The Center for Sustainable Living in Bloomington has put together a committee to try and reduce the number of single-use plastic bags in the city. Hundreds of cities and towns in the US have already enacted some sort of restrictions on the bag. Correspondent Harrison Wagner speaks with Center for Sustainable Living board member Jeanne Leimekuler on the Bloomington effort and Commissioner Dan Saltzman of the City Council of Portland on the effects in his city for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.
Author Archives: WFHB News
Local public schools opened to new and returning students Monday. Bev Smith, a spokesperson for the Monroe County Community School Corporation says that August 4 was the earliest the schools had opened for many years. This increasingly early start coincides with an early finish to the school year in year, in mid-May.
No final numbers have been tabulated as to student enrollment for the this school year. The 2013-2014 year ended with over 10,000 students. For the last few years, the district has averaged between 10 and 11 thousand children.
Smith says that the district will be working on incorporating the new state mandated and generated common core curricular standards into the school lessons. The district is also working on what it calls cultural competency, which entails increasing diversity among faculty and classroom content, so as to improve the academic performance of minorities. These programs could help schools such as Fairview Elementary which has been given a F grade by state for the last few years.
“Looking at Fairview and really fine-tuning what’s going on there, again we have a new principal there in place which brings a great deal of experience so we look forward to what his experience will yield and mean for Fairview and its quest to improve not only a grade that it receives from the state but really showing and showcasing what children learn and know,” Smith says.
At the other end of the performance spectrum are the schools at which the district hopes to introduce international baccaleureate programs.
The Monroe County Public Library saw an increase of library card applications during the summer. Library Director Sarah Laughlin attributed the sign ups to a summer collaboration with the Monroe County Community School Corporation.
Laughlin told the Board of Trustees on July 16 that the summer reading program was a success.
“We opened it up May 28, so as of June 30 we had 211 people register for Treehouse and 6100 video views that are part of the classes,” Laughlin says. “The first month’s traffic is really all library traffic.”
Laughlin highlighted an aspect of the website offerings called Treehouse, an online learning platform with a focus on the design and development of websites and mobile apps.
Laughlin said that an increased presence on the internet has paid off with increased library traffic as well as library card sign ups.
Bloomington May Amend Chain Business Rules
By Joe Crawford
Some companies may soon be exempt from Bloomington’s new regulations on chain businesses downtown. Last night the city Plan Commission passed an amendment that would exclude upper story corporate offices from the ordinance. The City Council must also approve that amendment for it to take effect. The new regulations officially took effect on Friday, August 2. The ordinance allows the city to regulate the design of new chain restaurants and stores downtown. The city’s Planning staff said upper-story offices should not have to follow the rules, stating they do not possess any potential to create the same aesthetic concerns presented by first floor standardized retail and office uses.
Conservative Opposition to Pence Health Plan
By Joe Crawford
A study released today by a conservative think tank claims Governor Mike Pence’s Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 will damage the state’s economy. The group, Federalism in Action, says Pence’s plan could kill over 100,000 jobs by expanding Medicaid and “crowding out the private sector.” The think tank, which has financial ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, states HIP 2.0 could also reduce family incomes in Indiana by requiring new taxes. Pence proposed HIP 2.0 in May, describing it as a consumer-driven and market-based program. Pence opposes the Affordable Care Act and has refused to go along with the Obama administration’s requests to expand Medicaid in Indiana to cover low-income residents. Pence’s proposal is currently under review by the federal government.
Women Underrepresented on University Boards
By Joe Crawford
A majority of students at Indiana’s public universities are women, but most of those who govern the schools are men. That’s according to a new analysis by the Indianapolis Star. The newspaper found women make up only about a fifth of the positions on public university governing boards across the state and that most trustees are white men. Across the country, just 28 percent of trustees are women, according to a survey conducted in 2010. In Indiana, the governor appoints a majority of the public university trustees. At IU, two of the nine trustees are women. At Ivy Tech, three of the thirteen trustees are women.
IU Misses Top 100 Forbes Ranking
By Alycin Bektesh
The annual Forbes list of College rankings was released last week, with Indiana University Bloomington nearly missing the top one hundred. Three Indiana schools made the top one hundred, Notre Dame was Indiana’s highest honored school, ranked 17th in the country. Depaw and Earlham are 91st and 92nd respectively. IU Bloomington was ranked 107th overall, and 18th in both the Public Colleges and Midwest Schools categories. Purdue also landed on the top 25 Best Public Schools list coming in at number 25. Of the 650 schools analyzed for the report, Indiana State University was ranked 647th.
Crowdfunding Effort Made For Homeless Shelter
By David Murphy
Bloomington’s Interfaith Winter Shelter has started a crowdfunding campaign through Indie Go-Go. The shelter runs every night from November 1 to March 31, with four local churches to provide emergency shelter to individuals without homes.They provide a meal, and sleeping place with clean blankets and pillows. The shelter also provides laundry services for the bedding, bus tickets, and one on-duty professional safety staff member from 9:00 PM until midnight. The interfaith winter shelter provides between 6000 and 7500 beds each winter.
Original Air Date: September 3, 2013: Choctaw Academy
Host Doug Storm speaks with Christina Snyder, an associate professor in the Departments of American Studies and History at Indiana University. Snyder’s scholarship focuses on Native North America and on the histories of colonialism and slavery. She is the author of Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America. Snyder instructs us about Choctaw Academy, the first national Indian boarding school in the United States. Open from 1825 to 1848, the school was located on the plantation of prominent politician Richard Mentor Johnson. During Choctaw Academy’s lifespan, the United States transitioned from an east-coast nation to a continental power. The story of Choctaw Academy reveals how the emerging U.S. empire developed a tandem approach, violence and acculturation, to exert economic, political, and cultural influence far beyond even its extensive territory, and the complex ways in which colonized people met these challenges.
Despite Indiana’s stay on gay marriage, Hoosiers can still celebrate LGBQT culture this summer. PRIDE festivals are happening all over Indiana and Bloomington will host its first PRIDE this September. Correspondent Sierra Gardner talks with PRIDE Director Sarah Perfetti and Sigma Phi Beta PRIDE Chairman Ty Adams about their plans for Bloomington PRIDE for this week’s Daily Local News feature.
- Work begins today on a new greenspace surrounding the Ivy Tech John Waldron Art Center. The area on 4th street will be completed first and then the front of the building facing Walnut street will follow. Artistic Director Paul Daily says the project should take three weeks to complete and be ready on August 22nd, in time for the launch of the fall semester.
- A group of Indiana firefighters, police officers and emergency medical providers announced today that they have signed a legal brief in support of marriage equality in Indiana. The amicus or “friend of the court” brief is to be filed tomorrow with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The case, which has been combined with a similar challenge out of Wisconsin, will be heard on August 26th.
- Bloomington Police continue to investigate two armed robberies occurring on the B-Line last week. The incidents were conducted in a similar manner, one occurred on the B Line trail behind the Showers Building and one occurred just east of Adams street.
Clarence Boone and Bev Smith welcome Alycin Bektesh and David Hummons.
In our first show of August, Clarence and Bev talk to News Director Alycin Bektesh about the WFHB News Summitt that took place throughout July. We also discuss the start of the 2014-2015 MCCSC school year
Headline news of interest to the African-American community.
David Hummons of the Bloomington Northside Exchange Club comes on to discuss the upcoming Jimmy Rose memorial Fish Fry.
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
This is the final show of our News Summit Special four-episode series “The Best of Andy Mahler.”
For tonight’s episode Mahler talks with Bloomington resident Mick Harrison, one of the nation’s foremost environmental and public interest attorneys representing whistleblowers, environmental advocates, and others who resist corporate and government malfeasance. The two pay special attention to how Westinghouse turned Bloomington into a toxic waste disaster area by dumping more than a million pounds of PCB-contaminated materials in and around Monroe County, and the decades-long efforts of Westinghouse (with EPA assistance) to avoid responsibility for cleaning it up.
Next week we’ll return to regular programming on Interchange when Doug Storm and Trish Kerle’ talk to composer and musician Lauren Bernofsky and author Scott Russell Sanders for a discussion on environmental awareness and the arts with a special focus on their current collaboration with The Cardinal Stage Company called The Breakfast Feast.
This episode features award-winning poet and author Maurice Manning, a native of Danville, Kentucky. Manning’s work has appeared in The Green Mountains Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Sonora Review, and The New Yorker. His collection entitled “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” was the 2001 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. In the third segment of the interview Manning discusses his active efforts to put a stop to the coal industry’s destructive technique of “mountaintop removal” in his native Kentucky.
This is the third of four installments in our News Summit Special series “The Best of Andy Mahler” chosen from our deep archive of available podcasts. Mahler was a long-time host for Interchange who, in 2009, was presented with a WFHB Legacy Award for his service to the station. Mahler is active in Heartwood, a regional network founded in 1991 that protects forests and supports community activism in the Eastern United States through education, advocacy and citizen empowerment.
NEXT WEEK: PCBs in Bloomington.
The final installment in our WFHB News Summit “Best of Andy Mahler” series. Bloomington resident Mick Harrison, one of the nation’s foremost environmental and public interest attorneys, talks with Mahler about the PCB contamination left behind by Westinghouse and their decades-long efforts to avoid responsibility for cleaning it up.