April 30, 2011

Maybe it’s all the yard signs that have sprouted up in Bloomington these past few weeks. Perhaps it’s the news media’s incessant handicapping of potential candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Or it could be the tsunami of unsolicited mail Democratic Party operatives have unleashed lately. In any case, it’s clear that campaign season has sprung up like so many dandelions after a thundershower.

In the past week alone, I’ve received bulk e-mail from political strategist and Clinton acolyte James Carville, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Justin Ruben, executive director of

April 29, 2011

"Justice delayed is justice denied." -- William E. Gladstone, British statesman and prime minister, 1809-1898


About 1 million women, according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition (, work in industries that expose them to more than 50 carcinogens linked to breast cancer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a large number of cases, cancer is preventable. This fact applies especially to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in the workplace.

“At least one in every 10 cancers – and probably many more – is the result of preventable, predictable workplace exposures,” according to Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: Union Guide to Prevention.

April 25, 2011

Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance is a book about the power struggle between humans and nonhuman animals in captivity. Only when humans succeed in dominating the animals totally – sometimes by killing them -- does this struggle end.

But according to Jason Hribal, author of the book, the animals fight back.

“[T]rough my research,” Hribal writes, “the resistance became ever more evident. Captive animals escaped their cages. They attacked their keepers. They refused to perform. They refused to reproduce. The resistance itself could be organized.”

April 20, 2011

News Release
Planned Parenthood of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS - Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) and its network of supporters are outraged the Indiana State Senate has voted to put the health care of 22,000 Hoosiers at risk and vowed to immediately file for injunctive relief if HB 1210 becomes law, which could be costly for the State of Indiana.

The bill’s intent is to immediately shut off nearly $3 million in federal family planning and Medicaid funding that passes through the state to Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The funding pays for preventive health care for low-income Hoosiers – Pap tests, birth control, breast exams and STD testing and treatment. “It’s unconstitutional, on its face,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum.

April 15, 2011

News Release
I-69 Accountability Project

On Friday, April 8, 2011, the Bloomington Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) postponed its decision on the proposed inclusion of I-69 in the MPO’s 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This came as the result of a 23-page letter outlining legal concerns submitted to MPO members by attorneys representing members of Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR), the I-69 Accountability Project, and local landowners.

The MPO delayed voting on the proposed inclusion of I-69 projects in the 2012-2015 TIP until its next meeting May 13.

April 15, 2011

After seven years of struggling with Monroe County officials over polling places that violate federal laws governing access for citizens with disabilities, Randy Paul filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., to force action.

In an e-mail, Paul said he did not file the complaint specifically against Monroe County after meeting with the County Commissioners.

"I agreed not to file a complaint against them if they agreed to never again approve a polling site that violated HAVA when an alternate is available that complies with HAVA," he wrote, referring to the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

April 14, 2011

“Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions, and give ground on issues that were important to them, and I certainly did that.” -- Barack Obama, April 8, 2011.

Last weekend, Republicans and Democrats squared off in a budget showdown of historic proportions. Fortunately for thousands of federal employees who might not get their paychecks, or countless tourists who would be denied access to national parks and museums, cooler heads prevailed. At the 11th hour both parties reached a hard-fought consensus that narrowly averted a government shutdown.

April 13, 2011

With regard to nuclear reactors, Don Lichtenberg operates on the principle that “if things can go wrong, they will -- though not often.”

On March 31, Lichtenberg, professor emeritus of theoretical nuclear physics at Indiana University, spoke at the Monroe County Public Library on lessons on nuclear power that the United States can learn from the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.

April 8, 2011

It is time for 17th Street to go on a diet. More than a decade ago, it served as a primary connection between Ellettsville and Bloomington. Accordingly, it was designed primarily for through traffic. It has wide car lanes, no sidewalks, inconsistent shoulders, intimidating and dangerous intersections, and a low level of commercial development.

Times have changed! Traffic has declined substantially. Dense residential developments are on both sides of 17th street. Thousands of students cross 17th street on foot each day. But the streetscape is still an uninviting nightmare for pedestrians.

Wild Indiana events celebrate backcountry in April

April 1, 2011

The history of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area southeast of Bloomington can be officially traced to 1964 and the Wilderness Act. Or to 1973, when Congress directed the U.S. Forest Service to examine every acre of the National Forest System in the east for wilderness potential. Or to 1982, when Congress created the 12,982-acre Deam.

More compelling, however, are the stories of the extraordinary people who made the wilderness happen, some of whom will gather at 5:30 p.m., April 20, at the Lilly Library on the Indiana University campus, to remember a time when reasonable citizens could effect positive change for the benefit of all. Participants who will share Deam Wilderness memories include Jeffrey Stant, Bill Miller, Bill Hayden and Jeffrey St. Clair.

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