Bloomington Citizens Help Make One Million Stars to End Violence

BY BARB BERGGOETZ Six-year-old children created the brightly colored stars. So did women in nursing facilities, Girls and Boys Club members, Girl Scouts, teens in after-school programs, and people incarcerated.    For more than a year, stars took shape one by one, meticulously constructed of ribbons and recycled materials, part of a local community-wide effort joining the international One Million Stars to End Violence project. By January, Bloomington — one of only four U.S. communities to take part in the Australian-based initiative — had exceeded its goal of making 10,000 eight-pointed stars under the leadership of the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation. More than 11,500 stars were made locally. Lotus adopted the project for its 2016 visual arts initiative. “It’s […]

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Can You Do A Triathlon? Test Yourself at Indoor Event

BY BARB BERGGOETZ If you are an aspiring triathlete or just someone seeking a low-key, late-winter challenge, the Indiana University Swim Club may have just what you need. Athletes who participate in the March 5 IU Swim Club Indoor Triathlon will swim, bike, and run indoors in the safe, controlled environment of the IU Student Recreational Sports Center. The annual event typically attracts about 700 participants. “We like that it’s a great way to try a triathlon without a lot of stress,” says Bill Ramos, Swim Club faculty adviser and IU School of Public Health assistant professor. Participants use the center’s pool, stationary bikes, and track. Ramos says the triathlon attracts many people who want to see if they can […]

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Dr. Seuss’ Characters Come Alive at Monroe County Public Library Event

BY BARB BERGGOETZ If attendance in previous years is any indication, on Saturday, March 4, about 500 preschool- and elementary-age children and their families will converge on the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) to see beloved Dr. Seuss characters come alive. The occasion is Seusspicious Behavior, which celebrates the birthday of the famed author of more than 40 children’s books. This year, Bloomington High School North advanced acting class students will offer four 20-minute performances based on the stories “Yertle the Turtle” and “Gertrude McFuzz” during the free annual event, scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Other activities include games and crafts designed to highlight the importance of reading. Francesca Sobrer, Bloomington North theater program director and drama teacher, says […]

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The Bridge Spiritual Center for Seekers of Restorative Therapies (photo gallery)

Karla Kamstra. Photo by Stephen Sproull   BY BARB BERGGOETZ The Bridge Spiritual Center, located in the inner corridor of Fountain Square Mall, is a sanctuary for those seeking calmness and balance in their lives, says owner Karla Kamstra. The center, which opened in June, offers therapies like Reiki, reflexology, and crystal healing, as well as interfaith classes, workshops, and community gatherings. Kamstra, 55, who also founded Pets Alive, a nonprofit organization that offers spay and neuter services, says her experience in developing that community-oriented organization, coupled with her long-time fascination with religion and strong Baptist upbringing, inspired her to become a spiritual leader. She is now in her fifth year of religious studies, enrolled in the One Spirit Interfaith [...]

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Landmark Showers Building Marks 20 Years Since Revival

  BY BARB BERGGOETZ The building that housed Plant No. 1 of the Showers Brothers Furniture Company (which once produced 60 percent of the furniture in the country and provided one-fourth of all tax revenue in Bloomington) had been underutilized for years. Other vacant and distressed buildings surrounded the 200,000-square-foot eyesore. Still, local visionaries somehow pictured a bright future for the complex as part of a revitalized West Side Historic District. CFC Properties President Jim Murphy remembers when that vision became a reality 20 years ago. “That was a milestone,” Murphy says. “It was a big deal when we were able to pull this together, and the organizational entities — the City, Indiana University, and CFC — made this happen.” […]

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