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 could be seen as a service. But when that meant publishing not infrequently things we knew were untrue and publishing 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.

That’s why we’ve opted not to accept candidates’ political ads. We felt Community Voices would offer some avenue for this. But as that section has evolved, it has served well as a forum for a variety of news beyond what we have covered, becoming an inadequate forum for the legitimate requests for more opinion driven writing.

We are rethinking our stance. How can we give our readers a chance to express their views while not being a conduit for the excesses we deplore? We are offering Community Opinion as such a forum. But 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.

This section, like so much of what we’ve done over the past nine months, is a work in progress. If things go well, it may become permanent. If we feel it is becoming a detriment to, we will end it.

To submit a letter or opinion piece, email it 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

“Sandy always does her homework” -Marcy St. John

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintFour Democrat candidates will appear on the May 2 primary ballot for Bowling Green City Council. Voters will choose two of them to be the endorsed Democrat candidates for the two at-large Council positions which will be on the November 7 ballot. To my mind, Sandy Rowland is the strongest candidate for an at-large City Council seat. Sandy’s record of leadership and community involvement is decades-long and includes work on the Bowling Green Human Relations Commission and Not In Our Town Bowling Green [NIOT], both of which I worked on with her. She is an excellent choice to represent the community at large, because as a professional realtor, she is able to discern the needs and wants of her clients, who come from all walks of life. She knows how to listen and how to represent a diverse clientele. Sandy always does her homework–she’s visible throughout the community and she is on top of current issues. She asks BG residents about their concerns and she listens to their answers. She has been an outspoken supporter for our new Green Space and for the rejuvenation of East Side neighborhoods. She serves on the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee for City Council, and she chairs Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee. She has been a key player in the development and application of both Bowling Green’s Land Use Plan and its Community Action Plan [revitalizing the East Side]. Sandy knows how essential it is to make positive and ongoing changes in our city, and she has the skills to help keep these changes on course. It is…

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but what do we really know and believe about distracted driving?  We tell ourselves multiple lies every day when we drive:  I can multi-task without a problem; I have a Bluetooth so it’s no problem to talk and drive; talking on a cellphone is just like talking to a passenger in the car; I only use my phone at stop lights or stop signs; and a great deceiver – I use talk to text I’m all good!!   We are great at fooling ourselves to perceive that driving conditions are safer than they really are.  You just read the text – you don’t respond!  It’s just a quick call!  People who want to continue to use technology to stay connected while they drive are going to look for any evidence that it is okay to do so.  But it is not.   Your brain can keep track of only about four objects at any one time.  How many more things do we actually track while driving?  What thing gets deleted from our visual field and memory retention? It only takes once to miss a pedestrian, to not see the vehicle ahead of you slowing for a turn, or the red light at a busy intersection.  You need your brain drive, and when we overload the brain with two very difficult tasks, driving and trying to communicate, driving loses.     We need to stop fooling ourselves.  Thousands of people are dying for the sake of calls and texts probably none of which are worth a human life.    …

‘Sandy Rowland has a special eye for ordinances that enhance our life experiences in BG’ – Diane Vogtsberger

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintI write to support the candidacy of Sandy Rowland for Council-at-Large. Sandy’s resume attests to her qualifications, but I would like to address her performance in support of projects that have made Bowling Green a better place to live and raise a family. Her volunteering at Black Swamp, BG Art Walk, Classics on Main, and Winterfest are just a few examples; there are many more. Perhaps the one I can speak to the most is the preservation of the green space, now referred to as Wooster Green. At every presentation given to Council in order to promote this town square, Sandy asked pertinent questions about its feasibility and indicated her support for such an endeavor. Overtime, as more information was presented, she became more of an advocate for the project. When the mayor announced the creation of the Task Force, she supported it wholeheartedly. And finally, when it came to a vote after the third reading of the resolution, she spoke enthusiastically about why it would be good for our community to embrace this opportunity. The resolution passed 7-0. I relay this story because I believe it reflects how much Sandy cares about providing the best possible community for all of us. Certainly, she and other council members can pass ordinances that govern, but she has a special eye for those that enhance our life experiences here in Bowling Green. Please join me in voting for Sandy Rowland in the primary on May 2. Diane Vogtsberger Bowling Green Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 20, 2017.

“Holly Cipriani has the qualifications needed to lead Bowling Green on City Council” -Jakki Kleinhans

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintOn May 2, voters will select two Democratic candidates to be endorsed for the two at-large positions on Bowling Green City Council. Holly Cipriani is the leader I want for City Council At Large. I fell in love with Bowling Green when I began my undergraduate career at BGSU. The small town feel with the big city opportunities make BG an amazing place to work, live, and raise my family. Cipriani has the Bowling Green values that make our city so exceptional. She is committed to making BG a better place for herself and other community members. Holly Cipriani has the qualifications needed to lead Bowling Green on City Council. After completing her Master of Public Administration at BGSU, she has devoted her time and energy to helping the community. From her years working as an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking to her involvement in the Civics 101 teach-in series, Cipriani continues to focus on ways to engage and uplift our community and its citizens. Cipriani’s vision of inclusion will continue to promote the safe and welcoming atmosphere which sets Bowling Green apart. Cipriani has dedicated her life to learning the newest, best, and most effective training in politics. She will continue to bring this knowledge and experience to serve on City Council and build Bowling Green upward and outward. I encourage you to cast your ballot for her in the primary. Sincerely, Jakki Kleinhans Bowling Green, OH Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 20, 2017.

“Being elected to public office often means facing disagreement” -Gary Jones

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintLatta Town Hall My letter is to encourage Congressman Latta to to hold a town hall event for his constituents. Those of his colleagues that have done so have improved the perception the public has of them. Those in congress represent all of the people and in a two party system there will be those who disagree with the position that a member of congress may have. That is how democracy works. Being elected to public office often means facing disagreement. Please Congressman Latta: a town hall for everyone. There is no danger to you in such an event. Gary Jones Bowling Green Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 18, 2017.on April 19, 2017.

Guest Column from State Representative Theresa Gavarone

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintImproving Communication Between Law Enforcement and Disabled Ohioans   The most important part of being a state representative is to ensure a clear and effective channel of communication between myself and my constituents of Wood County. Oftentimes, with this assurance, great ideas for legislation can come directly from everyday Ohioans, truly influencing the day-to-day issues and struggles that can be addressed from the state level of government. Exactly this kind of exchange recently occurred and became the impetus behind House Bill 115, which I recently introduced with my colleague, Representative Scott Wiggam.   The idea for the “No Labels Initiative” was brought to my attention by Jenny Hughes, a constituent from Walbridge, who has two sons who have been diagnosed with autism. House Bill 115 would create a voluntary database of individuals with a communication disability to be utilized by law enforcement. Administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the database would be available to law enforcement officers through the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS).   The designation would be used through LEADS in a similar manner as individuals who carry a concealed carry license. Before approaching a vehicle, an officer may run its registration and will be notified if a driver or passenger has registered as having a communication disability. This will help improve communication between the officer and the individual, preventing possible misunderstandings and improving the safety and security of both parties in such situations.   Additionally, House Bill 115 seeks to remove the stigma behind being labeled as a person with a disability by keeping the information private, rather than…

“Rolling back state renewable energy standards will threaten future job growth” – Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton)

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintHouse Democratic lawmakers today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 114, saying legislation that changes the state’s advanced energy standards to unenforceable “goals” will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry and other industries that increasingly want and rely on advanced energy sources. “If Ohio’s economy is on the ‘verge of a recession,’ as the governor has claimed, rolling back state renewable energy standards will threaten future job growth and could harm consumers, workers and the environment,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Advanced energy technologies are helping create the manufacturing jobs of the future, and we would be wise to invest now to become a leader of this emerging industry instead of falling behind the rest of the nation.” The nation and world’s leading companies are increasingly turning to advanced energy sources to power their businesses. On Tuesday, global home furnishing retailer Ikea announced it has completed a 213,000 square foot solar array on its soon-to-open store in central Ohio, one of the largest such arrays in the state. “We owe it to future Ohioans to make sure we leave behind a state that is thriving, healthy and safe,” said Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Rolling back the opportunity to be a leader in the emerging renewable energy industry is not only harmful to our environment but also our economy.” Some of the largest corporate brands – including Apple, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Facebook, General Motors, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and more – have all publicly pledged to procure 100 percent…

“Mayor should acknowledge experience of geologists” – Paul Wohlfarth

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintAt the Feb. 21 Bowling Green City Council meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards laid out his counterattack on the science surrounding the Nexus pipeline Maumee River crossing. What appears to be a politically motivated move puts public protection second to the needs of a face-saving way to limit liability from the oil and gas overlords. Edwards’ Folly will risk the public’s water supply for the quick needs of a spineless leadership. Clearly geologists Andrew Kear and Robert Vincent have years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Even buried in FERC’s own FEIS document reveals the Sept. 11, 2015, Furgo Consultants report rating, “Rock quality designation (RQD) ranged from 0 to 66, with the average value being 12, indicating very poor quality bedrock.” Furgo furthers, “Due to subsurface conditions, the risk level associated with the proposed crossing of the Maumee River is high.” Nexus contractor Fluor Enterprises estimates the boring to be 81 days. They report, “Please note the estimated duration is based on operations proceeding according to plan and does not include contingency. The occurrence of unanticipated operational problems could increase the duration of operations by 50 to 100 percent.” Contingency? What will that mean? Trenching or blasting across the Maumee River through historic Missionary Island Wildlife Area and the Farnsworth Metropark? Mayor Edward’s legacy will be measured if this route turns into an environmental disaster. It will become known as Edwards’ Folly. Paul Wohlfarth Ottawa Lake, Michigan Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on March 9, 2017.on April 20, 2017.

“Trump Proposing War” – Joann Schiavone

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintHe is proposing to increase military spending by $54 BILLION and cut nonmilitary programs by the same amount… guess what, seniors? Decisions about our Medicare and Social Security will not be made until later in the year. Get ready to play for his $54 BILLION plan. Remember, this president promised to slash EPA environmental rules to help the drilling and mining industries, but without hurting air and water. How are you going to do this Trump, by twitching your nose? He is going to slash EPA funding by 24%. He just did a reversal in America’s progress toward cleaner air and water and fighting global climate change. So those of you who support this man, be ready for breathing problems and deaths in this most polluted country in the world. His new leader Pruitt sued the agency he now leads more than a dozen times while Attorney General of Oklahoma to stop federal rules. He never mentioned climate change in his 12 minute speech at EPA headquarters in Washington. This will also make changes to Mr. Obama’s Waters of the United States rule that details which waterways fall under federal protection. So plan on having some flavor added to your drinking water that can put you in the hospital for black lung disease. But remember, people who voted for this man, he made these promises to you but failed to tell you that he is in the pockets of polluters, and this is who he is working for. Too bad you chose to vote for more bad jobs than cleaner jobs, and set your priorities…

‘Indivisible’ to hold resistance rally at Latta’s office Thurs 2/23

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintRALLY ON THE 23RD – CONGRESSMAN BOB LATTA’S OFFICE Concerned about NW Ohio Water Quality and Rep. Latta’s continual support for Big Ag and Big Energy, together with their mounting worries over Trump’s dysfunctional NSA and the potential Russian collusion creating greater pressure on the security of our nation, concerned citizens of Ohio’s 5th Congressional district are taking their grievances and strong voices to Representative Latta’s office this Thursday. The rally will be focusing on the deplorable lack of integrity of the Trump administration, with constituents pressing Latta to demand Congress have an independent investigation into the current Administration’s collusion with the Russian Government, and how it affected the outcome of the 2016 elections as well as how it is creating an impending threat to our national security today. His continual attacks on the first amendment by denouncing nationally recognized news organization as “Fake News” will also be voiced in the Latta office visit. Focusing locally, the rally members will question Latta’ office on the EPA water regulations that could be rolled back due to the nomination of Scott Pruitt and ask the office, “Seriously, will we be the next Flint?” Groups and individuals from Fulton, Lucas and Wood Counties will rally at 9:00 a.m during an office meeting with District Director Andrew Lorenz at Latta’s District Office at 1045 N. Main Street, Bowling Green, OH. Representative Latta DOES NOT hold Town Halls and the group was told that he did not have time to meet with them during his first trip back to work at his home district during the 115th Congress. Begrudgingly, the group accepted…

Update on Library Funding – Michael Penrod

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintUpdate on Library Funding: We are very appreciative at the Wood County District Public Library (WCDPL) for the support we receive through state funding, a local levy since 2011, and the generous support of the Friends of the Library as well as the Library Foundation. We would not be able to deliver the array of library services we currently offer without your ongoing support. I want to share information with you about the present status of funding for Ohio’s public libraries. At the state level, we are fortunate to be funded through the Public Library Fund (PLF) which receives a percentage of state revenues from the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF). Revenue sources for the GRF include the state personal income tax, sales and use taxes, business taxes, etc. In July 2015, the PLF formula was increased from 1.66% to 1.7% of the GRF. This change allowed for some modest growth in dollars distributed to public libraries. Unfortunately, the governor’s new budget proposal calls for reverting back to 1.66%. This would mean a cut in funds distributed to Ohio’s public libraries. Between now and the end of June, the House and Senate will be holding hearings and debate on the budget. The Ohio Library Council (OLC) will be engaging members of the Ohio General Assembly to “Protect the PLF.” Locally, Ohio’s public libraries have long had the support of Senator Randy Gardner – and for that we are appreciative. Senator Gardner is publicly advocating for the formula to remain at 1.7%. We know that Ohioans value their public libraries and that public libraries create opportunities…

“Sharrows are merely a suggestion” – Sean Herman

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintAn open letter to Bowling Green Transportation and Safety Committee, and City Council Committee of the Whole: I write to you in response to the recent decision made on Complete Streets implementation of Conneaut Avenue. I am writing today as a city resident, a full-time transportation cyclist, and until recently as a student of Bowling Green State University. It is my belief that this decision to opt for sharrows on Conneaut Ave. was a poor decision. It was the easy way out of ongoing conflict between various parties and concerns. Some may argue that sharrows are worse than no signage at all. And while standing for that claim may be questionable, I will say that sharrows are not any better than a painted bike lane (such as the dashed-lane alternative for this road), which provides a designated space for cyclists to preside in, and perhaps only marginally better than our “Bike Route” and “Share the Road” signs currently in place. Sharrows are merely a suggestion, and that’s the problem. According to a February 8 article in BG Independent Media, the Conneaut Avenue milling and resurfacing project was projected to cost the City of Bowling Green $529,393 in 2017. To widen the road — as well as add a dashed bicycle lane in each direction — would cost $65,000, or an additional 12.3%. That is a small price to pay for increased safety, and thus increased ridership. There are public and private grant monies available for this type of project, so long as the city would a actually apply for them. Several of these types of…

Jewish groups: “We pray for those who wish to come here and live in peace, but are denied safe harbor”

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintThe Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo and the Jewish Community Relations Council are troubled by the recent Executive Order against refugees looking to come to the USA to escape the horrors of their war-torn countries. Historically, we are a country of immigrants who came to these shores to escape the horrors of war, to seek religious freedom, and to earn better opportunities for our families and succeeding generations. Jews have made innumerable contributions to American culture, arts, entertainment, science, government and more areas, and continue to do so. There were times when Jews were turned away from these shores. Like Moses, who saw the land and was not allowed to enter, we pray for those who wish to come here and live in peace, but are denied safe harbor. We urge President Trump and his administration to come to a resolution soon and to allow another generation of future citizens to add their uniqueness to the melting pot that is America. “You shall not wrong nor oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:20) Signed, ­­ Gary Delman, President, JFGT Scott Rothstein, Chair, JCRC Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: David Dupont on February 1, 2017.

“Please give us a single-payer health care system” – Debbie Dalke

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintA health care bill was presented in Congress that would improve our access to medical care. I sent this letter to Representative Latta and encourage you to do the same: “Honorable Congressman Latta, A few years ago a friend developed a very serious brain condition.  She needed a specialist and took the time to find a doctor in her network. This specialist told her to get an ultrasound before the operation and sent her down the hallway to get the test. My friend later learned that the person she was sent to was NOT in her network, so she was hit with a large bill for this service. This problem would not exist if we had a single payer system because EVERY doctor would be in the network. When a parent is faced with a life-threatening illness, he or she needs to focus on how to protect the children’s future, not searching the internet to find a doctor the insurance company will approve.  Please support HR 676 and give us a single-payer health care system to simplify the process of finding a doctor. This will also reduce the cost of health care administration.” Please encourage your congressmen to support this bill. Thank you, Debbie  Dalke Bowling Green Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on January 30, 2017.

“NEXUS-FERC process is a fraud” – Paul Wohlfarth

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintThose of us who have been close to the Nexus Gas Transmission pipeline-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process are dismayed at how our country has been captured by monied interests over the rights of average citizens. Soon the oil and gas industry-funded FERC will grant its rubber stamp on the NEXUS pipeline. The process is a fraud. The sad facts are, the NEXUS pipeline has no Ohio customer contracts (13 Tee Taps with no future commitments) and has only a 56 percent usage rate, with 90 percent of that capacity going to Canada. Spectra Energy, parent company to the NEXUS pipeline, is being bought by Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian company. So we have a Canadian Company taking American-fracked natural gas to Canada against the will of private property owners across Ohio and Michigan. The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled fracking can pollute ground water sources forever, a short-term gain with long-term consequences for landowners. There is no support for this pipeline except from industry-supported politicians in Ohio and Michigan. Every one of your Ohio state and federal politicians has received funding from the oil and gas industry. This is an export pipeline engineered to export our natural gas to foreign markets to raise the price of our natural gas for their private gain. Where is the public need? Paul Wohlfarth Ottawa Lake, Mich. Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on January 2, 2017.

“I saw every day the benefits of roundabouts” – Tim Murnen

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintI would respectfully like to offer a different opinion on roundabouts from the impression left by Mr. Bud Henschen’s comments noted in your December 7th article, “BG Council Asked to Steer Clear of Roundabouts.” I understand Mr. Henschen’s concerns. Lots of Americans find roundabouts confusing or disconcerting. But I will tell you that, having lived in England for four months during 2009, I saw everyday the benefits of roundabouts. 1. No Waiting Time Despite Mr. Henschen’s concern that roundabouts will tie up traffic and create long lines, roundabouts do the opposite. They regulate the flow of traffic and keep people moving, without forcing them to wait at traffic lights. Americans hate to wait in lines. We can’t understand how Russians back in the Soviet era would wait in bread lines for hours or even days. We don’t understand how Brits will “queue up” patiently to wait for a new store to open. We hate to wait in lines. But we will allow ourselves to have to sit for several minutes at a red light when no other traffic is coming the other way. This often happens to me at night at the corner of Poe and Haskins. Heading west on Poe after shopping at the grocery store, I often have to sit at the light, which has been retimed to keep traffic on Haskins moving. It’s a pretty long light, sitting there on Poe at the corner, waiting for my green light, with no cars coming or going along Haskins. I feel silly; it almost feels un-American to take orders from a red light when…

“Dear Council members, we are concerned about the proposed Nexus pipeline” – Bob and Joan Callecod

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrint Dear Council members, We are concerned about the proposed Nexus natural gas pipeline which would involve property close to the Bowling Green Water Treatment plant and submersion in the Maumee River. Our main concern is the impact on the environment during construction and the impact in the event of a rupture in the future which can not be totally ruled out. We also question the stated economic benefit to the community especially that millions of dollars in tax revenue will be generated. How would this be accomplished and what would be the source? If there is a necessity to provide more natural gas, is it possible to upgrade existing pipelines which may be in need of upgrading already? This would use existing easements and avoid the need to use additional land. This may also eliminate the need to jeopardize the Maumee River. It is commendable on the part of the City to expand the implementation of renewable resources through wind energy and solar fields. We feel this is a far better approach than expanding the use of non-renewable energy sources. As more renewable energy resources are developed, these non-renewable infrastructures will become obsolete yet would remain a potential environmental problem. Respectfully, Bob and Joan Callecod Bowling Green, OH Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on November 30, 2016.

“Ideological purity replaces the need to get things done.” -F Scott Regan

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintThe political “experts” assure us that in the past election the public expressed anger, distrust and frustration with politics as practiced in Washington. Yet over 80 percent of the incumbents were reelected! President-Elect Trump has demonstrated the power of harnessing the national desire to change things. The reality is that our country no longer functions as a two party system. In the vast majority of election districts aspiring citizens have no real chance to compete due to the manipulations of the two major parties and the moneyed interests behind them. As a result, it seems that our representatives now have their first loyalty to their party rather than to their conscience or to the compromises necessary to serve the public. We send Republicans and Democrats to Washington rather than Americans. Ideological purity has replaced the need to get things done. What can be done? Here are a few thoughts, some simple and some more fanciful: –Eliminate the Electoral College and let the candidate with the most votes win. (A crazy idea!) –End political control over determining districts (“gerrymandering”) so that our representatives need to have a more holistic view of the region, state, and nation’s challenges. –End the right of political parties to choose replacements after a resignation, which allows someone handpicked by a party to run as an “incumbent” without ever being elected. –End the practice of party insiders (“Super Delegates”) having power to impose their will over elected delegates. –Charge a 10 percent tax on all political commercials (whether by party or pac) with the money going to eliminate the national debt. –Empower…

“Of the candidates in the running Matt clearly stands out” -Chris Gajewicz

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintAll too often in our small community of Bowling Green, individuals make a legal mistake and wind up in a court of law. The question is… to what extent should an individual be prosecuted for their crime? Many of us with a limited knowledge of the law, (and depending on one’s political stripe), demand either leniency or a harsh penalty. The job of a judge is to listen to the arguments from both the defense and the prosecution and make a reasonable decision regarding the punishment meted out to the defendant. As prosecutor for the City of Bowling Green, Matt Reger has dealt with this situation on hundreds of occasions. There are times when some may feel that Matt’s prosecution is too lenient and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, they may feel it’s too harsh. As prosecutor for the City of BG, Matt has had to look at the severity of the crime and the long term effects of the punishment. Matt has worked closely with the BG Municipal Court judge and defense attorneys, (whether appointed by the court, privately retained as legal counsel, or through an organization like Student Legal Services on campus at BGSU), to fairly prosecute an individual while working to come to a reasonable punishment which fits the crime. Judges must have experience. They must have the ability to hear testimony from both sides and develop a decision that satisfies the law and encourages the defendant to exercise better personal responsibility in the future. Through Matt’s extensive experience in Wood County and Bowling Green Municipal Courts, I believe he is the…

“Matt Reger represents the best that the legal profession offers” -Victor Ten Brink

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintI am writing to strongly endorse Matt Reger’s candidacy for Wood County Common Pleas judge. I have known Matt throughout his 22 year legal career, including his nearly 20 years as an Assistant Municipal Prosecutor and then Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Bowling Green. As a prosecutor, Matt has earned the respect of his fellow attorneys and those in the community who have dealt with the court system and is known for his competence and professionalism. What also uniquely qualifies Matt for judicial office is the dedication that he has shown to serving the broader Wood County community. He has volunteered with and served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Black Swamp Youth Arts Festival (as chair), the Wood County Airport Authority, Woodlane Industries, Wood County Law Library, and the Wood County Bar Association (serving as a board member, secretary/treasurer, vice president and president). I have had the pleasure of working with Matt on various community projects and have come to admire his energy, creativity and tireless commitment to public service. For example, in 2011, Matt established the Community Christian Legal Services organization, which is a once-a-month legal clinic that serves the needs of those who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The success of this nonprofit organization is due to Matt’s hard work and commitment to meeting the needs of the community. Matt’s passion for public service has also taken him to numerous foreign countries as an election monitor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as providing training to attorneys and judges and in the…

“Matt Reger would be an excellent Judge” -Norman Geer

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintAs a practicing attorney in Bowling Green for many years, I have had the good fortune of interacting with Matt Reger professionally and personally.  He is running in the general election on November 8, 2016 to replace Judge Robert Pollex of the Wood County Common Pleas Court who is retiring after many years of distinguished service on the bench.  Matt has impressive credentials and extensive legal experience which would speak to his ability to handle the difficult job of sitting in judgment of others.  To that point it is also relevant to recognize the equally impressive qualities of this man.  He is honest, responsible, fair minded, moral, reasonable, hard working, unbiased, honorable and decisive.  Matt believes in justice in the purest sense.  Most importantly, he has the courage and integrity to make the right decision, even in the face of criticism.  Matt Reger would be an excellent Judge.   Norman J. Geer Bowling Green, Ohio   Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on November 2, 2016.

“There are no words to express my gratitude to all of you who were a part of Jordan’s life.” -Mary Pridemore

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintA huge thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and support given to the family of Jordan Edward Powell.  It has been six months since Jordan left this world. We, his family, have had some of our pain eased by all of you that loved and cared for Jordan.  So very many people helped us out during this most difficult time of our lives.  We cannot possibly name everyone that was so caring and giving of support to us, but please know that you are not forgotten or overlooked.  All of the kindness shown through all of your actions will be forever appreciated. We would like to take this opportunity to thank a few individuals.  Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel of Bowling Green Independent News for publishing Jordan’s obituary and information about the fund raising event held at Howard’s Club H.  To Victoria TenEyck for setting up the Go Fund Me account to help with Jordan’s funeral expenses: to Nikki Cordy and Rosie-El for organizing and working so diligently in having the Jordan Powell benefit; and to everyone that made food, the musical performers, and those that donated items and time to make for a successful fundraiser.  There are so many people to thank for all of their contributions including businesses, Jordan’s co-workers and his many friends. A special ‘thank you’ to Devin Klinger for giving of his musical gift by performing “Vocalise” on his cello at Jordan’s funeral service.  Thank you all employees of Wood Lane Residential Services, the Wood County Board of DD, (specifically the Supported Employment Department) and to all of his friends,…

“Ed relates and understands small government” -Mayor Belinda Brooks

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintThis November, I’ll be voting Ed Kolanko for Wood County Commissioner. Over the years, as a fellow Wood County Mayor, I have worked with Ed discussing many issues our communities face. His representation at the county is needed to bring attention and action to meet the many Wood County challenges. For me, I believe we need greater representation in our county commissioners, those that reflect the county as a whole. As a village mayor, Ed relates and understands small government. We need his leadership to make all of Wood County stronger. He earned my vote as the President of the Wood County Mayors Association and he has earned my vote November 8th for Wood County Commissioner. Please join me. Mayor Belinda Brooks Luckey Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on October 30, 2016.

“Thanks for making the Festival and BG great” -Dave Shaffer

Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPlease forgive me. With selling and buying a house and the imminent moving me and my menagerie of animals an hour south, I forgot to perform my last duty as Chair of the 2016 Black Swamp Arts Festival, which is to thank you for making it a success. If you’ve read any of my previous letters to the editor (letters to you), you’ll know that I consider success the engagement of the people from this area with their community. It’s getting easier to live in a virtual community and forget the importance of knowing your actual neighbor. If you came to the festival, you did your part in making our corner of the world a better place. Thank you. My move will take me to Harrod, OH where they have a Pork Rind Heritage Festival – How cool is that! I had no idea pork rinds had a heritage, but I’m hoping that my experience with the arts translates well to celebrating the history of that crunchy, salty snack. With the 2017 Chair of The Black Swamp Arts Festival having a record five years in that position, you’re in good hands as we approach our 25th year of bringing the arts to Bowling Green. Expect great things as we approach our silver anniversary and if you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the Festival, this would be the perfect year to join in. Again, thanks for making the Festival and BG great. Dave Shaffer Bowling Green Read Offline: Download PDFDownload ePubDownload mobiPrintPosted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on October 27, 2016.