Deadline for voter registration nears, early voting starts April 9

Monday, April 8 is the last day to register to vote in Bloomington’s May 7 primary election. The following day – Tuesday, April 9 – early voting begins at Monroe County’s Election Central, 401 W. 7th St., Suite 100, in downtown Bloomington.

Election Central
Election Central at the corner of 7th and Madison.

To register to vote or check your registration status, go to the Indiana Voter Portal.

In addition to voting early, residents who qualify can vote by mail-in absentee ballot or by traveling board, which means election officials visit you at home.

Read on for details on these topics and other election-related information. And check out The B Square Beacon’s nonpartisan voter guide with profiles of primary candidates, links to candidate websites and social media, campaign finance reports, and news articles from a variety of local sources.

Continue reading “Deadline for voter registration nears, early voting starts April 9”

May 7 Bloomington Primary Election: A Nonpartisan Resource

Twenty-three candidates for 11 city offices are on the ballot for Bloomington voters in the May 7, 2019 primary election – all but one of them Democrats. And this year, all but two of the Democratic Party primary races are competitive.

Bloomington Primary Candidates 2019
Candidates in the May 7 Bloomington primary.

To help voters research their choices for Bloomington mayor, clerk and council, we’ve compiled a nonpartisan resource guide that profiles each candidate in the May 7 primary.

Here’s a link to the guide: Bloomington City Primary Elections 2019

In addition to biographical background, the profiles include links to each candidate’s online campaign information (website, social media, email) as well as links to campaign finance documents filed with the Monroe County clerk’s office.

Each profile also provides links to relevant news articles from a variety of sources, a listing that will be updated throughout the election cycle.

To register to vote, check your registration status or find your polling location, go to the Indiana Voter Portal. The deadline to register to vote in the May 7 primary is Monday, April 8.

Early voting starts on Tuesday, April 9.

How Bloomington “Citizen Sovereigns” can rescue local media

When I moved to Bloomington late last year, I was glad to find the place still had a daily newspaper. Some towns – like Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I made my home for 22 years – haven’t been as lucky.

Cropped Front Page Herald Times New Owner
The front page of the Herald-Times on Jan. 29, 2019.

Granted, I’ve heard that the Bloomington Herald-Times is a shadow of its former self. It has suffered through several rounds of downsizing tied to financial challenges that are ubiquitous in the newspaper industry. And the owners weren’t local, though Schurz Communications at least was headquartered in Indiana, not on the coasts.

Then in January, Schurz announced plans to sell all its newspaper holdings to GateHouse Media, a New York-based conglomerate. More layoffs quickly followed. The H-T lost two people, one of them long-time photographer Jeremy Hogan. This came on top of an earlier round of layoffs last August, which were likely a prelude to the acquisition. 

It’s worth looking at the implications of these changes, putting them in a broader context.

Beyond that, we need to do more than just snipe at decisions that people in the news industry make. It’s far more productive to explore what we can do as citizens to take control of our local news coverage, enhancing what’s already here and ensuring its future stability.

But first, what are we up against? Continue reading “How Bloomington “Citizen Sovereigns” can rescue local media”

Library trustees to meet this week

At their first regular meeting of 2019, trustees of the Monroe County Public Library will get updated on renovations at the Ellettsville branch, consider a request to transfer $900,000 to the library’s rainy day fund, and deal with several other operational issues. The session on Wednesday, Jan. 16 starts at 5:45 p.m. at the downtown library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave. Continue reading “Library trustees to meet this week”

Local government kicks off new year with first meetings of 2019

This week the elected bodies of Monroe County and the City of Bloomington – as well as several appointed boards and commissions – hold their regular sessions for the first time in 2019, following the holiday break. Continue reading “Local government kicks off new year with first meetings of 2019”