The Voter

Issue: 2014-02February 2014
In This Issue
February General Meeting
General Meeting Schedule
Lively League
Lunch with Leaders
Legislative Seminar and Lobby Days
President's Message
Social Policy Committee
Environmental Affairs Committee
Membership Committee
Book Club
Justice Committee
Voter Services Committee
Government Committee
Education Committee
News from the State
News From National
Government Committee 
Monday, February 3
9:30-11:00 a.m.
2335 Orange Blossom Drive
Lively League
Monday, February 10
10:00-11:30 a.m.
5111 Tamiami Trail North
General Meeting
Monday, February 10
11:45-2:30 p.m.
5111 Tamiami Trail North


Lunch with Leaders 
Tuesday, February 4 
12:00 noon 
Mayor's Office
735 8th St. S. 
(members only/ reservations required) 
Environmental Affairs Committee 
Thursday, February 6
10:00- 11:30 a.m. 
2335 Orange Blossom Drive


Social Policy Committee
Wednesday, February 12, 12:00 noon
Goodlette Frank Road

Justice Committee
Monday, February 17
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Clive/Daniel Home, Community Room
2777 Tamiami Trail

Government Committee
Monday, February 17
9:30-11:00 a.m.
7941 Airport Pulling Road N.

Education Committee
Tuesday, February 18
 1:00 p.m.

Book Club
Thursday, February 20
2:30-4:00 p.m.
7941 Airport Pulling Road N.

Red Tide: What We Need to Know
Monday, February 24
4:00 p.m.
2385 Orange Blossom Drive
General Meeting -  Monday, February 10, 2014

Anna I. Rodriguez, Executive Director and Founder of the Florida Coalition against Human Trafficking




Ms. Rodriguez is considered "the mother" of the anti-human trafficking movement within the United States. 

A human rights warrior, Anna Rodriiquez confronts hard truths about the unimaginable realities of human trafficking victims. Florida has one of the highest occurrences of human trafficking in the U.S.- right in our own back yard! 

Place: Naples Hilton
Time/date: Monday, February 10, 2014
  • Registration:  11:45 am; Lunch promptly at noon
  • Program: 12:30 pm; General Meeting - 1:30 pm-2:15
  • Where: Naples Hilton Hotel, 5111 Tamiami Trail North 
  • Cost: $25.00 per person, Program only: no charge. 
    Reservations are essential.  Please  click here or call 239-263-4656 by Thursday, February 6 before noon.  
    If you have any questions about the event, contact Tina Palmese

Please make your check payable to: LWVCC Education Fund

General Meetings
Monday, February 10, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Lively League: Everything You Wanted to Know About the League but Were Afraid to Ask


The League of Women Voters of the U.S. supports the abolition of the death penalty. The LWV of Florida supports implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Florida, including Medicaid expansion. The LWV of Collier County believes that local government has a role in facilitating housing for people in Collier County who earn 80 to 150 percent of area median income. How does the League reach its positions on issues? 


This is one of many questions that will be addressed at our February Lively League. (The question "What is a Lively League?" will also be addressed!)


If you are a LWVCC member interested in learning how we determine our "program" and positions on issues, about the League's history, and how we operate on the national, state and local levels, join us for a members-only meeting before the February General Meeting.


Date/ time: Monday, February, 10, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Place: Naples Hilton

Host: Sandy Parker

RSVP or 239-513-1595 by Friday, February 7.

Lunch with Leaders

Lunch with leaders is a monthly luncheon for our members to meet with local leaders in a small group for informal discussion. 


On Tuesday, February 4 at noon we will meet with the Mayor of Naples, John Sorey, III. 


The City website reads:

Mayor John Sorey served on City Council from 2004 to 2012, and was elected Mayor in 2012. With an MBA from the University of Tennessee, his professional background is in manufacturing and distribution management. He was an Army Infantry officer in Vietnam. Volunteer activities include: Vice Chair, Big Cypress Basin Board; Chairman, Collier Coastal Advisory Committee; member of the Tourist Development Council; and board member, Naples Players, Naples Zoo, Community Foundation, Harvard Club of Naples, and Friends of the Library. He and his wife Delores have two children and twin grandsons.


We will meet at his office in City Hall. All members are invited to attend, but it is first come first serve to the number for his conference room. This should be an interesting discussion, as we have just conducted a City Council candidate forum and identified many issues the City has before it. 


Registration is with Joyce Fletcher at Those who sign up will be sent a follow-up email to order lunch. Lunch will be under $10.


Date/time: Tuesday, February 4, noon

 Place: Mayor's Office, City Hall


Please email Joyce Fletcher to reserve your spot. 

This is a members only event. 

You will receive a follow up email 
regarding lunch, which will be under $10.
Florida LWV Legislative Seminar and Lobby Days


The Florida League will host its annual Legislative Seminar and Lobby Days in Tallahassee Wednesday - Friday, April 9 - 11. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet League members from all over the state and advocate on our issues. Past sessions have included seminars and trainings on League positions and advocating with civility, and briefings with legislative leaders in the Cabinet Room of the Florida Capitol, and lobbying legislators in person. 



All members are encouraged to attend. Save the date!

President's Message
Becky Newell, President


Have you attended one of our League of Women Voters of Collier County committee meetings lately? Over the past few months, I've attended Environmental Affairs, Justice, Social Policy, Education, and Government committee meetings. Each time, I've left feeling so impressed what I've seen. 

 I'm impressed by the speakers who present at the meetings, the programs planned by the committee chairs, the issues that the committees tackle, and the discussions that inevitably follow the presentations and programs. But most of all, I'm impressed with our members.

 I joined the League three years ago, after attending a luncheon meeting. At that meeting, I met a room full of intelligent, interesting individuals who are well-informed and concerned about important issues. I encourage you to take the time to get to know as many of your fellow members as possible. You'll be fascinated by the different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and experiences of our members. And you'll be amazed by what you learn. 

 Don't forget to check out those committee meetings, and bring guests - it's a great way to introduce a potential new member to the League! The committee meeting schedule for February is included in The Voter.

Feel free to contact me at
Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair
Ann Campbell 2009




Navigating the System: Access to Mental Health Care


At our next meeting we will explore accessing mental health services in Collier County. Kathryn Lieb-Hunter, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Collier County (NAMI), will join us on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at noon at the Wilderness Country Club for a light lunch and a conversation about services available in this community, and how to obtain them. NAMI has "Navigators" whose job it is to help individuals find the care they need. If you are interested in doing some homework in advance, the Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida has a comprehensive directory accessible from its home page, Printed copies are not available; they are working on their 2014 edition.



We are grateful to Vicki Jo Letchworth, Elder Abuse Counselor at the Shelter for Abused Women and Children, who stepped forward to meet with us in January in place of our scheduled speaker. Vicki Jo described the special needs of seniors who are at the mercy of their own children and grandchildren, and those at risk from their own spouses. She does amazing work on behalf of the Shelter. Our committee was enlightened.

All LWVCC members are welcome, and guests are invited!


Date/time: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, noon

Place:  Wilderness Country Club, Goodlette Frank Road
            (the cost of lunch is $11.00)


Please contact me to reserve a place or for more information at
Environmental Affairs Committee
Susan Calkins, chair

Susan Calkins


RED TIDE: What We Need to Know


Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, Senior Scientist and Program Manager in the Directorate of Environmental Health and Ocean Technology at Mote Marine Laboratory, and an expert in the health effects of red tide, will speak to LWVCC and invited guests at Headquarters Library auditorium on February 24th at 4 p.m.  Come early to get your seat!  Dr. Kirkpatrick is well known for her research on the respiratory effects of red tide. She collaborates with investigators from seven institutions nationwide; together they have over 70 publications reporting their research findings on the Florida red tide toxic aerosols. Dr. Kirkpatrick is a board member of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System and she co-chairs the National Harmful Algal Bloom Steering Committee. A trained scientist with degrees in respiratory care and educational leadership, she will discuss Florida red tide and red tide research in an engaging and accessible manner. She is not to be missed! 


The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment will be on the November 2014 ballot. More than the required number of signatures have been certified. You can be proud: the League of Women Voters of Florida is reported to have gathered the second largest number of signatures! Now the hard work to secure its passage begins. When passed, it will be the largest land conservation program in the U.S. With Florida ready to surpass New York as the 3rd largest state in the U.S., we surely need it! 


Interested in issues noted above?  Join our next meeting! 


Willing to do more? Contact Susan Calkins 


Date/time: (monthly meeting) Thursday, February 6, 2014, 10:00-11:30a.m.

Place: North Collier Government Services Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, Community Room


Date/time: (Dr. Kirkpatrick/Red Tide) Monday, February 24, 4:00 p.m.

Place: Library Headquarters Auditorium, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive

Membership Committee
Lydia Galton, chair
Lydia Galton headshot

 For our Membership Roster: 


 We all have problems remembering names and putting faces and names together--that is why we have name badges and that is why we want your photograph!  That way when you are looking through the League roster you will be able to put a name to a face.  To this end, we are looking for a photographer, either within the League or elsewhere, to volunteer to photograph each member.  Any GNL members, please note:  If you send me an email at,, granting GNL the right to share your photo, we will be able to use that photo and not bother you!


While we are on the subject of the Roster, that wonderful tool is available to each and every League member.  Just go to our website  . Then go to "For Members", click "Access Roster" (on the left).  It is pass code protected, but your email address is your Username and your zip code is your Password.  How simple is that!!!  If you have problems, by all means call me.


Welcome New Members:  Please join me in welcoming new members:

  • Pat Walsh 
  • Eileen Ertag 
  • Robin Larkin 
  • Anne Harris-Doherty 
  • Cynthia Chamberlain 
  • Judy Burns
  • Jaclyn Faffer, last month's superb speaker 

We are glad that you have joined us.  If you need help with any League information, feel free to contact me or any Board Member.


Renewals:  Thank you for renewing your 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 don't worry if you forgot to renew.  You can still be a member by clicking here and completing a membership application online or print an application and send it by mail.  


Growing the Membership: The membership committee is working hard to grow our League, but we need your help. Please invite guests to attend general meetings, committee meetings, and other League activities. When people become familiar with our activities, they usually join us!  We also need your help on the Membership Committee.  Let me know if you would like to be a greeter at our meetings, help folks have their photos taken, or help with just keeping track of everyone.  


If you have membership questions about the renewal process, or if you would like our committee to contact someone who may be interested in joining our League, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me at or call me at 239-262-3137.
Book Club
Charlotte Nycklemoe, chair
Charlotte Nycklemoe




Book Club selection:  'The New Jim Crow' by Michele Alexander.


This book has so many important and significant facts to remember and discuss! Let me highlight a few:  (1) The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 includes many harsh penalties. Among them the , legislation included mandatory minimum sentences for the distribution of cocaine, including a severe punishment for distribution of crack (a drug associated with blacks), far more severe than the punishment for powder cocaine (a drug associated with whites).  (2) Ninety percent of those admitted to prison for drug offenses in many states were black or Latino.

The book points out that whole communities have been incarcerated under the guise of  a "drug war", when in fact the basis was race.



Please join us!  I promise an invigorating and stimulating discussion.

Date/time: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 2:30-4:00 p.m. 

Place: Calistoga Cafe, 7941 Airport Pulling Road, North Naples  

RSVP to Charlotte Nycklemoe at 

Justice Committee
Charlotte Nycklemoe, chair

At our January meeting we prioritized our recommendations from the Girls in Conflict Study.  Our next step will be to meet with the Department of Juvenile Justice to see which of the recommendations they can support.  Also, at our January meeting, we learned from Corporal John Wohlbrandt, Court Liaison Officer from the Sheriff's Department, the process a juvenile goes through from the time of arrest to the termination of their sentence.  The order of Court appearances is:  (1)Detention Hearings, (2) Arraignment, (3)Docket Sounding, (4)Trial or Plea, (5)Disposition Hearing.  We are now ready to enact our Court Observer Corps.  We will be observing Judge Grieder's Court throughout February and reporting on the cases at our February meeting.  Court observing is an eye opening experience!  One that shouldn't be missed by anyone.  It is not too late for new members to join us in this process. 


We welcome you to our next meeting.

You can contact me at

Date/Time:  Monday, February 17, 2014, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Place: Clive/Daniel Home, the Community Room, 2777 Tamiami Trail North

Voter Services Committee
Joyce Fletcher




Voter Services will be looking for a few volunteers to work the polls for the Primary 

Election on 8/26/14 and the General Election on 11/4/14. This is the only fundraiser for LWVCC. It is a very rewarding public service job, but does require a very long day. We get to the polling location by 6a.m. We stay until we are packed up and our tabulations are sent to the elections office, which is generally not before 8 PM. The Supervisor of Elections office provides training, most of which is on-line. 


AND you help raise funds for LWVCC!


If you are interested or want more information, please contact me at jbfletcher@embarqmail.comThe Supervisor of Elections office provides training, most of which is on-line. 

Government Committee
Sandy Parker, chair
Sandy Parker 3/2013




In February, the Government Committee turns its attention to the state legislature, whose many committees have been holding hearings and filing bills since November.  The 2014 Legislative Session officially opens on March 4. Already, 727 bills have been introduced; hundreds, if not thousands, more will be introduced before the session ends on May 2.

As in years past, the Legislature will consider bills concerning ethics and elections, education, social policy, justice, the environment - all areas of great interest to the League. 

At our January meeting, we decided to meet bi-weekly to keep pace with the Legislature's activity. These meetings will take the place of prior years' Capitol Reports meetings. Each member will participate by following a specific bill or area of interest about which legislation is being considered and reporting back to the group. 

On February 3, we will choose our areas of interest. In addition, I will present the County and City portion of the Primer on Florida Government that we didn't get to on January 27.


Upcoming meeting dates are as follows - from 9:30-11am.


Monday, Feb 3- North Collier Govt Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive

Monday, Feb 17- Calistoga Bakery Cafe, 7941 Airport Rd N (outdoors)

Monday, Mar 3 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N

Monday, Mar 17 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N

TUESDAY Apr 1 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N 

Monday, Apr 14 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N

Monday, Apr 28 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N

Monday, May 12 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N

Monday, May 26 - Clive Daniel Home, 2777 Tamiami Tr. N


All League members and guests are welcome. No prior knowledge of Florida or Collier County government is required. To be included in the Government Committee email list please email Sandy Parker


Date/Time: Monday, February 3, 9:30-11:00 a.m. 

Place: North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive


Date/Time: Monday, February 17, 9:30-11:00 a.m. 

Place: Calistoga Bakery Cafe, 7941 Airport Rd. N. (outdoors) 

Education Committee
Mary Lou Boll, Chair




The Education Committee had a dynamic first meeting on Tuesday January 21, 2014! The meeting was held at Robin Birnhak's home in Grey Oaks.  In attendance were eight League members who each demonstrated commitment to, and passion for, the provision of quality education for all. Also in attendance were:  Kathleen Reynolds, Jill Corbet and Robin Gretz of the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.


The current Committee goals were reviewed with an eye to a possible need to revise or expand them, predicated on the evolving interests of the group.  It was agreed this process will be given due deliberation and will proceed with Board input.


Kathleen, Jill and Robin presented an overview of the activities of the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.  Further information was shared on the recent "Words, Words, Words" program that occurred in Lee County and on the ongoing Literacy Buddies project.  


Kathleen made two proposals to the committee regarding ways the LWVCC could support the Literacy Buddies project.  Both this committee and the Board will discuss and consider them.


At our next meeting, in addition to the above mentioned agenda item, the group will explore best ways to impact the legislative agenda in Tallahassee in support of educational issues and challenges. 


All League members and guests are welcome to the meeting. 


Date/Time: Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 1:00 p.m.

Place: home of Robin Birnhak, Grey Oaks


Please RSVP (we will give you the street address, and notify the gate for access) to  Mary Lou Boll

News from the State
Becky Newell


The League of Women Voters of Florida Board has selected Legislative Priorities for the 2014 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. The priorities were selected using input from local Leagues and the LWVF Board. 


SOCIAL POLICY: Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all.Promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans. 
  • Health Care: Support Implementation of the Federal Health Care Reform Law in Florida, emphasizing access for all and control of costs including Medicaid expansion and mental health coverage. 
  • Immigration: Support Florida resident status for children of undocumented immigrants. 
NATURAL RESOURCES: Promote resource conservation, stewardship and long-range planning, with the responsibility for managing natural resources shared by all levels of government. 
  • Freshwater Resources: Support water resource programs and policies that reflect the interrelationships of water quality, water quantity, groundwater and surface water, and that address the potential depletion of pollution of water supplies. 
  • Water Quality: Support policies to achieve water quality essential for maintaining species populations and diversity, including measures to protect lakes, estuaries, wetlands, and in-stream flows. 
EDUCATION: Support a free public school system for Florida with high standards for student achievement and with equality of educational opportunity for all that is financed adequately by the state through an equitable funding formula. 
  • Charter Schools: Support the increased oversight of the development and implementation of charter school contracts with regard to administrative fees, teacher salaries and benefits, and instructional innovation. 
  • Funding: Promote adequate funding of public education with no use of public funding for the expansion of private education through a voucher program. 
GOVERNMENT IN FLORIDA: Promote an open government that is responsive to the people of the state. 
  • Election Law: Support measures to protect, extend and encourage the use of the franchise and to advocate fair methods of financing campaigns. 
JUSTICE: Support juvenile justice actions that emphasize civil citations, rehabilitation and other alternatives to incarceration.
For more details about individual agenda items, refer to the LWVF website,


For more information about the League's statewide activities, refer to the LWVF website

News from the National League
Ann Campbell

In recent weeks the National League: 

  • Joined with other organizations in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging support for S.1410 , the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013. The League's support for S. 1410 is based on the LWVUS Sentencing Policy Position adopted by delegates to Convention 2012. The legislation would provide for reduction in lengthy sentences for certain people convicted of non-violent drug offenses, thereby addressing some of the causes for the unsustainable and unnecessary growth in the federal prison population.
  • Issued a statement in support of the publication of a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal limiting the amount of carbon pollution from power plants. The proposed regulation will reduce the deadly effects that carbon pollution has on the health of our children and our environment. Subsequently, President Obama and the EPA proposed a first-ever federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. The League calls this a game-changer for the climate - especially since power plants are our single largest source of carbon pollution.
  • Announced that the Agriculture Update material is now posted on the LWV web site. The Agriculture Update Leaders' Guide  is available on the Agriculture Update page along with the consensus questions and 23 resource papers. While our local League is not a participant, members might be interested in the process of updating an established League position. The resource information should be interesting reading for many as well, in this agricultural area. 
  • Praised the introduction of The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 by a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives. The legislation "has been carefully crafted to protect the rights of all voters and repair the damage to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 inflicted by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Shelby v. Holder. This is an important first step, but it will require the League to follow the progress of the legislation closely and will also require continued public education in our communities. Since the Shelby decision, we have seen states rush to enact legislation likely to suppress the vote and dozens of cities and towns make changes in their election laws and voting processes, many of which may keep eligible voters from being able to vote. At the state and local level we must remain vigilant."
For more information on National League projects, click here
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 for our current list of officers, directors and off-board members, our Program, Diversity Policy , Nonpartisan Policy, By-laws, Minutes, and more.