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Daily Local News – June 22, 2015

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An Indiana University law professor says he is expecting good news in the coming days for same-sex marriage advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has sued a local official in Posey County for cutting off a woman’s disability payments when she could not perform a drug test. Attorney General Greg Zoeller has called upon the Food and Drug Administration to add e-cigarettes to the Tobacco Control Act. The Blooming city government took another step last week in the development of the planned Technology Park downtown. Last week the Board of Public Works was also asked to approve an amended contract for a project to upgrade the audio-visual system for the city council chambers. Monroe County Public Library Director Marilyn Wood reported last week on what she called the success of the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

FEATURE
Issues at Bloomington’s cooperative grocery chain have increasingly been making local headlines in recent months. Earlier this year, the original Bloomingfoods location on Kirkwood Avenue closed indefinitely. In April, a group of co-op members petitioned for a financial audit of the organization, which they said was having money troubles. Then, earlier this month, General Manager George Huntington resigned. Eighteen middle level managers have also been laid off. Last week the co-op announced a 20 percent decrease in overall coop sales and there is talk of lower level staff cuts. On Friday, WFHB correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with the President of the Bloomingfoods Board of Directors, Caroline (care-o-line) Beebe (BEE-BEE). We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.

ACTIVATE
Now it’s time for Activate, our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley
Today’s headlines were written by Kara Tullman, Jerrod Dill and Ivy Bridges
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Kara Tullman
Our engineer is Chris Martin
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive producer is Joe Crawford

Bloomingfoods Responds to New Business Climate

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Issues at Bloomington’s cooperative grocery chain have increasingly been making local headlines in recent months. Earlier this year, the original Bloomingfoods location on Kirkwood Avenue closed indefinitely. In April, a group of co-op members petitioned for a financial audit of the organization, which they said was having money troubles. Then, earlier this month, General Manager George Huntington resigned. Eighteen middle level managers have also been laid off. Last week the co-op announced a 20 percent decrease in overall coop sales and there is talk of lower level staff cuts. On Friday, WFHB correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with the President of the Bloomingfoods Board of Directors, Caroline (care-o-line) Beebe (BEE-BEE). We bring you that conversation for today’s WFHB community report.

Books Unbound – Elizabeth Stoddard and the 1860s, Part One: Mrs. Stoddard

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Elizabeth Stoddard (1823–1902) wrote most of her published fiction in the 1860s, during the turbulent years encompassing the American Civil War. While Stoddard’s novel The Morgensons (1862) is recognized as the neglected masterpiece of a strikingly original woman’s voice, the Books Unbound Summer 2015 series focuses on her short works of the decade—stories, poems, letters, and excerpts from her journalism and 1866 diary—and on the shorter novel Two Men, which was published two months after the surrender at Appomattox and deals with the themes of race and national identity.

“Part One: Mrs. Stoddard” takes its subtitle from her frequent byline “Mrs. R.H. Stoddard”. She was well over thirty when she began writing seriously, and at first wrote poetry in the shadow of her husband—who today is universally regarded as the lesser writer. Prose became a way for her to assert her independent voice. The distinctive quality of her novels was recognized by reviewers, but she was considered difficult and never won over a wide readership. In many ways, Stoddard embraced Victorian values, including the centrality of marriage. But her interest as a writer in marriage lies in the constraints it places on women and their self-fulfillment, and her ostensibly happy endings require the wife to submit to compromises.

The featured story is “The Prescription,” read by Lauren Robert. For its time, “The Prescription” (1864) was a frank depiction of domestic abuse by a domineering husband. Though listeners today are likely to find the ending unsatisfying, the first-person narrator finds a gateway for the emergence of an independent self through writing a diary.

The episode includes an excerpt from Stoddard’s own diary and two letters read by Sarah Torbeck, and two poems read by Erin Livingston. Heather Perry hosts, and executive producer Joe Crawford is guest announcer.

Special music comes from the Piano Quintet in F Minor of Johannes Brahms, written in the same year as “The Prescription” and published in 1865. The quintet was performed by Jorja Fleezanis, Wu Han, Ian Swensen, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Cynthia Phelps, and was recorded live at the Music@Menlo chamber music festival in 2005. The Books Unbound theme is by The Impossible Shapes.

“Elizabeth Stoddard and the 1860s, Part One: Mrs. Stoddard” was produced, written and edited by Cynthia Wolfe, with production assistance from Heather Perry, Sarah Torbeck, and Jack Hanek.

“He’s Not Unusual” – Church Massacre Suspect Dyllan Roof and Institutionalized Racism

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Interchange host Doug Storm spoke yesterday with Amrita Myers, an Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies at Indiana University and author of Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston. Myers spoke about institutionalized racism, extreme right-wing organizations and other elements of context for the June 17th murder of nine people in the oldest Black church south of Baltimore, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

A more full version of this conversation will be featured on Interchange on Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m., in an episode about the “significant insignificance” of Juneteenth, a historical date commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

Standing Room Only – The Be More Awards Honor Local Volunteers

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On April 28th, the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network honored local volunteers for their exceptional commitment to community service at the Be More Awards. Awards were given in ten categories covering education and literacy, health & wellness, arts and culture, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, youth, groups or families, service as a board member, college student involvment, and lifetime service. Honorees received a commemorative plaque from Mayor Mark Cruzan and a $500 check from the Community Foundation for the charitable organization they serve.

Interchange – Framing the Self: Conversations on Photography and Autobiography

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Tonight’s Interchange brings together two episodes that first aired on WFHB’s The Custom House in the summer of 2013. Part One, “Writing on Pictures,” is a discussion with photographer Jeffrey Wolin about how he integrates the written word into his portraits to make stories that are both deeply personal and broadly cultural. Part Two, “Hark! Who Goes There?,” features a conversation with John Eakin about writing autobiography and the way the self is something of an ongoing fiction.

Part One: Writing on Pictures

Jeffrey Wolin mixes the word with the image to produce portraits that seem to stand as much as social and cultural commentary as they do Art, and appear to turn the very subject of that portrait into commentary as well. Wolin’s recent books consist of portrait series that included Holocaust survivors (Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust) and Vietnam War Veterans (Inconvenient Stories). He’s currently working on a series of portraits depicting Bloomington, Indiana residents from a section of the town called Pigeon Hill across a twenty-year span.

Wolin’s Pigeon Hill project was highlighted recently in the online magazine Slate in a post titled,
What 20 Years Have Done to the People of This Small Indiana Community

“It’s endlessly fascinating to see what happens to us over time,” he said, noting that a full generation had passed since he first took the portraits. “Speaking about our memories is a creative process that changes and morphs all the time. That isn’t to say they aren’t truthful. Sometimes your memory becomes clearer after some time as well.”

Part Two, Hark! Who Goes There?

This segment features a conversation with John Eakin about writing autobiography and the way the self is fictive and often re-writable.

We try to locate our mysterious metamorphic “me” within the commonplace act of telling stories. Our guide is an expert in the storying self, John Eakin, Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, whose most recent book is Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative (Cornell University Press, 2008). And it’s the “commonplace” or dailiness of “identity practice” that is even more intrinsic than such an institutional practice as that of the school assignments that bookend this very act of life-composition: Write your autobiography…Write your obituary. It’s how we practice that “life in the middest” that makes us who we are at any given moment.

Extended Conversations
The Custom House – Writing on Pictures (Extended Conversation w/Jeffrey Wolin)

The Custom House – Hark! Who Goes There? Locating the Self in the Stories We Tell (Extended Conversation w/John Eakin)

Next week on Interchange, “The Significant Insignificance of Juneteenth.” Chances are you might not have heard of Juneteenth, but it’s time to rectify that. I’ll be joined by Amira Millicent Davis to discuss General Order No. 3, read aloud on June 19, 1865, by Union General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas announcing the total emancipation of slaves, nearly three years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Books Unbound – The Mulatto

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Books Unbound revisits “The Mulatto,” a short story that first appeared in 1837 in an anti-slavery magazine published by free people of color in France. Its author was the 19-year-old Victor Séjour, who had come as a student to Paris from New Orleans. Séjour was a French-speaking person of color whose baptismal record identifies him as a free quadroon. His father had come to New Orleans among refugees of the Haitian Revolution. “The Mulatto” is set in Haiti, and is thought to be the first short story published by an American of African descent.

It’s a frank melodrama, a mode of extreme passion and good-and-evil morality that permeated 19th-century fiction and drama. An oedipal tragic secret lies at the heart of a story fueled by rape, injustice, revenge and murder. Gothic elements of horror speak to the violence done to family within the institution of slavery. Séjour went on to have a highly successful career as a dramatist, with twenty of his plays in a variety of genres produced at the Comédie Française.

“The Mulatto” was originally part of a Books Unbound series on race in literature that was broadcast in early 2015. Indiana University associate professor Maisha Wester discusses the racial implications of gothic melodrama.

Our reader is Lauren Robert. Sarah Torbeck hosts, with Jack Hanek as the announcer. Special music comes from the Twelve Grand Études of Frédéric Chopin, which were published the same year as “The Mulatto”, performed by Martha Goldstein courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. The episode was produced and written by Cynthia Wolfe, with the interview produced by Doug Storm. Special thanks to Community Access Television Services for recording this week’s reading.

Executive producer: Joe Crawford

Theme music: The Impossible Shapes

 

Public Continues Discussion of Kirkwood Criminal Activity in City Council Chambers

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A standing-room-only crowd gathered last night in the Bloomington City Council chambers to discuss recent concerns over crime on Kirkwood Avenue. The forum was a response to the owners of Nick’s English Hut and other downtown businesses who have complained about panhandling, drug use and other behaviors they say are bad for business. City Council member Steve Volan hosted the event. Volan says two different groups, students and the homeless, tend to be the subject of most complaints.

Volan invited Bloomington Human Rights Commission member Byron Bangert, Decarcerate Monroe County member Erin Marshall and Nick’s English Hut owner Susan Bright to speak. Bright is responsible for beginning the public discussion about downtown behavior last week. She sent a letter to local businesses titled “Bum Commerce” on Kirkwood. Last night, Bright apologized for using the word “bum”. But she suggested new legislation to target panhandlers.

Many at the forum said too much negative attention has been focused on homeless and impoverished residents. Marshall, from Decarcerate Monroe County, asked concerned citizens to examine what makes them fearful or upset about certain behaviors.

Several members of the audience made comments or asked questions of the panelists. Sam Frushour says he often walks around town because he is unable to drive.

Another speaker was a man named Rob, who says he is currently homeless. He had two suggestions for dealing with the issues downtown.

Volan told the group it would take more than simply the city government to address the issues businesspeople have mentioned. He pointed out that the County government, the state and Indiana University all set policies that affect downtown Bloomington.

bloomingOUT – June 11, 2015

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Tonight, hosts Jeff Poling and Ryne Shadday interview Rachael Jones, the owner of Rachael’s Cafe. The music tonight was “Songs I Can’t Listen To” by Neon Trees. BloomingOUT would like to thank Rachael Jones for her time on the show.

Credits

Hosts Ryne Shadday, Jeff Poling

Executive Producer Joe Crawford

Producer Olivia Davidson

Board Engineer Jorge Guillen and Andrew Sims

Social Media Coordinators Megan McCullough, and Jacob Samples

An Afternoon of Direct Animation this Saturday

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The local experimental media group, Burroughs Century Limited, is hosting an Afternoon of Direct Animation this Saturday. The event invites participants to draw designs onto sixteen millimeter film, and then see their art projected as a motion picture film. The event is free, however donations will help pay for the group’s Wounded Galaxy festival, taking place in October. The 5-day festival will bring guest lectures, film screenings, music shows, and more, hosted in venues throughout town. The festival will showcase local and visiting artists. Correspondent Kara Tullman spoke with IU Professor Joan Hawkins to get a greater understanding of the festival and the Burroughs Century Group.

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