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EcoReport – April 2, 2015

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Bob Kissel interviews Operation Migration co-founder Joe Duff about an experimental Whooping Crane reintroduction program.

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.

Today’s Anchors: Dan Young and Alyce Miller.
This week’s news stories were written by Josh Byron, Joe Crawford, Linda Greene, Norm Holy and Halle Shine. Our feature and broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. This week’s calendar was compiled by Catherine Anders.
EcoReport is produced by Dan Young, Filiz Cicek, Nancy Jones, and Gillian Wilson. Executive producer is Joe Crawford.

IN Nature – Indiana Bat

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April 2 – IN Nature – Indiana Bat

Better Beware! – Fake Service Dogs

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Some selfish people are claiming their pets are service dogs, to get them into places pets aren’t allowed. And some businesses are selling fake certificates to help this fraud!

Bloomington Residents Protest the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act at Rally

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Roughly 200 people rallied yesterday at Karst Farm Park in Bloomington, just across the street from a local Republican fund raiser. The rally was originally scheduled to protest Governor Mike Pence, who was supposed to be the featured speaker at the event. Pence canceled his appearance amid increasing controversy over the passage of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the protest continued despite Pence’s absence. Protesters called for the repeal of the Act, which effectively allows individuals and businesses in Indiana to discriminate against others. Many worry the law will be used to discriminate against LGBTQ people. One of the speakers at the rally last night was Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who was in town to speak at the fundraiser as a substitute for Governor Pence. Zoeller spoke briefly to the protesters despite the fact that he has acted to oppose gay rights in his work as Attorney General. Zoeller, for instance, has defended the state government in court as the government opposed allowing same-sex marriage. WFHB correspondent Franki Salzman was on hand at the rally last night and we now bring you a portion of the event for today’s WFHB community report. The first speaker is Doug Bauder, the coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center at IU.

Standing Room Only – Democratic Mayoral Candidate Debate

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On March 24, the three democratic candidates for mayor of Bloomington squared off in a debate hosted by the Indiana University College Democrats. John Hamilton, John Linnemeier and Darryl Neher were each given time to answer questions that were related to potential issues they would face as mayor.

Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 3 Democrats

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This is a special Wednesday edition of Interchange. We kick-off a series of candidate conversations concerning contested seats on Bloomington’s City Council. There are four seats which have primary challenges to the incumbents–these are for Districts 1, 3, 4, and 5.

Tonight’s show welcomes the candidates vying for the democratic party nomination to run for the District 3 seat. We welcome Marty Spechler, the incumbent, and the two challengers, Allison Chopra, and Mike Satterfield.

The city’s website describes the role of the council this way:

As the legislative body of the City, the City Council is a link between the citizens of Bloomington and their government. By enacting legislation that fosters the health, safety and welfare of the City, the Council works to represent the interests of residents while ensuring the delivery of municipal services. By statute, the Council is responsible for the control of the City’s property and finances, and the appropriation of money.

It’s easy to lose sight of the big important issues like poverty and social justice amidst all the bureaucratic procedures and jargon of operational government, but this is our intent on the series.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Research Assistance: Nancy Jones
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

A Case Is Made For A New School Referendum Based On The Success Of The Past

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Property owners will again be asked to pay additional taxes to help support the Monroe County Community School Corporation. Last week the League of Women Voters hosted a talk by MCCSC Superintendent Judy DeMuth regarding the use of the funds received after voters passed the funding referendum in 2010. League President Doris Wittenburg said Monroe County students were fortunate, because those in other counties were more affected by drastic budget cuts under former Governor Mitch Daniels.

Superintendent Demuth gave a slideshow presentation summarizing how the referendum funds have been spent over the past several years. Then she made a case for a renewed referendum in 2016. The majority of the 2010 referendum operating funds were spent on salaries and benefits. A small amount went to services, supplies, and equipment. Demuth said she thought spending on employees was the best way to serve children in the school district.

Additionally, the cash balance of MCCSC is seven million dollars larger than it was in 2009, before the budget cuts. Teachers did not take a raise in 2010. However, a raise was programmed in and Demuth believes that this is important.

Demuth explained that spending of the extras funds was guided by the principles of: Restore, Replenish and Reform. Programs that were ended due to budget cuts were restored through the use of referendum funds, including alternative learning opportunities and experiential learning. One of which was the Bloomington Graduate School.

Demuth concluded her presentation by thanking those in attendance and those in the community for passing the 2010 referendum. The extra funding provided through this referendum will end this year. She said the corporation is still in the planning stages of proposing another referendum. She expected the request amount to be similar to that of 2010 referendum request.

Daily Local News – April 1, 2015

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The family of a Northern Indiana woman has set up a crowd funding campaign to help appeal her 20-year prison sentence; The American public is growing more supportive of same-sex marriage; Property owners will again be asked to pay additional taxes to help support the Monroe County Community School Corporation; The local non-profit organization My Sister’s Closet is holding a gala to celebrate the success of the women who have sought the organizations help.

FEATURE
Roughly 200 people rallied yesterday at Karst Farm Park in Bloomington, just across the street from a local Republican fund raiser. The rally was originally scheduled to protest Governor Mike Pence, who was supposed to be the featured speaker at the event. Pence canceled his appearance amid increasing controversy over the passage of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But the protest continued despite Pence’s absence. Protesters called for the repeal of the Act, which effectively legalizes discrimination in Indiana.

BETTER BEWARE!
Some selfish people are claiming their pets are service dogs, to get them into places pets aren’t allowed. And some businesses are selling fake certificates to help this fraud!

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Sophia Saliby
Today’s headlines were written by Jack Hanek, Thomas Schneider
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Better Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our feature was produced by Frankie Salzman and Joe Crawford
Our engineers today are Adam Reichle and Matthew Gwaltney
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Public Opinion Of Gay Marriage Continues To Grow In Favor

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The American public is growing more supportive of same-sex marriage. That’s according to Indiana University Sociologist Brian Powell, who published a paper recently about public opinion and gay marriage. Powell’s team interviewed and re-interviewed people around the country and found that overall Americans have become more and more accepting of gay marriage. And despite the fact that some lawmakers continue to advance laws that target LGBT people for discrimination, Powell says the majority of the public is no longer on board. He goes on to sat that in their interviews the majority of the public is more inclusive and that a clear majority are in favor of same sex marriage.

Powell’s group also studied what motivates those who oppose gay marriage. He says that, for the most part, opposition is based in some form of moral disapproval. And typically that disapproval is rooted in biblical teaching.

The study also found that a gay couple’s relationship was typically seen as more QUOTE “ legitimate” if the couple was married. People view married couples as constituting a family more than couples who live together and are not married. But that thinking changes, according to Powell, when married same-sex couples move to states where their marriages are not legally recognized. According to Powell’s research, people often confuse civil unions with gay marriages. Many believe civil unions afford the same rights as marriage. He says this is harmful because a civil union is legally different than a marriage, in many ways including social-security benefits which would be recognized for a married couple, but would not be the same with a civil union status.

Powell says his research does more than document a change in public opinion. He said it can also be used to show that moral disapproval is responsible for motivating gay marriage bans. This could be significant as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue of same-sex marriage. The opposition to gay marriage is expected to claim before the Court that gay marriage bans are purely a state interest and not rooted in animus.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor same-sex marriage, Powell says he plans to explore other questions, including how same-sex couples choose whether or not to marry.

An Appeal Fund Is Established For The Woman Convicted Of The Indiana Feticide Law

The family of a Northern Indiana woman has set up a crowd funding campaign to help appeal her 20-year prison sentence. Purvi Patel is the first woman to be convicted under Indiana’s feticide law, which makes it illegal to knowingly or intentionally terminate a pregnancy. The issue began in July of 2013, when Patel says she had a miscarriage. When she went to the hospital later for treatment of excessive bleeding, the doctor reported her to the authorities for neglect of a dependent. Patel directed police to a dumpster where she had placed the fetus. A jury found Patel guilty of child neglect as well as feticide. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women condemned the “cruel length of the sentence,” pointing out that it is the first time in the United States that a women has been convicted and sentenced for feticide. Women’s health groups nationwide have expressed concern that Indiana’s law will discourage pregnant women from seeking medical help for fear of being charged or jailed. The Purvi Patel Family Support Fund is hosted by the website RH Reality Check, a news source for reproductive health and justice issues. Patel’s case has drawn comparisons to Bei Bei Shuai, an Indianapolis woman who was charged with feticide when an unsuccessful suicide attempt resulted in the termination of her pregnancy. Both women were immigrants who were impregnated by married men. Shuai’s case ended in a plea agreement for a lesser charge in 2013.

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