Musical energy comes in lots of flavors at the 2017 Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Arts Festival will bring back some favorites to the Main Stage to help celebrate its 25th year. Those are favorites from previous festivals including the darlings of 2016 the all-female mariachi ensemble Flor de Toloache and zydeco rabble-rouser Dwayne Dopsie and his Hellraisers. The festival runs from Friday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 10 in downtown Bowling Green. Performing Arts Committee chairs Cole Christensen and Tim Concannon also are confident some of the newcomers, such as Birds of Chicago and Afrobeat veterans Antibalas from the Broadway show “Fela!” are destined to become festivalgoers new favorite bands. The festival has now posted its full Main Stage lineup on http://www.blackswampfest.org/music-1/ with links to the bands’ websites. The schedules for the Community Stage and the Family Stage are still being put together, though as in the past several Main Stage performers will play second sets elsewhere. The lineups include two acts considered the best in their genres. The Irish band Lunasa, called “the hottest Irish band on the planet,” will perform at 8 p.m. Friday and the legendary gospel quintet Blind Boys of Alabama, who date back to 1944, will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday. “They’ve done their thing for 70 years,” Christensen said. The Blind Boys represent the roots of the kaleidoscopic sound now called Americana. “We’re just trying to bring high energy acts from every genre of music,” Christensen said. Those acts can come from across the ocean, or they can come from across the street. Each day of the festival is opening with a local band on the Main Stage. Kicking off the festival and reviving the practice of having a top local act as openers will be the Matt Truman Ego Trip. The band has a psychedelic punk rock mix. Truman will return later for an acoustic show. On Saturday the BiG Band BG, the Bowling Green Area Community Bands’ swing group, will open the show. Concannon said he liked what he heard during a recent concert at the Pemberville Opera House. Following them will be Bobby G with Curtis Grant and the Midnight Rockers. The Toledo singer absorbed the sound of the blues will growing up in the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta. As a teenager he moved to Toledo and brought his love of the blues with him. He was performing in Toledo clubs in the 1970s…


BGSU employee suggests amendment to allow sick time sharing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A phone call from a Bowling Green woman resulted in one sentence inserted in the state budget bill that could make a difference for many Ohio residents. On Wednesday, State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, stood up in chambers and read off an amendment, which he dubbed the “Faith Olson amendment.” The change is one paragraph in a more than 4,000-page budget bill. “Still in this big state, one person can make a difference,” Gardner said from the floor. Olson, a Bowling Green State University employee since 1978, reached out to Gardner about employees at state universities not being eligible for a paid leave donation program. Previously, state university employees could save up their unused sick time, and put it in a “bank,” where other employees could use the time in case of critical or chronic illnesses. Gardner met with Olson, fiscal officer for the BGSU College of Education and Human Development, at Frisch’s on North Main Street to discuss her concerns over breakfast. Olson explained that under an interpretation from Attorney General Mike DeWine, the unused sick time could no longer be donated to fellow state university employees in need. DeWine’s unofficial opinion stated that unless the program was in a union contract, or involved faculty, that the paid leave could not be given to others with chronic illnesses. That troubled Olson. “There were people still in need,” she said. So she reached out to Gardner, who she felt has been supportive of higher education issues. “I think it’s a valid request,” Olson said. So did Gardner, who decided to put an amendment in the budget bill that would again allow employees to donate sick time. “This sounded like a reasonable amendment for the budget,” he said after hearing Olson’s concerns. The only difference is that now rather than having a “leave bank,” the time can be given directly to someone in need, Olson said. Gardner touched base with BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll and Provost Rodney Rogers, to discuss the amendment. They welcomed the idea, Gardner said. The change is permissive, so universities only participate if they wish. “Because of Faith Olson,” employees will be able to donate their sick leave to those in need, Gardner said. “You have made a difference.”


Local artists promote awareness through book “Migraine365”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel doesn’t take her migraines lying down. Migraine disease may immobilize her at times, but she’s resolved to be a voice for others who suffer. It means being active on social media as Lady Migraine at ladymigraine.com. It means writing for migraine.com, and appearing in videos being the face for the many tormented by the silent demon. It means teaming with her husband John Roberts-Zibbel to write a graphic journal, “Migraine 365,” that looks at daily life for someone with migraine disease and their loved ones. In their case that includes two daughters Isobel, 8, and Alexandra 12. The book was self-published and can be purchased at blurb.com. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have them,” she said of the severe headaches and array of symptoms that accompany them. She was diagnosed when she was a child and remembers always having at least one per week, but the headaches didn’t become chronic, fifteen or more per month, until she was 30. “It was always a big problem,” Roberts-Zibbel said. “It took me a lot longer to get through college.” She persisted, but so did the migraine disease. Her first pregnancy was debilitating, and her second even worse. “Sometimes the pain gets so bad you want to shoot yourself in the head.” The disease forced her out of jobs. Now as a partner in Zibbel Media, she is a key player on the BG Independent News team, handling advertising, posting obituaries, and occasionally contributing articles. John Roberts-Zibbel got the idea for “Migraine 365” in 2014 while the family was on vacation in Cape May, New Jersey. Everything was going wrong, including no air conditioning in the middle of summer. And weather, Elizabeth said, “is one of my worst triggers.” John has been involved in the world of fantasy and comics for years, both as an illustrator and with his live rapping character The Mechanical Cat, who makes regular appearances at local clubs. Drawing during that hellish vacation, he got the idea of chronicling the daily life of the family, and how migraine disease weaves through it, and how the various members, including the children, maneuver through it. Elizabeth provided the narrative and poems. “The idea is to show what it is to live with migraine disease,” John said. He also launched a website for the project, which he said has reached 3,000 families touched…


Animal cruelty calls to go through sheriff’s office

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   To prevent animal cruelty cases from slipping through the cracks, Wood County residents will soon have one place to call to report animal abuse. After a meeting between the Wood County Commissioners, the Wood County Humane Society, the Wood County Dog Warden and the Wood County Sheriff, it was decided that the sheriff’s office will soon take over as a clearing house for animal cruelty complaints. As the county commissioners prepared to give the humane society its annual $30,000 check to support the position of a humane agent, Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar suggested that the roles of the various agencies involved be outlined. “We want to make sure that is clear,” Kalmar said of the role of the humane agent. “What can law enforcement expect?” Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn voiced his concern that cruelty calls could be going unanswered. “Are things slipping through the cracks,” the sheriff asked. “Is there tracking? Is there accountability with the calls.” The problem is the humane society has one humane agent to investigate cruelty complaints. She cannot work 24/7, so some calls don’t get immediate responses. The sheriff’s office also gets a share of the phone calls about animal abuse. So Wasylyshyn offered to have sheriff’s dispatchers take all the animal cruelty complaints to improve the tracking and the responses. That suggestion was welcomed by Erin Moore, the humane society shelter manager, and Heath Diehl, the humane society board president. “I think we’re missing things because people don’t know who to call,” Moore said. And with one agent, help is needed, she added. “That would be a peace of mind for us,” Moore said. “That would serve the citizens of Wood County much better,” Wasylyshyn added. If the humane agent is available, she would be dispatched, otherwise a deputy could respond. The humane society has a response protocol in place. Through a series of questions asked on the phone, it can often be determined if the case is a true emergency, Moore explained. “Everybody always thinks it’s an emergency,” she said. “Most things can wait till morning.” Sheriff’s dispatchers can be trained on the questions to ask to assess the immediacy of an animal cruelty complaint, Wasylyshyn said. That would be more satisfying to the callers than getting an answering machine at the humane society, he said. Requests may be made to other police…


Earth Camp gives kids peek at the wild side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   By the end of the day, nearly 250 kids left William Harrison Park – some wearing paper butterflies with pipe cleaner antennae in their hair, some with dirt on their hands, and some with new ideas in their heads. Elementary age children from throughout Wood County gathered at the park in Pemberville for the annual Earth Camp Tuesday organized by the Wood County Solid Waste Management District for kids in the Community Learning Centers STARS program. “We get every single one of the Community Learning kids outside for the entire day,” said Amanda Gamby, who coordinated the event. A parent herself, Gamby said sometimes after a long day at work, parents just don’t have the energy to take kids outside to play. So for the 18th year, the Earth Camp gave them a full day to explore nature. This year’s theme was wildlife. “It’s pretty great,” said Jamie Sands, with the Wood County Park District, which partnered on the camp. “This is for kids to be active in nature while learning about wildlife.” Children went from station to station, learning about the declining Monarch butterfly population, “habitracks” using a map to explore habitat components for animals, the importance of pollination, local amphibians, and Nature’s Nursery. “Then they get to go down to the river and see some critters,” Sands said. “They go home and they are probably all exhausted.” At one station, the children learned about the efforts of Nature’s Nursery to help nurse wildlife back to health and return them to the wild. Some of the lessons focused on what the program does not do. Nature’s Nursery takes in 2,500 animals a year. The children guessed the types of animals are aided. Sea turtles? “We don’t take care of sea turtles, no,” Marquita Tillotson, of Nature’s Nursery said. Snapping turtles, yes. Fish? “Nobody ever calls us up and says, ‘we found a really sick fish,’” Tillotson said. Rabbits? Yes. In fact, about half of the animals taken in at the nursery are rabbits. “Tons of little babies,” Tillotson said. Beavers? No, but they would help a beaver if it was brought in. Moles? “We do get moles. We got a cute little mole the other day,” Tillotson said. When the animals are better, the nursery releases them back into the wild. Why? “So they can do their own thing,” a child…


Young Africans leaders congregate at BGSU to learn from Ohio & each other

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The future of Africa is at Bowling Green State University. The university is hosting 25 organizers and activists as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The institute hosts 1,000 fellows at institutions across the country. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-hosting-young-african-leaders/) A conversation with nine of fellows included men and women from Mauritania and Niger in the northern end of the continent to Zimbabwe near the southern tip. The issues they were concerned with were similarly broad, from helping those caught up in the sex industry, education, and environmentalism. And they said they were finding ways of addressing those issues here in the Northwest Ohio meeting with civic leaders and during outings as close to home as the farmers market and as distant as Columbus and Detroit. Tuesday they toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab and crime scene building. Jon Sprague, the director of the Governor’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, also spoke about the opioid crisis. Yet their greatest source of support and knowledge, they said, was each other. “I think the best art of this program was my colleagues,” said Chibuzor Azuuike, of Nigeria. “Africa has to move forward .So meeting people who are of like-mind, who are very passionate about making an impact back at home, is important. I’ve learned a lot from them, and we hope to partner on projects.” Loice Kapondo, of Zimbabwe, said in the week they’ve been at BGSU “we’ve been sharing stories formally and informally. … Their strategies are easy to adapt to my country because of the similarities.” While Africa is not a homogeneous entity, the sub-Saharan countries do share much. “I think in Africa there’s more that makes us similar than makes us different,” Azuuike said. “Africa is both one and many.” The issues that the fellows are concerned about are many. Aishatu Abubakar-Addullateef is a psychiatrist at a teaching hospital back in Niger. She volunteers to raise awareness of the psychological stresses children face and to train teachers to better deal with that in order “to improve the lives of children.” Melainine Mouhoudis is interested in developing vocational training in Mauritania. Now the society considers only those who can go to a university – something that’s out of reach for most – can prosper. This system, based on the French model, looks to keep Africans in a subservient position,…


New state budget expected to eliminate BGSU undergrad tuition increase

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the conference committee wrapping up work on the Ohio budget, it appears that undergraduate tuition will not increase at Bowling Green State University in the fall. At its June meeting the BGSU Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition by 2 percent for undergraduate in-state tuition and general fees. The 2.5-percent increase for graduate students will still take effect. That vote was taken pending the resolution of a new state budget. Now with the budget just about ready for Gov. John Kasich’s signature, BGSU president Mary Ellen Mazey said the tuition increase will not be allowed at least for this year. The tuition hike would have generated $2.4 million in additional revenue. Nor will the university receive more state aid. “You never know what will happen, that’s certainly what it looks like coming out of the conference committee.” This is a case where the House version prevailed despite, she said, the efforts of State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowing Green) who “worked very diligently” to try to get more favorable funding for universities. Mazey said that tuition increases would be allowed next year, but only if a university adopts the Ohio Guarantee program. Through that program schools promise that students’ tuition will remain the same throughout their four years. If BGSU adopts the tuition guarantee it would be allowed to raise tuition as much as 8 percent for incoming students in fall, 2018. However, Mazey said, that could be reduced to 6 percent by the governor. Mazey said while the budget is not good news, it could have been worse. Other agencies are taking a 5-percent hit, according to her conversations with Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council. Given a $1 billion shortfall, rising Medicaid cost, and the worsening opioid crisis, everyone is being affected, Mazey said. “It’s not good, but it could have been worse,” she said. While the budget won’t be final until Kasich signs it – expected on Friday, Mazey said: “I can’t imagine any of this is going to change.” The governor in his budget proposal had also called for a tuition freeze. The increased fee for career services passed by the trustees as well as fees designated for specific programs and courses passed earlier in the year will still go into effect. The budget calls for increases in the Ohio Opportunity Grant Program that provides financial aid to…


BG Community Center to fine tune fitness class fees

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Changes are being considered at the community center that will help pay for fitness instructors and help people stay fit at the same time. But it also means people will be paying a little more for fitness classes. The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday discussed new fitness class pricing for the fall, and offering a discount for community center members who want to take classes, and for those who take classes who want to join the community center. “Our mission is to make sure people are healthy,” said Kristin Otley, director of the parks and recreation department. The price increase will be voted on next month, and go into effect in September. The following rates are being considered: Drop-in classes: $8 now, $10 proposed. Monthly: $40 now, $45 proposed. Quarterly: $105 now, $117 proposed. Annual: $360 now, $396 proposed. The last time rates changed was 2015, and Otley said she would rather see “small incremental price increases” than putting it off and needing big rate hikes. “Minimal increases is our philosophy,” Otley said. No increase will go into effect until the fall. “We want to be able to give people a heads up,” she said. “We want to be as transparent as we can.” In the past, people taking classes could only go to the specific class they signed up for. But now, people can pay monthly, quarterly or annually and pick from a variety of classes, such as spin, step or zumba. That makes it more appealing for people who want to try different classes, Otley said. But that also means some inconsistency in attendance in some classes, as patrons try out a variety of fitness programs. However, the instructors still need to be paid, she added. To use the fitness classes, participants don’t have to be members of the community center. In an effort to make programs and the center more attractive to patrons, Otley suggested the board considers giving community center members a break on fitness class fees, and giving fitness class attendees a discount on community center membership. Also at the park board meeting, Otley announced that plans for a new building at City Park may be ready for public viewing in August. The new building will take the place of the existing Veterans and Girl Scout buildings which are scheduled to be demolished. Otley…


BGSU & contractors take green approach to demolition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University constructs buildings with a sense of environmental awareness. The university requires all new structures meet LEED Silver standards, and some including the Stroh Center, and Greek Village exceed that standard, said Ryan Miller, senior project manager in the Office of Design. He’s hoping with a few changes, the Kuhlin Center will also gain the gold designation. When buildings come down, the university and its contractors also try to be environmentally aware. Right now Miller, who worked on the Student Recreation Center renovation and the Wolff Center among other projects, is overseeing the demolition of West Hall and the Family and Consumer Science Building. By the time students arrive on campus next August there will be empty space where the two buildings stood. Miller said that the university’s design consultants and contractors are attuned to LEED principles. The demolition isn’t a LEED project, but as in those projects, the contractors are aiming to recycle and reuse as much material as possible. The original plan was to take brick and concrete from the buildings, crush it onsite, then use it as engineered fill in the basements of the razed structures. Instead in order to save time, the contractors will truck it to the landfill for construction waste and trade it for engineered fill that’s already stockpiled there. That fill will have to meet engineering approval, Miller said. The brick and concrete from BGSU will then be crushed to be used as engineered fill on other projects. The holes will be filled up to five feet from flush to the ground. Then soil will be laid on top. Miller said a landscape architect said that’s what’s required to plant trees on the site. As for other material that may be recycled, “that’s left up to the contractor,” he said. “The hope is the university receives some benefit in lower bids with contractors that are planning to recycle materials” and sell them. “That’s why you see the piles being separated out.” Anything metal, including copper, he said, can be recycled. Even before demolition began, the university sold as much furnishings and equipment as it could through GovDeals.com. Still there are limits. Some furnishings were shipped to landfill as was dry wall, insulation, and plaster. Also, all the asbestos and hazardous material removed early on were unsalvageable After the project is completed, the contractor will…


BG’s Scruci tries to dispel rumors about bond issue

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci tried to stop the rumor mill from churning Monday evening. For 90 minutes, he presented details and answered questions from a packed meeting room at the public library about the school district’s building plans and the bond levy to support them. Scruci has heard “all kinds of stories” about the district’s plans. “We wanted to get this information out now,” he said. “We want to get out in front of those” rumors about costs, cuts, kids and more. So he started by explaining the building plans and the $72 million cost to taxpayers. “I’m going to be the first to tell you that’s a lot of money, and we know that,” Scruci said. The 6-mill bond issue will appear on the November ballot for the projects. “Schools are always going to be the investment in the future in every city,” he said. “If we kick the can down the road, the cost is going to grow.” For the owner of a house valued at $100,000, that means an extra $210 a year. But since the average house value in Bowling Green is $170,000, Scruci said that would add up to $357 a year. And for those on the higher end, with a $250,000 home, the bond issue would mean another $525 a year. When he said the bond issue was for 37 years, someone in the audience whistled. “People are going to say that’s a lot of years, and it is,” Scruci said. But a bond issue with fewer years would mean greater payments that could be unmanageable for many residents. Scruci said he knows there are families in the district who will have difficulty paying the $210 a year. “I know there are some people in this community who can’t afford this,” he said. But Scruci maintained that the school district should not continue to put good money into old buildings that don’t have “good bones.” The board is not interested in taking state funding for construction, since the state would only contribute 11 to 13 percent, but would take control over the projects. The district is losing new students to newer schools. And Bowling Green students deserve better facilities. “We owe it to every student in this district to give them the best education,” he said. “Somebody paid for my education and it’s time for…


BG high students experience the magic of London

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green High School students who traveled to London last week experienced a foreign culture and a little bit of magic. Drama teacher Jo Beth Gonzalez accompanied eight students on a tour of London. The tour organized by E.F Educational Tours also included 35 teachers, students and parents from London. The students and their families were responsible for raising all the money to pay for the trip. No district funds were used. The trip left June 15 and the bleary-eyed travelers returned on June 21, having experienced five-and-half packed days in London and Stratford, England. Gonzalez and four of the students gathered two days after their return to discuss the trip. These are early impressions. Gonzalez said. The full impact on the students probably won’t be felt for a year, as they absorb what they experienced. Tressa Greiner, who will be a sophomore in August, said that she’d always loved the score from the musical “Wicked.” Getting to see it on the London stage was something else again. “It was really magical.” While most of the students who went were involved in the school’s drama program, Greiner hasn’t been able to fit it into her scheduled. Gonzalez said they all hope that will change next year. Julia Maas, who will attend Bowling Green State University in fall to study physical education and health, was also impressed with the musical. She’d seen it before, but now she saw it in a new light. “The characters were so clear and bold.” The characters were given a different interpretation and accent by the British cast, said Elaine Hudson, a senior planning to study theater in college. This was her third time seeing “Wicked.” They also saw the show “The Comedy About a Bank Robbery.” Though less well known, it was a hit. Hailey Johnson, who will be a sophomore in fall, said of the activities they participated in, that was the highlight. “It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” The production Gonzalez said “was impeccable” from the acting, the sets, and aerial work.” “Everything was so crisp,” Maas said, “you could tell they had been rehearsing for months.” Still as fun as that was, what made the biggest impression on Johnson was the camaraderie the group developed during the trip. She didn’t know her fellow travelers that well before, but they bonded in London. That extended…


Survey shows Wood Countians are overweight, under-exercised

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A recent survey of Wood County adults shows that 70 percent are either overweight or obese. Few are eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. And few are drinking the suggested amounts of water. Ten percent of the adults said in the past year they have had to choose between paying bills and buying food. The survey also shows many would support more locally grown foods, want more accessible walking and biking trails, and would like local agencies to partner with grocery stores to provide low cost healthy foods. The 2017 Nutrition and Physical Activity Health Assessment – which is still in its draft form – is intended to help local organizations develop strategies that focus on wellness, access to care, and unmet community needs. The survey is the work of the Wood County Health District and the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio. The information was gathered from 456 local residents who completed surveys. A separate section, which came from 106 community leaders in the county, was done to see how close the answers compared between average citizens and key leaders. The survey showed that key community leaders are much more aware of healthy food options and exercise opportunities in the county. “One of the biggest gaps we identified was the difference between key leaders and the general public,” said Pat Snyder, communication manager at the Wood County Health District. “It’s not that every place needs more bike trails or parks, but we need to make people aware” of where they already exist, said Alex Aspacher, county outreach coordinator at the health district. When completed, the survey will be shared with other local entities interested in the health of Wood County residents. “We will freely share it with people who want to use it,” Snyder said. An action plan using the survey results is expected to be created by September. The partners, the health care leaders of Wood County, have made commitments in order to ensure the success of this effort: The assessment will not “sit on a shelf.” The identified priorities and recommendations will be followed up and acted on. The assessment will not be done in a vacuum. In order to be successful, any and all stakeholders will need to be involved in current and future efforts. Every agency dealing in some aspect of health care in Wood County…


BG challenged to do more recycling and composting

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council has been urged to think “outside the landfill” as a way to save the city money. Neocles Leontis, a Bowling Green State University chemistry professor, suggested last week during a council meeting that the city could reduce its general fund shortfall by thinking creatively about waste generated in the city. He spoke when council asked for public input as they debated options to shore up the city’s general fund after a series of funding cuts from the state. Council members agreed the best option for raising $800,000 a year would be to start charging a fee for trash pickup. Leontis urged them to be more creative in their thinking about garbage. After meeting with Bowling Green Public Works Director Brian Craft about garbage statistics for the city, Leontis reported the city collects about 5,600 tons of garbage a year. Of that amount, about 12 percent is recycled – so about 5,000 tons end up being landfilled. The landfill charges $39.30 a ton, so the city is currently saving about $25,000 a year through recycling. Leontis suggested the city could do better – much better. While the city improved its recycling rate a few years ago after investing in the larger blue recycling containers, the 12 percent recycling rate is relatively low, he said. The average national recycling rate is about 35 percent, Leontis told council. If Bowling Green were to increase its rate to the national average, the city could save an additional $50,000 in landfill costs. But why stop there, he asked. “Why be average?” He presented City Council with a pie chart showing the average components of Ohio municipal solid waste from a recent study, pointing out that potentially up to 75 percent of the waste stream could be recycled or composted. Leontis’ conclusion was that Bowling Green could easily cut landfill costs in half while producing compost for agriculture. He challenged the city to convince residents to be more thorough about recycling items. “They are not putting everything in there that they could,” he said. Leontis’ comments prompted council to start discussing the possibility of lower trash fees for residents who generate less trash to be landfilled. Since the new garbage fee will not go into effect until next year, council has some time to discuss options that may result in less trash going to…


Tom Muir’s signature vessel finds home at Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It has taken 30 years for Tom Muir’s “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” to find a home. The metal coffee server, one of the silversmith’s signature works, could have entered the White House collection of American Crafts. Instead that institution received a vessel inspired by Beluga whales. And it was one of the two works being considered by the Institute of Art of Chicago. That collection got the first in the series of these fertility figures though. Muir has had private collectors offer to buy it, but the price wasn’t right, and he kept it close to home. Now the 30-year-old vessel has found its place in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art. “This was always one of my favorite pieces,” he said. The piece is made of 18-carat gold, sterling silver, oxidized copper and anodized aluminum. “I wanted it to have red belly to make it alive.” The base is shaped like udders. “It was a more interesting way to present it.” The museum has been holding the piece for several years, said Muir, a Distinguished Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University. The intent was to purchase it when the proper arrangements could be made. Jutta Page, then curator of glass and decorative art at the museum, contacted him earlier this year, to start the purchase process. Now the executive director of Old Dominion University’s Barry Art Museum, Page said she was pleased that the museum completed the purchase. In an email, she described “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” as “a significant American contemporary work by this much-revered local artist, nationally recognized metalsmith, and influential teacher to many a generation of BGSU students.” She added: “It is gratifying for me to know that this object will be preserved in a public collection.” Completing the transaction meant determining the purchase price, which has not been disclosed. Muir makes it clear that he does not donate his work. Some artists do, he said, just so they can say they have work in a certain collection. “They’re cutting their own throats and others’ throats,” he said. He’s had purchase offers that barely cover the cost of the $2,000 in metals that were used to make the piece. Even in 1993 when the White House social secretary called about Muir contributing a piece to start the American craft collection, he said he couldn’t donate it. Instead BGSU…


New BGSU hires strengthen key academic programs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Three tenure actions at the June meeting of the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees meeting highlighted the university’s efforts to strengthen particular academic areas. The trustees approved granting tenure to three incoming faculty members, each in a key discipline, who have been hired by the administration. Provost Rodney Rogers described them as “strategic hires” aimed at bolstering academic areas where the university already is strong. MD Sarder was hired as a professor and chair of the Department of Engineering Technologies. He has been on the faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi. Rogers said he brings particular expertise in robotics and advanced manufacturing to BGSU. Jayaraman Sivaguru has been hired as a professor in the Department of Chemistry. He comes from North Dakota State University. Rogers said he brings expertise in STEM education and photochemical science. Timothy Davis has been hired as associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He has been at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor. This will be his first full-time teaching position. Davis fits well into BGSU’s leading role in studying water quality in the Great Lakes, Rogers said. In other action, the trustees approved the naming of the computer lab in the Kuhlin Center for BGSU alumnus Judge Allan Davis. Shea McGrew, the vice president for University Advancement and the CEO of the BGSU Foundation, said that the judge has a long history of generosity towards his alma mater. Judge Davis told the trustees that South Hall, as the Kuhlin Center was known before its renovation and expansion, holds a special place in his memory. He was in a TV and radio class when news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was announced. There was, he said, only one television in the building, upstairs in a radio studio. Class was dismissed and Davis and his classmates huddled around the screen watching Walter Cronkite deliver the tragic news. The trustees granted president emeritus status to Carol Cartwright, who led BGSU from 2008 to 2011. Originally hired as an interim, she was later appointed as president. She was BGSU’s first woman president, and had been the first woman president of an Ohio state university when she served at Kent State. During her short tenure at BGSU she was instrumental in launching the university’s campus master plan, and securing the lead gifts…