Articles by David Dupont

BGSU hosting young African leaders

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University is hosting 25 emerging African leaders for a six-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities. Fellows are from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa and have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations and communities. This cohort is part of a larger group of 1,000 fellows studying at institutions across the United States this summer. The institute will draw on the experience of the fellows, BGSU faculty and students, and local and regional partners to explore four topics of mutual concern: migration/refugee/human trafficking, youth poverty, civic leadership and engagement, and women’s rights/minority rights/disability. “We hope that peer-to-peer interactions around critical community issues will help both the fellows and regional professionals and their organizations to gain new insights and strategies for civic leadership and action,” said Dr. V Jane Rosser, co-director of the institute and director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement. The institute will combine engaging seminars, interactive discussions and site visits to relevant organizations, businesses and agencies. Fellows will also engage in weekly community service projects with a variety of community partners. Professional development sessions will focus on social media use, constructing a persuasive argument, funding challenges, grant-seeking, activism and social organizing. “The goal of the BGSU Civic Leadership Institute is to create lasting partnerships between Mandela Washington Fellows and Americans, to facilitate enduring networks, mutual learning…


Health care for underserved focus of Sunday talk

From MAUMEE VALLEY UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION Health care benefits expert Joe Hessling will present “Healthcare for the Underserved,” Sunday, June 25, from 12:30-2 p.m. at Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 20189 N. Dixie Highway (Route 25) Bowling Green. Hessling is currently a Partner at RL King, an employee benefits consulting company. His passion remains encouraging access to healthcare by the underserved, as well as the forgotten middle class, who many times find this necessity out of reach. He promises a very non-political discussion of the current industry, potential changes and necessary changes. For more than 20 years, Hessling has served in a variety of roles within The Diocese of Toledo, including vice president and treasurer, overseeing healthcare and retirement benefits for the diocese’s nearly 3,000 employees. He currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors of a local Medicaid clinic serving more than 25,000 patients per year. . The session is free of charge and open to the public.. There is no need to pre-register. No offering will be taken. This event is part of the “Sunday Specials” series offered by the MVUUC. BGSU students needing free transportation to the event can call (419) 885-1162 to make arrangements


BGSU’s Pathways of Promise program gets state funding

By OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The Ohio Department of Higher Education recently approved $5 million in funding for projects that will enhance the quality of higher education throughout the state while making it more affordable for students by stabilizing or reducing tuition rates. Bowling Green State University received $750,000 for its PK-16 Pathways of Promise (P³) project. P³ proposes to develop and field-test a scalable model for identifying key performance indicators of college-readiness in university data systems. The data is then shared with PK-12 partners, building a system for continuous program improvement for institutions of higher education and local education agencies. Dawn Shinew, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, was excited to learn the project had been funded. “This project makes a lot of sense and has the potential to have a significant impact, not only for BGSU’s students, but for P-20 education in the state of Ohio.” Shinew serves as a co-principal investigator on the project along with Dr. Brian Campbell, associate dean for Operations, Analytics and Assessment, and Dr. Matthew Lavery, assistant professor, School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy. The original pilot of the program began in summer 2016 after Shinew noticed a theme in conversations she had had with local superintendents – they didn’t have good data about how their students do in college. Shinew discovered that the data was available, it was just a matter of what could be pulled that was meaningful and respecting the students’ privacy. In June, data was shared with six local school districts: Bowling Green, Springfield, Fostoria, Otsego and Maumee and Toledo School for the Arts,…


Dream comes true in Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sky Frishman is an old hand at playing Cinderella. The 2017 graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts first played Cinderella when was 9 in the Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale.” “In My Own Little Corner” from the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has even been her go-to song for showcases and auditions. Now Frishman gets to put that favorite tune in context as the lead in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “Cinderella.” The musical runs June 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School. “Cinderella has always been one of my dream roles,” she said. Director Cassie Greenlee said the familiarity of the story is part of the attraction. Everyone knows the tale. That allows room for interpretation. The tale has lessons to teach. The story is about choice, she said, about how people choose to act toward others, talk to others, “and what happens when the choice is taken away from them.” The show’s featured bullies are the stepmother and two stepsisters. As the stepmother, Narnia Rieske is comically haughty. But the script explains that she’s anxious to marry off one of her daughters to the prince because they are running through the money left by Cinderella’s father. Not that the stepsisters (Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz) are concerned. They are too self-involved, two brats who are always bickering with each other when not joining forces to bully Cinderella. The pair do a great job on one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s funniest songs “Stepsisters’ Lament,” a deliciously comic number. Thomas Long’s prince also gets fleshed…


BG youngster’s paper cranes take flight to Japan

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paper cranes cannot fly. Still some 400 origami cranes, folded with care by 12-year-old Daniel Schuman of Bowling Green, will take flight this week and return to their traditional home in Japan. Akiko Jones, the director of the Asian Studies Program at Bowling Green State University, will bring the cranes over with her when she travels there with students. She will place them at the Peace Memorial at Hiroshima, under the gaze of the statue of Sadako Sasaki. It was Sadako’s story, told in a book “Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes” that revived an ancient Japanese legend. Daniel wrote in his PACE reoirt that the legend maintained: “Anyone with the patience and commitment to make 1,000 cranes will make their one desired wish come true.” Sadako was a young victim of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. She suffered from leukemia, and in her last days she began folding cranes. After she died and her story traveled around the world, others emulated her dedication. This is one of the many aspects of origami that 12-year-old Daniel discovered while doing a project on the craft for PACE, the Bowling Green program for gifted students. Daniel, the son of Gloria Gajewicz and stepfather Chris Gajewicz and Andrew Schuman, first got interested in origami at BGSU’s Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by Jones and staged by the Japanese Club. He was intrigued by the intricacies of the paper folding. Someone had already thought he might have an interest in the craft because he had a couple origami books that he’d received as gifts. His interest piqued, he delved…


2016 BGSU grad Brach Tiller finds his artistic vision through hard work & Instagram

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Brach Tiller graduated from Bowling Green State University just over a year ago, he faced an existential question. “What the hell am I going to do now? What am I going to paint?” he wondered. The 26-year-old has spent his first year after receiving his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree discovering the answer. What he found is now on display in River House Arts’ Gallery 6, on the sixth floor of the Secor Building at 425 Jefferson on downtown Toledo. The work he created while studying for his BFA at BGSU was photorealistic with dark and disturbing overtones. It showed the ability to render realistic images in detail. “I decided it wasn’t providing me what I needed,” Tiller said. So he found himself a studio and began to paint. “I was getting a lot of bad paintings out of the way,” he said. In the past year he figures he’s discarded 30 paintings. While in each one he’d find something to reject, he’d also find some element worth exploring further. That would get worked into the next work. While engaged in this process, “I was exploring Instagram to see what people were doing in the contemporary art world.” BGSU as an art school is “a hidden gem,” he said. Still it is isolated from any center of art. So Tiller used Instagram to reach out, as well as to document his own work. “I had to use Instagram as that tool to find art in the world because you want to be part of the conversation of what’s going on out there.” Instagram…


Black Swamp Arts Festival thanks Kroger for donation

To the Editor: The Black Swamp Arts Festival Committee would like to express its appreciation for the $2,000 donated to the festival by Kroger during its grand opening of the Kroger Marketplace in Bowling Green. We are honored to be included along with Wood County Humane Society and The Cocoon. The Kroger donation will help us continue to present high quality entertainment and art to the community. On Sept. 8. 9 and 10 the festival will mark its 25th year with a weekend full of art, music, activities for kids, beverages, and food.   Black Swamp Arts Festival committee


Reports of elder abuse on the rise in Wood County

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Wood County Probate Court is seeing more cases of elderly abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Judge David Woessner who presides over the court, said Wednesday, that he hopes it is because of greater awareness leading to more reports. Raising that awareness was the purpose the program presented by Wood County Job and Family Services after the annual Flag Day Pause for the Pledge observance. Tying the two programs together is fitting Woessner said: “So today when we recognize the flag and all it stands for, we should also recognize our need and our responsibility to help the elderly avoid abuse, neglect, and exploitation.” Mark Briseno, the adult protective services supervisor at Job and Family Services, said that in all of 2016 his office handled 260 cases. So far this year, there have been 149 reports, putting the office on track to handle 300 in 2017. He said that the increase probably reflects both heightened awareness leading to people reporting more readily as well as more cases. “It’s hard to really tell,” he said. “It’s a combination of both. Hopefully the efforts we’re taking to get the word out is contributing to more reporting. On the other hand, the elderly population is growing.” And he knows there are many more cases. Nationally only 1 in 14 cases is reported. “We have abuse by family members, neglect by family members or someone who may be in charge of someone’s care or an elderly person who is neglecting themselves,” he said. This may be because of memory loss or physical conditions that prevent them from taking care of…


Heatstroke leading killer of children; safety council offers prevention advice

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been seven fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to four for the same time frame in 2016. Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the number one vehicle-related killer of children in the United States. In fact, in 2016, there were 39 preventable deaths of children in vehicles, a 63-peercent increase from 2015. Simple steps for caregivers to prevent heatstroke: Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended. Even for a minute. Make it a habit to look in the back seat when exiting the car – every time. Always lock the car and put the keys out of reach of children. Simple steps for bystanders to prevent heatstroke: Make sure the child is OK and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately. If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents or have the facility’s security or management page the car owner over the PA system. If there is someone with you, have one person actively search for the parent while the other waits at the car. If the child is not responsive or appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child – even if that means breaking a window. A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult, and heatstroke can occur with outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach a deadly heat level in just about 10 minutes. Look Before You Lock.


Arctic Refuge should remain off limits for oil drilling

To the editor: I appreciated Jan Larson McLaughlin’s article, “BG mayor may join ‘Climate Mayors’ national movement.” I think it’s important for communities and decision makers to be considering all sides of an issue before jumping straight into it, especially when it comes to issues as important as our environment. It seems that some of our nation’s leaders have stopped doing just that. President Trump’s budget proposal threatens to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. This 19-million-acre tract of pristine wild lands is home to millions of animals, and is threatened by these commercial endeavors. As a federal land, it is the property of all Americans, and we have a right to be able to make decisions on it. If we allow them to go into the last frontier that we have, then we risk opening up places here in Ohio to this same development. We need to tell our senators, like Senator Portman, to protect our public lands. Bill Murray Weston


BGSU student dies in triple homicide (updated)

A 18-year-old Bowling Green State University student was one of the victims in a triple homicide. Kylie Pifer, a biology major, was found murdered Sunday at 8 p.m. in a North Royalton home along with her mother, Suzanne Taylor, 45, and her sister, Taylor Pifer, 21, a student at Kent State. The three women were found shot in a bedroom in the homem according to cleveland.com. The mother had also been stabbed. Police have apprehended a 45-year-old man who is a suspect in the killings, and may be connected to another recent double murder. (http://www.cleveland.com/north-royalton/index.ssf/2017/06/north_royalton_triple_homicide.html ) In a state to the BGSU community, Thomas J. Gibson, vice president for student affairs and vice provost wrote: “Kylie had completed her freshman year at the University and lived in Offenhauer Residence Hall. ” He also noted that those wishing to can send condolences to sympathy@bgsu.edu. “Counselors are available to help the campus community cope with this loss,” he wrote. The BGSU Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday–Friday, or can be reached by phone at 419-372-2081.


Paul Simon mixes new work with fan favorites in Toledo Zoo concert

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media The dilemma of Paul Simon came to the fore in one brief moment at Sunday night’s concert at the Toledo Zoo. He’d just performed “Stranger to Stranger” the title track from his latest album. That was new, he said, now I’ll play something old. A female voice exclaimed from the audience: “Oh, yeah!” Simon knows that most of those who packed the Zoo Amphitheatre were there to hear the hits, especially those dating back to his Simon and Garfunkel days. That was evident from the rapturous greeting those numbers received. But Simon has never stopped growing as a songwriter and musician in the almost half century since the duo broke up. Each album – and that really starts with “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” the last Simon and Garfunkel studio effort that is a bridge into Simon’s solo career – has been a sonic experiment, first in the textures of the sounds of the American soul – rock, jazz, gospel, rockabilly – and later extending to South African, Brazil, and electronics. He’s grown into the most sophisticated American pop songwriter, whose evocative lyrics float over complex, multi-rhythmic grooves. Encapsulating such multidimensional body of work into a single concert is daunting. Simon and his wildly talented band of musical wizards managed it easily. Like his albums, the zoo show had a unified sound that captured the textures of Simon’s various musical phases. He opened with a blast – “Boy in the Bubble” from 1986’s “Graceland.” “A bomb in a baby carriage shattering a shop window,” he sang, a line sadly still current. The “Graceland” album was…


Black Swamp Arts Festival poster is a winner for creativity

From BLACK SWAMPS ARTS FESTIVAL The 2016 Black Swamp Arts Festival poster has been honored as Most Creative in Sunshine Artist magazine’s annual competition. The 2016 Black Swamp Arts Festival poster has been honored as Most Creative in Sunshine Artist magazine’s annual competition.The poster, featuring wildflowers found in the Black Swamp, was designed by Erin Holmberg, of Bowling Green. Holmberg said she was inspired by her local upbringing. Her mother was an avid gardener. “Living here in Bowling Green throughout my childhood, I really started to appreciate the natural beauty around here.”Holmberg noted the past two posters, her own design in 2015 and Will Santino’s poster in 2014, both focused on the downtown scene. “It’s not just an arts festival, it’s the Black Swamp Arts Festival,” Holmberg said. “I wanted to try to tie it back to the local community, the namesake of the festival.”So she decided to focus on the swamp. The colored front has an artful profusion of plant life found in the Black Swamp. Though some of the plants she learned in the process of creating the poster are not native to the area.The back side of the program challenges the viewer to identify the 21 flowers depicted on the front and to identify those not native to the Black Swamp. It also includes factoids about the swamp.Holmberg consulted local naturalists, and even got permission to collect a few samples from Wintergarden Park. The goal is to create “a thoughtful design that really is a homage to the people and places” the festival’s audience knows. “You get much better response. People want to participate and want to…


Push for amendment urges change in the way Congressional districts are drawn

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In Ohio winning a seat in the U.S. Congress is pretty much a guarantee of lifetime employment thanks to way Congressional districts are drawn. In the last election, the closest race had the victorious candidate winning by a margin of 36 percentage points. Those wide margins were true whether the candidate was Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the 9th District sweeping to victory with 69 percent of the vote over Republican Donald Philip Larson, or Republican incumbent Bob Latta trouncing Democratic challenger James Neu Jr. with 70 percent of the vote. The problem now, said Katelyn Elliott, a volunteer with an effort to change the way the state’s districts are drawn, is that an incumbent in a safe district has no incentive to listen to or take into consideration the views of voters from the other party. Those districts are the result of gerrymandering mapping district boundaries that assure large majorities for one party. For the most part that favors the Republicans who hold 12 of the state’s 16 seats in Congress, despite the state being considered a swing state. That’s probably why the state Democratic Party is supporting with the petition drive by the non-partisan Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to change the way Congressional Districts are determined. But changing the way districts are drawn has also gained bipartisan support including from Republican Gov. John Kasich. The amendment has qualified for the ballot, Elliott said. She spoke Thursday at an event to recruit and train people who will circulate petitions. They’ll need to secure 305,000…


Art in the air at Simpson Garden

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Simpson Gardens Friday evening was lush with hosta greens, delphinium and coreopsis complemented by artists scattered about the grounds intent on capturing the images of plants, rocks and water. Along with the sounds of birds, mixed the trill of a Chinese bamboo flute, the rumble of a tuba, and young actors singing a show tune. The occasional plop of a drop of rain provided an accent to the thrum of hand drums. The third annual Art in the Park drew more visitors, as well as more artists, said Jacquie Nathan, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, which sponsors the event, hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Artists took time from creating their art to chat with visitors. Landscape artist Barbara Houdeshell has been painting outside, or plein air, for 17 years. It’s a natural for her. “I like painting, and I like people.” Christie Moser, of Bowling Green, had stopped to chat with the painter. Moser moved to town about a year ago, and when she heard about Art in the Park, she knew she wanted to go. “I can really relate to this,” she said. “I’ve been a musician myself all my life,” Moser said. She plays flute and sings.  “I know the passion that swells within the soul that has to be expressed.” Houdeshell’s passion was emerging before her as she looked over a small pond. This is a study that she will bring back to her studio and may turn into a much larger oil painting. She grew up in Wood County, she said, but this is the first…