The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Passionate birder’s musical act to kick off festival

While R. Bruce may be both a birder and a comedic singer and musician, for him, the two areas of interest aren’t necessarily so different.

“They would seem to be very different, looking at birds and singing silly songs… but there is something in common, and that is sharing. Almost all the birders I know love to share their knowledge and information. The musical community is a bit like the birding community… a lot of creative, wonderful, crazy people who like to share,” Bruce said.

The festival’s host, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, brought Richardson here to kick off the festival at 7 p.m. on May 8 at the Maumee Bay State Park lodge. Cost for a ticket is $12. The festival, which attracts tens of thousands of birders from across the world to Lake Erie’s shores each year, runs until May 17.

His performance at the Biggest Week in Birding is a part of what he humorously refers to as the R. Bruce Richardson Reunion Tour (Banding Code RBRT). While he performs solo and doesn’t have a band to reunite with, this is his first time touring and performing in several years. So in a way, it is indeed a solo reunion tour.

An application for a Special Use Exception (SUE) on property where a former lumber yard was located on Brown Road was withdrawn on Monday.

The Oregon Planning Commission had recommended approval for the SUE so that a storage facility for wood and work trailers at 5435 Brown Road could be constructed. The matter had been referred to Oregon City Council for the March 23 council meeting, where a public hearing on the matter was on the agenda.

“The applicant for this SUE has approached the city with a request to withdraw this application,” said Council President Dennis Walendzak. “On March 17, the applicant notified the city administration that they would like to withdraw the application for the Special Use Exception. The applicant also requested that the 12 month reapplication period be waived,” he said.

Council granted the request to withdraw the application.

A.A. Boos had planned to buy the property, where a lumber yard had once operated. Sondra Boos applied for the SUE in an R-1 Low Density Residential District

Cassandra Hammersmith has been searching for her three-year-old dog since it went missing on Saturday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m. from her home on Hazelton Dr. in Oregon.330CODY

Cody, a small, white male Maltese, escaped from Hammersmith’s backyard when his female sibling was able to loosen the latch of the gate.

“They went off together. They never go far from each other,” said Hammersmith. “We searched five hours until it got dark out and we couldn’t see anything. Thirty minutes into our search, we found his sister at Starr and Coy. So we’ve been hitting Starr really hard.”

Though both went off together, the female is not very friendly, she said, and is unlikely to approach strangers. Cody is the opposite.

“She’s mean. She won’t go up to anyone. He’s very friendly. If someone tried to call them over, he would have happily went,” she said. “He’s an inside dog, so he doesn’t know much about cars and streets.”

Weather permitting, technicians from the Ottawa Soil and Water District will soon begin taking water samples from an apparatus designed to remove nitrogen from farm fields before it reaches drainage ditches - and ultimately Lake Erie.

Mike Libben, program administrator for the district office, said water sampling from the nitrogen bio-reactor could begin in early April.

“We’re going to start pulling water samples on it to see if it’s really making the difference it’s supposed to,” he said. “The first day of April I’ll start watching the weather. If we get a 1-inch or 2-inch rain that will be a good indicator and I’ll try to get a reading that day so we have a solid spring sampling.”

The bio-reactor is located on a field about three miles north of the Ottawa County Fairgrounds in Carroll Township.

The denitrification process occurs when water in a main field drainage tile passes through a medium such as woodchips before reaching the tile’s end at a drainage ditch.

“In the end,t we’re hoping to reduce the nitrogen levels in the water that is going into the ditch,” Libben said. “That in turn can help reduce the algae bloom in the lake. Phosphorus is our main problem in Lake Erie but nitrogen is also a contributor. Using different media, iron slag, for example, can pull phosphorus out.”

Warmer weather is generally regarded as a good thing. But for several area towns the spring season has become synonymous with melting snow and ice – and flooding.

Compounding their concerns is the possibility of ice jams.

Last year, the Village of Pemberville experienced considerable flooding problems, and there's always the fear that this could happen again this time of the year.

Not far away, the Maumee River, which has historically caused springtime problems for northwest Ohio towns like Waterville and Grand Rapids, recently pushed some big chunks of ice into the Riverside Cemetery in Maumee, which houses Civil War-era headstones. The ice chunks also damaged fences, trees, park benches and signs.

Currently, it appears as though those living along the Portage River in villages like Oak Harbor, Elmore, Woodville and Pemberville, are safe from the flooding.

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