Articles by David Dupont

Chamber sponsoring webinar on sexual harasssment, Feb. 28

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce announces a Webinar presented in partnership with The Employers’ Association. This Webinar will be held February 28th at 8 a.m. Registrants can participate from anywhere via personal devices. “Let’s Talk About Sexual Harassment, Baby! Moving Beyond Compliance to Creating a Culture of Respect and Civility in the Workplace” During this webinar, participants will learn: • How to promote respect and civility in the workplace • The importance of Leadership and Accountability in preventing harassment • How to avoid the perils of “Complicit silence” • Tips for updating your company’s sexual harassment training The wave of recent sexual harassment scandals has prompted many companies to evaluate their sexual-harassment training programs. The allegations have shown how ignoring this problem can have devastating effects on victims as well as bystanders, can destroy organizational culture, and damage your company reputation. But, workplace harassment training that simply focuses on eliminating unwelcome or offensive behavior based on characteristics such as race or gender is not enough. To stop harassment, companies must go beyond compliance training and make a commitment to promote respect and civility in the workplace. This is a free event, but reservations are required by Monday February 26. On February 26 registrants will be given a call in code for the Webinar. RSVP by contacting Marissa Muniz at or by calling (419) 353-7945. This event is presented by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Business Council in partnership with The Employers’ Association.

String music of Robert Schumann featured at St. Tim’s concert

From  ST. TIM’S DISCOVERS Musicians from the Toledo Symphony are featured in the next St. Tim’s Discovers Series event, scheduled for Sunday February 18 at 3 p.m.  in the sanctuary of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 871 East Boundary Street, Perrysburg. Pianist Valrie Kantorski and the Zin Quartet will present music of German composer Robert Schumann in both duet and quintet forms. Opening with the Three Fantasy Pieces, Op.73, Ms. Kantorski will perform each movement with different combinations of the quartet personnel. Movement one features violinist Cheryl Trace, movement two pairs cellist Renee Goubeaux with Kantorski and the finale is a viola/piano duo with Kantorski and Kalindi Bellach. During the second portion of the recital, Ms. Kantorski and the quartet, including TSO principal second violinist Merwin Siu, will perform the Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44 in its entirety. The Quintet, composed in 1842 for Schumann’s wife, Clara Wieck, was considered ground breaking for its use of cello rather than double bass in a string quartet. The piece is majestic in scope and emotional range, an elegant showpiece for the ensemble. Valrie Kantorski is a Steinway Ensemble Artist and has been the primary keyboard musician for the Toledo Symphony for more than 30 years. Currently, she holds the Jonathan F. Orser Chair for keyboard. As a member of the Kantorski-Pope Piano Duo, Ms. Kantorski is a three-time recipient of the First Prize in the Graves Duo Piano Competition. She has an extensive career as a piano soloist, accompanist and ensemble performer. The Zin Quartet has performed previously on the St. Tim’s Discovers Series, most notably in two performances of Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ. Valrie Kantorski also is a veteran of the St. Tim’s Series. With her duo partner Ann Pope, the two were the artists selected for the dedication of the St. Timothy’s Steinway piano in 2016. St. Tim’s Discovers is dedicated to bringing classical music to communities throughout Northwest Ohio. The performance is free and open to the public; doors open to the public at 2:30 PM. St. Timothy’s…

Faculty told student evaluations don’t play into tenure, promotion decisions

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Acting Provost John Fischer sought to reassure faculty about a new approach to student evaluations of courses at Bowling Green State University. Starting next fall, students will answer the same six questions regardless of the course they are taking, and these questions can be answered online, not just in class. These will be in addition to specific questions posed by particular academic departments. A presentation on the Teaching and Learning Evaluations drew fire from faculty when a report was presented at last month’s Faculty Senate meeting. The criticism included a charge that colleges and universities were using such quantitative data to justify employing more part-time faculty, even though the methods of gathering those evaluations is flawed. The faculty online discussion group has been active with back and forth about the issue since that meeting. Fischer told Faculty Senate that the new evaluations would not be used for any promotion, tenure, or re-appointment decisions. Those are covered by the contract with the BGSU-Faculty Association. The evaluations serve more institutional purposes. “We need a university measure that will give us some sense and data of how students think we’re doing on teaching and learning,” he said. While written comments are more helpful, Fischer said, there’s no way to gather and summarize that data. Each of the six questions will have a space for written comments. He noted that when the College of Education and Human Development put its evaluations online the number and length of the written comments increased dramatically. Asked by senate member Craig Zirbel if these are the six questions he would have chosen, Fischer equivocated. He said he was reluctant to say anything that could reflect negatively on the working group that put together the proposal over the past two years. He did allow he may have included a couple other questions. During the January Faculty Senate discussion, David Jackson, president of the Faculty Association, said that all the questions were directed toward the teaching side with none addressing student participation and effort….

Winter weather update on week’s second storm

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: The next storm system will impact Ohio overnight tonight (Feb. 6) and into at least the first half of Wednesday.  Snow will begin well after midnight tonight and begin to taper off by early afternoon on Wednesday.  Expected snowfall is around 2” total for this storm.  Once again, Northeast, Central, and Southeast Ohio will see the biggest impacts from this storm with 4”+ expected in those areas.  Obviously, this storm will have more of a solid impact on the Wednesday morning commute due to falling snow.  Winds are not expected to be an issue with this storm system. We are still monitoring the Thursday night/Friday storm system.  At this time it is starting to look like a few inches of new snow, but the exact path is still underdetermined, so forecasted snow totals could still go up or down.

Toledo Museum unveils master plan that integrates its campus with the community

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) announces today (Feb. 6)  a comprehensive Master Plan for the institution, its buildings and surrounding campus, to be carried out over approximately 20 years. The first phase of the Master Plan, which developed out of TMA’s recent, long-range strategic planning process, focuses on TMA’s grounds as an urban park and oasis within the city of Toledo. Plans call for creating new green space, unifying the architectural and visitor experience and enhancing the existing gardens and grounds. TMA began developing the Master Plan in late 2016 with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, an internationally renowned architectural and planning firm based in New York City. Among Beyer Blinder Belle’s specializations are museums, campus planning, historic preservation and parks and gardens. The firm has collaborated with some of the most influential cultural institutions in the U.S., including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, New York Public Library, Frick Collection, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ellis Island and Longwood Gardens. “Through this dynamic Master Plan, the Toledo Museum of Art is poised to capitalize on our institutional strengths of outreach and education and to better engage with our many communities and constituencies for generations to come,” said Brian Kennedy, Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director of the Toledo Museum of Art. “We look forward to realizing this vision through our work with Beyer Blinder Belle by supporting the citizens and leadership of the city of Toledo, a city that is in the midst of an exciting urban revitalization.” The team at Beyer Blinder Belle has completed a full assessment and analysis of TMA’s site, developed a range of options and consulted with theMuseum’s leadership to act on the Master Plan announced today. The Master Plan is designed to considerably increase the Museum’s accessibility and visibility by unifying the twelve buildings across its 40-acre park-like setting and weaving the site into the broader urban fabric of downtownToledo. The Master Plan is being developed, founded on established community relationships, and will dovetail with goals for the surrounding neighborhood and greater Toledo area. The Master Plan includes a significant evaluation…

Hard work & inspiration on display at BGSU undergrad art exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Laura Dirksen was 7 years old, she went digging for clay. She’d just learned about the material and was intrigued that it could be found in her back yard. She was so intent on her search and digging the hole that she almost got stuck. Her father had to come out to get her. In truth, Dirksen admits now, mostly she found mud. She rediscovered clay about a dozen years later in her second year studying art at Bowling Green State University.  She started as a painting major. “I fell into the ceramics program my sophomore year,” she said, “and things really shot up from there.” And it made her feel her nostalgic for her childhood adventure. Dirksen’s ceramic sculpture “Degrade” won the Medici Circle Best of Show Award at the Undergraduate Art Exhibition, which opened Sunday in the University Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. The show continues through Feb. 19. “Degrade” is her reflection on the tendency to denigrate people, especially women. The form reflects her own shape, and features the admonition: “Why do you always degrade Tom?” “Tom,” she explained, is a stand in for society. While “a lot of people tear things down … I try to bring out the best.” Dirksen, who grew up in Maria Stein in Mercer County near the Indiana border, wasn’t sure she’d ever make it to college. “In high school my academic level wasn’t exactly the best, but my art stuff was always what kept me going.” After high school she ended up working two jobs and realized that’s not what she wanted. Dirksen recommitted herself to her art. She came to BGSU as a painting major. In her sophomore year, she was introduced to ceramics. Working with clay heightened her sense of touch. “It’s really intense. You’re always working. It’s humbling,” she said. “You work constantly at something, and you’re not going to get your best results unless it’s something you’ve done 1,000 times over.” Seeing a completed piece is “a reminder…

Evie Van Vorhis to compete in Ohio Has Talent, Feb. 24

From OHIO HAS TALENT Evie Van Vorhis, an eight-year-old, third grade student at Conneaut Elementary School, will sing at a regional talent show in Van Wert on Feb. 24 called, Ohio Has Talent! Van Vorhis is one of 18 performers selected from the nearly 60 acts that auditioned for the show in November. Contestants will compete for $1,000, $500 and $250 cash-prizes, with winners determined by audience votes. Van Vorhis began singing at age four and recently had the honor of singing the national anthem at a Martina McBride concert and was a feature soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. She is the daughter of Beth Van Vorhis. Ohio Has Talent! is a benefit show for CHP Hospice, a nonprofit organization. It will be held at 7 p.m. at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, 10700 St. Rte. 118, Van Wert. Tickets for the show are available online at or by calling 419-238-6722. (Click for feature story on Evie.)

Democrat Buddy Ritson enters race for Wood County auditor

From BUDDY RITSON FOR WOOD COUNTY AUDITOR  Buddy Ritson of Lake Township has filed petitions and will seek election as Wood County Auditor in the Democratic Primary. Buddy was raised in Walbridge and is a graduate of Lake High School.  In addition, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Toledo and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Financial Economics from Bowling Green State University.  He is a pricing specialist supervisor at Hub Group, a transportation logistics company based in Toledo Ohio. In announcing his candidacy, Buddy stated, “I truly believe in bipartisan approaches to government. The Auditor’s office provides important checks and balances and with a nearly all Republican county government, it is important to have an auditor who can provide those checks and balances.”     Buddy believes that a new face in the Auditor’s office will bring about needed innovation. He stated, “Wood County was one of the first Auditor’s Offices in Ohio to have a web presence, but the electronic presence hasn’t had significant updates in a long time. I look forward to bringing ideas that I have gained from private industry to help make county government more effective in reaching the needs of Wood County taxpayers and businesses.” Buddy and his fiancé, Heather DeBouver, recently bought their first home in Lake Township and will be married in Risingsun on May 19th.  After their honeymoon, Buddy looks forward to meeting voters of Wood County.  In addition, he welcomes all suggestions on how to make County government more efficient and more effective via email at

Keep your snow shovels handy

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: A very active storm tract through the Ohio Valley and the Lower Great Lakes will bring three storm systems with accumulating snow to our area this week. Storm No. 1 will move into the area late this evening and into the overnight hours.  1.5”-2” of fluffy type snow can be expected.  Tuesday morning’s commute may be slippery. Storm No. 2 will move into the area late Tuesday evening and into the morning hours of Wednesday.  0.5”-1.5” of new snowfall can be expected.  Wednesday morning’s commute will likely be slippery as well.  (Heavier snow in Central/Southern Ohio and into NE Ohio) Storm No. 3 will move into the are late Thursday and possibly continue into the early weekend.  This will be a strong storm system that will have the potential for heavy snow; however, the exact storm path is not known yet, so we will continue to monitor this storm as it develops and moves across the country.  Again, this storm may have more significant snowfall if the storm path puts the heavier snow bands across NW Ohio.  More information on this storm later in the week.

BG Winterfest celebrates 10th year

From WINTERFEST BG CHILLABRATION  Bowling Green invites you to the Coolest Weekend of the Year during the 10th Annual Winterfest BG Chillabration full of winter themed activities for everyone. We will kick things off downtown with the merchants Chocolate Crawl Fundraiser for the United Way on February 9th. The Frozen Swamp Tent will be a Winter Market by day and host live music, beer, wine and refreshments by night on February 10th on the corner of S. Main St. and Clough. Also on the 10th downtown the Ice Garden will highlight ice sculptures and carving demonstrations with Mascots of all kinds on hand to greet the kids. This three-day fun-filled community event also features Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, 1BookBG Trivia, Chili & Soup Cook-Off, Frostbite Fun Run, Cookie Creations, Youth Dodge Ball, the new Black Swamp Curling Center Learn to Curl, Window Youth Art Exhibition, Four Corners Gallery BGHS Art Exhibit and WC Library events to include Solar over Smores and I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt. The Slater Family Ice Arena will be hosting Bobcat hockey and public skating. FRIDAY • 10 a.m. -7 p.m. BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery • 3:45 – 6 p.m. Youth Dodgeball, Grades 3-8th, BG Community Center • 5-9 p.m. Chocolate Crawl Fundraiser, participating merchants downtown funds going to United Way (tickets available at Downtown BG, Merchants and United Way) • 6 p.m. BGHS Bobcat Hockey vs. St. Johns, Slater Family Ice Arena (ticket required) • 7-8:50 p.m. Public Skate, Slater Family Ice Arena (skate rental available) SATURDAY • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt, WC Public Library Second Floor • 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Winter Market in the Frozen Swamp Tent offering vendors of all kinds, BIGGBY coffee & hot cocoa, Huntington Bank Parking Lot • 11 a..m 1 mile Frostbite Fun Run, City Park (pre-registration & fee) 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Ice Carving Demonstrations by Ice Creations, Huntington Bank Parking Lot • 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Mascots in Ice, meet & greet the mascots while they model for sculptures,…

Ice bar & garden gives BG a place to chill

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Winterfest BG Chillabration is back for 2018 even bigger and better than last year. The Saturday evening of live bands, incredible ice bar and amazing ice garden met with rave reviews.  This year the heated Frozen Swamp Tent will not only provide shelter for live music from 4 – 11 pm, it will also present the first ever Winter Market from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  All this happens in the Huntington parking lot on the corner of Clough and S. Main Streets. This is also the location for our beautiful ice garden and live ice carving demonstrations.  The ice garden officially opens at 10 am. This year we will host mascots from 10 am – 6 pm and they will be the models for our extremely talented ice carvers from Ice Creations.  This is sure to be a hit with every age group.  The schedule of these live sculptures and appearances are:  10 am – Bobby and Betty Bobcat, Noon – Walleyes’ Spike and Cat Trick, 2 pm – Freddie and Frieda Falcon, 4 pm – Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot.  Many thanks to the sponsors of these live demonstrations; Almar Property Management, Greenbriar Inc., Thayer Honda and Walmart and to those that made it possible for us to have all these great mascots at our event; The Mud Hens, BGSU Athletics, Bowling Green City Schools and Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Retro.   There will be Mud Hens tickets given away as a part of the Walleyes sculpture demonstration and Thayer Honda will have giveaways including a $100 Visa Card during the last demonstration of the day.  BGSU Athletics will be on hand to let us know about the special programs they have going on too! Our incredible 6 foot ice bar that will be unveiled at 4 p.m. was sponsored by Nate and Wally’s Fish Bowl, Everyday People and Uptown/Downtown. They are all businesses in Downtown Bowling Green.   The design is under wraps and is sure to be one of the “coolest” sculptures of this…

Daniel Gordon announces run for state representative

Submitted by DANIEL GORDON Bowling Green City Councilman Daniel Gordon has announced he is filing petitions this week to run for State Representative in Ohio House District 3, comprising Wood County. “Serving on City Council for the better part of a decade has given me a front row seat to see that decisions made by the state legislature have made our lives worse here in Wood County, and I refuse to sit by and watch that continue,” Gordon said. “We deserve better, and I’m going to offer all of us a real choice and a new path.” Gordon singled out the state legislature’s decision to cut millions of dollars from the Local Government Fund — which is vital to ensuring Ohio cities, towns, and villages have the money needed to maintain services — to close a state budget shortfall. Cuts to the fund have forced local communities in turn to cut needed services and raise fees or taxes to protect schools, fire, police, and social and mental health services. Despite state politicians’ promises that these cuts would make the state healthier, Ohio has consistently lagged behind other states in job creation and economic security, and risks another recession. And Gordon says he knows why. “The legislature has been fiscally irresponsible,” Gordon asserted. They can’t fix the roof by knocking out the foundation. They couldn’t pay off the money they lost spending on pet projects and rewarding their corporate friends, so they took our taxpayers’ money instead. And they have nothing to show for it. We got ripped off, and the worst part is they keep doing it. Not on my watch.” “I’m going to get our money back,” Gordon promised. Gordon sees the state government’s funding cuts as a pattern of assault on local communities. “These folks go to Columbus and preach about “small government,” but then go and pass bills to give themselves more power and restrict ours at the local level,” he said, referring to so-called “preemption bills” which demand new restrictions on what mayors and city councils…

Conrad competition brings out the best in BGSU singers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The audience at the Conrad Art Song Competition finals Saturday night did a good job following instructions to hold their applause until the performers had completed all their songs. Holding their laughter was another matter. Several of the competitors offered up light hearted songs, and even if they were in a foreign language they managed in their gestures and facial expressions to draw a reaction. Soprano Caroline Kouma enlivened her performance of Leo Deliebes’ “Les filles de Cadix” with a coquettish manner. Pianist Rhys Burgess served as her musical straight man, punctuating her acting. That kind of interplay won the duo first place in the graduate division of the 19th Conrad competition. Winners in the undergraduate division were baritone Luke Serrano and pianist Yuefeng Liu. The event was created with a gift two decades ago by Conrad, a local doctor who resumed her vocal studies later in life. She passed away at 92 in 2014. Her spirit lives on through the competition, said Christopher Scholl, who coordinates the event. “She would be extremely proud of you tonight,” Scholl told the performers Saturday. Dean Southern, a vocal coach from the Cleveland Institute of Music, was one of the three outside professionals adjudicating the performances. BGSU “should be very proud,” of the competition, he said. “It’s definitely unusual and unique and to be celebrated.” Southern said he was impressed by the emphasis on the singer and pianist as a team, not just a singer with a pianist assisting. “That’s part of my DNA,” he said, noting that he studied piano before turning to voice. “The song will never be complete if those two parts are not there together.” Southern was also impressed that the duos were required to perform at least one song by a living composer. “That’s really important.” Adam O’Dell, who recently received his master’s in composition from BGSU, agreed. As an undergraduate, he said, the vocalists focused on Mozart, Schumann, and the like. But at BGSU he could have a singer, Luke Schmidt,…

Toledo Museum exhibit puts mummies in a new light

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mummies have had many uses over the millennia – fertilizer, being ground for medicine, starring in horror films and kids cartoons, being the centerpiece for art museum collections. The Toledo Museum of Art’s mummies were among its most popular attractions, and until now last viewed by the public in 2010. The mummies, though, are not objects, said Brian Kennedy, the museum director. They are human remains. In all the hype surrounding ancient Egypt, that gets lost. A new exhibit “The Mummies: From Egypt to Toledo” aims to put that humanity at the center. The mummies – the remains of a Young Priest and an Old Man – are not treated as objects but on view in a darkened room, reminiscent of a wake. The exhibit continues through May 6. (Click for details o related events.) The museum’s exhibition designer, Claude Fixler said the remains are treated with “a much greater sense of reverence than in the past to bring home the point that these were someone’s child. “They deserve the solitude of this space, a sense of quietude and meditation on their lives relating to our own in many ways.” This is the third time Fixler has designed an exhibit featuring the remains. Kennedy had just arrived in Toledo when that 2010 exhibit was about to be staged. Coming from Dartmouth College, an institution founded to educate Native Americans, and before that from the Australian National Museum where issues of the display of human remains were acute, he was bothered by some aspects of the exhibit. He decided they would not be shown except in an exhibit where they can be put in context. Young Priest and Old Man had not been on exhibit other than special shows since 1997. Curators Adam Levine, associate curator of ancient art, and Mike Deetsch, the director of education and engagement, were charged with providing that context. Egypt had long fascinated Western culture. The goddess Isis was adopted by the Romans. When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1795, he…

Public meeting on Toledo Area Water Authority initiative set for Feb. 15

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) will host a Regional Water Informational Meeting on water supply options in Wood County Thursday, February 15, 6:30 p.m., Quality Inn, 10612 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. As an established regional water authority, The District is exploring long-term water supply options for approximately 6,500 water customers in Northern Wood County, including the cities of Rossford and Northwood, The Village of Walbridge, as well as customers in Perrysburg Township, Troy Township, and Lake Township. The District is currently exploring options with the Toledo Regional Water Authority (TAWA) as well as other water sources in Wood County. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the public by presenting information regarding these options, prior to making the decision to sign an agreement with TAWA. Information on TAWA and most the recent Wood County Economic Development Study will be presented. Click for more information on TAWA. Click for information on the most recent Wood County Economic Development Study. Directions: From I-75, take Exit 193 (US 20), head east on Fremont Pike (US20), right on Lakevue Drive, the Quality Inn will be on the right with parking and access to the conference room facing US 20. ACCOMIDATIONS/RESERVATIONS: The District’s public meetings and events are accessible to people with disabilities. If you need assistance in participating in a meeting or event due to a disability as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact The District at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event to request an accommodation. To reserve a seat, please call or email below. Phone: 419-354-9090 EX 193 Email: