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“Rise Above the Mark” Showing Tonight at Bloomington North

“Rise Above the Mark”, a documentary film focusing on Indiana’s struggles with public school reform will be shown tonight at 6:30 at Bloomington High School North.  The film was produced by the West Lafayette Community School Corporation.  The film looks at issues of school choice, standardized testing, the A-F grading system of schools and the role of politics and legislatures in education policy.

The film is narrated by Peter Coyote.  Rocky Killion, the superintendent of West Lafayette Community School Corporation, will introduce the documentary.  Judy DeMuth, superintendent of Monroe County Community School Corporation, Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education, and Erika Peek, a teacher from Summit Elementary School, will also be present for a discussion following the movie.

The showing is sponsored by the Indiana Coalition for Public Education and the IU School of Education Graduate Student Association.

Bloomington Beware! – Support Our Swindlers?

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A couple of fake military charities based in Indiana have been busted, and the sad story points up both the importance of supporting our troops and their families, and the urgent need to know who you’re giving your money to.

Open Streets Event Gains Approval

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Organizers of an open streets event got permission September 23rd to move forward with their plans, but not without a struggle. Open Streets Bloomington asked the city’s Board of Public Works to let them shut down half a mile of Seventh Street, from the Banneker Community Center to the B-Line Trail. The event is scheduled for October 5th. One of the organizers, Beth Rosenbarger, described Open Streets as an opportunity to use the street for unconventional activities such as promotion for local businesses and community meetings.

This is the second annual Open Streets event in Bloomington. Some residents told the Board they objected to the street closure. John Bavender lives on West Seventh. He also owns other houses on the street. He objects that the event would prohibit him from doing his routine property maintenance.

Only two of the three members of the Board were present. Both of those members, James McNamara and Charlotte Zietlow, said they should have been consulted earlier in the process. McNamara said he felt pressured to approve the street closure because the event is so soon. He ultimately did not want to deny the event to those who took time to put it together on such short notice.

Throughout the U.S. and Canada there have been more than 100 Open Streets events since 2010. A local architect, Marc Cornett, told the Board that these kinds of projects typically have opponents at first.

The Board later voted in favor of the event with the caveat that organizers must work with city staff to determine the hours for the closure. McNamara said he won’t support Open Streets in the future.

Further coverage of the decision for the Open Streets event can be found here.

Daily Local News – September 24, 2014

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Organizers of an open streets event got permission September 23rd to move forward with their plans, but not without a struggle; “Rise Above the Mark”, a documentary film focusing on Indiana’s struggles with public school reform will be shown tonight at 6:30 at Bloomington High School North; Jonathan Raff, an associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Chemistry is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s five-year Faculty Early Career Development Award; Indiana University will continue to burn coal indefinitely – WFHB news director Alycin Bektesh has the report.

FEATURE
The League of Women Voters’ Monroe County chapter is hosting a series of candidate forums throughout September, inviting candidates that county voters will see on their ballots this election to introduce themselves to the public. Last night all candidates for Indiana House of Representatives in districts that include Monroe county were invited to Ivy Tech commons for a forum. None of the three incumbents – all republicans – for district 46, 60 or 62 accepted the invitation to participate. The democratic challengers in district 46 and 60 were allowed to make a five minute statement. In district 62 democratic challenger Jeff Sparks and Libertarian Challenger Ashley Keith-Qualkenbush were both present and answered a series of questions from audience members. The opening statements from all candidates present at the forum last night, moderated by WFIU/WTIU News Bureau Chief, here in today’s community report.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE!
A couple of fake military charities based in Indiana have been busted, and the sad story points up both the importance of supporting our troops and their families, and the urgent need to know who you’re giving your money to.

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton & Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Susan Northleaf
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services.
Our engineers today are Jim Lang and Adam Reichle
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Joe Crafword
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Interchange – Hoosier: What’s In a Name?

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Hosts Doug Storm and Trish Kerle’ are joined by historian Jim Madison to discuss the Hoosier through history. Madison has just published a new book, Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana, published by Indiana University Press.

Our three segments cover the origin and cultural identity embodied in the very word “Hoosier,” the geographical make-up of the state and attendant migration patterns for settlers from the East and the Upland South; the “contradictions” of an anti-slavery state that is also deeply troubled with racism; the development of the state as an industrial “mecca.”

Credits:

Host: Doug Storm
Co-Host: Trish Kerle’
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh

 

Daily Local News – September 23, 2014

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Today is National Voter Registration Day and in celebration, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson urges Hoosiers to use a new mobile registration app to confirm or register their vote; Tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Whittenberg Auditorium at the IU Memorial Union, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas will speak about his life as an undocumented immigrant; Senator Dan Coats has joined a group of 45 senators in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline; Kids do not seem to be getting in the way of their parent’s dating lives; Bloomington’s most famous internet cat, Lil Bub, has recently partnered with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help cats that are in need of extra medical care or assistance; CVS is looking to open a new store in the heart of downtown Bloomington; Workers are beginning sidewalk construction this week on a road that is a notorious pedestrian hazard; New data from the U.S. Census Bureau places Bloomington in fifth place for fastest growing cities in the nation; After many proposals and many discussions, government owned and operated recycling facility has been approved; An event meant to examine the use of streets to encourage healthy living and community may be denied a permit based on inappropriate use of streets.

CREDITS
Anchors Casey Kuhn and Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Cathi Norton, Linda Green, Steven Williamson and
Daniele Flum.
Along with Alycin Bektesh and Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with
Community Access Television Services.
Our engineer today is Carissa Barrett.
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing producer is Joe Crawford.
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 22, 2014

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Former Monroe county auditor Amy Gerstman was sentenced Friday to three months on house arrest for using county issued credit cards for personal purchases; Starting October 1, registering for a handgun permit in Indiana will be conducted electronically; New research from Purdue University reveals that young adults who frequent the college bar scene are the most likely demographic to sell prescription drugs; Opponents of single-use plastic bags hope to see an ordinance on the issue in place soon; On September 17th the Bloomington City Council stopped short of cutting taxes for a pair of million-dollar penthouses to be built along the B-Line Trail.

FEATURE
Supporters of the unionization of employees of Bloomingfoods rallied in front of the West 6th outlet last Thursday. Around fifty people gathered late Thursday afternoon to talk about the unionization drive and to listen to speakers on the issue. Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy was at the rally to interview an assortment of attendees, including a union organizer from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Bloomingfoods employees, members of Bloomingfoods co-operative association, and an IU faculty member who specializes in labor studies.

ACTIVATE!
Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community!

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Steven Williamson and David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Dan Withered, with correspondent David Murphy
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the city of Bloomington volunteer network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Managing Producer is Joe Crawford
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Open Streets Event Under Consideration As An ‘Inappropriate Use Of Streets’

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An event meant to examine the use of streets to encourage healthy living and community may be denied a permit based on inappropriate use of streets. The Open Streets Bloomington event, scheduled to be held on Sunday, October 5, will be heard at the Board of Public Works meeting September 23, and is expected to face opposition.

Board member Charlotte Zietlow says that the first annual open streets event, held last fall, had a slight bit of opposition, and tonight the three member board will also voice their concerns.

This is the first time the event is coming in front of the board this year, and the final opportunity for approval since the board does not meet again before October 5.

Miah Michaelson, assistant director for the arts for the city of Bloomington economic and sustainable development department, is the supporting staff member for the project.

Michaelson says typically organizations would present their proposals well in advance of their scheduled event.

The proposal for the event includes closing 7th street from the B Line into the near west side neighborhood at Elm Street to traffic for the majority of the day.  Open street organizers expressed concern today through Facebook postings and a message that went out to the near west side neighborhood association that there event would not get approved, and that the board might not understand exactly what it is the event is trying to do.

“They’re proposing to close those streets off and as I understand it the idea is to get cars off the streets and use the streets as a type of playground,” Zietlow says, “I gather that the intent is to see what we could do if there were no cars on the streets. So the question arises is ‘Why do we have streets?’”

The open streets website differentiates the international open streets movement, from other events that typically block streets like art fairs, charity runs, and parades, stating the benefits of an open streets event to be about encouraging physical activity, broadening transportation choices, and encouraging economic development.

Michaelson said she could not think of a direct economic impact the event would have as it is not a ticketed event and there are not good being sold.

Zietlow also mentioned that the event does not support a charity the way other street closure events tend to do. The afternoon media campaign by the organizers of open streets seemed to already be having an effect, Zietlow said she was starting to hear from the public in support of the event.

“I’ve gotten three or four emails supporting it, and this is unusual for the things we act on,” Zietlow says. “There are other questions asking if this is a legitimate use of streets because there’s not charitable group this event is raising money for.”

The open streets event is set to coincide with a day long celebration of cycling at the Buskirk Chumley Theater, and was the recipient of the proceeds that came from the $12,000 raised at the clips of faith film festival in Bryan Park this summer.

The hearing regarding the open streets events will take place at the board of public works meeting September 23.

A New Statewide Voter App Launches With National Voter Registration Day

Today is National Voter Registration Day and in celebration, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson urges Hoosiers to use a new mobile registration app to confirm or register their vote.

As part of a 50-state effort to encourage civic participation, Secretary Lawson urges all Hoosiers to take advantage of the full-service application that will also look up their polling place, get driving directions to the site, see who is on their ballot, track their application and contact election officials.

Apple users can access the application via iTunes from a mobile device or tablet by searching “Indiana voters,” and Android users can access it via their mobile app store by searching “Indiana Voters.” A full list of events to be held in celebration of National Voter Registration Day, can by found here.

Bloomingfoods employees and co-op members rally in support of Unionization

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Supporters of the unionization of employees of Bloomingfoods rallied in front of the West 6th outlet last Thursday. Around fifty people gathered late Thursday afternoon to talk about the unionization drive and to listen to speakers on the issue. Daily Local News correspondent David Murphy was at the rally to interview an assortment of attendees, including a union organizer from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Bloomingfoods employees, members of Bloomingfoods co-operative association, and an IU faculty member who specializes in labor studies.

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