Quick takes editorial: Marathon running in right direction

The Mill Race Marathon is among our region’s marquee participatory events, drawing thousands of runners from near and far to the streets of Columbus every fall. And for dedicated distance runners, the event this year on Sept. 23 is making changes for the better.

This year, the full 26.6-mile marathon course will make use of the People Trail and Mill Race Park more than ever. Close to one-third of the total distance will be on those venues, and more than half of the second 13.3-mile route will traverse the trail or the park.

This isn’t just good news for runners. These changes also will lessen the marathon’s impact on traffic. Closures and restrictions of major thoroughfares due to the event are expected to end by about 10:30 a.m., organizers estimate — several hours earlier than in years past.

“I think we’re really close to the point where we like what we have, and now we can keep it very similar moving forward,” event coordinator Joel Sauer said at a recent Mill Race Marathon planning meeting.

For runners and nonrunners alike, these changes are steps in the right direction.

Columbus Pride Festival marks changes

The Columbus Pride Festival that debuted five years ago and drew about 2,500 people last year has a new director, a new date, and a renewed sense of mission.

The festival will return to Mill Race Park on Sept. 30, but as The Republic’s Brian Blair reported, times have changed in more ways than one. “New festival director Lisa Huffman pointed out that this year’s gathering is as important as any of the previous such events, considering Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recent signing of a measure allowing school libraries to ban books. In many areas, calls for such bans center heavily on materials for and about an LGBTQ audience — the same audience for the local festival.

“‘I think that especially right now, while there are so many things happening politically, I believe that people may think there isn’t as much support in a smaller town for this (event),’” Huffman said. “‘So I think it becomes really important to have such a celebration where so many people show up, whether they are LGBTQ people or allies.’”

Celebration is the key word. The Columbus Pride Festival celebrates community, diversity, individuality and belonging. And at our very best, so do the people of our city.

Cameras in court long overdue

Indiana courts in many instances have been loath to change with the times, and you could call the longstanding prohibition on cameras in courtrooms Exhibit A.

But there is good news on that front, as Bartholomew Superior Court 2 Judge Jon Rohde said the Bartholomew County courts collectively worked with the other courts in their district in order to provide a consistent regional process by which members of the media may be permitted to broadcast or record certain non-confidential hearings.

This has been made possible by the Indiana Supreme Court relaxing the rules on cameras and recording in state trial courts — somewhat. (Ironically, the Indiana Supreme Court itself and the Indiana Court of Appeals have webcast their arguments and allowed cameras for years.)

Government — and that includes the judiciary — operates best when people can see for themselves. We commend our local courts’ judgment in opening court proceedings to cameras.