I threw some 20 questions at Dom Nozzi, keynote speaker for this year's BIONEERS Conference, being held on the weekend of Oct. 19 in IU Fine Arts building. Nozzi will also give a presentation at City Hall on the Oct. 22 for the Livable Cities speaker series.
The BIONEERS events on the IU campus include a live simul-cast via satellite of the presenters speaking at the BIONEERS Conference in San Rafael, California, a panel on Local Food Security & Nozzi's keynote.
MR: Will there be any differences between your Keynote speech during the BIONEERS conference on the IU campus & your presentation for the Livable Cities event at City Hall?
DN: I have been asked to make essentially the same presentation at both venues (sprawl, traffic congestion, and quality of life), but intend to emphasize environmental issues w/ BIONEERS.
Kerwin Olson, outreach coordinator for the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana (CAC), has been beating the southern Indiana bushes lately hoping to inspire Hoosier consumers to become concerned and involved with an new opposition movement -- a movement composed of grassroots citizenry, advocacy groups and environmental organizations from across the state.
Olson asks citizen to oppose a new Duke Energy coal-gasification power plant and to help a growing movement of utility consumers fighting rate hikes.
Duke has petitioned the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to build a new 630-megawatt coal-gasification plant. So the CAC, Sierra Club, Save the Valley and Valley Watch intervened to request that the proposal be denied.
Brandon Pitcher, a representative of Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives, or ZERI, made a few appearances recently in Bloomington to showcase ecologically oriented systems design concepts and innovative projects from around the world.
"I'm a native of Indiana, and am currently pursuing a masters degree in Systems Design at the Politecnico di Torino in Torino, Italy," said Pitcher. "Among my professors is Fritjof Capra, the author of The Tao of Physics and The Hidden Connections."
Pitcher has given presentations about sustainable design techniques and the need for a more holistic paradigm in business practices at the United Nations University in Tokyo and the Royal Academy of Sciences in Sweden. He has also worked to inspire elementary school students in Indiana and Italy.
Danise Alano, assistant director of economic development in the mayor's office, is the staff liaison to the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability and also the coordinator of the city's new Team Green.
Team Green's purpose is to examine internal city operations and city-owned facilities and find new ways to enhance efficiency and conservation efforts.
Alano will facilitate communication between these entities and attributes the inception of Team Green to Karen Sullivan, a SPEA Service Corps student and intern in the mayor's office.
Keith Clay, an IU biology professor and member of the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability, recently told the commission that IU has approved construction of a Research and Teaching Preserve, which will be built with environmental considerations in mind.
"It should be a first, but not a last, for IU, and I think that the IU architects and engineers are pretty excited about this project," said Clay.
The project has been in the works for few years and was not originally intended as a "green" building, said Clay, who was involved with a Commitment to Excellence proposal to the IU Board of Trustees in 2002.
"The proposal would support four new faculty members and build a modest lab for teaching and research in the Griffy Woods portion of the IU Research and Teaching Preserve," Clay said. "This proposal was funded, and they committed approximately $800,000 for the building project, including site preparation, equipment, communications infrastructure, etc."
Brian Steidle is a former Marine who was charged with "observing" and documenting the conflict as the U.S. representative to the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Darfur from September 2004 to February 2005.
Following this fact-finding mission in the region, Steidle decided to devote his time to speaking out about what he experienced, sharing his records with the public and promoting strategies for action.
Steidle's current Tour for Darfur: Eyewitness to Genocide is a 21,000-mile speaking tour of 22 cities in 11 states to promote the "Million Voices for Darfur" campaign, sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition and more than 150 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations.
The tour will stop in Bloomington on March 30 and 31, where Steidle will speak at the Kelley School of Business and the First Presbyterian Church.
Ann Roth, a 2002 graduate from IU who studied Sociology and Nonprofit Management, has worked and volunteered in Bloomington and Central and South America over the past few years. Upon graduation, she worked full-time at the Shalom Community Center on Fourth Street, a soup kitchen, day service center and place to be for the hungry, homeless and poor of Bloomington.
She spent a year as Volunteer/Resource Coordinator at Shalom Community Center and also, during that time, volunteered with the Nonprofit Alliance for Monroe County. For the past two years she has spent half of her time in the US and half abroad.
While in the US, Roth has worked in low-wage and unpaid labor like temp work, day labor and caring for family members, which she feels has "aided me in a search for authenticity I felt I lacked as a woman from the middle-class working in anti-poverty programs."
Students from IU and around the world will simultaneously mobilize on Oct. 15 to denounce the government of the Republic of Belarus by marching in solidarity to protest the Aleksander Lukashenka administration.
Belarus is an eastern European nation and former Soviet satellite where, activists charge, the Lukashenka government has falsified election results, beat peaceful protestors, instigated the murders of journalists and politicians, and censored independent media.
On campuses, local parks and city streets, participants in the Worldwide Walk for Democracy in Belarus will protest what they consider an unconstitutional referendum held by Lukashenka on Oct. 17, 2004 to extend his rule.
Students for Global Democracy was started in Bloomington a year and a half ago by IU student Charlie Szrom. It has since grown to include chapters around the United States and as far abroad as Ghana and Taiwan.
Cuba caravan blocked
The Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba that passed through Bloomington on July 11 to pick up material humanitarian aid, particularly special needs technology like wheelchairs and hearing aids, was stopped at the U.S./Mexican border and computers and electronics were seized by the Department of Commerce at the behest of the State Department.
The first bus to reach the border was off-loaded of most anything electronic. A second bus was unloaded by the Caravanistas themselves and supplies were taken over the border on foot. Two buses have crossed into Mexico.
The rest of the Caravan has regrouped and set up an encampment about a half-mile from the international bridge. Tents, chairs, lights, water, and coolers were provided by the Hidalgo, Texas, police chief. The supplies had been on hand in anticipation of Hurricane Emily.
- Multi-media competition
- Bloomington Media Arts Group
- Museum of the person
- Eco music studio
The Tree City Arts Competition is Mayor Mark Kruzan's way of celebrating 21 years of Bloomington's designation as a "Tree City USA." There is no entry fee, but submissions are limited to one original piece per artist.
The contest is open to Monroe County residents of all ages. Work must be dropped off on August 11 or 12 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the City Hall Atrium at 401 N. Morton St.
All work must have trees as its central theme. Artwork can be no larger than 48-by-48 inches. Two-dimensional pieces must be ready to hang. For more details on prize information and registration, call (812) 349-3569 or see the city's Web site: ... .