Downtown Bowling Green

Weekend shows celebrate Howard’s Club H musical legend

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly bought Howard’s Club H earlier this year, it was with the intent of reviving the venerable night spot as a top local music venue. The fruits of those ambitions will be evident this weekend. Blues rocker Michael Katon, who played the club regularly from 1982 through the early 2000s, will return for a show Friday. Then on Saturday at 10 p.m. a crew from WBGU-TV will be on hand to tape a triple bill of younger acts – Tree No Leaves, Indian Opinion and Shell. “Howard’s has always been a music venue, a place to hear live music with a bar to go with it,” Feehan said. “We want to foster a community as much as we can. That’s what’ needed in this day and age.” And that’s what Howard’s was in its heyday. The bar traces its genesis to 1928 when Fred Howard opened a candy shop where the Wood County Library now sits. Legend has it, Feehan said, that the candy store also fronted a speakeasy that was popular with college football players. When Prohibition ended, Howard’s became a bar. The details of that and other stories are hard to pin down, he said. That’s part of the fun. “After we took ownership, then we realized what we had,” Feehan said. People would walk through the door, and share lore of the club, which moved across the street in the early 1970s. “We almost felt more like curators than owners.” Both Zmarzly and Feehan experienced that history as teenagers playing in bands at Howard’s. Feehan played…


Community on parade as BG ushers in holiday season

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The theme of Bowling Green’s Holiday Parade was Lights, Cameras, Angels. Well, Saturday morning wasn’t the best day to be donning angel wings, as the Wood County Library contingent found out. They were book angels, each celebrating a favorite story. But the icy wind caught their cardboard wings and twisted them out of place. But the blustery weather, a sudden blast of winter after Friday’s unseasonable balminess, didn’t dampen the spirits of those walking down Main Street, nor the spirits of the bundled masses, including candy collecting kids, lining the parade route. The Holiday Parade puts the community on revue. You have to wonder with so many people marching, how many are left to watch the parade. The parade features the panoply of the community from youngsters in childcare to senior citizens. Those who keep us working like Lubrizol and Rosenboom and those who entertain us like the Horizon Youth Theatre. As expected there were twirlers braving the weather with skimpy costumes and frozen fingers, and marching bands that blasted out brassy renditions of holiday favorites. Frieda and Freddy and the cheerleaders represented Bowling Green State University, and a large Not In Our Town group represented town-gown cooperation. Professionals showed a more playful side. The dental practice of Phipps, Levin, Hebeka & Associates, put on their brightest smiles and won honors as the best float for their efforts. Other winners were: Best of Show:  Julie’s Dance Studio Most Unique:  Jerome Rollers Best Youth:  The Beat Dance Company Best Live Performance: High Society Baton Corps All this led up to the arrival of Santa Claus,…


Sweet things to taste, hear, & read on tap at library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Concerts, a holiday cookie bake-off and tasting, and an author visit help usher in the season at Wood County District Public Library (251 North Main St., Bowling Green). Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the season, and stop by the library for these programs. Tuesday, November 29, 7 pm. Students in piano studies at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts return to the WCDPL Atrium for another virtuoso concert. This last concert in the BGSU Fall Concert Series at the library features selections from the work of nine master composers, including that of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms, as well as the work of Alexander Scriabin, Gabriel Fauré, Alberto Ginastera, and Sergei Prokofiev. Sunday, December 4, 2 pm. The Great Holiday Bake-off takes place in the Library Atrium. Bakers and cookie tasters are needed! Tasters are invited to come and sample cookies, then vote on their favorites. To enter the bake-off, bakers are asked to bring 2 dozen cookies and their recipe. Multiple cookie entries are accepted, how ever bakers should a recipe for each type of cookie type. For purposes of determining contest winners, bakers will be divided into 2 categories: 12-years-old and younger and 13-years-old and older. Saturday, December 10, 1 pm. Meet the Author, Tom Lambert. 1st Floor Meeting Room. Imagine acquiring a house guest known to you only as “Earl”. All the evidence before you suggests that Earl in fact may be America’s beloved—albeit long dead–humorist and author, Mark Twain. Who is this person really? That’s the question bedeviling Tom in Living with Earl. Tom…


Downtown tree lighting will be Nov. 18

The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held in downtown Bowling Green, Friday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St. The Bowling Green High School Madrigals will start singing at 6:50 p.m. After the tree lighting, Madrigals will present a holiday concert in the library’s atrium. Doughnuts and hot chocolate will be served.


Downtown BG dumpster corrals get a facelift

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Great things are happening in Downtown Bowling Green as a summer-long project is nearing completion.  This summer, it was approved by the Board of Directors for the Special Improvement District to work on the dumpster corrals that were constructed as a part of the Heritage 2000 project.   These corrals house dumpsters that are used by all the businesses and residents in the downtown and over the last 16 years have seen a lot of use and abuse.  The project included replacing all broken or deteriorating wood, repairing original doors and any other structural problems.   This work was completed by the local small business Lewallen Construction.  “Justin Lewallen was excited for the opportunity to work with our Downtown and gave us a very competitive quote, making it possible to move ahead with the project.  The work completed was to specifications and finished on time.” per Mary Hinkelman, managing director for the Downtown.  “We have our maintenance people prepping the metal work at this time and the final portion of the project, the painting will be completed October 25th and 26th.”   The painting is being completed as a part of a Day of Caring project organized by Sue Clanton, area director for the United Way. The Downtown has also received generous donations from the businesses Newlove Realty, Finders Records, Randall Roberts, CPA, Ace Hardware, Greenbriar, and Homeworks Decorating Center for the painting project. Downtown Bowling Green is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to preserve and promote the historic heart of the city and create civic pride and community through opportunities for citizen involvement.  The…


Bowling Green Trick-or-Treat information

Downtown BG’s annual trick or treat will take place Thursday, October 27 from 4:00-6:00 pm. Participating businesses will display an orange pumpkin sign. For information call Downtown Bowling Green office at 419-354-4223. The City Halloween Trick or Treat will once again take place on Halloween night from 6:30-8:00 pm. Citizens handing out treats should indicate participation by turning on porch lights. Those driving during the evening of October 31 are asked to drive slowly and with caution being mindful of the large number of pedestrians that evening.


Orange is the New Black stars to visit BG on behalf of Kelly Wicks

Submitted by the Kelly Wicks Campaign BOWLING GREEN, OH – Kelly Wicks, Democratic State House Candidate for District Three, will be joined Saturday, October 15, by stars of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew. Schilling and Mulgrew will speak at Wicks’ coffee shop, Grounds for Thought, at 1:00 p.m. about the importance of electing Kelly Wicks, and Democrats up and down the ballot, in November. Schilling and Mulgrew will encourage those in attendance to get involved in the campaign, and to canvass after the event on behalf of Kelly Wicks. Wicks said, “I’m thrilled to be joined by Taylor and Kate to talk about how important this year is for Democrats here in Wood County. I’m excited about the energy they will bring to our community.” The event is open to the public and free of charge.  


Debate is over – green space to remain green

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s official. “Wooster Green” will remain a green gathering space for Bowling Green citizens for generations to come. After years of debate, City Council voted unanimously Monday evening to preserve the 1.7 acres at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets as green space. The vote was met with a round of applause from those in the council chambers. The action was welcomed by those who spent months planning out a concept for the community space. “I thought all along it would pass,” Eric Myers, who led the task force to come up with a plan for the property, said after Monday’s council meeting. “Hopefully we can continue the momentum for fundraising.” Mayor Dick Edwards, a supporter of the green space concept, said he plans to convene the Green Space Task Force on Oct. 11 to discuss the next steps. The resolution states the property, formerly the site of the city junior high, is to be developed in consideration of the concept design prepared by the Green Space Task Force. “It’s finally happening tonight,” Council member Sandy Rowland said. “It’s been a great journey. That property has just been waiting” to become a community gathering space. “I’m supporting this with all my soul and my heart,” she said. “I knew I would support this since the junior high was torn down.” Rowland said the new community space will help attract families to live in Bowling Green. “We will have a fabulous public space.” The task force’s plan was originally presented to city council nearly a year ago. But the plan…


Parking kiosks installed in downtown BG lot

The parking kiosk system in City Parking Lot 2, behind the first block of South Main Street, on the east side, has been fully installed. Beginning on Sept. 12, visitors of Lot 2 will be required to pay for 2-hour or 10-hour parking at one of the three kiosks within this parking lot. Previously enforced parking rules will continue, including the prohibition to backing into or pulling through parking spaces. As a reminder, visitors will be required to enter their license plate number at the kiosk so the vehicle can be associated with the payment.


Black Swamp Arts Festival has been music to the ears of Best of Show winner Chris Plummer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Kentucky printmaker Chris Plummer, a change of scenery shifted his gaze to the landscape. About two years ago Plummer quit his job at the Kroger bakery and moved with his family from the outskirts of Cincinnati to a more rural part of Kentucky. “I do a lot fields and barns because that’s what I see around me now.” Before he focused on woodprints that depicted slices of stories that reflected the angst of folks on the edge between the country and suburbs. Now he creates colorful monoprints, abstracted color landscapes, all inspired by scenes within a few miles of his home. “With woodcuts, for whatever reason, I tend to focus on what is wrong, and with monoprints what I’m looking at is the beauty around me.” Plummer had started to experiment with monoprints, as well as painting, before he moved. Now that has taken hold. Those prints were praised by the jurors at the 2015 Black Swamp Arts Festival when he won Best of Show honors. He also took the top prize at the festival in 2013. Plummer said he’s heard a lot of positive reactions to the newer work, though some people have said they prefer his older work. Still others noted that they like that he’s continuing to change as an artist. “I know a lot of people find what works and stick to that,” he said. “To me that would be boring.” Though he’s done as many as 20 shows a year, Plummer has settled into doing about a dozen. He particularly likes college towns with their bookstores and coffee…


“Clean Sweep” of Downtown BG set for July 16

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN A “Clean Sweep” service project is schedule in the Downtown Bowling Green Special Improvement District with the President’s Leadership Academy on Saturday, July 16, as a service project.  The group will be removing litter and pulling weeds in the blocks from Clay Street to Lehman both on Main Street and the side streets that encompass the downtown area.   Republic Services will be furnishing t-shirts and work gloves for the volunteers and the Black Swamp Arts Council will be loaning their brooms and dustpans. The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) is a four-year leadership development program that engages scholars in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities. The curriculum focuses on specific outcomes, with each year’s experience building on those of the previous year. Newly accepted students begin their leadership academy experience in July with an intensive four-week summer program that allows them to experience college life firsthand. Students take college-level courses, read selected leadership texts, participate in seminars and community service events, and take part in various cultural, educational, and experiential learning excursions on the weekends.  Downtown Bowling Green is a non-profit organization that is in place to manage the needs of the merchants and property owners.  Service organizations are always welcome to help in projects like this one as well as for any of the events held downtown including the Farmers Market, Classics on Main and Winterfest.   If you would like more information about these opportunities or would like to sign up for a volunteer shift please email info@downtownbgohio.org with your name, email, phone number, and volunteer opportunity shift in question….


BG asked to be patient on green space decision

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents were urged to be patient as the city deliberates on the future of the gray area known as the downtown green space. On Tuesday evening, Mayor Dick Edwards said he expects the city to make some decisions within the next two months on the open 1.7 acres at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets that formerly housed the junior high school. Edwards noted that the 15-member Green Space Task Force completed its work more than nine months ago, after “very intensive study efforts.” That group suggested that the location be preserved as a green space and gathering area for the community. “I don’t want to see the work of that task force slip away or be forgotten,” the mayor said. The task force, led by Eric Myers, addressed the four points they were asked to study: Develop and recommend a conceptual plan for the space. Review the history of the site and prior recommendations for possible use of the space. Consider design elements that require minimal operating costs in keeping with the history of adjoining properties. Recommend a plan that lends itself to private fundraising efforts. In the nine months since then, City Council’s Public Lands and Building Committee looked at the possibility of a new city office building sharing the acreage with a green town square. “Council and the administration have been engaged in a process that reflects the weight of the topic and the value of the land as well as the varying opinions from many members of our community,” Edwards said to council….


Easement granted for Brathaus expansion

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities approved an easement that will allow Brathaus on East Court Street to expand. Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said that Doug Doren, who owns the bar, wants to extend the bar, but that would place a building over a manhole. The city would redirect the sewer, which now heads north toward Oak Street, to connect with the line down South Main Street. While digging, O’Connell said, the city will bury the utilities lines. That will allow it to take down a large laminant utility pole across the street from Brathaus on East Court. O’Connell said that the estimate for doing the work was more than Doren had anticipated, so the expansion may be delayed until spring. O’Connell said he would discuss the project with the owner. O’Connell suggested that the city share the expense of the project by assuming the cost of burying the electric lines, which is not essential for the bar expansion to proceed. That work would benefit the city, he said. Doren controls most of the neighboring properties, but the Gavarone family, which owns Mr. Spots, would have to agree. In voting for the easement, board member Bill Culbertson said: “It’s a good idea. It cleans things up.” The board also approved an easement for a water line to cross the parking lot in front of the Dairy Queen. That line now dead ends where Grant Street bumps into the railroad tracks. That causes concerns for water pressure in the case of a fire. That line will now connect with the line that runs up…


Closing time for Jed’s but downtown still open for business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jed’s, home of chicken Fireballs, has flamed out in downtown. Still the owner of the Millikin Hotel building on downtown Bowling Green’s Four Corner is confident he’ll find a new tenant for the former Jed’s space. The sports bar and grill closed for business on Monday. A call to the owners has not been returned. Bob Maurer, who owns the building, said all he knows about why the business closed is “just economics.” The Jed’s restaurant in Perrysburg remains open. “Any time you lose a tenant you want to know what happened, what you could have done to avoid it,” Maurer said. “It’s a good spot. Somebody’s always looking,” he said. “Some people’s problems are another person’s opportunity.” He expects that given there’s been a restaurant in that spot for well over 10 years that another eatery is the most likely option. Maurer expects to have it filled in “four to six months.” Overall Maurer said downtown Bowling Green “is doing extremely well.” He said that compared to Fremont or Napoleon, or even Findlay, Bowling Green’s downtown is thriving. He praised Mayor Dick Edwards and Sue Clark, the executive director of the Community Development Foundation, for their efforts. The Jed’s space in the second vacancy to open up on the Four Corners in the past two months. The Mosaic Consignment shop, which sits kitty-corner from the former Jed’s, closed in May. But that space is already undergoing renovation as another business prepares to occupy it.    


Library offers variety of adult activities

A tour of downtown Bowling Green highlighting the city’s historic past, coloring for adults, job coach sessions, and book discussions are among the programs being offered for adults at Wood County District Public Library in BG. Saturday, May 21 Join WCDPL’s Local History librarian Marnie Pratt and Kelli Kling of the Wood County Museum at 10 am and discover downtown BG’s historic past with a “Business in Boomtown Walking Tour.” The tour leaves promptly at 10, rain or shine, from the Carter House parking lot. Light refreshments will be served in the Carter House at the tour’s conclusion. Registration required. Call 419-352-5050. Monday, May 23 Coloring It’s Not Just for Kids. Come, join friends and neighbors who have rediscovered coloring—a relaxing and creative pastime for adults. Coloring sheets ad colored pencils provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies. “Coloring: It’s Not Just for Kids” takes place in the library’s newly renovated 2nd Floor Meeting Room starting at 7 pm. Tuesday, May 24 Just the Facts, the library’s popular nonfiction book group led by Anne Render discusses Going Clear by Lawrence Wright at 10:30 am in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Thursday, May 26 Meet with retired HR expert Frank Day from 9:30 am – 12 pm for a half-hour, personalized “Job Coach Session.” From polishing resume to reviewing job skills to filling out online forms: Mr. Day will you help brush-up where needed to stand out in today’s job market. To book a 30 minute session, call 419-352-5050. 2nd Floor. 10 am. Coffee Talk book group meets at 10 am in the library’s new 2nd floor meeting room. The…