A look ahead...
LWV public meetings are held in the Sons of Norway Lodge, 722 2nd Ave.
N., Fargo, in the meeting room behind the cafeteria. Members and guests
who wish to go through the buffet line and eat together (in the lodge
meeting room), may do so at 11:30 a.m.
May 3, 2002, 2002, Noon-1:00 p.m
First Friday at Sons of Norway .
Covering Local Elections and Politics
Speaker: Lou Ziegler, Editor, The Forum
May 6, 2002 6:30-7:30 p.m.
(Note new day and place)
LWVRRV Board Meeting
Fargo Public Library Meeting Room
May 6, 2002 7:30-9:00 p.m.
LWVRRV Membership Meeting
Fargo Public Library Meeting Room
The United Nations Accords
Leaders: Suzanne Dobbins, Carolyn Bowe and Donna
June 137:30-9:00 p.m.
LWVRRV Membership meetings
Fargo Public Library meeting room
Final Presentation of Boards & Commissions Study
July 11, August 157:30-9:00 p.m.
LWVRRV Membership meeting
Fargo Public Library meeting room
Topics: To be announced.
Fargo- West Fargo Residents Only
May 9th, 2002 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Fargo Public Library Meeting room
Fargo School Board candidates
Sponsor: Horace Mann Neighborhood Association
May 30, 2002 Beginning 6:00 p.m.
Fargo City Commission room
Fargo Mayoral candidates
Fargo Park Board candidates
Fargo City Commission candidates
June 4, 2002 Beginning 6:00 p.m.
Fargo City Commission Room
Privacy Notification Initiative
Fargo School Mill Levy Issue
Fargo School Board candidates
June 5, 2002
West Fargo Candidates Forums
West Fargo City Hall Chambers
West Fargo Park Board 6:30 p.m.
City Commission 7:40 p.m.
June 6, 2002
West Fargo City Hall Chambers
West Fargo Candidates Forums:
West Fargo School Board 6:30 p.m.
Cass County Commission 7:40 p.m.
June 11, 2002
N. D. PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
The League of Women Voters values diversity in its
members. In primicple and in practice, the League knows no barriers
on the basis of age, creed, disability, gender, national origin,
race or sexual orientation, and encourages full participation in
and contribution to the organization by all its members.
It certainly feels like spring--Finally! Our Annual Meeting was held
on Saturday, April 13th and was enjoyed by all who attended. I, along
with Jan Van Amburg, will share the role of President for 2002-2003. We
look forward to the opportunity to build upon the great work that has
been accomplished by so many dedicated Leaguers.
We will continue our two local programs: 1) continuing study of area
school operations, with emphasis on planning and 2) study of local Boards
and Commissions. We invite your participation. We also have several opportunities
to work with Voter Service throughout the year and encourage you to become
Our monthly membership meetings began in April and the May meeting will
be held on Monday, May 6th at 7:30 p.m. at the Fargo Public Library Meeting
Room. We hope to see all of you there.
On behalf of Janet and myself, thank you for the opportunity to serve
the League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley. What an exciting year
it will be!
--Janice Jones, Co-President
At the March 27 Board meeting, Membership Chair Suzanne
Dobbins announced plans to hold membership meetings at the Fargo Public
Library meeting room once a month. The first meeting was held on April
4 and the meeting room has been reserved for the rest of the year. (See
schedule in A Look Ahead.)
Suzanne Dobbins, Carla Hartje and Janet Van Amburg will be delegates to
the national League convention in Miami, FL. Their hotel, plane tickets,
banquet ticket and registration will be subsidized.
Barbara Headrick and Carolyn Bowe will serve on the program committee
for next years First Friday meetings. It was suggested that one
of the summer membership meetings could be a time for brainstorming ideas.
With the June election coming up plans are underway for publicizing the
Dnet as a new angle for voters service.
LWVRRV Annual Meeting
The annual meeting was called to order on April 13 following a delicious
brunch at the VIP Room in Fargo by retiring President Andrea Sather.
The first order of business was the presentation of awards to three worthy
- Laudable Leaguer: Kathie Kvalvog, for her extraordinary achievements
as Finance Chair
- Learning Leaguer: Barbara Headrick, for her tremendous contributions
as program and Voter Service Chair though a relative newcomer to League
- Legendary Leaguer: Mary Davies, for her outstanding and continuing
participation in League at the local and Minnesota state levels over
many years as well as service on boards and commissions in the community.
After routine business, the attendees were treated to the "hilarious"
one-act original play "Our Town," starring the SLBC Players:*
Barbara Headrick, Suzanne Dobbins, Mary Davies, Carol Sawicki and Marlene
Batterberry. The play featured scenes from "typical?" meetings
that might take place among local boards and commissions in our community.
It truly lived up to its advertising and provided
* Study of Local Boards and Commissions Committee
League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley
Co-Presidents: Julia Jones* and Janet Van Amburg*
Vice President: Barbara Headrick*
Secretary: Mary Davies*
Treasurer: Suzanne Dobbins
Marlene Batterberry, Carla Hartje, Margaret Blue,*
Carolyn Bowe,* Helen Rudie,* Carol Sawicki *
Bea Arett, Judy Lee, Lois Ivers Altenburg
Many thanks to retiring directors:
Andrea Sather and Sherbanoo Aziz.
* denotes terms expiring in 2003
Meet Our New Co-President
Janet Van Amburg
Our newly elected Co-President , Jan Van Amburg has been a member
of LWVRRV for more than a year but is not new to the League of Women Voters.
In 1972, she read an article in The Forum about a meeting which
included Mary Davies' name. At that time, Jan was a stay-at-home mom and
had been looking for something that would keep her informed and involved
in the community and the world. She felt that the League was what she
had been looking for: an organization that could help her make a difference
in the local community and beyond. She called Mary about membership in
the Moorhead League and became active.
Eventually Jan became a mathematics and computer science teacher. Following
her retirement nineteen years later, she returned to the by then united
Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead chapter and has been a member of the board
for the past two years.
In the meantime, Jan has had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout
the United States, England, Wales, Scotland, Europe, Guatamala, Canada
and Mexico. Most recently, she spent ten days in Greece. She has also
lived in Nigeria for a year and India for four months. She has come to
realize that while each country is unique, the people have the same dreams
and desires for their life. She never tires of experiencing new cultures.
Jans favorite hobby is knitting but she is also a quilter. In addition,
she is very active in her church, First Presbyterian of Moorhead, where
she is an ordained deacon and elder and has been certified as a Stephen
Minister. She is also active in Audubon and Nature Conservancy and volunteers
at the zoo. We are indeed pleased that she has agreed to become a League
leader as well.
Moorhead Human Right Commission
At the March 19, 2002 meeting, there were eight commissioners present
and a public showing of around twelve to fifteen people. After the roll
call and open forum for "citizens to be heard," the commission
had an in-depth discussion of their Public Safety Recommendations. Originally
there were five recommendations, but a sixth was suggested during the
meeting and was approved by the whole commission. The new recommendation
was that the Moorhead police department should begin submitting an annual
report to the city council. These six recommendations will be officially
presented on April 1, 2001 by any interested commission members and any
of the public serving on the "Citizens Action Team."
A member of the public voiced concern regarding a recent incident at
a local Boy Scouts award banquet. The incident involved a young Caucasian
boy who dressed up in Native American clothing and used language that
seemed to be inappropriate and discriminatory against Native Americans.
It seems that the scout involved in this act received a badge for his
performance. Commission member Mary Davies will complete a "fact
finding" investigation into this matter and will report back to the
Human Rights Commission at their next monthly meeting. Meanwhile, an apology
on behalf of the city will be sent to the family who first reported the
incident. They were in attendance at the award event and left it deeply
hurt. Overall, there was healthy discussion among the majority of commission
members. It was also encouraging to find that members of the public were
asked on several occasions to share their opinions regarding what was
--Colleen Hermann, Observer
Fargo Schools Update
The first Community Dialogue was considered a success with a turnout
of close to 300. In addition, a telephone survey was conducted and almost
200 persons answered the questionnaire on the internet.
Responding Fargo citizens seem to favor small school and small class size.
They prefer transporting students to schools where there is room to closing
schools or building new ones. However, they would like students to travel
no more than 1 miles to school in a maximum of 15-30 minutes on a bus.
Total results indicate support for a single grade configuration of K-6,
7-9, 10-12 closely followed by K-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
The DeJong Consultants have helped the facilities steering committee prepare
five options for planning the schools use to meet the above specifications.
Following further input from the public on April 25, the committee will
narrow down the options at May meetings and present a plan to the Board
of Education in June.
Fargo Supt. David Flowers and Lowell Wolff invited subscribers to Fargo
School Talk on the internet to meet with them for an informal question
and answer session on April 17. Following are some of the topics discussed:
Dr. Flowers reported that the addition of a gym to Clara Barton School
will take place this summer. There had been some discussion at our April
4th membership meeting about the delay in this
construction. The two extra classrooms planned at one time will not be
built. Other construction at Ben Franklin and North High is on schedule.
When asked about finances for the schools, Dr. Flowers replied that the
switch of medical facilities to non-profit status will have a harmful
impact on school finance--a loss to the general fund of $900,000 from
Innovis alone. When asked about the potential mill levy cap on property
tax he stated that he thinks this movement is an effort to force alternative
funding for schools. He mentioned other sources of revenue might be income
tax, sales tax, or as in some other states, a lottery. The latter is considered
to be undesirable by some people. A board committee is studying alternative
sources of revenue. There has been consideration of offering catering
service out the Fargo schools' kitchen to day cares and other entities
in town and in-house photography.
Parents pay for bussing where it is necessary but the major cost is to
the taxpayers. North Dakota does not pay adequately for transportation
costs. This would be an additional cost to facilities use options requiring
students to travel out of their neighborhood. Presently, students from
west of I-29 are bussed to Washington School.
Those attending this session, which ran an hour over the planned time,
expressed their appreciation to Dr. Flowers and Mr. Wolff for this exchange
opportunity as well as the communication in Fargo School Talk website
and the Freeze Frame newsletter.
--Audrey Richmond, Participant Observer
Be a part of the league observer corps!
Are you interested in government and how it works?
If you are a member of the League of Women Voters, then the answer to
this question is almost certainly yes. Would you like to learn more and
become more involved in local government? If the answer to this question
is yes, then maybe you should consider joining the Observer Corps of the
League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley.
Would you like a chance to help other local Leaguers be better informed
citizens? This year the League is studying local board and commissions.
There are a large number of these that operate in Fargo, Moorhead, West
Fargo and Cass and Clay Counties. Most local citizens are not aware of
the duties and importance of these bodies. A LWV observer can report back
to our members via the Voter newsletter and help them learn more.
An observer, in most cases, spends only one or two hours per month attending
the regular meetings of a local board or commission. All observers wear
a badge identifying them as a league member. They do not participate in
the meeting, except to ask a question for clarification if necessary.
Many regular Observers have discovered that attending local board meetings
is an interesting and highly educational experience. The LWVRRV is a respected
organization, and the people who make up these local decision-making groups
come to know and respect individuals who come to observe them.
Observing is a good way for anyone who is considering political office
to become known to the community. It can also help them decide where they
can best use their own interests and talents to serve their community.
If you are interested or would like to learn more about the LWV Observer
Corps, please contact Carol Sawicki at 232-5676.
We all wish our retiring President Andrea Sather well in her new endeavors.
She has begun a new position at Wells Fargo Bank which includes greater
responsibilities, is studying for an MBA and to top it off, will be married
in August. Thank you for your contributions to League, Andrea. We all
wish our retiring President Andrea Sather well in her new endeavors. She
has begun a new position at Wells Fargo Bank which includes greater responsibilities,
is studying for an MBA and to top it off, will be married in August. Thank
you for your contributions to League, Andrea.
Fighting Cancer through Legislation (First Fridays, they can be
dispersed where there is room.)
During the First Friday program in February, Maxine Adams of the American
Cancer Society mentioned that her organization began trying to influence
legislation in this country in 1913. The goal of the ACS is to reduce
50% of current deaths from cancer by 2015. The means used will continue
to be research,
education, provision of services and advocacy. Not many cancer related
bills have passed, though the Cancer Society Action Team has 1800 members.
Currently the Minnesota Smoke Free Coalition is asking
the M.N. legislature for a $1 increase in tobacco tax. A third of cancers
which originate from tobacco use, diet and sun exposure can be prevented.
They are choice related. The ACS advocates for resolutions to require
screenings for the major forms of cancer out of belief that "a dollar
spent on prevention is a dollar saved in health care."
N.D. State Senator Judy Lee, a league member who was in the audience,
is Chair of the Senate Human Services Interim Committee. She reported
that the North Dakota Tobacco Fund received a $7,000,000 check in December,
2001 to support the state program. There are eight regional health agencies
preparing plans to apply for this money. Lee also shared that 45% of the
tobacco money is earmarked for common school trust funds, 45% for water-related
needs and10% for tobacco and addiction related issues.
Election Reform for North Dakota
At the March First Friday meeting, N.D. Deputy Secretary of State Cory
Fong stated that many groups have worked on examining state election laws
since the problems with vote counting in Florida during
the last national election. The Association of Secretaries of State wanted
to lead election reform but there has been much disagreement with the
Association of Election Directors about the approach. U. S. Senate Bill
#565 in support of equal protection of voting rights could prove a financial
burden. Most states are operating at a loss. One problem is providing
a satisfactory way for disabled persons to vote. The bill asks that no
person be refused, but there is controversy over voting by mail and the
proper means of verifying identification.
The U.S. House "Help Americans Vote" act allows states to handle
elections in the way best suited to their situations. There are few mandates
and states are allowed control. Funding is provided for mandates such
as buying out punch card voting systems which are banned. The bill passed
by 85%. In our region, the N. D. Legislature has established a study committee.
Our states needs include: a process not requiring registration that
will expedite voting, criteria for establishing legal residency, criteria
for what constitutes a completed vote, study of DRE (digital recording
equipment) which could replace use of
physical ballots, a process of testing new equipment before purchase and
the funds for replacement of unsatisfactory equipment at the county level.
Not every county has pre-made voter lists when voters
appear. Practices need to be standardized so there are readable lists
at every voting site. The legislature is ultimately responsible for upgraded
Students Learn About the United Nations
The LWVUS supports the United Nations as the "best existing instrument
to promote world peace and improve the social and economical health of
the worlds people." Impact on Issues 2000-2002
Minnesota State University Moorhead played host to a Model United Nations
event on April 17 and 18. Three hundred- fifty students came together
for this simulation based upon possible international situations that
might come before the Security Council.
Dr. Andrew Conteh, a native of Sierra Leone in Africa and currently a
political science professor at MSUM, was a faculty sponsor of the Model
United Nations and spoke to the April 5 First Friday audience about it.
He reminded us that the United Nations was established in 1945 by the
major political powers of the time. The United States finally accepted
that it could not be isolated from the rest of the world. It was an achievement,
he said , when the headquarters of the U. N. was established in New York
City. The organization has played important roles in averting major world
war, protection of the environment and furthering the rights of women
to name a few.
Dr. Conteh explained that the model United Nations experience is beneficial
to the students who participate. Through preparation for role-playing,
they have an opportunity to: learn more about member countries they represent;
become familiar with what group bloc their countries associate; learn
how flexibility, listening skills and knowledge are required to negotiate
with others; learn parliamentary rules and have an opportunity to understand
that we live in a global village.
In answering questions about relations with undeveloped countries, Dr.
Conteh stressed the value of an emphasis on improving education before
expecting to establish democracy. He suggested that the reason corruption
is so visible in Africa is that "the pie is small and elites feel
that they have a natural right to rule." Corruption is an integral
part of many countries due to the belief that the "wheels must be
oiled in order to turn." The United Nations has an organization called
Unifem in support of women. In developing countries, women produce food
and men produce cash crops. The World Bank is anti-women, eliminating
subsidies for women. Dr. Conteh feels that education for women is very
important and the issue of violence toward women should be kept in the
(Note: Hear more about the UN at the League membership meeting on May
DO YOU CONCUR WITH THE PROPOSED LWVRRV POSITION
ON LOCAL BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS?
Members of the LWV of the Red River Valley approved a study of local
boards and commissions at our 2001 Annual Meeting. The committee has spent
the past year gathering information through interviews and surveys. The
results of their efforts were presented to League members at meetings
and in a comprehensive packet, which was sent to each member with the
2002 Annual Meeting mailing. This years annual meeting provided
an excellent setting to discuss this study and to ascertain member input
on our position. The LWRRV Board is now seeking member agreement with
this proposed new position (printed below). There will be an opportunity
for a final presentation about the study and the proposed position at
the June 13th Membership Meeting. Concurrence forms will be available
at the meeting.
If you are unable to attend this meeting, we
encourage all members to send in the Concurrence Form printed in this
issue of The Voter directly to the LWVRRV Board of Directors.
Postmark Deadline: June 30, 2002
Proposed LWVRRV Position on Local Boards and Commissions
The LWVRRV supports an open appointment process to the boards and commissions
which serve our community, which includes the cities of Fargo, Moorhead
and West Fargo. The League believes that the appointment process should
include input from the Mayor, City Council or City Commission, members
of the various boards and commissions, and the public. The citizenry can
be encouraged to participate through:
- Public notification of all openings
- Use of a formal application form
- Use of the City Web sites to explain the application process and provide
online application forms
- Implementing recognition programs to reward citizens for their volunteerism.
The League supports the active pursuit of diversity on all local boards
and commissions. In order to achieve a diverse balance, the League encourages
our cities to:
- Enact term limits in order to promote turnover and give more opportunities
- Post openings on their web sites, in the local newspapers and notify
community groups of volunteer opportunities
- Adopt an affirmative action statement requiring that every effort
be made to assure that the makeup of boards/commissions reflect the
diversity of the community.
The League believes that our cities should help to strengthen the effectiveness
and integrity of its boards and commissions through:
- Training sessions for new board/commission members on board policies,
procedures and ethics
- Publishing a code of ethics for board/commission members to follow
Wind III Conference
Alerus Center -Grand Forks, ND
The North Dakota State League of Women Voters voted on a study of wind
energy at its last annual meeting. In order to collect information for
this study, I attended the 3rd annual Wind Energy and Rural Development
in North Dakota Workshop as a League observer on Feb.22, 2002. The workshop
was organized by U. S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and the UND Energy
& Environmental Research Center, along with other groups. Among the
featured speakers was a representative from the U. S. Department of Energy
and a Commissioner from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. There
were over 700 people attending the workshop, which was a large increase
over the number at the two previous workshops. More than half of the attendees
were landowners. Some of them presumably were interested in commercial
wind towers as a new source of income for their land. Others were looking
into the possibility of erecting a small wind generator that would be
able to provide some of their own electric power needs.
There were a large number of different experts who gave presentations
at the conference. Some focused on existing problems that are preventing
the North Dakota and United States wind energy potential from being fully
utilized. Others gave their visions of the future of wind energy. All
attendees received a notebook containing detailed summaries of the all
the presentations that were given at the different workshops. Our copy
of this notebook, along with brochures given out by commercial exhibitors,
is available for study by members of the N. D. League. Contact Suzanne
Dobbins for more information.
From The Editor
This will be the final Voter until August. Many thanks to the loyal contributors
who have helped fill this years newsletters, especially Andrea Sather,
Mary Davies, Carol Sawicki and publisher Donna Chalimonczyk. My appreciation
goes as well to Carol Zielinski and Mary Jenkins for their help in mailing
Thank You to All Our Donors!
Mayoral Level (up to $49)
Boulger Funeral Home
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Cass Clay Creamery
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Korsmo Funeral Home
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Warner and Company
Wold Johnson PC
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Gate City Bank
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Wells Fargo Bank