Articles by David Dupont

The United States of Pokémon Go

An opinion piece by ELIZABETH ROBERTS-ZIBBEL Just a few days after the now infamous app Pokémon Go was released, after we had finally broken through the frustratingly busy servers, I took both girls on a Pokémon-catching journey to City Park. They got out and ran toward the playground, clutching their devices. I immediately spotted another player and watched from the car, curious about whether they would cross paths with him. He was a large young man with a buzz cut and a sleeveless t-shirt, his arms covered with tattoos. He paused, looked up from his phone and smiled at my daughters, and Alexandra brushed her hair out of her face and said something to him. Excitedly, she held up her phone and the man nodded, pointing into the distance, and Isobel began jumping up and down, they chatted some more, and then went their separate ways. I got out and sat down on a bench, and as Alexandra walked around Isobel handed me her tablet and went to play in the sandbox. Soon Alexandra decided, on her own, to approach a group of several other young adult Pokémon Goers, and they conferred for a while. She ran over to me. “There are so many people playing this game! It’s so much fun to talk to everyone!” This, my shy girl who has a hard time even talking to people she knows sometimes. She went over to the sandbox to join Isobel, and there was another pair obviously playing nearby; she began talking to them too. I heard the man exclaim, “You got a Lickitung? Where did you find that?” Sand Ridge Road, I heard her reply, and he said to the woman with him, “We have to check out Sand Ridge Road!”                 For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that uses a device’s camera and location services to place Pokémon into players’ actual environments, which they can then catch by tossing a red and white PokéBall at them. Users see…

Arps Dairy milks its story to secure its place in the market

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lambert Vandermade milks cows for a living. He bottles milk for hobby. And that means he also has to tell a story. Vandermade, president of Arps Dairy, told his story of how a Netherlands-born dairyman came to own a long-standing Ohio business and what he envisions for the future at the July Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum Thursday morning.  The event was hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation. Vandermade came to Northwest Ohio with his family from the Netherlands 16 years ago as they searched for a way to grow their family dairy business. In the Netherlands, he said, land is a scarce resource. The country is a third the size of Ohio. In the Netherlands, the family had 60 cows and raised 200 sows.  They did the work themselves with no employees. The European quota system, now ended, meant they were assured of making a small amount of money from the milk. The pigs provided more chance for profit. When they came to Ohio, after investigating other areas of the country, they started with 600 cows, “created 10 jobs” and were introduced to a federally regulated system so complex, Vandermade said, “I still understand about half of it.” The Vandermades now milk 1,400, cows on two farms in Defiance County, one devoted to maintaining older cows. “Dairy is a very complicated market,” Vandermade said. “The market has shrunk down to a very few, very large companies.” That puts a particular burden on the milk processor. Large retailers use milk as a loss leader. Low milk prices lure shoppers in the door. But that makes it hard for small companies like Arps to compete, he said. Vandermade’s frustration with the marketplace led him to wonder: “Can we lay a better link between the farmer and the consumer? The consumer is becoming further removed from the farmer and were not doing anything to bridge that gap.” With that in mind, Vandermade approached the Arps Dairy, which still maintained that…

Rapid Fired Pizza to open BG location

Ed. note: The company now reports that the target date to open the new store is March 1, 2017.   Submitted by RAPID FIRED PIZZA Rapid Fired Pizza is happy to announce yet another new location coming soon to Southwood Plaza, 816 S. Main St. in Bowling Green. The new store is scheduled to open in December “We felt Bowling Green was a great community and was a market we just had to be in!” said Kelly Gray a co-founder. This restaurant will be operated by a franchise group planning at least five stores in the northern Ohio market including the Lima location that will open in August. The Bowling Green location features 4,500-square-feet and will have enough seating for 100 people. “We were looking for easy access for students, residents and area professionals plus with our new online ordering system, it will be easy to skip the line and have your freshly made pizza or salad ready for a quick bite between classes or on a lunch break.” Gray said. Rapid Fired Pizza allows customers to choose from an 11” thin or 9” pan pizza, eight sauces, eight cheeses, over thirty toppings, and fourteen dipping sauces to build their perfect pizza, or try one of the 10 craft pizzas on the menu. It’s then cooked in 180 seconds. Customers can also order craft or custom salads in addition to breadsticks and desserts. The concept was founded in Kettering. Less than 1-year-old, Rapid Fired Pizza has 11 locations under construction or open with the signing of this location. Opening dates will continue to be announced on the website. A typical Rapid Fired Pizza location employs 20-30 people. “Because of our simplified operations and low cost of entry, we’ve experienced tremendous growth over the last few months and are preparing to bring an amazingly good, amazingly fast pizza to other states in the very near future” said Ray Wiley, a co-founder. “We have a strong team that is dedicated to building the Rapid Fired Pizza brand.” To learn more about their Rapid…

“Little Mermaid” performed swimmingly by 3B youth troupe

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With temperatures topping the 90s, a trip to the sea seems just the thing. Local theatergoers don’t have to go far for that. This weekend 3B Productions is staging “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Musical,” based on the 1989 animated film. This is 3B’s annual summer youth musical. It’s a great idea. Pull together talent from area high schools and give them a chance to work together and give the audience a chance to see some of the best young thespian talent in the area. Given the size of the cast, 65 in all, with its sailors, maids, cooks and all manner of sea creatures, real and imagined, the show has plenty of roles for youngsters, some maybe getting their first exposure to musical theater. The result is a bracing sea adventure, powered by youthful energy. “The Little Mermaid,” directed by Joe Barton with musical direction by Jennifer Bollinger and choreography by Bob Marzola, is on stage at the Maumee Indoor Theatre Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Saturday matinee will feature understudies including several members of the Horizon Youth Theatre. Tickets, which are going fast, are $15 available at: The production meets the challenge of bringing animated antics to life, and fleshing out the characters. Using the energy of live theater performed by a youthful cast as a substitute for the magic of animation, “Little Mermaid” has a spunky summer camp joy to it. Particularly impressive is the way Andrew Nauden keeps his character Sebastian, the court composer turned a mermaid princess’ minder, from being a caricature. Sebastian has all the makings of being the show’s Jar Jar Binks, but Nauden makes us feel his character’s frustrations, and developing concern for Ariel. He’s equally good at leading the feel-good production number “Under the Sea” as he is the sensitive “Kiss the Girl.” Not surprisingly he’s already won state honors for his roles in other 3B shows and will head off to study in…

Abby Paskvan delivers with the nation watching

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The day after singing the National Anthem on a national stage, Abby Paskvan was still soaking it all in. The Bowling Green singer delivered the anthem at the opening of Wednesday night’s session of the Republican National Convention. The performance was broadcast on several networks including PBS. She said her rehearsal earlier in the day was also broadcast nationally on Fox News. Paskvan said she was “a little nervous” and as a result it was “not my best performance.” There’s “always room for improvement,” she added. Not that anyone listening could tell. Those who missed it can hear it at: “I really love that song, and it was a cool environment to sing it in,” Paskvan said. “You have to love that song.” And the audience doesn’t matter. Asked by Jerry Anderson of WTOL I she’d sing for the Democratic convention if asked, she said, of course. “It’s so much fun. I’m not thinking about who I’m singing for. I’m just in the moment.” The performance just before 8 p.m. capped what Paskvan, 20, called a “crazy day.” She and her parents, Brian and Becky Paskvan, left Bowling Green at 10 a.m. to go to Cleveland. They arrived, via a backway, without incident and settled into a hotel where they waited for the transportation that would bring them to Quicken Loans Arena where the convention is being held. The level of security was high, she said. They had to pass through three security checkpoints before they even arrived at the gates of the arena. She had her run through and that went “great.” Then it was off for hair and makeup. Afterward she and her family got “to chill” and take in the atmosphere and the speeches. She felt that vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, was the best speaker. “He killed it.” Paskvan said she was confused at first about the negative reaction to Sen Ted Cruz’s speech until someone explained the crowd was angry that he didn’t endorse Donald…

BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development Receives National Accreditation

Bowling Green State University’s College of Education and Human Development recently received accreditation for 2016-2022 under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. NCATE’s performance-based accreditation system for teacher preparation ensures that teacher candidates are prepared to make a difference in PK-12 student learning. This accreditation decision indicates that Bowling Green State University’s education preparation programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community. Dr. Dawn Shinew, Dean of the College, acknowledged the importance of the accreditation process in ensuring that BGSU’s graduates are prepared to be effective educators and leaders. The review team, comprised of a prestigious group of educators from around the country, commented that they found BGSU’s students “to be bright; interpersonally engaging; academically serious; extremely fond of their university, college, faculty, and friends; and, with great potential to become education leaders.” Shinew noted, “Our faculty and school partners work collaboratively to ensure that we have quality programs. I am delighted to have affirmation of the good work we do.” BGSU’s program is one of the largest in the state of Ohio and has led the state in developing innovative educator preparation programs, including several dual-license programs. The institution’s long-standing reputation for excellence in education is well-known with many PK-12 administrators from around the country embarking on BGSU in the spring to recruit at the Teacher Job Fair. Providers accredited under NCATE standards, as well as those accredited under the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Quality Principles, are now served by the single specialized accreditation system for educator preparation in the United States, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). More than 900 educator preparation providers participate in the CAEP accreditation system. For more information about the College of Education and Human Development, For more information about CAEP, visit

Winners of Ohioana Book Awards announced

From The OHIOANA LIBRARY COLIMBUS —  The Ohioana Library has announced the winners of the 2016 Ohioana Book Awards. The awards, established in 1942, honor Ohio authors in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Juvenile Literature, and Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature. The final category, About Ohio or an Ohioan, may also include books by non-Ohio authors. The Ohioana Awards are among the oldest and longest-established state literary prizes in the nation. “From the nearly 300 books that were eligible for this year’s awards, thirty finalists in six categories were selected by jurors,” said David Weaver, Executive Director of the Ohioana Library. “To make this short list is itself recognition of excellence and selecting a winner is a challenge. The books and authors chosen as 2016’s honorees are truly stellar.” This year marks the 75th anniversary of the awards, which will be presented at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Friday, September 23. The winners are: Fiction: Mary Doria Russell. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral. Ecco, 2015. Nonfiction: Wil Haygood. Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America. Knopf, 2015. About Ohio or an Ohioan: David McCullough. The Wright Brothers. Simon & Schuster, 2015. Poetry: Nin Andrews. Why God Is a Woman. BOA Editions Ltd., 2015. Juvenile Literature: Loren Long. Little Tree. Philomel Books, 2015. Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Shelley Pearsall. The Seventh Most Important Thing. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015. In addition to the juried awards, Ohioana for the first time invited the public to vote for one of the finalists to receive a Readers’ Choice Award. More than 1,100 people voted, and the winning book was Russell’s Epitaph. Ohioana also named Eliese Colette Goldbach of Cleveland as the recipient of the 27th Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, a competitive prize for Ohio writers age 30 or younger who have not yet published a book. Goldbach won for her essay, In the Memory of the Living. Named for Ohioana’s second director and endowed by his family, the Marvin Grant has helped launch a number of writers, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Anthony Doerr.

Making migrant workers feel at home in Wood County

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The workers who come into Wood County to pick crops may be here for just a few weeks, but La Conexion de Wood County wants them to know they have a friend while they are here. On Sunday La Conexion and the First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green welcomed migrant workers at an event held at a camp in Bloomdale. They didn’t go empty handed. The Brown Bag Food Project came with boxes of food to tide them over until their first paycheck. The Wood County District Public Library staff was on hand with books and activities for the children. The Cocoon Shelter was there to offer its support. The event, now in its third year, was initiated by the church as a way of working with La Conexion, which works out of the downtown Bowling Green Church. Beatriz Maya, the managing director of La Conexicion, said that about 200 workers “at most” are now in Wood County. The numbers of migrants arriving has been declining as agriculture has mechanized and the mix of crops grown locally has changed. Now the demand is for people to pick cucumbers. Those jobs last for about six weeks, then the workers will be off to Michigan to pick apples or to Georgia or Florida to harvest other crops. As the number of crops in a region diminishes it becomes less worthwhile for workers to travel at their own expense to a place to harvest. Though their numbers are down they still have needs, she said, and La Conexion wants to help meet them either directly or by connecting them with other service groups. Maya said she has been trying to help facilitate the workers signing up for Medicaid. Though a federal program, the health program for children and the poor is administered by states, so whenever the workers move to new fields, they must give up Medicaid coverage in one state and sign up again in a new state. That means more detailed paperwork, submitting documents and…

Anti-Trump protest planned for BG

Local activists will take part in a national Stop Trump protest Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Wood County Courthouse in Bowling Green. Demonstrations are being planned across the country. Organizing groups include Next Gen Climate, CREDO Action and Move On. Donald Trump will speak to accept his Republican presidential nomination at the GOP convention in Cleveland Thursday night.

Library board accepts low bid on Walbridge project

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The price tag of the addition and renovation of the Walbridge Branch of the Wood County District Public Library is coming in under budget. The library’s board Tuesday accepted a general contractor bid of $849,000 from Midwest Construction of Holland. The board also accepted the company’s bid of $3,350 for shades. The administration has decided not to pursue a second alternate bid for benches and plantings. Library Director Michael Penrod said they will wait until the project is finished to do that work. The estimated cost for the bid was $1 million. Of the 10 bids submitted seven were under that number. Tom Stuckey, the project administrator, said to have that number of bids submitted was “phenomenal.” The one concern with the Midwest bid was how much under it was the others. The unsuccessful bids ranged from $929,800 from Spieker to $1,165,777 from Cross renovation. Penrod said he was pleased so many area firms were interested in the project. Several board members questioned the low bid. Stuckey said he did go back to talk to company officials, and they assured him they “capable and confident that they are ready to proceed.” Stuckey said he’s worked with the company on other projects. “They’re a capable company. They’ve been around a long time. They have the wherewithal to do this project.” Ellen Dalton wondered if they might cut corners, or if they were hiring cheap labor. Stuckey said he will be on the site monitoring construction. The company hires union labor, and all workers must be paid prevailing wage. He said that sometimes how low a bid comes in is determined by what the subcontractors say they can do their parts of the projects for. Some companies may have a single preferred subcontractor, and therefore don’t get a lower price. Stuckey praised the board for its work on the project. “There will be great pride in this. I’m looking forward to the groundbreaking.”        

Zak Vassar named Toledo Symphony president & CEO

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TOLEDO — The Toledo Symphony Orchestra announced today that Zak Vassar has accepted the position as the Symphony’s President and CEO with a start date of July 18. Board Chairman Randy Oostra and George Chapman, head of the search committee, led the executive search process guided by Arts Consulting Group. “Zak has the energy, personality and experience to build an enhanced TSO business model, drive strong development, and promote collaboration throughout the community,” Chapman said. “We look forward to working with Zak as he builds on the tremendous work by Bob Bell and Kathy Carroll in leading the TSO into the future. He will be an innovative leader who will drive our efforts to become the leading regional orchestra in the nation.”Over the last 15 years, Vassar has built an extensive career conducting domestic and international market research for Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial firms alike. “After an extensive search process, we are pleased to have found a local candidate who met our hopes of finding a dynamic leader that will lead TSO into the future,” Oostra said. “Zak brings the TSO an excellent background in business, marketing, and participative management, which coupled with his longstanding passion and commitment to the TSO and local arts prepares him to be an exceptional leader.” “I am thrilled to come to this organization that has meant so much to me for over 20 years,” Vassar said. “I see great potential to build upon the strong history and reputation built by my predecessors and look forward to working with the entire organization.” A graduate of Boston College with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Music History, Vassar credits his summer internships with the Toledo Symphony for inspiring his Thesis, Keeping the Music Playing: Marketing Classical Music in the 21st Century. While a Vice President at Fulcrum Research Group, Vassar was engaged as a consultant for the Toledo Symphony, conducting an online study with Toledo Symphony subscribers, single ticket buyers, donors, and non-donors to make recommendations for patron engagement and…

Libertarians see opportunity in 2016 elections

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the Republican Convention convening in Cleveland, complete with protests outside and floor fights inside, the Libertarian Party is hustling to give Ohio voters disaffected with both major parties another choice. Because the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Earl of Bowling Green, was bumped from the 2014 ballot, the Libertarians do not qualify to have their presidential ticket Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, and running mate Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, on the Ohio ballot this year. So Nathan Eberly, of Bowling Green, and other Libertarians are collecting the 5,000 verified signatures needed for Johnson and Weld to appear as independents. Eberly said it was not a high bar, and he’s heard the state party has more than 3,000 signatures on hand. Still, he was out and about Monday evening, meeting people at Grounds for Thought or visiting people’s homes to collect signatures. That the party is having to struggle to get on the ballot in the key battleground state of Ohio this of all years is ironic, since the fortunes of the Libertarians has never looked brighter. “This year is probably going to be a banner year for the Libertarian Party because of the unpopularity of (Donald) Trump and (Hillary) Clinton,” Eberly said. Some polls, he said, have Johnson gaining 13 percent of the vote, while others have him as low as 8 percent. Still, Eberly said, Johnson is within striking of the 15 percent Johnson needs to join the Democratic and Republican nominees on the stage for the first presidential debate Sept. 26 in Dayton. He dismisses the criticism that voting for the Libertarians or Greens is just going to help a candidate they abhor be elected president as “fearmongering.” That’s based on the assumption that a vote for the Green candidate is a vote that would have gone to the Democrats and a vote for the Libertarian pulls from the Republicans. Eberly said polling is showing that the Libertarians are pulling equally from disaffected Republicans and disaffected supporters of…

BG police seek comments as part of accreditation process

Submittted by BOWLING GREEN POLICE DIVISION The Bowling Green Police Division is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to maintain accreditation by verifying the agency meets professional standards. Administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the accreditation program requires agencies to comply with internationally accepted best practices and standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at the public information session on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. The session will be conducted at the Simpson Garden Park Building, 1291 Conneaut Avenue. The session will conclude when everyone that has signed in has had an opportunity to speak. Agency employees and the public are invited to offer comments by calling (419) 353-7459 on Tuesday July 26, 2016 between the hours of 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Comments will be taken by the Assessment Team. Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to ten (10) minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards. A copy of the standards is available at the Bowling Green Police Division , 175 W. Wooster Bowling Green, Ohio 43402. Local contact is Accreditation Manager Lt. Daniel Mancuso at (419) 352-1131. Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Bowling Green Police Division’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, Virginia 20155.

Multicultural Affairs office looks for common ground between campus & community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Most of the 40 people who came out for a #Let’sSupportEachOther gathering last week in the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs were staff members. These counselors and residence life staff are on the front lines when it comes to dealing with students’ concerns. Not only their concerns as students at Bowling Green State University, but the concerns they bring with them to campus. The meeting was called to discuss the recent incidents of black men dying in encounters with police officers, followed by the killing of five police officers on duty during a protest in Dallas. While those in attendance, which included faculty, community members and two campus police officers, need to focus on students’ emotions, they must also deal with their own reactions. Krishna Han, assistant director for diversity, said he found himself in tears on several occasions when watching videos related to the slayings. He had to eventually step back from social media. One black woman spoke of her fears for her son. They live in a suburb of Toledo, and he is repeatedly followed and stopped by police, and he’s been stopped in Bowling Green as well. Some expressed frustration over what they could do; others expressed frustration over the perceived lack willingness of others to take action. Emily Monago, director of the office, said in an interview the next day that she was surprised by the number of people who came out. “We just wanted to provide an opportunity for people to talk.” She said one of the possibilities discussed was how to become more involved with the city’s Human Relations Commission and in the joint city-campus Not In Our Town movement. “How can we do more to promote that and get people involved? Those are some of the conversations we’re having. We’re trying to strategize about how we can make a stronger community connection.” While Bowling Green may seem remote from the settings where these events unfold, the issues are still important for local residents to address, Monago said….

Simpson Garden in July

By FRANCES BRENT A stately delphinium provides an accent amid a riot of day lilies. Summer display gardens are in full bloom in the Simpson Garden Park located at the corner of Conneaut and Wintergarden.