SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER
Published Monthly except July and August
20 - 05 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees May 2020
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson
Here we are still living with the consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Inslee may extend his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order after May 4. Virginia’s Governor also extended his stay-home order, which consequently means NARFE headquarters’ building will remain closed through June 10. However, FEDcon20 in Scottsdale, AZ is still scheduled to occur, and early registration was extended until May 1. Our chapter will not meet until Darcy’s will once again offer in-house dining. Therefore, we won’t see each other until after our normal summer break during July and August. Please stay tuned for details regarding our garage sale in July and rest-stop fundraiser in October. Therefore, I encourage everyone to read this newsletter and our chapter’s webpage for the latest, UpToDate information. Because most all of us are in the high-risk age group, we all should practice staying home, staying a safe distance, and frequently washing our hands to live a longer, healthy life. I hope to see all of you the next time we meet. Anyone with questions can either call (208-661-7695) or email me at email@example.com.
The 2020 election cycle for NARFE officers kicked off with candidate statements in the March issue of NARFE Magazine. Information on bylaws amendments and resolutions will follow in the June/July 2020 issue of NARFE Magazine, and the ballot will be included in the August 2020 issue. Members can review the candidate statements and get more information about the 2020 NARFE election timeline on the web at www.narfe.org/2020balloting.
We celebrate Public Service Recognition Week of May 3-9 to honor all public servants on social media.
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Due to the present health situation all Meetings are cancelled until further notice.
LEGISLATION Roger Bosky
As we prepare to celebrate National Public Service Recognition week, my heart and esteem go out to those public servants who spoke truth to power as they carried out their constitutional duties. Their efforts were rewarded with humiliation and loss of jobs. Now, once again, public servants are being asked to serve on the front lines as the COVID-19 virus rages across the country. As I write this, I learned that a Federal vaccine doctor believes that he was ousted from his job for questioning the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.
TSA screeners, VA nurses and doctors, postal workers, border patrol agents, security guards, and many others come in contact with the public in carrying out their duties and may be exposed to the virus. And, many workers use locker rooms and showers where person-to-person contact requirements cannot be followed. Workers have died.
The Government response to worker concerns has been mixed. The VA, for example, has required workers to continue working after exposure to the virus and until they have symptoms. Or else they are AWOL. The VA chief has acknowledged that there is a shortage of protective equipment for its hospital workers. On the other hand, strong efforts have been made to allow teleworking, where possible. There has also been discussion of bonuses for front-line workers and additional sick leave.
Now, there is strong pressure to return to normal and bring all employees back to work. Let us hope that this can be done safely. My concern is that in view of the administration’s abdication of leadership to the States, how will this situation work for national programs?
NOTICE: Washington State Federation has a new website. The address is – www.narfewa.org.
PROGRAM Louise Soles
Who would have ever thought the world could get so upside down! Seems I have a tendency to want to be reclusive and it takes some effort talking myself into getting out and about and being social. Now I find myself lamenting the loneliness caused by "social distancing" and self-isolation. Sheesh. I do miss all my friends, but we all know that "This too shall pass". God willing, it be over soon.
Editor’s Note – Louise is stepping down as our Program Chair after many years of providing outstanding speakers for our Chapter Meetings. We want to wish Louise success in her future endeavors and hope to see her at our meetings, when they begin again.
President Scott Robinson is looking for a replacement for Louise, so if you are interested, or know someone, please contact Scott.
MEMBERSHIP Sandy Cook
What started out with 14 people in 1921 grew to 491,000 in the mid-eighties. Since then it has dwindled somewhat, but the mission is still relevant.
Here is a copy of NARFE's mission statement:
NARFE Mission Statement:
• To support legislation beneficial to current and potential federal annuitants and to oppose legislation contrary to their interests.
• To promote the general welfare of current and potential federal annuitants by advising them with respect to their rights under retirement laws and regulations.
• To cooperate with other organizations and associations in furtherance of these general objectives.
This mission is critical and timely as Congress and the administration consider unprecedented cuts to federal pay and benefits. Each new member strengthens the message to Congress and makes our national outreach stronger. It also shows NARFES resolve in maintaining a strong and effective federal workforce.
When you are talking to a possible member, let them know how long we have been in existence and give them an example of the impact NARFE has made for them, such as prevented impact to our Health Benefits and prevented Retirement, Pay and Benefit Cuts. I think they might be interested in preserving their retirement benefits, don’t you?
Let's build those numbers up again!
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
With everything going on in the world, we have made the decision to postpone the Pre-Retirement Seminar until this Fall. If you are aware of anyone interested in attending, please let me know.
I heard from a friend that the Postal letter carriers were unable to purchase and sanitizer wipes. These wipes are needed to sanitize the vehicles before they start their day. Well, I came up with an idea to make these wipes. With the help of Sue Harvey, Mary Rohner, and Jodi Brugh, we made 40 containers of sanitizer wipes and distributed them to the carrier stations within the Spokane area. We also want to thank all our friends and family for their donations of plastic containers.
We hear thank you to all the medical, fire, police, etc. workers. However, we need to remember all those workers ensuring we receive our mail, packages, etc. They too are out daily helping to ensure there is some normalcy to our days.
THANK YOU TO ALL WORKERS, GOVERNMENT AND CIVILIAN, ENSURING WE HAVE NORMALCY IN OUR LVES, BY PROVIDING SERVICES.
Spokane Chapter 32’s new website has launched. You can view it at www.narfespokane.org. Please take a look and share your thoughts.
SUNSHINE Susan Harvey
STAY HOME (as much a possible), STAY SAFE, STAY WELL!
Breigh Soles, daughter-in-law of Louise Soles, received good news! After having cancer return, receiving immunotherapy, and six months later, her MRI shows one tumor left (it is shrinking) and her CT scan was clear!
Arlene Patton recently lost her youngest brother after a lengthy illness.
Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrated in April and upcoming May 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.
ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg
Covid-19 and the Brain
THE FIRST REPORTS of Covid-19 affecting the central nervous system appeared on the preprint server medRxiv in late February, posted by neurologists in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started. Analyzing health records from 214 patients admitted to the Union Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the team found that 36.4 percent of those patients showed signs of nervous-system-related issues.
The most common symptoms they observed were muscle pain, headaches, dizziness, or confusion—which tend to manifest during any viral infection, especially in older people. In at least some of the patients, especially the ones with headaches, the neurological symptoms started days before a cough and fever set in.
The upshot? Doctors need to consider altered brain function as cause to test for SARS-CoV-2, in order to “avoid delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis and prevention of transmission,” the authors wrote in a peer-reviewed version of the study published Friday in the journal JAMA Neurology. Failure to recognize these early warning signs could result in patients being discharged and unknowingly exposing others to the virus, they wrote.
Spokane Washington Chapter 32
PO Box 4592
Spokane, WA 99220
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32