Photos: Trumpets of the Marching Hundred

Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in front of the Sample Gates on the east end of Kirkwood Avenue, Garrett Rogers led the trumpet section of Indiana University’s Marching Hundred through some football game standards, like “Indiana, Our Indiana” and “The William Tell Overture,” among others. [audio of “Indiana, Our Indiana”]

IU’s football game against the University of Minnesota Gophers is set to kick off at 3:30 p.m.

More photos after the jump.
Continue reading “Photos: Trumpets of the Marching Hundred”

Pandemic notebook: Mandate for face coverings remains for Monroe County, as board of health wants IU fans to play better mask-it-ball

At its meeting on Thursday, Monroe County’s board of health didn’t make any changes to the health regulations that are meant to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

That means the end of the county’s mask mandate is still tied to hitting a target of 50 positive cases per week per 100,000 people in the county. That target for Monroe County translates into an average of about 10 cases a day.

The county is currently sitting at a daily case average of nearly 4 times the target.

The mask mandate requires people to wear a mask in indoor public places, unless they are actively eating and drinking, among other exceptions.

In light of the current increasing trend for positive cases, board of health members saw no reason to relax the mask requirement. That increasing trend has seen the rolling 7-day daily average just about double in about the last four weeks.

On Oct. 23 the rolling daily average was around 19 cases. By Thursday, that figure had increased to about 37 cases per day.

Thursday’s board of health meeting included some criticism of the lack of mask wearing by fans of Indiana University basketball games, held at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Continue reading “Pandemic notebook: Mandate for face coverings remains for Monroe County, as board of health wants IU fans to play better mask-it-ball”

Photos: Little 500 Fall Series Street Sprints, change of venue from Kirkwood to IU campus

The sunny weather, mostly calm winds, and temperatures in the mid-50s meant good weather conditions for last Saturday’s (Nov. 6)  Little 500 Street Sprints.

This year, the course started in front of the Indiana Memorial Union on 7th Street and headed farther into the university campus, east towards the Showalter Fountain.

The 200-meter straight-line sprints are part of a fall series of events connected to the  Little 500 race, which is held in the spring at the Bill Armstrong Stadium track. Rounding out the fall series are individual item trials at the stadium track, and cyclocross races at the tailgate field.

Continue reading “Photos: Little 500 Fall Series Street Sprints, change of venue from Kirkwood to IU campus”

Photos: Indiana University Veterans Day 2021

In the early light of Thursday morning, Veterans Day was observed in front of Indiana University’s Franklin Hall.

It’s the building that houses the former School of Journalism. Since 2014 it has been called the Media School. Outside is a reminder of the subject matter taught inside the walls—a statue of war correspondent Ernie Pyle at his typewriter. Continue reading “Photos: Indiana University Veterans Day 2021”

Photos: Science Fest achieves Dunn Meadow liftoff

In Dunn Meadow on Saturday morning, Indiana University’s Science Fest provided touchdowns aplenty despite the football team’s bye week.

Every 20 minutes or so, a model rocket or two, sometimes four at a time, were sent soaring 800 feet or more into the clear skies, undisturbed by much of a measurable breeze.

After its engine backfired (by design), to pop off the nose cone and deploy the parachute, one of the rockets landed just a few feet from the launch pad. Others landed a bit farther away, towards 7th Street.

Supervising the activity was IU professor of physics Paul Sokol and lecturer Dilara Sultana, along with a handful of graduate students in the department.

Science Fest activities were planned for much of the campus. The B Square confined its coverage to Dunn Meadow.

More photos are included after the jump. Continue reading “Photos: Science Fest achieves Dunn Meadow liftoff”

Water rate increase: Bloomington reaches settlement “in principle” with IU, other rate case opponents

CBU drinking water station set up on 6th Street in connection with the Lotus Festival last weekend.

A planned water rate increase for Bloomington utilities (CBU) customers will likely be put in place as planned on Jan. 1, 2022.

That was the big news out of Monday’s regular meeting of Bloomington’s utilities service board (USB).

At Monday’s meeting, CBU director Vic Kelson told the board that a settlement in principle had been reached last week with all the interveners in the case, which include Indiana University and Washington Township Water Authority.

Kelson told the USB he could not discuss any details, but the filing of the settlement with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is supposed to be done by Oct. 6, with a hearing set for Oct. 22.

The case for increased water rates is currently going through the IURC review process, after the Bloomington city council’s mid-March approval  of the higher rates, which are to be phased in, with increases in 2022 and 2024.

Residential CBU customers will pay a total of 22 percent more over the course of four years.

Other customers like Indiana University, will see higher increases under the proposal, around double what residential customers will see.

The 22-percent increase brings the residential customer rate to $4.54 for every 1,000 gallons. Continue reading “Water rate increase: Bloomington reaches settlement “in principle” with IU, other rate case opponents”

Continued calls for vaccination against COVID-19: “There’s no reason to be ‘right’—we all just want to be happy here.”

The percentage of eligible Monroe County residents who have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic virus is still just under 60 percent.

At the current pace of vaccinations in the county, which is around 60 additional people a day, it will take another week or so to eke out the next few tenths of a point to get past the 60-percent milestone.

At Friday’s weekly news conference of local leaders on pandemic response, Monroe County’s department of health public information officer Kathy Hewett said about the remaining 40 percent of the eligible population, “We still have a ways to go.”

For those who have not yet received a jab, could a decision now to get vaccinated feel like an admission that they’ve been wrong up to this point?

Responding to a question from a reporter about that possibility, Indiana University’s health officer Aaron Carroll said, “There’s no reason to be ‘right’—we all just want to be happy here.”

Carroll continued, “Everyone will be safer if they get vaccinated.” He added, “If you need an excuse, more recently, I think you could point to recent data, and that the hospitals are still filling up, that things are still very dangerous.” Continue reading “Continued calls for vaccination against COVID-19: “There’s no reason to be ‘right’—we all just want to be happy here.””

Bloomington street sheds eugenicist’s name on unanimous plan commission vote, will now be called Eagleson Avenue

The north-south street that cuts through the Indiana University campus in Bloomington will no longer be named after David Starr Jordan, the school’s president from 1885 to 1891.

Jordan was a proponent of eugenics, which advocates for the improvement of the human species through selective mating.

On a unanimous vote taken Monday night, the city’s plan commission changed the name of the street from Jordan Avenue to Eagleson Avenue—for the portion of the road that runs from Davis Street to 17th Street.

The name change does not take effect for another four and a half months. It’s not effective until Feb. 1, 2022.

The street is being renamed for four-generations of the Eagleson family, starting with Halson Vashon Eagleson who was born a slave in 1851.

According to a mayoral-appointed task force report, Halson Eagleson arrived in Bloomington in the 1880s and became a prominent barber. His five children attended Indiana University. The report describes how in 1910, he opened Industrial City, a home for “colored” orphans in Unionville.

A  little less than a year ago, in October 2020, the IU Board of Trustees voted to remove the name Jordan from Jordan Hall, Jordan Avenue Parking Garage, and Jordan River.

To make its recommendation, a joint IU and city task force worked on the Jordan Avenue renaming from April through July of 2021.

Despite the unanimous vote, the renaming of the street was not an easy decision for some of the Bloomington plan commissioners. Continue reading “Bloomington street sheds eugenicist’s name on unanimous plan commission vote, will now be called Eagleson Avenue”

Bloomington’s 2020 census count: Plot (of dots) thickens for IU enrollments, dormitories

Ten days ago, when the news broke that Bloomington’s 2020 Census count had dropped, compared to the 2010 numbers, many residents reacted with disbelief.

The leading theory for the 1.5-percent drop, from 80,405 to 79,168, is based on the fact that Bloomington is home to Indiana University’s flagship campus.

The city experienced a pandemic-related mass exodus of students right around the time the census count was taking place, in late March and April. The university delivered remote-only instruction for the rest of the spring semester.

Thousands of students were undercounted in the 2020 Census, goes the theory, which would explain why the vintage 2019 estimates by the US Census Bureau put the population of Bloomington at 86,630, or about 7,000 more than the actual count done in 2020.

A theory based on student undercount is consistent with The B Square’s coarse-grained look at the precinct-by-precinct geographic distribution of population losses.

If students were undercounted, then that should be reflected in losses in on-campus and near-campus neighborhoods where many students live. The geographic distribution does show diminished numbers in areas on and near campus.

A different theory of that geographic distribution does not rely on the idea of a student undercount: If there were fewer students actually living in those campus areas, fewer students would be counted there.

That’s a theory that looks like it could have some support from two possible perspectives.

Continue reading “Bloomington’s 2020 census count: Plot (of dots) thickens for IU enrollments, dormitories”

Monroe County OKs mask mandate for fully vaccinated starting Aug. 5, Indiana University also says “mask up”

Face coverings will now be required in public indoor settings, even for Monroe County residents who are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

That’s the basic point of a new health order approved unanimously by Monroe County’s three commissioners at their regular meeting on Wednesday morning.

The order approved by commissioners is effective at 8 a.m. Thursday (Aug. 5) and extends through Sept. 30. [Monroe County health department news release]

The Monroe County health order comes after last week’s new guidance on mask-wearing for the fully vaccinated from the Centers for Disease Control. The guidance applies to counties where there is “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus. That’s a criterion that currently applies to Monroe County.

Not under the county’s jurisdiction, but also following the CDC’s new guidance on masks, is Indiana University.

IU’s public health officer, Aaron Carroll, stated during a noon video conference that the university would also be telling people to mask up in public spaces “for the near future.” Continue reading “Monroe County OKs mask mandate for fully vaccinated starting Aug. 5, Indiana University also says “mask up””