February 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue
League in the News

Local Politics

Vote 411

LoWV Social Media

Meeting Minutes

January 15, 2020 Minutes
Co-President's Message 
by Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

Co-Presidents' Message
Fran Kapinos and Judy Lotas

Many thanks to our hard-working Board of Directors, each one doing their part to continue to plan and implement the many programs we have in 2020.   

Executive Director of Outer Banks Hotline, Michael Lewis, spoke to us on Friday, Jan. 10 at Roosters Southern Kitchen on the services Hotline offers to our community, and their new vision for 2020.  His associate, Chandler Price, joined him. Hotline is no longer called a Shelter. It is a "Safe House", providing services to victims of sexual assault, human trafficking, runaway teens, domestic violence, youth outreach in schools, protective orders, court appearance, job training, creative counseling, and the list goes on.  Funds from the thrift stores go directly to serving our community needs.  

On Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 PM at KDH Town Hall, member Teuta Shabani Towler, owner of Mitro Digital Marketing, presented a workshop about different ways you can browse online while protecting your personal information and offered ways to protect your computer from viruses as well as possible hacking.  We thank Teuta for the time spent in preparation, as well as her patience and expertise in dealing with the various levels of attendees knowledge, browsers and PCs. She will be posting many of her suggestions on our web site by mid-February. Those who attended all learned a lot about cleaning up our computers and were very grateful.  

Four of us participated in the Women's March in Raleigh on Sunday, Jan. 26.  It was a great experience hearing from many different women's organizations, taking in all of the colorful posters, and joining with about 3,000 younger women, men and children in support of women's rights, health, environment, justice, indigenous, Latino, working mom's concerns, ERA, and getting out the Vote in the Primary Election on March 3.  

On Feb 14, League of Women Voters chapters across the nation are engaging in a Day of Action to answer questions and promote voting, both generally and specifically for the Primary. League members will greet citizens at coffee shops, libraries, thrift shops and other community places and be on hand to explain early voting, absentee voting, etc.  

Our goal is 100% voter turnout in Dare and Currituck Counties and we know it is yours as well.  The primary election is set for March 3.  Early Voting Period begins on Feb. 13, where folks can register and vote at the same time.  Many members have volunteered to cover Hotline Thrift Stores, Front Porch Cafes, Wave Riders, Senior Centers, Food-a-Rama, Libraries and high schools.  If you have not signed up and would like to help please contact Fran at fkapinos@aol.com There is a planning workshop scheduled for volunteers with voting information for the public on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 2 PM at the KDH Library.  Feel free to attend even if you have not signed up.  

If you have never viewed the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" about what our suffragists went through to obtain women's right to vote through passage of the 19 th Amendment, you don't want to miss this opportunity. Judy has the cooperation of First Flight High School media specialist, Susan Sawin, to show it on Feb. 27 at 4 PM.  It is open to members and guests. Students will obtain credit for viewing. Prior to the movie our member, Carl Curnutte, Director of Elizabethan Gardens, will share his experiences and memorabilia of the clothing for the movie, as he had been involved with its costume design.  

As you can see, February is a busy month for our League.  We invite you to participate whenever you can and especially look forward to meeting the newer members.  


Mark your calendars!

Feb. 14 th -  

National LWV is requesting "A Day of Action" on or around Feb. 14, which is the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters.
Our Dare LWV is planning to be visible throughout out our community with Voting Registration and 2020 Election Information at our high schools, coffee shops, libraries, Hotline thrift shops and other venues.  Posters and materials will be provided.  We need 15 to 20 volunteers (members can recruit non-member friends).  Valentine cookies and/or candies are suggested for each table set-up and decorations to add to the festive atmosphere.  If you can participate for a 2 to 3 hour period on Feb. 14, please contact Fran or Judy.

Below are sites we need help with:
Manteo High School, Manteo Library, Front Porch in Manteo, Manteo Hotline  First Flight High School (Jessica Loose and Peggy Privot),
KDH Library, Nags Head Hotline,  Cape Hatteras High School, Hatteras Library,  Corolla Library, Currituck Library,  Front Porch in Nags Head, KDH  Ashley's Coffee Shop in KDH,  Wave Riders in Nags Head,  Starbucks in Southern Shores,  Hotline Pink in Kitty Hawk

Feb. 13-29 th

Early Voting Period at KDH Town Hall, Manteo Board of Elections and Fessenden Annex 

Feb. 27 th

"Iron Jawed Angels" Movie at First Flight High School Media Center at 4 PM; Students & Public invited

Mar. 3

Primary Election for contested party races

Mar. 10- 

International Women's Day Dinner/ Speaker Dr. Lin Logan, "A Brief History of the Suffragists"; Mako's at 6:30 PM;  Sponsored jointly with Business & Professional Women's Club and LWV Members and Guests

Mar. 15

Participation in Kelly's St Patty's Day Parade, celebrating LWV's 100 th Anniversary

April 22

"Coastal Resilience" at Pine Island Audubon Reserve in Corolla by Director, Robbie Fearns

May 5 -  

Frederick Douglass presentation by Nathan Richardson, in cooperation with Bryant Cultural Series

Treasurer's Report
by  Nancy Birindelli - Treasurer and Fundraising Chair
Please be informed that the LWV of Dare County had a great fundraising campaign for this 100 th anniversary year.  Our solicitations to additional businesses netted nine new members to the fundraising listing.  Since all donations have not been received to date, I will not give you a total now but will next month.  Just know that the bottom line is the greatest even!! Also thanks to the many members who made contributions to the CEF, our tax exempt arm. Those who made donations of $100 or more will be listed on the back cover of the Citizens Guide.  Other donors are cited on the in-kind listing.

As part of the many activities for the 100th anniversary, we are partnering with the Bryan Cultural Series to have a program in May that is a depiction of Frederick Douglass who advocated for the African American voters as well as for women - the 19th Amendment.  As part of the entire commemoration, LWV has applied for a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation to assist with the payment for funding the activities for our anniversary year.  More on that later next month as well. Pleased keep informed about the events that will be taking place in the up- coming months. There is LOTS going on with this important election year as well as our 100th and the anticipated passage of the ERA!!!  
Education Report
by Marion Midgett

At regular meetings in November and December 2019 and January 2020, the
Dare Board of Education made minor revisions to policies regarding student attendance, independent study, administrative hiring, school nutrition operation, insurance management, student wellness, concussion and head injury, and technology responsible use, to name a few.

This continues the comprehensive policy review and update process which began last year; each policy within the various series of the Dare County Board  of Education Policy Manual is being updated based on current practices and recommended policies by the North Carolina School Boards Association, as well as required revisions based on changes to State or Federal laws. 

Significant changes were made to policies regarding child abuse and related threats to child safety. Updates incorporate new state-mandated reporting: to the county welfare agency, and/or the NC Department of Health and Human services, and/or local law enforcement, each for specific circumstances.  In addition, training related to child victimization is mandated. A new section has been added to require a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program be provided to designated school personnel in even numbered years.  

The Board continued to recognize, as they always do at meetings, staff for professional and innovative accomplishments and students for scholastic and athletic achievements.    
New business in November included disaster assistance applications and agreements relative to Dorian and approval of all school improvement and safety plans for 2019-2021.

At a special session just prior to the regular meeting on December 10, the board re-elected Bea Basnight and Mary Ellon Balance Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively.

Board member from District 2, Ben Sproul, won the mayoral race for the Town of Kill Devil Hills in November. His resignation from the BOE was announced at the December meeting.   The process for filling the vacant board seat was on the agendas of November, December, and January as new business. First of all in November, the board requested guidance from the attorney.  In December the attorney explained that there was no established (by law) structure to follow; thus, they were free to devise their own. In December they set up an application process with a deadline of January 6, 2020.  On January 14 they announced that five District 2 residents had applied. After discussion, they established an interview process setting January 30 as the date for all applicant interviews to take place at Nags Head Elementary. 
A few days later the board met in special session to address an allegation of an "illegal" meeting.   Chair Basnight denied that an illegal meeting was held. She said the allegation resulted from a conversation between board member Joe Tauber and one of the applicants in which Tauber advised who he thought different board members favored for the position based on his own perceptions and discussions he has had.  At the special session, Basnight disbanded a committee headed by Tauber that had been tasked with forming questions for the applicants. A new process for developing questions and a new date for the interviews was set. After questions, submitted by all board members, are collected, the attorney will send each applicant the questions by mail to provide transparency.  ( The Coastland Times, Dec. 22, 2019, p.1-2)

The new interview date is February 5, 2020, from 8:00 am to 11:45 am at Nags Head Elementary School.  After the 45 minute interviews, the board will discuss and choose a replacement for the vacant seat. The interviews and discussion are open to the public.  Applicants are Jen Alexander, Susan Bothwell, Kyle Eaker, Dawn Edwards, and Harvey Hess. 

Bits and Pieces:  The following is a  sampling of interesting information from the last few months.


The BOE meetings' "instructional highlights" brought a short Christmas choral music performance at MHS and a show, tell, and sing in Spanish by the dual language immersion kindergarteners at FFES. 

Another "highlight" was an enthusiastic student presentation  by MHS 10 th and 11 th graders about a new writing program, "No Red Ink:  Building Better Writers one Click at a Time." Students use a computer program that carries them through grammar and word-use study at their own pace giving them immediate feedback.  Students anonymously evaluate each other's paragraph writing. Results from the student computer sessions are sent to the "No Red Ink" platform and data comes back to teachers. All English classes are using the program, which also addresses reading skills.

At the January meeting, administrator Dr. John Donlon reported on the implementation of the "See Something Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS)," an app for middle and high school students.  It is a digital platform (app/website/hotline) where anonymous users submit safety concerns which are assessed by a 24/7 Crisis Center that alerts local school/police teams to intervene and prevent tragedy. Students have received training on how to utilize the program to report a variety of issues, confidentially. 

Also in January, the board approved a local Knights of Columbus Lamb Project donation of $11,325.  This program benefits  teachers and classrooms and local community agencies that impact the lives of children and adults with disabilities. The funds will be distributed to the Dare Schools Exceptional Children's teachers.


The State still does not have a complete budget.  Last fall Governor Cooper vetoed the General Assembly's budget and offered an alternative. On January 14 the NC House and Senate reconvened for one day, but failed to override Cooper's veto of a teacher raise bill, SB 354. They formally adjourned with a plan to return on April 28.  Public school advocates who voted against the bill say it was inadequate for teachers and non-certified school employees.

Public Schools First NC, the NC-PTA, the Public School Forum of NC, and the NC League of Women Voters are co-sponsoring a candidate forum for the March 3 primary for the NC Supt. of Public Instruction on February 6 in Raleigh, at NC Stare University from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.   Quite a few are running.  Look for live streaming info at WRAL.com closer to the event . There will be both a Republican primary and a Democratic primary; the incumbent, Mark Johnson is running for Lt. Governor. 


The US Supreme Court will hear arguments in a dispute over a Montana scholarship (voucher) program.  Unlike in NC, Montana bars religious schools from receiving state funds. 

Election Note---Four BOE Seats Will Be on the Ballot in 2020
Candidates will be on the general election ballot on November 3, 2020. 

These will be partisan races with no primary elections necessary this cycle.  Voters vote in all district races. District geography shows area the candidate/member represents.

District 1 - East Lake, Stumpy Point, Manns Harbor, Manteo, Wanchese
      Democrat-- Bea Basnight, incumbent, Manteo
      Republican-- Carl Woody II, Manteo 
District 2---Seat with appointed member-- Kill Devil Hills, Colington, Nags Head
        Democrat-Jen Alexander, Kill Devil Hills
        Republican-Susan Bothwell, Nags Head
District 4 ---Rodanthe, Salvo, Waves, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras Village
      Republican-Mary Ellon Balance, incumbent, Hatteras   (unopposed)
        Democrat-Charles Parker, Kill Devil Hills
        Republican-David Twiddy, incumbent, Manteo

It's Primary Time!
by Lorelei DeBernardo

The 2020 Election cycle has begun and North Carolina will join 13 other  states by holding a Primary Election on "Super Tuesday" March 3, 2020.  This election will include presidential, state, and local races.  

Participating in the voting process is your right and gift! Understanding how it works and how you can participate, is important! 

Reminder:    Voter ID will NOT be required to vote in the Primary! 

HOW IT WORKS:               

Primary Elections are used to help select the candidates that will appear in the General Election i n November.  N.C.'s Primary Elections are considered "semi-closed" elections.  In other words, if  you are registered as a Republican, then you can only vote in the Republican races; if you are  registered Democratic, you may only vote in the Democratic races.  Recognized parties in N.C.  are:  Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, and Republican.   However, "Unaffiliated"  voters may request their preferred ballot at the voting station.


If you are NOT registered to vote, you may register 1) at Early Voting sites OR 2) by completing  the registration form: https://www.darenc.com/home/showdocument?id=4360.   The completed
form must be received at the Dare County Board of Elections office by Feb 7 at 5pm in order to  be in effect for the March 3 Primary.   You must also use this form to report a Name or Address  change or to change your party affiliation.

For the March 3 Primary, this period is from Feb 13 - 29 .   You may vote in the Primary races at  one of the 3 Dare County Early Voting sites; you may also register to vote at the same time!  

Dates/Times:  Weekdays from 8am - 7:30 pm PLUS Saturday Feb 29 from 8am - 3pm

Sites:  Dare Co Board of Elections office, Manteo;  Kill Devil Hills Town Hall;  Fessenden Center Annex, Buxton

PRIMARY ELECTION DAY (Tuesday, March 3):
16 election sites will be open on Election Day from 6:30 am - 7:30 pm.  To view the list or to determine your polling place see: https://www.darenc.com/departments/elections/election-day-polling-locations 

Who to vote for is a real issue!  The League of Women Voters is striving to help you with that BIG QUESTION, as we have for 100 years!    Visit www.VOTE411.ORG to view the positions and opinions of the candidates.  This non-partisan, on-line Voter Guide is easy to use and very helpful in comparing the candidates.  

The candidates are solely responsible for the content on their page and we have invited all Federal, State, and Local candidates, who are contested within their party, to participate in this primary election. 

For additional details on voting in Dare County, please go to the Dare County Board of Elections website:  https://www.darenc.com/departments/board-of-elections 

Membership Renewal
by Susan Merrill
Reminder - Membership Renewal

Membership renewals are trickling in for the new year.  If you haven't rejoined for the year that began July 1, 2019, this would be a good time to do so. You can use the renewal form and mail in your check or renew with a credit card.  Both the renewal form and the link to Paypal (where you may pay via credit card or paypal) can be found by clicking  HERE

Looking forward to seeing everyone at all of the exciting events we have planned for our 100th Anniversary!

ERA News
by Judy Lotas


Let's get all 50 states on board with equality!

by Judy Lotas
Now that the LWVUS is an official lead org of the ERA Coalition   http://www.eracoalition.org/ our-supporters  we can join forces with many others and make a dent in the resistance to ratifying ERA.

Please print out this petition and ask friends to sign ASAP.  We are petitioning Congress to get rid of the deadline for ratification-HJR 79.  It may be voted on as early as the week of Feb 10 so we need to get them in pronto.

Happy 38th State Ratification Day-today's the day VA makes it uber official that we've ratified the 3/4 of states needed.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the petition that you can print.

They've Moved!

The new address/contact information for the League's state office is:

League of Women Voters of Dare County | | lwvdare@gmail.com | http://lwvdarenc.org/