IS IT TRUE? February 9, 2011


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? February 9, 2011

IS IT TRUE that just as anticipated that the Vanderburgh County Commissioners passed the first reading of the comprehensive smokefree workplace ordinance last night?…that the vote like last time was 2 – 1 along party lines?…that the lone dissenting vote came from Commissioner Stephen Melcher who made an informative speech explaining his no vote as based on his historical position more than on opposing the facts that support such ordinances?…a parade of speakers went to the lectern to plea with the commissioners to adopt the resolution?…that the reasons cited were scientific evidence of the damage that second hand smoke causes, lifestyle, and economic competitiveness?…that not a single speaker stood up to oppose the ordinance?

IS IT TRUE that earlier in the County Commissioners meeting that Russ Fowler from INDOT testified about the proposed changes to the FULL CLOVERLEAF that had been on the drawing board for years for the intersection of Highway 41 and the Lloyd Expressway?…that the mirror image design of what is already there will basically only result in the two stoplights on the Lloyd being moved to 41?…that Highway 41 is the reason that Evansville is known by some professional drivers as “stoplight city”?…that if one drives from Princeton to Miami by the shortest route that more stoplights will be encountered on 41 going through Evansville that will be encountered on the entire rest of the trip?…that INDOT stands to save $13 Million by doing a mirror image design instead of a full cloverleaf?

IS IT TRUE that $10 Million of those savings will come from avoiding the need to make some needed and positive changes to the sewers?…that if a full cloverleaf is put in that one of the requirements is to convert a short segment of the existing COMBINED SEWER into a modern sewer for drainage purposes?…that the City of Evansville is under court order to make these changes to the sewer in the next 20 years anyway?…that if INDOT goes ahead with its money saving half job that the $10 Million sewer cost to the City of Evansville will most likely increase because now our city will not only have to fix the sewer it will have to tear out and replace part of the half job intersection to do so?…that if there ever was a time to look a gift horse in the mouth that it may just be this project?…that this intersection may just be the gift that keeps on taking?

IS IT TRUE that we have a need for improvements on the west side that would not require tearing them out later?…that Mr. Fowler advised the Commissioners that if the money is not spent where INDOT decided that it will not necessarily be redirected to another project in Vanderburgh County?…as pleasing as Mr. Fowler’s demeanor seemed to be, that was a veiled threat?…that the City County Observer is very proud of the letter sent and efforts expended by Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, City Council President B. J. Watts, County Council President Joe Kiefer, and County Commissioners President Lloyd Winnecke to convince INDOT to go forward with this project as it has been planned for years?…that the FULL CLOVERLEAF solution is the right solution?…that all of our elected officials agree and have let that be known?…that INDOT saving $13 Million now and causing Evansville to spend more than that later to tear it out and rebuild it to satisfy the EPA lawsuit is just not good business?

IS IT TRUE that the UE Purple Aces are now sitting alone in 4th place in the Missouri Valley Conference after last night’s victory over defending champion Northern Iowa?…that the USI basketball team is having a good year and just got a favorable ruling from the NCAA regarding post season play?…that some people can’t take a joke?…that we were just kidding about the Bruce Pearl visit to Team Troy’s announcement?…that we knew that Coach Pearl had a job to do in Lexington last night in his return to the bench after his 8 game suspension?…that we were just kidding about Troy being named the head of public relations for the Tennessee basketball team too?…that we really do not believe that the abominable snow man rules downtown Evansville when it snows?…that sometimes we use humor mixed into our column.

IS IT TRUE that we are curious about what Troy will call his team?…that Team Troy, Team Tormatta, or even a band of Trojans will get the point across?

IS IT TRUE that Mole #3 is not known for joking and never uses humor?


  1. Is it true that it only took two gutless wonders to pass the “outside the city only” smoking ban? Is it true that this will only affect 4 or 5 establishments (Hornet’s Nest, Frontier Tavern, St. Joe Tavern and ????). Is it true that passing this ordinance allows two commissioners to add “Passed comprhensive smoking ban” to their political resumes so it can be used for fodder in future campaigns when, in reality, its impact in the real world is virtually undetectable?

    Is it true that it took absolutely no intestinal fortitude to pass this ordinance as written? Is it true that all they have done is to shift the “burden” of having to pass an ordinance with some exemptions on to city office holders when, had they had any true resolve on the issue, they could have done it all themselves? Is it true that you can bet your bottom dollar these two commissioners will use this as a selling point in future races (“See what I did and they didn’t do? I’m who you should vote for because I stand by my convictions and don’t compromise!”)

    Is it true that these two commissioners are far more concerned about protecting a couple hundred people out of 150,000 from the evils of secondhand smoke than they are about protecting 50,000 rural residents from the evils of a hostile takeover by a secondhand city (no threshold rejection in consolidation vote)?

    • Could not agree with you more!

      But at the very least – Marsha will have 1 checkmark for her resume!

    • For clarification, I think that a reasonable compromise had already been reached regarding the smoking issue and that NO action was warranted. 24% of the population plus non-smokers who could care less is NOT an insignificant number of people that should just be brushed aside by “the masses”. The number of establishments allowing smoking was already far, far below 24%. Non-smokers have plenty of choices already. They just won’t be happy until smokers have no choices at all as this has become a crusade all about control.

  2. Is it true that INDOT’s motto is, “Why do 5 things right the first time and never have to revist them when you can half-arse 8 things for the same money and create longterm job security by having to redo them again later?”


    If we had politicians and others in local government with any guts, they would plan a day, notify the national media, and walk this area with protest signs over this ridiculous plan! I know. That ain’t gonna happen. They all have their careers to look out for. The motoring public is a distant second.

  3. “anticipated”?

    Yea, no kidding.

    Even now, Mr. Melcher’s “informative” speech didn’t incline this paper to repeat any of his, ahem, information.

    Is it true, that it has been 1 day since the County forced us to be “healthy” in an effort to bring jobs here? So far, 0 jobs.

    • If all the jobs hinted at by the passage of a smoking ordinance, the arts district and a new arena come to pass, traffic will be so bad the Lloyd will become a parking lot at rush hour. Just more lies by politicians and zealots.

      • You have to put this tyrannical move in context though…

        At least this, resume enhancement, didn’t come with a 122 million in bond debt, more public ventures into the private sector and shifting taxpayer money into wealthy performers and management companies pockets for a decade.

        A zealot that takes your smokes away isn’t quite as bad as the zealot that sold you into bonded slavery are they?

        Although, one on top of the other is an awful mix.

      • Smoking ordinances do not attract any jobs. They keep a place from losing jobs they already have and eliminate objections when Evansville is a finalist and the competitors already have a comprehensive smoking ordinance. When it comes down to choosing between several locations and economics are similar, the goal of a committee is to eliminate all but one. That is when not having a smoking ordinance hurts us. The truth of the matter is that Evansville has much work to do to compete with other locations on lifestyle. This is just one, but it is essentially free along with elimination of litter. Our other shortcomings like infrastructure and workforce education are problems that take time and money. The least that we should do is take care of what is free to implement.

        • Do location selection committees have a check box for how many stop lights a community has on its major east-west expressway or along its 20-mile stretch of federal highway?

          • First they are concerned with the rapidity with which they can move their goods or services to their markets. To the extent that their distribution is affected by a cascade of stoplights then yes. The counter argument is of course Manhattan which has terrible traffic but still is the home to lots of high paying financial jobs that are not affected by the fact that the fastest way to travel 20 blocks is to walk. Evansville/Vanderburgh is goods oriented. Our cascade of stoplights has driven manufacturing and warehousing to the north 41 corridor and the Vanderburgh Industrial Park. All things considered they would rather be close to interstates and airports when the distribution of goods is their priority.

        • I can see where from an economic planning framework, it’s one of those “no brainers”.

          For those of us that don’t believe in free lunches, I see the costs too.

          The whole country has a problem with job, “creation”. If we continue to throw all of our tax money into competitive fights between states and municipalities… Does that solve the big picture problem – at all – or is it sticking with the status quo, compounding it?

          • Places that offer attractive lifestyles, outstanding career opportunities, and competitive salaries do not have to rely on government handouts to attract jobs. Using tax money to create jobs is pretty much an act of desperation. Creating $100,000 of government payroll at prevailing tax rates takes roughly seven private industry jobs to support one government job. The real answer to the big picture is to create enough value in the private sector to allow the government to do what they do best which is to provide infrastructure and protection. In the grand scheme of prosperity, the status quo is always something that is the object to be made obsolete by newer and better goods and services that keep profits and growth at high levels. We have miles to go as both a city, state, and country to get this in balance.

          • “Places that offer attractive lifestyles, outstanding career opportunities, and competitive salaries do not have to rely on government handouts to attract jobs”, name one for me please.

            There can’t be one, because in your second sentence, you made my point. It’s desperation.

            Creating jobs is also big business, because some people become professionals at ladling servings from the public trough…

  4. Weinzapfel, Kiefer, Watts, and Winnecke all sent a letter to INDOT complaining about the interchange. That’s 4 leaders who will never bring Evansville into the 21st century but rather fight to build a road from the 1950s. And people wonder why we are always behind the rest of the U.S. $0 should be allocated for the lloyd or 41.

    • The roads are there. The interchange is there. It has to be dealt with. That’s what engineers are supposed to do, deal with existing conditions and make them suit future expectations. Sorry, but not everyone in Evansville is ready to hop on your train, son.

      • Of course, even if they were ready to hop on that train, the question would be the train from where to where and how do I then get from where I am to where the train will be and then from where it goes to exactly where I need to go. Let’s not even discuss how much all that will cost from train fares to parking to rental cars on the distant end. So much bun, so little beef. It gets rather tiresome.

        • Well, it’s easy to sit at home staring at a computer screen and pontificating about what should be and what shouldn’t be done regarding transportation. Of course some of us meanwhile have to drive to and from assigned tasks, or work out how others can do so more safely.

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