Humanists Ask Lucas County To Get Something In Return For Rec Center

Earlier this week it was reported in the news that the Lucas County Board of Commissioners and the City of Maumee were talking about the county giving the Lucas County Recreation Center to Maumee. If a sale or transfer takes place, the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie thinks the county should get something in returnlike affordable housing.

President Douglas Berger sent a note to the Commissioners and copy to the Mayor of Maumee urge the county to add some conditions to any sale or transfer.

Here is the full text of the note:

I am writing to you on behalf of the members of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) concerning the plan to give the city of Maumee the Lucas County Recreation Center property at 2901 Key Street.

We are concerned that the county is considering giving away this valuable piece of property so that the city of Maumee can sell it to the highest bidder for high end homes and condos.

We believe this is unfair to the citizens of Lucas county. Large sums of county tax dollars were spent and have been spent on the structures and other amenities on the property.

We do agree that if the county doesn’t have the funds to continue the upkeep then the Commissioners should consider disposing of the property, but we feel that Lucas county citizens should get something in return.

SHoWLE has some suggestions on any disposal of the property:

1. Any sale or transfer should include a requirement that there be some affordable housing in the development mix. The county needs affordable housing and the Commissioners should do what they can to create more affordable housing.

2. Any disposal should be done at the market rate. Why should the city of Maumee make a profit off the county giving the land away? If they build houses on the land the city will gain tax dollars.

3. It would be better for the citizens of Lucas county that the county sells the land directly to a developer(s) at market rates, so the people of the county get back some of the money invested in the property over the years.

4. The county could consider putting the new jail on the Rec Center property.

SHoWLE hopes the county will take our ideas and concerns into consideration especially about including affordable housing in any sale or transfer.

 

We Achieved GuideStar Bronze Level

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) was recently recognized for our transparency with a 2018 Bronze Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile!

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits.

In order to get the 2018 Bronze Seal, SHoWLE shared important information with the public using our profile on www.guidestar.org. Now our community members and potential donors can find out more about our mission and programs.

Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think:

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie GuideStar Profile

Our Pride Booth Introduced The Group To Many New People

Our booth at Toledo Pride festival

SHoWLE had our first informational booth at the Toledo Pride Festival on August 18th. Doug, Shawn, Margarette, and Larry had over 50 people show interest in the group.

It was a beautiful day with a large crowd visiting all the booths in Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo.

“Having a booth takes a lot of time and effort to pull off,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger explained. “For our first time, we did a great job. I have a lot ideas on how to improve our booth for the future.”

If you be interested in helping staff our booth at other events let Doug or Shawn know.

First Humanist Nooner A Success

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie(SHoWLE) plans to have many activities that don’t fit into the classic general meeting format. Doug Berger, SHoWLE President, started off the non-meeting programing by hosting a lunch get together at a local restaurant.

The first Humanist Nooner, as it is called, took place at the Panera Bread in Maumee. Even though only four people showed up, Doug considers it a success.

“Even if one person shows up I would mark it as a win,” Doug said. “You can’t start something from scratch and expect a hundred people to show up. I knew that when starting up SHoWLE itself.”

Those that attended were happy with the good service and the conversation included politics, religion, and why Sylvania Township hates TARTA.

Doug will host these lunches each month on the 3rd Wednesday. He is open to suggestions for the next location to check out.

If you want to host your own event, use our contact form to send a message to Doug. The more events there are the better for the group.

SHoWLE Will Not Take St. Anthony Land Bank Pledge

screenshot of Toledo officials and Rep. Marcy Kaptur at a press conference demanding the Diocese of Toledo save St. Anthony church

*For Immediate Release*

Toledo, Ohio, June 22, 2018 – The Lucas County Land Bank, a county agency, voted to accept the donation of St. Anthony Church from the Diocese of Toledo contingent on an engineering inspection and a call for written pledges to help in redeveloping the building. At this time the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) has decided NOT to make a pledge.

“Although the church and state issues we were concerned about seem to be abated. We are still troubled with the city and county taking on this project without any concrete plans,” said SHoWLE President Doug Berger.

We do feel that the Padua Center and the neighborhood should not only have a seat at the table but should be taking the lead in any plans for the building. We didn’t feel it was appropriate telling them how to reuse the building.

Berger added that SHoWLE will be monitoring the issue and should it look like outsiders are minimizing or ignoring neighborhood input then it is prepared to support the neighborhood.

Whatever is done with the building has to benefit the whole neighborhood and not just the outsiders who ‘saved’ it,” Berger said.

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President
567-302-0209

Shawn Meagley – co-founder
419-266-7945

 

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We Are Now Offically A Chapter Of The American Humanist Association!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is now an official chapter of the American Humanist Association

(Toledo, Ohio, June 7, 2018) – The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) had their chapter application approved by the American Humanist Association.

Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

“This is a major foundational stone we needed for SHoWLE to have a chance at a strong start and become a sustainable long term active group in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” SHoWLE President Doug Berger said. “The AHA does a great job supporting their local chapters and it will be a great asset for Humanists in Toledo.”

Media Contacts

Douglas Berger – President
567-302-0209

Shawn Meagley – co-founder
419-266-7945

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Humanists Ask Toledo Officials Not To Insert Themselves In Saving St. Anthony

screenshot of Toledo officials and Rep. Marcy Kaptur at a press conference demanding the Diocese of Toledo save St. Anthony church

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) urge Toledo city officials and US Rep. Marcy Kaptur not to insert themselves in the effort to save St. Anthony Catholic Church on Nebraska Avenue.

Seeing Rep. Kaptur and current and past Toledo elected officials standing at a podium with the city of Toledo seal, demanding the Diocese of Toledo not tear down St. Anthony is troubling,” Doug Berger, President of SHoWLE said.

The separation of church and state not only protects the government from religious intrusion but also protects religion from some intrusion by the government.

“It sets a bad precedent, especially as organized religion continues to lose members,” Berger said. “The City of Toledo can’t save all the old churches in the city and when it chooses not to then that is going to be a no win situation.”

The Diocese of Toledo, in a statement, wondered where the calls to save the building were for the past 13 years after it closed and as the building continued to deteriorate.

“The government officials demanding the building not be torn down will stick the Diocese with the repair bills should they prevail. The only way for tax dollars to be spent on a renovation and/or reuse would require the property be sold to a non-religious entity at a fair market price,” Berger said.

The misleading statement by a community member that demolition would be a health and safety issue is also a problem.

“If the building were kept, it would still need any asbestos and lead paint removed and it would have to meet modern building standards. I don’t think the Diocese hired a fly by night demolition company who wouldn’t take the required precautions in tearing down such an old building.”

The building is historical and significant to many people in the community but there hasn’t been any specific plans from the people wanting to keep it.

SHoWLE believes that Rep. Kaptur and the city of Toledo shouldn’t pick sides in the issue and they should stay neutral as called for in the 1st amendment.

Related story:

Kaptur, Kapszukiewicz call on diocese to halt St. Anthony demolition

Secular Humanists Make The Newspaper

screenshot Front of the Religion section Toledo Blade 06/02/2018

The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie had a nice write up in the religion section of the Toledo Blade. The print version took up nearly half a page and was above the fold. We could never afford advertising that good.

To question whether morals and values can exist apart from theology cuts to the heart of secular humanism. While atheism simply denotes that an individual does not believe in God, secular humanism “kind of takes that a step further,” Ms. Meagley said; it answers the “now what” question that, for some, follows when a person comes to terms with a disbelief in God.

Secular humanism’s affirmation of an ethical life suggests parallels between the ways that a conscientious religious adherent and a conscientious humanist would live. But a humanist, significantly, would do so without tying these views and values to theism or the supernatural.

Good Without God

First Meeting A Success

Nice Crowd at first meeting

Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie (SHoWLE) met for the first time officially on May 5th. We had a dozen humanists interested in the group and moving forward.

The interest was so great that we were able to have enough AHA members to sign our chapter application and we had several people interested in serving on the steering committee. This committee will help develop the formal structure of the group as we become a chapter.

“I think it shows how needed a group like this is in Toledo and our PR campaign helped get the word out,” Co-founder Doug Berger said. “I am over the moon at the number who attended today without any previous history.”

Berger led the meeting and gave a presentation about the group and what he would like to see happen in the future. There was a good discussion period where the consensus was that there needs to be a group that can help protect the 1st amendment and concern that our group is too small to be effective.

“I understand the concern,” Berger said later. “We need to start small and grow into some of the ideas I have for the group. I have no problem with that.”

The next meeting will be on June 16th 2018 at 11 am at The 577 Foundation 577 East Front St.  Perrysburg, Ohio 43551 (just west of East Boundary St.)

Berger will also being doing a presentation about church and state issues in the Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan area.

All meetings of SHoWLE are free and open to the public.

Here is a clip from the Toledo Blade on May 5th:

Meeting announcement in the Blade
Religion Section Toledo Blade 05/05/2018