Artist gets to the heart of Jerome Library with sculpture

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In celebrating the largest piece of art on the Bowling Green State University campus, Jerome Library welcomed a new piece to its collection. The wood, Plexiglas, and LED artwork by Vince Koloski pays tribute to the towering murals that decorate the east and west facing walls of Jerome Library. As with the murals, though, what’s inside the new work is what’s important, Koloski said. From the interior unfold five panels with phrases that praise libraries and books. “It’s a nice building,” Koloski said, “but what’s important is what’s in the building, the knowledge, the content.” That’s what those panels represent. The quotations were collected by the other important element in his view, the librarians. Those librarians, retired and active staff, together with the campus and Bowling Green community gathered Friday afternoon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Jerome Library. Library Dean Sara Bushong said this was 50 years to the day that the ceremonies marking the dedication of the library in 1967 began. The formal dedication was held the next day on Nov. 4. In her talk on the history of the Donald Drumm murals, Librarian Amy Fry noted that the building was not intended to have the murals. But BGSU President William T. Jerome was “keenly interested in beautifying the campus.” To that end, Fry said, he invited Donald Drumm to serve as an artist in residence. His first project was creating a cast aluminum sculpture for the lobby of…


BG Peace Marchers make statement with their feet

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Nearly 125 people bundled up to join the annual Peace March on Friday from downtown Bowling Green to Bowling Green State University. Among them was Holli Gray-Luring, who was pushing her 3-year-old son, Ian, in a stroller. “It just feels good to be a part of something so positive,” said Gray-Luring, who also participated in the Peace March last year. “The people who stand here are aligned with our thoughts and beliefs in the world.” The second annual Peace March was again organized by Not In Our Town Bowling Green – a group dedicated to accepting diversity and speaking out against hatred. “It is an opportunity to be very visible on the streets of Bowling Green,” said Julie Broadwell, the community co-chair of Not In Our Town. The march makes a statement that all people are “welcome and included in Bowling Green life.” The walk started downtown in the free speech area off East Wooster Street. Led by a group holding the Not In Our Town banner, the walkers stayed on the sidewalks as they headed east to the BGSU campus. Most walked, some used wheelchairs. Joining in were BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, several university officials and students. On the city side, were Mayor Dick Edwards, several City Council members and city residents. The walk ended in front of the student union, in the free speech zone on campus. “I think the peace march is something so special,” said Alex Solis,…


Operatic double header bridges the centuries with laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comedy is timeless. The BGSU  Opera Theater’s double-bill of “How to Reform a Drunk” by Christoph Willibald Von Gluck from 1760 and “The Four Note Opera” by Tom Johnson from 1972  are as different in their approaches as you’d expect from works written 200 years apart. The reactions they provoke are the same – knowing chuckles and hearty guffaws. The operas will be performed tonight (Nov. 3) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. Tickets are $20 at the door, and cheaper if purchased in advance by calling 419-372-8171 or online. https://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts.htmlfrom The Gluck is a classic comic send-up. A vintner Lukas (Tyler Strayer) conspires to get the drunken father Zipperlein (Aaron Meece) to let him marry his daughter Marie (Hannah Stroh). She, however, is in love with the actor Anton (Aaron Hill). Her mother (Eunice Ayodele), the victim of her husband’s drunken behavior, is caught betwixt. As much as Katharine despises Lukas, “actors,” as she tells her daughter, “are the worst.” Still Anton gets into her good graces by concocting a plan to reform Zipperlein. That leads to a wonderfully fantastic scene with the husband believing he and Lucas have died and gone to hell where they will face punishment for their drunkenness. Before then they get to sing robustly of the joys of wine. The English translation and adaptation from the French by Ellen Scholl, of the BGSU faculty,…


Study to see if sports complex could score big here

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Parents of young children often pack up the vehicles several weekends of the year to head out to travel ball tournaments. Local economic development officials want to see if they might be able to get a piece of that action. Four entities – Wood County Economic Development Commission plus the cities of Perrysburg, Rossford and Maumee – have invested $15,000 each to have a study conducted on whether or not this area could support a massive sports complex. “I think there is a demand,” said Wood County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Wade Gottschalk. “We all know parents who drive kids to tournaments every weekend. We want to see if there’s enough demand for something of this scope.” Perrysburg Mayor Mike Olmstead suggested the feasibility study after visiting the Grand Park sports campus near Indianapolis. That 400-acre facility includes more than 31 multipurpose and soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, and an indoor soccer and events center. “It’s a great idea,” Gottschalk said. That’s why experts in the field have been brought in to do impartial evaluations, he added. If the study finds that such a sports complex would be feasible in this area, then the next question is where, Gottschalk said. Some suggestions have been made that acreage in between Perrysburg and Bowling Green, somewhere along Ohio 25, would be considered. “But we’re not to that point yet,” Gottschalk said. Some signs point to a large sports complex being successful here, he…


BG school officials hear levy is too taxing for farmers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Besides agreeing that kids need good schools, there seemed to be little common ground plowed Wednesday evening when a local farmer met with Bowling Green City School officials, teachers, parents and community leaders. After helping to send out 5,000 mailers to district voters, urging them to vote against the school levy, Richard Chamberlain was asked to attend one of the superintendent’s coffee chats Wednesday evening. Chamberlain came armed with a stack of property tax bills. Chamberlain said the 6-mill school levy is putting the bulk of the burden on farmers. School officials said they are trying to give students the schools they need to succeed – and a property tax is their only option. Superintendent Francis Scruci explained the school building project to Chamberlain, showing him the charts that he carries everywhere. Plans call for the consolidation of the three elementaries on property north of the middle school, and for renovations and an addition to the high school. “I appreciate it,” Chamberlain said. But it’s the way the project is being funded that doesn’t sit well with the farmer. “You would be more than willing to push the burden for this great project onto the few,” he said. After the meeting, Chamberlain said all he wanted was school officials to admit they were unfairly putting the millage on the backs of the farming community. But Scruci and High School Principal Jeff Dever said the district needs new schools, and the state legislature…


Mustard’s Retreat brings “defiantly hopeful” folk music to Pemberville Opera House

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Mustard’s Retreat steps on the Pemberville Opera House stage Saturday night, they’ll arrive as old friends who haven’t stopped by in a spell. The duo of David Tamulevich and Michael Hough were regulars in Bowling Green a few years ago. Anne Tracy brought them to BG first for her concert series back in the late 1990s, and since they’ve played the Black Swamp Art Festival. Most recently they visited as part of the Yellow Room Gang, a songwriting collective from Ann Arbor, playing at the festival and Grounds for Thought. It’s been a few years, though. When the Ann Arbor- based singer-songwriters return, they’ll bring an old friend, Libby Glover, an original member of the group when it formed in 1974. The show is part of the Live in the House series and starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. Mustard’s Retreat is all about friendship. The members met back in Ann Arbor when they were working in the college town’s bars and restaurants, not as entertainers but cooking food and serving drinks. Tamulevich and Hough worked as short order cooks. They shared a love of music so they pulled together three songs, and brought their act to the stage of The Arc, the legendary folk venue. Glover was tending bar at another place where Tamulevich was performing, and she started joining him on stage to sing harmony. “The blend of the voices was captivating,” Tamulevich said in a recent telephone interview. The…


Anti-abortion protesters picket outside BGHS

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As students left Bowling Green High School on Wednesday afternoon, they were met by anti-abortion protesters with graphic photos of aborted fetuses. Principal Jeff Dever said the protesters showed up with no notice to the school district. “I didn’t want those people there, especially with the kids,” Dever said this morning. “Some kids were afraid to go past them.” However, the six protesters stayed on the sidewalk along West Poe Road – “which is a public space,” he said. Bowling Green police responded, and along with Dever, talked with the protesters and advised them to stay off school property and not go past the public sidewalk. Dever said he asked one of the protesters why they would want juveniles to see the graphic images. The protester reportedly told Dever that he first saw such photographs of abortions when he was 6 years old. “Shame on your parents,” the principal said he responded to the protester. The anti-abortion group was reportedly at Bowling Green State University earlier in the day, then moved over to the high school in time for school dismissal. There remained there from about 2:15 to 3 p.m. “The bad thing was it scared the kids. They were spooked about walking through,” Dever said. “It kind of stunk. They shouldn’t do that.” Some other students were angered by the protesters, the principal said. “We had kids who wanted to argue with them.” According to Dever, this is the first time…


BG Council members share big ‘wish lists’ for tight budget

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As members of Bowling Green City Council began their discussion on the city’s 2018 budget, it was fitting that Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter handed them “100 Grand” candy bars. There weren’t enough, so they had to share. That was pretty much the theme of the evening. The city projected a general fund deficit of $625,000 by the end of this year – primarily due to flat income tax revenues and continued cuts from the state. That deficit may be less than first projected, but will still be somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000. So Tretter used another food analogy. This time a pizza. “Perhaps you can think of all of the people who need to share the pizza,” she said to City Council. The pizza can be sliced many different ways. “But it’s still just one pizza we are sharing.” Before City Council gets its hands on any of the $15 million budget, much of it has already been allocated for personnel costs, debt services and ongoing contracts. Close to 76 percent of the general fund goes for salaries and fringe benefits, which is a reasonable percentage, Tretter said. So that leaves council with far less discretionary funds than their “wish lists” for the year. To get an idea of council members’ priorities, each was asked to identify areas they would like to see funded. Council President Mike Aspacher started off the list with the Community Action Plan – an item that made…


BGSU marks Jerome Library’s 50th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Fitting for a library that doubles as a work of art, Jerome Library will unveil a new piece at its celebration of the 50th anniversary. The program will start at 4 p.m. Friday. There’ll be short presentations on the history of the library as well as a presentation by Librarian Amy Fry on the mural. Then a piece by sculptor and book artist Vince Koloski, that draws inspiration from those murals, will be unveiled. The eight-story tall building with six floors of abstract art running up both the west and east faces first opened in 1967. Dean of University Libraries Sara Bushong said she’s been assured by the artist Donald Drumm that the designs have no hidden meaning. Bushong said that at the time, students “either loved it or thought it was the most atrocious thing they’d ever seen.” Now it’s hard to imagine campus without it. While the mural has been a constant landmark on campus over the past 50 years the services within it have evolved. When it was built it was devoted mostly to stacks of books. Now every one of its floors have been repurposed, sometimes several times over, Bushong said. The change is most evident on the first floor. “The goal is to have the first floor to be a very student services focused,” she said. The floor hosts the Learning Commons, Student Athletic Services, and, most recently, the Collab Lab. And, she added, “we’re still circulating books, which…


BG contested ward candidates identify top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Three of the four wards in Bowling Green have contested races for City Council. The only unopposed candidate in Tuesday’s election is the Third Ward’s Mike Aspacher. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each contested ward candidate and their priorities. The answers for the at-large candidates appeared on Tuesday. First Ward: Two candidates are running for one seat. Daniel Gordon, Democrat, who currently serves on City Council, manages Inner Peace Homes, a local foster care/adoption agency. He has two degrees from BGSU. He led the creation of Ridge Park, the first park in the First Ward, pushed city government to improve housing, and shaped legislation defending marginalized communities. Gordon’s priorities are: Revitalize neighborhoods in the city, especially on the East Side. Gordon said he has been working on this issue for a long time, and now the new Community Action Plan will support those efforts. “I want to make sure everybody lives in a safe and strong neighborhood.” Create jobs that will keep young people here in Bowling Green. “We need job creation, that will pay a living wage,” he said. The lack of those type of jobs is causing recent graduates and others to leave the community. “No one should have…


Winter Wheat plants seeds of literary harvest

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The seeds for Winter Wheat were planted at Bowling Green State University back in 2001, and the writers have been harvesting the benefits annually ever since. Abigail Cloud, who is coordinating this festival, said: “The basic metaphor is sewing the seed for later harvest.” Winter Wheat begins Thursday, Nov. 2, and runs through Saturday night when the participants will gather at Grumpy Dave’s for an open mic. The weekend will include workshops, panels, talks, and readings. Between 200 to 300 participants are expected. Winter Wheat is free and registration is open throughout the weekend. For more information and schedule visit http://casit.bgsu.edu/midamericanreview/winter-wheat/ Cloud said she’d just arrived at BGSU in 2001 when Karen Craigo set about organizing the first gathering.  “She had been wanting to do a community event for a while,” Cloud said. The event welcomes back graduates of the Creative Writing Program as well as students and faculty from schools around the region and as far away as California and Texas, and writers from the local community. “It’s a good town-gown outreach,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to have a banner event for creative writing.” This year Winter Wheat is convening in conjunction with the meeting of the International Symposium for Poetic Inquiry. This is the first time the symposium is being held in the United States. Faculty colleague Sandra Faulkner, the host, suggested the arrangement and Cloud readily agreed. Winter Wheat adds value for those traveling from abroad. Last year a meeting of student editors convened at…


Flyers attacking BG school levy full of misinformation, Scruci says

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Another flyer has been delivered to Bowling Green City School District voters, trying to convince them to vote against the school building tax issue on the Nov. 7 ballot. This mailer, sent out by a newly-minted group called Wood County Citizens Against Higher Property Tax, criticizes the size of the 6-mill school levy, the plans for consolidation and the management of district funds. One week before the election, Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci is again defending the levy as necessary for the district. “From day one, we’ve tried to give out as much factual information as we can,” he said. For the second time, the district has been targeted by flyers warning people about the levy. The problem, Scruci said, is that both have been riddled with misinformation. The first mailer, sent out by a Bowling Green businessman, included incorrect tax numbers. This second one, which showed up in mailboxes on Monday, has “blatant disregard for the numbers,” Scruci said. The flyer warns of decreased business growth due to taxes, and increased crime in the schools due to consolidation. “We’ve stuck to the facts from day one,” Scruci said. “This is discouraging. For the second time we are dealing with a group of people trying to scare our taxpayers.” The flyer includes charts comparing local district school funding to state school funding. “As you can see the good property owners of Bowling Green pay more than their fair share to support this…


Six BG at-large candidates reveal their top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Six candidates are running for two open At-Large City Council seats in Bowling Green. And for the first time, the ballot has a mix of Democrat, Republican, Green Party and Independent candidates. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each At-Large candidate and their priorities. The answers for the contested ward candidates will appear on Wednesday. Holly Cipriani, Democrat, works at BGSU as an academic adviser. She has two degrees from BGSU, and has worked for various non-profit organizations serving survivors of domestic violence and people who have been trafficked or exploited. She serves as the programming chair for Not In Our Town, and was on the planning committee for Court Street Connects. Cipriani’s priorities are: Continue to review and keep a close eye on the city budget. “I would continue to anticipate cuts from the state,” Cipriani said. “So we need to be prepared.” Help to implement the Community Action Plan, with a focus on neighborhoods and Complete Streets. “We need to find ways we can actually implement it,” such as ways to fit bike lanes on existing streets and focus on improvements to the East Side. Examine ways to keep building city and university relationships. “I would like to continue to…


BGSU Muslim Students Association invites community over for dinner & talk about refugees

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Muslim Student Association is inviting members of the community to dine with them. There’s more than dinner on the menu though. The third Muslim Students Association convention will be focused on Community Engagement with a focus on the issue of refugees. The free event will be Thursday, 6-9 p.m. in the multipurpose (room 228) in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on the Bowling Green State University campus. “Our focus is to bring people from all backgrounds, cultures, and faiths together some we can have a discussion, come together and get know each other,” said Ahmad Mehmood, graduate student in the College of Technology. And some Middle Eastern food and pizza will help ease the interaction. That conversation will center on the global refugee crisis and “what can we do from a humanitarian standpoint,” Mehmood said. Many of those refugees are Muslims, he said, but it is an issue everyone should be concerned about. “It doesn’t matter what you believe or ascribe to, we feel this is a topic that can bring everyone together,” he said. “People like us who have been every privilege, in every way, have the education, the financial ability, if they don’t come together to preserve humanity, to help humanity, I don’t think anyone else will.” He hopes those speaking can share personal stories that will deliver the message better than didactic speeches. There will be several speakers. The main address will be given by Adam Smidi, a doctoral student in…


Treehouse Troupe takes “New Kid” on the road to share lessons about tolerance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bullying is an international language. That’s a lesson Nic learns on her first day in an American school. She had moved with her family to the United States from Homeland, not speaking English, and now she must adjust to life among strangers. That’s the plot of “New Kid,” a play by Dennis Foon being staged in schools around the region by Bowling Green State University’s Treehouse Troupe. Recently the troupe staged “New Kid” in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library for home-schooled students and students from St. Aloysius. We meet Nic played by Shannan Bingham and her mother played by Kristyn Curnow as they discuss leaving their country Homeland. The backdrop is colorful and their costumes are an iridescent green. Though they say they don’t know English, their lines come out as English, and the audience knows what they are saying. Soon Nic is in her new school, shyly joining two other students, Mencha (Autumn Chisholm) and Mug (Harmon Andrews) at recess. Before she comes out the audience gets to listen in on Mencha and Mug’s conversation. Not that it will do them any good. They’re animated as they chat but the words frustrate comprehension. Clearly it’s a language, just not one we understand. Nor as it turns out any other language. The actors’ body gestures, make it clear that they are negotiating some sort of exchange. The language was made up by the playwright to give youngsters a sense of what it’s…