January 2011 - Volume 36, Issue 4
Masthead  cropped
In This Issue
General Meeting
Membership Renewal
President's Letter
Spotlight on Members
Report on December Meeting
Justice Committee
Social Policy Committee
Membership Committee
Climate Change Committee
Speakers Bureau
News from the National League
News from the State League
2011 General Meeting Schedule
About Us
Month at a Glance
TOPGeneral Meeting - January 10, 2011
Health Care Reform
What's next . . . and What about me?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (the "ACA") is now the law of the land. During the months leading up to its passage by Congress, this health reform package received more citizen attention than any other legislative effort in recent memory. Partisanship nearly trumped the whole process and it might yet do so. 

As consumers of health care, we realize that major changes are taking place to help ensure that the system is sustainable, but we worry that we might fall through the cracks in the process.


Allen Weiss, M.D., President and CEO of Naples Allen WeissCommunity Hospital, will talk to us about the impact of health care reform in our community. What are the hospital system and health care leadership doing to control soaring health care costs and ensure access to care?  What can be done to increase the supply of primary care practitioners? Can the system provide continuity of care for all the "snowbirds" in Collier County?  What can we do to help control costs and support needed changes?


Dr. Weiss looks forward to a dialogue with us following his presentation.

Time:          11:45 AM Registration
         Noon Lunch (optional)
         12:30 PM Program
         1:30-2 PM Business Meeting
Place:NAPLES HILTON, 5111 Tamiami Trail N.  Get Directions
Lunch Cost: $20 for Members; $25 for all others

Reserve for lunch by January 6. Click here or call 239-263-4656 and mail a check, made out to LWVCC Education Fund, to P.O. Box 9883, Naples, FL  34104-9883. Indicate your lunch choice: Immokalee Salad (chicken, greens, avocado, mandarin oranges, vinaigrette) or
Fruit Plate with cottage cheese.
No refunds after January 6.


If you haven't renewed yet, please do so now.

Click here to renew online (a PayPal account is NOT required) or

to print a renewal invoice to mail with your check.

President's Letter
Lydia Galton

Happy New Year!
LeLydia Galton spring 10t us hope that 2011 fulfills the best possibilities our imaginations can create. I imagine that you will do some of the following because the more invested you are in the League, the higher your rewards:
* Renew your membership.
* Participate in creating forums.
* Invite a friend to a League lunch.
* Join the discussions of Charter Government and next year's programs.
* Participate in the study of Collier County Girls in Conflict with the Law.
* Attend at least one Board of County Commissioners meeting as an observer.
* Investigate what the Speakers Bureau can do for you and what you can do for it.
* "Buddy" a new League member.
* Breakfast with the Social Policy Committee.
* Devise and implement a fundraising activity.
* Fulfill one back office responsibility.
* Join the Membership Committee.
* Observe just one school board meeting in person.
* Connect with power at a Lunch with Leaders.
* Bus to Convention and lobby your representatives.
* Participate in Capitol Reports.
* Facilitate a League book club and discussion group.
* Suggest an improvement for our meetings.
* Become a League leader.
Also in 2011:  The board has decided to continue general meetings through May.  Many of us are full time residents, and there are often important issues to discuss in the summer.  Mark your calendar accordingly.

With every best wish for a year of engagement and high yields,

Lydia's sig 27%

Back to top . . .
Spotlight on Members: Renee Hansen and John Levy
by Denise Rochford
Renee Hansen certificate
Renee Hansen holds the title as the longest continually active member in the League of Women Voters, with 55 years of participation.  At 86 years old, she is still attending committee meetings and is proud of the fact that despite using a walker she can contribute to the workings of the Justice Committee. Justice has been her forte ever since becoming a League member in Cook County, Illinois.  "In Illinois I read about the League in the local newspaper and, with two small children, I realized it was a flexible way to get involved."
And get involved she did. The Illinois Governor named her as the only female appointee to the Judicial Inquiry Board, where she oversaw complaints against the judges and brought them in for questioning and reprimanding, if necessary.  "My most satisfying accomplishment, however, is that I was the first woman in Illinois to be appointed to the Chicago Crime Commission," Renee said. 

Moving to Naples 20 years ago, she joined the Collier County League and has served as chair of the Justice Committee, initiating many changes and improvements regarding juvenile justice.  Renee's close friend and committee associate Ann Allen commented, "The PACE Project was one of her pet projects."  Renee credits Bernice Schmelz  with doing a wonderful job as the current Justice Committee chair and is grateful to her and Ann Allen for driving her to the committee meetings.  "I met many good friends in the League," Renee noted, "and I continue to enjoy their companionship and intelligent input."

John LevyJohn Levy considers his membership in the LWV a "no-brainer." He explained, "My mother was a member, and I saw how the League educates people and disseminates important information--and I knew it was an organization I would enjoy and be happy to participate in."

Since moving to Naples eight years ago, from a corporate post in New York retailing,  John has been active with the Greater Naples Leadership Council, Naples Men's Discussion Club and Planned Parenthood, of which he serves as treasurer.

He laments our "well-educated public that just does not read. Headlines don't cover the story," he said. "It is necessary to read more closely and do research to understand what is going on in the world."  John continued, "It's depressing that there is a remarkable prejudice going on in many areas of our lives, and too few groups aim at trying to change this situation.  We must teach history; facing history we will make better citizens. There are now 1.7 million students with 27,000 teachers. Education must be a priority . . . trying to make better citizens and world citizenship is the way to do it."  "If I could change the world," John said, "I would love to wave a magic wand and do something that would improve the citizenship of the world's people--better educate them to learn to be more pluralistic and to 'read for the grey'."
Report on December Meeting
Tamara Paquette

Forty members of Collier County LWV attended a festive Holiday Party at the Naples Hilton on Monday, December 13.  

Following a short reception, President Lydia Galton led a discussion of program and advocacy suggestions for the state League to consider at its convention in March. Those attending supported Sandy Parker's proposed study to identify the legal impediments to Florida public schools' partnering with other entities to install solar panels on school property to provide a renewable energy supply.  Depending on the outcome of the study, Leaguers might wish to draft legislation to permit such projects.  Support was also shown for Ann Campbell's proposal that the state League advocate in support of the federal Affordable Care Act. While waiting for lunch to be served, President Lydia Galton posed old and new seasonally related riddles. After lunch, Beth Povlow gave a talk on the historical significance of Chanukah, its symbols, and the importance of its message of religious freedom in today's world.  Marilyn Bogen wrapped up the holiday program by reciting a poem, "A Cup of Christmas Tea," and leading the group in song.  The party ended with a heartfelt rendition of "Let There be Peace on Earth."

JusticeJustice Committee
Bernice Schmelz

Juvenile probation - carrot or stick?  Join the Justice Committee on Monday, Bernice SchmelzJanuary 24, at 9:30 AM to learn the answer.


Tracie Foss, Department of Juvenile Justice Probation Officer Supervisor for Collier County, will be joining the committee to explain what circumstances lead to probation, what happens during and after probation, and what, if any, issues might be unique to girls.  She will also provide a profile of the Collier County girls who have been on probation during the last fiscal year. 


The business meeting will follow Ms. Foss's presentation and include the outline of the Collier County Girls in Conflict with the Law study, an overview of juvenile justice legislative priorities and topics for the remaining meetings.


The meeting will be in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, and all of those interested are welcome to attend regardless of whether you are a regular member of the Justice Committee.  If you plan to attend, RSVP to Bernice Schmelz (berniceas@embarqmail.com) by January 20 to assure adequate materials are available.


Mark your calendars:  On Tuesday, February 22, the Justice Committee will be sponsoring a field trip to visit the Oasis Youth Shelter in Ft. Myers.  The shelter is run by Lutheran Services of Florida.  The shelter provides safe haven for runaways and troubled youth ages 10-17 in the hope that adolescents will stay out of the justice system.  Watch the February VOTER for details.

SocialPolSocial Policy Committee
Ann Campbell

Our next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, JanuaryAnn Campbell 2009 12, at 8 AM at the Jona Café, 4910 Tamiami Trail North, in the Outback Plaza. As always, this is a breakfast meeting with a selection of four menu items at a cost of $10.00 , which includes tax and gratuity. We are excited to have as our speaker Ron Riner M.D., president of his own advisory and consulting firm, The Riner Group, Inc., which deals in part with the interface between the business community and providers of healthcare services and healthcare supplies and/or products.  Dr. Riner will speak about the issues confronting small businesses as they meet the requirements for healthcare insurance coverage for their employees.

Please contact Ann Campbell at acamp1082@aol.com  or call 263-1755 to reserve a place. All LWVCC members are always welcome. Guests are welcome, too.


Our committee is always impressed with the quality and dedication of the individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this community. Betty Gamel, ARNP, MS, Director of the Friendship Health Clinic Collier, is an outstanding example, as are the retired physicians, dentists, nurses, and other staff who care for an average of 1500 patients aged 50 and over, with some 4000 patient visits annually. Betty addressed us at our December meeting. Funds are tight in this economy, but Betty manages to pull in resources from everywhere to meet the needs of the increasing number of individuals who need help finding health services when they have limited incomes and no insurance. Click here to learn more 

Membership Committee
Sandy Parker
Sandy Parker Sept 2010Have you just not gotten around to it yet?  As I write this column, only 82 of our 153 members have renewed their League membership--and the cut-off date was December 1.  If you haven't renewed yet, please do so now.   Click here to renew online (a PayPal account is NOT required) or to print a renewal invoice to mail with your check. 
Welcome New Members
This month we welcome Linda Kanaley and Pat Sutker to our League.  Contact information for all members can be found on the Access Membership Roster page of our website.  Your username is your email address; your password is your zip code.

Men Can Join, TooIf 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.
Make Sure Your Contact Information is Up-to-Date - If you have moved or your email address has changed in the past year, please email any changes to membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or call 263-4656 and leave the new information on the answering machine. 
ClimateClimate Change Committee
Linda Denning

Linda Denning HeadshotHow do Collier Area Transit  (CAT) and public transit in general positively impact climate change?  Plan on attending the January meeting of the Climate Change Committee and get answers to this and any other questions you may have about the CAT system from Michelle Edwards Arnold, Director of the Alternative Transportation Modes Department, a part of Collier County's Growth Management Division.

We continue to study a subject that cannot be ignored, and to seek ways that our League can make a positive difference within the guidelines of the National League's position.  Please join us and feel free to invite your friends to our meeting on Thursday, January 6, at the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, from 10 to 11:30 AM.


Speakers Bureau
Kathleen Slebodnik, Joyce Fletcher

Kathleen Slebodnik croppedPeriodically we receive invitations from various Joyce Fletcherorganizations to provide programs for their meetings. We have done several programs on Florida government, especially on issues related to voting and ballot amendments. We want to expand the list of topics we have studied and post the available programs on our League website. We would like to hear your ideas for topics that would contribute to our mission "that encourages the informed and active participation of people in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy." We believe that our members are a talented group that includes a number of capable program presenters. Please contact Kathleen or Joyce and let's discuss your ideas and your willingness to present a program. We will definitely hold at least one orientation session on the topic of speaking to other groups on behalf of the League.

Back to top . . .
News from the National League
Ann Campbell

In recent weeks the National League:

  • Sent a joint statement along with citizen and reform groups calling on Speaker-designee Boehner and Majority Leader-designee Cantor to announce their support for continuing the Office of Congressional Ethics  and their opposition to any efforts to weaken or undermine that Office in the next Congress.
  • Joined with over 100 coalition partners in support of the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Treaty in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law.
  • Along with other members of The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, sponsored a petition to remind policymakers of the essential and historic role schools play in providing the knowledge, skills, and disposition for informed and engaged citizenship. The Campaign is asking all Americans to sign the petition, which will be presented to local, state, and federal education policymakers in 2011.
  • Strongly supported online voter registration in comments to The Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The Commission proposed some minor changes to the mail-in voter registration application form.  LWVUS and a number of state Leagues proposed that the EAC provide the registration application form in electronic format.

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

Back to top . . .
News from the State League
Lydia Galton

President Deirdre Macnab, Vice President Annie Betancourt, Governmental Consultant Ben Wilcox, LWVF Action Chair Marilynn Wills, and LWVF Executive Director Jessica Lowe-Minor convened in the Capitol to meet with legislators and hold discussions with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Taxwatch, the Florida League of Cities, and the Florida Association of Counties to establish working relationships and find common ground on key issues.

They also tried to determine the level of support for TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights). Passed several years ago in Colorado, TABOR has been a disaster for that state. Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos has indicated that getting a TABOR-like proposal on the ballot for 2012 is one of his highest priorities. Click here to read more on this topic.

LWVFL will continue to monitor the Legislature during the months leading up to the Legislative Seminar and Convention in March.  As many of us as possible should participate in the Seminar.  We must demonstrate to our legislature that we deserve a voice in determining Florida's future and we will travel far to have our voices heard and our influence felt.

When: Wednesday, March 23 through Saturday, March 26
What: TWO League Events in ONE! Legislative Seminar (March 23-24) and Convention (March 25-26)
Where: Tallahassee, Florida
Who: All of YOU ... the MOST important, influential and intelligent people in the state of Florida.

Contact Lydia Galton if you are interested in joining our bus to Tallahasee on March 23.  You will be glad that you did.

Back to top . . .
2011 General Meeting Schedule
Save the dates!

January 10 - Health Care Reform

February 14 - Lively League; followed by a panel discussing
Collier Girls in Conflict with the Law.  The Honorable Lauren Brodie, Juvenile Judge for Collier County, will serve on the panel with two other speakers to be announced.

March 14 - Hot Topic on Local Government

April 11 - Hot Topic on Climate Change

May 9 - To be announced

Back to top . . .

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.