Community Opinion

Film scholars question whether BGSU will act against other ‘Birth of a Nation’ cast members

“An Immodest Proposal” Now that Bowling Green State University’s Board of Trustees are of one mind about the importance of presentism in viewing the past, we would suggest that they pursue the path towards a more complete obliteration of troublesome matters from our cinemetic past.  In their collective wisdom, though, the Board of Trustees in removing the names of Dorthy and Lillian Gish from the movie theatre in the BGSU student union, refrained from eliminating the Lillian Gish scholarship, revoking her honorary doctorate, or dispersing the Gish archives.  Quite Solomon like, indeed. (But was an educational opportunity lost?) However, they have more work to do.  Surely their research before their unanimous vote revealed, as did ours, that the following actors also had roles in Birth of a Nation: Mae Marsh Henry B. Walthal Miriam Cooper George Siegmann Walter Long Wallace Reid Donald Crisp Spottiswoode Aitkin Elmo Lincoln Eugene Pallette Raoul Walsh Jules White Monte Blue John Ford Gibson Gowland Charles King (A conservative tally of the movies these actors appeared in, outside of Birth of a Nation, is 2,565 films.) John Ford (KKK Rider) and Raoul Walsh (John Wilkes Booth) are especially notable in they they are considered two of the greatest directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  Ford is often described as America’s greatest director. To be consistent, therefore, others who have appeared in Birth of a Nation should have their films stricken from any list of films to be screened in the now unnamed theatre in the BGSU student union.  That their 2,500 plus films represent a significant proportion of films in the history of American movies should not keep the Board of Trustees from establishing this list of forbidden films so that those who say history is not important will be able to fully wrap themselves in presentism. John G. Nachbar Co-founder of the Journal of Popular Film and Television Former Director of the Film Studies Program at BGSU Michael T. Marsden Co-editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television Professors Emeritus of Popular Culture at BGSU (The opinions stated here are, of course, those of individuals who should not be construed to be spokespersons in any way for BGSU or any other organization or institution.)

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Brad Waltz: Plastic bags best for convenience … and the environment

It seems counterintuitive to suggest that plastic bags are the least bad option, environmentally speaking, for getting groceries home, but it is indeed the case and as someone that cares about convenience AND the environment, I hope to convince you of that.  Paper and cotton bags must be more environmentally friendly than plastic. No. University of Oregon Chemistry Professor, David Tyler had this to say in a 2012 interview. “There are really good things about plastic bags—they produce less greenhouse gas, they use less water and they use far fewer chemicals compared to paper or cotton. The carbon footprint, that is, the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced during the life cycle of a plastic bag, is less than that of a paper bag or a cotton tote bag. If the most important environmental impact you wanted to alleviate was global warming, then you would go with plastic.” How can that be, paper bags can be recycled and that’s good for the environment, and if they do make it to the landfill they are far more environmentally friendly than plastic. Wrong on both counts. Again it seems counterintuitive but making paper AND plastic bags from raw materials is still more environmentally friendly than recycling is, in the case of the plastic bags, Dr Tyler says, “The petroleum industry doesn’t waste anything”. The paper bags that do make it to the landfill take up ten times the space as their plastic counterparts and do not degrade any quicker.  I’m not convinced Brad, the cotton totes have to be environmentally friendly. No. The cotton that is used in cotton bags uses 25% of the pesticides used in the US and huge amounts of water. The UK Environmental Agency found that a cotton bag would need to be used 173 times to have a lower environmental impact than one single use bag. Between the irrigation needed to grow cotton and the water necessary to clean it as suggested by the US Department of Health, the use of water far exceeds that of single use plastic!  If followed rigorously The Reason Foundation noted 40 times more water just to clean them as recommended than is used in the manufacture of the plastic bags. If “single use” plastic bags were banned obviously less plastic would make into the landfill. Again the answer is no. When in 2011 Australia banned plastic shopping bags they reportedly noted a 36%…


House Democrats unveil Ohio Promise

From OHIO HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today joined Democratic lawmakers to unveil the Ohio Promise, a blueprint to renew the Buckeye State’s promise of better jobs and brighter futures. “For many, Ohio’s promise of good-paying jobs and the opportunity to get ahead has faded,” said Leader Sykes. “Democrats are committed to restoring Ohio’s promise of better jobs and brighter futures by working together to expand opportunity and create an economy that works for everyone.” The Democratic blueprint to restore the Ohio Promise includes a five-point compact to build opportunity for working people, to strengthen families and the communities they live in, and to hold government accountable to taxpayers.* “The promise of Ohio is our promise to you,” said Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). “It’s an framework for the future that puts families first, giving them the tools they need to get ahead. We do it by lowering taxes, making education attainable and promoting job growth by making it easier for Ohioans to start and grow a business.” The announcement comes amid declining quality of life metrics in Ohio, which currently ranks 44th in unemployment and 41st in population growth. Working Ohioans continue to fall behind, seeing $147 less in wages than the average American at the end of each week. In addition, Ohio has fallen from fifth to 23rd in education and ranks among the worst for both infant mortality and overdose deaths. “Years of broken promises have rigged the system against everyday Ohioans. They are working harder, but seeing less at the end of the day. They can’t get ahead,” said Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon). “To restore Ohio’s promise, we need to keep our promises and work together to make sure that if you work hard you can get ahead in Ohio. It’s about creating good jobs and an economy that works for everyone—not just those at the top.” The plan includes a number of bipartisan priorities, including plans to protect healthcare and Medicaid expansion, invest in education, expand public transit and improve children’s services, in addition to reforming the state’s tax system and reducing the price of prescription drugs. “We are committed to working together to deliver real results for taxpayers,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “Better lives and brighter futures begin with good-paying jobs, a growing economy and the chance to get ahead. That’s the Ohio Promise.” Democrats plan to expand on their policy priorities in the coming weeks as…


Gish name should remain on BGSU film theater

Dear Editor: The Black Students Union at BGSU would like to see the Gish Film Theater name removed from the Student Union.  These students should know that the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize has been awarded to several African Americans, including Spike Lee. In 1915, D.W. Griffith produced The Birth of a Nation, a racist movie that put the Ku Klux Klan in a favorable light.  Lillian Gish played a nurse from the North caring for wounded soldiers.  Because of her appearance in the film, the Black Students Union has implied that she is a racist; her sister, Dorothy, who was not in the film, is, by association with her sister, also, apparently, considered a racist.  The Birth of a Nation has never been shown in the Gish Film Theater.  President Rodney Rogers, assisted by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ray Craig, appointed a task force of students, faculty and other stakeholders to review the controversy to decide whether the name should be removed. What is appalling, is that there is this movement afoot to defame the stellar film achievements of Lillian and Dorothy Gish, born and raised in Ohio.  There is no doubt, in my mind, that if these black students succeed in their defamation of the characters of Lillian and Dorothy Gish, they will have destroyed important film history.  Ralph Haven Wolfe founded the Gish Film Theater in 105 Hanna Hall in 1976. Ms. Gish came to the BGSU campus at least four times to be honored. If the Gish Film Theater name is removed, I think that it will indicate to the world that Bowling Green State University, as an institution dedicated to providing opportunities for differing views, has failed in that endeavor. Wally Pretzer Bowling Green


Zepf Center urges people to ‘Have the Conversation’ about gambling problems

Submitted by the ZEPF CENTER March is problem gambling awareness month and Zepf Center is joining The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) in promoting this year’s theme of “Have the Conversation.”   Most people, who gamble socially, like those who have an occasional beer or glass of wine, do so without issue and can enjoy it, walk away and/or leave it alone.  However, problem gambling is a very different experience for those who succumb to it and is partially defined as “a progressive addiction whereby a person gambles compulsively to such an extent that the activity has a severe negative affect on his/her job, relationships, mental health and/or other important aspects of life.” In 2012 that the State of Ohio (OhioMHAS) reported that 95% of adults who gambled did not have a problem and would not meet the criteria for a gambling disorder.  Last year in 2018, that number was updated to 89% of adult Ohioans who gamble can do so without issue.  State research therefore indicates that somehow in the last six years the number of potential problem gamblers in the State of Ohio has more than doubled.  Based on data from the Ohio for Responsible Gambling coalition (ORG), an estimated 10%, or over 843,000 Ohio adults, are at risk for developing a gambling problem.  Of those, more than 76,000 Ohioans may already meet the criteria for a gambling disorder.  Research studies estimate there are over 3,600 potential problem gamblers in Lucas County alone.   Additionally the research tends to indicate that the rise is not in one form of gambling over another. The difference seems to be the increased availability of all forms of gambling and the introduction of gambling at younger ages and in a wider variety of methods and venues.  This may be the first generation of young Americans that will have the ability to gamble 24 hours a day on video card games, fantasy and other sporting events, or video casino games worldwide via the smartphones they carry in their pockets.  Often, parents authorize credit card transactions as gifts or to pay for young people’s allowances, believing the payments are for other less harmful digital media and online services.  How many people really look at those charges?   It seems the problem with problem gambling, is that gambling is so pervasive in modern society; we seldom notice it anymore…


Zero waste in landfills and oceans – a response to city hearing on plastic bags

Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council sub-committee on plastic bags was a good opener for facing the trash build-up but it left out so much that it may have hurt the hunt for the real problem. That problem is waste, a much larger category than plastics. Even if plastic bags are banned, our landfill is still drowning in waste and harming the water table, the air we breathe, and our most important resource, the oceans. It was surprising that most speakers at the meeting failed to mention the name of the task that hundreds of cities throughout the world are tackling: Zero Waste. At the top of the success list are San Francisco* and Kamikatsu, Japan. Not far behind are Australia, Canada, Italy, Austin, TX and Boulder, CO. This effort to diagnose and act on the problem of growing landfills is more than twenty years old. Consensus is building: Googling “Zero Waste” demonstrates widespread agreement on the problem, its form, and its solutions. In this global effort to minimize waste, some numbers are important and staggering: in 2016 the world produced more than two billion tons of solid waste, and large landfills get ten thousand tons of waste a day. Understanding Zero Waste starts by taking a field trip to the Landfill. There, we find mountains of stuff that belong in other places. If we look closely, we find five caterogies: Recyclables like glass bottles and aluminum cans; Reusables like clothing, metals and appliances; Compostables like food and dirt; Biodegradables like some plastics; Paper and cardboard. Missing from that list are plastic bags. They’re almost impossible to recycle so until they become biodegradable, we must indeed ban them. (Marshall Medoff, not a chemist, nor a scientist, may have found the formula for biodegradable plastic.) With hard work (and more barrels) cities are able to redirect most waste away from landfills. “Recology: A World without Waste” is a business that helps that process move forward. And in our own back yard Aldis grocery store offers an encouraging picture: No free plastic bags. Customers bring their own reusable bags. Cart rental keeps prices down. Specially designed packaging avoids over-packaging. Aldis participates in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. If you wish to know more, consult EcoWatch; 5Gyres.org; and 4ocean.com. Read the bible for Zero Waste by Paul Connett, The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet. *San Francisco offers a well-detailed report on how…


Perrysburg mayor shares recommendation to resolve police communication issues

Consistent with my previous statements, I am providing members of city council a recommendation for moving forward to resolve issues of interdepartmental law enforcement communications. This is in response to the law enforcement events that occurred on August 27, 2018. As you know, I asked the Lucas County Sheriff to investigate those events, including a review of whether there was an issue regarding radio communication between jurisdictions. Neither I, nor any member of the Administration, received a complaint or concern from any official from neighboring jurisdictions about communication between agencies on August 27th. The report issued by the Sheriff’s office identified the current process and equipment used by the Perrysburg Police Division as a potential weakness. It recommended the city evaluate its radio communications with neighboring jurisdictions to correct that weakness. Pursuant to that recommendation, I directed additional funds be allocated to upgrading the Police Division’s communication capacity. With council’s cooperation and approval, $230,000.00 was allocated in the 2019 Budget for the purpose of improving communications with neighboring jurisdictions. To achieve that goal, I requested Administrator Bridgette Kabat evaluate and review the current communications system to formulate a recommendation ensuring the safety of our first responders and the community in a cost-effective manner. A technical advisory committee comprised of representatives of Perrysburg, Wood County and Lucas County Communications staff, administrative personnel, Wood County Sheriff Wasylyshyn, Perrysburg Fire Chief Ruiz and Eric Willman of Willman Technologies collected information and provided input in order to make a recommendation to council regarding how best to provide enhanced interoperability between law enforcement agencies and the Perrysburg Police Division. The advisory committee examined the current system and the process utilized to manually patch Perrysburg radios to allow direct communication with all of our neighboring communities. The advisory committee also reviewed the Wood County and Perrysburg Township radio systems and their capabilities. The committee identified options to provide the Perrysburg Police Division the broadest range communications between neighboring jurisdictions. Within these options, the committee concluded the creation of a new radio system while maintaining the current radio system would achieve interoperability and would cost approximately $225,000.00. In contrast, the same result could be achieved by equipping each patrol car with an additional radio and installing a permanent patch to allow communications with neighboring jurisdictions at a cost of approximately $65,000.00. It was the conclusion and recommendation of the advisory committee to pursue the second option, maintaining…