April 2011 - Volume 36, Issue 7
In This Issue
Annual Meeting/General Meeting
Charter Government Consensus Meeting
President's Letter
Spotlight on Members
Justice Committee
Social Policy Committee
Government Committee
Membership Committee
Book Club
News from the National League
News from the State League
2011 General Meeting Schedule
About Us
Month at a Glance


Click a link for details


4/6 - New Member Event  

442 Rosemeade Lane

3 PM      


  4/6- Board Meeting
Olde Cypress Clubhouse
9 AM

4/11 - Annual Meeting

Hilton Hotel

10 AM 

4/11 -
General Meeting Hilton Hotel
11:45 AM

4/13 - Social Policy Committee
Jona Cafe
8 - 9 AM 

  4/18-  Justice Committee
State Attorney's Office
3315 East Tamiami Trail

9:30 AM

Members and guests are welcome at all meetings!
TopAnnual Meeting/General Meeting - April 11


Raised handsJoin us April 11 at 10 AM at the Hilton for our Annual Meeting!  You will vote on the slate of officers and directors submitted by the Nominating Committee, approve the budget, bylaw changes, and programs for 2011-2012.  


Let your voice be heard!


We ask each participant to bring our Annual Meeting Packet to the meeting. It is on the League website and contains all the materials you will be asked to vote on. 
Please review the  Annual Meeting Packet ahead of time, then  print it and bring it to the Meeting. Click here to download it from our website. 



General Meeting: CLIMATE CHANGE 101


Anne Hartley

Can you measure your carbon footprint?

What exactly is a carbon footprint?

Find out what these and other environmental terms mean from Dr. Anne Hartley, Assistant Director, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, Florida Gulf Coast University.


Anne arrived at FGCU in 2007 from the faculty of Florida International University. Her work includes the development of a multidisciplinary upper-level undergraduate course on campus sustainability.


Hartley's expertise is global change ecology. She spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecosystems Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Hartley holds a Ph.D. in biogeochemistry from Duke University.

11:45 AM Registration
12 Noon Lunch (optional) $20 for LWVFL; $25 for others
12:30 PM Program
1:30 PM LWVCC Business Meeting
Make lunch reservations before 4 PM April 8. Click here or call 263-4656 and indicate your lunch choice: Salad with Salmon or Ravioli Florentine  No refunds for cancellations made after April 8. 


Charter Government Consensus Meeting  


Let's finish what we began at our meeting on February 14--there is still much for us to discuss!  



10 AM - 12 noon

North Collier Government Services Center  

Community Room   

2335 Orange Blossom Drive


presidentPresident's Message
Lydia Galton 

Lydia Galton

Six of us (Joyce Fletcher, Kathleen Slebodnik, Kathy Ryan, Charlotte Nyklemoe, Paul Kardon, and I) returned from the League Seminar and Convention in Tallahassee late Saturday night, exhausted but determined to make a difference.   We had heard assessments of the difficulties the next two years will bring from LWVUS President, Elisabeth MacNamara, and LWVFL President, Deirdre Macnab.    It had been made clear to us just how much the League will have to accomplish in the next two years.

The League will be carefully, if not always sympathetically, scrutinized from now until the election in 2012. We must be vigilant to retain our nonpartisan and balanced approach to candidate forums and debates, and protect our hard-won reputation for fairness.  At the same time, as you know, the League formulates positions on policy matters, after lengthy consideration, and when legislation is proposed that significantly opposes our positions, we take action.  


The current Florida legislature, which is veto-proof, is moving quickly to reverse Governor Crist's vetoes from the last session and to pass new legislation that overturns positions we hold dear. The legislature is threatening to weaken the judicial branch by bifurcating the Supreme Court and attempting to eliminate judicial review of amendments they propose for the ballot.  The passage of SJR 958, or TABOR, would hamper the ability of the State to meet crucial needs, by restricting the State's ability to collect revenue and expend it for vital public services.  If it passes, as expected, the League will have another amendment battle on our hands. 

The legislature is also reducing the State's role in managing growth, infrastructure, and the environment, creating new campaign finance accounts for legislative leaders, and raising campaign contribution limits.  In addition, there are 18 bills floating around in the legislature that restrict women's reproductive rights. 

What are we--that means you and me--going to do?

  • Monitor the implementation of Fair Districts at every level.  Attend the legislature-sponsored meetings and support the court challenges financially
  • Write to our representatives, when requested to
  • Develop and teach the parliamentary skills necessary to conduct a forum
  • Train speakers to present the League's view in a cogent and coherent manner
  • Train moderators
  • Register voters, register voters, and register more voters
  • Write letters to the editor

What are we NOT going to do?


If you do not have the time to participate, you may choose to be a supporter.  Send a check to help defray the costs of the Fair District lawsuits, and, if the board agrees, to help pay for communication coaches and experts we could hire to help us  become more effective, professional advocates and defenders of our policies and principles.  And don't put it off.  We need your money, your participation, and your passion now, right now.

We also need your participation at the Annual Meeting, which is described at the top of this VOTER.  Please go to http://www.lwvcolliercounty.org/pdfs/2011-packet.pdf to review the Annual Meeting Packet, print it, and bring it with you to the April 11 Annual Meeting.  Important bylaw changes, the budget, local programs, and election of officers and directors are all too important to ignore.

In League,

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Spotlight on Members: Tom McCann and Gina Downs
Denise Rochford

Tom McCann formal


If he had his fondest wish, Tom McCann would take all six of his grandchildren on a trip abroad--especially to Africa. "That's certainly one of my priorities," he noted. "We took two of them with us to Africa two years ago, and it was a fabulous experience."


That Africa trip was inspired by a safari that Tom and his wife had taken: "It was a most interesting two weeks. We stayed in four or five different camps and experienced a true African lifestyle." Closing and tightly locking up the tents to avoid nighttime encounters with wild animals was a must--although there were certainly lots of them to be seen during the day. "It was quite an immersion and eye-opener to a completely different culture," he added. "Everyone should have the opportunity to see how people from other countries live."


An attorney, Tom comes to the League after serving on many different boards in Naples, New York, and Massachusetts. One of his greatest accomplishments came early in his career. When he was 35, he was asked to serve on the board of the Urban League of Westchester County, after doing some pro-bono work for the organization. As board chairman, he was able to convince General Foods to participate in the work of the Urban League. The combination was a winner, enabling the Urban League to accomplish certain goals they had envisioned for some time.


What would he do if he were not an attorney?  "I'd love to be an architect--I always enjoyed remodeling and altering our houses (with an architect's help, of course!)."



Although she is new to the League, Gina Downs has been anGinaDowns 2011 admirer of the organization's work from afar. "For decades, I've been appreciative of the quality and quantity of the non-partisan educational information the League provides, particularly at election time," she explained.

A permanent resident of Naples since 2006 (she had been seasonal since 2000), she and her husband moved here from Hagerstown, Maryland and, like many others, they consider Naples "paradise."


As a small business owner, Gina was a computer systems analyst for a daily newspaper and also taught micro- and macro-economics at a junior college. Research and analysis are her specialties, and she reviews assorted projects and/or methodologies in similar U.S. communities to help identify enhancements and/or offer suggestions that may benefit our community. Promoting public policies that protect taxpayer assets, promoting responsible governance, and strengthening our educational system are her top goals.

If she had a chance to pursue another career, Gina says it would be in the field of economics. "No other discipline attracts me more, but I am now happily retired and finding true that old adage: "I don't know how I ever had time for a job."  She does have plenty of time, however, for her eight nearly grown grandchildren and her geriatric cocker spaniel.

Gina's dream of living a purpose-driven life is one she pursues every day.  She points out that "observing foreign cultures while visiting numerous countries is probably the most interesting thing" she has done--but without a doubt the most exciting was her first solo flight!    


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JusticeJustice Committee
Bernice Schmelz, Chair 

Bernice SchmelzCommunity collaboration is a critical component of successful prevention, diversion, and commitment programs for Collier's at-risk juveniles and those already part of the justice system. The Collier Sheriff's Office (CCSO) is one of the agency leaders in this collaboration.  Cpl. John Wohlbrandt, Juvenile Court Liaison, CCSO, will  meet with the Justice Committee on Monday, April 18 to tell us about his role and the relationship of law enforcement with the schools, juvenile court, and juvenile probation.  There will be an emphasis on the unique needs of girls.  Following his presentation and questions, Cpl. Wohlbrandt will take the group to see the Youth Resource Center where we will learn of the services available there.

This will be the last presentation for this season, and we hope you will be able to join us as we learn more about how the juvenile justice system works. All are welcome.

We will meet at 9:30 AM in the conference room of the State Attorney's Office, Collier County Courthouse Annex, 3315 East Tamiami Trail, Suite 602.  NOTE the change in location.  Since we will be entering the courthouse, all will be subject to a security screening, so please arrive a little early.  Once through the screening area, walk past the first bank of elevators toward the Clerk of Courts's Office (annex) and take the elevator on your right to the sixth floor.  Make a right to the State Attorney's Office after exiting the elevator. RSVP to Bernice at berniceas@embarqmail.com by April 14 if you plan to attend.   


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SocialSocial Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair 

Our next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, at 8 AM at the Ann Campbell 2009Jona Café, 4910 Tamiami Trail North, in the Outback Plaza. As always, this is a breakfast meeting with a selection of four menu items at a cost of $10.00, which includes tax and gratuity. Cynthia Rodriguez, the relatively new liaison for homeless children in the public school system will bring us up-to-date on that program. When we met with her predecessor a couple of years ago we were stunned to learn the number of kids without a permanent home.  Marcy Krumbine, the County's Director of Housing and Human Services, will tell us what she is able to do to help homeless adults in these tough times for so many of our neighbors. Please contact Ann Campbell at acamp1082@aol.com or call 263-1755 to reserve a place. All LWVCC members are always welcome. Guests are welcome, too.   


At our March committee meeting, in a switch from our health care focus, we met with Sandra Rasmussen, board president of Literacy Volunteers of Collier County, who told us about their work with adults from all over the globe who need to learn English in order to improve their lives.  Also present was Jim Galton, vice president of the board, who described his years of volunteering and the satisfaction that it brought him.  Volunteers are trained to teach illiterate or non-English-speaking adults to speak, understand, read and write English. We have a special interest in their literacy work having learned that the cost of health care delivery is greatly impacted by the problems that many patients have in reading, understanding and following physicians' directions for medications and other health instructions. For more information about the program and volunteer opportunities click here to visit the Literacy Volunteers website.


Government Committee
Tom McCann, Chair

The next session in the very popular Lunch with Leaders program will be held on April 13 at noon with Sheriff Kevin Rambosk.  Anyone interested in attending should contact Donna Suddeth at donnasuddeth@aol.com or call her at 596-9336.



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MemberMembership Committee
Sandy Parker, Chair

Sandy Parker Sept 2010Welcome New MembersThis month we welcome Laura Smith as a Susan B. Anthony member, and Jim Maguire, Kevin and Jennifer E. Walker, and Catherine and Karl Williams as Suffragist members to our League.  We also acknowledge with gratitude Iris Bland, who renewed her membership at the Susan B. Anthony level.   Those who join the LWVCC or renew as Susan B. Anthony ($100) or Carrie Chapman Catt ($200) members provide much-needed financial support for our League activities.

New to the League, or returning after some time away?  Meet other new members and get to know League Board members and Committee Chairs.  Attend a New Member Get-Together on Wednesday, April 6, at Lydia Galton's beautiful home in Wyndemere.  We will meet for tea at 3 PM.  All are welcome.  Email me at sparker101@gmail.com or call me at 513-1595 if you plan on being there.

If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contacMen Can Join, Toot membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or direct them to the Join Us page on our website, where they can join online or print a membership application.
Make Sure Your Contact Information is Up-to-Date - If you have moved or your email address has changed in the past year, please email any changes to membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or call 239-263-4656 and leave the new information on the answering machine.  Contact information for all members can be found on the Access Membership Roster page of our website.  Your username is your email address; your password is your zip code.
League Book Club
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair 

The organizational meeting of the newly formed League Book Club was held on March 9.  We selected two books to read during our summer hiatus and discuss at our first and second Book Club meetings next fall:


November meeting:  The Great Unraveling: Losing our Way in the New Century by Paul Krugman


December meeting: Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--And How it Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman


Both of these books are available in paperback.


The group decided that the Book Club membership will be limited to 15 members to be sure that everyone has the chance to participate fully in the discussions.


A sign-up sheet will be provided at the April General Meeting.   You may also contact Charlotte Nycklemoe at drchargar@yahoo.com or phone her at 612-669-3309 to indicate your interest.   


The Book Club will meet the second Tuesday of each month at 2 PM beginning in November,  at a location or locations to be determined.   In the meantime, I hope you have a happy and pleasurable summer while reading our first two selections.  Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating and fun experience!

News from the National League
Ann Campbell

In recent weeks the National League:

  • Announced that the LWVUS Toolkit for Climate Action has a new set of materials to support local Leagues' work on one of the 2011 advocacy priorities - Clean Air Defense.  Included are background information and ways to support the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to establish the urgently needed clean air protections called for by the Clean Air Act.
  • Reported that LWVUS supports State Leagues in Battles against Voter Photo ID. In Missouri the LWVMO testified before the state legislature, and the LWVUS and coalition partners sent key legislators a letter urging them to oppose ID legislation.
  • Continued its Global Democracy work with three League members (Bloomington, IL; Miami, FL; Montgomery County, MD), joined two other Legislative Fellows on a visit to Colombia to meet with local and state elected officials and representatives of NGOs and the U.S. State Department.  
For more information on these and other National League projects, click here

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News from the State League
Lydia Galton


An efficient way to find out what is happening to bills in which the League has an interest is to go to Capitol Report  at http://www.lwvfla.org/capitol_reports.htm, which is published weekly thoughout the Legislative Session.


For an update on the State League Legislative Seminar and Convention, click here to review the LWVCC President's letter in this issue of the VOTER. 


2011 General Meeting Schedule
Save the dates!

April 11 - Hot Topic on Climate Change with Dr. Anne Hartley

May - Date and topic to be announced

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About Us
The League of Women Voters of Collier County, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  Our goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.

Visit our website at www.lwvcolliercounty.org for our current list of officers, directors and off-board members, our Program, Diversity Policy, Nonpartisan Policy, By-laws, Minutes, and more.