Big Latch On 2015

World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, is an international event to celebrate and promote breastfeeding. In addition to developing an early bond between mother and baby, breastfeeding is associated with lower risks of a variety of infant and adult ailments. As part of World Breastfeeding Week, the Big Latch On provides breastfeeding women with a sense of community and a chance to build friendships.

Big Latch On is a simultaneous breastfeeding event, with 14,173 women in 31 countries participating last year. For the fourth year in a row, Angie Cotton is organizing a Big Latch On event in Lafayette. Local breastfeeding experts may be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.

This year’s event is on Saturday, August 1. Space for Big Latch On is provided by Velvet Lotus Photography at 900 Kossuth St in Lafayette. Doors open at 10:00, with the count taking place at 10:30. RSVP on Facebook or by contacting

This is a Public Service Announcement: Know Your Rights (as a tenant)

This month, Homestead CS, a non-profit housing counseling agency, is putting on a series tenants’ rights workshop. The first session is tomorrow, July 14, 2015.

In HomesteadCS’ Tenants Know Your Rights Workshops, tenants will learn about their rights and responsibilities, such as:

  • what their landlords can and can’t do to them,
  • what protections they have according to the Fair Housing Act,
  • how to file official complaints with the city,
  • how the eviction process works,
  • how to protect their security deposit,
  • and more.

Six of these workshops will be held in the last three weeks of July in various communities in GLA to hopefully provide tenants with a date and location that is easily accessible.

TUESDAY, JULY 14th // 5:30pm // West Lafayette Public Library // 208 W Columbia St.
Co-hosted with Purdue Student Legal Services. This will be the ONLY workshop with an attorney present but she WILL NOT be giving legal advice about specific legal questions. None of the workshops are for legal counseling, rather they are general education about tenants’ rights and responsibilities

SATURDAY, JULY 18th // Noon // Tippecanoe County Public Library // 627 South St

THURSDAY, JULY 23 // 5:30pm // historic Jefferson senior apartments // 619 N. 9th St.

SATURDAY, JULY 25th // NOON //Chatham Square Apartment // 3619 Champlain St

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29th // 5:30pm // Bauer Family Resources // 330 Fountain St.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 1st // Noon // Hanna Community Center // 1201 N 18th St

HomesteadCS is dedicated to decreasing foreclosure, increasing homeownership, and ensuring that families have safe, affordable homes in Tippecanoe and 9 area counties in Indiana.


CityBus offers free rides Thursday, June 18

This week, CityBus invites the community to “Dump the Pump” and try public transportation with free rides all day on Thursday, June 18. “Dump the Pump Day is all about the positive benefits of leaving your car at home and using CityBus instead,” said Tonya Agnew, CityBus manager of development.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the national Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and to take them where they need to go. Started in June 2006, the day emphasizes public transportation as a convenient and money-saving travel option. “By giving free rides, we’re highlighting the economic positives of using CityBus, especially the savings riders will realize,” Agnew said. “The national average savings of using public transit instead of owning a car is $9,394 a year. That’s $782.83 per month in savings for those who choose to ride CityBus instead of driving a car.”

In addition to offering free rides to everyone on Thursday, June 18, CityBus will host a Bike Resource Fair 4:00-5:30 p.m. at CityBus Center, 316 N. 3rd St. in downtown Lafayette. Participating organizations include Bicycle Lafayette, the City of West Lafayette Department of Parks and Recreation and Virtuous Cycles. The visitors’ center, Visit Lafayette/West Lafayette, will have community and trail maps as well as recreation guides. The Lafayette Police Department will be on hand to register bikes.

“If your destination is a bit far from a bus stop, ride your bike to the stop. Our regular route buses include a bike rack that holds up to two bikes at a time,” Agnew said. “We encourage people to ride the bus to work and school and also to consider utilizing the service to get out and enjoy the community.”

In 2014, Dump the Pump Day resulted in 10,447 rides—a 28% increase over the average weekday ridership in June.

“If you’re already a daily rider, this free day is a thank-you,” Agnew said. “If you usually drive a car for your daily commute, we invite you to take ride free on Dump the Pump Day to experience the full benefits of using CityBus.”

Back to LayFlats reunites bands in rejuvenated scene

There’s a lot to like in the local music scene in 2015.

The venues have stepped up. Nate Pientok has breathed new life into Lafayette Theater with bold bookings, house sound system and lights, and subtle but effective cosmetic changes. Carnahan Hall has steadily offered a smaller alternative for local acts and the Knickerbocker Saloon has finally installed (most) of a P.A.

Yes, venue-wise, things have never been better. Still, those of a certain age – late 20s on up – recall a magical time in the scene where numerous bands helped fuel a short renaissance. In 2007 and ’08, heavy hitters like Woodstove Flapjacks, Green Room Rockers, Moonshine Mason and the Rotgut Gang, The Minivans, The Half Rats and The Millers were in their prime. Upstart, underground acts like Trent and the Rippers and The Mans thrilled fans of grimy, garage, stripped-down and loud music. Downtown Records was at the epicenter of the excitement while atypical rooms like Zoolegers took a chance on punk and garage rock shows.

The Super Bowl of these glorious years was the LayFlats Arts and Music Festivals, which were held at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater both years. Each event had multiple stages and dozens of bands. The second event even brought national talent like Justin Townes Earle and Amy LaVere. LayFlats’ last event occurred in 2009 when it combined with Mosey Down Main Street for a downtown West Lafayette-Lafayette bash.

Sadly, a handful of circumstances saw the scene dip a bit in following years. However, what goes down must come up. And a further 2015 boost was given May 16 when LayFlats promoters Travis Easter and Johnny Klemme teamed up with Lafayette Theater to bring back some of the glory days in the form of six bands and a screening of the excellent Chad Rainey-directed documentary on the first LayFlats. Some acts like Fergus Daly Band and Green Room Rockers have survived since then. Others split but were brought back for the all-day Back to LayFlats event held inside the downtown Lafayette Theater.

Trent and the Rippers and The Mans reunited for epically entertaining sets. The Millers, whose live sets featuring all three Miller brothers Clayton, Cole and L.D. are more rare these days, had one of the biggest draws on the night. L.D. is now 21 but has had years of experience as a front man since the family band’s first LayFlats gig. Fergus Daly Band has survived since that first LayFlats. Actually, the band has thrived since with the consistent rhythm section of bassist Zach Coles and drummer Mike Dunkle and a host of other musicians adding flavor to Daly’s excellent songs. Lately, lead guitarist Dru Alkire and mandolin player Joe Kollman have been pushing Daly’s music into the stratosphere. The band was one of the better performers at the Back to LayFlats event.

This concert served as a homecoming for Pat McClimans, who joined up with bassist Jason Gick and drummer Cass Libbers for the first time in years as The PMG. McClimans is sorely missed in Lafayette since the guitarist’s move to Portland, Oregon. But on one magical night, he, Gick and Libbers jammed like they did back when George W. Bush was president.

Back to LayFlats was a hit and definitely a worthwhile trip down memory lane. How appropriate to be talking about LayFlats during a local music scene resurgence.

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MatchBOX Coworking Studio hires operations manager, community curator

MatchBOX Coworking Studio, 17 S. Sixth St., Suite X, has hired Amanda Findlay to be its next operations manager and Emily Carter to be its first community curator.

“With a goal of signing 200 members by the end of this year, a facility that is open 24/7, and some of the brightest ideas and technology at work here, we need a staff that can keep everything running smoothly, lend assistance when members need it and keep our programming timely and frequent,” said Mikel Berger, MatchBOX cofounder and board member. “We’ve found two who handle all that.”

Findlay’s responsibilities will be overseeing operations, soliciting new members, securing community sponsors and maintaining the facility. She comes to MatchBOX after two years as events manager at Purdue Foundry, where she also assisted startups with branding. She earlier worked for Decatur Community Hospital in Greensburg and Purdue Research Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Ball State University in 2006.

“I’m joining MatchBOX with great enthusiasm for the startup and co-working culture,” Findlay said, and I’m dedicated to the vision of the cofounders, the success of this inspiring co-working studio and the success of the members who fill it with energy, enthusiasm, ideas and momentum.”

Carter will curate membership, enhance the user experience and administer programs. She earned a bachelor’s in computer graphics from Purdue University in 2003 and previously held posts at Purdue’s Discovery Learning ResearchCenter, Purdue Hall of Music and Moo TV.

“When I first stepped inside MatchBOX, I knew I needed to be involved here as much as possible,” Carter said. “I am looking forward to working closely with the members, bringing encouragement and creative spark and furthering the synergy that is already occurring here.”

This summer, they’ll be assisted by McKinzie Horoho, an intern from Indiana Wesleyan University, said Dennis Carson, cofounder and board member. Her position is sponsored through the Accelerate Indiana Internship Program, funded by Lilly Endowment, which sponsors 20 interns each semester and summer.

Student intern Patrick Ringwald will continue working two days a week.

“With these new staff members and interns, MatchBOX begins its second year with strong momentum and interest,”Carson said. “Great things are ahead.”

MatchBOX is a nonprofit venture launched in April 2014; it currently has 130 members, with 200 expected by year end. The facility can accommodate up to 500 members. MatchBOX is overseen by a seven-member board of directors and operates under the Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association (LUEA). It is funded by various partners and sponsors.

The facility provides workspace and a lab with prototype and modeling equipment, a 3D printer, laser cutter and other tools. The MatchBOX space includes 15 reserved, flexible desks, and room for about 100 others to work simultaneously in open areas. The shared space is conducive to working, as well as to interactions and exchanges with others members.

Memberships require a $99 one-time setup fee, with an annual fee of $360 for basic use. Those preferring reserved desk space pay $180 a month. Access is available 24/7. Tours are available on request.

MatchBOX is directed by a seven-member board of directors who represent the city of Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association and businesses. Board members include JoAnn Brouillette, Demeter LP; Mike Gibson, Mulhaupt’s Inc.; Lafayette mayor Tony Roswarski; and Greater Lafayette Commerce president and CEO Scott Walker.

Others are cofounders Mikel Berger, DelMar Software; Dennis Carson, city of Lafayette; and Jason Tennenhouse, 10 IN HOUSE Design & Strategy. These three serve as the oversight team, meeting weekly to set and oversee the MatchBOX vision.

Sponsors include the city of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayettech, Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, Purdue Foundry, Purdue University, Tippecanoe County Public Library and numerous local industries and businesses. The Tippecanoe County Public Library owns the 16,000-square-foot building and is leasing 11,000 square feet of it to MatchBOX for $1 a year.

West Lafayette Ranks Worst of Big Ten College Towns and What We Can Do About It

It is interesting. Just earlier this week West Lafayette was named one of the easiest cities to get around for seniors:

Katie Moreau, communications director for AARP Indiana, said West Lafayette was chosen due to its extensive public transportation, close access to medical care and proximity to Purdue University. She said the elderly population has a combination of unique needs that can be difficult to meet if mobility is limited and the residents cannot drive.

She said in West Lafayette, public transportation is abundant and social opportunities for the elderly abound thanks to Purdue, which offers lectures, classes and more.

Now, according to a group of Big Ten ESPN Experts (their term, not mine), surmised that West Lafayette ranks the worst (14th) out of the entire Big Ten:

West Lafayette, Ind. It’s one of the smallest towns on this list at under 50,000 residents. There isn’t a whole lot to do, both indoors or out other than the Lafayette Brewery and the Wabash River. If you like brick and Greek parties, then this is your place. Otherwise, continue down I-65 to Indy or Chi-town. Purdue’s home city got seven last-place votes.
Once the word was out, the local news outlets covered the story:

I find it curious that the students included in the WLFI piece were all shocked by the results. Did only find those who were against the Big Ten Experts’ assessment?

There were some good quotes from Mayor John Dennis in the WLFI piece:

“When you compare the city of West Lafayette to all the other Big Ten school, we’re the smallest. We’ve got 50,000 static citizens, so that is indicative of a relatively small town environment,” said Dennis.

The website says there isn’t a whole lot to do either inside or outside, unless you like brick and Greek parties. It suggests a visit to Indianapolis or Chicago.

But Dennis thinks some opinions will change with the State Street Project.

“We’re going to bring in more development, to expand accessibility to some of our businesses, and generally improve the overall environment,” said Dennis.


Dennis said when it comes to quality of life here in West Lafayette — that deserves a top ranking.

However, does the City of West Lafayette earn a top ranking when it comes to quality of life?

I am not sure where Mayor Dennis came up with the 50,000 static citizens in West Lafayette. The population stated in the recent annexation and redistricting places us at 41,950. This population total also includes a significant amount of students living in Districts 1, 2, 3, 6. I don’t think we can call students static residents since in most cases, they meet the criteria for temporary residents:

Sec. 7. Subject to section 6 of this chapter, a person does not gain residency in a precinct into which the person moves for:
(1) temporary employment;
(2) educational purposes;
(3) preparing to purchase or occupy a residence; or
(4) other purposes;
without the intent of making a permanent home in the precinct.

As one commenter, Stephen Jack, pointed out in the Indy Star comments:

John Kelsey Oh my. Ranked lower than Rutgers? It's time to do the right thing: give Purdue to Texas. That's where all of the ugly belongs. Stephen Jack · My own boss at Self-Employed Who fuc&^ng cares? Just go and get a good education and find a job and leave!If students (and residents) do not have reasons to stay after their purpose for being here (education), they leave Tippecanoe County if not Indiana entirely. One could assume that the same reasons the ESPN Big Ten Experts found West Lafayette uninspiring are the same reasons why we have a highly transient population.

Student (and human capital) flight has been occurring for decades. Those same shocked students included in the WLFI piece will, most likely, finish their education, graduate, and then move to another city, probably outside of Indiana. One recent change in the history of West Lafayette is the annexation of Purdue and neighboring lands. Now, for their short stay in West Lafayette, students have a seat at the Legislative table with the addition of District 3 in West Lafayette. Through this seat on the City Council, students have increased power and representation on a variety of committees and boards throughout Tippecanoe County.

District 3 and Purdue's (Student) Seat on City Council

Mayor Dennis spoke about the upcoming State Street Master Plan/ReState St/State Street Redevelopment Project, where significant transportation changes, along with some new public features, will be added to State St. If executed well, this could change the tone and tenor of the area for decades to come.

One uninspiring change will be the addition of these pedestrian prison bars in The Village area:

State Street Master Plan, ReState St., State Street Redevelopment Project Pedestrian Prison BarsThese are being suggested initially to avoid having the orange and white barricades out during game days, but a permanent fence around The Village is not the solution.

Besides this horribly insulting addition, what confidence can we have in the future commercial development along this extremely important corridor? If we look at the history of development in West Lafayette, it will be a majority of chain and franchise establishments that cater to the lowest common denominator of desire in our community: the transient student population. Once again leaving nothing for the 41,000+ static residents.

If we continue down this path of development, these static residents will turn mobile and leave along with the students.

The Levee was also touted as a game changer for the community in the early 2000s and its impact is not highly regarded nor celebrated in the Community. It meets some needs, however, the State St. Redevelopment Project is updating the area to address some initial development blunders:

Repair the Transportation Infrastructure along the LeveeThere were also some interesting comments from the WLFI article regarding the Levee:


“But Dennis thinks some opinions will change with the State Street Project.”

Ha! That’s what everyone said about the Levee projects, but that area has flat-lined, and faded, and still offers little more than a theater and some food. The crime statistics don’t help either. I’m sure they’re enough to make people double-think their visits. I’d be curious to see what impact Ferguson, Missouri has had on Saint Louis’ visitor count. I doubt people are flocking to the Saint Louis area.

jonny bakho reply to MilkAndChocolate

The Levee project was ruined when INDOT turned River Road into an 8 Lane pedestrian kill zone. It is unsafe to walk from campus to the Levee. The traffic around campus is unpleasant. Give pedestrians priority around campus and campus town, move the cars out to parking lots and roads on the edge and things will improve. There is no place to eat near the sports complex but McDonalds. The new Baseball/Soccer/Tennis area is only accessible by car. No amenities for miles. This encourages students to drive and makes the campus unpleasant and less safe.

As always, communication is key. So is an active and engaged constituency. Remember, 2015 is a Municipal Election Year. The City Council seats are all contested by two parties, Independent Donnie Spencer is running in the campus district. Mayor Dennis is unopposed.

Take a few moments out of your schedule, make some phone calls to the Mayor’s office (765-775-5103), call your City Councilor Representative, write a Letter to the Editor at the J&C. Share your thoughts. Attend the City Council meeting on May 4th. This is the start of a LONG process.

Politics is a war of attrition.

The only way West Lafayette will transcend the contemptuous view people have of it and become an acclaimed and notable City is if you are a part of the process.

Purdue, Lafayette & West Lafayette, Indiana: All things Weird, Wild, and Interesting in the Arts, Music, Food & Culture.