Articles by David Dupont

Community lifts voices in First Presbyterian “Messiah” sing-along

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The season’s first snowstorm couldn’t stop music lovers from gathering Sunday to sing-along to holiday music for the ages. A sing-along performance of G. F. Handel’s “Messiah” drew a few dozen to the First Presbyterian Church to listen and sing-along on the choruses. They were joined by the church’s chancel choir, soloists, organ and an 11-piece orchestra. Inside they all found the warmth of the festive atmosphere, and beloved strains of music. As musicologist Christopher Williams, who was singing in the choir, noted in his introductory remarks, “Messiah” is associated with both the Christmas and Easter season. That means its strains, especially the climatic “Hallelujah” chorus, are familiar both to listeners and to singers. The sing-along is intended to bring those two groups together in a spirit of harmony and in literal harmony. The Rev. Gary Saunders, the church’s co-pastor, said that the event fit well into the church’s belief in fostering community and creativity. Josh Wang, the church’s choir director, credited co-pastor Mary Jane Saunders with first suggesting the church stage the performance. She had attended such performances in the past and felt it would work in Bowling Green. Wang, in his first year in his position, was already contemplating a program for the Christmas season, and this fit the bill. “It’s so popular, really beloved music,” he said. So many people have sung it and having them sing the choruses “makes it a more meaningful experience for everyone.” Also, the sing-along makes the event more casual than the usual concert presentation. Not that the soloists, choir and orchestra were casual about preparation. “It was wonderful to be part of something this big,” said Nancy Hess, a member of choir. She enjoyed the challenge of preparing the music. “Obviously we strive for accuracy, and as good a performance as we can,” Wang said. The performance included almost all of the oratorio’s first section, and “The Trumpet Will Sound” and the “Hallelujah” chorus from the final section. Among the soloists was professional singer Diane McEwen-Martin, whose families has long ties to the church. “I was baptized here.” She sang the mezzo-soprano solos. She has performed “Messiah” before, but not all that many times. She explained that she started her career as a mezzo-soprano before shifting up the vocal register to soprano. Her voice, she said is not suited to the high florid soprano lines…

Library sets holiday hours; Ukulele Club meets, Dec. 18

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY WCDPL (Bowling Green and Walbridge libraries and the Bookmobile) will be closed in observance of Christmas from Friday, December 23 through Monday December 26. Regular hours resume on Tuesday, December 27. The library will also be closed system-wide to observe the New Year’s holiday on Sunday, January 1 and Monday, January 2, 2017. Regular hours resume Tuesday, January 3. Enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Sunday, December 18 at 3 pm: Calling all ukulele enthusiasts looking for a friendly and helpful group to play ukulele with. Look no further–to participate in our Ukulele Club’s jam session, all you need is a ukulele and sense of adventure. Song books and music provided at the jam. RSVP appreciated (419-352-5050), but not required. 1st Floor Meeting Room. For more information, contact WCDPL at 419-352-5104.

BGSU students musical mastery on display in 50th Competition in Musical performance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When musicians stepped onto the stage of Kobacker Hall late last week to perform in the annual Competition in Musical Performance, there was not much of an audience. A panel of five judges from outside BGSU sat in the center of the hall. Maybe a few more people, friends and fellow musicians, sat toward the back. The stage was starkly lit, and the only company performers had on stage was an accompanist and maybe a page turner for the accompanist. The performers themselves had no pages to turn, no sheets of music to hide behind. They and their practicing over the past few months stood exposed. Every year for the last 50 years, Bowling Green State University undergraduate and graduate students have stepped forward to exhibit their musical mastery. This year 69 student musicians competed for four awards, two each for undergraduate and graduate. They performed Wednesday through Friday with eight finalists returning on Saturday. “This is definitely the ultimate test of everything they need to achieve artistically,” said Nermis Mieses, BGSU professor of oboe who coordinated this year’s event. Each undergraduate performer must play up to 15 minutes of music for their instrument or voice and band or orchestra.  Each graduate student can play up to 20 minutes. The music must be memorized. The competition is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists. This tests the student’s discipline and artistry, as well as “how they handle themselves when they are performing,” Mieses said. Saxophonist Piyaphon Asawakarnjanakit said the most important thing about a competition is it forces the musician “to work more and more.” The first-year graduate student from Thailand said he knew he would participate as soon as he heard about the competition. After his Thursday afternoon performance he conceded he made a few mistakes, still “I’m happy to play my music.” Flutist Aldulfulyne Padmore, another first-year graduate student, came away happy with her performance. “I think I did very well,” she said. “It’s the best I’ve played the piece.” She said she decided to play the concerto by Otar Gordelli because she had studied it before.  She knew she wanted to participate in the competition as a way of adjusting to the greater demands of graduate study. Using a familiar piece allowed her to focus on the nuances and musicality more than just the notes. And Padmore likes the concerto because it…

BGSU trustees approved software engineering major

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University hopes a new software engineering major will compute with new students. The University Board of Trustees approved the new major Friday. The new major will equip students to enter an expanding job field. When the measure was considered by Faculty Senate, Professor Robert Dyer said that the openings were growing by 17 percent a year. In introducing the new major, Provost Rodney Rogers said it aligned with areas of strength that already exist within the university. President Mary Ellen Mazey said it also fills a niche. When talking with prospective students about what they’d like to see at BGSU, engineering is the top request. Now, BGSU will have a software engineering program as part of its offerings. The Department of Computer Science, which is within the College of Arts and Sciences, already has a specialization in software engineering that was established two years ago. This will be only the second such program in the state, Rogers said. He knows of at least one student now studying out of state who plans to transfer to BGSU. David Levey, chair of the trustees, asked how faculty would be hired for the new program. Rogers said that the department has a strength in software and has hired one professor in each of the last four years. The specialization now enrolls 17 students, according to the proposal. The university expects to enroll 50 students in the new major in the first year and have 200 within the first five years. “It’s a very rigorous program,” Rogers said. The major must now be approved at the state level. The possibility of another new major related to engineering was mentioned when the trustees approved the naming of the Stephen and Deborah Harris RIXAN Robotics Laboratory. The lab, which now under construction, will allow the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering to go ahead with the creation of a degree in mechatronics, an interdisciplinary field that combines electronics with a number of other engineering disciplines. Also, the trustees approved changing the name of the aviation program from Bachelor of Science in Technology to a Bachelor of Science in Aviation. This will be consistent with industry practices, Rogers said. When the matter was approved by faculty senate, Carl Braun, the liaison for the aviation program, said that often graduates have to explain their degrees to prospective employers.  Students and graduates…

Honoring donors name of the game for BGSU trustees

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University has momentum in its quest to have facilities, whether a building or a room, named for donors. On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of five facilities, small and large. President Mary Ellen Mazey credited Michael Kuhlin’s donations that resulted in the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center with getting the ball rolling. Mazey said that will continue into next year. Shea McGrew, vice president for University Advancement, said after the meeting that he expects to have some of the million dollar donors behind the planned renovation of Hanna Hall into a new home for the College of Business present when the trustees convene in February. McGrew said that the naming of facilities approved Friday represented a total about $3.4 million in gifts. Mazey said it is important to have the trustees not only approve the naming of facilities, but to also recognize the donors at their meetings. All but one of the donors were present for the trustees meeting. Stephen Harris, who with his wife, Deborah, provided the funds for a new robotics lab, died very recently. McGrew said he hoped Deborah Harris will be able to attend the February trustees meeting. The Stephen and Deborah Harris RIXAN Robotics Laboratory will allow the university to go ahead with a degree in mechatronics, McGrew said. The lab is now under construction. The patriarch of a family of “rink rats,” Scott Slater will have his contributions to the university recognized in the Slater Family Ice Arena. Slater has long been a supporter of hockey at the university, providing crucial support when the program was threatened with discontinuation. In addressing the board, he said education was valuable as are athletics “which build character.” “When you have both of them you have a great chance to successful in work,” he said. Slater said he hoped that the work funded by his donation will “give the old lady a new heart” and insure the arena will be viable for another 50 years. Steve Krakoff, vice president for Capital Planning and Design, said the university is working with a design firm that specializes in ice arenas to determine what renovations the facility needs. The university library’s Sound Recording Archives will be named for Bill Schurk, the librarian and archivist responsible for building up the internationally recognized collection. Schurk said he knew as an…

BGSU trustees to vote on naming ice arena for Slater family

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COOMMUNICATIONS The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the naming of the “Slater Family Ice Arena” at its Dec. 9 board meeting. The naming is in recognition of a gift from the Scott Slater family. Slater ’73 enrolled at BGSU in the fall of 1969 and first attended Falcon hockey games with his future in-laws, who had season tickets. Nearly 50 years later, Slater still has those same seats in the upper level of the Ice Arena, and in the decades since, he has done much more than just cheer for the Falcons. Slater and his family were major contributors to the “Bring Back the Glory” campaign that secured the BGSU hockey program. Now, the family is making a $2 million transformational gift to advance the future of the facility that means so much to them. “The Slaters are a true Falcon Family,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University. “Through the years, they have made the University central to their lives with support of BGSU Hockey and many community programs such as high school hockey and figure skating. It is fitting, and inspirational, that their dedication become a permanent part of the University with the naming of the Slater Family Ice Arena.” Over many years, Scott Slater’s six children were involved in youth and high school hockey and figure skating programs at the Ice Arena. His four sons have each been part of the highly successful Bowling Green High School hockey program and been on teams that won state championships or finished as state runners-up, while his two daughters participated in figure skating. Now his grandchildren are “rink rats” on the ice at BGSU, and Slater and his family have made another generous gift to secure the future of the facility that is so close to their hearts, and will now carry their name. “It is a BGSU-owned asset, but my family has always viewed it as more a community asset,” he said. “The thing I like is that, more than anything else in town, the Ice Arena is a place where the University and the community really merge together. That’s been a wonderful thing for a lot of people, for a very long time.” Mike Natyshak, a member of the 1984 BGSU national championship team, was a freshman hockey player from Belle…

County receives grant to combat workplace drug abuse

From CHRISTEN GIBLIN, NAMI WOOD COUNTY In an effort to address the safety and economic threat of drug abuse in the workplace, Bowling Green is one of 18 Ohio communities participating in the Working Partners® Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative. This statewide initiative is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The Initiative’s objectives are to increase an employable, drug-free workforce in Ohio; build healthier, more productive and economically sound workplaces; and to create systems to educate employees – who are parents or adults with influence over young people – to prevent drug use among that population now and in the future. To achieve these objectives the Initiative will be modeled after a program developed by drug-free workplace industry experts, Working Partners® and bring together local stakeholders and businesses. “We are concerned about the drug-related issues we are facing and how they affect not only individuals, families, and the community as a whole, but also workplaces which are the economic foundation of our community,” said Amanda Moser, Community Educator for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board. “By bringing employers together to develop polices and share best practices, we believe we are taking very important steps to address the economic threat of substance abuse by employees and job seekers in our state.” “We are thrilled to partner with the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board to create their own unique Drug-Free Workforce Community Initiative,” said Dee Mason, founder and CEO of Working Partners®. “By attacking this problem with a local grassroots approach, working with leaders embedded in communities across the state, we believe we will realize measurable changes that will result in a safer, healthier and more economically viable Ohio workforce.”

Weekend shows celebrate Howard’s Club H musical legend

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly bought Howard’s Club H earlier this year, it was with the intent of reviving the venerable night spot as a top local music venue. The fruits of those ambitions will be evident this weekend. Blues rocker Michael Katon, who played the club regularly from 1982 through the early 2000s, will return for a show Friday. Then on Saturday at 10 p.m. a crew from WBGU-TV will be on hand to tape a triple bill of younger acts – Tree No Leaves, Indian Opinion and Shell. “Howard’s has always been a music venue, a place to hear live music with a bar to go with it,” Feehan said. “We want to foster a community as much as we can. That’s what’ needed in this day and age.” And that’s what Howard’s was in its heyday. The bar traces its genesis to 1928 when Fred Howard opened a candy shop where the Wood County Library now sits. Legend has it, Feehan said, that the candy store also fronted a speakeasy that was popular with college football players. When Prohibition ended, Howard’s became a bar. The details of that and other stories are hard to pin down, he said. That’s part of the fun. “After we took ownership, then we realized what we had,” Feehan said. People would walk through the door, and share lore of the club, which moved across the street in the early 1970s. “We almost felt more like curators than owners.” Both Zmarzly and Feehan experienced that history as teenagers playing in bands at Howard’s. Feehan played piano with the Madhatters and Zmarzly is still active as a drummer and guitarist in AmpWagon. Feehan remembers crossing paths with Katon back in the 1980s. After a hiatus of more than 10 years, Katon returned to the club during this year’s Black Swamp Arts Festival. He played a late night Saturday show at the club before closing the festival on the Main Stage. He was glad to be back, Katon said, in a telephone interview. Howard’s was packed just as it was in the old days. Katon, who tours extensively in Europe, said he’s played clubs in England that hosted Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Black Sabbath, and The Animals. Those clubs had a well-worn, lived in feel. “Same with Howard’s,” he said. The BG club is one of his…

English Department & General Studies Writing to merge at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Faculty Senate at Bowling Green State University moved to join together units that no one quite remembered the reason for splitting in the first place. The senate Tuesday voted to merge the General Studies Writing program, which teaches the basic writing courses mostly to first-year students, with the English Department. After a presentation by Lawrence Coates, who chairs the English Department, and Lee Nickoson, director of General Studies Writing, Rebecca Mancuso, of history, noted she was always “mystified” why the two were separated. The split occurred on 2003. “Are there any drawbacks?” she asked of the merger. Only a need for a larger meeting room, said Nickoson. Offices for both units are on the second floor of East Hall. Each unit has about 30 faculty members, Coates said. Faculty members in both units approved the merger. Coates said that the merger will allow those now teaching in the General Studies Writing to teach courses other than writing. Now even though they may have background in other disciplines within English, they can only teach those courses in special circumstances. “We look forward to having that expertise freed up,” Coates said. Conversely, it will allow some English Department faculty to teach first year writing, Nickoson said. As envisioned, the merger will mean that writing courses will be extended throughout the curriculum, and into courses for upperclassmen. Some administrative changes will be required. These will result in cost savings of a few thousand dollars. The Board of Trustees will have final approval on the change.

Faculty will write next chapter in plan to reduce textbook costs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate opted not to take action on a resolution calling for a goal of cutting student textbook costs by 50 percent. Instead the senate at the urging of Jim Evans will leave it up to an ad hoc committee to come up with a proposal, and then will act on that proposal. That’s the way the senate procedure should work, Evans said. He argued that the resolution before the senate, which had been tabled in November, would be an “insult” to the members of the ad hoc committee because it spells out what they should decide. That resolution called for the committee to report to the full senate by next May, and there was no indication that the timeline would change. Everyone in the senate, everyone at the university, Evans said, wants lower textbook costs. The senate should allow the committee to study the issue and deliver a resolution based on what they find. The decision should be based on “facts and data” not “hearsay,” which is how he characterized what was in the resolution. Anne Gordon asked why the resolution insisted that BGSU lead the state in reducing textbook cost. “That seems to me to be part of the agenda of moving so quickly,” she said. “Why is taking lead in this issue so important?” Allen Rogel said it was important for the senate and the university to present options before “we get something rammed down our throats by the legislature.” Provost Rodney Rogers noted in his remarks that the BGSU Board of Trustees will be discussing textbook costs. At November’s meeting when the resolution was first presented, the initiatives BGSU is already taking were spelled out. Those included the bookstore’s BGSU Choose program through which students can comparison shop for books. Also, the library buys copies of some of the most in demand textbooks and makes them available at the reserve desk. David Jackson said “faculty have little control over what private corporations charge for textbooks.” Michelle Heckman, said the Math Emporium was able to negotiate getting materials for 60 percent less when it bypassed the bookstore. The motion to delay consideration of the resolution until the ad hoc committee delivers its report passed 45-21.

NWWSD operations team places 8th in national competition

Submitted by NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT After placing first overall in the State of Ohio State competition, the NWWSD Operations Challenge Team represented the Buckeye State in October at the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) in New Orleans. The Northwestern Water & Sewer Operations Challenge Team competed nationally against 42 other teams. The team participated in many challenge events such as process control, laboratory procedures, collection event, maintenance, and safety. “We are so proud of our Operations Challenge team as they placed 2nd in the lab Event and 8th overall in the final standings. No doubt, they did Ohio and our District proud.” states Northwestern Water & Sewer District President Jerry Greiner.” The District’s team consists of: Todd Saums Bryan Martikan Jarred Myers Tom McGrain Claud Barringer (Coach)

Nathan Eberly seeking at-large seat on BG City Council

Submitted by NATHAN EBERLY Local resident and long time advocate, Nathan Eberly, has pulled petitions to run as an Independent in the 2017 Bowling Green City Council race for one of two At-Large seats on the ballot. As a resident of Bowling Green since 2003 and family roots traced back for many years in the community, Nathan Eberly wishes to see the community stronger with more business investment, job growth, and the full implementation on the Land Use Plan, specifically the East Wooster Corridor with new Mixed-Use Buildings and Business Centers. “Bowling Green has been my home for over 13 years now, and I see great opportunity for the City to see an increase in business investments, new well-paying jobs, and increased opportunities for all residents and business owners”, provided Nathan Eberly as reason for running for Council. Eberly believes his financial background in several industries provide him the best opportunity to be the business and fiscal representative on City Council. With the new Land Use Plan and solid relationship with Economic Development groups, Bowling Green can see growth in jobs and business investment. Nathan has had concerns for the slow pace in which work has been accomplished regarding the new plans, which has possibly led to lack of business investment and interest and probably loss of potential jobs in Bowling Green. “I wish to help usher in a more efficient and effective city governance and Council, which quickly decides upon issues facing our community. I hope to provide leadership that will allow solid connection and working relationship between the City, BGSU, local business owners, and residents alike for solid growth in our town,” Nathan added in his discussion. Further Eberly added, “We have a great opportunity to be a leader in our region for job creation and growth, partnering with BGSU to retain talent in our community, but it will take some changes in Council to assist in making that a reality”. Nathan Eberly is a Financial Representative for Modern Woodmen of America, with focus on Insurance and Retirement Planning. Formerly a Commercial Lender and Accountant, Eberly has the solid educational background with degrees in Business Management and Finance from the University of Maryland, and work experience necessary to protect Bowling Green as a representative on City Council. Eberly is a member of the Exchange Club of Bowling Green, Bowling Green Toastmasters, and volunteers for various charities in Bowling…

County police take children on shopping trips

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE The Wood County Fraternal Order of Police held its annual Cops and Kids Shopping Event on Saturday December 3 2016.  This is an event where police officers are paired up with a child from the area and provided a $100.00 gift card to spend on clothing and toys.  This is more than just about shopping, it is about building relationships between the kids and police officers. This year Meijer in Rossford again hosted  Cops and Kids here in Wood County.  This past Saturday, approximately 72 local law enforcement officers were able to take 127 kids shopping.  The majority of the financial support comes from the community, local businesses and local organizations.  The FOP certainly could not achieve this without the support of the community.  This event is a great opportunity for law enforcement and the community to work together to make local children’s holiday season a little brighter.  The kids that are invited to participate are referred by the local schools as well as from the officers.  On a daily basis, police officers are responding to calls here in Wood County.  As a result, they are in homes where they can see firsthand that a particular family could benefit from a helping hand.   The officers are paired up with a child from their jurisdiction and given a cart, a gift card and sent on their way to shop and more importantly, build that positive relationship.  They must first buy a coat.   The remaining money can be spent on toys.  A lot of times, the kids want to buy their brother or sister a gift as well.  The positive impact this has on the local kids and community is not really measurable.  And again, our local police officers could not pull it off without the financial support of the community.  The Wood County FOP Cops an Kids Program not only hosts this shopping event in December, but other programs through out the year.  In the Spring, the FOP host a movie night.  Officers invite area kids to come to the movie theater and watch a movie and share some popcorn.  In May of each year, the FOP invites 4th and 5th graders with perfect attendance to a day of fishing at Bass Pro.  The FOP continues to work with the community to come up with different programs were officers get to spend time with area kids in positive events.  Our goal is to…

Middle school musicians in BGSU Honors Band

Submitted by KAREN PENDLETON Seventeen Bowling Green Middle School students were selected to participate in the Bowling Green State University Honors Band Clinic held at BGSU on November 10th. The BGMS students had the privilege of performing under guest conductors Damien Crutcher, Chief Executive Officer of Crescendo Detroit: and Joseph Dobos, Conductor of Wayne State University Concert Band. The students selected to participate were Dyllan Atkin, Matthew Bowlus, Lucy Busselle, Samantha Codding Colin Crawford, Brynn Depinet, Sarah Elder, Culley Foos, Gianna Hemming, Kelsey Kerr, Heather Knowlton, Cyrus Koogan, Simon Metzger, Nolan Miller, Joe Porter, Jordan Schuman and Eli Smith. Congratulations on their great performances! Bobcat Middle School band performs their Holiday Concert on Dec. 6 at the Performance Arts Center and Bowling Green High School at 7 p.m.

“Living With Earl” finds its voice in reading by author & new audio edition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some people were surprised when Tom Lambert wrote a book. Some people even took umbrage at what they saw his literary pretensions. After all, didn’t he flunk English? And Lambert, a cabinet maker by trade, admits he didn’t spend much time in the library either, though he did tend bar at Howard’s Club H when it was located where the Wood County Library now sits. Yet talking to Lambert, it’s clear the man loves a story, and he put the effort into writing some of them down. The result was the book “Living With Earl” which he self-published a year ago. It’s available at Grounds for Thought and Finders downtown as well as online from Amazon or at his website The book recounts Lambert’s interactions with a mysterious visitor, Earl, who claims to be Mark Twain. Though he’s a spectral presence, he still has mortal needs like food, coffee and getting his laundry done. Lambert will revisit the site of his old haunts, when he reads from “Living With Earl” Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Wood County Library. The reading comes in conjunction with the completion of an audio version of the book, which will be available on Amazon.  Professional actor Brian Schell, who Lambert said has a voice similar to Motel 6 pitchman Tom Bodett’s, gives voice to Lambert’s adventures with his quirky visitor. Lambert, 70, said the book grew out of daily Facebook posts in which he attributed sundry witticisms to Earl, a name he pulled out of thin air. “On this date, according to Earl, the first Dalmatian was spotted” was a typical one.  Lambert would put the posts together in the 40 minutes he had in the morning before heading off to work. The posts garnered the stray like or two.  Disappointed by the seeming lack of reaction, Lambert announced, that he would cease posting the Earl jokes. He was flooded with protests, and the suggestion he pull some of these stories together into a book. Along the way Earl had decided he was Mark Twain. The book is a series of vignettes that have Lambert and the strong-willed Earl, talking, disputing, eating, shooting pool, visiting various area locales. Some of the stories about Lambert are true, others about Earl are made up, and much of the material lies in the netherworld between…