March 2011 - Volume 36, Issue 6
In This Issue
General Meeting
President's Letter
Government Committee
Justice Committee
Social Policy Committee
Membership Committee
Climate Change Committee
News from the National League
News from the State League
2011 General Meeting Schedule
About Us
Month at a Glance

Click a link for details


3/1 - New Member Coffee

3035 Mona Lisa Blvd. Naples 

9:30 - 11 AM   


3/2 - Board Meeting
Olde Cypress Clubhouse
9 AM

3/3 - Climate Change Committee
North Collier Government Center
10 - 11:30 AM

3/9 - Social Policy Committee

Jona Cafe

8 - 9 AM


3/11 - New Member Tea  

3035 Mona Lisa Blvd. Naples

2 - 3:30 PM 


3/14 -
General Meeting Hilton Hotel
11:45 AM

3/21 -  Justice Committee
North Collier Government Center

9:30 AM

Members and guests are welcome at all meetings!
TopGeneral Meeting - March 14, 2011  Panel for March program

The Government Committee has arranged a panel featuring the three university educators pictured above.  They will discuss the status of civic awareness, interest, and involvement by both the young and the older electorate. Q & A will follow.


Time:             11:45 AM Registration     

                      Noon Lunch (optional)


Place:             Naples Hilton, 5111 Tamiami Trail North 

                      Click here for directions

Lunch Cost :   $20 for League members
                       $25 for all others

Reservations:  Reserve by March 10.


Click here to reserve online, or call 239-263-4656 and mail a check, made payable to LWVCC Education Fund, to P.O. Box 9883, Naples, FL  34104-9883. Please indicate your lunch choice: hanger steak or fruit plate.

No refunds for cancellations made after March 10.

We thank the following members who renewed at the  

Susan B. Anthony ($100) level:

Karen Clegg

Sandy Diamond  

Bethann Kassman


President's Message
Lydia Galton 

Lydia GaltonOur last two General Meetings have been robust:  in January, our ever-resourceful Social Policy Chair Ann Campbell arranged for Dr. Allen Weiss to address us on the future of healthcare and the many changes that we will all encounter;  in February, Bernice Schmelz, Chairman of the Justice Committee, asked penetrating questions of government officials who deal with girls in conflict with the law.  Bernice's meticulous preparation created a stimulating and insightful dialogue.  We are fortunate to have such dedicated members.

We have two cars full of folks going to Legislative Seminar and Convention in Tallahassee this month, but there is always room for more.   The registration fee includes a dinner on the 22nd floor of the Capitol with Ellen Freiden of Fair Districts, Florida; a gala celebration in the Senate of the "old" Capitol, lunch with our state lobbyist, Ben Wilcox; and a barbecue at the League House.  So join us.  It will be stimulating and fun and you will be able to help shape LWVF program and elect the state board.

At our annual meeting in April we will be voting on our local programs for next year.  Your input is critical to the success of our committees' programs.  If there is a local study you feel we should conduct, please contact a board member.  If you would like to join the board, please contact Vi Steffan.  We are in need of thoughtful board members who want the League  to be successful and influential in our community.

If you don't have time for a board position, consider becoming our representative to the business community.  We are seeking underwriters for our meetings.  If you know any company that would be willing to contribute $250.00 to sponsor one of our meetings, please don't hesitate to ask them.  We will give them ample exposure and public gratitude.  Or, perhaps you would like to do so yourself. Mounting programs with the appropriate audio/visual aids that our modern world requires is expensive.  We need to keep the lunches as economical as possible, so please help us by seeking underwriters in the community.

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Government Committee
Tom McCann, Chair

Tom McCann formal

The Lunch With Leaders program was launched this year with County Commissioner Fred Coyle and followed up with Naples Chamber of Commerce President Mike Reagan. Both events were informative and candid, giving the League attendees an interesting set of perspectives on the County issues.   On February 18, we had an informative lunch with County Commissioner Jim Coletta, and we are scheduled to meet with  County Manager Leo Ochs on March 4 and County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk on April 13.


The Government Committee has arranged an interesting program for the March 14 General Meeting.  The subject will be the status of civic awareness, interest, and involvement by young people and the older electorate. A fine panel has been arranged composed of Florida Gulf Coast University Public Affairs Department Chair Dr. Terry Busson, joined by his fellow professor and former Naples City Manager Dr. Robert Lee.  The third panelist will be Dr. Jeff Allbritten, President of the Collier Campus of Edison State College.


Please plan to join us on March 14 and join in the discussion on a topic at the center of the League's mission.

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JusticeJustice Committee
Bernice Schmelz, Chair 

Bernice SchmelzWhat happens during the first 48 hours after a female juvenile in Collier County is arrested?  To answer the question, we have invited Dennis Hannay, Juvenile Probation Officer Supervisor for the Collier Screening and Intake Unit, Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), to be our speaker.  Join us on Monday, March 21 at 9:30 AM to learn more about the juvenile justice process in Collier County, specifically intake and assessment processes; how decisions are made to keep juveniles in secure detention or release them; what happens during their first court appearance; and what, if any, special tools or strategies are used in assessing young females.  We've also asked Mr. Hannay to provide data about Collier girls who come in conflict with the law.

The meeting will be in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive.  Please RSVP to Bernice by March 17 if you plan to attend. All are welcome. 

Linda Hyde will chair a meeting of the Girls in Conflict with the Law study committee at Calistoga Bakery Cafe, 7941 Airport-Pulling Road (Vanderbilt and Airport), following the Justice Committee meeting.

Coming Attractions - April 18 - 9:30 AM.  Cpl. John Wohlbrandt, Collier County Sheriff's Office Juvenile Court Liaison, will be our speaker followed by a visit to the Youth Resource Center.  Location of the meeting to be announced. 


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SocialPolSocial Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Chair 

Our next committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 8 AM atAnn Campbell 2009 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. In a switch from our health care focus, we have invited a representative from Literacy Volunteers of Collier County to tell us about their work with adults from all over the globe who need to learn English in order to improve their lives.  Volunteers are trained to teach illiterate or non-English-speaking adults to speak, understand, read and write English. Talk about making a difference!

Please contact Ann Campbell at or call 239-263-1755 to reserve a place. All LWVCC members are always welcome. Guests are welcome, too.  


At our February committee meeting Paul Mitchell, MD, spoke to us about advance care Medicare consultation, a segment of the federal health reform act that has been a political hot topic. We had a very interesting discussion about end-of-life care planning, health care proxies and palliative care. Dr. Mitchell is Medical Director and VP of Physician Relations at Avow Hospice and Director of Palliative Care at NCH Healthcare System.  Sandy Parker wrote an excellent and informative summary of our discussion with Dr. Mitchell in her blog, "So what do you think about that?"  If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, contact Sandy at  Her blog is health-care oriented.


MemberMembership Committee
Sandy Parker, Chair

Sandy Parker Sept 2010Welcome New MembersThis month we welcome Betsy Cole, Andrea Marsh, Becky Newell, Deanna Pearlmutter and Laurie Cowan Phillips to our League.  We also welcome back Steve Weisberg.  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.

New to the League, or returning after some time away?  This month there are two opportunities for you to meet other new members as well as League Board members and Committee Chairs.  Come get to know us!  Attend a New Member Coffee on Tuesday, March 1, from 9:30 - 11 AM, or a New Member Tea on Thursday, March 11, from 2 - 3:30 PM, both at my home in North Naples.  All are welcome, just please let me know you are coming.  Email me at or call 239-513-1595 for directions.

In addition to those renewing members we recognized last month, we acknowledge with gratitude Karen Clegg, Sandy Diamond and Bethann Kassman, who renewed their membership at the Susan B. Anthony ($100) level of membership.   Their additional contributions provide much-needed support for our League activities.

If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contacMen Can Join, Toot 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 or call 239-263-4656 and leave the new information on the answering machine. 
 Climate Change Committee
Linda Denning, Chair  

Did you know that the parent company of Florida Power and Light Company has changed its name to NextEra Energy, Inc.?  Clean energy is the energy of the Linda Denning Headshotfuture, and Kate Donofrio, Governmental Account Manager for Florida Power and Light, will be our guest speaker at the March 3rd meeting of our Climate Change Committee. Ms. Donofrio will discuss the progress being made towards producing and using clean energy in Florida.  She will also discuss related government policies that help or hinder that progress.   


We continue to study a subject that cannot be ignored, and to seek ways that the League can make a positive difference within the guidelines of our national position. 


Please join us and feel free to invite your friends to our meeting on Thursday, March 3, at the North Collier (Orange Blossom) Government Center, from 10 - 11:30 AM.

News from the National League
Ann Campbell

In recent weeks the National League:

  •  Announced the LWVUS Legislative Priorities adopted by the Board for 2011: Clean Air Defense; Health Care Defense; Money in Elections (campaign finance reform); and Voter Registration and Election Administration. On the Legislative Watch List are: CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women); Climate Change; Ethics; Immigration; and Safe Drilling and Mining ("Fracking"). The watch list allows action if an opportunity arises on these issues, it does not interfere with action on an advocacy priority, and it appears we can make an impact.

  • Fought to protect the public financing system by sending a letter to the House and joining a coalition to urge Senators to oppose legislation to repeal presidential public financing and support modernization legislation instead.
  • Reported on plans to co-host the Annual Sunshine Week National Dialogue on Friday, March 18, Noon to 1:30 PM in a live broadcast via the web, entitled "The Road Forward on Open Government."  Panelists will take questions from both live and viewing audiences.  The event partner can be visited at

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

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News from the State League
Lydia Galton   
  • The Florida League is monitoring efforts  that are aimed at keeping Amendments 5 & 6 from being enforced.  Deirdre Macnab, State President, said:  "We call on Florida's leadership to follow the will of the voters and not their own self interest in protecting their reelection."  By recalling the amendments from the Justice Department review, Deirdre continues,  "Governor Scott sent a clear message to voters in Florida with this action--that he knows better than voters, and is in no rush to heed their mandate."  Fair Districts, NAACP, and ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the State.
  • Governor Scott has rejected  $2.4 billion in federal funds, along with matching funds from the private sector, for a high-speed rail project to connect Orlando and Tampa.  The League supports multi-modal transportation projects for a sustainable future.   Florida's Legislature, in a show of bi-partisanship, is supportive of high-speed rail and was working toward a process of enabling private companies to invest the remaining funds.  Write your representative and insist that this situation be remedied.
  • This week the Senate filed a TABOR bill, SJR 958, a constitutional amendment, strongly supported by Senate President Mike Haridopolos.   The League opposes TABOR  (Taxpayer Bill of Rights), a highly restrictive tax and expenditure limitation.  TABOR was tried in Colorado, but  in November 2005 Colorado citizens voted to suspend the TABOR formula to stanch the deluge of harmful budget cuts. The decline in services in most major areas, including K-12 education, higher education, public health, and Medicaid, from the time of adoption of TABOR until suspension of its formula, provides lessons for any state considering adoption of a TABOR.
2011 General Meeting Schedule
Save the dates!

March 14 - Civic Awareness, Interest, and Involvement by Young and Old

April 11 - Hot Topic on Climate Change

May - Date and topic to be announced

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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 for our current list of officers, directors and off-board members, our Program, Diversity Policy, Nonpartisan Policy, By-laws, Minutes, and more.