Veterans Day 2022 at Indiana University: “Let us strive for peaceful resolution in all conflict.”

To honor Veterans Day, on Friday morning, the Indiana University Army and Air Force ROTC color guard raised the flag on the pole just east of Sample Gates, in front of Franklin Hall.

Franklin Hall is home to the university’s media school. The building’s statue of journalist Ernie Pyle, the iconic World War II correspondent, sitting at a typewriter, is a coincidental connection to the day.

After the flag was raised, IU alum and army veteran Phillip Zook addressed the gathering. Zook served in the Vietnam War and was decorated with two Purple Hearts.

Zook’s theme was the “forgotten focus” of the day of remembrance that is now called Veterans Day. What’s been forgotten, Zook said, is the focus on promoting peace. Continue reading “Veterans Day 2022 at Indiana University: “Let us strive for peaceful resolution in all conflict.””

Photos | 2022 Little 500 Fall Racing Series: Cyclocross

The Little 500 bicycle race takes place in the spring on the track at Bill Armstrong stadium.

But on the second-to-last Sunday in October, riders pedaled standard issue Little 5 machines up, down and around a cyclocross course laid out on the tailgate grounds south of the Indiana Memorial football stadium.

Cyclocross is part of the Little 500 Fall Racing series.

It was a spectacular, sunny fall day with temperatures in the mid-70s.

Photos are included below. Click or tap on any image to get access to full resolution versions of all photos, then swipe or arrow through the gallery.
Continue reading “Photos | 2022 Little 500 Fall Racing Series: Cyclocross”

2022 Little 500 Street Sprints: A perfect fall day in Bloomington

On Saturday afternoon for about five hours, small groups bicyclists pedaled like mad for 200 meters from a standing start, in a series of 62 total heats, to determine the champions for this year’s edition of the Little 500 Street Sprints. [More photos and video below] Continue reading “2022 Little 500 Street Sprints: A perfect fall day in Bloomington”

Dropped cell phone snagged from storm drain by Bloomington utilities workers

When The B Square approached Bloomington city hall late Friday afternoon, Bloomington resident Daniel Fritz was lying prone in the gutter of Morton Street.

Standing on either side of him were two yellow-vested city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) workers—Robert Jackson and Matthew Dunn. Fritz’s face was pressed right up against the grate of a storm drain.

After a couple of quick questions, the scene was sussed out.

Fritz was looking down into the void to see where his iPhone had been a minute before. Jackson and Dunn had just extracted it from the bottom of the drain. Continue reading “Dropped cell phone snagged from storm drain by Bloomington utilities workers”

COVID-19 update: Case numbers steady but hospitalizations up, more vaxxed patients than not

Friday’s news conference of leaders in the Bloomington area is one indicator that the local spread of COVID-19 virus is up.

It was the first such news conference since March, a time when IU Health south central region president Brian Shockney described a “sense of calm” after two years of pandemic.

At the time, just two patients at IU Health south central region hospitals had diagnoses for COVID-19.

On Friday, Shockney reported a total of 31 patients who were diagnosed with the virus at IU Health’s hospitals in Bloomington, Bedford and Paoli.

Shockney said, “Over the last 90 days, we have seen a continued increase in our inpatients.” He added, “With the workforce shortages across the state, and nation along with the highly complex care that our patients require, it’s difficult to provide care for all those who need it.”

The number of cases has remained pretty steady for the last three months and would qualify as “low” community spread under the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) categories.

But the number of hospitalizations has pushed Monroe County to the CDC “medium” level of community spread. Continue reading “COVID-19 update: Case numbers steady but hospitalizations up, more vaxxed patients than not”

Striking IU grad student instructors pedal a lap through Bloomington’s downtown

Around 12:45 p.m. on Friday, about 60 bicyclists pedaled north on Walnut Street past the Monroe County courthouse with printed signs affixed to their machines that said, “ON STRIKE For Union Recognition.”

The chanted slogans like “What do we want? Union! When do we want it? Now!”

They were members of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United Electrical Workers (IGWC). The members of the IGWC teach classes to undergraduates at Indiana University.

The group voted on Tuesday to continue their strike which started last week. The vote tally to continue the strike was 967 to 27, or 97.3 percent in favor, according to organizers.

Members of the IGWC voted last week to begin the strike, also with better than 97 percent in favor.

The action by the IGWC is considered by the university’s administration to be just a “work stoppage” and not a “strike” by a union.

The university administration’s refusal to recognize the IGWC as a union is the central grievance of the graduate student instructors. Continue reading “Striking IU grad student instructors pedal a lap through Bloomington’s downtown”

IU graduate student instructors now on strike for union recognition, next vote on Tuesday

On Friday morning, at Sample Gates, on the east end of Kirkwood Avenue, around 100 Indiana University graduate student instructors set up a picket with printed signs that said, “ON STRIKE For Union Recognition.”

The action by the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United Electrical Workers (IGWC) is considered by the university’s administration to be just a “work stoppage” and not a “strike” by a union.

The university administration’s refusal to recognize the IGWC as a union is the central grievance of the graduate student instructors.

The strike, which started Wednesday, was authorized by a vote of the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition – United Electrical Workers by a tally of 1,008 to 23 (97.8 in favor), according to union organizers.

The job title of graduate student instructors within the university’s employment system is student academic appointee (SAA). The IGWC wants the university’s administration to recognize the group as the union representing all SSAs as provided under Indiana Code.

The kind of issues the IGWC wants to be able to negotiate with the administration as a collective bargaining unit include: elimination of various fees; compensation; benefits; a formal grievance procedure; and equity for international students who are SAAs. Continue reading “IU graduate student instructors now on strike for union recognition, next vote on Tuesday”

Photos: Little 500 qualifications 2022

Qualification runs for the 2022 Little 500 bicycle race were held on Saturday.

The temperature was around 38 F degrees with 16 mph winds out of the west and northwest, gusting to 28 mph. Those conditions meant the top times for the 4-lap trial were a lot slower than the all-time records.

[More photos and results below.]

Continue reading “Photos: Little 500 qualifications 2022”

Pandemic notebook: Declining case numbers give momentum for lifting restrictions

The Monday update to Indiana’s COVID-19 data dashboard confirmed the trend in declining positive case numbers and hospital census statewide.

Also in Monroe County the downward trend continued, as the rolling daily average of positive cases dropped to 37. That’s still about twice the rolling average at this same time last year. But it’s just one-eighth the rolling average posted by Monroe County a month ago, on Jan. 21.

Hospitalizations statewide are down, too. The statewide hospital census of COVID-19 patients now stands at 1,093. That’s less than a third of the peak number on Jan. 13, which was 3,519.

It’s a similar picture for Hospital District 8, which includes Monroe County. The District 8 COVID-19 census is now 64 patients compared to 171 a month ago. Besides Monroe County, District 8 includes Brown, Bartholomew, Lawrence, Jackson, Orange, and Washington counties.

The improving trends after the surge, caused by the Omicron variant of the virus, has helped add momentum to sentiment in favor of lifting of various restrictions.

It’s not certain, but among B Square sources, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb is not expected to extend his current emergency order, which currently is set to expire on March 4. Continue reading “Pandemic notebook: Declining case numbers give momentum for lifting restrictions”

Celebrated: Renaming of Bloomington street as Eagleson Avenue

The first day of February was the official date for the name change of a north-south street that cuts through the Indiana University campus.

To mark the occasion, early on Tuesday afternoon, a gathering about two and a half dozen strong gathered at the southern end of the Bloomington street now known as Eagleson Avenue.

On hand was a mix of city officials and members of the extended Eagleson family, in whose honor the street has been renamed.

The family includes mathematicians, physicists, ministers, and one of the original Tuskegee Airmen.

Speaking for the Eaglesons was Betty Bridgwaters, who led off by noting the afternoon’s sunshine and warmth. The temperature hit 60 F degrees, even as the forecast called for a winter storm to move through the area the following day.

Bridgwaters is the great-granddaughter of Halson Vashon Eagleson, Sr., who was born into slavery, and arrived in Bloomington in the 1880s. Continue reading “Celebrated: Renaming of Bloomington street as Eagleson Avenue”