1000 books program gets new readers off to royal start

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some local royalty will be crowned on Saturday. About 20 local preschoolers who have “read” 1000 Books before Kindergarten will get crowns of their own as part of the celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wood County District Public Library. The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program was launched last year, and it’s been a success, said Children’s Librarian Maria Simon. About 800 children are enrolled, with more being signed up each day. She hopes more will join on Saturday, moving the library closer to the goal of having 1,000 participants. The program encourages reading 1,000 books before children enter school. That’s not 1,000 different books. These are toddlers, and they may want to hear the same book over and over again, and then yet again. A book read aloud to a group by a child care provider or library staff member counts as well. Simon said she intentionally kept the record keeping simple. Just tally the books, without worrying about titles or minutes spent reading. Everything can be done online at Every child who is enrolled gets a free book, and then they get stickers along with way to celebrate each 100 read. When they get halfway through, they get to pick a book from the library’s collection, and a bookplate noting their achievement is put in the book. At 1,000 they get a crown. For the inaugural year, the children received a book by Denise Fleming, who was the special guest author at last June’s kickoff celebration. Starting in Saturday, the children will receive Shari Halpern’s book “Dinosaur Parade.” Halpern will give a presentation at 11 a.m. Saturday and then sign books. Simon said both Halpern and Fleming were very supportive and enthusiastic about the program. Some of the older participants do enjoy seeing their numbers go up and up. But for most the biggest benefit of the program is the time spent with parents, or grandparents or childcare providers reading. And to get a 1,000 books read, it takes all of them. One child told, Simon that if it wasn’t for his two grandmas, he wouldn’t have read all those books. Simon said she enjoys watching children develop their taste. They get to explore the library’s large selection of picture books. They find characters they like, or realize they prefer funny books. Then after every 100 books, they get to pick a favorite in which their name can be included. “That’s been really fun to have those conversations,” Simon said. The program is collaborating with the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force. “It’s really a community partnership,” Simon said. That’s helping to draw children into the program who may not otherwise visit the library. They learn about it from their childcare providers, or at the doctor’s office or through Jobs and Family Services. It encourages people to come to the library and discover the resources that the library offers, not just for children but adults. On Saturday a number of area agencies, programs, and pre-schools will be on hand for a resource fair. The cost of the program was picked up by the Friends of the Library in the first year, and now the Library Foundation is paying the costs, Simon said.  

Library to celebrate 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, June 9

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Families with young children birth through preschool are invited to a Celebration of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten at the Wood County District Public Library Children’s Place on Saturday June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Included in the one year celebration of this ongoing reading challenge program will be an author/illustrator visit form Shari Halpern, a Family Resource Fair with the Wood County Early Childhood Task Force, and special recognition for everyone registered, new registrants, and the 20 “Royal Readers” who have already achieved the goal of 1000 books! The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program began last June with a kick-off with guest author/illustrator Denise Fleming. (Click to read story.) In the past year, 800 young children have registered in the library or online at The Children’s Place looks to register more babies and young children at this event. This program has been supported by the Friends of the Library and continues to be supported by the WCDPL Foundation with private donations. The Wood County District Public Library will be giving Shari Halpern’s picture book Dinosaur Parade to all children present and registered in the 1000 Book Before Kindergarten program. Shari will be share a presentation at 11am and stay to autograph copies of Dinosaur Parade. The Resource Fair will include local agencies and organizations as well as daycare and preschools. Crafts and activities will be available to enjoy. Please contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253 with any questions about this event or the ongoing Summer Reading Program “Libraries Rock!”

Operatic ‘Big Bad Wolf’ starts summer reading program on a high note

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Simon, the children’s librarian at the Wood County District Public Library, wanted to get the musically inclined summer reading program off on a high note. So, of course, she brought in a soprano. And the soprano rolled in with a mezzo-soprano, a pianist, and a bass to play the bad guy. Libraries Rock! The summer reading program got under way with a visit by Toledo Opera on Wheels. The four-member troupe had enough scenery and hand puppets, not mention musical talent, to bring to life a couple of classic fairy tales. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Band Wolf?” blends the stories of Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs. The original script was set to music from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.” This is what the public library is all about, said Joy Torres, who was there with her four children age 3 to 10. “It introduces us to a lot of new things, we wouldn’t have a chance to experience if it wasn’t here. They always seem to bring in something new and exciting.” One year it was a magician, she said, and this year the opera. Later this year a local rock band, Mindless Matters, will play a show in the library on June 27 at 7 p.m. Crystal Swaisgood, a mother of three who like Torres home schools her kids, said she’s at the library all the time taking advantage of the diversity of activities offered. This summer Lubrizol will present a STEM Sound Lab and young local musicians will come in play what they’ve been practicing and serve as reading buddies. The full schedule of activities is available in the library’s Connect Family Magazine. Click for more details. “It helps keep the excitement of learning alive,” Torres said of the summer reading program. The young musicians in the Opera on Wheels program hope that their 30-minute opera will spawn future opera listeners and maybe performers. Janani Sridhar, the soprano who sang the part of Little Red Riding Hood, said with the arts being cut in so many schools, programs like this are all the more important. She believes very strongly in bringing opera to these young listeners as a way of cultivating an audience. This was the last day for the troupe, all resident artists at the Toledo Opera. After 85 performances, they had one more show, and then they would be off pursuing their professional careers. Carolyn Aquirre who plays the third little pig, that is the one who builds her house from brick, said she loves the question and answer session and seeing how involved the young listeners get. The audience Thursday was pre-schoolers through second graders from St Aloysius School with a coupl dozen more kids with their parents. They wanted to know why the wolf was so bad. Bass Michael Colman said that he tried to make him not all bad. He used his character to show something about bullying. In the end, he comes around to apologizing and gets a cookie for his contrition. The musicians were also asked why they like opera. Pianist Josh Wang, who got his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and is music director at First Presbyterian Church, said he loves how opera uses music to tell…

Community survey gives high marks to public library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A community survey done for the Wood County District Public Library turned out to be a love letter. “Levels of satisfaction were pretty high across the board on all the services we surveyed,” said Shannon Orr, whose public policy class at Bowling Green State University conducted it. “There is very high customer satisfaction for the Wood County Library system, and they would be willing to support the next levy.” That was true even among the majority who only use the library a few times a year. They still felt that the library was an important community service. Orr presented the results to the library’s Board of Trustees Monday. The library’s levy, which brings in $1 million a year, about 40 percent of the budget, will need to be renewed November, 2020. Orr added, that “children’s events were cited over and over again very highly.” On the other hand, “the level of dissatisfaction is almost nonexistent.” “We do a lot of these,” she said. “I run more than 100 community projects with my classes, and this level of satisfaction is very unusual.” Orr’s students sent surveys to 2,000 registered voters in the library’s service area. They got 346 back, or 17.3 percent. That’s an adequate response rate. An online survey with identical questions was sent to about 1,500 email addresses the library had on file. Those responses matched the random sample, but were not figured into the results. The answers to the open-ended questions included in the online survey were provided to the library. People did cite a few areas of improvement. Given the aging population, more large print books are needed. Also, people wanted better guidance on what the library offers, whether books or programs. Arts and craft programs would be nice. And the library needs “freshening up,” particularly the carpet on the stairs. “I might have written that myself,” said Library Director Michael Penrod. He said he’s also ready gotten some carpet samples, and is consulting with a decorator. He said he still thinks of the facility as the “new library,” but it has been 15 years since the expanded and renovated library opened, and is showing its age. Customer services was singled out both for accolades and a few complaints, but was overall a strong point. “What came out is that the people are being served by people who really care,” Trustee Becky Bhaer said. The library is seen as more than a place that loans out books and materials, Orr said. People see it as a community center. A safe, clean, warm, inviting place. “No single person talked about not being welcome,” Orr said. If you’re looking for a place to hold a meeting or have a class, there aren’t a lot of other options,” Trustee Ellen Dalton said. “We realize that library is a very loose term for us,” said Brian Paskvan, president of the trustees. For some the atrium in the main library is “a great music hall.” Children’s program serve the needs for families, and the Walbridge Branch recently held a Wii Bowling tournament. All this goes to show that the predictions of the demise of libraries was premature. “The library is very relevant in 2018,” Orr said. “No one talked about, ‘I don’t need the library.’” Orr…

Newbery Award winning author Katherine Applegate to visit Gathering Volumes, June 2

From GATHERING VOLUMES Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal. Crenshaw spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times’ children’s bestseller list. Home of the Brave continues to be included on state reading lists, summer and class reading lists. With the release of her latest middle-grade novel about embracing diversity, Wishtree, local bookstore Gathering Volumes participated in Nationwide Wishing Day with a day full of activities culminating in a children’s cooking contest. Gathering Volumes’ event was deemed the most creative and Katherine Applegate is headed to Perrysburg to help celebrate. Ms. Applegate will be at Gathering Volumes on Saturday, June 2. Seating for the event will begin at 4:30 p.m. After a presentation and discussion, Ms. Applegate will be available to sign books. Ms. Applegate won the 2013 Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan. This annual award, granted by the American Library Association, recognizes the previous year’s “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” The story is written from the viewpoint of a gorilla living in a glass cage in a shopping mall. According to the award committee, “Katherine Applegate gives readers a unique and unforgettable gorilla’s-eye-view of the world that challenges the way we look at animals and at ourselves.” Her latest novel, Wishtree, is narrated by Red, an unforgettable oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wish tree” – people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. The animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows help Red grant a wish for a child that moves into the neighborhood. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Katherine Applegate at her finest, writing from the heart and from a completely unexpected point of view. Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes says, “Ms. Applegate’s novel, Crenshaw, tells the story of Jackson, whose family has fallen on hard times, and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw. Crenshaw is a large, outspoken cat who comes into Jackson’s life when Jackson needs help. It is my daughter’s favorite book and the one that gets reread again and again.” Ms. Phillips says she couldn’t believe it when she was notified that Ms. Applegate would be visiting Gathering Volumes. “I knew it was a possibility when we signed up to participate in Nationwide Wishing Day, but I never imagined our event would be deemed Most Creative. We love having authors in and seeing the connection with their readers, and it is even more exciting to see students meet an author that has, or will, impact their view of the world.” All are welcome to attend Ms. Applegate’s presentation. Anyone who wishes to have books signed by Ms. Applegate can pick up a copy of any of her books at Gathering Volumes and receive a signing line ticket. Books will also be available on the day of the event and a limited number of autographed books will be available for purchase after the event. Once again, in celebration of Gathering Volumes Nationwide Wishing Day event, Newberry Medal winner Katherine Applegate will be speaking and signing books in Perrysburg at Gathering Volumes on June 2. There is no charge to participate, but a signing ticket is necessary to guarantee getting your book(s) signed. For more information about Ms. Applegate’s visit to Perrysburg, call Gathering Volumes at (567)336-6188.

Opera on Wheels’ ‘Big Bad Wolf” to help get summer reading program rolling to

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program, “Libraries Rock!” begins Thursday, May 24. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” presented by The Toledo Opera on Wheels will be performed at 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium. This Opera on Wheels touring show is a full experience for all ages. In an engaging adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” the Don himself becomes the infamous Big Bad Wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs work together to show the Wolf the error of his ways. Using the music and themes from one of Mozart’s greatest operas, young audiences learn the dangers of bullying, the power of friendship, and the ability of music to bring people together. This live performance is free to the public and will last approximately 40 minutes.  It is generously supported through a gift from the estate of Marjorie Conrad. Registration for the Youth Summer Reading Program begins on Thursday, May 24, and continues throughout the summer. Rock Star Readers receive a free one-day pool pass to the BG Pool and Water Park upon registration as well as a one-day pass to the Wood County Fair toward the end of summer.  Reading minutes can be recorded in the Children’s Place “Concert Hall,” or online at Everyone is encouraged to set their own goals to becoming a Rock Star Reader. Incentive prizes and coupons from local businesses will be awarded at various levels.  A final end of summer raffle will include all registered readers with more chances to win to those with more minutes. The Children’s Place is challenging everyone to begin as soon as possible and consider completing a reading log designed as full piano keyboard. A complete calendar of events, movies, parties, and programs through August is available online at and can be found in the WCDPL Family CONNECT magazine. Preschool Storytimes on Tuesdays at 10:30am and again at 7:00pm as well as Baby & Toddler Storytimes on Thursdays at 10:00am and again at 2:00pm continue all summer.   The Children’s Place is offering a weekly reading program each Thursday from 11am-Noon, “Meet a Musician Reading Buddies,” as well as a weekly hands-on STEM program Wednesdays 11:00am-Noon “STEM Sound Lab with Lubrizol.”  “Meet a Musician Reading Buddies” offers students ages five and up an opportunity to practice reading aloud with musicians from the BGHS and the BGSU College of Musical Arts who will serve as mentors demonstrating the value of practice.  “STEM Sound Lab with Lubrizol” will offer students ages five and up a variety of experiments, demonstrations, and hands-on sound explorations with chemists from Lubrizol and Children’s Place staff. WCDPL Youth Summer Reading Program is generously supported by the Friends of the Library as well thoughtful wish-list givers, local businesses, organizations, and an amazing group of Volunteens! For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.

Vietnam vet dogged for half a century by memories of his year at war

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Like most of his fellow Americans, Warren E. Hunt wanted to forget the Vietnam War. “You don’t want to think about it. You want to be done with it.” That was his attitude when he returned to Toledo after serving a year as a communications specialist in South Vietnam. The war wasn’t done with him though. “It doesn’t go away,” Warren, 70, said in a recent interview. It dogged him. The memories of what he experienced would surface at “inappropriate times.” “I was depressed a lot,” he said. “I never thought it was because of the war. I never put two and two together.” Warren came anxious to pick up where he’d left off when he was drafted in 1967. He was going to spend some time at home in rural southern Michigan where he grew up, and then attend the University of Toledo on the G.I. Bill. He did that, and went on to get a graduate degree in German. He wound up teaching German at Bedford High in Michigan. Still the war was always there.  “I just wanted it to go away. I didn’t think about it a lot until it was intrusive.” It wasn’t until later that he grasped the fact that “I had lived an entire year in a hostile environment where my life could have been extinguished at any moment.” Hunt confronts that experience in “Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey” published in 2017 using CreateSpace Publishing. A part of “Reflections” was published in a special section put out by USA  Today.. Hunt will read from the book Monday, May 14, at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The book was prompted by a high school assignment. His goddaughter, Meghan Cremean, was given an assignment in high school to interview a Vietnam War veteran in 1998. She turned to Hunt. That planted the idea of his writing more extensively about his time in Vietnam. Then while attending a Memorial Day Service in 2014, the thought came to him: “It’s time.” He’d done a lot of writing for his academic studies, and even had a few poems published in The Collegian at UT. Aside from that he hadn’t written much. He struggled with the form the book would take: A memoir? A narrative? Hunt said the problem was that his memories were fragmented and insufficient to support a continuous story. So he turned back to Meghan’s 1998 assignment. He decided he’d write the book as extended series of answers to her queries. The result is a portrait on one soldier’s time at war set against a historical backdrop delivered in clear, straightforward prose. He gives a sense of the mundane as well as those vivid moments of terror. Hunt explains that as a teenager he supported the war, buying into the argument that the Communists had to be stopped in Vietnam. He didn’t buy into it enough to enlist, instead he was drafted. He had been accepted at Bowling Green State University, but questioned his readiness for college. He ended up in the First Infantry Division, the “Big Red One,” serving in the 121st Signal Battalion. He was in country from July 1968 to July, 1969. Two months of that time he…

Youngsters share the stories of Hispanic heroes

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Joan Medina was a little intimidated by portraying his character during the Celebrate Dia! literacy program Monday evening. Medina was called on to portray Cesar Chavez, “an icon in the culture.” Nerves or not, the 17-year-old Penta student, dressed in a white shirt, stood up and told the farm labor leader’s story, first in English and then in Spanish. He was proud to do it. Chavez fought for the rights of farm workers, but he did so non-violently, inspired by the methods of Gandhi. “He showed that people are people, and they deserve to be treated fairly.” Medina said. He was one of eight young people, portraying seven notable Latino figures at the Wood County District Public Library. El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Dy) is a national event initiated by the American Library Association. Children’s Librarian Maria Simon said she was grateful the library could hold its own celebration in partnership with La Conexion. This is the fifth year the library has hosted the celebration. Each year a book is selected to build the program around. This year it was “Bravo!” written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Beatriz Maya, the director of La Conexion, said the event was a way to help young people learn more about their Hispanic heritage and then to share it with the community. Also, some may be encouraged to learn or maintain their Spanish when they see their peers using it in their presentations, she said. The figures offered a wide range of characters from a diplomat to a baseball star to, fittingly given the setting, a librarian. Beside Medina’s portrayal of Chavez, other presentations were: Adolfo Martinez Alba portrayed Juan de Miralles, a Spanish messenger to the early American Congress. Shanaia Cellis portrayed Juana Briones, a Mexican rancher and healer. Jonathan Ortega portrayed Louis Agassiz Fuertes, an ornithologist and painter. Eduardo Matta portrayed Arnold Rojas, who chronicled the life and lore of the California vaquero, or cowboy. Ivan Ortega portrayed Baseball Hall of Famer and humanitarian Roberto Clemente. Francis Chavez and Jessica Jurka who portrayed Pure Bulpre, the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library. Cellis, a 13-year-old student at St. Aloysius School, said she was excited to present the story of Juana Briones. She was inspired how Briones was able to endure despite hardships. When Briones’ soldier husband was abusive, she left him and started her own ranch. When northern California came under US control, she had to fight a prolonged legal battle to maintain ownership. “She was independent,” the teen said. This was Cellis’ third year participating in Celebrate Dia! Previously she danced and sang. Medina, who was participating for the first time, said he enjoyed the event. There were cookies afterward, but more importantly, ‘there is such a sense of community.”

Facts are what ignites author & illustrator Don Tate’s imagination

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Perry Field House at Bowling Green State University Saturday hosted scores of future Don Tates. Tate, a prolific illustrator of children’s books who has turned his talents to writing as well, was the guest author for Literacy in the Park. The Austin, Texas-based author and illustrator started out just like all the kids who raised their hands when he asked: Who likes to draw? He’s been drawing since before he could remember, and showed a picture he made when he was 3 of his mother, and baby sister, and some poop falling out of the infant’s diaper. Even then, he liked to include realistic details. When he was a kid growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Tate said he particularly liked non-fiction, including the “Family Medical Guide,” which had pictures of bloody ulcers and pus-filled toe sores. And when he turned to writing his own books, as well as illustrating them, he turned to non-fiction, writing about strongman Eugen Sandow and early African-American poet George Moses Horton. Those themes were among those reflected in the dozens of activities available to children throughout the field house. Nothing, though, about pus or bloody sores. Still the activities showed how literacy is intertwined with construction, natural science, art, drama, and nutrition. Tate encouraged his young listeners to follow what they loved whether it was dancing, theater, or soccer. Tate said as a child he wasn’t as good at basketball as his father would have liked. He instead wanted to make puppets. He realized he could make a simple puppet with patterns and cloth. He wasn’t satisfied. Using an old wig his mother gave him, he made a more elaborate puppet modeled on the Muppets made by his idol Jim Henson. His mother loved it, but Tate’s father wasn’t impressed. “Your son is making dolls,” he told Tate’s mother. Young Tate persisted drawing, painting, doing macramé. His work progressed along the way and led to a career in illustration. He’s illustrated more than 50 books, including work by such notable writers as Jack Prelutsky and Louis Sachar. When he decided to write a book, he did about 30 drafts of “It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw.” It’s a true story of a man, born into slavery, who became a renowned folk artist. Then he showed it to a published author, who loved it, and told him it needed to be rewritten. That happened twice more. But every time he rewrote it, the book got better, Tate said. A published book doesn’t just happen. When it was published, it was a success and won awards. His book on the strongman Sandow, considered the father of modern body building, was also based on fact as well as the author’s personal experience. As an adult, Tate decided to take up body building, and despite early disappointment, he went on to win trophies. Tim Murnen, BGSU faculty member coordinating the event, said bringing in Tate was a bit of a risk. He doesn’t have the name recognition of past guest authors. But he took a different path to a career in children’s literature. He went to a trade school for high school and then community college. It was a story he shared Friday with students at Penta Career Center….

People’s brains are wired to accept bunk, BGSU historian contends

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even scholars fall for bunk history. Andy Schocket, a professor of history and director of American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University, knows a lot of the historians who provided promotional blurbs that appear on the back of Michael Bellesiles’ “Arming America: The Origins of American Gun Culture.” “These are really good historians,” Schocket said. The book argues that gun ownership and violence was rare before the Civil War, and that the current gun culture is wholly the product of a campaign by arms manufacturers. “Arming America” even won a prestigious prize from Columbia University. “The only one problem with the book is that it’s entirely bunk,” Schocket said. That became clear when scholars started to look at the book’s evidence and logic. Bellesiles’ employer Emory University convened a commission to investigate concerns about the book’s scholarship. That commission concluded the book “foundered by a consistently biased reading of sources and careless use of evidence.” Bellesiles no longer teaches at Emory. The prize was rescinded, and the publisher pulled the book, though the author has since republished it privately. Schocket recently spoke on “Bunk Peddlers: Alternative History and Why It Matters.” He first distinguished bunk history from alternative history, a genre of fiction that builds its stories based on history taking a divergent path. Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” being a prime example. Bunk history, he said, adopts the methodology and trappings of history – “you’ve got to have footnotes, that makes it history” – but it “presents a preconceived conclusion” in search of proof. This includes Holocaust deniers and those who promote the “pernicious false claim” that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights, not slavery. These narratives “become weaponized in public debate as a way to bolster one’s side in the current political debate.” Schocket also looked at David Barton’s “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson.” The book contends that Jefferson opposed slavery and argues despite “the pretty much overwhelming evidence” that did not father the children of Sally Hemmings, a woman he held as a slave. It also contends he believed in conventional form of Christianity. “Jefferson Lies” won the praise of conservative pundits, was a bestseller, and also won a prize as “the least credible history book in print” by the History News Network website. The book’s publisher also withdrew it only to have the author get it reprinted. Barton repeatedly takes facts out of context, Schocket said. At one point, Barton contends the phrase “propagating the gospel among Indians” in a bill Jefferson signed as proof of his faith. Problem is, Schocket said, that phrase is actually part of the name of the religious group involved in the land transaction that was the subject of the  bill. Bunk history is not just promulgated in books. Schocket’s third example was a 42-page pamphlet “The Truth about Jim Crow” published by the American Civil Rights Union. Schocket said as much as he appreciates any light shone on the repressive and violent mechanisms that kept freed African Americans in virtual servitude, this pamphlet has another agenda. Jim Crow laws, it spelled out, were Dehumanizing, Deadly, and Democratic, as in the political party. Quoting Meatloaf, Schocket opined: “Two out of three ain’t…

BGSU Arts Events through April 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 6 — Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint will attend a special showing of “The Trip to Bountiful,” the 1953 television production she starred in with Lillian Gish, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater at BGSU’s Hanna Hall. Gish and Saint reprised their roles on Broadway the following year, earning Saint the Drama Critics Award and the Outer-Circle Critics Award. Following the screening, Saint, a BGSU alumna, will discuss her career and her work with Gish. Free   April 6 — World Percussion Night will feature multiple drumming styles, including performances by the Taiko and Steel Drum ensembles from the College of Musical Arts. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m.weekdays at 419-372-8171. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. April 11 — The Faculty Artist Series presents Matthew McBride-Daline on the viola. Since his debut in Carnegie Hall, McBride-Daline has performed worldwide as a viola soloist. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at numerous international festivals including the Banff Center for the Arts, Verbier Academy, the Music Academy of the West, the New York String Orchestra Seminar and Sarasota Music Festival. His performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 12 — Continuing its focus on exile and migration, the International Film Series presents “Balseros (Rafters)” (2002, Spain, 120 minutes, directed by Carles Bosch and Josep Maria Domenech), with an introduction by Dr. Pedro Porbén from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Latin American Studies. Filmed in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay and the United States, this transnational film gives insight into the “human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds.” The award-winning documentary tracks the lives of Cubans who fled Cuba by raft during the economic depression of the so-called “Periodo especial” in the early 1990s. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free April 12 — Jazz Lab Band 2 will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at For more information, call the box office between noon and 5 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. April 13 — BGSU doctoral candidates in music perform in response to specific works of art as part of “Ear | Eye: Listening and Looking,” a partnership between the College of Musical Arts and the Toledo Museum of Art. An exploration of the relationship of contemporary music and art, each performance is followed by discussion. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free April 13 — The International Film Series presents “Ali: Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul)” (1974, West Germany, 93 minutes, directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder), with an introduction by Dr. Christina Guenther from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Germany. One of Fassbinder’s masterpieces, this award-winning drama explores the unusual love affair between a young Moroccan guest worker and an elderly German cleaning lady…

Holocaust survivor urges BGSU audience to fight against injustice

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Irene Butter survived the Holocaust. Now she sees signs that people have forgotten its lessons. She sees people being dehumanized, stigmatized because of their nationality, families being broken up and deported. “I see all that happening.” People from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and African-Americans are called criminals. “Some people in this country try to get rid of them all,” the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor said Wednesday at Bowling Green State University in a talk sponsored by Hillel. White supremacy is on the rise. “When Trump says ‘make America great again,’ sometimes it means make America white again,” she said.  That echoes the Nazis’ desire to make Germany “clean of Jews because the blood of Jews contaminates the Aryan race.” That’s what gave rise to the killing machinery of the Holocaust.  “I don’t see that,” Butter said. “I see something like the way it all began in Nazi Germany.” Butter of Ann Arbor, knows well the outcome. She had a happy childhood in Germany with her parents and her older brothers. If anyone had asked about their identity, they would have said German, first, and then, Jewish. After Hitler took power in 1933, the signs started to appear with the swastika, an ever present symbol of the new regime. Her brother was beaten up at school and she was ostracized. Then her grandfather’s bank was seized, and her father was out of work. He moved to the Netherlands where he got a job with American Express. Soon the rest of the family joined him in Amsterdam where they lived happily for two and a half years. Then Germany invaded. Jews had to wear yellow Stars of David. Their movements were restricted. They could only shop after 3 p.m. when few of the scarce rations were left. Even their bicycles were confiscated. The Jews had to go to segregated schools. They were sad places, Butter said, as there were more and more empty desks. Some because students and their families were able to emigrate from the Netherlands. Others were in hiding.  But more because Jews were deported back to Germany and concentration camps. Butter’s father, through a friend, had applied for Ecuadorian passports. He had heard this may give them other options as “exchange Jews” who could be traded for German citizens held in Allied countries. Then one day, she said, the Nazis showed up, ordered all Jews out of their homes, told to bring just what they could carry, and marched off to the rail station. What awaited were cattle cars that would take them to Camp Westerbork. They travel packed into the airless cars with no water, or food, or room to rest. Butter said her family was relatively fortunate they had only an eight-hour ride, others traveled for days in such conditions. In what Butter described as “a miracle” the family received their Ecuadorian passports at Westerbork before they were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. The conditions were brutal. People crammed together in barracks. That caused fights and thievery. The adults had to work 12 or more hours a day and were subjected to beatings.  The Nazi would force them to stand outside for hours on end in all kinds of weather, so they could be counted. Butter said she…

Susan Brownmiller delivers history lesson on the fight for abortion rights & against rape

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News To celebrate the history of Women’s Studies at Bowling Green State University, the program invited a woman who made history. Susan Brownmiller, author of the landmark best seller “Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape,” delivered the keynote address Thursday night. Now known as Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies the program is marking 40 years of existence. Brownmiller was part of the second wave feminists who help usher in the era when women’s studies blossomed on college campuses. As much as she would have liked to say differently, Brownmiller said years have not been marked by steady progress for women’s rights. “The pendulum always shifts,” the author and activist said. “And when the pendulum shifts you can lose a lot of the gains you thought you had forever just a decade before. I’ve seen that.” While praising the emergence of the #metoo movement, the 83-year-old feminist said she feels young activists lack a sense of history. Not surprising, she said. Her generation didn’t appreciate what the suffragettes went through to earn the vote. While her generation expected those women coming behind them to pick up the cause, they were disappointed. “When we did consciousness raising we found these truths for the first time. For the next generations, it’s received wisdom, not something they discovered. Received wisdom doesn’t have the power.” Not that the male radicals of the 1960s necessarily recognized the importance of these early consciousness raising sessions. The women who gathered in living rooms to discuss their lives were dismissed for “navel gazing” by those they had struggled with in the anti-war and Civil Rights movement. Brownmiller has worked in Mississippi during Freedom Summer in 1964. With all the energy in the air, women began asking “what about us?” In these sessions, “we were on the verge of discovering new truths. It was like spontaneous combustion.” As they talked, the issue of abortion came up. One woman talked about being blindfolded to be taken to a Mafia-protected abortion doctor. Another received a therapeutic abortion in a hospital. That meant that two doctors had to sign a statement saying she was too mentally unsound to have a child. She feared this would follow her throughout her life. And Brownmiller revealed she received three illegal abortions, one in Cuba and two in Puerto Rico. She said she cried as she realized she could have died. This talk led to class action suits in 30 states. In Massachusetts alone, there were 1,000 plaintiffs, women who had to go overseas to get an abortion, or women who carried their pregnancies to term and put their newborns up for adoption. But the courts remanded these cases back to lower courts, contending the women had no standing. It was only when a woman who was pregnant who wanted an abortion stepped forward in Texas that the suit got traction, and because she was pregnant it moved quickly up through the system to the Supreme Court where the justices voted 7-2 in favor of the woman in Roe vs. Wade. The right to have an abortion was won, and the backlash started immediately and hasn’t stopped. Rape as a political issue also emerged from a consciousness raising discussion. Accepting rape as a political issue was difficult for many on the…

Gordon Korman, Youth Community Reads author, to visit BG & area schools

From WOOD COUNTY LIBRARY Families, meet Wood County District Public Library’s 2018 Youth Community Reads author, Gordon Korman. Gordon Korman is the best-selling author of over 90 Middle Grade and Young Adult novels, including Slacker, Restart, Ungifted, and the Swindle series. He is also a contributing author to the popular multi-author series 39 Clues. For more information and a complete list of his titles, please visit his website, He was first published as a 7th grader with a novel he wrote during English Class. Mr. Korman is a much sought-after speaker who spends much of his time traveling to libraries and schools around the country. WCDPL is bringing Mr. Korman to Wood County March 21st and 22nd. His visit is funded through a gift from the estate of Majorie Conrad, and with support of the Bowling Green Community Foundation. Mr. Korman will speak at the Wood County District Public Library on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m., and at the Walbridge Library on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. During the day on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. Korman will visit Bowling Green, Lake, and Northwood Schools. During his visit to Wood County District Public Library, Mr. Korman will speak, answer questions, and be available to sign books. Two paperback titles will be for sale by the Friends of Library. Several additional copies of his soon-to-be released novel #WhatsHisFace will be raffled off and available for autographing as well. The audience is encouraged to bring any personal copies of Mr. Korman’s books for signing as well. For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.

Book about tiny mouse is a big deal to BG students

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two years ago, the school district’s first “1 Book BG” about Humphrey the hamster caused hamster sales to spike in the Bowling Green area. Parents should be warned that this year’s district-wide reading book is “Ralph S. Mouse.” Bowling Green City Schools has officially started its third annual 1 Book BG program, which engages all 1,700 of its pre-kindergartners through its fifth graders to read the same book. This year, the book is “Ralph S. Mouse.” The unveiling of the 1 Book BG title had students waiting for the big announcement Friday afternoon. The kids filled the gymnasium at Crim Elementary School, as third grade teacher Jonelle Semancik gave them some clues. First, the book heads back to school. Second, the main character is small but mighty. And third, readers should be prepared for an “a-maze-ing” time. Students cheered and gave a drum-roll as Semancik revealed the book they will all be reading – “Ralph S. Mouse” by Beverly Cleary. “I wonder if we can get Ralph to come and say ‘Hi’ to you guys,” Semancik shouted. With that cue, a staff member disguised as a mouse appeared on stage, with a small motorcycle. Those readers familiar with “Ralph” may remember the cute rodent from two earlier stories in Cleary’s “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” series. In this year’s book, Ralph has the ability to speak, but only to certain people – primarily those who are loners. The 1 Book BG program gets everyone in the three public school elementaries, plus Montessori and St. Aloysius, on board reading the same book – whether it’s being read aloud to the younger students, or being read themselves by the older students. The goal is to team up as a community to build a love of reading with the kids. So the program doesn’t stop at the school doors. The entire community is asked to get involved. Again this year, several Bowling Green businesses have gotten involved by becoming trivia question sites for the students. Each week, new trivia questions about the book are posed at the sites – giving the children a chance to win prizes for reading. “We’re going to be reading this book all month long,” Semancik told the cheering students. After the rowdy assembly in the gym, the students went back to their classrooms, where each was presented with their own copy of “Ralph S. Mouse.” They then gathered together with classmates to read the first chapter. In Megan Reed’s first grade classroom, the students sat on the floor, eagerly awaiting the book. After handing out a copy to each student, Reed gave them a minute to explore the book themselves. They flipped through to see pictures, found the table of contents, and identified parts like the spine of the book. Then Reed introduced them to Ralph S. Mouse. “Follow me,” she said, to the rapt listeners who held their own copies in their little hands. She started where all books start, at Chapter 1 – “A Dark and Snowy Night” in this case. After a few pages, one student asked if they had to follow along in the book. “If you would prefer to listen, that’s just fine,” Reed said. Another student wondered out loud what Ralph’s middle initial stood…