Monterey Peninsula
Volume 69 Issue 1
Monterey Peninsula Branch
Sept./Oct. 2021

Calendar of Coming Events

Saturday, September 11, 2:00 PM - September Branch Meeting. Tech Trek fundraiser/ice cream social. Presentation by some of the girls who attended the virtual Tech Trek this year. Home of Maureen Vieth.

Saturday, October 16, 2:00 PM - October Branch Meeting. Rachel Saunders, Director of Conservation, Big Sur Land Trust, will describe a new park, recreational facility and wetlands project in Salinas. Held at Oak Newton Park, "New" Monterey.

Sunday, October 31 - Happy Halloween!

Dear Members, below are the goals established by the program committee this year. Each program will be tied to these goals, with the exception of the December holiday party and the spring Art Event. We welcome all members' suggestions for future programs.
2021-2022 GOALS

Purpose:  To be better informed about equity in our community and move toward improving the status of everyone within our community.

Concept: Understand issues associated with equity in relation to:
  • Climate and Environmental Justice
  • Social and Financial Equity
  • Neighborhood and Housing Safety

  • Most meetings this year will focus on the issues stated above.
  • Presentations will be central to the Monterey Peninsula.
  • Local groups working in the area of equity will present the issues and work being done in specific areas addressed.

Programs Planned:
  • September – Tech Trek Fundraiser with campers
  • October – Climate Justice
  • November – Long range plans for community equity
  • December - Holiday party
  • January - AAUW Funds, scholarship recipients
  • February - IBC (Inter Branch Council) meeting/luncheon, hosted by Santa Cruz this year (topic unknown)
  • March – Financial equity
  • April – Neighborhood health and safety issues
  • May – Social AAUW Member Art Display, Cocktails/Appetizers

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Program VPs

Tech Trek Ice Cream Social

Date: Saturday, September 11
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Location: Maureen Vieth's home, 25320 Boots Road, Monterey
(Click here for map.) Look for the balloons, and see Note below!

Fully vaccinated members and guests are invited to meet in person, outside, at Maureen Vieth’s lovely home on Saturday, September 11, for our annual Tech Trek fundraiser. We will request funds to send more local girls to summer 2022 STEM camp. Our vaccinated campers will visit with us during part of the meeting to show us their Wearable Tech Robotics Hats built during their week in our Virtual Camp.
Our Tech Trek committee will be serving up ice cream and toppings/fruit in a safe way. Wear sunscreen and bring a hat and a mask. RSVP to Pat Fletcher at [email protected] by Thursday, September 9. Also let Pat know if you can provide any tables and folding chairs. She will work with you to get them there.
Note: Maureen shares a driveway with #25340, up a hill, with a neighbor. Her #25320 sign is on a rock on the right side of the driveway. Her house is the one on the right. Park beyond the drive, on Boots Rd. For those who need it, the shared driveway can hold several cars; contact Maureen to reserve a spot (831 264-3658). If you need a ride up the drive from Boots Road, text Pat (408-373-5800) when you arrive and wait at the bottom of the drive.
If the Covid situation changes so we cannot meet in person, we will use Zoom. You can meet the girls on the call and/or via a video they each created at the end of their camp. We would alert you via email (or a phone call if you have no email.) Also, anyone can view the short videos made by most of our girls at:
Donation checks, made out to ‘AAUW CA – SPF’, can be sent to Pat Fletcher, 6 Overlook Pl., Monterey, CA 93940. Please put ‘Tech Trek’ in the Memo line.

More about the Tech Trek Virtual Camp:
After a year hiatus due to COVID 19, Tech Trek California successfully held three five-day Virtual Tech Trek camps over the summer. More than 600 rising 8th grade girls attended via Zoom, including the 14 (!!!) that we sponsored locally, funded by your generous donations and our 2019 grant from The Yellow Brick Road Benefit Shop in Carmel. We also provided seven virtual coaches from our branch (teen former Tech-Trekkers or members). Girls reported that they learned more about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) careers, were inspired to stay on track for future STEM careers, and HAD FUN too!

Girls and coaches each received a kit of materials to allow them to do projects at home, teaching a variety of STEM areas, including robotics, coding, chemistry, mechanical engineering and more. They also listened to a daily inspirational speaker talk about her STEM career. We heard great comments from the campers and coaches about the experience.
Pat Fletcher, AAUW Monterey Peninsula Branch Tech Trek Director
Big Sur Land Trust's
Carr Lake Project
Date: Saturday, October 16
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Oak Newton Park, Monterey (Click here for map.)
Parking: Oak Street, along northeast border of park. Access from Prescott Street, turn south on Oak toward DLI.
Speaker: Rachel Saunders, Director of Conservation for BSLT

Come join us in a quiet neighborhood park in New Monterey to learn about a new park, recreational facility and wetlands project in Salinas, presented by Rachel Saunders. She will tell us about the vision for the project and the work accomplished already for this dream park in Salinas that has been decades long in becoming a reality. Rachel has more than 30 years experience promoting conservation of Central California's coastal and marine environments through science, policy, communications and community engagement. Big Sur Land Trust believes that healthy lands mean healthy people and healthy communities. This park is meant to strengthen the neighborhood and to provide equal access for everyone to natural, open space in the center of Salinas.

Maureen Vieth and Karen Hall, Program VPs

It is great to be back for a new year of programs and activities. We hope you had a safe and fun-filled summer and look forward to seeing you IN PERSON this year. We invite you to make it your goal to attend as many programs as possible so you can reconnect with old friends, welcome new friends and see our work in action. Although our goal is to meet in-person whenever appropriate, we will continue to follow local and State COVID guidelines, as well as direction from AAUW, and adjust if necessary.

Meet Girls You Helped

Thanks to your enthusiasm and generosity, our Branch sponsors two programs (Tech Trek and Local Scholarships) that support our vision for equity for all women and girls through intellectual growth and positive change in our community. Your donation matters; your pay-off is knowing you've made a significant difference in the lives of the recipients.

  • Tech Trek continues to provide a summer math/science camp for girls entering eighth grade, an opportunity to explore science and math-based careers at a pivotal time in their lives. Join us for our September program to meet this summer's campers.
  • Our Local Scholarship Program has awarded over 170 scholarships since its inception in 1952. Before we merged a few years ago, the Salinas Branch had given out an additional 71, for a grand total of over 241 college students helped. Take a look at this year’s eight scholars from CSUMB, Monterey Peninsula College, and Hartnell College at

Please consider a donation to one or both programs so we can keep up our investment in equity for women. Information on how to donate is at the end of this newsletter.

Spread the Word, Invite a Friend

A primary goal this fiscal year is to increase our Branch membership. We need your help. If we each try to recruit one new member, we can continue to thrive as an organization. If you invite someone to a program meeting or gathering and that person joins the Branch as a result of this attendance, that year the individual only pays 1/2 the regular cost of National dues plus state and local dues. In this case 1/2 of $62 (national) = $31 + $36 (state and local) = $67.00 instead of $98.00. Contact one of our VPs of Membership for more information.

Board Protects Your Privacy

This summer, our Board learned that AAUW shares members' information with outside organizations they believe might have something interesting to offer. New members can opt-out of promotional emails as part of their membership application. After that, a member has to contact AAUW to opt-out. To better protect your privacy, the Board voted unanimously to request that AAUW opt-out our Branch members from promotional emails from outside AAUW. Members who want to receive these promotional emails may opt-in by contacting AAUW at [email protected] and ask to be added to their distribution list. If you are interested in the services and benefits offered by the third-party vendors, you may visit the AAUW website at These services and benefits are available to you whether you opt-in or not.

If you have comments or suggestions, please share them with any Board member. Contact information is in the Board roster at

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents
Board Members, 2021 - 2022
Elected Officers

  • Fatima Dias
  • Joanne Webster
Co-Membership VPs:
  • Debbie Hobbs
  • Ardith Peck
  • Nancy Soulé
  • Susan Mar
Appointed Directors

  • Maureen Vieth
  • Karen Hall
AAUW Funds:
  • Gabriele Simbriger-Williams
Local Scholarships:
  • Noelle Hetz
  • Maggie Pedersen
Public Policy:
  • Marilyn Erickson
Tech Trek:
  • Pat Fletcher
  • Caryl Rojas

Remember to vote in the Special Election, held September 14. Most people will vote by mail. You should have received your ballot by now. Polling stations will be open if you prefer to vote in person. Read the issues and vote your conscience!
When Marie Curie Needed Radium

Read about how AAUW helped Marie Curie.

Marilyn Erickson, Public Policy Chair
Great Decisions

Starting in late January, the Great Decisions group will meet to discuss current, controversial topics based on a booklet written by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA). Participants meet for eight consecutive weeks and take turns presenting the topics. The weekly meeting day and time is TBD. We will meet either in person or virtually depending upon AAUW guidelines with regard to the status of the pandemic in January. If we are able to meet in person, all participants must be vaccinated. Enrollment is now open. The last day to enroll is Oct. 18th. The cost of the booklet is approximately $24.00.

Contact Maggie Pedersen at [email protected] or 713-206-6507 if you are interested in joining this enlightening activity!

Do you provide professional services such as consulting, finance, legal, or marketing that you'd like to share with other members? Do you have a business selling products such as jewelry, artwork, clothing, or quilts?

As a member benefit, we are holding a "Member Marketplace" for members who wish to advertise their services or products in our November/December issue of The Messenger. If you'd like to be included, all you have to do is submit a business card-size ad that contains a brief description of the services or products you provide along with your company name (if you have one), your name and contact information.

Send your ad to [email protected] no later than October 11, 2021.
Morning Books
(via Zoom)
Mon., Sept. 20, 10 AM
Anxious People
by Frederick Bachman
Leader: Maggie Pedersen

Mon., Oct. 18, 10 AM
The Splendid & the Vile
by Erik Larson
Leader: Susan Murphy

Kathy Poulson
Joy of Reading Books
(via Zoom)
Tues., Sept. 14, 2 PM
All the Little Live Things
by Wallace Stegner
Leader: Linda Keill

Tues., Oct. 12, 2 PM
The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books
by Azar Nafisi
Leader: Cyndy Hodges

Joanne Webster
Evening Books
(in homes)
Tues., Sept. 21, 7 PM
The Night Watchman
by Louise Erdrich
Leader: Kathleen Wall
Host: Miriam Lilley

Tues, Oct. 19, 7 PM
The Lemon Tree
by Sandy Tolan
Leader: Mary Conway
Host: Fatima Dias

Miriam Lilley

As you read this, those who attended our picnic on Saturday, August 21, will have received the latest version of our branch directory. For those unable to attend the picnic, Ardith and Debbie will be distributing copies of the directory at the upcoming September 11 Tech Trek fundraiser.

Debbie Hobbs and Ardith Peck, Membership Vice-Presidents
AAUW is aware of the need for protecting the information of our members. Therefore membership directory information about new members and changes for current members will not be shown in the newsletter. Instead, we will tell you their names and encourage 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. This work being done by volunteers, those updates may not be immediately available, but will be done as soon as possible. - Editor
Directory Updates

Anne Albano:
spelling of street name

Helene C'DeBaca:
email address

Paula Higgins:
address, phone

Jeanne Krener:
email address

Ruth McMaster:
email address

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

Anna Faith

Ramona Kimbrough

Janelle LaFond

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 Bios

Anna Faith
Anna has an MS in Psychology from University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Poland and is working on an MBA in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics at Brandman University, Monterey campus, where she is now Academic Advisor. Her interests are education, diversity, equity and inclusion, mentorship and training; hiking, camping, travelling, volunteering, conservation and environment. She recently did a TedX talk, which you may watch here.

Ramona Kimbrough
Ramona is happy to be a new member, and is looking forward to joining "such a vibrant group of women!" She received her BA in English and her Elementary Credential from California State University Stanislaus. She taught in Modesto until retirement. Special interests include music, gardening, performing arts, antiques, and enjoying time with her son and his family. She recently relocated to Pacific Grove and loves it here!

Janelle LaFond
Janelle worked over 25 years in universities and colleges, primarily as a career counselor and instructor. Her degrees are in Psychology, Counseling, and Organizational Behavior, from Cal State, Northridge and Seattle University. She is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law paralegal program and has an associates degree in Library Science from Cuesta College. She has been assistant director of MBA Career Development and director of Career Planning Resources. She has sung with the Monterey Peninsula Voices choir.
August Picnic

In case you had the misfortune to miss our traditional August picnic in the park, here is a picture from that enjoyable event. Board members were introduced and directories were distributed, but non-traditional covid precautions dictated spacing and each person bringing their own food. Hopefully next year we can return to that traditional potluck.
Board Meetings
(via Zoom)

Sept. 2 at 3:30 PM

Oct. 7 at 3:30 PM




Nov./Dec. Messenger

Please email articles for the Nov./Dec. newsletter to
Caryl Rojas by Oct. 15.

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