Commissioner Candidate Marcus Speaks July 26, 7 pm


Ellen Marcus, running against current Commissioner Nick Picerno for the Moore County Board of Commissioners, is guest speaker at the July meeting of Save Our Sandhills, Southern Pines Civic Club, corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street, July 26, 7:00 PM.  Her talk:  “Plan before You Pave.”

With attitudes toward the environment clearly dividing our country as a whole in today’s technological age, Save Our Sandhills believes that open communication is essential.  We all depend on one world for our sustenance and welfare, and we should understand all points of view.  With this in mind and the fact that no local governmental body has a greater power to determine the fate of our forests, our streams, and our wildlife than the Board of Commissioners, Save Our Sandhills invited Commissioner Picerno to address his environment views at April meeting, and has now invited candidate Ellen Marcus to express her views.

Ellen and husband Jeff live in the Pinedale Community with two young daughters.  She grew up on a small farm in the longleaf pine forest of rural East Texas, where water conservation was a way of life.  In numerous ways her youth in the Texas longleaf pine forest helped prepare her for issues in the North Carolina Sandhills.  Ellen earned a degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and met her husband in 1995 when both were members of Americorps in Big Bend National Park and were studying water quality, ecology and the history of the park’s water sources. She developed an appreciation for the history of North Carolina while working at the NC Museum of History.  She has also worked as the site manager for the Malcolm Blue Farm; done freelance writing for the Pilot, The Fayetteville Observer, and NEXT Magazine; and taught children’s camps and culinary classes.

Marcus will discuss her campaign platform from the standpoint of natural resource-related issues that include the county land use plan update, development ordinances, and the county water and sewer plan.  Ellen believes that Moore County has reached an important crossroads in planning, needing to preserve what makes our area special by pausing to implement good land-use planning before sprawl, strip malls and leap frog developments pave our future.
Planning for conservation of our farmlands and forests, while accommodating appropriate levels of future growth, requires cohesive county policies.  It starts with the land use plan which provides vision for the community.  Zoning and unified development ordinances establish rules guiding any development.  County commissioners are ultimately responsible for decisions, and Ellen would be a new commissioner providing a fresh outlook for Moore County.

Ellen has seen that the land use plan is effective ONLY IF county commissioners choose to implement it.  She has seen the Pine Forest development's lesson in the importance in having zoning ordinances and other policies that back up the land use plan.  If elected, she is passionate about striving for a balance of land use policies that support the vision of the land use plan – those that conserve our natural resources and protect our property rights, yet still accommodate appropriate growth.

The public is invited, questions are welcomed, refreshments will be served.  See you there!


NCLCV Rescinds Environment Award re Fracking Vote

For immediate release
July 3, 2012
Environmental Organization Rescinds Member’s Award following Controversial Fracking Vote
Contact: Dan Crawford, Director of Governmental Relations, NC League of Conservation Voters, dan@nclcv.org, 919-839-0020 or (c)919-539-1422.
Environmental Organization Rescinds Member's Award following Controversial Fracking Vote
RALEIGH - The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) announced today it is rescinding its "Rising Star" award given to Rep. Susi Hamilton on June 20th. The award was given to Hamilton for her pro-environmental record in her first term as a legislator at NCLCV's annual Green Tie Award dinner in Raleigh. Representative Hamilton voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue's courageous veto of SB 820, an ill-conceived, controversial bill which would allow fracking in North Carolina without insuring the proper safeguards to protect public health, drinking water, and property rights.
This is bold step that the organization is not taking lightly. "Politics is not a zero sum game and other awardees have made choices that we did not agree with. However, the circumstances, timing, and weight of this issue warrants a significant response," said Nina Szlosberg-Landis, president of NCLCV. "Our members put a lot of trust in this organization, and we do not take that trust lightly," she went on to say.
Board members, supporters, and past Green Tie award winners began contacting the organization early on Monday after learning Hamilton was brokering a deal with Republican leadership to "trade her vote" on the fracking override to secure an extension of tax incentives for the movie industry, buried in a technical corrections bill. The tax incentive Hamilton sought had been championed by New Hanover County Republican Lawmaker Danny McComas, and likely would have happened regardless of how Hamilton voted.
"Last night Captain America prevailed over clean drinking water and the property rights of North Carolinians," said Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for NCLCV. "We found out that even this Green Tie Award winner "has her price." This was too big of a vote to sell out the environment on an issue that will change the landscape of our state for years to come," he concluded.
NCLCV works to hold decision makers accountable for their actions through a legislative scorecard and political action. "Green Tie award ceremonies are nice, but we do the bulk of our work in electing pro-conservation minded candidates to the General Assembly. New Hanover County deserves someone that will better balance the environmental impacts of the decisions they make; we will work to ensure that in future elections," Crawford added.
"I am deeply saddened by Hamilton's decision. Particularly because we had such high hopes for her in the future," Szlosberg-Landis said. "Our job now is to look ahead. To continue to recruit, support, and elect lawmakers who respect our citizens' rights for a clean, healthy and prosperous North Carolina. Mark my words. We will do just that."
The organization will deliver a letter to Hamilton's office today, asking that she return the NCLCV Rising Star award plaque.
NC League of Conservation Voters is a statewide lobbying organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina's natural environment. NCLCV has been working to protect North Carolina's environment and our citizen's health for over 40 years, turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities. NCLCV's vision for the future of North Carolina is that all citizens and our elected decision-makers will better understand and appreciate North Carolina's unique natural environment, and the integral role it plays in North Carolina's economy and quality of life. nclcv.org

Wrong Economic Model for Planet


Attacks on Public Sector, Science re Extreme Weather