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Author Archives: WFHB News

Standing Room Only – Women’s Leadership Development Event

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On March 3, 2015, the Bloomington Commision of the Status of Women hosted the Women’s Leadership Development Event to give women the opportunity to learn how to get involved and make a difference in their community.  A panel of women with various backgrounds who are involved in our community was chosen by the Commission to speak on this year’s theme, “Lead With A Story.”

Better Beware! – Kids and Plumbing

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BB got hit by two ripoffs last week: a scary email about sexual criminals “in your neighborhood” and a preposterous pitch for insurance on your water pipe. Thanks to the gonifs themselves for the research help!

Daily Local News – March 11, 2015

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An antiracist speech tonight at Indiana University is expected to draw protests; The Monroe County government is still waiting for a verdict on their plans to build a parking garage after more than two hours of debate Monday night; The members of a so-called blue ribbon panel to make recommendations on the future of the IU School of Education have been chosen; Today, WFHB helped reach the goal of $100,000 in donations for ten local nonprofits, along with $150,000 in match dollars from the Community Foundation, as part of the Match Madness event.

BETTER BEWARE!
BB got hit by two ripoffs last week: a scary email about sexual criminals “”in your neighborhood”" and a preposterous pitch for insurance on your water pipe. Thanks to the gonifs themselves for the research help!

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Sophia Saliby
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Better Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our engineers today are Jim Lang, Adam Reichle and Matt Gwaltney
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Panel Chosen to Make IU School of Education Recommendations

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The members of a so-called blue ribbon panel to make recommendations on the future of the IU School of Education have been chosen. IU President Michael McRobbie announced his intention to establish the panel last year in the wake of declining enrollment in the school.  The members of the panel are Carole Ames, former dean and professor emerita at the College of Education at Michigan State University; David Harris, who oversaw the establishment of the Indianapolis charter school system; Diana Hess, senior vice president of an academic research funding organization and professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alex Molnar, research professor and publications director of  the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder; and Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools. Two members of the five member panel, including the chair, were chosen in consultation with the IU school of education. Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean of the School, says he is pleased with the composition of the panel.

Following McRobbie’s announcement of his intent to appoint the panel, the school of education asked faculty to be consulted on the committee and its membership. McRobbie’s office then asked the school to submit a list of six nominees for two slots. The decline in enrollment in the IU school of education came in the wake of changes to the state’s Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability, known as REPA (“REP-uh”). The changes now make it legal for people without education degrees to teach and administer in public schools.

Gonzales says that in Indiana, teachers’ salaries have been reduced by ten percent over the last decade, the second largest decline among the 50 states.  He also says the panel will begin meeting before the end of this semester and report to President McRobbie before the end of the summer. In the meantime, faculty and administrators in the Bloomington school are preparing submissions and recommendations for the panel.  Coincidentally, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the IU School of Education 25th highest in the nation and 15th among public universities. Three of the School’s specialties – higher education administration, curriculum instruction, and elementary teacher education – ranked among the top 10. Gonzalez will be retiring from his fifteen year long term as Dean of the School of Education this year.

Plan Commission Mulls New Parking Garage

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The Monroe County government is still waiting for a verdict on their plans to build a parking garage after more than two hours of debate Monday night. The eight-story garage would be next to the County jail on Morton Street. It would have 268 spaces reserved for county employees. The County needs approval from the Bloomington Plan Commission, which heard the case for a second time last night. The plans for the garage would require the plan commission to allow for eight exceptions to downtown building codes, including a 30-foot height variance. Although the garage has been reduced from nine floors to eight due to criticism during the February hearing on the project, there are still portions of the facility that reach 90 feet. Additionally, the project does not meet code for providing retail space on the first floor because the ground floor would be used as an emergency evacuation facility for the county jail.

County Commissioner Patrick Stoffers told the Plan Commission that approximately 250 county employees currently park in the Monroe County Convention Center parking lot, and that the county pays fifty thousand dollars a year to then shuttle employees to work. In an effort to reduce the size of the parking garage, the city offered to lease spaces in existing garages to the county. The County turned down that offer. City Council Member Steve Volan, who spoke during public comment, said that using county funds to build an additional garage was irresponsible.

Much of the public comment concentrated on the benefits of having high numbers of pedestrians downtown. Local Architect Mark Cornett said that downtown is increasingly becoming a “drive in, drive out” community, giving the example of a coffee shop located in Smallwood that had to close because students were bypassing the retail level and taking the elevator directly to their cars.  Already this year downtown development has caused Bloomington’s City Council to reexamine relationships between the plan commission, an appointed body, and the elected officials who serve on the council. Throughout Monday’s meeting, commissioners, staff, and the public spoke about last month’s approval of the large Graduate Hotel on Kirkwood Avenue, the relocation of IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the potential expansion of the convention center, and repeatedly called Smallwood Apartments “a mistake.” The city plan commission’s jurisdiction over what the county can build on its downtown land displays another conflict of authority, and multiple times throughout the meeting talk came up of county operations leaving downtown Bloomington. Commission member Chris Smith reproached the elected officials in the room for being behind in the creation of a growth policies plan, or GPP.

Speaking in favor of the parking garage were county council member Cheryl Munson and Larry Jacobs of the Chamber of Commerce. Along with Volan, city council member Dave Rollo also spoke against the project. And members of Decarcerate Monroe County objected to the ground floor blueprint, which they say looks unchanged since a jail work release proposal was dropped from the development plan. Because comission comment indicated the project would not pass if it were voted on, Commission president Jack Baker made a motion to continue the hearing for an additional month. That motion was passed 7-1, with commission member Jane St. John speaking against the trend of passing developments that do not reflect the community’s values.

The garage is scheduled to be considered again at the next Plan Commission meeting on April 13th.

Antiracist Speech Expected to Draw Protest

An antiracist speech tonight at Indiana University is expected to draw protests. Tim Wise, an author who describes himself as an antiracist activist, is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the Whittenberger Auditorium in the IU Memorial Union. Wise has written six books on racism and white privilege. A small white nationalist group at IU has announced it will picket his speech. The group is known as the Traditionalist Youth Network. One of its most outspoken members, Thomas Buhls, has been associated with so-called white heritage protests in Bloomington for years. Buhls made national news in 2011 after police arrested him for distributing a Ku Klux Klan publication in Martinsville. A judge later said Buhls had the legal right to distribute the racist material. A counter protest is planned tonight in response to the Traditionalist Youth Network’s rally. Counter protesters are meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the circle drive in front of the Union. Wise, the author, has supported the counter protest in social media. In a Facebook post yesterday, Wise said,  “For progressive and antiracist folks in the Bloomington area, feel free to come and say hi, nonviolently of course, to your friendly neighborhood Nazis. If they can recruit racists, I can recruit antiracists.”

Interchange – A Measure of Choice: Vaccine Opposition and Public Health

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“A Measure of Choice” explores the reasons that some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The so-called “anti-vax” movement has been lumped in with what many in the popular press are calling a “war on science.” Along with trying to understand what the reasons are for this position on vaccinations, we’ll also examine the ethical and social justice issues surrounding these parental decisions and how they affect the public health.

Guests
Jennifer Reich is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado-Denver whose research examines how individuals and families make decisions about healthcare, welfare, and policy. She has authored an article to be published last September in the Journal Gender & Society titled “Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal.”

Stuart Yoak is Executive Director of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics at Indiana University. APPE is an international, multidisciplinary association advancing ethical understanding and practice in the classroom, the workplace, and society.

Discussed in the program:
Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Production and Research: Nancy Jones
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Local Middle School-Produced Documentary Wins National Award

Students from Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington took on issues with the No Child Left Behind Act in a documentary that just won a national award.

The students won Third Prize in a contest sponsored by C-SPAN. In order to participate, middle school and high school students from all over the nation had to answer the same question: how has a policy, legislation or action taken by one of the branches of the federal government affected you or your community?

Eighth Grade Students Sejal Rajamani, Nikki Nguyen and Piper Watson, with the support of their teacher, Jeff Rudkin, answered with their documentary titled “No Child Left Behind: Time to Change.”

“I think we’re emphasizing that No Child Left Behind is old and needs to change and standardized testing has a lot of flaws,” Rahamani says. “Although the government should be informed on how school’s are doing, standardized testing might not be the way to do it.”

When asked how No Child Left Behind has affected her life, she said it makes her feel stressed.

No Child Left Behind was passed under the George W. Bush administration. It has increased the time dedicated to standardised tests in the classroom. As a result, not only students, but also teachers and schools get evaluated solely on the performance of these tests. According to Rudkin other criteria should be taken into account.

“Do they do community service, things like that, a lot of things that play into a school’s grade rather than a single test that lasts a few weeks,” Rudkin says.

Many schools around the nation have also had to cut down on electives, to accommodate the time and money that taking this test demands.

“We’re lucky we have a school that still has electives and supports a well-rounded education,” Rudkin says. “But a lot of schools across the country are having to cut electives, like P.E., to focus on this test.

When asked about an alternative, Rudkin answered that the core idea of No Child Left Behind is commendable. He says it’s the way the law has been implemented through a single standardised test that fails to work.

The problem, says Rudkin, is that legislators are not willing to sit down to talk about the alternatives.

“The legislators aren’t willing to sit down and talk with teachers who have ideas on how to improve it,” he says.

For Nguyen, one of the students, the solution has to be found closer to home, within the community.

“I think we should bring it down to a local level so the people in the community can address what needs to be done because they probably know more about what’s going on in the community than the state or national government,” Nguyen says.

ISTEP+, the standardized test in the state of Indiana, is taken every Spring in subjects such as English and Math.

Daily Local News – March 10, 2015

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Students from Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington took on issues with the No Child Left Behind Act in a documentary that just won a national award; A study out of Indiana University is bringing attention to issues with wetland areas across the country;

FEATURE
This year Indiana Governor Mike Pence has called for the state’s legislative session to focus on education. Much of that focus has been directed toward Superintendent Glenda Ritz, with bills emerging to denounce her as chair of the State Board of Education. Some view the bills as partisan attacks, others see it as a necessary step for reform.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Kevin MacDowell, manager of Monroe County Public Library’s two new digital creativity centers, introduces us to Level Up, an all-ages productivity lab. All that’s needed to develop high-tech skills for saving AND earning money is a free library card—and a willingness to learn.

CREDITS
You’ve been listening to the Daily Local News on WFHB,
supported by Bloomingfoods Market and Deli, your locally-grown co-op grocery.
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino and Carmen Gozalo
Our feature was produced by Sarah Panfil
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh,
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.
For WFHB, I’m Casey Kuhn.

Bring It On! – March 9, 2015

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Clarence Boone and William Hosea welcome Janet Cheatham Bell and Audrey McCluskey.

PART ONE
On tonight’s show, Clarence and William welcome Janet Cheatham Bell and Audrey McCluskey. They join us to share their observations on society and their reflections on their joint book signing and presentations billed as “Righting History, Writing Truth”, during the City of Bloomington Black History Month kick-off and Reception on February 5th.

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 Joe Crawford
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

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