Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Room to Clarify

It’s still a common misunderstanding that all local chambers are connected to the national group in some way.

Robin Comstock, president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, had to clarify that to the audience at a 1st Congressional District debate on Tuesday at Saint Anselm College.

We are not accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; we are not a member,” she said. “The only similarity is that we share a name."

Source: The Telegraph, October 17, 2010, Nashua New Hampshire (emphasis added)


Congratulations to One Southern Indiana Chamber and Economic Development for recently earning the coveted US Chamber of Commerce Accreditation. This places 1SI in the top 4% of chambers nation wide and demonstrates the ability for “suburb chambers” to achieve excellence in the areas of membership, economic development, and general business practices. Michael Dalby, staff, and members of the board should be proud of this accomplishment.

Source: Kyle Morey, The Diary of a Chamber Exec, March 9, 2010 (emphasis added)


Follow this link for video.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Qs & As

Among some of the questions not asked at last night's City Council meeting is, "what is the relationship of local Chambers of Commerce to the national organization?"

Some answers?

Some more answers?

Reading between the lines.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two Roads...


Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

1. The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

I had a pleasant lunch and discussion, Friday, with a supporter of the Bridges Project. Though pleasant, we were on different sides of the table in more ways than one. As most of our local residents know, the New Albany City Council recently passed a resolution condemning tolling as the financing arrangement of the Bridges Project. Out of character, regionally, this was the first such official governmental address of that issue to come down on the opposite side of the table from the assumed status quo.

To question the tolls is to question the need for a downtown bridge and the attendant rejiggering of Spaghetti Junction. To question tolls is to lean toward construction of the eastern bridge first and assess the need for a downtown bridge later. To question tolls is to hope that something miraculous may come into being to save us from a slavish addiction to automobile commuting, oh that's right, they're called buses and trains and they're in use in vibrant functioning cities around the world. To question the tolls is to ask for a reassessment of the staus quo.

While I have the utmost respect for my "lunch date", and feel that he is genuinely concerned for the future of our city, region and planet, the Bridges issue, we just saw it from a different point of view, as Dylan might say.

Both of us question what would be the long term results if our position were to prevail. On the pro-two bridge-side one sees the saving in time for morning commuters, a safer and more efficient Kennedy bridge, less danger at Spaghetti Junction, and less pollution as people run their cars' motors at idle.

On the anti-two bridge-side one sees less accommodation to a wasteful transportation system. Such a system undergirds sprawl and its weakening of communities across the land. City budgets are stretched to, and in some cases beyond, the limit to provide services for wider areas. Safety is compromised as personal automobiles fight for a place on highways which more and more resemble freightways for tractor trailers, such a freight system focuses resources away from the efficient transportation of goods along well established rail lines and places this vital piece of our infrastructure needlessly in the background. Intercity travel is limited to highway and air for far too many of our U.S. citizens, including those who live in New Albany and the Metro area. Rail travel has been shut out of the debate for years as the lure of personal transportation has been seen as the American Way.

The main thing I got from my lunch conversation was that we stand here in our time making decisions for those who must follow us. If we look around at what has been handed to us, what we have stumbled into ourselves, can we honestly say that the best we can do is simply offer more of the same? If we would hope to leave our descendants a more livable world, a more responsible stewardship of the environment, a better transportation system; is the best we can do simply adding more lanes to Spaghetti Junction, and cutting a gash through the downtown of our neighboring city of Jeffersonville? Is this what future generations will thank us for?

Or will they, perhaps not thank us, but at least breathe a sigh of relief that we did not drive deeper into the ditch? An article in Sunday's Courier-Journal points out that Louisville is funding the largest initiative for urban parks in North America. Would that have been possible without the amazing, futuristic steps taken in the Nineteenth Century to put into place Frederick Olmsted's park plans? Is there one among us who believes we would or could undertake such a fantastic scheme today as the one Olmsted proposed over a hundred years ago?

And yet, here we stand, in our time, with over $4,000,000,000 and a decision to make. Do we do more of the same, or do we set a different course?

If we build the one east end bridge now and find that traffic problems have been diminished, and we still have over two billion dollars of funds we seem willing to spend, why do we not commit that same amount of money to a truly region-building, economy-boosting, energy-saving, job-producing, neighborhood-preserving, project like light rail and enhanced freight rail reliance?