Pipeline petition passes signature test …. but more obstacles remain

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The petition to get a pipeline issue on Bowling Green’s November ballot cleared its first hurdle Friday – just barely. A total of 1,230 signatures were collected on the petition. By law, to make it on the ballot, the petition needed 714 valid signatures. It had 715. But two other hurdles remain. The second hurdle involves timing. There is some question if the pipeline petition was filed too late. There are different deadlines depending on the type of petition, so that issue will likely be decided by the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office. The third hurdle involves content. It’s possible the petition won’t make the November ballot because it asks for powers that the city may not have the authority to give. Under Ohio House Bill 463, passed last year, the petition may not be within the purview of the city and may create constitutional conflicts. It will be up to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office to also determine whether or not the charter amendment meets H.B. 463 requirements. “We’re going to take all this to them as we go through the process,” explained Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections. Since the house bill is so new, it may take time to get an answer. But Burton said he is anxious to get a decision on the matter. “I just want to set my ballots,” he said. Burton said the 515 invalid signatures on the petitions were a combination of duplicate signatures, illegible signatures, incomplete addresses, printed signatures, and signatures from people outside the city. He said board of…

Read More

County and BG team up to resume glass recycling

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s still not crystal clear, but it appears a solution is in sight for glass recycling to be resumed in Bowling Green and Wood County. Last month, the Bowling Green Recycling Center announced that effective immediately, the facility would no longer be accepting glass. That applied to all the center’s locations, including the 24-hour drop-off site in Bowling Green, plus the satellite trailers and satellite facilities scattered throughout Wood County. On Monday, the Wood County Solid Waste Management Board reviewed four options for glass recycling presented by Bill DenBesten, chairman of the Bowling Green Recycling Center. On Tuesday, the Wood County Commissioners said they preferred “Proposal D,” which requires some buy in by both the city and county. “This proposal focuses on keeping the overall costs as low as possible, sharing both risk and rewards with the county,” DenBesten stated. “It leverages the city’s offer to load glass at no charge to further reduce costs. The plan calls for the following steps to occur: The recycling center will again start accepting glass in its drop-off and satellite sites, and schedule shipments with both the transport and glass processing companies. The city will make its old salt shed, next to the recycling center on North College Street, available for storage of glass in between shipments. The city will also use its equipment to load the glass into trucks to be transported. The county will be responsible for all charges billed by the hauler, who will invoice the county directly. DenBesten said the recycling center is reluctant to start up glass recycling again if the…


Black Swamp Arts Festival puts out call for volunteers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Arts Festival needs a village. That’s what it takes to stage the annual weekend event. It’s been that way for the festival’s 25 years. “It takes everybody,” said Wynn Perry, volunteer coordinator for the festival. The festival draws on a cross section of the community – professionals, retirees, service clubs, churches, school clubs, university students, and more. “They all volunteer.” The Black Swamp Arts Festival will be presented Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 10 this year, in downtown Bowling Green. None of the concerts, art show or youth activities happen without willing bodies. The festival uses about 1,000 volunteers on the weekend itself – the all-volunteer committee that organizes it works throughout the year. That’s the sweat equity that’s invested into putting on a community-wide party. With the festival less than a month away, organizers are in serious need of people to sign up, Perry said. Volunteers are needed throughout the festival from Friday morning to help set up the stage and beer garden area to helping get the downtown back to normal on late Sunday afternoon. On Saturday morning volunteers on the dawn patrol help transform Main Street into a vibrant art fair, as more than 150 artists, plus university students, set up booths. In between, help is needed selling tickets, merchandise, beverages, picking up trash, helping kids create art, and monitoring the stage and beer garden area. “Volunteers are a vital part of the Festival,” Todd Ahrens, who chairs the festival committee, wrote in a statement.  From set up Friday morning to take down on Sunday evening, about…


Confederate flag banned at some fairs, but not Wood County’s

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two years ago, the Ohio State Fair stopped allowing the confederate flag to be displayed or sold at the fairgrounds in Columbus. No blanket ruling was made for other fair operations in the state. Some county fairs in Ohio joined suit, and ruled that confederate flags would no longer be allowed on grounds. Others – like Wood County Fair – continue to allow confederate flags to be flown, displayed and sold by private vendors. “I think it’s something they at least should take into consideration,” Doris Herringshaw, president of the Wood County Board of Commissioners, said of the ban adopted by other county fair boards. “Given what’s happening in the country, it’s important to take a serious look at it.” Multiple calls to fair board members were not returned. Karen Wood, a Bowling Green citizen, noticed confederate flags at the Wood County fair earlier this month and asked that they be removed. The fair board met to discuss the request and decided to take no action, Wood said. This was a battle already fought by Wood County residents, Wood said. “Union Hill and Oak Grove Cemeteries are full of Union veterans who fought the racist traitors of the Confederacy,” she said. So Wood took the present-day battle to Facebook, to a meeting of Not In Our Town Bowling Green last week, and to a community rally on Sunday to stand with the residents of Charlottesville, Virginia. “I was shocked at the number of confederate flags,” Wood said to the crowd gathered Sunday on the city’s Wooster Green. “We’re Charlottesville, we just haven’t…


For Keeps throws a party to mark 20 years of peddling life’s fun, non-essentials

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Amy Craft Ahrens is celebrating 20 years of running For Keeps in downtown Bowling Green, and she wants her customers to have a piece of the action. That’ll be especially true for one lucky customer in particular. As part of the celebration, the shop is holding a party under a tent Saturday Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop is handing out puzzle pieces. One of those pieces will complete a puzzle on display in the party tent. The person who gets the piece will receive a $250 gift card. Another 50 prizes will be given out as part of puzzle game. Craft Ahrens said that every year she has a sale to mark the anniversary of the opening of the store, but this year being a milestone she decided to expand the celebration. There’ll be cookies from the Cookie Jar, in keeping with Craft Ahrens’ shop local philosophy. Mimosas until their gone and beer, wine and soft drinks. Grab bags for $1, $3, $5 and $10 containing “a hodgepodge of goodies” worth at least twice the price. Customers can participate in a trivia contest about the store with questions such as how many women named Amy have worked there. And there’ll be goats. Craft Ahrens fancies goats, and when she was in Boston to run in the marathon earlier this year, the hotel she was staying in had goats, so she thought: “Why can’t I?” The sale will run from Friday through Sunday. Balloons will be strewn about the floor, and inside will be a tag denoting a discount from…


What’s happening in your community (updated Aug. 17)

NEWLY POSTED:Jazz singer Evelyn Wright headlines Sunset Jazz Fest, Aug. 20 The 13th Annual Sunset Jazz & Art Festival will be held on Sunday, Aug. 20 from 2 p.m. until dusk n the towpath along the Gilead Side-Cut canal that separates the Village’s main street from the Maumee River. The Festival is a fun-filled evening with live Jazz music, artists’ booths, and food and beverages from our local eateries. Attendees should bring chairs,  leave coolers at home. Adult beverages, water, sodas, and food available. Admission is free. Cleveland-based jazz singer Evelyn Wright will headline. Performers for 2017 are: 2:30 p.m. – Big Band BG 3:45 p.m. – Elle Martin 5 p.m. – Bob Rex 6:15 p.m. – Sixth Edition, featuring Kim Beuhler, Lori LeFevre, and Lisa Young 7:30 p.m. –   Evelyn Wright A professional vocalist for over 30-plus years, Wright has been entertaining like no other in the styles of jazz, R&B, and pop. She was awarded the Jazz Legend Award from Tri-C Community College in 2008. Awards include Best Female Vocalist in 1985 in conjunction with public broadcasting station WCPN. Evelyn has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada performing in the top nightclubs and concert halls. For more information, please call 419-832-ARTS or visit the Grand Rapids Arts Council’s website. NEWLY POSTED: Galen Bundy releases adventurous jazz session “Struggle is Joy” at Sept. 1 show  Jazz keyboardist Galen Bundy will debut the new Project 206 recording “Struggle is Joy” in a free concert Friday, Sept.1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Bundy will be joined on stage by Ben…


Rally unites BG to stand up against hatred in face of Charlottesville

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The crowd rallying in Wooster Green Sunday afternoon was determined to not mince words about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. “These are actually Nazis in America in 2017,” said Daniel Gordon, who helped organize the rally to support the people of Charlottesville And they are members of the KKK, who don’t feel the need to wear hoods because they have the support of President Donald Trump, Gordon said. “We are angry. We are sickened and heartbroken about what has happened,” Gordon, a Bowling Green council member, said. “This is what domestic terrorism looks like.” The impromptu rally – which was put together in less than a day and while BGSU students are still on summer break – drew a crowd of about 125. The citizens carried signs saying, “Racism is Not History Yet” and “Hate Doesn’t Make America Great.” The people spouting hatred in Charlottesville were not patriots, Gordon said. “These people showed up in Nazi uniforms and shirts with Hitler quotes on them, with Nazi flags, chanting Nazi slogans, giving the Nazi salute.” One of the men supporting the Nazi group is charged with driving his car through a crowd protesting against the hatred. The driver, James Fields from Maumee, is charged with killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring many more. And two state troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed as they were trying to monitor the clashes. But in the national’s capital, Trump did not condemn the Nazis, and instead chose to draw a moral equivalence between the Nazis and those protesting against them, Gordon said. “So…