Community Voices

Taxes distributed in Wood County

Michael Sibbersen, Wood County Auditor, has announced the distribution of the Real Estate, Public Utility tax, and Special Assessments for the first half 2016 settlement. A total of $102,042,258 was collected and distributed including $3,317,581 for special assessments. In addition $9,021,859 is to be reimbursed from the State Income Tax Funds, $6,069,926 in non-business credit, $852,207 in owner occupied credit, and $2,099,726 in homestead exemption monies. These represent tax reductions for qualifying properties. The County Commissioners requested that the 1.3 mill voted Human Services Levy collection be suspended for this year due to sufficient fund balance. This provided tax relief of $40 annually on a $100,000 home. Wood County currently maintains 74,670 individual land parcels of record and distributes the taxes to eighteen school districts, nineteen townships, and twenty- six cities and villages. Wood County has over 100,000 individual special assessments, which are distributed to regional, county, municipal and township governments. Examples include ditch construction and maintenance, sewer and water systems, street lighting, street cleaning, and tree maintenance programs.

Fatal crashes for year up in Wood County

Wood County Safe Communities announced that there have been 3 fatal crashes to date for 2016. This is 2 more than last year at this time. Safe Communities would like to highlight the crash statistics for the past 5 years to compare the total deaths per year: – 2011: 15 – 2012: 20 – 2013: 19 – 2014: 15 – 2015: 30 The above statistics are extremely disturbing. There was a 64% increase in fatal crashes from 2011 to 2015, with a 93% increase in the number of persons killed. From 2014 to 2015, there was a 65% increase in fatal crashes and 93% increase in the number of persons killed. Injury and property damage crashes have increased in number each year as well. We have lost 99 people in the past 5 years due to fatal crashes. This is 99 too many. Do your part for a safer Wood County: put down your phone, wear your seat belt, obey all traffic laws, don’t drive impaired, and be aware of your surroundings.

National unity versus the individualistic spirit: The fluctuating popularity of the U.S. military

  Commentary by Ted Jenkins Retired Marine Corps Colonel and BGSU Alumnus   Near the end of WWII, when I enlisted in the Marines, the popularity of the U.S. Military was at an all-time high. Three decades later, public perception of our Armed Forces was at an all-time low. In 1973, during this later period, I was a student at the Senior Reserve Officers’ course at the United States Naval War College, Newport, R.I. As a course requirement, I wrote about the fluctuating popularity of the military. Recent events have prompted me to revisit these ideas. Today, when public opinion of the military is so high, it seems appropriate to reflect upon these varying perceptions of the armed forces that I witnessed during my forty-two years of active and reserve duty and consider how it affects those who serve. At the heart of this changeable opinion of the military is the country’s perception of itself and its values: when individualism is valued, the military is both suspicious and counter to that ideal. When national unity is important, as it is now, the military enjoys widespread support. Our founding fathers had a healthy suspicion regarding standing armies; the Constitution even contains a provision prohibiting Congress from appropriating money to raise and support armies for more than two years. Many nineteenth-century immigrants came to America to avoid military conscription in their homelands. This opposition continued into the twentieth-century. However, with the threats to freedom that resulted from both World Wars I and II, national-even international –unity demanded and supported a strong military establishment. In response to world events, the National Defense Act of 1916 boosted the strength of the armed forces threefold and reorganized the total military to include the National Guard and the Organized Reserve. Even this did not provide the necessary forces for World War I, so in May 1917, the Selective Service Act was passed, and for the first time in the twentieth-century, individuals were conscripted into military service. The relationship between the military and society also results in competing political agendas. Stephen E. Ambrose, author of The Military…

BGSU Access, Diversity and Inclusion Programs to honor student achievements at TRIO Awards ceremony

Bowling Green State University students will be honored for their personal and academic achievements on March 24 during the 28th annual TRIO Awards Celebration. Hosted by the Access, Diversity and Inclusion Programs within the division of Student Affairs, the ceremony will take place from 4–6 p.m. in 101 Olscamp Hall. The ceremony will open at 4 p.m. with a silent auction to help raise funds for book scholarships, followed by the keynote address at 4:30 p.m. Faculty, staff and personnel from BGSU and Toledo area schools will also be recognized for their support of TRIO Programs, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and work with students from middle school through college completion. They provide support and guidance to nurture academic achievement and the pursuit of higher education and graduate studies. TRIO Programs at BGSU consist of two pre-college programs, Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound, and two college level programs, Student Support Services and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholars Program. This year’s keynote speaker is Kaye Monk-Morgan, director of the TRIO Upward Bound Math Science Center at Wichita State University. A 25-year veteran of Student Affairs with 17 years of experience in the field of college access and success, she offers a unique blend of executive vision, leadership acumen and desire to help children with the greatest needs to gain access and successfully complete college. Morgan is charged with advancing the interest of disadvantaged high school students in science, technology, engineering, math and health-related fields. It is a charge she is devoted to and uplifted by. A first-generation college student herself, Monk-Morgan understands the advantages of having a college education, especially one in a STEM field. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and business and a master’s degree in public administration with emphasis in higher education studies. Her prior roles as an assistant director of University Housing, community college admissions representative and AmeriCorps program director were all training for her current role as a college administrator and dream facilitator. Monk- Morgan spends much of her time on administrative duties but finds those responsibilities directly related…

Interfaith Breakfast returns to BG

With a new location and a full slate of speakers, the second annual Community Interfaith Breakfast will be held on Tuesday March 22 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.   This year’s event will be at the Junior Fair building at the county fairgrounds, off Poe Rd. The venue change was precipitated by the overflow crowd that swamped the Simpson Garden Park building in the inaugural event last spring.  The Rev. Tom Mellott, chairperson of the 2016 design team, said, “We learned last year the strength of our community’s desire for interfaith information and conversation.  We’ve taken steps to guarantee that everyone interested can attend, park reasonably and be comfortably seated.” The Interfaith Breakfast is a collaboration of Not In Our Town BG, the City of Bowling Green Human Relations Commission, and Bowling Green State University. The Breakfast will feature speakers reflecting many major religions of the world – Hinduism, Christianity (both Protestant and Roman Catholic), Buddhism, Judaism and Islam.  All speakers will focus on the theme “Building Paths Toward Peace Together through Hospitality.” The breadth of community support for the Interfaith Breakfast will be demonstrated through welcoming remarks from Mayor Richard Edwards, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, and Superintendent of Bowling Green Public Schools Francis Scruci.  High school students are participating through both an art poster contest and an essay contest on the event theme.  Winners will be announced and present at the event along with their works. The breakfast meal is designed to be appropriate for a wide variety of faiths and cultures, and will be provided by South Side Six of Bowling Green.  Not In Our Town BG is receiving donations to cover expenses, and there is no charge for the meal.  However, reservations are required, with a deadline of Friday March 11.  The First United Methodist Church is taking the reservations, with Carol Lenox serving as the contact person at or at 419-353-0682.

BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, March 2-16

Thursday —The Visiting Writer Series features BGSU graduate and award-winning writer George Looney, author of “Animals Housed in the Pleasure of Flesh,” “The Precarious Rhetoric of Angels,” “Open Between Us” and “Structures the Wind Sings Through.” The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Thursday —College of Musical Arts students in the New Music Ensemble will perform as part of the Small Ensemble series. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 14—TheMusic at the Forefront Series presents the award-winning Spektral Quartet. The string quartet will perform in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center at 8 p.m. Free March 15—As a part of Jazz Week, student vocal jazz groups will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 15—Tuesdays at the Gish continues with “The Kids Are All Right” (2010), directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Cholodenko’s film focuses on the challenges of the married suburban life of a lesbian couple and their children’s search for the identity of their biological father. This is a touching and realistic film that shows how relationships change over time and how they can often surprise us. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free March 16—Jazz week continues with a performance by the BGSU College of Musical Arts Jazz faculty. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free

Learning Goes Both Ways in Partnership Between BGSU and Toledo School for the Arts

By LINDSAY LAURENT/BGSU Marketing & Communications The College of Education and Human Development is known for producing some of the top teacher-candidates in the state. Through programs like the teacher match program and Capstone Day, BGSU continues to stay ahead in the field of middle childhood to adolescent to young adult childhood education. Added to its programming this year is a new, inclusive learning experience for students at Toledo School for the Arts (TSA). “Our partnership with TSA is rich and unique,” said Dr. Tim Murnen, director of the School of Teaching and Learning at BGSU. “Like any other state school, TSA is focused on state standards and takes these standards very seriously. But their method of teaching is very integrated and creative. Administrators and teachers work together to integrate the arts into everything they teach.” According to Murnen, the BGSU/TSA partnership is important because it is a learning experience that adds value to both institutions. Students going to TSA learn and actively participate in classrooms with their mentor teachers, adding value to that classroom. In turn, BGSU students are able to go into the classrooms and learn by doing, not just observing. TSA is completely open to this approach, and the BGSU students are put to work, thus maximizing the value our students can add to the classrooms. The TSA teaching and learning experience is just one of the reasons this collaboration is important for the students. Teacher education students going to TSA go in their freshman and sophomore year, which is new to the middle childhood and adolescence to young adult programs. Traditionally, students have only observed in classrooms until the professional phase of their careers, which isn’t until their third or fourth year. By listening to students and discussing with faculty, the School of Teaching and Learning decided they needed to get students more active classroom experience before their professional phase. “This partnership has been an evolution in the works for almost a decade,” said Nick Mariano, TSA principal. “What I love about this program is the timing is so upfront and new into the professional experience….

Medical Mutual Contributes $1 Million to BGSU’s Wellness Initiatives

As Northwest Ohio’s population rapidly ages, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Bowling Green State University are working together on a new initiative designed to help senior citizens live longer, healthier lives and to create new wellness programs for older adults on and off campus. The health insurance company is contributing $1 million to assist with the development of The Optimal Aging Institute (OAI). Developed through the University’s Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan, The OAI’s mission is tied to the seven dimensions of elder wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, cultural and occupational. The OAI will provide learning opportunities and educational materials for service providers, health systems, entrepreneurs, corporations, caregivers and older adults. It will also be a resource for informational events such as diabetes self-management, navigating the healthcare system, and learning to use social media, as well as for health and wellness events such as how to cook budget friendly and nutritional meals, yoga and mindfulness meditation. BGSU’s arts and cultural events on campus also will be marketed through the Initiative so that more members of the community can enjoy those activities. Medical Mutual’s contribution will support this initiative and build upon the company’s previous generous support of the BGSU Center of Excellence for Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan. “Medical Mutual of Ohio has already proved to be a great partner and we are excited about working with them on this new initiative to foster the seven dimensions of wellness through focused educational, service and research activities,” said Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services and co-director of the center. “Both of our institutions recognize the benefit of healthy and active lifestyles across the lifespan and in supporting our communities. With their generous support we will be able to advance a culture of wellness on our campus and in our region.” The American Council on Education specifically states that higher education institutions are exceptionally positioned to create new frameworks for this population, and they are drawing attention to the benefits of lifelong learning for older adults’ health and cognition….

Katherine Boo – The Searing Compassion of Investigative Journalism

By FRANCES BRENT Kathrine Boo, possessor of a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, a MacArthur Genius Fellow for just being, a National Book Award for non-fictional writing, The Hillman for social justice writing , etc. is small. She is fair to the point of near transparency yet has “the arm of an investigative reporter and the soul of a poet.” She endured four years of India’s Southern sun and then wrote her book. Her book, the best selling “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity was the BGSU Common Read selection for 2015. Tuesday night she spoke at the Union to a rapt audience of students and visitors. The book has no “I” but chronicles her observations, insights, and entwinement with the people of the “stumpy plug of slum” Annawandi — tucked next to 5 star hotels and the glamorous, booming Mumbai Airport. It is investigative reporting, done over four years, that reads like a novel – filled with striving humans, a relentless environment, corrupt officials, murder, terrible suspense and an uncertain ending. Katherine Boo, writing for the New Yorker has become the historian of modern poverty, injustice, deprivation, hopelessness, isolation. She records disasters bestowed on humans by the implacable hands of nature, government, greed, history, religion and fellow human beings. “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” recounts tales of human resiliency, ingenuity, tactics, hopes, treachery, envy, bravery and determination. She deals with success and failure, hope and despair. If her revelations has an effect on public policy so be it. She is the bearer of news, not the shaper of public policy. Asked by a tender-hearted student why Boo didn’t rescue individuals she came to know well, she spoke of journalistic ethics involving money. While writing about individuals, her work and impact is long term. The book “no one would want to read” has proven popular and provides the means to help indirectly. Her calm, implacable, clear sighted recounting of what she had learned over four years of involvement is more effective than any polemic in arousing strong emotions. Boo used multi-media to document her observations….

BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Feb. 24 – Mar. 9

Feb. 24—The College of Musical Arts presents its Faculty Scholar Series at 8 p.m. in the Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Dr. Eftychia Papanikolaou, associate professor of musicology, will present “What Did the Ballerina Hear? The Unheard Music of Degas’s Paintings.” Dr. Ryan Ebright, a visiting instructor of musicology, will present “Operative Entrepreneurship and Iconoclasm in Steve Reich’s ‘The Cave.’” Free Feb. 25—The International Film Series continues with “La teta asustada” (The Milk of Sorrow)(2009) at the Gish Theater and Gallery. Director Claudia Llosa focuses on a grim period of South American history, 1980-2000, which left 70,000 people dead. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Feb. 26—BGSU’s Opera Theatre performs Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana.” The show begins at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. An additional performance will be on February 28 at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $5 for students and children and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 on the day of the performance. Feb. 27—The Rhythm Project presents a tap dance concert featuring dance majors, minors and alumni from BGSU and children from The Beat Dance Company. Performances are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., 222 Eppler North. Tickets, $5 at the door, are available one hour prior to show time. Contact Colleen Murphy at for additional information. Feb. 29—The College of Musical Arts presents Music at the Forefront: “Bearthoven.” The performance will be at the Clazel Theater located at 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green at 8 p.m. Free Mar. 1—Tuesdays at the Gish continues with“Love and Basketball” (2000), directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The film follows Monica and Quincy through middle school, high school, college and into their basketball careers as they take on their individual quests as well as their evolving relationship. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater and Gallery, Hanna Hall. Free Mar. 1—Doctor of Musical Arts students of The College of Musical Arts will perform. The recital will be in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center at…

Build your own time capsule

A special time capsule making workshop will be held at the Wood County Historical Museum on Feb. 27 as part of the Museum’s Cabin Fever Demonstration Day activities. Museum Director Dana Nemeth will talk about preservation issues and time capsule history in Wood County. Attendees are encouraged to bring items they would consider for inclusion in their own time capsule, which will be provided. Seating is limited so advanced reservations are necessary. To reserve your spot at the workshop, call 419-352-0967 to make a reservation by Wednesday, February 24. The hour-long workshop will be from 1:30–2:30 p.m. and there is a $10 fee per capsule; families and groups are welcome to participate. The workshop will be held on the second floor of the museum, which is not yet handicap accessible. The museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. The workshop is a kick-off to a public call to submit items for consideration for a 2016 Wood County Time Capsule, which will be placed inside the museum as accessibility construction draws to a close, leaving a legacy for future generations to enjoy and experience. Selected items will be placed into the time capsule, sealed, and placed inside the framework of the museum at a special ceremony in June 2016, not to be removed until 2075 when the museum celebrates its 100-year anniversary. For more information about submitting items for consideration to the 2016 time capsule, visit or call the museum at 419-352-0967. The time capsule workshop is being held in conjunction with the historical society’s monthly Cabin Fever Demonstration Days at the Log Cabin on the grounds of the Wood County Historical Center. Activities at the log cabin will take place from 1-4 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Costumed interpreters will re-enact 1861 log cabin winter activities including winter survival and spring preparations. Dress appropriate for the weather, especially footwear and outerwear. Program may be canceled or altered due to inclement weather The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green. For more information, visit or call Kelli…

Activist Rosa Clemente to give keynote address at BGSU Black Issues Conference

Rosa Clemente, the 2008 Green party vice presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker for the 17th annual Black Issues Conference at BGSU. The conference, which features a wide range of research and creative presentations by students, faculty and staff, will start at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Presentations will include visual and performing arts and critical analyses of contemporary black society and culture from across the academic spectrum. Special emphasis is placed on current social and political movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the issues of importance to black communities as we look ahead to the 2016 election cycle. Clemente’s keynote presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. In addition to her political run in 2008, Clemente has spoken widely on issues of Afro-Puerto Rican identity, feminism and hip-hop activism. She is a graduate of SUNY-Albany and Cornell University and has studied and lectured across the country on nationalist movements, particularly those involving young people of color. She frequently speaks on youth participation in politics. Over the last 20 years, she has written for Clamor Magazine, The Final Call, The Black World Today and The Ave. Clemente’s intersectional approach to black identity and politics is especially timely. Registration is free for BGSU students and $15 for all others. Deadline was Feb. 12. For information contact Stephanie Rader at

Detroit Symphony executive to speak about howmusic makes community

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Paul W. Hogle will bring his wit and wisdom to Bowling Green State University and the Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 with a talk titled “Music: Turning a Commodity into Community.” During the free, public presentation in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center, Hogle, the executive vice president of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, will take listeners on an imaginary journey into their favorite relative’s home and ask them to think about what happens in the family living room. “The more time I spend on university campuses,” Hogle said, “the more I observe that a university is a place where identity is created through the engagement with others, as in a family living room.” As part of Hogle’s premise, the living room challenges the notion that isolation and independence are at the root of human nature. Research shows that people—given the right circumstances—can be caring, nurturing and collaborative. Presented with the opportunity, they gravitate toward actions and policies embodying empathy, fairness and trust, instead of competition, fear and greed. The regeneration of social ties and the sense of caring and purpose that comes from creating community drive this essential transformation. Hogle will address his thoughts on how a major, influential university like BGSU can intentionally create a family living room dynamic that engages all with music, in a community of practice, thereby engaging the community itself with each other and with the university. Hogle joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2010 to help develop broad and diverse audiences and expand the donor base for the organization. Previously, he was vice president for institutional advancement and learning with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and a fundraiser for nearly 20 years with symphony orchestras in Baltimore, Chicago and Indianapolis. He is an alumnus of the music management program at the University of Evansville (Ind.). In addition to the evening presentation, Hogle will be on campus to speak with students and music administrators. He will speak to students in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at 1 p.m. Feb. 23…

BG police K9 gets protective vest

Bowling Green Police Division’s K9 Arci has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest was sponsored by ProHealth of Perrysburg, and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Falko, A gift from ProHealth”. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts, whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. provided over 1,700 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 1.6 million dollars. All vests are custom made in the USA by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan. The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate. The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.  

Wood County Safe Communities offers top 10 driving tips

Wood County Safe Communities announced that there have been two fatal crashes to date for 2016 in Wood County. This is one more than last year at this time. To help reduce the number crashes, especially fatal crashes, in Wood County, Safe Communities is offering its top 10 tips to help keep drivers safe on the road. Look out for pedestrians. Be cautious when driving near crosswalk, school zone, and high pedestrian locations. Familiarize yourself with the location of crosswalks and high traffic pedestrian areas. Take a refresher course. There are opportunities for seniors and experienced drivers to take a refresher course to help ensure their family and friends that they are good to drive. Drive defensively. Keep in mind other drivers and keep safe braking distances from the car in front of you. Remember if you are doubling speed the breaking distance becomes four times as far. Look out for motorcycles. Even in cold weather, there are still motorcycles on the road. Always be the driver you want your teen to be.   Statistics show that your children start to learn how to drive, and your habits, from the time their car seat is moved to forward facing. Know the restrictions on teen permits and license. Be familiar with the laws regarding teen drivers and make sure the teens follow these laws while learning to drive. Commercial motor vehicles are vital to our nation’s economy. While truck drivers do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by failing to recognize that trucks and cars differ in their handling characteristics. Focus on driving. Driving is already multitasking don’t add more distractions. Eating, drinking, smoking, fixing hair or make-up, or using a cell phone should be avoided while driving. Hands free texting and calling is still distracting; use these devices sparingly. Don’t drink and drive. If you are buzzed or have had too much to drink, call a friend, family member, or taxi to take you home. Always wear your seat belt. For More Information: Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman 419-372-9353 or…