Ingrid Skoog, animal lover and long time volunteer with both Brown County Humane and Pets Alive!, talks about the importance of plugging into the community through your passion and the wonder of seeing your service bring results. Also, more volunteer opportunities to use teaching skills here in Bloomington from the Volunteer Network.
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Host Doug Storm is joined by William Morris and Joe Varga to discuss the genesis of the Moral Mondays Movement in North Carolina and how it has begun to form a broad coalition here in Indiana.
A Mother Jones article from April, 2014 describes the impetus for Moral Mondays as being political action against a Republican agenda in North Carolina. The Republicans ”who in November 2012 took control of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in more than a century. Among their top priorities—along with blocking Medicaid expansion and cutting unemployment benefits and higher-education spending—was pushing through a raft of changes to election laws, including reducing the number of early voting days, ending same-day voter registration, and requiring ID at the polls.”
But perhaps deeper than this “fusion politics” is an engagement with an ethics of care.
The Indiana Moral Mondays Mission Statement:
We, the people, coalitions and faith communities of Indiana hereby form Indiana Moral Mondays Movement in order to promote a just society in which every person is valued, and resources are used for the common good.
In doing so, we seek to embrace the moral values and the enduring qualities of love found in the secular and spiritual communities from which we come.
Find out about this weekend’s event in Indianapolis, “Forward Together with Reverend Dr. William Barber II” at the group’s website, Indiana Moral Mondays.
William Morris is an attorney with Indiana Legal Services where he works on low-income housing and homelessness prevention. Prior to that he was a civil rights lawyer for a dozen years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Morris is a member of the Indiana Moral Mondays Steering Committee.
Joe Varga is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at Indiana University. He is a former Teamster shop steward and long time labor activist, having worked for the IBEW and the New York State Working Families Party. He is currently working on a project detailing the spatial history of de-industrialization in Southern Indiana. Joe is also active in Jobs with Justice, and numerous other activist causes.
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Alycin Bektesh
Pawn shops in Ellettsville now have to send their sales data to the Town police at the same time they provide it to a nationwide law enforcement database. The Town Council passed second-hand dealer regulations late last year. Afterwards, there was dispute about how quickly businesses must report certain information. Town attorney Darla Brown proposed an amendment to the new ordinance September 8th. Similar rules apply to stores that buy and sell valuable metals. Last December the Council passed a law forcing the shops to report their sales to a private company that shares information with police across the country. The goal is to help solve cases of theft. But some residents worry sharing the data could compromise the privacy of customers.
More than fifteen months after the issue first surfaced, Interstate 69 construction is still damaging waterways in Monroe County. That’s according to members of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee. At a meeting September 12th, Committee member Scott Wells showed photos of brown tap water and streams contaminated with sediment. Wells said local officials need to keep pressure on the state Department of Transportation…
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Early and absentee voting hours for Monroe County residents will begin on Tuesday, October 7th at the Election Center, 401 West Seventh Street in Bloomington. Ruth Hickman, Monroe County Election Supervisor announce the office will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8:30-6:00 p.m. with times increased after October 24th to accommodate voters. A public test of electronic and ballot voting equipment will be held next Tuesday at 9am in the Monroe County Election Center.
Free furnace inspections, cleanings and repair will be offered on “Bring the Heat Day,” October 11th through a volunteer partnership between Bloomington’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department and the Heating and Air Conditioning Alliance of Indiana. From 8:00 a.m. until noon “Bring the Heat Day” volunteers will supply resources to conduct up to fifty furnace inspections and repairs for owner-occupied, gas furnace residents of Monroe County. The day is designed to raise awareness for the life-saving importance of proper furnace maintenance. Applications for “Bring the Heat” are available at 401 N. Morton St., Suite 130 and can be picked up or returned Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The application deadline is September 26th.
Last Thursday, the Board of Directors of Jill’s House voted to shut the organization down. Jill’s House is a nonprofit home with over 25 rooms for cancer patients to live during treatment. The organization opened in 2008 and has been a home to over 600 patients. It will be closing on December 31, the same day that the IU Health Proton Therapy Center is closing. IU health officials have said the facility is closing due to financial deficit. Jill’s House was founded by the parents of Jill Behrman, who was abducted in 2000 while bike riding near her home. Behrman’s parents created the nonprofit with the parents of Steven Howard, who died of cancer at the age of 19. IU announced earlier this month that it was not financially viable to continue to operate the Proton Therapy Center.
Same sex couples in Indiana are still not able to marry, at least until the Supreme Court addresses the case later this month. Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals approved a stay on same-sex marriage in Indiana. The stay is holding the lower court’s ruling from September 4th that the same-sex marriage ban in Indiana is unconstitutional, and will be held until dealt with by the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 25, same-sex marriage was temporarily legal after a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Yung. Two days later, the Seventh Circuit Court ordered an emergency stopping to same-sex marriages. On September 29th, the Supreme Court will address the case in a closed-door conference to either hold or lift the ban.
The national debate about militarized police forces continues as awareness grows about local campus police acquiring surplus military gear. The Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana University is one of at least five campus police departments that have received surplus military gear in the last four years. Surplus gear can include body armor, military vehicles and M-14 or M-16 rifles. Recent incidents of lone assailants creating public massacres using high-powered weaponry have raised concerns about police and campus resources. Yet after the much-publicized shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police, lawmakers held congressional hearings last week on the subject. Claire McGaskill, Democratic Senator from Missouri, called for limits to programs that supply police with military equipment. According to records obtained at the IU Department of Administration, Bloomington campus police have received six M-16 rifles as well as helmets and bullet-proof vests. Officer Jerry Minger, who oversees seven campus police departments at Indiana University, says the rifles have been modified so they are not fully automatic. He claims they are appropriate for campus police force use. Minger is quoted in the star saying “Police departments are typically not warriors, they’re typically guardians of a community. How do you protect the community if you don’t have the appropriate equipment to do so?” Herb Terry, former president of the Indiana University Faculty Council, says he trusts the IU campus police will use discretion with the armament and suggested the thing to monitor might be the people wielding the weapons, not the weapons themselves, saying he does not believe the IU police department is over-militarized.
Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz received more votes in the 2012 election than Governor Mike Pence yet has been stymied by his administration throughout her first term. In fact, speaking to the Bloomington Press Club this afternoon Ritz said during this upcoming legislative session, Pence could sign away the state’s education budget to a new agency that he created. Her remarks and audience questions are here, in today’s community report.