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EcoReport – February 6, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Elisa Pokral discusses the Monroe County recycling program for the district and talks about the impact sustainable management practices have on the environment.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

This week’s news stories were written by Joe Crawford, Linda Greene, Norm Holy, and Stephanie Stewart. This week’s feature was engineered by Stephanie Stewart. This week’s calendar was compiled by Kristina Wiltsee. Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller and Dan Young. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Bloomington Beware! – Top Ten Scams: Part 2

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Our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

Todd Young Talks about His Re-Election Platform

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Todd Young has thrown his hat into the ring for re-election to Indiana District 9 in the federal House of Representatives. Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Representative Young to ask him about his upcoming election campaign. He talked about potential challengers to his nomination for the Republican Party ticket in District 9 – which covers most of south-eastern Indiana including greater Bloomington – as well as his campaign platform. The issues he focused on included incentivizing job creation and work, proposals for reforming the financing, operation, and authority of the federal government, promoting non-governmental delivery of social services, and his criticism of Obamacare. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

OUCC Accepting Public Comments On Increased Utility Rates

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The Indiana office of utility consumer counselor is accepting public comment regarding a Vectren Energy request to increase utility rates for improvements in the transmission and storage of natural gas in Indiana. The OUCC is a separate agency from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission which oversees monopoly utilities in Indiana. When a regulated utility seeks a rate increase it brings its case to the IURC, which is required to balance utility interests with consumer interests. The OUCC has a team of attorneys economists and engineers to file testimony and make recommendations on behalf on consumers. Vectren has filed a request seeking approval of a seven year plan for infrastructure improvements and approval of rate adjustments every six months to reflect the costs of the project. OUCC spokesman

All consumer comments are reviewed by OUCC’s technical staff and attorneys, and the testimony of all public comments are filed into the formal case record as evidence. While government regulated utility companies do have the right under Indiana law to pass costs of infrastructure improvements on to the consumer, the IURC and the OUCC are tasked with making sure those rates remain fairly balanced.

Regulations on utility services began when nationwide railway networks were being developed. Utility companies are uniquely regulated because the unique nature of delivering their “product” typically ensures a monopoly on that service, and an opportunity for abusing that monopoly if the government does not ensure that prices remain fair.

Consumers can view Vectren utility’s full testimony and exhibits online on the OUCC website, under the heading “We are reviewing Vectren gas infrastructure plans.” Written comments can be submitted directly on the website, or by email, fax, and postal mail.

Bloomington Wants Public Feedback on ADA Transition Plan

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The City of Bloomington is seeking feedback from the public on a new update to its ADA Transition Plan, as part of a regular process to comply with the requirements and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA requires public agencies with more than fifty employees to maintain an up-to-date Transition Plan, which they say should survey accessibility barriers in programs and services and provide a plan to remove them. Bloomington prepared its first ADA Transition Plan in 1990, and has updated it several times since.

Barbara McKinney, Director of Human Rights and Assistant City Attorney for Bloomington says sidewalks and curbs often become a focus, due in part to shifting requirements. Public feedback, she says, is helpful for many of the small details around town that those working on the update might miss.

When cities like Bloomington don’t reach compliance for ADA regulations, McKinney says, the Department of Justice handles the response.

A draft version of the update is available now on the City of Bloomington’s website, at Bloomington.in.gov/planning.

Public comments will be collected, via email or by mail, until February 28th.

Daily Local News – February 5, 2013

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Emergency Management Director James Commerford announced an easement to “yellow” this afternoon; The City of Bloomington is seeking feedback from the public on a new update to its ADA Transition Plan; The Indiana office of utility consumer counselor is accepting public comment regarding a Vectren Energy request to increase utility rates for improvements in the transmission and storage of natural gas in Indiana.

FEATURE
Todd Young has thrown his hat into the ring for re-election to Indiana District 9 in the federal House of Representatives. Correspondent David Murphy spoke with Representative Young to ask him about his upcoming election campaign. He talked about potential challengers to his nomination for the Republican Party ticket in District 9 – which covers most of south-eastern Indiana including greater Bloomington – as well as his campaign platform. The issues he focused on included incentivizing job creation and work, proposals for reforming the financing, operation, and authority of the federal government, promoting non-governmental delivery of social services, and his criticism of Obamacare. We bring you that conversation now for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

BLOOMINGTON BEWARE
Our weekly consumer watchdog segment Bloomington Beware!

CREDITS
Anchors: Cathi Norton, Kelly Wherley
Today’s headlines were written by Alycin Bektesh and Drew Daudelin,
Bloomington Beware was produced by Richard Fish,
Adam Reichle produced our feature.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Engineer and Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Brown County Hour – Episode 23

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Hosted by Dave Seastrom and Vera Grubbs.

First aired Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 9 AM on WFHB.

In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Vera Grubbs interviews Artist Michele Pollock of Lost Lake Studio
  • Charlie Cole continues his commentary on Yellowwood logging
  • Dave Seastrom – essay on Groundhog Day
  • Bill Land – Land and Lore of Brown County
  • Poems by Chris Curtain, Rick Fettig, Gunther Flumm and Tramp Star
  • Top ten reasons to visit Brown County by Rick Fettig
  • and our musical guest, fifth-generation Brown County singer/songwriter, Robbie Bowden.
Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

The Tar Sands of Time – The 15 Year Tipping Point of Climate Change

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Demonstrators holding signs reading “No KXL” and holding model wind turbines held a rally on the courthouse square yesterday evening, as part of a nationwide demonstration against the Keystone XL pipeline. Jack Brubaker, the local contact for the nationwide resistance group, introduced speaker Rabbi Brian Besser to speak about the power of many voices coming together to form a resistance, and encouraged those present to write to the State Department, which is taking public comment now that their latest review of the construction project has been released. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh was on hand to bring us this report for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

Interchange – Below Zero and Homeless

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Host Alycin Bektesh speaks with Police Chief Mike Diekoff, Forest Gilmore of the Shalom Center and Elaine Guinn of New Hope Family Shelter about options for warm shelter in Bloomington.

Ins and Outs of Money – Personal Finance Books

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Coming up next–the Monroe County Public Library has over four hundred personal finance books to help you with budgeting, investing, saving, and retiring. Learn how to find the right book for you and discover some of the most popular financial authors, for WFHB’s weekly financial segment The Ins and Outs of Money.

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