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January 2009 - Volume 34, Issue 4      
In This Issue
January General Meeting - Examining Children's Health Services in Collier County
January Evening Program - The State of Public Education in Collier County
Want to Get Internet Savvy?
President's Message
Education Committee Update
Government Committee Update
Justice Committee Update
Natural Resources Committee Update
Social Policy Committee Update
Voter Service Committee Update
Membership Update
Hospitality Update
League Information Meeting
Don't MIss Important League Events
About Us
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Save the Dates

See our Events Calendar
for details
 

January 2009

 

5 - Board Meeting

9:30AM

Calistoga Bakery Cafe

7941 Airport Pulling Rd N

7 - Natural Resources Committee
3PM
 Community Room
N Collier Government Center
2335 Orange Blossom Drive
 
9 - Voter Services Committee
10AM
Supervisor of Elections Office
County Government Center
3301 Tamiami Trail E
 
12- Justice Committee
 9:30AM
Community Room
N Collier Government Center
2335 Orange Blossom Drive 
 
12 - Evening Program
6:30PM
Naples Hilton
5111 Tamiami Trail N
 
14 - Social Policy Committee
8AM
Chrissy's Wildside Cafe
5026 Airport Pulling Rd N 

15 - Government Committee
10AM
 Calistoga Bakery Cafe
7941 Airport Pulling Rd N
 
15 - Education Committee
3PM
Dr. MLK Jr. Administrative Center
5775 Osceola Trail
 
16 - League Information Meeting
10AM
Private Home in N. Naples
 
19 - General Meeting
12:30PM
Collier Athletic Club
710 Goodlette Rd N
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INTERNET TIP #1
 
Contact information for members can be found in the "For Members" section of our website www.lwvcolliercounty.org.  Log in with your email address as your user name and your zipcode as your password.
 
INTERNET TIP #2
 
A printer-friendly copy of our Membership Roster is no more than a few clicks away at www.lwvcolliercounty.org.  Simply log on at the For Members page, and click "Access the LWVCC Membership Roster."   
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TopGeneral Meeting - January 19
Examining Children's Health Services in Collier County 
 

A recent study placed Florida 50th when children's health performance indicators were compared with all other states and the District of Columbia. Researchers analyzed 13 indicators of child health, grouped into five dimensions: access, quality, costs, equity, and potential to lead long, healthy lives.  Florida did poorly in terms of access and equity, according to the study.  If Florida has such a report card, how does Collier County compare?  We hope to obtain some answers to that question through our panel presentation and the Q&A to follow.  Panel members are:
 
Barbara E. Rumberger, M.D.
Pediatrician and Director of Children's Medical Services
 Children's Medical Services provides a medical home to children with special healthcare needs and their families.
 
Elaine Wade, R.N.
Director of Collier County's School Nurse Program
 Many parents consider and even list school nurses as
their child's  primary healthcare provider, according to the report.
 

Nicole Slivanik

Director of Contracting and Provider Relations,
Community Health Partners
Community Health Partners is a Physician/Hospital Organization with 800 plus participating physicians, involved with the network development and operations in Collier of the Healthy Kids Program, Florida's arm of the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
 
Health Care Reform is a priority at both the State and National levels of the League of Women Voters.  We invite our members and the public to learn about this one aspect of the health care needs of our community in order to make informed decisions about the changes to come.
 

Lunch at 11:30AM in the Club's main dining room
($20 members; $25 nonmembers)

Business Meeting at 12:30PM
Program at 1PM

 

COLLIER ATHLETIC CLUB
710 Goodlette Rd N
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 263-2566
Get directions
 
RSVP for lunch by 5pm Thursday, 1/15 to
or 263-4656
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Evening Program - January 12
The State of Public Education in Collier County 
Because most of our outstanding programs are held during the day, many people are unable to participate in them.   In order to reach this important segment of our community, we're launching a new series of monthly evening programs offered to the public free of charge.  We hope our members will help us spread the word, and invite a friend or neighbor to attend!  Our first evening program will be:
 
The State of Public Education in Collier County
 
school kidsWhat is the status of the important issues facing our schools today, especially accreditation and fiscal policy? 
 
How do these issues affect the wider community? 
 
 
Addressing these questions and responding to questions from the audience will be:
 
Libby Anderson
President, EDA HR Services and
Co-Chair, Education Committee of
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
 
Kathleen Curatolo
Vice-Chair, Collier County School Board
 
Susan McManus
President, Education Foundation of Collier County
An independent organization whose purpose is to enhance learning for Collier County children and their teachers by engaging community support
 
Dennis Thompson
Superintendent, Collier County Public School District
 
Registration, mix and mingle at 6:30PM
Program 7-8PM
Open to the Public
Free of Charge 
 
THE NAPLES HILTON
5111 Tamiami Trail N
Naples, FL 34103
239-430-4900
Get directions
 
For more information, contact lwvcc@lwvcolliercounty.org
or 263-4656.
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Want to get Internet savvy?
LaptopJoin your fellow League members on Monday, January 19, 2009, at 10AM at the Collier Athletic Club before our General Meeting  to learn how to access the wonderful world of the Internet.  We will demonstrate how you can access the bounty of information on the websites produced by the Collier County League, the Florida League, the National League and the ins and outs of the State of Florida websites
 
If you have a portable computer with wireless Internet access, please bring it with you.
 
 
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President's Message
Chris Straton, President - LWVCC
 Chris Straton - President

Happy holidays to all of you!  This is a time of celebration and thoughtful appraisal.  We look forward to a new year with hopes while re-examining ourselves and offering resolutions to fix a weakness.  I look forward to this New Year as well and my personal resolution is to grow membership in the Collier County League of Women Voters.  I need your help as well and you can get a free membership for yourself!

We currently do not have a Membership Committee and would be most appreciative if a few members would volunteer.  However, membership growth is not only the task of one person or of people who join a committee.  It is the task for all of us.  We are members of this organization because we value the mission and we value the members who share our vision of democracy and good government. 


The League has always been progressive throughout our history.  We were early advocates for child labor laws.  We have been strong advocates for voter's rights and dedicated to ensuring that every citizen of this country is not disenfranchised in any way.  The League became concerned about the depletion and conservation of natural resources as far back as the 1920s.  The first principle of the League is "The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States."  Why wouldn't anyone want to share in that mission?  Be proud of the League, be proud of your membership, and ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN! 

We will offer one free annual membership to the League member that brings in the most new members between now and April 15, 2009.  The winner will be recognized at our April 20, 2009, Annual Meeting. 

And a belated thanks to all those members who made contributions at our November 17, 2008, meeting when we passed the hat to raise money for our Florida lobbyist.  Adding $200 from our budget, we sent $806 to the Florida LeagueThanks to Sandy Parker and Anne Lewallen for initiating the idea and thanks to the Orange County  League for offering to match us.
 

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Education Committee Update
Marilyn Bogen, Committee Chair 
Marilyn Bogen
Members of the Education Committe will observe the January 15th Collier County School Board meeting starting at 3PM  in the Administration Building at 5775 Osceola Trail (get map). 
 
We would like to assign "2 hour shifts" so that no one will have to attend the entire meeting.  Please contact me at 514-0343 or mail me at marilynbogen@aol.com to let me know what time segment would work best for you (3-5) (5-7) (7-9), etc.  This is such a great opportunity to see your School Board "in action".  Observing is a "no experience necessary" job.  Give it a try!
 
HB 13, legislation that would add social studies to the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and include an emphasis on the integration of civics education at all grade levels, has already been introduced for the upcoming legislative season.  We are hopeful this bill will make it to the floor for a vote this year.  Rep. Matt Hudson (R - District 101 - Collier County ) has indicated he may co-sponsor the bill.  This is good news!  Our LWVF State Program 2007-2008 has as its Issue For Action: "Promote Civics Education in Public and Private Schools". 
 
We are currently planning the March General Meeting program, which we hope will clearly explain the current status of the Collier County School  civics curriculum, and what is being done to promote additional civics educaton.  Stay tuned!
 
I am happy to announce that two brand new League members have stated their interest in becoming active members of the Education Committee.   They are Diana O'Donnell and Jennifer Marquis.  We welcome these women and hope that many of you will join them as members of this important committee.
 
I am also happy to announce that the first monthly evening meeting of the season will address The State of Public Education in Collier County.  This will be a great opportunity for students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, retirees and anyone else with an interest in our community to be updated by the people in the know and to ask questions.  It will also be a great opportunity for new and prospective members of the Education Committee.  See details in the article above.
 
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Government Committee Update
Lydia Galton, Committee Chair
Lydia Galton

The possibility of many new towns in rural Collier certainly got the attention of the Government Committee. The release of the Rural Land Stewardship Area (RLSA) Review Committee's Phase II Report made us refocus our intention to attend one different advisory board meeting a month.  But the RLSA report practically mandated our attendance to two in January. 

As we found out at our November meeting, the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and the Collier County Planning Commission (CCPC) were concerned there would not be adequate public review.   The League joined the EAC and CCPC in asking the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) to direct that the RLSA Report review must be conducted independently by each board and must be held before the RLSA Review Committee submits its final report to the BCC for action and ultimate transmittal to state regulators. 

The confluence of these events makes attending the CCPC and EAC meetings that will concentrate on the RLSA Review Committee's Phase II Report as relevant and essential for the Government Committee as for the Natural Resources Committee.  The meeting schedule follows.  If you would like to review the RLSA Report before attending, you can access it by clicking here

Community Development and Environmental Services (CDES)
2800 N. Horseshoe Drive, Rooms 609/610
  • January 28th, Wednesday at 8:30AM. Planning Commission (CCPC)
  • January 29th, Thursday at 9AM. Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
  • January 30th, Friday at 8:30AM. CCPC backup
  • February 4th, Wednesday at 9AM. EAC - tentative, check with Lydia Galton
In case you think that these meetings are dull, consider Joyce Fletcher's reaction to attending the Development Services Advisory Committee on December 3rd: "As a new League member, I was fascinated to hear an open and candid discussion of the troubling financial condition of two of the CDES's reserve funds.  It is amazing how much can be learned about the operation of our government, especially in these difficult financial times, by attending this kind of meeting."

The Government Committee will meet on January 15th at Calistoga's at 7941 Airport Pulling Road N. at 10AM to review the state League's legislative priorities that effect government.  Those interested in participating should contact me at 262-3137 or lgalton@comcast.net

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Justice Committee Update
Bernice Schmelz, Committee Chair
Bernice Schmelz
According to the Florida Guardian ad Litem office, 43,000 children in Florida are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment.  Who is their "voice" in what can be intimidating and frightening legal battles involving their future?  Join the Justice Committee on January 12 to find out. 
 
According to FS 39.822, "A guardian ad litem shall be appointed by the court at the earliest possible time to represent the child in any child abuse, abandonment, or neglect judicial proceeding, whether civil or criminal."  These guardians are appointed to assure that the court hears an independent recommendation that will be in the best interest of the child.

Lorrie Moore, Volunteer Supervisor of the Collier County Guardian ad Litem program, will be our speaker on the 12th.  She will be providing an overview of the Guardian ad Litem program including who gets a guardian, who assigns the guardian, what the guardian's responsibilities are and how one becomes a certified court-appointed Guardian ad Litem.
 
Connie Sudbrook, Volunteer Services Coordinator, will also share data on the number of youth being served in Collier, the number of guardians and the needs of the local program as well as information on Voices for Kids, the 501(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance and other resources to the agency. 

The committee welcomes all League members and their guests to attend, so please join us at 9:30 AM on Monday, January 12 at the North Collier Government Services Center, Orange Blossom Drive, to learn more about this important program which is not only a support program for juveniles but which can also avert future juvenile problems.  Please RSVP to berniceas@embarqmail.com by Thursday, January 9 if you plan to attend.

Future Meetings
  • February 9, 2009 - Mike Orlando, Deputy Public Defender, Collier, Glades and Hendry Counties
  • TUESDAY, March 10,  Lesley Medley, Coordinator of School Accountability Board Institute for Youth and Justice Studies  (Note that the committee will meet on Tuesday in March.)
  • April  13, Jackie Stephens, Director and CEO, Children's Advocacy Center, presentation and tour of the Center
 


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Natural Resource Committee Update 

 

nature sceneOur next Natural Resources Networking Meeting will be on January 7, 2009 at 3-5PM, North Collier Government Services Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive.  Overall the group feels that community sustainability is the umbrella under which our issues fall. Topics such as carbon audits, climate acts, green rain gardens/barrels, fertilizer ordinances, Naples Bay issues, education, RLSA and growth management were also discussed. Initially our meetings will provide the group with natural resource updates and support for initiatives or policy votes as needed. (This could be attending council/commissioner meetings or writing letters.) Education is also important to the group and at some point we may bring in speakers or assist members with educational ideas.  For more information:  contact Chris Straton, chrisstraton@yahoo.com, 597-8849.
 
Want to Do Something Good for the Environment?  Tired of a full mailbox with catalogs that you never read?  Just go to www.CatalogChoice.org.  Sign up and as you receive those pesky catalogs, just go on line and eliminate them.  
 
 

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Social Policy Committee Update
Ann Campbell, Committee Chair

Ann Campbell - Social Policy

Our Libraries and the Needs of the Vision Challenged are January Topics

The Social Policy Committee has invited Rand Bass, Outreach Specialist at the Collier County Public Library to join us at our Wednesday, January 14, 2009, breakfast meeting at 8AM at Crissy's Wildside Café. Rand, a Naples native, has worked as a Teacher/Counselor-Therapist/Activity Director following studies at the University of South Florida (a Masters in Education and further studies in Counselor Education at the University of Florida in Gainesville).  We've asked Rand to tell us about the programs that he oversees at the library, including the Mail A Book Program and vice president of the Board of Directors of the Collier County Council on Aging.
 
Sharing the spotlight with Mr. Bass will be Sandra Martin and her canine friend, representing Lighthouse of Collier, a group of interested people living in and around Collier County with the "desire, dedication and energy to create a local center to provide support services for blind and visually impaired people residing in Collier County. Currently there is no place established in the county for the blind and visually impaired to assemble together or exchange information, interact or receive professional instruction in: specialized computer training, lessons in independent living, mobility training, Braille education, business skills and more". Rand has supported efforts to start up a center ever since the Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) center closed a couple of years ago.

It is important that we know about the services provided by our libraries during these times when rumors of funding cuts abound. The League of Women Voters of Florida has a position in support of full funding for public library systems provided in Section 257.17 Florida Statutes.   And, of course, services for the visually impaired are a less mentioned but important aspect of  access to health care for all, a priority of League at all levels.

All LWVCC members are invited to attend the meeting and guests are welcome.  Breakfast costs $12 including tax and tip. Please contact Ann Campbell at acamp1082@aol.com or 263-1755 to reserve a place.
 
 
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Voter Service Committee
Chris Straton, Committee Chair
ballot boxAny League member is invited to join me on Thursday, January 9, 2009, at 10:00 am at the Supervisor of Elections office to see first-hand how absentee ballots are handled. 
 
In the recent Presidential election, over 300 Collier County voters did not have their votes count because they failed to properly complete the absentee ballot envelope.  Learn why and what can be done to correct these problems.  See how the ballots are handled from request to submittal. 
 
Please call me at 597-8849 or send me an email at ChrisStraton@yahoo.com if you plan to attend.  For those that can stay longer, we will meet for lunch after to discuss our findings.
 
 
 
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Membership Update
Anne Lewallen 
 
Men Can Join TooPlease welcome new members Odell (Brown) Collins, Jennifer Marquis and Diana O'Donnell!
 
Just a reminder to members who have not yet sent in their renewal: please try to do so right away.  We need your financial support for all the  great projects planned for the new year.  You can print a membership renewal form by clicking here, complete it and mail it with your check to LWVCC, P.O. Box 9883, Naples, FL  34101. 
 
 
Make Sure Your Contact Information is Up to Date - You can update your contact information on the For Members page of our website or by calling 263-4656 and providing your new information on the answering machine.  If your email address has changed in the past year, please ensure that the League has your correct address by emailing lwvcc@lwvcolliercounty.org or calling 263-4656.
 
If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact lewallennaples@comcast.net, or direct them to the "Join Us" page on our website, where they can print a membership application. Dues are $65.00 for an individual member and $97.50 for a family membership.

 
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Hospitality Update
Anne Lewallen 
 
Marilyn and StuThirty-nine LWVCC members and guests, including LWVF Executive Director Peg McGarrity, enjoyed our Holiday party at the Collier Athletic Club on Monday, Dec. 15th.
 
The party was held in place of our regular monthly meeting.  It was great fun and the group singing led by our own Marilyn Bogen on the piano and Stuart Warshauer on the violin (photo at left) was a huge success. 
 
Collier Athletic Club provided beautiful holiday cookies and orchid and roses centerpieces added to the festive feeling.  Members had a chance to really visit during a happy hour with a holiday punch and cash bar.   Members also had a chance to get to know some new members and guests.  We knew everyone had a great time when folks were still there at 1:45!
 
Please join us for our January lunch and meeting and try to bring a friend or spouse!
 
 

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League Information Meeting January 16
LWV logoAre you a new League member?  Are you a "friend of the League'" who is considering joining?  Or are you a long-time League member wanting a "League 101" refresher?
 
Come to an informational meeting to meet members of our board and committee chairs and get answers to your questions about League.
 
These are just some of the topics we will cover:
  • Our history and mission
  • Our principles
  • How we operate
  • Our committees
  • Our voter service activities
  • How we determine League positions
  • How League's activities are financed

We will meet at the home of Sandy Parker in North Naples on Friday, January 16, from 10-11:30AM.  Join us!  Please contact Sandy at sparker101@gmail.com or 513-1595 for directions.

 
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News from National
Chris Straton 
national_popular_voteOut with the Electoral College! The conferees at the 2008 National Convention approved a study on the National Popular Vote Compact (NPV). The NPV Compact provides a way to choose the President of the United States by popular vote without amending the Constitution. The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) already has a position in favor of abolition of the Electoral College and adoption of the "direct-popular-vote" method for electing the president and the vice president.  We will be doing consensus in the month of February. 
 
The pros and cons on this issue are available through the National League's website by clicking here.   Those members who are not Internet capable may call 263-4656 and request a copy of the pros and cons. 
 
There will be two consensus meetings in February, immediately preceding our February 16, 2009 General Meeting and an evening meeting to be determined.  Watch the Voter for more details. 
 
climate changeLWVUS Climate Change Task Force Wants You to Get the Facts!  Climate Change is a League issue at the national, state and local level.  The LWVUS has a task force on Climate Change and has prepared a series of articles on this important issue.  The articles are available on the LWVUS website (click here) and cover the following subjects:
 
 
Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Two Approaches
A comparison of two market-based approaches to reducing United States greenhouse gas emissions: a cap-and-trade system and a carbon tax.
 
Carbon Offsets: A Cautionary Tale
A look at the role of voluntary carbon offsets in addressing climate change plus tips for finding quality offset projects.
 
Lighting the Way to a Greener Environment
A review of the benefits of using fluorescent lights, with tips for finding the right bulbs and disposing of them properly.
 
Staying Warm and Living Green
Tips for analyzing the energy efficiency of your home's heating system and improving your home's energy performance.
 
Water--Let's Use This Precious Resource Wisely!
Steps individuals can take to reduce water usage indoors and make good use of rainwater outside.
 

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Don't Miss Important League Events!  Mark Your Calendar!

Calendar
February 16, 2009 - National Popular Vote consensus meetings.  See article, above.
 
February 26, 2009 - Field Trip to Immokalee - LWVCC is sponsoring this bus trip to highlight progress in that community in the areas of access to health care, preparation of the workforce and collaboration among nonprofit agencies, particularly as regards housing.  We will have details in the next VOTER about cost and meeting place. 

March 22-24, 2009 - LWVF Legislative Seminar - What better opportunity to learn first hand about the legislative process than to participate in the State League's Legislative Seminar in Tallahassee?  Contact Lydia Galton for more information. 

May 15-17, 2009 - LWVF State Convention - The 2009 Convention will be held in Jacksonville, FL.  Members are encouraged to attend and some funding is available.  Contact Chris Straton if you are interested. 
 
Mark your calendars and plan to attend!
 
 
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About Us
 

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens 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 2008-2009 Program, Diversity Policy, Nonpartisan Policy, By-Laws and more.
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League of Women Voters of Collier County
P.O. Box 9883
Naples, FL  34101
239-263-4656