Articles by David Dupont

BGSU alumni back on campus & still eager to learn

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lou Katzner was facing a class of unfamiliar student faces. That’s not unusual for the philosophy professor who has taught at Bowling Green State University since 1969, except this class included a couple students who graduated well before he started teaching here. The seven students in the class were part of the inaugural BGSU Alumni College. In her greeting to the several dozen students enrolled, President Mary Ellen Mazey said she looked for the program to grow over the years and reach more of the university’s 175,000 alumni. And she hoped their experience on campus would get them to consider how they can help future generations of Falcons. A major focus of the current fundraising campaign is scholarships, she said. And, in detailing all the building renovations underway, she said donors can have their names attached to a building or space within a building. Katzner wanted to explore the more intangible aspects of higher education. He led the graduates in a discussion of “What is the Value of a College Education?” The students ranged from Barbara Palmer, a 1954 graduate, to Sean Taylor, a 1998 graduate. At the conclusion, Katzner said: “The most important thing you can take away from college is how to learn.” That proved true for those in the class who’d made career shifts over their lives. Carolyn Christman, who graduated in 1985, has gone from being a school music teacher to a Methodist missionary. Dina Horwedel graduated in journalism in 1986 and then got a law degree. Her career has taken her around the world. Now she works for the American Indian College Fund as director of public education. She said one of her most enduring memories of her time at BGSU was advice by journalism professor Emil Dansker. He told his students that “everything is relevant,” Horwedel said. Also, “he told us to question everything.” Katzner said that approach is suffering in the current educational climate, which focuses so much on accountability. “It’s easy to get data on students’…

Theater & research a natural fit for Chautauqua

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News History feels right at home in Rossford. Ohio Chautauqua presented by the Ohio Humanities council set up its tent this week along the Maumee, to present five nights of living history. It opened Tuesday night with Susan Marie Frontczak bringing the pioneering scientist Marie Curie to life on the stage. It continues with presentations every night through Saturday. Dressed in a black dress Frontczak took the audience from Curie’s childhood in Warsaw under the rule of the Russian czar to her scientific lab in a Paris apartment she shared with her husband. Along the way Frontczak was careful to make the science as clear as possible for those, she said, who had never studied chemistry or had studied it so long ago they had forgotten it all. She told Curie’s story with a few gripping details, occasionally injecting humor. Learning to cook as a young wife was “my most mysterious science experiment.” When Curie’s family had to take in 10 young male students as boarders, she declared “that’s when I learned to concentrate.” As with all the presenters, Frontczak has to be an actor who captures the audience’s attention and engages their imaginations. She has to be a writer who can encapsulate a notable life story within 50 minutes. And she has to be a scholar who must research her subject and master that research not only to create an accurate script, but also to be able to answer audience members questions both in character and out of character. On Tuesday Frontczak demonstrated how she could extemporize in character as she carried on exchanges with the audience. At one point, someone asked about the death of Curie’s husband. Without faltering, Frontczak described the circumstances of his death and Curie’s deep grief in the months afterward. As a researcher, she explained, that Curie was well accepted by her fellow scientists. Most importantly she was supported in her work by her father and her husband, who insisted the Nobel Prize be awarded in both their names,…

3B to present “Little Mermaid” in Maumee, July 21-24

Submitted by 3B PRODUCTIONS 3B Productions will present “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Musical,” July 21 through July 24 at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. Performance schedule is: Thursday July 21 – 8 p.m. Friday, July 22 – 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23 – 2:30 p.m. . Saturday, July 23 – 8 p.m. Sunday, July 24 – 2:30 p.m. Conversations with the cast and crew immediately follow each performances. Tickets are $15 general seating. For tickets, visit, or stop in at The Maumee Indoor Theatre. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” is a  love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable includes the songs “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Joe Barton will direct this Disney classic at the intimate Maumee Indoor Theatre He will be supported in bringing this vision to the Maumee Indoor stage by musical director Jennifer Bollinger, choreographer/assistant director Bob Marzola, and scenic designer Jesse Bernal. Maumee High School’s Joelle Stiles joins the cast of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” as Ariel, having last been seen in 3B Productions, “Legally Blonde.” An honor student, a member of Select Choir, and a member of Panther Productions Drama Club, Joelle was a dancer for ten years at Dance Expressions with classes in tap, ballet, and jazz. She has been performing in musicals since she was 11 years old and has been in over 20 productions, including “Shrek the Musical,” “Children of Eden,” and “Into the Woods.” She also…

Wood County Library receives gift from Endres estate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The estate of a retired Bowling Green State university professor of chemistry has made a large donation to the Wood County District Public Library. Library Director Michael Penrod said he was surprised when he was presented with the check for $227,395.42 from the estate of Paul Endres, who died in 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife, Maureen, in 2013. Endres taught at BGSU from 1969 to 2011. The use of the gift is unrestricted, Penrod said, and will go to the library’s foundation. “Every single gift is so precious,” he said. A current member of the BGSU chemistry department Neocles Leontis has also made a gift to the library. After Penrod spoke to the Kiwanis, Leontis asked about technology the library could use. Penrod mentioned the Sphero2, a small spherical robotic device that teaches programing. Leontis purchased one for the library’s Children’s Space. This is one of the new technological devices new to the library. The board met in new meeting room on the second floor. That room is equipped with an 80-inch high definition screen that can be used by visitors. Michelle Raine, assistant director of adult services, said the screen can be synchronized to project what’s on the screen of a tablet or laptop. The library has also recently purchased, for about $2,700 each, two Sprout  HP work stations. The work stations include a desktop computer, scanner camera, projector and 3D printing capabilities. “I can’t wait for the community to come in and start playing with it, so we can see what we can do,” Raine said. Users are encouraged to view the instructional videos on YouTube. Gone are the days when the librarians were the experts, Penrod said. Now they learn along with the public. One Sprout HP work station is in the second floor area with public computers, and another is in the Children’s Space. A third will be installed at the Walbridge branch when the expansion there is completed. Trustee Jane Robb said she’s been asked…

Two injured in Ohio 235 crash

Two people were injured this morning (June 28) at 10:04 a.m. in a one-car crash on Ohio 235 just south of Long Judson Road in Washington Township. A front seat passenger, Charity Hummel, was transported by Life Flight to St. Vincent’s Hospital. The driver, Timothy Moser, was taken to Wood County Hospital by Weston EMS. According to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the accident occurred when the 1997 Oldsmobile driven by Moser was southbound on Ohio 235, went off the left side of the road, and struck a guardrail. Moser over-corrected  and the vehicle went off the right side and overturned twice before coming to rest on its side. Along with Weston Fire and EMS, the sheriff’s office was assisted by the Washngton Township Fire and Northwest 190 EMs and Ohio State Highway Patrol

Easement granted for Brathaus expansion

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities approved an easement that will allow Brathaus on East Court Street to expand. Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said that Doug Doren, who owns the bar, wants to extend the bar, but that would place a building over a manhole. The city would redirect the sewer, which now heads north toward Oak Street, to connect with the line down South Main Street. While digging, O’Connell said, the city will bury the utilities lines. That will allow it to take down a large laminant utility pole across the street from Brathaus on East Court. O’Connell said that the estimate for doing the work was more than Doren had anticipated, so the expansion may be delayed until spring. O’Connell said he would discuss the project with the owner. O’Connell suggested that the city share the expense of the project by assuming the cost of burying the electric lines, which is not essential for the bar expansion to proceed. That work would benefit the city, he said. Doren controls most of the neighboring properties, but the Gavarone family, which owns Mr. Spots, would have to agree. In voting for the easement, board member Bill Culbertson said: “It’s a good idea. It cleans things up.” The board also approved an easement for a water line to cross the parking lot in front of the Dairy Queen. That line now dead ends where Grant Street bumps into the railroad tracks. That causes concerns for water pressure in the case of a fire. That line will now connect with the line that runs up East Wooster Street. That would also enable further improvements if the six-inch line that now runs down Enterprise Street is upgraded to an eight-inch line. Answering a query from Mayor Dick Edwards, Daryl Stockburger, assistant utilities director, explained that one of the wind turbines is not operating because the city is waiting for parts for a gearbox. Wind turbine parts, he said, come from around the world, and the turbines,…

Bob Mack opts out of race for Ohio House

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS Bob Mack, a Perrysburg Township trustee and commercial real estate developer, has opted not to run for the Ohio State House. The vacancy was created when the incumbent, Tim Brown, of Bowling Green, was hired as executive director of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Mack was considering the run, but said this morning (June 27) that “to be in that race you need to be 110 percent and I wasn’t sure I could get to that level.” Family obligations and his partnership in the commercial real estate firm Signature Associates, which is involved in commercial and industrial sales and leasing, prevent him from meeting the demands of the race. Mack said there’s unfinished business in Perrysburg Township he’d like to address. “Perhaps I can have greater impact on a more local level.” The Republicans have until Aug. 15 to name someone for the November ballot. Michael Marsh, the GOP county chairman, said others have expressed interest. Two Democrats have said they will run business proprietor Kelly Wicks, who ran for the seat in 2012, and Bowling Green City Councilor Daniel Gordon. The county Democrats are scheduled to meet Thursday (June 30) to decide who to nominate.  

Toledo Symphony’s Music Under the Stars returns to zoo

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Mercy Health, and the Toledo Zoo are joining forces again to continue a six-decade-old tradition of providing fun family entertainment in a relaxed setting: Music Under the Stars, a free series of concerts on four summer Sunday evenings in July in the Zoo’s Amphitheatre. Each of the 7:30 p.m. concerts, produced by the Toledo Symphony and performed by the Toledo Symphony Concert Band, features a special theme: July 10: American Portraits July 17: Fun and Games July 24: Just Dance July 31: Broadway Showstoppers Conductor Bruce Moss, director of band activities at Bowling Green State University, returns for his third summer. Guest artists will include the Toledo Symphony School of Music, Glass City Steel (the steel drum band from Toledo School for the Arts), Manhattan Dance Company, Toledo Choral Society, and the Ballet Theater of Toledo, among others to be announced. Masters of ceremonies will be Tony Geftos of WTVG (13ABC) and Jerry Anderson of WTOL. “By offering free family-oriented events for the public to enjoy; not one but two, local treasured gems, the music of the Toledo Symphony Concert Band at the venue of the Toledo Zoo not only enriches lives, it truly enhances the overall health and well-being of the community,” said Imran Andrabi, M.D., Regional President and CEO/Chief Network Integration Officer, Mercy Health – Toledo. “Mercy is proud to be the title sponsor once again for this year’s Music Under the Stars concerts.” “The Toledo Symphony Concert Band is honored to be an integral part of this wonderful summer tradition, which started in the late 1930s, before it was called ‘Music Under the Stars.’” said Keith McWatters, the Symphony’s general manager and a Concert Band percussionist. “There is nothing quite like it in the nation: a warm summer evening with your family and friends, set in the beautiful Toledo Zoo Amphiteatre complete with the sound of fabulous music –and it’s free! “For anyone who has had the experience, we look forward to seeing you again,” McWatters said. “For anyone…

Toledo Symphony, musicians reach contract agreement

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., Board of Trustees approved a new three-year contract with Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s musicians at its year-end meeting on June 21. The musicians, members of the Toledo Federation of Musicians Local 15-286, approved the contract in voting conducted on May 21. The three-year contract takes effect on Sept. 1, 2016, and provides for a 2 percent raise on base salaries each year. It covers 60 contracted musicians, and extends to other musicians who are brought in to supplement the core group as needed. “The seasoned professionals of the Toledo Symphony are fundamental to the high quality of music produced across our entire region, so it makes sense for the association to invest in this important music asset,” said Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica and board trustee chairman. “It is our responsibility to sustain the orchestra’s mission of preservation and education if we intend to continue to be the best regional orchestra in America.” “The TSO is currently facing many challenges and is in a period of transition in both its artistic and administrative leadership,” Garth Simmons, chairman of the orchestra’s bargaining committee and the symphony’s principal trombonist, said. “This new agreement demonstrates the shared commitment of the Board, musicians, and management to the long-term stability and growth of the orchestra.” Entering its 73rd season, the Toledo Symphony annually performs nearly 100 concerts in its Classics, Mozart, Chamber, Pops, and Family series, six operas, and neighborhood and regional shows. Additionally, members of the orchestra’s chamber ensembles perform in every elementary school in the Toledo Public Schools system, as well as in many other schools across Northwest Ohio. The symphony performs at the Toledo of Art Museum’s Peristyle, Lourdes University’s Franciscan Center, The Toledo Club, the Stranahan Theater, the Valentine Theater, Rosary Cathedral, and on occasion the Huntington Center. The symphony has performed at venues as far away as Bryan, Greenville, New Bremen, and Portsmouth, all in Ohio.

Water & sewer district wants to know how it’s doing

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT The Northwestern Water & Sewer District recently launched a digital survey to its customers, contractors, vendors, and other organizations it deals with to gauge satisfaction levels and the quality of the work the District does. According to Jerry Greiner, President of Northwestern Water Sewer District, “We need feedback so we can see how we are doing, and just as importantly, find out what we could do better.” Greiner continues “Primarily we are focusing on our customers, but we also want feedback from organizations we do business with such as our contractors, other government agencies, and even media organizations.” The survey strives to create a baseline or current snapshot of satisfaction and quality, and then will proceed with a comprehensive analysis of the data and information. According to Gavin Smith, Director of GIS and IT at the District “We are going to intently study the results and communicate the results in a way that illustrates our current position across many measured factors, but then we will use this as a starting point to help us keep our strengths impactful while identifying and correcting weaknesses.” Additionally, the District plans follow up surveys, and maybe even focus groups, on a consistent long term schedule to create a constant feedback loop. Freelance marketer and public relations guru Tom Konecny, who helps the District with these types of tasks adds “Evaluation and continuous improvement is critical. For example, a laborer in a factory, a teller at a bank, or even a nurse at a hospital are continually evaluated so that current performance is measured and future performance is enhanced- certainly organizations should do this as well!” The District asks that its customers and all the other organizations associated with them take a brief five minutes to complete this survey. The survey is readily available on the District website. The survey is also available on the NWWSD Facebook Page and Twitter feed.

BGSU faculty member’s ideas on democracy to guide health system discussions in United Kingdom

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Albert Dzur, political science, has a vision of democracy that is inspiring people around the world to take a new look at the ways in which work can be organized and ethical decisions deliberated. Dzur calls this “democratic professionalism,” in which power is shared rather than hierarchical and social change is accomplished, not from above or by one-time movements, but in the daily business of life. He has researched and written extensively on the topic, including the books “Democratic Professionalism: Citizen Participation and the Reconstruction of Professional Ethics,” published in 2008 by Pennsylvania State Press, “Punishment, Participatory Democracy and the Jury,” published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, and a recent series for the Boston Review called “Trench Democracy: Participatory Innovation in Unlikely Places.” Dzur contends that while professionals such as doctors, judges or educators bring valuable specialized knowledge to decision-making and planning processes, the wisdom and experience of laypeople can be equally important. He advocates for spaces in which public deliberation can take place and presents compelling examples of change brought about by what he calls “load-bearing” citizens. They are those who are doing the work of transforming neighborhoods and schools, helping provide justice for those denied it, and helping gain broader access to health care. This democratization can also take place within the professions. Dzur’s research is being used as a framework for a two-year series of seminars called “Re-imagining Professionalism in Mental Health: Towards Co-Production,” held at Leeds and Oxford universities. Sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council, one of seven research councils in the U.K., the series will focus on new approaches to mental health care that will embrace co-production, or authentic power-sharing, among service users, caregivers and professionals. According to the organizers, “One question which crops up quite often is ‘How does co-production differ from shared decision-making?’ A quick answer is that shared decision-making involves listening to service user perspectives, but co-production goes further than this. Co-production requires a fundamental democratizing of relationships. “The starting point…

BGSU beat goes on throughout the summer with camps, academies and institutes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The day after Boys State adjourned June 19, closing a 38-year chapter of history at Bowling Green State University, parts of campus were still buzzing. High school trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba players were putting their mouthpieces to their lips to learn the fine points of brass musicianship. Down the hall in the Moore Musical Arts Center, saxophones were creating the cacophony of 15 players trying to figure out a Miles Davis lick. Meanwhile in the Eva Marie Saint Theater in the Wolfe Center for the Arts, young thespians were standing before their peers reading monologues they’d just laid eyes on, often with surprising expression and understanding. As they performed theater professor Michael Ellison guided and encouraged them with and pithy words of advice, hand gestures, and a broad smile. The decision by the trustees of the American Legion sponsored event to move Boys State and its 1,200-plus delegates to Miami University is a setback in an ongoing effort to bring more people, young and old, to campus over the summer. “We’re always looking for opportunities to share the university and what it has to offer,” said Dave Kielmeyer, chief marketing and communications officer. For the past several years arrangements for those camps have been made through the office of Conference and Event Services. Patrick Nelson, who directs the office, originally arrived on campus as the director of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, and his job has grown since then. The expansion of his duties makes sense, he said, since the student union is central to so many events on campus. The Accenture Report, which looked at myriad ways BGSU could save money, recommended in late 2013 that the university centralize its event service functions that had been dispersed in different academic and administrative units. Nelson said his office was already taking shape when the report came out. “The wheels were already turning,” he said. “We already saw a vision coming together.” Having Accenture’s stamp of approval helped the new office gain credibility across campus….

Closing time for Jed’s but downtown still open for business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jed’s, home of chicken Fireballs, has flamed out in downtown. Still the owner of the Millikin Hotel building on downtown Bowling Green’s Four Corner is confident he’ll find a new tenant for the former Jed’s space. The sports bar and grill closed for business on Monday. A call to the owners has not been returned. Bob Maurer, who owns the building, said all he knows about why the business closed is “just economics.” The Jed’s restaurant in Perrysburg remains open. “Any time you lose a tenant you want to know what happened, what you could have done to avoid it,” Maurer said. “It’s a good spot. Somebody’s always looking,” he said. “Some people’s problems are another person’s opportunity.” He expects that given there’s been a restaurant in that spot for well over 10 years that another eatery is the most likely option. Maurer expects to have it filled in “four to six months.” Overall Maurer said downtown Bowling Green “is doing extremely well.” He said that compared to Fremont or Napoleon, or even Findlay, Bowling Green’s downtown is thriving. He praised Mayor Dick Edwards and Sue Clark, the executive director of the Community Development Foundation, for their efforts. The Jed’s space in the second vacancy to open up on the Four Corners in the past two months. The Mosaic Consignment shop, which sits kitty-corner from the former Jed’s, closed in May. But that space is already undergoing renovation as another business prepares to occupy it.    

Optimal Aging Institute hires administrator & schedules community fair

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS BGSU’s new Optimal Aging Institute (OAI) is moving ahead. Its inaugural project administrator has been recently named and a community fair is planned. Paula Davis has been named project administrator effective July 11, Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, has announced. Currently serving as BGSU’s director of corporate and Foundation relations, Davis served as both the assistant director and outreach coordinator of the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute from 2012-15. In addition, she successfully completed the Geriatric Scholar Certificate Program sponsored by the Columbia-New York Geriatric Education Center in 2013. “Paula’s many years of experience in marketing and fundraising, along with her experience in gerontology, make her uniquely qualified to lead the Optimal Aging Institute,” Huff said. “We look forward to collaborating with her and our community partners and other individuals on campus to develop our long-term strategic plan and beginning to provide engaging programs and resources for the community.” Davis will also be a speaker at the institute’s Optimal Aging Community Fair, to he held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1 in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The fair is open to all ages but does require advance registration by July 28. It will include an international keynote speaker discussing active aging, followed by panel discussions and interactive breakout sessions and health screenings in the afternoon emphasizing the seven dimensions of wellness. This event is free for people age 60 and over, BGSU employees and students, and $20 for others. Lunch is included. For more information, visit the OAI website or call 419-372-8243. The institute, based in the College of Health and Human Services, was strategically developed in 2016 to provide learning opportunities and educational materials focusing on optimal aging for service providers, health systems, entrepreneurs, corporations, caregivers, and older adults. The OAI has received a generous five-year commitment of financial support from Medical Mutual of Ohio.

Jaume Plensa’s sculptures are in just the right place at Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For sculptor Jaume Plensa, the placement of one of his sculptures is as important as the work itself. That’s especially true of his outdoor works. Still he described his visit to Toledo to consult about where to situate the work on the grounds of Toledo Museum of Art almost as a play date. He walked around with a few friends and two gardeners carrying flags. “I loved those guys with the flags.” Amy Gilman, the museum’s associate director and one of those in the group, asked him Thursday night why he decided to place one work, “The Heart of Trees,” up on a hill, instead of on the flat, where the museum had suggested. The world renowned artist said: “A kid loves to change things. If you say ‘down,’ then I say ‘up,’ and it’s not more complicated than that.” “You know my son,” Gilman quipped. The exchange was part of a public conversation held Thursday at the museum as part of the ongoing exhibit Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape, which continues outdoors and in the Levis Galleries through Nov. 6. In his introduction, Museum Director Brian Kennedy called Plensa “a most distinguished art practitioner in our world today.” “A very significant part of Jaume’s practice is public sculpture, creating moments for public engagement,” he said. Plensa’s work is on display around the world, including “the most extraordinary work he’s made,” the Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Plena said, in placing a work: “You are not thinking about the object in itself but what energy this object is spreading about. … The space is much more important than the work itself.” That was demonstrated in the siting not only of the Human Landscape works but in “Speigel (Mirror)” which sits on the edge of the museum’s 36-acre campus. When Plensa visited to consult on the installation in 2012, he made “important adjustments” to the initial site, Gilman said. She and exhibit designer Claude Fixler had originally envisioned placing “Speigel” on a small rise. But…