Monterey Peninsula
Volume 70 Issue 1
Monterey Peninsula Branch
Sept./Oct. 2022

Calendar of Coming Events

Wednesday, September 7 - Hike, Elkhorn Slough - See Hiking Group

Sunday, September 11, 3:00 - 4:30 PM - AAUW CA Town Hall (virtual)

Wednesday, September 21 - Hike, Moss Landing - See Hiking Group

Saturday, September 24, 2:00 - 4:00 PM - Sept. Branch Meeting. Tech Trek Fundraiser. Meet campers and parents. Location: 2807 14th Ave., Carmel

Friday, September 30, 10 AM - Romancing the Coast tours the Monterey Regional Waste Management Facility. See Romancing the Coast.

Wednesday, October 5 - Hike, Santa Lucia Preserve - See Hiking Group

Saturday, October 8, 10:30 AM - New Member Welcome. See Membership.

Saturday, October 15, 2:00 - 4:00 PM - Oct. Branch Meeting. Speaker Michelle Welsh, Professor of Constitutional Law. Topic: the Dobbs Case. Location Monterey College of Law, 100 Col. Durham Street, Seaside.

Wednesday, October 12 - Hiking Group Planning Meeting Luncheon

Wednesday, October 19 - Hike, TBA

Friday, October 28, 11:30 AM - Romancing the Coast has lunch at Woody's at the Monterey Regional Airport. See Romancing the Coast.

Saturday, November 5, 2:00 - 4:00 PM - Nov. Branch Meeting. Topic: Female Veterans. Speaker and Location TBA.

Saturday, December 10, 3:00 - 5:00 PM - Branch Holiday Party at home of Pat Fletcher.

February 25, 2023 - IBC (Inter Branch Council) Meeting, held jointly with Santa Cruz Branch
Annual Tech Trek Fundraiser

Date: Saturday, September 24
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Location: 2807 14th Avenue, Carmel (Click here for a map.)

The Tech Trek program traditionally has sent girls who will be entering 8th grade to a one-week STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) summer camp on a university campus. With the advent of COVID, that program became a virtual camp experience. Fortunately, this year Tech Trek was able to resume on-campus camps! The Monterey Peninsula branch sent six girls to residential camps and two girls participated in the virtual camps. (AAUW CA has decided to offer the virtual camp option this year and going forward.) Come hear our Tech Trekkers share their exciting, inspiring camp experiences.

It's tea time on the Peninsula so tea & cookies will be offered. Please RSVP to [email protected] by September 20.

Tax-deductible donations to Tech Trek may be made payable to "AAUW-CA SPF"
with "Tech Trek, Monterey Peninsula" in the memo line.

Sharyn Siebert, MPB Tech Trek Director

Roe is Overruled! What Does It Mean for Women & Our Constitution?

Date: Saturday, October 15
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM (social time 1:30 - 2:00)
Location: Monterey College of Law, 100 Col. Durham Street, Seaside
There will be a $5.00 charge to cover use of the room. (Click here for a map.)
Speaker: Michelle Welsh, Constitutional Law Professor, Monterey College of Law

Shocked by the recent Dobbs decision overturning Roe? Want to know its potential impact on other fundamental rights for women? Wonder how states may react to further limit or to protect a woman's right to reproductive care?
Join us to hear a leading local Constitutional Law Professor Michelle Welsh explain the legal reasoning that led to SCOTUS’ reversing Roe v. Wade after 50 years of what seemed to be established law. We'll discuss what Dobbs means to our "right to privacy", the possible implications for the LGBTQ+ community, and for all of our fundamental rights. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and time to share our reactions and questions about this momentous decision.

Please RSVP by October 1 to Barbara Zappas at [email protected].

Deborah Stern & Barbara Zappas, Programs

Welcome to a new year for AAUW! We have a new board that is prepared to deliver the things you value in AAUW: Leadership in the fight for gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy; Impact through our scholarships and Tech Trek sponsorships; Fellowship and Engagement through our programs and activities such as book clubs, hiking and Romancing the Coast.
We will continue to champion diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in our branch. Our goal is to create an environment where we can appreciate our many differences and understand how these varied experiences contribute to AAUW’s success. We invite you to review this presentation, which explores the many dimensions of diversity. It’s an eye opener.
Upcoming programs will explore the implications of the overturning of Roe, women in the military and much more. Our advocacy in Sacramento and Washington in support of gender equity remains a priority.

Another goal is to revive and strengthen our relationships with local colleges, including re-establishment of college chapters. Before the pandemic, we facilitated WorkSmart workshops to help graduates and other job seekers better negotiate salaries and benefits. We had great feedback and plan to do more.

As always, we invite you to get involved in our activities and initiatives. Tell us what you’d like to see, to do, to support, as a member of AAUW-MPB. Attend our programs, participate in our activities and bring a friend. We look forward to seeing you in person!

Fatima Dias and Joanne Webster, Co-Presidents
Branch Leaders for 2022 - 2023
Elected Board

Fatima Dias
Joanne Webster
Membership VPs:
Anne Albano
Julie Smith
Pat Fletcher
Debbie Hobbs
Maureen Vieth
Appointed Directors

Deborah Stern
AAUW Funds:
Gabriele Simbriger-
Local Scholarships:
Kathy Greenwald
Maggie Pedersen
Public Policy & Diversity:
Marilyn Erickson
Tech Trek:
Sharyn Siebert
Caryl Rojas
Activity Leaders

AM - Kathy Poulson
Joy - Nancy Soulé
PM - Miriam Lilley
Great Decisions:
Maggie Pedersen
Chris Parmentier
Ardith Peck
Romancing the Coast:
Carol Young

This is definitely a Good News/Bad News summer. The Good News is that the massive Climate and the Health and the Safety in Communities bills were passed. The Bad News is that the Supreme Court, with the Dobbs Decision, threw the right for a woman to determine how to use her own body, back to each state to decide.

I met with Seamus McKeon, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA. 20th District) on June 28th. I talked about AAUW’s Legislative Priorities which include a woman’s right to choose, climate change issues, Title IX, gun control and gender equity/Fair Pay issues. The point of the meeting was to express what AAUW is working for and to confirm Congressman Panetta’s support that our goals were aligned with his goals. We want to work together.

Congressman Panetta is fighting to ensure women have equal rights. This includes defending a woman’s right to choose, protecting access to health care, strengthening policies that make workplaces safer for all, and supporting legislation that combats domestic violence and abuse. Jimmy is a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus and is a proud sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to guarantee that women are paid the same as a man for the same work.

Our midterm elections are in November and I encourage you to learn about the issues and the people running for office, and VOTE!

Become a Two-Minute Activist

If you subscribe to the AAUW Action Network as a Two-Minute Activist, you will receive urgent e-mail notices when your advocacy is needed most. AAUW National will provide all the tools you need to call or send messages to your members of Congress, write letters to the editor in your local newspapers, contact your state legislators about pressing issues, and more. Last year, our supporters sent federal and state legislators over 200,000 messages! With your help, our Action Network can continue to boost AAUW's influence on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the nation. Check out the Two-Minute Activist page, where you can take action on AAUW's priority issues today with the click of a button.

Marilyn Erickson, Public Policy & Diversity Chair
Morning Books
(via Zoom)
Mon., Sept. 19, 10 AM
Love is the Best Medicine
by Nicholas Trout
Leader: Lois Carroll

Mon., Oct. 17, 10 AM
Lincoln Highway
by Amor Towles
Leader: Margaret Smith

Kathy Poulson
Joy of Reading Books
(in homes)
Tues., Sept. 13, 2 PM
The Barbizon- The Hotel that Set Women Free
by Paulina Bren
Host: LaVerne Whitmill at Carmel Valley Manor

Tues., Oct. 11, 2 PM
Vanderbilt: The Rise & Fall of an American Dynasty
by Katherine Howe & Anderson Cooper
Host: Julie Smith

Nancy Soulé
Evening Books
(in homes)
Tues., Sept. 20, 7 PM
The Paper Palace
by Miranda Heller
Host: Mary Conway
Leader: Barbara Zappas

Tues, Oct. 18, 7 PM
The Huntress
by Kate Quinn
Host: Pat Fletcher
Leader: Donna Foote

Miriam Lilley
New Book Group Forming

Nancy Soulé would like to organize a Thursday book group and is looking for enthusiastic readers who enjoy a variety of books to meet monthly beginning in January of 2023.  If you have not yet had a chance to join a group, this could be for you. Contact Nancy at [email protected] if you are interested.
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 Thursday at 2pm. We will meet either in person or virtually depending upon AAUW guidelines with regard to the status of the pandemic in January, and the consensus of the group. If we are able to meet in person, all participants must be vaccinated and boosted. Enrollment is now open. The last day to enroll is Oct. 31st. The cost of the booklet and materials is approximately $26.00.

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

Maggie Pedersen, Coordinator
Hiking Group

Here are the September and October hikes. Contact the leaders (see the printed directory) if you have any questions.

September 7 - Elkhorn Slough with leader Gilda Montesino. We will walk the South Marsh Loop to Hummingbird Island, returning via Five Fingers Loop, totaling 3 - 3.5 miles on low rolling hills and marshlands. If you enjoy birds, bring your binoculars. Meet at the Visitors Center at 10 AM. Carpoolers, meet at California Pizza Kitchen at 9:15; the drive takes about 30 minutes.
Location: 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA 95039. Map from CPK - click here.
Please RSVP to Gilda Montesino at [email protected]

September 21 - Moss Landing with leader Ardith Peck

October 5 - The gated Santa Lucia Preserve with leader Fatima Dias. Meet at 8:55 AM at the Starbucks at the Crossroads to carpool. Docents will provide an interpretive walk focused on Native American use of plants and way of life. We must all have a signed waiver to participate. They usually do school tours so ignore inapplicable questions. Please download and complete the waiver you'll find here:

October 12 - Hiking Group Planning Meeting Luncheon.

October 19 - TBD

Chris Parmentier & Ardith Peck, Coordinators
Romancing the Coast

“Romancing the Coast” meets monthly to explore places of interest, mostly within the county but also farther afield.

Friday, September 30, 10 AM
Tour Monterey Regional Waste Management Facility
14201 Del Monte Blvd, Marina

Ever wonder what happens to all those things you put in the Blue Bin on trash day? Or what's going on with food recycling? Join us for a tour of the Monterey Regional Waste Management facilities. We will tour the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and learn more about the new food scrap composting law. Although the pace will be slow, the tour requires walking and the facility has many stairways.
If there's anything in particular you'd like covered, let Fatima know by Sept. 24.
Contact: Fatima Dias

Friday, October 28, 11:30 AM
Lunch at Woody's, Monterey Regional Airport

Get ready to take off to the airport for some fine dining at Woody’s, our locals' go-to restaurant. We shall meet at Woody’s downstairs in the Monterey Regional Airport for a delicious lunch and talk by Mr. Tim Wood himself. Lunch meals will be selected by Chef Wood to include such items as a special soup, salad, maybe fish. The price point is $30.00 cash payment which will include tip and tax. Drinks beyond iced tea and coffee will be paid by each individual.
New to the branch? We would love to have you join us. A hearty welcome will be yours, to get to know our group. Please RSVP to Julie Smith by Oct. 14 at [email protected] or 831-500-1785

Carol Young, Coordinator
Romancing the Coast at Elkhorn Slough

The Elkhorn Slough boat tour and lunch on June 24 was enjoyed by Carol Young, Diana Godwin, Joanne Webster, Julie Smith and Chris Parmentier.

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

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

Add Sandra Nesheim
See online directory

New Members

Judith Giordano (Judi)
See printed directory

Mary Housel
See printed directory

Bonnie Lockwood
See online directory

Gilda Montesino
See printed directory

Frances Muir (Fran)
See online directory

Mardi Taubert
See printed directory

Returning Members

Stephanie Langley
See printed directory

Kay Morris
See printed directory
Online Directory

The password to our password-protected online directory on our website in the Member Center is on the second page of your yellow membership directory. (If you cannot find it, call Julie Smith or Anne Albano.) This is where all of our members' contact information is readily accessible.
New Member Bios

Judi Giordano

Judi graduated from Long Island University with an MS in Counseling Psychology.

Mary Housel

Mary is a dual member, also affiliated with Santa Maria Branch. She has an MS in Library Science from University of Kentucky and a Master of Public Administration from CSU Long Beach. She retired after over 40 years in libraries, culminating as Library Director of the Santa Maria Public Library. Her interests include reading, playing piano, bird watching, walking/hiking, cooking, travel and gardening. She and her husband, an NPS professor, moved to Monterey in 2001, where she has worked at some time in most of the libraries on the peninsula.

Bonnie Lockwood

Bonnie received her BA from University of San Francisco. She works part time as legal assistant doing research, editing, and management. Management has been in the forefront of multiple careers. For fun, she practices yoga, plays golf and walks on this beautiful peninsula.

Gilda Montesino

Gilda graduated from Stanford University with a BSIE degree. She spent her career in Silicon Valley, first as an engineer, then in technical talent acquisition. She is a traveler, kayaker, and geek. She lives with a loud and affectionate pound hound and is always looking forward to the next travel adventure.

Fran Muir

Fran graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B. of Ed. degree. She received a Special Ed. Credential from UC Stanislaus. She retired from teaching in elementary school and moved to Monterey in 2017. She enjoys travel, books, gardening, exercise, friendships and family.

Mardi Taubert

Mardi is a dual member, also affiliated with the Madera Branch. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Urban Studies and a minor in history. She has an
MS in Educational Environmental Studies from CSU Hayward. Her teaching credential is from CSU Stanislaus. Her interests are reading, gardening and crafting of any sorts. She has 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren to spoil. She calls herself an AAUW "brat", attending meetings with her mother, helping with the fundraisers, and going to graduate school on an AAUW scholarship that paid ALL her tuition and books.
New Member Welcome - Hold the Date!

New Member Welcome will be held Saturday, October 8th at 10:30 a.m. in the garden at the home of Nancy Soulé - 504 Larkin Street in Monterey.
Whether you are a new member, a prospective member or just want to learn more about the interesting activities and programs that our Monterey Peninsula branch offers, please mark your calendar to attend the New Member WelcomeCome make new friends! Bring a friend! We look forward to meeting you!

To RSVP and obtain exact directions, please contact Nancy Soulé at [email protected]. Please let her know if you would like to carpool.  If you have other membership questions, contact Membership co-chairs: Anne Albano at [email protected] or Julie Smith at [email protected]

Anne Albano & Julie Smith, Membership Co-Vice Presidents
The August picnic included some new members.

AAUW California Town Hall Meeting

AAUW California will hold a virtual town hall where you can see and hear our state leaders share their enthusiastic plans to support branches and members this year. You should have received an email about it, but in case it got lost in your Inbox, here is the information.

  • Date: Sunday, September 11
  • Time: 3 - 4:30 pm
  • Registration is required: Register HERE.
Board Meetings
(via Zoom)

Sept. 1 at 3:30 PM
Oct. 6 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 $103 AAUW yearly dues, $64 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, Monterey Peninsula" in the
memo line.
Send to Sharyn Siebert
P.O. Box 1584
Carmel, CA 93921-1584

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