Commentary

Wintergarden in winter light

One of the joys of favorite parks is experiencing them throughout the year. The foliage buds, then blooms, then fades, and dries. The light changes throughout the day and the year. Here’s scenes from Wintergarden/St. John’s Preserve during a recent Christmas Week walk in the afternoon.  Those looking to do more walking in the new year need not look any further than the parks in our own backyard. — David Dupont

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Cancer- this time it’s personal

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The last time I wrote something personal, I got fired. Since then, the closest I’ve come to putting something personal on our local news website is when I used my dog Charlie’s photo as the art accompanying dog license reminders. But I’m feeling like getting personal now. Cancer has a way of doing that to someone – at least to me. I’m a sucker for the old “Law & Order” episodes. That may seem like an odd way to start this, but the other night Lt. Van Buren told the male detectives in her office that there are two types of women in the world – those who have had breast cancer and those who are afraid of getting it. I have moved to the category that has it. I know breast cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was. And I know that my chances of a great recovery are because of all the women who came before me. It’s just that breast cancer spreads beyond the chest – and I’m not talking about the cancer cells themselves. It’s that the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability and lack of control. It’s the middle of the night feeling – that doesn’t dare raise its head in the glare of daylight – that cancer is spreading like tentacles through my body.  And no matter how close my husband holds me, it’s that unsettling feeling that something is festering inside me that has no purpose other than to harm me. I initially joked around that I didn’t have cancer, just my boob has cancer. I didn’t even want to dignify it by using a more genteel term. We laugh at home when I use the “C” card to get out of taking out the trash or other household chores. The worst is the waiting. My family has always tried to tell me that I am impatient – which of course I denied. But they are right. Every step forward seems to move so slowly. I’m accustomed to deadlines and making sure I meet them. But none of this is in my control. The mammogram then waiting for results, the biopsy then waiting for…


BG, BGSU asked to offer support, sanctuary to immigrants, Muslims

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green city and university are being asked to take stands in support of immigrants and Muslims in the community. BGSU leadership has been asked to develop “sanctuary” plans for immigrants targeted by expected changes in policies under President-elect Donald Trump. And Bowling Green City Council will soon be asked to support a resolution condemning discrimination against Muslims. The petition signed by 331 people was submitted to Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey, the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate. The petition calls for the university to provide a “safe haven” for those at risk under intolerant immigration laws. The petition points out BGSU’s mission of equity, diversity and inclusion – and how Trump’s campaign statements are at odds with that mission. Proposed city resolution At the city level, the resolution proposed by council member Daniel Gordon asks the city to stand against violence, hate speech and discrimination targeting Muslim people. The resolution expresses solidarity with the Muslim community and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race or religion. This morning, the city’s Human Relations Commission reviewed the resolution and voiced support for its spirit. “This could be labeled symbolic, but even symbolic statements have power,” Gordon said. “That’s what we’re trying to change here – is attitudes locally,” Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said. Edwards expressed some concerns that the resolution should be more localized. “I’m not questioning the spirit, the intent and the initiative behind it,” he said. But “it needs to be more about the city of Bowling Green. We should always be speaking with our hearts and our heads for the people we represent.” Edwards suggested the resolution could urge local residents to get involved on a local level, and interact in discussions. Gordon said he drew up the resolution in response to concerns from local Muslim students, “who don’t always feel very safe. They worry about what could happen here.” Though no hate crimes against Muslims have been reported in Bowling Green, there is a “general climate of fear” now in the nation, Gordon said. “I want to make sure we are a town that stands for inclusion,” he said. Margaret Montague, of the Human…


Beyond the angelic hosts: A personal Christmas soundtrack

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When I was growing up I remember our family having five Christmas records – a compilation of the standard pop tunes, organ and chimes of sacred tunes, pre-Rudolph Burl Ives, the Chipmunks and a ”A Christmas  Carol” performed by Lionel Barrymore. Besides that it was carols around the piano with my mother accompanying my talented older brothers, with me elbowing my way in as I could and my father in his chair tapping with both feet.  There were the pop tunes bleeding from the radio, though this was before the time of wall-to-wall holiday music from Thanksgiving to Christmas. And then there was music at church. A full-blown French Midnight Mass with “Il Est Ne, Le Divin Infant” (“He Is Born, The Holy Child”) and the climax “Minuit Chretiens (“O Holy Night”) sung with reedy ardor by a tenor who worked summers at the local amusement park, and probably in one of the factories nearly the church otherwise. I loved the music, every year, seemingly having a favorite hymn. By high school I scoured a collection of international carols for oddities, and studied the notes about origins of tunes. Years later when Linda and I bought a piano – our first was a freebee old upright that weighed about as much as Santa’s sleigh fully packed – the first music we bought was that same “The International Book of Christmas Carols.” Now we have three copies, one each for piano players in the family, Linda and son Phil, who declared at age 8 “it’s never too early for Christmas music,” and one for trombone – my days of reading over the pianist’s shoulder without my putting them in danger of injury from my slide are long gone. As a high schooler, my friends and I would schlep from church to church playing for services. One particular night I and three trombone playing buddies did our part for Christian ecumenicalism by playing Bach chorales as a prelude to Midnight Mass. My background, though, is in jazz. When I started reviewing jazz recordings for Cadence magazine. I took on the job of doing an annual survey of Christmas releases. Now I recall the days when jazz…


Readers click on links to get news & they’re shocked to find…

By AMY FRY   In the last several weeks I have heard more and more often about how people are living in “information bubbles.” As a librarian, this concerns me. One of my chief missions is to make high-quality information sources available so students can engage in critical thought bolstered by the best information. I’m not casting blame: I’ll admit that a few months ago I was getting most of my news through my Facebook feed. But I just got tired of it, so I paid for a subscription to a national newspaper and got more deliberate about reading the weekly magazine I’ve been subscribing to for the last 25 years. I was struck by the time and effort it takes to stay informed. I think it’s funny how in an age when such an overwhelming amount of information is available we need to make more of a concerted effort to seek out and engage with it, because it’s so easy to only see what shows up in our social media feeds. “Facebook is hosting a huge portion of the political conversation in America,” according to an August article in the New York Times Magazine. 61% of respondents to a 2014 survey of 18-33 year olds said they get news about politics from Facebook. My guess is that number would be higher now. And a lot of what we see there is not quality, fact-based journalism but opinion, conjecture, and outright garbage, making it like the carnival claw game in some ways – fishing around the limited options (much of which is junk), you win whatever’s accessible at the moment, if you win at all. Like most people, I immerse myself in information from a wide variety of sources of with a wide range of credibility and authority. Some of my choices are clearly based on how easy they are to get to (Wikipedia) and how entertaining I find them (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver). Others are based on my desire for depth, nuance and realism (books and newspapers). There’s nothing wrong with this approach to getting information – what becomes key is how you a) supplement the most accessible and entertaining information, b) evaluate how each source balances bias and authority, and c) sort opinion from fact. Even legitimate…


Gathering in BG to show solidarity for Standing Rock protest

Submitted by MEGAN SUTHERLAND There will be an open and public Standing Rock Peace Gathering this Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. at the public green space in Bowling Green, located next to the First Presbyterian Church,. All are invited to attend this gathering, which is rooted in peace, prayer and education. Our hope is to show our support for the non-violent water protectors from over 250 Native American tribes, which have gathered in North Dakota, on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation, in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline that will be running under the Missouri River, just upstream from the reservation. Our hope is to educate the public, gain awareness to what is happening, and show our support. love and respect for those in Standing Rock. The Native Americans’ peaceful gathering has been met with brutal force from the authorities, and we wish to send our prayers to them, as well as open the conversation on what we can do, in our own hometowns, to address these issues. Please join us to learn, pray, and show your support for Standing Rock with your community! If you have any questions about the gathering, or if you know of a professor or faith leader which would like to speak, please contact Megan Sutherland at 419-341-0164 or at megan.sutherland.bg@gmail.com


“I am Running for President, Sam I Am” -Jon Ilcisko

I do not like these candidates, Sam I am, I do not like these candidates, Sam I am. They are loud, gray, old and insulting, so I do not like these candidates, Sam I am. For President, will you run? Why, I might as well, Sam I am. It can’t be any harder Than eating Green Eggs and Ham. Well, have you been living here for 14 years? I have been living here for 14 years, I am 42 and I am in tears. I have been born in the USA, I haven’t left for over a day. Would you join the elephaants? Or would you join the Democraats? I will not join the Elephaants, I will not join the Demoraats. I know, I know, I should join a party, I will register now and not be tardy. I guess I will choose the Party of Green, As we all know that I will never be seen. Will you gather enough support? Will your expectations come up short? In the Caucus I will be discussed, Gathering support is solely a must. I May appear to be ordinary, But that will help me win the Primary. Sanders and Clinton for the Demorcaats, There are more candidates for the elephaants. With Rubio, Kasich, Cruz and Trump, One of each will get over the hump. Would you? Could you? Win the race? Win it! Win it! Receive first place!! I would not, could not win the race, As I still need to choose a running mate. I will then show my great intentions, While I reside in the national Convention. This is possible if the primary is won, Then I can start to have a lot of fun. I will debate and take the stage, I am over 35, the appropriate age. I have my ideas and policy, Let us not forget, philosophy. You may win it, you may see. Just do not yell, when you are on TV. I will win it, you may see, I will not yell when on TV. Trump and Clinton have it all wrong, They put each down and it takes too long. The ads are negative and they are mean, I hope I have a shot…