National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Virginia Federation of Chapters

VFC Notes - Fall 2006

Serving Current, Former & Retired Federal Civilian Employees-
Spouses and Survivor Annuitants

President                

Ann M. Collins

 

1st Vice President

R. David Smith

 

2nd Vice President

William Martin

Secretary

Robert H. Miller

Treasurer

Darlene Myer-Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federation President’s Message

During the fall 2006, numerous elections are scheduled to be held across the country, however, among the most important elections will be the election of officers at NARFE chapters in Virginia. Unlike the vigorous and often competitive campaigning for the US congressional offices, it appears there is not much initiative or enthusiasm among many of our chapter members to step forward to take on a leadership position. Rather, it appears to be viewed by many as the equivalent to being exposed to a “dreaded disease.” It is very puzzling to me that a call for help from NARFE, the only organization that works to protect and preserve the earned retirement benefits (annuities) of federal civilians is often considered less important because of other requests for commitments of their time from local social, church, and community service organizations. Often our members need to be reminded that it is their “annuities,” that are so well protected by NARFE’s safety net, that allows them the lifestyle they enjoy and the time to participate in other activities rather than worry about having to take on full-time employment at this time.

Although a few of our 56 chapters have a strong core of leaders in place with a built-in ladder of progression (such as 1st VP and 2nd VP) to the next step in the chapter leadership chain, sadly, the majority of our chapters do not. However, we are very grateful to members of those few chapters for planning leadership progression for continuity of chapter operations. Also, we appreciate the work of the many, many members in all of our chapters who so willingly take on numerous NARFE responsibilities, no matter how trivial the task, in order to keep their Chapters alive. Even though the latter approach is appreciated and it can keep the Chapter afloat for a while longer, its relies too much on the “80-20 rule” to gain a real foothold.

For those readers that may not be familiar with the “80-20 Rule,” here is the story. In 1906, an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto observed that twenty percent of the Italian people owned eighty percent of their country’s accumulated wealth. Over time and through the use of this same principle in a variety of environments, this has come to be called Pareto’s Principle or the “80-20 Rule.” This mix reminds us that the relationship between input and output is not balanced. According to Pareto’s rule, a small number of causes are responsible for a large percentage of the effect, in a ratio of about 20:80. Expressed in another context, 20% of the group does 80% of the work. Sound familiar?

This principle holds true in many organizations, such as NARFE. While NARFE on the whole has achieved great success over the years in preventing significant reductions in our annuities, 80% of us will be reaping the benefits of the work done by the 20% who participated in the many activities to protect those benefits from negative congressional action. And, most likely the 20% who participated were individual members of various chapters. Wouldn’t it be great to reverse the rule as applied to NARFE chapter operations!

To some extent, some of our members appear to have a false impression that our benefits are always safe from the ravages of inflation and congressional action. However, the current political and economic environment has become more challenging for NARFE’s Legislative Department and our chapter advocates. We need to keep reminding our Chapter members that they are “grassroots advocates” who should not underestimate their power nor allow complacency. Also, we need to remind them of “what we are” and this poem seems to sum it up best:

What We Are

It is not what we eat that makes us strong, but what we digest; not what we earn, but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we profess, but what we practice that determines our consequence among men. Author Unknown

Let’s make an extra effort to seek out those members with the untapped talents, skills and experience needed for the leadership and committee work of chapter operations. Then empower those members by utilizing the 3E’s (educate, encourage, and energize). Go for it!

Ann M. Collins

 

VFC Calendar of Events

Mid - October 2006 - April 2007

 

OCT 18 Northern Virginia Regional Triad Conference Fair Oaks Marriott ~ Fairfax/Fair Oaks, VA (NOVA chapters will be provided more information as it is received)

OCT 25 Membership Training - M112 Report at the NOVA Caucus meeting, Vienna Community Center, Vienna, VA. Chapter Membership Committees are invited. Contact Caucus Chair Bill Masterson, or Email.

OCT 26 Long-Term Living: Preparing and Caring, sponsored by the VA Coalition for the Aging and VA Elder Rights Coalition, Richmond, VA, $45 includes coffee/pastries and Lunch. Luncheon speaker: Commissioner for the Aging Julie Christopher (For details, contact VFC President Collins.)

NOV 7 GENERAL ELECTIONS (Exercise your right to VOTE)

Nov 11 - BIG BAND DANCE 8 - 11 PM Sponsored by Chapter 595 Colonial Beach to benefit Alzheimers. BYOB The dance is located in the American Legion Hall #148. $15 per person. For more information contact Stan Palen

2007

JAN 12 Deadline for proposed changes to VFC Constitution & ByLaws (C&B) to VFC Secretary and Chairman, C&B Committee. (See 2007 Convention Bulletin #1.)

JAN 21-23 Winter VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

FEB 1 Deadline to submit names of deceased members to VFC Chaplain Charles Collins, P. O. Box 2833, Springfield, VA 22152 or email for inclusion in the 2007 Convention Memorial Service.

FEB 6 Deadline for Chapters to submit resolutions to VFC Secretary Bob Miller (See 2007 Convention Bulletin #1.)

MAR 1 Deadline for 2007 VFC Convention registration, Chapter ads, and convention supporters for names to appear in Program Book. Send applicable form and payment to 2007 NARFE/VFC Convention Committee, P. O. Box 224, Bumpass, VA. 23024-0224.

Mar 3 - 6 NARFE National Legislative Training Conference, Bethesda Hyatt, MD (Go to www.narfe.org for more information and to print registration form.)

APR 1 Deadline to make reservations for 2007 VFC Convention at NARFE Rate of $91 plus tax. Phone 1-800-397-1034 (toll free) or 1-804-379-2763. }

APR 22 Spring VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

APR 22-25 2007 VFC Convention, Holiday Inn Select, Richmond (Midlothian), VA.

 

1ST VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Peninsula. Sharon takes over the new position following the untimely death of Ralph Hoyle in August. Sharon is also currently President of the Peninsula Chapter.

Area VIII has held its first meeting to organize sponsorship of the 2007 VFC Convention. As the VFC Coordinator for the convention, I was very impressed with the excitement and volunteerism from the eight chapters to take on leadership and committee chair roles to work toward having another successful convention at the Holiday Inn Select in Richmond on April 22-25, 2007. Bulletin #1 for the convention was issued October 13th to chapter presidents and the bulletin, as well as, the registration form can be found on the VFC website www.vanarfe.org .

During our Area Vice Presidents’ breakout session at the October 1-3 VFC Board Meeting, we spent considerable time discussing the membership retention challenges facing NARFE and more particularly the Virginia chapters. As an organization we do a pretty good job in recruiting, but need to work on keeping our members interested, active, involved and sticking with us to protect our earned benefits. We need to keep the numbers up to make an impression on Congress in the significance of our organization.

One of the best tools we have concerning retention is to work the monthly M-112 Chapter Activity Report. Here we have a listing of new chapter members, those late in payment of dues and those being dropped for non-renewal. The best approach is to telephone these new members to welcome them or to encourage those late in paying or dropping to pay their dues and remain members. Second best is to send a friendly letter to the individuals to welcome or to renew. If the monthly chore is too much for one, have a small committee to do the work.

As we come to the end of the calendar year, chapter nominating committees are working hard on finding members to serve as chapter officers. I want to remind chapters of the requirement and importance of preparing the Form F-7 Chapter Officer Roster by January 1st to report all officers and committee chairs for 2007. If all positions are not yet filled, submit the report for what you have by January 1st and submit a subsequent F-7 for any additions later. Timely submission of the form is necessary to ensure mailings (National and VFC) go to the current officials. Procedures for the F-7 preparation are shown elsewhere in this newsletter.

Areas II and III issued their first Area Newsletters in September and feedback has been excellent, especially from the members of chapters that had not been able to publish their own newsletter. I understand Area IV is planning to start an Area Newsletter in January.

Some of the activities I have been involved in during the past quarter in addition to my own chapter’s activities include: attended the Region X Field Vice President’s Conference in Bristol, participated in the Area VIII planning meeting for the 2007 VFC Convention, attended a Danville Chapter meeting where Rep. Virgil Goode was speaker, attended the NARFE National Convention, attended the South Hill Chapter picnic, made two NARFE presentations at Fort Lee to pre-retirement groups (set up by the Colonial Heights Chapter)

R. David Smith, 1st VP

REPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF CHAPTER OFFICER ROSTER - F-7

The Chapter Officer Roster (F-7) is due as soon as possible after elections and no later than January 1st. Normally the Chapter Secretary prepares the F-7 and submits it; however, it can be done by the Chapter President or other designee. To permit accurate and timely entry into the database, National and the Virginia Federation both prefer that chapters submit the data on-line at www.narfe.org . It’s as easy as a, b, c.

a. Click member sign-in.

b. Enter name and membership number and click “log in”.

c. Click on “Forms”, and then click on “Chapter Officer Roster (F-7)”.

d. Where it says “Federation President E-mail Address” enter NARFE893@aol.com

e. Where it says “Federation Secretary E-Mail Address” enter mag@visuallink.com to reach the Virginia Database Manager. You will not need to forward copies.

f. Enter your own e-mail address so you will get a copy.

g. Enter data for each officer, indicating “change” or “no change”.

h. Complete data on submitter.

i. Enter comments in the “Comments Box” if you have any.

j. Click “SUBMIT” and you are finished.

If you are unable to submit your form electronically, you can mail paper copies (available from NARFE Headquarters or by downloading), preferably typewritten, to three addresses:

(1) NARFE, Federation and Chapter Services, F-7 Unit, 606 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1914; (2) Mary Ann Garth, VFC Database Manager, 143 Goldfinch Lane, Gore, VA 22637-1816; and (3) your Area Vice President.

NOTE: Update your F-7 whenever changes occur during the year. Also do not hit the enter key while preparing the document or it will disappear.

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.

2ND VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

This has been a very exciting quarter that included NARFE’s 29Th National Convention held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September. The VFC had strong participation with all 56 chapters being represented. The most memorable moment was when it was announced that NARFE had elected a Surviving Spouse as its next National President, Margaret Baptiste. I won’t dwell on the convention, but am glad I was able to participate in this history making event. We are all looking forward to great things under Mrs. Baptiste’s leadership.

While our chapters and the national organization are doing quite well on recruiting members, we are experiencing some problems in retention. Plans are underway to work with chapter officers and concerned members to do what we can to improve our performance in getting those members that have dropped their membership to sign on once again, and to identify ways to encourage members not to drop their membership in the first place. A major tool for us to use is the monthly M-112 which lists all actions affecting a chapter during the month. NARFE headquarters has just recently modified this report to make it easier to work with the data and to carry forward information from one month to the next. Several training sessions are being planned to coincide with area meetings where ways to use the M-112 in membership retention will be discussed.

In addition to working with my own chapter, I attended the Region X Field Vice President’s Conference in Bristol where I had the opportunity to brief Dr. Galvan, NARFE’s National Vice President, on activities of the Electronic Communications Advisory Committee (ECAC) and suggested several changes in NARFE’s reporting systems. The changes are taking place and should help in our retention efforts. I also participated in the quarterly VFC Board Meeting and attended several chapter meetings.

William F. {Bill} Martin, 2nd VP

Secretary’s Report

Resolutions for 2007 VFC Convention: Since there is no NARFE Convention in 2007, chapters should only submit resolutions that do not require National Convention action. All VFC Constitution and By-Laws changes must be submitted to VFC Secretary and the Constitution & By-Laws Committee Chairman at least 100 days before the Convention [not later than January 12, 2007]. All proposed Resolutions must be submitted to the VFC Secretary at least 75 days before the Convention [not later than February 6, 2007]. Mailing addresses Robert Miller, VFC Secretary, 801 Chalfonte Drive, Alexandria VA 22305 and Helen Ahearn, Chairman C&BL, 925 Ironwood Drive, Yorktown, VA 23693

Bob Miller

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. Marshall McLuhan

NATIONAL LEGISLATION Remarks

This is certainly an unusual election season. There seems to be a perfect storm developing around the issue of one-party Republican governance, at least in the media and on the Internet. While for some time now there have been predictions that the Democrats would take over the House, now I’m seeing predictions of their controlling both the House and the Senate in the next Congress. I’m dubious, myself - I think the Senate will remain Republican, though by a narrower majority - but the uncertainty is what makes for horse races.

One certainty is that the current 109th Congress will come back in for a rump session starting in mid-November, and likely running until close to Christmas. Still, the composition of Congress will be what it has been for the last two years, and active and retired feds should not expect much forward progress, if any, on our issues in the last month of this Congress. So it will be back to the drawing board with our Legislative Program for the 110th Congress, recently passed at the Albuquerque Convention.

I served on the committee which developed that program, which will resemble the program we had in place for the 109th. A couple of items were dropped, reflecting changes that occurred in the 109th - e.g., the fight to keep a 3-year “look-back” provision in counting assets to determine Medicaid eligibility was lost, and there’s now a 5-year look-back in place. And a couple of items were added. NARFE now supports voting rights for the District of Columbia (where we have a whole Federation whose members do not enjoy those rights), and we support equitable treatment for calculating federal retiree benefits for employees serving in Hawaii and Alaska. Active employees in those two States have a unique method of calculating cost-of-living differential that is unrelated to the locality pay differentials that employees in the rest of the United States receive, and which adversely affects their retirement annuity calculations.

On the NARFE-PAC front, at the end of September there were two new disbursements of NARFE-PAC funds ($5,000 each) to Reps. Tom Davis and Frank Wolf. That brings NARFE-PAC contributions throughout Virginia to $46,000 for the two-year Congressional cycle. Virginians’ own contributions to NARFE-PAC grew by just $1,204 in the quarter between July 31 and September 30, to a total of $82,016.22. This leaves us short of our goal of $85,000 for the biennium, and even behind the pace set in the 2003-2004 Congressional cycle, when Virginians contributed $83,423. I hope NARFE leaders reading this will encourage their Chapter members one more time to contribute to NARFE-PAC, if only to give a good start to the war chest for the re-election campaigns of 2008. Thanks.

Charles Delaplane

I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

Andy Rooney

State Legislation Notes

The 2007 Legislative Pro-tem plan, adopted at the July Board meeting, was sent to all 140 members of the Virginia General assembly and to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor with a cover letter from the VFC President. The letter also requested that the full availability of information displayed on the Legislative Information System be restored for the 2007 session. Several legislators have already acknowledged our Plan and indicated their support.

Acting on the request of a member from the Vienna Chapter the VFC Board of Directors added a provision to the 2007 Legislative Plan. The VFC Board is asking that legislation be introduced to change article 40.1.28.9 B 11 of the Virginia code. This part of Virginia Law specifically exempts persons who have reached their 65th birthday from protection under the Virginia minimum wage law. The VFC Board took this action because it felt that the law as currently written is discriminatory, and may further aggravate the financial problems faced by retired federal workers who are denied their social security spousal benefits, especially widows, due to the provisions of the Government Pension Offset (GPO). Also, some federal retirees are denied the full amount of their own earned social security benefits under the provisions of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Both laws are inequitable and, in most cases, reduce greatly the total income of those impacted by these provisions. The requested change in the Virginia Code would allow all citizens 65 and over to be guaranteed at least the minimum wage.

The issue of indexing the $6,000/$12,000 age deduction was again discussed. The Board agrees that the tax burden on our members is unfair. Virginia tax code exempts all Social Security pensions from taxation while a means test is applied to determine the amount of the deduction on non SS pensions. In addition the value of the deduction has been eroded over the years since the deductible amount has not been indexed to inflation. As inequitable as this is, the Board does not feel that making this issue a feature of our legislative action plan would be prudent. There is a wealth of evidence that the Legislature has viewed the revenue lost from the age deduction as a possible source of revenue for covering other state expenditures. No new arguments were raised at the Board meeting to warrant overturning the decision made at the VFC 2006 convention which soundly rejected the proposal.

As Chair of the State Legislative Committee I have asked the 10 AVP’s to ask every chapter to adopt individual members of the State Legislature. On average every chapter should adopt 2 members of the House of Delegates and one State Senator, which they will have a personal relationship with and will feel comfortable contacting when legislation is being considered. Carroll Graham and Oscar Honeycutt, our State Legislation representatives can not possibly cover every member of the legislature: chapter members will have to help. Please let your AVP know who you and your chapter can adopt as soon as possible. Invite them to your meetings; call on them at their local offices. Become acquainted with their legislative aides. They want to know you as much as you want to know them. In 2007 they will want your support. Remember, “Elect no strangers”.

Please, remember to donate to the VFC State Political Account. This will be one of the best ways that the VFC will be able to be noticed as a group to the members of the General Assembly.

Bill Schmidt

Membership Comments

As reported in July, VFC membership continues to lag behind the goal of 5% increase set by the VFC Board of Directors. Through the month of September the membership has continued downward to a loss of over 300 members for the year. Obviously considerable effort will have to be expended by the Virginia NARFE membership if the goal of 5% increase is to be achieved. 1369 new members have joined this year, but we lose more to non-renewal, deaths of our aging membership and transfers to out of state Chapters. Fortunately this latter category is not lost to NARFE. 338 new prospects were identified by NARFE Headquarters. Hopefully local Chapters have contacted these prospective members and encouraged them to join. Current federal employees (CFE) have now increased to 11% of membership in the VFC. We need to encourage these members to recruit members from their place of work as it is getting more difficult to obtain access to Government facilities. Although the membership picture appears grim, there is one ray of hope. The number of new members joining in September increased to 218 from the August total of 71 new members. This is good new and if it continues at this level, expect to see a membership increase for the year 2006.

Dennis Martin

Service Report

“How can NARFE Association be of greater service to current federal employees?” In particular, what services may they want? What topics may they be interested in? What issues may they feel are important, particularly in regard to FERS/TSP/SS benefits?

Would you ask this of NARFE members who are current federal employees? Then please write down whatever they say, and relay your findings to us at our email.

We challenge the VFC of the NARFE Association to grow in service to current federal employees, by considering three strategies:

1. By rescheduling meeting times, places and agendas to reach retired and current federal employees; or by adding a “second” meeting of the chapter that CFEs could attend.

2. For existing chapters to sponsor new “sister” chapters for current federal employees, giving them a solid start by sharing resources with them.

3. For the VFC, through Area V-Ps, to start new chapters for current federal employees .These would form a new generation of chapters for VFC future growth.

The board of directors has established a Task Force, headed by Sue and Jim Righter and staffed by Bill Martin, Carolyn Wilson, and Dennis Martin. Ann Collins, President, convened the task force to begin outreach to CFEs with an event in January, 2007, to be located in N. Va.

When NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees) became NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) Association - that name change signaled a whole new emphasis on service to current federal employees. So how are we accomplishing that?

Sue and Jim Righter-Co-Service Chairs

PUBLIC RELATIONS

The months of July and August were a time of getting prepared for the busy fall season.

Attended the Executive Board Meeting in July where I was appointed to a task force to examine ways to attract more current employees to NARFE.

In mid-August held the final Area III Newsletter meeting prior to the premier edition being distributed to 1500 Area III members the last week of August. This newsletter was a major accomplishment for the Public Relations Chair and for Area III. It was well received by all members. The newsletter will be published bi-monthly for the first year and then a decision will be made on how often to publish it. During July and August, I assisted Area II in preparation of their newsletter which was also published and distributed in early September. Area IV has expressed a desire to also have an area newsletter and hopefully it will be published and distributed in early January.

Area newsletters were a major item in what the Public Relations Chair hoped to accomplish during her tenure.

September was a busy month getting ready for the Virginia State Fair which started on September 28th. Bob Boyd, Area III VP, submitted a request for matching funds to HQS, NARFE. Part of that request was to purchase shirts with NARFE printed on them. The request was approved and 42 light blue shirts were purchased. People working the Fair had the option of buying the shirts for $19 each or washing and returning them to the Public Relations Chair. I helped Bob Boyd set up the State Fair booth using the zapper, magazines, give away of pencils and mints, and a drawing for a digital camera. Worked four shifts at the State Fair.

I was able to attend the Southside Chapter’s annual picnic in South Hill. The picnic was well attended and the food was great. While at the picnic spoke for a few minutes to the members and then met briefly with Allen Wright the, President of the Chapter, Joe Spence, Area V VP, Jim Nobles, immediate past Area V VP, and Dave Smith, 1st VP VFC. Jim Nobles announced that he was going to run for 2nd VP VFC.

On September 20th, traveled to northern Virginia to participate in the first meeting of the special task force set up at the Executive Board Meeting in July. (see Service Officer’s article for more details).

On September 28th, Colonial Heights Chapter 1472 was invited by the training officer at Fort Lee to give an informational program for current Federal employees. Dave Smith, 1st VP, VFC gave a talk and then a question and answer session was held. Others in attendance and giving input to the program were: Barbara Nugent, PRS Coordinator; Mable Cole, member; and Arlene Barkley, membership chair. It is hoped that Barbara Nugent will be able to give a 10-15 minutes presentation at all future retirement seminars.

Carolyn Wilson, PR Chair

AREA I NOTES

This is my first VFC Notes article since I was appointed Area I VP on August 15, 2006. I want to thank our VFC President, Ann Collins and Vice President, Dave Smith as well as the Chapter Presidents in Area I for their confidence in appointing me. Upon reflection, although this has been a most unexpected event, I find that I am looking forward to the challenge and in working with the three Area I chapters in building robust, active chapters supporting the goals of NARFE. I hope to build on the many accomplishments of my predecessor (Ralph Hoyle) and work to continue those efforts in the months to come. Two of the three chapters in my area were “dark” all summer and have just started back up in September. As is the case for most of us, all three of the chapters are suffering from “nonrenewal syndrome” and are looking for ways to combat the problem. Chapter 682 has had some success in personal calls and in sending follow up letters with return envelopes/stamps. Both Chapter 685 (Williamsburg) and Chapter 682 (Peninsula) had very successful meetings for National Chapter meeting month. Speakers were Dave Wesserman from the Center for Politics of UVA at Chapter 685 and Joe Beaudoin, current past president of the VFC and, now, newly elected Region X NFVP at Chapter 682. Both were well received and attendance was high at both chapters. Chapter 1757 (Middle Peninsula), however, is struggling to hold the chapter together and has yet to assemble a slate of officers for next year. I will be working with them to try and revitalize the chapter. I attended the National 2007 Convention in Albuquerque NM 10-14 September 2006. It was my first national convention. I also attended the VFC Board Meeting 1-3 October 2006 in Midlothian. I was challenged by the optimistic, can-do attitude of all the attendees and enjoyed the time spent in interacting with follow AVP’s. In October, I will be holding my first Council of Chapters meeting in Area I and will visit each of the chapters as well. I encourage all Area l chapter officers and members to let me hear from you if you have suggestions/ideas for maintaining our chapters as strong, effective organizations in support of the objectives of NARFE.

Sharon Rose, Area I VP

Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, others don’t turn up at all.

AREA II Report

The chapters in Area II are vigorously searching for people who are willing to serve. For the first time the office of president in three chapters will become vacant due to the long service of incumbents. Nominating committees have been appointed to search for candidates to fill the upcoming vacancies.

Most of the officers have given many years of valued service. I thank each of them for their contributions to this organization.

Area II Newsletter was well received judging from the positive responses from Chapter Presidents. For many members this was the first correspondence they had received concerning their chapter business and information from other chapters in the area. Next issue will be released in January 2007.

Donald K. Warren, Treasurer, Chapter 974 has volunteered to serve as the Area Legislative Coordinator. He has served as Parliamentarian for the Michigan Federation and Treasurer for Chapter 89, Detroit, Michigan. Thanks Donald.

NARFE will be participating in the 2006 Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) open season Health Fairs. Metro 5, Tidewater 66, Virginia Beach 974, and Seaside 1827 chapter members have volunteered to represent NARFE at eight agencies. This will be the first year for Social Security Administration participation in the FEHBP Health Fair and I will represent NARFE at this location.

October 24, 2006 10:00 am - 2:00 pm NARFE volunteers will answer phones during the WHRO/WHRV Radio pledge drive. I have been promised that NARFE name and its mission will be mentioned several times during the broadcast.

As the harvest and festive seasons are rapidly approaching, may you and your families be blessed with a bountiful Thanksgiving and may you and your loved ones be graced with the blessings of good health and prosperity now and the coming New Year.

Betty Warren Area II VP

Area III Notes

THEY DID IT! YES, THEY DID IT AND IN A BIG WAY! The first Area 3 newsletter has been published and the second one is on the way. Congratulations are in order for all seven (7) Chapters of Area 3 and to the editorial board headed by Carolyn Wilson, who is not only the President of the Colonial Heights Chapter but also the VFC PR Chair.

The State Fair is over and Area 3 filled 33 time slots within the 11-day run of the fair. Well, it was really only 31 slots filled by Area 3 members because Bill Martin, the VFC 2nd VP, filled one slot and Joe Spence Area 5 VP, filled another time frame. Those from Area 3 working were: Jack McMurchy, Chapter 28; Joan Lloyd, Chapter 1727; Beulah Davis, Chapter 1138; Louise Willis, Chapter 1138; Jim Bradley, Chapter 2265; Brenda Cordle, Chapter 2265; Orv Overboe, Chapter 2265; Donna and Jerry Moody, Chapter 1472; Gwen Allen, Chapter 1510; Bettye Thornton, Chapter 1510; Donald Holman, Chapter 1138; Mark Smith, Chapter 2265; Barbara and Dennis Nugent, Chapter 1472; Arlene Barkley, Chapter 1472; Oscar Honeycutt, Chapter 1727; Carroll Graham, Chapter 1727; Carolyn Wilson, Chapter 1472; Willie and Mable Cole, Chapter 1472; Pat and Charles Hoffert, Chapter 2265; Ginger and Gibson Helmick, Chapter 2265; Jim Davis, Chapter 28; and myself Bob Boyd, Chapter 2265. There were several people who worked multiable shifts and I thank them for that extra effort.

The winner of the digital camera was Jane Crawford of Dyke VA. No, she is not a current Federal employee nor a Federal retiree. We did get contact information from a lot of current Federal employees and retirees and we will be sending the Area VP the contact information that will enable the proper follow-up.

Chapters are now in the process of having their nominating committee find candidates for officers for next year. I know that some Chapters have had great success but others still need some work to be done.

A few thoughts: Why do you have to "put your two cents in"? But it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Bob Boyd Area III VP

Area IV Article

Greetings and best wishes to the NARFE members in Area IV. It appears that we went from "hot" to "wet" weather in a very short time period. I hope all of you were able to escape the flooding and did not suffer severe damage to properties and vehicles or suffer personal injuries.

We look forward to a few endeavors in the months ahead with number one being the "Peanut Festival". Suffolk Chapter 1743 will have a vendors booth and set up similar to the excellent arrangement presented last year. Hopefully without the heavy rains. Joseph Silberholtz, 1st V. Pres., came up with a good idea to place the magazine/brochures and handouts in a clear poly Ziploc bag. Great idea and provides ease of handling and no wet product. Location will be at the Suffolk Executive Air Port Facility and will be held 12 to 15 October 2006 with many vendors, arts and crafts, music, and food galore. Matching Funds were requested and authorized for this function. If you are in the area or nearby, I am sure you will enjoy the good food, entertainment, and assorted products available from the vendors.

The next endeavor that is in process is the establishment of a Quarterly News Letter for Area IV Chapters. Five chapters totaling 1,000 members are expected to participate. Churchland Chapter 1293 will serve as host chapter and with Membership Chair Ed Wilusz serving as Editor. Area III News Letter will be used as a guide and be modified to suit specific situations. Two chapters are still evaluating their commitment to participate. I feel certain they will join in when they see the value of this action to the members of their chapter. Work is in process and procedures to establish non-profit status is being prepared for submittal. Expect to be in operational status in January/February time period.

Our next endeavor is participation in the Health Fairs in the Tidewater area of Virginia. I will serve a coordinator for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Naval Medical Center located in Portsmouth, VA. Norma and I will distribute the kits at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 November 2006. Waverly Cassell, Brentwood Chapter 1697, will service the Naval Medical Center since he had participated there several times previously. No date has been set as of this writing. Expect to communicate with the Command Representative during the week of 16 October. These opportunities present a means to promote awareness of NARFE and relate the importance of maintaining the earned benefits of Federal Career Employees

Joseph D. Lee, Area IV Vice President

Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them.

Area V Report

I assumed duties as Area V VP on July 24, 2006 at the VFC Board Meeting.

Chapter 110 - Lynchburg meets the 1st Thursday of each month. This is a good chapter with a good president, but the president has served over 10 years and would like to step down. President John Kahle reported to VFC President Ann Collins that no one appears to be willing to assume the Presidency at this time. Ann made the trip to the October 5 meeting to especially point out what it would be like if the chapter were to close and why it would not be wise to do so. She encouraged those present to try to find time for NARFE, even sharing duties/responsibilities on a short-term basis in the interim. Ann also provided an update on the NARFE National Convention. In addition, Jim Nobles and I spoke to the members and stressed the importance to take a lead and fill the officer positions.

Chapter 1011 - Danville meets the last Tuesday of the month. At the August meeting, Congressman Virgil Goode was the keynote speaker. The Congressman discussed pending legislation in Washington, that if passed, will benefit seniors. The second speaker was VFC 1st VP Dave Smith, who discussed Area V issues and the NARFE National Convention. I delivered Alzheimer's information to the chapter.

Chapter 1068 - Bedford meets the 3rd Friday of every month. I will attend the next meeting in November.

Chapter 1882 - Martinsville-Henry meets in Collinsville, VA the 2nd Monday of each month, except June/August. At the September 11 meeting, I spoke to the members stressing the importance of staying involved in legislative issues, membership and delivered Alzheimer's information.

Chapter 2079 - Southside meets the 4th Wednesday. At the September 27 picnic and meeting, VFC 1st VP Dave Smith discussed issues regarding NARFE and some changes of officers at the National Convention. I spoke to the members about my duties as area VP and working with the chapter members.

Chapter 2080 - Piedmont meets the 3rd Thursday in Farmville, VA. I will call the President of the chapter to determine any changes in the meeting.

Joseph Spence, Area V VP

Report From Area VI

We are fortunate to have members who recognize that chapters are essential to the continuing strength of NARFE and are willing to devote the time and effort needed to keep our Southwest Virginia Chapters strong and active.

All of the chapters have had contact with their national and state legislators, and several have had them for programs at chapter meetings. Continuing to have these contacts is essential to any success we have in maintaining, if not improving, our earned benefits.

This brings me to a concern I have. I believe a majority of the Federal employees and retirees believe that any changes that may take place in our benefits will only be improvements. I am not ready to bet a lot of money on that! The primary reason is the massive national debt.

After reading two books, I have come to believe we will be challenged to maintain what we have. The first is The Broken Branch by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. Their main concern is the failures of congress over the last several years, but on page 13 they state, "In domestic affairs, unsustainable deficits looming in the next decade without a redirection of taxing and spending policies, along with unsolved problems in areas like pensions and health care, require a return to serious deliberations and measured bipartisanship." The second is Running On Empty by Peter Peterson. His main concern is the impact our unprecedented and unsustainable national debt will have. On page 39 he quotes from an interim report by the 1995 Bipartisan Commission On Entitlements And Tax Reform, "In 2030, unless appropriate policy changes are made in the interim, projected spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Federal employee retirement benefits alone will consume all tax revenues collected by the federal government." Note a couple of things. First, our benefits are included in the Entitlements, not as earned retirement benefits. Secondly, our retirement program along with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will "consume all tax revenues."

Given the propensity of the present politicians to focus on tax reductions and an Iraq war costing billions of dollars annually with no end in sight, I believe congress and the President will be forced to look to drastic reductions in spending on entitlement programs and Federal employee retirement benefits as a means of trying to reduce the debt.

This is why I believe we will be challenged to maintain what we have. This is why strong representation in Washington will be so critical. This is why a strong NARFE is the one organization that is and will continue to be needed.

What can Federal employees and retirees do? Be a member of NARFE and your local chapter. Support NARFE and your local chapter. Work in and through NARFE and your local chapter. It is the best option we have.

George Hawkins Area VI VP

Area VII Report

Area VII consists of five Chapters-Charlottesville 135, Harrisonburg 164, Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro 178, Winchester 180 and Page Valley 1793. Chapters that recessed for the summer months resumed regular meetings in September.

Page Valley held its annual picnic meeting in September at picturesque Arrowhead Lake in the Shenandoah Valley. President Neil McKendry again demonstrated his culinary cooking skills preparing the meats to perfection. The guest speaker expressed the value of retired people with tax and computer skills to train and work for tax preparers. Winchester continues to attract good attendance at its luncheon meetings with outstanding programs. Its September meeting featured a retired judge who performs an extraordinary magic act. This was his third return to a Chapter meeting by popular request. Its October meeting will sponsor a debate among the four candidates for the District 10 seat in the House of Representatives. The debate two years ago resulted in a standing room only attendance. Winchester will again sponsor a poling precinct for Kids Voting during the November election. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with the local school systems in teaching children K through 12 about our democratic freedoms and to develop their interest in the political process.

Chapters in Area VII are to be commended for their continued extraordinary efforts in recruiting new members and in retaining existing members. The Area VII shows a gain of membership for 2006 through September. Chapter Presidents and Membership Chairpersons are committed to achieving membership increases.

Glenn M. Zech, Area VII VP

AREA VIII REPORT

The summer heat and humidity have finally left for another year. The mild, warm days and cool nights provide the perfect environment to get to work promoting NARFE, our concerns, and our activities. And what better way to jump start this process than the NARFE 2006 National Convention held in September. All chapters in Area VIII were fully represented - four chapters had seven delegates attending, carrying the proxies of the other four chapters.

Area VIII's membership shows a mixed bag over 2005. As of the end of September, four chapters show a net increase of 27 members and four chapters show a net decrease of 35 members, for an overall net decrease of 8 (-0.40%) members. Aging members, deceased members, and members moving out of the area are common problems in all chapters. There appears to be no quick fix to increasing membership, just some hard work.

Warrenton/Fauquier Chapter 1549 has a new president Bob McConahy. Bob replaces Dwight Moritz, who moved to Indiana this summer. Bob is a past president of McLean Chapter 489 and has generated some excitement in the chapter. Bob will be serving as the 2007 VFC Convention Secretary.

On October 3, Northern Neck Chapter 1823 celebrated its 25th anniversary as a NARFE chapter, a notable accomplishment. Attendees included charter members, past chapter presidents, VFC President Ann Collins, and 1st District U.S. Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis. Congratulations to Chapter 1823.

Alzheimer's research will benefit from the work of two chapters in Area VIII. Northern Neck Chapter 1823 held their annual Alzheimer's fund drive at local supermarkets on September 1 and 2. On November 11, Colonial Beach Chapter 595 will hold their annual Big Band Dance at the American Legion Hall for the benefit of Alzheimer's. Contact Lloyd Wright or Stan Palen for tickets and information.

Area VIII held an area meeting on August 28. The morning session included updates on VFC programs, national legislative issues, and state legislative issues. The afternoon session was devoted to planning for the 2007 VFC Convention. All convention committees have chairs and the committees are "off and running". Interest and enthusiasm are at a high level. We need to carry this over to other chapter activities and membership recruitment and retention. See you at the Holiday Inn Koger Center in Richmond on April 22-25, 2007.

Art Klotz, Area VIII VP

AREA IX Report

Many chapters in Virginia have been losing members due to non-renewal of membership. I am particularly concerned about the loss of membership in Area IX. As you can see below, we are planning a training session at the Northern Virginia Caucus of Chapters (NVCC) meeting in October.

The Northern Virginia Caucus of Chapters (Area IX and X) is planning a meeting on October 25, 2006 for all Caucus Members and Chapters’ Membership Chairs to discuss membership retention and some ideas of how we can stop the loss of members.

Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) is a coalition of providers and advocates on behalf of Virginia’a aging population

Area IX and X just finished participating in the NVAN Legislative Forum and Breakfast on october 12, 2006. NVAN-NARFE-AARP were co-sponsors of the Forum again this year. There were approximately 180 attendees. 6 Senators and 14 Delegates were represented by their legislative aides. Two or three were represented by the legislators’ aides. There were at least nine NARFE VFC members present. Most of these members had a big part in the planning and execution of the Forum.

It was a great opportunity for Area IX and X to have breakfast and at the same time discuss issues with our State Senators and Delegates. The Forum was at Greenspring, 7410 Spring Village Drive, Springfield, VA. We arranged for a display of NARFE materials near the entrance to the conference room.

Northern Virginia TRIAD Conference: We are planning along with Area X to have a table with NARFE materials and our ZAP Banner on display at the Northern Virginia TRIAD Conference on October 18, 2006. I Hope to report good results in the next issue of VFC Notes.

Bill Masterson Area IX VP

AREA X REPORT

Ten delegates from Area X attended the 29th NARFE National Convention in Albuquerque. Four Chapters were represented by their members. Proxies were carried for the other three Area X Chapters. In addition, a proxy was carried for a chapter in another Area. Joe Smucker, President, Dulles Chapter 1241 served on the Ballot & Tellers Committee at the convention.

The fall meeting programs for the Chapters in Area X are including various State and Federal legislative candidates. Some lively presentations have been well received and the remaining meetings in October are also expected to have very active discussions.

Three members of Area X participated, along with Area IX, in the planning of the Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) Legislative Forum and Breakfast which was held October 12, 2006 at Greenspring Village. Six NARFE members from Area X attended this forum. The presentation by the featured speaker, Abigail Trafford, columnist for The Washington Post, was excellent and well received by the attendees. Peggy Fox of Channel 9 News was the MC. Some 20 Virginia legislators attended this forum.

Various members of Chapters in Area X will be participating in aging-affiliated programs this fall. These meeting include the Northern Virginia TRIAD Conference for senior Virginians sponsored by the Virginia Attorney General’s office to be held October 18 in Fairfax, Virginia. One of the Community Conversations on Aging will be with Commissioner Julie Christopher of the Agency on Aging at the Cascades Senior Center in Sterling, VA on November 16, 2006.

Area X Chapter Presidents and Chapter Membership chairs are expected to attend the Northern Virginia Caucus of Chapters on October 25. The principal content of this Caucus will be training on membership issues. Bill Boning

VFC Alzheimer's Chair Wilton Ward and VFC President Ann M. Collins display the Citation for Distinguished Service awarded to the Virginia Federation of Chapters for achieving the highest contributions for NARFE-Alzheimer's Research of $58,851 for the calendar year 2005.

ALZHEIMERS Report

Over the years, the Virginia Federation of Chapters (VFC) has made an enviable record on donations for Alzheimer's research. Since the national Alzheimer's Association started reporting donation totals on a state-by-state basis in 1999, the VFC has been "at the top" each year, except 2003 when our neighbor, North Carolina, was the leader. The VFC was recognized at the recent national convention for its record $58,851 in 2005.

The credit for our record goes to the hundreds of chapter members who have been involved in fund raising - individual donations and various fund raising projects. A huge thanks goes to each member who contributed in any way. "You have done good".

But past success is no guarantee of future results. Through September our 2006 donations of $23,967 are substantially less than 2005. We have a long way to go to meet our goal of $55,000 - the same as 2005. A little extra effort in the fourth quarter, with all chapters participating, can make up the difference. Mrs. Joan Veazey, the national Alzheimer's Committee Chair, has advised that at its recent meeting the Committee selected three research projects for funding totaling $580,000.This brings to 35 the total number of projects to receive NARFE funding. Your $$$ are working.

At the national NARFE convention William H. Thies, vice president of medical and scientific affairs of the Alzheimer's Association, reported that: "Progress is being made to bring new medicines to market to treat Alzheimer's disease. ----"The drug developments build on the painstaking basic scientific research funded over the last 15 years by the Alzheimer's Association and its partners, including NARFE. ----"Over the next few years, he predicted a steady stream of new medications that hold the promise of changing the course of the disease." To me it is exciting and satisfying to know that NARFE is a partner in this research effort.

I was the program speaker at the Tidewater and Metro- Virginia Beach chapter meetings in September and will speak at the Colonial Beach chapter meeting in November. In addition, I attended the Woodbridge chapter fashion show fund raiser on October 7. A talented crew put on a great "show" and a good time was had by all.

Past VFC President Jim Rice was a strong supporter of the NARFE Alzheimer's research program. He appointed me as VFC Alzheimer's chair in 2002 and gave me many words of support while President and as past President~. He is greatly missed.

Wilton Ward VFC Alzheimer's Chair

GUIDELINES FOR MATCHING FUNDS REQUESTS

Some major changes are being made to the Matching Funds Program, beginning October 1, 2006. Please review them carefully as you plan your Chapter/Federation public relations/recruiting program.

First, EVERY Matching Funds request received at NARFE Headquarters MUST include the name and address of the Chapter/Federation officer designated to receive the Matching Funds check. No request will be accepted or processed at HQ without such information.

Second, every Chapter and Federation that receives Matching Funds is REQUIRED to provide an “After Action Report” on how the money was spent - including receipts, as well as what was accomplished. This report MUST reach National HQ as soon as possible following completion of the project. A copy of the After Action Report - with copies of the receipts - must also be sent to the Federation President. Failure to provide such a report will affect the Chapter or Federation’s future Matching Funds requests. Similar to request for Matching Funds, this Report can be e-mailed or mailed to the address below.

It must be remembered that the “Matching Funds” program was conceived to be a financial assistance to Chapters or Federations for Public Relations and/or Membership Recruitment advertising. Proposals that include advertising will receive priority consideration.

As in the past, no Matching Funds will be approved for large-scale “free” memberships. Also, proposals for internal mailings to Chapter or Federation members will not be approved. If a Chapter or Federation seeks to publicize a special event or special meeting to the general public, such a request will be considered.

The procedure to request matching funds is: First, determine the nature of your PR/Membership Recruiting proposal. This must be as detailed as possible. For instance, if you are planning to run advertisements in the local paper announcing a chapter meeting - maybe with a special guest speaker that would be of interest to the general public - you’ll need to include the cost of the ads, the size of the ads, the potential general audience, and the potential number of prospective members who might see and respond to the ad. [NOTE: All newspaper ads must be at least Ľ page in size, and be run for a minimum of three times.]

Second, once this is determined, submit all of this information to your Federation President. The Federation President will then examine the proposal, and send it to National HQ. [The Federation President’s recommendation will play a role in evaluating the request but is not the final dispensation.] Also, if it is feasible, the Federation might offer to add some state funds to the local funds, increasing the money that national will match. For example, a chapter with a proposed budget of $600 would ask for $300 from National. If the Federation agrees to add $100, National would then match $400, allowing the chapter to increase its budget to $800, which would further enhance the outreach program. Proposals from Federations should be transmitted directly to National by the Federation President. No request for an amount less than $100 will be considered.

All Matching Funds requests, as well as all After Action Reports, can be mailed to NARFE Public Relations, 606 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or via e-mail at pubrel@narfe.org .

The National PR Office is available to discuss proposals and offer assistance in designing them, if requested. If you have a question on the eligibility of a Matching Funds proposal, call PR at 703-838-7760, ext. 369, or via e-mail at pubrel@narfe.org .

More VFC Travel

The next VFC sponsored trip has been confirmed. It is a 10-day trip to England, Scotland and Wales, beginning on October 4, 2007. For more information and a brochure, contact VFC Travel Coordinator Jann Masterson at 0r by email

At Mesa Verde National Park, CO., NARFE members and friends--along with a Guide-- hiked down to explore one of the cliff dwellings of the ancient Puebloans. Top photo is a distant view of the cliff dwelling they explored. This stop was included in the pre-convention trip to the Santa Fe/Durango area sponsored by the VA Federation.

May we never forget the sacrifices made by our men and women in the Armed Services to keep safe our country and freedom.

NARFE - YOUR FUTURE - OUR FOCUS