Gavarone selected to fill state senate seat vacated by Gardner

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News In a couple days, State Rep. Theresa Gavarone from Bowling Green will become a state senator. A screening committee of Republican senators selected Gavarone today to fill Ohio’s 2nd State Senate District seat that was vacated last month when Randy Gardner was appointed the state’s chancellor of higher education. Gavarone expects to be sworn into the Senate seat on Wednesday. “I’m pretty excited,” she said this afternoon. “I’m going to approach my Senate position the way I did in the House,” Gavarone said. Though instead of representing just Wood County, she will now represent four more – Erie, Ottawa and parts of Lucas and Fulton counties. With Gavarone’s appointment announced today, that poses the next question of who will fill her seat in the Ohio House. The process will be similar, with the Speaker of the House selecting a screening committee which will then take applications for the seat. In the Senate, Gavarone hopes to keeping working on issues she has been focusing on in the House, such as drug addiction issues, mental health and access to health care. But now she expects to add water quality to the list since her district will now border Lake Erie. “I certainly want to continue with Randy Gardner’s good work – working on solutions for Lake Erie that have a real impact,” she said. The 2nd Senate District covers a much larger geographic area, with about 380,000 residents. Gavarone said she understands it takes about two hours to drive from one end of the district to the other. “I’ll find out real soon,” she said. Though her district will be much larger, Gavarone said she is up to the challenge. “Wood County seemed so large when I started in the House,” she said. But she made an effort to get to every corner of the county. “I’m going to take the same approach with the Senate,” Gavarone said. “I want to get to know the people and the issues, and do my best to represent them.” “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to serve…


Court strikes down city’s efforts to limit renters per unit

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News A federal court has demolished the City of Bowling Green’s ordinance that restricts the number of unrelated people who can live in a rental property. The city has used the ordinance for decades to limit the number of people living in rental units to three people – unless they are related. But the ruling issued on Friday, by Federal Judge James R. Knepp, states that the number of people allowed in a home should be determined by the number of bedrooms – not by the city’s desire to limit density in single-family neighborhoods. The ruling is a victory for at least 23 landlords in Bowling Green. “A landlord will be able to rent a home to the suitable number of people,” said attorney Maurice Thompson, of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus. The federal court ruling should be the end of the city telling landlords they can rent to no more than three unrelated people – regardless of how many bedrooms are in the house, Thompson said on Sunday. “I don’t think Bowling Green will appeal,” he said. “They can, but they will lose.” The lawsuit was filed a year ago against the city on behalf of 23 Bowling Green landlords and three student renters. The landlords reportedly own more than 161 homes that could not  be rented out to more than three unrelated people – even though the homes have four or more bedrooms and ample parking. The three students – who were living in a four-bedroom house owned by Thompson on East Merry Street – became involved after reportedly being threatened with eviction last year for violating the city ordinance. In the lawsuit, Thompson said the city’s ordinance violates the Ohio Constitution by suppressing private property rights,imposing vague standards and excessive fines of $500 per day. Since the ruling just came down late on Friday, city officials have not had time to digest exactly what it means for Bowling Green, Mayor Dick Edwards said on Sunday. “I’ve got to read the opinion,” Edwards said. “I really don’t know what…


Young pianists find keys to success at BGSU’s Dubois Piano Competition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Natasha Wu’s trip is just beginning. The Taiwanese 18-year-old kicked off a two-month trip to the United States by winning the David D. Dubois Piano Competition Sunday. The rest of the trip, the young pianist said, will be devoted to visiting conservatories and colleges to see where the next step in her musical career will take her. Wu was one of eight finalists who performed for a panel of judges Sunday morning in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. Guest artist Marina Lomazov speaks with Elizabeth Liu, a competitor in the Dubois Piano Competition after the event. The finals capped a three-day competition and festival being hosted for the ninth year by the College of Musical Arts. Twenty-two semifinalists performed on Saturday. On Friday, a number of the contestants took lessons from BGSU faculty members, and guest artist Marina Lomazov gave a master class for university students. On Sunday morning Lomazov was sitting at the adjudicator’s table with Sun Min Kim, of Denison University, and Mary Siciliano, a Michigan-based teacher and performer, determining the winner from what was a field of winners. Every one of the competitors, whether they made the finals or not, could boast a list of state and regional victories. “Obviously it was a really difficult decision,” Lomazov said. “There was a lot of very beautiful playing. “ Still the judges were “cohesive” in selecting those who should receive the awards. Lomazov said of  Wu: “She played with maturity and depth that really belied her years. There was a tremendous nobility to her playing. She did not show off. She didn’t do anything that the music did not ask her to do. That’s what I really appreciated.” “I was very happy and glad,” Wu said of winning the top prize of $3,000.  Other winners were: Colin Choi, high school senior from Northbrook Illinois, second place, $2,000; Kasey Shao, 15, from the Cincinnati, third place, $1,000; and Stephanie Petinaux, 16, Cranberry Township in the Pittsburgh area, and Bryant Li, 14, Katy, Texas, both honorable mentions. Wu said she has…


BG school board eyes options – may try 2 levy renewals this fall

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Remember story problems? Three old trains are barreling toward Bowling Green, while two new trains are headed toward the same location at the same time. Only this story problem doesn’t ask which train will arrive first at the station. The question behind this story problem is – which trains will voters get on board and support at the polls. Bowling Green Board of Education spent another long Saturday work session going over its options for dealing with a potential five tax issues going before voters in the next two to four years. It appears the board may be narrowing its options to possibly putting two renewal levies on the ballot this fall. David Conley, the district’s financial consultant from Rockmill Financial, used the train analogy so the board could visualize the three existing tax issues coming due in the district. One option, he said was merging two of the trains onto one track – or in this case, combining two tax levies into one issue. While the plan to reduce tax requests on voters was attractive, some board members were clearly leaning toward biting the bullet and asking instead that voters to approve two existing levies for a continuing period of time. Where does BG stand right now … Here’s a refresher on the levies coming due for the school district: 4.2-mill current expense levy, generating about $2.4 million a year, which expires in 2020.1.6-mill emergency levy, generating about $1 million a year, which also expires in 2020.0.5 percent income tax, generating about $3.2 million a year, expiring in 2022. Those add up to $6.8 million a year. Failure to renew those would hit the district hard, Conley said. At the same time, Bowling Green needs new money (those are the new trains barreling toward the station). Those options include: New operating levy, with an undetermined source of income or property tax revenue.Funding for new facilities, which Conley estimated will be anywhere from $30 million to $50 million. Again, the source of these funds may be income tax, property tax, or combination of…


Rosie’s ready to serve comfort food to BG’s late night crowd

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rosie’s Rolling Chef’s journey to a spot in Bowling Green streets hasn’t been easy. The food truck version of the Toledo restaurant had to contend with long city council debates and a 180-slide Power Point presentation, and just when it was ready to launch the sub zero weather set in. On Thursday, Feb. 7 though Rosie’s will take up its spot at 405 E. Wooster. The parcel  was a gas station, then a car lot, and now will host Rosie’s Rolling Chef every weekend. And if local diners show their interest by patronizing the food truck, maybe something more. Not that Rosie’s is a stranger to Bowling Green. It’s been here for Firefly Nights and a couple Black Swamp Arts Festivals, and Barone was a regular at city council meetings as the city’s food truck ordinance was debated and finally approved in June.  But this is a more regular arrangement, one that owner Phil Barone hopes may even evolve into a physical restaurant. It all depends on how well the hot mama bread, lobster Mac and cheese, lobster bisque, and grilled lamb chops sell. Bowling Green, he said, was one of the last places in the area to open up to food trucks. He’s wanted to do business here for years. He went to Bowling Green State University as did his wife. He graduated in 1978. Though he first went into real estate after graduation, he and his brothers Mike and John  opened Rosie’s in Toledo 36 years ago. The restaurant was named for their mother, the matriarch of the family and chief counselor for the restaurant. She was born in Sicily and immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island, and under the gaze of the Statue of Liberty, when she was 5 years old. “We just lost her about a year ago,” Barone said. She died at 98 last Feb. 4. “We knew how to eat her food,” he said, but preparing it was another matter. “She always made food exciting,’ he said. But the recipes were all in her head, “a…


Tourism in Lake Erie region suffering from bad PR

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Michigan continues to kick Ohio’s ass-ortment of tourism efforts. Part of that may be due to the larger amount the state to the north invests in attracting tourists. Part may be due to the algal blooms which make Lake Erie less attractive to visitors. And part may just be because the media keeps talking about that algae, according to Ohio’s top tourism official. Melinda Huntley, executive director of the Ohio Travel Association, spoke earlier this week at the annual TMACOG meeting in Perrysburg. Ohio, she said, has a lot to offer tourists – but isn’t doing a very good job of letting people know. Huntley said she was at a meeting unrelated to tourism recently, when she decided to quiz those present about their first impressions about Lake Erie. These were their one-word answers: Cold – that’s bad, she said.Michigan – that’s very bad.Fishing – that’s good.Boating – “that’s really good,” she said. “True story,” Huntley said, describing another incident where a friend went to a convention along the Mississippi River. People along the shore were marveling at a big boat in the river. Then someone piped up. “Have you ever been to Toledo to see the freighters come off the lakes?” “We all take the granted what we see every day,” Huntley said. Tourists want a variety of activities in places of beauty, heritage, arts and culture. The Lake Erie region can give them hiking, shopping, birding, boating. “They like food and wines,” she said. And they like to take selfies to show others about their adventures. “That’s a challenge.” Ohio has all those. But where the state falls short is in self-promotion. “Perception is reality,” Huntley said. “We may have those things,” but if Ohio doesn’t tell people, they won’t come. Many potential tourists are under the impression that the Lake Erie area is still primarily industrial. “We realize people are geographically challenged,” she said. And many people have the impression that the entire lake is green with algae – except Cedar Point. “It was in the commercials,” she said of…


BG school task force gets glimpse at renovated elementary

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The school task force had toured Bowling Green’s old elementary buildings, and another district’s new building. In the continuing search for the best solution for Bowling Green City Schools, this week the members toured an elementary that is a combination of renovated and new construction. The facilities task force met at Powell Elementary School – North Baltimore’s one elementary that serves the entire district of 350 preschool through sixth graders. The school is a combination of wings being added and renovated. The oldest portion was built in 1956, followed by another section added in 1987. The entire elementary then went through a renovation and a building addition in 2001. More renovations were done in 2010. North Baltimore Superintendent Ryan Delaney and head custodian Chris North said the building serves the district quite well. The renovated and new areas have larger than traditional classrooms, more even heat and welcome air conditioning. In addition to being a much smaller district, there are some other differences between Bowling Green’s and North Baltimore’s situations. North Baltimore qualified for 59 percent state funding for its building construction costs. Bowling Green currently qualifies for 17 percent state funding. According to North, officials at North Baltimore had initially wanted to build a new elementary – but were informed by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission that building new was not an option if the district wanted state funding. “The problem was, the building was in too good of shape,” North said. The same was not true for the old North Baltimore High School, which was built in 1927. A new middle school/high school was constructed in 2012. The elementary was able to be renovated and had plenty of room for the necessary additional space. “The main thing is, if you’re going to do a renovation, you have to have the room,” Delaney said. Task force tours classroom in Powell Elementary School. Powell elementary features large classrooms, with some of them having as few as 16 students per room. “The theory was – do it right. So they added the extra room,”…


BGSU sports management team headed to Super Bowl

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The New England Patriots aren’t the only team at the Super Bowl in Atlanta who will be there for the third time in five years. Students from Bowling Green State University’s Sports Management Alliance are on site in Atlanta for the week, working as volunteers at the event. The 24 students headed down Tuesday before the break of dawn, with their first 14-hour shift on Wednesday. While that sounds grueling, two sports management majors who made the trip last year agreed it was chance of a lifetime. “It was the best week of my life,” said Cory Radebaugh, a senior in sports management. “Eye opening,” said Kyle Edmond, also a senior sports management major. “I think that’s the easiest way to summarize it. … Every step of the way you saw something different, something you never anticipated. None of us could have dreamed the amount of manpower that’s behind it.” That includes security with military on every corner and rooftop and a tank parked outside the stadium. In the days leading up to the game, the students will be working with the fan experience at the stadium. These are a series of activities for families. The volunteers guide visitors through exhibits and help them get photographs with the Lombardi Trophy that the winning team will hoist after Sunday’s game. Kids also participate in a pass, punt, and kick skills competition. Radebaugh said last year, youngsters had the chance to don a helmet equipped with the same communications technology the pros use, and Radebaugh and other volunteers would call out instructions to them as they maneuvered. Those participating in the activity include local families who can’t afford the tickets, which are going for several thousands of dollars. Others have tickets, Radebaugh said, but come early to get the most out of the trip. On game day, BGSU students will assist the 1,700 fans who bought $20,000 Super Bowl packages — airfare, hotel, and game tickets. They primarily will help them find their way around Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This will be the sixth time in just over…


BG park board wades into debate over raising pool fees

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board is again being asked to raise fees at the city pool. But as long as the park programs are treading water, some board members are holding steady in their opposition to increasing pool passes and daily fees. Last September, the board voted to raise rates for several park programs by 3 percent. City Council later approved those changes. Also on the list in September for proposed fee hikes were daily and season pool passes. But at that time, park board chairman Jeff Crawford asked that the proposed increases at the pool be studied further. He spoke about his wife’s experience teaching at Crim Elementary School, where a portion of the student body is lower income. Crawford said he would like to wait and see the summer statistics at the pool to see if it’s necessary to raise fees for kids using the facility. On Tuesday evening, updated numbers were presented by Kristin Otley, director of the city’s parks and recreation department. Those rates showed increased use of the pool last summer – but a deficit in the overall parks budget, primarily due to the first payment being made on bonds for the new city park building to be constructed this year. The good season was viewed from two perspectives. For Otley, the hot summer and high usage meant that season pass owners likely felt they got their money’s worth and would be more willing to pay a little bit more this summer. But for Crawford, the good season meant that more revenue came in at the pool, so fee increases should be considered only if absolutely necessary to keep the pool afloat. Crawford again voiced his specific concerns about families who might be unable to afford seasonal or daily passes if the fees were increased. “I don’t want us to raise pool rates,” he said. “It’s a mistake to think that raising the fees will translate into more money.” Rate hikes could result in fewer people being able to afford using the pool. “I hate to…


BG firefighters fight silo fire and freezing conditions

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News It was the worst of combinations for firefighters – the polar vortex, an aerial fire truck, and freezing water – lots of it. Bowling Green Fire Division spent much of the afternoon in sub-zero temperatures trying to extinguish a silo fire on Gallier Road, a dirt road northeast of the city. “It was not a good scene,” Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said as he thawed out after crews returned to the station. “It was the worst situation you could have” as far as weather conditions. The silo fire was noticed in the afternoon when smoke was spotted coming from the concrete structure. Center Township Fire Department responded and called BG Fire Division for its aerial ladder and firefighters, as well as equipment and manpower from Pemberville Fire Department. The silo hadn’t been used for years, but was full of corn silage. “We have no idea how it started,” Moorman said. The aerial ladder attacked the fire from above, but the fire appeared to be simmering deep in the center of the silage, Moorman said. The silo was not worth saving, but the building nearby was at risk. “Right next to it was a barn full of cattle,” he said. After about three hours of trying to extinguish the fire, the three fire chiefs on the scene decided that efforts to put out the fire should halt until conditions improved. The crews were having difficulty with equipment freezing and were close to having to call in warm reinforcements, Moorman said. “The fire was not going to go anywhere,” he said. Arrangements were made to evacuate the cattle to other barns in the area. The crews will return soon – “but hopefully it’s not tonight,” Moorman said. The chiefs were concerned about injuries if they continued in the cold. “That was part of the reason we stopped,” Moorman said. “It was very unpredictable. The conditions were brutal.” And the risks were greater than the benefits, the chief said. “Why risk injuries?” “They were very cold,” Moorman said of his firefighters. “Everyone was happy…


Arctic freeze means no go for many, brisk business for some

By DAVID DUPONT and JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Bowling Green woke this morning in a deep freeze with sub-zero temperatures, and even worse the sound of a stiff breeze. Temperatures are expected to drop to -10 by mid-day with wind gusts up to 38 miles per hour. The wind chill will be about -40. That arctic blast is expected to last through Thursday with low temperatures tonight expected to drop to -14. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning through Thursday at 4 p.m. Bowling Green State University will cancel classes for Thursday, after having no classes on Wednesday. Already city schools have been canceled through Thursday with a two-hour delay on Friday. “We have to make sure they’re safe,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said of students. At 10 a.m., Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, said the site in Bowling Green as well as other sites are quiet. All seven sites are open normal hours. “Staff are saying it’s too quiet,” she said. Vehicles are out now to bring folks into the center, but so far, she said, it seems like people are heeding the advice to stay indoors. The agency sent extra meals home with people who came in for lunch on Wednesday, and with home delivery of meals now canceled through Thursday, it delivered 460 extra meals Wednesday. Clients were also given two shelf-stable meals in October for just such emergencies. All home delivered meal participants will receive a phone call from agency staff on Thursday morning to verify their safety and wellness. So far, Niese said, no calls of people with frozen pipes have been received. Also, Niese said, the menus for Friday and next week have been adjusted so all perishable food that would have been sent out today and Thursday will get used up, and not wasted. The arctic freeze has meant brisk business for some local companies. Sherry LeVeck at United Home Comfort said their crews are out making emergency installations of new systems for folks whose furnaces have failed. The company’s workers are also…


‘Poor farm’ exhibit examines historical safety net for ‘worthy poor’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Long before there were safety nets like nursing homes, food pantries, subsidized housing and hospitals, there were “poor farms” to care for those who were old, sick, lame, or blind. Despite being labeled “poor farms,” they were not places of despair, according to a new exhibit at the Wood County Historical Center. In Ohio, all 88 counties had poor farms, starting in the mid 1800s to 1936 when public charity transitioned into more modern day social services. Wood County’s poor farm was located on County Home Road, southeast of Bowling Green. The sprawling building remains there today as a historical center. To commemorate the 150th year of the opening of the county poor house, a new exhibit will soon open at the center – “For Comfort and Convenience: Public Charity in Ohio by Way of the Poor Farm.” By all accounts, Ohio’s poor farm system provided a gentler life for the old and sick than many states, according to Holly Hartlerode, curator at the historical center. Curator Holly Hartlerode with old photo of residents at former Wood County Poor Farm. “We are not the only state that had a poor farm system, but we were very successful, which we’re proud of,” she said. “It is my deepest goal as curator that people do not see places like this as negative,” Hartlerode said. When Wood County’s poor farm opened in 1869, there were no public safety nets in place. “There was no social welfare, so where did people go? How do we best care for people?” Hartlerode said, noting society’s struggle. The model for the poor farms caring for paupers came over with the colonists. Based on the British workhouse system, almshouses were erected in New England, and many state constitutions offered public charity relief. In Ohio, the almshouse system was modified to fit the needs of its citizens. After the Civil War, states began to look at the best ways to provide comfort to those in need, at the convenience of those charged with dispensation of public charities. Every county in Ohio had…


Apollo’s Fire to bring the spirit of Bach’s coffeehouse to BGSU’s Kobacker Hall

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back when Bach’s music was new, the composer and other professional and student musicians would hang out at Cafe Zimmermann, a coffee house in Leipzig, Germany, to play the latest sounds. Apollo’s Fire, a Baroque music ensemble based in Cleveland, will take listeners back to that time in the mid-18th century when it presents “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse” Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. The free performance is part of Apollo Fire’s three-day residency presented by the Dorothy E. And Duwayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series (https://www.bgsu.edu/musical-arts/events/residencies/hansen-musical-arts-series.html). During the residency the ensemble will hold open rehearsals and master classes for flutists and string players. The BGSU visit will feature an 11-member version of the ensemble, which was founded by Jeannette Sorrell 26 years ago. Kathie Stewart, the ensemble’s flutist, has been a collaborator and friend of Sorrell since before she started Apollo’s Fire. The two musicians met at Cincinnati Conservatory, where both were pursuing graduate work. Sorrell was studying harpsichord and conducting, and Stewart was working on a doctorate in flute performance. In Cincinnati, Stewart discovered her love of Baroque music. In the course of her studies, Stewart had played music from the history of flute from early music through contemporary. Her attention always seemed to return to the Baroque period. While later music tends to be “messy,” she said, “Baroque music is calm and clear. It gets messy enough, but then it all resolves.” By this time, Stewart said she was working hard on her instrumental studies. “But I wasn’t loving it.” The conservatory had a Baroque flute.  She took the instrument into a practice room to try to play music by Bach and Telemann. “It was horrifying,” she said. She found a book to guide her, and with that she applied herself to the period instrument.  “I tried things that were awkward and didn’t make sense on modern flute. They made perfect sense on the Baroque flute. I learned from the instrument what Baroque music was all about. Finally I was…


Dangerous cold temps and winds headed toward region

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The kind of cold headed this way busts pipes, closes schools, and makes exposed skin unbearable. Wind chills are expected to dip to -40 overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning – bringing bitter cold that can freeze flesh in less than 10 minutes. The National Weather Service has reported to the Wood County Emergency Management Agency that a wind chill warning is likely to be issued Tuesday night through Friday morning. Gusty winds will make matters worse, creating dangerous wind chills of -25 on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The coldest period will be overnight Wednesday into Thursday, when wind chills could dip to -40. Those temperatures are not only uncomfortable – but also dangerous. The frigid cold for this period of time will also start to impact infrastructure, so the EMA is suggesting that local residents plan for potential loss of infrastructure and services. The frigid cold can lead to burst pipes, frozen paws, frostbitten fingers and car problems. Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci has decided that the risk to kids is too great – so the schools will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a two-hour delay on Friday. “Obviously, we have to be concerned about kids at the bus stops, or kids walking to school,” he said. “It’s not an exact science,” but Scruci consults the National Weather Services’ table for dangerously cold conditions. “We have to make sure that they’re safe.” In addition to concerns about students, Scruci is also worried about the fleet of school buses starting up in the cold. “Will we be able to get our buses started,” since diesel fuel tends to gel in the cold. Precautions are being taken, but again, it’s not an exact science. If schools are closed due to the cold, the district will announce the closures on Facebook, Twitter, the district webpage, and through mass phone calls. On Tuesday afternoon, Bowling Green State University announced classes on Wednesday would be canceled, but all office would be open. The women’s basketball game has been postponed (updated) until Feb. 20. Other events…


Many farmers part of Lake Erie solution – smaller fraction are big part of the problem

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Beth Landers comes from a long line of farmers – so she knows they can be stubborn, independent and proud. As the Portage River watershed coordinator with the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District, Landers sees first-hand the efforts and errors made by farmers. As this region tries to limit the harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, Landers often hears people ask: “Why don’t the farmers just do ….?” That’s easier asked than answered, she said during a talk earlier this month to the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club. Landers started with a brief history lesson on Lake Erie’s woes over the last 60 years. In the 1960s, Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River were in such terrible shape that they caught on fire. “In the 1960s, it really came to a head,” she said. Then in 1972, the Clean Water Act was passed. That started changing the way rivers and lakes were treated in the U.S. “They were no longer something to carry away our waste,” Landers said. Municipalities were forced to focus on how they treated wastewater before sending it on its way, and farmers were urged to try no-till farming. “We spent an entire decade passing laws,” she said. “And the lake was still gross.” Then in 1988, the zebra mussels showed up in the lake. Though the creatures stirred up plenty of concerns, they managed to clean up the lake by the late 1990s. “We started actually seeing the lake recover,” Landers said. “It took 30 years and an invasive species.” The water became much clearer – making it more attractive to boaters, anglers, swimmers, and other tourists. But a side effect is that now sunlight can get further into the water and reach the phosphorus sediment in the lake – fueling the creation of algal blooms. In the aftermath of the algae crisis that led to an order to not drink the water in 2014, much of the blame has been placed on agriculture. So Landers often hears the farmers’ concerns. “Why is everybody blaming farmers? It’s not just…