May 13, 2011

News Release
Planned Parenthood of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) will cover the costs of care to its Medicaid patients around the state through at least Saturday, May 21. There will be some limitations, including no new Medicaid-eligible patients will be taken, and some services will be scheduled later to give the court time to issue a ruling on the injunction being sought by PPIN.

The extension is possible due to the extraordinary outpouring of support from donors across the country. PPIN will monitor as gifts continue to come in the door and hopes to be able to extend services beyond May 21.

May 13, 2011

For a variety of reasons -- among them a 60th birthday and news that three more significant figures from my life didn’t reach that milestone -- I’ve been contemplating that most foreboding of subjects: life expectancy.

My curiosity is driven by events and informed by an observation made several years ago in a story by a student journalist. An IU Health Center source said her generation -- the student’s -- due to lifestyle and environmental factors, would be the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.

MacNeil's 'Autism Now' honest, enlightened, public-interest journalism

April 30, 2011

After an involuntary hiatus, it's always invigorating to re-engage with the "real work" (Beat poet Gary Snyder's words), especially when the initial reconnect is celebratory in nature. Especially when the celebration involves an institution at the heart of the mission, in this case journalism.

And so, with a bow to journalist Robert MacNeil, I begin this summer's phase of my investigation into the twin epidemics of autism and developmental disabilities. His investigative report Autism Now, which aired on the PBS NewsHour in April, reacquainted me with the issues I'm exploring in the Ohio River Valley, where the rain is toxic and data show the kids just aren't quite right, developmentally speaking. Three years' into this project, I've not found a more honest or enlightened media report.

April 30, 2011

You've heard it before: "I-69 is not a done deal." A panel of five activists presented ample evidence bolstering that statement at Green Drinks at the Upland Brewery banquet hall on April 27.

Chris Doran, from the I-69 Accountability Project, moderated. The panel was made up of Jody Madeira, whom Doran introduced as a "pissed-off" homeowner and IU law professor; Christine Glaser, an environmental economist; Tim Maloney, from the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC); Tom Tokarski, from Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR); and Sam Allison, Monroe County council member.

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.

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