League of Women Voters News - JANUARY 1, 2019
UPCOMING EVENTS
For a complete listing of events,
click the button below to go to our Calendar!
Register for events at LWVPBC.org or by contacting Estelle Friedman at efriedman@bellsouth.net or (561) 968-4123.
You can view streamed events on LWVPBC Facebook Live.
Second Solar Co-op Progresses
By Diane Marks, Solar Chair

On Saturday, December 8 th , we had the last two Information meetings for the second Solar Co-op.  They explained ways people can convert their homes to Solar Energy, save on the installation and electric bills.  Joining the Co-op is free and there is no obligation.  The chosen installer will call you to come and talk and check your roof, but you can even say no to the meeting. The Solar Co-op closes on December 21, 2018, so anyone interested can sign up on solarunitedneighbors.org/palmbeach before the 21st of December.

The meetings were followed by a party for everyone who installed solar panels in the first Solar Co-op.  All of the people at the party were there with the installer. There was happy talk and people comparing savings and having a good time.  That's when I realized, everyone had a good installation!  There were no hassles or unhappy surprises with costs or the work.  Forty families in all were converted without problems.  That is not typical for people who have installed solar panels on their own.

I agreed to chair the Solar Co-op Project because I knew using solar power would help decrease our carbon footprint.  It was a positive step against Climate Change.  I had not realized that the best thing about the Solar Co-op is that people can install Solar panels with knowledge, support and ease.  It is a pleasant experience!  Solar United Neighbors, our partner in this project, enables that.

If anyone is considering going solar, please join the co-op by December 21 st .  It is free, there is no obligation, there is still a 30% tax credit through 2019, and there will only be one more Solar Co-op in late 2019, and only if we see an interest.
LWVPBC GUN SAFETY COMMITTEE SUPPORTS
LOCAL EDUCATIONAL EVENTS!
By Marsha Vinson, Gun Safety Chair

Two recent PBC Gun Safety events were sponsored by LWVPBC. Many Gun Safety members participated in the December 5 th National Council of Jewish Women presentation,  Do We Need A Miracle? The Federal Courts & The Second Amendment . It   included Hannah Shearer , Staff Attorney and Second Amendment Litigation Director for Giffords Law Center as the featured speaker. Participating League members included Linda Geller-Schwartz , moderated, Arlene Ustin represented BAWN, and State Senator Lori Berman . Additional League members, Betsy Pickup and Ginny Rimback contributed to this article. There were over seventy people in attendance.  

Governor Scott adopted Senator Berman’s Risk Protection Bill after the Parkland Shooting. The Senator is now seeking to expand utilization of the Risk Protection measure.  

Ms. Shearer informed the audience that 67 Gun Safety laws were passed in 27 states recently. Additionally, a number of pro Gun Safety Representatives have recently been elected to serve in the US Congress.  She shared three reasons to be optimistic about Gun Safety.
  1. Increased activism since Parkland.
  2. Bipartisan support for Gun Safety.
  3. US judges have consistently upheld lifesaving Gun Laws for the past 10 years.

Elin Shusterman , PBC LWV Gun Safety member represented the League and reported on the November 28 th event at Village Walk of Wellington's,  Gun Violence Forum.  Panelists included representatives of Stoneman Douglas, MAMA (Mothers Against Murderers Association), and Families vs. Assault Rifles.   The well-versed panel focused on the increased gun violence in Florida, responsible gun ownership, the 2 nd Amendment, school safety, and gun safety as a grassroots movement.    
BYE BYE ‘18
By Emily Rosen

Seems like only yesterday that ’17 was gone
Now ‘18 too’s behind us like a marathon
All in all – not so good
Can’t wait for Version Hollywood
Crazy folks with guns ran wild
307 mass murders filed
Parkland survivors crammed the media
Some famous enough for Wikipedia
Politics up front till early November
A midterm turnaround to remember
Khashoggi the journalist wrote the truth
And the Saudis hacked him on the cusp of his youth
The worst California fires, scientist says
And global warming denied by our prez
Families separated at the borders
Kids lost to parents at government orders
“Me-too”s have watched their numbers increase
Celebrities shamed as their names are released
Kavenaugh judged by the Ds and the Rs
Became a “Supreme” after hearings bizarre
Mueller team silent but guilty ones sentenced
The “Russian Probe” endless – few show repentance
Mattis resigns, as that “Tweet” was no “oops”
Defying advice, “T” said – “Bring home the troops” 
The market went crazy as Christmas was near
The government shutdown caused even more fear
McCain and the Bushes revered in their death
Worshipped as never when they still had their breathe
How fragile a country that depends on one life
When we learned that Ruth Ginsburg “went under the knife”
And now we are facing the year of nineteen
And only the Lord can predict that new scene.
Happy New Year Everyone -- 😜

Keeter Martinson, Events Chair (2nd from l) and Marti Rayl, Food and Beverage Director at Atlantis (center) with some of the fabulous servers at Atlantis Country Club.
HOWARD GOODMAN Closed out the Year
at the November Hot Topic Luncheon
By Marsha Vinson
 
November's Hot Topic Luncheon was the final one in 2018.  They will resume on February 20, 2019 with the popular series,  Why Courts Matter?, featuring Damien Filer, Communications Director for Progress Florida Education Institute. Doors open at 11:00 AM. 

Karen Wilkerson , LWVPBC President, recapped 2018...and what a year it was!
  • Membership has jumped to just shy of 900 members.
  • More than 4000 new voters were registered by the PBC chapter. 
  • Four Judicial Forums with over 100 attendees were presented.
  • LWVPBC Speakers Bureau hosted 6045 attendees at League presentations. 
  • PBC LWV Voters Guide had enormous distribution.  
  • Video livestream option has generated a tremendous increase in audience event participation.

Paulette Burdick was recognized for her years of service to the public as a School Board member, and most recently as a County Commissioner.

And in the spirit of the holidays, the Atlantis Country Club Wait Staff and Marti Rayl , Food & Beverage Director, were presented with Happy Holidays wishes and gifts for outstanding service to LWVPBC.  
2018 was a Banner Year!

Howard Goodman , reporter-columnist-editor, focused his remarks on the impact of the midterm elections, redistricting, voter participation, the concept of checks and balances, and voting reform.   This well-known journalist called upon the electorate to demand a significant extension to the vote count deadline.  He praised the passage of Voting Rights Restoration Amendment 4 in Florida.  He emphasized that the American people are pro-democracy. He emphasized the fragility of  democracy, and the responsibility of Americans to believe in and protect democracy in the US.  He believes that the November 6 election will have a positive effect in Washington and that there has been a historic shift in power.  He concluded by reminding the large audience that democracy is not a spectator sport.
Karen Wilkerson, LWVPBC President (l) and Paulette Burdick, Out going PBC Commissioner (r).
Howard Goodman, featured speaker at November Hot Topic Luncheon.
GET YOUR TICKETS FOR OUR FUNDRAISER NOW!

January 12, 2019 is fast approaching!

Buy on line at  lwvpbc.org



Bring cash to purchase 25 chances for $20.  You may win: 

·     A basket of fine wines for your next party

·     a 4-some at PB Par 3 followed by lunch on Al Fresca’s balcony.

·     Sunday Brunch for 2 with mimosas on the waterfront.

·     Brunch for 4 at the Palm Beach Yacht Club

·     A Lobster Pot with your choice of seafood!

·     Tea Party with all the trimmings!

·     Everything needed for a day at the beach

·     And much, much more

$$$ Plus, a separate opportunity to win $500 cash!    $$$
THE FINAL STRAW!       BAG IT!
By Kathy Panko
                     
A seemingly harmless way to sip a beverage - the plastic straw is typically used once and discarded without a thought. But now businesses and patrons are thinking about the environmental damage done by plastic straws, bags and other single-use plastic products that often escape landfills and find their way onto the beaches and into the ocean. The plastics are not biodegradable and are harmful to birds, sea turtles and other marine life that consume them.

The “Be Straw Free” Campaign started in 2011 by a 9-year-old Vermont boy who did research by talking to straw manufacturers.  
It’s estimated that Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day. Many of the straws reach the ocean through human carelessness. They’re left on the beaches or blown out of trash cans, vehicles or boats. Even when discarded far inland, plastics can easily find their way into the oceans via gutters, storm drains, canals and waterways that act as conduits to the ocean. Sunlight and wave action break the plastics down into rice-sized bits that are consumed by marine life and become part of the food chain. It becomes a plastic soup ingested by smaller animals that are then ingested by larger animals. Many animals consume plastic because it’s covered by an algae coating, so they don’t realize it’s not a food substance. Scientists are trying to figure out how long it takes for plastic to degrade in the ocean and what happens to its toxins as the breakdown occurs, but that process is still being investigated.

Cities in Palm Beach County are dealing differently with the plastics issue. Jupiter is emphasizing public education instead of fining businesses for use. Delray Beach is considering an ordinance requiring restaurants and other beverage purveyors to supply plastic straws only upon customers’ request. Some restaurants have replaced plastic straws with paper straws. Palm Beach would like to ban single-use plastic bags, but, on the advice of their Town Attorney, the board is waiting on the outcome of a lawsuit filed against the City of Coral Cables by the Florida Retail Federation and the owner of a 7-Eleven. 

In their 2016 lawsuit in state court, the Florida Retail Federation and the 7-Eleven owner alleged that Coral Gables’ polystyrene ban violated the state legislature’s prohibition on local bans. A Miami-Dade County Circuit judge dismissed the suit, deciding the state’s prohibition was “unconstitutionally vague” because it lacks the necessary standards and guidelines for implementation, allowing the state to do nothing indefinitely. The statute provides no guidance or deadlines with respect to the adoption or rejection of the environmental recommendations, leaving local governments and state agencies in a state of “indefinite limbo.” The case is pending before Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami.

Many municipalities are not waiting on the Florida 3rd District court decision. In May 2017, Coral Gables became Florida’s first city to ban plastic bags after a judge ruled in favor of the city’s ban on polystyrene foam food-service products.

For more information on volunteering for Palm Beach County beach cleanups, go to  info@keepPBCbeautiful.org
LWVPBC Board of Director's Report

The following items were on the agenda of the December 2018 Board Meeting:
  • Update from the Finance committee in formulating the 2019-2020 League budget.
  • Proposed Bylaw changes to have appointed board members serve for two-year terms, and to permit proxy and on-line voting at annual meetings.
  • Appointment was approved to have Ruth Sobu serve on the board and to chair the Advocacy Committee.
  • Update on the planning of the January 2019 fund-raising luncheon.
  • Anticipated publishing of a fourth booklet in the MINI series.
  • Changing the Civic Education Issue Groups to include the areas of civility and ethics.
Voter 911!

  • You passed Amendment 4 with 64% voting in favor!
  • You restored Voting Rights to 1.4 million Floridians!
  • Don’t let Tallahassee take it away!

Read "Dear Florida legislators: No one cares what you think about Amendment 4. Enact it." , a commentary by Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel by clicking the button below for an excellent article on the latest voter emergency in Florida.

The next  Voting Rights Coalition meeting is Thursday, January 3, 2019 from 2-4 P.M., at Compass, 201 North Dixie, Lake Worth.  Come join us.
LET YOUR AFTER HOLIDAY SHOPPING
HELP YOUR LEAGUE!


You can donate to LWVPBC'S ED FUND all year round by Shopping amazon smile !

amazon smile .com  is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice, LWVPBC.

Here's how to shop amazon smile :

1. Visit  smile.amazon.com  

2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials

3. Choose League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County Education Fund (EIN 46-2821816) to receive donations, or search for League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County

4. Select LWVPBC

4. Start shopping!

HAVE YOU RENEWED YOUR DUES YET?

If not, please do so as soon as possible. Those unpaid by late December will be taken off our League roster before dues to state and national Leagues have to be paid. Individual dues are $60, Susan B. Anthony level is $100, Household for 2 people at same address is $90. You are important to our League and we value your membership support. You can renew by logging on to our web site, just click on the "renew" button below and log in to your account. Remember, you can update your member profile while there! If you have questions about your dues, contact Dorneth Weir, Treasurer, at  dornethweir@gmail.com  or  Darlene Kostrub , Membership chair, at dkostrub@aol.com . Thank you!
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NEWS EDITORIAL VOLUNTEERS
Debra Chandler, Managing Editor
Ken Horkavy, IT
Carol Hershey, Marsha Vinson, Karen Corbin, Mary Jane Range,
Cecily Feldman, Kristen Murtaugh, Rita Wachs, Mary Mertz, Faith Schulman, Emily Rosen
Making Democracy Work! The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Contact Your League:  info@lwvpbc.org | www.lwvpbc.org