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Workers seeking to unionize outside of Bloomingfoods

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A group of people are currently gathered outside of Bloomingfoods’ near west side location in support of workers seeking to unionize. The crowd has gathered in front of the main entrance and street parking spaces. WFHB Correspondent are on hand and we will provide updates online and on the Daily Local News on Monday September 22nd.

Bloomingfoods Employees continue Efforts to Organize Union

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Bloomingfoods employees are hoping and expecting their managers to remain neutral during the effort to organize into a union. Last week, the Daily Local News reported on indications that workers at the retail grocery co-operative were trying to unionize. During that report we conveyed some parts of our conversation with Cindy Beaux -lay, a former employee of Bloomingfoods, about working conditions and labor-management relations at the organization. She mentioned that there had been two prior unsuccessful attempts by employees to organize and that she was not surprised that another effort is now underway. Yesterday, we spoke to, Kaisa Goodman, a member of the worker organizing committee who confirmed that she and others had scheduled a meeting later in the day with Scott Bardette, an organizer with Local 700 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Bardette confirmed by phone this morning that he had met with some of the workers and was meeting again today with others. He then went on to talk about the position that the owner-members and the management would take during the union drive…

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Larry Wilson Addresses County’s Plans For Urban Enterprise Zone

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Jackson Creek Middle School is not in Bloomington. Neither is the Bloomington Country Club, or the new Walmart location. These and other major players to Bloomington’s economy are all located in the county-controlled Urban Enterprise Zone. Tomorrow evening there will be a public open house regarding the county’s plans for this area. To find out more, WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Larry Wilson, Director of Planning for Monroe  County for today’s community report.

Questions for Governor Pence from Superintendent Glenda Ritz

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Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz received more votes in the 2012 election than Governor Mike Pence yet has been stymied by his administration throughout her first term. In fact, speaking to the Bloomington Press Club this afternoon Ritz said during this upcoming legislative session, Pence could sign away the state’s  education budget to a new agency that he created. Her remarks and audience questions are here, in today’s community report.

Remembering 9/11

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The anniversary of September 11th was commemorated by the city of bloomignton this morning in showers plaza. Bob Loviscek, President of the Bloomington Metropolitan Professional Firefighters Local 586 led off the ceremony, we hear his words for today’s community report.

Decision unclear on building apartment behind 4th Street business

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The owner of a local restaurant building was left wondering September 8th whether he’d be allowed to build apartments behind the business. The Bloomington Plan Commission did not come to a clear decision about the project at India Garden on East 4th Street. Some members of the Commission cited concerns about other recent developments downtown. Commission member Pat Williams said the timing is problematic…

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County’s books are out of order

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Monroe County is once again struggling to keep its finances in order. This week County Treasurer Cathy Smith told the county council that there are inconsistencies in the County’s financial records, dating back more than 15 months, and that the cause has yet to be identified…

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Rollo Proposes Moratorium On Large-Scale Buildings

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Council member Dave Rollo addressed a broader issue related to downtown development during council announcements last week. Rollo said the city should consider a temporary moratorium on large-scale buildings there. He said the city’s comprehensive plan is 12 years old and an update would help planners decide what developments to approve. Rollo also cited concerns from his constituents about new structures downtown. Rollo said he has not planned any legislation to follow up on his proposal. But he said he wants the Council to have a discussion on the issue.

Upcoming Materials Recovery Facility in Monroe County

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After years of deliberation, Monroe County will be sorting and selling it’s own recyclables, perhaps as soon as December of this year. WFHB Correspondent David Murphy visited with Larry Barker, executive director of the Monroe county solid waste district and Steve Volan, president of the district board of directors for today’s community report.

City Council Gives Tax Break to Proposed Building Owners

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The Bloomington City Council is on track to give a nearly three-quarter million dollar tax break to the owners of a proposed building along the B-Line Trail. The structure between Kirkwood Avenue and Sixth Street would have 35 high-end apartments as well as the new headquarters for Cornerstone Information Systems. The city’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department has praised the development and it asked the Council to incentivize the project by cutting its property taxes. Danise Alano-Martin is the director of that department. The building’s owners, D.G. Elmore and Mat Orego, would live in two of the condos. Council member Andy Ruff questioned giving a tax cut for the businessmen to build what he called QUOTE “fairly luxurious personal residential units” UNQUOTE. He said the Council should consider the country’s increasing economic inequality as it sets local policy. Ruff said he generally supports the $14.6 million project. But he put forward an amendment that would have forced the owners to pay property taxes on their own homes. The owners would still have kept the tax break for the businesses and most of the residential space. Few Council members supported Ruff’s motion. Council President Darryl Neher said he doesn’t want to discourage Orego and Elmore from living in their own building.Council member Susan Sandberg said she also wanted to encourage owner-occupancy. She said many Bloomington residents are understandably wary of new developments downtown. Ruff later rescinded his amendment and the Council voted to pass the tax abatement. The Council still has to affirm its decision at a meeting September 17th and it’s possible Ruff could reintroduce his measure then.

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