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Bloomington Plan Commission Delays Decision For Lots Under Construction on Kirkwood

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The Bloomington Plan Commission held off on making a decision October 7th about the first phase of a major development project downtown along Kirkwood Avenue. The Bloomington-based firm, GMS-Pavilion Properties, has proposed development on five different lots downtown. The project would include new apartments and a new building for Old National Bank. Planning Department Director Tom Micuda described the project as an opportunity for the city and that the sites are a rare opportunity for key development.

Although Micuda said the project presented an opportunity, he went on to recommend denial of the proposal before the commission. That proposal included details for just one of the five lots that are part of the overall project.

“We’ve been looking for a comprehensive proposal for these properties,” Micuda says, “We wanted to give you the opportunity to look at a plan for all four lots and be able to look at diverse opportunities for new development. Ultimately, we weren’t able to get that.”

The building before the commission would be located on the southeast corner of Kirkwood and Lincoln. It is proposed to be three stories tall and include the new Old National Bank as well as eighteen apartments.

Steve Hoffman, with GMS-Pavilion Properties, said the firm tried to negotiate with city planners for almost a year.

“We have come an extremely long way in our discussions with the planning staff,” Hoffman says, “And we feel that we’ve worked pretty well with them.”

Hoffman said the firm reduced the number of apartments in the overall plan, at the request of planning staff. He said they also included owner-occupied condos, and what he called a fifty-foot boutique hotel, again to accommodate concerns from staff.

But he said the negotiations hit roadblocks when it came to the details. For example, Hoffman said the firm was willing to commit to building the hotel, but not to designing the building until they found a company to run it.

Micuda said the developers did suggest compromises. But he said their original proposal, which was almost all residential buildings, was so far from the Planning Department’s vision for the area that those compromises didn’t go far enough.

“There are times where we did get close, but I would not describe the city as completely unreasonable,” Micuda says, “In fact fairly early in the process, the city was straightforward in our vision for the properties. We put that information out early enough so we could reach to an agreement.”

The commission sided mostly with the Planning Department, saying they wanted a comprehensive plan for the five lots. Commission member Chris Sturbaum said the approval process might seem difficult to the developers, but he said it was that way for good reason.

“People complain about the process, but it’s like sausage: the more you work at it, the better the end product will be,” Sturbaum says, “Kirkwood is worth it and we can have the same kind of discussions if we can satisfy this legitimate concern and desire for diversity on Kirkwood.

Commission member Joe Hoffman suggested the overall project be brought forward at a future meeting as a planned unit development, or PUD. A PUD is a way of grouping multiple buildings with different uses into a single plan.

No decision was made about whether to use the PUD framework, but the Commission voted unanimously to delay a vote on the project until a future meeting.

As Government Shutdown Continues, Local Group ‘Concerned Citizens’ Holds Rally In Front Of Rep. Todd Young’s Office

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Despite it being closed and empty, a demonstration took place yesterday outside of Representative Todd Young’s Bloomington office, to protest his role in the federal shutdown.

A local group called the Concerned Citizens of Monroe County held a rally at the Showers Plaza office of Congressman Young, to demand he put aside partisan interests and work to end the shutdown.

It came together by a group of concerned citizens that weren’t all Democrats, although many were, says Trent Deckard, Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party.

“We’re concerned about the shutdown and we wanted to voice our opinions to Congressman Young and let him know this is having an effect on folks,” Deckard says.

A furloughed federal employee spoke for the group along with other people voicing their concerns.

Unfortunately for the attendees, there was no one at the office to hear the protest, or speak to any of the protesters.

“The door was closed, the lights were off and there was a sign saying it was closed indefinitely,” Deckard says, “Congress is exempt from the shutdown and Young could have chosen to have his office open with a skeleton staff. We decided to do this last Thursday and there were 80 people there. I’m sure at some point he caught knowledge of this but he didn’t have anyone there. We had a closed door facing us and that’s kind of reflective of how things are but we went ahead anyway.”

In light of his status as Chair of the County Democrats, we asked Deckard if he could offer any predictions about how these issues will pan out – whether to continue funding government operations at least until December, and whether to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a federal default.

“I never thought the shutdown would get this far,” Deckard says, “While I watch the news, I think to myself that surely it will work out but I’m getting more and more skeptical. Mr. Young needs to come forward and say that he is representing folks in Indiana that need services in this healthcare bill. Until he says this, Ted Cruz and those driving the position will keep pushing their agenda and that doesn’t reflect who we are in Indiana. As we get closer and closer to Thursday, it’s hard to stay optimistic.”

The deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling is this Thursday. If a resolution is not passed by Congress and signed by the President by then, the government will be prevented from borrowing funds to fund the deficit and debt, effectively creating a debt default.

The latest report from Washington is that the most recent effort to end the impasse has failed.

Daily Local News – October 15, 2013

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The Strike Mic: a musical and informational event will address the recent layoffs of Indiana University staff;Despite it being closed and empty, a demonstration took place yesterday outside of Representative Todd Young’s Bloomington office, to protest his role in the federal shutdown; This Thursday Bloomington will host the Third Annual South Central Indiana VA Stand Down.

FEATURE
Monroe County Affordable Care Act Resources
The City of Bloomington, IU Health Bloomington, and the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County are partnering for a series of informational events to help citizens understand the recent Affordable Care Act provisions that went into effect at the beginning of the month. WFHB correspondent David Murphy speaks with David Meyer, organizer for the Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Did you know that Americans spend eight billion dollars celebrating Halloween? Ashley and Sarah walk you through the typical spending and some places to save, while still having a fun and safe holiday on the Ins and Outs of Money, our weekly segment providing economic education to keep your budget balanced, and connecting you to community resources that keep your finances flourishing.

CREDITS
Anchors: Shayne Laughter, Nick Tumino
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Today’s feature was produced by Harrison Wagner
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and Untied of Monroe County
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Daily Local News – October 11, 2013

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Cable Access Television Services producers at the Monroe County Public Library won four awards at the Philo Festival of Media Arts last Saturday; On October 3rd the Ellettsville Plan Commission debated several major amendments to the town’s zoning laws; Researchers at Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and the Maurer School of Law, have been awarded a four year grant from the National Institute of Justice; The Indiana University Foundation has appointed Joyce Q. Rogers as vice president for development and external relations for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs, and as senior advisor for strategic development initiatives; This weekend in local sports.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Yin Yuan, Yvonne Cheng, Allison Schroeder, and Jalisa Ransom,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

bloomingOUT – October 10, 2013

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African American drag king performer and filmmaker KB Boyce and queer Asian-American activist and artist Celeste Chan stop by the studio to chat about the production company they founded in San Francisco for queer artists of color called Queer Rebels Productions.  They also provide information about their film series “Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance” showing at the IU Cinema Friday night 11 October. President of Black Equity Indy Sinceray Jackson is in studio to discuss various issues related to racism that especially effect the black queer community.

 

www.queerrebels.com

www.blackequityindy.org

 

Producer Carol Fischer

Executive producer Alycin Bektesh

Associate Producers Sarah Hetrick and Nick Tumino

News Director Josh Vidrich

Original theme music provided by Mikial Robertson

Announcer and board engineer Sarah Hetrick

Daily Local News – October 4, 2013

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Members of the Bloomington City Council expressed support for next year’s budget at a recent hearing; A local organization called Affordable Care Act Volunteers of Monroe County will host a series of events, aiming to help the public sign up for the insurance provided by the act.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa and Yin Yuan,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Volunteer Connection is produced by Wanda Krieger, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – October 1, 2013

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The Hoosier National Forest, with land throughout our listening area, has begun preparations for shutting down operations until a budget is passed; Local management and labor at the Bloomington GE Appliance plant are in protracted over how the elimination of one hundred and sixty production jobs will be handled; WFHB launches the first on-location report of the resistance to IU’s administrative actions on: The Strike Mic.

FEATURE
Young on Stalemate
A House Budget Bill with a provision of a one-year Affordable Care Act Delay was rejected by the Senate late last night, causing a stalemate on the eve of the budget due date that caused a spending freeze on all federal operations, beginning today. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh spoke with Indiana Congressman Todd Young about what the spending freeze means and what will resolve the congressional stalemate, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Ashley and Sarah share some scary stories of financial woe, and offer ways to fight debt demons and money monsters onThe Ins and Outs of Money, our weekly segment providing economic education to keep your budget balanced, and connecting you to community resources that help you keep your finances flourishing.

CREDITS
Anchors: Shayne Laughter, Harrison Wagner
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy,
and today’s feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh.
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and Untied of Monroe County
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 27, 2013

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Chad Roeder explains what led him to close the downtown recycling center temporarily; The United Way Campaign Kick-Off began fundraising today with a picnic at IU Memorial Stadium; At a meeting on Monday the Bloomington Utilities Service Board heard an update from the company it hired to study the expenses of the Utilities Department; The Association of Indiana Counties announced Wednesday that Monroe County received the 2013 Local Government Cooperation Award.

FEATURE
The Anonymous People
Local organizations that provide support for those with substance abuse addictions have come together to create the documentary film “The Anonymous People to Bloomington.” WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh speaks with Kris Roehling  and Jill Matheny-Fuqua, both currently in recovery themselves, about the grassroots effort to bring the film to town, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive. Information about tickets is available at the following website: http://gathr.us/screening/5351.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Allison Schroeder and Yin Yuan,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh,
Volunteer Connection is produced by Ilze Ackerbergs, in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 13, 2013

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Senator Dan Coats, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a statement this week announcing his disagreement with the authorization of a U.S. military strike against Syria; The Bloomington Plan Commission rejected a plan Monday to relocate the Taste of India restaurant; This week the Bloomington City Council heard from residents who are unhappy with plans to demolish six historic houses on West 8th Street to make way for a fraternity house; The playground at Bloomington’s Winslow Woods Park, on South Highland Avenue, will be closed until September 19th and is slated to reopen the next day.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Alycin Bektesh, Roscoe
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Volunteer Connection is produced in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Our Engineer is Harrison Wagner,
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Daily Local News – September 6, 2013

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The USDA released their latest report: Household Food Security in the United States in 2012; On September 4th the Monroe County Board of Zoning Appeals gave permission to build a house on a lot that is smaller than allowed by County ordinances; The documentary “Black Gold” will be showing at the IU cinema this weekend, hosted by Fair Trade Bloomington.

FEATURE
HIP Changes
Indiana Governor Mike Pence has turned down incoming Affordable Care Act funds in exchange for extending the current Healthy Indiana Plan through December 2014. WFHB News Director Alycin Bektesh has the story, for today’s Daily Local News feature exclusive.

VOLUNTEER CONNECTION
Local organizations scout the listening area for service help on Volunteer Connection, linking YOU to current volunteer opportunities in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Helen Harrell, Roscoe Medlock
Today’s headlines were written by Lauren Glapa,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services
Volunteer Connection was produced by Ilze Ackerbergs,  in partnership with the city of Bloomington Volunteer Network.
Harrison Wagner is our broadcast engineer
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

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