October 2012- Volume 38, Issue 1


In This Issue
November Meeting
Monthly Meetings
President's Message
Consensus Meeting
Amendment Forum
Voter Service
Social Policy Committee
Climate Change Committee
Membership Committee
Book Club
Justice Committee
News from National
News from State League
Opportunity for Involvement
Amendment 8 Forum/ Demonstration
About Us
Month at a Glance
Candidate Forum featuring Candidates for Commissioner in
Districts 1 & 5 and
 Candidates for Sheriff 
Oct 3, 5:30 pm 
Board of County Commissioner Chambers  
Climate Change Committee
Oct 4, 9:15 to 11:45 am
CC Government Center Community Room
Orange Blossom Road

Consensus Meeting
School Referendum
Oct. 8, 1-3:00 pm
Leadership Room
Chamber Building 
General Meeting
Oct 12, 11:45 am-1:30 pm 
Naples Hilton Hotel 
5111 Tamiami Trail N.

Amendments Forum
Oct 16, 5:30-7:00 pm  
North Naples United
Methodist Church
6000 Goodlette Road
October 12, 2012 General Meeting
Tax Reform Issues
Tiffany SmithTiffany Smith  (click here for her biography) is currently the Tax Counsel for Chairman Max Baucus' staff of the U. S. Senate Committee on Finance. She handles tax issues relating to tax exempt organizations and individuals, including estate and gift tax, alternative minimum tax, and education tax incentives. Ms. Smith's topic will be "Taxmageddon" and the tax reforms proposed by members of the Senate Finance Committee.    
When:   October 12, 2012
Registration for lunch - 11:45 am
Lunch promptly at noon
Program - 12:30 pm
General Meeting - 1:30 pm
Where: Hilton Hotel  GET DIRECTIONS
Menu: Vegetarian Nicoise Entree Salad, Non-Vegetarian Add Choice of Albacore Tuna or Chicken. 
Cost: lunch: $25.00 per person, members and guests
Program only: no charge
Reservations:  Click here or call (239) 263-4656 or contact our Hospitality Chair at pfrerick@embarqmail.com

Please make your check payable to:LWVCC Education Fund

November 13th General Meeting   Water Issues on the Paradise Coast:
What We Need to Know

Jennifer Hecker
The Climate Change Committee is sponsoring this important
meeting that will feature  Jennifer Hecker (click here for her biography), the well known and highly respected Director of Natural Resources Policy at the Conservancy of SW Florida, Inc.

Monthly Meetings
Please note that monthly meetings will be held at the Hilton Hotel of Naples EITHER the 1st or 2nd Tuesday of the month. Due to speaker's schedule,  the meeting will be held on another day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (Annual Meeting)


Registration  at 11:45 am. 

The fee for members and guests is $25.00 for lunch. There is no fee if you attend  the program only.  

presidentsmessagePresident's Message 
Vi Steffan, President

Vi Steffan

The elections continued to hold our attention throughout the summer. The League held forums in June for Constitutional Officers and Collier County Board of Commissioners candidates. In June, we staffed a table at Politics in the Park at St John The Evangelist Catholic Church. We will continue to provide the information to Collier County voters that they need to shape their community. 


Candidate forums are being planned for October in a number of races, as well as a  forum on the amendments on October 16 (see below). The LWVFL positions on the 2012 amendments can be viewed  at: http://thefloridavoter.org/. 


I'm becoming acquainted with LWVCC, the LWVFL and LWVUS by attending events, such as the Florida Legislative Summit, the Florida State Council, and the National Convention. I attended the two-day LWVUS Membership & Leadership Development Training, a program established to enrich the democracy-building efforts of this 90+ year-old grassroots organization. The training is implemented through local leagues in 50 states with the support of volunteer national and state coaching teams. Training includes techniques for empowering citizens to have a voice in elections, heightening League visibility, and developing skills for rising community leaders. Together, the Board and I will use the training to grow our chapter and develop future League leaders. 


The upcoming season promises to provide members with monthly programs and committee meetings that are challenging and thoughtful. We look forward to hearing from Tiffany P. Smith, Tax Counsel, US Senate Committee on Finance, at our October 12 luncheon meeting and I look forward to working with all of you during the year. 


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Consensus Meeting

We will hold a consensus meeting for League members on Monday, October 8 from 1-3 pm to discuss whether to endorse the Tax Neutral School Flexible Funding Referendum that will be on the November 6 general election ballot. The meeting will be held in the Leadership Collier Foundation room in the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Building at 2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 210.


Becky Newell, who is chairing the Yes Again For Our Kids political committee that is advocating in favor of the referendum, will be on hand to answer questions. The discussion will address arguments both in favor of and against the referendum.


Detailed information about the referendum and about the school district's budget will be distributed to all members for review by email prior to the event. All members are encouraged to attend and to actively participate in the discussion.

Constitutional Amendment Forum
Date/Time:  October 16, 2012, 5:30-7:00 pm

Place: North Naples United Methodist Church
6000 Goodlette-Frank Road (in the Sanctuary)

Sponsors:  League of Women Voters of Collier County, Collier Community Alliance, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Naples Daily News

Premise:  Present the information necessary to make an informed decision based on facts on the many legislature-sponsored amendments on the ballot.

Moderator:  Jeff Lyttle, Naples Daily News Editorial Page Editor

Participants:  Dudley Goodlette, former Representative to the Florida House; Howard Simon, President of ACLU, FL; Jim Towey, President of Ave Maria; Char Wendell, President of Planned Parenthood; Patrick Neale, real estate attorney; Jeff Fridkin, attorney and "Lion of the Law"; Ken Ginsberg, Hodges University;  Carolyn Johnson of Vote Yes on Amendment 4; Dr. Jaine Carter,  expert on human behavioral skills; Andrew Dickman, attorney and professor at Ave Maria; Chuck Mohlke, demographer.

Needed: League members to act as greeters, hosts, distribute programs, etc.  Please call or email Lydia Galton
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Voter Service
Joyce Fletcher, Chair  

Thank you to our members who assisted with the June Candidate Forums and Politics in the Park. Both were great successes, but would not have been without your help.


We all thank Chris Straton and our hearty poll workers who worked the primary at the League's adopted polling site. You make the League of Collier County shine! This work adds many needed dollars to our Education Fund.


Now we move on the General Election season:


Candidate Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, beginning at 5:30 for Candidates for Commission Districts 1 & 5, and Sheriff.  It will be held in the Board of County Commissioners Chambers. As usual it will be on Comcast Channel 97 and replayed by Collier County government.  We certainly hope that many LWVCC members will try to attend and any who would like to volunteer should contact me.


There will be an Amendments Forum on October 16 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, as mentioned above.  The eleven amendments that are on the ballot require careful study and consideration, so plan to attend and to help. 


If you know of a group that would like a presentation on the 11 Constitutional amendments that are on the ballot, we will also have several members in our Speaker's Bureau to handle as many of these requests as possible. Please have the groups contact either Joyce Fletcher  or Kathleen Slebodnik.


SocialPolicyCommitteeSocial Policy Committee

Ann Campbell, Chair  


Ann Campbell 2009


Please save the date for our first Social Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. The topic and speaker and location for the meeting will be announced in the November VOTER. All League members are invited, and guests are always welcome. 


Date/time: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8 am

Place: TBD

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ClimateChangeCommitteeClimate Change Committee
Susan Calkins and Eileen Mann, co-Chairs  

Submitted by Susan Calkins 


Susan Calkins  

Climate Change is a League issue at both the national and local levels (www.lwv.org/member-resources/climate-change).  The Committee is co-chaired by Susan Calkins and Eileen Mann. Many thanks to Linda Denning - our previous chair -for her great work. Stay tuned for the November 13th general LWVCC meeting: "Water Issues on the Paradise Coast: What Do We Need to Know?" 


In June, I attended a two-day conference, "Risk and Response: Sea Level Rise Summit on the Future of Florida and the Coast". The conference provided a wealth of information and resources. Sea level is rising due to (1) warming (volume increases as temperature increases) and (2) ice melts. Sea level rise is accelerating, but with regional variations (the northeast coast is seeing more rapid acceleration than the southeast coast of U.S., for example).  Did you know that:

  • South Florida (the Keys) has been measuring sea level since 1880 --- longer than any other place in the U.S.?  
  • measurements in Charlotte Harbor indicate an 8-inch rise in sea level over the last 50 years? 
  • 107 cities in FL have more than 50% of their populations living below 4 feet above sea level?
  • one-third of the nation's population lives below 4 feet above sea level?  


Interested in tracking the risk of flooding for your zip code? Go to www.climatecentral.org"Sea level rise is a "now" problem, not a future one." (Dr. Leonard Berry, Director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University) 


The Committee met in May and June. Members are interested in becoming better informed/ advocates for things "green" (i.e., reducing our carbon footprint). For example, what does it mean to be a certified "green" lodging - and what Naples hotels qualify?  How can we make meetings and events more "sustainable?"  What area restaurants serve locally grown and organic foods? What area developers are known for their "green" building practices?  Do our current building codes provide incentives - or barriers - to going green?  Please come to the October Climate Change meeting as we plan the activities which will address these and related questions!!


Date/time of future meetings: 1st Thursday of the month, 9:15 am -11:45 am (October 4, November 1, December 6, February 7, March 7, April 4 and May 2)

Place: Collier County Government Center, Orange Blossom Road, Community Room 


MembershipCommitteeMembership Committee
Becky Newell, Chair 

Becky Newell


It has been a busy summer for membership with the League of Women Voters of Collier County! Since April, we've added 11 new members. Please join me in welcoming them:

At the Susan B Anthony level:   Joanne Wyss 


At the Suffragist level: Jean Candy, Anne Russell Foster, Myra Williams, Robin Birnhak, Judith Cleverly, Donna Kerr, Katherine Parrish, Christine Sutherland, Bruce Ramsay, Carolyn Willis (a returning member - welcome back!


Thank you to the existing members who have talked with others about the important work we do, and attracted so many new members! 


To request more information about joining the League, email me at membership@lwvcolliercounty.org or call me at (239) 290-2260. 

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BookBook Club
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair

C. Nycklemoe


Rebuilding Justice,  authored by R.Kourlis and D.Olin, is our selected reading for the next meeting.  Kourlis is a former justice of the Colorado Supreme Court and is presently the executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.  Olin is a legal affairs journalist who serves as editor and publisher of the Corporate Responsibility Magazine.


The authors claim our country's courts are in danger. In her forward, Sandra Day O'Connor states "This book should be of interest to individuals committed specifically to the health of the courts and, more broadly, to the health of our democratic system."


Please join us as Nancy Wolfe leads what promises to be an invigorating dialogue as we explore what's working and what's not working in our legal system.


Date/time: Thursday, November 15 at 2:15 pm 

Place: Calistoga Cafe, Airport Pulling 


If you are interested in joining the Book Club, call me (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at drchargar@yahoo.com.


Book Justice Committee
Charlotte Nycklemoe, Chair

As the League season begins, I am looking forward to chairing the Justice Committee.


We will be studying our court system, and asking a fundamental question: Has the public trust in the system eroded?  Our committee believes the answer is a resounding, "YES."  I am pleased to announce that the speaker at our first meeting will be Michele Hill, attorney-at-law and former Collier County prosecutor.  I have asked Michele to speak to three points of interest:

    - a brief overview of the Florida State system

    - the process of a lawsuit

    - Stand Your Ground Law

In addition, we will be receiving updates from standing committees:

    Juvenile Justice Council

    Youth Resource Center

    CC Coalition Against Human Trafficking

    Drug Free Collier

    Pace Center Collier at Immokalee

    Juvenile Detention Center Advisory Committee

    Rights Restoration Coalition

    Legislative Report


Please join us as we tackle a season of wonderful learning and we all get "Smart"!


Date/time: Monday, November 5 at 9:30 a.m.

Place: North Collier Government Center, Community Room 


If you are interested in joining the Justice Committee, call me (239) 455-2261 or cell (612) 669-3309, or email me at drchargar@yahoo.com.


 iNews from the National League

Ann Campbell


Over the summer months the National League:

  • Welcomed the landmark Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stating, "Health care for all must be the goal as we expand coverage to millions of Americans and preserve the ACA's transformational reforms".
  • Committed to tackle campaign finance reform following the disappointing Supreme Court decision to re-affirm its ruling in Citizens United, saying that the ruling reflected "The view that against all history, evidence and rational experience, unlimited campaign spending by third parties has no corrupting influence on representative democracy". According to LWVUS President, Elisabeth MacNamara, "The impact of money in politics is poorly understood by average voters. Leagues across the country have a vital role to play in educating communities about the threat that unlimited spending imposes". Also disappointing to the League was the failure of the U.S. Senate to allow full debate on the DISCLOSE Act. The League has renewed its commitment to continue the fight for complete disclosure of spending on big-money advertising in candidate elections.
  • Announced a new LWVUS position on Sentencing Policy arrived at by delegates to Convention 2012 through concurrence with the LWV/District of Columbia's position on the subject: "The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime. The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses".
  • Supported the efforts of State Leagues that continue to take the lead in advocating for voting rights across the country, noting the work of Leagues in Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin in fighting voter suppression legislation in their states. 
  • Proposed a new study to update the LWVUS Agriculture position which was originally approved in 1988. Delegates to Convention 2012 called for a review that will investigate genetic modification, consolidation in the food industry, money in the regulatory process, and the consumer's right to accurate and comprehensive food labeling. Specifics of the proposed study will be forthcoming later in 2012.

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


News from State League

The LWVFL has been hard at work this summer with the elections. They have developed and produced the following:

  • Over one million copies of the Voter Guide. They have been sent to all who requested copies.
  • Training sessions for Voter Registration, including a class and a test 
  • Amendment materials in several formats listed below made available to Leagues statewide, to voters and to organizations, downloadable or upon request:  
  • Continuing the fight in the Courts on voter suppression legislation, with wins as to third party registration efforts and early voter hours. 
  • Encouraging forums and speaker bureaus throughout the State, making State staffers available for information, advise and support.

All this in addition to holding their annual Legislative Session, LWV Florida Council and providing support and attendees to the National LWV biannual National Convention.


Opportunity for Involvement/ Help Wanted! 

These positions offer the opportunity to become involved with the League, to meet interesting people, and work on interesting issues. Your League needs you. By becoming involved, both LWVCC and you win!!! [Some computer skill is required.] 

  • Government Chair: monitor the local government; provide support to chairs of Voter Services, Lunch with Leaders, Hot Topics as well as to Board members. 
  • Public Relations /Communications/ (Board): Support Voter Editor, Constant Contact Editor in production of publications and promoting events with the media, and Website Editor; write and/or review League press releases.
Please contact Vi Steffan at 239-596-0929, or email Vi Steffan

Amendment 8 Public Forum & Demonstration


The Coalition of Progressive Religious Voices, ACLU-FL and Americans United are sponsoring a forum on Amendment 8 on Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 7:00 pm at the Naples United Church of Christ, 5200 Crayton Road, Naples, FL. The moderator will be Sasha Rethati, Host & Producer of "Sound off with Sasha" on Public Broadcasting. The Speakers are: Howard Simon, ACLU-FL Executive Director; Rev. Lyn Plumb, Interim Pastor, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples; John Lynch, President, Americans United for the Separation of Church & State, Naples Chapter; and Linda McDonald, Chair of Collier TIGER. The event is free and open to the public. For questions contact, email Kim Slote.

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.