Shown are recent student-oriented housing developments approved since 2019.
The property where The Great Wall restaurant formerly stood on North Walnut Street, across from the northern tip of Miller-Showers Park, is now the site of a proposed 8-story student-oriented apartment building.
The building would include a mix of 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom apartments, for a total of 426 bedrooms.
County commissioner Penny Githens (March 6, 2023).
County commissioner Julie Thomas (March 6, 2023).
County commissioner Lee Jones (March 6, 2023).
Monroe County sheriff Ruben Marté (March 6, 2023).
From left: Monroe County circuit court judge Darcie Fawcett and deputy prosecutor April Wilson (March 6, 2023).
President of the Monroe County Democratic Black Caucus, Nicole Bolden (March 6, 2023).
Monroe County councilor Jennifer Crossley (March 6, 2023).
Community justice response committee (CJRC) (March 6, 2023).
Jauston Huerta, director of FOCUS Initiatives (March 6, 2023).
At their work session this Wednesday (March 8), Monroe County commissioners are supposed to receive a recommendation on which of three firms to select, to design and build a new jail.
The three firms responded to a request for proposals (RFQ) issued by the commissioners. Reviewing and scoring the three proposals was a committee of staff from the county’s legal department, the sheriff’s office, the facilities department, and the administrator for the commissioners.
The three firms making proposals were DLZ, Elevatus, and RQAW.
The timetable for selection and approval of a company was sketched out by president of the board of county commissioners, Penny Githens, at Monday’s meeting of the community justice response committee (CJRC).
Githens said the commissioners expect to vote on the selection of one of the three firms at their March 22 regular meeting. Whichever company is selected would be invited to give a presentation to the CJRC on April 3, Githens said.
The timetable for handling the responses to the RFQ could be counted as a bit of progress towards the goal of responding to the work of two consultants, released to the county government about 20 months ago. The report described Monroe County’s jail as having “far exceeded its structural and functional life cycle.”
Parklet on Kirkwood east of College Avenue (Bing aerial imagery 2022)
The west side of College Avenue from Kirkwood to 6th Street. (Bing aerial imagery 2022)
Shown is the half block closure of Kirkwood Avenue just east of Walnut Street. (Bing aerial imagery 2022.)
Grant Street looking south. The ADA entrance to Trinity Episcopal Church is on the left. The ADA accessible parking space to be added will be on the right. (Google Street view image.)
Parklet for Metal Works Brewing Brewing on 6th Street looking southwest. (2022)
This year, parts of Kirkwood Avenue in downtown Bloomington will again be closed to automobile traffic—for six months from April 3 through Oct. 1.
Again this year, residents and visitors to downtown Bloomington will also notice orange water-filled traffic barriers marking off some on-street parking spaces, so that restaurants can serve customers there.
The “parklets,” as they’re called, come this year with a “beautification” requirement, which can include construction of seating platforms, incorporation of art and other cosmetic improvements.
With just a month to go before early voting starts for the May 2 Democratic Party primary, a poll conducted from Wednesday through Friday of this week shows that any of the three candidates could easily wind up being the Democratic Party’s nominee.
No Republican candidate is running for mayor.
Among the survey respondents who chose one of the three candidates, here’s how they sorted out: Kerry Thomson (18 percent); Sandberg (15 percent); and Griffin (9 percent).
The margin of error of the poll was +/- 4 percent.
But well over half (58 percent) of those who completed the survey said they’re still not sure who they’ll vote for.
The large percentage of undecided voters, together with the small pointwise differences between candidates, indicates that, right now at least, any of the three candidates could prevail in the Democratic Party’s primary election.
The poll results summarize the completed survey responses from 594 people, who were drawn from a list of registered voters in the city of Bloomington, and who indicated that they plan to vote in the Democratic Party’s primary election. The poll used a text-to-web methodology
From left: William Ellis, Donovan Garletts, and David Henry. Obscured from view by Ellis is Monroe County clerk Nicole Browne.
David Henry, Monroe County Democratic Party chair and interim election board member.
Donovan Garletts, Monroe County election board member.
William Ellis, vice chair of the Monroe County Republican Party.
Molly Turner-King, Monroe County attorney.
Map showing the address where David Wolfe Bender registered to vote.
The first step of a formal investigation into the residency status of Bloomington city council candidate David Wolfe Bender has now been taken.
At its regular meeting on Thursday, the three-member Monroe County election board voted unanimously on a motion that concluded that there is enough reason to believe that an election law has been violated, to set a hearing “at the earliest possible time” after witnesses have been notified they have to appear.
The board was acting Thursday on a complaint brought by Monroe County Republican Party vice chair William Ellis, which was based on an Indiana Daily Student article published on Feb. 17, 2023.
As expected, there was no action by Bloomington’s city council Wednesday night on a motion that had been made four weeks ago to remove Greg Alexander from the city’s traffic commission.
Somewhat unexpected at the end of this Wednesday’s meeting was the lack of any motion that was still pending on the question of Alexander’s removal.
The previous motion, which had been made by Dave Rollo, described the cause for Alexander’s removal as “…posting obscene and inappropriate statements…” on social media.
As planned, Rollo’s Feb. 1 motion was withdrawn on Wednesday by unanimous consent of the council.
But after council deliberations on the new, revised motion that Rollo made on Wednesday, it seemed at least a little bit in doubt whether it would have enough support to pass—either that night or after a planned postponement.
So, not as planned, Rollo wound up asking for, and getting, unanimous consent to withdraw his new motion.
Four weeks ago, Bloomington’s city council delayed a vote on the question of removing Greg Alexander from the traffic commission—by referring the matter to an already established committee on council processes.
In the meantime, that committee has met three times.
This Wednesday, the question of Alexander’s removal from the traffic commission will again be put in front of the council, but this time with a recommendation from the committee.
The original motion, made by Dave Rollo at the council’s Feb. 1 meeting, described the cause for removal as “…posting obscene and inappropriate statements…” on social media.
The committee’s recommendation is neither in favor or against Alexander’s removal.
If the full council follows the committee’s recommendation, it seems unlikely the question will get decided this Wednesday.
After weighing a recent court case, and considerations of what can count as a cause for removal, due process, and First Amendment questions, the committee’s recommendation is for the motion to be withdrawn.
With each election cycle, the League of Women Voters hosts a website with candidate profiles. It’s called Vote 411.
Included below are links to all the LWV profiles for all candidates in Bloomington’s city primary elections—for mayor, clerk, and city council.
The Vote 411 profiles include the answers that candidates have written to questions posed by LWV.
What if the same questions were posed to a chatbot that has been trained on a giant corpus of text, to respond to conversational prompts?
The B Square posed the LWV’s questions to ChatGPT, which is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by a company called OpenAI. It was released late last year. (GPT stands for Generative Pre-training Transformer.)
The LWV questions were given minor tweaks, like swapping in “Bloomington, Indiana” for “the city” to give ChatGPT a shot at providing answers that reflect the unique circumstances of Bloomington.
Another tweak: In places where the LWV questions use the second-person pronoun “you,” some kind of passive voice construction was swapped in. That’s because ChatGPT tends to respond with a disclaimer of sorts when asked about itself. For example, “As an AI language model, I have never tasted maple syrup, …”
When no ordinary parking tickets were issued to scooter companies, that came as a surprise to some residents—given the number of scooters they routinely encountered blocking ADA ramps and sidewalks in the downtown area, or in their residential neighborhoods.
The lack of any citations was especially unexpected, in light of the assurance given by city attorney Mike Rouker on July 31, 2019— the night the city council enacted the scooter ordinance. Rouker said that if scooter parking became a problem, parking fines would be imposed on scooter companies whenever the city saw a parking problem.
In August 2022, The B Square raised a question to Bloomington’s corporation counsel, Beth Cate, about the enforceability of the city’s ordinance that regulates shared electric scooter parking. That email went unanswered.