Community Opinion

League of Women Voters urges support for mental health services levy

To the Editor: The Mental Health Committee of the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green urges a positive vote for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Metal Health Services (ADAMHS) Board’s levy. This 1.0 mill, 10-year replacement levy will provide funding forjust over one-third of the costs of the county’s mental health and addiction services, about $3,263,000 a year. A replacement levy is not a new tax. It keeps the millage the same, but uses current property values.  The levy will cost $35.00 per $100,000 home valuation. This is about an $8.60 increase yearly to the home owner. The ADAMHS Board is comprised of eighteen volunteer Wood County community members, bringing with them a variety of expertise and experience. The Board operations are conducted by the Executive Director and six staff. The Board assesses the county’s mental health and substance abuse problems and plans for cost effective services to address them. It then contracts with certified community agencies to provide programs and therapiesand monitors and evaluates these services. It raises funds through levies and grants. Mental health and addiction services and programs include treatment and support for recovery, crisis response and intervention services, the latter working closely with law enforcement. The ADAMHS Board funds agencies’ nationallyrecognized community education and prevention programs, including those aimed at the rising opiate epidemic and the increasing number of suicides in Wood County. Services reach all ages of Wood County residents. Some agencies receiving program funding include: The Children’s Resource Center, Harbor Wood Co., Unison Health, the Zepf Center, Lutheran Social Services, and A Renewed Mind. The ADAMHS Board also contracts with three hospitals that provide inpatient psychiatric services. This levy is a good investment in the lives of people dealing with difficult problems. Helping them and their families helpsmake stronger communities for all of us. ​​Lee Hakel, President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green ​​Charlotte Scherer, Chair, Mental Health Committee

Gary Jones: My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency

An Informed Voter’s Choice I am a Democrat who doesn’t mean to bash Bob Latta.  I simply want to draw comparison’s between the two candidates.  My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency.  I talked to a Northwest Ohio woman visiting her children in Florida who was angry because she had gone to a Latta Town Hall and he did not show up to take questions.  In a democracy, that is not right.  Our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It is a citizen’s right to hear and to question a candidate in order to have informed opinions.  Michael Galbraith has been speaking all over the 5th district that spans from the Indiana line to beyond Oak Harbor and the Michigan line to beyond Fort Recovery. He is and has been speaking and taking questions and challenges all over this gerrymandered district to favor Latta.  Galbraith will talk to anyone who wants to listen or question him.  Since meeting with constituents is a main concern for me, the better choice is clear. Secondly, I am so tired of the gridlock in congress whose 15% approval rating is so dismal.  Galbraith’s position is to find common ground and compromise with the Republicans and Independents in order to pass much needed legislation that currently sets in gridlock.  Our congressman simply votes with President.  I just wish he would meet with people to explain his position on issues and his vision for solving the gridlock and the legislation on which he would seek compromise. I have listened to Michael Galbraith’s position on our natural resources especially our rivers, the Great Lakes, and our aquifers.  I have not had the chance to listen to or to question Latta’s positions. Is Mr. Latta’s position on the Affordable Care Act to do away with what remains of ACA? The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have left 23 million more Americans uninsured.  If congress is concerned about healthcare, insuring people with pre-existing conditions, and cost then they must find an alternative that both sides can support.   What is Latta’s alternative? These are the issues that concern me in the 5th district. Compare the two candidates’ positions on congressional gridlock, access to our representatives, bipartisanship, 5th district natural resources, and healthcare.  An informed voter’s choice is clear. Gary Jones Bowling Green

David Kuebeck urges voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor

I write today to encourage voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor. It has been my pleasure to know and work with Matt for nine years; we were colleagues in the Auditor’s Office for much of that time. In my professional relationship with Matt, I have come to see a like-minded fiscal conservative and a dedicated public servant for whom the taxpayer is foremost in all his actions. Matt is truly an innovator – firsthand I have seen Matt conceptualize and implement many improvements to the Auditor’s Office including paperless purchase orders, paying vendors via direct deposit rather than paper check, and streamlining job duties among personnel. Matt truly cares about the residents of Wood County and takes seriously his duties as Auditor. He also takes seriously his duties as a citizen. Deeply rooted in our community – a father and husband, a farmer, and volunteer – Matt is actively engaged in the fabric of Wood County life. Matt Oestreich has demonstrated maturity, reasoning, accountability, and principled leadership as Wood County Auditor. Over the years the two of us have had many conversations about good governance, and the role of government in the lives of citizens. Simply put, Matt Oestreich “gets it.” Matthew Oestreich embodies all of the qualities of a true public servant. It is my good fortune in life to call him friend, and I am thrilled to vote for Matthew Oestreich for Wood County Auditor on November 6th. David Latta Kuebeck Bowling Green

Ottawa County Sheriff backs Kuhlman for District Court of Appeals

As Sheriff of Ottawa County, I have taken an oath to not only protect and serve my community, but also to ensure that like-minded people are placed into positions of trust. That is why I am voting Joel Kuhlman for Judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals. I have known Joel’s family my entire life. Joel’s father was a couple of years ahead of me at Eastwood High School, and his Uncle is married into our family. These men are of the highest integrity, exhibiting the leadership values that our youth will learn from for generations to come. Joel’s upbringing was instrumental in his receiving dual degrees from the University of Toledo (Engineering and Law), as well as his community work that he has already accomplished at a young age. Joel served as a Bowling Green City Councilman, as well as Wood County Commissioner. The integrity engrained in Joel through the family values he was taught from a young age will remain with him throughout his adult life. Therefore, it will also be evident through his service to our community as Judge within the 6th District Court of Appeals. Service to our community is of highest priority to me. And through recent conversations with Joel, I have confirmed that he feels just as strongly about putting service to his community ahead of his own needs. Please join me on November 6th in casting a vote for Joel Kuhlman as Judge, 6th District Court of Appeals. All of the 6th District should be represented in our Court of Appeals, not just Toledo and its immediate suburbs, which is the present case. I believe that a vote for Joel is a vote for our future. Thank you, Stephen J. Levorchick

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble responds to GOP mailer about old Facebook posts

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble, candidate for Ohio House District 3, released the following statement Tuesday, Oct. 9, after his opponent, Theresa Gavarone, publicized old social media posts addressing the issue of community police relations in Ohio: “A couple of years ago, I took to Facebook to describe the shooting of two individuals, Alton Sterling and Daniel Shaver, as unacceptable. Although the original post was incendiary and insensitive, the feelings that led to the post came from a meaningful place of anger and frustration. Time and time again, we are presented with videos and reports of unarmed or nonthreatening men and women losing their lives due to the actions of the very people who have vowed to protect them. It is very easy to get caught up in the hostile nature of social media and the hundreds of videos that look not too different from these. “The resurgence of these now-deleted posts has allowed me to reflect on my feelings from that time and revisit both videos shared in the posts. Both videos depict the death of these young men, not too far in age from myself, and still invoke some of those original feelings.  “However, instead of anger, I now feel passion. Instead of frustration, I now feel a responsibility to act. We are raised to believe that if we see an injustice, if we want a change, we need to take action to address it. That is why I’m running for public office. I want to be part of the change we need in Columbus. “I’m not your typical candidate. I don’t resemble many of the people you currently see in the State House; and that’s precisely the point. I’m running to amplify the voice of my neighbors, my friends, and my family. Police officers are important to our community and vital to our safety. When bad police officers are not held accountable for their actions, it erodes trust in the judicial system and makes it harder for good police officers to do their jobs. Our police risk their lives every day to protect us, and they too are taken for granted. We have seen Republican politicians attack police officers’ collective bargaining rights in the past, and will likely see more of the same in the future. This is not how any workers, especially those who are so dedicated to defending the State of Ohio, should be treated. I’m proud to keep fighting for all everyday Ohioans.”

Jean Geist: “Mike Galbraith wants to represent all people in the 5th Congressional District”

Mike Galbraith wants to represent all people in the 5th Congressional District. He has criss-crossed the 19 counties of our district numerous times over the past year+ meeting with farmers, small business owners, millennials & retirees. When we attended his “Old-Fashioned Rally” in Bowling Green, Mike addressed topics as varied as the price of soybeans to the health of Lake Erie. In the coming month before the midterm election he will be holding Town Halls and other public events in the following Northwest Ohio locations: Celina Delta Bryan Perrysburg Toledo Defiance Upper Sandusky Oak Harbor Grand Rapids Sylvania Wayne Napoleon Waterville Paulding Millbury Findlay If you live in these areas, I urge you to take the time to meet and listen to Michael Galbraith. And, ask yourself when was the last time you had the opportunity to talk to Bob Latta without paying $1000 a plate for a fundraiser? Jean Geist Bowling Green

Parent calls out high school soccer coach for ‘verbally and emotionally abusing our children’

“You’ll notice some teammates from last year aren’t here.  It’s because of their grades.  I don’t want a bunch of dummies playing for me anyway!”  “You losers obviously don’t want it enough.”  “You’re all a bunch a wusses.  Now don’t go telling your parents I said that.” Do you think that this is acceptable “constructive criticism” from a high school soccer coach to the players?   As a parent, would you stand idle if you knew someone was speaking to your child like this on a regular basis?  If your child came to you and explained that they felt bullied and intimidated by their soccer coach but they were too afraid to talk to the soccer coach for fear of retribution, would you feel that it was your responsibility as a parent to approach the soccer coach instead? If you did decide to approach the soccer coach and were met with a raised voice, harsh words and denial, who would you turn to next?  The AD? Administration?  Who do you go to after administration ignores your plea for solutions? This is happening right here in our home town which is a close knit community that lives with a mantra of “Not in our Town.” The soccer coach is verbally and emotionally abusing our children. The soccer coach is being protected by administration while coach continues to victimize our impressionable youth on a regular basis. Parents have raised legitimate concern for seasons now and yet a blind eye keeps being turned.   Our local soccer community has become a hostile and abusive culture.   Our children are being groomed to tolerate being bullied into submission by the adults that are supposed to protect them. A senior student quit the soccer team this year several weeks in because that student felt the only way to defend himself was to walk away. His parents demand for an explanation from the coach, AD and administration went unanswered. One junior that had the nerve to start speaking up for himself and his teammates was abruptly dismissed from the soccer team via a cold and impersonal text message.  “Your attitude and behavior toward your coaches and teammates is not in line with what we are trying to accomplish as a soccer program.  Therefore, you are dismissed from the team and no longer part of BGHS Soccer. Please return your bag and warm up suit to the AD in the morning. – Coach” This junior was previously the JV team captain his freshman and sophomore year.  This role was assigned by his coach because of his positive attitude and strong leadership abilities. Team mates were then told that their fallen mate was dismissed because of his poor attitude toward his coaches and other players.  This student became a martyr to his teammates.  If you challenge the way the coach is treating you or your peers, you will…

County’s Young Democrats hosting collection for residents in need

Call for donations! Please join the Wood County Young Democrats at the Brown Bag Food Project located at 115 West Merry Avenue in Bowling Green as we collect donations for local families in need! The event will be held on October 13th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., our current needs include perishable and nonperishable food items, school supplies for children K-12, diapers, and pet food! Cash donations are also accepted. All school supplies will be donated to Bowling Green City Schools. The Brown Bag Food Project is a local non-profit that seeks to address the concern of food insecurity in our community here in Wood County so please come show your local pride and help a family in need!   Megan Schweitzer Bowling Green

Neocles Leontis: A vote for Galbraith for Congress is an important step in combating the nightmare of climate change

The 5th District deserves Michael Galbraith as people’s Representative in the U.S. Congress. He will work to protect our children from the ravages of climate disruption, unlike Bob Latta, who takes thousands of dollars every year from the outdated fossil fuel industry and shields his donors from the full cost of the harmful pollution they cause. Latta and his party provide wasteful subsidies to Big Oil, Coal and Gas, distorting our free market system, so we can’t transition as quickly as we must to a 21st century economy based on clean, cheap renewable energy. Unless we start to bend the curve on carbon emissions downward, by no later than 2020, global warming, already 2°F above average levels of the 20th century, will quickly surpass 3°F and then 4°F under the business-as-usual scenario promoted by the inaction of Bob Latta and his cronies. Our children will be condemned to a dangerous nightmare world, in which one climate tipping point trips another, like dominoes, starting with disruption of the jet stream, happening now, to complete melting of Arctic Ice in summer, coming soon, to more rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet into the North Atlantic, collapse of the Gulf Stream current, loss of mountain glaciers that people rely on for drinking water all over the globe, eventual drying out of the Amazon Forest, the “lungs” of our atmosphere, which we rely on to replenish the oxygen we breathe, and uncontrollable release of carbon into the atmosphere as the vast tundra lands of Canada and Russia melt, threatening “runaway” global warming. As a result, the oceans are warming rapidly, causing more and more powerful and “very wet”* hurricanes, think Harvey, Maria, and Florence. Sea levels are rising ever faster and will flood our coastal cities – Miami, Norfolk, Baltimore, Washington, Boston, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Our farmlands are already experiencing hotter more unpredictable weather and longer, more frequent droughts, threatening food supplies. Hotter and more destructive wildfires, “fire tornadoes,” are ravaging our western states, destroying entire neighborhoods and towns, killing Americans in their beds before they can escape, and destroying vast forests. In short, the Earth will enter an irreversible “hothouse” trajectory, if we do not act decisively now, to transition our economy to clean, cheap, non-polluting technologies — that we already have at hand, including solar and wind energy for electricity, geothermal heating and cooling for buildings, and electrification of our transportation system. Most of the lands where people now live will become too hot for humans to inhabit and farm. These are the conclusions of leading scientists, published in August, 2018 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, one of the top scientific journals of the world. In November we in the 5th District can all take an important step to prevent this nightmare – we must…

BG bicyclists tells fellow riders ‘safety is your responsibility’

To add to a previous op-ed about bicycle usage and driver responses there are some areas of town I will not ride a bicycle through. Those would be downtown,Fairview Ave.,Pearl Street and basically anywhere on Main Street or East Wooster. The previous poster mentioned people going left of center to pass a bicycle disregarding traffic coming in the oncoming lane this happens repeatedly on Fairview and is quite dangerous for cyclists. I’ve been driving my truck down Pearl Street and have vehicles pass me so showing courtesy for cyclists would be quite the stretch.The sharrows and signs just give cyclists a false sense of security that they are in the right to traverse these areas with confidence and that all drivers will yield for them which doesn’t happen. I realize the city is doing all they can to provide a safe environment for bicycles but they can not regulate driver courtesy via signage and sharrows. The conclusion to this is the cyclists themselves, with the total weight of bicycle and rider being at best a few hundred pounds and your adversary is around 3,000 pounds it’s a battle that will result in serious injury or death. I see cyclists all the time riding without mirrors or lights ignoring traffic laws. Oh they may signal a turn but blow through stop signs cut through parking lots, whip across crossings on sidewalks when they use them. My point is not all  vehicle misconduct can be placed on the personality of drivers when cyclists ignore laws that drivers are constrained by leading to some of the lack of courtesy for cyclists. The old saying two wrongs don’t make a right applies but it is what it is, so cyclists ride with your safety in mind because in a battle with a vehicle you’ll lose every time there is such a thing as dead right. Do not depend on your safety being legislated as always in every endeavor your safety is ‘your’ responsibility not the sharrows and signs or the cities. BG cyclist. Gary Dessert Bowling Green

Parks & Rec Foundation hosting fundraiser to benefit Ridge Park

On behalf of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation Trustees I encourage all to attend the 23rd Annual Wine and Cheese Social and Silent and Live Auctions Friday, September 28th from 5-8 p.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut in Bowling Green. Admission is $50 per person through September 21 and $60 after. You can send a check to Cheryl Witt at BG Parks and Recreation Foundation at the address listed above or call 419-354-6297 or e-mail for a reservation. All proceeds will benefit the completion of Ridge Park. In addition to delicious appetizers and desserts, there will be a variety of wines, beers and soft drinks available. In addition to the Auctions, there will be a wine pull, an autumn mum sale, and a raffle for an Apple Watch. Plan to come to enjoy a wonderful evening. Roger Anderson, BG Parks and Recreation Foundation Trustee

President of NAT Transportation concerned about possible recycling location closure

To the users of NAT Recycling: For more than 20 years, NAT has supported, with the assistance of The Wood County Solid Waste District and The Bowling Green Recycling Center, the operation of it’s recycling center. This has been “a loss leader” for our trash business; in other words, it has been at a monetary loss for NAT. But, the users, made up of the homeowners of southeast Wood County, have appreciated this service and the Waste District supported the program. Recently, The Solid Waste District, with the approval of the Commissioners and Administration, has arbitrarily decided to discontinue its support of certain transportation and processing costs of material recycled from NAT to Bowling Green. This was done without conferring with NAT or The Bowing Green Recycling Center. Neither NAT or BGRC have the funds to assume these costs on a long-term basis nor have we requested additional support. This was despite for more than 20 years NAT’s processed tonnage has and still is, second only to BGRC in the Wood County area. In the meantime, the Waste District’s unencumbered funds (cash available) are at an historic high. Citizens should remember, by Ohio Law, the Office of the Wood County Commissioner’s is responsible to provide access to recycling through out Wood County. And we provide a heated, well kept all weather 24/7 location for Southeast Wood County. We, Mike Fairbanks and I, will be studying how this loss of funding will effect NATs operation of the 24/7 recycling, but without the FULL support of The Wood County Waste District, at this time we see the closing of our recycling program in the near future. We ask you to express your thoughts to your Wood County Officials by calling the Wood County Administration Office (Andrew Kalmar; Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHote, and Theodore Bowlus) at (419) 354-9100; or the office of The Wood County Solid Waste District (Mrs. O’Boyle) at (419) 354-9297. Thank you for your time and understanding. Mick Torok President of NAT Transportation

Benefit at Schedel Gardens provides essential funds for library materials

On July 19 the WCDPL Foundation will host its tenth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. Over the past nine years, this event has raised funds to purchase new books that our patrons use to move into a new career, gain a new skill, teach a child to read, learn about nearly any other topic of interest, or read for pleasure.  Every dollar from this event goes to purchase new books, large print books, audiobooks, e-books, and picture books. Despite some saying the Internet and e-books replace libraries, the core function of the library as the “People’s University” (where anyone can explore, learn, and discover) remains vital.  In 2017, community members visited the library more than 4,200 times per week, attendance at programs and author visits grew another 11 percent, the number of cardholders grew another 3 percent, and borrowing books and other materials remains at all-time record levels. This high rate of usage requires continuing investment.  The importance of private fundraising to meet community demand is critical.  Your financial gifts make a difference! I ask that you consider giving a monetary sponsorship for the Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in any amount from $20 to $20,000.  Simply send a check payable to WCDPL Foundation (with “Schedel sponsorship” in the memo line) to A.J. Heilman, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  Sponsorships over $1,000 will be recognized on a plaque in the library. Also, please plan to attend the July 19 Benefit!  Come enjoy a relaxing evening with garden tours, fine beverages, delicious food, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun and laughs with other library advocates! Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at the library. Please support the library so that it can remain “the place to be” for the community to learn, discover, explore, and read. Michael Penrod WCDPL Director

Leah Bogusch – Separation of families echoes what was done to Indigenous children

I attended the Keeping Families Together rally this past weekend at Bowling Green, and I could not find the words to say to the attendees what was on my mind at the moment. But if I had been able to speak to you, Bowling Green, I would have told you that we were standing upon the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee and Miami nations. This land is not your land, and it was not made for you, even though you all sang this song with love and good intentions in your hearts.  If I had been able to speak to you, I would have told you that separation of children from families is not new within the United States – many Indigenous children in the not-so-distant past were ripped from their families to attend boarding schools and to die there far from home. I would have echoed Ms. Maya’s words when she called upon us to look at the United States’ policies of interfering with countries in Central and South America, to exploit their people and extract resources. These policies have inevitably contributed to conditions of poverty and violence in these nations, which have led so many people to our doorstep to escape.  Today, I ask you to acknowledge that cruelty and greed are exactly the values upon which the United States was founded and the responsibility that this nation shares in creating the immigrant crisis. I implore you to make the United States the beacon of hope and compassion that it can and should be. Remember the larger context in which this nation has negatively affected other peoples for its own profit, and take action, even when the immigrant crisis fades from media attention, to prevent such policies from continuing. Leah Bogusch Bowling Green

Perrysburg mayor reports on progress in getting CSX to fix railroad crossings

Perrysburg Community: Many of you have contacted city officials complaining about the condition of the railroad crossings at a number of intersections throughout town. We have repeatedly forwarded those concerns on to CSX asking that repairs be made as soon as possible. In April, CSX let the city know it had limited funds to repair crossings in Perrysburg in 2018. It asked us to provide a list of crossings that were in most need of repair. CSX would then determine what if any repairs could be done in 2018. CSX further represented it would allocate funds in the 2019 budget to repair any intersection not done this year. Based on citizen complaints and our own investigation, the administration identified Eckel Junction Road, Louisiana Avenue, East Boundary, and Indiana Avenue as priority intersections that needed repair. Since that time, the administration has continued to communicate with CSX, including letting CSX know that the city has continued to receive complaints about the condition of railroad crossings. On June 21st, Haraz N. Ghanbari, the Chair of the Public Safety Committee of Council, also wrote CSX requesting it make repairs. Consistent with that ongoing dialogue, CSX has recently advised us that it will make substantial repairs to the railroad crossings at Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this summer. CSX is not only repairing the crossings, but replacing approximately 300 feet of track in that area. CSX has also represented to the administration that it will physically inspect each crossing within the city this summer. During those inspections, minor repairs may be made to some crossings, but more extensive repairs will have to wait until 2019. While not a complete fix yet, I wanted to let you know of this step towards repairing railroad crossings in town. We will continue to work with CSX so that the crossings at Eckel Junction, Louisiana Avenue, and East Boundary are addressed next year as CSX has represented they would be. I want to thank everyone who has been working behind the scenes with CSX since January to facilitate the repairs to Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this year. Mayor Thomas G. Mackin