FEBRUARY 2012- Volume 37, Issue 45

In This Issue
President's Message
Justice Committee
Government Committee
Social Policy Committee
Climate Change Committee
Spotlight on Becky Newell
Membership Committee
Book Club
Dwight Brock
News from National
News from State
2012 General Meeting Schedule
About Us
Month at a Glance
2/2 at 2:30 pm
Capitol Reports
Calistoga's, Airport Road

2/3 at 9:45 am
Climate Change Committee

2/8 at 11:30 am
Social Policy Committee
 Wilderness Country Club

2/14 at 2 pm
Book Club
  Calistoga's, Airport Road

2/22 at 8:00 am 
Justice Committee
Field Trip to
New Beginnings Naples
3710 Estey Avenue

2/28 at noon
Lunch with Leaders
Julie Sprague
Chamber of Commerce
2390 Tamiami Trail N.
Leadership Room, 2d floor

2/29 at 9:15 for 9:30 start
US Trust on Seagate

General Meeting - February 7, 2012

How Florida Citizens Can Help Maintain an Independent Judiciary

Sharon Hanlon
Sharon Hanlon, recent member of the Judicial Nominating Commission, founding president of the Collier County Women's Bar Association and currently a director of the Collier County Bar Association

Our panelists will tell you how our Florida Judiciary works:

What is the authority and responsibility of the Florida Bar Association?

How are our courts funded? 

What qualifications must a judge have? 
How are judges appointed, elected and retained? 
Where can you find information to help you cast an informed vote for a judge?

What are the Judges' and Bar Associations' priorities for the 2012 Legislative Session?  


Judge Hayes
 Hon. Hugh Hayes thirty three years on the Collier bench, former Chief Judge for Circuit 20 and former Associate Judge on the Second District Court of Appeals

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at noon (Registration at 11:45 am; Lunch promptly at noon; Program at 12:30 pm; General Meeting at 1:30 pm).

Cost: LWVCC Members: $20.00; Non-members: $25.00
Menu selections: Boeuf bourguignon over fettuccine OR Vegetable plate centered w/ Portabello Mushroom with fettuccine.
Please make your check payable to:  LWVCC Education Fund

Judith Salzer


Future Speakers at General Meetings
These upcoming programs are superb--don't miss a single one!  Register now.

March 6 at 10 am-11:30 am:  Lively League, Searching Public Records: Dwight Brock, Clerk of the Circuit Court, will tell us how to access public records through his website and other online souces.

March 6 at noon:  Assessing Local Environmental PoliciesMichael R. Bauer,
Ph.D., Natural Resources Manager for the City of Naples and Cloe Waterfield, environmental scientist, will discuss local challenges, related legislative initiatives, and what individuals can do to make a difference.

April 3 at noon:  Are Corporations People?  Nick Pennimanpresident of
United Republic and well-known writer, will tell us how we can reverse the influence of corporate money and super PACs on political campaigns.   
*Watch Nick on the Ratigan Show.
PresidentPresident's Message
Lydia Galton

Lydia Galton headshot
Annual Meeting:  The LWVCC Board of Directors voted to exercise its discretion to move the Annual Meeting to the morning of May 1.  This will give officers and the Bylaws, Nominating, and Budget Committees sufficient time to prepare the many documents necessary to conduct the Annual Meeting which would otherwise have taken place on April 3rd.

Congratulations to our Honored Members!  Join me in applauding these outstanding members and support them by attending the events at which they will be recognized.

Tom McCann will be among the 2012 Men of Distinction who will be recognized for extensive philanthropic service on Thursday, February 17, 2011, from 6-9 pm at the Naples Hilton. Tickets  be purchased by calling 643-4755. 

Vi Steffan
and Becky Newell will be honored at the AAUW Women of Achievement Benefit and Luncheon on Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the Grey Oaks Country Club.  For tickets, click here.

Susan Calkins
will receive a Women of Initiative Award sponsored by Women's Philanthropic Network of the Community Foundation of Collier County at a luncheon on April 10 at 11:30 am at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Please contact Susan Utz at 649-5000 to purchase tickets.
Betty Gamel has been given the "Nurse's Excellence in Healthcare" award by the Naples Daily News.  She will be honored at the "Here's to Our Heros in Healthcare" luncheon at the Naples Hilton on April 20 at 11:30 am.  Contact Jennifer Lima at jlima@naplesnews.com or (239) 403-6116 to purchase tickets.

Join a Committee:  Please take advantage of the Committee Tables that are available to you at our lunch meetings.  The committee chairs and members are happy to answer your questions about their work and will make every effort to entice you to join.  Do it!  The more you involve yourself, the more rewarded you will be. 


Orientation:  We will have an Orientation Coffee at 10 am on February 10 at my house.  Invitations have gone out, but if you missed orientation last year or have not yet received an invitation, please let me know.  You are welcome and the orientation is worth your while. 


February Business Meeting:

Please come with ideas and be prepared to discuss: 

  • What should our local programs be for the next fiscal year.
  • Do  some of the National League programs need clarification? 
  • Suggest updates/new topics for National League positions.
I look forward to hearing  your suggestions.  Please bring your passion with you. 
JusticeJustice Committee
Bernice Schmelz, Chair 

Bernice Schmelz

Alternative Schools have been a part of the Collier County public schools for well over a decade. One of them, New Beginnings Naples, provides "... opportunities for developing... personal/social skills for students in grades 4-8 who have been significantly disruptive to the education of others as well as to their own education" and to developing academic skills.  Part of its goal is to provide an environment where these at-risk youth progress to becoming good citizens.  Since early intervention is one of the components of a successful prevention program, we look forward to learning more about the opportunities and outcomes of this alternative school.  Following a promotion ceremony, Eric Peltz, Lead Teacher, will be expanding on the goals of the school and telling us about admission procedures, curriculum and their follow up data.  Bill Spano, Principal of the Alternative Schools, will also be joining us for a brief overview of the Alternative Schools.  Members will tour the school and observe classes following the meeting with Mr. Peltz and Mr. Spano.

The Justice Committee will meet at the school at 8:00 am on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. New Beginnings Naples is located at the Alternative Schools Building, 3710 Estey Avenue, just south of the Lorenzo Walker Vocational School.

Space is limited to 12.  Since that number has been reached, I have started a waiting list and will try to schedule another visit in the near future.  Contact Bernice Schmelz via email or telephone to sign up.  

Upcoming Meetings
March 19, TBA
April 16, Girls in Conflict with the Law, Linda Hyde, Committee Chair, and committee members.

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GovernmentCommitteeGovernment Committee 

Joyce Fletcher, Chair


 The government committee has two ongoing activities during the winter, Capital Reports and Lunch with Leaders.


Capital Reports is a discussion of what is happening in Tallahassee while the Legislature is in session. The state League sends out a summary of the week's actions on Fridays, written by Ben Wilcox, our paid lobbyist. Our next meeting to discuss these reports and other bills that the group is interested in will be held at Calistoga on Airport Road, N on Thursday, February 2 from 2:30 to 4 pm. You are encouraged to come with information on bills you have interest in so we can learn from each other and be actively involved either as individuals or to act on Calls for Action from our League.


Lunch with Leaders is a luncheon meeting with a government or community civic leader. The number of participants may be limited to the size of the conference room of that individual. The next meeting will be with Julie Sprague, Collier County School Board member and LWVCC member on Tuesday, February 28, at Noon in the meeting room at the Naples Chamber of Commerce, 2390 Ninth Street North. Please call Joyce to reserve your spot and to arrange lunches.


The January meeting was with Dwight Brock with great conversation about the functions of the office of the Clerk of Court. The 12 members who attended were all advised to go to the clerk's website, www.CollierClerk.com, to look up our names to verify the information is correct and contains no privileged information like social security or bank account numbers. The clerk will redact privileged information if it is there.


Please also continue to observe meetings of the Board of County Commissioners on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays on Channel 97 and the City Council on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays on Channel 98.

SocialPolicyCommitteeSocial Policy Committee

Ann Campbell, Chair  


Ann Campbell 2009


The Social Policy Committee met on January 11, 2012, at the Wilderness Country Club from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. The purpose of the meeting was to continue to learn about the status of the safety net for the needy in Collier County. The speaker was Debra Mahr, Executive Director of the Collier Hunger and Homeless Coalition.


The Wednesday, February 8 meeting will be another luncheon featuring the Safe and Healthy Kids Coalition of Collier County. It will be held at the Wilderness Country Club at Noon. 


All League members are invited, and guests are always welcome.  Please contact Ann Campbell at acamp1082@aol.com or 263-1755 to reserve a place and/or to get more information.  Please let me know in advance if you intend to join us so that I can leave your name at the entrance gate.


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ClimateChangeCommitteeClimate Change Committee
Linda Denning, Chair  

Linda Denning Headshot

The February 2, 2012 meeting of the Climate Change Committee will be held from 9:45 - 11:15 am in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center.   Canadian and local activist Dianne Rhodes will speak with us about the Keystone XL pipeline and the Tar Sands and other things that are going on.   Meetings are open to all members and their friends who are interested in policies that affect climate change. Contact Linda Denning at lvdenning@naples.net for more information.   


The Climate Change Committee meets the first Thursday of each month through April 5, 2012, from 10 am until 11:30 am at the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive.    If you are new to this committee, please email lvdenning@naples.net to receive committee updates.


Spotlight on...Becky Newell
by Denise Rochford

Our new Membership Committee Chair, BeBecky Newellcky Newell, is all about children; not just her own son and daughter, but all of the children of Florida for whom she has advocated since she joining The Children's Movement of Florida as Regional Coordinator for Collier and Lee Counties in 2010, and then as State Coordinator for West Florida until the end of 2011.

"The focus of our movement is to get volunteers to take a more active role in planning and organizing children's services," she explained. "This year the organization is starting two large programs - Outreach and a Mentoring Initiative through United Way."


The movement was started a few years ago by David Lawrence, Jr., the former publisher of the Miami Herald, who became a full-time children's advocate after the governor asked him to serve on a special committee to address these issues.


Florida is being challenged to manage services for children statewide, she noted, and the focus of The Children's Movement is to get leaders to set high priorities for programs for children. Early education and special education are as important as are screening and healthcare for children.


Although Becky is no longer an employee of the Children's Movement, she intends to continue to be a very strong advocate. "Our cause is to help others who don't have the information they need and to educate, inform and influence the decisions of legislators regarding the Children's Movement. It is frustrating to have wonderful programs without enough legislative backing and we need to keep the campaign going," she said.


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MembershipCommitteeMembership Committee
Becky Newell, Chair 


This month, we are pleased to welcome several new and returning members. Jean Andersen, Barbara Glasgow, Wendy and Jerry Richman, and Janet Weingarten have all joined at the Suffragist level. And we would like to welcome back both Carol Golightly and Ellen Taylor, who have rejoined the League, also at the Suffragist level.


Thank you to all who renewed their memberships over the past two months. We truly appreciate your support. We would also like to extend special thanks to those who renewed at the Susan B. Anthony level ($100) and the Carrie Chapman Catt level ($200).


The membership renewal period is now closed, but we would be pleased to welcome back any who missed the renewal period but would like to reinstate their memberships.  Click here and either submit a membership application online or print an application to submit by mail.


During tMen Can Join, Toohe coming year, the membership committee will be working hard to continue to grow our League, and we need your help. Please invite guests to attend general meetings, committee meetings, and other League activities. The more people become familiar with our activities, the more likely they are to join us! To request more information, email membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or call me at (239) 290-2260. 


If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or direct them to the Join Us page on our website, where they can join online or print a membership application.     


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BookBook Club
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair

C. Nycklemoe

Two books were discussed at our last  meeting: Hot, Flat and Crowded by Tom Friedman and That Used to Be Us by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. We asked ourselves two questions: Have we become more cynical or are we optimistic? As we grapple with the statements "75% of young Americans between the ages of 17 - 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record or are physically unfit," (Arne Duncan) and "The top 1% of Americans now take in roughly one-fourth of America's total income every year, the top 1% now controls 40 percent of the total wealth," (J. Stiglitz), it's difficult to see any light whatsoever at the end of the tunnel.
However, Friedman/Mandelbaum state there is cause for optimism IF the following five points are implemented:  public awakening; establishment of political will, resetting of priorities; sacrifice for the future; and alliance of governments, businesses and citizens.
How fortunate we are to belong to an organization whose members can discuss openly and intelligently the "Adaptation to Globalization" -- something that will be required of all of us.
Next meeting: Calistoga, Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine's Day) at 2:00 pm. PLEASE JOIN US!
Book selection: Winner Take All Politics - How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson 
March book selection: Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment by Eleanor Clift.  Learn about the suffrage movement, the issues and arguments that surrounded the movement and still reverberate today.


If you are interested in joining the Book Club, call me (239) 455-2261 or email me in advance at drchargar@yahoo.com.


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Dwight BrockCounty Clerk of Courts, Dwight Brock
Ira Sharp

Lively League will present Dwight Brock, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Collier County, on March 6, 2012, from 10:00 am until 11:30 am at the Country Club of Naples.  Mr. Brock will demonstrate the scope of services available online as well as the range of information in the public records that is now available at no charge online at the Clerk's website, www.collierclerk.com.  Whether you want to know if an applicant for a job has an arrest record in Collier County or if your prospective renter has been sued by prior landlords, all of this and much more is available online for no charge.  Mr. Brock will teach you how to find it during his entertaining and informative talk.

On January 19, 2012, twelve LWV members brought their brown bag lunches to the Court House, where Mr. Brock hosted them.  Mr. Brock explained the function of his position, which was created by the Florida Constitution, and informally answered questions for more than 90 minutes.

Mr. Brock discussed the significance of his successful seven year litigation with the Collier County Board of Commissioners to provide the County's citizens with the checks and balances envisioned by the Florida Constitution rather than the unbridled and unaudited Board sought by the County Commissioners.
Collier County has an extremely accessible online system of public records.  Mr. Brock fielded a number of questions regarding the steps taken to protect privacy and avoid identity theft based upon information contained in public records.

Following Mr. Brock's presentation on March 6, there will be a short recess followed by the League's General Meeting from Noon until 1:30 pm.
nationalNews from the National League
Ann Campbell

In recent weeks the National League:   

*    Praised the tough new rules from the Obama Administration, led by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, regulating mercury and toxic air pollutants from power plants. "Public opinion is clear ... the League of Women Voters is pleased that the Administration has chosen the health of children and families instead of giving in to the lobbying of big polluters, coal companies and power plants," said Elizabeth MacNamara, LWV President.


*    Joined in a "call to action" asking supporters to sign a petition to the White House urging President Obama to appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission.


*    Added a new, recurring series to their blog, "This Week Around the League", to share with the public the many ways our Leagues and members are having an impact in their communities across the country.


*    Reported in the blog that a Michigan League is launching a "Civil Conversation Project", face-to-face meetings on neutral ground to discuss issues. The idea is to educate each other and explain opposing points of view, not change minds. Area leaders were concerned that too much of our political discourse was happening online, behind screens and with misinformation, and they hope that this approach will help "to get deeper understanding of issues and build some relationships".


*   Noted that the League of Women Voters New Media Facebook group is going strong with 142 members from Leagues around the country who discuss using social media with their Leagues, ask each other questions, and share articles, blogs and best practices. Members who want to develop social media skills are invited to join the group.

For more information on these and other National League projects, click here. 


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NewsFromStateNews from the State League
Lydia Galton 

Legislative Summit: 
Feb. 21-23 in Tallahassee.  Reserve here.  If you have never attended a meeting of the Florida Legislature, this is your opportunity.  LWVFL has created an outstanding agenda.  Two cars from Naples will be going.   If you would like a ride, please contact me.

Redistricting:  The League is still engaged in a battle to amend the proposed maps to fairer, more inclusive boundaries.  The issue is far from resolved.

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2012 General Meeting Schedule

Save the dates!

March 6
April 3
May 1
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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.