Politics

Les & Sue Barber: Daniel Gordon is “a consistent, reliable voice on Council for progressive and humane values”

We write to urge our neighbors in Bowling Green’s First Ward 1 to vote for Daniel Gordon in the up-coming City Council election.  Daniel has been a consistent, reliable voice on Council for progressive and humane values, as well as for nuts and bolts issues important to our Ward, during the six years he has already served.  We believe that in his next term of office he will continue to be an active supporter of proposals to reestablish the integrity and well being of older neighborhoods, like ours, in Bowling Green.  Thus, his continued presence on City Council is vital to fulfilling the wishes and needs of citizens in our Ward.  Please vote for Daniel Gordon on Election Day in November.   Les and Sue Barber Bowling Green 



Sandy Rowland “consistently expresses her support and caring for all residents of Bowling Green”

I submit this letter to express my support for the re-election of Sandy Rowland to an at-large seat on the Bowling Green City Council. It is my opinion that Sandy has the qualifications, the experience, and the dedication to continue to be an outstanding councilperson. During her first term she has been highly visible and involved throughout the community. I have full faith that she will continue in this manner during her second term. The following are specific examples of Sandy’s hard work and efforts that have me planning to cast my vote for her on November 7. First, Sandy consistently expresses her support and caring for all residents of Bowling Green. Her opinions on issues are developed on input from residents, not solely on her personal beliefs or opinions. She understands the diversity of our citizens and seeks to understand the ways council decisions will impact a wide variety of individuals. When she casts a vote, she is well informed and well versed on community reaction and opinion.  Second, Sandy understands and demonstrates how important it is for a council member to be visible within the community. She attends a wide range of meetings and events going on in the community. She has been particularly involved in the meetings addressing the support of the Bowling Green City Schools. She has been clear that every child in this community deserves the best education possible.  Sandy is firmly committed to ensuring that every Bowling Green resident feels welcome and at home in this community. She is actively involved in the plan to re-vitalize the east side of BG knowing that the success of this plan will attract more diverse living and cultural options to families and professionals.  I appreciate the hard work Sandy Rowland has done during the last four years. I know Sandy wants to continue in this fashion. Please join me in giving her the opportunity to continue to work for  on-going improvements for the residents  of Bowling Green. When you cast your ballot on November 7, please vote for Sandy Rowland. She is a proven leader who is fully committed to this community. Tim Carr Bowling Green


Peace Symposium to address nuclear threat

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS  “Seeking Peace in the Nuclear Era: A Peace Symposium” is the focus of a series of presentations Oct. 16-19 at Bowling Green State University. Four speakers will provide insights on the dangers of nuclear war and threats to peace facing the world today. At the end of the Cold War, the constant threat of nuclear annihilation seemed to be over. Today, though nuclear stockpiles have been reduced, the weapons are still with us. In recent years, new political and military conflicts, especially between western democracies and North Korea and Russia, have revived the specter of nuclear war. Yet the U.S. public, especially young people, are generally unaware of the issues, the nature of nuclear war, the history of Hiroshima, and effective ways to achieve peace. BGSU alumnus Dr. Thomas Snitch ’75, ’15 (Hon.), a scientist and policymaker who spent decades working on nuclear policy for the U.S. State Department, will give the Hiroko Nakamoto Peace Lecture Oct. 16. He will tell the story, based on declassified intelligence, diplomatic history, political intrigue, technology diversions, skullduggery, and his trips to North Korea, about how Pyongyang was able to successfully build, test, and now, possibly deploy a thermonuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile. His presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater (Room 206). Gwynne Dyer, a renowned journalist, military historian, author, and filmmaker, will provide an overview and analysis of an array of current threats to peace, with a focus on nuclear issues and North Korea. His Oct. 17 lecture at 7:30 p.m. in 228 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, titled “Don’t Panic: Threats to Peace in this Nuclear Age,” will explain how people and governments can effectively deal with threats from North Korea, ISIS, the rise of populism, and climate change. Two presentations – an on-campus talk and an event in the community – will feature a discussion with two Japanese survivors of the Hiroshima bomb. Ms. Keiko Ogura and Ms. Setsuko Thurlow will speak on campus at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater, and at 4 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Wood County District Public Library’s Carter House, 307 N. Church St. They will discuss their individual stories and their perspectives on promoting peace. Ms. Ogura is a founder of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace and is a lifelong advocate for peace and against nuclear weapons. Ms. Thurlow is also a lifelong opponent of…


BGSU’s Albert Dzur to receive medal for promoting democracy

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Albert Dzur, professor of political science and philosophy at Bowling Green State University, is the winner of the 2017 Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University. The McCourtney Institute promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The institute awards the Brown Democracy Medal annually to honor the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States and internationally. “Albert Dzur’s work represents an important new frontier in democratic theory,” noted Dr. Michael Berkman, professor of political science and director of the McCourtney Institute, in announcing the 2017 Brown Democracy Medal recipient. “When partisan rancor is at an all-time high and confidence in democratic processes is at an all-time low, Dzur shows that democracy is still an effective and empowering way for citizens to address their common problems.” Dzur argues that some of the most innovative and important work in democracy is taking place face-to-face and is encouraged by power-sharing professionals who bring citizens into their decision-making processes. These “democratic professionals” co-create institutional cultures that lead to better decisions, increased trust and less “civic lethargy.” His most recent work focuses on how democratic professionalism can better manifest itself in the operation of our criminal justice system — from juries to prisons. He rejects the conventional wisdom that more expertise and less democracy are needed in criminal justice because of the links between a fearful public, demagogic politicians and mass incarceration. Instead, Dzur focuses on the more foundational problem of “repellent” criminal justice institutions that hinder public awareness of the moral complexity, harmful effects and deeply biased implementation of punishment. He advocates, as remedies, more widespread citizen action and reflection within a revitalized jury system, restorative justice programs and community policing. Dzur’s research in democratic theory has sparked long-term collaborations and has found many practical applications. It has captured the attention of organizations in the United States and around the world. Oxford University and Leeds University in the U.K., for example, are holding a three-year series of seminars based on his concept of democratic professionalism to introduce new approaches to mental health care. Dzur is also a research fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the…


Protestors in BG won’t let Portman forget vote to repeal Obamacare

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Other controversies and crises may have knocked the continuing fight over the Affordable Care Act out of the headlines, but for some citizens it is not a dead issue: it is an issue of life or death issue. About a dozen protestors gathered at Wooster Green in Bowling Green Thursday late afternoon to send a message to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. The gathering was organized by several liberal groups – For Ohio’s Future Action Fund, Indivisible OH5, and MoveOn.org. “This demonstration is to remind people that this fight to protect the ACA is not over,” said Jeremy Bernstein, from For Ohio’s Future Action Fund. Public health care is a “great, great value” for children, elderly and disabled. Dennis Slotnick, another organizer, said the protest was meant as a reproach to Portman, whom the group had earlier praised for voting against the House version of repeal and replace. Then when the issue came before the Senate again, he voted for the so-called Obamacare-light proposal. Slotnick said he felt Portman still “has it in him” to continue to support health care for the public. “But he has to be disciplined in some ways by his constituents.” he said. The group planned to send a letter with a photo of the protest. Several of them spoke of their own experiences with the Affordable Care Act. For Melissa Kritzell, Findlay, having the coverage under the ACA when she was being treated for ovarian cancer saved her life. She traveled to Washington D.C., she said, to tell Portman her story to Portman, but “they’re not listening to us.” “Rob Portman equivocated for a long time,” Anesa Miller, of Bowling Green, said. “He showed a lot of signs that he was going protect the ACA, going to protect the people of Ohio, especially the opioid addicts of Ohio and then he voted against us, and I don’t want him to think we failed to notice that or have so quickly forgotten.” She also said: “I don’t think he’s spoken against Mr. Trump’s statement that we’ll let the system implode.” Amanda Schackow, of Weston, said she’s concerned that now those parts of the ACA that need to be improved will not be addressed. Bernstein said he was concerned that the Republicans would act “quietly and quickly…


Rainbow proudly flies again over Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation had a full house Sunday morning. They were a mix of regular congregants, and a lot of visitors who had shown up to support the church as it responded to an act of hatred. On Tuesday someone stole the church’s rainbow pride flag and mutilated it. The Wood County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident At noon on Sunday, about 100 people gathered around the flag pole as Andrew Schocket, president of the congregation, raised a new rainbow flag. The morning message on the congregation message board was “Still We Rise.” Schocket said that the news of the desecration of the church’s flag had an extra kick given the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the weekend before during a march by Nazis and other white supremacist groups. The Rev. Lynn Kerr said that in her sermon “I was asking people: don’t sleep through the revolution. The revolution is one of compassion. There’s just too much hate and division, and it only seems to be getting worse. .. We might feel like we’re a small group, but we can’t sit on our hands any more. We’re small, but mighty.” Kerr said she was grateful for all the visitors at that morning’s service. They had read about the incident and “just came out to support us.” “It felt wonderful,” Kerr said. “You just don’t always know how they feel about you. That came out today.” Kerr said she has also received many calls and emails. “The whole community has been very supportive.” After raising the new rainbow flag, Schocket said that the church now has another rainbow flag in storage, so that if something happens to this one, the congregation will be able to get a new one flying immediately.  


Rally in BG responds to right wing violence in Charlottesville

A couple hundred people  gathered Sunday afternoon on the Bowling Green green space for what is being called a Rally to Protect Freedom. The gathering, organized by BG City Councilman Daniel Gordon is in response to deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, prompted by a march of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. One woman died when a car slammed into a a group of counter-protesters. Media have identified the driver who faces multiple charges as James Alex Fields, resident of Maumee. Those attending the rally carried signs including the messages: Racism is NOT history yet No hate here Justice for all A Great America is not racist, sexist, or homophobic.  


Local election official favors limited voter info sharing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Ohio is one of the 44 states refusing to give President Donald Trump’s elections commission all the voter information requested. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, has said he will provide the newly created Elections Integrity Commission with information that is already made public to campaigns and political parties. But Husted is drawing the line at Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers. The information on Wood County voters is already at the fingertips of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, according to Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections. “Our voter information already is linked with the state data bases,” Burton said on Friday. Though not privy to all the details, Burton said Ohio is handing over only public information. “It sounds like everything he is supplying is public record that could be accessed by anyone else,” Burton said of Husted. The Elections Integrity Commission requested all 50 states to submit full voter information, including registrants’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas. Trump set up the commission to investigate undocumented widespread voter fraud in national elections. He has claimed 3 million votes were illegally cast in the presidential election last year, robbing him of the popular vote. Husted said earlier this year that voter fraud is not widespread in Ohio and the presidential commission’s inquiry was not necessary. Burton shares that opinion, and believes that states should manage elections and counties should maintain the voter rolls. “I fall into the camp that voting and elections fall under the state’s purview,” Burton said. “I’m comfortable with how Ohio and Wood County have gone about the process.” The county board of election’s ultimate responsibility is to make sure that everyone legally able to, who wants to vote, can do so. The board reaches out to try to take voters off the rolls if they have registered at new addresses, or if they can find death records. But Burton has no concerns about widespread voter fraud. “I feel all…


Health care bill must be fiscally sound

One Senator commented to a constituent that the ACA was fiscally unsound.  The basic premise of insurance is to ‘spread the risk’ which means including everyone.  Unfortunately, the ACA’s provisions did not require everyone to participate as do Medicare and FICA.  If members of Congress intend to continue health insurance through the private market, adequate financing is essential.   A stronger ‘mandate’ not a weaker one is necessary to provide enough revenue to make the ACA viable. It is unconscionable to: * Strip low income citizens of health benefits while providing reduced taxes for high income / net worth citizens and corporations. * Adopt an ‘age tax’ via higher premiums for older participants. * Authorize individual states to eliminate benefits. Also, it is meaningless to promote tax credits for low income citizens since their income is insufficient to have an income tax liability in the first place. If Congress is unable to amend the ACA to be fiscally sound, the alternative would be a single payer system as is the case in most other countries in the world.  If they can provide quality health care to their citizens, the most prosperous country in the world needs to join them and provide health care for all of its citizens. To be fair, a requirement of the legislation should include mandated participation for members of Congress too.  Either we the public should be entitled to the insurance coverage our Congressional Representatives enjoy, or they should be required to participate in the insurance program they implement for their constituents. Respectfully, Bob and Joan Callecod


Concerned Ohioans to rally at Latta’s office

Members of Concerned Ohioans will rally Friday, June 2, at noon at U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office, 1045 N. Main St., Bowling Green, to oppose the  American Health Care Act, the House Republicans’ inntnded replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Concerned Oioans contend the bill would take health coverage away from 23 million Americans and have a disastrous impact the AHCA would have on Ohio families and communities . Following the speeches, participants will visit Latta’s office and deliver letters, articles and fact sheets. Friday’s event is part of a week of action during the Congressional Memorial Day recess holding Republican Members of Congress accountable for their actions on health care. The attendees will send a clear message: Ohioans won’t let Rep. Latta get away with taking health coverage away from millions, gutting Medicaid, or cutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions.


‘Die-in’ shows grave concerns about GOP health plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A strip along North Main Street was turned into a makeshift “cemetery” Thursday as supporters of the Affordable Care Act laid on the ground and held up cardboard tombstones. “Last Thursday, the House passed a bill that will have this effect on people,” said Sara Jobin, one of the organizers of the “die-in.” One “tombstone” read “Beloved daughter chose college over health care.” Another stated, “Killed by heartless lies.” And another, “RIP Democracy.” The protest was held in front of the office of U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green. Latta was not present and the office closed shortly after the “die-in” began. Molly Tomaszewski, of Northwood, held signs protesting the projections that 24 million Americans will lose coverage under the American Health Care Act passed by the House GOP members, including Latta.  She believes the answer is a single payer system. “Universal health care is not a partisan issue. It’s a life issue,” she said. “We need health care.” Tomaszewski said her husband has good health insurance through his job. But she has 27 pre-existing conditions as listed in the new GOP plan. Without insurance, her prescriptions would cost $5,000 a month. “They could put lifetime caps on,” she said, worrying about how she would then afford her medications. Of the 30 people gathered for the protest, the majority were women. Anesa Miller, of Bowling Green, said her husband died last month after a long illness. She was insured through him, and is two years away from qualifying from Medicare. So she may have to pay six times as much for coverage through Cobra. Miller is a cancer survivor, and currently needs foot surgery. But that will probably have to wait. She also talked about the difficulty her husband had finding doctors who would accept his insurance when the couple moved back to Ohio from Washington state. “I just think the system we have is insane,” Miller said. Julie Dougherty, from Archbold, has good insurance now – but she is uncertain of the future. “I have a desire that everybody in society should have basic health care,” she said. “I have a pre-existing condition, so I’m concerned about how this will shake out.” Dougherty sees good health insurance as a characteristic of developed countries – like good…


Latta’s health care vote leaves some constituents feeling sick

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Congressman Bob Latta said the nation needs rescuing from the “disaster that is Obamacare.” So on Thursday he became one of the 217 Republicans who voted to push out the Affordable Care Act to replace it with the American Health Care Act. The vote was followed by cheers from Republican members of Congress who had promised for seven years that they would get rid of the ACA. “It’s very evident that Obamacare is failing the American people, and its problems continue to grow,” Latta posted on his website. “The promises of Obamacare have been thoroughly broken, and the problems it has foisted on hardworking families can’t be ignored.” “Constituents in my district have told me about skyrocketing premiums, difficultly using their insurance, and the lack of choices they face thanks to Obamacare,” Latta stated. But many constituents in Wood County were left wondering Thursday if Latta listened at all to their concerns. Those citizens, who support the ACA, peacefully protested each week outside the congressman’s Bowling Green office. They wrote countless letters and made countless phone calls. The local citizens pleaded to be heard. They begged for a chance to meet with Latta. But on Thursday, he voted without a single town hall meeting on the health care issue. Some constituents did receive letters back from Latta – but they were identical form letters mailed out months after the local residents sent letters voicing their concerns. “In his bogus form letter that many of you received, he wrote that premiums would go down 10 percent under the new plan and that he would ensure that people with pre-existing conditions would continue to get coverage,” Bowling Green citizen Meghan Wilson wrote after many local citizens received the exact same letters from Latta. “What he didn’t say is that he would vote on a bill that includes high-risk pools, which will cause premiums to skyrocket for people with pre-existing conditions. There is no end to how disastrous this plan is,” Wilson said. One Bowling Green resident voiced her anger on Facebook after Thursday’s vote. “Thanks GOP. Every person that lives in my house has a pre-existing condition. Glad you’re looking out for us,” she wrote. Twenty congressional Republicans voted against repealing the ACA, because they felt it…


“Sandy has worked hard for the residents of BG.” -Jill Carr

To The Residents of Bowling Green: I submit this letter to express my support of the candidacy of Sandy Rowland for re-election to the Bowling Green City Council. Our primary election is right around the corner. On May 2 I will be casting my vote for Sandy Rowland and I urge you to do likewise. The following are some of my reasons for supporting Sandy’s candidacy. First, Sandy is fully committed to the responsibilities associated with being a member of City Council. She is visible, approachable, an excellent listener, and consistently attends meetings and a wide variety of community events. She takes her constituents’ concerns and questions very seriously and follows-up accordingly. Sandy loves this community and serves it so well. Second, Sandy’s accomplishments during her time on Council are noteworthy. She has worked very hard to bring attention to the needs of residents on the east side of town, especially the deterioration of its neighborhoods. Sandy is a strong proponent of diversity as evidenced by her involvement in Not In Our Town and La Conexion. She has also been a strong advocate for public health and the environment. The list goes on, and will no doubt continue to grow when Sandy is re-elected to another term. Sandy has worked hard for the residents of BG. She wants to continue working hard for us and we need her! So I urge you to vote for Sandy Rowland on May 2. She is a proven hard worker, supporter, and advocate for the residents of Bowling Green. We will all benefit from her experience and her continued dedication. Jill Carr Bowling Green


“Ohio has already been designated as the sacrifice zone for fracking”

By LEATRA HARPER Most Ohioans have no idea of the destruction of the states’ clean air and water taking place right now in the Southeast part of the state in which the extreme energy extraction method of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is taking place and has been for over five years. Once the huge pipeline infrastructure like Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline and the Williams/Spectra Nexus pipeline are in commission, fracking will take off even more. The pipelines themselves threaten our drinking water and clear cut our forests, spoiling agricultural land and polluting the air with their compressor stations. The pipelines steal private property through the use of eminent domain and threats and false promises made to landowners. Ohio has already been designated as the sacrifice zone for fracking and its toxic, radioactive waste, with Ohio land fills and injection wells solving the industry’s biggest problem on the cheap. It is becoming widely documented of the environmental damage and health impacts of fracking, with a recent study showing an increase in infant mortality likely due to water polluted by fracking with an addition 50 infant deaths as a result (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2988876/fracking_kills_newborn_babies_polluted_water_likely_cause.html). The pipelines will cause even more death and destruction. A climate bus leaves from NW Ohio in Bluffton this Friday at 8 p.m. (for tickets click) for the Peoples’ Climate March in Washington D.C..  We have many reasons to march for the climate and against extreme energy extraction.  When Rover ramps up, Ohio’s clean air and water will be sacrificed for fracking. When the LLC’s take their spoils and leave, Ohio taxpayers will be on the hook to clean up the mess, if even possible. Accompanying this article is a picture of Rover taken on April 25 with directional drilling going on under the Maumee River – threatening our drinking water. Rover has already spilled over 2 million gallons of toxic drilling fluids into Ohio wetlands (http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2017/04/19/rover-pipeline-spills-more-than-2-million-gallons-of-drilling-fluid-in-ohio-wetlands-one-month-after-construction-began).The destruction of Ohio’s environment and future economy has been taking place for awhile, and will be even more so soon. With Nexus and Rover giving frack gas access to higher-priced export markets, it will be a fracking free for all with Ohio’s cheap disposal of frack waste for in-state and out of state drillers compounding the pollution and destruction. The harms of fracking are well known and documented – and yet,…