The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Wednesday, September 2, 2015. (Interview With Blue Indy’s Herve Muller Starts At 30:35 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). An extremely busy and newsmaking program. Herve Miller, President of the controversial Blue Indy electric car sharing service appeared to talk about the launch of the service, the first in the US, which happened Wednesday morning with a ribbon cutting on Washington Street.
A ceremony that featured a peaceful, but targeted protest against the City and Blue Indy by activist Larry Vaughn. In the Afternoons with Amos Interview, Muller explained how the Blue Indy service would work and touted the benefits. Asked who the service was targeted for Muller said everyone, an all encompassing and somewhat impossible marketing challenge. Muller said that word of mouth and visits by Blue Indy car ambassadors would be the ways the company will spread the word about the new service which started operation with 25 locations, mostly downtown and in the Broad Ripple, Butler areas. But Muller wasn’t forthcoming on key questions about the service. Muller said Blue Indy employs 57 people, but Muller couldn’t say how many minorities worked for it.
When Amos challenged him saying at the ribbon cutting he saw only one Black Blue Indy employee, Muller was non responsive. When asked why Blue Indy only had two projected locations in Black-majority neighborhoods, Muller said he was talking with City-County Council members about appropriate locations. In response to charges and concerns over whether the Italian made, French commissioned Blue Indy cars met American safety standards, Muller hedged on whether his company would make public Federal certifications that Blue Indy cars meet all Federal safety requirements.
Muller said that manufacturers don’t release such data. But they do as crash test data is public record through the US Department of Transportation. Blue Indy cars are new to this country, and just went through testing, so data isn’t available in Federal databases, which is why the urgency of public release. The Herve Muller interview raises new questions about Blue Indy sensitivity to the Black community. The lack of racial diversity shown at their launch and the lack of engagement of the company and their service within minority neighborhoods is disturbing. (Interview with City-County Councilmen Starts At 1:16:37 Mark On Media Player). Bringing up the deep concerns of neighborhoods and Indy residents City-County Council Majority Leader Monroe Gray and Councilman Joe Simpson blasted how Blue Indy’s has disregarded neighborhoods with the placement of their charging and parking stations. And they blasted the Ballard Administration’s handling of the entire project. Councilman Gray said that the City has yet to introduce an ordinance for the Council to authorize payment to Blue Indy for the City’s payments under the Blue Indy contract. But, last week the Board of Public Works OK’d a plan to take $6 million of parking meter revenues to give to Blue Indy. An action Gray is flatly “illegal” without Council authorization.
In response to a caller saying Blue Indy has taken away handicapped parking spots downtown, Councilman Simpson echoed concerns of neighborhood residents and businesses who’ve seen their parking evaporate for Blue Indy. Simpson and Gray took issue with Muller’s assertion in the earlier interview that Blue Indy had never taken away parking from in front of houses. Not true said Simpson citing two homes in the 4900 Block of College which had their parking spaces seized by Blue Indy. Both Councilmen also expressed anger over Mayor Ballard vetoing today the near unanimous Council action last month to authorize $6 million from a reserve fund to pay for needed vehicles and equipment for police, including funds to hire new police officers. Gray and Simpson also blasted Blue Indy’s lack of not knowing the racial diversity of its employees and Blue Indy’s refusal to make public the safety records of their cars. Simpson added that he was downtown during lunch Wednesday and saw a Blue Indy car with a wrecked front hood; on the service’s first day of operation.
(Interview with Members Of Gov. Pence Task Force On Drug Abuse Starts At 15:35 Mark On Media Player). The growing drug abuse crisis, especially the rapid rise of HIV case in rural Scott County and the firestorm of criticism directed at the State for a lack of action led Gov. Mike Pence to crteate a 21 member Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention. Two members of that Task Force, State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams and Dr John Wernert of FSSA appeared on Afternoons with Amos to talk about the mission and goals of the Task Force. Both men stressed the focus isn’t just on prosecution, but to look holistically at treatment and end the causes of drug abuse in this state. Both Doctors Werner and Adams stressed that this is a problem that exists in all areas of the state. That its not an urban or rural problem, not just a problem among low income communities, but upper income ones as well. The Task Force plans three hearings across the state (the first September 16 in Indianapolis) between now and the end of November. Both men said the goal is to come up with the some legislative recommendations for the Governor and the next session of the Legislature. But both stressed that the effort would last into 2016.
(Interview And Homecoming For Janet Langhart Cohen Starts At 51:58 Mark On Media Player). It was a joyous Homecoming for an Indianapolis Sistah. Janet Langhart Cohen, born and raised in Indianapolis, in Lockfield Gardens, proud Crispus Attucks graduate was home to oversee the showing of her play Anne & Emmitt, the story of if Anne Frank and Emmitt Till met and what those conversations would be like. Langhart Cohen spoke eloquently about Emmitt Till, what happened to him in Mississippi in August 1955 and how his brutal, cruel murder at the hands of racists was a major pivotal point in the the civil rights movement.
In the Afternoons with Amos interview, Janet talked about her service as the wife of Clinton Administration Secretary of Defense William Cohen and the travels and work she did with military families. She explained why working with military families is critical to maintaining morale and the quality of life for our service personnel. Janet Langhart Cohen’s classmates and acquaintances from back in the day called in to provide a poignant homecoming for this author, award winning broadcaster and journalist and now playwright. When a caller brought up Janet’s beauty but also her strong will and strong opinions, her husband, former Senator and Secretary Cohen, chimed in agreement. The play Anne & Emmitt opens this Friday, September 4 for four performances thru this Sunday, September 6th at IRT. For tickets 317-635-5252 or Click This Link: LINK FOR TICKETS TO JANET LANGHART COHEN PLAY ANNE & EMMITT PLAY (Breaking News At 2:43 Mark On Media Player). And Afternoons with Amos broke some news as well. Reporting that the family of Andre Green, the 15 year old killed by police after blocked in by police after allegedly carjacking, has hired a California law firm, with attorneys trained by Johnnie Cochran and who have experience in police wrongful death cases. The Indianapolis Star reports the law firm is filing notice this week with the City that a wrongful death suit is to be initiated. And Amos shared news that Indy parks Director John Williams, is leaving to become the Parks Director in Waco, Texas. His replacement, as Interim Director is Elaine Dillahunt, who is believed to be the first woman to serve as Parks Director in the UniGov era. The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST for Wednesday, September 2, 2015 Runs 96 Minutes. ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. PODCAST Starts After Brief Video Ad.