February 2010 - Volume 35, Issue 5
Month at a Glance
Click link for details
2/1 - LWVCC Board Meeting
9:30 - 11:30 AM
Fifth Third Bank Building
Third Floor Board Room
Members and guests are welcome at all meetings
General Meeting - February 8
The Changing Face of Everglades Restoration
It is often repeated that if we can save the Everglades, we may get to keep the planet.
Ten years ago Florida, with the federal government as a full partner, passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, often called CERP. This was to be the largest watershed restoration project in the world, projected to cost $8 billion over 20 years and cover over a million acres of land in South Florida.
Although the goal remains the same, costs have increased, and the projected purchase of U. S. Sugar lands south of Lake Okeechobee has changed the face of restoration by providing more water storage and treatment area than the original CERP ever dreamed possible. Ground has been broken on major projects, such as the restoration of the Picayune Strand in Collier County.
Our General Meeting this month will focus on the history of this endeavor and bring us up to date on current projects and the importance of CERP to the western side of the Everglades.
Our speakers will be Charles Dauray, Governor of the South Florida Water Management Board and Chair of the Big Cypress Basin Board; and Jennifer Hecker, Natural Resources Policy Manager, Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
You are invited to join us for this important and informative program.
Program at 1 PM; Business Meeting at 2 PM at theCOLLIER ATHLETIC CLUB
710 Goodlette Rd N
OPTIONAL lunch at noon - Club's main dining room ($20 members; $25 nonmembers)
RSVP for lunch by 5 PM Thursday, Feb. 4, to Hospitality@lwvcolliercounty.org or (239) 263-4656; cancel before Feb. 4 to avoid charge.
|Lively League - February 8
Hometown Democracy - Amendment 4
We will discuss Hometown Democracy - Amendment 4
at a Lively League
on February 8 at 10 AM at the Collier Athletic Club.
If you were unable to attend last month's debate on the topic, please read the background material on the League of Women Voters of Florida website. Click here. We will make every effort to complete our discussion of this important topic before noon.
You and I know what an important organization the League is and how our participation has made us more informed citizens. The LWV should not be a well-kept secret. We need to spread the word - and I'm asking for your help!
Thanks to members who are committed to our mission and willing to help us broaden our exposure, we've made good progress in the last few months in increasing community awareness of who we are and what we do. Joyce Fletcher represents us in the business community through the Economic Development Council's Project Innovation. Tom McCann is helping us spread the word that "men are welcome, too"! Beth Povlow arranged a speaking engagement with a Marco Island newcomers group, where we provided an overview of the LWV and explained why it is important to get involved. Asia Rial-Elsbree launched her outreach to Collier County's Hispanic business community with a goal of identifying prospective members. Chris Straton conducted a well-attended and informative Naples City Council Candidate Forum, bringing us exposure to engaged community members both live and on television. And with our new (since October) monthly column in The Naples Journal, The North Naples Journal, and the Pelican Bay Journal, we are now reaching these publications' readers as well.
But we need to do more. We need people with new ideas, varied experiences, and diverse talents and interests to keep us fresh and relevant to our members and our community.
February brings many opportunities to bring a guest to an interesting League meeting. Our general meeting program "The Changing Face of Everglades Restoration" is a timely topic of great importance to our environment. Our Justice, Education and Social Policy Committees have informative programs planned where members and guests alike will learn things they didn't know about the community.
Help us grow our League and build community awareness. Bring a guest to a meeting this month. I look forward to seeing you - and meeting your guests! - soon.
Private Tour of the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida
The November incident at North Naples Middle School was a reminder of how easily children can be seduced into attacking those who are different from themselves. As a result of the League's speaking out on the incident at the December School Board meeting, we have been invited to take a private tour of the Holocaust Museum. We hope you will join us.
The Museum's mission is to promote tolerance and understanding by teaching the history and lessons of the Holocaust. The exhibits at the Holocaust Museum give a vivid picture of the consequences when an entire society succumbs to intolerance.
Date: Monday, February 15
Time: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Place: Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida, 4760 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 7
RSVP: By Thursday, February 11 to Hospitality@lwvcolliercounty.org or 263-4656
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|Know Your County Government|
If you like kids or want to learn more about Collier County Government, or both, we have a great opportunity for you. For 30 years, Collier County Public Schools, 4-H and the League of Women Voters of Collier County have co-sponsored the Know Your County Government Teen Citizenship Program. An innovative program, which includes field trips to County facilities as well as meeting with elected officials and County staff, this program is a pre-course for any students planning to go to Tallahassee for Mock Legislative Session.
This year's program begins on March 2 at the Collier County Museum and concludes on March 23 with lunch with the Board of County Commissioners. We are looking for volunteers to attend the various sessions and help chaperone the students. You don't need to attend all sessions and NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY. For a more detailed schedule, click here.
Spotlight on New Members
Denise Gallagher Rochford
Bethann Kassman is not only new to the League, but newly returned to America, having spent the last 20 years in Switzerland. A dynamic businesswoman, she commented on her return, "Although I was very familiar with European and Swiss political issues, I did not feel I knew very much about what was happening in my local community." She found that the media here seemed to take issues to the extreme, making it difficult to determine the pros and cons of the policies being discussed. When she found out that the purpose of the LWV was to educate and present political issues in a non-partisan manner, she promptly joined. Recently Bethann formed a venture capital fund here and is currently participating in Greater Naples Leadership. She is grateful to the League for helping her become acclimated to both Naples and the US!
Elissa Goldstein is a New Jersey-ite who moved to Naples permanently two years ago after being a snowbird. She has been telling friends lately, "When my contemporaries were activists in the 60's, I was not, because of business commitments. Once I hit 60, I became active." Her retail business in Englewoood, NJ, called "Elvid," focused on American craft merchandise, an interest that allowed her to attend trade shows all over the country and meet with small artisans who couldn't afford to fly east to sell their wares. In that way she introduced these crafts to an East Coast market. Elissa notes she "has made some very good friends down here - a commitment that is not easy to do when you are working." Her commitment to other organizations includes being a board member of the National Council of Jewish Women local chapter and involvement with the Coalition of Progressive Religious Voices.
Ellen Taylor ...The best way to describe Ellen is: She is a whirlwind. A degree in business led her to become Chair of the Business Department at Clearwater, FL, Christian College. When her students were unable to use their business degrees and were having difficulty finding jobs, she developed and implemented a program to help them achieve success. This plan eventually turned into a business called "Career Strategies International," working with embassies in foreign countries supplying them with business-oriented products such as typewriters and copiers. Russia was one of the first countries she worked with. In another "life" she spent a year in Humanitarian Outreach in Silver City, New Mexico (home of Billy the Kid and other Wild West "hombres"). Her heart is in Pastoral Ministry, which she practices in varying ways with three local churches.
|LWV Celebrates Anniversaries|
We're going to celebrate 90 years of Women's Suffrage and 35 years of the Collier County League of Women Voters. The League of Women Voters of the US was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in March, 1920, on the eve of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Final passage of the Amendment was nearly 90 years ago, on August 26, 1920.
The Collier County League was established provisionally 35 years ago, on March 27, 1975, by organizers Virginia Corkran (still an active member!), Ruth Van Doren, and Betty Peterson. There were 54 members. Virginia Grant was the first President. Other officers and Board members were Ruth Van Doren, Florence Bischel, Emily Jaffer, Onnie Herrup, Marie Mueller and Vi Barclay.
Save the date to join the celebration for the fine work of the League, our first leaders, past presidents, and all our members. Thursday, March 25, 5-7 PM, Naples Backyard History Museum, 1300 Third Street South. Watch for your invitation in mid-February!
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January Healthy Teens Update
LWVCC is a member of the Collier County Healthy Teens coalition, which was successful last November in getting the Collier County School Board to vote to amend their sex education policy. The policy now mandates "evidence-based, medically-accurate, age-appropriate, and comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education," including teaching the "health benefits and side effects of contraception and condoms," starting in the 6th grade and continuing throughout high school. The Coalition will be meeting soon with School Board members Kathy Curatolo and Julie Sprague to discuss the actual implementation of this policy. Watch this column in coming months for further information.
The LWVCC is also a member of the Florida Healthy Teens Campaign, a state-wide coalition that supports the Florida Healthy Teens Act, which seeks to mandate comprehensive, age-appropriate, sexual health education state-wide (Florida currently has no state-mandated guidelines for the teaching of adolescent sexual health). LWVCC members are encouraged to write local State Senator Larcenia Bullard (email@example.com) to voice support for the passage of the Florida Healthy Teens Act.
Bullard currently serves on the Senate PreK-12 committee headed by Florida Senator and Chair of the Senate K-12 committee Nancy Detert of Sarasota. Congress voted last December to allocate $114.5 million in funding for comprehensive, age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education programs, and those funds will be disbursed before the end of 2010. Support and passage of the Florida Healthy Teens Act would help position Florida more favorably for access to those funds, at both local and state levels.
For further information about any of the above, please contact Jennifer Marquis at Jen@muradaz.com
Sheilah Crowley, Committee Chair
Join us on Wednesday, February 17, to hear from Amy Hance, Instructional Technology Specialist, Collier County Public Schools Department of Instructional Technology. She will show us some of the latest teaching innovations and explain how technology has changed teaching.We will meet at 9:30 AM in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center on Orange Blossom Drive.
Technology Mission Statement
"To facilitate the technology vision statement the School Board of Collier County will infuse technology throughout the school system where appropriate. The School Board of Collier County will provide the school community with the following means to achieve these ends:
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- Technology access and availability for all students and staff
- Acquisition of appropriate technologies to create sound educational forums
- Establishment of staff and student technology competency goals
- Advanced technology related courses for those who desire greater academic challenge
- Appropriate staff development training which will ensure current and future uses of technology in education
- Technology infrastructure to enable connectivity between and within buildings for video, voice and data communication
- Development of minimum technological standards to assure that all purchases support future expansion of the infrastructure
- Effective and efficient technology standards, policies and procedures
- Communication systems to inform all stakeholders of ongoing technology initiatives
- Development of business, government and education partnerships to support technology initiatives
- Appropriate human resources to maintain and support curriculum initiative
- Adequate financial support to secure the necessary technologies to sustain ongoing and new initiatives
- Establishment of short and long term maintenance, upgrading and acquisition plan for all technology equipment and support materials
- Ongoing assessment of technology implementation, involving students, teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and community members"
Lydia Galton and Joyce Fletcher, Committee Co-Chairs
GREAT NEWS! The Fair Districts amendments WILL be on the ballot in November. Thanks to each of you who signed a petition and got your friends involved. Now we will have lots to do to garner support and convince all Floridians of the importance of the Fair Districts amendments. Watch for news on how you can help.
Legislative Seminar -- It's not too late to sign up for Legislative Seminar, which will be March 22-24 in Tallahassee. It's a great opportunity to observe the Legislature in session, lobby our legislators, and meet some great Leaguers from all over the state. Contact Lydia Galton for more information.
Bernice Schmelz, Committee Chair
What happens when the Juvenile Judge finds a juvenile guilty of a crime? As reported by previous committee speakers and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) website, once a juvenile has been adjudicated "delinquent," the next step is to determine the most appropriate long-term sanctions and rehabilitation program for the youth. The DJJ Juvenile Probation Officer schedules a multi-disciplinary commitment conference and establishes the DJJ recommendation for court disposition. After the court orders the youth to a specific restrictiveness level, the DJJ then determines the most appropriate placement available within the restrictiveness level. The DJJ correctional programs for these juveniles are residential and non-residential and are further classified by risk level. Non-residential programs are the lowest risk, followed by residential programs with risk levels ranging from low-to-moderate, to high -to-maximum.
Join the Justice Committee at 9:30 AM on February 15 at the Hilton Naples, 5111 Tamiami Trail North, to learn about the Collier County moderate risk residential facility AMIKids Big Cypress. Director Daniel Washington will talk about the commitment center population and their length of stay; educational, vocational and treatment programs; successes; and needs. AMI is a private provider under contract to DJJ, as are most of the residential facilities for juveniles in Florida. It is one of three commitment centers in Collier: AMIKids Big Cypress, Collier Halfway House, both of which are for boys only, and the PACE Center for Girls Immokalee. RSVP Bernice Schmelz at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 11 if you plan to attend.
March - Juvenile Court Observations, dates and times TBA; April 19, 9:30 AM - Girls and Juvenile Justice, North Collier Government Center, Orange Blossom Drive
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|Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Committee Chair
Visit to NCEF Pediatric Dental Center Planned for February 10 - We are having a field trip on Wednesday, February 10 in lieu of our monthly breakfast meeting. Members of the Social Policy Committee and other League members and guests will gather in the parking lot of the Edison State College East Naples Campus and proceed to the Dental Center for a tour and discussion with two of the Center's attending dentists. We are scheduled to meet with Dr. Erin Taylor and Dr. Michael Celletti at 9:00 AM.
Named the Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF) Pediatric Dental Center, after the sponsors of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, the dental resident training facility, which opened in December, 2008, is the result of a partnership between the Foundation, the University of Florida and Collier Health Services. Edison State College donated the land, and NCEF provided start-up funding of $4 million for construction and another $1.6 million for operating costs for seven years. The state matched construction funding with $4 million.
A study by NCEF in 2004 concluded that 31 percent of the community's children, or 17,000 children, had no regular dental care and many suffer from severe decay. That can mean a lot of pain for a child and can cause additional health problems and interfere with his or her ability to learn. Access to health care for our children in Collier has been an ongoing concern of the Social Policy Committee, so we are most interested in learning more about this Pediatric Dental Center. We hope that all LWVCC members will consider attending this tour and meeting. Guests are welcome as always. Please contact Ann Campbell at (239)263-1755 or e-mail email@example.com to sign up or to request more information.
At our January 13 breakfast meeting we met with Michelle English and Eileen Wesley, Executive Director and Director of Administration, respectively, of Project Help, Inc., a United Way Agency that mans a 24-Hour Crisis and Referral Hotline and provides free counseling services to individuals and families in crisis at their offices in Naples. Neal Gelfand, a volunteer with Project Help, joined us to share some of the experiences he had as he manned the hotline from his home.
We learned that the calls for help were very diverse and that there is "an amazing amount of distress" in the community. As Michelle, Eileen and Neal spoke of some of the interactions they had had with rape victims, people who were considering suicide, and people in the middle of a "normal" crisis, we could sense that their ability to listen, without judgment and with warmth, care and concern, makes them a wonderful asset to this program. "Life hurts," they said. "You shouldn't be alone while you are hurting." For information about becoming a trained volunteer to help with the hotline or with office tasks, go to www.projecthelpnaples.org.
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|Voter Service Committee
Chris Straton, Committee Chair
The Naples City Election may be over on February 2, but there is still work to be done. The winners will be installed on February 3, the results of the election certified on February 4, and an audit of the voting system on February 11. Yes, I know that it seems strange that the audit occurs after the election has been certified and that the winners are installed before the election is certified, but this is in accordance with Florida statutes. It was only recently that Florida required a manual audit. On February 1, the canvassing board will review the first batch of absentee ballots and that board will finalize its review on February 2. All these events are open to the public, and I will be there. I am, however, looking for folks to join me. The schedule is as follows:
February 1, 10:00 AM - Canvas absentee ballots
February 2, 7:00 PM - Canvas absentee ballots
February 4, 5:05 PM - Certify election results
February 11, 9:00 AM - Manual audit of randomly selected precinct
All meetings are in the Supervisor of Elections office at Government Center at 3301 E. Tamiami Trail (corner of Airport-Pulling and East Tamiami Trail).
REMEMBER THAT THE VOTING SYSTEM IS JUST ONE PART OF OUR ELECTION PROCESS. Please join me on any of these dates.
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Anne Lewallen and Pat Snyder, Committee Co-Chairs
Welcome to new members: Florence Chandler, Mary Ann Junius, Margaret Eadington, Benjamin Tiley, John Levy and Gail Rothenberg. A prospective member orientation was held on Marco Island on January 11. Thank you to the members who participated in this meeting.
Membership Renewal: In January phone calls were made by a group of interested volunteers to give reminders to those who had not yet renewed their membership. Due to the work of Vicky DiNardo, Estelle Rauch, Dee Senft, Pat Snyder, and Nancy Wolfe, thirty-one additional members renewed for the 2010 year!
Make sure your contact Information is up-to-date - You can update your contact information on the For Members page or by calling 263-4656 and providing your new information on the answering machine. If you have moved or your email address has changed in the past year, please ensure that the League has your correct information by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 263-4656.
If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact email@example.com, or direct them to the Join Us page on our website, where they can print a membership application.
|News from the National League
Last month the National League:
- Invited all members to join fellow Leaguers from 50 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong to the LWVUS 49th National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 11-15. The theme "Making Democracy Work: A History of Change. A Future of Hope" reflects the League's pride in 90 years of remarkable achievements and its goal to chart the course of the next biennium of League programs. Information about the Convention is on the national Web site, www.lwv.org, including schedules and how to sign up for caucuses. While all members are encouraged to attend and participate in the excitement, only the allotted number of delegates appointed by the local League President may vote on program, budget, bylaws and the slate of officers, directors and the nominating committee for the next biennium. The Convention 2010 site is the newly renovated Marriott Atlanta Marquis.
- Recognized the Senate vote for health care reform, including a statement by League President Mary G. Wilson acknowledging passage as a step forward in the struggle to extend health care to all Americans while expressing disappointment that the bill did not include a public option.
- Reported that the Public Advocacy for Voter Protection (PACP) Project is supporting the LWV of Ohio as they develop a strategy to monitor the implementation of the LWVO v. Brunner lawsuit settlement agreement. This lawsuit dealt with issues relating to the voting system in Ohio, including the administration of statewide voter database systems, improving polling place management and poll worker training. Monitoring the implementation of this agreement will ensure that Ohio voters are in good stead over the six-year term of the agreement and beyond.
At its January Board meeting, the Florida LWV Board:
- approved the new Local League Mentor Program and Manual
- appointed Marilynn Wills as Second Vice President and approved the appointment of Pat Drago, former president of Volusia LWV, as Voter Service Chair
- approved dates and times for Council activities for May 21-22 in Winter Park
- continued discussion of the Legislative Seminar in March
|2010 Meeting Schedule - February Through April
Save the dates!
Lively League - Discussion of Hometown Democracy - Amendment 4
General Meeting - Update on the State of Florida's Everglades Land Purchase
General Meeting - Youth Relations Deputies in the Collier County Schools
March 22 - 24
LWVF Legislative Seminar, Tallahassee
LWV Anniversary Celebration, Naples Backyard History Museum
April 12General Meeting - On the Road to Citizenship: A Look Inside
Lively League - Annual Meeting
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.