Community Opinion

Deadline for letters related to May 8, 2018, election must be submitted by noon, Sunday, May 6.

 

When BG Independent News launched the website bgindependentmedia.org, we questioned whether we wanted to get into running letters to the editor. From our long experience with newspapers, we both had very mixed feelings about those. Yes, having an open forum for readers to express their opinions is an important service to offer. But since that could mean publishing not infrequently things we knew were untrue, as well as expressions of hate speech, it left us uncomfortable. And while a newspaper has a corporate identity, BG Independent is far more identified with its principals, Jan McLaughlin and David Dupont. 

Just as we hold ourselves to certain standards, we’d like our letter writers to as well. First, this is not the place to express hatred of classes of people due to sexual orientation or race or religion. Nor are we interested in quick “elect Q for office B” statements with no support. If you want to make a claim for or against someone, offer evidence. We also will not publish back and forth arguments between writers.

To submit a letter or opinion piece, send it in the form of a text document or within the body of the email itself (no PDFs or photo files) to letters@bgindependentmedia.org. Though only your full name and city will be published, please include a phone number and street address for our reference. We will not post anything from anonymous sources.

Community Opinion

Esther Nagel: Separation of immigrant parents from children is ‘abhorrent’

ICE’s current practice of separating immigrant parents and children upon entering our country is abhorrent.   According to pediatricians this practice does irreparable damage to a child’s emotional and psychological well being. Some of our countries’ leaders say this practice is to deter families from illegally entering our country.  But, many are leaving their home countries due to persecution, poverty and corruption. Agreed, some illegals use children as a shield.  However, this is not a good reason to continue this horrendous inhumane practice. We profess to be a nation “Under God”;  profess to care for our fellow human beings.  If we who profess this remain silent, our inaction is comparable to giving our consent to this repulsive practice. I have called and sent an e-mail to my two Senators as well as Representative Latta telling them to immediately cease this appalling practice.   Before I call I write down what I wish to say in order to correctly convey my opinion. For more information, google “immigrant families being separated.” If you wish to let your Senators and Representative Latta know your opinion on this practice, below are their phone numbers and e-mail connections.   Representative Latta:  202-225-6405 or 800-826-3688 Senator Portman:  202-224-3353 Senator Brown:  202-224-2315 To e-mail our above congressmen, google “contact my senator and congressman” The best way to change this despicable practice is to let your Senators and Representative Latta know your opinion! Thank you for your consideration   Esther Nagel, Custar, Ohio Posted by: David Dupont on June 8, 2018.


Crossing Gypsy Lane to get to Slippery Elm Trail is a hazard

I want to talk today about the crossing of the Slippery Elm Trail at Gypsy Lane Road.  I have been riding the Trail since at least 2009, and in that time I have noticed a significant wait time sometimes at that crossing.  I have also noticed many families, some with small children, on a family outing waiting to be able to cross. This situation concerns me.  We need either a stop sign or a traffic light there. It would be a catastrophe if we waited until a cyclist was hit or killed. With more and more motorists not paying enough attention to cyclists on the roads we need to make the Slippery Elm Trail a safe place for cyclists, both young and old.   Lori Terwilliger Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on June 6, 2018.


Rally to push for changes at dog shelter

Wood County Canine Alliance invites you to join us for a rally for the dogs at Wood County Dog Shelter, Friday June 8 6-7:30 p.m. at Wooster Green, corner of W Wooster and S Church Bowling Green OH Wood County Canine Alliance is a newly formed group of Wood County and northwest Ohio residents who are concerned with the current policies and procedures at Wood County Dog Shelter. We believe there is room for substantial improvements which would result in fewer dogs being euthanized. We have attempted to work with the people making decisions and have made no progress. We are asking other dog lovers and the people who love dog lovers to join us for a peaceful rally to let Wood County Commissioners know we expect better for unwanted dogs in Wood County in 2018. Rain or shine. Friendly dogs welcome. We have signs, bring your own or we will have supplies to make one! Wooster Green is a new green space designed specifically for events like ours, at the corner of W Wooster and S Church, BG, where old junior high building used to be. We will be the first official rally since dedication and opening of the beautiful gazebo. 75 dogs were euthanized at this shelter last year. We know we cannot save them all but every one of those dogs mattered. Molly LaMountain For Wood County Canine Alliance Every Dog Matters Posted by: David Dupont on June 6, 2018.


Boy Scouts clarify what’s changing & what’s not in scouting

Over the past several months people who care deeply about the Boy Scouts of America have expressed concern about the decision to invite more girls to participate in BSA programs.  Simultaneously, incorrect information has been promulgated, only to cause more concern. Rest assured that the Boy Scouts of America organization has not changed its name.  The Boy Scouts of America will continue the time-honored mission of preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law in order to become responsible, participating citizens.  Offering programs that accomplish this mission to girls will enhance, rather than diminish, this vital work. Beginning February 2019, the Boy Scout program name will be Scouts BSA.  Just as now, all participants will be called Scouts.  Beginning this August, in the Erie Shores Council, girls age 5 – 10 will be invited to participate in Cub Scouts.  The functional unit of the Cub Scout Pack is the den. Dens will be single-gender. Local Packs may choose between all-boy packs, all-girl packs, and pack that is a hybrid of girls and boys dens. Later, girls age 11 – 17, will be invited to participate in single-gender Scout Troops and will be eligible to earn the rank of Eagle.  Girls already enjoy the benefits of the Venturing and Exploring programs and this will not change. Rather than arising out of pressure from outside organizations, the desire to include girls developed organically among the families served by BSA.  This is a decision made at the national level, after thoughtful consideration, to benefit American families. In England, where scouting began, girls have participated since 1991 and now make up more than one quarter of the membership. Last year, our local council served nearly 6100 youth from Wood, Sandusky, Lucas, and Ottawa Counties and the town of Swanton.  Erie Shores Council is the proud owner/operator of two of the finest camps in the United States.  Camp Miakonda, at the DeVilbiss Scout Reservation, is 160 acres of outdoor adventure in the Toledo metropolitan area and is the sixth oldest camp in the United States. The Wildlife & Nature Center opened in 2017 for year-round education and training opportunities for schools and other youth groups. Camp Frontier, at the 1100-acre Pioneer Scout Reservation in Williams County, offers camping, cross country skiing, hiking, backpacking, fishing and more. It is the home…


Rick Busselle: Cooperation between drivers & bikes in BG is “mostly illusion”

I appreciate the public efforts of Bowling Green drivers and bicyclists to cooperate.  But from my perspective it’s mostly illusion.  I ride my bicycle several days a week.  Most days at least one person passes within six or eight inches of my handlebar.  Not infrequently someone passes while ignoring oncoming traffic, leaving me plenty of room, but forcing an oncoming car to yield their own lane by slowing abruptly, veering to the far right, or, in one case, driving into a yard.  Admittedly, most drivers accommodate a bike in their lane.  But many don’t.  I estimate about 20-percent.  This morning a driver veered left of center to pass me and ran an oncoming car into the curb.  When we both stopped, I said to the driver, “I appreciate your giving me the space, but you have to watch for the oncoming cars too.”  Clearly this was my mistake as their response was “the old familiar suggestion.” My observation is that when bicyclists, citizens and elected officials speak publicly, everyone is very pleasant and supportive.  Just like when bicycles ride in organized groups with signs and tee shirts, drivers politely honk and wave.  But when no one is watching there is a significant group of drivers who have little regard for anyone but themselves. I apologize to the person I spoke to this morning.  From now on, I’ll keep my thought to myself, even when my thought is “the old familiar suggestion.” Rick Busselle Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on May 16, 2018.


First United Methodist Mom Groups Thank BG Businesses

MOPS and Moms Next at the First United Methodist Church in Bowling Green want to publicly thank the very generous donors who helped support our mission of creating better moms for a better community. Biggby, thank you for blessing our moms with hot coffee- truly a luxury that we are so grateful for. Stimmel’s Market, your donation of assorted donuts is always delicious and always whole-heartedly appreciated. Thank you for supporting our community through your generous giving to our MOPS and Moms Next Moms!! Dear BG Community- stop into Biggby and Stimmel’s Market, tell them MOPS sent you! Let’s show businesses in our community that their generosity is appreciated by patronizing them! Jennifer Cothren Patsy Crawford Mothers Of Preschoolers and Moms Next First United Methodist Church Bowling Green Posted by: admin on May 12, 2018.


Matthew Lyons ‘yes’ vote for school bond ‘is based on weighing the pros and cons of the project’

Tuesday the residents of the BG School district will decide to move forward or remain in the past.  For over a year now we have heard pros and cons of the building plan and how it will affect multiple segments of the community.  While I sympathize with those who will be hit hard with this plan, I need to base my decision on what I believe to be in the best interest of my children. First, we need more space.  The average size of a kindergarten class at Kenwood is 17, at Conneaut it is 24.  That disparity should make everyone unhappy.  It also shows a major flaw in our current three elementary configuration.  The new elementary building would have an average kindergarten class size of 21 this year.  Evening out class size across the district leads to smaller class sizes.  Smaller classes lead to the teacher in the classroom having MORE time for individualized attention.  We can do better. Next, our schools need to be as safe as possible.  They need to be safe from those who might want to do our students harm.  We have the boot installed in all our classrooms, and this is a step in the right direction.  But this plan does better.    The new space would be built with required safety features as a part of the building, not as an afterthought.  After attending the building tours it is evident the current buildings were not designed with this type of safety in mind.  Our police and fire divisions have weighed in with support, that alone should be enough to warrant support for this plan. They also need to safe for everyday events like drop off and pick up.  Transportation and traffic concerns have also been brought up as reasoning to keep the current three elementary configuration.  I have observed children being dropped off and picked up in all weather, some coming from just down the street from the school.  Through our actions, the parents and guardians in this district have spoken.  And it is overwhelmingly in support of driving students to and from school instead of letting them walk or ride bikes.  The new building from design to construction will be able to address this and make drop off and pick up the safest experience possible. Finally, the largest argument for this project seems to be cost.  It isn’t a small project.  It could have been if past administrations would have addressed the needs.  But they didn’t, and this is where we find ourselves.   I do not have high…


Richard Strow: Lack of trust leads to ‘no’ vote on levy (updated)

I am a firm believer in a quality education, a strong community, and planning for the future. However, in good conscience I cannot support this levy issue. I received my education in the Bowling Green School System, as did my daughters. Three members of my family have been teachers in in our system and its precursors as well as one member of my family has been in school administration. And yet with all of this positive history I cannot support this ballot issue. I am going to vote NO for one simple reason: TRUST. I am saddened to say that based on last year’s campaign and the current unchanged attempt before the voters next week, I have come to openly distrust our Superintendent and the School Board. We were promised truthfulness and transparency and what we got instead has been deception, distraction and omission of facts. The BGSB and Superintendent Scrucci are asking the public to “TRUST” them with $72 million to build new buildings. The first deception is in the $72 million figure. According to the Wood County Auditor’s office the ACTUAL payback will be over $141 million. While $72 million just seems to be a huge amount to an average person, the reality of nearly twice that, is just unbelievable. Why weren’t we told the true overall cost? Instead they attempt to distract us by breaking down the cost to $1.07 per day per 100,000 valuation in an attempt to make the amount seem to be just small change. The second deception rests in not revealing the district’s true financial status today and the written budgeting for the next 5 years. When I found out that the district has $13.28 million dollars in the bank and investments, I was shocked. Even more shocking is the 5 year budget forecast to the Ohio Department of Education showing not only deficit spending for each of the next 5 years but also a growing deficit each year for the next 5 years. This will push our district into bankruptcy in 2021, which could result in state takeover. Massive layoffs of necessary staff and elimination of crucial services such as busing and extra-curricular activities could result. We were told by the newly hired levy consultant that this kind of deficit spending is common, and when the school’s account is empty the board will be back before the voters with and “Emergency Operating…


Melissa DeSmith: School levy opposition is untrustworthy

BG School Levy is Needed!!  BGCS needs updated buildings to give our students the best educational environment we can.  Speak to a teacher or a student today to find out what they deal with on a daily basis in the current facilities! I am writing in support of the BGCS Levy, Mr. Scruci and the BGCS Board of Education!  The superintendent and Board have put forward a plan that is in the best interest of the students, staff and community!! The opposition has put many accusations out there that are just false!  One letter recently from Mr. Strow addressed TRUST.  It is the opposition to this campaign that cannot be trusted!  They have many times put out false information including the recent letter from Mr. Strow! Per Mr. Conley of Rockmill Financial Consulting LLC’s presentation to the community (that can be found on the BGCS website): “The District is very well managed, financially The District’s tax levels are low when compared to others in the region* District total annual expenditure per pupil is below State average**($10,551.76 vs $11,603.12) Current financial condition is strong” As for the amount, the levy is for $72 million (5.7 mills), anyone that understands borrowing should understand there is interest involved, so Mr. Strow saying that the district misled anyone on the payback, is again misleading!  How many other levies are on the ballot that give you the  final payback?  None! They are on the ballot for the principal, their advertising is for the principal, not the payback, obviously because that amount will change based on changes in property valuation and businesses moving into the community, the possibility of revenue from the pipeline, etc.  The more people and companies that come to the area, the less that current taxpayers will pay.  There is also the possibility that if interest rates go down, it can be refinanced to save money. In my research about levies, the school board is required to give the board of election 3 specific items:  the principal amount needed, number of years and a purpose.  The county auditor then takes that information and comes up with the millage.  The millage includes both principal and interest.  So, nothing has been hidden from the public!! I would think someone like Mr. Strow would be happy that the school has operating money in the bank!  He is exaggerating again when he suggests that the school will be…


League of Women Voters lists those who endorse Issue 1

The League of Women Voters has released the following list of those who have endorsed issue 1to address how U.S. Congressional Districts are drawn in Ohio. Lynn Ackerson Roger & Betty Jean Anderson Jan & Carol Bell Dolores Black Peggy & Don Boren Ann Bowers John & Alice Calderonello Bob & Joan Callecod Meg & Roman Carek Steve Cernkovich Pamela Chibucos Todd Childers Dan & Karen Cota Mikaela Couch Chris & Ellen Dalton Dick Edwards Katelyn Elliot Martha & Mike Fether Maria Fong Karen Glassford Beatrice Guenther Milt & Lee Hakel Drew Hanna Linda Hanna Leatra Harper Michelle Holley Geoff & Christen Howes Elayne & Joe Jacoby Jennifer Joseph Andrew Kalmar Jennifer Karches Joyce Kepke Claude & Earlene Kilpatrick Judy Knox Bob Kreienkamp Randye Kreischer David Kuebeck Jeanne & Steve Langendorfer Betty Laukauf Neocles Leontis Lee McLaird Bob McOmber Jennifer McVeigh John Mekus Lee & Marge Meserve Jan Mielsen Judy Miller Barbara Moses Joanne & Leo Navin Eugene Naherny Deb Newlove Barb & Tom O’Brien Gina O’Hare Janet Parks Michael Penrod F. Scott & Diane Regan Barbara Rothrock Don & Char Scherer Kay Sergeant Coleen Smith Sherry Spears Sherlynn Smith Scott & Ginny Stewart Norma Stickler Marcia Suter Steve Vessey Andrew Vroman Bethany Waldrick Matt Webb Helene Weinberger Kelly Wicks Sandra Wicks George & Susan Winters Posted by: David Dupont on May 3, 2018.


Ken Rieman: “A vote for the Bowling Green school bond issue is a vote for community improvement and economic development”

A vote for the Bowling Green school bond issue is a vote for community improvement and economic development.  It’s a vote to provide the best possible learning environment for our most precious resource–the children of our community. Families consider school reputation and facilities when deciding where to live. Up to date school facilities reflect the importance the community places on families and families are the life of every community. If we want our children and grandchildren to stay local we need to provide the best learning environment for them now and when they become parents. It is not just about attracting new people. It is about making the Bowling Green school district the place our children and grandchildren will raise their families. They will have a choice and if we don’t make it attractive they will go elsewhere. The facilities proposed by the school board are not extravagant. They have considered options carefully and have come up with a plan that provides an equal and improved education system for all students,more efficient operational costs and greater security.  The benefits far outweigh trying to extend the life of old facilities. The cost savings that will occur will reduce operating costs. Balancing class size and eliminating bussing some kids to a school across town as has been done for too many years is only possible with a central location. Segregating groups by grade level  will maintain the small school atmosphere and allow grade level teachers to work together.   The school system has been a good steward of community resources and has extended the life of the current  facilities as long as possible. Like an old previously dependable car there comes a time when upkeep exceeds the cost of a new vehicle. More efficient vehicles with better safety features are available and you know you waited longer than you should have to replace it. That is where we are at now with our school buildings. You can try to fix up an old car but it will be expensive,not last as long as something new and will never have the capabilities of a more modern vehicle. It is the same with trying to renovate old buildings. New schools do not come without cost.  However,people will choose to live where they feel their children have the best educational opportunities. If we don’t improve our schools and school system  we are showing people we…


Melissa Shaffer: Smaller schools provide the best learning environment

I am in support of quality education for our children but oppose the school levy to build one new consolidated elementary school.  My reason has nothing to do with money nor taxes. My reason has everything to do with the best learning environment for young children. I arrived to this opinion after 30+ years of teaching in a variety of states, communities and facilities. I was born and raised in Bowling Green, recently moved back after a long career as an educator. I attended Kenwood, Conneaut, middle school and high school in Bowling Green. My father taught chemistry at the high school. Children learn best in environments where everyone knows their name, knows who you are. And if they don’t know you, they know your sibling and if they don’t know your sibling, they know your parents. And if they don’t know your parents, they know someone who knows your parents. No one is invisible. In a small neighborhood school, students have less risk of falling through the cracks. If a student is failing math, isn’t hearing, skips class, quietly crying, etc. Someone will notice and approach the student to help. Individual attention is easily offered. When I was a student at Conneaut, someone noticed early I wasn’t hearing well. When I was silently tearful during a math test, someone noticed. When I skipped class, someone noticed. As a student, I didn’t always want individual attention but it was what I needed at the time. As a child, I knew all of my classmates and teachers, inside the classroom as well as outside, and felt accountable and confident. Distractions were limited. In a large building with a large population, it’s much too easy for an individual student to be overlooked and invisible. As a young child enters through the front door of a huge multi-winged or multi-level building, he will feel intimidated and overwhelmed not knowing who everyone is, not knowing all the teachers, not knowing where his classroom is located. Is this how you want your child to feel as he tries to learn new concepts and ideas? Will he be able to stay focused on the learning content? Will he be self-conscious and shy? Or will he be ready to bravely raise his hand with a question or potential answer? I want my child to feel comfortable and confident in her educational environment where she knows exactly who…


Navins: A yes vote on bond issue is a yes for the future of city’s children

“We can’t afford the proposed school levy”.  How many times have you heard this opinion voiced at the school board meetings and seen it in multiple ads in the Sentinel Tribune, two large billboards at the entrances to the city, multiple signs on rental properties in the city and a school district wide professional mailing sent to all residents. Doesn’t it make you wonder WHY these individuals are SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY (‘estimates of over $10,000) on their opposition to the proposed levy? .They voice a very strong “no” from reasons that range from too much money, to too long a time, to favoring neighborhood schools that are deteriorating but are being touted by the opponents as the “good bones” of our aging school buildings. The group of individuals funding the opposition to the levy own large amounts of property in the school district either farm acreage or rental properties.  The levy would, they feel, tax them disproportionally. Perhaps they don’t realize that a poor educational system will damage their labor pool (no one capable of performing the needed jobs) and decrease their property values. Bowling Green will  become a less desirable place to live as the quality of our educational system deteriorates. Professionals have testified that the levy plan is comprehensive and long-term cost saving to the district.  It will also provide a learning environment for the children of the district to meet the challenges they will be facing in a totally different and changing world.  Consultants have testified that this type of tax is the fairest to all the taxpayers in the school district. Citizens of Bowling Green, it’s time for us to think for ourselves.  Don’t let yourselves be swayed by individuals who have forgotten that the purpose of taxation through Ohio school levies is to promote a fair and high quality education for our children. This applies to both the professionals who work with our children and the quality of the facilities in which they learn. Who paid for your education?  The taxpayers who came before you who made sacrifices to pay for your education.  Go to the Board of Education website: www.bgschools4kids.com to see the rationale and costs of the proposed  levy. Please VOTE on May 8. Make it YOUR vote for the future of our children.  Our votes will be YES for the Bowling Green School District. We hope yours will be too.  …


BG Chamber: Issue 1 is “sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process”

The Board of Directors of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is joining the bipartisan coalition that is supporting State Issue 1.  It is our belief, the same as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters, that State Issue 1 would establish a new process for how Ohio handles congressional redistricting.  Under the current system, a simple majority of the General Assembly determines the new congressional districts by passing a bill that the governor then signs into law. State Issue 1 would replace the existing process by providing bi-partisan approval of a map; requiring compact districts; restricting the current division of counties into several districts; ensure a transparent process by allowing the public to submit a map; and requires lawmakers to host public hearings. Although state lawmakers will continue to control the map-making process under the new proposal, it will require a bipartisan supermajority and includes other checks and balances that guard against partisan gerrymandering. Vote Yes on State Issue 1.  It is a sensible, fair and positive state-wide change to the redistricting process allowing voters to choose their legislators, not legislators choosing their voters.   Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Posted by: David Dupont on April 30, 2018.


J. Scott Stewart: Yes vote for school bond issue important for BG’s future

This coming Tuesday, May 8th, we all have a rare opportunity.  We have the chance to vote YES for the Bowling Green School Bond Issue.  With the passage of the School Bond Issue, we will provide our children and future students with a modern, safe learning environment that will allow our children to learn in a setting that has up to date technologies, provides equal opportunities for our students no matter where they live in our community and give our students everything they need to compete in the world outside of Bowling Green. Construction of new schools will provide jobs in the community, and more importantly, updated modern schools will attract the 30-something families that both the Land Use Plan and the Community Action Plan have stated are critical to maintaining the long term viability of Bowling Green as an active, vital community. It is not unreasonable to say that passage of the Bowling Green School Bond Issue will be the first real project to actually move the Land Use Plan and The Community Action Plan toward reality. Fellow Bowling Green citizens, we have a rare chance to have a Win-Win project for our city, but we must act!  Please join me Tuesday, May 8th in voting YES for The Bowling Green School Bond Issue. Your VOTE will only count if you CAST IT! Dr. J Scott Stewart Posted by: David Dupont on April 30, 2018.


Tracy Hovest: Saying Yes to the BG Bond Issue is saying Yes to students, teachers, and this community

Recently,  Grant Chamberlain touted that being against the bond doesn’t make those voting against the bond against students. I beg to differ and I can no longer be a spectator of their attacks on this community. He and others are against kids and schools as long as it costs them money, but yet try to find any other reason why they are voting no. SInce I moved here a little over a year ago, I have become informed and active in the BG Community and BG BOND issue to a great extent. My family has been so appreciative of what this community and BG Schools has offered us.  However, everything rears its ugly head and it reared its ugly head in the form of Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax. This group’s first attack against kids comes in the repeated malicious attacks against the BG Board and Superintendent Scruci, whom students adore. These individuals have been outright assaulted by this group of naysayers on a daily basis. These insults are unwarranted and a guise to bully people into thinking that the BG Board and Superintendent are trying to bamboozle the voters and swindle tax dollars. This is not the case. The Board of Education and Superintendent have been putting students and their needs first in this district and it’s a shame that others don’t want to see it and try to sway others because of selfishness. When the most vocal nay sayers aren’t stuffing their pockets and riding the coat tails of their farming clients or hustling the community to thinking that the school board is in kahoots to steal the community’s tax dollars, they spend their time being malicious and rude online or attacking the teachers and citizens who defend the bond that is best for kids. Yet another attack on kids of our schools when they go after the throats of the teachers, staff, and community members who are trying to do what’s best for kids. The board has never negated the ask of this bond and no matter what the board does or says to try to provide information that shows why the bond issue is the best and most affordable option, Chamberlain, Bateson, Sabo, Hinesman and other cronies of this group, stoop to all levels, continue to attack, put out misinformation, and mislead the public anyway they can. They are like pouting children who get…


Chamber of Commerce: “All of us will benefit from an enhanced, state-of-the-art  school district”

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse the School Bond issue.  From the business and economic development perspective, there is a strong link between quality schools and local commerce.  We know from first-hand experience that new business, whether it has one employee to 500+, often the quality of the schools factor into the decision to locate or not in our district. We know recruiting and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce is a major factor that determines our economic growth.  A quality district with state-of-the-art facilities is often a priority for new hires who are looking to move into our area. If these new hires stay, they add to growth of our housing, retail, churches, parks and more. All of us who live in the BG School District benefits from that commerce as well.   We also recognize that time is of the essence.  Based on the 4/26/2018 Bowling Green City Schools Tax Analysis, compiled and presented by Rockmill Consulting Firm, the costs of the proposed project will only continue to rise. Mr. Conley noted that since the November 2017 election, the cost of our project has already risen by 4M.  The cost is predicted to continue to increase due to interest rates, inflation, and the rising construction costs. To curb costs, waiting is not an option. And to the current and future Bobcats, our community owes you state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities to become the best you can be in a very competitive world.  And for the future, we want you to continue the cycle of investment and commerce in BG, where you too will be assessing the quality of the school district for your own children. The bottom line is this, all of us will benefit from an enhanced, state-of-the-art  school district that is competitive to area school districts. Such a school district is a powerful attraction to new business and the domino effect of strengthening local commerce, the workforce, and the  over-all quality of life…the long term reward far exceeds the cost.   Respectfully, Earlene Kilpatrick, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Posted by: David Dupont on April 27, 2018.


Mike Aspacher urges support for BG Schools levy

I am writing to urge residents to strongly consider supporting the Bowling Green City Schools proposed bond levy. The proposed levy would allow for the financing of much- needed school facility improvements. It is worth noting that our current elementary school buildings were built in the 1950s and 1960s and and are among the oldest school facilities in Wood County. I believe that our Board of Education has done an excellent job of considering all the potential building options and has chosen a plan that will best meet the educational needs of our students. It will result in the construction of school buildings that will meet our community’s needs for years to come. I do not offer my endorsement of this effort blindly. I am very much aware that this levy will place an additional financial burden on all of the residents of our community, and I am sensitive to the impact that this will have on every family and each business’s budget. I do however feel strongly that this investment is critical to the continued health and vitality of the Bowling Green community. It is well established that strong and healthy public schools are a vital component of the overall strength of a community, and the fact that the quality our school facilities has fallen behind those in surrounding school districts can not be ignored. The investment in our community that would result from the passage of this levy will not only allow us to provide for the educational needs of our students, but will also result in increased property values, and will assist in the City’s efforts to attract families and businesses to our community, both resulting in an expansion of the tax base in the community. In short, investment in our school system is also an investment in the continued strength of our community. When you vote on May 8, please consider the responsibility that we all share to provide the same level of support to our children and grandchildren that was extended to us by past generations. Mike Aspacher Bowling Green Posted by: admin on April 22, 2018.


Thanks for the memories; why you should vote ‘yes’ on county parks levy

Do you have fond memories of picnics in the park? Did your scout troop learn about leaves and animals and insects while at the park? Do you visit the park to bird watch or celebrate a birthday or graduation with family and friends? Do you enjoy walking trails? Are you the more active type and enjoy repelling down a limestone wall? Perhaps a naturalist visited your school or club and shared information you had never considered about various critters. Do you enjoy the challenge of geocache? Is photography your thing and you find perfect subjects at the park? This list could go on and on. And that is why we support the May 8th renewal levy for the Wood County Park District. We hope you will as well by voting “Yes” for your Wood County Parks on May 8th! Joe and Lynne Long Grand Rapids Posted by: David Dupont on April 17, 2018.


Bob Callecod: Parks levy protects precious natural resources, provides quality parks & recreation opportunities, and assists local entities

To the Editor: In 1986 I was appointed as a Wood County Park District Commissioner. At that time, the WCPD consisted of Otsego and Wm. Henry Harrison Parks and a very loose agreement with the County to “maintain” the Old Infirmary building and grounds.  Then Director/Secretary Lyle Fletcher and two part-time laborers were expected to maintain those facilities on a budget of about $60,000 provided by the County Commissioners. The entirety of the Park District’s equipment consisted of a beat-up pickup truck and a temperamental riding mower. On my first visit with Lyle to Otsego Park and the building which for many years hosted hundreds of family events, I gagged with the stench emanating from the inoperable restrooms; and nearly fell over when the railing on the stairs leading to the river collapsed when I leaned on it for support.  In the interest of public safety we closed the park shortly thereafter. Wood County ranked 87 out of 88 counties in the amount of land dedicated for parks and recreation. My fellow commissioners, Martha Kudner and George Thompson, and I realized that the only way to restore, protect and build on the natural and historic resources available to Wood County residents was to secure a dedicated source of funding.  That led to the passage in 1988 of a .5 mill, 10-year levy which established the WCPD as a viable entity. Since that time, two more 10-year levies have been approved by the voters and the District now provides and protects 22 parks and facilities encompassing over 1200 acres of precious natural resources. One of the continuing components of that original 1988 levy was the Local Park Improvement Grant Program. The Board felt that a program of assistance to local communities for improvement of their own park areas and facilities would maximize the benefit of the Park District levy for each county resident.  Since its inception over $2,100,000 has been awarded to 34 cities, villages and townships in Wood County. On May 8, the Park District is asking voters to allow it to continue protecting our precious natural resources, provide quality parks and recreation opportunities, and to continue to assist local entities in improving their local recreation areas by approving a 10-year renewal of the existing 1 mill levy.  This is a renewal levy – Your taxes will not go up!    Please show your support for our superb Wood County Park…


League of Women Voters backs school levy

The League of Women Voters Bowling Green is endorsing the Bowling Green City Schools Bond Issue and urge voters to vote FOR the issue. The League of Women Voters thoroughly studies issues to better understand our community and its resources. Based on what we have learned, we reach a consensus, establish a written position and take action in support of that position. Education is one of our oldest and strongest positions. This position was re-studied in 2013 and re-adopted in 2016. The League supports “sufficient funding for and accountability of programs and facilities at all levels.” The proposed levy will not only affect the quality of education for current students, but the character of our community. Educational requirements continue to change, and we are confident that the BG City Schools have carefully studied a variety of options to determine the most cost-effective facilities best suited to meet those requirements for decades to come. Good schools make strong communities. Lee Hakel President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Lee McLaird Past-President of , League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Maria Simon Co-Chair, Education Committee, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Ellen Dalton Co-Chair, Education Committee, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on April 6, 2018.


Bob Hastings: Keep Black Swamp Players afloat, & reconsider water tower theater

My name is Bob Hastings, and if my 76+ stage appearances have made you smile, I’m glad…but this isn’t about me. I’m 86 years old and over-the-theatre-hill. But what I have to say should…and might be of considerable importance to the Bowling Green area…singing, acting and dancing talent, community band, and theatre fans in all of Wood County. The Black Swamp Players announced recently to suspend operations for a lack of persons to produce, direct and particularly build, paint and design the sets…and fulfill back stage duties.. A more recent BSP meeting produced glimmers of hope in rescinding that suspension and announcing at least a partial season of shows for 2018/19. In my 36 years with the Players I have done it all…many times. Act, direct, board member, president, set designer/builder, paint, etc., etc. PLEASE…I am begging the Bowling Green Community to not allow this organization, celebrating their 50th year, to close its doors for even one year. We have produced our shows on as many as 11 local stages including 10 years at the Mall and 13 at the First United Methodist Church. I retired in 2014, my health and stamina no longer allowing me to be active. I’m retired, but it seems to me that the public and current actors and directors owe it to living charter members, Jim and Lee Forse…and hundreds of past actors, directors and workers, to keep the theatre lights burning for another 50 years. So, if there are those reading this letter, able and interested in working on or behind the stage…or those who would be interested in helping to build sets, or those willing to serve on our board to help make critical decisions about our organization…I beg of you to step up now and call our president, Lane Hakel! I do not have Lane’s permission to print his contact information…but you can reach me…by email at bobhastings@woh.rr.com, I’ll see that it gets to Lane and the board. However, if we are to continue beyond 2018/19, we may have another teeny tiny problem. It is possible we will need a new venue as the church’s availability diminishes due to scheduling of church activities. If it happens…BSP is resilient, we’ll find a way to put our shows on a stage, but if anyone out there will give, or reasonably rent, us a permanent venue, it is time for you to step up and…


Very few people suffering from mental illness are violent

From NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MENTAL HEALTH The mass shootings in recent months and years have brought the subject of mental illness to the forefront. Though a dialogue about mental illness is useful and timely, it is unfortunate that in the wake of school shootings the public tends to associate mental illness with violence.  Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness want to point out that people with mental illness rarely become violent. Mental illness contributes to only 4 percent of all violence, and its role in gun violence is even lower (Swanson et al, “Mental Illness and Reduction of Gun Violence and Suicide: Bringing Epidemiologic Research to Policy,” Annals of Epidemiology 25 (2015) 366-376.) Mental illness is common; according to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five Americans suffers from a mental illness at any given time. But violence by people with mental illness is not. As a 2011 Harvard Mental Health Letter states: “Most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent. Although a subset of people with psychiatric disorders commits assault and violent crimes, finding have been inconsistent about how much mental illness contributes to this behavior and how much substance abuse and other factors do.” People living with mental illnesses—depression and anxiety disorders as well as severe and chronic mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder—are our family, friends, and neighbors. With the proper treatment, they can live happy and productive lives and contribute to the community. While mental illnesses are not curable in the sense that contagious diseases can be cured, they can be managed the way diabetes can be. Treatment works, if people can get it. Sadly, shame and fear often keep people from the treatment that can change their lives. The stigma that still haunts mental illness makes affected individuals afraid to ask for help lest they be labeled “crazy.” Associating violence with mental illness only strengthens this stigma. People living with mental illness are far more likely to become victims of crime than to commit crimes. And, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the most common form of violence associated with mental illness is suicide. The tiny minority of mentally ill people who become violent have often been victims of childhood violence. Some have suffered domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse or trauma, and damage from alcohol and drugs. Untreated symptoms of psychosis such as delusions or paranoia may somewhat…


Katelyn Elliott “Issue 1 … will create a transparent, bipartisan process for drawing Ohio’s Congressional districts.”

 Issue 1, a constitutional amendment on the May ballot, will create a transparent, bipartisan process for drawing Ohio’s Congressional districts. Currently, the majority party in the Ohio legislature can draw Ohio’s federal congressional districts to favor their own candidates. This is known as gerrymandering. The League of Women Voters of Ohio and the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition support Issue 1, which would require a three-fifths majority in each chamber, including votes from at least half of the minority party. If the General Assembly could not agree on a plan, the Ohio Redistricting Commission would be empowered to approve a map.  Issue 1 would create new criteria to keep communities together, including a restriction on the number of times a county could be split. It would also require public hearings and allow members of the public to submit maps for consideration. The voter registration deadline is April 9 and early voting begins April 10. Please join me in voting yes for a more fair, transparent, bipartisan process. Katelyn Elliott Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on March 20, 2018.


League of Women Voters hosting informational meeting on Issue 1

The League of Women Voters of BG (LWVBG) invites you to their program about ISSUE 1 which is on the May 8 Primary Election ballot.  The program will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27th at First Presbyterian Church, 126 S Church St., Bowling Green, OH.   ISSUE 1 provides for an amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would reform the redistricting process, which is how the US Congressional electoral district map is redrawn following each decennial census.  This redistricting process, which historically has become increasingly partisan, has allowed the majority political party to draw map boundaries to favor itself, rather than an accurate reflection of the party affiliation of voters.  This map drawing, resulting in the legislators choosing voters rather than voters choosing their legislators, is called ‘gerrymandering’. ISSUE 1 implements a more non-partisan method to draw the map and is the product of a compromise between the Ohio General Assembly and the citizens action organization, Fair Districts = Fair Elections, of which League of Women Voters of Ohio is a member. Please join us to learn about the provisions of ISSUE 1 and why it is such an important principle for democracy to succeed.     Joan Callecod, Co-Chair LWVBG Voters’ Rights Committee Posted by: David Dupont on March 20, 2018.