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Author Archives: WFHB News

Interchange – Minded By Algorithms: Digitizing the Word

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Host Doug Storm talks with Ted Striphas, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Culture at Indiana University and the author of the 2009 title The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control, about the ways that book technology has evolved and the ways in which humans evolved with it. 

In discussing the digitization of “the word” we look at  Amazon.com’s Kindle: not only at the ways we read Kindles (and how they mimic the form of the book) but also how Kindles read us by sending information about our very marginalia back into the Cloud of knowing.

We also discuss the ways in which a digital information age bears a striking resemblance to what Hannah Arendt called a society where “there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances…in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-rule, and where all are equally powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant.”

‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense’ in Indiana Fight Bill That Would Allow Guns on School Property

The Indiana Chapter of an organization called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is fighting the passage of Senate Bill 229.

The bill would allow the carrying of firearms on school property, including in buses. It would also allow for firearms to be carried to off-campus school events such as graduation, prom, and field trips.

Nicki McNally, the Indiana chapter leader of the organization, believes that having more guns more places, especially where there are children, is not the right thing to do. She says it is extremely dangerous and will increase the risk of gun related incidents occurring.

The group also says the bill need some clarification, like whether or not a bus-driver would be allowed to carry a firearm while transporting students. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has a goal to create awareness and support for common sense gun reforms.

McNally advises fellow Hoosiers to send messages to Speaker Brian Bosma and the House Public Policy Committee in order to prevent the passage of this bill.

Habitat for Humanity Pushing to Develop on Controversial Land

The Bloomington Plan Commission voted February 24 to fast-track approval for a 35 home subdivision in what is currently an urban forest along the B-Line Trail.

Habitat for Humanity is seeking to develop the wooded area north of downtown between the B-Line and Reverend Ernest D. Butler Park.

Kerry Thompson, the president of Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, said her organization is running out of spaces to build in Bloomington.

“The largest obstacle for Habitat in recent years has been land,” Thompson said, “There simply are not enough infill lots remaining in the city of BLoomington to meet the needs of families. There is no affordable home ownership option close to the city center.”

The project would require the organization to cut down 64 percent of the trees in the area, which concerned many neighbors who attended the meeting. Some also questioned the high density of the proposed neighborhood and the revelation that soil is contaminated with lead, coal ash and other pollutants.

Marti Crouch, a biologist who lives near the site, said some might undervalue the wooded area in its current state.

“We have very little of that type of diverse native, urban forest in contiguous pieces in our city,” Crouch said, “I’m not sure what the definition of infill is, but I’m concerned that if the planning department thinks that every little green space needs to be turned into buildings and structures because that will somehow save outer areas from being developed, I’d like to see some facts on that.”

Crouch was referring to comments by local developer Matt Press, who described himself as a proponent of “good urban infill the right way.”

Press said denying Habitat this development would just force it to build houses on the outskirts of Bloomington.

“Nothing in the real world happens in a vacuum,” Press said, “The homeowners are already here in our community. If we say no to this project they will either continue to live in sub-standard housing or they will move into a new Habitat home, now likely built on a larger lot on the edge of town. That lot, in turn, would displace a market-rate home that will inevitably be built on yet a bigger piece of land on yet another former farm or forest.”

One major dispute involved Habitat’s request that the commission waive the requirement for a second hearing on the development.

Thompson said the organization wanted to speed up the city’s approval process so it could clear the forest by an April 1 deadline.

“Our request was made after we discovered that the Indiana bat could come to roost in the area,” Thompson said, “We had no intention to rush this process, in fact we have engaged pretty fully in the public comment process. We build by federal environmental regulations and unfortunately we have never encountered this stipulation for tree-clearing prior to April 1.”

Federal guidelines prohibit clearing trees from April through October to prevent disturbing roosting Indiana bats, which are endangered.

But several neighbors said they had just recently heard about Habitat’s plans, and they want more time to consider the implications of the new subdivision. Ruth Beasley was one of those neighbors.

“Finally, tonight, I’m getting bits and pieces of what I consider very complicated information,” Beasley said, “I want to read the documents for myself before I make a decision. I too have worked on Habitat houses. I love my Habitat neighbors. My daughter’s best friend has worked so hard to get her Habitat House. But I feel cheated in time to think, time to talk to my neighbors about what they think and I strongly urge you not to do away with the second hearing.”

Despite concerns from neighbors, the commission voted to waive the second hearing and forward the development to the City Council.

The council will hold two meetings on the issue before voting to approve to reject the proposal.

Bring It On! – March 3, 2014

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Clarence Boone and Bev Smith welcome Monroe County Community School Corporation talent and diversity specialist, Diane Hanks.

PART ONE
On Tonight’s show, Clarence and Bev welcome Diane Hanks, talent and diversity specialist for the Monroe County Community School Corporation, to the show.

Diane, the former vice-principal at Tri-North Middle School, joined the MCCSC in the new role in October of 2013. Her strategic role to bolster the pool of diverse talent in order to increase the number of MCCSC staff members who are minorities.

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

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

bloomingOUT – February 27, 2014

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Consummate story teller Jim Doud talks about “Joe” on an edition of “Our View.” IU alum, Attorney and Cherokee Indian Becca Riall responds to a listener query “Why don’t Indians just become Americans?” by discussing the politics and government regulations as they relate to reservations in the U.S. Helen addresses the nursing career on an edition of “Queer Herstory. Featured artist is Oregon folk artist Josh Garrels and musical selections are “Flood Waters” and “Fire by Night” from his latest “The Sea InBetween” cd.

www.joshgarrels.com

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producer Sarah Hetrick
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Theme Music Mikial Robertson
Announcer Sarah Hetrick

New Area Code Coming to Bloomington Area

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A new ten-digit area code system will be implemented for residents in Indiana’s 812 area code region on September 6, 2014.

On March 1, residents will still be able to use the 812 area code, but should start using 10 digits when they make a call.

Spokesman for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor Anthony Swinger explains why a new area code change is being implemented.

“It’s important to keep in mind that 930 is just being added to the 812 area,” Swinger says, “Anyone with an 812 number right now will keep his or her number after the change. The 930 numbers are going to be added after October 6. The reason for the new area code is because the 812 area code, which has stayed unchanged since 1947, is close to running out of numbers. The industry projects that in the middle of 2015, 812 will no longer have any numbers for new phones and customers. So, it’s necessary to add the new area code so there’s a large enough pool of numbers.”

The dialing system will help usher in the new 930 area code, which will take effect in the fall.

The new area code is being added using what is called the overlay method. Swinger says this method has been used by 37 states in the U.S. for area code change-overs since 2008.

The discussion to use an overlay or a split method was a year-long case that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ordered in July 2013.

After the case closed, the IURC decided that the overlay method would be the least disruptive. Swinger explains how the new system will affect residents in the 812 region.

“The changes will affect everyone to one degree or another,” Swinger says, “The main way the changes will affect folks in Bloomington and south central Indiana will be the need for 10 digit dialing for local calls. Instead of just dialing 7 digits, it will be necessary to dial 812 than the seven digits. What begins Saturday is a six month period to adjust to 10 digit dialing. If the old habit comes up in this grace period, the number will still go through.”

On September 6, residents can continue to use the 812 area code but will have to use ten digits to make a call. When October 6 rolls around, residents will have to begin using the new 930 area code and continue to use ten digits to place a call.

IU Students Form ‘March Madness’ Volunteer Group to Spread Information on Obamacare

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The Indiana University and Ivy Tech students of the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are starting a new campus organization.

The group is launching a March healthcare campaign called “Madness” that will help students learn more about health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

David Meyer, president of the ACA Volunteers of Monroe County, says this campaign will have campus-wide events, but want to focus on social media.

“We have a couple of students who are co-leads on the campaign,” Meyer says, “They divide up the responsibilities between social media and public events and direct outreach. Since so many students are deeply involved in social media, that’s a major way to provide them with information.  It’s still in the early stages, but we’re focused on getting this going right now because the deadline for signing up for coverage is March 31.”

Meyer says the cost of health insurance may be less expensive than the penalty students will have to pay if they do not get health insurance by March 31.

Students who are claimed as a dependent on their parents taxes will not have to pay the penalty, but their parents will.

Meyer says he hopes the campaign will help answer questions about the ACA that differ from questions that older adults may have about healthcare.

“We have a couple of students who are co-leads on the campaign,” Meyers says, “They divide up the responsibilities between social media and public events and direct outreach. Since so many students are deeply involved in social media, that’s a major way to provide them with information.  It’s still in the early stages, but we’re focused on getting this going right now because the deadline for signing up for coverage is March 31.”

The next event for the ACA Volunteers of Monroe County is the Health Insurance Community Fair. The fair is next Thursday, March 6 at the Monroe County Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Meyer says the event will give students and community members a chance to pair with trained volunteers that will help them answer questions they have concerning the ACA.

Aerial Photos of Bloomington Approved for Property Assessment

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The Monroe County Commission approved a $271,000 contract on February 21 with a company that plans to take aerial photographs of the entire County.

The company, Pictometry International Corporation, would fly over the area to take high-resolution pictures for the County Assessor’s office.

Assessor Judy Sharp said one way her staff uses images like these is to detect changes in properties, which can affect their assessed value and in turn their property taxes.

“This is the third time we’ve done this,” Sharp said, “We fly over every three years because Monroe County is such a fast-growing community. In three years, you have a lot of new product out there. This company can actually tell us the changes, good or bad, to a piece of property”

Sharp said the contract, which covers three years, includes a stipulation that prevents the public from accessing the photographs.

“It is strictly in the assessor’s office,” Sharp said, “The city police could use this, but it isn’t a tool just anyone use because it’s licensed. You can go online at our 39 degrees GIS website which does something very similar, but it isn’t what we use.”

The commission voted unanimously to approve the agreement.

Water Pumping Project Finishes $250,000 Under Budget

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The construction of a new water pumping station came in at about $260,000 under budget, according to officials at a Bloomington Utilities Service Board meeting on Feb. 24.

Michael Hicks, the Utilities Department’s capital projects manager, submitted a change order on the $6.5 million project.

“The project is complete and with the approval of this change order we can close out the project with our contractor,” Hicks said.

The construction was performed by the Orleans-based company Layne Incorporated, but the engineering was done by the Kansas-based company Black and Veatch.

Adam Westerman, from Black and Veatch, said the project did not cost as much as expected, in part because the contractor didn’t spend its full budget for items like office supplies, equipment, and furniture.

Board member Jason Banach asked Westerman about the city paying for a contractor’s supplies.

“Is this something we typically pay for, their pens and pencils?” Banach asked.

“We’ve handled it different ways historically, but for the past eight years we’ve taken on the cost of that,” Westerman said, “And anything left comes back to the city.”

The board later voted unanimously to approve the change order.

Daily Local News – February 27, 2014

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The Indiana University and Ivy Tech students of the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are starting a new campus organization; A new ten-digit area code system will be implemented for residents in Indiana’s 812 area code region on September 6, 2014; The construction of a new water pumping station came in at about $260,000 under budget, according to officials at a Bloomington Utilities Service Board meeting on February 24; The Monroe County Commission approved a $271,000 contract on February 21 with a company that plans to take aerial photographs of the entire County.

FEATURE
Indiana University geologist and assistant professor Douglas Edmonds has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, and with it comes fifty thousand dollars to help him continue his research on river deltas. Correspondent Casey Kuhn spoke with Edmonds about his work and its impact for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Also coming up in the next half-hour, our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks how YOU feel attending a basketball game in Assembly Hall after the falling beam incident last week.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Jalisa Ransom, along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Casey Kuhn.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer was Sarah Hetrick.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.

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