Music with a political message on the side

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The taco truck invasion came to Bowling Green last night. Earlier this week a supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign warned that of Hillary Clinton was elected there would be an influx trucks.  Since then social media has been full of mocking references to the remark. So Next Gen Climate, a group mobilizing young voters to vote for politicians in favor of taking action to combat global warming, brought a taco truck to downtown Bowling Green and was handing out free tacos and other food items. They also offered to register voters. Among the most enthusiastic was Kirsty Sayer, a native of South Africa, who recently became a U.S. citizen. She happily posed with her voter registration form and a sign that declared “Stop Trump, Vote Climate.” The taco truck was there in conjunction with a Concert for the Climate held across the street at Grounds for Thought. The concert was billed as a mix of activism and music. As promised the music took the upper hand. Singer-songwriter Justin Payne, encouraged people to register to vote during his set. “That’s as much as you’ll hear me say about politics in public,” he told the audience. Dustin Galish, who is a field organizer for Next Gen and the leader of the band Tree No Leaves, urged those in attendance to vote for candidates who support environmental causes. They need “to make sure the environment didn’t suffer because you didn’t vote.” And with that he turned over the spotlight on the first act Tim Concannon, who evoked an earlier generation of activists with a rendition of Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer.” He also made the only explicit pitch for a candidate, singing a song in support of Kelly Wicks, the owner of the coffee shop and a Democratic candidate for the State House. Certainly Mechanical Cat, a musical project of John Zibbel, wove environmental messages in his intergalactic tales about a visitor from the planet Trifenderor. (Zibbel is a BG Independent business partner.) Otherwise the mostly college age crowd of about 100 heard an evening of mostly original music. Payne’s original pieces drew heavily on the blues and folk tradition, evoking working folks up against the industrial machine. He said that earlier this year while on tour, the rash of violent incidents discouraged him so much he almost stepped away from music. But he didn’t. Balance Bird from Toledo delivered a set of animated alternative rock, full of catchy hooks. Tree No Leaves closed with a set of songs built…


Campus Fest, BG Independent and the acoustic typewriter

By ELIZABETH ROBERTS-ZIBBEL Zibbel Media/BG Independent News On Thursday, the staff of BG Independent News sat (and stood) at a table near the Education Building in the middle of the bustling, somewhat controlled chaos of Campus Fest. John, always full of ideas, had suggested finding an old typewriter to display, and if it worked, we could have students type on it and we’d compile their thoughts in a BG Independent piece. The four of us were discussing this via text, our primary means of communication. David seemed the most likely to have one, but he responded, “I don’t know if I have an operating acoustic typewriter.” But David did have one, though the ribbon was nearly worn out. It had belonged to his 94-year-old mother-in-law, Vi Brown, when she was a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the 1940s. As we handed out our blue bookmark us bookmarks and chatted with people and squinted into the sun, we offered students the chance to type a sentence or two about their hopes for the coming year. John optimistically started us off with “I am looking forward to a great year. _John Z” The first brave volunteer typed “to have good grades.” Next was a professor. “All my students will use APA and earn awesome grades. -Dr. LLM.” “Get a better GPA,” and “have a good semester” were next, followed by the more expansive “to be successful in all i do” (complete with lower case I). David, always thinking, realized we’d have a problem if we couldn’t read the sheets later and began scribbling what was being written into his reporter’s notebook. The typed words were becoming increasingly difficult to decipher. The next several lines, however, didn’t make it into his notes: i lik chicken hoping to graduate from el chooo to be the best i can be omg i love this hello. I would love to think that someone was hoping to graduate from elf school, but decoding these thoughts isn’t made any easier by the fact that when typists realized the keys were barely imprinting the paper, many probably stopped trying to make sense, which seems like a metaphor. If a sentence is typed but can’t be read, does it still have impact? “BG Independent News!” Jan spoke hopefully to a group of students. “Online local news and arts coverage, check us out.” “I follow you on Twitter!” a young woman responded, tucking the bookmark Jan handed her into the bag of freebies under her arm. “Oh! That’s me! I’m the tweeter,” I…


BG to try for medical marijuana moratorium

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Earlier this year, state legislators approved a medical marijuana bill, making Ohio the 25th state to legalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes. But when House Bill 523 goes into effect next Thursday, city officials hope to have their own medical marijuana restrictions in place. On Tuesday, Bowling Green City Council’s agenda shows the first reading of a resolution imposing a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana cultivation, processing and retail dispensary facilities in the city. When the legislation was passed in June, the state cautioned it could take up to a year to be fully implemented. “Like the state, the city of Bowing Green also needs time to work on its regulations as they relate to medical marijuana,” the resolution explanation states. The city resolution would impose a year-long moratorium on medical marijuana growth, processing and sales. The moratorium will also cover the submission, consideration and approval of all applications for special permits, use permits, building permits and other permits from the planning or zoning departments for cultivating, processing or retail dispensing of medical marijuana. House Bill 523 includes a provision allowing municipalities to adopt resolutions to prohibit or limit the number of cultivators, processors or retail dispensaries licensed under the new law. The city planning department will be directed to begin research and come up with recommendations “necessary to preserve the public health, safety and welfare through regulatory controls for medical marijuana growing, processing or sales.” The resolution is proposed to go into effect immediately as an emergency measure and to be in place prior to House Bill 523 going into effect on Sept. 8. “Note that implementing this legislation is not a long-term decision for the city,” according to the legislative package that went out to all council members for Tuesday’s meeting. “It simply provides the time that we need to fully vet this issue. As stated, there are many issues the city needs to consider related to this matter. If this is not passed, there will be no regulations on Sept. 8 and could be problematic for planning and zoning.” House Bill 523, was supported by State Sen. Randy Gardner and former State Rep. Tim Brown, both Republicans from Bowling Green. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, the bill includes the following provisions: Timeline and Regulatory Authority:  Regulatory oversight will be shared among three agencies, which will write rules following the effective date. The Department of Commerce has until March 6, 2017 to adopt rules to oversee cultivators and testing labs. The Board of Pharmacy,…


Brown Bag Food Project seeking new home

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Brown Bag Food Project needs to move out of mom’s house. The charity which provides emergency food and other essential items to those who find themselves in crisis has been storing its inventory in Peg Holland’s garage and spare room. Holland is the mother of Amy Jo Holland, the founder of the Brown Bag Food Project. The project was founded last year. It received its tax deductible status in June, 2015. Amy Jo Holland created it when she learned that some fellow workers at the local Walmart didn’t have enough to eat. From that act grew a project that now feeds about 200 people a month. The Brown Bag mission is to help people get over an emergency so they can seek more permanent help. They provide both non-perishable and fresh items as well as personal hygiene items and toiletries including diapers. Given that the calls can come at any time, Brown Bag has to have items on hand. Right now that’s at Peg Holland’s house. The inventory is outgrowing the space, and the lack of a real home is also hindering the operation. Amy Jo Holland said having a local space would allow them to purchase food from places like Northwest Ohio Food Bank at a much lower price than they can buy it retail. With the winter much of what is in the garage would have to move indoors, and Peg Holland doesn’t know where she’d put it. Peg Holland, who is on the project’s board, said they’ve been offered commercial shelves. Those shelves, her daughter said, would be great because they would allow volunteers to only handle the items once, instead of packing and unpacking them. The project has also been offered another refrigerator, which is does not have room for. There’s also an issue of safety and privacy for Peg Holland of having strangers whether picking up food or volunteers coming in and out of her home. A new warehouse would give the project a place where people could come to pick up their packages. Now those donations have to be arranged, in sites like the Walmart parking lot. That can seem “a little sketchy,” Amy Jo Holland said. Board members have looked at a few potential sites. Amy Jo Holland said they saw one of about 500 square feet and while that would meet the immediate needs, it wouldn’t do for the long run. Probably, she said, 1,000 square feet would be better. Ideal would a warehouse setting. Another food pantry operator advised…


Study looks at water options besides Toledo

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County needs water from the Maumee River or Lake Erie, but there may be a way to cut out Toledo as the middle man, according to the Water Source Evaluation Study commissioned by the Wood County Economic Development Commission. The study, presented to the Wood County Commissioners earlier this week was intended to ensure good water, at good rates, and give the county control over its own destiny, according to Jack Jones, of Poggemeyer Design Group which prepared the study. The study accomplished its intended goals by not only identifying water options for Wood County, but also by showing Toledo that viable alternatives exist. But as with anything as complicated as supplying water to a region, “the devil’s in the details,” which have yet to be ironed out, Jones said. The study identified three options for water in the northern part of Wood County, which now gets Toledo water distributed primarily by Perrysburg or the Northwestern Water and Sewer District. Those options are: City of Bowling Green’s water system with expanded reservoir space. Maumee River regional water plant with an intake and reservoir. Maumee River/Lake Erie Bayshore water intake, with a regional water plant and reservoir. Working with Bowling Green’s water plant “has the best implementation potential,” the study stated. The city water treatment plant is a state-of-the-art existing operation that already uses membrane treatment technology. A future reservoir is already being considered, and land has already been purchased for a plant expansion, the report said. All of the options would involve building a huge reservoir, possibly between 200 and 400 acres. Jones mentioned that some regions also use such large reservoirs as recreational sites. Wood County customers have long questioned the price of Toledo water, but also began to doubt the quality after the water crisis in the summer of 2014, when people were warned to not drink water from Toledo due to the algal blooms. “The Wood County Economic Development Commission believes the national attention on the water crisis brought into question the potential impacts on future economic development attraction and retention effects for Wood County,” a release on the study results stated. The cost of Toledo’s water to users outside the city limits also prompted the study. “There’s a big upcharge for the suburbs,” said Wade Gottschalk, executive director for the Wood County Economic Development Commission. The urgency for the study has heightened because the local contracts for Toledo water expire relatively soon for Perrysburg and the Northwestern Water and Sewer District. According…


Science – not politics – needed to save Lake Erie

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Protecting the health of Lake Erie can be an emotional issue – but the Wood County Commissioners were advised Tuesday to stick to the science. Bob Midden, a biochemist at BGSU, asked to speak to the commissioners about the health of Lake Erie. He encouraged them to ignore the politics and focus on science when deciding what to do. “Science can play a very valuable role in addressing these things,” he said. But politics often get in the way, and make decisions suspect. “What’s more important is to find a way to reduce algal blooms,” Midden said. In the last month or so, the county commissioners have heard a request from environmentalists that they join other elected officials in the region seeking an “impaired designation” for Lake Erie. And they have heard from a local farmer requesting that they let the agricultural community continue to make improvements rather than adding more regulations. Midden did not push for either approach, but instead suggested that the commissioners look at strategies that have worked elsewhere. Do voluntary measures work, he asked. “This is a complex issue,” he said. “But also a very important and very urgent issue. We’ve got a lot at stake.” At stake are the economics of both the lake and agriculture. “We don’t want to sacrifice one for the other,” he said. Also at risk is the health of humans and animals. Midden said ingestion of the algal blooms can cause liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, and death to humans and animals. “It can kill people,” he said. And long-term exposure may cause cancer. Midden warned that a lack of action will lead to disastrous results. “We’ve got to get it under control,” he said. “You can consider Lake Erie to be a cesspool eventually if we don’t do anything.” The commissioners have seen people point fingers at farmers for the problem, and farmers point fingers at overflowing sewer plants. Again, Midden suggested that the commissioners look at science for the answer. “I’m an evidence guy,” he said. Midden showed satellite photos of Lake Erie, with consistent evidence that the algal blooms start at the mouth of the Maumee River and in the Sandusky Bay. The Maumee River algal bloom is always the larger one, he said. Though some people have suspected that Detroit is adding to the problem, the photos showed very little evidence of that where the Detroit River enters the lake. “You never see a bloom beginning there,” Midden said. “I think that visual is…


Wood County jail now taking in Toledo inmates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Starting Thursday, Toledo will be paying Wood County Justice Center $50,000 a month to save 25 beds at the jail for inmates from Toledo. A deal was struck late Tuesday night, resulting in Toledo sending anyone being sentenced for misdemeanors under the municipal code to be housed at the Wood County jail, located on East Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green. Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, explained that Toledo officials turned south to this county for a solution to its inmate issues after an ongoing feud over charges to the city from the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker. The city of Toledo missed a July 1 deadline to pay a $1.3 million quarterly bill for its share of beds at the regional jail. By intentionally failing to pay the bill for 228 of the facility’s 638 beds, the city set the scene to withdraw from using the regional jail. The jail agreement reportedly stated that entities that default on payments longer than 60 days will not be able to house inmates there. Wasylyshyn said Toledo’s failure to pay the bill at Stryker does not worry him. “Toledo will pay up front,” Wasylyshyn said Wednesday. So when the first Toledo inmate arrives at Wood County’s jail, Toledo will turn over a $50,000 check. That amount will guarantee the city 25 beds at the jail for the month. “I know they are going to pay it, because they are paying it in advance,” he said. On top of the monthly $50,000, Toledo will also pay Wood County $65 per day for each inmate and a $40 booking fee per inmate. Toledo will also pay for transportation costs to the county jail. “It’s a very good thing for Wood County,” Wasylyshyn said. “It’s a good thing for Toledo and for Lucas County,” since that county does not have room for the additional Toledo inmates. “It’s a good thing for the citizens of Wood County, who I answer to,” Wasylyshyn said. That’s because Wood County recently spent $3 million on a jail expansion, which included increasing the inmate beds from 149 to 224. Based on the estimate of 25 inmates from Toledo a day, the county jail could bring in an extra $600,000 a year, Wasylyshyn said. That money will go into the county’s general fund, with some of the funds possibly paying for extra staffing costs that come along with the additional inmates. The sheriff is also hoping that some of the additional funding will be used to help…


Lily Parker blossoms as Black Swamp Arts Festival volunteer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When a 9-year-old Lily Parker first showed up to volunteer at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Bill Donnelly, who coordinates artist hospitality, sent her out with an adult to deliver water to exhibitors. Twenty minutes later, he said, she was back. “I was glad she had lasted that long.” Little did he know that this was just the start. The 14-year-old Bowling Green High School freshman has continued to volunteer at the festival – and for other community events. Donnelly said that first year: “At Lily’s suggestion, they loaded coffee vats, PB&J, bread and silverware onto the … delivery wagon and rolled back out with their hospitality upgrade. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. … Lily has been a go-to volunteer for me for six years. I admire her initiative and hard work, her character, and her passion for the festival.” That passion has been passed down to her through her family. Her grandfather Tom McLaughlin Sr. exhibited in the first show and chaired the visual arts committee during the early years. Both her mother, Penny Parker, and her father, Tom McLaughlin Jr., were volunteers. Her father, who died earlier this year, was a stalwart on the performing arts committee, and a regular presence backstage. Lily said it will be hard this year without him there. She shows a photo on her phone with her and her father and music legend Richie Havens backstage in 2006. Lily’s stepfather, Dave Shaffer, chairs the festival committee. “This is something I always really liked doing,” she said. She’s one of about 1,000 volunteers it takes to stage the annual event. The festival depends on people to assist with every aspect. Those wishing to volunteer should visit: http://www.blackswampfest.org/volunteer/ How much will Lily work festival weekend, Sept. 9-11? “Probably as much as I can, as much as they need me.” She expects on Friday she’ll head out with Donnelly to do shopping to stock the hospitality area for artists with fruit and baked goods. Then at 5 a.m. Saturday she’ll join the Dawn Patrol, those volunteers up before dawn to transform Main Street in downtown Bowling Green into an art show and youth arts area. Artists start showing up right away for a little caffeine and sustenance to help fuel their efforts to set up shop on the street. Then throughout the weekend Lily will help coordinate the delivery of water to artists. Lily remembers her early forays delivering water with her buddy Gretchen Shope. They were shy at first, neither wanting…


BG residents want action on neighborhood plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   By the end of the evening, each table was cluttered with huge sheets of paper listing ideas to revitalize neighborhoods in Bowling Green. The suggestions were widely varied, but linked by one common desire of local residents – they want action. “How many of you are sick of planning and want to see something happen?” asked Adam Rosa, from the consultant group Camiros, from Chicago. The question caused hands to shoot up around the Crim Elementary cafeteria, where nearly 100 people had gathered Tuesday to participate in the process. Rosa then showed an image from the “Animal House” movie. “This is kind of the opposite of what we are going for,” he said. Instead, the goals are to increase the livability, opportunity, vitality and education of the community. And to do that, the Camiros consultants need community input. “This is all about you telling us about your neighborhood,” Rosa said during the first public meeting of the revitalization process. The Bowling Green Community Action Plan will focus on the East Side of the city, where the needs have been identified as the greatest. But the plan will be applied to all areas of the city, Rosa said. Camiros has worked with the special challenges faced by university communities elsewhere, such as the homes to Notre Dame, Indiana State, University of Chicago, Bradley University and Lawrence University. The city of Bowling Green was compared with Kent – showing very similar demographics in population, income levels and percentage of student rental units. Though the statistics were almost identical, the photographs from the two communities showed very different uses of open space, business sites and areas uniting the city to the campus. The photos from Kent showed a bike boulevard to connect the community and university, a “Poetry Park” on open space, and attractive businesses. During their initial observations of Bowling Green, the consultants noted a very livable urban area that creates and preserves the feeling of community. They noticed a walkable city, with historic qualities and strong businesses. But they also saw a housing spectrum that lacked homes for young couples and seniors. They noticed the large number of faculty members who live outside the city. While they saw many well kept properties, the consultants also saw housing stock being degraded, especially on the East Side. They suggested the need for more code and building enforcements. They estimated a $54 million loss in property values on the East Side, where most student rentals exist and most disorderly conduct complaints…


School bus driver shortage causing route delays

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wanted: Someone willing to get behind the wheel of a school bus as early as 5:50 a.m., to drive 60 unchaperoned students to and from school each day. Not exactly a dream job. “I’ve always said bus drivers are the bravest people I know. They turn their back on 60 teenagers,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said Monday. Like many school districts, Bowling Green City Schools is having trouble filling the drivers’ seats in its buses. On Tuesday afternoon, Scruci sent out an email to all parents and guardians informing them of problems the shortage might cause. Some of the solutions to the shortage will result in some late drop off times on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to the email. Following are some of the problems expected: On Wednesday, Bus 22 has no driver. Buses possibly impacted will be 4, 8, 20, 21.  This will probably delay drop off times for Kenwood Elementary students riding those buses. On Thursday, Bus 22 has no driver. Buses possibly impacted will be 4, 8, 20, 21.  This will probably delay drop off times for Kenwood Elementary students riding those buses. Also Bus 3 for the high school has no driver.  Buses impacted will be 2, 4, 8,17.  This will likely delay high school and Crim Elementary students. On Friday, Bus 3 for high school has no driver.  Buses impacted will be 2, 4, 8, 17.  This will likely delay high school and Crim Elementary students. The email from Scruci ends with this plea: “If you know of anyone interested in becoming certified to drive bus, please forward them to me.” The district has 21 full-time drivers and 11 substitutes. The problem is that 23 full-time drivers are needed, and seven of the subs have other jobs. “They are substitutes for a reason, because they don’t want to work full-time,” said Toby Snow, interim co-director of the school transportation department. The shortage isn’t just affecting regular bus transportation to and from school, but also the shuttling of athletic teams to competitions. Last week, the girls tennis team was more than 1 ½ hours late to matches on two different days. The district, which is also responsible for transporting students to and from non-public schools and Penta Career Center, delivers as many as 1,700 students each weekday. Bowling Green isn’t alone with its driver shortage. “We’re experiencing the same issues that a lot of schools are having,” Scruci said. “There are not a lot of people who want to do it.”…


Musicians to sing for the climate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Activism and musical entertainment will come together in a Concert for the Climate Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The goal, said musician Dustin Galish, is “to try to register people to vote and generate a dialogue about environmental and green energy issues.”                   Grounds for Thought is a good venue for the event. It’s a place people come to discuss issues, he said. “Music has inherently always been anti-establishment and about stirring things up, doing that in a positive way,” he said. “There’s always a history of when the time is right of talking about the issues you care about. Music does bring people together. It’s a good bridge.” Galish’s own band Tree No Leaves will headline the event. It’s been awhile since he’s had a show at Grounds and as a field organizer for NextGen Climate, the timing seemed perfect.   NextGen is a national effort geared up to register voters and promote action to combat climate change. Galish said the group has been active registering voters every day since students arrived back on campus. NextGen Climate is helping with the show, and there’ll be tables set up for other environmental groups including those from campus. “There’s a good amount of environmental activism in the area.”   He called around to bands to see who was interested in playing. Sage Rozzel’s Beats by Sage will spin tunes, including originals at 7 p.m., as people gather and converse. Tim Concannon will open the concert at 8 p.m. The show will also feature singer-songwriter Justin Payne, who is recently back in town after an extensive tour. College rockers Balance Bird open the band portion with Tree No leaves batting cleanup.   Also making appearance will be the Mechanical Cat. Galish said the other acts won’t necessarily include any topical material. Mechanical Cat, though, trades in his own surreal way in topical material. “Mechanical Cat will bring his whole experience. I’m sure he’ll be saying certain things.” Galish said: “We’re not telling anyone who to vote for. We’re just saying get involved and showing how many people are involved.” When people see others are committed to voting that will encourage them to go to the polls as well.  


Pipeline officials promise to treat land and landowners fairly

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Pipeline officials with Kinder Morgan don’t see the protests by Wood County landowners as a fatal flaw to the Utopia pipeline plans to cross their properties. When landowners say “no,” the pipeline officials hear “maybe,” according to Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan. Often property owners hold out until the eminent domain process is underway, but end up entering agreements with pipeline companies, Fore said. In fact, 98 percent of the land acquisition done by Kinder Morgan never gets to the point of final court resolution, he added. “We have worked with tens of thousands of landowners,” Fore said during a recent stop in Bowling Green. Several landowners in Wood County are protesting Kinder Morgan’s efforts to access their land through eminent domain. Fore believes that’s because they aren’t aware of the compensation that will be offered and the mitigation to their property that will be provided. Some of the landowners from the Pemberville area have stated that no amount of money will convince them to let the pipeline be buried on their farmland or building lots. But Fore said these objections are no different than those he has resolved before. “There’s a lot of passion in the process,” he said. “The challenge is on us to make sure people have accurate information.” “It may start out adversarial, but often it doesn’t end that way,” Fore said. But this case may be a bit different since the proposed Utopia pipeline is not sending natural gas to sites to generate public power. The Utopia line will be sending ethane to a private company in Ontario that makes plastic products. Therefore, the local landowners are asking the courts to rule that the Utopia pipeline does not qualify for eminent domain authority. But Fore argued that gathering ethane is part of the natural gas production process when it’s extracted from shale in southeastern Ohio. “There wouldn’t be an industry if you couldn’t move the product,” Fore said. The shipping of ethane benefits the natural gas extraction, since it’s a result of the same process. “We’re confident that it does meet the qualifications for eminent domain,” Fore said. “We think it’s a very important use that Ohioans will ultimately benefit from.” Looking at the “big picture” for Ohio, this project will help the state, he said. Kinder Morgan recently released a study of the economic impact of the Utopia Pipeline, saying Ohio stands to benefit from $237.3 million in economic impacts during the first five years of…


A gathering of voices rises from Wood County’s past at Living History program

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Voices from Wood County’s past gathered and spoke Sunday at the 13th Annual Wood County Living History Day. Though no longer walking among us, these figures, said master of ceremonies Michael Penrod still have an impact on how we live. This collection of personages brought together by the county Historical Society had in common the theme of collections. They collected or the work they created was collected. Dominick Labino, a glass innovator in industry and art, created distinctly colored glass pieces that are in museums around the world. “That’s quite legacy,” said Keith Guion, the actor who portrayed him. Dorothy Uber Bryan’s paintings created while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer are collected at the University of Toledo Health Science campus. Ella Dishong’s collection was the assembled goods of the small rural business proprietor that over time became collectible. Floy and Earl Shaffer found themselves collecting as a diversion from the grief of losing two sons, one as a child, and one in middle age. And Floy Shaffer’s own pottery was collected by regional buyers, including those who purchased her work in the early days of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. Lloyd Weddell’s skill as a woodworker meant his figurines and fiddles were treasured by many in the area. Jerry Hagerty’s interest in collecting Native American artifacts found in recently tilled farm land was one of the reasons he was asked to be the first caretaker of the Wood County Historical Center and Museum. Together these seven people’s stories, each presented by an actor and through a script penned usually by someone who knew them well, offered a slice of the county’s collective memory. Dominick Labino Labino’s story, told by Guion and written by his protégé Baker O’Brien, begins with his early admiration for the blacksmith in the town he grew up in. He admired the man’s ability to repair anything. Labino entered the glass industry and invented a number of patented products. He helped develop the glass fibers used on the bottom of the space shuttle. His fame came when he was asked by Otto Wittmann, the director of the Toledo Museum of Art, to lend his expertise to the fledgling effort to explore the use of glass in art. He built the first furnace. He went on to retire from business early so he could pursue art. He built a studio at his Grand Rapids home and experimented endlessly. “I tried just about everything.” The result was distinctive bold colored art works that are treasured by collectors….


The nose knows…more than we may suspect

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It wasn’t exactly scientific, but the simple test did prove how powerful the sense of smell can be. At the request of Dr. Paul Moore, a professor of biology at Bowling Green State University, the roomful of adults plugged their noses, put the jelly beans in their mouths, started chewing and tasted nothing. The second their released their nostrils, the flavors came rushing in – apple, cherry, cinnamon. “As soon as you let go of your nose, you know,” Moore said to the members of the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club during their weekly meeting last Thursday. Moore has been studying the sense of smell for 30 years. “Every animal makes a lot of decisions based on smell,” including humans, he said. We often aren’t even aware of it, but smells play a big role in most people’s lives. Far back in history, the sense of smell was necessary for survival. “Odors played an essential role if you lived or died,” Moore said. Bitter odors would warn people the food was poisonous or meat had gone rancid. “It’s the most ancient sense we have,” he said. And the least explored. “It is the last frontier of the brain.” Unlike colors or noise, odors are more multi-dimensional and harder to define. “Odors don’t lie on a linear spectrum,” Moore explained. Odors are sometimes used to influence people’s behavior – often without them knowing. For example, it’s long been a tactic when trying to sell a house to add the smell of fresh baked items – with chocolate chip cookies being the best, Moore said. Auto dealers are now “branding” their dealerships with odors that potential buyers find appealing. There are “power odors” that are comparable to a “power suit” in the business world. Unlike sight and hearing, which call on the thinking part of the brain, the sense of smell calls on the subconscious. Smells evoke emotions and memories stronger than any other sense, Moore said. “You feel about it,” he said. “It’s almost like you have no control over it. They bring up these really rich, vivid memories.” Moore told of a man who lost his wife in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He found great comfort in spraying her perfume on her pillow. The scent evoked a powerful emotional connection. And unlike imperfect vision which can be corrected with glasses, and failing hearing that can be improved with hearing aids, there is no cure for people who can’t smell. “We have no way to fix the loss…


Mariachi Flor de Toloache skirts tradition with intoxicating Latin mix

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mariachi Flor de Toloache has ruffled some feathers as the all-female ensemble has taken flight on the Latin and alternative music scenes. Though rooted in the mariachi tradition, founder Mireya Ramos is not afraid to tweak that tradition by incorporating music from outside its boundaries and jazzing up its presentation. In a recent telephone interview, Ramos said that after a CNN segment on Flor de Toloache, some of the comments posted on line were “nasty.” “It is a tradition passed on through generations,” she said. “You have families that are all mariachi, and we’re women. We don’t wear skirts. We have caused some controversy.” But those criticisms are more than balanced out by the plaudits. Ramos said she was especially pleased with the reaction from fans in Los Angeles. “They really love it,” she said. “They say, ‘oh, great, this is something new!’” And the band has caught the attention of rock crowds as Flor de Toloache has toured with Black Keys’ singer Dan Auerbach’s new band, The Arcs. Auerbach’s fans may not know exactly what to make of them at first but are captivated in the end. Local mariachi aficionados and other music fans will have their own chance to weigh in when Mariachi Flor de Toloache performs a Main Stage set at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6:15 p.m. Earlier that day they will play on the Community Stage at 1 p.m. and then the Family Stage at 2:45p.m. Ramos grew up in Puerto Rico. Her father who is Mexican (her mother is Dominican) played mariachi, but Ramos a violinist didn’t start performing the music herself until she moved to New York City to study 15 years ago. The first gig she landed was with a mariachi band. “It was quite an experience,” she said. “I came from Puerto Rico, played with Mexicans and learned a lot about the music and lot about the culture.” What she didn’t see was other women playing mariachi. She decided that having an all-female band, especially one from New York with it burgeoning Mexican population “would be a cool thing.” So in 2008, taking a name from an intoxicating flower, she founded Mariachi Flor de Toloache. The first call she made was to her friend and collaborator Shae Fiol, a singer-songwriter and guitarist. Fiol remembers thinking: “Wow, I’ve never played mariachi.” But she was game, learning the vihuela, a five-string instrument that predates its cousin the guitar. Using a video and instruction from Ramos she tried “to…