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SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org



21 – 07 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees September 2021



SEPTEMBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY SEPT. 13, 2021 - 11:30 AM Darcy’s Restaurant 10512 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson


I’m hoping everyone had a good summer despite the HEAT and smoke, which leads me to my first topic of sharing. Have you prepared an Evacuation Plan for your house in the event of a fire or other natural disaster coming your way? Tami and I prepared ours. I counsel you to write it in bullet format and be no longer than one page. You want to take only the essentials with you at the last minute. You don’t want to think about this or that when the Deputy Sheriff comes knocking at your door and says, “You MUST leave now.” We also prepared a 3-ring binder that holds all our essential papers, including passports, in one place. We call it the Grab and Go binder.


Share item number two is for those of you who subscribe to BlueCross BlueShield Basic Plan. Have you requested reimbursement for your Medicare Part B premiums? You are entitled to $800 for yourself and $800 for spouse if both of you pay Part B premiums. Tami and I received our reimbursements this summer. We also subscribe to FEDVIP’s Delta Dental and VSP Vision Care, which works well for us.


The Coeur d’Alene NARFE chapter recently closed their doors, and four of their members transferred to the Spokane chapter. I welcome you aboard and hope you can participate with our regular meetings. Our chapter will return to regular in-person meetings beginning in September. If you are reading this newsletter, then you also have the time and place to join us. This decision remains fluid because COVID may force us to return to Zoom meetings. I hope to see you there.


Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at scottsoriole@q.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.


SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR


SEPTEMBER CHAPTER MEETING

MONDAY SEPT. 13, 2021 - 11:30 AM

Darcy’s Restaurant

10512 E Sprague Ave.

Spokane Valley, WA 99206

LEGISLATION Roger Bosky


With Congress dealing with so many issues like infrastructure, voting rights, COVID, Afghanistan and the January 6, 2021, raid on the Capital, etc., there hasn’t been much energy left to deal with the issues affecting Federal employees and retirees.


The Government Pension Offset/ Windfall Elimination Provision (HR82) has gathered a lot of co-sponsors (213). But there is only a slight chance of passage. The same is true of the Equal COLA bill (HR304). Another bill, Fair COLA for Seniors (HR4315) would revise how our COLA’s are computed. It would stop using the CPI-W, and instead use the CPI-E which gives a greater weight to items affecting seniors, like medical care costs.


The Postal Reform Bill has a much greater chance of passage, but it contains a provision which includes Medicare eligible employees and retirees who do not elect to receive Medicare with a new postal health plan. This would likely increase the cost of our Federal Health Plans. NARFE is opposed to this provision.


Every now and again a story comes along that reminds me of why I am proud to have been a Federal Employee. The New York Times published an excellent account of how career employees of the Census Bureau resisted an effort of politicize the accuracy of the Census Bureau’s data. The article can be found HERE.


PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch


Can’t wait to meet in person, although the Delta variant has spoiled the celebration a bit. September’s meeting will be an informal one with a three-prong focus. We’ll be asking those who attend:


1) What did you learn from the pandemic? How have you navigated the last 16-18 months? What were the worst and best aspects of the pandemic?

2) It has been many years since we did a survey of members regarding topics for future programs. What topics are of interest to you?

3) Part of the mission of NARFE is supporting our membership and other federal employees. How can the chapter help our membership and other federal employees in our community? Do you know someone in need of periodic transportation, medical supplies (walkers, wheelchairs, etc.), or other assistance? Our members may be able to help.


Kathy Brooks has agreed to facilitate addressing these three questions during our September meeting, so please think about them and come prepared to reconnect with fellow members.


Ann Ozuna, Federal Retirement Counseling, will be joining us for our November

meeting to talk about federal health benefits and the new “Washington Long Term Care Act.” Stay tuned for news of October’s speaker.



VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton


The annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) runs from October 4, 2021, to January 15, 2022. Starting September 1st information is available on their website Cascadia CFC.org. You can click on the blue button to donate online. For information or assistance in making a CFC donation contact John Guilbeault @ john.guilbeault@kaprivatocfc.com or call 509-710-6778.


Chapter 32 membership, as of August 31, 2021, is 274 Chapter members and National only membership 205 for a total of 479 members. The M-112 activity report, for the last two months (June 15th – August 15th) reports the following activity. 1 new Chapter member, 6 members dropped for non-renewal, 1 member passed away (Elinor A Johnson), 4 members transferred into Chapter 32 (Terry Harwood, Richard Patterson, Orval Paul Mortensen and Pamela Moser) all from the Coeur d’Alene Chapter. 2 new prospective members, 14 members renewed. New prospective members were sent information about NARFE and Chapter 32. Transfer Coeur D’Alene members were sent a welcome letter, copy of Chapter 32’s newsletter and encouraged to attend Chapter meetings.


The 2021 Spokane Health Fairs are being planned for the week of October 25 – 29, 2021. Eleven (11) health fairs are planned for the Spokane area. Health Insurance Reps. are hoping that this year’s fairs can be held in person. NARFE is welcome to set up a table at the 11 fairs. Will need volunteers to work each table and distribute NARFE information. Please let me know if you are interested in helping. Health Fairs are a great recruitment opportunity. I will have the NARFE information at the October 2021 Chapter meeting.


NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky


You can contribute to NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine or by sending a check, made out to NARFE-PAC to our post office box. The address is: NARFE, PO Box 4592, Spokane, WA 99220.


The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.


MEMBERSHIP


We are looking for an energetic member willing to become the Membership Chairperson. Contact Scott Robinson if you are interested.


NARFE is more than just a great magazine. Let them know!


Promote NARFE anytime you can. The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits and retirement!


NARFE = YOUR BEST BET FOR THE FUTURE!

SUNSHINE Susan Harvey


Okay folks, we have had a LOT of sunshine and very hot weather for summer. We are now in the throes of the seasons thinking about changing; the weather has cooled, the nights are pleasant, RAIN came, and the breezes are back.


Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrate in July, August and September. Stay safe, wear sunscreen, enjoy the changing seasons, and take time to sniff the flowers.


We did receive word that Elinor Johnson has passed. Condolences have been sent to her family. The Rohner’s have again suffered a loss. Gary’s uncle, Jerry Fischer, recently passed.


REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this unbelievably valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him.


If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me.


ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg


Cut Aducanumab Cost, Speed Confirmatory Research


Biogen, the manufacturer of the controversial drug for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) aducanumab (Aduhelm) needs to cut its $56,000 annual cost and speed the pace of research to determine whether the medication keeps the disease at bay.


These are among the key recommendations of a report released today by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).


ICER also warned against promotions for aducanumab that would increase public expectations for the medication that exceed what the existing body of evidence shows.


Medscape Medical News

Kerry Dooley Young

August 05, 2021



SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks


As I write this article, we are holding our Yard Sale. There have been quite a few visitors and many sales. Here’s hoping we make a lot of money for the chapter. UPDATE – We had a successful sale. Thank you to everyone who donated items and especially those who helped with the sale. I have been able to donate many of the remaining items to the Catholic Charities Rapid Rehousing Unit. They assist people with settling into housing. Our kitchen, furniture and other household items are very much appreciated.


We are holding our plans for the 2022 Pre-Retirement Seminar for a few months. The class will depend on the pandemic schedule. Keep checking in with us, for the schedule.


Message from Linda Silverio, Region IX Vice President


This is to inform you that, for personal reasons, I will NOT be running for a second term as your Region IX Vice President, (representing Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) as I will be moving out of the region and therefore ineligible. My term will expire December 31, 2022. I will not be moving until after that date so that I can fulfill my duties to you and NARFE.


If you are interested in this position, please check the Spokane NARFE website for more information.


Spokane Washington Chapter 32

PO Box 4592

Spokane, WA 99220

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32

NARFE on the Web: National: www.narfe.org WSF: www.narfewa.org

Spokane: www.narfespokane.org



ELECTED OFFICIALS President Joseph R Biden Jr. 202-456-1414 www.whitehouse.gov Senator Patty Murray 10 N. Post, Suite 600 Spokane, WA 99201 509-624-9515 www.murray.senate.gov Senator Maria Cantwell 920 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 697 Spokane, WA 99201 509-353-2507 www.cantwell.senate.gov Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers 10 N. Post, 6th Floor Spokane, WA 99201 509-353-2374 www.mcmorris.house.gov



SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org

21 – 06 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees June 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson

NARFE was founded in February 1921 to unify federal retirees and influence legislators to secure our annuities. NARFE will celebrate a century of public service during its virtual Centennial Gala on June 21. Speakers from the current administration, Congress, and other government groups will help honor NARFE’s many achievements. Every gala attendee will receive a commemorative coin marking this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Everyone is additionally invited to participate in the virtual LEGcon21 during June 21-23. Attendees will enhance their advocacy knowledge of communicating with our legislators.


On May 3, Spokane City Council President Breenan Beggs presented me with a City Proclamation to honor all public servants for their continued service in the City of Spokane. This proclamation plus a similar one signed by Governor Jay Inslee has been posted on NARFE’s National, Washington State Federation, and Spokane Chapter webpages.


Spokane Chapter 32 has two fund-raising events per year. One is the I-90 Sprague Lake Rest Stop where we provide coffee and cookies for donations. Sadly, we will not do it for a second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second event is our annual garage sale, which we plan to do this year. Please read elsewhere in this newsletter for where and when you can donate your unused items and when to volunteer to help sell these same unused items.


During the next Board Meeting in August, we will decide about returning in-person for our monthly members meetings at Darcy’s Restaurant. You will want to read all about it in our September newsletter. Enjoy the summer as we take a respite during July and August. I look forward to seeing you at our next monthly members meeting in September.


Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at scottsoriole@q.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.

DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

Due to the present health situation all Meetings are virtual until further notice:

ZOOM:

To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either call:

1 – 253 – 215 - 8782

Meeting ID: 869 6851 3284, Passcode: 142288

Or you can go to THIS LINK.

WA STATE FEDERATION PRESIDENT Steve Roy

Join NARFE in celebrating a century of public service at our Centennial Gala. This two-hour virtual event to be held Monday, June 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, will honor NARFE's 100 years of advocacy for federal retirees and employees. Speakers from the administration and Congress and other good government groups will help NARFE honor our association's many achievements.

The event will feature entertainment, plus presentations and speeches from:


NARFE National President – Ken Thomas

Senator Ben Cardin – D, MD

Representative Gerry Connolly – D, VA

Representative Brian Fitzpatrick – R, PA

and more honored guests.

Every gala attendee will receive a commemorative coin marking this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Tickets are $50 each. RSVP today! In addition to the Centennial Gala, we would also like to invite everyone to participate in LEGcon21, our virtual legislative training conference, this June 21-23. NARFE was founded in February of 1921 to unify federal retiree voices and influence legislators with the hope of securing meaningful annuities; 100 years later, we still advocate fiercely for the entire federal community.


At LEGcon21, hundreds of NARFE advocates from across the nation will enhance their advocacy knowledge and take NARFE's message straight to legislators via our virtual platform. Register for LEGcon21 at the member rate of $150 here. Also, the Washington State Federation will pay for your entire registration fees for both the LEGcon21 and Gala Celebration, $200.00. Please contact Steve Roy to get pre-approval by sending him an email at stevenroy1@comcast.net.

NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky

You can contribute to NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine or by sending a check, made out to NARFE-PAC to our post office box. The address is: NARFE, PO Box 4592, Spokane, WA 99220.


The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.

LEGISLATION Roger Bosky

Twenty (20) bipartisan Senators have introduced a bill to address USPS concerns. The bill (S1720) eliminates the prefunding of health care costs, but would also require retirees age 65 and over to obtain Medicare Parts A and B. The bill would not apply to current retirees, and a separate health care package would be developed for USPS retirees to augment Medicare. USPS would maintain six days-a-week service, and be required to publish weekly service data.


The House has a similar bill (HR3076). NARFE has taken a position on the bills noting that creating a separate plan for postal retirees could adversely affect the Federal health benefit plans by not including retirees without Medicare within the scope of the bill.


As the economy picks up steam from the more relaxed pandemic restrictions, inflation has started to creep up. With the higher prices, some sources have predicted a 3.1% COLA increase come October. This would be the largest increase in many years.

PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch

Gordon Williams, Postmaster and President of the WA Chapter of United Postmasters & Managers of America, joined us in May for a discussion of postal reform. There is presently a 10-year plan to become more effective and efficient, invest in infrastructure, and replace 30-year-old vehicles. The Post Office is unique in its mission to provide universal service throughout the U.S. Thanks, Louise Soles for arranging for Gordon to join us!


Our June 14th will be Barb Sido, Executive Director of NARFE in Alexandria, VA. She is responsible for all strategic and operational activities of NARFE, which represents 5 million current and former federal government employees worldwide. Barb will be talking about NARFE’s Centennial, 100 years of supporting and advocating for federal employees! NARFE will be celebrating the occasion virtually on June 21 from 7-9:00pm EST in conjunction with LEGcon21. Members must register to attend.


We are already working on speakers for October onward, after our July/August summer break. If you have a suggestion, please let us know. It is never too early to enlist a good speaker on a topic of interest to our members. Hope last year’s line-up met your expectations for advancing NARFE’s mission of education and advocacy!

VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton

As of May 24th, membership is as follows:


WS Federation 2,387 Chapter members + 2,220 National Only = 4,607

Chapter 32 277 Chapter members + 207 National only = 484 total membership


Of Chapter 32 members, 70 members have elected for dues withholding. I would encourage all members to consider this method of payment. The form to sign up for dues withholding can be found in the NARFE magazine or by calling me.

MEMBERSHIP

We are looking for an energetic member willing to become the Membership Chairperson. Contact Scott Robinson if you are interested.


NARFE is more than just a great magazine. Let them know!


Promote NARFE anytime you can. The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits and retirement!

NARFE = YOUR BEST BET FOR THE FUTURE!

SUNSHINE Susan Harvey

We received some good news on Ken Kaul. We were originally told he had pancreatic cancer; he, in fact, has prostate cancer. No less serious, however, much more treatable. He is suffering from the chemotherapy and has some very tough days after treatment.


We did receive word that Alice Floyd had passed. Condolences have been sent to her family.


Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrate in June. Stay safe, wear sunscreen, enjoy warm weather, and take time to sniff the flowers. Happy Summer, Everyone!

REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this unbelievably valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him.


If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me.

ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg

In a recent paper published in The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the authors highlighted research on how the virus may be directly invading the brain, resulting in chronic consequences that can be detrimental to people’s quality of life. The virus and abnormal brain imaging have been found in postmortem brain tissue samples from people in all parts of the world who had coronavirus.


Further research (funded by the Alzheimer Association) will look at how Covid-19 may increase the risk, severity and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s as well as examine the long-term effects that that coronavirus can have on the brain. Initial results are expected in 2022.


During this Stay-at-Home time, checks may be mailed directly to the WSF Alzheimer’s Chair:


NARFE Alzheimer’s Research:

Lorie Bennett

4310 S Kingwood Street

Kennewick, WA.99337-5706

>>> Include Chapter 32 on your check.


Save the Date! October 2nd is Spokane’s annual “Walk to End Alzheimers.” Let us aim to have a NARFE team out for this annual event.

SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks

We will be attempting to hold a Garage Sale in August. The dates will be August 27th and 28th (Friday and Saturday) from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Set-up will be on Thursday the 26th at 9:30 to 11:30 AM.


Please call prior to dropping any donations off, to arrange a time. Donations will be accepted the week of August 16th through August 26th. PLEASE ensure items are clean, in working order, and boxed. We have a hard time arranging to dispose of items not sold, and/or unsaleable. We appreciate your support.

Contact Kathy Brooks at 509-624-9465, for time and location for donation drop off.


Spokane Washington Chapter 32

PO Box 4592

Spokane, WA 99220

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32

NARFE on the Web: National: www.narfe.org WSF: www.narfewa.org Spokane: www.narfespokane.org

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In honor of our Centennial Celebration, we're pleased to present greetings from Governor Inslee and the City of Spokane.



ProclamationGovenorInslee
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ProclamationCitySpokane
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