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Bloomington Telecomm Council Working to Fund Visit from Net Neutrality Scholar Susan Crawford

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The Bloomington Telecommunications Council continued its discussions Dec. 3 about bringing telecommunications scholar Susan Crawford to Bloomington.

The council has encountered issues getting funding for the visit, and last month it requested $5,500 dollars from the city Board of Public Works.

New Council member Jo Throckmorton asked another member, Duane Busick, why the Council would push for the visit from Crawford, who is known mostly for her advocacy of internet access and net neutrality.

“It has nothing to do with what this council deals with,” he said.

Busick said the Council deals with some issues that include internet communication, even though the Council’s statutory responsibility is primarily related to cable television. He said the Council has tried unsuccessfully to redefine its role in city government in recent years and that cable TV is now outdated.

Throckmorton and Busick were the only members who attended the meeting. The council was not able to conduct any official business because there was not a quorum.

 

As Recycling Prices Go Up, City Votes To Fund Materials Recovery Facility

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The Board president of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District announced plans Nov. 21 to renew discussion about a controversial recycling facility.

At a meeting of the District’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Board President Steve Volan said he would reintroduce a measure that was voted down earlier this year. The measure would allocate $60,000 to study the feasibility of building a materials recovery facility, also known as a MRF, which would process recyclables.

“The study for a clean MRF has been done,” Volan said, “We’re talking about being able to do a dirty MRF which takes the waste stream itself and recycle items out of it. As a public asset it would reduce such a dramatic amount of waste that much less would need to be trucked to another landfill.”

The District’s Executive Director, Larry Barker, said much of the waste the district currently pays to have hauled to a landfill could be used for other purposes.

The district collects trash in the county, and it pays the company Republic Services to haul it to a landfill in Terre Haute.

“The ultimate goal is to get as possible to zero waste,” Barker said, “And that means nothing going to a landfill. Food and yard waste are currently going to the landfills and those can be pulled out to be put into a machine to actually create energy.”

Many of the arguments for building a MRF concern the increasing costs of waste management in the city and the county. Volan said Republic Services is increasing the prices it charges to the city next year.

“Part of the reason I’m supportive of this investment is that the city’s cost of disposal of trash and recyclables will be going up to 46 dollars a ton and the recycling that they’ve been taking for free for the past three years will go up to 46 dollars a ton too,” Volan said, “This results in a six-figure cost to the city that we didn’t anticipate.”

The feasibility study was initially part of the District’s budget for 2014, but the funding was removed in August because of dissent from two District Board members. Those members, Iris Kiesling and Patrick Stoffers, are also County commissioners, and they represent the County on the District Board.

Although those two were the only votes against the MRF on the seven-member board, they were still able to strip the funding, partly because of poor attendance by other members. The board is expected to vote again on the funding at its meeting Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Monroe County Courthouse.

The Strike Mic – December 10, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, Indiana University Assembly member Luke O’Donovan speaks about his fundraising efforts to help pay for an ongoing criminal trial, involving an alleged homophobic hate crime.

Ins and Outs of Money – Holiday Spending

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The holidays are here! This can be a budget-busting time of year if you aren’t careful. Ashley and Sarah will help you keep your holiday spending down with some useful and creative tips.

Daily Local News – December 10, 2013

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This week on The Strike Mic, Indiana University Assembly member Luke O’Donovan speaks about his fundraising efforts to help pay for an ongoing criminal trial, involving an alleged homophobic hate crime; The Board president of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District announced plans November 21st to renew discussion about a controversial recycling facility; The Bloomington Telecommunications Council continued its discussions December 3rd about bringing telecommunications scholar Susan Crawford to Bloomington.

FEATURE
ISTA Responds to Settlement
Brenda Pike, Executive Director of the Indiana State Teachers Association, talks about the out-of-court settlement between the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Teachers association. Correspondent David Murphy brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Coming up next, the holidays are here! This can be a budget-busting time of year if you aren’t careful. Ashley and Sarah help you keep your holiday spending down with some useful and creative tips, for WFHB’s weekly financial segment The Ins and Outs of Money, providing economic education and community resources that keep your budget balanced and your finances flourishing.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Alycin Bektesh
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

bloomingOUT – December 5, 2013

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Bloomington story teller Jim Doud relates a “Christmas Past” on an edition of “Our View” and Helen presents an historical review on an edition of Queer History entitled “Reflections.” Michael and Helen discuss the pros and cons of coming out over the holidays in response to a Q Mailbag question from a listener. President of the Mauer School of Law LGBT Alumni Advisory Board Mike Shumate discusses the organization, their issue oriented events and plans for future activities. Featured artist is Bay area based singer/songwriter Eli Conley. Musical selections are “Draw the Line” and “Now I’m Doing Me.”

www.eliconley.com

Produced Carol Fischer
Executive producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producers Sarah Hetrick and Nick Tumino’
News director Josh Vidrich,
Original theme music provided by Mikial Robertson
Announcer is Sarah Hetrick

Bring It On! – December 9, 2013

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Clarence Boone and Cornelius Wright joined Frank Motley of the IU Maurer School of Law and BIO contributor Liz Mitchell

PART ONE
Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95 on December 5, 2013. Though not a total surprise, the world was nevertheless saddened to learn of the recent passing of this legendary and iconic South African anti-apartheid leader and former President.

To commemorate his life, Bring It On welcomes contributor Liz Mitchell and Frank Motley from the IU Maurer School of Law to share their thoughts on Mandela’s recent passing.

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

CREDITS
Hosts: Clarence Boone and Cornelius Wright
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Businesses Benefit, But Others Suffer From Local Tax Breaks

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Two studies released by Ball State University in recent weeks call into question a long-standing, and expensive, strategy that communities throughout the state have used in hopes of creating jobs. Monroe County and the city of Bloomington spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on the strategy, which involves giving local tax breaks to companies that are new to town. Those companies, in turn, are expected to create new jobs, therefore decreasing the local unemployment rate and improving the local economy. But the study out of Ball State suggests the tax breaks for business are not creating many jobs, and they’re actually increasing the tax rates for regular taxpayers. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke to one of the authors of the study, professor Michael Hicks, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Activate! – Be a Santa to a Senior: Joe Yonkman

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Joe Yonkman of Home Instead talks about the annual Be a Santa to a Senior program and the need for volunteers to gift wrap the over 2,000 presents donated for area seniors in need this year.

Final Payment on Dam Repair Project Approved

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The Bloomington Utilities Service Board approved the final payment December 2nd on a project to repair the Griffy Dam. Utilities Engineer Phil Peden said the company doing the work, Dave O’Mara Contractors, is mostly finished with the project, which has been in progress since the city drained Griffy Lake last year.

The repair work was funded primarily by a federal grant. The total cost was about one-point-four million dollars.

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