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App to Pay New Parking Meters

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The Bloomington Board of Public Works approved a contract September 24th for a mobile app that drivers can use to pay the new parking meters. The app is offered by the company Park Mobile.

Amanda Feuquay, with the Public Works Department, said the app can be used to start, stop or extend a parking session using a phone, a computer or a 1-800 number. She said some businesses might also use the app for their customers.

“If I walk into a merchant, and they’ve decided they want to pay for my parking that evening, or that day, they can call park mobile. All they need is my name, my license plate number. And they can pay for my parking session while I am there. They can also order validation codes for their customers to use. And that can be anywhere, from 15 minutes to on-going 14 hours when the meters are alive.”

The company doesn’t charge the city to offer the service, but it does charge a fee to anyone that uses the app. Users will have to sign up with the company, and regular account holders will pay normal parking fees plus a cost of 50 cents for each transaction.

Feuquay said there are ways to reduce that cost with other types of accounts. Board President Charlotte Zietlow asked how the public might react to the costs.

“This is just another option we can offer. It goes hand to hand with what we currently offer. In our research, we found that it dose have really good feedback for many users. So, I think it will be a good option for the city to offer. And Indianapolis is the closest one to us. ”

The city administration frequently mentioned the parking meter app when it sought approval to install the meters earlier this year. Officials including Public Works Department Director Susie Johnson said it would be easy to pay the meters from, for instance, inside a restaurant. Board member James McNamara asked if anything had changed about that arrangement.

“The notion of you are at the restaurant, the dinner is running late. You feed two hours and you have a great time. So, you don’t want a ticket, and you want to increase the parking time. So, this would be an app on a smart phone, you would punch and enter your license plate number. You would first have to download the app and register for it. Once you have the application installed and your payment information is in there. You can start, stop,extend any parking session.”

Feuquay said the app should be available for use by the public in four to six weeks.

 

Daily Local News – September 25, 2013

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The Bloomington Board of Public Works approved a contract September 24th for a mobile app that drivers can use to pay the new parking meters; The U.S. Department of Education has designated Childs Elementary School in Bloomington a National Blue Ribbon School; The prospect of a new charter school in Bloomington was discussed last Tuesday, at a meeting of the Monroe County School Corporation’s Board of Trustees; The Monroe County Public Library’s Board of Trustees gave approval September 18th to solicit bids for a third stage of renovations at the Library; The Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners approved a new social media policy yesterday for the Parks and Recreation Department; October is national Adopt-A-Dog month, and the Bloomington Animal Shelter is helping to make dog adoption easier than before.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
Scams are on the rise, and here’s a headsup on two kinds of really dangerous fake emails that have been hitting US recently. Sending your friends a cool link via email is no longer a good idea.

CREDITS
Anchors; Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Casey Kuhn,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Bloomington Beware is produced by Richard Fish
Our engineer is Jim Lang
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Standing Room Only – Marriage Equality for Bloomington

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On Tuesday, September 17th City Council Member Susan Sandberg sponsored a resolution, along with Council Members Darryl Neher and Tim Mayer as co-sponsors, supporting marriage equality. The public was invited to participate, along with LGBT leaders and community and business organizations impacted economically by codifying discrimination in our State Constitution. The event consisted of a lively and frank discussion, and anecdotes of audience members. This event was recorded on location at the Bloomington City Council Chambers for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

Bloomington Beware! – Fake Emails

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Scams are on the rise, and here’s a heads up on two kinds of really dangerous fake emails that have been hitting US recently. Sending your friends a cool link via email is no longer a good idea.

Christoph Irmscher: Against Complacency: Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”

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This week on Interchange, host Doug Storm speaks with Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University, about Henry David Thoreau’s influential essay, “Civil Disobedience.” Doug reads selections from the text that Irmscher explicates. The crux of the vitality and urgency of Thoreau’s language lives in his assertions to stand as a person with a conscience, to cultivate a moral sense.

Also of Interest: Interviews with Christoph Irmscher on The Custom House:
http://archive.wfhb.org/news/custom-house-banality-pest-control-extended-conversation-wlisa-sideris-and-christoph-irmscher

http://archive.wfhb.org/news/custom-house-agassiz-inc-extended-conversation-wchristoph-irmscher

Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard Expands Services To Community In Larger Facility

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A local food charity has been able to significantly expand its services and programs for people since its movement into a new facility.

In June of this year, Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard opened its doors at 1100 West Allen Street.

The new facility plus an increase in food available for distribution and increased staff have allowed more hours of service to clients from 10 hours a week to 31 hours a week.

Mary Beth Harris is the Director of Development for Mother Hubbard’s and she says the organization has jumped from 9,000 bags of groceries a month to over 13,000 bags a month.

“We have been working closely with the Hoosier Health Foodbank, who is our main supplier of food,” Harris says, “We work with them to ensure the supply of food is keeping up with demand.”

The new facility also has teaching kitchen and classroom, which has allowed Mother Hubbard’s to expand its Nutrition Education Program.

Nutrition staff, interns, and volunteers have hosted 37 recipe sample tables, more than tripling the number of opportunities patrons have to sample healthy and affordable recipes using items available in the pantry.

They have also hosted nine nutrition workshops including canning, jamming, and fermentation classes.

Mother Hubbard’s also operates a Garden Education program.

They have planted and begun tending a demonstration garden, which has produced its first harvest of tomatoes, basil, eggplant, arugula, and cucumbers for the pantry.

We asked how her organization has managed to fund the expansion of the food distribution system and these and other programs it provides.

Harris says they launched the Nourishing Community: Growing Possibilities eight months ago with the goal of $325,000 and they are already 85 percent of that goal. They hope to use that money to renovate their new facility, buy more tools and equipment as well as help manage a three year transition period with an increase in services and operating cost.

“We expected to increase about 25 percent and we are really seeing over and above what we anticipated by moving into the larger facility,” Harris says.

Listeners who are interested in finding out about volunteer opportunities with Mother’s Hubbard’s Cupboard can go online to: www.mhcfoodpantry.org/events.

Food donations, include produce from home gardens, is accepted Monday-Friday 11am-6pm at 1100 West Allen Street in Bloomington.

Luncheon On The Impact Of Adult Vaccinations To Be Held Friday

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It’s not only children who benefit from vaccines.

The Local Council of Women invites all those who are interested in learning more about risk factors of communicable diseases and the importance of immunizations for adults to attend an event at the Monroe County in Bloomington.

Nancy Lumbley, the President of Local Council of Women says it will be a “brown-bag luncheon” and during the luncheon, there will be speakers on the importance of adult vaccines.

“Hopefully we can answer any questions people may have about whether or not they should be taking these vaccinations,” Lumbley says.

Dr. Charlene Graves, currently Chair of the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Immunization Committee, and Amy Meek, Program Manager at the Monroe County Public Health Clinic, will speak on the event.

Ms. Lumbley says that Dr. Graves has very thorough knowledge on the importance of immunization and Amy Meek will be able to talk about the local impact of the lack of immunization here in Monroe County.

The event will be held at the YMCA Brown Bag Luncheon on Friday, September 27, 2013, from 11:30-12:30, at the Monroe County YMCA, 2125 South Highland, in Bloomington. If you are interested in this event, please call 812-961-2171 to make a reservation.

IU Owned-And-Operated Air-Monitoring Tower Fully Funded For Next Three Years

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The Federal Department of Energy has announced that an air-monitoring station, owned and operated by Indiana University in Morgan Monroe State Forest, will be fully funded for the next three years.

The station, which sits atop a 150-foot tower in the forest since its installation in 1998, monitors the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the forest ecosystem, as well as water vapor levels in the air.

It’s part of the AmeriFlux system of 120 such towers in the Western Hemisphere which, in turn, is part of the world-wide FluxNet system of 1000 towers.

Kim Novick, Assistant Professor at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, says the data mined from this tower is very valuable and that’s why this tower’s operation was deemed worthy of more funding. We then asked Doctor Novick to summarize the findings from the tower’s measurement of carbon dioxide production and absorption over the period of its operation.

“As temperature has been increasing, the growing season has lengthened,” Novick says, “And since the leaves are on the trees longer, we’ve noticed that carbon absorption in the air has increased. We’ve also noticed over the past six or seven years that there’s been a tend toward dryer conditions, and this can counteract the effects of the longer growing season.”

During the first half of the monitoring period, there was a net increase in the amount of carbon taken up by plants in the forest.

However, the increasing dryness during the second half has negated the previous increase. The tower station can also monitor other green-house gases,

such as methane and nitrous oxide, but doesn’t do so, as their emission from relatively dry eco-systems like the Morgan-Monroe forest are negligible.

The  tower receives the bulk of its funding from a federal government department, Novick respons about the sequestration cuts may have affected the local monitoring station.

“Generally, it’s become increasingly more difficult for scientists to get federal funds to support their research,” Novick says, “When you’re given other options to support your project, it’s something to be happy about.”

Listeners who are interested in visiting the tower individually or as a group can contact the researchers via Steve Chapman at IU Communications.

Middle-Skill Level Job Openings Set To Increase Exponentially In Next Ten Years

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The Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition released a report yesterday that finds a growing number of unfilled ‘middle skills’ jobs, and concludes that Indiana’s Skills Gap is an adult problem that will require adult solutions.

Jessica Fraser, program manager and co-chair of the coalition, says in this report they define a middle skills job as a job  that requires training, that is more than a high school diploma, but less than a four year degree.

Mostly, it is one-year credentials or two-year associate degrees.

She also mentions that this is a update to a report they rolled out in 2010.

“In the ten-year projection from this report, we found that there were 63,000 more middle-skills job than in the projection we did three years ago,” Fraser says. “This means more opportunity in the middle-skills job market.”

According to Fraser, middle-skills jobs mean more than that for Hoosiers.

In the short term, the jobs don’t require four-year college education, which makes people get re-trained relatively quickly and able to make a family-sustaining wage if they lost their jobs.

“There are jobs that are required to take place here in Indiana,” Fraser says, “Not only that, but they are high wage jobs, and I think that’s the key takeaway for Hoosiers in the long term.”

Despite all these benefits middle skills job brings to Hoosiers job market, the report finds that the largest and fastest-growing segment of Indiana’s skills gap comes from middle-skill jobs.

Fraser says that 55 percent of the jobs in 2012 were classified as middle-skill, but only 47 percent of people in Indiana had the skills for those jobs.

“Based on a ten-year projection, 550,000 job openings will be coming up as middle-skill. We simply won’t have nearly enough workers to fill those positions,” Fraser says.

To fill the gap, the Coalition has selected four policy priorities: allow part-time students greater access to state financial aid, continue differentiation of services for students in adult basic education, maximize on-the-job training opportunities and promote the statewide establishment of prior learning assessments.

Wimbush on DEMA

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Bev Smith and Eric Love of WFHB’s Bring it On! speak with the new Vice President for IU’s Office of Diversity Equity and Multicultural Affairs James C. Wimbush about his new position and the goals he has planned for DEMA, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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