December 2012- Volume 38, Issue 3
Month at a Glance
Thursday, December 6
Collier County Water Department
3851 City Gate Drive
Monday, December 17
2335 Orange Blossom Drive
Social Policy Committee
Wednesday, December 12
8:15 t0 9:00 am
1901 Strada Place
Thursday, January 17
1860 Airport Pulling Road
|ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!!! We will take a vacation from meetings!|
There will be no General Meeting or Board of Directors Meeting in December. Take the time to enjoy family, and fellow LWVCC members at the Holiday Party.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (Annual Meeting)
|President's Message Vi Steffan, President
The Elections are over! The Thanksgiving Turkey has been eaten! Everyone has given a heavy sigh of relief at getting their lives back.
The Holidays are coming. Time to sit back and reflect, but not for too long! The upcoming season will give us the respite we need to recharge our personal batteries. However, we cannot get too comfortable. There are more battles to be fought in the legislative arenas: national, state and local. We must keep all of these legislative bodies aware that the League of Women Voters is watching. We will contine to apply the pressure to do what is right for the country. We will continue to educate citizens on public policy issues, influence public policy discussion through advocacy, and encourage personal interaction in government. That is our job and that never takes a break. The LWV has proven its power to keep the people of our county, state and nation aware of governmental actions that affect each and every one of us. We need to continue to meet that need and we will continue to strive for those goals. So enjoy the holidays and supporting the League of Women Voters. That is your job!
Again, I want to personally thank those LWVCC members who dedicated their time and energy to the mission and goals of the League of Women Voters of Collier County during the 2012 election cycle (in no particular order): Kathleen Slebodnick, Joyce Fletcher, Kathy Ryan, Lydia Galton, Becky Newell, Linda Penniman, Chris Straton, Paul Kardon, Patricia Ferick, Ann Allen, Nina Ribinski, Joyce Laeser, Joan Byerhof, Rose DiBiasi, Jeanne Brooker, Bernice Schmelz, Mary Schell.
Happy Holidays to each of you.
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|Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair
December 12 Meeting: Collier County's Services For Seniors
One of those "best kept secrets" is the work done by County staff in the area of Human Services. I heard Louise Pelletier speak at a meeting recently and asked her if she would come to a Social Policy Committee meeting to share what she does in her capacity as Supervisor of Social Services and Services for Seniors in Collier County's Department of Housing, Seniors, Veterans and Human Services. Louise has a lively personality and can give us some concrete examples of mechanisms in place to help Collier's elderly. All League members are invited to our meetings and guests are welcome.
At our November meeting, we discussed foster care in Collier County with Renee Kirnon is a Family Development Specialist for Family Preservation Services (under the umbrella of the Florida Department of Children and Families). A foster parent recruiter, Renee told us about the needs in Collier and how individuals can be licensed as foster parents. We discussed the overall structure of the system, which was "privatized" over ten years ago. Renee shared the ongoing issues, such as heavy case manager turnover. We left the meeting feeling that we had new information and a desire to help by spreading the word among our neighbors, at church and at other meetings in the community.
Date/time: Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 8:15 to 9:00 am
Place: The Lifestyle Room at Whole Foods Market, 1901 Strada Place, Naples. Our catered breakfast featuring coffee, tea, juice, and a platter of bagels, muffins, croissants and more will cost $10 per person. I'm looking forward to seeing old and new friends!
Please contact me at email@example.com or 263-1755 to reserve a place, or for more information.
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|Climate Change Committee
Susan Calkins and Eileen Mann, co-Chairs
Submitted by Susan Calkins
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) invites members and guests to tour the Collier County Water Department with Director Paul Mattausch to learn how this essential natural resource is collected, managed, stored, treated and distributed.
The relationship between climate change and water continues to be a focus for the Climate Change Committee. Our November visit to the Big Cypress Basin Water Management Service Center, led by Lisa Koehler of the Basin staff, was both informative and thought provoking. Controlling water (think floods), while protecting water quality and quantity, is the mission of the Big Cypress Basin. The sea level rise associated with climate change exacerbates flooding problems. Koehler discussed the unintended consequences of canalization (our water management canals were originally built to protect 2 million --- not 7.7 million --- South Floridians). Additionally, our aquifers, source of our drinking water, are not being replenished to the extent needed. Check out www.sfwmd.gov/bcb for more information, including ways we can conserve water supplies (like Florida-Friendly Landscaping!)
In 2013 the CCC will focus on recommendations made at our October meeting by Dr. Judy Hushon, past president of the Collier County Environmental Advisory Council, regarding county land development codes connected to our water quality and quantity issues. Please join us!
Date/time: Thursday, December 6, 2 pm note: this is in lieu of our regular December meeting
Place: Collier County Water Department, 3851 City Gate Drive (east side of 951 and south of Golden Gate Parkway)
Please contact Susan Calkins at firstname.lastname@example.org by the evening of December 4 if you are interested in attending.
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Becky Newell, Chair
Please join me in welcoming five new suffragist level members to our League during the past month:
Ellen P. Granger
We've also begun our annual membership renewal campaign. Your continuing membership and participation in our local activities are critical to the success of our League. If you've already renewed, thank you! And if you have not renewed yet, click here to renew online, or click here to print a renewal invoice and mail it with a check for your annual dues.
Please note that if you joined the League of Women Voters of Collier County on or after April 1, 2012, your dues are up to date through the end of 2013, and you do not need to renew this year. If you have any questions about the renewal process, or about joining the League as a new member, email me at email@example.com or call me at (239) 290-2260.
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair
Because the workings of the court system effects each and every one of us, the committee members decided to revisit "Rebuilding Justice", by Rebecca Love Kourlis and Dirk Olin, at our next meeting. Several people expressed disappointment at their inability to attend the discussion in November. So the good news is that you will have another opportunity to take part and learn from this provocative book. Nancy Wolfe has graciously consented to lead the discussion again. Nancy did a fantastic job at our last meeting. Trust me, you won't want to miss another chance at being included in this lively discussion.
Our February 21,2013 book selection is entitled, 'The Leaderless Revolution' by Carne Ross. Harriet Lancaster will lead the discussion. John LeCarre writes about this book: "So bold, so full of incontestable truths and overwhelming convictions, that it should be read by every diplomat, politician, and thinking citizen with the courage to pick it up." That's enough to spark my interest!
Date/time: Thursday, January 17 at 2:30 pm
Place: Calistoga Cafe, 1860 Airport Pulling Road, N. Naples
If you are interested in joining the Book Club, call (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Justice Committee |
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair
SHE'S COMING BACK! Our designated speaker for the November meeting, Michele Hill, Attorney at law and former Collier County Prosecutor had to cancel her presentation at our last meeting. We are fortunate that she will be speaking at our next meeting. You will discover that Ms. Hill is a an impassioned believer and fighter for a just and fair judicial system when she speaks to us about the 'STAND YOUR GROUND LAW', and briefs us on how the court system works.
Each month we will hear reports from committee members who participate and observe the following councils/organizations/committees:
- Drug Free Collier
- PACE Center Collier at Immokalee
- CCJJC: Juvenile Justice Council
- Juvenile Detention Center Advisory Committee
- Human Trafficking
Our meetings are held the third Monday of the month. Please join us!
Date/time: Monday, December 17 at 9:30 a.m.
Place: North Collier Government Services Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive
If you are interested in joining the Justice Committee, call me (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at email@example.com.
| News from the National League
In recent weeks the National League:
For more information on these and other National League projects,click here.
- Wrote a letter to Congress regarding the "Fiscal Cliff", urging them to provide a long-term solution by increasing revenue, protecting the social safety net, reducing defense spending and carefully managing the deficit. The letter was delivered to select offices in the House and Senate by members of the LWVUS Lobby Corps.
- LWVUS Board has adopted a tentative scope for the Agriculture study passed by Convention 2012 and now called the Agriculture Update. "The Agriculture Update will focus narrowly on (1) current technology issues in agriculture including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), herbicides, pesticides, sustainable farming, agriculture water pollution, aquifer depletion, antibiotics in livestock, and accurate food labeling; and (2) current agriculture finance issues including consolidation in agriculture industries, crop subsidies and the federal agricultural regulatory process."
- Announced that because of concerns about the long lines on Election Day, the League of Women Voters will spend the next several months working with coalition members to develop a list of election reforms that will address the various issues related to elections, and will continue to work with key states to address specific strategies.
- Reported on a new book on citizen engagement written by Carolyn Lukensmeyer, 2012 LWVUS Convention speaker. The author writes, "Our founding fathers had a deep and abiding belief in self-governance: the idea that power ultimately resides in the voices and wisdom of the people. They embedded this belief in our system of representative government." She explores the extent to which U.S. citizens are currently engaged in governance and shares seven core strategies for strengthening citizen engagement.
News from State League
Never one to rest on their laurels, the LWVF made the quick transition from supporting voter education and "getting the vote out" to election reform. The 2012 election process in Florida has been characterized as "Florida's general election disaster." The LWVF joined with other voter protection groups to call for comprehensive election reform. Simultaneous press conferences were held in Miami and Orlando on November 13. They called the results of the November 6 Florida election process "unacceptable". Immediate goverment action was called for:
"We are formally calling on the governor and the Legislature to follow the example of 2000 and appoint a multi-partisan task force chaired by trusted leaders."
The group recommended appointing a cross-section of knowledgeable stakeholders with expertise in elections to develop a blueprint for successful election reform that will be supported by adequate budget and staff. They went on to urge:
"...that this task force begin its work quickly and deliver its final recommendations to the 2013 Legislature at least two weeks before the 2013 session begins, allowing time for bills to be filed."
Specific problems identified by the group that need to be addressed are:
- Cuts in early voting days and lack of standardization in early-voting hours across Florida's 67 counties
- Insufficient election budgets, facilities and equipment throughout the state
- Expanded use of provisional ballots and ill-conceived voter purges
- A record-length ballot overloaded with complex, confusing amendments
- Lines requiring waits of up to 6 or 7 hours, inconveniencing many and excluding many others, including the elderly, disabled citizens, and voters who didn't have the time or stamina to wait in hours-long lines
- The four-day delay in knowing the results.
[For more specific leader's comments and information, please see the November 13, LWV of Florida Press Release]
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.