Monterey Peninsula
Volume 69 Issue 4
Monterey Peninsula Branch
March-April 2022

Calendar of Coming Events

Saturday, March 12, 2:00 PM - March Branch Meeting. Story of an Immigrant. Hear Anna Faith's story of moving to America from Ukraine.

Saturday, April 30, 2:00 PM - April Branch Meeting. Family Friendly Support Programs at CSUMB. Held at Whispering Pines Park, Monterey, unless public health guidelines for Covid preclude it.

Thursday, May 12, 11:30 PM - May Branch Meeting. Rancho Cielo lunch and tour. Reservations required by May 4. Election of new board.

Sunday, June 5, 4:00 - 6:00 PM - June Branch Meeting. Art and Local Scholarship. Bringing together AAUW members, featuring those who are artists, to share an evening of wine and appetizers.
My Story; a Story of an Immigrant

Date: Saturday, March 12
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Speaker: Anna Faith

Please join us for a first-hand look at what it is like to be an immigrant in the United States. Anna Faith is one of our newer members to the Monterey Peninsula Branch, and fairly new to this country too. Anna was born and grew up in Ukraine, and she got her college education in Poland. She moved to the United States in 2016. Anna will tell us of the challenges that she faces in trying to become a part of American society without losing her multicultural identity.

To Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 835 8027 2856
Passcode: 950728
One tap mobile
+16699009128,,83580272856#,,,,*950728# US (San Jose)

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Programs

Family Friendly Support Programs Helping Parents Succeed at CSUMB

Date: Saturday, April 30
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Whispering Pines Park, Pacific Street, Monterey, unless county public health guidelines preclude it.
  • Ashley Ramsden, Basic Needs Coordinator
  • Bianca Estrada, CSUMB Basic Needs Initiative-MSW Intern and Family Friendly @ CSUMB-Founding Member
  • Julia Ramirez, Family Friendly @ CSUMB-Member

The presenters will inform us about current initiatives to support family friendly education at CSUMB. Tess Kenny, a journalist for the Monterey Herald, wrote about the programs in early December 2021. The programs currently operative to assist students to succeed in their education include diaper-changing tables on campus, lactation room on campus for new Mothers, a peer mentor position at the Transfer Student Success Center designed for parenting students and a library study room identified as a family friendly space.

This program fits with our 2021-2022 program theme of equity, i.e. Equity in support programs for students who are parenting and attempting to complete a college education at CSUMB.

Mary Conway - Program Committee
May Branch Meeting

CHANGE IN ROUTINE: Our May meeting will be held at 11:30 am on THURSDAY, May 12, at Rancho Cielo.

Reservations and payment of $35 will be required by May 4, sent to Maureen Vieth at 25320 Boots Road, Monterey, CA 93940. Holding your spot can be done by email ([email protected]) or by phone, 831 264-3658. We need a minimum of 20 participants so friends and guests are invited; this would be a wonderful event to encourage a new member.
We will be given a tour of the facility by the new CEO, Chris Devers, and newly selected Deputy Director, Nicole Irigoyen. Then we will have a short AAUW meeting, including voting on the new board, followed by a delicious Italian luncheon prepared by students at the Drummond Academy. 

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Programs

As we move into Spring, we are excited to see some in-person events on the horizon and thankful for the energy our members, new and established, bring to our branch. We’re grateful for the members who’ve accepted a nomination to the board and eager to find some committee members for Programs and Memberships. Your investment in our branch and on our mission to advance gender equity for women and girls is inspiring.

Over the past few years it’s been suggested that our branch apply to AAUW’s Five-Star National Recognition Program for affiliates that align their work with the AAUW Strategic Plan and initiatives that further our mission. Branches can apply to be recognized at three, four or five star levels. Stars are earned in the areas of:

·        Advancement
·        Public Policy and Research
·        Governance and Sustainability
·        Programs
·        Communications and External Relations.
Click here to learn more details about the program.

Your board discussed the program and believes we qualify for recognition in at least two to three areas based on our performance during July 2021 through June 2022... although we do have some areas for improvement.

For example, under Advancement, we do a great job of retaining members and recruiting new ones. Thank you! But we don’t have a legacy society -nor are we currently considering one- and we need to increase our contributions to the Greatest Need Fund so it equals $30 per member. Many members made contributions at the January meeting but we don’t have the final numbers yet.

Our work in Public Policy and Programs is stellar. Branch Programs are focused on the mission and our Communications vehicles are informative and well utilized.

Future goals include incorporating a meeting with a member of Congress or the Governor’s office. We’ve conducted these in years past, so achievable as part of our advocacy work.

In the area of Governance, we’re exploring how to incorporate a diversity officer to lead diversity, equity and inclusion planning on behalf of the branch.

The board would love to know what you think or if you have a suggestion on how we can satisfy one of the missing requirements. Please check out the Five-Star Recognition Program (here) and share your thoughts with one of our board members. 

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents

Our new AAUW Monterey Peninsula Officers for 2022-2024 will be voted on at our May meeting by a majority of those present. We will vote on President, Membership Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Other nominations may be made from the floor with permission of the nominee. The following women have agreed to be nominated to lead our branch forward for the next two years, starting July 1, 2022:
Co-Presidents :

Co-VPs Membership:

Fatima Dias
Joanne Webster
Julie Smith
Anne Albano
Pat Fletcher
Debbie Hobbs
Maureen Vieth
The following positions are appointed by the Board. These members have agreed to serve, if appointed.
Tech Trek:
Local Scholarships:

Public Policy:

AAUW Fund:
Sharyn Siebert
Kathy Greenwald
Maggie Pedersen
Marilyn Erickson
Anna Faith
Deborah Stern
Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
Caryl Rojas
Thank you for working on the mission to promote societal change in our community and to further improve women’s places in society through study, action and public policy advocacy. Special thanks to Pat Fletcher and Debbie Hobbs for serving on the Nominating Committee.

We are also looking for volunteers to serve on either the Membership or Programs Committee. If you are interested, please contact Joanne Webster at [email protected] or Fatima Dias at [email protected].

Marilyn Erickson, Nominating Committee Chair
Links from February IBC Zoom Meeting

On February 26, the Monterey Peninsula and Santa Cruz AAUW branches joined to hear astrophysicist Dr. Dara Norman speak on DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). If you missed it or wish to re-watch it, here are the link and the password:

Password: aauw022622

In addition, here are two links as additional resources for those interested in Dr. Norman's field of expertise.

Book: The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words
Includes a piece by Dr. Dara Norman

American Astronomical Society's Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy:
Tech Trek Making a Difference

Olivia Pearman, one of our 2017 Tech Trek campers, excitedly informed us recently that she has been admitted to Cornell University in the fall to study Environmental Engineering. She explains that Tech Trek was pivotal in her developing an interest in a STEM career:
“… An important long-term impact of Tech Trek was an expanded understanding of the vast range of careers and areas of study within STEM. During camp, I was inspired by the accomplished lecturers and workshop coaches from a variety of STEM fields. They introduced new topics to me and demonstrated the societal impacts of their work, which helped me keep an open mind to new areas of study I had not previously considered…. My exposure to these new topics influenced me to take more STEM-related advanced classes and electives in high school. Tech Trek emphasized conservation and ecology, which piqued my interest in the environmental science class at school.”
Olivia will again be a Tech Trek junior counselor this summer where she will continue to inspire other girls to prepare for STEM careers. Congratulations, Olivia, on your well-earned accomplishments! And congratulations, as well, on being the first female Eagle Scout in Monterey County!
Middle Schools are currently nominating girls for our 2022 Tech Trek Camp. We are still waiting to see if there will be an in-person camp, but there will definitely at least be a virtual camp.
Pat Fletcher, AAUW MPB Tech Trek Director
Call for Art

The Local Scholarship Committee is hosting a fundraiser on June 5, 4:00-6:00. Kenya Burton, poet laureate of Salinas and an AAUW MPB Local Scholarship recipient from 2020, will be there to recite a poem as well as two other past recipients. In addition we will be having an art show displaying AAUW members' art. If you would like to participate in the art show, please contact Noelle Hetz or Maggie Pedersen. Hope to see you there!

Noelle Hetz and Maggie Pedersen, Co-Chairs, Local Scholarships

Equal Pay Day is March 15. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. (In other words, women are being paid about 80% of what a man makes for the same job.) AAUW is working toward Fair Pay and Fair Gender issues nationwide and in California. 

Lobby Week is April 11-15. I hope many of you have signed up for the opportunity to speak to our California representatives via Zoom or in person, if you wish. If you signed up by February 28, you will be assigned a script and a representative, and you will have registered for the mandatory training webinar on April 7 that explains how meetings will be conducted and the details on bills we are supporting.

Marilyn Erickson, Public Policy Chair
Did You Lose Something?

If you left a shawl at the Holiday Party, please contact Pat Fletcher ([email protected]) to arrange to get it back. 

Would you like to help support the Local Scholarship Program by volunteering as a poll worker for the 2022 Primary and General elections?

·        Tuesday, June 7th: Primary Election
·        Tuesday, November 8th: General Election

Volunteering at the polls is an educational and satisfying way to contribute to your community and our democracy. Raising money for AAUW local scholarships doubles the rewards from the time you spend. Poll workers receive a small stipend from the Monterey County Elections Office for volunteering. Members who volunteer donate the stipend they receive to the Local Scholarship Program.

Volunteers will work in shifts and you will have the opportunity to request the shift you would like. Volunteers are also required to attend a 2 1/2 hour training program. Safety procedures will be in place.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Tama Olver at [email protected] as soon as possible. Thank you.
Morning Books
(via Zoom)
Mon., March 21, 10 AM
The Last Thing He Told Me
A Novel by Laura Dave
Leader: Kathy Poulson

Mon., April 18, 10 AM
The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett
Leader: Gladys Cohn

Kathy Poulson
Joy of Reading Books
(via Zoom)
Tues., March 8, 2 PM
The Forest of Vanishing Stars
by Kristin Harmel
Leader: Debbie Hobbs

Tues., April 12, 2 PM
The Samurai's Garden
by Gail Tsukiyama
Leader: Joanne Webster

Nancy Soulé
Evening Books
(in homes)
Tues., March 15, 7 PM
The Blood of Flowers
by Anita Amirreavani
Leader: Pat Fletcher
Host: Mary Conway

Tues, April 19, 7 PM
Fair Game
by Valerie Plame Wilson
Leader: Lucy Campen
Host: Diane Kremer

Miriam Lilley
Mah Jongg Anyone?

We are looking for people interested in playing Mah Jongg, both experienced players and those who would like to learn the game. We would like to get a game together on Mondays with perhaps two tables - one for more experienced players and one for beginners. If you are interested, please contact Elaine Taylor at [email protected].
Hiking Group

Hikes/walks for March and April are as follows:

March 2 - Mission Trail with Susan Murphy
March 16 - Historic Homes, Monterey with Nancy Soulé
April 6 - Marks Ranch with Donna Foote
April 20 - Fort Ord Dunes State Park with Ardith Peck
On April 13 there will be a hike planning meeting at Susan Murphy’s at 11 AM.

If you would like to be included in the Hiking Group emails, please contact
Chris Parmentier at (408) 427-2740 or [email protected], or
Ardith Peck at (831) 214-9314 or [email protected].

Chris Parmentier and Ardith Peck, Co-ordinators
The hiking group did the Pacific Grove Art Loop, stopping at the otter statue.
They also went to the Butterfly House in Pacific Grove.
Dear Fellow Branch Members,

I am writing to you to let you know about exciting upcoming events at the AAUW California level. I am also running for another two-year term on this state board, to finish creating a toolkit for branches to help with recruiting and retaining members of all demographics.

In working with branches around the state, I have noticed how well our branch does. However, many of you have not participated in past state events, even though they have been virtual—hence no cost. I hope you signed up for LOBBY WEEK, in April this year. You get to meet state legislators to promote bills AAUW CA supports furthering our goal of equity for women and girls. We are well known in Sacramento, and we support an advocate to lobby for these bills.

I urge you to attend the virtual Annual Event on Saturday, April 30. There is no cost, and you can do this in your jammies. Nationally known speakers will be presenting, including our new national director, Gloria Blackwell. There will be breakout rooms during one portion with interesting discussions opened to all. Lots of other enticing options will be part of this dynamic happening. Further information about these events can be found on the AAUW California website,

You who are part of AAUW have found an organization that meets with your goals of promoting equity for women and girls, one in which you can also have fun, and where you didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to do so. As we are part of a statewide, as well as a national association—plan to take advantage of that connection with these exciting opportunities.

Sharyn Siebert, AAUW-CA Board, AAUW-MPB member
AAUW Membership Dues Increase

In order to meet budget demands, national dues will increase next fiscal year by $5.00; state and branch dues will remain the same.  Paying your dues, however, has never been easier.  Renewing your membership can be done easily online by responding to the email members will receive on or after April 20 from [email protected].  The correct dues for your membership type will be shown and you can pay by credit card directly for your national, state and branch dues.  Honorary 50-year life members and some newer members have already paid for the 2022-23 membership, so they will not receive an invoice email. We kindly ask that members renew by May 15 to save our membership team extra follow-up work.  Further information on renewing will come by an eblast in mid-April.

Members without email addresses will receive their renewal notice via mail.

Debbie Hobbs and Ardith Peck, Membership Vice-Presidents
To protect the information of our members, membership directory information about new members and changes for current members will not be shown in the newsletter. Instead, we will list their names, for you to go to the password-protected online directory (see the third column below) to see what is new, allowing you to make changes in your printed directory. - Editor
Directory Updates

Ruth Muldoon
New address

Elaine Taylor
New address

If there are errors or changes in your directory listing, please tell us so corrections can be made. - Editor
New Members

Arlene Coffman

Online Directory

The password to our password-protected online directory on our website in the Member Center is on the second page of your pink membership directory. (If you cannot find it, call Debbie Hobbs, 408-234-2436.) This is where all of our members' contact information is readily accessible.
New Member Bio

Arlene Coffman

Arlene grew up on a farm in northeast Iowa. She attended State University of Iowa in Iowa City, graduating in accounting. She married Vance and they moved to Seattle, Washington, later returning to Iowa State University in Ames, where Vance completed his bachelor degree and she worked for the Atomic Energy Commission. They moved to California and she worked for Shell Oil Company in Menlo Park in their data center. After starting a family, she worked part time for a civil engineering firm in Palo Alto. Next, they moved to Saratoga and she started her own small bookkeeping business. After both daughters were in school she worked at a CPA firm in San Jose and volunteered for various organizations. In 1992 they moved to Westlake Village and she retired. She joined the AAUW branch there and enjoyed many activities, particularly the book group. In 1995 they moved to Potomac, Maryland, for 10 years until her husband's retirement. They moved to Reno while building their permanent home in Pebble Beach where they now reside. She enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, playing golf, and volunteering at church. She looks forward to joining one of the book groups.
Board Meetings
(via Zoom)

March 3 at 4:00 PM

April 7 at 3:30 PM




May/June Messenger

Please email articles for the May/June newsletter to
Caryl Rojas by April 15.
Qualified Charitable Distributions

If you are subject to the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA account, you may be able to reduce your taxable income by making Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) directly from your IRA to qualified charities. Below is brief information from the IRS. Contact your tax or investment advisor for more details. The AAUW Fund, the Branch Local Scholarship Program, and Tech Trek are eligible to receive QCDs.

What is a qualified charitable distribution?

Generally, a qualified charitable distribution is an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA) owned by an individual who is age 70½ or over that is paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity. See Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) for additional information.


If you paid the full $98 AAUW yearly dues, $59 of that is tax deductible. In addition, any donations to our charitable funds will be tax deductible for a tax year if paid by December 31st of that year and if you itemize deductions. Note that a donation to any of these three areas can also be made in honor or in memory of a friend or family member.

More information and a donation form (optional) may be found at this link to our website. If making a donation directly from an IRA as a qualified charitable donation (QCD), consult your tax advisor or for further information.
Tech Trek

Make check payable to "AAUW-CA SPF"
with Tech Trek in the memo line.
Send to Pat Fletcher
6 Overlook Place Monterey, CA 93940-4106

Make check payable to "AAUW"
with AAUW Fund in the memo line.
Send your check to Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
880 Newton Street Monterey, CA 93940-1210
or donate at, including your member ID for credit to our branch.
Local Scholarships

Make check payable to "AAUW-MPB Local Scholarships".
Send your check to
Jeanne Krener
25180 Pine Hills Drive Carmel, CA 93923-8965
Newsletter Schedule

Newsletters are published around the 1st of the months of September, November, January, March and May. There will be short "eblasts", containing reminders or special announcements. If you do not receive a newsletter, please contact me so we can fix the problem.

Please note that newsletter content will relate only to AAUW and branch matters, a policy of AAUW National.

Caryl Rojas
Newsletter Editor
(831) 899-9141