From Left Field
By BOB SHRALUKA
Bouncing around some thoughts while wondering whatever happened to Noah and the ark:
• As Dwayne Skaggs is finally doing some work on his sweeper shop in Bluffton, officials in Decatur are hoping to get a new contractor to take down his former sweeper shop here.
The process has been slowed by the fact that the first person who won the contract with a low bid later backed out. So new bids are scheduled to be taken next Tuesday by the city, which now owns the building.
Skaggs' promises to clean up his shop here never came to fruition, and the same seemed to be going on in Bluffton. But some work began on that building in early June and a story in the Bluffton News-Banner said an inspector for the Bluffton Fire Department and a representative of the Department of Homeland Security's fire and building division checked out the early work "and said they were pleased with what they saw."
• Imagine it's tough to find many local educators with degrees from Purdue who are pleased with their alma mater's choice for president. Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett, who heads the state education department, aren't on the guest lists of most teachers and school administrators in Indiana. On their dart boards, maybe.
The jokes started early. Like, did you hear Mitch is trying to sell Ross-Ade Stadium? How long before Mitch privatizes Purdue?
And then there's the legitimate question: Will Daniels, as president of Purdue, lobby the legislature for more funding for his and other Indiana schools ... after the budget cutting he imposed?
• From here, Daniels' hiring looks like a stroke of genius. The guy gets things done, whether you like his ways or not. But has there been anything goofier than the way Purdue handled the chancellor post at IPFW?
First, Chancellor Michael Wartell is forced out because of an antiquated and, well, stupid, rule making the age of 65 one of mandatory retirement. Then the trustees — three of whom are in their 70s (apparently age policies don't apply to them) — hire 64-year-old Vicky Carwein to replace Wartell.
But it will work, they say, because the mandatory retirement policy only applies if the person has been on the job at least two years and qualifies for the minimum retirement benefit. Carwein won't reach the benefit for several years.
And these are supposed to be the smart people?
• Speaking of the governor, wonder what he was thinking when he read the following Mike Pence quote: ‘‘The state has added almost 1,200 new regulations in the past four years. Businesses need relief, and they need it now.’’
• Has Decatur inherited all those construction-zone signs around town? They were up weeks before the start of the INDOT project to modernize the traffic signals on Monroe St. at four intersections from First to Fifth streets, and they're still up weeks after the work was completed. Go away!
• Indiana’s first statewide smoking ban, which takes effect on Sunday, has more holes than a field full of snakes. It exempts Indiana’s bars, casinos, retail tobacco shops and private clubs, such as American Legion posts, but it also says that facilities that permit smoking can’t host events at which children will be present.
Well, the Ligonier post, which hosts events that include children, has filed suit. At one point the suit contends that the law violates the equal protection clause of the constitution because the fraternal group has been ‘‘irrationally singled out and is intentionally treated differently from gambling facilities.’’
Gee, you don't suppose the casinos got a bigger break because they bring thousands and thousands of dollars into the state's coffers?
• One positive note to the dry conditions around here: The lack of %$@#&*%* mosquitoes. The little %$@#&*%* have no place to breed!
• Noticed an Associated Press story the other day which carried the dateline, BOSTON, Ind.
It's an unincorporated town near the Ohio border in Wayne County (county seat is Richmond) with, as of the 2000 census, 177 people, 67 households and 52 families.
Now, though, hands up from all who know where Boston Corner is located.
Correct: At the corner of Hoagland and Clayton roads in Allen County, southeast of Monroeville. There's even a sign, "Welcome to Boston." in the yard of a home, one of two at that intersection.