The 812

The 812

The 812 is a daily show about the basic workings of city government in Bloomington, Indiana. Hosted by Steve Volan, a recently-retired five-term member of Bloomington's City Council, The 812's primary feature is a half-hour interview with elected and appointed officials in city government, as well as with members of boards, commissions and not-for-profits providing services to the city. Produced by Plateia Media.


May 24, 2024 33 mins

Townships are subdivisions of counties. Townships aren't much of a deal in most of the rest of the country, but it turns out that, in Indiana, they're still kind of a big deal. Monroe County is divided into 11 townships. Except for a couple of thousand people in Van Buren Township, and a couple of dozen in Richland Township, the 80,000-plus residents of the city of Bloomington are split almost evenly between Bloomington a...

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The 812 has finally landed its interview with the elusive Dave Rollo, the senior member of the Bloomington city council. In this wide-ranging interview we discuss the carrying capacity of the city in light of the approval of the enormous new Summit District, as well as greenways, urban deer, and more.

The 812 is a production of Plateia Media ©2024. All rights reserved.

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We're starting to invite guests beyond the humble municipality of Bloomington; we're expanding to the humble county of Monroe, to meet some of the people who make the county tick. 

The Sixth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution guarantee the fundamental right of the accused to counsel regardless of their ability to pay. Today we meet the embodiment of that right in Monroe County. 

Our guest, Mich...

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The 812 is slowly expanding its horizons to include governments beyond the city of Bloomington. There are many people whom we’ve interviewed on this program for their knowledge and experience, yet no one is in a better situation to explain Monroe County than our guest today, Geoff McKim, who’s been a member of the county council since 2009 and is in his last year as a councilmember before retiring. (You may also recognize Geoff as ...

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We look back at recent interviews, whose unifying theme seems to be money and how it flows throughout government. Excerpts from last week include:

  • The mechanics of how the legislative process in the Statehouse works, with Indiana’s Own Dana Black, host of the Turn Left podcast
  • the advent of a new organization that tries to pair up worthy projects with mission-based lenders, with the leader of that organization, John Zody, executi...
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How do city road projects get funded? Oftentimes, they're a mix of local, state and (a lot of) federal dollars/ If you've ever wondered why road projects take a long time to come to fruition, today we explore the filter through which those federal dollars flow. 

Bloomington is the center of a metropolitan area. Metropolitan areas, especially ones that cross state lines, get special consideration from the federal ...

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On this show about local government, we're thinking today about the state, and how it affects local government. Dana Black is host of the Turn Left podcast and an inveterate watcher of the Indiana General Assembly. We discuss topics like home rule, annexation, the regulation of rentals, and other legislation that has impacted cities like Bloomington. 

Dissecting bills and engaging directly with representatives and the...

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Jessica McClellan recently left her job as the elected Monroe County Treasurer to join the new Thomson administration as the City of Bloomington's new Controller. In short, no one has followed more money than her. She explains the byzantine process of municipal budgeting and compares it with her previous experience.

The 812 is a production of Plateia Media ©2024. All rights reserved.

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[EPISODE CORRECTED. Enjoy this episode as it was meant to sound!]

Our guest today is John Zody. He's the executive director of CDFI-Friendly Bloomington. Community deveopment financial institutions, or CDFIs, are lenders with missions. CFB connects the dots between mission-based lenders and projects that need special kinds of non-standard funding, that may not be able to get funding through regular commercial banks. <...

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The812 is back from its hiatus! To get you reacclimated, it's a Monday-digest addition of the week of interviews from before our mid-April hiatus. We'll hear excerpts from interviews with:

  • Noah Sandweiss, the city's Historic Preservation Program Manager
  • Shatoyia Moss, the city's Safe and Civil City Director 
  • and Mat Alano-Martin, stand-up comedian and co-founder of the Limestone Comedy Festival, about how it st...
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How does a building get declared "historic"? Who decides what should be saved or not? We find out  some of the answers today, from the guy who sets up the questions. Noah Sandweiss is the new program manager for historic preservation for the city. In our interview, he unpacks the portfolio he's charged with, which includes working with federal and stage agencies, reviewing and preparing for presentation cases to be c...

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How does a community deal with issues that aren't obviously the business of a city government? Cultural issues can overwhelm even the most well-intentioned administration. What does it take to keep a city peaceful beyond law or code enforcement?

Our guest is Shatoyia Moss, the Safe and Civil City Director for the City of Bloomington, who works in the Community and Family Resources Department. She talks today about her...

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Mat Alano-Martin is a professional stand-up comedian who got his start at the city's first comedy club, the Comedy Attic. In 2013, he and the owner of the club, Jared Thompson, created the Limestone Comedy Festival, which is now entering its eleventh year. We learn from Mat what it takes to launch a comedy festival, and how Bloomington helped nurture it through advice from the city and the convention and visitors' bureau....

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April 16, 2024 3 mins

Our planned guest fell through for today (it wasn't Dave Rollo...but it could've been you, Dave). We're presenting the Lineup of public meetings happening in City Hall today on its own. Full episodes coming the rest of this week.

The 812 is a production of Plateia Media ©2024. All rights reserved.

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After the eclipse hubbub died down, we interviewed several interesting people. On today's highlights from last week's interviews, clips from:

  • Emily Pike, director of New Hope, the only shelter in the county for families experiencing homelessness; 
  • lex Crowley, the city's former director of ESD; and 
  • Hank Duncan, the city's bike and ped coordinator.

(Dave Rollo Watch: 64 Days and Counting)

The 812 is a produc...

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Today's episode is not just one, but two doses of The 812 Overtime, extra segments recorded for us by recent guests who just had too many interesting insights for us to fit into our regular half-hour interviews. It's a couple of good, deep dives into local government.

Our first Overtime interview we made back in March with John Connell about Bloomington Transit, where he's the general manager. In this segmen...

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Hank Duncan, who works in the city's Planning and Transportation Department, is the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. He explains his role in how pedestrians, cyclists, scooter users, wheelchair users, stroller-pushers and more get around town. We discuss protected bike lanes, sidepaths, sidewalks, greenways, curb cuts and more.

The 812 is a production of Plateia Media ©2024. All rights reserved.

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From 2016 to 2023, Alex Crowley served in the Hamilton administration as Bloomington's director of Economic and Sustainable Development. Since last summer, his new role is as executive director of the new Indiana Energy Independence Fund. In the second half of the show, he'll explain what a "green bank" is and his new job running one. In the first half, though, he talks about his time with the city.

The 812 is a ...

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How much do you really know about the typical homeless person? Are you sure, or are you just making assumptions? Homelessness among children, for example, is a significant thing. Our guest today is Emily Pike, the executive director of New Hope for Families, the only shelter in Monroe County dedicated to helping children under the age of 18 experiencing homelessness, and the parents or guardians who come with them. 

The 812 is a pro...

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To everyone visiting Bloomington, and about to make Monday the largest tourism event in the city's history, this episode is for you. 

The 812 podcast is all about explaining how the city of Bloomington works. In the first half of today's episode, we talk with 

  • Michael Large from the Public Works Department
  • John Connell, general manager of Bloomington Transit, and 
  • Tim Street, the city's new Parks and Recrea...
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