Elizabeth Dilts

December 3, 2006

The ordeal began 18 months ago for David Baas, when he learned the Kirkwood property his Roadworthy Guitar & Amp shop had occupied for 10 years was facing "some kind of work on that corner."

After scouring the market, Baas became a bittersweet beneficiary of the plans former Mayor John Fernandez has for Baas's former place of business.

With a year and a half to look, Baas signed a lease on the old Stewart's Gun Shop at 115 S. Walnut St. and drew up the blueprints himself one night — "really just a piece of graph paper and a ruler." After roughly a month of construction the shop opened in October.

"It was what they call a vanilla box when they gave it to me, and I made into a store," Baas said of the property Roadworthy now occupies.

December 3, 2006

When the corner of Tenth and Grant was All Ears, employees were hired for musical taste. When it became Wedge Furniture, managers looked for design-conscious workers. The hiring requirements of 401 E. Tenth Street's current inhabitants are a little more niche-oriented.

"Everyone who works here has pretty much ridden everything from road to BMX to mountain to road to cyclo-cross bicycling," said Brad Titzer. "It's pretty much a requirement. We're big bike nerds and big coffee nerds."

Titzer owns Revolution Bike & Bean, the combination bicycle sales, repair and full-service coffee shop. The one quality that unites employees at this unconventional revolution is passion.

November 19, 2006

Indiana University student radio might be forced off the air before January if the FCC approves a building permit for WYGB Korn Country, a radio station out of Columbus.

Campus-based WIUX has been broadcasting for 11 months as a Low Power FM (LPFM) station. FCC regulations give priority to Class A commercial radio stations like WYGB over non-commercial, LPFM stations like WIUX.

"It's called 'displacement,' that's the FCC term, which I guess is the eminent domain of radio," said Zach Pollakoff, WIUX station manager. "The FCC will clear a Class A station, even if it interferes with a LPFM station, which it does."

October 22, 2006

A new study released by the citizens group Bloomington Transportation Options for People (BTOP) shows that the city's three downtown parking garages are vastly underused.

According to the study, when the parking garages were at their peak fullness, there were still 591 empty spaces.

"It shows that the parking garages are not well utilized," said BTOP Director Laurence Brown.

The study finds fault with the city's parking policies at a time when the Kruzan administration is proposing new regulations for downtown businesses and considering a new $4.7 million, taxpayer-subsidized parking garage for Finelight Communications and Strategic Marketing.

October 8, 2006

In Bloomington activist history, Lucille Bertuccio is legendary. Known for, among other things, protests against deforestation, it's a character-telling anecdote that she once shouted, "Get your hands off me, I'm an old woman!" to police officers as they arrested her at a protest.

Bertuccio has mellowed some these days, committing most of her time to teaching wild edible plants and horticulture classes at IU and tending her natural habitat garden. With Oct. 20 marking the opening of the 17th Bioneers Conference, the

Alternative sought her thoughts on this year's video conference.

A Bioneers slogan is, "It's all alive, it's all intelligent, it's all connected."

"It is all relative, because we are connected to this planet genetically. That's why so many things can affect us, why bacteria can affect us. Genetically we've got more in common.

October 8, 2006

There's much more to this year's Simply Bioneers Satellite Conference weekend than the virtual speakers. Starting Friday night, Oct. 20, there will be speakers, workshops, organic wine-tasting and a group hike all held locally.

Keynote Address: Tony Hiss

Tony Hiss will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Buskirk-Chumley. Hiss is the author of The Experience of Place, which addresses the restoration of America's cities and landscapes. His book has been instrumental in rearing sustainable transportation and environmental policies in some of the largest cities in America.

Hiss's approach to environmentalism through sociology typifies the Bioneer's philosophy. He will also speak of his forthcoming book, From Place to Place, in which he suggests solutions to the transportation issues of urban sprawl.

October 8, 2006

Three construction workers are laying cement. No, not in a bar, but stay with me. One is flattening the cement with a shovel, one is using a broom to sweep the cement into a pattern, and one is "supervising" the other men's physical labor. The "supervisor" says to a young woman walking past, "See him sweep? He's gonna make a real good wife someday."

In reality, this isn't a joke. It's what the supervisor of the men laying the sidewalks on my street said to me last week. I admit, I laughed at first. By telling me this joke, the supervisor was including me in his upper crust. We, together, could laugh at the man who was sweeping, clearly a weak, submissive job.

Seconds later I thought my suffragette grandmothers must have been rolling over in their graves. How dare I be so arrogant in my virtually non-challenged young womanhood to laugh at a woman joke. I, so pampered by the benefits that my sisters and mothers battled misogynistic iniquities to bless me with, just laughed at a woman joke!

September 24, 2006

On June 30, Peter Paladino sold his property at 12th and Walnut to Cheryl Underwood of Aronis & Underwood, the 25-year Bloomington real estate mainstay.

The following morning, every tenant at 825 N. Walnut found a letter from Aronis & Underwood Realty in their mailboxes.

The letters were addressed to each of the three tenants: Ransom Haile of External Design Tattoo Parlor; Bethann Knox of Giggles and Gifts, an adult lingerie, floral and massage therapy store; and Lowell Hoover of Polyphase Microwave, a microwave instrument retail store.

The first sentence of Haile's letter stated, "As your lease is a month-to-month lease, we are giving you 30 days notice to vacate the premises you lease."

September 10, 2006

There's a new way to be green in Bloomington. The Australian franchise Cartridge World, a line of stores that recycles by refilling the ink in printer cartridges, has opened on South College Mall Road.

"We have a dual focus because we're saving our clients money, but we're also keeping stuff out of the landfill," said Julie Thomas, part owner. "We are locally owned and operated, but we're also green."

Ink cartridges have a known 450-year decomposition time, and it's possible that laser cartridges take even longer. Ink and laser cartridges also cost around $40 retail. Cartridge World offers the refilling of ink cartridges for half the retail price of a new cartridge.

August 27, 2006

For students, it might be the Sunday afternoon hearty breakfast. For regulars, it's the coffee and large iced tea that's waiting at their seats before they even get there. For life-long return customers, it's the fact that it's still there.

Customers have their own reasons to love Ladyman's Cafe, and when it closed due to a fire last May, they shared them. Over the last six months, Ladyman's owner Dana Reynolds left out a notebook that customers filled with answers to the question: What did you miss most about Ladyman's?

Now that Ladyman's faces an uncertain future, that question has invited even more sentiment.

What follows are comments reported verbatim from those written by customers in Dana's notebook. Though we could not fit everyone's comments, we selected some of the more poignant.

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