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NATIONAL ACTIVE & RETIRED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AUGUST—SEPTEMBER 2009 Volume 4, Issue 4 GEORGIA FEDERATION OF CHAPTERS Jane Finley, GA Federation Editor PRESIDENT’S LETTER LEGISLATIVE REPORT M. C. Stowe, Legislative Director by Joe Staiano, GA Federation President Tom McKinney, Deputy Leg. Director August 1 – September 7, has 1. This is a The time is here for that face to face meet- been designated as “NARFE Grass Roots very impor- ing with your congressman! We trust you Advocacy Month.” It is the time of the tant referen- already have an appointment. If not, make year when chapters and NARFE members dum that haste to get one! We should have a group are asked to contact their members of will affect from each chapter making a contact. The Congress while they are on summer re- members, congressman and/or staff members will also cess in their home district to advocate for chapters and be available at town hall meetings, civic NARFE’s legislative priorities and to in- the Federa- clubs and other functions. Your congress- form them of their concerns. I urge all of tion. man needs to know that we are aware of his you to take advantage of the time that The involvement and our NARFE concerns. your representative is in his district to NARFE What should I talk about with my visit him at his office, or to attend any magazine, congressman??? Thank him ~ if he has town hall meetings that he may be having, Page 36, con- already cosponsored our two priority bills: Georgia Federation 1) Repeal of Social Security Government to urge him to support premium conver- tains a Spe- of Chapters President Pension Offset/Windfall Elimination Provi- sion (H.R. 1203/S.491) and Social Secu- cial Voter’s 2009-2010 sion (GPO/WEP), H.R. 235; and 2) Pre- rity offset correction (H.R. 235/S.484) Coupon for Joe Staiano mium Conversion, H.R. 1203. If he is not a bills. It would also be a good opportunity members to to tell him of your concerns over compre- send in who cannot attend the chapter cosponsor, encourage him to do so. Also hensive health care reform and how it meeting on which the vote will be taken. ask if he would encourage Charlie Rangel, might affect the Federal Employees It is up to the chapter to determine how Chair of the Wasys and Means Committee, Health Benefit Program. They need to this coupon will be considered. If chapter to include H.R. 1203, Premium Conversion hear from you, not just from NARFE’s by-laws do not require a member to be in the health care reform bill. The listing legislative staff. The June issue of the present to vote, this coupon can be below of the co-sponsors. NARFE magazine contains two articles counted as an absentee ballot. If atten- NARFE Gems reported on Friday, on what you should do to plan for your dance is required, the coupon can be con- July 17, that “two of the three House com- meeting and where you can get back- sidered to be an “expression of interest” mittees conducting marathon markups on ground papers and points so that you can when the chapter votes. The chapter massive health card legislation, H.R. 3200, have a productive meeting. Please report might also solicit absentee ballots di- completed their work this week.” Each all contacts that you make to M.C. Stowe, rectly. In any event, please make sure Federal retiree should be informed of what Legislative Director, at 770-779-2707, or that input is obtained from as many chap- is in this health care reform bill. If it will you may email him at ter members as possible, not just from affect our FEHBP plan and will we be pay- firstname.lastname@example.org. those who attend chapter meetings, as this ing tax on the government’s part of our pre- The June issue of NARFE also referendum affects everyone in the chap- mium. It is our annuity, health insurance contains an open letter to NARFE mem- ter. and COLAs that we are interested in pro- bers regarding the proposed single dues The passage of the single dues tecting. structure for NARFE. President Baptiste referendum is necessary to improve mem- COLA is minus 2.1% for June; therefore, urges you to fully brief yourself on this ber retention. Many first year members we are not expecting to receive a cost-of- issue by reading the NARFE magazine did not renew their second year as they living incrase for this year (COLA). and by going to the NARFE website over were not aware of what their new com- ”Under a hold harmless provision of federal the next few months. I also ask you to bined national and chapter dues would be. law, basic Part B premiums cannot rise hold discussions on this issue among your A single NARFE dues would avoid this higher than any year’s COLA. So a zero chapter members in preparation for voting sticker shock, as the member would know COLA means that the basic premium on the referendum which will be sent to what the second year dues would be when (currently $96.40 a month) is frozen. Ac- all chapter secretaries around September: the member joins. cording to AARP June Bulletin, this does not apply to about 11 million beneficiaries Continued on Page 2 (Continued on Page 4) AUGUST ~ GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 2 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 GEORGIA FEDERAL/MILITARY RETIREES COALITION VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT by Kurt Schuler, Vice President By Bill Douglas, 1st Vice President In late August or early September, all chapter Secre- taries should receive a package from NARFE National with an SPECIAL MESSAGE TO MOAA/NARFE official ballot for voting on the 2009 NARFE Dues Referen- CHAPTER PRESIDENTS dum. Your chapter completed ballot is due to be received by Dear Chapter President: NARFE National no later than December 8, 2009. The refer- We need your support!! Please discuss with your Board endum proposes establishing a single NARFE dues of $40 for of Directors or your membership at the next chapter meeting the all members. The August 2009 issue of the NARFE magazine need for your chapter to join and contribute to the Georgia Fed- has an article by National Secretary Nathaniel Brown on page eral/Military Retiree Coalition, (if you have not already done so). 36 as well as a sample copy of the ballot that will be sent to the GFMRC must have your help in order to sustain its efforts of pro- chapter Secretaries on pages 42 and 43. I urge all chapter tecting and improving your benefits. In this time of economic Presidents to discuss this issue with their members and then be downturn, governments are looking for ways to reduce their budg- certain to cast their ballots before the due date. The mailing the ets and expenditures. You as a civilian or military retiree earn chapter Secretary receives should contain the number of dele- benefits in the form of retirement pay and health benefits which gate votes your individual chapter is authorized. This number are now being scrutinized as a way to accomplish reduced spend- is the one delegate for each fifty (50) chapter members or frac- ing at the federal level. On the state level, we are greatly in- tion there of. debted to GFMRC for the $35,000 tax exemption that we currently Federation Web Master Buck Oliver has been revising enjoy as residents of the State of Georgia. ~ but we cannot be our web site. He has just added information on the Dues Refer- complacent! 2009 GFMRC’s goals include retaining the exemp- endum. Just visit our site at www.ganarfe.com . Halfway tion that we have and to increase the standard deduction on your down the opening page you will see a listing entitled “NARFE state taxes. Are you aware that it has been decades since this de- DUES REFERENDUM & WEB POLE”. Click on this and duction has been increased while the federal deduction has contin- you will be taken to a page with two PDF files entitled ued to have incremental increases? This must be addressed! “Questions and answers” and “Referendum” along with a sur- GFMRC has and will continue to fight to protect your benefits on vey form. Clicking on either of the PDF files will give you the state level, but we need your help through financial support more information on the referendum. Taking the survey will and membership to attain maximum effectiveness in representing let you give your opinion and then see a summery of the survey YOU and to extend our special effort on the standard deduction results to that time. Please visit the site. increase. In case you were not aware, NARFE National has a When your chapter makes a contribution, you can name membership recruiting contest underway. There will be cash one of your chapter members for a complimentary membership in prizes awarded to the chapters who bring in the most members. GFMRC for each $10 that is contributed. Just mail your chapter The contest will end July 2010. Each of the following catego- contribution to GFMRC, P.O. Box 406, Tucker, GA 30085-0406, ries has first, second, and third place prizes for the chapter. along with the names of your members that you nominate for com- This brings the total number of awards to nine. First place is plimentary membership. $500, second place is $300, and third place is $200. Categories AND ~while you are at it, emphasize to your individual are: members the importance of joining GFMRC. In individual will Category I - Small sized chapters with 1 to 100 members. mail in the $10 dues to the above address along with individual Category II - Medium sized chapters with 101 to 400 members. name, mailing address, phone number, email address and NARFE Category III - Large sized chapters with 401 or more members. Chapter number. Again, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! (Continued on Page 3) Thanks, Bill The July 2009 report, for the first two quarters of the PRESIDENT’S LETTER (Continued from Page 1) The new NARFE dues would also provide much needed funds for the GA Federation and GA chapters whose chapter dues are less than $9.00. This would allow the chapters and the federation to take advantage of matching funds to undertake recruitment activi- ties, such as advertising and other projects intended for improving recruitment and retention. The yearly increase in the amount of dues that a member would pay would depend partially on his/her current chapter dues; however, it most probably would not be much more than the price of a cup of coffee or a McDonald's quarter-pounder. This is not much when you consider what NARFE does to protect their earned benefits. In some cases, if the member switches to dues withholding, the new yearly dues might even be less than what he/ she is currently paying The Region III Leadership Development Biennial Seminar is being conducted in Columbus, GA, October 6 – 8, 2009. This seminar will not only be an opportunity for current chapter leaders to refine their leadership skills, but a great opportunity for chapters to develop leaders for the future by sending emerging leaders from their chapters. I encourage all who can to attend the Leadership Seminar, as I think that it will provide a great return on your investment. Joe Volume 4 ISSUE 4 GEORGIA FEDERATION OF AUGUST- Page 3 CHAPTERS SEPTEMBER 2009 REGIONAL III VICE PRESIDENT NARFE FEDERATION’S PRESENCE AT Robert S. “Bob” Harrell USDA’S NATIONAL CONVENTION IN ATLANTA The end of summer is fast approaching and NARFE has had a very successful year. In the mean time, most of our chapters are resuming regular meeting schedules. With the return to their scheduled chapter meetings, many choices need to be made. One very im- portant decision is “how many of our members are we going to assist with attending the Region III Leadership NARFE staffed a combined “member-recruitment/pre-retirement Training in October”. In the past, this training seminar has seminar advertising table” during the 2009 U. S. Department of proven very beneficial to the members in attendance; thus, Agriculture’s National Convention in Atlanta GA. Some 400 helping them to prepare for leadership roles in NARFE and were in att3endance for the three-day event. Shown, left to right their chapters. Also, each member has been or will be in- are USDA Multi-Family Housing Specialist Paula W. Robinson; formed of the importance of passing the “Dues Referen- President of the Georgia Federation of NARFE Chapters, Joe dum.” Each chapter will be voting on the referendum dur- Staiano; and Director of NARFE’s Pre-Retirement Seminars, ing their September to November meetings. The prepara- Mary Pierson. (Not pictures: Mary Pierson’s husband, Don, and tion for this referendum has been received as one step for- President and 1st Vice President of Georgia’s Dunwoody Chapter 2104, Tom and Sandy McKinney; and Past President of Geor- ward. During the conventions and through correspondence gia’s Marietta NARFE Chapter 1033, T. Jerry Samples. with chapters, it was revealed that many chapters do not have news letters as a means of contacting their members. Therefore, NARFE decided to include in the “NARFE” a HEALTH CARE REFORM MESSAGE coupon whereby each member could complete and mail to by Joe Staiano, GA Federation of Chapters President their chapter president to indicate their preference on the Having received numerous questions, I submit the following: referendum. The manner in which a chapter uses this addi- At the National Federation Presidents meeting on July 22, 2009, tional information must be determined by the members in Dan Adcock, NARFE’s Legislative Director, gave a though pres- attendance at the meeting when ballots are recorded. entation on the Health Care Reform bills that were being consid- The above items are very important to the future of ered by both the House and Senate. Dan discussed what affect, if NARFE. As each of you give serious consideration to this any, Health Care Reform would have on FEHBP. According to message, I will close with my many thanks for all you do Dan, FEHBP and most group plans, would be exempt from the bill for NARFE and for the support you have given me while for five years. After five years, all plans would be subject to the serving as Region III VP. “essential benefits package”, the appeals process and must have See you in Columbus, GA, on October 6-8, 2009. preventive coverage without cost sharing. If anything, FEHBP Bob could contain more benefits than it does now. The insurance ex- changes that are being proposed would be modeled after FEHBP, but would not replace it. FEHBP would continue to not be opened to non-feds. If they were to open it to non-feds, NARFE would insist on there being separate risk pools. Also, under Health Care VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT Reform, the government would be mandated to provide coverage (Continued from Page 2) to some temporary and seasonal employees who are now not cov- ered by FEHBP, or pay 8% of payroll into the Exchange Fund. The July 2009 report, for the first two quarters of the Also, individuals who are eligible for coverage under FEHBP year, shows Chapter 1435, Flint River, leading the Category II would have to join or pay a penalty of 2.5% of modified AGI, chapters with a total of 51 new members so far. Quite an im- unless they were covered by another plan. Individuals with access pressive tally which I hope will continue to increase. Within to FEHBP would be eligible for premium and cost sharing credits the state of Georgia we have better than 150,000 active and if their premium exceeds 11% of their income. This could be retired Federal Employees with only about 8300 of them being helpful to lower wage/annuity enrollees. Dan said that Health NARFE members. This gives us a wealth of people to still Care Reform would not do away with FEHBP, but rather might educate on the benefits of NARFE membership and involve- strengthen it and that NARFE would vigorously fight any attempt ment and bring into the fold. Kurt to do away with or water down FEHBP coverage. AUGUST- GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 4 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 NARFE—PAC REPORT Report made by Joe Staiano for Virgil Halte, PAC Chair This report covers the first two quarters of the 2009- 2010 federal election cycle, January 1 – June 3, 2009. (Some contributions may not be reflected in this report as they have yet to be posted.) During this period, 144 Georgia NARFE mem- NARFE PAC bers from 28 chapters contributed $3,082.00. This represents a CONTRIBUTIONS BY CHAPTER chapter participation rate of 62.2%. However, there are still 17 Location Chapter Contributors Total chapters without members who have made a NARFE-PAC con- Augusta 0101 3 $245.00 tribution. Member contributions are critical to achieving Columbus 0219 2 $45.00 NARFE’s legislative priorities. Every district vice president and Flag City 0220 0 $0.00 chapter president should make a strong case for a strong Savannah 0249 2 $70.00 NARFE-PAC at every meeting. It is also recommended that Rose City 0316 2 $40.00 each chapter designate a person to collect NARFE-PAC dona- Tri-Cities 0375 0 $0.00 tions. As we defend our earned retirement benefits in the face of DeKalb County 0380 10 $41.00 unparalleled economic upheaval and trillion dollar budget defi- Rome 0545 16 $400.00 cits, the political stature we have on Capitol Hill, as a result of Athens 0548 23 $310.00 NARFE-PAC, has rarely been more important. For this reason, Gainesville 0599 2 $55.00 every member should give generously to NARFE-PAC in 2009 La Grange 0619 0 $0.00 and 2010. NARFE-PAC brochures, contribution forms and pins Albany-SW 0643 3 $65.00 can be obtained by requesting them from the legislative staff by Griffin 0977 3 $50.00 either calling 1-800-456-8410, or by sending an email to Warner Robbins 1020 12 $195.00 email@example.com. Also, each issue of the NARFE magazine con- Tift Area 1027 0 $0.00 tains a form for members to submit NARFE-PAC contributions. Marietta 1033 19 $400.00 The number of contributors from each chapter and the Azalea City (Valdosta)1044 1 $10.00 amount contributed is shown below. Special kudos goes to the Middle Georgia 1051 0 $0.00 Marietta chapter whose 19 members contributed $400.00! Brunswick-Golden Isles1075 3 $75.00 Very few disbursements have been made to congres- Dublin 1080 1 $20.00 sional candidates in this non-election year, none in Georgia. In Americus 1084 0 $0.00 fact, the handful of candidate contribut5ions that have been Ga. Mountain (Blue Ridge)1125 2 $40.00 made went to federal friendly lawmakers who serve in key com- Button Gwinnett 1348 10 $296.00 mittee positions. However, this will change as we enter into Bi-County, Hawkinsville1417 0 $0.00 2010, therefore, we need to make our contributions now, so that CDC 1419 4 $70.00 there will be funds available to disburse. Flint River 1435 1 $25.00 LEGISLATIVE REPORT Statesboro 1528 0 $0.00 (Continued from Page 1) Dalton Area 1551 1 $20.00 not apply to about 11 million beneficiaries who do not Dodge County 1569 0 $0.00 have Part B premiums withheld from their Social Security Buckhead-N, Atlanta1573 0 $0.00 checks, or pay a higher Part B premium based on higher income, Thomson 1634 0 $0.00 or newly enrolled in Part B.” Jonesboro 1649 0 $0.00 Again, August is NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Roswell 1750 0 $0.00 Month. Make it a priority to personally visit your congress- N.E. Georgia 1818 5 $100.00 man. Wm D. Lively, Douglasville1820 2 $70.00 Following is the current recap of co-sponsors for our Covington Area 1829 2 $70.00 two priority bills: Emanual Cty (Swainsboro)1869 0 $0.00 GPO/WEP Co-sponsors: Sanford Bishop (D-2nd); Lynn West- Vidalia-Lyons 1886 0 $0.00 moreland (R – 3rd); Henry Johnson (D - 4th); John Lewis (D-5th); Brasstown Bald 2045 1 $25.00 Jim Marshall (D – 8th); Nathan Deal (R – 9th); David Scott (D – Dunwoody 2104 3 $0.00 13th). As information, Chambliss and Isakson are not cospon- Eagle (Eatonton) 2117 0 $80.00 sors) Rabun County (Clayton)2128 0 $0.00 Premium Conversation Co-sponsors: Sanford Bishop (D- Cherry Blossom 2142 8 $205.00 2nd); Lynn Westmoreland (R-3rd), John Lewis (D-5th); Jim Mar- N. DeKalb 2187 2 $40.00 shall (D-8th); Nathan Deal (R-9th) Paul Broun (R-10th) John Bar- Old Clinton (Gray)2304 0 $0.00 row, (12th) David Scott (13th). As information: Saxby Cham- Tri-County (Hartwell) 2356 0 $0.00 bliss has co-sponsored; however, Johnny Isakson is not a signer. . AUGUST- GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 5 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 SERVICE OFFICER REPORT NARFE Strongly Encourages a Service Officer for EVERY CHAPTER by Tim Jackson, Federation Service Officer Social Security Retirement Benefits Eligibility Requirements for Non-Disability Social Security Retirement Benefits 1. You must have sufficient service subject to Social Security: a. 40 credits required for those born 1929 and later. b. Before 1978: One credit gained for each quarter of a year in which earnings from Social Security-covered service equaled at least $50.00. c. 1978 and late: One credit is gained during a year if a speci- fied amount of money is earned during Social Security-covered service any time during the year. The specified amount changes each year. A maximum of 4 credits can be earned each year. 2. You must reach a certain age. Early retirement age: Age 62 for benefits reduced for age Full retirement age: a. Age 65 for full benefits if born before 1938 b. Between 65 and 67 for full benefits f born 1938 through 1959 (increased age is phased in). c. Age 67 for full benefits if born 1960 and later. ATTENTION CHAPTERS ~ PLEASE UPDATE YOUR CHAPTER INFORMATION Please notify Jane Finley, Federation Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org when there are Officer Changes (President and Secretary) in order that the Federation Newsletter can be received by your current officers. This is in addition to sending Secretary Lib Barnhart the Form F-7. The original F-7 goes to NARFE Head- quarters. Please include the full address and zip code and an email address. GETTING UP WHEN YOU'RE FEELING DOWN Do you ever feel blah? time. So, how do you pick Ever wish you had a permanent "picker-upper"? If so, this yourself up when you're feeling down, without the aid of may be for you. In the 1920s, if you were looking for a Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda? Important reme- little pick-me-up with your mid-afternoon snack, you might dies of the “why do I feel ‘blah’ puzzle are: talking about have reached for a cold, refreshing glass of 7-Up. Well, it the reasons you're down, making needed changes, watching wasn't called 7-Up back then, it was called "Bib-Label your diet, getting enough exercise and sleep, developing a Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda." Inventor C. L. Griggs' origi- positive mental outlook and utilizing spiritual resources all nal recipe included the antidepressant lithium until the help to rid the problem. But one important strategy for feel- 1940s as a "picker-upper." The original Coca-Cola formula ing better (and one that's LEAST used) is to find a way of also included a "picker-upper" -- cocaine. helping others in need. Here are some suggestions: Today, people not suffering from serious depression * Visit a shut-in neighbor. * Write a letter. * Call a friend understand that they don't need mood-altering drugs to who has been struggling. cope with daily life. But most folks struggle with bouts of * Volunteer at church, synagogue or the local food pantry. mild depression, despondency or "the blahs" from time to * Rake someone's leaves. Continued on Page 6) AUGUST ~ GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 6 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 2009-10 2009-10 GEORGIA FEDERATION FEDERATION OFFICERS DISTRICT VICE PRESIDENTS PRESIDENT DISTRICT I Jack Fordham (Pat) Joe Staiano 478-237-7400 2856 Oak Ave. Tucker GA 30084-3521 email@example.com 770-621-3808 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DISTRICT II Carolyn Oliver (Buck) VICE PRESIDENT 334-298-6239 Kurt H. Schuler email@example.com 6639 Gigi Drive, Flowery Branch 30542-5565 DISTRICT III Carolyn Garner 770-967-9173 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 803-279-4575 SECRETARY email@example.com Elizabeth F. Barnhart DISTRICT IV Nathan Johnson (Lula) 112 D Westcliff Circle, Warner Robins GA 31093-3097 478-923-2554 Email: BARNHART4073@bellsouth.net 404-286-4802 TREASURER firstname.lastname@example.org William E. McClain (Cynthia) DISTRICT V Jimmy Coleman (Shirley) 85 McClain Drive, Toccoa, GA 30577-9369 770-467-1164 706-886-6048 email@example.com LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR DISTRICT VI Ben Tuggle (Barbara) M. C. Stowe (Amelia) 706-788-3047 P. O. Box 25, Eastanollee GA 30538-0125 firstname.lastname@example.org 706-779-2707 Email: email@example.com GA Federation web site address: DEPUTY LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR www.ganarfe.com Tom McKinney (Sandy) *Spouse’s name notated in parenthesis. Townhouse #5 4101 Dunwoody Club Dr., Atlanta GA 30350-5208 770-396-3598, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Getting Up when You are Feeling 2010 GA FEDERATION Down! (Continued from Page 5) NARFE CONVENTION * Volunteer at church, synagogue or the local food RAMADA INN pantry. * Rake someone's leaves. * Bake homemade bread for a new neighbor. * 640 Broad Street Wash your spouse's car. * Volunteer to baby-sit for Augusta GA a young mother. * Plan an unexpected act of kind- ness. * Give a gift for no reason at all. The needs are abundant, and those who put MAY 5-6, 2010 aside some regular time to do something kind for others will often forget they were feeling low. Why does is work? I don't know … it just does. Reach Mark your calendars out and lift somebody else up and for some won- drous and magical reason, you lift yourself up, too. & Corrie Ten Boom beautifully said, "The measure Save the date! of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its dona- tion." And if you've been feeling low, the best time to donate a piece of yourself is now. (Taken from Steve Goodier article) AUGUST– GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 7 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW TO ATTEND REGION III BIENNIAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR OCTOBER 6, 7 & 8, 2009 HOLIDAY INN, COLUMBUS GA All members are invited to attend and bring emerging leaders from each chapter for this opportunity to develop new skills and learn how to conduct effective meetings, learn what works and what doesn’t, get new program ideas, membership and retention tools, communication within and with other chapters, pro- vide assistance needed on the subjects required to be an effective leader and have an active, vibrant chap- ter. This will be an interactive seminar with the opportunity to learn from NARFE headquarters person- nel as well as NARFE members from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands. See Page 8 for Registration/Lodging Information in this edition of the GA NARFE Newsletter. ALZHEIMER’S REPORT By Marie Douglas, GA Federation Alzheimer’s Chair I have been informed that the Alzheimer’s Association (National) is publishing a weekly newsletter on Wednesdays. You can sign up for it on www.alz.org, scroll down to “Quick Links” at the bottom right side and click on the e- newsletter signup button. A recent e-newsletter reported that eating a heart healthy diet and moderate exercise keeps your mind sharp as you age, according to recent studies. It is believed that staying mentally active by engaging in mentally stimulating activities also helps. Contributions by chapter for the period May and June 2009 are as follows: Chapter Nat’l for Research Local 249 – Savannah $ 50 545 – Rome/NW GA 31 977 – Griffin 41 1033 – Marietta 50 1051 – Middle GA (Blue Ridge) 25 1080 – Dublin 100 100 1125 – GA Mountain 20 1435 – Flint River (Fayetteville) 50 1820 – William D. Lively 50 1829 – William O. Craig 112 2045 – Brasstown Bald 100 2104 – Dunwoody 300 0000 – GA Federation 549 ______ TOTAL $ 1,316 $ 262 AUGUST GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 8 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 AUGUST– GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 9 SEPTEMBER 2009 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 GEORGIA NARFE MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS The committee received twelve nominations for this prestigious award. Committee Chair Carolyn Oliver and Commit- tee Members reviewed nominations and selected two nominees: Chapter Level, ~ Cecil O. Smith Executive Level ~ Elizabeth F. Barnhart Cecil served as Chapter President in 1985 and Elizabeth has served as Georgia Federation Secretary for 1984 and in 1990 he became the Alzheimer’s three years. She plans Executive Board meetings and the Chair. The Chapter was seeking a service project Annual Conventions. She executes plans to for member involvement with fund raising for Alz- provide for efficient and effective Georgia Federation meet- heimer’s Research. He started with yard sales and ings and conventions. had much success. He collected building materials She maintains proper records for the Federation, and con- by salvaging heart pine lumber from an old house. ducts communication with Federation officials to provide He constructed 30 birdhouses and sold them to for effective dissemination and collection of information. Chapter members and friends at $8.00/$12.00 for She has held the position of Warner Robins Chapter 1020 the Birdhouse/Bird Feeder Project with proceeds Secretary for three years and is currently serving as Chap- going to Alzheimer’s Research. Since this project ter 1020 President in her fourth year. She worked with the received such a favorable response, an annual American Association of University Women (AAUW) Book Chapter Christmas Auction was established in the Fair. The profits from the sale of these donated books pay 1990’s. This is a closed auction with members pro- for new books which are given to students in elementary viding items for sale. Each year Cecil makes 5 to schools in Warner Robins. As a professional tax preparer, 10 birdhouses donating his time and houses to the she completes tax returns for senior citizens (without auction. Members look forward to the auction and charge) who do not have to file a return in order for the actively participate by contributing baked goods, person to get the low income credit on the Georgia state Christmas decorations and other items. This fund return. She also prepares returns free of charge for stu- raiser assures an increase in meeting attendance. dents. Cecil, donned in his leopard tailored sport jacket and snazzy hat, never lets up until all items are The awards were presented by Committee Member, sold. He has a way of bringing members together NARFE Member of the Year, and District VI Vice Presi- for lots of fun and a will to spend their money. dent, Ben Tuggle, in the Absence of Carolyn Oliver, Chair Through Cecil’s outstanding leadership in the Ath- at the Georgia NARFE Convention Banquet in Albany, ens Chapter as Alzheimer’s Chair, the Athens Georgia on May 7, 2009. You will be able to complete the Chapter was presented a certificate signed by nominations form for 2010 Member of the Year on line at NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste in the GA Federation web site: www.ganarfe.com. Watch for recognition of the Georgia chapter making the the notice in the GA Federation Newsletter. Carolyn largest contribution in our state to the National Oliver, Chair, GANARFE Member of the Year Alzheimer’s Association for Research. GFMRC PRESIDENT NOTES ~ by Jerry Johnson Our federal government is deeply involved with significant changes that are having an impact on our credit, our housing, our auto mobiles, our climate, and now our health care. Did I leave out the education of our children and grandchildren? That, as well, can be expected to be the subject of reform. Is there any significant aspect of our financial wellbeing that is not being touched by the government? At the state level, there is more news that is difficult to digest. We are told that we are in the middle of the worst recession in the memory of most of us. We hear of double digit unemployment and furloughs. You could add to the list. In the midst of all the economic bad news that we hear about nightly on TV and have in the newspaper with our morning coffee, we as retired military and federal civilian personnel have our special needs to be protected. Who is representing our interests in Con- gress and in the Georgia Legislature? Are our senators and representatives aware who we are and how our needs are unique? The benefits that we hold dear in health care and other retirement benefits are at risk! It is time to let them know! Call or write Sena- tors Chambliss and Isakson and your District US Representative. And while you are at it, contact your state senator and represen- tative. We have worked hard for the state benefits we have earned and currently enjoy! Are you confused about all of this? So are most of us to one degree or another. (Continued on Page 10) AUGUST—SEPTEMBER 2009 GEORGIA FEDERATION OF Page 10 CHAPTERS Volume 4, Issue 4 MY POINT OF VIEW By Jane Finley, Editor, GA Federation Mike Causey writes in his July 31, 2009 article for ance ~ although in good times, we might consider it a waste of Federal News Radio of disturbing thoughts surrounding our money ~ but WOW, how important it is when we need it! It future and the benefits that we currently receive. The article is has been a while since we have seen the true necessity of repre- entitled “D-Day Coming in September.” sentation and a fight for our earned benefits, but it appears we (http://www.federalnewsradio.com) Quoting from Mike’s arti- are in the “count-down” now. NARFE is vital in its availability cle, “It will be sometime in September before federal workers and strength of representation for us in situations such as the and retirees learn the fate of a something-for-everyone package above quoted “D-day Coming in September.” Think how much embedded in the Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 2647 and S. your annuity and health benefits mean to your future. Do you 1390) The wait is making some civil servants sick. Both liter- believe for one moment that alone you can combat the forces ally and figuratively. They don’t know whether to retire now, brewing in Congress. Yes, there are “other organizations” that wait to see what happens or start burning up their use-it-or represent all retirees, but who ~ just who ~ (other than lose-it sick leave. Approval of the overall Defense package is a NARFE) is committed to represent YOU and your total interest sure thing. The question is which version, the House or Senate exclusively as an active or retired federal civilian employee? If plan or a combination of the two, will be sent to the President.- it is really the money about which you are concerned, (and I - - - - - - - - - The gray-lining to this possible silver cloud comes find it difficult to comprehend that persons on federal annuity in the form of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). When he forced the will even realize a difference in spending because of the small Senate to drop the pro-fed provision he said, ‘- - -if you are a amount of this dues referendum particularly when divided by federal employee and unhappy with me trying to defeat this twelve months) why not take the money you now invest in amendment, you should pay attention to something. There is those “brand X” organizations that represent everybody and no guarantee to your federal pension based on the economics invest it in the organization that is dedicated to representing we face today in this country. If you think it is guaranteed, you? That would more than compensate for the increase. With- you have another thought coming because the world eco- out NARFE and its legislative team representing us, we become nomic system is going to determine whether we can honor the the lame “golden goose.” I’m not willing to take the risk! I pension. That is what is coming. We are very close.’ ~ ~ ~ seldom assume the role as an editorial writer (only the editor of What Coburn said isn’t popular inside the beltway (or to the others’ articles); however, this stirs deep in my emotions re- OK feds at Tinker Air Force Base). garding our economic future, and we all need to have a reality Editor’s Note: NOW, for those of you who have check and analyze what is best for our future. Let’s be a team thoughts that we are snug and smug, and that there are other and pull together for strength rather than allowing others to organizations to represent our concerns other than NARFE, I divide and weaken us! If Congress saddles us with payment of am asking that you rationally re-think the situation! Consider tax on the government’s portion of the health benefits portion how important the NARFE organization is to you and the bene- of our premium because we were still fighting about a member- fits that we all enjoy as a result of NARFE’s work over the past ship dues increase to adequately fund the work being done on years. Think how small a large NARFE PAC contribution our behalf by NARFE, we will be the real loser! Sometimes we would be if it preserved your benefits during these tough eco- have to deploy rational thinking and realize the necessity of a nomic times ~ think how small the impact of enacting the pas- slight dues increase to attain the long term goal of successfully sage of the dues referendum would be compared to the devas- defending our future and retaining our current benefits. When tating blow we will take at the hands of Congress with senators it’s gone, it’s gone! Come on, folk ~ climb aboard and do some deciding our future as stated in Mike Causey’s quotes above. twenty-first century thinking. You don’t have to agree, but do NARFE PAC and membership dues are like purchasing insur- some thinking for your future. GFMRC President’s Comments by Jerry Johnson (Continued from Page 9) Within the Georgia Federal/Military Retiree Coalition, we have experts on these matters that we hold dear. They represent us and have let us know that we are being called to action and what we should say. These people are not paid one dime to do what they do on our behalf. They are all like the rest of us – retired from the military or federal work force. They are one of us! Day-to- day they ask only that we contribute the small amount that GFMRC has set for membership dues. You are a member, but is your friend or neighbor? Share this newsletter with them and encourage them to join The Coalition. I am asking one more thing of you. Please send a check – whatever you can afford – to GFMRC as a donation to support our representation of you with Congress and the Georgia Legislature. If we are to continue to provide support and representation of you at the level we have in the past, we must have your financial support through a contribution. Your donation can make a difference! As our motto says, WORKING TO- GETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! ~ and with your support, we will!
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