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30 Years of Hoosier Environmental Council

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The Hoosier Environmental Council is celebrating its 30th year. Correspondent Stephanie Stewart spoke with the council’s Jesse Kharbanda about the history of the organization, and its involvement in state environmental issues, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive courtesy of Eco Report.

Free driving tour of Lake Monroe offered for geology buffs

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Anyone interested in geology will have the opportunity for a free driving tour of Monroe Lake on December 1st. Beginning at the Paynetown State Recreation Area on South State Road 446, there will be stops highlighting the Mt. Carmel Fault, Leesville Anticline, Edwardsville Formation, Harrodsburg Limestone, and Salem Limestone. Jill Vance, Interpretive Naturalist at Monroe Lake, is the tour guide. She will explain geological features, the area’s history, and the many influences on its present landscape. You can register by calling the Paynetown Activity Center at 812-837-9967 by November 25th.

 

Bloomington Utilities Service Board deals with complications working with private contractors

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The Bloomington Utilities Service Board dealt with some complications of working with private contractors at its meeting on Monday.

The City Utilities Department frequently hires companies to perform engineering or construction work.

Capital Projects Manager Mike Hicks explained a recent issue with two of those companies. The contractors are working on projects to improve water mains and to expand the Monroe Water Treatment Plant.

“In the execution of the work, damage was caused to Monroe County Highway roads,” Hicks said, “It’s caused by two factors, one being hauling and the other excavation from work on a water main. Our position is that there are two contractors responsible for the repairs, F.A. Wilhelm and Howl contractors. “

Hicks said the contractors have refused to deal with the issue, despite the city’s attempts to contact them. So, he said the city needs to find a different contractor to repair the roads.

“Monroe County Highway Department wants this work done this season before the asphalt plants close so it’s come to the City of Bloomington Utilities taking action to find a paving contractor to make the repairs,” Hicks said.

The board approved spending $64,000 to pay Milestone Contractors to do the repairs. Hicks said the city would attempt to recoup that amount from the contractors that caused the damage. Later in the meeting, the board discussed how the Utilities Department chooses its contractors. The issue came up when Utilities Engineer Jane Fleig told the board that a large engineering contract would be awarded to the company Donohue and Associates.

Board member Jason Banach asked Flieg about the agreement and Fleig said they have asked for a proposal from an engineer at Donohue, but no bids.

The contract is for the design of a culvert project that extends from 2nd St. to Kirkwood Ave. in downtown Bloomington.

Banach asked why the Department didn’t solicit bids from other companies to do the work, and Department Director Pat Murphy responded.

“We have a long standing relationship with Donahue and we’ve worked with them extensively. They did the initial project, they did the Jordan River culvert and 2nd and Walnut,” Murphy said, “We feel it’s more of a continuation of the project because they know the history of the project and we wouldn’t be starting anew and we think they price they are proposing is fair and reasonable.”

The contract would be for about $400,000. Banach said he has problems awarding such large contracts without getting competitive bids.

“Cheaper isn’t better,” Murphy said.

Board member Pedro Roman said approving an agreement without seeking bids would not be unusual for the board, especially when for engineering contracts.

“We’re talking about engineering, the design, not the actual construction,” Roman said, “We never bid these things.”

Flieg said that, unlike construction contracts, the city is not legally required to solicit multiple bids for professional services such as engineering.

The board will consider whether to approve the contract with Donohue and Associates at its next meeting, which is scheduled for November 18.

EcoReport – Jesse Kharbanda: Hoosier Environmental Council

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Jesse Kharbanda discusses the history of the Hoosier Environmental Council and the organization’s involvement in state environmental issues.

Daily Local News – November 7, 2013

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The Bloomington Utilities Service Board dealt with some complications of working with private contractors at its meeting on Monday; Anyone interested in geology will have the opportunity for a free driving tour of Monroe Lake on December 1st; On October 24th, the Monroe County Commission approved spending state grant money to improve twelve railroad crossings; This weekend in sports at Indiana University.

FEATURE
30 Years of Hoosier Environmental Council
The Hoosier Environmental Council is celebrating its 30th year. Correspondent Stephanie Stewart spoke with the council’s Jesse Kharbanda about the history of the organization, and its involvement in state environmental issues, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive courtesy of Eco Report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Depending on whom you ask, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is either a hero or a traitor.  And a recent film called the Fifth Estate dramatizes the international non-profit as an organization that is run by a man who increasingly cares about his own ego rather than the anonymity of the whistle blowers.  Its posting of classified U.S. diplomatic cables led the U.S. Army, the FBI, and the Justice Department to call for criminal prosecution.  So what do YOU think about WikiLeaks?  We hit the streets to find out.

Anchors: Scott Weddle, Carolyn VandeWiele
Today’s headlines were written by Yin Yuan and Jalisa Ransom,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Stephanie Stewart.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineer was Sarah Hettrick.
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Volunteer Connection – November 8, 2013

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A weekly snapshot of how people of all ages can match their time and talents to local needs. Each week Volunteer Connection brings you the “featured five” – five ways to get involved NOW! Volunteer Connection is a co-production of WFHB and the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network, working together to build an empowered, vibrant, and engaged community!

Voices in the Street – WikiLeaks: Government Transparency or Security Threat?

Play

Depending on whom you ask, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is either a hero or a traitor.  And a recent film called the Fifth Estate dramatizes the international non-profit as an organization that is run by a man who increasingly cares about his own ego rather than the anonymity of the whistle blowers.  Its posting of classified U.S. diplomatic cables led the U.S. Army, the FBI, and the Justice Department to call for criminal prosecution.  So what do YOU think about WikiLeaks?  We hit the streets to find out.

EcoReport – November 7, 2013

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Jesse Kharbanda discusses the history of the Hoosier Environmental Council and the organization’s involvement in state environmental issues.

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.

CREDITS
This week’s news stories were written by Yvonne Cheng, 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 me, Kristina Wiltsee.
Our broadcast engineer is Dan Withered. Producers for EcoReport are Kelly Miller and Dan Young.
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

State grant money approved to improve twelve railroad crossings

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On October 24th, the Monroe County Commission approved spending state grant money to improve 12 railroad crossings. County Highway Department Director Bill Williams said the work will be performed using a grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The improvements will affect railroad crossing warnings at twelve of the county’s fifteen crossings, including three on Curry Pike and others on Vernal Pike and Liberty Drive.

Standing Room Only – Evidence-Based Probation

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On Thursday September 5, Monroe Circuit Court Probation Department conducted a presentation to report on becoming an evidence-based organization. The new system changed the scope and focus of the Probation Department’s policies. The upgrades were implemented to reduce the recidivism rate of offenders. The main speaker was Linda Brady, Chief Probation Officer here in Monroe County. This event was recorded on location at by Community Access Television Services  for Standing Room Only, on WFHB.

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