September 12th, 2019
Everybody In!
With September, the arts season is upon us. Being a Hamilton County resident in 2019 means a lot of choices when it comes to entertainment … which, in the eyes of the economic development experts, makes us a pretty desirable destination in terms of quality of life. Just because it’s in our backyard, don’t take it for granted. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Season Preview, planning the season for Carmel’s Center for Performing Arts is something of a dance all its own. (Check out the story here … pretty fascinating stuff.) Make a plan to catch some shows this fall … and catch up on your weekly 3 For Thursday entertainment while you’re at it. 
Just Looking for a Fair Share . Taking more than 300,000 emergency calls annually requires a substantial investment … about $11 million a year in Hamilton County. While we’re all about helping our neighbors, the bean counters of the county have called out Atlanta, Cicero, Sheridan and Arcadia for not pulling their weight in terms of paying for Hamilton County’s 911 operations. Historically, “the big four,” -- Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville -– covered the bill, but that fire truck has left the station. When the sum was divvied up to reflect population and need, there was about $500,000 left for the smaller towns to pay, which they contend is outside their budgets. Hence the probable passage of a 0.1 percentage point tax increase in the local county income tax. Like the Cubbies say, “Everybody in!” 
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. While curbing tobacco use remains a OneZone priority (as it has a direct impact on business productivity, lost wages and employee health), the last few weeks’ headlines have seen numerous reports regarding the dangers of vaping. Several users across the country have ended up in the hospital – or dead – from vaping homemade concoctions (mixing THC and vitamin E and inhaling it into one’s lungs is not recommended usage, fyi). Meanwhile a Carmel teen recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that alleges e-cigarette maker Juul Labs intentionally targeted youngsters with candy flavors and rainbow colors. Once he tried the product, the teen contends, he was hooked due to the high level of addictive nicotine. The Centers for Disease Control estimate one in five high school students use the e-cigs (and usage is up in Indiana about 300% since 2012). The Legislature’s Interim Committee on Fiscal Policy is scheduled to explore possible taxation on vaping products next month, which could lead to recommendations for the 2020 session . It will be interesting to see how it fares given the repeated tobacco legislation flame outs.
Political Challengers Surface. A “hometown guy” has thrown his hat in the ring as a Republican contender for the Governor’s seat. Hamilton County resident Brian Roth has filed paperwork to challenge incumbent Eric Holcomb. The 1988 graduate of Taylor University served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years. He’s currently the president of Employment 2 Deployment LLC, a consulting and leadership development firm. Democrat Woody Myers filed his paperwork to run for the seat earlier in the summer.