Community Opinion

BG to celebrate being Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometown

Ohio Magazine has once again honored BG as a Best Hometown and we invite you to celebrate with us on July 19  from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Simpson Building & Gardens. A chance for our attractions, parks, events, retail, restaurants, venues, lodging and non-profits to shine with table displays, samples, giveaways, coupons and to celebrate why BG is a Best Hometown! A Best Hometown by Ohio Magazine for the second time in 10 years our vibrant and university community is the reason we continue to get this great honor. Ohio Magazine cited that Bowling Green’s historic downtown, the vibrant college town atmosphere, strong sense of community and shared vision for the future as key reasons for being chosen for the 2017-2018 year. The Simpson Gardens were another reason and the favorite shared by the magazine in both the November and January issues. The selection committee was extremely impressed how the community came together to raise the funding needed to plant and maintain the many different gardens. So, it naturally became a good fit to host the BEST OF celebration there! Ohio Magazine encourages a community to celebrate all year long and that is just what we are doing. For continued highlights of the businesses and non-profits participating in the Best of BG A Best Hometown Celebration Event please visit page.   Wendy Chambers Executive Director BG Convention & Visitors Bureau

Esther Nagel: Separation of immigrant parents from children is ‘abhorrent’

ICE’s current practice of separating immigrant parents and children upon entering our country is abhorrent.   According to pediatricians this practice does irreparable damage to a child’s emotional and psychological well being. Some of our countries’ leaders say this practice is to deter families from illegally entering our country.  But, many are leaving their home countries due to persecution, poverty and corruption. Agreed, some illegals use children as a shield.  However, this is not a good reason to continue this horrendous inhumane practice. We profess to be a nation “Under God”;  profess to care for our fellow human beings.  If we who profess this remain silent, our inaction is comparable to giving our consent to this repulsive practice. I have called and sent an e-mail to my two Senators as well as Representative Latta telling them to immediately cease this appalling practice.   Before I call I write down what I wish to say in order to correctly convey my opinion. For more information, google “immigrant families being separated.” If you wish to let your Senators and Representative Latta know your opinion on this practice, below are their phone numbers and e-mail connections.   Representative Latta:  202-225-6405 or 800-826-3688 Senator Portman:  202-224-3353 Senator Brown:  202-224-2315 To e-mail our above congressmen, google “contact my senator and congressman” The best way to change this despicable practice is to let your Senators and Representative Latta know your opinion! Thank you for your consideration   Esther Nagel, Custar, Ohio

Crossing Gypsy Lane to get to Slippery Elm Trail is a hazard

I want to talk today about the crossing of the Slippery Elm Trail at Gypsy Lane Road.  I have been riding the Trail since at least 2009, and in that time I have noticed a significant wait time sometimes at that crossing.  I have also noticed many families, some with small children, on a family outing waiting to be able to cross. This situation concerns me.  We need either a stop sign or a traffic light there. It would be a catastrophe if we waited until a cyclist was hit or killed. With more and more motorists not paying enough attention to cyclists on the roads we need to make the Slippery Elm Trail a safe place for cyclists, both young and old.   Lori Terwilliger Bowling Green

Rally to push for changes at dog shelter

Wood County Canine Alliance invites you to join us for a rally for the dogs at Wood County Dog Shelter, Friday June 8 6-7:30 p.m. at Wooster Green, corner of W Wooster and S Church Bowling Green OH Wood County Canine Alliance is a newly formed group of Wood County and northwest Ohio residents who are concerned with the current policies and procedures at Wood County Dog Shelter. We believe there is room for substantial improvements which would result in fewer dogs being euthanized. We have attempted to work with the people making decisions and have made no progress. We are asking other dog lovers and the people who love dog lovers to join us for a peaceful rally to let Wood County Commissioners know we expect better for unwanted dogs in Wood County in 2018. Rain or shine. Friendly dogs welcome. We have signs, bring your own or we will have supplies to make one! Wooster Green is a new green space designed specifically for events like ours, at the corner of W Wooster and S Church, BG, where old junior high building used to be. We will be the first official rally since dedication and opening of the beautiful gazebo. 75 dogs were euthanized at this shelter last year. We know we cannot save them all but every one of those dogs mattered. Molly LaMountain For Wood County Canine Alliance Every Dog Matters

Boy Scouts clarify what’s changing & what’s not in scouting

Over the past several months people who care deeply about the Boy Scouts of America have expressed concern about the decision to invite more girls to participate in BSA programs.  Simultaneously, incorrect information has been promulgated, only to cause more concern. Rest assured that the Boy Scouts of America organization has not changed its name.  The Boy Scouts of America will continue the time-honored mission of preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law in order to become responsible, participating citizens.  Offering programs that accomplish this mission to girls will enhance, rather than diminish, this vital work. Beginning February 2019, the Boy Scout program name will be Scouts BSA.  Just as now, all participants will be called Scouts.  Beginning this August, in the Erie Shores Council, girls age 5 – 10 will be invited to participate in Cub Scouts.  The functional unit of the Cub Scout Pack is the den. Dens will be single-gender. Local Packs may choose between all-boy packs, all-girl packs, and pack that is a hybrid of girls and boys dens. Later, girls age 11 – 17, will be invited to participate in single-gender Scout Troops and will be eligible to earn the rank of Eagle.  Girls already enjoy the benefits of the Venturing and Exploring programs and this will not change. Rather than arising out of pressure from outside organizations, the desire to include girls developed organically among the families served by BSA.  This is a decision made at the national level, after thoughtful consideration, to benefit American families. In England, where scouting began, girls have participated since 1991 and now make up more than one quarter of the membership. Last year, our local council served nearly 6100 youth from Wood, Sandusky, Lucas, and Ottawa Counties and the town of Swanton.  Erie Shores Council is the proud owner/operator of two of the finest camps in the United States.  Camp Miakonda, at the DeVilbiss Scout Reservation, is 160 acres of outdoor adventure in the Toledo metropolitan area and is the sixth oldest camp in the United States. The Wildlife & Nature Center opened in 2017 for year-round education and training opportunities for schools and other youth groups. Camp Frontier, at the 1100-acre Pioneer Scout Reservation in Williams County, offers camping, cross country skiing, hiking, backpacking, fishing and more. It is the home of Boy Scout resident camp where we serve 2800 Boy Scouts every summer from approximately 7 states. BSA is not in competition with the Girl Scouts.  In fact, our council partners with Girl Scouts through the Scoutreach program in the central city.  Today girls have many options to grow outside the classroom. Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA will be an important addition to that list. Scouts learn hundreds of lessons and many of these are…

Rick Busselle: Cooperation between drivers & bikes in BG is “mostly illusion”

I appreciate the public efforts of Bowling Green drivers and bicyclists to cooperate.  But from my perspective it’s mostly illusion.  I ride my bicycle several days a week.  Most days at least one person passes within six or eight inches of my handlebar.  Not infrequently someone passes while ignoring oncoming traffic, leaving me plenty of room, but forcing an oncoming car to yield their own lane by slowing abruptly, veering to the far right, or, in one case, driving into a yard.  Admittedly, most drivers accommodate a bike in their lane.  But many don’t.  I estimate about 20-percent.  This morning a driver veered left of center to pass me and ran an oncoming car into the curb.  When we both stopped, I said to the driver, “I appreciate your giving me the space, but you have to watch for the oncoming cars too.”  Clearly this was my mistake as their response was “the old familiar suggestion.” My observation is that when bicyclists, citizens and elected officials speak publicly, everyone is very pleasant and supportive.  Just like when bicycles ride in organized groups with signs and tee shirts, drivers politely honk and wave.  But when no one is watching there is a significant group of drivers who have little regard for anyone but themselves. I apologize to the person I spoke to this morning.  From now on, I’ll keep my thought to myself, even when my thought is “the old familiar suggestion.” Rick Busselle Bowling Green

First United Methodist Mom Groups Thank BG Businesses

MOPS and Moms Next at the First United Methodist Church in Bowling Green want to publicly thank the very generous donors who helped support our mission of creating better moms for a better community. Biggby, thank you for blessing our moms with hot coffee- truly a luxury that we are so grateful for. Stimmel’s Market, your donation of assorted donuts is always delicious and always whole-heartedly appreciated. Thank you for supporting our community through your generous giving to our MOPS and Moms Next Moms!! Dear BG Community- stop into Biggby and Stimmel’s Market, tell them MOPS sent you! Let’s show businesses in our community that their generosity is appreciated by patronizing them! Jennifer Cothren Patsy Crawford Mothers Of Preschoolers and Moms Next First United Methodist Church Bowling Green

Matthew Lyons ‘yes’ vote for school bond ‘is based on weighing the pros and cons of the project’

Tuesday the residents of the BG School district will decide to move forward or remain in the past.  For over a year now we have heard pros and cons of the building plan and how it will affect multiple segments of the community.  While I sympathize with those who will be hit hard with this plan, I need to base my decision on what I believe to be in the best interest of my children. First, we need more space.  The average size of a kindergarten class at Kenwood is 17, at Conneaut it is 24.  That disparity should make everyone unhappy.  It also shows a major flaw in our current three elementary configuration.  The new elementary building would have an average kindergarten class size of 21 this year.  Evening out class size across the district leads to smaller class sizes.  Smaller classes lead to the teacher in the classroom having MORE time for individualized attention.  We can do better. Next, our schools need to be as safe as possible.  They need to be safe from those who might want to do our students harm.  We have the boot installed in all our classrooms, and this is a step in the right direction.  But this plan does better.    The new space would be built with required safety features as a part of the building, not as an afterthought.  After attending the building tours it is evident the current buildings were not designed with this type of safety in mind.  Our police and fire divisions have weighed in with support, that alone should be enough to warrant support for this plan. They also need to safe for everyday events like drop off and pick up.  Transportation and traffic concerns have also been brought up as reasoning to keep the current three elementary configuration.  I have observed children being dropped off and picked up in all weather, some coming from just down the street from the school.  Through our actions, the parents and guardians in this district have spoken.  And it is overwhelmingly in support of driving students to and from school instead of letting them walk or ride bikes.  The new building from design to construction will be able to address this and make drop off and pick up the safest experience possible. Finally, the largest argument for this project seems to be cost.  It isn’t a small project.  It could have been if past administrations would have addressed the needs.  But they didn’t, and this is where we find ourselves.   I do not have high school students. However, I did take the tour of the building and have talked with parents who do have children in that building.  We could drop money into our buildings and they could go another 20 years.  But then we would be back where we are now only dealing with an 80-year-old building.  That is a bad investment when the alternative are buildings that will address educational needs in the district far longer than 20 years.  I have been to…

Richard Strow: Lack of trust leads to ‘no’ vote on levy (updated)

I am a firm believer in a quality education, a strong community, and planning for the future. However, in good conscience I cannot support this levy issue. I received my education in the Bowling Green School System, as did my daughters. Three members of my family have been teachers in in our system and its precursors as well as one member of my family has been in school administration. And yet with all of this positive history I cannot support this ballot issue. I am going to vote NO for one simple reason: TRUST. I am saddened to say that based on last year’s campaign and the current unchanged attempt before the voters next week, I have come to openly distrust our Superintendent and the School Board. We were promised truthfulness and transparency and what we got instead has been deception, distraction and omission of facts. The BGSB and Superintendent Scrucci are asking the public to “TRUST” them with $72 million to build new buildings. The first deception is in the $72 million figure. According to the Wood County Auditor’s office the ACTUAL payback will be over $141 million. While $72 million just seems to be a huge amount to an average person, the reality of nearly twice that, is just unbelievable. Why weren’t we told the true overall cost? Instead they attempt to distract us by breaking down the cost to $1.07 per day per 100,000 valuation in an attempt to make the amount seem to be just small change. The second deception rests in not revealing the district’s true financial status today and the written budgeting for the next 5 years. When I found out that the district has $13.28 million dollars in the bank and investments, I was shocked. Even more shocking is the 5 year budget forecast to the Ohio Department of Education showing not only deficit spending for each of the next 5 years but also a growing deficit each year for the next 5 years. This will push our district into bankruptcy in 2021, which could result in state takeover. Massive layoffs of necessary staff and elimination of crucial services such as busing and extra-curricular activities could result. We were told by the newly hired levy consultant that this kind of deficit spending is common, and when the school’s account is empty the board will be back before the voters with and “Emergency Operating Levy” so we can just pay our bills. Based on their own numbers the voters can expect to see this levy request come in 2020 or 2021 so that the School Board can cover their fiscal responsibility shortcomings. Why isn’t the district keeping future planned spending under control, and in line with a consistent revenue stream? Why can’t they operate under a balanced budget like they have done in the past? The contracts of our…

Melissa DeSmith: School levy opposition is untrustworthy

BG School Levy is Needed!!  BGCS needs updated buildings to give our students the best educational environment we can.  Speak to a teacher or a student today to find out what they deal with on a daily basis in the current facilities! I am writing in support of the BGCS Levy, Mr. Scruci and the BGCS Board of Education!  The superintendent and Board have put forward a plan that is in the best interest of the students, staff and community!! The opposition has put many accusations out there that are just false!  One letter recently from Mr. Strow addressed TRUST.  It is the opposition to this campaign that cannot be trusted!  They have many times put out false information including the recent letter from Mr. Strow! Per Mr. Conley of Rockmill Financial Consulting LLC’s presentation to the community (that can be found on the BGCS website): “The District is very well managed, financially The District’s tax levels are low when compared to others in the region* District total annual expenditure per pupil is below State average**($10,551.76 vs $11,603.12) Current financial condition is strong” As for the amount, the levy is for $72 million (5.7 mills), anyone that understands borrowing should understand there is interest involved, so Mr. Strow saying that the district misled anyone on the payback, is again misleading!  How many other levies are on the ballot that give you the  final payback?  None! They are on the ballot for the principal, their advertising is for the principal, not the payback, obviously because that amount will change based on changes in property valuation and businesses moving into the community, the possibility of revenue from the pipeline, etc.  The more people and companies that come to the area, the less that current taxpayers will pay.  There is also the possibility that if interest rates go down, it can be refinanced to save money. In my research about levies, the school board is required to give the board of election 3 specific items:  the principal amount needed, number of years and a purpose.  The county auditor then takes that information and comes up with the millage.  The millage includes both principal and interest.  So, nothing has been hidden from the public!! I would think someone like Mr. Strow would be happy that the school has operating money in the bank!  He is exaggerating again when he suggests that the school will be “pushed into bankruptcy by 2021.”  First, it is currently 2018 and they are financially sound, second, he must not understand governmental accounting and budgeting.  The superintendent and Board have been very open about the fact that there will be a deficit by 2020 and most likely there will be a need for an operating levy at that time, so again, they have been honest with the public! The last time BGCS asked the community for…

League of Women Voters lists those who endorse Issue 1

The League of Women Voters has released the following list of those who have endorsed issue 1to address how U.S. Congressional Districts are drawn in Ohio. Lynn Ackerson Roger & Betty Jean Anderson Jan & Carol Bell Dolores Black Peggy & Don Boren Ann Bowers John & Alice Calderonello Bob & Joan Callecod Meg & Roman Carek Steve Cernkovich Pamela Chibucos Todd Childers Dan & Karen Cota Mikaela Couch Chris & Ellen Dalton Dick Edwards Katelyn Elliot Martha & Mike Fether Maria Fong Karen Glassford Beatrice Guenther Milt & Lee Hakel Drew Hanna Linda Hanna Leatra Harper Michelle Holley Geoff & Christen Howes Elayne & Joe Jacoby Jennifer Joseph Andrew Kalmar Jennifer Karches Joyce Kepke Claude & Earlene Kilpatrick Judy Knox Bob Kreienkamp Randye Kreischer David Kuebeck Jeanne & Steve Langendorfer Betty Laukauf Neocles Leontis Lee McLaird Bob McOmber Jennifer McVeigh John Mekus Lee & Marge Meserve Jan Mielsen Judy Miller Barbara Moses Joanne & Leo Navin Eugene Naherny Deb Newlove Barb & Tom O’Brien Gina O’Hare Janet Parks Michael Penrod F. Scott & Diane Regan Barbara Rothrock Don & Char Scherer Kay Sergeant Coleen Smith Sherry Spears Sherlynn Smith Scott & Ginny Stewart Norma Stickler Marcia Suter Steve Vessey Andrew Vroman Bethany Waldrick Matt Webb Helene Weinberger Kelly Wicks Sandra Wicks George & Susan Winters

Ken Rieman: “A vote for the Bowling Green school bond issue is a vote for community improvement and economic development”

A vote for the Bowling Green school bond issue is a vote for community improvement and economic development.  It’s a vote to provide the best possible learning environment for our most precious resource–the children of our community. Families consider school reputation and facilities when deciding where to live. Up to date school facilities reflect the importance the community places on families and families are the life of every community. If we want our children and grandchildren to stay local we need to provide the best learning environment for them now and when they become parents. It is not just about attracting new people. It is about making the Bowling Green school district the place our children and grandchildren will raise their families. They will have a choice and if we don’t make it attractive they will go elsewhere. The facilities proposed by the school board are not extravagant. They have considered options carefully and have come up with a plan that provides an equal and improved education system for all students,more efficient operational costs and greater security.  The benefits far outweigh trying to extend the life of old facilities. The cost savings that will occur will reduce operating costs. Balancing class size and eliminating bussing some kids to a school across town as has been done for too many years is only possible with a central location. Segregating groups by grade level  will maintain the small school atmosphere and allow grade level teachers to work together.   The school system has been a good steward of community resources and has extended the life of the current  facilities as long as possible. Like an old previously dependable car there comes a time when upkeep exceeds the cost of a new vehicle. More efficient vehicles with better safety features are available and you know you waited longer than you should have to replace it. That is where we are at now with our school buildings. You can try to fix up an old car but it will be expensive,not last as long as something new and will never have the capabilities of a more modern vehicle. It is the same with trying to renovate old buildings. New schools do not come without cost.  However,people will choose to live where they feel their children have the best educational opportunities. If we don’t improve our schools and school system  we are showing people we don’t feel it is important to invest in our community. If we don’t spend money on our schools why should families spend money on a home in our school district? Paying for the new buildings over 37 years makes it affordable. It spreads out the cost so current and future taxpayers share in the expense–not just current  taxpayers. We should not let this opportunity to improve our community pass us by. Vote for kids,families and…

Melissa Shaffer: Smaller schools provide the best learning environment

I am in support of quality education for our children but oppose the school levy to build one new consolidated elementary school.  My reason has nothing to do with money nor taxes. My reason has everything to do with the best learning environment for young children. I arrived to this opinion after 30+ years of teaching in a variety of states, communities and facilities. I was born and raised in Bowling Green, recently moved back after a long career as an educator. I attended Kenwood, Conneaut, middle school and high school in Bowling Green. My father taught chemistry at the high school. Children learn best in environments where everyone knows their name, knows who you are. And if they don’t know you, they know your sibling and if they don’t know your sibling, they know your parents. And if they don’t know your parents, they know someone who knows your parents. No one is invisible. In a small neighborhood school, students have less risk of falling through the cracks. If a student is failing math, isn’t hearing, skips class, quietly crying, etc. Someone will notice and approach the student to help. Individual attention is easily offered. When I was a student at Conneaut, someone noticed early I wasn’t hearing well. When I was silently tearful during a math test, someone noticed. When I skipped class, someone noticed. As a student, I didn’t always want individual attention but it was what I needed at the time. As a child, I knew all of my classmates and teachers, inside the classroom as well as outside, and felt accountable and confident. Distractions were limited. In a large building with a large population, it’s much too easy for an individual student to be overlooked and invisible. As a young child enters through the front door of a huge multi-winged or multi-level building, he will feel intimidated and overwhelmed not knowing who everyone is, not knowing all the teachers, not knowing where his classroom is located. Is this how you want your child to feel as he tries to learn new concepts and ideas? Will he be able to stay focused on the learning content? Will he be self-conscious and shy? Or will he be ready to bravely raise his hand with a question or potential answer? I want my child to feel comfortable and confident in her educational environment where she knows exactly who everyone is and where she needs to be. I want her to feel like she is in her second “family” and not in an industrial warehouse. I would encourage the community to put money into renovating and repairing the current small neighborhood schools instead of moving all of the children out of these buildings into one gigantic building. If we need to build another small neighborhood school for the space to accommodate the numbers, then…

Navins: A yes vote on bond issue is a yes for the future of city’s children

“We can’t afford the proposed school levy”.  How many times have you heard this opinion voiced at the school board meetings and seen it in multiple ads in the Sentinel Tribune, two large billboards at the entrances to the city, multiple signs on rental properties in the city and a school district wide professional mailing sent to all residents. Doesn’t it make you wonder WHY these individuals are SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY (‘estimates of over $10,000) on their opposition to the proposed levy? .They voice a very strong “no” from reasons that range from too much money, to too long a time, to favoring neighborhood schools that are deteriorating but are being touted by the opponents as the “good bones” of our aging school buildings. The group of individuals funding the opposition to the levy own large amounts of property in the school district either farm acreage or rental properties.  The levy would, they feel, tax them disproportionally. Perhaps they don’t realize that a poor educational system will damage their labor pool (no one capable of performing the needed jobs) and decrease their property values. Bowling Green will  become a less desirable place to live as the quality of our educational system deteriorates. Professionals have testified that the levy plan is comprehensive and long-term cost saving to the district.  It will also provide a learning environment for the children of the district to meet the challenges they will be facing in a totally different and changing world.  Consultants have testified that this type of tax is the fairest to all the taxpayers in the school district. Citizens of Bowling Green, it’s time for us to think for ourselves.  Don’t let yourselves be swayed by individuals who have forgotten that the purpose of taxation through Ohio school levies is to promote a fair and high quality education for our children. This applies to both the professionals who work with our children and the quality of the facilities in which they learn. Who paid for your education?  The taxpayers who came before you who made sacrifices to pay for your education.  Go to the Board of Education website: to see the rationale and costs of the proposed  levy. Please VOTE on May 8. Make it YOUR vote for the future of our children.  Our votes will be YES for the Bowling Green School District. We hope yours will be too.   Joanne and Leo Navin Bowling Green

BG Chamber: Issue 1 is “sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process”

The Board of Directors of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is joining the bipartisan coalition that is supporting State Issue 1.  It is our belief, the same as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters, that State Issue 1 would establish a new process for how Ohio handles congressional redistricting.  Under the current system, a simple majority of the General Assembly determines the new congressional districts by passing a bill that the governor then signs into law. State Issue 1 would replace the existing process by providing bi-partisan approval of a map; requiring compact districts; restricting the current division of counties into several districts; ensure a transparent process by allowing the public to submit a map; and requires lawmakers to host public hearings. Although state lawmakers will continue to control the map-making process under the new proposal, it will require a bipartisan supermajority and includes other checks and balances that guard against partisan gerrymandering. Vote Yes on State Issue 1.  It is a sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process allowing voters to choose their legislators, not legislators choosing their voters.   Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce