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IU, After Local Pressure, Alters Plan To Demolish 6 Historic Houses

Indiana University will be deciding this week on the fate of six historic Bloomington houses.

Last year, IU announced plans to build a new law school facility on land currently occupied by Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house, commonly known as FeeGee. IU agreed to build a new facility for the fraternity on the 800 block of E 8th St which is part of the University Courts historic district. The area has been placed on the state historic register since 1992 and on the national historic register since 2007.

Alarm over IU’s demolition plan of the homes prompted the City of Bloomington to place the district on its list of local historic districts this spring. This designation requires city approval for any development plan in the area, but there is dispute as to whether state owned property would be exempt from the city purview. A legal opinion solicited by Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana found credible argument for the designation to apply to the demolition of the eight street homes even though they are owned by IU.

Beyond the legal rights, IU has come under considerable pressure from the local residents, the Historic Preservation Commission of the City, members of City Council and the Mayor, to preserve the houses slated for demolition, and according to an agenda released today, IU seems to have listened.

The IU Trustees Facilities Committee will be looking at a new proposal that would move four of the houses a block to the west, while still demolishing two properties. Philip Eskew, an IU trustee and chair of Facilities Committee, explains what prompted the alteration of the plan.

“We’ve worked with the mayor, the council and the historical group in Bloomington to listen to their concerns,” Eskew says. “We are recommending to the trustees that we change what we had initially said tearing down the houses and instead move the four worthy of being saved.”

Eskew affirmed that the university believes that it has the legal right to dispose of the houses any way it sees fit.

A bill introduced into the Indiana legislature earlier this year by local state representative Matt Pierce would have required public institutions seeking to demolish, move or change the exterior of a university building within a historic preservation district to obtain a certificate of appropriateness before commencing work.

In Bloomington, it would be the City’s Historic Preservation Commission that would control the certification process. However, the bill failed to make it to the floor of the House in time for passage during this year’s session.

Nevertheless, the local pressure seems to have had some impact on IU.

“There were several groups, even neighbors, that spoke about the tearing down of the houses,” Eskew says. “I think this is a reaction to that and we’re trying to be good neighbors with the community, as we always have been.”

The meeting of the trustees that will be addressing this item will be on the South Bend Campus of IU.

Eskew says the committee will make a recommendation and act on the action items.

The Facilities Committee of the Trustees meeting on Thursday will be from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The full Trustees meeting on Friday will be from 12:45 to 2 p.m. Both will be in combined rooms 221, 223 and 225 of the Student Activity Center of IU South Bend. Both meetings are open to the public.

Bloomington’s Sister City, Santa Clara

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Since 2013, members of local organization Cubamistad  starting working on an application to travel to Bloomington’s sister city Santa Clara, Cuba. The application required that all activities in Cuba be spelled out on the itinerary and that it be a meaningful interaction for Cubans and US visitors alike. After repeated delays in getting a response from the Office of Foreign Assets Control -a part of the US treasury, the license was granted in the final days of December. Eleven locals made the two week trip, beginning May 18th. Cubamistad member Cynthia Roberts Hall made this audio travel journal, and shares the experience here,  for today’s Daily Local News feature exclusive.

WIUX to be Relocated after 40 Years of Broadcasting

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Indiana university plans to demolish six homes in the University Courts historic district and then transfer the land to the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, in exchange for their current home next to the law school. One resident of the historic homes – IU’s student radio station WIUX, was notified this month that they are being relocated a year earlier than expected, and need to be out of their home of the last 40 years by the middle of this month. WFHB News Director went to the station and spoke with outgoing station manger Joe Heath and incoming general manager Carolyn Suna, for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

bloomingOUT – June 12, 2014

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Documentarian and founder of Depressed Black Gay Men (DBGM) Inc. dedicated to raising awareness, changing and saving lives Antoine Craigwell provides organizational updates and discusses the importance of family members’ acceptance of black gay youth in preventing depression. Executive Director of Northwest Indiana’s Rainbow Serenity Brandon Wagman provides regional updates and highlights their 6th annual Pride Picnic in the Park to be held in Highland IN on Saturday 21 June from 12 noon to 5 pm. Featured artist is NYC singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nedra Johnson. Musical selections are “Love is Not Concerned,” “Working Hard for the Joneses,” “Where Will You Be” and “About A Girl.”

Producer Carol Fischer
Executive Producer Alycin Bektesh
Associate Producer Sarah Hetrick
News Director Josh Vidrich
Original Theme Music Mikial Robertson
Announcer Sarah Hetrick
Guest Co-Anchor Hannah Crouch

Local Live – The Gizmos: A WFHB Exclusive Interview

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We are joined by the legendary and newly reunited original Gizmos lineup for an exclusive interview! Tonight they will be taking the stage at The Bishop for the first time since 1977 as they embark on a world tour!

Local Live – Thee Tsunamis

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Ladies, rock n’ roll, and everything you need in life.

Songs:
1. Haunted House
2. Spellcaster Lounge
3. I Know
4. Kill Kill Kill
5. Female Trouble
6. Psycho
7. The Jitters

Producer/Host: Nichole O’Neal
Engineers: Jim Lang, Dan Withered, Ilsa
Executive Producer: Jim Manion

Interchange – Public Education: Dividing the Conquered

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Tonight we try to think about the way Public Education is politicized and the way that the politics of education as a system of social management has made secondary considerations of learning as a path to human flourishing. Unless of course you consider workforce training the path to a realization of your human potential. We raise the issue of our public education system as fulfilling a kind of economic function as well. Where else will Pearson Education sell their wares? Where else will Bill Gates dump all his technology products? The host is Doug Storm.

Joining us for this conversation are:

Cathy Fuentes-Rowher, Chair of the Monroe County/South Central Indiana branch of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education–a grassroots group of people who believe that fully funded and equitable public schools are essential for a healthy democracy.

Cathy Diersing, the School Leader of The Bloomington Project School: a Charter school.

Steve “Roc” Boncheck, a founder and Director of the Harmony School here in Bloomington. Harmony is an Independent school.

Activate! – Habitat for Humanity: Meagan Niese & Wendy Goodlit

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Meagan Niese and Wendy Goodlit from Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County talk about the Habitat volunteer experience and how you can become a part of the effort. To sign up, go to http://www.monroecountyhabitat.org/involved/volunteer.

Local Live – Brian

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Long-winded and full of folklore and stories, traveling musician Brian stops in the studio to share his tales from the road and observations on life.

Songs:
1. Who Is Jesus
2. Playing off the Scoundrel
3. Talkin’ Hard Heroes
4. The Businessman’s Daughter (Traditional)
5. It’s Time I Go
6. Talkin’ Goin’ Down The Road Broke Blues
7. Hello Bottle

Host/Producer: Nichole O’Neal
Engineers: Jim Lang, Dan Withered
Executive Producer: Jim Manion
Mixed by Jar

Local Live – Dakota Joe

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Bloomington roots duo Dakota Joe tear up the airwaves with their unique vocal harmonies and lighting fast pickin’.

Songs:
1. Possum Holler
2. Anywhere You Please
3. High Lonesome
4. The Ballad of Anna Lee
5. Harlan Co.

Hosted by Jar
Engineered by Jim Lang & Dan Withered
Executive Producer is Jim Manion

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