Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Summer Becomes Fall

Remnants of Summer Clustered Against the Wall

Summer Becomes Fall

I took a walk this evening. Not very far. I noticed how summer has ended and fall is fully here.

The Hinkle Garton Farmstead is not far from my home.  The volunteers there keep a big garden and I wandered around it to observe what they had planted, how they laid it out, and what was remaining there.

The fields surrounding the Farmstead, now owned by the Bloomington Restorations Inc., cushion it from the ever spreading commercial and residential developments 

Hong Kong Protesters Have Not Given Up - Will You?

In less than 8 days, the local Fall elections will conclude here in Monroe County. Will you let it pass without casting your vote? The people in the picture are risking everything asking for open elections in Hong Kong.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Finding Information on 2014 Election Candidates


Monroe County Courthouse and Peace Monument
Most people want to make an informed decision about each office when they go to vote.  One of the shortcomings of the so-called mid-terms is the limited information available about each office and each candidate. When I lived in California, you received two booklets in the mail. One was a catalog of each office and the candidate biographies and statement. The other was a sample ballot of all the offices. Such accommodation is a dream for the citizens in Indiana.

Thus, I decided to put into one place the sources I have identified that provide information about the candidates for the various offices on the 2014 ballot.  If you have found other reliable sites for good information about the 2014 candidates and election, please share them with us below in the comments section.

The best all round site that I have found is the Herald Times website.  Their staff have developed a section of their website called 2014 Election, which I believe does not have a pay-wall.  They also have an ongoing blog, GovTracker, which is free and covers all things government relevant to Monroe Countians.

In Monroe County, the community public access television service operates out of the Monroe County Public Library. They are called CATS and they are kind of a Monroe County version of CSPAN!  Several candidate forums have been recorded and posted on their website. Plus, they gave every candidate, from US Congress 9th District to Township Board the opportunity to be videotaped giving their 3-5 statement and posted on their website in a section called Candidates On Demand.

The Monroe County Democratic Party has a website where information is posted including access to the candidate guide. (It doesn't include Township offices.) This doesn't give you all the information you need, but it's better than the absence of a common website where a voter can find all the Republican candidates for local government and state offices.

Henegar's Campaign Sign at Early Voting Site, Spring 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Local Paper Covers Bloomington Township Trustee Race

Bloomington Township Trustee Race Achieves Front Page Coverage in Local Paper

Here's the link to the article online:


If you can't get past the pay-wall, here's the article in its entirety.

Bloomington Township candidates address fiscal transparency, continuation of services

By Dann Denny 812-331-4350 | ddenny@heraldt.com | Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014 12:00 am

Republican Bill Eggleston is promising total transparency if he succeeds in defeating Democratic
incumbent Lillian Henegar in the race for Bloomington Township trustee. “People will be able to come into my office at any time and get a computer printout showing how much money we started with and how much money we’ve spent,” he said. “It’s their money, not mine. I’m not throwing stones at anyone, but whenever there is public money involved, it’s always good to have it looked at with a fresh set of eyes.”

Henegar was elected trustee in a Democratic Party caucus in March 2013 to complete the term of former trustee Linda Sievers. Henegar said she decided to seek a full term “because folks depend upon a continuation of the sound, responsible and compassionate policies and services that I and my predecessors have provided. I enjoy serving as the trustee and love being able to contribute my many diverse life and professional experiences and capabilities to the benefit of Bloomington Township and its residents.”

Eggleston said he wonders about the raises given to township employees last year. “I have some questions about whether or not that was appropriate, particularly in these economic times when people are struggling to stay afloat,” he said.

Henegar said the township has two major responsibilities — ensuring fire and emergency medical
services for its non city residents and providing emergency assistance to its residents in need. “The fire and emergency medical services we all deserve and expect are very expensive,” she said. “Therefore, in the next four years, we must find and implement the most effective way to fund this service into the future.”

The second issue, she said, is figuring out the best ways the township can contribute to overcoming
the obstacles confronting the working poor and poor in the community. “Every day, we see folks whose income is insufficient to cover their basic needs, who rely upon public transportation for work and yet are challenged when service is limited, who can’t find housing that is affordable, whose health challenges outstrip their resources, and whose economic vulnerability is preyed upon by payday lenders, rent-to-own and others,” Henegar said.

Eggleston said he’s running because Bloomington has been good to him, and he wants to serve
township residents as a way of giving back. “It’s like my grandmother used to say, ‘Sonny, to those who much is given, much is required.’”

He said if elected, his priorities would be to continue making the township’s volunteer fire unit the
best it can be and turn the township trustee’s office into a clearinghouse for information to help people find jobs; and, within the limits of the budget, help everyone who needs assistance.

Henegar said she joined with other townships in Monroe County to explore options to better the
funding for fire and emergency medical services; worked with New Hope Family Shelter to get
Rosie’s Place back on line as an emergency family shelter; and worked with township staff, the
Bloomington Township Volunteer Firefighters Association and the township’s “Pantry Partners” to
better meet the demands on the township food pantry.

Eggleston ran for Perry Township trustree against incumbent Dan Combs several years ago.
“He beat me like a tom-tom,” he said. “But I’ve acquired a lot of business knowledge, and I’ve seen a lot of life. And the age of 73, this is not stepping stone to me becoming mayor or governor.
“I pledge I will do everything I can to make sure there are no hungry children in Bloomington
Township. I have the energy and experience to do the job, and I want to serve the people in the

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Thank you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Bloomington Township Trustee Candidates

Monroe County's local newspaper, Herald Times, does a lot to promote civic engagement at the local level.  In addition to their ongoing, and free, GovTracker that tracks all things governmental in Bloomington and Monroe County and beyond, they have set up a section called 2014 Election, which covers related news and the candidates.  They include a section where voters can find more information about the candidates for various races, including the often overlooked races for Township Board and Township Trustee.  Candidates have to respond to information requests to be included. The HT also offers to produce and post a 3 minute video of the candidate making their pitch for votes.

To cut to the chase, here's the webpage for the Bloomington Township Trustee candidates.  I was one of the few brave and possibly foolish folks who agreed to be videotaped delivering my "stump" speech.  Enjoy!

Bloomington Township Trustee Candidates

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Least We Can Do Is Vote - Deadline's Oct 6 for Voter Registration to Vote by November 4

A wall in Hong Kong covered with messages from people about what the fight for universal suffrage means to them...Photo from Bobby Yip/Reuters

There is a call in Hong Kong for a restoration "of social order, so that daily lives will be restored to normal."  However, what the Hong Kong Occupiers are trying to say is that "normal" should not be restored, at least not the one that Beijing wants to impose.  

"The protesters have stayed in the streets since Sept. 26, pledging to preserve Hong Kong's Western-style legal system and civil liberties. They want the Chinese government to reverse a decision requiring all candidates for Hong Kong's first election for its leader in 2017 to be approved by a mostly pro-Beijing committee. The demonstrators want open nominations."

With thousands of people on the other side of the planet fighting so hard to hang on to their rights for self-governance, it seems the least we can do here in the United States is VOTE.

Step 1 - Register to Vote


Monroe County Voter Registration Office Hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  An individual with a valid Indiana Driver’s License or State ID may use indianavoters.com to register to vote online. Additionally, an application may be obtained from that same website and MAILED to the local Voter Registration Office, 401 W 7th Street, Suite 100, Bloomington 47401.  If the voter chooses they may also obtain a Federal Voter Registration form from EAC.gov.  If you have any questions regarding registration please call the County's voter registration office at 812-349-2690.  

The local League of Women Voters will be at the Monroe County Public Library from 1-4 Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5th.

Step 2 - Vote

Early Voting in Indiana begin October 7, 2014.  The location for Early Voting and Absentee Voting in Monroe County will be taking place at the voter registration office (401 W. 7th Street, Suite 100, Bloomington). They have a few free parking spots out front for voters.  For days and times, see my September 30 post.

The General Election takes place Tuesday, November 4, 2014.  Voting in this election is for many local government offices including township trustee and boards.  Local Government effects you most directly and immediately! For more information about the candidates, the offices, and the issues, check out GovTracker.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vote November 4 2014 - Register by October 6

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but we need democracy.”

Trams sit stranded as thousands of people block the streets in a huge protest march against a controversial anti-subversion law known as Article 23 in Hong Kong, 1 July 2003

Hong Kong's Occupy Central

Indiana's Voter Registration Deadline is Monday, October 6.  Early Voting Begins October 7. General Election Day is November 4.

More voting information go to www.indianavoters.in.gov.