January 15, 2019
Next week’s meeting, Tuesday, January 22, in the Frangipani Room, will feature Rotary member Bob Zaltsberg, who retires as editor of the Bloomington Herald Times on January 31, a position he has held for 33 years! As one of Bloomington’s most influential voices, Bob will be deeply missed at the HT.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Reminder: Teachers Warehouse Needs Volunteers!
If you’re interested to help with Teachers Warehouse activities on the second Saturdays of the month, dates to plan for are February 9, and March 9. For more details, please contact Sara Laughlin at email@example.com.
Funds are still available to support Rotary members who plan to attend the April 27 District Conference, which will take place in Clarksville.
Lunch Buddies Program
The third Quarter “Lunch Buddies” is now available for Rotary members. Make a new Rotary connection or reinforce a long term one by reaching out to a buddy and finding time to get together for coffee, lunch or after work. After your get together, just notify Natalie and she will give you a “makeup” toward your attendance. More info about this initiative is in your email inbox. Natalie will also have hard-copy info available at upcoming meetings.
Child and Maternal Health Update
“It Takes a Village” is the name for the upcoming Rotary resource fair for parents, infants, and toddlers that focuses on child and maternal health. The free event for mothers, infants, and their families, will take place on May 18 at the Warehouse, from 12-4pm.
Introduced by Michael Shermis, our guest for the week was Dave Williams, Operations and Development Director of Bloomington’s Parks and Recreation Department at the City of Bloomington.
The presentation focused on the Switchyard Park, a major 65-acre park that will benefit the Bloomington community. The large area situated south of downtown along the B-Line Trail is a transformation of an area that used to be the very large CSX railyard that handled transportation of goods produced by major plants such as RCA, Westinghouse, Otis, and RCA. With rail service to Bloomington starting in 1853, the switchyard’s greatest growth took place in the 1970s with the surge of manufacturing in Bloomington. Through the 80s and 90s, the switchyard rapidly reduced operations and, with the final train leaving the area in 2004, the site was acquired by the City of Bloomington during the Mark Kruzan administration in the early 2000s. The current redevelopment of the site, with construction taken care of by Weddle Brothers (a Bloomington company) is by far the largest Dave Williams has handled in his time with the City. Ribbon cutting for the park is planned for November and tree planting will take place in May 2020. Through its centennial activities, Bloomington’s three Rotary Clubs will play a leading community role in the support of tree planting at the site.
To make the area usable, the City has worked closely with the State of Indiana to remediate the contaminated soil, either through selective removal of coal ash or top covering (such as the B-Line Trail). Many areas where removal has taken place will be covered with 18 inches of clean soil. Funding for the park has been mostly from the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) fund.
Amenities at the park will include trails, a health-wellness-fitness area, dog park, skate park, community gardens, family splash pad, the exposing of a creek that currently runs through a culvert, pickle ball and bocce ball courts, and more! With public WiFi available, seating areas are designed for a multitude of uses. A large music performance space with a grand lawn will be established to accommodate between 5,000 and 8000 people. The park includes an indoor facility for year-round for exhibitions, celebrations, and cultural attractions.
Security of the park is key to planning and includes video surveillance, a police substation, and other strategies to minimize activity that would hinder safe public use.
Budgeting for the Switchyard Park build stands at around $34 million. More about Bloomington’s newest public resource can be found at: https://bloomington.in.gov/parks/parks/switchyard-park
President Loren Snyder presided and Natalie Blais greeted Rotarians and guests.
After leading the pledge, Phil Eskew showed us the wonderful ‘word-by-word’ video-reintroduction of the pledge by Red Skelton. From a memorized lecture given to the comedian by his 7th grade Indiana teacher, Skelton spoke of the values that unite us as a country, a common purpose shared by all, love of country, dignity through freedom and liberty. It was around the time of the video that two states were added (Hawaii and Alaska, in 1959) to the union and “under God” was added to the pledge (1954).
Congratulations to Phil Eskew for completing 38 years of perfect attendance in Rotary!!
Phil Eskew also welcomed and introduced the guests:
- Kara Rogers, guest of Art Oehmich
- Danny Feitl, guest of Liz Feitl
- Aaron Feitl, guest of Liz Feitl
- Al Feitl, guest of Liz Feitl
- Karen Feitl, guest of Liz Feitl
- Sam Ujdak, guest of Trent Deckard
- Alyce Zollman (Hilliard Lyons), guest of Loren Snyder
- Michelle Hartman (Hilliard Lyons), guest of Loren Snyder
- Andrew Lambert, guest of Michael Shermis
Birthday this week
- John Bender
- Don Colglazier – three years, plus 13 years elsewhere
- Lance Eberle – 17 years
Alain Barker, Reporter
Charlie Osborne, Photographer