Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

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June 2002

Backstreet Boy
Spotlights Mountain Massacre

Male Suspect Seen Entering OVEC Office

"On the Road to Clean Elections" Debuts in West Virginia

Valley fills, sludge spills, flood chills and judge thrills

MTR Smothering Vital Headwater Stream Systems

Bush to Appalachia: Gee, I Wish I Had the Time to Care

Think Pollution Isn't Costing You?

Politics and the Environmental Impact Statement on MTR - It's Not Pretty

OVEC in ACTION - A Few of the Things We've Been Up To Lately

What's in a Name? Momentary Fame for You, if You're the Winner

Be Sure to Send a Note of "Thanks!" to Judge Haden

THANKS to Our Many, Many Treehugger's Ball Supporters!


For viewing the PDF version


Male Suspect Seen Entering OVEC Office ...
Or is That Suspect Male Seen Entering OVEC Office?

by Viv Stockwench

Our full-time staffers have all been women, causing some to speculate that OVEC stood for the Ohio Valley Estrogen Coalition. Though, of course, many excellent men (no doubt all in touch with their feminine side) have been involved with OVEC from our nascent moments.

Call us what you will, the "E" in OVEC can no longer stand for Estrogen. We done hired a man as OVECs new full-time organizer. Yup, gone are the days when, deep in contemplation, we could fling open the office bathroom door and scream out, "Hey, Ive got a great idea!"

But we are not kvetching over that one little lost liberty (anyway, whats that compared to the PATRIOT Act?), instead we are rejoicing in our new organizer, Dave Cooper. Dave fills the vacancy left by Laura Formans heartbreaking death.

I dont envy Dave, stepping into the job held by a much beloved and effective organizer, whose death at a stop-mountaintop-removal protest, some say, makes her a martyr.

Filling her position takes courage. But apparently Dave doesnt see it that way. He says this is the job hes been working towards all his life.

Dave Cooper, OVEC's new organizer extraordinaire, in a rare moment of inactivity. photo by Janet Fout

The first day of his new OVEC life began before 9 a.m. on May 1, when Dave learned that his debut task would be to organize a bus trip to Washington, DC (see related article). Your basic baptism by fire, especially when you consider I left town for a week (without phone or e-mail!) and Janet and Dianne both were already super busy on other tasks.

Dave pulled it off like hed been organizing all his life. Indeed, like all the OVEC staff, Dave was an unpaid activist for years before finally getting a paid position (or should I say before accepting a massive pay cut by leaving behind his other job). Hes a long-time member of OVEC, as I learned when I cleaned out some of Lauras files before Dave moved into her former office. In her files, I found notes from Dave to OVEC dating back to at least 1994 hed jot down an excellent suggestion or send a sweet "you-go-girls."

Dave hails most recently from Lexington, Ky., where he was a mechanical engineer at 3M and a member of the Sierra Club and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. He often traveled to OVEC protests and he filed several reports from the scene of the coal sludge disaster in Martin County, Ky. He served as president of a neighborhood association, working to rebuild a park, create community gardens and generally spruce up his neighborhood.

Daves outspoken activism was perfect training for his future OVEC job. He regularly attended Lexington City Council meetings, fighting a boondoggle $100 million water supply pipeline project proposed by the privately owned waterworks. He founded and was elected president of a citizen group, NOPE (Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extravagance), fighting the pipeline. NOPE stopped the pipeline!

OVEC is so lucky to have landed Dave with all his activism experience. Weve got to admit that his engineering capabilities will come in handy, too. We do so need some shelves in the office. Plus, you just never know when youll need an engineer. At a recent meeting, I was writing peoples suggestions on one of those easel-sized notepads one coincidentally made by 3M. I struggled to get a filled-up sheet flipped over so I could write on a fresh page. The paper kept sticking at the top of the pad. I whispered something to Dave about lousy 3M products and he whispered back that it was a giant sticky note I was supposed to tear the sheet off and stick it on the wall. Oh, right, of course, I knew that. We later found out he helped design that particular easel and pad system.

Janet too has been impressed with Daves skills. Apparently his organizing ability goes beyond people to office files, piles, drawers and cabinets. She came into the office one morning, opened up the cabinet where we keep coffee and tea and other stuff. She looked inside, stepped back and took a deep breath, shocked. You could actually see the entire selection of tea available and could find the coffee filters without digging. Now we will really be caffeine achievers.

Daves looking forward to meeting OVEC members. Hes already thinking about what our next campaigns will be, once we stop mountaintop removal and establish a clean elections system in the state. Welcome aboard Dave!


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