Casey Foundation report suggests 44 percent of American children in poverty

July 31, 2012

Downtown Bloomington, with its upscale restaurants, bustling bars and East Coast-style boutiques and nail salons – all brimming with the rich and their progeny – has always advanced a false image of the Southern Indiana town so many describe with utopian superlatives. The elite do indeed do well here. The state's richest man lived and died here. Indiana University professors, on average, knock down $128,400 a year, according to the American Association of University Professors. A handful of wealthy speculators, developers and their professional support networks have enriched themselves turning the city into a playground for the rich.

But for the rest, the latest 2012 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation presents a more accurate image of IU's allegedly idyllic hometown. Nearly three in 10 Monroe County children in 2011 were poor enough to receive free lunches in the county's two school systems, according to the annual report. Another 7 percent qualified for reduced-price lunches.

July 27, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Indiana’s Camp Atterbury one of 64 U.S. drone bases
  • Vote for Hyatt as the country’s worst hotel employer
  • Congressional opponents of women’s health attacking again
  • Happy 50th to Walmart
  • Global elite evades taxes to the tune of $21 trillion
  • Most minimum-wage workers at large, profitable companies
  • New Israeli ship operates without people on board
  • Petition demanding troop withdrawal from Afghanistan now
  • Judge prevents closure of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic
  • Activist arrested near White House for protesting hemp ban

July 26, 2012

News of Alexander Cockburn's death pierced my life force as if it were the passing of a friend, which he wasn't. For as long as I can recall, I've read his work in The Nation and CounterPunch. For the past decade, I have had the honor of my byline frequently appearing alongside his on CounterPunch, the radical, online journal he and Jeffrey St. Clair co-edited. Jeffrey, who has been a friend of mine since the mid-1980s, was one of his best friends. Through Jeff, I feel I knew Alex like a friend.

Given the events surrounding his final days, however, I will always feel a spiritual bond with Alex, the man I never knew. Early last week, I began reading what turned out to be his final piece – "Biggest Financial Scandal in Britain’s History, Yet Not a Single Occupy Sign; What Happened?" – in which his thoughts on the Occupy movement mirrored and focused my own, as usual. But I couldn't concentrate or finish it because I was fasting in preparation for cancer surgery in Indianapolis scheduled for July 18. The first thing I read when I got home on the 21st was Jeff's announcement that his friend Alex had died the day before at 71, of cancer.

New Hope, Martha's House will combine to maximize efficiency, expand services

July 25, 2012

Monroe County social service agencies are seeking alternative ways to raise revenues as private and public support for their missions decreases and the need for assistance increases. As bleak economic times cripple the impoverished community, agencies are turning to collaboration and merger to increase efficiency.

Local agencies receive public funding from two City of Bloomington sources – Jack Hopkins Social Service Program grants and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).

“The Hopkins fund is named after a city council member named Jack Hopkins who had this vision that this fund, completely independent of any state or federal influences, would be started locally, from our local tax base,” City Council and Hopkins Committee Member Andy Ruff said in an interview in his office in Sycamore Hall on July 22.

Citizen, physician concerns ignored by public-private conspiracy

July 24, 2012

In his state of the city address on Feb. 16, 2010, Bill Schmitt, mayor of the southern Indiana city of Jasper, addressed the topic of what to do with the city’s idle coal-fired power plant. One option, he said, according to the Dubois County Herald, would be to convert the plant to a “green-energy-producing facility.”

Little did anyone realize at the time that his comment would turn out to be an early salvo in what has become a bitter, protracted battle between the people of Jasper and their local government.

July 20, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Push for high-speed rail in Indiana
  • Earth First! temporarily halts fracking operation
  • Fossil fuels draining water supply in middle of drought
  • Four environmental victories in two weeks
  • Victory for baby sea turtles in Puerto Rico
  • Critical fight to save Alaska’s Bristol Bay wilderness
  • Problem at California nuclear power plant is worse than originally thought
  • Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 produce
  • Big polluters opposing EPA’s regulations on soot
  • Bureau of Land Management to safeguard public lands from fracking, with public pressure

Gallup: public confidence in corporate news at record lows

July 14, 2012

NBC News, if that's what it is or can still be called, devotes a substantial amount of resources to stories on opinion polls. Its website boasts five such reports between July 11 and 13, 2012. Their subjects range from American confidence in organized religion and "wealthy friendly" attitudes to a growing anti-bailout mood in Finland.

Not surprisingly, the former home of John Chancellor, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reported nary a word about a July 11 Gallup Poll that showed American confidence in television news, like that in religion, has plummeted to unprecedented depths.

"Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by 1 percentage point, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it," the Gallup report begins. The figure has hovered in the 21- to 23-percent range since 2007.

July 13, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • 2012 likely to be journalists’ deadliest year so far
  • Protestors charged with third-degree riot for defending house from foreclosure
  • Aid for Haitian earthquake victims goes to build hotels
  • Facts about inequality in the U.S.
  • Community-labor alliance spurs unionization effort
  • War Resister confined to sanctuary of Canadian church
  • Military recruiting troops through motorsports marketing
  • Texas Wal-Mart becomes nation’s largest single-story library
  • Chinese Apple workers undergoing superexploitation
  • Torture in CIA 'black site' secret prison in Poland

July 6, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Help stop a coal-to-gas plant in Rockport, Indiana
  • Council of Canadians calls on provinces to ban fracking
  • NAACP joins lawsuit to defend mercury and air toxics standards
  • Navy testing, training exercises a dire threat to marine life
  • Germany to close all nuclear reactors by 2022
  • Murders of environmental activists on the rise
  • Drilling for oil in the Arctic
  • Exxon Mobil project for Rocky Mountains defeated
  • Indigenous people in Malaysian Borneo fight proposed dam
  • Toxic liquid pour into the earth poisons groundwater

July 3, 2012

Thomas and Sandra Tokarski

We have sad news. Our friend and fellow litigant Cora "Betty" Young has died.  She died Tuesday, June 26th, a mere 17 days after she was forced out of her home by INDOT and the I-69 highway. We send our heart-felt condolences to her husband Ralph and all her family who have suffered this loss.

Betty was a long-time Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads member and stood with us during the legal fray and added her voice in letters and comments during the long I-69 study process.