Archive for February, 2006

Four New Books

February 24th, 2006 2 comments

I have four new books on my reading list.

“Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond

“False Dawn” by John Gray

“Globalization and its Discontents” by Joseph E. Stiglitz

“The Rise and Decline of the State” by Martin Van Creveld

Categories: Reading List


February 19th, 2006 29 comments


(East Chicago, IN) -The City of East Chicago will hold a press conference on Thursday, February 23, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., in the Mayor’s Conference Room, 4527 Indianapolis Blvd., to officially announce a partnership with two of the nation’s most prestigious and successful non-profit community development corporations, The Community Builders, Inc., and Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, for the purpose of redeveloping the entire North Indiana Harbor section and the Lakefront.

The partnership is joined by EDAW, which is one of the nation’s top urban planning firms. After the announcement, the development teams will present their initial plans and procedures for the project.

Cline Avenue to the east, Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the South, and Lake Michigan to the North border, are the areas involved in the project. The project will involve an extensive construction of mixed-use of housing, with an emphasis on market rate leasing and ownership, new retail-both large and small, light industrial, and recreational facilities and uses, as well as the continued rehabilitation of existing neighborhoods and infrastructure. The emphasis throughout will be comprehensive planning and community involvement to enhance in all ways the quality of life for residents of the area and to make it a destination and recreation site for those outside of it.

The development will bring millions of dollars of private investment in to the Indiana Harbor Community. The city will ensure that the public infrastructure is in place as a foundation for the new development activity, but the vast majority of development funds will come from banks and other financial institutions. “Our team will also work with the city to approach the Regional Development Authority, the State of Indiana and the Federal government to leverage additional public funds to support infrastructure, schools and quality services that will enhance the entire East Chicago community,” said Bill Goldsmith.

“Our goal is to build on the momentum already created by Mayor George Pabey to retain and attract a culturally diverse community rich in public and private amenities, while creating job and contract opportunities for existing residents and businesses,” stated Paul Roldan, President & CEO of Hispanic Housing.

“So many people either worked here or came from East Chicago, or had family and friends who did,” said Nathaniel Ruff, City of East Chicago corporate counsel. “We have heard from a number of members of the administration who have attended meetings throughout Northwest Indiana that there is a great deal of enthusiasm and support through Northwest Indiana for the Mayor’s pledge to repair, rebuild, restore, reinvigorate, and renew East Chicago.”

“We want East Chicago to be a great place in which to live, and also a destination for jobs, shopping, ethnic and cultural experiences, and recreation,” said Mayor Pabey. “The announcement we make today is another major step towards the fulfillment of this promise.”

Categories: East Chicago

St. Catherine Hospital to Expand into Washington Park

February 19th, 2006 No comments

Last night I was informed that the city planner made a formal announcement at a Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce dinner that St. Catherine’s hospital would be expanding into Washington Park thus closing Grand Blvd. between 142nd and 144th. These discussions were never shared with neighborhood residents or anyone outside the administration. At this point I don’t have any real planning information to go on.

Categories: East Chicago

RDA and Planning

February 18th, 2006 4 comments

Recently, the members of the RDA were blindsided by Council as they were informed that they are required to develop a comprehensive plan before they can spend a single cent.

Was the response of RDA members to divy up the funds in the same old fiefdom fashion they are accustom to doing?

Categories: Northwest Indiana

E.C. Comprehensive Plan

February 18th, 2006 No comments

As some may know, I have been chairing a Comprehensive Planning Committee on behalf of the Mayor. After much work and deft diplomacy by John Artis, we have brought the process forward. As a committee we have gain the initial buy in by the proper departments and individuals. We have also made our recommendations to the Mayor and received back his approval. I am very pleased by these outcomes and truly believe in their importance to the future of this community. I am told the Mayor will be making an announcement of the selection in two weeks. More to come.

Categories: East Chicago

E.C. North Harbor

February 18th, 2006 No comments

John Artis has taken the lead in moving forward with the North Harbor Action Plan developed by EDAW in 2002. The result of which will be a major announcement by the mayor this week. I cannot share much now, but expect more on this topic soon. This is a very serious and I believe very necessary program for East Chicago. The greatest I’ve seen in NWI or most place for that matter.

Categories: East Chicago


February 18th, 2006 No comments

Every so often I come back to this and become frustrated with the undeserved arrogance. I am convinced that E.C. would be a year ahead and finalizing its Comprehensive Plan. With the election of George Pabey to Mayor of East Chicago came a new ruling class and the purging of the intellectual class reminiscent of the great purges in Russia. For the past year this new ruling class, taking on responsibilities they lack qualifications, has been desperate to show progress. They have focused their attention on physical evidence in the built environment for expression their moral superiority over the past regime. This has essentially created a environment where all outside the ruling class laid vulnerable to redevelopment. Throughout the year eminent domain could be heard regularly in the conferences of this small group, while project after project was proposed without the engagement of professionals, authorities or the input from stakeholders such as industry or the public. This ruling class scoffed at their views and recommendation. They even attempted to move forward without a vision. Their first expression came with the teardown of the Historic Bank building for a Walgreen’s. later this first year, in an attempt to move the cities ideas for a Port forward I set up a meeting between the Cities Economic team and JRR and SEH, the planning consultants for the Congressmen’s Marquette Plan. I have never seen such complete disrespect in meeting. They just ignored them and huddled around their own plan. Taking the professionals out of the plan. Fortunately for East Chicago they have had many setbacks and have not had much of a chance for a second act.

Categories: Local