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Author Archives: WFHB News

EcoReport – March 20, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, discusses a new report concerning small farmers and sustainable agricultural practices.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

Anchors: Kristina Wiltsee and Stephanie Stewart
This week’s news stories were written by Linda Greene, Norm Holy, Dan Young, and me, Stephanie Stewart. This week’s feature was engineered by Stephanie Stewart. This week’s calendar was compiled by Kristina Wiltsee.
Our broadcast engineer is Jim Lang. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller, me, Stephanie Stewart, and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

I’m Homeless: Ron Schuler

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For every mat on the floor of the Interfaith Winter Shelter there is a story of loss, and a story of hope. This week we are speaking with experts on homelessness in Bloomington, those who have studied the causes and effects of homelessness through firsthand experience. All week we bring you first hand accounts from residents of the Interfaith Wintershelter, and those working on an alternate system once the shelter closes April 1st.

Today on “I’m Homeless” we hear from Ron Schuler. Ron uses the Interfaith Winter Shelter every night and has a list of health problems the inhibit him from finding employment. As bad as his situation is, Ron doesn’t want to leave town because his mother lives in a care facility in the area, so he still spends his days applying for jobs, and helping the summer shelter group seek a permanent solution for emergency shelter in Bloomington.

CREDITS
I’m Homeless is a production of WFHB Bloomington Community Radio
Audio engineers are Rob Powell, Ilze Ackerbergs, and Adam Reichle
Our theme music is provided by Deerheart
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Thank you to all those who told their story as part of this series, and for those who volunteer their time to assist at the interfaith winter shelter.
Thanks to Billy Young for providing tracks from his Album Church of Trees – dedicated to Bloomington’s Homeless

Interchange – Democratic Primary Candidates for Monroe County Clerk

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Hosts Trish Kerle and Doug Storm are joined in the studio by Linda Robbins and Ashley Cranor to discuss their reasons for wanting to be elected to the Office of the Clerk of Monroe County.

Linda Robbins is the incumbent for this position, becoming Monroe County Clerk in January of 2011.  And Ashley Cranor, the primary challenger, is currently Grants Administrator for the Monroe County
Commissioners Office.

For this program we discover just what the County Clerk does; we find out the candidates’ qualifications and get a bit of their biographies; and we find out what they have in mind for this term
should they be elected to the position. Along the way we ask some questions about current programs and policies in order to get a sense of the effectiveness of the office administration.

Key topics are the contentious election result for the last two cycles and the Indiana Voter ID law and how politics becomes policy.

Bring It On! – March 17, 2014

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Clarence Boone and William Hosea welcome Dr. Stephanie Power-Carter, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University and Director of the Marcellus Neal-Frances Marshall Black Culture Center.

PART ONE
Dr. Stephanie Power-Carter, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University and Director of the Marcellus Neal-Frances Marshall Black Culture Center, joins Clarence and William to discuss the happenings at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and her local mentoring initiative for young adults.

PART TWO
Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

CREDITS
Hosts: Clarence Boone and William Hosea
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

EcoReport – March 13, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Diane Jung of the Bloomington Environmental Commission discusses natural lawns and landscaping and the alternatives to commercial fertilizers and pesticides.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

Anchors: Kelly Miller and Stephanie Stewart
This week’s news stories were written by Linda Greene, Norm Holy, and Stephanie Stewart. This week’s feature was engineered by Dan Withered. This week’s calendar was compiled by Kristina Wiltsee. Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller, me, Stephanie Stewart, and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Interchange – W. Kamau Bell: Jokester Without Borders

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Guest W. Kamau Bell with WFHB General Manager Cleveland Dietz, Interchange host Trish Kerle, and Interchange producer Doug Storm.

Guest W. Kamau Bell with WFHB General Manager Cleveland Dietz, Interchange host Trish Kerle, and Interchange producer Doug Storm.

Host Trish Kerle’ welcomes comedian W. Kamau Bell, whose work openly challenges racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. The New Y0rk Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.”  Face Full of Flour, his standup comedy album, was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes and Punchline Magazine.  His comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, premiered in August 2012 and became a critically acclaimed, though short-lived, television show executive produced by Chris Rock.  W. Kamau Bell has just launched his first major comedy tour and he will be performing at the Comedy Attic here in Bloomington, Indiana on March 12, 2014.

Fairview School adopts new plan to raise state-imposed ‘F’ grade

Fairview school has a new plan to address perceived deficiencies in the language abilities of its students, and parents seem to support it this time.

Listeners may recall when in January, parents raised complaints after their children were visibly upset over changes in their classes and teachers. Parents complained, and demonstrated outside schoolboard offices.

They learned that the unilateral changes had been adopted by the principal in response to Fairview school receiving a F grade from the state, its students’ low scores on the state mandated ISTEP tests, and studies showing the its graduates went on to do poorly at high school.

The parents demanded meetings and greater consultation with school and board administrators on how the school should respond to the performance problems. Several meetings were held with parents, including one last night where the new plan was presented.

Deborah Myerson, who has two children at Fairview, attended this meeting.

“The first meeting was an attempt to respond to the states’ mandates being imposed right after January with very little advanced notice to parents and teachers,” Myerson says, “That was roundly rejected by the parents. This meeting was an attempt to re-do that with input by teachers and parents, for a new plan that will be in place after spring break.”

Under the new plan, every student at Fairview will spend two hours a day on language arts, an increase from the previous 90 minute load. The lower grades will do this in the morning and the higher grades in the afternoon.

Students will be grouped in smaller classes and specialists will be assigned to help specific teachers and groups. Myerson is hopeful that this plan will work.

“There are definitely literacy needs at the school, no question,” Myerson says, “I think the teachers are working really hard. I think there are issues with how the state is imposing itself on local education processes. Some of it will be difficult to deal with because of the high poverty level at the school, which is routinely correlated with low test scores.”

She points out that the next grade assigned to the school by the state will come out before the new plan has even begun to be implemented.

“I think people need to contact their legislators and that people locally should be in control of how their children are being educated and not be at the constant whim of the state,” Myerson says.

Another meeting for parents, teachers and administrators has been scheduled for this Thursday at Fairview School.

Four environmental groups call for an investigation into Edwardsport coal-gasification plant

Duke Energy’s controversial coal-gasification plant in Edwardsport, Indiana is again being challenged before state regulators.

Four environmental groups, the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Save the Valley, the Sierra Club and Valley Watch, have filed a motion before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission calling for an investigation into the plant’s operating problems, schedule delays and cost overruns.

Kerwin Olson is the executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition.

“Our complaints relate back to 2007,” Olson says, “Our complaints were that this is a first-of-a-kind technology. This is a science project. We predicted that there would be significant cost escalations, construction delays, and problems during testing and startup, and all of these have happened. So much so that it’s only running at 4 percent of its rated capacity.”

In 2007, when it approved the plant, the Regulatory Commission put a $1.985 billion cap on building costs that Duke could be pass on to its customers. the Commission subsequently raised that cap to $2.6 billion. Today, the cost of the still-not-quite-operational plant is around $3.5 billion and rising.

Duke is now seeking Commission approval to add another $180 million to the expense line for a plant that is years behind its projected completion date.

“This plant was supposed to be purring like a kitten at 85 percent capacity on day one, according to Duke Energy,” Olson says, “In the six month period for the petition we filed it averaged 37 percent capacity, and the latest information we have from January was at 4 percent. We believe that this is a power plant that first of all never should have been approved in the first place and secondly, we have ratepayers paying a tremendous amount of money that is not useful and not serving the public interest.”

Since the time of its initial conception, various opponents have filed 12 motions to the Commission on the proposal. Seven of these are still before the courts.

In the past, the Commission has been reprimanded by the courts for have a too cozy relationship with the interests it is charged with regulating.

Yet the commission continues to add Duke’s costs to ratepayers bills, including the most recent request by Duke to recover repair and maintenance costs for a plant that is not producing much gas.

The Commission has not yet responded to the complainants petition, nor it is required to actually hold a hearing on it. The complainants are preparing for the eventuality of appealing the Commission’s response to Duke’s most recent cost recovery request.

Senators Donnelly and Coats join US Senate to pass Victims Protection Act

Yesterday Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats joined the rest of the United States Senate in the unanimous passage of the Victims Protection Act of 2014.

The purpose of the bill is to provide for additional enhancements of the sexual assault prevention and response activities of the Armed Forces.

However, the provisions passed in yesterday’s vote only strengthen the already existent Victims Protection Act, whereas the Military Justice Improvement Act that fell five votes shy of passage late last week, specifically addressed the needs of sexual assault victims in the U.S. military.

Donnelly and Coats split their support for the Military Justice Improvement Act, with Donnelly supporting the bill authored by fellow democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New york.

A significant difference between the two bills is the oversight of the prosecution of sexual assault cases. The Military Justice Improvement Act would remove the oversight from the army chain of command.

During Senate Armed Services Committee hearings this summer, Donnelly repeatedly expressed concern with the current system that tasks commanding officers with disciplining their own troops.

“What concerns me is that this is a personal violation of somebody,” Donnelly says, “It is a risk that could destroy a person’s soul and their emotional state. In some cases, that’s by a person who they look to as a leader, or a commander, and that they look to with a sacred trust.”

While the Victims Protection act of 2014 does not address the imbalance of power in sexual assault cases, steps such as eliminating the “good soldier” defense and increasing the victim’s council, did pass into law.

Bring It On! – March 10, 2014

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Cornelius Wright and William Hosea welcome the Honorable Valeri Haughton, judge of the Division VIII Circuit Court, Monroe County Deputy Prosecutor Joi Kamper, and Defense Attorney Megan Lewis.

PART ONE
the Honorable Valeri Haughton, judge of the Division VIII Circuit Court, Monroe County Deputy Prosecutor Joi Kamper, and Defense Attorney Megan Lewis join Cornelius and William to discuss the legal intricacies surrounding the Michael Dunn case and the impact of the President’s new social initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper.”

PART TWO
Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

CREDITS
Hosts: Cornelius Wright and William Hosea
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

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