JANUARY 2012- Volume 37, Issue 44
Month at a Glance
|1/5 at 10 am
Climate Change Committee
Trip to FGCU1/11 at 11:30 am
1/10 at 5 pm
City of Naples Council
Naples City Hall
Social Policy Committee
1/19 at 11:45 am
Lunch with Leaders
1/23 at 9:30 am
North Collier Government Center, Community Room
|General Meeting - January 9, 2012|
The Power of Choice
The Role of Palliative Care in End-of-Life Decision Making
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Avow Hospice and
Chief of the Section of Palliative Medicine, NCH
Dr. Mitchell will help us to sort out the important, though often uncomfortable, issue of advance planning for end-of-life health care.
He will emphasize that the patient is "in charge" and will explain what the palliative care team, working with the patient's own doctor, can offer at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.
Dr. Mitchell is prepared to take questions about these complex issues and is looking forward to addressing our individual concerns.
When: January 9, 2012 at noon (Registration at 11:45 am; Lunch promptly at noon; Program at 12:30 pm; General Meeting at 1:30 pm)
Where: Naples Hilton, 5111 Tamiami Trail North, Naples
Cost: LWVCC members $20.00; Non-members $25.00
CALL: (239) 263-4656
PLEASE INDICATE YOUR LUNCH PREFERENCE:
Grilled salmon over greens, broccolini and tomatoes or Gemelli Pasta with pesto, julienne vegetables and Parmesan cheese
PLEASE MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO:
LWVCC EDUCATION FUND.
We regret that no refunds can be given or reservations taken after JANUARY 5, 2012
January 3: Last day to register for the U.S. Presidential primary:
Remember! You must be a registered Republican to participate in the Presidential Primary on January 31, 2012
January 10 at 6 pm: City of Naples Council Candidate Forum, in City Hall
January 16-28, 10 am-6 pm (no voting on Sundays): Early Voting for Republican Presidential Primary
Overdue: Membership Renewals: If you have not yet renewed, please do so by clicking here
February 7: We inaugurate our FIRST TUESDAY OF THE MONTH general meetings at the Country Club of Naples
And so the redistricting saga continues...The Legislature has published the proposed new district maps and is scheduled to debate the various proposals the first week of the session, starting January 9th. The Florida Senate has posted both Congressional and Senatorial maps. You can view them at http://www.floridaredistricting.org/. The Florida House is due to release multiple House and Congressional proposals within the next week or so. If you want an excellent site to review the maps, click here.
The Legislature is required to adopt new districts by March. After that, the U.S. Department of Justice must review the maps to make certain that they are in compliance with the Voting Rights Act, a process that could take as long as 90 days. In addition, litigation is anticipated regardless of what maps are used.
Candidates running for local, state and Congressional offices must qualify by June of 2012 -- a date by which some of the candidates will not even know what district they are running for! Stay tuned. We will keep you posted.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
" But if you have been watching some of the primary debates or seen some of the candidates' ads, it is apparent that facts have become inconsequential, truth is the casualty of our times, and distortions abound. That is why the League of Women Voters is more important than ever. It is our job to inform the electorate of reality:
- Spread some accurate information. You can help write articles and fact sheets, help organize a forum on a current issue, speak to community groups, or work with the media, join committees that are digging for truth.
- Change the system. You can help study new issues -- such as the Privatization Study, and lobby your legislators and local government officials.
- Help voters. You can help build up the general level of citizen participation in the electoral process by helping in the League's voters service work.
This election year gives us all a chance to prove our worth.
I am pleased to announce that the board has approved LWVCC's participation in the Privatization Study that the delegates at the last national convention voted to fund. We are delighted that Gina Downs, who has had considerable experience, information, and knowledge of privatization has agreed to chair the committee.
Gina led the local effort to effectively halt then-Governor Crist's efforts to lease Alligator Alley. She is a sponsored guest of the Ford Foundation at national privatization conferences. More recently, Gina chaired a Collier County Productivity Sub-Committee examining outsourcing effectiveness and possibilities in the county.
I hope that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to work with fellow members, to learn, and to provide guidelines for our league's consensus on the many facets of this issue which we will examine in April.
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|Privatization Study |
Gina Downs, Chair
Privatization is essentially the shifting of responsibility for government services to the private sector. As the trend toward privatization increases worldwide, so does the need for transparency, oversight and accountability. The benefits and the pitfalls of privatization deserve fair and adequate evaluation. As always, the public interest must be protected.
Subsequently, at the 2010 National Convention the delegates voted to undertake a national comprehensive privatization study. All leagues have been encouraged to participate on the local and state level. Click here
for more details. The deadline for our study consensus is May 2012.
Our first meeting will take place Monday, January 16, from 2-4 pm at Calistoga Bakery, 7941 Airport Pulling N., Naples, FL. Please become involved in this project. Without your voice, we are barely a whisper.
Bernice Schmelz, Chair
"What's New and What's Needed at PACE Collier?" PACE (Practical Academic Cultural Education) is a Florida based program that began in Jacksonville in 1985. The now nationally recognized prevention model started as a gender responsive program for girls involved with the justice system and became an alternative to institutionalization or incarceration. According to their website, "...PACE...targets primary risk and protective factors ... that increase or decrease the likelihood of delinquency amongst girls." There are now 17 Florida centers serving over 2000 girls annually. The Collier program opened in Immokalee in 1998 and served 104 girls in the 2010-11 school year, 100% of whom lived in neighborhoods with higher than average crime rates and 20% of whom used drugs or alcohol prior to entering the program. The academic and social outcomes are continually impressive. In 2008-09, for example, 98% remained crime free one year after transitioning from the program and 75% were employed or in an educational setting three years after transitioning from the program.
Join us on January 23, 2012, when Marianne Kearns, Executive Director, PACE Collier, brings us up-to-date on the programs, accomplishments and needs of our local PACE program. We will meet at 9:30 am in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center on Orange Blossom Drive. All League members and their guests are welcome.
February 21: New Beginnings Alternative School, Captain Eric Peltz (Note: this is a date change since school is closed on February 20.) Meeting will be at 9:30 am at the Alternative School, 3710 Estey Avenue.
March 19: TBA
April 16: Girls in Conflict with the Law, Linda Hyde, Committee Chair, and committee members.
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Joyce Fletcher, Chair
We will offer the first 2012 Lunch with Leaders with Dwight Brock, Collier County Clerk of Courts, on January 19. The clerk has multiple responsibilities, including managing the court, recording legal documents, and serving as clerk and auditor to The Collier County Board of Commissioners. His office maintains a website with much helpful information (www.collierclerk.com). If you are interested, contact Joyce Fletcher to reserve as the first 10 responders will participate.
The Legislature goes into session in January this year since they must pass redistricting legislation. We will again offer Capital Reports as a regular discussion group to monitor some committees and legislative actions. Being informed makes us prepared to send comments to legislators. We could use a new Facilitator! Let me know if you are willing to fulfill this role, or even to co-facilitate. Also let me know if you want to be notified of time and place. I will have a sign up sheet at the January meeting. Capital Reports is the LWVF weekly update published when the Legislature is in session. There should be a pre-session edition out soon: look for it on the LWVF website.
I would encourage anyone who is at all interested in local government to watch the Board of County Commission meetings on Channel 97 on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Watch the Naples City Council on the first and third Wednesdays on Channel 98. There are also Advisory Board Meetings for both the County and the City that are open for you to attend and observe and these can be located by going to colliergov.net or naplesgov.com.
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|Social Policy Committee |
Ann Campbell, Chair
Our January meeting will be a lunch meeting from 11:30 - 12:30, or so, on Wednesday, January 11 at the Wilderness Country Club. Debi Mahr, Executive Director of the Collier County Hunger and Homeless Coalition, will be our speaker. We are interested in learning what the human services safety net is able to do for our neighbors in need. We know that the needs are great just from anecdotal reports. Debi will be able to tell us the facts and figures and how the Coalition members are helping. The cost for a simple lunch (Caesar Salad or its equivalent) will be modest.
All League members are invited, and guests are always welcome. Please contact Ann Campbell at email@example.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.
Our last meeting took place at Avow Hospice where we had an informative session and a grand breakfast thanks to Lavigne Kirkpatrick, RN. She is rightly proud of that beautiful not-for-profit facility that has served Collier County beginning in 1983. We learned about the broad range of services provided to patients and families at home, at nursing homes or assisted care facilities and at their inpatient Frances Georgeson House. The staff provides music therapy, aroma therapy, alternative therapies such as massage, pet visits ... in other words, a range of comfort measures in addition to pain control. Grief and bereavement support is provided for family members for an extended period. Please visit www.avowhospice.org because I can't tell the whole story here!
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Becky Newell, Chair
I would like to start my first monthly note as your new Membership Chair by telling you how honored I am to serve on the board of the League of Women Voters of Collier County. I've been a member of the League since January of 2011, but I've admired this organization for many years. It's truly exciting to be a part of a group of people who take seriously the responsibility that we all have to be informed participants in all levels of our government. Serving as Membership Chair gives me an opportunity to get to know all of you as we work together.
This month, we would like to welcome new Susan B. Anthony member Patricia Forkan to our League.
If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2012, PLEASE RENEW NOW! You can either print a renewal invoice to complete and mail with your check (click here) OR securely and easily renew online with a credit card (click here). We thank you for your support and look forward to an exciting year ahead.
If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact firstname.lastname@example.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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|Climate Change Committee |
Linda Denning, Chair
On January 5 the Climate Change Committee will be visiting FGCU to learn about and tour the solar field and demonstration site. We will be hosted by faculty member and solar energy expert, Dr. Joe Simmons, and by Mr. Dell Jones, President of Regenesis of Florida. We will be carpooling from north Naples in time to get to FGCU before 10 am. Anyone interested in joining us can contact Linda Denning at email@example.com for more information. All are welcome!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an agenda for the January meeting and other committee updates.
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair
Our next meeting will be held at Calistoga on Airport Pulling at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 17. Our book selection for January is Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. If you have not read that book but instead are in the middle of his latest book, That Used To Be Us, please attend anyway. Can we hope for optismism in today's world? Come and find out what Friedman says.
The book selection for February 14 (location to be determined) is 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.
There is still room for additional members. I suggest you join quickly since I have the feeling that very shortly there is going to be a waiting list to join this dynamic group. Just call (239) 455-2261 or email me in advance at email@example.com.
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|News from the National League |
In recent weeks the National League:
* Called on the Department of Justice to act more forcefully and without delay to ensure fair elections in 2012. The League applauded U.S. Attorney General Holder's speech in Texas where he recently visited to address the growing momentum behind anti-voter laws, but expressed disappointment in the DOJ's record on voting rights enforcement.
* Joined with 277 organizations in a letter to members of the House and Senate opposing passage of a so-called Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The League has long opposed the balanced budget amendment as a danger to the economy and the balance of powers among the three branches of government.
* Endorsed H.R. 2572, Clean Up Government Act of 2011. The League and coalition partners wrote to House Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith and ranking minority member John Conyers to support the Act which would restore important tools for federal prosecutors fighting public corruption.
* Opposed H.R. 3463 along with other concerned organizations. This legislation would repeal the presidential public financing system AND terminate the Election Assistance Commission.
For more information on these and other National League projects, click here.
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|News from the State League |
On December 15, 2011, the League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote, and the Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund ("PIRG") filed suit in federal court in Tallahassee challenging Florida's onerous new restrictions on community-based voter registration drives.
The League of Women Voters of Florida is also involved in another ongoing suit about Florida's new voting restrictions in the District Court of Washington D.C. In that case, in which the Brennan Center, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the pro bono law firm of Bryan Cave LLP represent the League and the National Council of La Raza, numerous civil rights organizations and individuals including voters and election officials, have intervened to illustrate how the law harms minority voters.
Special Edition Voter
LWVF plans to print one million copies in 2012. This Special Edition Voter might be inserted in local newspapers if we can find the funding to pay the insertion fees. If you have any other partnership ideas or know of funding sources, please let me know.Everglades Tour:
LWVFL is sponsoring a tour of the Everglades the weekend of January 28. More information can be found here.
If you would like to help hostess the event, please contact Kathleen Slebodnik.
Sisters Across the Straits Trips to Cuba
: Annie Betancourt, LWVF Board Member, announced six trips to Cuba in 2012. Although the number of attendees per trip is limited, priority will be given to local League board members. LWVF will also be opening the trips to the national LWV board and, later on, local League members from across the country. But, Florida members have first priority. Let Annie Betancourt (click here
) know if you are interested. Trips will run in March, April, May, September, October and November.
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|2012 General Meeting Schedule|
Save the dates!
February 7 new dates -- the FIRST TUESDAY OF THE MONTH
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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.