Community Opinion

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 members of the wider Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio community, that Richard Spencer and any others like him are NOT and NEVER WILL BE welcome to utilize any facilities owned by or associated with Bowling Green State University. If BGSU would like to take a stand for free speech, there are many opportunities to do so. Net Neutrality is unraveling as I type this email. In Washington, D.C., over 200 people are facing decades in prison for protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. Political dissidents, students, immigrants, poor people, Black and Brown people, and queer communities are under attack, and BGSU should actively defend them. Thank-you, Benjamin Busdicker Austin, Texas

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 had been deemed “dangerous” based on the actions of a few of their kinsman.  I would not be alive if not for the opening arms of the United States, and yet, so many others are being denied this chance at life right now by our country.  Danger isn’t even a part of the question any more, because danger has been equated with race and religion. This denial stems from a stigma that clouds our perception of the Middle East.  In the United States, we have a strong bias towards Western ideals and culture, and anything that is different we tend to label as dangerous.  This applies to the religion of Islam and its relation to terrorism.  This stigma is slowly destroying one of the most…

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 that funds our city attorney. Residents of BG are left with no other option but to protect themselves by passing the Charter Amendment. Vote for power to the people and vote YES for the BG Charter Amendment. Todd Childers Bowling Green

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 $33k(Crim gets free breakfast and lunch through a grant, I believe at least 90 percent of the school qualifies)-We are the county seat with many county services, so we tend to attract lower income households who need services close by and have no vehicles-What can our community afford? We are not Perrysburg – who will this hurt? Costs will be passed down torenters and families who already struggle to keep their own homes in good repair-BG families are cost-burdened when it comes to housing Neighborhood Schools -access via walking and biking (exercise, get to know  friends that walk together and other families, get out energy and ready to learn – read about Lakewood, save busing costs, not every parent in BG has a car), Safe Routes to Schools –$/creates culture that biking/walking is important to the district/city, walking school bus a sense of community smaller setting for learning and bonding with neighborhoodchildren/teachers/staff… TWENTY FIVE $K to fix sidewalks, etc to promote walk/bike to school. Why can’t we get this for our neighborhood school? Traffic-Extra traffic at this huge campus in an urban area – thisis not Otsego or a rual area-Kids could be hit, mixed with…

Linda Lander: Daniel Gordon’s “leadership has been critical in attempts to improve neighborhoods in Ward 1”

Daniel Gordon is seeking re-election as the Ward 1 representative to the Bowling Green City Council. His outstanding record of leadership qualifies him to be the only choice for that elected position. Leadership, commitment to neighborhood revitalization, and dedication to equality and social justice have been hallmarks of Daniel’s work on City Council. He has blended these characteristics in supporting numerous projects to improve the quality of life for all Bowling Green citizens. Daniel’s leadership has been critical in attempts to improve neighborhoods in Ward 1. Central to a quality neighborhood are community resources, including green spaces where families and individuals can gather and participate in recreational activities. One of Daniel’s signature neighborhood developments is Ridge Park, the first public park in the history of the First Ward. He is eager to create another recreational area for children and families in the northeastern part of Bowling Green. Daniel has supported the Complete Streets program which provides safe transportation options for citizens. It is Daniel’s strong sense of equality that drives his efforts to ensure that all citizens in Bowling Green have equal access to city resources and safe transportation. Bowling Green has a need for appealing neighborhoods and quality housing in Ward 1 and throughout the city of Bowling Green. Sixty percent of housing in Bowling Green is rental property. It is important for a community to have an appropriate mix of housing options, particularly to attract new homeowners and families. We want Bowling Green to be a city where all members of the community are afforded quality housing. In addition to neighborhood improvement, Daniel’s leadership has been instrumental in the passage of City Council resolutions to make Bowling Green a welcoming, safe and inclusive community. He has worked with City Council, the Human Relations Commission, community organizations, and citizens to make Bowling Green a city in which all community members feel safe and accepted. In community gatherings, Daniel Gordon can always be counted on for his delivery of a well-prepared, eloquent speech that promotes the essential values of equality and social justice. His dedication is a beacon of hope for the Bowling Green community. I am proud to support Daniel Gordon as the 1st Ward representative to the City Council. Daniel has the leadership, commitment, and dedication to serve the interests of Ward I residents and all citizens of Bowling Green. Linda Lander Bowling Green

Statement by Mayor Richard Edwards on the Nexus Pipeline

Statement by BG Mayor Richard A. Edwards November 1, 2017 No one single issue has caused me more distress in my role as Mayor than the Nexus pipeline issue. As a person who has long been sympathetic with environmental causes and concerns, I personally have developed a huge distaste for more and more pipelines as a matter of course and I understand fully the passion of individuals who feel the same way. Since first being made aware of the NEXUS pipeline routing, my personal concern, and a concern shared by all members of City Council, has been to protect in every way possible the City’s state-of-the-art water treatment plant on the Maumee River in Middleton Township which processes drinking water for residents of Bowling Green, much of Wood County and the City of Waterville. That has been our focus all along knowing that a local government cannot override a decision made by the federal government. Good, bad or otherwise, its basic government. We have tried as best we can to heighten public awareness and raise concerns about potential threats to the water treatment plant. I’m grateful to some invaluable assists from any number of thoughtful scientists and citizens in this regard. I’m also grateful to the Director of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, and his senior staff and water resource specialists for their cooperation and understanding of BG concerns. When construction begins, near the water treatment plant with a pipeline going under the Maumee River, I have been assured and re-assured by the EPA and other agencies of government that every effort will be made to monitor the project to ensure public safety and our drinking water. Sadly, the promoters of an amendment to the City Charter are attempting to mislead voters into believing that adoption of the amendment will prevent construction of the pipeline. Nothing could be further from the truth. The pipeline project has nothing to do with the physical boundaries, i.e., the city limits of BG proper. The issue is with Middleton Township and the crossing of the pipeline there some 9 miles from BG but within 700 feet of the NE corner of the reservoir. The real challenge for us all is to apply every effort possible to ensure strict compliance with all of the 39 conditions set forth for the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Mike Zickar: Something’s rotten in the City of Perrysburg

There is a group of Perrysburg politicos who have a penchant for secrecy. They like to make negative attacks on candidates and issues but they do not have the guts to identify themselves. In 2013, there was a Facebook page set up to attack a judicial candidate with no names to identify the page’s creator. In that same campaign, fake Letters to the Editor were sent attacking the same candidate, letters attributed to individuals who simply didn’t exist. A few years ago, there was a Political Action Committee set up to oppose a School Bond issue that used a PO Box at the UPS Store with somebody from the Chicago area listed as a Treasurer, all so that nobody local could be identified with a negative mailing. And now in this election, there is a Facebook page, Concerned Citizens for Perrysburg, designed to attack a particular candidate. There are no names attached to the page or their posts. Negative campaigning may be distasteful in local campaigns, but it is fair game.  What is not fair game is for people to hide behind anonymous pages or shadow organizations.  If you don’t have the guts to put your name to the message, don’t say it. I hope people find out who created this page and hold them accountable.   Mike Zickar Wood County Democratic Party Chair Perrysburg

“The Wicks Family have long been a positive force in our community” – Cathy Harshman & Judy Yackee

The Wicks family and their business, Grounds for Thought, have long been a positive force in our community. Beyond providing a gathering place and nutrition for the mind and body they have hosted numerous cultural, music and intellectual events. They have been instrumental in organizing our wonderful Black Swamp Arts Festival. And now they are applying that positive force toward another community. On August 25, Port Aransas, Texas (as well as other coastal communities) was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. This beautiful beach town has lost so much including every single book in their library. We put out the word that we were collecting books to help the Port Aransas library rebuild. The result has been amazing. Our friends have really come through. Kelly, Laura and Sandy Wicks of Grounds For Thought have alone provided dozens of boxes of books. We are so very grateful for these donations and for the privilege of being a part of this wonderful BG community that Grounds for Thought epitomizes. Cathy Harshman Judy Harshman Yackee Bowling Green

Megan Schweitzer: Daniel Gordon is “personable and experienced city councilman”

As election day rapidly approaches, I urge you to re-elect Daniel Gordon, a personable and experienced city councilman who has proven time and again that he gets the job done and gets the job done right. Daniel has been instrumental in a multitude of accomplishments seen around the city in recent years, such as the creation and development of the beloved Ridge Park, the first public park in northeast Bowling Green. Daniel is not afraid to push city officials and even our own governor to get what we, as citizens, deserve. He is a huge proponent of social justice, equality, and inclusivity. Daniel continues to bring us closer and closer to adopting Complete Street policies, which include bike lanes, completed sidewalks, and safer school routes for our children. Daniel believes that everyone has the right to a livable minimum wage and is dedicated to creating more high-paying jobs right here in our city. He supports local businesses and business owners, strengthening our downtown with economic development across the board. Daniel works for all of us, regardless of economic or personal background. If re-elected for another term, there is no doubt that he will continue to rigorously fight for each and every one of us. Please join me in voting Daniel Gordon for 1st Ward representative this November 7th! Megan Schweitzer