Community Opinion

BG resident says police recorded him & shared it with TV show

It has come to my attention that the Bowling Green police secretly recorded me and abetted in sharing this with a national broadcast without my permission. It was involved with the Dawn Glanz case. I was visited by the police in a large SUV.  Another woman came out of the van as I stood on my front porch. At no time did they admit they were recording me. I hope that all citizens will take this as warning when dealing with our police force. Dr. F. Scott Regan Bowling Green 

Sheriff reconsiders issuing snow emergency declarations

Dear Wood County Citizens, As your Sheriff, I work directly for all 130,000 of you and take this honor very seriously. From the first day I took office in January of 2005, every decision I make is based on what is best for the citizens of Wood County, not what is best for me or my office. At times I re-evaluate decisions made. I will be issuing all three emergency levels. I have learned from the conversations I have had with many of you on the phone, emails, and text messages over the past 72 hours that some of you want me to inform you of the road conditions using the three emergency levels. For all of those that had contacted me that you do not want direction from the government, please understand that level 1 and level 2 emergencies do not prevent you from travel and you may choose to use them as an advisory. As I have done since taking office, a level 3 will only be called in the event of white outs or if the roadways are impassible and the duration will be for as short of time as possible to safeguard our freedoms. We do live in Northwest Ohio and get snow and ice frequently every winter. Due to the size of our county and public service availability to clear roadways, please keep in mind the level issued is county wide and may not reflect the current road conditions where you live. A good friend of mine often says “Whatever level you are on you are always one level off.” Yes, many of you may disagree with me on the level issued and may think I should do level 3s for smaller weather events. I know that no matter what decision I make not everyone is going to agree with me. I do not know of anyone that agrees with another person 100% of the time. However, if you disagree with me please do not call the dispatch center and use foul language, yell and threaten my deputies. They do not determine the levels. Please call, email or text me directly. I am constantly learning and working on being the best Sheriff I can possibly be. My goal is for the Wood County Sheriff’s Office to be the best. Sincerely, Mark Wasylyshyn

Sheriff made wrong call on storm level

Mark,   I am a registered Republican and have never voted for anyone other than a Republican.   I have voted for you every time you ran and have met you.   My point is that you are taking a hard line on this issue and I can tell you that people feel you are wrong on this, even Republicans.   People rely on YOU to give them accurate information and the reality of Saturday was that you didn’t    I drove from Hancock county which was a level 2 to BG and it was at least as bad.   All I am saying is that playing the Trump line, which we both know is the case here, is not in the best interest of public safety. Jasen Leffel Bowling Green Mark Wasylyshyn response Jan. 21 at 10:05 p.m. Dear Jasen, As you know I rarely issue level three. I strongly believe in people having the right to travel when they wish. I recently educated myself about the levels and spoke with a man involved with creating them. He confirmed what I sent out.  You don’t sound like a Republican.  Usually Republicans are for individual rights not government dictating when you can leave travel. Last opponent ran campaign against me promising many more level threes. She did not fair (sic) well.  If I get voted out doing the right thing then I’ll move on and you can stay home per orders when it snows.Mark WasylyshynWood County SheriffSo what changed since last year when it comes to issuing a certain level?   You issued them last year.   I really hope this is not anything politically motivated but sense it really is.   I guess ALL the other surrounding sheriffs must be wrong.   I am a lifelong Republican and you are really taking the wrong avenue on this if you plan to be re-elected.   Please reconsider your stance if and when the next storm hits.The roads were definitely bad, at a minimum a level 1 but in my opinion a level 2.  People aren’t stupid and this will come up during the next election cycle.Jasen Leffel

10 readings on social justice recommended

This list of 10 readings on social justice is a suggested guide for those interested in bringing a focus on equality, tolerance, community, empathy and other values consistent with a humane approach to building a more just and fair society. 1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Author: Isabel Wilkerson. Chronicles one of the untold stories of America. The decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities. 2. Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. Author: Amy Ellis Nutt. Inspiring story of transgender actor-activist Nicole Maines. One of two identical twins, Nicole persists in her struggles within an unwelcoming society. 3. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. Author: Arthur Miller. The witchcraft trials of 1682 resulted in socially sanctioned violence. Miller turned the story into a powerful parable about McCarthyism.    4. A People’s History of the United States. Author: Howard Zinn. The history of America from the viewpoint of factory workers, Native Americans, civil rights advocates, the working poor and the migrant worker et al. The battles of angry men and women against corporate and government tyranny. 5. Letter from Birmingham Jail. Author: Martin Luther King Jr.  The letter written from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama defends the strategy of non-violence resistance to moderate white pastors condemning a protest march. 6. Sermon on the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5-7. These chapters from the New Testament describe the most important teachings of Jesus Christ including the Beatitudes. The call to humility, peacemaking, and righteousness with a condemnation of greed and hypocrisy. 7. In Dubious Battle. Author: John Steinbeck. A fast-paced novel of social unrest. Set in California apple country where a strike by migrant workers against rich landowners spins out of control. 8. All Quiet on the Western Front. Author: Erich Maria Remarque. A young German soldier during WWI observes the horror of war. As the war plods on the character of Paul Baumer vows to fight against the principles of hate that war depends on. 9. Cider House Rules. Author: John Irving. Set in rural Maine in the first half of the 20th century, this novel finds Dr. Walter Larch as the founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St.Cloud’s. The story defines the controversy surrounding abortion. 10. The Second Amendment: A Biography. Author: Michael Waldman. The life story of the Second…

Who May Pray?

One day as the Lord God looked down on his world, he observed the many signs of good and evil at play in the lives and relationships of the people he had created. From acts of love and generosity and compassion to acts of hatred and lust and greed, from neighbors helping neighbors to nations at war with each other and even between factions of their own people. It occurred to him that perhaps he needed to remind them that he created them out of his love for them and that their wellbeing as individuals and families, as nations and as a world is wrapped up in that purpose of love for one another that is at the very heart of their being. Then he remembered that once he had told one of his prophets that if the people he created would call upon him for his help, he would save them from their sin and their self-destruction. So he landed on the idea of a world-wide day of prayer and tossed it out to see whether some of his faithful would consider spreading the word. Well, the idea did catch on, and over the period of a few years, various communities began holding World Day of Prayer gatherings, calling on God to help them find ways to overcome the sins that separate them and create such chaos in human life and suffering, and help them become the people he had created them to be. So God decided this idea must have some merit, and he decided to call together the leadership of the world’s religious organizations to work on the details. What he wasn’t expecting is that some of those in leadership wanted to dictate the rules of who would be allowed to attend and lead these gatherings. For example, those who considered themselves”true Christians” wanted to designate who could pray, but would allow anyone who wanted to attend to do so as long they were silent, and also wanted to specify what prayers would be allowed. God was especially dismayed by the Christians, because when he sent Jesus, he sent him to convey his message in a very personal way, not to start a new religion, but to correct some errors in the old ways of understanding him and his intentions for the human experiment he had begun, and to open up their understanding to life in its…

MVUUC minister chooses to channel energies in positive direction

It has been noted that for those of us that are not welcome to speak at the National Prayer Day event, we have the Annual Not In Our Town Interfaith Breakfast that “anyone can come to.”  As a planner of that event, and the chair for the last two years, I can confirm that the Interfaith Breakfast planners invite all faiths to participate.  Many of the congregations that will most likely be represented at the National Day of Prayer, have not attended the Interfaith Breakfast.  It is a shame they don’t join us because we hope to encourage an interfaith dialogue and understanding with all faiths in our community.  We believe that it can be a simple lack of knowledge and experience that feeds the fear of other beliefs.I know it seems the rest of us are being treated unfairly; but my faith encourages me to see the worth and dignity in all people, and by extension, in all faiths.  That’s why I’ve decided to channel my energy in positive ways. First, I’ll work harder on interfaith activities that encourage mutual respect.  Secondly, I am praying in my own way for those people that have not yet discovered that we are much more alike than otherwise.  I will feel compassion for those that have not yet discovered the joy that fills the heart when we love all of our neighbors. I won’t be angry with others because they don’t approve of my beliefs because I know that making a difference in our world will only be achieved when we all find our common humanity. I hope that our community will eventually come together in one prayerful, meditative, and contemplative moment to benefit the greater good. For now, I can only change how I react to intolerance. I choose the way of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said,  “l’ve decided to stick to love – hate is too great a burden to bear.” Rev. Lynn Kerr Minister, Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation Bowling Green

Planned Parenthood denounces sweeping abortion bans in Ohio

In the middle of the night, the Ohio legislature passed two dangerous and unconstitutional abortion bans — outlawing both abortion six weeks into pregnancy and the safest, most common method of second trimester abortion. These dangerous restrictions could effectively ban abortion in Ohio. The six-week abortion ban in effect eliminates abortion because most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. Furthermore, the method ban challenges a doctor’s ability to provide the best options for their patients by criminalizing doctors for doing their job. With Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and Trump in the White House, it’s clear that emboldened anti-abortion politicians are pursuing dangerous and radical policies in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion entirely. Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “In the last seven years, over 400 laws have passed that restrict abortion care, despite what we know from medicine and science to be true: Abortion is a safe, standard medical procedure. Ohio’s six-week abortion ban and method ban are dangerous policies that could endanger women’s lives. I know firsthand just how important it is for doctors to have the ability to provide the care their patients want and need. As a doctor, I trust my patients to make their own health care decisions, and every doctor should have the right to provide care for our patients without the threat of prison time. We at Planned Parenthood will always fight to ensure patients have access to safe, legal abortion in Ohio and across the country.” Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio: “Today, Ohio politicians have made a national disgrace of our state. Let’s be clear — the abortion bans are equally extreme, take aim at Ohioans and families, and punish doctors for caring for their patients. We demand Governor Kasich stop both of these dangerous policies in their tracks. Every Ohioan deserves the right to control their own body, life, and future without politicians getting in the way. We will stand against these unconstitutional attacks on Ohioans and will use everything at our disposal to protect their access to safe, legal abortion.” The courts have made it clear that banning abortion before viability is unconstitutional. Similar six-week and 15-week abortion bans in North Dakota, Iowa, Mississippi have all been struck down by the courts for violating the precedent created by Roe v. Wade and reaffirmed in Whole Woman’s…

Tom Klein: Why National Prayer Day should be truly inclusive

By now the news has spread around this city; Bowling Green leaders and many citizens are not pleased.   Chaplain Kristel Asmus, who again serves as coordinator of our the National Prayer Day, is directing the event coming in May, 2019, and is restricting speakers to Christians.  No Muslims, no Mormons.  And, of course, no Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is.  All those religious groups represent spiritual causes preaching compassion and love.  Christian-only speakers conflict with the nationally established purpose of the event — to recognize and celebrate the religious and ethnic diversity of America. Anything other than inclusiveness is harmful and dangerous. Some history might help explain what’s at stake here. A national prayer day was formalized in 1952 when a joint resolution by Congress was signed by President Truman. In 1988, the law was amended and then signed by President Reagan. For its long history, the prayer-day speakers have spanned diverse faith communities with the purpose being to spread the word of God and love to unite the country. Spiritual extremism happens when someone claims a monopoly on truth.  The greatest danger of such extremism is the wars accompanied by a fundamentalist cause and character, with economic and historical components connected.  In our own time there’s the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian Civil War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Then, there’s the Thirty Years War, the Crusades, the Sudanese Civil War, and the Nigerian Civil War.  Of course Christian-only speakers in our small town will not spark a war. But when such practices spread across the US, that can happen. It’s a rare event when one person who, ironically, has been in charge of this event for twenty years and decides to radically modify it.  We need to understand why a chaplain might take such an extreme position, converting a healing and unifying message into one where there is only one right message, and why serious harms can result.  Such an attitude is at best disturbing.  The chaplain, with confirmation from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, told the BG Independent News that “Mormons could not participate in leadership teams or participate publicly in the prayer event.”  Looking at that restrictive attitude through the lens of theologian James Fowler’s framework on stages of spiritual development is enlightening.     Much like Piaget’s work examining the cognitive development of children and adolescents, Fowler’s research takes the next step and includes persons of all ages to see how their thinking changes as they grow up, moving from stage to stage. To simplify…

Ohio should not restrict citizens’ right to petition government

We want to thank Sen. Gardner for conducting the Town Hall Meeting last Saturday and listening to the concerns and questions from his constituents.  At that meeting, I asked him about HJR19 in regard to amending the process for getting a petition on the ballot. The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution grants citizens several fundamental freedoms including ‘the freedom to PETITION the Government’.  In Ohio, the process to get a measure on the ballot is already quite stringent and HJR19 provisions make it even more difficult. Senator Gardner responded to me that the concern was that large donors from out of state were infringing on the rights of Ohio citizens.  If this is the true concern, we respectfully suggest that the Legislature address ‘Money in Politics’, rather than unduly burdening civic organizations, such as the non-partisan League of Women Voters, to successfully get a petition measure on the ballot. Fellow citizens, if this issue being rushed through the ‘Lame Duck’ Session is of concern to you, please contact your elected representatives: Sen. Gardner  614-466-8060 or 419-352-1984 Rep. Gavarone 614-466-1804 or 419-345-7768   Joan and Bob Callecod Bowling Green  

NAMI director urges ‘yes’ vote on ADAMHS levy

I am writing today to encourage you to vote yes on the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board 1 mill Replacement Levy on Tuesday, November 6th if you haven’t done so already. This is not a new tax, it would bring the old tax up to current value. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Wood County receives a majority of its funding from the ADAMHS Board to provide support, education, and advocacy for individuals affected by mental illness. One in five people are living with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness. Of these one in five, there are many more family members, friends, and colleagues affected by their loved ones condition. NAMI is able to provide support and education for all of the above mentioned. NAMI Wood County provides twice yearly free classes for family members and individuals living with mental health conditions through the support from ADAMHS. These classes and ongoing support groups are invaluable to those that utilize them. Many times, people attend a program and announce that they’ve not shared their story elsewhere. NAMI can provide that safe space for people to share, be heard, and feel supported by peers. Among the many peer programs that NAMI provides, there are a great deal of community education programs offered due to Levy support.  Mental Health First Aid teaches individuals how to provide assistance and access help for a person in a mental health crisis. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings are coordinated by NAMI as well. This community program offered twice yearly provides law enforcement officers information in working with individuals in a mental health crisis. CIT companion courses hosted by NAMI include: Fire and Rescue Workers, Dispatchers, Behavioral Health Clinicians, Advanced Trainings, and Resiliency Trainings. The evidence based prevention and recovery programs that NAMI Wood County provides are national programs with statistics that have shown reductions in recidivism rates in both jails and hospitals. By supporting the ADAMHS Board Levy, you are making a difference in the lives of people affected by mental illness and the Wood County community. Jessica Schmitt Executive Director NAMI Wood County

Prevention educator urges yes on ADAMHS levy

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote yes for the 1.0 mill replacement levy of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS). This is not a new tax, it is a replacement tax, which brings the old tax up to current value. The Wood County Educational Service Center receives over seventy-five percent of their prevention education program dollars from the ADAMHS Board. The Educational Service Center is just one of several quality agencies supported by the ADAMHS Board with your tax dollars. The Wood County Prevention Education Program engages youth leaders, schools, parents, communities and agencies to educate and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in our youth. The Prevention Education Program also addresses issues relating to bullying, dating and relationship violence, classroom behavior, and improving mental health in our youth. On-site prevention education specialists in 9 school districts monitor trends, identify/implement evidenced-based programs, strategies, support, and early intervention and referral for treatment services as selected by each district for all Wood County youth. Prevention education staff members also make referrals for youth experiencing trauma to on-site school-based mental health counselors also provided with funding by the ADAMHS board. National studies report that evidenced-based prevention education programs have a positive impact on academic achievement, school climate, and safe and healthy youth.  Since 2004, a biennial youth survey is conducted in Wood County for all public school students in grades 5 through 12 and in 2018, virtually all drugs are at their lowest rates of usage since the survey’s inception.  Not only is prevention extremely efficacious, it is also fiscally responsible, as for which each dollar spent on prevention programming up to $64 dollars can be saved on societal costs that would have otherwise been incurred.  Prevention, early and often works. Please vote yes for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services 1.0 mill replacement levy. The positive impact will be felt by your youth, your schools, and your communities. Kyle D. Clark Prevention Education Program Director Wood County ESC  

Jennifer Karches: Issue 1 will save money & improve public safety

Please vote YES on Issue 1. I understand it’s not perfect, but there is NO hope that our legislature will enact any meaningful prison/sentencing reform anytime soon. Too many lives are ruined with Ohio’s punitive drug laws, which rely on prisons as the answer. Did you know one year of prison costs Ohioans $30,000? Ohio has approximately 50,000 inmates, which means WE spend approximately $1.5 billion per year locking people away, rather than actively working to rehabilitate and treat their addictions. There is a better way! According to Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign, here are some excellent reasons to vote YES on Issue 1 to reduce the number of people in state prison for low-level, nonviolent crimes and put the money to better use by directing savings to drug treatment and crime victims. ✓ YES on Issue 1 saves taxpayer dollars: Ohio spends more than $1.8 billion per year on a broken prison system where too many people who pose little public safety risk are incarcerated while treatment and prevention programs suffer. Issue 1 will save tens of millions of dollars annually in prison spending and direct the savings to addiction treatment and victims of crime. ✓ YES on Issue 1 puts our public safety dollars to better use: Wasting law enforcement resources and prison on people struggling with addiction makes no sense. Issue 1 requires misdemeanors instead of felonies for low-level drug possession offenses and requires community service, treatment or local jail, instead of state prison, for people convicted of these crimes or who break probation rules (such as missing a meeting). Treatment and supervision work better to improve public safety than a revolving prison door. ✓ YES on Issue 1 reduces recidivism: Issue 1 expands earned-credit programs so that qualified people can be considered for release if they participate in rehabilitation programs. Experts agree that requiring people to earn their way out of prison through rehabilitation reduces the likelihood they’ll commit more crimes. ✓ YES on Issue 1 protects public safety: This was carefully written to ensure that people that are a danger to public safety remain incarcerated. No one convicted of murder, rape or child molestation will benefit from any aspect of this measure. Issue 1 has bipartisan support from law enforcement, mental health and addiction treatment providers, nurses, faith leaders, and victims of crime. SAVE MONEY. IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY. Jennifer Karches Bowling Green

Mayor Edwards asks community to support ADAMHS replacement levy

From a total community perspective, there is perhaps no more important issue on the November 6th ballot than the replacement levy to help support Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services in Wood County.   One only has to assess the daily news to realize the magnitude of need for these life-saving services. Every day the demand for help for crisis situations seems to grow and no family, no household is immune from the need for intervention specialists.   In both my university and public service life, I have seen time and time again the need for support services grow whether for family support, mental health, substance abuse, crisis situations or general informational needs to help others.   As one who has devoted so much volunteer time over the years to help in some small ways to assist others with special needs, I urge you to help in a big way by supporting the ADAMHS replacement levy.   Richard A. Edwards Mayor City of Bowling Green

“I believe Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge” – Mel Browning

​A few years ago, after 23 years, I retired as an attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeals. During my time there I had an opportunity to observe some really superior appeals judges. The court is one of the most respected in the state. ​The common characteristics of a good appeals court judge include not only a firm understanding of the law, but a sense of fairness, impartially and a dedication to protect the rights of all who come before the court.  The good judge must also temper the application of the law with a sense of compassion and an understanding that those who come before the court should be dealt with respectfully. ​I have known Joel Kuhlman and his family for decades now. I believe that he has the traits necessary to be a good judge. He has a firm understanding of the law, having practiced for ten years in Wood and the surrounding counties. He is fair, impartial and compassionate. ​He also brings with him an appreciation for the perspective of the non-urban parts of the district which, although comprising approximately half of the population of the Sixth District, have been traditionally under-represented on the court. ​I believe that Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge and that his election to the court would bring a perspective and vigor that the court needs. For these reasons I would urge your support for Joel Kuhlman for Sixth District Court of Appeals sthis November. Mel Browning Rossford

BG Chamber supports ADAMHS levy

It is the decision of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to support The Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Replacement Levy in the upcoming November election. We considered the services offered by ADAMHS and how vital they are to our business community.  We also gave consideration to your use of public funds and conceded that use is reliable and respectable. It is our belief that this replacement  levy will allow ADAMHS to continue to help fight real-life problems faced by our entire community and the affects drug addiction and mental health issues have on the employment pool of our business affiliates.   Mary F. Hinkelman, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce