Taliaferro Avenue floated as new name for city street that cuts through IU campus, part of effort to remove Jordan namings

In remarks made at the start of Bloomington’s Wednesday city council meeting, president Steve Volan suggested that the city street known as Jordan Avenue be renamed as Taliaferro Avenue, or possibly Taliaferro Way.

The Jordan Avenue street sign at the intersection of 3rd Street and Jordan Avenue in Bloomington, Indiana. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

The Taliaferros, George and Viola, were a Bloomington couple who each blazed trails of their own. Viola was Monroe County’s first Black judge, serving from 1995 to 2004.  After playing his college football at Indiana University in the late 1940s, George was the first Black player to be drafted by an NFL team.

The elimination of Jordan namings from the campus landscape has recently been recommended by the university’s president, Michael McRobbie.  McRobbie is recommending that the name of the university’s seventh president, David Starr Jordan, be removed from several Bloomington campus landmarks. Jordan served as IU’s president from 1885 to 1891.

The removal of Jordan’s name is prompted by his conspicuous role in the eugenics movement, the idea that society and the genetics of the population could be improved through selective breeding.

The university, of course, does not have the authority to rename a city street. Continue reading “Taliaferro Avenue floated as new name for city street that cuts through IU campus, part of effort to remove Jordan namings”

Disputed plan commission seat: Judge denies Bloomington’s bid to get case dismissed

Ten days ago, on Aug. 5, a hearing was held about Bloomington’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that could affect the membership the city’s plan commission.

Greene County Courthouse Screen Shot 2020-08-05 at 12.25.18 PM
Greene County courthouse, Bloomfield, Indiana, the home court of special judge Erik Allen, and the scheduled location of the Aug. 5 hearing. The hearing was switched to a telephonic conference. Image links to image source, which is Google Street View.

On Friday (Aug. 14), special judge Erik Allen issued an order that lets the lawsuit go ahead.

Allen denied Bloomington’s motion to dismiss the case in a 125-word order that included a lifting of a previously imposed stay on the discovery process. That means both sides can now proceed with document requests and deposition of witnesses.

On one side are Monroe County GOP chair William Ellis and his pick for city plan commissioner, Republican Andrew Guenther. On the other side is Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, with his pick, Republican Chris Cockerham.

For now, it’s Cockerham, a commercial real estate broker, who serves in the disputed seat. It became vacant at the start of the year when Bloomington’s mayor John Hamilton decided not to re-appoint Nick Kappas to the plan commission. Continue reading “Disputed plan commission seat: Judge denies Bloomington’s bid to get case dismissed”