Worth noting

Dateline: Tue 29 Mar 2011

--A friend/reader asked why the Indianapolis Star on Sunday is now calling itself the Sunday Star. An insider at the paper explained that it's all about branding and, ideally, catching those Sunday sales: "The idea is to distinguish the Sunday paper from the rest of the week....people are more likely to buy a Sunday paper, so if they see the big Sunday there, that may be an incentive."

--Also: Did you all read in Bob Kravitz' weekend column on the Butler Bulldogs that he is once again facing heart issues? Bob said he had another stent put in; he was thus watching the Butler game not from the Big Easy down south but from his big easy chair in Fishers. "Misbehaving heart" took the rap. Go slow is the best advice, but who at Gannett can do that?

--The adult children of John Bigelow are "on verge of winning a wrongful death suit" against the Indiana Department of Corrections for the cruel treatment and lack thereof their dad received behind bars (he was convicted of killing his wife Marianne in 2006; he died of prostate cancer in 2009 at Wishard Memorial Hospital.) According to a close friend of John Bigelow's, Bigelow was "laying on the (prison) floor unable to draw in pain with guards laughing at him ... He received the 'get Tylenol from commissary' treatment that any inmate will tell you is what the doctors (behind bars) will prescribe."

--Great story by former Star reporter Marc Allan in Indianapolis Business Journal on Peppy Grill at 1004 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square. Did you know: a sign over the door says, 'Cows may come and cows may go, but the bull in this place goes on forever'? The smoking ban did not kill of Peppy, obviously, altho some of us predicted it might. OK, it hurt, says owner Mary Wyman. But the grill had its best month in November 2010. Originally there were 12 Peppy Grills across the city, competing with White Castle.  Wyman and her late husband, who bought the chain in the 1970s, sold most of them in the mid-1980s when she was diagnosed with cancer to pay her bills. Now this is the only one left Wyman owns. PG is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, which is both its challenge and its curse. But it's also it's rep: between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the weekends, there's barely a place to sit.  This is an example of a wonderful freelance story; I enjoyed.

--Congrats to Star reporter Erika D. Smith, formerly a biz/tech columnist who seems to have moved into the big seat as a columnist providing Page 1 and metro/state commentary. Columnists may come, and columnists may go, but the bull goes on forever....

--Isn't it fascinating that the Star, the IBJ and the Indianapolis Monthly have all runs pieces in the past couple weeks declaring, or all but declaring, Indy a new fashion capital???? And why not? We've got the food thing going; why not be fashionistas here, too? If Mayor Ballard creates a fashion/garment district, it will be too cute. 

--Go Bulldogs!


Tell The Truth [Member] said:

OK, one thing wrong with this post: Ballard and fashion in the same sentence.

But, there have been some great stories lately. Peppy Grill is a fantastic people-watching spot. None better since Canary closed. A combo of drunks trying to sober up, hungry sober folks, and the, uh....toked "munchy" cravers. Giggling.

It's a treasure.

2011-03-29 09:57:45

hendy [Member] said:

I would agree with Ruth that the Peppy Grill story is fun. But let's look at what that says about Indy: graveyard shift people are more interesting than those circulating other times of the day.

I would also agree with her citation of Erica Smith's work. She was good then, she's better with seasoning. The paper is so small now that it's kind of damnation by faint praise, however....fortunately, she's pretty good. Ah, youth.

Indianapolis as a fashion capitol, however, is amusing. Yeah-- NASCAR Fashion-- whooopee!

2011-03-29 10:48:50

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

There are some fashion pockets. No pun intended.

And wouldn't that be praisign by damnation, Hendy?

2011-03-29 11:14:56

hendy [Member] said:

I guess I'd have to take away the seeming equivocation.

Erica Smith is a damn good writer, journalist, and columnist. I think her stuff is of high quality and consistency. There. No possible damnation.

2011-03-29 13:50:21

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

The Gannett house ads continue to puzzle. They show polished young people, clearly stock photos, with relentlessly irrelevant copy, promising in some vague way that you can have it all...with Gannett.

Have it all indeed, and walking will be difficult thereafter.

2011-03-29 14:55:08

Susan McKee [unverified] said:

As a former Fashion Editor at The Indianapolis Star, I have to chime in.

Indy as fashionista magnet? Not a chance. (Just ask Alpha Blackburn.)

But, as for Erica Smith: she's got the chops to take on her new beat with verve, gusto and intelligence. (Think: Tom Keating reincarnated for the 21st Century)

I'd rather have her at the helm of a newly revived and well-staffed features department ... but that's asking too much of Gannett!

2011-03-29 15:25:59

hendy [Member] said:

I wondered if the ghost of Tom Keating might be exhumed. There were brushes with that ghost by Ruth our resident goddess, Ed Shaughnessey, His Dan Carpenterness, and a handful of others.

Erica is in line. Hope she lasts.

2011-03-29 16:54:35

teaspoon12 [unverified] said:

The adult children of John Bigelow on the "verge of winning a wrongful death suit"????? I doubt that the source of that story is their lawyer or the judge in the case. The source could only be a former prisoner.

2011-03-29 20:21:50

Susan McKee [unverified] said:

Keating's forte was illuminating the lives of ordinary Hoosiers. I see that same predilection in Smith.

Writing about local people and local topics: what a concept!

And it sure beats reading canned features with stock photos!

2011-03-30 09:04:07

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