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. That’s why we’ve opted not to accept candidates’ political ads.

We felt Community Voices would offer some avenue for opinion pieces. But as that section has evolved, it has served well as a forum for a variety of news beyond what we have covered, becoming inadequate for the legitimate requests for more opinion driven writing.

We have revised our stance, deciding to give our readers a chance to express their views while refusing to be a conduit for the excesses we deplore. Community Opinion is our newest section, featuring only opinion pieces, letters to the editor, and other submissions we deem appropriate. 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.

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

Volunteer Gary Jones thanks Dana Corp for hosting Adopt-a-Pet event

I would like to commend the Dana Corporation on Technology Drive in Maumee for hosting an Adopt-a-Pet day for their employees. Jenny Miranda organized the event because she loves animals, she supports the work of rescue sites and humane societies and she wanted a fun day where employees might adopt a pet. What a remarkable event for a corporate company to support local efforts. It was a fun day and pets were adopted. And generous gifts of toys, food and blankets, enough to fill the bed of a pickup truck were given to each of the participating humane groups. To me, it was a remarkable day spent with enthusiastic Dana employees. Kudos to Dana and Miranda. Gary Jones, Volunteer Bowling Green Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on June 15, 2017.

Black Swamp Arts Festival thanks Kroger for donation

To the Editor: The Black Swamp Arts Festival Committee would like to express its appreciation for the $2,000 donated to the festival by Kroger during its grand opening of the Kroger Marketplace in Bowling Green. We are honored to be included along with Wood County Humane Society and The Cocoon. The Kroger donation will help us continue to present high quality entertainment and art to the community. On Sept. 8. 9 and 10 the festival will mark its 25th year with a weekend full of art, music, activities for kids, beverages, and food.   Black Swamp Arts Festival committee Posted by: David Dupont on June 15, 2017.

Arctic Refuge should remain off limits for oil drilling

To the editor: I appreciated Jan Larson McLaughlin’s article, “BG mayor may join ‘Climate Mayors’ national movement.” I think it’s important for communities and decision makers to be considering all sides of an issue before jumping straight into it, especially when it comes to issues as important as our environment. It seems that some of our nation’s leaders have stopped doing just that. President Trump’s budget proposal threatens to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. This 19-million-acre tract of pristine wild lands is home to millions of animals, and is threatened by these commercial endeavors. As a federal land, it is the property of all Americans, and we have a right to be able to make decisions on it. If we allow them to go into the last frontier that we have, then we risk opening up places here in Ohio to this same development. We need to tell our senators, like Senator Portman, to protect our public lands. Bill Murray Weston Posted by: David Dupont on June 13, 2017.

Wood County Humane Society appreciates Kroger donation

This May, The Kroger Company designated $10,000 to be split among three deserving local nonprofits as part of the Grand Re-Opening Event for its recently remodeled and expanded Bowling Green location. All three of the recognized nonprofits—The Black Swamp Arts Festival, The Cocoon, and The Wood County Humane Society (hereafter The WCHS)—make valuable contributions to this community and we at The WCHS count ourselves lucky and proud to stand beside our peers in those organizations and be recognized for the important work that all of us do in and for this community. We also count ourselves incredibly fortunate to live in a community with such generous support from community partners like The Kroger Company. The WCHS is a private, non-profit, managed admission shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. Our organization receives no funding from government organizations, The United Way, or national humane organizations, instead relying on the generosity of community partners and individual supporters to fund our programs and to allow us to provide care for hundreds of animals each year until those animals can find their forever homes. In 2016, for instance, our amazing staff managed to place 825 animals thanks to the donations of our individual members and our community partners. On behalf of all of our staff and the animals at The WCHS, we would like to whole-heartedly and sincerely thank The Kroger Company for its altruism and for its very generous donation to our mission of bringing about the best possible treatment and quality of life for all animals in Wood County. Dr. Heath A. Diehl, Board…

“This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years of memories” — Michael Penrod

The annual lighting of BG’s Community Holiday Tree has been a tradition for just over 30 years and the Wood County District Public Library is proud to host BG’s Tree. Because it is important to the Library that the tree remain a vital part of the holiday season for Main Street for many years to come, we have worried about the health of the tree for more than a few years. Branches have died, or lost many of their needles, and the tree is swaying more and more with every strong windstorm. Recently, the Library checked with an arborist who, when examining the tree in detail last week, found indications of a disease that causes branches to die from the ground upward. While the tree many live for a few more years, we do not want it to get into such a poor condition that it no longer looks nice as the community’s tree. BG deserves a beautiful tree filled with holiday lights. We also do not want to purchase a lot of expensive decorations for a large tree and then have to replace the tree with a smaller one. Therefore, after much deliberation – and reluctance – the Library has decided that it is better to replace the current tree with a new, healthy one that will be able to serve as BG’s tree for many years to come. Later this Spring, we will work with the City to plant a new tree in the same location. This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years…

Latta’s “communication with his constituents is subpar” – Deborah Schwartz

From DEBORAH SCHWARTZ The article “Latta’s Health Care Vote Leaves Some Constituents Feeling Sick,” published May 5, 2017, did an excellent job covering both sides of the political healthcare story in District 5: Bob Latta ‘s oft-repeated Republican poppycock about the failures of “Obamacare” and his constituents’ concerns about the deleterious effects “Trumpcare” will have on their health. But thankfully, it went one step further in reporting on Latta’s lack of communication with his constituents. As someone who has emailed him, called him, gone to his Bowling Green office, and worked on planning town halls to which he was invited but did not attend, I can attest to the fact that his communication with his constituents is sub-par: · He does not hold or attend town halls. · His telephone town halls are one-sided, with no notice of when they are scheduled, screening of questions, and no time for follow-up questions. · His District Director and office staffers respond blandly to questions about Mr. Latta’s votes and opinions, as in “Mr. Latta hasn’t communicated with us about that yet.” · His schedule is not posted in advance of events – anywhere – although a BG office staffer said that press releases on his website told where he would be. · He doesn’t respond to comments on his posts on Facebook. · His email newsletter is full of superficial reports on legislation and his letters are form letters that do not respond to constituents’ questions or concerns. Last Friday, while two Wood County residents braved the rainstorm to stand on Main St. with signs about having a pre-existing condition and needing…

“Why is the landfill filling up faster than expected?” – Meghan Wilson

I read with interest the report that the Wood County Landfill’s projected lifespan is shrinking. But I have more questions: why is the landfill filling up faster than expected? What accounts for the 10,000 tons more trash from 2014 to 2015? Efforts are underway in cities across the country to reduce waste through better recycling programs, composting, and educating citizens on how to reduce consumption of disposable materials. Wood County has a lot of land, but do we really want to tie up more of it with landfills? Meghan Wilson Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on May 4, 2017.

“Nexus doesn’t pay its required taxes” – Paul Wohlfarth

The NEXUS pipeline has promised Wood County $22,786,432 in total tax receipts over five years. The glowing assessment would be wonderful if not for the glaring truth: Nexus doesn’t pay its required taxes or fees to compensate for the auditor’s services. Ohio Law  319.54 states: (C) From all moneys collected by the county treasurer on any tax duplicate of the county, other than estate tax duplicates, and on all moneys received as advance payments of personal property and classified property taxes, there shall be paid into the county treasury to the credit of the real estate assessment fund created by section 325.31 of the Revised Code, an amount to be determined by the county auditor, which shall not exceed the percentages prescribed in divisions (C)(1) and (2) of this section.  (p) Of an easement or right-of-way when the value of the interest conveyed does not exceed one thousand dollars; Sad truth is many of the Ohio counties along the NEXUS pipeline have not paid these easement conveyance fees. The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CoRN) has looked at counties along the NEXUS pipeline route and had found four that are compliant with Ohio law. Current law requires a $3 to $4 per $1000 fee on easements over $1000. $1 of every $1000 goes to the state. Four counties include Summit, Stark, Wood and Lorain are paying some conveyance fees to the Auditor. So far we found Medina, Erie and Fulton counties that were not collecting these fees back in February. Summit and Stark counties were not being paid all fees, requiring further investigation. Two Ohio DT 100EX forms are required by the auditors office….

Scruci sends message of caution regarding “13 Reasons Why” to all BGCS families

Caution for Families about Students Viewing “13 Reasons Why” BGCS staff has heard, and many families may be aware from recent media reports, about concerns that have been raised about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.  Many youth, including BGCS students, are watching the Netflix series, which was adapted from a popular book of the same title by Jay Asher.  The book and series follow a group of students as they piece together a story left behind by a classmate who died by suicide. While the story touches on important topics, the content is very graphic in nature. Critics have raised concerns that the series romanticizes or glamorizes suicide but gives no healthy alternative to kids struggling with emotional problems.   Although we do not encourage viewing, we believe it is critical for our children and youth to process this information with a trusted adult if they have watched this series.  For this reason, we encourage you to talk with your children about what they are watching, either at home or elsewhere in the company of their friends. BGCS resources related to suicide prevention are available through the Wood County Children’s Resource Center – links can be found on school websites. Finally, as always, we want to remind families that all of our school counselors, school psychologists and staff are available whenever you have questions or concerns.     Precaución para Familias Sobre la Serie “13 Reasons Why” El personal de BGCS está consciente de las preocupaciones sobre la serie de Netflix, “13 Reasons Why.” Usted tal vez ha escuchado estas mismas preocupaciones mediante los recientes informes de prensa. Muchos jóvenes,…

“Sandy has worked hard for the residents of BG.” -Jill Carr

To The Residents of Bowling Green: I submit this letter to express my support of the candidacy of Sandy Rowland for re-election to the Bowling Green City Council. Our primary election is right around the corner. On May 2 I will be casting my vote for Sandy Rowland and I urge you to do likewise. The following are some of my reasons for supporting Sandy’s candidacy. First, Sandy is fully committed to the responsibilities associated with being a member of City Council. She is visible, approachable, an excellent listener, and consistently attends meetings and a wide variety of community events. She takes her constituents’ concerns and questions very seriously and follows-up accordingly. Sandy loves this community and serves it so well. Second, Sandy’s accomplishments during her time on Council are noteworthy. She has worked very hard to bring attention to the needs of residents on the east side of town, especially the deterioration of its neighborhoods. Sandy is a strong proponent of diversity as evidenced by her involvement in Not In Our Town and La Conexion. She has also been a strong advocate for public health and the environment. The list goes on, and will no doubt continue to grow when Sandy is re-elected to another term. Sandy has worked hard for the residents of BG. She wants to continue working hard for us and we need her! So I urge you to vote for Sandy Rowland on May 2. She is a proven hard worker, supporter, and advocate for the residents of Bowling Green. We will all benefit from her experience and her continued dedication. Jill Carr Bowling Green…

“Ohio has already been designated as the sacrifice zone for fracking”

By LEATRA HARPER Most Ohioans have no idea of the destruction of the states’ clean air and water taking place right now in the Southeast part of the state in which the extreme energy extraction method of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is taking place and has been for over five years. Once the huge pipeline infrastructure like Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline and the Williams/Spectra Nexus pipeline are in commission, fracking will take off even more. The pipelines themselves threaten our drinking water and clear cut our forests, spoiling agricultural land and polluting the air with their compressor stations. The pipelines steal private property through the use of eminent domain and threats and false promises made to landowners. Ohio has already been designated as the sacrifice zone for fracking and its toxic, radioactive waste, with Ohio land fills and injection wells solving the industry’s biggest problem on the cheap. It is becoming widely documented of the environmental damage and health impacts of fracking, with a recent study showing an increase in infant mortality likely due to water polluted by fracking with an addition 50 infant deaths as a result ( The pipelines will cause even more death and destruction. A climate bus leaves from NW Ohio in Bluffton this Friday at 8 p.m. (for tickets click) for the Peoples’ Climate March in Washington D.C..  We have many reasons to march for the climate and against extreme energy extraction.  When Rover ramps up, Ohio’s clean air and water will be sacrificed for fracking. When the LLC’s take their spoils and leave, Ohio taxpayers will be on the hook to clean up the mess,…

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

Four 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 Sandy Rowland’s goal to serve…

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April 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.     It only takes once.  Please…

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

I 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 Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 20, 2017.

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

On 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 Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 20, 2017.

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

Latta 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 Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on April 18, 2017.on April 19, 2017.

Guest Column from State Representative Theresa Gavarone

Improving 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 having a visible marker on…

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

House 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 of their electricity from renewable…

“Mayor should acknowledge experience of geologists” – Paul Wohlfarth

At 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 Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on March 9, 2017.on April 20, 2017.

“Trump Proposing War” – Joann Schiavone

He 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 for the almighty dollar rather…

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

RALLY 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 to meet with his District…

Update on Library Funding – Michael Penrod

Update 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 and transform lives. We remain…

“Sharrows are merely a suggestion” – Sean Herman

An 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 grants have been brought to…

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

The 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 Posted by: David Dupont on February 1, 2017.

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

A 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 Posted by: elizabeth roberts-zibbel on January 30, 2017.