Local residents rally to support immigrant families

About 250 people participated in a Justice for Immigrant Families rally this morning (June 30, 2018) on immigration policies that have separated immigrant families at the U.S. border, at workplaces, and in the local community. Among the speakers were psychologist Bill Donnelly who spoke to the mental and physical health problems coming from the trauma of children being separated from their families. Also addressing the crowd were City Councilors Bruce Jeffers and John Zanfardino, ministers Mary Jane Saunders and Deb Conklin, and Beatriz Maya, of La Conexion, which has been assisting families of undocumented immigrants detained by ICE. The rally was one of a series of protests being held across the country. A story on the rally will appear later today on BG Independent News.

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Construction boom continues at BGSU

DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The transformation of the former Hanna Hall into the Robert and Patricia Maurer Center, the new home for the College of Business, took a large step forward when the Bowling Green State University trustees approved the final funding for the $44.5 million project. The project involves extensively renovating the 1921 building and constructing an addition on the eastern face more than doubling its size. Trustees also approved the naming of a variety of spaces within the building for private donors, whose funds are a linchpin of the financing of the building. Trustees approved $37,327,420. The trustees had already approved the balance of the funding. Sheri Stoll, the university’s chief financial officer, said that the university will borrow $28 million to pay for the project with the balance coming from private donors. She said that $11 million in donations and pledges for the project have already been received. “We’re making very, very good progress.” President Rodney Rogers also expressed confidence that the university would meet its goal. He said that the project has been a decade in the making. When he arrived on campus as business dean, people were talking about the inadequacy of the building housing business. “These facilities are lagging other business schools in the state.” He predicted that the new center “will drive enrollment and serve constituencies on campus.” Construction on the project has already begun with the relocation of utility lines under the nearby parking lot that started over the winter break. The project will be completed by summer, 2020, in time for the beginning of the fall semester. The building will include the offices for the college, classrooms and open areas, all intermixed, to promote collaboration. The current College of Business building will still be used for classes. At the end of the semester the programs still in the building will move to new locations. That includes the Gish Theatre being relocated to the theater in the student union, and with other parts of the collection going to Jerome Library and the Department of Theatre and Film. The trustees also approved the funding for upgrading the forensic science facilities in the Life Sciences Building and doing extensive maintenance to the exterior and interior of Eppler Hall. The state is funding the $1 million forensics project. The project will involve creating a forensics teaching lab and an office suite on the first floor. The research lab of Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Science, is also located in the building. Stoll…

BGSU & UT agreement boosts courses in world languages & cultures

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Before their respective football teams met on the Doyt Perry Stadium turf, the presidents of Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo met to sign an agreement that promises to be a winner for both institutions. Meeting on the third floor of the Sebo Center overlooking the field where the teams were preparing for kickoff, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and UT President Sharon Gaber signed an agreement giving more structure to the course exchanges in foreign languages between the two MAC rivals. That rivalry, Mazey said, is strong in sports, but when it comes to academics, BGSU and UT are committed to collaborating so they can to provide their students the most opportunities. In this case, those opportunities are in foreign languages. UT students already are taking online Italian course through BGSU, and in spring BGSU students will start taking Arabic courses at UT. In 2018 the two schools will share offerings in French and German. “We are pleased to enter into this partnership with The University of Toledo, which will provide exceptional educational experiences for both BGSU and UT students,” Mazey said in a statement announcing the agreement. “As one of BGSU’s core values, we welcome opportunities to collaborate. This agreement combines the strengths of both universities, resulting in efficiencies that support students’ degree completion.” The agreement was prompted by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency that had state colleges and universities look at under-enrolled and duplicative programs within their region. Foreign languages were identified as a possible area for collaboration between UT and BGSU. “By sharing resources, we will be able to provide our students access to more foreign language education opportunities to better prepare them for success in the global marketplace,” Gaber said. “We all know we live in a global economy,” Mazey said, “so it’s very, very important that we do this. Foreign language is where it starts.” “More and more of our kids are going into international business whether they know it or not,” said BGSU’s Dean College of Arts and Science Raymond Craig. “It’s a global economy. They have to be prepared. They have to be able to see things from the perspective of the other culture. Knowing the language and having some education in the culture allows them to have that perspective, and that makes business go better.” This semester BGSU merged its two foreign language departments into the Department of World Languages and Cultures. A similar rebranding is occurring at UT. While there is increased need…

“Lab rat” Chad Greene describes his career journey through digital arts maze

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Chad Greene’s career in digital arts took him a lot of places. During his presentation Friday at Bowling Green State University he projected a map that showed his travels from his hometown Sandusky, to Bowling Green to Detroit, and across the country and back a couple times. Greene now lives in Seattle where for the past six years he’s been senior art director for Xbox, a division of Microsoft. That map didn’t capture the digital artist’s adventures in ancient Rome, futuristic dystopias under the sea, the North Pole, and the land of Far, Far Away. Greene, who was in the first class of digital arts majors to graduate from BGSU’s School of Art, was speaking as part of Milestone activities. The event was a reunion of graduates of the School of Art with a special celebration this year if digital arts’ silver anniversary. An exhibit of alumni work is on displays at the School of Art galleries through Nov. 5. Before the BGSU grad went so far, he spent many, many nights in and days in the fledgling computer arts labs on campus. He and his best friend Mark Shoaf spent hours a day in the lab. “We were lab rats. I’m sure we stank and had bad breath. “We knew this is what we wanted to do. … We knew the hard work would us where we wanted to go.” When he graduated in 1992, Greene put together a demo reel including an animated band The Ungrateful Dead and sent it out to Industrial Light and Magic the company that was working to bring dinosaurs back to life for “Jurassic Park.” He never heard back. Instead he and Shoaf went to work for a Toledo company for a promise that once the company started making money they would share in the wealth. The company never made money, but the pair spent more nights in the studio working with good equipment. It was a low point of eating Saltines with peanut butter and sleeping on the studio floor. When they left they had a better demo reel that secured them jobs with a production house that worked with the automotive industry. It was Greene who suggested the company branch out to do promotion work for the local professional sports teams. The company was thrilled to expand into a new market, and Greene won an Emmy, and now had a much better demo reel. That landed him working on the first 3D baseball video game. That was another step to…

Citizens gather on Wooster Green to defend DACA

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Yvette Llanas, a lifelong Bowling Green resident and American citizen, never dreamed the threat of deportation would touch her family. Llanas found out last week she was wrong. “I never thought this would affect me,” Llanas said in an impromptu speech on the Wooster Green Sunday evening during a rally opposing President Donald Trump’s action to end DACA. “My daughter-in-law happens to be undocumented,” Llanas said. “The decision made this week just crushed my soul.” Her daughter-in-law came to America as a small child. “This is the only home she knows,” Llanas said. “She is part of our country,” as are her two children. “We are all immigrants here, somehow, some way,” Llanas said. About 60 local residents gathered in the Wooster Green to express their opposition to Trump’s announcement last week that he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution. Since it was enacted under President Barack Obama, about 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally have received protections from the program. DACA allows young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation and to receive permission to work, study and obtain driver’s licenses. Those signing up for DACA must show that they have clean criminal records. Their status is renewable every two years. “This is really targeting kids who were brought by their parents at a very early age,” said Beatriz Maya, of the La Conexion organization. “They don’t know any other life. It makes no sense for them to be deported. It’s very wrong. They cannot be blamed for anything.” Those attending the rally were asked to contact their congress members about the DACA issue. “The Dreamers don’t want citizenship just for themselves,” Maya said. “They want comprehensive immigration reform for 11 million undocumented immigrants, who have been contributing to the nation for many, many years.” Jorge Chavez, president of the La Conexion organization, presented his comments in Spanish and English. “I am blessed and lucky because I don’t have to be afraid,” said Chavez, who is a BGSU professor, a father and a husband. The DACA program helped about 800,000 people previously at risk of deportation. “This program allowed them to come out of the shadows, to drive, to work,” he said. “They are our friends. They are our neighbors. They are business leaders. They are us. There is no division here,” Chavez said. “America is stronger…

Street and parking lot closures set for Black Swamp Arts Festival

In conjunction with the annual Black Swamp Arts Festival scheduled for Sept. 8, 9 and 10, certain street closures and parking restrictions will be imposed in downtown Bowling Green. Beginning at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, the eastern portion of City Parking Lot 2 (behind SamB’s and Panera) will be closed. The entire lot will be closed beginning Friday, Sept. 8 at 6 a.m. At 3 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, on-street parking will be prohibited in the following locations: Main Street between Clay and Pearl; Prospect between East Wooster and Clough; Clay between Main and Grove; and Clough between Main and South Prospect. Any vehicle parked in these restricted areas after 3 a.m. on Saturday will be towed at the owner’s expense. At 4 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, Main Street, between Clay and Pearl, will be closed to vehicular traffic. While Main Street is closed, no through traffic will be permitted on Oak, Court, Clough and Washington streets. Wooster Street will remain open for east and westbound traffic throughout the festival. During the Main Street closing, detour routes for local and truck traffic will be posted. Throughout the event, shuttle buses will pick up visitors at the Bowling Green High School, Wood County Fairgrounds, Meijer, and Bowling Green State University. The buses will drop visitors off downtown at the Frontier Communications building as well as the Bowling Green Police Division. All streets will reopen and parking will be reinstated on Sunday evening.

BG solar field energy output dropped during eclipse

Though not in the direct path of the solar eclipse, the city of Bowling Green’s solar field felt the shade of the eclipse, according to Bowling Green Utilities Director Brian O’Connell. On Monday at 1 p.m., the solar field was generating 18 megawatts of energy. As the eclipse occurred, around 2:30 p.m., the solar output dropped to 3 megawatts for a couple minutes. When measured again at  3:30 p.m., the power generation was back up to 18 megawatts, O’Connell said.