.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Service with a Smile at the Green Frog

Beth Henry waited on us last night at the Green Frog.

She was covering a lot of tables ably. She found the time, though, to sit down at our booth for a few moments and answer a few questions about the Frog.

The first question refers to the recent JG review by Ryan DuVall. She talked about the customers, the history, and the fun she encounters working at the Green Frog.

You can listen to the talk with Beth here.

Green Frog: An Interview with Tom Henry

Last night's Indiana Parley post promised you additional coverage of the Green Frog Inn at Spring and Sherman in Fort Wayne.

Tom Henry, former Fort Wayne City Council member and husband of the Green Frog owner, Cindy Henry, was at the establishment yesterday when we stopped by.

We asked Mr. Henry three questions during the interview. Among other things he tells Indiana Parley visitors about the contents and origin of the Tom Henry salad on the Green Frog menu and his views on nepotism.

You can hear the Tom Henry interview here.

Indiana Parley will feature another interview from the Green Frog a bit later today.

How did we like our food? My steak sandwich was tender and delicious and the strawberry shortcake was a great dessert. My wife had what she called a "perfectly cooked" hamburger and a slice of "very good" three berry pie. I appreciated that the fries were still warm and not covered in salt.

Service was friendly, prompt and professional. The ambience is something to hold onto in an era of cookie-cutter suburban casual dining chains. The Green Frog is a true neigborhood bar and Fort Wayne is lucky to have it.

Whatzup and the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette recently had reviews of the Green Frog. You can see Ryan DuVall's review from the Journal-Gazette at this link.

Some Passengers the Fort Wayne Airport Can't Lure Back

The Board of the Fort Wayne Airport Authority just voted on a new initiative to lure lost airline passenger travel back to Fort Wayne. It involves giving passenger airlines an incentive to lower fares and increase the number of passengers using Fort Wayne International Airport.

Studies show that a large percentage of northeastern Indiana flyers drive to other airports such as Indianapolis to obtain lower fares and better connections.

However, there is one class of "passengers" that the airline can't lure back with this incentive program - the dead ones.

Fort Wayne area residents who die some distance from Fort Wayne - say Florida - most often have to be flown into Dayton or Indianapolis rather than Fort Wayne.

There are two reasons for this. One is that there are fewer large jets flying into Fort Wayne. Caskets cannot be accomodated in the freight holds of smaller aircraft. The main reason, though, is the collapse of the traditional "hub-and-spoke" system for air carriers. Caskets or shipping containers cannot be accomodated in the freight holds of smaller aircraft.

This means that area funeral directors need to drive to distant airports to transport the remains back to northeastern Indiana. This adds to expense and can also delay when families may wish to schedule calling hours and service times.

Today is the Day: Update on Knight Ridder Bid Process

Ownership of the News Sentinel and the majority interest in Fort Wayne Newspapers is on the auction block today. You'd think that might rate a front page story in either of the Fort Wayne's two daily newspapers.

You won't see that, though.

Heck, you won't even see Tracy Warner or Leo Morris comment on this fact on their respective weblogs unless one of them sees this post and feels compelled to write something.

This doesn't disturb Indiana Parley or Fort Wayne Observed very much. However, it should effect the editors and managers at the newspapers themselves.

Why? The reason is that the decision to largely ignore the topic affects the credibilty of every other story the newspapers will cover in the future.

Editors and managers are probably correct in their apparent judgment that the average reader doesn't care very much about the interior workings of the newspaper business. However, the community's opinion leaders do care.

These opinion leaders are not just folks in the business, academic and political communities in Fort Wayne. There are quite a few other people whose views are respected by family and friends. These are long-time subscribers who have always believed in the importance of the newspapers as institutions serving the community.

Today is the deadline for bids to be received by McClatchy for the remaining 6 Knight Ridder newspapers unwanted by McClatchy in its purchase of Knight Ridder.

The Duluth News Tribune reports on the prospective buyers for that newspaper. The Duluth story indicates that Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Company, based in California, is expected to bid on all of the remaining 6 dailies.

However, Gloria Irwin, who wrote a story published in today's Akron Beacon Journal, talked with independent newspaper analyst John Morton who casts doubt as to whether Yucaipa's bid would include the News Sentinel. She wrote:
Yucaipa, a private equity firm based in California, is allied with The Newspaper Guild, the union that represents employees at some of the newspapers.

``I doubt whether Yucaipa will be interested in those that don't have a heavy union concentration,'' Morton said.

Of the six, three are unionized. They are the Beacon Journal, the Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota and the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota.

The nonunion newspapers are the Aberdeen American News in South Dakota, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader in Pennsylvania and the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel in Indiana.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Green Frog Gets a Visit from Indiana Parley

Indiana Parley visited the Green Frog on Tuesday night.

Reviews have recently been published in the Fort Wayne print media.

Since IP has consumed several braunschweiger sandwiches at the Green Frog over the years; I thought I was qualified to offer IP's own review. There will be more tomorrow.

this is an audio post - click to play

Tomorrow the Deadline for Knight Ridder Bids

Many of the other remaining "orphan 6" Knight Ridder newspapers are buzzing about which prospective buyers have made a site visit. However, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel is not one of those buzzing "orphans."

Reports are saying that tomorrow, Wednesday, May 31, is the deadline for submissions to McClatchy for any or all of the remaining orphan KR properties. You can view the stories at the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader and the Akron Beacon Journal.

The following is from the Aberdeen American News:

Bidders for the paper, as well as the five other Knight Ridder papers still up for sale, are expected to submit offers by Wednesday, McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt told the Sacramento Bee. There's no date set for when the identity of the buyer will be released to the public.

MORE: Editor & Publisher reports that Securities and Exchange Commission filings by Knight Ridder indicate the sale of KR to McClatchy will close by June 27.

Blogger Began Pence Internship Today

Aaron Baker is a native of Van Wert County in Ohio. He is the incoming Student Government President at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.

He started a summer internship in the Washington office of Indiana Congressman Mike Pence today. Oh, and he is a blogger, too.

Mr. Baker wrote a post in his weblog about his introduction to life in Washington, D. C.. He found that the United States seat of government is not quite the same as Van Wert. A sample from that post:

Sunday I went to church with Andrew, to a non-denominational church with heavy ties to the Church of God. I really liked the service which reminded me very much of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan. Having finished Conceiving the Christian College and Indiana Wesleyan’s history, I decided it was time to go book shopping. Andrew directed me to Dupont Circle, where I found Kingfish, the story of Sen. Huey Long. I purchased it and we moseyed to the fountain, where break dancing was occurring. I read for a few hours under a shady maple, noting the diversity sitting around the manicured privet hedges. My concentration was broken as I saw feet entering my personal space. A hand reached down and offered me a paper handout. I unknowing took the thing, knowing that I shouldn’t have as soon as I heard Andrew politely decline. Yes, I received an advertisement for an “alternative life style” club.

Souder in Spain Talking About the Toll Road

Indiana Daily Insight is reporting that 3rd District U.S. Representative Mark E. Souder has traveled to Spain for the week:
U.S. Rep. Mark Souder (R) is in Madrid, Spain this week, meeting with officials of Spanish government and business, including the top exec of Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, part of of the Statewide Mobility Partners consortium awarded the Indiana Toll Road lease. The International Development and Management Institute is paying for the bulk of his visit.

GOP State Convention Goes to 1 Day in 2008

In the immediate preceding post, I wrote that the Indiana State Republicans will go to a one-day Saturday state convention in 2008.

Indiana Democrats moved to a one-day convention format a few years ago. This allows a greater number of delegates to attend the convention without interference at work.

Once the nominations for Governor and Senator were removed from the conventions in the 1970's it was probably inevitable that the week-day conventions were going to go away. Fewer offices being contested with lower stakes has contributed to the decline in interest.

The Republicans also were somewhat up in the air as to the dates for the convention until relatively late. The Indiana Convention Center would try to fill up its schedule with regular conventions and events paying full rental. Once a point had been reached on the calendar which made it unlikely a full-price convention would be booking a date, the State Republicans would then be presented a list of remaining open dates in June - at a discounted rate - from which they could choose a date to set for the convention.

This has become a less than optimal way of scheduling the state conventions, particulary in a presidential election year. The task of coordinating schedules with the requirements of the national party conventions becomes somewhat easier when the state convention dates have been set as far in advance as possible.

State conventions used to be held out at the Fairgrounds prior to 1972. Many of the oldtimers tell tales of how hot the State Fairgrounds Coliseum would get in "the old days." The Fairgrounds Coliseum is now air-conditioned, so we are unlikely to revisit those times.

However, who knows? A Saturday convention could take on some of the aspects of the old two-day Fairgrounds conventions. Delegates might arrive early on Friday night and candidates may then decide to host less-formal hospitality suites as they used to do before the advent of the all-under-one-roof hospitality receptions orchastrated by the State Committee.

We might even get a year when the air-conditioning goes out at the Fairgounds Coliseum in the midst of a contested convention. Nah, that's dreaming. The air-conditioning going out at the Fairgrounds is pretty reliable, I understand. And the possibility of contested offices at the state party conventions? Well, increasingly, that seems remote, too.

An Announcement Regarding Indiana Parley

This announcement is somewhat overdue.

Many of the regular readers of Indiana Parley have been wondering why the site has become a quieter place. Many visitors may have missed the news that I was tapped in February to become the editor of the weblog "Fort Wayne Observed" by its founder, Nathan Gotsch.

Mr. Gotsch is back guest-editing that weblog this week and that has given me a chance to have a breather from those duties. Mr. Gotsch has termed it my "vacation." However, please know that I am not on a real vacation; I am in Allen County and getting caught up with a myriad of tasks.

On top of that, I am the race director for the VEEP Triathlon to be held this coming Saturday morning at the J. Edward Roush Lake in Huntington County. (Those interested can still register online at www.VeepTri.com).

When I first took over at Fort Wayne Observed, I thought that I might be able to maintain both weblogs. That was a little more difficult than I had fully appreciated. I also wanted to ensure that the two weblogs were somewhat differentiated, too. Fort Wayne Observed has a narrower geographic focus and is more journalistic in nature.

Indiana Parley has always had as a goal to have a larger geographic scope. It is also a place for a greater emphasis on opinion in contrast to Fort Wayne Observed.

Simply due to the nature of news and my geographic location, Indiana Parley did not cover or comment on as many statewide or regional stories as I had originally intended.

I wrote "regional" as I have an interest in the Maumee Valley, the history of the Northwest territory, and northwest Ohio economic, transportation, watershed and political issues. I think political leaders in northeast Indiana ought to have that same interest in northwest Ohio issues, too.

So, what is the announcement?

That Indiana Parley remains open for business. The postings may be less frequent than you saw before my addition of the FWOb editorial duties in February. Keeping up the standards set by Nathan Gotsch at FWOb and becoming used to the new goals we had for that weblog were time-consuming.

I did not want the two weblogs to become so overloaded with cross-posting that reading one was almost like reading the other.

This site has been used to post some of the audio reports that were later featured on Fort Wayne Observed. That's because the AudioBlogger service allows instant posting of audio interviews even when I am some distance from a computer. You can expect some of that to still be the case.

However, I will use Indiana Parley to feature some more involved reports that aren't exclusively of northeast Indiana nature.

One example will be extensive coverage of the Indiana State Republican Convention on June 19th and 20th. While I am mentioning the Indiana Republican State Convention - I might as well mention a bit of news in that regard - the 2008 Indiana Republican State Convention will be a one-day convention held on a Saturday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Thank you for your continued readership.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, May 04, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

Primary Election Coverage is On!

Thank you for visiting Indiana Parley for Allen County primary election coverage.

There will be interviews with candidates this evening. I intend to have coverage from both major Allen County party headquarters and more.

Thank you for your patience today; the AudioBlogger service had major national technical problems for most of the day. That is now apparently solved. You can click on the AudioPost arrow below to hear the welcome post.

this is an audio post - click to play

As we go through the evening, please check back often for new AudioPosts.

I will not have the ability to put a headline or text with the post until sometime late tonight or tomorrow morning so just click on each AudioPost as it appears.

So, clicking on an AudioPost will be a little bit like opening a surprise package. Sometimes a Marla Irving may pop out; sometimes a GiaQuinta or a Paddock; perhaps even a print or electronic journalist. It's pot luck here at Indiana Parley.

However, know that each post will appear immediately at the conclusion of each interview. If it's new to you; it's been news to us. So stay tuned.

Ed. note: AudioPosts will be timestamped with a non-daylight savings time; AudioPosts did not spring forward.