LWV Logo 


July 2016


In This Issue
Like us on Facebook

LWV Events 
Sun, Jul 31
LWVAC Candidate Primary Forum
 Downtown Library Meeting Room A, 4th Floor
     1:15-4:30 p.m.   

Save The Date
Thu, Sep 22 
LWVAC Fall Luncheon
Gainesville Golf & Country Club


Community  Events 
 of Interest
Sat, Aug 27
Friends of Susan B. Anthony Luncheon
Best Western
 NW 39th Ave

Leadership Team
Pres: Sue Legg
VP: Janet Allen    
Secretary:Arlene Brummer 
Treasurer:  Karen Seabury
Elected Directors:
Diane Dimperio
Barbara Glass
Gail Sasnett-Stauffer
Wes Wheeler   

Oak Hammock Unit:
The Village Unit:
Colby Lowe

Katy Burnett

Citizenship Ceremonies: Mary White

Barbara Glass

Dues Treasurer & Roster Manager:
Carole Fernandez

Jean Robinson

Billie Staff

Health Care:
Diane Dimperio

Hot Topics:
Mitzi Austin &
Harvey Goldstein

Katy Burnett

Local Issues:
Sue Hatch

Kathy Kidder &
Mary Monahan

Natural Resources:
Julia ReisKind

Social & Criminal Justice: Bennett Brummer

Speakers Bureau:
Donna Waller

Unit Coordinator:
Rosalie Bandyopadhyay

Voter Service:   
Gail Sasnett-Stauffer  
Update contact information or obtain a current membership directory:   
Quick Links
Our local League website

Florida League website

LWV US website
LWV Education Blog
President's Message
Sue Legg
The LWVUS Board has a new look and a new feel! Incoming LWVUS President Chris Carson brings energy and a vision for adapting the League to meet the upheavals our country faces. Chris taught American history and government in California and was heavily involved in the League's redistricting and voter service issues.

I read Chris' inaugural speech at convention, and I was struck by the similarities between her vision for needed changes and our own. She said:

"At the local level, Leagues are centers of community, education, and activism...However, in the future we will find different ways to make this process happen. Some members will prefer to meet in a library, others over a latte at the trendy coffee place, some of us at a happy hour or a wine bar.   But we also must find ways to engage individual members who want to be a part of our work, but who don't have the time to attend regular meetings..."

"Now, in the twenty-first century, people use technology to engage in public life differently. They may not have the time to attend scheduled meetings or events, but that does not mean we cannot engage them."

At our local board retreat on June 18th, we also grappled with 'new' strategies to expand our reach and engage our membership. While we will continue to focus on traditional activities like our candidate forums and Voter Guides, we will also:
  • reformulate our voter education efforts to better utilize new media.
  • launch a Local Issues committee.
  • extend our reach into the community to help make our membership more diverse, and
  • find more ways for busy people to not only engage in the serious work of the League but also to build relationships through some serious fun! 

BIG Month Ahead for Voter Services!!!
Come to Learn: Volunteer to help
By Gail Sasnett

Our Primary Candidate Forum is scheduled for July 31 beginning at 1:15 p.m. at the Downtown Headquarters Library in Room A, upstairs on the 4th floor. Six panels are scheduled between 1:15 and 4:30, for the following offices:
  • Sheriff,  1:30 - 1:55
  • Supervisor of Elections, 2:00 - 2:30
  • County Commission District 1, 2:35 - 3:00 
  • County Commission District 3, 3:05 - 3:30
  • School Board District 2, 3:35 - 4:00
  • Florida State House District 21, 4:05 - 4:35
We need lots of help to put this together! If you are willing to volunteer we need:
  • timekeepers,
  • moderators 
  • general helpers, for pre- and post-event set up/take down (chairs and refreshments)
Please email Gail Sasnett ( gsasnett@yahoo.com ). 
Voting Registration
Beyond  the Candidate Forum, we will be focusing on voter registration with several drives during July. One must be registered to vote in the State of Florida 29 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote. Party changes must be made 29 days prior to a Primary election. August 1 is the deadline for the August 30 election. 

If you are willing to help with registering voters at various times during the next month, contact Angie Choate at fbchoate@gmail.com for more information. 

You must complete training prior to registering voters.

Thank you so much for your assistance! It takes all of us!

Noteworthy August 30, 2016
     Primary Election Dates  
Last date to register                                                Aug 1
Last date to change party affiliation                        Aug 1
Pre-requested vote-by-mail ballots                         Aug 2
Early voting at designated sites                              Aug 19-27
Latest safe date to mail a vote-by-mail ballot         Aug 25
Precinct polls will be open 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM       Aug 30
Visit  votealachua.com for more information. 

Natural Resources Committee Report
By Julia Reiskind 
Jim Gross, a licensed professional geologist,made a presentation at our June meeting entitled "Up and Down the Floridan Aquifer".  He is a former employee of the St. Johns River Water Management District and was in charge of the District's long-term regional water supply planning program.  He is currently the Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment, and is also an adjunct Professor of Geology at Santa Fe College.

He began by defining an aquifer: a body of rock that is permeable to water (ground water). The Floridan aquifer is a regional system of layers of permeable rock that stretches south from South Carolina into southern Florida. Water flowing into the aquifer is recharge; water removed is discharge. Jim described 1) the current status of our groundwater supplies (how much we are withdrawing, and what happens environmentally when we pump groundwater),  and 2) how withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer essentially come at the expense of discharge to natural systems on land (e.g. discharge to springs, rivers, lakes, wetlands).  

Prior to the onset of groundwater withdrawals in the 1880s, essentially all flow through the Floridan aquifer discharged to natural systems.  Studies by the USGS showed that by 1980 17% of the discharge from the Floridan aquifer was due to groundwater pumping with 31% occurring in the central Florida region. More recent studies by the USGS showed that groundwater pumping now represents approximately 50% of the discharge from the Floridan aquifer in central Florida.  Minimum flows and levels that have been established in Florida commonly indicate that significant harm occurs when flows to natural systems are decreased by 15%.  Population growth projections for Florida suggest that withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer as a whole could rise by 35 to 40% by 2040 unless the state makes a commitment to protect its fresh groundwater supplies.  Jim believes that Florida needs to be doing better water resources planning by placing limits on withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer.
In other news:  The state League's solar co-op program is moving forward. Funds are in place to hire a director and applicants are being sought. The Director will aid local Leagues to convene groups interested in forming a solar co-op, will provide information about solar and will help find an installer with competitive prices. The state League is hoping to be able to help local Leagues defray some of the costs of convening meetings. Our League has submitted a request for proposal to participate in the program; Wes Wheeler has agreed to serve as local Chair of the program. In the fall the committee would like to invite Mary Diboye of the Central Florida Solar Advocates to speak at a League Forum. Mary has started two solar co-ops in Orange County and has helped the state League initiate its program.
I hope that all of you read the League article on the two proposed solar amendments in the June 5th SUN. Amendment 4 is on the August primary ballot and if approved will provide tax-exempt status for solar for commercial properties. Amendment 1 is on the November ballot, and if that is approved will basically codify the monopoly status of the utility companies. The state Board voted to approve Amendment 4, but to oppose Amendment 1.

Other Natural Resouces news: Nancy Deren has been watching the Gainesville City Commission's request from RTS to change its fleet to CNG (compressed natural gas).  Although our committee has not weighed in on this issue, we need to think about the consequences. We will present more on this when we have more information.
Next year's study will continue to be on hydrological issues with a focus on the consequences of the proposed phosphate mining in Bradford and Union counties and the Sabal Trail pipeline, and potential changes to our county's comprehensive plan.
Introducing the LWVAC Newest Committee and Its Chair:
 Local Issues' Sue Hatch
By Sue Hatch 
Although national issues receive great press, often the issues that have the greatest impact on local voters are those in our own backyard. For example, the Plum Creek/Weyerhaeuser land development plan is a critical ecological/economic growth issue that will be back in play with the upcoming county commission election. Similarly, the new or expanded routes proposed to ease traffic concerns on I-75 will likely impact our county in significant ways in the near future. Likewise, UF's plan to knit together the long-term growth of the university and the city of Gainesville will significantly affect the growth of Gainesville.  This process is already up and running according to a recent post in the Gainesville Sun. UF has hired a Boston firm for $1 million to direct the task.
I believe these, and other local issues, would benefit from a careful study by the League, which is why I was delighted to accept the post as chair of the Local Issues Committee. Nearly 25 years ago, my husband and I moved to Gainesville, when he accepted a faculty position in Community Health and Family Medicine at UF. We've come to love this city and are proud to call it home. We've raised our two children here, and now that they are "out of the nest", I have returned to teaching at Santa Fe College, and look forward to more involvement in our community. If you are interested in joining this committee, and helping study local issues that impact our county, please drop me a line at sghatch1@gmail.com, or call me at: 352-226-5336.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Tap Into the Resources Available with LWV Speakers Bureau  
By Donna Waller   microphone
The Speakers Bureau is gearing up for fall. We would like to remind members that we have speakers available on the Constitution Amendments and election issues. The Natural Resources Committee is especially interested in reaching groups interested in learning more about the two solar amendments, the first of which is on the ballot August 30. We can also provide speakers on the activities of other League Committees, such as Criminal Justice, which has been particularly active recently. If you are a member of an organization which generally has speakers, please think about us.
We are also looking for speakers. The LWV provides excellent materials on topics which the state League has a position so doing presentations is not hard. Please contact Donna Waller (donna.t.waller@gmail.com) to volunteer or schedule us.
The Communication Committee would love your help with keeping our FaceBook page current. Monthly time commitment is about 2 hours.

Is FaceBook too technical for you.........?
How about sending out the monthly VOTER to our members without email connections? There are currently about 12 members who would love and appreciate your commitment of less than 1.5 hours/month.
Call Barbara Glass: 352-519-5748
The League thanks you in advance!!!!

End the Campaign Season with Some Comedy!!  
by Mary White
Cap off an already hilarious campaign season by j oining fell o w League members at the Phillips Cent er, Monday, Novemb er 7, 7:30 pm to see THE CAPITOL STEPS. Tickets are $50, $40, or $30. Several of us went four years ago and found the $40 s eats quite acceptable.
Send a check for the # of tickets you would like to Mary White, 4329 NW 10th Place, Gainesville, 32605, by July 10th, NO LATER THAN July 14!! Questions? Call Mary at 373-1618 or email to gatormary96@yahoo.com.

Join us for dinner "somewhere" before the show if you'd like.

The VOTER is the official newsletter of The League of Women Voters of Alachua County/Gainesville