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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WFIU Launches Second FM Station So Listeners Can Pick Talk or Music

BY BARB BERGGOETZ Choosing between classical music and quality news programming during the day is now easier for Bloomington listeners with the arrival of a new public radio channel — WFIU2. WFIU (103.7 FM) launched WFIU2 (101.9 FM), allowing Bloomington-area listeners to pick up FM radio programming that had previously been available only online or on HD radio for the last 10 years. The station also added the same programming at 100.1 FM in Seymour, Indiana. The move was made this fall to better serve WFIU’s two main audiences — classical music listeners and news followers — and to attract new listeners, says WFIU Operations Director John Bailey. Another reason for the additional station, he adds, is that despite talk […]

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KMB Studio for Music and Movement: Raising the Barre at Fountain Square Mall

  BY BARB BERGGOETZ Visitors to Fountain Square Mall might be surprised when they happen upon KMB Studio for Music and Movement. With ballet barres lining two long, mirrored walls and a professional dance floor, the exercise space is a bit different from the shops surrounding it. But since opening in mid-2015, owner Kelly McCormick Bangs, 29, has worked with people of all ages and abilities looking to work out with an experienced fitness instructor and professionally trained dancer. Bangs says her Fitness Barre class is the backbone of the studio. “I have a lot of runners, basketball players, gymnasts, and regular folks who take the barre class,” she says. “We’re looking to train people to get balanced functionality from […]

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Iris Kiesling: Public Servant

BY BARB BERGGOETZ When Mayor Tomi Allison asked Iris Kiesling to run for Bloomington City Council in 1987, she declined. “I didn’t think I could do it,” she recalls. She was soon convinced she could, and so began nearly three decades of listening to and acting on the needs and concerns of Monroe County residents. This year, after serving nine years on city council and four terms (1997–2016) on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, Kiesling is leaving a long, distinguished career of local government service. A Democrat and four-time Board of Commissioners president, Kiesling says her connections with people and her love of the community have kept her motivated. “The people are great. They appreciate what you do if […]

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