Carmel Monthly-November 2021

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SCOTT SANDER From CHS’s WHJE to Award-Winning Local Media




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Joe Kempler

Scot Pollard / Dawn Pollard

(317) 523-6405

(317) 900-3500 / (303) 669-4425 /

We hope you have a wonderful holiday, and we look forward to working with you in the new year!

The real estate market will continue to be strong into the new year and we hope we can be part of your plans. We live and work in the Carmel and surrounding areas and know the market well. Here is a view of what the market looks like:

 Last Month

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(office located in the Village of WestClay)

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WISH-TV’s Scott Sander From CHS’s WHJE To Award-Winning Local Media Personality This month, we are pleased to feature Carmel resident and Carmel High School (CHS) alum Scott Sander on our cover. WISH-TV’s Sander is a 30-plus-year multiple-Emmy-award-winning anchor. He is also a CCS parent and dedicated community volunteer. We spoke with Sander about his radio days at WHJE and how those experiences laid the foundation for his career in radio and then local broadcast TV. Cover Story Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photo // Laura Arick

6 Celebrating 132 Years of Carmel History at 321 First Avenue SE

10 A Return to Holiday Shows at the Civic in Carmel

CARMEL MONTHLY PUBLISHER / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / Neil Lucas / 317-460-0803 PUBLISHER / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418

14 The Center Presents: Holidays at the

DIRECTOR OF SALES / Lena Lucas / 317-501-0418


17 Celebrating Two Decades of the Monon Greenway

22 Carmel Fire Department and MedVet Partner to Help Pets

HEAD WRITER / Janelle Morrison / 317-250-7298 NOVEMBER WRITERS / Janelle Morrison, Ann Craig Cinnamon, John Cinnamon Business Spotlight is sponsored content.

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132 years

OF CARMEL HISTORY AT 321 FIRST AVENUE SE Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Vivian Ryker and submitted

I recently was transported back into time and got a peek at several bygone eras at the extraordinary home of Amy and Derek Van Ostrand-Fakehany, located at 321 First Avenue Southeast, “Lot 9” in Old Town Carmel, Indiana. Amy and Derek shared highlights of the home’s 132 years of history and their passion for collecting and documenting everything from the various deeds to the intimate stories of the people that lived and died in their home.


s one of the few remaining original homesteads amongst Carmel’s rapid redevelopment, 321 First Avenue Southeast is one of less than 50 houses in Old Town Carmel that were built in or before 1920. Both Amy and Derek are committed to the preservation of their home and to helping current and future residents understand—and respect—the people who once lived there and contributed chapters to the pages of Carmel’s history.

DEVELOPING A PASSION FOR PRESERVATION The story begins with Amy and Derek buying their first home—321 First Avenue Southeast—in 2000. Amy had finished law school when they moved to Carmel for a job Amy had accepted. They had been looking for an older home and had considered the Irvington area when Amy spotted their current home while driving back and forth to the Carmel Clay Public Library, studying for the bar exam. “There was something about this house,” Amy recollected. “I just felt obsessed with this house. We told our realtor that we wanted her to show us this house if it ever went on the market. And what do you know, in the summer of 2000, [the house] was on the market. We walked in the front door and stood in the living room, and it was a done deal.”

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE HOME’S HISTORY The property that the well-preserved farmhouse sits on, once known as “Lot 9,” was one of 12 lots called “The John A. Phelps Addition.” Phelps built the house in 1889, per the Carmel Historical Society’s 1987 Historic Walking Tour. Carmel then was known as “Bethlehem,” and Phelps was one of its founders. Amy and Derek’s house has been owned by 13 families and one funeral home—Farley Cemetery Association (1934–36). After John Phelps died, he left his entire estate to his sister, Emma Phelps, who owned the house from 1900–12. “Emma [Phelps] was the very first female owner of our house,” Amy stated. “She was also Hamilton County’s first female farmer. We found so many newspaper articles about her. She was way ahead of her time.” Former business owners Calvin “Cal” and Elsa Brown owned the house from 1912 until 1924. They owned a restaurant/ shop on the site on which Muldoon’s now stands. “We found an article about Calvin and Elsa Brown,” Amy said. “They were movers and shakers in Carmel. We found stories about them operating their business, and the Carmel Clay Historical Society has great information on their business that was called Cal’s Place.”


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The home’s next owners were Bert and Ella Hoover, who owned the house from 1924–34. Bert was a World War I veteran, and his wife was an accomplished baker who won several prizes for her white layer cake. The Hoover’s three daughters sang in The Hoover Trio. Unfortunate victims of the Great Depression fallout, the Hoovers fell behind on their mortgage payments to Citizens State Bank and were foreclosed upon in 1934. The Farley Cemetery Association purchased the home at a Sheriff’s Sale that same December. When asked about having knowledge that their home once operated as a funeral parlor, Amy said, “I really appreciate the notion that people found comfort in a really painful time in their lives within these walls. It’s never bothered me in the least. It adds to the layers of what the house has been witness to. It has witnessed joy, heartache, the end of life, the beginning of life and all the mundane things that happen in between that make life ... life.” The property’s deed changed hands once again in 1936. William and Elizabeth Smith lived in the home from 1936 until 1960. Their son, William, lived in the home for a period of time, and their daughter, Betty Jo, lived in the home until she married at the age of 23. Betty


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From 1986 until 1999, Nancy Werner was the proud owner of the house in which she lived with her son, William (“Bill”) and her elderly parents. Nancy’s father passed away peacefully in the sitting room. Nancy has provided Amy and Derek with a plethora of photos of the home, documenting its existence in the 1980s. And the last homeowner to live in the house prior to Amy and Derek is Ann Marie Kleyle, who owned the house from 1999 until Aug. 31, 2000. Having made friends with Ann Marie, Amy and Derek have enjoyed visits with Ann Marie at their house, along with many of the former residents and or their descendants since purchasing the house.

Jo contracted scarlet fever and was quarantined within the home—an experience Amy and Derek can empathize with as they have been homebound, prior to the COVID pandemic, due to Derek’s cancer diagnosis and recovery. I am thrilled to report that at the time of publishing, Derek is still in remission. The couple has developed a special connection to Betty Jo and her family and has befriended the Smith’s grandchildren, who are Betty Jo’s children. The grandchildren have shared a wealth of personal details and photos of their family’s time as owners of the house. One particular favorite of Amy and Derek’s is an image of Betty Jo’s wedding to Dr. Gilbert Rhine in 1949. The couple was wed in the living room, and the photo captures the newlyweds sharing a piece of wedding cake in the stairwell in the kitchen and dining area. The patriarch of the family, William, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the living room after a long day of working on his farm in 1951. His widow, Elizabeth, lived in the home until 1960. From 1960 until 1970, Cedric and Georgia Hobbs occupied the home. The house caught fire the night before they were to move in. The house suffered major damage but was restored. Cedric, a World War I veteran, grew up in Carmel and played on a 1920s basketball team. Cedric ran for

Clay Township Trustee but lost his run for political office. In 1970, David and Mary Beck bought the home as 20-year-old newlyweds. Mary gave birth to Jon in 1971. “The Becks still live in Carmel,” Amy shared. “They came over with a ton of photographs, including one of their infant son, Jon, splashing around in the sink in our kitchen and of him crawling up the stairs. I think about the transition of a wedding in 1949, an infant boy climbing up the stairs in the 1970s and of Derek and I—in 2021—going up and down those same steps. It’s 100 years of people using this stairwell.” Pearl Thomas was the home’s next occupant, and she lived in the home for less than six months in 1973. She made improvements to the home only to sell it shortly thereafter. The home was sold to James and Alice Fisler, who owned the home until 1982. James served in World War II and was a hospital administrator. His wife, Alice, was a nurse and was featured in the newspaper for her “Lucious Lemon Pie” recipe. In 1986, the home was sold to Michael and Krista Anderson, who owned the house until 1986. In lieu of a honeymoon, the Andersons—who had just married days before—bought the home. Amy and Derek have become friends with the Andersons as well.


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DEVELOPING A PASSION FOR RESEARCH AND PRESERVATION While confined to their home throughout Derek’s recovery and the pandemic, the couple has enjoyed embarking on this journey of discovery and fact-finding as well as forming long-lasting bonds with former owners and their next of kin. “It’s been really neat researching these people and finding from their obituaries their descendants,” Derek shared. “We’ve reached out to many of them, and it’s been surprising how many of them have been like, ‘We’ll tell you about the house and about our parents,’ and they share these stories that have very helpful [to our research].” The couple has put countless hours into their research efforts, and Amy has documented about 50 hours of quality time at the Hamilton County Recorder’s Office going through countless books and is proud to say that they have every single deed to their house. “We literally printed out every deed with signatures,” Amy said. “It gives me goosebumps when I look at the signatures [of the previous owners] and think that the day that they signed these, they were filled with all the same hopes and excitement that we felt on Aug. 30, 1999, when we signed to buy this house and became part of the home’s story.” To view a collection of historical photos and documents related to this story, visit “Latest Stories” at


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Senior portraits Headshots Family photos



Happy Holidays and a

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toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. “Elf the Musical” is running from Dec. 3–24.

CAST AND CREW MEMBERS ARE ELATED TO BE BACK! I asked several of the leading cast members—many of which are reprising their roles in “Elf”—what it means to be back at Civic and why people should attend these outstanding holiday shows.


R e t u r n

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Holiday Shows at the Civic in Carmel Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Civic

The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre proudly presents a return to in-person shows this holiday season. I spoke with some of the cast members from both shows on what it means to return to the stage and live audiences as well as why they chose to work with the Civic’s remarkable staff. TWO HOLIDAY CLASSICS: “A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS” AND “ELF THE MUSICAL”


he classic animated television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts Gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was first shown as an animated television special in 1965 and has been part of the holiday tradition ever since. The stage adaptation was completed in 2013. “A Charlie Brown

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Christmas” is running Nov. 26–Dec. 18. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, “Elf the Musical” features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (“Disney’s Aladdin” on Broadway, “The Wedding Singer”), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (“Annie,” “The Producers,” “Hairspray”) and Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”). Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor

“Santa” - Parrish Williams: It is so important to have that communal sense of togetherness. This show [“Elf”] is definitely joyful, and the reason why I chose to reprise the role [from 2019] is that very fact. It’s going to bring a lot of joy and happiness to a lot of people. “Jovie” - Emily Bohannon: I would love for people to come and celebrate the return of live theater with us. “Elf” is crazy and wacky, but it’s a really important message that features a blended family and people coming together despite their differences and receiving and giving love. “Macy’s Manager” - Jonathan Studdard: Theater is a good escape from everyday life and things that stress us out. I think connecting to people is huge right now, and it’s exciting to be back to live theater. We hope that we bring smiles to people’s faces and make them feel warm. “Buddy” - Matt Bays: The show and the joy that it brings to people is one of the reasons why I chose to work with Civic. The people who are grinches and scrooges are just s*** out of luck because it is kind of impossible to leave this show and not be happy. The prep and the dedication to excellence at the Civic allows us to do our jobs at a higher level, and their expectations are high for community theater and I love that!

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“Lucy” - Mikayla Koharchik: This is the third time I’ve played “Lucy.” I love Lucy— she’s just so over-the-top and obnoxious, and I get to let loose and be like a little kid. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is that quintessential Christmas show that every generation loves. I cannot wait for my kids and others to see live theater again. “Snoopy” - Evan Wallace: I would imagine that this show will be a lot of kids’ first time either interacting with this show or getting to experience live shows. What better place than the theater to come together with our families and our communities? It’s time for people to come back home [to the Civic].

“Frieda” - Alex Warfield: I was very excited when I got the message to come and join the cast. This show hits close to home for a lot of people. It has a really great message about not focusing so much on the gift giving and decorations but on spending time with your family and making sure that the focus stays on the birth of Jesus Christ. “Charlie Brown” - Max McCreary: What we noticed as a team in our first read through was how “adult” some of these conversations these kids have are. The speak like kids pretending to be adults, so there’s this sense of purity of youth and in

how children see adults. In that moment when the tree comes out, we see the effort his classmates and the people in his life put into that moment to try something different and to give him, Charlie Brown, the benefit of the doubt, if only for that one time. It’s time to start or to continue the holiday tradition of live theater shows at the Civic! Get your tickets to one or BOTH of these spectacular shows! Ticket information and show times are posted at









11/26 - 12/18 Presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company (

12/3 - 12/24

ELF - THE MUSICAL is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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World Class Cabaret at Carmel City Center December 2


December 3 & 4

THE BSU JAZZ FACULTY PRESENTS: THE MUSIC OF NANCY WILSON AND CANNONBALL ADDERLY The Ball State Jazz faculty present a live re-creation of the seminal 1962 album “Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley.” Originally a quintet recording with a vocalist, Mark Buselli transcribed the recording and expanded the instrumentation to include trombone and guitar parts. The BSU Jazz Professors include Mark Buselli (trumpet), Amanda Gardier (sax), Freddie Mendoza (trombone), Scott Routenberg (piano), Nick Tucker (bass), Joel Tucker (guitar), Cassius Goens (drums) and the incredible Akili Ni Mali on vocals.

December 11


Hollywood Blonde tells all with the Legendary Bruce Vilanch descends on the stage December 9 to dispatch more updates on his bizarre career behind, before and squatting over the footlights. A Hairspray star, a Hollywood Square and the latest success story on Christian Mingle, (who just hooked him up with a guy who used to be Pope), Bruce has more than a few songs to sing and stories to tell.”

December 17


Celebrate the season with music and merriment that would get even Scrooge in the holiday spirit. This popular seasonal show features a mixture of traditional favorites, such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “O Holy Night” to the lighter “Rudolph’s Night in Tunisia” and “Hanukkah in Santa Monica.” Menzie & Michael have appeared at Carnegie Hall and Jazz At Lincoln Center in New York; at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, Park West, Millennium Park, Empire Room and with numerous symphony orchestras. Their imaginative musical twists on jazz and pop standards, and Broadway and film show tunes have won them audience and critical acclaim across the country and around the globe.

1 Carmichael Square, Carmel, IN For tickets go to or scan QR

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An Italian Broadway Christmas! The concert features Nunziata’s signature stamp on songs from Christmas, Broadway, jazz standards and Italian arias include “O Holy Night”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time,” “O Sole Mio,” “Somewhere,” “The Prayer,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” to his chart-topping originals including “The Greatest Wish,” “Will You Be My Everyday?” and “I Found a Home.”

December 9 DON FARRELL

“All the Way: A Frank Sinatra Tribute” Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael presents “All The Way” A Frank Sinatra Tribute with the one and only Don Farrell. Join us spectacular performance on the Feinstein’s stage celebrating the legend, Frank Sinatra.


Celebrate the Holidays with ATI Enjoy the Actors Theatre of Indiana as we celebrate the Holiday Season! Join the ATI Trio along with Brent Marty at the piano and a special appearance by Carmel High School’s own Select Sound! And who knows, Santa may even stop by! It’s a sure way to enjoy “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”

December 31


Join us as we COUNT DOWN the New Year with the award winning Melissa Manchester! Feinstein’s is pleased to host our New Years Eve Celebration with this legendary artist! With a career that has spanned over 3 decades. Manchester’s tremendously successful solo career brought her critical and commercial acclaim. The “Midnight Blue” singer received her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1979 for the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager-penned “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” winning the Grammy in that category four years later for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Manchester has also had her songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Kenny Loggins and many others. Two songs she performed, “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “The Promise,” were nominated for Oscars in the same year. She has written tunes for several other films including The Great Mouse Detective, Lady and the Tramp II, Dirty Girl, and Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. Ticket prices include admission to reserved seating, as well as a complimentary champagne toast and for the late show, a LIVE countdown to 2022!

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AT THE PALLADIUM Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography //Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts


WHO’S ON DECK? Mannheim Steamroller and put those two worlds together into a new kind of rock holiday concert. It’s a modern twist to what’s been done and is relevant to today’s audiences. Luminare has a high-energy rock edge with a holiday flavor, and we definitely made room for beauty and for people’s hearts to explode with the holiday feeling. JM: “Little Drummer Boy” is a mindblowing arrangement. Its energy is so contagious, and I feel like we’ll be rocking out in our seats. What has it been like to be back on tour and to sense that energy for yourselves?


THE PALLADIUM // FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 8 P.M. ET Drawing from his many years as keyboardist for Dennis DeYoung (Styx) and lead keyboardist for Mannheim Steamroller, John Blasucci and Luminare have created a new and exciting musical experience that will take audiences on an unforgettable journey through the holiday season and beyond. Luminare is made up of world-class musicians whose international credits Janelle Morrison: Many years of include Foreigner, Chicago, Camerata combined experiences are obviously Strumetale Italiana, Orchestra Sinfonica del Conservatorio Giuseppe Tartini di the binding agent of this particular Trieste, “Rock of Ages,” “American Idol” and ensemble, but how would you describe “The Voice,” to name only a few. The band’s Luminare and what all of you bring to debut album, “That Star,” showcases their powerful blend of rock, pop, classical and your audiences? folk music on the original title track and John Blasucci: I like to say that I’ve taken Christmas classics such as “Angels We Have my nearly two decades with rock star Heard on High,” “What Child Is This,” “We Three Kings,” “Little Drummer Boy” and Dennis Young and my time with iconic “Joy to the World.”

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Blasucci: When we got on stage to record the promotional video, from the first note that we played there was an [energy] on that stage and everyone was kind of taken aback. We realized that what we are doing is amazing and that the musicians assembled for this group have a chemistry, a magic and energy and love that that will flow from the stage. JM: What is it about the Palladium that is bringing you back to perform again?

Blasucci: It is a bucket-list performing arts center. I love how it’s personalized and how people can be seated behind us and really become a part of the stage and, by extension, a part of the performance.

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THE PALLADIUM // SATURDAY, DEC. 11, 8 P.M. ET A popular annual tradition at the Center, saxophonist and bandleader Dave Koz’s holiday concerts feature stellar special guests performing fresh, lively arrangements of seasonal favorites in a high-energy show for the entire family. This year’s tour features Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun and Rebecca Jade. In a career spanning three decades, Koz has earned nine Grammy nominations and sent nine albums to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. An entrepreneur and restaurateur, he also hosts two radio programs: the syndicated “The Dave Koz Radio Show,” on the air over 20 years, and “The Dave Koz Lounge” on SiriusXM.

JM: Dave, it’s great to have you heading back to Carmel—in person!

Dave Koz: It’s been a number of years in a row that we’ve come to Carmel, and it really is one of our favorite stops. JM: Last year, you shared with me the genesis and stories behind your album “A New Day” and how it helped carry you and the contributing musicians through 2020. Please remind my readers and your fans how special that collection of work is, as well as your latest groove-intensive album “The Golden Hour.”

Koz: When everything was starting to shut down in the back half of March [2020], and once the shock wore off a little bit, I was like, well, what am I going to do with this time? I intuitively started to listen to music that made me feel better, and so it was my feel-good musical heroes that inspired me to get off my couch and make some music. “A New Day” was a two-month project from start to finish, which is very short, typically, for me when making albums. The project was really about corralling all this pent-up energy from the musicians that collaborated with me and banding together to create something really special. I’m really proud of that album, and it’s unlike any album I’ve ever made and hope to never have to make another album like that. I made a left turn and made an album called “The Golden Hour,” which was released in June of this year but was made in September of 2020. It was done in-person over three days with live musicians in the studio again. I’ve never made an album quite like that ever before either, so [these two albums] are interesting bookends to my COVID experience.


Touring with a special holiday show, the King’s Singers have represented the gold standard in a cappella singing on the world’s greatest stages for over 50 years. Comfortable in a sweeping range of styles and genres, the six-member group continues to push boundaries while honoring its origins in the British choral tradition.

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Committed to creating new repertoire, the ensemble boasts over 200 commissioned works by many leading composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Its extensive discography has won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award and a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

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JM: Fifty years is a wonderful lineage! I know you joined the group in 2012. Tell me a little bit about how you came to be a member of the King’s Singers.

Christopher Bruerton: I think there’s an element of luck because it kind of depends on when the person decides they want to leave. For example, if I reflect on my own journey, I grew up in New Zealand and decided that if I didn’t give it [a professional music career] a go, I would wonder, “What if?” So, I booked a one-way ticket in 2010 to England. It just so happens that my first year of singing in [England], the first baritone Phillip Lawson decided to call it a day after 18 years, and it so happens that it was all about my timing and being around for people to hear me sing. I was the first non-English-born member of the group, but my mother was from England, so I have a British passport, which is very handy. JM: How have you pulled yourself

through 2020, and how has it affected the group now that you’re back out there touring?

Bruerton: We certainly reflect on [2020] all the time because we somehow managed to get through it, and again, there was a little bit of luck involved. I also think one of the big questions we asked ourselves early on was, “With people dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, how do you achieve post-traumatic growth on the flip side?” There are different options available to you, and some are less palatable than others, but ultimately, you have to choose to come out of things finding silver linings and finding areas of development. We found ways to grow and to remain relevant in the public eye. We also felt a responsibility as leaders in the a cappella world to encourage others who were even less fortunate than us. We found ways to engage with our fans, and in many ways social media was our

only outlet. We tried to collaborate with as many people as we could and found new ways to engage with people online. We decided not to feel sorry for ourselves but to be kind to one another—looking out for each other’s mental health and well-being. I think the message is for us to also look out for those who aren’t as fortunate, and that has really brought the world together because there’s this enormous sense of commonality. We’ve all had to endure [the pandemic] and find ways to keep our head above water or thrive a bit if we can. Throughout history, people have always found that music can be a healing bond. I think we’ve got this opportunity to remind ourselves how much we’ve missed each other and that when you listen to music, it really can put things into perspective. From the artist’s point of view, being on stage, and from the audience’s point of view—hearing live music and letting it wash over you and get to your core—there’s nothing quite like it.

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Monon Greenway Celeb rat i n g T w o D e c a d es of th e

Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of Ron Carter and City of Carmel

Imagine for a moment … what if the Monon Trail had not been redeveloped and was left as an unsightly “linear junkyard” as it was prior to becoming a major outdoor attraction for Marion and Hamilton Counties?


oday, the Monon Trail is an asphalt trail that stretches from the town of Westfield south to downtown Indianapolis. The Monon Greenway runs 5 miles from 146th Street to 96th Street. As many trail users celebrate two decades of utilizing the trail for recreation and transportation purposes, we thought it prudent to look back at the people and organizations who assisted in making the Monon Trail and Monon Greenway (Carmel’s portion) a reality and worked through a myriad of obstacles so that current and future generations can enjoy it. PRE-REDEVELOPMENT OF THE MONON TRAIL The CSX (formerly Monon) Railroad line connected Chicago and Indianapolis for more than 100 years. According to attorney Alan Townsend at Bose McKinney, who represented the City of

Carmel during the land acquisitions for the Monon Trail project, CSX had either purchased outright parcels from landowners—mostly farmers at that time—or had written documents that were written as easements that gave the railroad company the right to use the land so as long as it was operating its railways. In later years, discerning who actually owned these parcels—246 in total—proved to be a convoluted task, to say the least. After the decline of railroad travel and the sale of the company in 1987, the portion of the line between Indianapolis and Delphi was abandoned. As municipalities in both counties began looking at purchasing properties along the Monon Railroad line, some property owners supported its redevelopment and some remonstrated in fierce opposition. Carmel resident Paxton Waters and his wife, Rosemary, purchased their residence


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that adjoins the trail 31 years ago. Prior to its redevelopment, he recalled what the railroad line looked like. “Thirty-one years ago, it was a serious junkyard,” Waters shared. “We bought our house at a discount because of the abandoned trail in the backyard. There were refrigerators and all kinds of big trash. People were shooting off guns back there, and in the wintertime it was a snowmobile course.” Waters added, “I was totally for [the redevelopment] of the trail just to get rid of the trash. When I heard that the city was trying to buy up some of the properties along the trail, I was all for it. The trail was such a negative at the time and anything would be better than what it was.” The Waters sold approximately 400 feet of their property to the city of Carmel for what he said was a “fair deal.” Fast forward to present time, Waters—who enjoys regular walks out on the trail—said he can’t even get out of his gate access to the trail from his backyard without people stopping to ask if he’d be interested in selling his house. “What was a junkyard became a walking trail, and now it’s the biggest linear


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park you can do,” Waters stated. “We [Rosemary and I] just love it. And as an architect and master planner, I understand how these things go, and they’re never an overnight thing.” A DIFFICULT ROAD TO PAVE City of Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard had a vision for the Monon Railroad line that had it morphing into a multi-county linear trail that would eventually become a main feed for intersecting trails throughout Central Indiana and the epicenter of an economic boom for Carmel and its fellow communities who share the railroad corridor. “This railroad trail is unusual in the sense that it runs north and south, while many [other railroad lines] run east and west and were used to connect the east and west coasts,” Brainard said. “The land owned by the local farmers in the 1800s was later split up into lots and subdivisions in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and went from 13 or so deeded parcels to 246 parcels.” The mayor shared that CSX had taken the position that the deeds were not reversionary interests but were owned, outright, by the railroad company. Obviously, the owners of the properties adjacent to the railroad corridor disagreed with that assessment. Subsequently, a class-action lawsuit was filed by the property owners against CSX. The case was filed in Hamilton County and was presided by Judge William Hughes. In a decade’s time, the suit was escalated up to the Court of Appeals and eventually was tried in the Indiana Supreme Court. “The way the courts go about determining the title to these forgotten railroad corridors is messy,” Townsend stated. “Figuring out who the owner was became just an absolute jigsaw puzzle. The pending [class-action] lawsuit about who did or did not own [the properties] and who had the right to collect revenue from the fiber optic companies who had buried lines along the corridor is where we [the city] got our start.” Townsend explained that because CSX had sent a team to meet with the property owners in Carmel more than a century ago, there were several different

hand-written documents that the Indiana Supreme Court either ruled were actual warranty deeds or were right-of-way easements, and the 246 parcels in question were a maddening combination of both. “Some of these were indeed reversionary instruments,” Townsend further explained. “What that means is when the railroad stopped running their trains and pulled up their tracks, the interest in that property reverted back to the person who gave them the easement in the first place. Keep in mind that there have been multiple property owners since that time and the properties were divided into several smaller pieces.” Before it was all said and done, Townsend, along with Mayor Brainard and then city council member Ron Carter, had met with over 200 property owners, of which not all were as enthusiastic about the project. While most parcels were eventually purchased without issue from the property owners, some went through the process of eminent domain before the city could begin the process of paving and redeveloping the corridor. “The purchase amounts for these parcels were determined by licensed and trained appraisers,” Townsend stated. “That’s how the courts typically expect these [amounts] to be figured out. Until the court decided who owned the parcels, we placed the money in an escrow account that we set up of the court’s escrow account before it was eventually released to the rightful owner. The mayor and Ron [Carter] took a lot of heat, and it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to stick to your convictions that you know what you’re doing is right and is what is best for the community. In this instance, I don’t know of anyone today who does not look at this


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project and say, ‘What a great idea.’ In fact, we mostly hear, ‘What took you so long?’” GARNERING THE SUPPORT OF THE COMMUNITY The success of the Monon Greenway project is due in large part to not only the city administrators and department heads who fought for the project but would not have been possible without the countless individuals and groups such as the Monon Greenway Committee, which recognized the substantial economic and recreational impact of redeveloping the corridor and raised awareness and funds to help push the needle forward on the project. “In my mind, this [Monon Greenway] was not just something that we could do, it was something that we should do,” Carter expressed. “I was on the city council at that time and was a member and eventual president of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission. Those positions helped me to expand the vision of the trail and talk with developers about what the trail could mean to them. The trail is the equivalent to beach-front property in Central Indiana.” Carter continued, “What is an important fact is that Jim Brainard was the right person at the right time for this particular situation. And not just because of his vision [for the project] but because he was the only person I knew that was an advocate for trails and greenways that had a legal background. The moves he made from a legal standpoint were invaluable.” Carter shared that a member of The Rotary Club of Carmel organized a trail cleanup from 116th to 96th streets, picking up two dump loads of heavy trash that had been tossed onto the railroad right of way for years.


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Carter also shared that Phil Anderson, who was the Rotary president at the time, was extremely helpful in getting that effort moved along, and that Nick Kestner, who also was very active in Rotary, because of his background in bicycling also understood the economic impact that increased bicycling along the trial would have. Also mentioned, Rotary member and then Township Trustee Judy Hagen, was a key member of the Monon Greenway Committee as well and was crucial in garnering support for the trail to counter the efforts of the remonstrators. “The Monon Greenway Committee was a major help,” Carter emphasized. “For example, we collected 3,000 signatures at CarmelFest on a petition for the trail to be made into a rail trail, and we presented it to the then city council—I was not on the council yet—who wouldn’t even look at it and, in fact, they were rude to us in the meeting. That was when I decided to run for city council. The people who got elected to city council in 1995 and took office in 1996 were open-minded supporters who worked with the Monon Greenway Committee. It was a 180-degree turnaround in terms of support.” AN INCOMPARABLE COMMUNITY AMENITY AND ECONOMIC DRIVER The Monon Greenway is a 42-acre linear park. A grand opening in the fall of 2001 marked the project’s completion. The trail runs through suburban neighborhoods and the retail/ commercial districts of the city of Carmel. It connects at 96th Street with the Monon Trail in Indianapolis. The Monon Greenway connects to the Monon Trail in Indianapolis. That connection allows its users to be able to ride all the way to downtown Indianapolis by bike path. It also connects to a multiuse path along 146th Street that takes people through the outskirts of two other communities, Noblesville and Westfield. Since its opening, the public has overwhelmingly supported the trail. Organizations such as The Rotary Club of Carmel

and the Carmel Clay Public Library have been staunch supporters of the redevelopment of the trail since its inception, and the Carmel/Clay Parks and Recreation Department manages the Greenway. Over the years, the properties along the Monon Greenway in Carmel have become some of the most sought-after properties in both residential and commercial real estate markets. City Center, the Center for the Performing Arts and Midtown Plaza most certainly would have different vibes if not for the existence of the Monon Greenway. And the Carmel Clay Schools have benefited as their cross-country teams use the trail for training as an alternative to busy streets and narrow sidewalks. The trail also serves as a commuter route for avid bicyclists and pedestrians who choose alternate means of transportation. During the summer seasons, the Carmel Farmers Market has reported that over 10% of the visitors to the market arrived there via the trail. And the trail

Ron Carter: former city council member

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provides easy access to the festivals and other community events that are located in the Arts & Design District, Midtown and City Center. As many residents know, the Carmel Clay Historical Society is located in the old Monon railroad station, “The Depot,” just south of Main Street and adjacent to the trail. There are simply not enough column inches available in this article to thank the entire list of individuals, community organizations, city department heads and other contributors to the success of the Monon Greenway in Carmel. Nonetheless, we wish to sincerely thank every individual who contributed their talents, time, money and other resources to the redevelopment of one of the city’s, county’s and area’s most important amenities. Without their determination, vision, patience and contributions—the Monon Greenway would not be the extraordinary linear park that it has become, that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come.



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Scott Sander From CHS’s WHJE to Award-Winning Local Media Personality Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of WISH-TV and Laura Arick

This month, we are pleased to feature Carmel resident and Carmel High School (CHS) alum Scott Sander on our cover. WISH-TV’s Sander is a 30-plus-year multiple-Emmy-award-winning anchor. He is also a CCS parent and dedicated community volunteer.


e spoke with Sander about his radio days at WHJE and how those experiences laid the foundation for his career in radio and then local broadcast TV. We also discussed why he decided to return to his old stomping grounds along with his wife, Tammy, and their two children, in Carmel, Indiana.

WHJE—The Voice of the Greyhounds Before Sander graduated from CHS in 1990, he gained on-air experience as a sports- and newscaster for WHJE, the CHS radio broadcast program for aspiring broadcasters at the high school. Under the guidance of CHS teachers Scott Gregg and Tom Schoeller, Sander began building the foundation to a long and successful broadcast career. “I had a couple of terrific teachers [Gregg and Schoeller] who guided me through the [radio] program,” Sander shared. “At one point, Mr. Schoeller pulled me aside and in so many words said, ‘You don’t have any idea what you want to do with your life, do

you?’ and I said, ‘No, sir.’ And he said, ‘Well, you’re not terrible at this, so you might give [broadcasting] a shot.” Sander said he jumped into the program with “both feet” and got excited about sports broadcasting, all the while learning important lessons about perseverance as well as the logistics behind executing a proper broadcast. “My first newscast was in the main studio at WHJE, and I believe Del Shannon had just passed,” Sander recollected. “We were going to go on air with our regular hourly update, and it was my first newscast clip. I wanted to include a clip of one of [Del’s] songs—“Runaway,” I think. So, we put it on the ‘cart.’ Back then, a cart looked like an eight-track tape that you recorded on, and then you would fire up the cart when it was time to go.” Just as Sander was to go on air for his very first newscast, Murphy’s Law took effect. “I said, ‘Del Shannon passed away today,’ and I pointed my finger to cue … and then there was nothing but dead air,” Sander CARMEL MONTHLY

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said. “And so, my first broadcasting experience was a failure, but it was a great thing because just as WHJE was a great place to succeed, it may have been an even better place to fail. While the whole idea was to never have dead air and never to intentionally cause a mistake, it was an opportunity to make a mistake and know that you could come back and try it again to see if [broadcasting] was a fit for you and see if you could maybe make a life out of it.” Sander added, “It’s still in progress, but I’ve been at this for 32 years and counting, so it’s worked [for me] so far.”

The Transition From Radio to Live TV After graduating from CHS, Sander attended the University of Missouri on the advice of his mentors, Mr. Gregg and Mr. Schoeller. As part of the degree program, Sander had to participate in both its radio and TV programs. “I thought I was going to do radio playby-play for sports,” Sander stated. “And in a similar conversation with the [station’s] news director that I had once had with


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Mr. Schoeller, the director looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know if you’ve ever considered television, but you’re not terrible at it. You might give it a try.’ My north stars have been people who have spoken frankly to me. Both CHS and [University of] Missouri made it possible for me, and I’ve been very lucky that way.” We discussed the differences—in prep— between being on radio and live TV, and when asked if Sander prefers radio over TV or vice versa, Sander quipped, “When you introduce hair spray into the equation, it changes everything for sure.” Sander continued, “I’ve been lucky because I’ve been doing morning TV most of my career, and it’s the closest thing to a hybrid of the two [radio and TV] because there’s an informality that lends itself to what is great about radio. But there’s an access to things that radio can’t bring, such as compelling images and on-thespot reporting where you can see what’s actually happening. I really like morning television because it lets me use skills from both of these areas.” Sander has reported live on many historical and unprecedented events—including some of the nation’s most tragic incidents. Sanders was on the scene for events such as the history-shaping flooding in Missouri, the campaign trail as presidential candidates crisscrossed Iowa and from the grounds of Columbine High School within minutes of the tragedy that unfolded there. He’s covered many stories all over Central Indiana, including the greatest spectacle in racing—the Indianapolis 500. We asked Sander how one navigates through the various headspaces to conduct a professional and accurate reporting of what’s going on in that mo-

ment—experiencing much of what first responders and those directly affected are also experiencing. He thoughtfully replied, “I do believe what we [journalists] do is useful and it can be important. If I’ve learned nothing else from my parents and grandparents, it’s that if something is useful and is worth doing—it’s worth doing well. I try to remember—especially at a difficult location—that I may be the only conduit to information that a person at the other end has. If you always presume that you are—for that moment—the source of information that a person has and that they’ve chosen to pay attention to you, then you owe it to them to be present and effort-filled.” Sander paused and then added, “Whatever I’m feeling in that moment, the people inside of the yellow line are feeling it tenfold. When I feel overwhelmed, I have to fight it and remind myself that the only reason it’s upsetting news is because it’s upsetting somebody else so much more and they deserve my effort and professional reporting of the situation.”

Back Home Again Sander and his family left Colorado and moved to Carmel in 2005 where he signed on as the first anchor of WISH-TV’s 10 o’clock news on MyINDY-TV 23. He was moved up to the Daybreak team in 2007

where he’s been for 14 years and counting. The Sander family is active and involved in the Carmel and Indianapolis communities. The Sander children are active in sports and performing arts at the middle school and high school levels. Sander is actively involved in community organizations such as The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Indianapolis Fire Department, the Indiana Historical Society and Carmel Education Foundation. He also coached for many years with the Carmel Dad’s Club while his son was active in the club’s athletic programs. “I just rolled off a six-year term as a board member of the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, which my grandfather [Harold John Sander] began towards the end of his time as the director of public libraries [1956–72] in Indianapolis,” Sander shared. “The foundation continues to be the fundraising arm for the library’s programs.” Sander shared that one of the main reasons he and his wife chose to root in the Carmel community was because of its schools. And being a product himself of CCS made that decision all the easier. “Please don’t think for a minute that I think the Carmel schools are perfect, but I think they’re still extraordinary,” Sander expressed. “I’m lucky that my kids have the opportunity to look for their niche and what sings to their heart. And no one can say that there aren’t opportunities available in Carmel. As for the city of Carmel itself, the changes to the city have been enormous but some things have remained constant. And I think the dedication to the ideas of the [Carmel] school system has remained pretty true.”

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Carmel Fire Department and MedVet Partner

to Help Pets Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of CFD

What a family goes through immediately after a house fire resonates deeply with me. My family lost our home to a fire in January of 1987. I understand that in the wake of the crisis, the last thing that a family needs to be burdened with is dealing with injury to their pets as a result of an emergency.


t is with profound respect for the Carmel Fire Department (CFD) and for the folks at MedVet that I am happy to share the great news—CFD has partnered with MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets as its preferred choice of emergency pet care. MedVet can receive your pet at its 24/7-365-day-a-year pet emergency room here in Carmel, where they will receive exceptional emergency care.

EMERGENCY CARE FOR YOUR PETS CFD PIO Tim Griffin shared, “Every year the Carmel Fire Department fights fires in apartments and single-family homes that have family pets. One of our first jobs as firefighters is to search these homes for not only victims but also pets and get them outside to safety. Once outside, CFD has been fortunate enough to have pet oxygen masks and be able to provide CPR to those pets.”


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Up until partnering with MedVet, those were CFD’s limits of care to pets. They simply didn’t have the means or facility to takes pets in who needed more definitive care. Griffin added, “If your dog or cat is injured as a result of a fire, serious accident, special rescue or any other situation that requires the Carmel Fire Department, MedVet will be ready to help. After the ambulance arrives at


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their facility, MedVet’s team will meet the ambulance and your pet at the door and immediately take over care to help your pet. MedVet’s facility has the capability to provide life-saving care through their advanced technologies, distinguished doctors and caring and compassionate staff.” MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets Hospital Director Kalen Guffin-Allen added, “When we reached out to CFD, we were trying to figure out how we—as a specialty service—in an emergency could give back. We did [pet] CPR training with CFD, and then Tim [Griffin] brought this up and we all started talking about this program.” MedVet understands that having a pet emergency is very difficult, so as part of its partnership with CFD, they want to take the stress and finances off the table for the first 48 hours. MedVet will

provide all possible life-saving emergency care completely free of charge for 48 hours after the pet’s arrival. Allen concluded, “We thought this would be an amazing service as we know that the first 24–48 hours is critical time for the pet right after an emergency, and it’s such a difficult time for the families. So many people don’t have that plan made out. Our community has been so great to us, and we’re blessed to be in the Carmel community, so this [partnership]

made sense. Our team is proud of our hospital and in the work that they do, so they wanted to take their talents and their compassion and give it back to the community in this way.”

As a fresh holiday season settles over Carmel, revelry and song fill the halls and fends off the chill as The Stratford collective gather and visit with family and friends, all in the safety of their perfectly wonderful community.


2460 Glebe Street • Carmel, IN 46032 • (317) 793-3140 •


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