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Bloomington Transit to Implement New Code Of Conduct

Users of local buses will be expected to adhere to a recently adopted behavioral code. Bloomington Transit will post its new Code of Conduct on its website, on buses and at the soon-to-be-opened new central transit depot on 3rd Street.

Lew May, General Manager of Bloomington Transit, says that in the past there simply was no formal code of conduct.

“In the past years the problems weren’t as significant in the past 10 years,” May says. “With rider growth, it’s become apparent we need to set a basic code of conduct to set expectations for our riders.”

Bloomington Transit posted this draft code on its website and then held two public meetings, on June 3 and June 17, where they presented the code.

The draft code included prohibitions on what would generally be considered anti-social and destructive behavior, anything that might soil the buses, be offensive to or impose on the privacy of other passengers, or be unsafe.

However, some attendees suggested that many of the rules, such as prohibitions on sleeping on the bus or at the depot and against emitting strong odors, seemed to be targeting the homeless. May said the Bloomington Transit has responded to these concerns by removing them from the code of conduct.

The new Bloomington Transit downtown depot on 3rd Street is expected to be open next month.

Monroe County Public Library To Change And Expand Hours

The Monroe County Public Library will be change hours starting on Labor Day.

The Library’s Board of Trustees voted June 18 to add two extra hours on Sundays, meaning the Library will soon be open from noon until 6 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Library Director Sara Laughlin said the administration has been wanted to expand Sunday hours for years.

“In 2012 when we did a community survey, what would you choose to change our services,” Laughlin says. “Number one, of course, was fix parking. But number three was expand weekend hours.”

Laughlin said the city’s parking meters also motivated the change. Parking is free on Sundays. To help offset the cost of the change, the Library cut an hour from its Friday schedule. It will open at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. on Fridays.

The Board also voted to push back its schedule on Saturdays. The building will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays instead of 9  to 5.

The changes take effect September 1.

Rural Monroe County Residents May See Major Rezoning Shifts

Some Monroe County residents raised questions June 17 about proposed rules that would affect the most rural parts of the county.

The rules would apply to areas more than two miles from Bloomington. They would not affect smaller communities like Ellettsville or Stinesville.

The County Plan Commission is seeking to simplify its rural zoning rules by establishing just two zones instead of the current 20. But resident Steven Cordell said that approach might have been counterproductive.

“You’re taking something that was too complicated and making it overly simplified,” Cordell says. “I think that might be a big over-correction.”

Cordell’s complaints with the proposed rules focused largely on restrictions that would keep residents from subdividing their land into lots of relatively small parcels. Commission members have said the County can’t support the infrastructure required by those kinds of typically residential developments.

Other residents, like Steve Smith, asked why the rules restrict rural businesses from developing.

“The existing businesses have been there a long time with the zoning code changing around them,” Smith says. “This would blanket change everything, and when they become pre-existing, non-conforming, that’s like saying ‘we don’t want you.’”

Commission members said they are waiting to develop some rules for businesses. Commission member Julie Thomas said consultant is still working on rules governing the Bloomington Urbanizing Area, which is the two miles of County land surrounding the city. Thomas said those regulations would affect the rural zoning rules.

 

Bring It On! – June 23, 2014

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Bev Smith and William Hosea welcome David Hummons and Greg Tourner from the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males.

PART ONE
Established in 2001, The Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males network with groups with similar missions, such as the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, the African American National Council, and local commissions throughout the state. They also develop action committees addressing problems of Black males in the areas of Education, Health, Criminal Justice and Employment and serve as a catalyst to promote positive public and private remedies to the multi-faceted problems confronting Black males in the Bloomington community and the resulting effects on the entire community at large.

Joining Bev and William on the show to elaborate on the progress and future initiatives of the commission are members David Hummons and Greg Tourner.

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

CREDITS
Hosts: Bev Smith 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

bloomingOUT – June 19, 2014

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Reverend Irene Monroe discusses her observations about pride events around the country and other related issues. Helen and Michael chat about the significance of pride as well. Featured artist is British Indie pop singer/songwriter currently based in Miami FL Darren Ockert. Musical selections are “Modern Life,” “Force of Gravity,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Crumbs” and “Everybody’s Lonely” from his “Short Story Long” cd.

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

EcoReport – June 19, 2014

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6/19/2014
On May 1st, Indiana Senator Joe Donnely’s office in Washington released a statement that he would be supporting a Senate bill that would approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, thereby over-riding the executive approval process that has been repeatedly delayed by President Obama, most recently until after the fall elections. In today’s feature, correspondent David Murphy speaks to Senator Joe Donnely about his support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

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

Federal Focus Luncheon with Evan Bayh

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On April 14th an event was held to bring the public up to speed on events and trends in Washington D.C. The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce organized this episode of a reoccurring event called a Federal Focus Luncheon. This “Federal Focus Luncheon” featured many speakers, but former Indiana Governor and U.S. Senator Evan Bayh took the stage for most of the event. Bayh centered on his experience in the U.S. senate and the way federal trends will affect local politics. The event was recorded on location at President’s Hall on IU’s campus, by Community Access Television Services, for Standing Room Only on WFHB.

Interchange – Courting the 1%: The Roberts Court and Money

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Host Doug Storm talks with Steve Sanders an associate professor in the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. Sanders teaches in the areas of constitutional and public law while his current scholarship focuses on issues affecting same-sex couples and their families at the intersection of constitutional law, conflict of laws, federalism, and family law.

We spend the hour talking about recent Supreme Court decisions made by The Roberts Court. As the court is now decidedly split to favor money and power–routinely protecting institutional and financial power over the individual citizen–it seems to be working with an agenda in mind.

The Supreme Court of the United States is clearly a political and ideological institution and in our oligarchical moment of history, it is working in overdrive to support the designs of the 1% among us. Perhaps you’ll doubt my framing of the situation, but the record is clear as to the ideological bias of the court, and it’s moved further right since the appointments of Richard Nixon. In fact the justice often referred to as the “swing” vote on the Court, that one vote that clubs with either the 4 on the right or the 4 on the left, is the conservative Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee.

Cases discussed:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

IDEM Asks For Public Comment On Water Quality and Supply

The state wants public input into its decision making process on designating which watersheds in Indiana may be unfit for use. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management  has issued a notice that is it seeking public comment on a draft list of what it refers to as impaired waters.

This process happens every two years. This biennial review, in turn, forms the basis for further studies and watershed planning efforts in communities across the state by IDEM that is then uses to help ensure that Indiana waters are healthy enough to support activities such as swimming and fishing, and, where needed, to provide public water supplies.

The public comment period is open through July 29th.

Here is the link to the states watershed resource.

I-69 Construction Erosion Problems In Bloomington Go Unanswered From INDOT

Bloomington and Monroe County officials pushed for answers June 13 about erosion problems that have persisted for more than a year along the planned route of Interstate 69.

The policy committee of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization submitted questions months ago to the Indiana Department of Transportation. They asked about contaminated waterways along section 4 of the interstate, which has been under construction since last year. INDOT sent a written response earlier this month, but committee member Cheryl Munson said it was incomplete.

“I had a number of questions about that response and was disappointed we couldn’t have a discussion with a representative,” Munson says. “The points that bothered me most were the statements INDOT sent rather than answers to questions.”

An INDOT official, Janelle Lemon, was scheduled to respond to the committee’s questions during a presentation May 9. But that presentation never happened.

Committee member Scott Wells said he was disappointed with INDOT’s treatment of the issue. Wells has contended for months the state is not using the right erosion control methods to prevent contamination.

“It’s unfortunate and disconcerting that the people we want to be here aren’t here,” Wells says.

Residents along the path of the interstate have reported erosion problems throughout the state. As construction is set to begin in Bloomington later this summer, mayor Mark Kruzan said he wants to see more details from the state about how they are addressing the problem.

“Is there anything being brought up in writing, verbally, in presentations, emails or meetings, where INDOT looks at this and says, here are things that have been alleged and we think yes this is valid and we’re working on it or no this isn’t us,” Kruzan explains.

Kruzan went on to suggest how the MPO could force the state to listen to the local concerns.

“I don’t think that just because someone doesn’t attend a meeting that they’re guilty of anything,” Kruzan says. “But obviously with this much notice, there’s no reason for them not to be here at the other meeting. If that happens, I certainly will be moving to table all the requests INDOT makes from MPO until we get answers to all of those bullet points that we have.”

Construction on Section 5 of the interstate is expected to begin by September. That section will run from Bloomington to Martinsville.

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