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Bloomington Arts Project Grant Money Grows

The City of Bloomington Arts Commission has announced that revised guidelines and applications are available for the April Cycle of its 2014 Arts Project Grant Program.Grant amounts have been increased to $1,500 for 2014.

The program supported 34 arts projects in 2013. The Commission will hold a drop-in workshop for applicants on Wednesday, March 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the McCloskey Conference room in City Hall.

Grant applications that have been submitted will be reviewed during the Bloomington Arts Commission meeting, scheduled to take place on April 9 at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The application deadline is April 1 at 5 p.m. Guidelines and applications are available on the City of Bloomington Website.

 

Daily Local News – February 24, 2014

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On February 18th the Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners accepted the donation of a piece of equipment one official described as the heart of the city’s ice arena; The Monroe County Public Library’s Board of Trustees discussed factors that influence circulation at a meeting last Wednesday. Library Director Sara Laughlin told the board that a new report shows changes in how patrons use the Library; The Indiana University Kelley School of Business announced today that they have awarded a one million dollar United States Department for International Development grant to support the economic transition of the Asian sovereign state Myanmar; The Indiana Senate passed House Bill 1070 last week, written by State Representative Peggy Mayfield, which requires all successors of the Department of Corrections Ombudsman to post monthly reports on conducted investigations.

FEATURE
Five weeks from tomorrow, Bloomington’s only low-barrier homeless shelter is scheduled to close for the season. The closure leaves a seven-month gap when individuals who don’t qualify for other shelters in town have no designated place to stay at night. But a group has been meeting in recent weeks to form a summer shelter that would fill that gap. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford brings us the story for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Karen Franks talks about the mission, programs, and upcoming events for MCPL’s Friends of the Library.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Olivia DeWeese and Daion Morton,
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer today is Chris Martin,
Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

HJR-3 Update

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Today, the Indiana Senate had its final vote on House Joint Resolution 3, the same-sex marriage ban. The Senate was voting on a version of the bill as amended by the lower house. A vote in favor of HJR-3 would effectively suspend the attempt to put a ban on same-sex marriage before voters on this fall’s ballot. A vote against the bill would defeat it. Either way the issue will be suspended until another legislator might propose something similar. Most senators spoke against the same sex marriage ban as a civil rights issue. One of these was local Democratic Senator Mark Stoops.

“When I first started hearing about this discussion at the state house, obviously I wasn’t a legislator at the time,” said Stoops. “But my first thought wasn’t just that ‘oh, this is going to be embarrassing for the state, it puts us in the spotlight’. It’s not the fact that we’re going to lose out on economic development because people aren’t going to want to come here. It seemed to me that the main issue with a resolution like this is basic civil rights.”

Senator Stoops went on to explain how placing a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution would entrench discrimination in what should be a rights document:

“I mean, we all have friends, co-workers, and family that we know are gay. Are we as legislators, and are you as senators, going to look at those friends and those co-workers and those family members and say, ‘With this vote, I am saying I’m a better person than you, I am more moral than you, and I’m more deserving of basic civil rights’? Because if you support this amendment, that’s exactly what you’re going to be saying.”

Another legislator, Democratic Senator Greg Taylor from District 33 in Central Indiana, drew parallels with prohibitions on interracial marriage.

“Nineteen sixty-seven in Indiana,” began Taylor,  “I met a couple, a friend of mine’s mom and dad, the first interracial couple to be married in the state of Indiana. You want to know why? Because it was illegal. That was supposed to protect the institution of marriage.”

He then talked about how such prohibitions would have affected him personally:

“Nineteen ninety-nine, I had the opportunity on May 15, 1999 – I hope my wife remembers I said that because I remember our anniversary date – to marry my wife. She happens to be caucasian. Folks, times change. Times will always change. I love my wife to death. I don’t care what culture she has, I don’t care what race she has. Can you believe that there was a time in this state when me and my wife couldn’t be married? Now we sit here with this issue.”

Shortly after his speech to the Senate, the majority voted for the amended version of HJR-3. Despite voting for legislation to discriminate against same-sex couples, this vote makes makes it impossible to place a referendum on the 2014 ballot for voters to constitutionally entrench the same-sex ban. However, it does not preclude attempts by state legislators to attempt to enact such a ban in the future. While Indiana has been debated such discriminatory legislation, other states and the federal government have been moving to permit same sex marriage and extend the benefits of marriage to these couples. While the courts have taken the lead in striking down discriminatory laws and regulations at both levels of government, legislators have stopped trying to resist the tide in what has become the civil rights issue the age. The pressure of public opinion and organization interest in favor of expanding marriage rights is forcing governments here and abroad to either resist calls to legalize sexual discrimination or revisit such laws already passed.

 

EcoReport – February 13, 2014

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Matthew Gouff and Sartak Neema, IN-PIRG representatives at IU, discuss their “Put a Label On It” campaign concerning GMO labeling.

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.

Anchors: Kristina Wiltsee and Kelly Miller
This week’s news stories were written by 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.

Daily Local News – February 10, 2014

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Phone users in Southern Indiana should receive notices this month from their service providers, concerning the introduction of a new area code for the region and changes in phone dialing protocol that will accompany the change; The deadline to sign up for healthcare insurance under the Affordable Care
Act is March 31st; Duke Energy, the state’s largest electricity supplier, is seeking more power from the sun; The Monroe County Board of Zoning Appeals voted February 5th to deny a homeowner’s request to build a second story onto his cabin north of Lake Lemon.

FEATURE
Bill Passes Indiana House to Bring Accountability to DOC
The Indiana state prison system has made headlines several times in recent years for issues related to treatment of inmates. In 2012, a federal judge ruled the Department of Corrections violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment when it put mentally ill prisoners in isolation. That same year a 26-year-old first-time drug offender died due to what her family’s attorneys now say was poor health care from the Department. And last month inmates at the Westville Correctional Facility went on a hunger strike after cutbacks to their meal programs, which inmates said posed health risks. Now Peggy Mayfield, a Republican state representative whose district stretches from the west side of Bloomington into Morgan County, has introduced a bill she says would bring more accountability to the Department of Corrections. The bill passed the House and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate tomorrow. WFHB Assistant News Director Joe Crawford spoke with Mayfield about the bill for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

ACTIVATE!
Linda Stines, secretary for the Board of Directors of the Monroe County History Center, gives a preview of upcoming exhibitions in February and talks about the History Center gala later in the month.

CREDITS
Anchors: Ally Tsimekles, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy, Mike Glab, and Ally Tsimekles
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford.
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker,
Our engineer  is Chris Martin,
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Cold Wet Indiana Weather to Continue

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It’s been an unusually cold winter so far, and that is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks. The national weather service office has released data that places the mean average temperature for January at twenty-three-point-one degrees, as recorded at its Bloomington station. This average was over six degrees below the long-term average for the month, and Bloomington had less than average precipitation. However, as the local station does not  differentiate between rain and snow forms of precipitation, snow probably dominated as temperatures were lower than average, and as it stayed on the ground for longer than usual. Dave Tusek, at the Indianapolis office of the weather service, explains that this cold weather has been here since the Fall.

“We started that pattern really back in November time frame. It kind of reached a crescendo during the month of January in which the polar vortex, or the coldest air in the northern hemisphere, ended up over on our side of the hemisphere. So we were below normal for, I believe, the month of November, below normal for December, and here again below normal for the month of January, so more or less a continuation, just an amplification and deepening of that trough as we went on through the winter months,” said Tusek.

Tusek mentioned the polar vortex, which has been responsible for this year’s cold pattern. This has brought the coldest temperatures in the northern hemisphere down to the region, between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. While we did experience some brief breaks of unseasonably warm weather, the extremely low positioning of the arctic vortex over the U.S. midwest has persisted for the last several months.

“That’s not uncommon to see kind of an up and down ride, if you will, in regard to your temperatures from day to day,” said Tusek. “And that was simply tied to a likely weather system that moved across the southern Great Lakes and drew warm air up from the south. But that was also, if you continue looking at the daily records, we eventually dropped back to highs around freezing and lows in the teens or a little below normal. So it’s not unusual to see this pattern persist, but to that extent in time, that’s not all that common.”

He explains that the arctic vortex has been pulled far south by the jet stream. This upper atmospheric, fast moving stream of air follows a wave pattern across the northern hemisphere. Weather systems tend to be trapped on either side of the stream. Unfortunately for us, the wave sitting over the continental U.S. had dipped unusually far to the south, and it has not moved east as it usually does. This trough has drawn cold air from the arctic to the south. By contrast, the unusually high ridge of this wave is sitting to the far north over the western part of North America, bringing that region unseasonably warm temperatures with much less than normal precipitation. The historic drought happening in California is a manifestation of this pattern. Unusually, this wave is moving a little to the west, which will bring some intermittent periods of warmer, wetter weather. Tusek provides us with weather predictions for February:

“For the month of February, expect to see our conditions more or less near normal. As we look at this larger-scale pattern that I referenced before, it’s undergoing a de-amplification. So that means instead of having really sharp ridges and troughs with extremes underneath the ridge in the way of warm and dry and in the trough cold and wet, it’s becoming what we refer to as a more zonal pattern, and with that, that means that our air will be arriving more often from the Pacific Ocean with each weather system that comes in, as opposed to coming in with arctic air. Now, that’s not to say the arctic air won’t follow on its heels because that is going to continue to happen. We certainly have some cold ahead of us here in the coming week or so, but that is expected to transition.”

So, Hoosiers will continue to experience colder and wetter weather during February, broken up by more frequent and longer episodes of warm and dry conditions, as daylight increases and the sun moves north.

Volunteer Connection – December 13, 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 – New Years

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Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks you to reflect on 2013 and speculate what is to come in 2014.

EcoReport – Marcia Veldman: Bloomington Citizen’s Climate Lobby

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In today’s EcoReport feature, Bloomington Citizen’s Climate lobby co-leader Marcia Veldman talks with correspondent  Norm Holy about the organization’s goal of promoting energy produced from non-fossil fuel sources.

Pence on Education

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On Tuesday December 10th Indiana Governor Mike Pence outlined his agenda for handling Hoosier education in 2014.   He praised Indiana standardized test scores and announced an initiative to provide grants directly to teachers, and stressed innovation in education. Highlights from his speech, here for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

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