Sophia Travis

August 7, 2005

I can't remember a state agency going into as drawn-out and embarrassing a tailspin as the one the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) finds itself in. Every week seems to bring a new revelation of a botched forecast, a miscalculated statistic, or a suddenly depleted coffer — and the trend shows no sign of abating.

What the heck is going on in the state office building?

At first the Daniels administration responded to the scandal with a state-level version of the national administration's playbook, namely blame everyone but themselves (nationally known also as the "blame-it-on-Clinton" strategy). That meant sending sycophants far and wide, to every high school gym, every Rotary Club lunch, and every newspaper office, with one simple message: "This is how it was when we got here."

But it's been eight months now, and, with Indiana ever mirroring what's going on nationally, the Republican's control of the Governor's office and both the Indiana Senate and House conspire to make their "the buck stops anywhere but here" strategy ring hollow.

June 12, 2005

Were you a youth in Monroe County in the mid-1970s? During this time the governments of Bloomington and Monroe County partnered with Indiana University, MCCSC, and secured funding from the State of Indiana for a home for youth shelter services.

Intensive outreach, counseling services, and innovative programming continue today through relationships with the Juvenile Justice Task Force, a proactive Youth Services Advisory Board, and the Indiana Youth Services Association -- all under the mission-driven leadership of Monroe County Youth Services Bureau Director Ron Thompson.

The heart of the mission is a focus on preventing juvenile delinquency.

May 29, 2005

Can artists be served only through city government initiatives administered in the name of "economic development?"

Tune into WFHB on June 13th for the newly launched program Standing Room Only to find out. You'll hear Mayor Mark Kruzan, City Councilmen Chris Sturbaum & Tim Mayer, Bloomington City Arts Commissioners Mike Cagle and Chris Smith, and me in a BAAC sponsored forum on art, economics, and local government.

Gentrification, but some new ideas too

Good-bye rebellious flyering and hello "Quiet Nights" and non-smoking ordinances in the city. Forgive my nostalgia, but--everything's tidied up! For subversive art, you'll have to look much harder these days (thankfully, the county still offers refuge from some rules and ordinances).

February 27, 2005

First of all, I apologize for the lack of a column last week. I was traveling in Californ-I-yea and thought I could pull my old slacker skills out and write something for late publication on Sunday's return train trip. Of course I'd forgotten that The Bloomington Alternative is going to a new publication format that includes real paper and everything and that suddenly we had much stricter deadlines. It won't happen again. I promise.

What I was going to write about last week, and what I am going to write about today, was a rather remarkable sequence of events transpiring within and between Bloomington's city government and our community's pavement-is-progress adherents. It's novel that there is a distinction at all between those groups, as there hadn't been in previous two administrations. It's also novel that, for once, the pavement-is-progress adherents appear to be stumbling badly.

November 15, 2003

"Just a smile passing by is enough..." Tom Donohue, November 22, 1950-November 19, 2003

Those who crossed paths with Tom Donohue, proprietor of TD's CDs on Kirkwood, are now flooded with memories of his generous kindness and support of music, particularly local music. Losing Tom will be felt by all who have known him--be their acquaintanceship brief or long, in passing or intimate. No local businessperson is likely to match his subtle encouragement, his thoughtful suggestions, or his wry humor.

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