Community Opinion

When BG Independent News launched the website, 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 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

David Kuebeck urges voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor

I write today to encourage voters to retain Matthew Oestreich as Wood County Auditor. It has been my pleasure to know and work with Matt for nine years; we were colleagues in the Auditor’s Office for much of that time. In my professional relationship with Matt, I have come to see a like-minded fiscal conservative and a dedicated public servant for whom the taxpayer is foremost in all his actions. Matt is truly an innovator – firsthand I have seen Matt conceptualize and implement many improvements to the Auditor’s Office including paperless purchase orders, paying vendors via direct deposit rather than paper check, and streamlining job duties among personnel. Matt truly cares about the residents of Wood County and takes seriously his duties as Auditor. He also takes seriously his duties as a citizen. Deeply rooted in our community – a father and husband, a farmer, and volunteer – Matt is actively engaged in the fabric of Wood County life. Matt Oestreich has demonstrated maturity, reasoning, accountability, and principled leadership as Wood County Auditor. Over the years the two of us have had many conversations about good governance, and the role of government in the lives of citizens. Simply put, Matt Oestreich “gets it.” Matthew Oestreich embodies all of the qualities of a true public servant. It is my good fortune in life to call him friend, and I am thrilled to vote for Matthew Oestreich for Wood County Auditor on November 6th. David Latta Kuebeck Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on October 19, 2018.

Ottawa County Sheriff backs Kuhlman for District Court of Appeals

As Sheriff of Ottawa County, I have taken an oath to not only protect and serve my community, but also to ensure that like-minded people are placed into positions of trust. That is why I am voting Joel Kuhlman for Judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals. I have known Joel’s family my entire life. Joel’s father was a couple of years ahead of me at Eastwood High School, and his Uncle is married into our family. These men are of the highest integrity, exhibiting the leadership values that our youth will learn from for generations to come. Joel’s upbringing was instrumental in his receiving dual degrees from the University of Toledo (Engineering and Law), as well as his community work that he has already accomplished at a young age. Joel served as a Bowling Green City Councilman, as well as Wood County Commissioner. The integrity engrained in Joel through the family values he was taught from a young age will remain with him throughout his adult life. Therefore, it will also be evident through his service to our community as Judge within the 6th District Court of Appeals. Service to our community is of highest priority to me. And through recent conversations with Joel, I have confirmed that he feels just as strongly about putting service to his community ahead of his own needs. Please join me on November 6th in casting a vote for Joel Kuhlman as Judge, 6th District Court of Appeals. All of the 6th District should be represented in our Court of Appeals, not just Toledo and its immediate suburbs, which is the present case. I believe that a vote for Joel is a vote for our future. Thank you, Stephen J. Levorchick Posted by: David Dupont on October 17, 2018.Last revised by: Jan Larson McLaughlin

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble responds to GOP mailer about old Facebook posts

Aidan Hubbell-Staeble, candidate for Ohio House District 3, released the following statement Tuesday, Oct. 9, after his opponent, Theresa Gavarone, publicized old social media posts addressing the issue of community police relations in Ohio: “A couple of years ago, I took to Facebook to describe the shooting of two individuals, Alton Sterling and Daniel Shaver, as unacceptable. Although the original post was incendiary and insensitive, the feelings that led to the post came from a meaningful place of anger and frustration. Time and time again, we are presented with videos and reports of unarmed or nonthreatening men and women losing their lives due to the actions of the very people who have vowed to protect them. It is very easy to get caught up in the hostile nature of social media and the hundreds of videos that look not too different from these. “The resurgence of these now-deleted posts has allowed me to reflect on my feelings from that time and revisit both videos shared in the posts. Both videos depict the death of these young men, not too far in age from myself, and still invoke some of those original feelings.  “However, instead of anger, I now feel passion. Instead of frustration, I now feel a responsibility to act. We are raised to believe that if we see an injustice, if we want a change, we need to take action to address it. That is why I’m running for public office. I want to be part of the change we need in Columbus. “I’m not your typical candidate. I don’t resemble many of the people you currently see in the State House; and that’s precisely the point. I’m running to amplify the voice of my neighbors, my friends, and my family. Police officers are important to our community and vital to our safety. When bad police officers are not held accountable for their actions, it erodes trust in the judicial system and makes it harder for good police officers to do their jobs. Our police risk their lives every day to protect us, and they too are taken for granted. We have seen Republican politicians attack police officers’ collective bargaining rights in the past, and will likely see more of the same in the future. This is not how any workers, especially those who are so dedicated to defending the State of Ohio, should be treated. I’m proud to keep fighting for all everyday Ohioans.” Posted by: David Dupont on October 10, 2018.

Jean Geist: “Mike Galbraith wants to represent all people in the 5th Congressional District”

Mike Galbraith wants to represent all people in the 5th Congressional District. He has criss-crossed the 19 counties of our district numerous times over the past year+ meeting with farmers, small business owners, millennials & retirees. When we attended his “Old-Fashioned Rally” in Bowling Green, Mike addressed topics as varied as the price of soybeans to the health of Lake Erie. In the coming month before the midterm election he will be holding Town Halls and other public events in the following Northwest Ohio locations: Celina Delta Bryan Perrysburg Toledo Defiance Upper Sandusky Oak Harbor Grand Rapids Sylvania Wayne Napoleon Waterville Paulding Millbury Findlay If you live in these areas, I urge you to take the time to meet and listen to Michael Galbraith. And, ask yourself when was the last time you had the opportunity to talk to Bob Latta without paying $1000 a plate for a fundraiser? Jean Geist Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on October 6, 2018.

Parent calls out high school soccer coach for ‘verbally and emotionally abusing our children’

“You’ll notice some teammates from last year aren’t here.  It’s because of their grades.  I don’t want a bunch of dummies playing for me anyway!”  “You losers obviously don’t want it enough.”  “You’re all a bunch a wusses.  Now don’t go telling your parents I said that.” Do you think that this is acceptable “constructive criticism” from a high school soccer coach to the players?   As a parent, would you stand idle if you knew someone was speaking to your child like this on a regular basis?  If your child came to you and explained that they felt bullied and intimidated by their soccer coach but they were too afraid to talk to the soccer coach for fear of retribution, would you feel that it was your responsibility as a parent to approach the soccer coach instead? If you did decide to approach the soccer coach and were met with a raised voice, harsh words and denial, who would you turn to next?  The AD? Administration?  Who do you go to after administration ignores your plea for solutions? This is happening right here in our home town which is a close knit community that lives with a mantra of “Not in our Town.” The soccer coach is verbally and emotionally abusing our children. The soccer coach is being protected by administration while coach continues to victimize our impressionable youth on a regular basis. Parents have raised legitimate concern for seasons now and yet a blind eye keeps being turned.   Our local soccer community has become a hostile and abusive culture.   Our children are being groomed to tolerate being bullied into submission by the adults that are supposed to protect them. A senior student quit the soccer team this year several weeks in because that student felt the only way to defend himself was to walk away. His parents demand for an explanation from the coach, AD and administration went unanswered. One junior that had the nerve to start speaking up for himself and his teammates was abruptly dismissed from the soccer team via a cold and impersonal text message.  “Your attitude and behavior toward your coaches and teammates is not in line with what we are trying to accomplish as a soccer program.  Therefore, you are dismissed from the team and no longer part of BGHS Soccer. Please return your bag and warm up suit to the AD in the morning. – Coach” This junior was previously the JV team captain his freshman and sophomore year.  This role was assigned by his coach because of his positive attitude and strong leadership abilities. Team mates were then told that their fallen mate was dismissed because of his poor attitude toward his coaches and other players.  This student became a martyr to his teammates.  If you challenge the way the coach is treating you or your peers, you will be eliminated.  Our children are being fear mongered into submission. How far does this need to go before the overall philosophy of high school athletics is changed.  How many more young athletes need to be assaulted before someone stands up for the rights of our children? Parents, this is your opportunity to make a change in the current culture and the future culture of our sports programs. LeAnn Frankfather  Bowling Green        …

County’s Young Democrats hosting collection for residents in need

Call for donations! Please join the Wood County Young Democrats at the Brown Bag Food Project located at 115 West Merry Avenue in Bowling Green as we collect donations for local families in need! The event will be held on October 13th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., our current needs include perishable and nonperishable food items, school supplies for children K-12, diapers, and pet food! Cash donations are also accepted. All school supplies will be donated to Bowling Green City Schools. The Brown Bag Food Project is a local non-profit that seeks to address the concern of food insecurity in our community here in Wood County so please come show your local pride and help a family in need!   Megan Schweitzer Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on October 1, 2018.

Neocles Leontis: A vote for Galbraith for Congress is an important step in combating the nightmare of climate change

The 5th District deserves Michael Galbraith as people’s Representative in the U.S. Congress. He will work to protect our children from the ravages of climate disruption, unlike Bob Latta, who takes thousands of dollars every year from the outdated fossil fuel industry and shields his donors from the full cost of the harmful pollution they cause. Latta and his party provide wasteful subsidies to Big Oil, Coal and Gas, distorting our free market system, so we can’t transition as quickly as we must to a 21st century economy based on clean, cheap renewable energy. Unless we start to bend the curve on carbon emissions downward, by no later than 2020, global warming, already 2°F above average levels of the 20th century, will quickly surpass 3°F and then 4°F under the business-as-usual scenario promoted by the inaction of Bob Latta and his cronies. Our children will be condemned to a dangerous nightmare world, in which one climate tipping point trips another, like dominoes, starting with disruption of the jet stream, happening now, to complete melting of Arctic Ice in summer, coming soon, to more rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet into the North Atlantic, collapse of the Gulf Stream current, loss of mountain glaciers that people rely on for drinking water all over the globe, eventual drying out of the Amazon Forest, the “lungs” of our atmosphere, which we rely on to replenish the oxygen we breathe, and uncontrollable release of carbon into the atmosphere as the vast tundra lands of Canada and Russia melt, threatening “runaway” global warming. As a result, the oceans are warming rapidly, causing more and more powerful and “very wet”* hurricanes, think Harvey, Maria, and Florence. Sea levels are rising ever faster and will flood our coastal cities – Miami, Norfolk, Baltimore, Washington, Boston, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. Our farmlands are already experiencing hotter more unpredictable weather and longer, more frequent droughts, threatening food supplies. Hotter and more destructive wildfires, “fire tornadoes,” are ravaging our western states, destroying entire neighborhoods and towns, killing Americans in their beds before they can escape, and destroying vast forests. In short, the Earth will enter an irreversible “hothouse” trajectory, if we do not act decisively now, to transition our economy to clean, cheap, non-polluting technologies — that we already have at hand, including solar and wind energy for electricity, geothermal heating and cooling for buildings, and electrification of our transportation system. Most of the lands where people now live will become too hot for humans to inhabit and farm. These are the conclusions of leading scientists, published in August, 2018 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, one of the top scientific journals of the world. In November we in the 5th District can all take an important step to prevent this nightmare – we must vote to remove Bob Latta from Congress. We must vote for Michael Galbraith. Neocles Leontis, Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, BGSU Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on September 27, 2018.

BG bicyclists tells fellow riders ‘safety is your responsibility’

To add to a previous op-ed about bicycle usage and driver responses there are some areas of town I will not ride a bicycle through. Those would be downtown,Fairview Ave.,Pearl Street and basically anywhere on Main Street or East Wooster. The previous poster mentioned people going left of center to pass a bicycle disregarding traffic coming in the oncoming lane this happens repeatedly on Fairview and is quite dangerous for cyclists. I’ve been driving my truck down Pearl Street and have vehicles pass me so showing courtesy for cyclists would be quite the stretch.The sharrows and signs just give cyclists a false sense of security that they are in the right to traverse these areas with confidence and that all drivers will yield for them which doesn’t happen. I realize the city is doing all they can to provide a safe environment for bicycles but they can not regulate driver courtesy via signage and sharrows. The conclusion to this is the cyclists themselves, with the total weight of bicycle and rider being at best a few hundred pounds and your adversary is around 3,000 pounds it’s a battle that will result in serious injury or death. I see cyclists all the time riding without mirrors or lights ignoring traffic laws. Oh they may signal a turn but blow through stop signs cut through parking lots, whip across crossings on sidewalks when they use them. My point is not all  vehicle misconduct can be placed on the personality of drivers when cyclists ignore laws that drivers are constrained by leading to some of the lack of courtesy for cyclists. The old saying two wrongs don’t make a right applies but it is what it is, so cyclists ride with your safety in mind because in a battle with a vehicle you’ll lose every time there is such a thing as dead right. Do not depend on your safety being legislated as always in every endeavor your safety is ‘your’ responsibility not the sharrows and signs or the cities. BG cyclist. Gary Dessert Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on September 18, 2018.

Parks & Rec Foundation hosting fundraiser to benefit Ridge Park

On behalf of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation Trustees I encourage all to attend the 23rd Annual Wine and Cheese Social and Silent and Live Auctions Friday, September 28th from 5-8 p.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut in Bowling Green. Admission is $50 per person through September 21 and $60 after. You can send a check to Cheryl Witt at BG Parks and Recreation Foundation at the address listed above or call 419-354-6297 or e-mail for a reservation. All proceeds will benefit the completion of Ridge Park. In addition to delicious appetizers and desserts, there will be a variety of wines, beers and soft drinks available. In addition to the Auctions, there will be a wine pull, an autumn mum sale, and a raffle for an Apple Watch. Plan to come to enjoy a wonderful evening. Roger Anderson, BG Parks and Recreation Foundation Trustee Posted by: David Dupont on August 29, 2018.

President of NAT Transportation concerned about possible recycling location closure

To the users of NAT Recycling: For more than 20 years, NAT has supported, with the assistance of The Wood County Solid Waste District and The Bowling Green Recycling Center, the operation of it’s recycling center. This has been “a loss leader” for our trash business; in other words, it has been at a monetary loss for NAT. But, the users, made up of the homeowners of southeast Wood County, have appreciated this service and the Waste District supported the program. Recently, The Solid Waste District, with the approval of the Commissioners and Administration, has arbitrarily decided to discontinue its support of certain transportation and processing costs of material recycled from NAT to Bowling Green. This was done without conferring with NAT or The Bowing Green Recycling Center. Neither NAT or BGRC have the funds to assume these costs on a long-term basis nor have we requested additional support. This was despite for more than 20 years NAT’s processed tonnage has and still is, second only to BGRC in the Wood County area. In the meantime, the Waste District’s unencumbered funds (cash available) are at an historic high. Citizens should remember, by Ohio Law, the Office of the Wood County Commissioner’s is responsible to provide access to recycling through out Wood County. And we provide a heated, well kept all weather 24/7 location for Southeast Wood County. We, Mike Fairbanks and I, will be studying how this loss of funding will effect NATs operation of the 24/7 recycling, but without the FULL support of The Wood County Waste District, at this time we see the closing of our recycling program in the near future. We ask you to express your thoughts to your Wood County Officials by calling the Wood County Administration Office (Andrew Kalmar; Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHote, and Theodore Bowlus) at (419) 354-9100; or the office of The Wood County Solid Waste District (Mrs. O’Boyle) at (419) 354-9297. Thank you for your time and understanding. Mick Torok President of NAT Transportation Posted by: admin on July 25, 2018.

Benefit at Schedel Gardens provides essential funds for library materials

On July 19 the WCDPL Foundation will host its tenth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. Over the past nine years, this event has raised funds to purchase new books that our patrons use to move into a new career, gain a new skill, teach a child to read, learn about nearly any other topic of interest, or read for pleasure.  Every dollar from this event goes to purchase new books, large print books, audiobooks, e-books, and picture books. Despite some saying the Internet and e-books replace libraries, the core function of the library as the “People’s University” (where anyone can explore, learn, and discover) remains vital.  In 2017, community members visited the library more than 4,200 times per week, attendance at programs and author visits grew another 11 percent, the number of cardholders grew another 3 percent, and borrowing books and other materials remains at all-time record levels. This high rate of usage requires continuing investment.  The importance of private fundraising to meet community demand is critical.  Your financial gifts make a difference! I ask that you consider giving a monetary sponsorship for the Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in any amount from $20 to $20,000.  Simply send a check payable to WCDPL Foundation (with “Schedel sponsorship” in the memo line) to A.J. Heilman, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  Sponsorships over $1,000 will be recognized on a plaque in the library. Also, please plan to attend the July 19 Benefit!  Come enjoy a relaxing evening with garden tours, fine beverages, delicious food, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun and laughs with other library advocates! Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at the library. Please support the library so that it can remain “the place to be” for the community to learn, discover, explore, and read. Michael Penrod WCDPL Director Posted by: David Dupont on July 2, 2018.Last revised by: Jan Larson McLaughlin

Leah Bogusch – Separation of families echoes what was done to Indigenous children

I attended the Keeping Families Together rally this past weekend at Bowling Green, and I could not find the words to say to the attendees what was on my mind at the moment. But if I had been able to speak to you, Bowling Green, I would have told you that we were standing upon the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee and Miami nations. This land is not your land, and it was not made for you, even though you all sang this song with love and good intentions in your hearts.  If I had been able to speak to you, I would have told you that separation of children from families is not new within the United States – many Indigenous children in the not-so-distant past were ripped from their families to attend boarding schools and to die there far from home. I would have echoed Ms. Maya’s words when she called upon us to look at the United States’ policies of interfering with countries in Central and South America, to exploit their people and extract resources. These policies have inevitably contributed to conditions of poverty and violence in these nations, which have led so many people to our doorstep to escape.  Today, I ask you to acknowledge that cruelty and greed are exactly the values upon which the United States was founded and the responsibility that this nation shares in creating the immigrant crisis. I implore you to make the United States the beacon of hope and compassion that it can and should be. Remember the larger context in which this nation has negatively affected other peoples for its own profit, and take action, even when the immigrant crisis fades from media attention, to prevent such policies from continuing. Leah Bogusch Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on July 1, 2018.

Perrysburg mayor reports on progress in getting CSX to fix railroad crossings

Perrysburg Community: Many of you have contacted city officials complaining about the condition of the railroad crossings at a number of intersections throughout town. We have repeatedly forwarded those concerns on to CSX asking that repairs be made as soon as possible. In April, CSX let the city know it had limited funds to repair crossings in Perrysburg in 2018. It asked us to provide a list of crossings that were in most need of repair. CSX would then determine what if any repairs could be done in 2018. CSX further represented it would allocate funds in the 2019 budget to repair any intersection not done this year. Based on citizen complaints and our own investigation, the administration identified Eckel Junction Road, Louisiana Avenue, East Boundary, and Indiana Avenue as priority intersections that needed repair. Since that time, the administration has continued to communicate with CSX, including letting CSX know that the city has continued to receive complaints about the condition of railroad crossings. On June 21st, Haraz N. Ghanbari, the Chair of the Public Safety Committee of Council, also wrote CSX requesting it make repairs. Consistent with that ongoing dialogue, CSX has recently advised us that it will make substantial repairs to the railroad crossings at Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this summer. CSX is not only repairing the crossings, but replacing approximately 300 feet of track in that area. CSX has also represented to the administration that it will physically inspect each crossing within the city this summer. During those inspections, minor repairs may be made to some crossings, but more extensive repairs will have to wait until 2019. While not a complete fix yet, I wanted to let you know of this step towards repairing railroad crossings in town. We will continue to work with CSX so that the crossings at Eckel Junction, Louisiana Avenue, and East Boundary are addressed next year as CSX has represented they would be. I want to thank everyone who has been working behind the scenes with CSX since January to facilitate the repairs to Indiana Avenue and Mulberry Street this year. Mayor Thomas G. Mackin Posted by: David Dupont on June 22, 2018.

BG to celebrate being Ohio Magazine’s Best Hometown

Ohio Magazine has once again honored BG as a Best Hometown and we invite you to celebrate with us on July 19  from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Simpson Building & Gardens. A chance for our attractions, parks, events, retail, restaurants, venues, lodging and non-profits to shine with table displays, samples, giveaways, coupons and to celebrate why BG is a Best Hometown! A Best Hometown by Ohio Magazine for the second time in 10 years our vibrant and university community is the reason we continue to get this great honor. Ohio Magazine cited that Bowling Green’s historic downtown, the vibrant college town atmosphere, strong sense of community and shared vision for the future as key reasons for being chosen for the 2017-2018 year. The Simpson Gardens were another reason and the favorite shared by the magazine in both the November and January issues. The selection committee was extremely impressed how the community came together to raise the funding needed to plant and maintain the many different gardens. So, it naturally became a good fit to host the BEST OF celebration there! Ohio Magazine encourages a community to celebrate all year long and that is just what we are doing. For continued highlights of the businesses and non-profits participating in the Best of BG A Best Hometown Celebration Event please visit page.   Wendy Chambers Executive Director BG Convention & Visitors Bureau Posted by: David Dupont on June 19, 2018.

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 of Boy Scout resident camp where we serve 2800 Boy Scouts every summer from approximately 7 states. BSA is not in competition with the Girl Scouts.  In fact, our council partners with Girl Scouts through the Scoutreach program in the central city.  Today girls have many options to grow outside the classroom. Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA will be an important addition to that list. Scouts learn hundreds of lessons and many of these are carried to adulthood.  What has made Scouting an enduring success is the tenets of Scouting and the way lessons are learned.  A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.  These timeless qualities are learned through fun activities such as camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting. Scouts grow to be leaders in business, the military, their communities, government, and various professions.  Girls and their families want and deserve this…

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 school students. However, I did take the tour of the building and have talked with parents who do have children in that building.  We could drop money into our buildings and they could go another 20 years.  But then we would be back where we are now only dealing with an 80-year-old building.  That is a bad investment when the alternative are buildings that will address educational needs in the district far longer than 20 years.  I have been to the auditors website and calculated the increase for my family.  For the facilities we would get, it is more than worth the expense. My decision is based on the research I have done and what I believe to be in the best interest of my family.  It is not influenced on what is going around social media.  It is not based on what is fair, our reps in Columbus for the last 25 years have made sure “fair”…

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 Levy” so we can just pay our bills. Based on their own numbers the voters can expect to see this levy request come in 2020 or 2021 so that the School Board can cover their fiscal responsibility shortcomings. Why isn’t the district keeping future planned spending under control, and in line with a consistent revenue stream? Why can’t they operate under a balanced budget like they have done in the past? The contracts of our teachers and staff will be up for negotiations soon and if the current spending plan continues there will be NO money for any kind of pay increases and instead there will likely be layoffs and benefit cuts unless the public can be threatened or extorted to pay even more. Whether we pass this current levy or not, it is obvious by looking at the board’s own financial report that they will be coming for another…

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 “pushed into bankruptcy by 2021.”  First, it is currently 2018 and they are financially sound, second, he must not understand governmental accounting and budgeting.  The superintendent and Board have been very open about the fact that there will be a deficit by 2020 and most likely there will be a need for an operating levy at that time, so again, they have been honest with the public! The last time BGCS asked the community for a new operating levy was in 2010 (8 years ago).  If they don’t ask again until 2020, that is a decade of operating without a new operating levy!  The average district asks approximately every 5 years.  This can only be accomplished by being fiscally responsible! My final point in response to Mr. Strow’s letter is the difference between Public Sector and Private Sector budgeting!  They are 2 completely different worlds.  They differ in purpose, process…

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 don’t feel it is important to invest in our community. If we don’t spend money on our schools why should families spend money on a home in our school district? Paying for the new buildings over 37 years makes it affordable. It spreads out the cost so current and future taxpayers share in the expense–not just current  taxpayers. We should not let this opportunity to improve our community pass us by. Vote for kids,families and community improvement..   There is no no better place to invest our money than in the future of our children and our community. Vote for the BG school bond issue–our kids and our school district community are worth every penny of the all money that we will spend over the next 37 years.   Ken Rieman Posted by: David Dupont on May 3, 2018.