November 13, 2005

On eight streets running north and south, from Indiana to Rogers, 91 restaurants and 200 stores are tucked away in Bloomington's ever-changing Downtown/Kirkwood district. Recent, small venue changes gave Opie Taylor's a new image and brought Utown to B-town. But large-scale additions face controversy and expose differing views about the city's future skyline.

Another major project on the corner of Fourth and Indiana near the Sample Gates is underway after difficult negotiations. The building that houses Dagwood's Deli is being demolished for a three-story complex, with office space on the top levels.

Dagwood's owner John Santos said his five-year lease gave him limited influence in negotiations about the impacts the six-month project will have on his business. 'I might as well be on the right side of the fence or be left out in the cold,' he said.

October 2, 2005

I had to travel up to Chicago last week on business — which isn't in itself remarkable. What was remarkable was that I upgraded to a Sebring convertible, even though it was raining (I guess a Miata is next). But, more important and the subject of this column, was that I made a decision to take the roads a little less traveled.

And one of the great ironies, not to mention joys, of my life is that despite having more electronic and mechanical gadgets than anyone short of Agent 007, I still get called a Luddite with frequency — by both friends and detractors.

The satellites are out tonight

So it was that this Luddite slapped his Garmin M5 GPS to the Sebring's windshield and commanded it to lock onto the $15 billion-dollar taxpayer-funded GPS satellite constellation. Lock, load, and find me a route from where I was, to where I wanted to be.

But I wanted a route with a catch. I wanted my electronic Man Friday to take me deep into the City of Big Shoulders — but not via the deep-vein thrombosis of the Interstate highway system. I've had enough of I-65 for a lifetime, thank you. So, with a tap of a pen and a click of a button, I told Man Friday to get me there anyway he wanted to, so long as he kept me off the big highways.

And he gladly obliged.

August 7, 2005

Alternative report

Bloomington Beacon has released its first annual "Report to the Community" on the establishment of a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) citizens in south-central Indiana.

The report summarizes the mission, history, structure and community need for the center, as well as Bloomington Beacon's accomplishments over the past year and goals for the immediate future.

Excerpts from the report are published below.

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