X-Local Speakers and Events (2014)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014, 3-5 p.m. at Alden 319 (Friends' Room): "ATHENS IS NOT ALONE: HISTORY OF RIGHTS-BASED ANTI-POLLUTION  ORDINANCES”,  a presentation about ISSUE 7, the Athens Community Bill of Rights and Water Supply Protection Ordinance. Sponsored by the Bill of Rights Committee, SJ Wiley, Treasurer, 44 Graham Drive, Athens. (The following is quoted from the flyer for the event.)  "In 2012 the City of Broadview Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, passed a municipal Bill of Rights as a Charter Amendment, and used those rights to ban new fracking and injection wells inside the city. Tish O’Dell  founded  a  neighborhood organization called Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods (MADION). There were 90 drilling operations in the city before the ban was passed; now the city is locked in litigation to defend the ban. The oil and gas companies are suing the city so they can drill the 91st well.  There is no protection for neighborhoods, whatsoever, from the state regulatory agencies. A well can be dug 150 feet from a school. Neighbors need not be forewarned about a planned well next door. Toxic fluids are held in secret."

Thursday, Oct. 23:  "Citizens' Rights, Ohio Law, and the Fracking Industry", 7:00–9:00 p.m., Athens Community Center:  John Spon, the Law Director of the City of Mansfield, Ohio, will give a public lecture with discussion of Issue 7 (upcoming on this November's ballot in Athens, Ohio).  In 2012 the City of Mansfield passed a municipal Bill of Rights, and on this basis banned fracking and injection wells inside the city.  For more details see http://savethewater.org/mansfield-lawmaker-fights-against-injection-well-drilling/ and http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20120626/NEWS01/120626008/Plan-fracking-waste-wells-withdrawn The Athens Bill of Rights Committee is sponsoring this event.

October 11:  "Fracking Facts: Protect Yourself & Your Water": Muskingum Library in New Concord, Ohio (77 W. Main St., New Concord, OH 43762). There will be related events in October and November (including screenings and discussions of the documentary "Gasland") also at other public libraries:  in Racine (Oct. 11 at 2pm), Pomeroy (Oct. 15 at 4pm), and Ravenswood (Nov. 8 at noon).  These events are organized by local residents who are concerned about the proposal by Texas-based GreenHunter Energy to build a dock at Portland on the Ohio River that could accommodate two barges simultaneously and would receive over 100 million gallons of fracking waste annually.  One organizer writes:  "We want to share our resources for steps individuals can implement after they become aware of the issues surrounding this toxic threat."

Starting Fri. 9/26: Screenings and discussions of new documentary film on Ohio's "pay to play" political scandals:  The film "Pay 2 Play" opened 9/26 in Columbus and Cincinnati. With a focus on Ohio, it covers implications of Citizens United v. FEC and legislative redistricting.  A review in the LA Times described it as "a well-researched documentary about the effects of big money in politics".  See also the even-handed review in the Washington Post. [Previous announcement: In Cincinnati: at the Esquire Theater (320 Ludlow Ave) 9/26-10/2.  In Columbus: with post-film discussions at the Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High St.): Michael Greenman from Move to Amend will lead a discussion after the 7pm screenings on 9/26 and 9/28.  Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio will lead a discussion after the 7pm screening on 9/27.  Sam Gresham, Common Cause Ohio chair, will lead a discussion after the 2pm screening on 9/28:  panelists will include Pay 2 Play’s director John Wellington Ennis; Sandy Theis, president of Theis Consulting and former bureau chief of the Cleveland Plain Dealer ‘s Statehouse Bureau; and Dan Tokaji, professor of law and senior fellow at Election Law @ Moritz at OSU (author of The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections and participant in IAPE's recent panel on voting rights).

Thursday, September 25, 6:30-8:30pm, at Kiser's in Eclipse Company Town, which is located in The Plains, OH:  "Following on the heels of the People's Climate March...Rural Action is hosting a learning conversation with Dr. Geoff Dabelko, head of Ohio University’s Environmental Studies Program at the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs. Geoff will review the latest in climate change information with a focus on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change or IPCC report of Working Group II, which discusses the impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability of climate change. Joining Geoff will be Joe Brehm, Rural Action’s Director of Environmental Education, to share his review of the Nature Conservancy’s study of the Appalachian Mountains and their potential to serve as a biological refuge in the midst of climate change." Students and Rural Action members need not pay to enter; non-members can pay $5 at the door or $20 to join Rural Action. Light snacks and a cash bar will be provided.

Please send announcements of relevant local events to bernstei@ohio.edu

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