SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER
Published Monthly except July and August
20 - 02 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees February 2020
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson
Are you tired of the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) not keeping pace with the increased costs you’re experiencing? Visit NARFE’s Legislative Action Center to send a message to Representative Cathy McMorris-Rogers urging her to support the Fair COLA for Seniors Act, H.R. 1553. This bill would replace the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) with the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to ensure more accurate annual COLAs for seniors. Our Spokane Chapter is 395 members strong with an additional 202 national members in our local area. Our voices count on matters relating to our federal benefits.
Registration opens February 3 for FEDCON 2020 in Scottsdale, AZ. Attendees will experience two-and-a-half days of thought-provoking speakers, leadership training, intensive education on federal benefits, and opportunities to connect with fellow NARFE members and federal colleagues. For more details on FEDcon20, visit NARFE.org/Fedcon20.
Tami and I attended last month’s NARFE’s local Chapter 91 in Corpus Christi, TX. Twenty-four people attended their meeting, which is similar to our chapter’s attendance. Unlike us, they do not share a meal together, which I truly enjoy. Their invited speaker was from The Good Feet Store, which is also located in Spokane Valley. I continue to appreciate VP Arlene filling in for me during my absence.
PROGRAM Louise Soles
Due to inclement weather and dangerous road conditions, we had to cancel our January meeting and reschedule our speaker, Rev. Ian Robertson. The good news is that Rev Robertson has graciously agreed to reschedule his presentation for the March meeting.
On February 10th, our speaker will be Candice Correia an Assistant Professor at Whitworth University. Her expertise is in the area of taxation. Besides teaching she still performs compliance and consulting work for businesses in a variety of industries. She has a wide range of experience in the accounting and legal fields, working in the private sector with BDO USA, LLP accounting firm and as a Judicial Attorney for Kootenai County. Professor Correia has her Juris Doctorate and Masters in Taxation degrees from Gonzaga University. Those tax forms are starting to come in and it's time to get focused on this yearly task. Come learn what's new and what might make a difference for you.
As stated, Rev. Ian Robertson is on the agenda for March 9th. Rev. Robertson has started a new organization where he continues ministry work. He is one of the original organizers of The Hub in Liberty Lake. He initiated a plan to build "tiny houses" for the homeless. And now he is focusing on a program in Colville WA. The issue of homelessness was given a lot of attention recently during recent Spokane elections. Ian will explain his vision for helping to abate this social challenge.
LEGISLATION Roger Bosky
THE CALM IN THE STORM
Recently, our country narrowly averted a war with Iran; the impeached president is on trial; Congress is divided into inaction and the civil service is under attack. But our benefits have survived the storm.
Last month the President signed spending bills to keep the government operating through FY 2020. There were increases for both the defense and non-defense sectors. Federal employees gained a provision for paid family leave as well as an average 3.1% increase in pay. Retirees had to settle for a 1.6% cost of living (COLA) increase.
This year the way the government computes our COLA’s will be a focus for NARFE . Right now, the COLA is computed using the CPI-W, which does not take into account medical expenses among other shortcomings. There is much talk about using the so-called chained CPI. But the chained CPI is worse than the CPI-W because it doesn’t include medical costs and assumes that if an item, we purchase get more expensive e.g. if coffee is high, we’ll start drinking tea. NARFE is fighting to use the CPI-E, which includes medical costs and other items that are needed by older people.
Let’s do what we can to ensure that we get the recognition and security we need in our retirement.
NOTICE: Washington State Federation has a new website. The address is www.narfewa.org.
MEMBERSHIP Sandy Cook
Did you know that you retirees can sign up for membership dues to be pulled out of your retirement by OPM so that you never have to think about it again? I like this idea. I get many calls from members that want to know when their dues is due. They would never have to worry about this. Just sign up and 1/12th of your yearly dues will be sent to NARFE until you decide to change it.
To apply for dues withholding:
Your authorization may be sent to your chapter or directly to National Headquarters. National Headquarters requires your authorization at least 60 days prior to your expiration date to allow adequate time for processing.
You will need:
• Civil Service Annuity (CSA or CSF) number.
• Social Security number.
• Date of birth, and
• NARFE membership number, if you are already a member.
Once the application process is completed, you will receive a special membership card distinguishing you as a Dues Withholding member.
If you require more information, contact NARFE National Headquarters at 800-456-8410, or by mail, or contact me at 509 994-7004 and I will send you the form.
You can also pay for 3 years at a time, so again, you do not have to worry about when your dues is due for a couple extra years. When you renew online, there is a button on the bottom of the renewal page that asks you to choose how many years you want to renew for.
I hope you are having a wonderful new year!
NARFE is really 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!
NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky
You can contribute to NARFE-PAC at our monthly meetings at Darcy’s or by completing the NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine. I will have pins for a $25 contribution at our meeting.
The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.
SEMINAR & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks
It is that time of year to again begin planning the 2020 Pre-Retirement Seminar. The dates are Tuesday & Wednesday, April 21 & 22, 2020. If you are aware of anyone interested in attending, please let me know.
Spokane Chapter 32 new website is about ready to launch. We have moved providers and are finalizing the information available to users. It is my intent to present the website at the chapter meeting.
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Feb. 10th Chapter Meeting
March 9th Chapter Meeting
March 23rd Board Meeting
April 13th Chapter Meeting
SUNSHINE Susan Harvey
Our Chapter has suffered a severe loss in the passing of Lester Ames. We were fortunate to have him attend many of our meetings to share his insights and many funny, some would say, corny jokes. Our Chapter members helped him celebrate his 100th birthday in 2019.
Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrated in January and upcoming February celebrations.
REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this very valuable membership, please contact membership chair, Sandy Cook at 509-294-3296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me.
VICE PRESIDENT REPORT Arlene Patton
Chapter Membership: The new AMS system is starting to reveal concerns with Chapter Membership. Currently 395 members are Chapter members, 202 NARFE members living in the Spokane area have chosen to be National members only. However, my quick review of the data base has resulted in members being dropped or shown as National members only. Please give me a heads up if you think you have been dropped from the NARFE data base or as a Chapter member.
Chapter 32-Spokane may not be able to continue to provide the level of services we current provide unless NARFE members are willing to pay the Chapter dues of $8.00. Our dues amount is some of the lowest in the state and we provide far more services: monthly newsletter, website, Chapter meetings with outstanding speakers and subsidize members that wish to attend Federation and National conferences. We have had outstanding speakers at Chapter meetings. Recruiting quality speakers often depend on the level of attendance at Chapter meetings. As you renew your National dues, also please renew your Chapter dues. If you currently are not a Chapter member, please consider joining.
2020 Washington State Federation (WSF) has received nominations for all positions except Federation Secretary. Position duties and applications are available on the Federation website www.narfewa.org. Please consider applying for a Federation position. In addition to the Secretary position the District 1 VP position is currently vacant and will need to be filled during the upcoming May 2020 Federation Conference.
ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg
Novel Approach Shows Early Promise in Boosting Memory in Alzheimer’s
Very early research suggests a novel, noninvasive brain stimulation technique guided by ultrasound may improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Investigators found that ultrasound-guided transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS) administered to a small number of patients with probable AD improved memory for up to 3 months and that these improvements correlated with improvements in brain networks observed on functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Although encouraging, Alzheimer’s experts caution the findings are highly preliminary and not near ready for prime time.
“TPS is a promising new brain therapy worthwhile to be further investigated in larger clinical studies on AD and other diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and stroke,” said Roland Beisteiner, MD Associate Professor, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
The study was published online December 23 in Advanced Science.
Spokane Washington Chapter 32
PO Box 4592
Spokane, WA 99220
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32