Community Opinion

BG high students to “raise our voices for action against all these forms of gun violence”

March 14, 2018 marks one month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and 3 staff members killed and may others wounded or injured. Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes (in honor of the 17 lives taken in the tragedy in Parkland) at 10 a.m. across every time zone on March 14,  to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods. We, the students at Bowling Green High School, have decided that this moment is too crucial and this issue too urgent to stand idly by. On March 14th we will walkout of our classrooms and on to the front lawn to protest gun violence. We will stand out there for 17 minutes. In that time we will read the victims names and have a moment of silence for those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Following we will have a series of short speeches protesting this injustice. We are walking out for ALL people who have experienced gun violence, including systemic forms of gun violence that disproportionately impact teens in Black and Brown communities. It is important that when we refer to gun violence, we do not overlook the impact of police brutality and militarized policing, or see police in schools as a solution. We also recognize the United States has exported gun violence through imperialist foreign policy to destabilize other nations. We raise our voices for action against all these forms of gun violence. We students and our allies are organizing the school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to protect us. We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. We need action. It is our elected officials’ jobs to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that will address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many…

League of Women Voters call for stricter gun control

The League of Women Voters of Ohio and of Bowling Green condemn the proliferation of handguns and assault weapons and call for strong federal measures to limit accessibility and regulate ownership by private citizens, especially keeping the deadly AR-15 out of civilian hands. Strengthening the background check system, expanding the laws to include background checks for private sales, gun shows, and on-online purchases are necessary steps. Citizens can make a difference.  Contact your Ohio statehouse senators and representatives regularly until progress is made to curtail gun violence. Judy Knox, Chair, Voters’ Service Committee, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Ohio Lee Hakel President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Ohio

Bowling Green Charter to be reviewed – with public input

Since 1972 the city of Bowling Green has been governed by a City Charter that was adopted by its citizens. The document was reviewed by a Charter Review Committee in 1990 and again in 2001 to ensure that it was still meeting the needs of the city and the people who lived here. In general, the Charter defines how our city government works, outlines how city elections take place and how decisions are made. The Mayor and City Council have jointly appointed a 2018 Charter Review Committee made up of 17 Bowling Green residents representing all four wards who have been given the task of reviewing the City Charter once again. The committee will present their recommendations to council in May. Any recommended changes would first need council approval and would then be placed on the ballot in November for approval by all citizens of Bowling Green. The City Charter reflects what we, the citizens of Bowling Green want – our vision for how city government should work. The committee would also like to hear from the residents of Bowling Green and will be holding two public forums: March 13 at noon – Community Center, 1245 W. Newton Rd. March 15 at 7:00 pm – Community Center, 1245 W. Newton Rd. We encourage you to attend to learn more about the charter and to share your views. If you are unable to attend one of the forums, we encourage you to send your thoughts to Thank you, Bowling Green Charter Review Committee Co-Chairs Shannon Orr and Jeff Crawford

Gun owning vet takes aim at NRA’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment

Submitted by SHANE HUGHES, Bowling Green Modern debates about the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. Let me first start by breaking down the 2nd Amendment. The text reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (1) In order to understand the 2nd Amendment, you need to understand subordinate clauses and the rules of grammar as practiced in a historical context by our founding fathers. Commas were used to subcategorize ideas pertaining to the formal thought or premise, in grammatical context of that which is being stated. If you read the other amendments, you’ll find that the formal idea is recapitulated using semicolons and that commas are used as to denote exception to a premise or idea. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is the subdivision of a formal idea into supporting ideas by use of punctuation more apparent than in the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment, as read and intended by its writers, is formally establishing a well-regulated militia that shall not be infringed upon. The supporting ideas of the formal are: [the well-regulated militia] is necessary to security of a free State the right of the people [the militia well-regulated militia] to keep and bear arms. If you neglect the words between the first and last commas, you’ll see formal idea, and that all language in between is support for the formal. Now, in order to understand what the founding fathers meant by “well-regulated militia” we have to look at Article 1 and Article 2 of the Constitution, where they defined the role of the Legislative Branch, i.e. Congress, and the role of the Executive Branch, i.e. the president. Article 1, Section 8, Paragraphs 15/16, reads: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” “To…

Swallow Your Pride, Call for a Ride “is a complete community endeavor”

To the Editor: To quote Robert F. Kennedy, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” Once again, this happened in Bowling Green this past New Year’s Eve. Armed with a host of volunteers and two vans, 85 persons took advantage of the Swallow Your Pride, Call for a Ride Program. The riders were met with smiles, laughs and warm vehicles. Our volunteers were greeted with cold and thankful students who were in disbelief that people would volunteer on New Year’s Eve to make sure that they made it home safely. This program is a complete community endeavor and I am thankful for each and every person and business that supports Safe Communities of Wood County. I cannot thank  enough our Media partners for making sure there was continuous promotion on local radio and television, as well as Best Western and Fairfield Inn for providing information on their billboards and to their patrons. Pagliai’s Pizza, Frisch’s East Wooster, Oasis, Cookie Jar, Waffle House and the local bars for promoted the program with stickers and table tents, and the Safe Communities Coalition for always supporting the program. To the numerous citizens who posted and shared on Facebook, who “retweeted” on Twitter, or posted on their Instagram we thank you! I would be remiss if I did not thank those who CHOSE a safe ride home. Not only did they take advantage of our program, over 300 people chose safe rides with Super Cab, and numerous others who chose Uber. Thank you Super Cab for supporting our efforts! You are a great partner in making sure no one drives impaired in Bowling Green year round. We have made our corner of the State of Ohio safer, and I look forward to being able to continue to grow this program until we have the entire county with safe rides….stay tuned! Sandy Wiechman, Coordinator Safe Communities of Wood County

John Subtirelu: ‘I implore the BGSU administration to stand in opposition to Richard Spencer and his ideals’

To Mary Ellen Mazey and Whomever Else May Be Concerned: I’m writing you regarding prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer’s attempts to speak at universities. As an alumnus, I implore the BGSU administration to stand in opposition to Richard Spencer and his ideals. It should be obvious that Spencer’s platform is morally abhorrent, but beyond that, he is unfit for a university stage. At BGSU, I spent a great deal of time studying the validity in arguments. Richard Spencer’s world view is based entirely on sensationalism and fear, with no basis in reality. Many tenets of the alt-right/Neo-Nazi movements imply the majority and privileged members of society are in some way marginalized. When observing congressional representation of white people, how can a valid argument be made that white people “are under attack?” When examining the lack of accountability for Donald Trump’s behavior, how can a valid argument be made that men are being pushed out of the public sector? These beliefs are fantasies, and offer no value to students at BGSU. For moral and intellectual reasons, I ask that BGSU deny Richard Spencer or any white supremacist/white nationalist/Neo-Nazi the opportunity to speak on campus. I ask that this denial be done preemptively before Spencer even raises the issue. White supremacy must be disowned loudly and publicly. Thank you, John Subtirelu Class of 2014 Columbus

BGSU graduate asks university to say ‘no’ to white supremacists

To Mary Ellen Mazey and Whomever Else May Be Concerned: I graduated from BGSU in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. During my time as a student, I was heavily involved with both the Office of Residence Life as a Resident Advisor and the Office of Admissions as a Campus Tour Guide. Over the past few years, I have been paying close attention to the state of the world. I am writing this email regarding what I see as the rise of fascism and white supremacy within the past year or so. While white supremacy and fascism have always been with us and are embedded within many of our hallowed traditions (including higher education), the election of Donald Trump has certainly emboldened those who promote these repulsive ideologies. It’s come to my attention that one white supremacist in particular, Richard Spencer, has been bullying his way around the Midwest, seeking to galvanize his movement and to signal to his followers that he’s managed to infiltrate the allegedly liberal bastions of higher education. My friends at the University of Michigan are currently dealing with this problem. Time and time again, I hear of supposedly well-meaning people in authority boasting of a commitment to “free speech.” I don’t think I need to go into the details or the arguments. We are all aware of them. My takeaway is always this: those in power are more afraid of upsetting Nazis/fascists/white supremacists/Alt-Righters than they are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of the most defenseless among us. Those in power seem to be more willing to give someone like Richard Spencer a microphone than they are to give space to students, activists, and community members. It is my sincere hope that BGSU and those charged with governing it will not be next. I am asking the President of Bowling Green State University and whomever else is in charge of these kinds of things to take a stand against white supremacy and fascism by guaranteeing to the students and alumni of BGSU, as well as to the…

Historical Society ties holidays & history

History is important.  If we neglect teaching, sharing, and understanding our history, then we miss celebrating previous achievements and we risk repeating past mistakes.  The Wood County Historical Society exists to collect and promote our shared story.  For the past year, we have been telling the story of Wood County’s involvement in World War I.  To tell stories like these, we need your help to build and organize collections and to fund exhibits that connect us to our shared past.  We need your help to raise the funds needed to do this work!   So before the hustle and bustle of the holidays descends on you completely, mark your calendar for December 9… Boost your holiday morale at “Furlough from the Front: A Benefit for the Wood County Historical Society” at the Wood County Historical Center and Museum (13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green) on Saturday, December 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. Fans of history, families, and friends will come together to tour the award-winning WWI exhibit “Over There! Send Word, the Wood County Boys are Coming!” while enjoying the festivities of a WWI furlough including heavy appetizers – and tastings of beer or wine, set in WWI Allied and Enemy countries. Local craft brewery, Bowling Green Beer Works, will provide holiday brews from Germany, Belgium, and Great Britain. Wines from France, Germany, and Austria will be available from Bowling Green’s Express Stop. Themed gift baskets filled by artists, merchants, and restaurants will be there to tempt you through raffle ticket purchases.  Live music from the Maumee High School Singers will start the evening off and go until 6:30 PM, followed by WWI-era music courtesy of the BGSU Popular Culture Library. Come help the Society raise funds for future exhibits and have a lot of fun at the same time!  Gala tickets are $25/person. Beer & wine tasting tickets are an additional $20. For tickets, please call 419-352-0967 or purchase online at   Michael Penrod Historical Society President    

Scarlet Sevits: Fear & stigma of refugees “distort the very ideals this nation was founded on”

  The fact that we associate the area of the Middle East with terrorism is a fundamentally incorrect generalization.  This generalization has grown into a dangerous stigma that puts blinders on our view of the world, and it’s time we acknowledge and fight it. Imagine a person from the Middle East.  It’s more than likely that the image you conjure in your mind includes two very essential links: Muslim and terrorism.  We tend to associate the general area of the Middle East with the religion of Islam, and Islam has become linked to terrorism.  This stigma surrounding Middle Eastern countries has come to play a dangerous role in how we consider immigration reform in the United States.  Because we associate entire nations with the threat of terrorism, entire nations are barred from entry into the U.S.   Some context might help.  The immigration ban in this country has gone through three iterations.  The first barred entry for citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.  The second iteration excluded Iraq from the list of nations.  The most recent version includes Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela.  Six of these nations have Muslim-heavy populations, an attribute of the immigration law that has not changed throughout the iterations, and from which most of the constitutional problems with the law arise.  In the latest ban, criteria given for why the specific countries were chosen was boiled down to the fact that these nations did not comply with the United States’ security requirements.  This reason was not included in the first to versions of the ban, which clearly says to me that this criteria was added to improve the legality of an otherwise illegal and unconstitutional ban. Immigration has been a foundational aspect of the United States since its inception.  My own grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Hungary in 1956 as they fled Soviet oppression.  Imagine if my grandparents had been lumped together with some of the radical rebels that were fighting in the Hungarian Revolution at the time.  Imagine if they…

Daniel Gordon : “It is my honor to continue serving you”

Dear 1st Ward residents and BG friends, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who supported me in my re-election as your City Councilman and won us our landslide victory on November 7th. It is my honor to continue serving you and working to improve our quality of life. I will not rest until I have done all I can to make sure everyone in Bowling Green feels safe and valued, lives in a strong and vibrant neighborhood, and is free to live their life as they choose. Whether you voted, knocked doors, made phone calls, donated time or money, wrote a letter to the editor, hosted a fundraiser, posted a yard sign, or told your neighbors to get to the polls – thank you. I could not have done it without you, and this victory is as much yours as mine. Again, thank you, and here’s to two more years. Daniel Gordon 1st Ward Councilman Bowling Green  

Nathan Eberly: Congratulations to winners & all those who campaigned

As a candidate for City Council At-Large, coming in fourth out of six, I wake this morning not with disappointment but rather with excitement. Earning 10% of the vote in a very competitive race is very telling. But this letter is not about me. I am writing this to congratulate all candidates that won seats on City Council last night. Congrats to Sandy Rowland and Greg Robinette for their wins for At-Large. Congratulation to Daniel Gordon, John Zanfrandino, Michael Asphacher, and William Herald for winning their respective Ward representative spots. I wish to congratulate also all those that dedicated the last year to their community as a candidate and look forward to seeing them continue their dedication in other ways. I love BG. There is so much potential for our town going forward and it will take us all as stakeholders in the town’s success to come together to fulfill that potential. Everyone needs to be represented and heard. It’s possible. Congratulations to everyone once again! And thank you to all those that voted for me to represent them, all those that volunteered, and all those hat donated. I’m thrilled to continue my early Wednesday in that same way I always have. With a bright look forward and seeking ways to have a positive impact on my community! Nathan Eberly Bowling Green

Aidan Hubble-Staeble: Gordon, Cipriani, Rowland “advocate and work towards a brighter future for Bowling Green”

 This election day, our community has a choice to make for what kind of future we want our community to have. We can choose between electing a city council that listens to constituents, shows compassion, and advocates for fairness and equality, or a council consisting of religious fanatics and demagogues. Daniel Gordon, Holly Cipriani, and Sandy Rowland, are all clear choices for Bowling Green City Council. All three exemplify the values that I have seen make BG such a special community to live in. And they have continued to advocate and work towards a brighter future for Bowling Green. This future is one where everyone feels valued and welcomed. As a young adult who is nearing graduation, I have had to start thinking about where I want to put down roots and start my family. The values that Gordon, Cipriani, and Rowland, embody are the same values that I look for in a community. I grew up in Bowling Green and I’ve stayed here for my schooling. I remember fighting for workplace and housing protections in 2010 with the One BG Campaign. Fighting for a better future is what we do here. And this election, continue that fight and cast your ballot for those who deserve it most. Aidan Hubble-Staeble Bowling Green

Todd Childers: Charter amendment only way for BG citizens to protect themselves from Nexus

Citizens who want their water and air protected are not “extreme” or a “special interest.” Shame on our city administration, Bob McOmber and others trying to paint the Charter Amendment supporters as a fringe group trying to codify anarchy in the Charter. They have the extreme points of view. We’ve seen a lot of hand-wringing by the Mayor and City Council this past year in regards to protecting the health and assets of BG residents. Several council members have said they want to work on legislation protecting the city from the dangers of the fossil fuel industry. If this issue is so important to them, what are they waiting for? The city had the opportunity to gain standing against Nexus/Enbridge early this year, but Mr. Marsh refused, saying it would be an astronomical cost as the city would be compelled to participate in a lawsuit. My wife and I are named in the motion to intervene filed in February. A BGSU student is named in the motion to intervene. There is NO reason why the city could not have filed as well. Involvement in lawsuits is optional. Mr. Marsh just could not concede this point and act to preserve our rights. It seems the city just does not want to be bothered to take meaningful action. All the talk from the city thus far has not produced a single beneficial result for BG citizens or protection from the inevitable environmental disasters common with fossil fuel industry operations. Other, much smaller Ohio communities have stronger leadership defending the health and welfare of its citizens. Waterville, a tiny village of 6000 residents, has rebuffed Nexus/Enbridge and is not backing down. Oberlin, a tiny town of 8000 residents, has been allocating funds and fighting Nexus/Enbridge on the basis that a private corporation cannot exercise eminent domain on a public entity…especially a foreign, private corporation that provides zero benefit to their community. On the contrary, Nexus/Enbridge is solely private gain at public expense, OUR expense. Somehow Bowling Green just does not have the resources despite the $250k per year…

Daniel Gordon: Cipriani “is a person of integrity, leads with her values, and strives for excellence in all that she does”

As an elected member of Bowling Green City Council, I’m committed to fulfilling a vision of Bowling Green where every single resident, no matter their background, feels respected, valued, and supported; lives in a safe, strong, and vibrant neighborhood; and is free to live their life as they choose. City Council is a team sport, so fulfilling that vision depends on electing the best candidates possible. As such, I’m invested in seeing the best candidates join our City Council team. That’s why, in addition to supporting my colleagues seeking re-election, I’m writing to encourage you to support Holly Cipriani for one of our at-large seats on Nov. 7th. I have known Holly since we were both students in the same Master’s program in Public Administration at BGSU. She is authentic, passionate, driven, and service-oriented. Holly is a person of integrity, leads with her values, and strives for excellence in all that she does. She has spent time working to strengthen local businesses, economic development projects, and community development initiatives. And she combines her idealism with a healthy sense of pragmatism. When we have the opportunity to support a BGSU graduate who wants to reinvest their time and energy into improving our great community, we should take it. I’m confident that if we elect Holly, BG will be in a much stronger position to secure the gains we’ve made and make further progress on the fundamental issues currently facing us at the city level: the need for better housing, jobs, transportation, and inclusiveness. While all of the candidates on the ballot this fall are to be commended for their commitment to BG, Holly truly stands out as the one who fills me and my neighbors with the most hope for our common future. Join me in voting to elect Holly Cipriani to City Council on November 7th.   Daniel Gordon Bowling Green

Resident outlines reasons to oppose school bond issue

Why I’m voting No for the School Levy.(grab a tv dinner and have a seat, This is long and your local farmer will be bankrupt when this levy passes) If you read nothing else…  read a copy of the Facilities Report done for each school (it is interesting, rates each building and details) – in summary, cost to renovate Kenwood $6,884,389.41Crim renovation $2,352,490.52, Conneaut renovation $8,246,096.24, BGMS renovation $2,347,767.79, BGHS renovation $23,770,311.45(quick math-non common core- $20Mil before adding the High School, so $44Mil) If you keep reading, remember that number.(off topic, where’s our extra million we were given in 2015 that no one can account for or why we went from excellent with distinguighment to C/D’s on report cards… jw) We should be considerate of farmers, because, well I’m not a skinny chick who doesn’t like to eat, so I need farmers… cattle, pig, chickens, corn and the other healthy stuff you probably eat and I should eat. Yes Mom I’m eating my veggies! Farm tax has increased almost 300% in FIVE YEARS! Agriculture will carry a HUGE BURDEN with this tax. THESE FARMERS, if they don’t go bankrupt, will now charge $1/tomato vs 3/$1, corn will be 2/$1 vs 8/$1, peppers, zucchini, beef, chicken, etc… we are a small town who support local. If I eat out, I hit a LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT, now let’s support our local farmers. WE ALL NEED FOOD!Look at all the kids who have free/reduced lunches, look at those who are barely making it and need that free breakfast/lunch (at, Crim?) for help with 1-2 meals a day. Income -BG’s median housing cost is $154,000 (levy flyer used$100k)-Perrysburg’s median income is $75k, BG’s is $33k(Crim gets free breakfast and lunch through a grant, I believe at least 90 percent of the school qualifies)-We are the county seat with many county services, so we tend to attract lower income households who need services close by and have no vehicles-What can our community afford? We are not Perrysburg – who will this hurt? Costs will be passed down torenters and families who already struggle to…