Community Opinion

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

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

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

Zero waste in landfills and oceans – a response to city hearing on plastic bags

Tuesday night’s meeting of the City Council sub-committee on plastic bags was a good opener for facing the trash build-up but it left out so much that it may have hurt the hunt for the real problem. That problem is waste, a much larger category than plastics. Even if plastic bags are banned, our landfill is still drowning in waste and harming the water table, the air we breathe, and our most important resource, the oceans. It was surprising that most speakers at the meeting failed to mention the name of the task that hundreds of cities throughout the world are tackling: Zero Waste. At the top of the success list are San Francisco* and Kamikatsu, Japan. Not far behind are Australia, Canada, Italy, Austin, TX and Boulder, CO. This effort to diagnose and act on the problem of growing landfills is more than twenty years old. Consensus is building: Googling “Zero Waste” demonstrates widespread agreement on the problem, its form, and its solutions. In this global effort to minimize waste, some numbers are important and staggering: in 2016 the world produced more than two billion tons of solid waste, and large landfills get ten thousand tons of waste a day. Understanding Zero Waste starts by taking a field trip to the Landfill. There, we find mountains of stuff that belong in other places. If we look closely, we find five caterogies: Recyclables like glass bottles and aluminum cans; Reusables like clothing, metals and appliances; Compostables like food and dirt; Biodegradables like some plastics; Paper and cardboard. Missing from that list are plastic bags. They’re almost impossible to recycle so until they become biodegradable, we must indeed ban them. (Marshall Medoff, not a chemist, nor a scientist, may have found the formula for biodegradable plastic.) With hard work (and more barrels) cities are able to redirect most waste away from landfills. “Recology: A World without Waste” is a business that helps that process move forward. And in our own back yard Aldis grocery store offers an encouraging picture: No free plastic bags. Customers bring their own reusable bags. Cart rental…

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Perrysburg mayor shares recommendation to resolve police communication issues

Consistent with my previous statements, I am providing members of city council a recommendation for moving forward to resolve issues of interdepartmental law enforcement communications. This is in response to the law enforcement events that occurred on August 27, 2018. As you know, I asked the Lucas County Sheriff to investigate those events, including a review of whether there was an issue regarding radio communication between jurisdictions. Neither I, nor any member of the Administration, received a complaint or concern from any official from neighboring jurisdictions about communication between agencies on August 27th. The report issued by the Sheriff’s office identified the current process and equipment used by the Perrysburg Police Division as a potential weakness. It recommended the city evaluate its radio communications with neighboring jurisdictions to correct that weakness. Pursuant to that recommendation, I directed additional funds be allocated to upgrading the Police Division’s communication capacity. With council’s cooperation and approval, $230,000.00 was allocated in the 2019 Budget for the purpose of improving communications with neighboring jurisdictions. To achieve that goal, I requested Administrator Bridgette Kabat evaluate and review the current communications system to formulate a recommendation ensuring the safety of our first responders and the community in a cost-effective manner. A technical advisory committee comprised of representatives of Perrysburg, Wood County and Lucas County Communications staff, administrative personnel, Wood County Sheriff Wasylyshyn, Perrysburg Fire Chief Ruiz and Eric Willman of Willman Technologies collected information and provided input in order to make a recommendation to council regarding how best to provide enhanced interoperability between law enforcement agencies and the Perrysburg Police Division. The advisory committee examined the current system and the process utilized to manually patch Perrysburg radios to allow direct communication with all of our neighboring communities. The advisory committee also reviewed the Wood County and Perrysburg Township radio systems and their capabilities. The committee identified options to provide the Perrysburg Police Division the broadest range communications between neighboring jurisdictions. Within these options, the committee concluded the creation of a new radio system while maintaining the current radio system would achieve interoperability and would cost approximately $225,000.00….

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BG resident says police recorded him & shared it with TV show

It has come to my attention that the Bowling Green police secretly recorded me and abetted in sharing this with a national broadcast without my permission. It was involved with the Dawn Glanz case. I was visited by the police in a large SUV.  Another woman came out of the van as I stood on my front porch. At no time did they admit they were recording me. I hope that all citizens will take this as warning when dealing with our police force. Dr. F. Scott Regan Bowling Green  Posted by: David Dupont on January 25, 2019.

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Sheriff reconsiders issuing snow emergency declarations

Dear Wood County Citizens, As your Sheriff, I work directly for all 130,000 of you and take this honor very seriously. From the first day I took office in January of 2005, every decision I make is based on what is best for the citizens of Wood County, not what is best for me or my office. At times I re-evaluate decisions made. I will be issuing all three emergency levels. I have learned from the conversations I have had with many of you on the phone, emails, and text messages over the past 72 hours that some of you want me to inform you of the road conditions using the three emergency levels. For all of those that had contacted me that you do not want direction from the government, please understand that level 1 and level 2 emergencies do not prevent you from travel and you may choose to use them as an advisory. As I have done since taking office, a level 3 will only be called in the event of white outs or if the roadways are impassible and the duration will be for as short of time as possible to safeguard our freedoms. We do live in Northwest Ohio and get snow and ice frequently every winter. Due to the size of our county and public service availability to clear roadways, please keep in mind the level issued is county wide and may not reflect the current road conditions where you live. A good friend of mine often says “Whatever level you are on you are always one level off.” Yes, many of you may disagree with me on the level issued and may think I should do level 3s for smaller weather events. I know that no matter what decision I make not everyone is going to agree with me. I do not know of anyone that agrees with another person 100% of the time. However, if you disagree with me please do not call the dispatch center and use foul language, yell and threaten my deputies. They do not determine the levels. Please…

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Sheriff made wrong call on storm level

Mark,   I am a registered Republican and have never voted for anyone other than a Republican.   I have voted for you every time you ran and have met you.   My point is that you are taking a hard line on this issue and I can tell you that people feel you are wrong on this, even Republicans.   People rely on YOU to give them accurate information and the reality of Saturday was that you didn’t    I drove from Hancock county which was a level 2 to BG and it was at least as bad.   All I am saying is that playing the Trump line, which we both know is the case here, is not in the best interest of public safety. Jasen Leffel Bowling Green Mark Wasylyshyn response Jan. 21 at 10:05 p.m. Dear Jasen, As you know I rarely issue level three. I strongly believe in people having the right to travel when they wish. I recently educated myself about the levels and spoke with a man involved with creating them. He confirmed what I sent out.  You don’t sound like a Republican.  Usually Republicans are for individual rights not government dictating when you can leave travel. Last opponent ran campaign against me promising many more level threes. She did not fair (sic) well.  If I get voted out doing the right thing then I’ll move on and you can stay home per orders when it snows.Mark WasylyshynWood County SheriffSo what changed since last year when it comes to issuing a certain level?   You issued them last year.   I really hope this is not anything politically motivated but sense it really is.   I guess ALL the other surrounding sheriffs must be wrong.   I am a lifelong Republican and you are really taking the wrong avenue on this if you plan to be re-elected.   Please reconsider your stance if and when the next storm hits.The roads were definitely bad, at a minimum a level 1 but in my opinion a level 2.  People aren’t stupid and this will come up during the next election cycle.Jasen Leffel Posted by: David Dupont…

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10 readings on social justice recommended

This list of 10 readings on social justice is a suggested guide for those interested in bringing a focus on equality, tolerance, community, empathy and other values consistent with a humane approach to building a more just and fair society. 1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Author: Isabel Wilkerson. Chronicles one of the untold stories of America. The decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities. 2. Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. Author: Amy Ellis Nutt. Inspiring story of transgender actor-activist Nicole Maines. One of two identical twins, Nicole persists in her struggles within an unwelcoming society. 3. The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts. Author: Arthur Miller. The witchcraft trials of 1682 resulted in socially sanctioned violence. Miller turned the story into a powerful parable about McCarthyism.    4. A People’s History of the United States. Author: Howard Zinn. The history of America from the viewpoint of factory workers, Native Americans, civil rights advocates, the working poor and the migrant worker et al. The battles of angry men and women against corporate and government tyranny. 5. Letter from Birmingham Jail. Author: Martin Luther King Jr.  The letter written from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama defends the strategy of non-violence resistance to moderate white pastors condemning a protest march. 6. Sermon on the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5-7. These chapters from the New Testament describe the most important teachings of Jesus Christ including the Beatitudes. The call to humility, peacemaking, and righteousness with a condemnation of greed and hypocrisy. 7. In Dubious Battle. Author: John Steinbeck. A fast-paced novel of social unrest. Set in California apple country where a strike by migrant workers against rich landowners spins out of control. 8. All Quiet on the Western Front. Author: Erich Maria Remarque. A young German soldier during WWI observes the horror of war. As the war plods on the character of Paul Baumer vows to fight against the principles of hate that war depends on. 9. Cider House Rules. Author: John Irving. Set in rural…

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Who May Pray?

One day as the Lord God looked down on his world, he observed the many signs of good and evil at play in the lives and relationships of the people he had created. From acts of love and generosity and compassion to acts of hatred and lust and greed, from neighbors helping neighbors to nations at war with each other and even between factions of their own people. It occurred to him that perhaps he needed to remind them that he created them out of his love for them and that their wellbeing as individuals and families, as nations and as a world is wrapped up in that purpose of love for one another that is at the very heart of their being. Then he remembered that once he had told one of his prophets that if the people he created would call upon him for his help, he would save them from their sin and their self-destruction. So he landed on the idea of a world-wide day of prayer and tossed it out to see whether some of his faithful would consider spreading the word. Well, the idea did catch on, and over the period of a few years, various communities began holding World Day of Prayer gatherings, calling on God to help them find ways to overcome the sins that separate them and create such chaos in human life and suffering, and help them become the people he had created them to be. So God decided this idea must have some merit, and he decided to call together the leadership of the world’s religious organizations to work on the details. What he wasn’t expecting is that some of those in leadership wanted to dictate the rules of who would be allowed to attend and lead these gatherings. For example, those who considered themselves”true Christians” wanted to designate who could pray, but would allow anyone who wanted to attend to do so as long they were silent, and also wanted to specify what prayers would be allowed. God was especially dismayed by the Christians, because when he sent Jesus,…

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MVUUC minister chooses to channel energies in positive direction

It has been noted that for those of us that are not welcome to speak at the National Prayer Day event, we have the Annual Not In Our Town Interfaith Breakfast that “anyone can come to.”  As a planner of that event, and the chair for the last two years, I can confirm that the Interfaith Breakfast planners invite all faiths to participate.  Many of the congregations that will most likely be represented at the National Day of Prayer, have not attended the Interfaith Breakfast.  It is a shame they don’t join us because we hope to encourage an interfaith dialogue and understanding with all faiths in our community.  We believe that it can be a simple lack of knowledge and experience that feeds the fear of other beliefs.I know it seems the rest of us are being treated unfairly; but my faith encourages me to see the worth and dignity in all people, and by extension, in all faiths.  That’s why I’ve decided to channel my energy in positive ways. First, I’ll work harder on interfaith activities that encourage mutual respect.  Secondly, I am praying in my own way for those people that have not yet discovered that we are much more alike than otherwise.  I will feel compassion for those that have not yet discovered the joy that fills the heart when we love all of our neighbors. I won’t be angry with others because they don’t approve of my beliefs because I know that making a difference in our world will only be achieved when we all find our common humanity. I hope that our community will eventually come together in one prayerful, meditative, and contemplative moment to benefit the greater good. For now, I can only change how I react to intolerance. I choose the way of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said,  “l’ve decided to stick to love – hate is too great a burden to bear.” Rev. Lynn Kerr Minister, Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on December 21, 2018.

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Planned Parenthood denounces sweeping abortion bans in Ohio

In the middle of the night, the Ohio legislature passed two dangerous and unconstitutional abortion bans — outlawing both abortion six weeks into pregnancy and the safest, most common method of second trimester abortion. These dangerous restrictions could effectively ban abortion in Ohio. The six-week abortion ban in effect eliminates abortion because most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. Furthermore, the method ban challenges a doctor’s ability to provide the best options for their patients by criminalizing doctors for doing their job. With Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and Trump in the White House, it’s clear that emboldened anti-abortion politicians are pursuing dangerous and radical policies in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion entirely. Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “In the last seven years, over 400 laws have passed that restrict abortion care, despite what we know from medicine and science to be true: Abortion is a safe, standard medical procedure. Ohio’s six-week abortion ban and method ban are dangerous policies that could endanger women’s lives. I know firsthand just how important it is for doctors to have the ability to provide the care their patients want and need. As a doctor, I trust my patients to make their own health care decisions, and every doctor should have the right to provide care for our patients without the threat of prison time. We at Planned Parenthood will always fight to ensure patients have access to safe, legal abortion in Ohio and across the country.” Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio: “Today, Ohio politicians have made a national disgrace of our state. Let’s be clear — the abortion bans are equally extreme, take aim at Ohioans and families, and punish doctors for caring for their patients. We demand Governor Kasich stop both of these dangerous policies in their tracks. Every Ohioan deserves the right to control their own body, life, and future without politicians getting in the way. We will stand against these unconstitutional attacks on Ohioans and will use everything…

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Tom Klein: Why National Prayer Day should be truly inclusive

By now the news has spread around this city; Bowling Green leaders and many citizens are not pleased.   Chaplain Kristel Asmus, who again serves as coordinator of our the National Prayer Day, is directing the event coming in May, 2019, and is restricting speakers to Christians.  No Muslims, no Mormons.  And, of course, no Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is.  All those religious groups represent spiritual causes preaching compassion and love.  Christian-only speakers conflict with the nationally established purpose of the event — to recognize and celebrate the religious and ethnic diversity of America. Anything other than inclusiveness is harmful and dangerous. Some history might help explain what’s at stake here. A national prayer day was formalized in 1952 when a joint resolution by Congress was signed by President Truman. In 1988, the law was amended and then signed by President Reagan. For its long history, the prayer-day speakers have spanned diverse faith communities with the purpose being to spread the word of God and love to unite the country. Spiritual extremism happens when someone claims a monopoly on truth.  The greatest danger of such extremism is the wars accompanied by a fundamentalist cause and character, with economic and historical components connected.  In our own time there’s the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Syrian Civil War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.   Then, there’s the Thirty Years War, the Crusades, the Sudanese Civil War, and the Nigerian Civil War.  Of course Christian-only speakers in our small town will not spark a war. But when such practices spread across the US, that can happen. It’s a rare event when one person who, ironically, has been in charge of this event for twenty years and decides to radically modify it.  We need to understand why a chaplain might take such an extreme position, converting a healing and unifying message into one where there is only one right message, and why serious harms can result.  Such an attitude is at best disturbing.  The chaplain, with confirmation from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, told the BG Independent News that “Mormons could not participate in leadership teams or participate publicly in the prayer event.”  Looking at that restrictive attitude through the lens of…

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Ohio should not restrict citizens’ right to petition government

We want to thank Sen. Gardner for conducting the Town Hall Meeting last Saturday and listening to the concerns and questions from his constituents.  At that meeting, I asked him about HJR19 in regard to amending the process for getting a petition on the ballot. The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution grants citizens several fundamental freedoms including ‘the freedom to PETITION the Government’.  In Ohio, the process to get a measure on the ballot is already quite stringent and HJR19 provisions make it even more difficult. Senator Gardner responded to me that the concern was that large donors from out of state were infringing on the rights of Ohio citizens.  If this is the true concern, we respectfully suggest that the Legislature address ‘Money in Politics’, rather than unduly burdening civic organizations, such as the non-partisan League of Women Voters, to successfully get a petition measure on the ballot. Fellow citizens, if this issue being rushed through the ‘Lame Duck’ Session is of concern to you, please contact your elected representatives: Sen. Gardner  614-466-8060 or 419-352-1984 Rep. Gavarone 614-466-1804 or 419-345-7768   Joan and Bob Callecod Bowling Green   Posted by: David Dupont on December 5, 2018.

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NAMI director urges ‘yes’ vote on ADAMHS levy

I am writing today to encourage you to vote yes on the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board 1 mill Replacement Levy on Tuesday, November 6th if you haven’t done so already. This is not a new tax, it would bring the old tax up to current value. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Wood County receives a majority of its funding from the ADAMHS Board to provide support, education, and advocacy for individuals affected by mental illness. One in five people are living with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness. Of these one in five, there are many more family members, friends, and colleagues affected by their loved ones condition. NAMI is able to provide support and education for all of the above mentioned. NAMI Wood County provides twice yearly free classes for family members and individuals living with mental health conditions through the support from ADAMHS. These classes and ongoing support groups are invaluable to those that utilize them. Many times, people attend a program and announce that they’ve not shared their story elsewhere. NAMI can provide that safe space for people to share, be heard, and feel supported by peers. Among the many peer programs that NAMI provides, there are a great deal of community education programs offered due to Levy support.  Mental Health First Aid teaches individuals how to provide assistance and access help for a person in a mental health crisis. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings are coordinated by NAMI as well. This community program offered twice yearly provides law enforcement officers information in working with individuals in a mental health crisis. CIT companion courses hosted by NAMI include: Fire and Rescue Workers, Dispatchers, Behavioral Health Clinicians, Advanced Trainings, and Resiliency Trainings. The evidence based prevention and recovery programs that NAMI Wood County provides are national programs with statistics that have shown reductions in recidivism rates in both jails and hospitals. By supporting the ADAMHS Board Levy, you are making a difference in the lives of people affected by mental illness and the Wood County community….

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Jennifer Karches: GOP smear campaign in State House race shows the evils of ‘dark money’

I confronted Theresa Charters-Gavarone yesterday at the Kiwanis pancake breakfast on her misleading and pathetic campaign flyers and commercials against Aidan Hubbell-Staeble. Just like she told me after her similar smear campaign with Kelly Wicks, Theresa said after the first mailer she contacted the Ohio Republican party (who paid for this slop) to stop! She had NO control over this. Right. It looks like the Ohio Republican party bought “the works” from a dark money group…the amazing thing is Republicans are totally fine being identified with this filth! To get a riveting education on dark money, watch PBS’s POV “Dark Money”. Unfortunately it can now only be watched online with a $60 Passport membership to WBGU-TV, but it is well worth it if you just watch this program alone. Here’s the link to view the trailer: https://www.pbs.org/video/dark-money-trailer-20vifr/ We need to have ALL money out of politics and have a political system that works for the people. Imagine if our only source of info on political candidates was televised debates and impartial articles in our community newspapers. Imagine having our elected representatives actually work more days than not in a year representing us, their constituents, and working hard to solve OUR problems and issues instead of constantly chasing money to fund their next campaign. Our broken political system needs a major reform, and Ms. Gavarone is clearly not a part of that reform. Please vote for Aidan Hubbell-Staeble.   Jennifer Karches Bowling Green Posted by: David Dupont on November 4, 2018.

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Prevention educator urges yes on ADAMHS levy

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote yes for the 1.0 mill replacement levy of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS). This is not a new tax, it is a replacement tax, which brings the old tax up to current value. The Wood County Educational Service Center receives over seventy-five percent of their prevention education program dollars from the ADAMHS Board. The Educational Service Center is just one of several quality agencies supported by the ADAMHS Board with your tax dollars. The Wood County Prevention Education Program engages youth leaders, schools, parents, communities and agencies to educate and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in our youth. The Prevention Education Program also addresses issues relating to bullying, dating and relationship violence, classroom behavior, and improving mental health in our youth. On-site prevention education specialists in 9 school districts monitor trends, identify/implement evidenced-based programs, strategies, support, and early intervention and referral for treatment services as selected by each district for all Wood County youth. Prevention education staff members also make referrals for youth experiencing trauma to on-site school-based mental health counselors also provided with funding by the ADAMHS board. National studies report that evidenced-based prevention education programs have a positive impact on academic achievement, school climate, and safe and healthy youth.  Since 2004, a biennial youth survey is conducted in Wood County for all public school students in grades 5 through 12 and in 2018, virtually all drugs are at their lowest rates of usage since the survey’s inception.  Not only is prevention extremely efficacious, it is also fiscally responsible, as for which each dollar spent on prevention programming up to $64 dollars can be saved on societal costs that would have otherwise been incurred.  Prevention, early and often works. Please vote yes for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services 1.0 mill replacement levy. The positive impact will be felt by your youth, your schools, and your communities. Kyle D. Clark Prevention Education Program Director Wood County ESC   Posted by: David Dupont on October…

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Jennifer Karches: Issue 1 will save money & improve public safety

Please vote YES on Issue 1. I understand it’s not perfect, but there is NO hope that our legislature will enact any meaningful prison/sentencing reform anytime soon. Too many lives are ruined with Ohio’s punitive drug laws, which rely on prisons as the answer. Did you know one year of prison costs Ohioans $30,000? Ohio has approximately 50,000 inmates, which means WE spend approximately $1.5 billion per year locking people away, rather than actively working to rehabilitate and treat their addictions. There is a better way! According to Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign, here are some excellent reasons to vote YES on Issue 1 to reduce the number of people in state prison for low-level, nonviolent crimes and put the money to better use by directing savings to drug treatment and crime victims. ✓ YES on Issue 1 saves taxpayer dollars: Ohio spends more than $1.8 billion per year on a broken prison system where too many people who pose little public safety risk are incarcerated while treatment and prevention programs suffer. Issue 1 will save tens of millions of dollars annually in prison spending and direct the savings to addiction treatment and victims of crime. ✓ YES on Issue 1 puts our public safety dollars to better use: Wasting law enforcement resources and prison on people struggling with addiction makes no sense. Issue 1 requires misdemeanors instead of felonies for low-level drug possession offenses and requires community service, treatment or local jail, instead of state prison, for people convicted of these crimes or who break probation rules (such as missing a meeting). Treatment and supervision work better to improve public safety than a revolving prison door. ✓ YES on Issue 1 reduces recidivism: Issue 1 expands earned-credit programs so that qualified people can be considered for release if they participate in rehabilitation programs. Experts agree that requiring people to earn their way out of prison through rehabilitation reduces the likelihood they’ll commit more crimes. ✓ YES on Issue 1 protects public safety: This was carefully written to ensure that people that are a danger to public safety remain…

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Mayor Edwards asks community to support ADAMHS replacement levy

From a total community perspective, there is perhaps no more important issue on the November 6th ballot than the replacement levy to help support Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services in Wood County.   One only has to assess the daily news to realize the magnitude of need for these life-saving services. Every day the demand for help for crisis situations seems to grow and no family, no household is immune from the need for intervention specialists.   In both my university and public service life, I have seen time and time again the need for support services grow whether for family support, mental health, substance abuse, crisis situations or general informational needs to help others.   As one who has devoted so much volunteer time over the years to help in some small ways to assist others with special needs, I urge you to help in a big way by supporting the ADAMHS replacement levy.   Richard A. Edwards Mayor City of Bowling Green Posted by: admin on October 26, 2018.

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“I believe Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge” – Mel Browning

​A few years ago, after 23 years, I retired as an attorney at the Sixth District Court of Appeals. During my time there I had an opportunity to observe some really superior appeals judges. The court is one of the most respected in the state. ​The common characteristics of a good appeals court judge include not only a firm understanding of the law, but a sense of fairness, impartially and a dedication to protect the rights of all who come before the court.  The good judge must also temper the application of the law with a sense of compassion and an understanding that those who come before the court should be dealt with respectfully. ​I have known Joel Kuhlman and his family for decades now. I believe that he has the traits necessary to be a good judge. He has a firm understanding of the law, having practiced for ten years in Wood and the surrounding counties. He is fair, impartial and compassionate. ​He also brings with him an appreciation for the perspective of the non-urban parts of the district which, although comprising approximately half of the population of the Sixth District, have been traditionally under-represented on the court. ​I believe that Joel Kuhlman will make a good appellate judge and that his election to the court would bring a perspective and vigor that the court needs. For these reasons I would urge your support for Joel Kuhlman for Sixth District Court of Appeals sthis November. Mel Browning Rossford Posted by: admin on October 25, 2018.

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BG Chamber supports ADAMHS levy

It is the decision of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to support The Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Replacement Levy in the upcoming November election. We considered the services offered by ADAMHS and how vital they are to our business community.  We also gave consideration to your use of public funds and conceded that use is reliable and respectable. It is our belief that this replacement  levy will allow ADAMHS to continue to help fight real-life problems faced by our entire community and the affects drug addiction and mental health issues have on the employment pool of our business affiliates.   Mary F. Hinkelman, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce   Posted by: David Dupont on October 24, 2018.

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Sheriff urges yes vote for Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services levy

I encourage all voters to vote yes for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services replacement levy on the ballot November 6, 2018. There are a large number of residents in our county who suffer from mental illness and addiction. With the services provided by the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, along with continued collaboration with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the ARC program with the Prosecutor’s Office; we can continue to help treat these individuals in a timely manner.  The Crisis Intervention Team continues to help train law enforcement with a better understanding of mental illness and how to interact effectively with citizens who may be suffering. Wood County benefits greatly from the services provided to our citizens from these programs. I urge all voters to vote yes for the replacement levy for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board on November 6th. Mark Wasylyshyn Wood County Sheriff Posted by: David Dupont on October 24, 2018.

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Local judges urge citizens to vote NO on Issue 1

It is a rare circumstance when a judge writes a letter to the editor concerning a statewide issue. It is even rarer when five judges do this. Five Wood County judges – Common Pleas Judges Reeve Kelsey, Alan Mayberry and Matthew Reger along with Bowling Green and Perrysburg Municipal Court Judges Mark Reddin and Molly Mack – want to ensure every citizen in Wood County makes an informed decision when voting this fall. All five of us urge citizens to vote NO on ISSUE 1, a state constitutional amendment that will destroy years of progress on the opioid epidemic and make Ohio a magnet for drug dealers. Our arguments against this issue are numerous but here are the top five reasons to vote no: 1. This is a Constitutional amendment that cannot be changed. In the last 25 years the drug epidemic has changed significantly taking many different forms. We have no idea what the emergent drug will be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.  Policy changes, given the specificity of Issue 1,would take years and substantial resources to adjust and could not be completed in time to address the nuance of the changing dangerous drug situation. 2. The opioid epidemic and dangerous drugs addiction are both a health care and criminal justice issue. Issue 1 tries to pigeonhole drug addiction as exclusively a health care matter. But in doing so the proponents ignore the necessity of compelling treatment for those unwilling or unmotivated to engage. Issue 1 eliminates a court’s ability to incarcerate people who are using drugs that could kill them. Many people who find themselves in a system that is seeking to help them would find themselves with neither help nor assistance. 3. Issue 1 would effectively eliminate drug courts, intervention in lieu of conviction, and other programs meant to assist drug addicted individuals. Ohio has spent significant resources in time and money creating specialized courts, dockets, and programs to address the drug epidemic. These programs are making inroads in helping courts be more nuanced in dealing with the specific needs of…

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League of Women Voters urges support for mental health services levy

To the Editor: The Mental Health Committee of the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green urges a positive vote for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Metal Health Services (ADAMHS) Board’s levy. This 1.0 mill, 10-year replacement levy will provide funding forjust over one-third of the costs of the county’s mental health and addiction services, about $3,263,000 a year. A replacement levy is not a new tax. It keeps the millage the same, but uses current property values.  The levy will cost $35.00 per $100,000 home valuation. This is about an $8.60 increase yearly to the home owner. The ADAMHS Board is comprised of eighteen volunteer Wood County community members, bringing with them a variety of expertise and experience. The Board operations are conducted by the Executive Director and six staff. The Board assesses the county’s mental health and substance abuse problems and plans for cost effective services to address them. It then contracts with certified community agencies to provide programs and therapiesand monitors and evaluates these services. It raises funds through levies and grants. Mental health and addiction services and programs include treatment and support for recovery, crisis response and intervention services, the latter working closely with law enforcement. The ADAMHS Board funds agencies’ nationallyrecognized community education and prevention programs, including those aimed at the rising opiate epidemic and the increasing number of suicides in Wood County. Services reach all ages of Wood County residents. Some agencies receiving program funding include: The Children’s Resource Center, Harbor Wood Co., Unison Health, the Zepf Center, Lutheran Social Services, and A Renewed Mind. The ADAMHS Board also contracts with three hospitals that provide inpatient psychiatric services. This levy is a good investment in the lives of people dealing with difficult problems. Helping them and their families helpsmake stronger communities for all of us. ​​Lee Hakel, President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green ​​Charlotte Scherer, Chair, Mental Health Committee Posted by: admin on October 22, 2018.

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Gary Jones: My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency

An Informed Voter’s Choice I am a Democrat who doesn’t mean to bash Bob Latta.  I simply want to draw comparison’s between the two candidates.  My biggest concern is that Mr. Latta does not engage with his constituency.  I talked to a Northwest Ohio woman visiting her children in Florida who was angry because she had gone to a Latta Town Hall and he did not show up to take questions.  In a democracy, that is not right.  Our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It is a citizen’s right to hear and to question a candidate in order to have informed opinions.  Michael Galbraith has been speaking all over the 5th district that spans from the Indiana line to beyond Oak Harbor and the Michigan line to beyond Fort Recovery. He is and has been speaking and taking questions and challenges all over this gerrymandered district to favor Latta.  Galbraith will talk to anyone who wants to listen or question him.  Since meeting with constituents is a main concern for me, the better choice is clear. Secondly, I am so tired of the gridlock in congress whose 15% approval rating is so dismal.  Galbraith’s position is to find common ground and compromise with the Republicans and Independents in order to pass much needed legislation that currently sets in gridlock.  Our congressman simply votes with President.  I just wish he would meet with people to explain his position on issues and his vision for solving the gridlock and the legislation on which he would seek compromise. I have listened to Michael Galbraith’s position on our natural resources especially our rivers, the Great Lakes, and our aquifers.  I have not had the chance to listen to or to question Latta’s positions. Is Mr. Latta’s position on the Affordable Care Act to do away with what remains of ACA? The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have left 23 million more Americans uninsured.  If congress is concerned about healthcare, insuring people with pre-existing conditions, and cost then they must…

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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.

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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

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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…

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