July 2014 Morgantown-Monongalia Guide to Government Officials

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LWVMM Guide to Government Officials July 2014

Watch Sean O’Leary – Words Unhinged From Facts

Synopsis: Sean O’Leary speaks on a topic of current concern to the League: a serious decline of public discourse in West Virginia. “Words Unhinged from Facts: The Silly Things Our Leaders Say That We Believe”, he calls it, and offers many examples. He uses issues such as the fracking boom, the state budget deficit, the “war on coal,” and economic policies to show how leaders in West Virginia regularly make patently false assertions without being challenged or questioned by the media.

Filmed by Nancy Jamison with a tablet at the Morgantown-Monongalia Annual Meeting on May 14, 2014. Video clips were later transferred and then assembled with OpenShot by Jonathan Rosenbaum (720p/5mb or higher bitrate versions available by request).

August 14 – Jefferson County Local Library Funding Forum

This Forum is to give LWVJC local members an understanding of how the funding of local libraries is mirrored by the funding of all public libraries in the state. That way they will be even more prepared for the Member/Consensus meeting on Sept. 11th.

Carolyn

pdf iconLib Study Flyer Revised 2.pdf

WV Regional Policy Workshop & Community Training

This Tuesday the 22nd, Our Children, Our Future is holding trainings and workshops in Clarksburg. 

You can learn more at this link, and register at this link .

Additionally, there will be more workshops/trainings to choose from in Hurricane, WV on July 24, and Martinsburg, WV on July 29.

Workshops for the 22nd include:

◦       Worker-Owner Cooperative Businesses
◦       Parent Engagement & PTA
◦       Workplace Bullying
◦       Sustained Funding for Family Resource Networks & Centers
◦       Voluntary Employment Retirement Accounts
◦       In-Home Visiting Expansion
◦       Ramp It Up: SNAP & Local Fresh Food Access
◦       Solar Hollow: Logan Co. Solar Installation Pilot Project

Trainings include:

Learn how to take the next step from the June Try This! Conference in Wesleyan. You learned what community improvement programs are out there. Come learn more about how to implement them and how to make sure your local officials are a strong part of your team;

Learn how voter education and turnout are key to building the state we want to live in.

And learn about how to become a key member of a policy advocacy team – either from your home or at the Capitol during the legislative session in January. There are many ways to effectively advocate for the policies you most care about.

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia is an Our Children, Our Future partner. 

 

July 15 Public Forum – EPA’s New Carbon Limits and What They Mean for West Virginia

West Virginia at the Crossroads:
EPA’s New Carbon Limits and What They Mean for West Virginia

Free public education forum on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm
Room G-102, WVU Engineering Science Building (East) 

Sponsored by the Monongahela Group of the WV Sierra Club, WVU Sierra Student Coalition, and League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently took historic action to protect our climate by issuing the first-ever guidelines to reduce carbon dioxide pollution—the chief cause of climate change—from electric power plants.

Join us on Tuesday, July 15 at 7:00pm for an educational forum to update citizens about the new guidelines and what they mean for West Virginia. Professor James Van Nostrand of the WVU College of Law and Director of the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, Mary Anne Hitt of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, and Randy Francisco of Sierra Club’s Coal to Clean Energy Campaign in Pennsylvania will offer an overview and analysis of the proposed rules and discuss their importance to West Virginia. A Sierra Club representative will discuss actions people can take to voice their opinions, including a chance to attend an EPA public hearing on the proposed rule in Pittsburgh on July 31.

Event Location: Room G-102, Engineering Science Building (East), on West Virginia University’s Evansdale Campus, July 15th at 7:00pm.

Directions to G-102 Engineering Science Building from downtown Morgantown: from Beechurst Ave/Monongahela Blvd. turn right into the WVU Evansdale Campus (near the Creative Arts Center) onto Evansdale Drive, and pass the CAC which will be on your left.  Keep to your right until you get to the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources,” on the left. Enter through the main doors, walk straight through the lobby toward “Ground Floor Classrooms.” Room G-102 is straight ahead.

Online directions: http://www.statler.wvu.edu/direction.php

Parking: WVU Parking Lot 40 (in front of & across the street from the bldg.) usually has free parking after 5:00pm. The WVU Short Term Paid Parking Lot is located a couple hundred yards past the “Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering & Mineral Resources” building, on the right. Park free in the WVU Coliseum parking lot after 5:00pm.

Please come and join the discussion! 

Call 304-291-2609 for more information

Morgantown-Monongalia Voters Can Make Independence Day 2014 Count!

This Independence Day, honor our nation and democracy by making sure your voter registration is up-to-date in time to participate in this year’s important elections.

The League of Women Voters will have a voter registration table at Morgantown’s 2014 Celebration of America on the evening of the fireworks in front of the depot right by the rail-trail at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater. Celebrate America’s 238th birthday this Independence Day by updating your voter registration or registering to vote for the first time, and committing to vote and participate in the greatest democracy in the world.

This year, the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia is committed to making sure voters have the information they need to participate in elections and ensure their votes count. The League offers a Guide to Government Officials, and Candidate Forums for the General Election this Fall.

The first step to having a say on the issues that matter most to you is registering to vote. As we pause this week to mark our nation’s birthday, set aside just a few minutes to check on your registration status. VOTE411.org or morgantown.lwvwv.org is the place to go for all of your election information throughout 2014!

Jonathan Rosenbaum
President, League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia

LWV Wood County Voter June 2014

doc iconJune 2014 Voter.docx

War expert to speak to Huntington League – May 19

2014 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I in Europe. David Woodward will speak on some important issues from the book he wrote about World War I. Can we learn from the mistakes of the past?

When: May 19 at League Meeting

May 2014 Morgantown Newsletter

Annual Meeting: Special Speaker Sean O’Leary

Annual Meeting 2014 promises to be a lively event. At the Aull Center on Wednesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. the fun begins. Our highly acclaimed speaker will be Sean O’Leary, of Harpers Ferry, a journalist whose columns appear in the Martinsburg Journal and Spirit of Jefferson.

The League will also elect officers, discuss and accept the proposed Local Program for 2014-2015, and discuss and accept a budget for the coming year. For the first time, we will be giving awards to certain organizations or people who have done important work that furthers the democratic values of the League of Women Voters. Come and be surprised!

The wonderful finger foods and sweets for which the League has long been famous will be provided by you, our faithful League members, with beverages provided by the Hospitality Committee.

Sean O’Leary has offered to speak on a topic of current concern to the League: a serious decline of public discourse in West Virginia. “Words Unhinged from Facts,” he calls it, and offers many examples. He uses issues such as the fracking boom, the state budget deficit, the “war on coal,” healthcare policy, and economic policies to show how leaders in West Virginia regularly make patently false assertions without being challenged or questioned by the media.

O’Leary’s recent book, The State of My State: A Native Son’s Search for West Virginia, was reviewed by Poet Laureate Marc Harshman thus: “The keen political insights contained here are desperately needed. For a long time I have wondered why West Virginians regularly support policies that hurt them economically. O’Leary’s finely reasoned arguments help us understand this disturbing contradiction.”

This is an event that you will want to share with friends. O’Leary’s columns can be found at:
www.the-state-of-my-state.com

Local Government Committee Report

Throughout this past year, the Local Government Committee focused on county government.  In November it conducted a workshop on county government at the new Sheriff’s Office Building. The workshop featured a guest county commissioner, Lyn Widmyer, from a five commissioner county government system in Jefferson County as well as a speaker, Ora Ash, from the State Auditor’s office.  There were also presentations on county government structures and citizen accessibility to county government information. Following the workshop, the Committee, in consultation with the League Board, prepared a list of recommendations for the Monongalia County Commission and met with the County Commission during a special session in April to discuss the recommendations. The Commission requested that an additional public session be conducted in the future.

Thanks to Student Volunteers

Katheryn Heller and Anna Blankenship are students in the Reed School of Journalism at WVU who have spent hours meeting with the Board, working with the Voter Service Committee, and designing materials and press releases for us. These include a colorful new brochure.

This cooperative work came about through the WVU Center for Service and Learning. This joint effort culminated in a Candidate Forum held on campus on Wednesday, April 16. Katie and Anna are capable and generous with their time and ideas.

The Board has been very pleased with the results of this collaboration. Note: Anna will be interning with Shelly Moore Capito and Katie will be interning at the White House this summer.

A video of the Forum produced by Katie and Anna can be found on the LWV-WV web page at:
http://www.lwvwv.org/tag/video/

Voters Service

The local League had two candidate forums this April, one for the House of Delegates and one for the Board of Education. Both were well attended and both the candidates and the audience were very grateful to the League for holding the forums.

Natural Resources 

This past year the League has been active with the group NoInjectionWell.Org, publicizing the fracking wastewater injection well being considered or Masontown, WV, near the Deckers Creek rail trail. This month the Energy Corporation of America decided they would not pursue the project at this time. The group was pleased that they had continued to get petitions signed and to talk to local government officials. Statewide the State League is part of several environmental coalitions.

Help Needed for
A Study of Library Financing

The League plans to embark on an ambitious season.  The plans this year include a special public meeting with the County Commission, a Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) meeting, and our regularly planned innovative Candidate Forums. We will also host A Study of Library Financing in WV.  In order to meet the October deadline for the Library Study, we must start the study preparations this summer.  There will be a committee appointed to read the State League’s Library Study material and gather any additional information.  This could include interviewing library staffs, and asking how they are funded.  We have already taken a step forward because of our Public Library Funding Issues membership meeting in October, 2013.   The final product of this effort will be a meeting of our League to come to a consensus in August or September.

The League would like to appeal to our membership and interested individuals to step forward to help in whatever capacity you can on the Library Financing Study.  Please contact Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Proposed 2014-2015 Local Program 

1. Local Government:
a. Study of County Government, including:
(1) Laws concerning the number of County Commissioners, their responsibilities and authority.
(2) Taxation, revenues and budget disbursements.
b. Organize a public meeting with the County Commission on County Government issues.
c. Revive Observer Corps

2. Planning: Action to promote orderly development in Monongalia County and monitor the work of the Monongalia County Planning Commission.

3. Transportation:
a. Monitor and take action where needed with regard to improving traffic conditions, including pedestrian and cyclist safety.
b. Monitor the implementation of the Complete Streets legislation so that the design of our transportation system can be inclusive of all forms of transportation.

4. Voters Service: Continue to advocate for open access to registration and voting.

5. Natural Resources:
a. Study water quality in the Monongahela River including Morgantown Utility Board and Department of Natural Resources testing and their relation to Marcellus Shale gas extraction processes and coal mining.
b. Study current state regulation of Marcellus Shale gas extraction. Work with legislators to amend the Marcellus legislation with regard to those issues that still need regulation.
c. Study current municipal and county ordinances related to extractive industries. Work with local officials to ensure that the strongest ordinances possible are promulgated to protect the health and safety of citizens.
d. Study Source Water Protection Program (SWPP).

6. Social Justice: Explore local collaborations.

Consensus Positions

Local GovernmentThe LWVMMC favors the adoption and implementation of comprehensive plans for Morgantown and Monongalia County: meaning a comprehensive plan or any of its parts such as a comprehensive plan of land use, or thoroughfares; of water and sanitation; or recreation and other related matters; and including such ordinances as may be deemed necessary to implement such complete comprehensive plans or parts thereof, with provision for such regulations as deemed necessary. (September, 1969; reworded November 1973)

Land Use (Natural Resources)Support the implementation of planning in Morgantown and Monongalia County.

Mark your Calendars!

May 14, 6:30pm Annual Meeting at the Aull Center!

LWVMM Newsletter May 2014

Watch House of Delegates Districts 49 and 51 Candidate Forum

Produced April 16, 2014 by Interns (WVU PR 324 Class) Katheryn Heller and Anna Blankenship.