on state guidelines doesn't seem to be a way to ensure quality education or reassure Hoosiers that the state is paying attention to quality.
Kendallville's has become the latest public library to drop the Dewey Decimal system in favor of the simpler system used by most bookstores — mysteries in one section, biographies in another, etc. etc. That's the way most people have used libraries, I think. Never mind the decimal system — we just get used to where the books we like are. I always honed in on science fiction/fantasy, and I couldn't tell you the Dewey Decimal Number if my life depended on it.
Not that I've been to a library or a book store in a few years. I'm afraid Amazon has made a very lazy book collector. Often, I don't even go looking for books I'd like to read, but choose from the list Amazon has compiled of my likes based on what I've read in the past.
The Times of Northwest Indiana has a nice editorial praising the "community values" of voters in two out of three Region school referendum votes. Munster, Lake Station and East Chicago voters went to the polls is a special election this week and were asked to support or oppose respective school funding referendums. With all of the votes counted, nearly 68 percent of the Munster voters who participated in the election and 55 percent of the Lake Station referendum voters supported the measures in question. Only voters in East Chicago — albeit a paltry 14 percent of its eligible voters — defeated a public school referendum.
"We applaud Region communities whose residents realize the direct effect quality schools have on social fabric and property values," the editorial said. "This way of thinking should spread throughout our Region's cities and towns."
When it was decided that such property tax hikes should go to referendums, critics complained that school funding would dry up because voters would never volunteer for a tax increase. But we've seen that that hasn't been the case. When a proposal is justified and voters are given the proper information, they vote in the affirmative. That's what happened here when Fort Wayne Community Schools overreached with a tax increase and were suitably rebuked. They redid the request and made it more reasonable, and it won overwhelmingly.
Oops. Holy Cross students freaked out a little when an email from a vice president painting a bleak picture of the college's future was mistakenly sent out to the entire student body. It said the better part of the coming school year may be spent closing down the college. This, after the college president left abruptly last month. The email claims that he was fired. The school quickly went into damage control mode, with the interim president assuring students that "this was one person's opinion and does not reflect the conversations that the Board of Trustees and administration are having about the future of the College."
Yeah, that would calm me right down.
Peyton Manning becomes the first Colt of the Indianapolis era to have his number (18, of course) retired. No one is more identified with Colt's rise to greatness culminating in the Super Bowl win. He'll also have his own statue.
All that, and he had a great second chapter and another Super Bowl win in Denver. Nobody deserves such accolades more.