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.
- November 1, 2002, 12:00, noon
- First Friday, Sons of NorwayUnderstanding Election Polls
Speakers: Drs. Jim Danielson and Phil Bauman, MSUM Political Science
- Election Day, November 5, 2002, Polls open: 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
- Check the LWV web site: www.lwvnd.org, and
Dnet.org for information
on candidates. (Just type in your zip code.)
- November membership meeting:
- November 18, 2002, 6-7:00 p.m.
- LWVRRV Board Meeting Monte's Restaurant220 Broadway, Fargo
Post Election Party (Following the board meeting)
7-10:00 p.m.For winners, losers, LWV members & guests.
Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar (cover charge $7.50 in advance; $10.00 at the
- December 6, 2002, 12:00 noon
- First Friday, Sons of Norway
Food Safety and Bioterrorism
Speaker: Catherine Logue, NDSU Food Safety Microbiologist
- December 12, 2002
- LWV Board Meeting: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Membership Open House: 7:30 p.m.
LWV sponsors candidate forums
Moorhead Area held at the Hjemkomst Center
- August 29: Clay County Sheriff Candidates
- September 18: Candidates for House Seats in 9A & 9B
- October 16: Candidates for Senate in District 9 & Clay County
These forums were videotaped and copies will be given to Eventide Nursing
Home, Moorhead High School and the Hawley, MN public access TV station.
West Fargo Area held at West Fargo City Hall
- October 16: Candidates for ND Districts 13 & 27
Videotape reruns will run on West Fargo Channel 30 at 1:00, 4:00, 7:00
and 10:00 p.m. Thursday through Sunday until the election. Channel 2 in
West Fargo will also run the forums on October 27, 30, 31 and November
1 and 2. Watch the scroll for exact times.
CableOne will run the tape for District 27 as portions of the district
are in Fargo. Both districts are in the West Fargo School District.
Fargo Area Candidates & Issues Forums - held in the Fargo
City Commission Chamber and rebroadcast on CableOne (Channel 2)
- October 17: Candidates for ND District 41 and a discussion on Measure
2 (Lottery) rebroadcast October 19.
- October 22: Candidates for ND Districts 11, 21, & 45 rebroadcast
October 25th at 5 p.m.
- October 24: Candidates for Cass County States Attorney and a discussion
of Measure 3 -Youth Investment Initiative. It will be rebroadcast October
26th at 2 p.m.
A league thank you to all our partners in presenting the candidate forums
and to our faithful and dedicated forum volunteers!
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.
Hello Fellow Leaguers.
My trip to Itasca with my husband to experience the beauty of the fall
colors in that area of Minnesota has left me invigorated and my spirit
I want to thank Mary Davies for the proposal that she submitted to LWVMN
for a Martin and Brown Foundation Grant. Because of her efforts, the LWVRRV
received a $300 grant to be used for candidates forums in Moorhead.
Remember that you can also visit DemocracyNet on the Web for information
on local candidates and issues. To do so, type in www.dnet.org. All you
need to do is enter your zip code.
My trip to Miami with Suzanne Dobbins and Carla Hartje for the 45th National
Convention of LWVUS was an inspiring event that I will never forget. There
were so many interesting and informative forums to attend. In addition
to the Plenary Sessions, I attended forums on CommunityOutreach, Membership
and Election Administration Reform.
Most importantly, I met many fascinating people from all over the United
States. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity.
--Janet VanAmburg, Co-President
LWVUS Letter to President Bush
(League official position on the UN: "The U.S. should work actively
and constructively within the UN system, exercising diplomatic leadership
in advance of decision-making.)
September 27, 2002
Dear Mr. President:
The members of the League of Women Voters across the country were deeply
shocked by the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. Since
the League firmly believes in international cooperation to solve world
problems, we strongly support multilateral action to protect against further
such attacks against any nation, particularly those that may involve nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons.We, therefore, urge you to work with the
United Nations to develop clear policy goals and actions designed to protect
against these threats.
Over the past year, the grassroots members of the League nationwide have
reviewed, updated, and reaffirmed our long-established position in support
of the United Nations. For many decades League members have strongly supported
the role of the United Nations in developing, maintaining and protecting
peace around the world. We believe that the United Nations should be an
important component of U.S. foreign policy. We support U.S. policies that
strengthen the UN's capacity to solve global problems and believe that
the U.S. should work actively and constructively within the UN system,
exercising diplomatic leadership in advance of decision-making.
Working with the UN provides the United States with many foreign and
domestic policy advantages.
- First, it ensures a full and exhaustive debate of a range of alternative
policies and actions.
- Second, it builds unity of purpose and resolve by clearly defining
the objectives to be fulfilled.
- Third, it assures the world that the U.S. is not acting solely for
its own benefit while reassuring the American people that the U.S. is
not acting alone.
- Fourth, it provides the legitimacy of international law.
- And fifth, it increases the chances of long-term success through international
peace-keeping and nation building efforts. As was demonstrated when
coalition forces ousted Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait, working with
the United Nations can enhance achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals.
We urge you to follow that precedent.
--Kay J. Maxwell, President
The LWVRRV board met on September 12 and October 10 in the Fargo Public
Library meeting room at 6:30 p.m. September: Co-President Julia Jones
announced she was planning to attend the LWVUS UN briefing on the Status
of Women’s Rights Around the World. The board agreed to subsidize her
airfare, registration and meal for this conference. At the October meeting,
Jones reported briefly on this event. She said that women from the LWV
in many different countries are looking to the LWVUS for leadership in
their quest for improving their situations. She also talked about some
of the presentations at the briefing, saying that a discussion on the
women of Afghanistan was particularly moving. We are all looking forward
to hearing in more detail about this conference at some later date.
For information about our November post-election party & silent auction,
the December holiday membership open house, as well as the schedule for
upcoming board meetings, see A look ahead on the front page.
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, Mary Davies and Margaret Blue
* denotes terms expiring in 2003
Fargo Library Board
At its October meeting, the Fargo Library Board met with Tom Hehman,
a representative of LSSI, the Maryland company that has been running the
Fargo Public Library since January 2001. As part of the negotiations on
a contract for the next two years, there was much discussion about the
board’s need for more timely and complete fiscal accounting from LSSI
than they had been receiving. The contract has not yet been finalized
or approved by the Library Board.
--Carol Sawicki, Observer
Fargo School Board
At its September meetings, the Fargo School Board devoted much time to
discussion of the seven guiding principles recommended by the steering
committee for determination of school facilities in the city. The following
state the principles as accepted by the board in comparison to the originals:
- 1. Class Size: The wording was changed to “preference for average
class size of: primary-21 or fewer; intermediate-22 or fewer; secondary-core
academic classes of 26 or fewer.” This wording qualifies the original
- 2. School Size: The statement applies only to elementary and secondary
construction (new schools). It now states that elementary construction
should be based on “3 to 4 sections per grade level (rather than 200-400
students per school), middle/junior high school construction for 600-800
and high school construction for 900-1200.” Grade configuration would
effect the population size of new and old schools.
- 3. Single Grade Configuration: A singlegrade configuration across
the city was acceptable but there was little agreement about what it
should be or how to implement it.
- 4. Travel: Preference for 1 mile or less to or from school at all
grade levels was accepted (down a half-mile for middle and secondary
schools) but the maximum bus time was raised to 30 minutes from 20 for
- 5. Kindergarten: Return of kindergarten programs to elementary schools
across the city was amended to read “is preferred...when feasible.”
- 6. Under-populated Schools: Interestingly, this statement now reads
that children should attend under-populated schools “as opposed to building
new schools.” This eliminates reference to transporting children to
these schools as in the original. Mention of closing schools is also
omitted. (Note: Whether this demonstrates a commitment to keeping small
inner city schools open remains to be seen.)
- 7. Community use of schools is supported. In addition, the board added
its own principle: “Provide quality education for all students and suitable
space, resources, staffing and educational opportunities in all district
The four specific facility recommendations have not been accepted or
rejected as yet. The administration and the three board members who served
on the steering committee, Dave Langemo, Arlette Preston and Don Faulkner,
have been asked to begin development of “test cases” based on the guiding
principles and facilities recommendations so as to demonstrate concrete
ways that facilities could be organized to fulfill the community’s preferences.
Grade configuration would be the variable in the cases. In essence, this
research would commence the feasibility studies suggested by the steering
committee. The board has appointed member Don Faulkner to maintain communication
with the steering committee as work on its recommendations continues.
Items in quotation marks in this article are from Faulkner’s report. He
feels that the test cases will be ready for review in about two months.
At that time it may be possible to adopt the guiding principles and the
facilities recommendations officially.
--Audrey Richmond, 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.
League member Mavis Bennett was recently honored by the Greater North
Dakota Association with its Community Leadership Award for Service. Congratulations,
Member Cheryl Bergian began a new full-time position in June as the salaried
Director of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition. The office is funded
by a Bremer grant for three years. NDHRC is a statewide coalition of individuals
and organizations formed to address human rights issues in North Dakota.
Former LWVRRV President Billi Jo Zielinski and husband Mark are both
working in Minnesota state government in St. Paul. Their address is 2004
James Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.
New Voter Training
On October 15th, LWVRRV Board members, Mary Davies and Carol Sawicki
conducted a new voter training session at the Cultural Diversity Resources
office in Moorhead.
Sample ballots and fact sheets about voting procedures in Minnesota and
North Dakota were distributed to about a dozen people attending the meeting.
There were many good questions from the group, not just about the mechanics
of voting, but about the American political system in general.
We hope to make this training a regular and growing part of the leagues
service to our communities.
Mission To Cuba
At the October First Friday meeting we welcomed Brian Kramer of the North
Dakota Farm Bureau as well as a number of Farm Bureau members as guests.
Kramer was fresh from a visit to Cuba, where he was part of a delegation
from North Dakota investigating potential trade with the country. The
trip grew out of a U.S.Trade Conference in Cancun, Mexico last January.
Kramer explained that an agency named Alimport buys all agricultural
products for Cuba. Many North Dakota products such as flour and beans
are just what it is looking for. Kramer and others traveled to Cuba at
the end of July taking with them samples of what North Dakotans had to
offer for trial. They even took two bison by request. Alimport offered
contracts. All contracts are negotiated in US dollars. Cash is to be tendered
before the cargo leaves North Dakota.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, 85% of the Cuban economy was
driven by that of the USSR. With its breakup, Cuba has had real economic
problems and has had to seek other trade outlets. Since the Soviet collapse,
Cuban farmers are allowed to keep a small percent of what they earn at
farmers markets, but the government still keeps a large part of
the profit.Relatives in the United States send U.S. dollars. The delegation
was taken to a huge dollar store where there were many products
of different kinds and all of the transactions were in dollars.
In touring processing facilities, Kramer found that equipment there was
up to date but not plentiful. For example, a pasta mill he visited had
good quality equipment but only one of them. Poor transportation is also
Cuba is really interested in tourist dollars. While in Havana, the delegation
was taken on a tour of sites that are intended only for tourists. Natives
are forbidden to frequent them. One of the guides told Kramer that these
places did not represent real everyday life for most Cubans. The wealthiest
people are those who deal with tourists.
Because of travel restrictions, the delegation entered the country on
a chartered Gulfstream Air plane which was licensed to enter Cuba. Kramer
feels that travel restrictions should be removed and the trade embargo
lifted as long as cash is paid. Meanwhile, the North Dakota commodities
have been shipped.
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