National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Virginia Federation of Chapters

VFC Notes - Summer 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 F. (Bill) Martin

Secretary

Robert H. Miller

Treasurer

Darlene Myer-Rhodes

 

 

 

 

Federation President's Message

By now Virginia delegates (54 registered as of August 4) should have received the 200+ page booklet of Bylaws and General Resolutions for the 29th NARFE National Convention to be held September 10-14, Albuquerque, NM. The Virginia Federation would like to again have 100% voting representation, either in person as a chapter voting representative or a designated proxy. We are working hard to get those last few proxy designations processed. If your chapter is one of those that need to make a designation, please do it soon. Form C/06-2 must be received at National by August 25.

Many of the Convention resolutions relate to topics already covered at previous conventions, but those resolutions did not prevail. However, there are other resolution topics that appear to suggest real change in the structure and operations of our organization. After all, real change requires REAL change. Continuing to do more of the same things over and over while expecting a different outcome is a recipe for failure. A serious consideration for change is the main reason the Virginia Federation Executive Committee introduced and the delegates at the 2006 VFC Convention adopted Resolution No. 06-120 requesting a study be done relative to identifying the advantages/disadvantages of changing the organizational structure of NARFE in the areas suggested in the resolution. Will Convention delegates be up to the challenge for considering REAL change?

Speaking of real change needed, the drastic monthly fluctuations in the Federation’s membership figures are puzzling. VFC Membership Chair Dennis Martin reported that we ended December 2005 with a net minus 161 compared to December 2004. Also, he reported we have recruited 1,080 new members in the first seven months of 2006 and the total VFC membership is now composed of about 10% current federal employees. Although that appears to be going in the right direction towards a significant increase in the net total for the year, the following data indicate the opposite effect beginning to happen:

EOY 2005………19,915 (Net Change)

EOM-Jan 2006……19,937…….(+22)

EOM-Feb 2006…...19,916…….(+1)

EOM-Mar 2006…..19,946…….(+31)

EOM-Apr 2006…...19,926…….(+11)

EOM-May 2006…..19,996…….(+81)

EOM-Jun 2006…....19,914…….(-1)

EOM-Jul 2006…… 19,787……(-128)

Therefore, this significant net decline can be attributed to reported deaths (212), transfer outs, and mainly nonrenewals. We have only five months to attain the VFC membership goal of a net increase of 5% (996 more members than EOY 2005). The goal is realistic. Seven chapters were recognized at the 2006 VFC Convention for exceeding the same goal last year within their chapters. Manassas Chapter 356 is leading this year with a net increase of 4.62% (+18 members). Way to go!

It is clear that most chapters will need to step up procedures to contact/follow-up on the names listed on the M-112 report. Every chapter member is automatically on the Membership Committee. VFC 2nd VP Bill Martin is working on ways to implement some strategies that could provide some assistance from the VFC. Stay tuned. In the meantime, Chapters are encouraged to seek volunteers (even if only for short, one-time projects) to assist in contacting members with reminders to renew membership.

If chapter members hesitate to volunteer to help with contact/follow-up, just remind them of the little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was a very important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. (Encourage chapter members to rise to the challenge!)

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VFC Calendar of Events

August 2006 - April 2007

AUG 15 Deadline to submit NARFE National Convention Pre-Registration Form C/06-4 to National.

AUG 25 Deadline for Chapters to submit (as applicable) Designation of Proxy Delegate Form C/06-2 to National Secretary

SEP 3-9 Pre-National Convention Trip - Santa Fe/Durango adventure, sponsored by the VFC (Contact VFC Travel Coordinator Jann Masterson, Email Jann ).

SEP 7 Senior InfoExpo Sponsored by The Beacon, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA.

SEP 10-14 NARFE National Convention, Albuquerque, NM. (VFC President Collins will be a Delegate-At-Large)

SEP 28 State Legislative Forum Breakfast, Cosponsored by Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN), Virginia Federation of Chapters, (VFC NARFE), AARP, and four others, Greensprings Conference Center, Springfield, VA. (Note change in date from Sep 26 to Sep 28)

OCT 1-3 Fall VFC Executive Committee and Board Meetings, Richmond, VA.

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)

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

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

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

Virginia Federation Representatives at the Region X Federation Presidents’ Conference,

Bristol, Virginia, July 31-August 2, 2006 LtoR - Front row: Joe Beaudoin, VFC Immediate Past President; Ann Collins, VFC President; Jane Beaudoin (Chapter 180), Conference Recorder; and Shirley Atkins (Chapter 682), Conference Recorder. Back row: Charles Delaplane, VFC National Legislation Chair; Bill Martin, VFC 2nd VP; and Dave Smith, VFC 1st VP.

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IN MEMORIAM

Dr. Henry Harper, Past President of VFC

Dr. Henry Harper, 85, VFC President from 1989-91, and the lead plaintiff in the Virginia pension tax case, died June 27 in Arlington. He had Parkinson's disease. He was born in St. Louis and received a doctorate in veterinary science from Michigan State University. He joined the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture in 1950 as a meat inspector, moved to the Washington area in 1962 where he held administrative positions before retiring in 1985. As a retired Federal worker and Arlington resident, Dr. Harper was required to pay state income taxes on his Federal pension while state and local government retirees did not. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Michigan case, Virginia law was changed but Federal retirees in Virginia believed they were entitled to a refund of state income taxes collected ($489 million taxes in 1985-88). Some 400 Virginia retirees contributed $50 a piece which became the case of "Harper v. Virginia Department of Taxation". After rebuffs from State courts, retirees prevailed in June 1993 by a 7-2 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Virginia General Assembly approved a refund of about 75 % of the taxes paid, but some retirees, including Dr. Harper continued the law suit and collected the full reimbursement. His marriage to Ruby Harper, ended in divorce. His second wife, Edith Harper, died in 2003. Survivors include a son and daughter from his first marriage and three grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to Capital Hospice, 6565 Arlington Blvd., Suite 501, Falls Church, VA 22042. *****

James Carson Rice, Past President of VFC

James Carson Rice, 72, resided in Fredericksburg, VA. He was born in Burke, VA. on November 14, 1933 and passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2006 at Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg.

Jim served as VFC President during May 2001 - April 2003 following many years of dedicated and faithful service to NARFE in chapter and federation activities. Even after he completed his term as Federation President, he continued to serve as a leader by taking on the Presidency of Woodbridge Chapter 1270, his home chapter, the second time around. There is no doubt about his loyalty to his home chapter.

Jim was a U. S. Army veteran and the widower of Janet McGinnis Rice. He had worked as an accountant for the Dept. of Navy. In addition to NARFE activities, from 1963-1977 he was a member of Occoquan, Woodbridge, and Lorton Fire Dept. where he had served as chief. Survivors include his son, James P. Rice of Woodbridge; a daughter, Valerie Kovacs of Huntersville, N.C.; one sister, Barbara Uli of Woodbridge; and two grandchildren, Robbie and Jennifer Kovacs. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2217 Princess Anne St., Ste 106-1F, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401; or to the American Cancer Society, c/o Trudy Clifton, 113 Tallpines Ave., Locust Grove, VA 22508. *****

Ralph Elwin Hoyle, Jr., VFC Area I VP

Ralph Elwin Hoyle Jr., 79, passed away on August 4, 2006 at Williamsburg Community Hospital. Ralph, son of Ralph and Ruth Hoyle of Southern Pines, NC, was born on October 15, 1926 in Narberth, PA. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served his country in the South Pacific during World War II. He received a BS from the University of Maryland and an MS from the Florida Institute of Technology. Ralph entered the U.S. Civil Service in 1951 and worked 38 years for the Department of the Army, in the Office, Chief of Ordnance at the Pentagon and the Army Materiel Command in Alexandria, VA. As a Logistics Officer, he formed a military/civilian team and took it into Viet Nam in 1969 as part of a data collection initiative. In his later service he was the Army project manager responsible for designing worldwide Army automated information systems for managing Army inventory and war reserves.

Ralph retired and moved to Williamsburg in 1989 and was a member of the Kingsmill Golf and Sports Clubs, Bruton Parish Church, and was past President of NARFE Williamsburg Chapter 685. At his death, he was serving as Area I Vice President of the VFC, NARFE. Ralph greatly enjoyed visiting with his family, playing golf , and worldwide travel, especially to Europe, Hawaii and Canada. He and his wife, Joyce, recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Bentsel Hoyle, and three sons - Robert Elwin Hoyle, and his wife Susan, of Boiling Springs, PA., Jeffrey Bentsel Hoyle, and his wife Susan, of Charlotte, NC, and David Bentsel Hoyle, and his wife Lynn, of Springfield, VA and two grandchildren - Katie Elizabeth Hoyle and Stephanie Lee Hoyle of Charlotte, NC. Memorial donations may be made to the Peninsula Cancer Institute, 120 Kings Way, Suite 3100, Williamsburg, VA,23185.

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1ST VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

There are positive things going on in the Virginia Federation based upon feedback from the Area Vice Presidents representing all fifty-six chapters. Recruiting is going pretty good; however, the retention factor is still giving us a real challenge. Thirty-one of our chapters have experienced an increase of one or more members since December 31, 2005. The VFC goal this year is to increase membership by 5%; therefore, I want to recognize those at mid-year who have increased 2.5% or more so far: Brentwood 1697, Wilderness Trail 1837, Colonial Beach 595, Fauquier 1549, Lake of the Woods 1885, Louisa 2065, Falls Run 2343 and Manassas 356. Several chapters are having serious challenges in finding candidates to fill leadership positions for the upcoming year. With the importance of retaining our benefits, it is difficult to understand why we don’t have a line of persons waiting to serve in the chapters.

Areas II and III are planning to begin an area-wide newsletter beginning September which should prove to be a real benefit to better inform members, especially for those chapters who are unable to put out their own newsletter due to insufficient funding or someone to serve as editor.

I want to thank Allen Wright for serving temporarily as Area Vice President V for the first quarter since the convention. During our board meeting in July, Joseph Spence from Ringgold, VA, was installed as permanent Area Vice President V for this year. I look forward to working with Joe in the months ahead.

In an effort to get the name of NARFE out to the public, several of us including Bob Boyd, Carolyn Wilson and myself, staffed a NARFE table at the Federal Executive Association Recognition Banquet to honor the Federal Agencies in the Richmond metro area. We passed out magazines and other NARFE materials while having opportunity to tell the attendees about NARFE and its objectives. Area III chapter members are sharing a table with Senior Navigator at the Virginia State Fair to promote NARFE.

Chapter 1293 set up a meeting with federal employee union officials in Portsmouth and invited me to serve as speaker to discuss the benefits of joining NARFE. The past president of the local union is a member of Chapter 1293 and he saw the benefit of getting the local union informed about NARFE so they in turn could assist in signing up members who may be retiring in the near future.

I am serving as Virginia Federation Coordinator to ensure all chapters are represented by a lead delegate or proxy at the National Convention in Albuquerque in September. So far there are fifty-four persons from Virginia signed up to attend the convention. There are a number of important issues to be discussed and voted upon including mandatory chapter membership, single national dues, one member one vote, hire a chief operating officer and setting life membership rates, as well as, to elect NARFE’s leadership for the next two years. Chapters need to discuss these issues and provide their voting representative(s) with guidance on how to vote.

I attended the Region X President’s Conference in Bristol July 31-August 2 that had special emphasis upon National Legislation issues. Dan Adcock, Assistant National Legislation Director in NARFE Headquarters, did an excellent job in briefing us on this important program. I had opportunity to lead a discussion with the Federation Vice Presidents attending on the topics: Use of Politics to Recruit and Use of Membership to Influence Politics. I suggest you let your mind wander on these topics and see what you can do to put them to use in your chapter.

Also during this quarter, I participated in the Area III and VII Area Council of Chapters meetings; visited four chapters in addition to my own; attended the VFC State Legislation Committee meeting to assist in developing the 2007 VFC State Legislation Program and attended the State Board of Elections Financial Training seminar.

R. David Smith, 1st VP

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2ND VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the dedicated NARFE members who chair the six program areas for the Virginia Federation of Chapters (VFC). We are off to an excellent start this year. We are trying various avenues to get information regarding the programs to all the members of the VFC.

Carolyn Wilson, Public Relations Chair, is working with two areas organizing area newsletters in order to assist chapters without one to have a way to keep their members informed . She actively encourages chapters to hold community events advertising and getting the word out about NARFE and she participates in many herself. Carolyn also works with Barbara Nugent who is the coordinator for Pre-Retirement Seminars. This is an area that shows great promise to help us make current federal employees aware of the benefit to belong to NARFE. Carolyn and Barbara are available to help chapters in these activities.

Charles Delaplane, National Legislation Chair, is continuing his well respected means of keeping the membership aware of where we stand on national legislative matters. Charlie has begun issuing a periodic electronic update to keep the membership up to date between quarterly reports.

Bill Schmidt, State Legislation Chair, ably assisted by Oscar Honeycutt and Carroll Graham along with area coordinators have developed a State Legislation Plan, endorsed by the VFC board, that will help us focus our efforts to gain legislation helping Virginia NARFE members and seniors in general. Bill is also issuing periodic electronic updates to help keep members aware of just what’s happening in his area.

Sue and Jim Righter, Co-Service Officer Chairs, have been developing and offering various programs that can be used by individual chapters as program material for chapter meetings. They are also working on various ways we as an organization might be able to better serve our current federal employee members.

Wilton Ward, Alzheimer’s Program Chair, is an outspoken, well respected advocate of our Alzheimer’s program. He too, I’m happy to say, is coming into the 21st century … Wilton is going to start using a computer along with Email! He will be able to keep everyone aware of how we’re doing in supporting Alzheimer’s Research and in ways to help chapters and individuals explore fund raising activities.

Dennis Martin, Membership Program Chair, is actively working to keep us aware of where we stand on membership, to help us identify where we may be able to grow our membership, and to encourage current members to renew. He has developed summary reports to track membership on a monthly and yearly basis.

In addition to working with each of these individuals, I attended the Region X President’s Conference in Bristol July 31-August 2. I had the opportunity to brief NARFE national leaders on Electronic Communications and ways that information can be better shared with Federations. Also, during the quarter, I participated in the VFC State Legislation Committee meeting and attended the State Board of Elections Financial Training seminar.

I’m looking forward to attending the National Convention in September, and to continue working with the Program Chairs and chapters to maintain and improve the condition of the VFC.

William F. {Bill} Martin, 2nd VP

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NATIONAL LEGISLATION

As I write this, Congress is freshly out of Washington for its August recess, to return after Labor Day. They’ll be in for most of September after Labor Day, out thereafter for electioneering, and back for a lame-duck session in mid-November. The pundits seem confident that even though a lot of work remains on appropriations bills, there will be no Government shut-down this year. Neither side wants to be perceived as the heavy in that scenario, and, if necessary, continuing resolutions will be passed in timely fashion.

Meanwhile, NARFE's priority legislation is stuck in committees, and won’t get approved in what remains of this 109th Congress. The principal reasons are cost and priorities. The tax cuts and resulting deficits, plus war-time spending and growing Congressional interest in earmarking are, I think, hurting NARFE's efforts to achieve equity with current federal employees (Premium Conversion) and fairer treatment under the Social Security laws (repeal of the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision). The House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees have the ultimate authority on both of these measures, because those Committees are responsible both for tax policy and Social Security law, and those committees aren't budging.

Premium Conversion is now estimated to cost the Treasury about $12 billion in foregone tax income over the next 10 years, and GPO/WEP repeal between $65 and $70 billion. An additional negative for Premium Conversion is cost uncertainty. If the benefit were to be given to federal retirees, and then political pressures built to extend it to all non-federal retirees with employer-sponsored health insurance, costs could really spiral. Both bills have major support in Congress. In the House, in mid-July, repeal of the GPO and WEP had a total of 322 sponsors (out of 435 House members), and Premium Conversion, 336. In the Senate, the respective total sponsors are 28 and 63. You can see that Premium Conversion should pass easily if it were allowed out of committee for a floor vote.

But neither measure is going to get through the financial watchdogs in 2006, and we'll be starting over in 2007 with new bills in the 110th Congress. There may be one small factor to help NARFE bills in the next Congress, and that is the announced retirement of Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) of House Ways and Means. Regardless of who takes control of the House next January (and conventional wisdom currently says the Democrats are a pretty long shot for that), there will be a new Chairman of that Committee.

A final word: please consider contributing to NARFE-PAC if you haven't already, and urging other chapter members to do the same. Virginia is doing well in collections compared to data from around the country, but few Virginia chapters have participation rates as high as 20 percent of membership. And this is the time in our 2-year Congressional election cycle when NARFE-PAC contributions to candidates can have the greatest impact in making our voice heard.

Charles Delaplane

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State Legislation Report

Our 2007 State Legislative plan has been approved. The Board has taken a different approach this year to accepting the plan. Realizing that adopting a formal plan this early in the year will not permit the VFC to be flexible enough to support many ideas that will be coming up prior to and during the 2007 session, we have adopted a pro tem plan which identifies three areas where our interests are likely to be a subject of legislation. 1) The Kelo decision by the Supreme Court has opened the possibility of public seizure of private property for other than direct public need. 2) There is a broad study available from the State Legislative research arm, JLARC, House Document 10 issues in 2006, which addresses the impact of the aging population on state agencies. Several deficiencies are identified which will impact the needs of seniors in the future, and which will require legislation to address. 3)Retirees, like all citizens in the state are subjected to the many demands of state and local governments for additional funds to provide services, but retirees are generally living on reduced incomes without the annual expectation of salary increases that will keep up with the growing demands.

The VFC wishes to support efforts to prevent inequitable burdens on seniors.

As members of NARFE we face two problems when dealing with members of the state legislature. New young legislators often do not know who we are, and there is a perception that Government Retirees are well compensated, have excellent health and other benefits and can be counted on to provide a lot of tax revenue. There is really only one way to correct this image. Get to know your legislator. Everyone has at least one member of the House of Delegates and one State Senator who represents them in the Legislature. Every one of them is up for reelection in 2007. They will want your vote, so get to know them well enough to discuss issues with them. Invite them to your chapter meetings. Work with their campaigns. Another effective way to approach them will be to come calling with a political donation. The VFC has a Political Account which we use during election years to make a tangible introduction to our legislators. This fund has fallen on hard times. Currently we have a balance of about $4,000. We have set a goal of having $30,000 to use for the November 2007 election. We need your help.

VFC STATE POLITICAL ACCOUNT CONTRIBUTION

AREA_____CHAPTER________DATE__________

Amount: $5____$10____$25____$50___Other___

Name ___________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________

City, State, Zip ___________________________________________

E-mail address ___________________________________________

Retired Y/N ____If working show employer

Required by State Bd of Elections

Employer Name _____________________________

Employer Address ____________________________________________

Make check payable to:

VFC STATE POLITICAL ACCOUNT and mail to

J. Carroll Graham

VFC State Legislative Representative

1307 Forest Ave.

Richmond, VA 23229

There is a new form to use. The State Board of Elections require that we report every donor’s employer name and location. “Retired” is an acceptable entry and the address needed is only the city and state. While the details do not appear on the reports unless you have made donations in excess of $100 in a calendar year, the information is required on the electronic forms that must be filed by the treasurer.

Bill Schmidt

State Legislation - 2006

This is the first of many missives which I will try to send out discussing the Virginia Legislature, and its impact on the members of NARFE. The 2006 Virginia Legislature has finally reached a budget and completed most of its business. An additional extended session is scheduled to begin in mid to late August to address Transportation issues.

Just what was accomplished this session?

A two year budget for the fiscal years from July 1 2006 through June 30 2008 was passed which authorizes the expenditure of $74 billion dollars. This bill contains an increase in spending for Transportation of $1.5 billion + $.6 billion left over to be spent on transportation during the second extended session. The total transportation funds approved in this budget were 9.6 billion + $560 million for the special transportation session.

The legislature provided for a Sales Tax Holiday August 4-6 this year on school supplies costing $20.00 or less, and clothing, including, footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Public education saw increases this session of $1.55 billion for Direct aid to Public education, $1.3 billion for Standards of Quality funding, a 4% increase in teacher pay in 2006 plus a $22 million reserve fund for an increase in teacher pay in the second year, $20 million for additional school construction, and a $1.6 million increase in funds for Career and Technical Education.

Higher education received an increase of $456.3 million which included a 4% salary increase in 2007 and a 3% increase in 2008.

In the Social services area, $44.6 million was appropriated for Medicaid health care provider payment increases, an increase in the personal Medicaid Waiver services, and 65 new Medicaid waiver slots for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In the Public Safety area 45 additional State Policemen were funded.

Other areas saw $200 million appropriated for improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, $4.8 million was set aside to fund drinking water projects in South West Virginia and 2.6 million for rural access to broadband.

Seniors benefited with the passage of HB(786) which added a new way that our long term care insurance premiums can be treated for tax purposes. Now we have the option of either taking our payments as a deduction or starting this year we can take 15% of what we pay in a year as a tax credit.

More on the Legislative actions will have to wait on another report. While this is not an election year for state offices, there will be a special election to replace Delegate Harry Parrish in the 50th Delegate District this November 7.

I urge you to support the VFC State Political Fund. This is one of two ways we can get our message to State Legislators. The other is personal contact. One of the groups who lobby at the General Assembly puts out a list of legislators with photo’s and short biographies, with the pamphlet title “Elect no Strangers”. This should be our policy.

Bill Schmidt

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Membership Report

VFC membership continues to lag behind the goal of 5% increase set by the VFC Board of Directors. Through the month of July membership is down 128 members. Considerable effort will have to be expended by the Virginia NARFE membership if the goal of 5% increase is to be achieved. While we have had 1080 new members join this year, more have not renewed. Also, we continue to loose membership through deaths (212) and more transferring out of state than those transferring in. 240 new prospects were identified by NARFE Headquarters. The question is have they all been contacted? One area of hope is that the membership of the VFC is now composed of 10% current federal employees (CFE). These members need to be encouraged to recruit members from their place of work. This is one of the best sources of recruits.

Dennis Martin

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SERVICE REPORT

At the last VFC board meeting, we questioned our outreach to active federal employees. Why? Because existing chapters of NARFE are usually organized, scheduled and programmed with retirees in mind. When NARFE became “National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association,” did we not change the focus of our mission as well? What would be the way for active federal employee membership to grow?

Could local chapters of VFC have more than one meeting? Could that second meeting be organized by active employees for active federal employees? For example, could the two be numbered like “#1241 and #1241-A” with the “A” designating its special focus for active employees? vCould state VFC or local chapter officers take the lead in organizing new chapters with convenient times, places and programs appealing to active federal employees? Why not add new chapters? It may be easier for active employees to start their own new chapter, than to join our existing chapters.

A new generation of new meetings and new chapters would provide new blood, a grassroots movement, and renewed focus upon present and future threats to federal employee pensions, fringe benefits and other entitlements.

What may be the role of VFC in helping areas and chapters to recruit new leaders and organize new opportunities for active federal employees to join NARFE? Does this stir any visions of possibilities you want to pursue?

Sue and Jim Righter, NARFE VFC Service Co-Chairs

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Public Relations

Chesterfield County’s TRIAD 7th Annual Senior’s Day brought over 1100 senior citizens to the Victory Tabernacle for a day of viewing over 75 vendors booths, entertainment, free lunch, door prizes and informational films. NARFE VFC public relations chair and three members of the Colonial Heights Chapter 1472 manned the booth. VFC furnished giveaway and door prize.

Federal Executive Association held a recognition day for Federal government agencies in the Richmond area at The Hunter Holmes McGuire Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. R. David Smith, 1st VP, VFC, Bob Boyd, Area III VP, VFC and Carolyn Wilson, PR, VFC had an information table set up to acquaint attendees with NARFE. NARFE’s Retirement Life magazines were furnished to the Medical Center for distribution throughout the common areas.

The Area III newsletter committee chaired by PR, VFC, held its final meeting prior to publication of the newsletter. The premier newsletter will be published in late August. This is a combined effort of Area III VP, PR VFC, and members of the seven chapters that make up Area III.

PR also has been providing assistance to Area II, which plan to have their area newsletter published in late August.

PR presentation was given at Harrisonburg for Area VII Council of Chapters meeting. Chapter visits were made to Chapter 110 Lynchburg and Chapter 2079 Southside; these chapters are in Area V.

There have been three requests for use of the “Zapper.”

Remember - Carolyn has “Zapper” - will travel!

Carolyn Wilson, Public Relations Chair

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For the second year in a row, Woodbridge Chapter 1270 had an award winning float at the 4th of July Parade in Dale City, VA. Chapter 1270 VP Pierce Johnson and Secretary Virginia Swain are featured as George and Martha Washington

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NEWS ‘N BRIEF AREA II

This will be my first report as Area II VP. I want to thank you for allowing me to take on this awesome position and hope that I’m able to meet and exceed the challenge. My goals are to provide information, assist in membership recruitment and improve NARFE awareness to the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas. During the summer the chapters are in recess and there’s not a lot happening except the beach.

The combined chapters are working on the first issue of the Area II Quarterly Newsletter. Issue date September. It looks like it will be on time. My thanks to Dick Edwards, Seaside Chapter 1827 and his committee for staying the course and putting the newsletter together.

Metro Chapter 5 is working to fill vacant offices for next year. Lynne Pipis is taking the lead in this objective. Mr. George Wallace, President will be stepping down.

Tidewater Chapter 66 membership numbers are up. They will have their annual picnic in August. Recruitment membership material will be available. Starting September, the Chapter will be meeting at the Works Force Development Center, 201 East Little Creek Road, Norfolk, VA (Kroger Shopping Center). No change in meeting dates. They are planning a fish fry on August 8th. This was a fun time for members and their guests in 2005, so I have been told, and enjoyed by all. Don and I are looking forward to eating plenty fish and enjoying the social. This will give me an opportunity to meet many members in Chapter 66.

Bayside Virginia Beach Chapter 974 will host a luncheon on August 18 at C&M Cafeteria, Virginia Beach. Congresswoman Thelma Drake and Mr. Phil Kellam have accepted the invitation to attend. They will be speaking on legislative issues that affect seniors, federal workers and retirees. vEastern Shore Chapter 1175 meets twice a year. I attended their May meeting and plan to attend the October meeting. VFC President Ann Collins will be the guest speaker.

Virginia Beach Seaside Chapter 1827 is working on a ride-sharing project to encourage members to attend meeting and save money too. Their meeting programs are working well. They are scouting for officers to fill next years’ vacancies.

Betty L. Warren, Area II President

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Area III Report

THANK YOU! With the help of all, the seven Chapters in Area 3 plus the Williamsburg Chapter that sponsored the 2006 VFC Convention have now received checks totaling in excess of one thousand four hundred dollars. I call that a very big success. In addition to the $1,400 + there were three Chapters that sold more than $500 in commercial ads thereby receiving a 10% rebate. Those Chapters were Chapter 28 Petersburg, Chapter 1472 Colonial Heights and Chapter 2265 Midlothian. Colonial Heights led the state with over $1,800 in commercial ads. Carolyn Wilson, President of 1472 Colonial Heights, has already said “wait till next year if you really want to see something big”.

I thought that with most of the Chapters being closed during July and August, things would slow down for us but guess what - they haven’t. SeniorNavigator has again asked the VFC to assist them with their table at the State Fair and again Area 3 said that they would do it for the VFC. Yes, we can use other volunteers so if you are interested give me a call and I will tell you all about it.

Another thing that the Chapters have been working hard on is the development of an Area Newsletter. By the time you see these notes hopefully the newsletter will be in print. This has been a huge effort all started many years ago by Oscar Honeycutt when he was the VFC President. The idea of an area newsletter was again picked up last year by Bettye Thornton of Chapter 1510 and Carolyn Wilson of Chapter 1472. Believe me, don’t get in the way of these two ladies or they will run right over you! They formed a committee consisting of the Chapter Presidents, Chapter newsletter editors and a few others and it has been go, go, go ever since.

Here are a few things to think about that you probably have never thought about: Can you cry under water? How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered? If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?

Bob Boyd Area III VP

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Area IV Notes

Welcome to the dog days of summer. I am sure most of you are experiencing similar discomforts with the heat wave. Thank goodness for A/C as long as the power supply is steady. Just a reminder to reduce exposure to the sun, maintain body liquids and take frequent breaks when working to avoid over exertion. Your health and wellbeing is of most importance to yourself and the NARFE organization.

A meeting was set up on May 25, 2006 by Garland Sawyer, member of Chapter 1293 at Roger Brown's Sports Bar, Portsmouth, VA. In attendance was myself, Norma, Ed Wilusz, IFPTE members and officers of Local # 1. Harriet Suggs, President, suspended the regular order of business and introduced Dave Smith, VFC 1st Vice President, who made an excellent presentation of NARFE/VFC and the benefits provided to members, CFE, and retirees. A question answer period followed in which several Union members asked well thought out questions. Dave responded to every question and answered in full detail to assure clear understanding.

The main purpose of this meeting was to recruit new members for NARFE and benefit the Union Scholarship fund as proposed by Garland Sawyer, CFE and member of Ch. #1293. The arrangement is that Garland will receive the finders fee for recruiting the CFE from National Headquarters and this would be donated to IFPTE Local #1 Scholarship Fund. My position is that this is a win win situation for both organizations.

At present, Garland has recruited six new CFEs and Harriette Suggs, President of Local #1 has submitted an application. Our anticipation is to gain 40 to 60 new members. Additional follow-up will be initiated to continue this progress.

One closing request. Please be assured your Delegate/Proxy is well informed of your Chapters Position related to the Resolutions in the Booklet for the National Convention/Albuquerque.

Joseph D. Lee, VFC Area IV Vice President

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AREA V REPORT

I was appointed Area V Vice President during the VFC Board Meeting on July 24th, taking over for Allen Wright who had temporarily filled this position following the 2006 VFC Convention. First, I want to thank Allen for the work he has done this year representing the Area V chapters.

I look forward to visiting the chapters in the area over the next few months: Bedford, Danville, Lynchburg, Martinsville-Henry, Piedmont-Farmville and Southside-South Hill.

My primary objective is to promote membership recruitment and retention, followed by legislative issues and support of Alzheimer’s.

Joseph Spence, Area V VP

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Area VI Report

It is Monday morning in relatively rural Southwest Virginia. Dave Smith called late yesterday afternoon to remind me that today is the deadline for sending this to Mag Garth. What should I include? Should I share with you the time Clara and I got our hearing aides mixed up? It did cause a bit of a stir in the Hawkins household. Probably not. After all, this newsletter does get even more than statewide distribution.

We are saddened by the loss of Norman McNabb, President of the New River Valley Chapter 1134. His wife Judy told me that he was OK when she got up Friday morning to fix breakfast, but when she went back to the bedroom to tell him breakfast was ready, he was dead. It goes without saying that those of us in Chapter 1134 and his many friends and church members in this area will miss Norman, but so will NARFE. The local chapter is where so many of us have contact with NARFE. It is the local chapter that adds so much to the personality of NARFE. When we lose someone who was giving so much to the leadership of the local chapter, National loses also.

Our chapters deeply appreciated Ann Collins' visits. It is not that often that a VFC President visits our part of the state. We understand. It is a long drive from the Northern and Eastern parts. However, we do feel a bit of concern when someone from those parts visits. We are concerned that the beauty and tranquility of our "relatively rural" setting will spread and things could change.

Well, enough of the blather. Our chapters are doing well. Membership and retention are two of our concerns also. If we come up with something that really works, we will let you know.

George Hawkins Area 6 VP

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Area VII Report

An Area VII meeting was held on June 27, in Harrisonburg, for Chapter Presidents, officers and committee chairpersons. The agenda focused on Public Relations, Membership, State Legislation and National Legislation. Each of the five Chapter Presidents--Dick Taylor, Chapter 135 Charlottesville; Al Lilliendahl, Chapter 164 Harrisonburg; Milton Boyce-Chapter 180 Winchester; and Neil McKendry-Chapter 1793 Page Valley--served as the discussion leaders for one of the agenda topics. Several VFC Board Members were invited as resource persons-Carolyn Wilson for Public Relations; Dave Smith for Membership; and Joe Beaudoin for National Legislation. Dick Murphy, Chapter 178-Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro and Area VII State Legislation Coordinator, was the Discussion Leader for State Legislation. Involvement by the Chapter Presidents as Discussions Leaders generated lots of discussion among the participants with exchange of many thoughts and ideas. Twenty-seven officers and chairpersons, including the VFC representatives, participated in the meeting.

Chapter 178 serves a large geographic area. The Chapter has been trying various approaches to attract new members. The Chapter alternates its monthly meetings between Staunton and Waynesboro. To get more current members active in the Chapter and to help recruit new members, the Chapter scheduled a meeting in Lexington, on July 26, for the first time. Thirty-six people, including the Area VII Vice President, attended the meeting. Several members from the Lexington area attended a NARFE meeting for the first time. There were also six non-member guests who were provided membership applications. Several guests completed applications before leaving. Dick Murphy and chapter officers are to be commended for reaching out to the people in Lexington. The Chapter is considering the addition of Lexington in the meeting rotation.

The August meeting of Winchester Chapter is their annual “indoor” picnic. The meeting also includes the annual silent auction to raise money for the National Alzheimer’s Fund. The picnic and silent auction are more popular activities with members. Because of generous contributions from members, lots of money is raised for Alzheimer’s. One member donated a sheet of 32 uncut two-dollar bills, which will be raffled off. (These sheets of uncut bills are valuable collector’s item.) The Chapter expects to raise several hundred dollars from this raffle

The three candidates for the District 10 seat in the House of Representatives-incumbent Frank Wolf, Democratic Challenger Judy Feder and Libertarian Challenger Wilbur Wood, have accepted invitations from the Winchester Chapter to make presentations at its October 26 meeting. Two years ago the appearance of the two candidates for the District 10 seat attracted a standing room only crowd at the Winchester meeting

Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Page Valley Chapters, which recess for the summer months, will resume regular meetings in September.

Glenn M. Zech

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AREA VIII REPORT

The chapters in Area VIII have moved into their summertime programming, enjoying picnics, boat trips, and tours. These are enjoyable ways to continue getting together and discussing the issues of the day. Louisa Chapter 2065 has found a way of beating the Central Virginia heat by having "indoor picnics" and tours. Pot luck lunches have been followed with tours of the county library, North Anna Power Station Visitor Center, and Lake Anna Winery. For the perfect location for a summer picnic, it would have to be Caroline Chapter 2112's selection of Pitts' Pond. This is a summertime paradise. And for those looking for a more relaxing time, you could follow the lead of Colonial Beach Chapter 595 and do a boat trip to Cobb Island for supper.

But as we all know, there is still work to be done and the chapters have also been busy promoting NARFE and our issues. Louisa Chapter 2065 had a table at the Louisa County Agricultural Fair and passed out NARFE information, including membership applications to potential members. Louisa has invited Delegate Bill Janis, VA House District 56, and Jim Nachman, Democratic candidate for VA 7th Congressional District, to their August meeting. Northern Neck Chapter 1823 has been very busy making NARFE's presence known. In May, Delegate Rob Wittman, VA House District 99, gave a presentation on the General Assembly's activities. In August, Northern Neck will host a meeting with Senator George Allen, who ask to meet with NARFE members to discuss their concerns. Shawn O'Donnell, Democratic candidate for VA 1st Congressional District, and Jim Webb, Democratic candidate for the US Senate, have been invited to their September meeting.

Area VIII's membership continues a slow but steady increase over 2005. For the first half of 2006, six chapters show an increase of 42 members and two chapters show a decrease of 11, for a net increase of 31 (1.56%) members. Warrenton Fauquier Chapter 1549 had the largest absolute increase of 14 (4.52%) members, while Falls Run Chapter 2343 had the largest percentage increase of 12.82% with 10 members.

After all of the paper had finally settled, Area VIII will be fully represented at the NARFE 2006 National Convention in September. Four chapters will have seven delegates attending the convention, carrying the proxies of the remaining four chapters. Hope they have an exciting and interesting trip.

Area VIII will hold an area meeting at the end of August. In addition to updates on VFC programs, national legislative issues, and state legislative issues, planning for the 2007 VFC Convention will start in earnest. So mark your 2007 calendars accordingly. See you at the Holiday Inn Koger Center in Richmond on April 22-25, 2007.

Art Klotz, Area VIII VP

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AREA IX Report

All Chapters in Area 9 are to be commended for the good work they did in holding on to their current members and for recruiting new members. However, hopefully we can do a lot better in some chapters for the remainder of the year.

I would like to congratulate Woodbridge Chapter for again having an award-winning float for a second year in a row. Maybe because VP Pierce Johnson and Secretary Virginia Swain, featured as George and Martha Washington, looked so good? The VFC provided matching funds for this effort.

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

Area IX and X are participating in the planning of the NVAN Legislative Forum and Breakfast on September 28, 2006. NVAN-NARFE-AARP are co-sponsors of the Forum again this year. The first planning meeting was held in July..

This will be a great opportunity for Area IX and X to have breakfast and at the same time discuss issues with your State Senator and Delegate. The Forum will be at Greenspring, 7410 Spring Village Drive, Springfield, VA. The price will be $20.00. Free shuttle service from the parking lot. Save the date. More information and reservation forms will be available soon. We will staff a table with NARFE information.

The Northern Virginia Caucus of Chapters (Area IX and X) is planning a meeting on August 9, 2006 for all Caucus Members and Convention Delegates to discuss the pros and cons of some of the Resolutions that are likely to come up for vote at the convention. We will also discuss the Candidates for National Office.

Bill Masterson

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AREA X REPORT

The major effort of the Region X Chapters the last couple of months was the many activities required to prepare for the 29th NARFE National Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September.

At this time ten delegates from Area X are planning to attend the convention. One delegate was selected to serve on the Ballot & Teller Committee. These delegates are from four chapters. Three chapters have assigned their proxy to other Area X Chapters.

The Area X Council of Chapter Presidents met in July to discuss the many Resolutions for the Convention, especially those that have impact on the membership and dues.

Some chapters took “straw” votes on these Resolutions so that delegates might have some idea of the membership is thinking.

The Council plans to meet again September 26th to discuss any issues that are carryover from the Convention or that may need to be addressed by the VFC Ex. Board on October 1, 2 or 3.

Various chapters have planned meetings this fall centered on the numerous candidates for U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. It is expected those meetings will be very interesting with a lot of active exchange of dialogue.

William Willis Area X VP

I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

Andy Rooney

Trouble is a private thing_don’t lend it and don’t borrow it.