skip to main content
Picture of two people walking across campus

October 2007

<< Newsletters

 Vol. 2007-2008 No. 3

New sheriff in town

Jim Kennedy, Monroe County sheriff, will speak to the IU Annuitants Association on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. on the role his department and the Monroe County jail play within the community.

Kennedy, himself a member of the IU Annuitants Association, came to law enforcement because he wanted to make things better for those in the criminal justice system. A graduate of IU and of the IU School of Law, he also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

Kennedy returned to Monroe County 35 years ago and has contributed to the community ever since. As IU’s director of security and chief of police, he managed 226 employees, and as chief of the Bloomington Police Department he managed 105 employees. At each position he made certain that personnel were well-trained and respectful.

For more than 20 years he taught at IU, where he was honored with a Trustees’ Teaching Award. He has brought his expertise in murder and sex crime investigations and in what police officers need to know about the law to his teaching at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

Please come to Bloomington’s own version of “Law and Order” and find out what’s going on at the jail.

October reprise

President Bob Ensman welcomed 65 people to the meeting. Harriet Pfister introduced Jewel Echelbarger, director of the Area 10 Agency on Aging, which receives United Way funds. Ms. Echelbarger explained the 2-1-1 Infolink, an information and referral call center for access to health and human services. Just as you call 911 for emergencies, you can call 211 for information on a vast array of community services, from transportation to doctors to legal assistance.

Nancy White introduced Gerardo Gonzalez, University Dean of IU’s School of Education. He focused on two megatrends that influence U.S. education profoundly: technology, as laid out in Tom Friedman’s The World is Flat, and demographic changes. Education now requires citizens to be lifelong learners, with a minimum of two years of college. Gonzalez believes all students now need to go to college.

He described Core 40, a program that pushes down into the lower grades an emphasis on science and math. But it is difficult to hire enough teachers in these areas. Gonzalez believes pay needs to be raised to attract people into education. The starting pay for teachers in Indianapolis is around $28,000.

The fastest growing population in the United States today is Latino. We need to come to grips with the fact that all children must have access to education of high quality. If we don’t, he believes we will create an underclass of people who have lost hope, which could become a serious national security issue. Given today’s technological advances, Gonzalez believes all children should plan to go to college. We should set high educational expectations early on.

As for No Child Left Behind, he said the idea of accountability is good but that the program has become “test-crazy.” While trying to reform the system, the program misses many positive aspects of traditional education.

Gonzalez graciously stayed to speak with a long line of people who had questions. Refreshments were provided by Pegge Ewers, Mary Jensen, Kate Kroll, Lou Moir, Phyllis Perkins, and Bob Priest. Lou Moir, 332-0472,, is refreshments chair. She encourages people to sign up to bring snacks for future meetings.

Save the dates

Put these dates on your calendar now for the next meetings of the Annuitants Association:
Dec. 5 – noon, Heidi Gealt, director of the IU Art Museum
Jan. 9 – 2 p.m., Dr. Rajih Haddawi, director, Volunteers in Medicine

By any other name ...

At the October meeting President Bob Ensman announced that the Annuitants Association may be changing its name. A committee is examining the organiza-tion’s mission and recommending changes in the bylaws to reflect more closely its present reality and future potential. Don Weaver chairs the Articles Review Committee, which also includes Sandra Churchill, Bob Dodd, and Ted Jones.

United Way – Questions answered

As I announced at our October meeting, as of Oct. 10 the IU Annuitants Association had reached 40.5 percent of its United Way goal, with pledges of nearly $39,000. This amount represents donations from 64 annuitants, 16 of them Vanguards – that is, people who pledge more than $1,000. IU annuitants always have been very generous, and this year looks like no exception.

Annuitants often ask Doris Burton, Wain Martin, and me how donations to the United Way campaign are distributed to the 26 certified agencies, particularly when a donor opts to donate – or to not donate – to a particular agency. Here are answers from Barry Lessow, executive director of the United Way of Monroe County.

“Donations to United Way of Monroe County Community Care Fund are allocated to ensure that the most important needs in the community are met and that member agencies have the resources to help people who need their services. United Way readily accepts and distributes donor designations with no processing charge to those agencies. A designation to a member agency does not lower that agency’s allocation. UW makes its allocations decisions independent of donor designations. We believe this recent change better reflects the intent of donors who designate.

“The Community Care Fund consists of all undesignated donations, so of course every dollar that is designated becomes one less dollar available for allocating to all agencies. Too many designations can hurt UW’s ability to ensure that the most important community needs are being met because so few dollars will be left to agencies that may be effective but less well known, or that serve clients who do not have strong fund-raising appeal.

“Some donors like the concept of the Community Care Fund but prefer that their money not be allocated to certain agencies. There is a space on the pledge card to indicate this. Donors sometimes ask if that money is ‘taken away’ from the agency they exclude. Usually it is not. When donations are made to the CCF, United Way assumes that donors are putting their trust in the allocations committee to make the right decisions for the community. While Donor A may decide to exclude Agency D from her contribution, that probably is not the case with Donor B. So we will use Donor B and other such donors to ‘fill in.’ If many donors exclude an agency, it’s possible there will not be enough left to fill in. Then we would cut that agency’s allocation.

“Anecdotally, agencies that receive the highest number of exclusions tend to be the same agencies that other donors tell us they are tempted to designate. UW recognizes that there are varying levels of comfort with certain agencies. We try to strike a balance by honoring each donor’s intent and simultaneously ensuring that all agencies have the resources they need to continue their work on behalf of their clients.”

You may chat with Barry about these issues by phone at 334-8370 or e-mail at

Dues deadline for directory inclusion

Those who have paid their 2007-2008 dues by Nov. 1 will appear in this year’s membership directory, which will be mailed with the November newsletter. Send your check ($5 single, $9 per couple) to Treasurer Don Weaver, IU Annuitants Association, P.O. Box 8393, Bloomington, IN 47407.

It’s happening at the Emeriti House

All members of the Annuitants Association are invited and encouraged to participate in the activities of the Emeriti House at 1015 E. Atwater.
Here is the schedule for the next few weeks:
Oct. 31 – Trombone choir led by Carl Lenthe, “Halloween Trombone Treats, No Tricks,” 4 p.m.
Nov. 5 – Brown-bag luncheon (noon to 1:30 p.m.). Bring your lunch; coffee, tea, cookies provided.
Nov. 7 – Audrey McCluskey, Afro American studies, “Images of
African Americans in Theatre Posters,” 4 p.m.
Nov. 13 – Gerald Marker, Education, “How to Maintain the Health of Your Computer,” 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Nov. 14 – Phil Stafford, Center on Aging and Community (Indiana Institute on Disability and Community), 4 p.m.
Nov. 15 – Life-writing session with John Woodcock, English, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 – Brown-bag luncheon (noon to 1:30 p.m.). Bring your lunch; coffee, tea, cookies provided.

Poetry of daily life

Past IU Annuitants President Ted Jones wishes to share with fellow Newswatch readers the following poem, written by his mother-in-law, Marie Gott. She recited it, with apologies to John Masefield and his “Sea Fever,” on Oct. 6, her 96th birthday.

“I must go off to the bathroom again,
In answer to nature’s call,
And all I ask is to get there and back
Without a trip or a fall.

“Then I can slip into bed again
For an hour or two of rest.
Of all the things I like to do,
That is one of the best.”

An excursion for the birds

Even non-birders have a thrill in store when they witness the migration of the sandhill cranes. No LBBs (little brown birds), these magnificent red-capped cranes stand more than three feet high, with a six- or seven-foot wingspan. Their calls can be heard a mile away.

In Indiana sandhill cranes congregate at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, nearly three hours north of Bloomington. The best time to see them is about an hour before dusk, when they return from a day’s feeding. Imagine them landing in formation until thousands – that’s no exaggeration – cover the ground. The sound is amazing; the sight, even more so. An observation tower overlooks Goose Pasture. Binoculars, while not absolutely necessary, come in handy. By mid-October, 1,400 cranes already were at Jasper-Pulaski. The peak is mid-November, when around 25,000 sandhill cranes may be visible.

Directions: I-65 north to Fair Oaks exit, #220. Stop for ice cream; then head east on SR 14 to US 421. Go north on US 421 through Medaryville; five miles later turn left on SR 143. Entrance is a mile and a half farther, on your right.

— Judy Schroeder