The City of Bloomington’s longstanding commitment to the arts will produce four major public artworks in 2021, as the city recovers from the pandemic and its distressing effects on the economy and the arts. Projects at the Trades District, Switchyard Park, the Trades District Garage and the Fourth Street Garage, funded through the One Percent for the Arts Ordinance mechanism, will be installed this year. An expanded search process and creative funding arrangements have resulted in a selection of works by a diverse range of artists.
Adopted in 1994, the One Percent for the Arts Ordinance (Bloomington Municipal Code section 2.12. 021) stipulates that at least one percent of the cost of construction for selected capital projects be used for public art at those projects or elsewhere. Bloomington was the first city in the State of Indiana to adopt an ordinance of this nature. Just since 2016, the City has invested at least $635,000 in public art through the ordinance.
A diversity education consulting company located in Bloomington, Indiana, believes that forgiveness and grace are key to healing racial tensions, according to a news release.
The Guarden started in 2018 as a podcast and grew into a consulting firm offering diversity education workshops, cultural sensitivity training, and cultural remediation. “The end goal is that everyone who has an experience in The Guarden grows through their education around race, class, gender, and identity,” founder and CEO Nichelle Whitney said. “It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum, if you're at the point of resistance, or if you're at the point of, ‘I'm energized and motivated around this work.’ We help people build toolkits for dealing with DEI stuff.”
Numerous infrastructure improvement projects are underway this season to advance community goals, including safety, sustainability, accessibility, equity, economic vitality, and quality of life in Bloomington. Projects are described at the City’s website, and regular public updates offered on a range of these improvements as they progress.
Sare Road Multiuse Path and Intersection Improvements/College Mall Road Resurfacing
Improvements at the Sare Road-Moores Pike intersection and a new multiuse path on the west side of Sare Road from approximately Cathcart Street to Buttonwood Lane are ongoing. Road striping was completed this week and the installation of the new traffic signal is in progress. Lane restrictions may be in place during the installation of the traffic signal, which should be completed within the next two weeks. More information is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/sarepath.
Just north of the intersection, a project to mill and repave South College Mall Road from East Moores Pike to East 3rd Street is underway this week with the replacement of curb ramps along South College Mall Road. As part of this project some curb ramps will be upgraded for ADA compliance and new bike lanes added from East Moores Pike to East Buick Cadillac Boulevard. Milling and paving of South College Mall Road will begin in mid-April, with lane restrictions in place. More information is available at https://bloomington.in.gov/engineering/projects/cmr-repave.
Sixty-four new homes are on track to be built on City-owned land adjacent to Switchyard Park, with groundbreaking scheduled for June. Retreat @ the Switchyard will provide a mix of supportive and affordable housing as well as market-rate units in a new apartment building at 1730 South Walnut Street. The City’s Redevelopment Commission (RDC) purchased the 1.5-acre site at the park’s eastern entrance in 2017 to help steer development consistent with the community’s long-term goals.
The RDC in June 2020 selected RealAmerica Companies to develop the mixed-income and mixed-use project, which will include at least 48 units dedicated to residents earning 30 to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), 10 of which will be reserved for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, supported by Stone Belt, a local nonprofit organization. The Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA) will provide project-based vouchers to increase access for low-income households and residents with disabilities. Affordability requirements will be in place for at least 99 years. Sixteen apartments will be offered at market rates, and the plans include ground-floor commercial space of 3,000 square feet as well as parking.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law which became effective on April 1, 2021. The ARPA contains key provisions impacting employers and employees. We have set forth a few questions and answers below regarding some of these specific issues. Please keep in mind that guidance governing these topics is not fully developed and may continue to change.
Q: Does the ARPA require employers to provide paid sick leave to its employees?
A: No. After December 31, 2020, the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) were no longer mandatory for employers. However, those employers with less than 500 employees who elected to continue providing the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA could do so and continued to receive a tax credit for payments made through March 31, 2021. Under the ARPA, employers can continue to provide paid sick leave under the FFCRA on a voluntary basis and receive the tax credit for leave paid through September 30, 2021. Even if an employer did not voluntarily extend the FFCRA after December 31, 2020, they can do so now with an effective date of April 1, 2021.
Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has selected Mary Jane Fleener, adjunct faculty in nursing, the recipient of the 2021 Adjunct Faculty Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 41 adjunct faculty nominees.
“Mary Jane’s nominations highlighted her outstanding instruction, in addition to her nurturing, caring soul in a discipline that is challenging even outside of pandemic-style teaching and learning,” said Richard Chambers, Ivy Tech Bloomington faculty advisory council president and department chair of social sciences. “I can also recall that several of my Supplemental Student Instructors [peer tutors] spoke highly of Mary Jane, both as an instructor and as a positive person in their lives.”
Mayor John Hamilton and Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) firefighters held a push-in ceremony Thursday, April 1 at 5 p.m. at Station Two (209 South Fairfield Drive) to dedicate the City’s newest fire apparatus. The 2021 Typhoon class, 100-foot aerial ladder truck that will be known as Truck 2 was purchased through Public Safety Local Income Tax (PS-LIT) revenues for $1.19 million to replace a 20-year-old 75-foot dual axle aerial apparatus.
The fifth fire apparatus purchased and delivered since the adoption of the PS-LIT in 2016, Truck 2 brings the BFD’s front line into compliance with the National Fire Protection Association standards. (In addition to its front line, the BFD’s reserve fleet--which includes two fire engines, one stick ladder, and one platform ladder truck--also meets the NFPA standards.) The PS-LIT has been the revenue source for all the fire department’s major capital improvements, including new fire gear (Personal Protective Equipment or PPE), airpacks, vehicles, extrication tools, and fire station improvements and updates. Since 2016, BFD has achieved a three-minute reduction in response time to an emergency. During that period, BFD has saved ten lives from fire incidents and one from a vehicle.
The Brawley Group is proud to announce their 2020 Office Award Winners. The following local agents were honored by the national franchise organization, Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., based on achieving specified production requirements in gross commission income or units closed in 2020.
Scott Owens (Ambassador Club)
Susan Rudd (Sales Associate Achievement Certificate)
"We are very proud of all our affiliates and their agents for everything they were able to accomplish this past year," said Bill Scavone, president and chief operating officer of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. "We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated and knowledgeable agents who went above and beyond to adapt to the various challenges of 2020 and continue to offer exceptional service to their clients."
The Brawley Group is an independently owned and operated Weichert affiliated office. For more information about Weichert, Realtors® - The Brawley Group, please contact Jeffrey Brawley at 812-336-6888 or JEFF@THEBRAWLEYGROUP.COM.
The Mill, Bloomington’s nonprofit center for entrepreneurship, announced the conclusion of its pilot cohort of ReBoot, an entrepreneurial development program for the formerly incarcerated. Participants pitched their businesses live over Zoom on Thursday, April 1. Danielle Morris won the night and took home the winning prize of $2,500 for her business Heroine Studios, a photography service to help women in recovery from substance abuse reclaim their self-esteem. Her business model, based on TOMS shoes, would match each purchased photography session with a free session for a woman in recovery.
Sherlock in Btown Walkabout Radio Plays Cardinal’s Walkabout Radio Plays, Sherlock in Btown, are a safe way to enjoy great storytelling in a unique setting! Each play is set in Bloomington and takes place on a designated walking route. All you need is a smartphone and your favorite headphones, and the world will be transformed around you! Listen to a new scene at each location as the story unfolds.
With the Sherlock in B-town Walkabout Radio Play series, Cardinal is offering new, guided tour experiences for small groups. These special group experiences will be led by a docent and guests will be invited to solve puzzles, enjoy some social time and access bonus content. These events will take place entirely outdoors, be socially distanced, and require attendees to wear masks. Guided tours are limited to 10 guests and are ticketed events.
Self-guided experiences will be available on-demand with a donation of any amount (suggested donation of $10-$20). For those who would like to listen from afar, we will also be providing a visual companion with photos of the walking route. You can learn more about the program and each of the plays on our website cardinalstage.org. The first play, Predisposed to Violins, will be available on-demand starting late next week, with guided events taking place April 15-18. The second, John Watson, PhD, will be on-demand starting the week of April 19, with guided events April 22-25. Tickets for the guided events are on sale now.
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