Articles by David Dupont

Gambling problems reach into college population

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   A study conducted last summer by the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board showed that 4.3 percent of those surveyed showed some tendency toward disordered gambling behavior. The study was done while first-year students were on campus before the semester started, said Lorrie Lewandowski, ADAMHS associate director. The survey found males more likely to indicate problem gambling tendencies than females. The study is an ongoing effort to study disordered gambling, prompted by the opening of four casinos in 2012 in Ohio, including the Hollywood Casino Toledo, just over the Wood County line. The constitutional amendment that approved the casinos requires they provided 2 percent of their gross revenues to combatting problem gambling. In 2016, $5.4 million was generated for those efforts, according to the state’s casino control commission. But casinos are just one gambling option. The Ohio Lottery offers a variety of games that are widely available. ADAMHS figures show there are more than 115 licensed lottery retailers in Wood County who sold over $24 million worth of lottery products in 2014. About 2,000 online gambling sites exist, most operating illegally. Lewandowski said the ADAMHS board is focusing on three groups, teenagers up to age 18, college age youth, and senior citizens. They are the groups most in danger of developing gambling disorders. The board employs Bill Ivoska to consult on developing local data. If the board is charged with addressing local problems then it needs local information, she said. Ivoska recently co-authored a scholarly article based in part on Wood County data that showed while lottery games such as scratch off tickets were the most common form of gambling among young people, sports-related gambling including fantasy sports, has a stronger link with developing problem gambling behaviors. Among college students online gambling is also prevalent. What the survey found was that college student athletes were more likely to engage in fantasy sports type gaming. She attributed this to long rides to athletic contests leaving them with time to kill. College students reported little interest in visiting casinos, citing lack of money and lack of transportation, Lewandowski said. Those with gambling disorder display the same symptoms as those with drug addiction. Gambling taps the risk-reward center of the brain, where the excitement of the game…


Paying for textbooks could put a dent in BGSU budget

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University could take a significant financial hit if a state budget proposal requiring colleges to pay for students’ textbooks becomes law. At a session of the BGSU Faculty Senate in late February President Mary Ellen Mazey said that even with the option of a new $300 annual textbook fee, the cost of providing textbooks would be significant. Mazey reported that the estimates for state aid are a 1-percent increase this year with a freeze in the second year of the biennial budget. She also expects a freeze on tuition and fees, other than the possibility of the new textbook fee. No one, she said, knows how much paying for textbooks would cost. “I’ve heard as low as $6 million and as high as $18 million. That could be a major, major budget cut if we go in that direction.” She noted that the governor had already instructed universities to find ways to control textbook costs. As a result the university has surveyed what it now does to contain those costs and has formed a textbook affordability committee to study how the university could do more. As reported to Faculty Senate late last year, it was clear the BGSU was already doing a lot to help reduce the cost of books for students. The bookstore offers a price comparison program. The library had purchased copies of texts for some of the most popular courses with the most expensive books and makes them available for use in the library. Students can also get books through OhioLink, a cooperative library system that connects higher education libraries in the state. Some faculty have also opted to use older editions of books, which are available for much less, and then augmenting those with other materials to keep current. Some have also put copies of the books on reserve at Jerome Library for students to use. The textbook committee, which is chaired by Ellen W Gorsevski, of the School of Media and Communication, is seeking more information about how much textbooks cost. She shared notes from the committee’s first meeting. Part of the problem is that texts, including bundled online course content, and other supplies tend to get lumped together. The $300 fee is far short of the estimates of at least…


Bach expert to help prep BGSU musicians for Passion

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Renowned Bach expert and premier lyric tenor Dr. Christopher M. Cock will share his knowledge and love of the composer with students in the College of Musical Arts and local audiences March 13-15 as the 2017 Helen McMaster Endowed Professor in Vocal and Choral Studies at Bowling Green State University. Cock holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music at Valparaiso University and is director of its Bach Institute. During his residency, he will give a public lecture and work with the BGSU Collegiate Chorale, voice and conducting students and the Early Music Ensemble as they prepare to perform Bach’s “St. John Passion” in April during the Easter season. All events and activities are free and open to the public. Cock will discuss his life’s work in a public presentation titled “J.S. Bach and the St. John Passion: A Lifelong Pursuit” at 10:30 a.m. March 14 in 1040 Moore Musical Arts Center. In addition, audiences may hear the ensembles in performance, beginning with the Early Music Ensemble with soloists at 8 p.m. March 13 in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St. in Bowling Green. On March 14, he will lead the University Choral Society at 7:30 p.m. in 1040 Moore Musical Arts Center. On March 15, he will again lead the Early Music Ensemble with soloists, at 8 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church. His visit will also include a voice master class and work with undergraduate choral conducting students. Through his activities as a choral music educator and distinguished solo artist, Cock has forged a unique career path combining the roles of conductor and performer. He frequently brings his focus on outstanding repertoire, vocal technique and polished musicality to high school ensembles throughout the country. He has also conducted All-State Choirs in Minnesota, Georgia and Ohio and the Collegiate Honor Choir in Pennsylvania. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall as guest conductor of the New England Symphonic Ensemble. In 2004, he founded the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. The institute performs the major works of Bach triennially and, in the years since its formation, has devoted scholarship and performances to studying Bach’s professional years prior to his appointment in Leipzig (1723). Cock’s leadership of the Valparaiso University Chorale has led to numerous recordings and…


Spring Into Action event set for April 19 in honor of Earth Day

From the PERRYSBURG AREA DEMOCRATIC CLUB Perrysburg Area Democratic Club has announced a special evening of guest speakers, live music and inspiration in honor of Earth Day, focused on what it will take to save Lake Erie.   The event, named “Spring Into Action,” will be held Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.at Carranor Hunt & Polo Club (502 East 2nd Street, Perrysburg).   The speakers will include: Rick Rettig, Perrysburg City Council; Laura Schetter, Local Clean Water Advocate, Teacher and Traveler and Dr. Robert Michael McKay, BGSU Professor of Biology. Music will be performed by local up-and-coming musician Anthony Beck. Tickets are $40 per person for grazing stations and cash bar. Tickets may be purchased online (https://tinyurl.com/SpringIntoAction2017PADC) or at Gathering Volumes (196 E South Boundary St., Perrysburg). No tickets will be available at the door. Tickets must be purchased by April 16, 2017. “We are looking forward to welcoming many new faces as well as longtime Club members at this exciting new event!” stated Rachel Zickar, President, Perrysburg Area Democratic Club. “A special thank-you to our members who are volunteering to put this together. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day than among friends who are also looking to make a difference.” For more information, please visit www.perrysburgareademocraticclub.org.


TJO to beat the drums in memory of Roger Schupp

The Toledo Jazz Orchestra will bring on the drummers to pay tribute to one of their own. The big band will present Drums and Drummers, a concert dedicated to Roger Schupp, the long-time TJO drummer who died in December, 2015, Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo. Tickets are $25 and $35 from the Valentine box office at 419-242-2787 or order online at valentinetheatre.com. Ron Kischuk said that the TJO wanted to wait to plan its tribute to Schupp until after Bowling Green State University, where Schupp was a percussion professor, did their tribute concert. Kischuk said he’d encountered Schupp over the years, but the two first worked regularly when Kischuk became leader of the jazz orchestra after it re-formed seven years ago. He liked working with Schupp so much, he brought him to Detroit to record with his own groups. “What made Roger such a special player was his never ending appetite for becoming better at what he did,” Kischuk said. “He had such a joy to learn about all types of music and to excel at all types of music.”   Schupp performed at such “a high level all the time it almost became something sadly that’s taken for granted.” Given that Schupp so enjoyed the camaraderie of other drummers the theme seemed appropriate. The concert will feature three drummers during the concert. Tommy Igoe leads large ensembles on two coasts, the Birdland Big Band in New York City and the Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy in San Francisco. He’s also author of top drum instructional books. That dedication to both teaching and performance is fitting for someone paying tribute to Schupp, Kischuk said. Jerry McKenzie, who did two stints as the drummer with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, will also perform on three Kenton-related numbers. McKenzie knew Schupp from a previous performance at a Kenton-themed TJO concert. McKenzie said the two bonded musically when he played drum set and Schupp played utility percussion – timpani, congas and more. McKenzie admired Schupp’s ability to be an all-around percussionist. “And his big band prowess was excellent.” He recalled how on one number on which he soloed. “Roger would keep the time, and I could play around that. It just gave me more freedom to expand my solo.” Then, he told Schupp,…


Falcon Media settle into new nest at Kuhlin Center

By ALYSSA ALFANO BG Independent Contributor Bowling Green State University’s School of Media and Communication has a new building on campus, which opened for use in the fall of 2016. The new building was named Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center after two BGSU alumni. Sara graduated in 1969 and Michael graduated in 1968 with a degree in journalism. The building, previously known as South Hall, provides new technology, classroom space, and more for students in the programs that are housed within this building.  In addition, this building provides new and updated spaces for student media organizations on campus. This fills a great need for these organizations. After speaking with BG Falcon Media editor, Holly Shively, it was clear that some updates were needed.  West Hall was outdated and had old technology. In addition to new technology and classroom spaces, the location of this building is much better than that of West Hall. “I think we are in a better place on campus,” said Shively. She went on to say that the building’s location is easier to find and more centered on campus. Change brings many good things. However, it can take a while to get used to and can often leave room for improvement. As expected with any new building, while students and professors settle in they are discovering a few situations that may require some change. One thing that Shively and several others said needed adjusted, was the layout of the classrooms in the Kuhlin Center. While the classroom size and new technology is beneficial to students, the layout is not ideal.  The computers in the classrooms outline three of the four walls and face away from where the professor stands. This layout may be good for labs and in-class workdays, it is not ideal for in-class discussions and lectures.  In addition, there are no desks.  In the center of the classrooms there is one long conference table. This makes it difficult for students and professors to have effective lectures in class. This type of classroom doesn’t work for more traditional classes.  All of the classrooms within the Kuhlin Center are computer labs.  There are no lecture halls within this building.  As a result, students have to go to other places on campus to have class. Another change that may need to be considered is the placement of…


Workforce development focus of State of the Region conference

The state of the region today and strategies for preparing a workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow will be the topics of the 15th annual State of the Region Conference. Hosted by Bowling Green State University’s Center for Regional Development, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon March 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Levis Commons in Perrysburg. There will be time for networking beginning at 8 a.m. before the start of the program. Mark E. Schweitzer, senior vice president for external outreach and regional analytics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will give the keynote address on the state of the 19-county region. Schweitzer specializes in the macroeconomic impact of labor market development and identifying factors that contribute to regional economic growth. Discussion by a reaction panel of economic development leaders along with time for questions and answers will follow his talk. The featured speaker for the day is Lauren Stiller Rikleen, a nationally recognized expert on developing a thriving, diverse and multigenerational workforce. She is the author of the best-selling book “You Hired Us, Now Work with Us: Career Success and Building Strong Workplace Teams.” After her talk, a best-practices panel will focus on innovative workforce strategies, featuring Rikleen and representatives from successful companies including Hyland Software, recognized by Fortune 500 in 2016 as one of the top 100 places to work for millennials. For more information, visit bgsu.edu/crd. Guests with disabilities who need special services in order to fully participate are requested to contact Accessibility Services in advance at access@bgsu.edu or 419-372-8495.


Lawmakers pan Trump proposal to unplug Great Lakes initiative

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Two Republican lawmakers are condemning a Trump Administration proposal to drain funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Ohio Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), the Ohio Senate Majority Floor Leader, in a statement Tuesday (March 7) stated: “If federal officials have new ideas to make sure our healthy Lake Erie efforts are more efficient and effective, then let’s get together and have that discussion. But a reduction of this magnitude is just not explainable and defensible unless it is replaced with a new strategy that can truly make a difference. Lake Erie is one of America’s great natural assets. I join many members of Ohio’s bipartisan congressional delegation in support of restoring these funds.” The president’s proposed budget cuts funding for the initiative from $300 million to $10 million. The initiative, which first received funding in 2010, supports projects aimed at reducing runoff from cities and farms, clean up toxic pollution in the lakes and combating invasive species, including the Asian carp The reduction in funding for the initiative goes along with dramatic decreases in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Rep. Bob Latta issued a statement: “Protecting our Great Lakes is not only critical to the region, it’s important to the entire country. That’s why I authored the Drinking Water Protection Act, which was signed into law last Congress. It’s also why I’m also continuing to work on legislation to improve water infrastructure. “While Congress still hasn’t received the President’s official budget, it’s important to note that the document is the start to the Congressional budget process, not the end,” the statement continued. “Over the previous years, Congress has restored funding in its budget for the GLRI that the Obama Administration had proposed cutting.” The Obama Administration had proposed a $50 million reduction in funding to the initiative. Bowling Green State University political scientist Russell Mills said that a president’s budget proposal never gets through the congressional appropriations process intact. “What people really need to watch is what’s going on in the (House) Appropriations Committee,” he said. “That’s where the cuts will be made.” Mills said he expected the “draconian cuts” to the EPA and NOAA. Those, he said, are tied to those agencies efforts to combat global warming. The…


Latta gets way on ACA repeal, but future of bill is uncertain

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News U.S. Rep. Robert Latta (R-Bowling Green) is throwing his support behind the House proposal aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act, and replacing it with a new plan. Latta, who has voted numerous times to repeal what is known as Obamacare, issued a statement Tuesday. “Obamacare has failed and it keeps getting worse as insurance marketplaces collapse and costs continue to rise. It’s time to repeal its broken promises and replace it with patient-centered health care. The plan proposed in the House will give Americans more choices, lower costs, and provides states with more flexibility to help repair markets damaged by Obamacare.” His spokesman Drew Griffin said the congressman was not available for an interview. A Bowling Green State University political science professor, however, questions the feasibility of the proposal and its political future. When Russell Mills saw the proposal that was released last night, he wondered:  “How are they going to pay for it?” Transforming subsidies into tax credits, he said, is a wash. “What they did was keep the most expensive parts of Obamacare but didn’t provide a way to pay for them,” Mills said. The proposal will allow young people to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26. And it continues to stop insurance companies from refusing to insure people because of pre-existing medical conditions. And it maintains, at least for a few years, the expansion of Medicaid to help people with low incomes. But the funding to the states to support that Medicaid funding will get less generous after a few years. “I think they believe they’ll realize the savings by trimming the Medicaid portion of the ACA,” Mills said. The changes to the Medicaid expansion has already prompted four Republican senators from states that accepted that money to question the bill. That includes Ohio Sen. Rob Portman who came out “pretty immediately and said he had concerns about the House proposal.” Mills questions some of the assumptions. The bill would remove the penalty for people and businesses not having health insurance. The proposal would instead provide a tax incentive to encourage people to buy insurance. If that doesn’t work, and the pool of those getting insured is less healthy, that would drive up rates for everyone. While the plan has attracted the…


Hate group posts fliers on campus

Bowling Green State University has issued the following statement about recruiting fliers for a white nationalist group that were posted on campus. “Bowling Green State University does not tolerate hate, racism, sexism or intolerance. Last night (March 6, 2017), a national hate group that has been targeting dozens of college campuses all across the country, posted fliers and white separatist symbols on our Bowling Green Campus and at other area universities. The offensive materials have been removed, and we are investigating. The perpetrators could face criminal charges. “These materials are not reflective of BGSU’s core values of showing respect for one another and supporting a culture of inclusion. We encourage members of our community to fight hate and intolerance by reporting incidents of bias – See it. Hear it. Report it.“


Free rides offered for St. Patrick’s Day revelers

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been five fatal crashes in Wood County for the calendar year 2017, compared to three for the same time frame in 2016. St.Patrick’s Day rides offered St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s most popular times to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking alcohol, making this holiday also one of the most dangerous. In fact, 30 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (March 16-18) in 2015. To keep the roads safer, WCSC is reaching out with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Safe Communities is teaming up with local businesses and organizations for the annual Swallow Your Pride, Call for a Ride event. The coalition is offering free rides to those who are unable to drive. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. There’s no such thing as being “OK to Drive.” Just one or two drinks can impair judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested or causing a crash; killing yourself or someone else if you get behind the wheel. If you find yourself unable to drive this St. Patrick’s Day, call 419-823-7765 for a FREE ride home anywhere in Bowling Green. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you plan to celebrate with alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to stay safer:  Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.  If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.  Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let him or her get behind the wheel.  If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, pull over to a safe location and call the police. Your actions could help save a life. Remember this St. Patrick’s Day: Plan Before…


The fundamental things apply in the market, even in the time of Trump, analyst says

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Nobody knows what President Donald Trump will do. Even the morning after his first address to Congress where his performance was deemed as more presidential, the new president remains an enigma. Yet when all is said and done, Clint Pogemiller, president of MWA Financial Services, believes the fundamentals of investing for the long term apply – a diversified portfolio and patience to stay the course over the long haul. Pogemiller spoke to local Modern Woodmen of America agents and customers last week for a breakfast time market forecast. “Overall 2016 was a very good year,” he said. The market was up 16 percent for the year. That included the “Trump bump” or “Trump jump” with the market rising 7.7 percent since the Nov. 8 election. That election, Pogemiller reminded the audience confounded the experts. They gave Trump a 1-percent chance of winning, and then when he won they predicted the market would tank. Indeed futures trading was off 1,000 points overnight. But then the day after the election, the market rose 257 points. The market has added $3.1 trillion in value since then. “Things are moving at a much faster pace these days,” he said. “You don’t want to react on a short term basis.” This continues the second longest bull market in history dating back to the recovery following the housing bust in 2007. Pogemiller said that even taking into account that bust and the earlier dotcom crash, if an investor had put money into the market in 2000 and just let it stay there, they would have earned back 9 percent. But many people weren’t that patient. “It’s time in the market, not timing the market,” he said echoing a truism used by J.D. Pugh, regional director for Modern Woodmen, earlier in the morning. “We don’t know for sure what Trump will do,” Pogemiller said. But many are anticipating a reduction in tax rates, especially for corporations, increased spending on infrastructure, and lessening of regulations. While the new president and the Republican-controlled Congress agree on a lot, including tightened controls on immigration, there are differences. Trump favors tariffs while congressional Republicans tend to be free traders. And they will like to focus more on fiscal restraint. Pogemiller said the test of the markets will come when we…


From Tunisia to BGSU, Amira Hassnaoui advocates for equality

By HOLLY SHIVELY Special to BG INDEPENDENT NEWS From being tear gassed in the streets of Tunisia during the Jasmine Revolution to working for students as Bowling Green State University’s Graduate Student Senate president, Amira Hassnaoui has stayed true to her passion—advocacy for equality of all people. “I care because I care about the human experience,” she said. “We share a lot as humans—more than we think we do.” While she didn’t grow up in a political family, Hassnaoui has time and time again found herself in political scenes, alongside journalists, scholars and underground musicians, fighting for the communities she cares about. Currently, that involves using her passion for advocacy in her Graduate Student Senate leadership role while completing her masters in popular culture. “I really care a lot about my BG community, and I’m so passionate about what I do,” Hassnaoui said. “I’m so involved—it’s because I do care. It’s because I do think that we can be the best. We’re good now, but we can definitely be among the best…That passion was the ribbon of my own experience because I definitely know how it feels.” While Hassnaoui has become the voice for international students, she said she advocates for students, whoever they are. “I don’t believe a lot in just sitting in my office and wait for things to come to me. I’m more of a person like feet on the ground,” Hassnaoui said. Since becoming an active member of the Bowling Green community, Hassnaoui has set forth as an information source and activist. In addition to serving as GSS president, Hassnaoui has additionally spoken on panels, most recently about the hijab, and joined in a city council conversation leading to the passage of an anti-Islamaphobia and anti-hate crime resolution. “This is what America should be like,” Hassnaoui said. “The America that I was taught about growing up back home was the melting pot America. The diverse America. The America that you can be whoever you are without being threatened. You can succeed. You can follow your dream, and that’s what I’m trying to do.” She’s also worked with Dr. Lara Lengel, a Professor in BGSU’s School of Media and Communications, who spent a year researching cultural, media, and gender studies in Tunisia. She has also returned to the nation to present at…


Michael Harris finds BGSU much improved for black students since his days on campus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Michael Harris settled comfortably on the couch in the lounge that serves as home base for Bowling Green State University’s Arts Village in the basement of Kreischer Compton dorm. The 1971 BGSU graduate remembers the dorm well from his student days. His girlfriend lived in the dorm, and she became his wife, then his ex-wife. Looking around campus, Harris said, he saw a lot that hadn’t changed, including the School of Art where he studied with Bob Mazur, Willard Wankelman and Paul D. Running, and the baseball diamond where he played ball. He was the only black on the team, he recalled, and one of fewer than 100 African-Americans in the student body. Harris came back to campus last week as the keynote speaker for the Africana Studies Student Research Conference. His speech was on “Conjuring an Africana Aesthetic,” but now the talk was less formal. A handful of students spread through the launch as his host at the Arts Village art professor Joel D’Orisio occasionally asked a few questions. Harris lived in Harshman, which he was advised he better go see because it was slated to be razed. Harris said he found BGSU much improved from when he was here. He helped found the Black Student Union. Now there were offerings in ethnic studies that would have “brought tears to my eyes back then.” He’d come to BGSU hoping to escape the racism of his native Cleveland. Racism that left innumerable “papercuts and bruises” on his psyche. At BGSU though he couldn’t readily hear the music he grew up on. When he took an African history course it was all about Stanley Livingston and the white colonizers and the treaties they used to divvy up the continent among themselves. Students didn’t learn about any Africans. Harris intended to be an English major, but he had antipathy toward 19th Century English literature, and “I didn’t get Shakespeare at the time,” he said. “African-American writers weren’t being highlighted.” Now the diversity of student population and the offerings “make this pretty nice,” he said. From BGSU, Harris went on to study art, art history and African American studies at Howard University and then Yale. Now on the faculty of Emory University, he built a distinguished career both as an artist and…


Music rings out up & down BG’s Main Street

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Music brought people together in downtown Bowling Green Friday night. On South Main Street more than 100 people gathered at Grounds for Thought for “Singing for Our Lives: Empowering the People through Song” a protest song singalong led by three of the four members of the Grande Royale Ukulelists of the Black Swamp. A couple blocks north more than 100 people celebrated the ageless power of rock ‘n’ roll with The Welders, who for more than 30 years have been staging a spring break show at Howard’s Club H. Mary Jane Saunders, co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, opened “Singing for Our Lives” at Grounds by explaining her rationale for suggesting the event. Many are feeling stressed and uncomfortable in the current political climate, she said. That’s been expressed in several rallies, most held in the green space next to the Presbyterian Church.             The sing-along of classic songs was offered as an occasion “to have fun together” while not forgetting the cause that has united so many in the community. “Music has the power to empower and to energize us,” she said. Pop music historian Ken Bielen gave a brief introduction to protest music, much of it by simply quoting memorable lines. He recalled that it was gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who urged Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. “When people get together in the right combination, history is made.” He then recalled Country Joe McDonald’s admonition to the throngs at Woodstock singing along to “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag.” “I don’t know how you expect the stop the war when you can’t sing any better than that.” And at first the singing at the Grounds event was, let’s say,  dutiful. But humor, another unifier, helped pull everyone in. After singing the Holly Near song that gave the event its title, Jason Wells-Jensen joked about the setting of the microphone, saying all short people were the same height to him. At which point bandmate Anne Kidder, started singing “we are tall and short, together” with the audience spontaneously picking up the tune and continuing even after Kidder had stopped singing. From then on, the singing grew more enthusiastic, even as some of the lyrics…