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The Indiana Dunes at sunrise

Furthermore …

Associated Press

ERASER bill is likely scrubbed for session

This year’s legislative effort to reduce state licensing and regulation of occupations has stalled in the General Assembly and appears dead – though it’s conceivable it could be revived.

As with last year’s proposal to end licensing and regulation of barbers and beauticians along with a few other occupations, lawmakers found again this year that deregulating professions and occupations is easier said than done – largely because many people holding those jobs want to be licensed.

This year’s bill had the somewhat clunky nomenclature of ERASER – Eliminate, Reduce And Streamline Employee Regulation. It passed the Senate 36-13. In the House, it was assigned to the Select Committee on Government Reduction – where a bill to reduce government would seemingly have a good chance. But lawmakers from both parties had little appetite for a repeat of the protests against the bill last year, and it hasn’t been heard in committee.

Though the chances the House will pass it before an April 15 deadline are practically nil, it could still come back in some form – especially if Gov. Mike Pence pushes it. But it appears dead for the year.

Not-so-average stats for the average fan

Ah, for the days when all baseball fans needed to know about pitchers was their ERA and batters could be judged by their batting average and homers.

Now, as a New York Times story indicated, those stone-age stats are simply child’s play.

As baseball season launches this week, today’s fan wants to know about a pitcher’s WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched), his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and his K/BB (strikeout to walk ratio). Batters are judged by their BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), their GPA (Gross Production Average) and their ISO (Isolated Power).

All players can now be judged by their WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and VORP (Value Over Replacement Player).

For the less-than-fanatic fan who enjoys a ballgame now and then but has never participated in a fantasy league, allow us to suggest some analytics that would apply to a more general audience.

Fans want to know about a stadium’s HDQP (Hot Dog Quality relative to Price) and its RRPS (Restroom Ratio Per Seat). If statisticians can track everything, why not a player’s SOB (Spits On Base) and a coach’s SEQ (Signal Embellishment Quality)? It’s easy to find out which team has the most wins or the lowest batting average, but what about its TPW (Ticket Price per Win), its FBHS (Foul Balls Hit to Stands) or its QUC (Quality of Uniform Colors)?

And, finally, for teams that show promise and have great fans but can’t pull through in the clutch: The WUNY factor (Wait Until Next Year), sometimes known as the HMLCR (How Much Like the Cubs Rating).

Outdoors a big driver of Indiana economy

Indiana officials will want to tell residents to “take a hike” after perusing the results for the most recent study from the Colorado-based Outdoor Industry Association.

Outdoor recreation contributes $9.4 billion each year to the Indiana economy. It specifically mentioned Indiana Dunes State Park and the Hoosier National Forest as two major economic drivers in the state.

The study, which tallied the economic effect of outdoor recreation in each of the 50 states, also found that the recreation sector supports 106,200 jobs in Indiana. Outdoor recreation jobs generate $2.7 billion in wages in Indiana and bring in $704 million in state and local tax revenue.

Nationally, nearly 140 million Americans participate in outdoor activities and spend $646 billion each year. The industry supports 6.1 million jobs and generates about $80 billion in tax revenue. Outdoor recreation supports more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas industry.

The study not only points to Hoosiers’ great affinity for the outdoors but the economic importance of protecting and investing in recreation resources, including parks, waters and wilderness areas.