Articles by David Dupont

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…

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.

BGHS ’78 grads show their class with new bobcat statue

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Poised to lift the white shroud from the object set in front of Bowling Green High School, Bill York paused to note that he’d been promised “this is not just another class of ’78 prank.” The class, known in the years since they graduated as the worst class ever, has set about turning over a new leaf. “We’re trying to establish a new reputation as the most giving class,” York said. That spirit was represented when the object, a large bronze statue of a bobcat, was unveiled. For Principal Jeff Dever, it will be “a tremendous thing for kids to come to school and see that.” And yes, he heard, the stories about the class as “the worst class that came through these doors.” What he knows is that the class has been “very generous.” “They handled this from start to finish,” he said. The project was spearheaded by Bill York. Classmate Mike Hammer, the city superintendent of public works, enlisted help from city workers to get the base of brick and concrete constructed. York said that after the class held its 35th reunion, some of the organizers talked about creating a more permanent structure. In 2014, the Bowling Green High School Class of 1978 was created. In 2015, the foundation awarded its first scholarship for $1,000 and donated a couple benches that sit outside the school. This year a $2,500 scholarship was awarded, and the bobcat was purchased and placed. The idea for the bronze mascot came from members of the class, York said. They wanted something “unique” and enduring. It should be made as it is of bronze, stone and brick. “It’ll be long lasting,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll outlast us all.” The budget for the project was $8,500. The class raised almost $12,000. York said that may mean benches or other elements could be added to the project. The bronze bobcat was purchased from the Large Art Company, from Baltimore, Maryland….

Northwest Ohio gets its close up in NowOH art exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A portrait of Northwest Ohio is now on display in the galleries in the Bowling Green State University Fine Arts Center. Friday the 9th Northwest Ohio Community Art Exhibition exhibit opened featuring work by 56 area artists. Entry into NowOH is open to all artists who live in 12 Northwest Ohio counties. “Everything that got sent in got included in the show,” said the Detroit artist Sarah Rose Sharp, who served as the exhibit juror.  “Something that’s really beautiful about that is it paints kind of a collective picture of a community which is great to see.” Art, she said, is “subjective” and when so many works are brought together “you can get kind of an aggregate of a community’s experience.” Roxanne Shea’s “Ariel View,” which Sharp selected for Best of Show honors, reflected that vision. Sharp praised the work for its blend of an archaic printing technique with references to geo mapping. Shea’s portrayals of the trailer park where her grandfather lived are rooted in the Rust Belt experience. Shea, who received her Master of Fine Arts in 2-D Studies this spring from BGSU, said her grandfather died right before she started these prints. Shea, who grew up in a low-income family in Grand Rapids, Michigan said: “I was trying to understand where I came from, where I’m at now and how I feel a little distance from my family because I’ve gone through college.” The winning work is an overview of the park, while another print shows a few trailers. She used the collagraph technique that involves employing found materials. In her case that was wood and 24-inch masking tape. She build up the surface and then cut away material to create the images. “Growing up I didn’t have much, so I had to use what I had around me,” Shea said. “The collagraph process involves grabbing what you can and applying it to the plate. Finding the materials is a big part of the…

Abby Paskvan booked to sing anthem at GOP convention

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The National Anthem is Abby Paskvan’s favorite song. The 20-year-old singer has been performing “The Star Spangled Banner” since she was 8, when she opened a Bowling Green State University basketball game. On Wednesday, July 20, she’ll have the chance to perform it on her biggest stage yet, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (She is scheduled to sing at 7:45 p.m.) And she’s thrilled. “I’m super excited,” the Bowling Green resident said. She was already considering going to the convention as an observer. She has several friends involved in organizing events in conjunction with the convention, so she was hoping a get tickets. Paskvan said she’s interested in politics and with a national convention nearby “it would be awesome to see it up close.” To be able to sing there is “a once in a lifetime experience.” She expects to take the stage at about 7:45 p.m. She will sing without accompaniment. She assumes she was approached by convention officials because someone heard one of her previous performances, such as her recent appearance at a Cincinnati Reds game. She has sung the anthem at numerous sporting events, including the National Tractor Pulling Championships. “It’s my favorite song to sing,” Paskvan said. “It takes a lot of power.”  That’s a quality she’s had since she first appeared in public as a little girl with an astonishingly large voice. The singer was confident enough that when organizers asked if she wanted rehearsal, she at first deferred. They convinced her to take a trial run in Quicken Loans Arena. Her approach to singing the anthem is to stick to its roots. Sing the melody with no embellishment and “not over sing… not adding your own twist that it’s not supposed to have.” Paskvan is a junior studying marketing at BGSU. More and more, she said, she is considering making music a career.  Her business training, she said, will help her manage that career. She has studied…

BGSU is a step ahead in new state policing initiative

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University Police Department has become the first in Wood County, and one of the first in the area, to be certified for meeting new standards promulgated by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. The department which had gotten provisional certification received its full certification after a recent site visit by the chief of the Coldwater police. BGSU Police Chief Monica Moll said the new initiative was established to set best practices in police interactions with citizens. The program, she said, is voluntary. All those who receive certification will be listed by the state. Most departments will want to make that list, Moll said. Each year two standards will be added that departments have to meet. This year the standards address equal opportunity in recruitment and hiring and policies on the use of force. Moll said that her force had a leg up since it had just completed its Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies paperwork, which she described as “the gold standard” for law enforcement accreditation. The Bowling Green City Police Department also has CALEA accreditation, she said. The CALEA standards align with the best practices advocated by the Ohio Collaborative. BGSU officers have to report any time they use force even if it’s only applying a wristlock. Every one of those reports, Moll said, is reviewed. The department also conducts an annual review of its use of force. BGSU officers seldom use force, and it’s a low level of force, maybe tackling someone who is attempting to flee. “We do a lot of training on de-escalation,” she said. Officers must also report whenever they draw their weapons. Officers working the midnight shift are more likely to use force, Moll said. The standards also cover more severe uses of force, including using deadly force. That policy is guided by Constitutional guarantees and Supreme Court rulings. Officers can only use deadly force if their lives or the lives of others…

Toledo Museum exhibit dissects the emotional manipulation of political ads

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As someone who began his political education at the family dinner table, walking through the Toledo Museum of Art’s exhibit “I Approve This Message: Decoding Political Ads” is like strolling through a chapter of my autobiography. Politics made an early entry into my consciousness, and even the few election cycles beyond my actual memory – pretty much the Eisenhower campaigns – had a certain resonance. The elegantly dressed housewives with their crisp East Coast collegiate accents could have been sisters of June Cleaver, the mom on “Leave It To Beaver.” That Lena Dunham, the creator of “Girls,” pops on the screen right after in an ad built on a double entendre about losing her virginity and voting for the first time only highlights how much has changed. In a way. Listening to the issues – guns, poverty, crime, unemployment – that run through the discourse, a viewer would be right to despair about whether we’ve made any progress at all. But for exhibit creator Harriet Levin Balkind, the issues aren’t what matters when it comes to convincing voters how to cast their ballots. It’s all about emotion. Television advertisements are carefully crafted works of art intended to evoke those emotions. The same tools used by artists, are used by political hucksters. That’s why, TMA Director Brian Kennedy said, the exhibit belongs in the museum. “We’re a museum that’s has always been predicated on art education. We’ve been about educating people to see through works of art, and political ads are works of art of a kind. It’s really important we understand them.” With the Republican Party set to hold its convention in Ohio, and another presidential election underway the timing of the exhibit couldn’t be better. “I Approve This Message” is the brainchild of Balkind, the founder of Honest Ads. An expert in brand marketing, she started her research into what drives people to vote in 2014 after her agency was sold. What she…

Sign of the times

An opinion piece by Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel The sight was arresting. Frightening, even. A solitary masked figure, seated in a red cloth folding chair near a busy downtown intersection, a black bowler hat on his head and a green, Guy Fawkes style mask covering his face. Both middle fingers extended, pointing directly toward the Bowling Green Police Department. In the unremitting midday sun cars slowed while drivers and passengers gaped. I myself drove around the block twice, almost as though what I’d seen must have been a mirage, and would disappear. What struck me about this man was his resolute stillness. He had a statement to make, and he wasn’t going anywhere. From a journalistic standpoint, there wasn’t much of a story. Chief of Police Tony Hetrick stated that the protestor is “upset with government corruption.” He explained to the chief that he has disabilities but felt well enough to be there, and as he wasn’t doing anything illegal, Hetrick let him stay. He would not remove his mask, but said his name is Alvin. Struggling with a disability myself, I certainly understand the frustration of government red tape, and I can’t imagine what other specific indignities Alvin has suffered. However, it’s hard to imagine our Not In Our Town-involved, “Coffee With a Cop” approachable police department being the enemy in this scenario. I’m not sure it matters. Alvin chose a symbol of authority at which to direct his anger, in this case only his presence and an unmistakable yet nonviolent gesture. But his solitary protest is indicative of so much rising desperation and unhappiness in this country. For us today in BG, it was Alvin in a mask. Elsewhere recently, it’s mass shootings targeting the LGBTQ community; increasing cases of police brutality against people of color and resulting Black Lives Matter protests; the sniper targeting police at the peaceful demonstration in Dallas; even the Brexit vote in the UK… chaos is erupting everywhere. People are angry. People are scared. People…

Holocaust memorial not place to play Pokemon Go

SYLVANIA – The Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo is asking that those playing Polemon Go refrain from playing at the center’s Holocaust memorial. “Doing so disrespects the memory of Holocaust victims, survivors, and family members. Our memorial is a sacred place for solemn reflection, not for gaming,” it said in a statement. The federation has requested that Niantic, the creator of Pokémon Go, remove the memorial as a place of interest from the game. The federation did say it “welcomes all budding Pokémon trainers to play Pokémon Go on its campus and at the YMCA/JCC. ”    

#Let’sSupportEachOther event on campus today

The Office of Multicultural Affairs on the BGSU campus is hosting a #Let’sSupportEachOther gathering today (July 13) at 4 p.m. The announcement states: “In light of the recent tragic shootings and the aftermath that continues to unfold, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Counseling Center are partnering to create space for students, faculty, staff and community members to share, listen and support one another.” The event will introduce that effort, The office is located in room 318b of the Math Science Building.    

Chamber seeking applicants for Leadership BG

From BG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Applications are available to participate in the 2016-2017 Leadership BG Program, sponsored by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Leadership BG is a fantastic opportunity to be immersed into different components of the BG community, meet decision makers, participate in mini seminars on leadership/communication/team building, develop life-long connections with classmates, and give back to the community via a class project. Since its inception in 1992, 507 graduates have completed the program! A 1-day per month commitment for 9 months is required. Program components include city and county governments, health care industry, social services, municipal and county judicial systems, manufacturing, and education. Leadership BG also gives participants an opportunity to take part in a community service project (uniquely designed by the class), enabling the group to work together toward a common goal while administering their leadership style. After completion of the class, participants become a part of the Leadership BG Alumni Association. The LBGAA continues the education/leadership process by providing networking and coalition building and supports philanthropic endeavors through fundraisers. To apply for this beneficial advancement opportunity, download application and cover sheet at or obtain a copy from the Chamber Office, 130 S. Main St. Applications are due by August 19th, 2016. Prompt return of applications is highly advisable as the class size is limited. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is a professional network that creates relationships between businesses, customers and community. We support our investors by offering value-added benefits, discounts on health insurance, business improvement seminars, networking programs, legislative updates, and educational opportunities through scholarships and grants. For more information contact the BG Chamber at (419) 353-7945 or visit

Black Swamp Arts Festival art show taking shape

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News The final touches are being applied to the visual art shows at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. The shows, both the Juried Art Show on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green and the Wood County Invitational in the lot at the corner of Clough and South Main streets, will feature a mix of new and familiar artists. The festival gets underway Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. with music on the Main Stage. The art shows run during the day Sept. 10 and 11. About 20 percent of the 108 artists in the juried show are new this year, said Brenda Baker, who chairs the festival’s visual arts committee. That’s down a bit from previous years, she said. Notably some regular vendors missed the April 1 application deadline. This year 245 artists applied for the juried show which has space for 108 artists. Since award winners from the previous year are automatically accepted, that means they are vying for 100 spots. The majority of the applicants “heard about the festival through word of mouth,” Baker said. “That shows we have a strong reputation in the artistic community.” While artists often rave about how they are treated in Bowling Green, the key element to attracting them to the festival is sales. They want to be assured there’s a market for their wares. Those sales at the Black Swamp fest have rebounded to about $2,600 since the depths of the recession. That’s good enough for the festival to place 67th in Sunshine Artist magazine’s ranking of fine arts and crafts shows in the country. While other area shows dropped off the list in the lean years, the Black Swamp fest has help steady. Bringing in new artists is important, Baker said, because it gives something fresh for festivalgoers to buy. “People appreciate new things to buy for Christmas,” said Linda Lentz, a member of the visual arts committee. Also, Baker noted, many artists on the art fair…

“Clean Sweep” of Downtown BG set for July 16

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN A “Clean Sweep” service project is schedule in the Downtown Bowling Green Special Improvement District with the President’s Leadership Academy on Saturday, July 16, as a service project.  The group will be removing litter and pulling weeds in the blocks from Clay Street to Lehman both on Main Street and the side streets that encompass the downtown area.   Republic Services will be furnishing t-shirts and work gloves for the volunteers and the Black Swamp Arts Council will be loaning their brooms and dustpans. The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) is a four-year leadership development program that engages scholars in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities. The curriculum focuses on specific outcomes, with each year’s experience building on those of the previous year. Newly accepted students begin their leadership academy experience in July with an intensive four-week summer program that allows them to experience college life firsthand. Students take college-level courses, read selected leadership texts, participate in seminars and community service events, and take part in various cultural, educational, and experiential learning excursions on the weekends.  Downtown Bowling Green is a non-profit organization that is in place to manage the needs of the merchants and property owners.  Service organizations are always welcome to help in projects like this one as well as for any of the events held downtown including the Farmers Market, Classics on Main and Winterfest.   If you would like more information about these opportunities or would like to sign up for a volunteer shift please email with your name, email, phone number, and volunteer opportunity shift in question. You can also call Downtown BG at (419) 354-4332 or stop by our office at 130 S. Main Street.

Veterans hit the trail on Warrior Hike seeking peace

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A Bowling Green native has embarked on a long-haul hike intended to help military veterans walk off the war. Marine veteran Martin Strange, 32, started his Warrior Expedition last week. With hiking partner, Army veteran Sterling Deck, Strange will circumnavigate the state of Ohio, taking about three months to cover the 1,444 miles. Warrior Expeditions was started about four years ago by Sean Gobin. After deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Gobin set out to walk the 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Strange said Gobin gained so much from the experience he founded Warrior Expeditions to offer the same experience to other veterans. There are options for hiking, paddling and bicycling. In trekking the Appalachian Trail, he was following the footsteps of a veteran of an older generation. Coming home from World War II, Earl Shaffer became the first person to hike the length of the trail. Strange served four years in the U.S. Marines as a machine gunner. The Bowling Green High graduate enlisted at 21. “I felt life had my back to the wall,” he said. This was his way “to push back and jump off a cliff and see what happens. That’s what the Marine Corps infantry was to me.” Strange was deployed twice to Iraq. When he was discharged in 2009, he went on and served as security for the State Department, working in Kabul, Afghanistan. “I’m a completely different person from when I joined up,” Strange said. “And grown since I got out.” Strange, son of former BG residents Carney and Dorothyann Strange, went on to study wildlife management at Hocking College, but that lost its appeal after a few years. He was drawn to the Warrior Hike by his love of outdoors. Even before starting the long hike, he’d spent three months sleeping in his hammock, homeless by choice, he said. “Certainly not destitute.” Gobin interviewed Strange over Skype to see if he was right for the adventure….