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October 2021

SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER Published Monthly except July and August 21 – 08 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson After a year of zoom membership meetings, I wish to report about our first in-person meetings at Darcy’s Restaurant. The Board met August 23 and the general membership met September 13. Everyone acknowledged their vaccination, mostly wore masks when not eating, and felt safe within our two groups. Our attendance numbers were about par with our previous zoom meetings. I understand that some people continue to hesitate about meeting in person. Therefore, we will attempt October’s membership meeting to be a hybrid of in-person and zoom. Although we hope for success, we cannot promise it. I hope to see you then. October 2021 OCTOBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY Oct. 11, 2021 - 11:30 AM Darcy’s Restaurant 10512 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206 The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced the portion of Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) premiums paid by federal civil servants and retirees will increase by an average of 3.8 percent in 2022. Many other health systems will see greater increases. As I write this President’s Corner, the House of Representatives passed a spending package along party lines that would avert a government shutdown and suspend the debt limit until the end of 2022. The package includes a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at fiscal year 2021 levels through December 3, 2021. This gives Congress additional time to pass a spending package for FY 2022. Additionally, the bill includes funding for disaster relief and the resettlement of Afghan evacuees. Congress has through September 30 to either pass a CR into law or risk a government shutdown. I encourage you to safely enjoy Halloween this year. Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32. DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR OCTOBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY OCT. 11, 2021 - 11:30 AM Darcy’s Restaurant 10512 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206 LEGISLATION Roger Bosky We retirees are all eagerly awaiting our 2022 COLA increase to keep up with the health, food and gas prices that have gone up. It is predicted to be in the 5% to 6% range, but let’s not forget our fellow employees, for whom the President has proposed only a 2.2% raise with an additional 0.5% locality boost. Not to be ungrateful but that raise doesn’t keep up with the cost of living nor does it help to keep Federal pay comparability with their private sector counterparts. Federal workers are already 23% behind according to some experts. And there are no signs that Congress will override the President. The GPO/WEP bill (H.R. 82) and Fair COLA Act (H.R.4315) are still languishing on the Congressional docket. H.R 82 gained an additional 15 co-sponsors, bringing the total up to 228, What with the potential government shutdown and a full agenda looming, our concerns are on the back burner. As I prepared to write this, I read that OPM has announced the upcoming rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. The rates rose by a modest 3.8% on average. The basic Blue Cross rate went up $15 a month. PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch It’ been a beautiful fall. We received some rain, and the trees are beginning to turn. Here’s what else to look forward to in our upcoming NARFE chapter meetings: Todd Dunfield, Community Conservation Program Manager of Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, will be joining us for our October 11 membership meeting at Darcy’s. Todd is passionate about preserving the health of our air and water as well as protecting open areas for community recreation. He graduated from Gonzaga University and received a Masters from Seattle University. He has been Executive Director of North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation and Spokane Nordic Ski Association. Clearly a person who loves the outdoors. Come hear about his latest adventures with the Conservancy in the Spokane area. In November, Ann Ozuna, a Federal Employees Benefit Consultant (i.e., the Retirement Lady) will be joining us to talk about the latest and greatest in health benefits for 2021. She has joined us many years and offers a great overview of those changes in benefits that may be of interest to our group. Since the Delta variant has brought an end to in-person health fairs, this session is particularly important, and we will be providing her expertise to others via Zoom. Yes, she will still be lunching with us at Darcy’s while she Zooms to those who log on. Either way, be sure to join us. SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER 509-624-9465

VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton RICH WILSON – OVER THE YEARS, A TRIBUTE Rich Wilson, Member of Chapter 1404 East Lake, WA, joined NARFE in 2004 and was a strong supporter of the organization until his passing September 7, 2020. He served not only in several Chapter leadership positions-newsletter editor, legislative chairman, 2nd VP and President of Chapter 1404 – but also as a federation district VP, Federation vice president then as president before being elected as the Region IX vice president. Rich had a 39-year career with the U.S. Postal Service. Rich also had a 26-year career in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His passing will be deeply felt throughout NARFE. For those wanting to honor Rich’s memory and dedication to NARFE, we have an opportunity to do so through NARFE’s Silver Circle Program. Donations can be mailed to Steve Roy @ 8754 Charet Drive, Blaine, WA. 98230-9517. Make checks payable to Steve Roy with “Rich Wilson Silver Circle” in the memo line. 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. Theaddress 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 Chapter 32-Spokane currently remains strong with 272 Chapter members and 206 National only members or a total of 478 NARFE members. NARFE MEMBER BENEFITS Following are several key member benefits · Access the NARFE Federal Benefits Institute for powerful resources to help you fully understand and manage your benefits. · Visit the Legislative Action Center to contact your representative about bills affecting federal benefits · Get monthly issues of NARFE Magazine with news and insights for the federal community. · Save time and money with NARFE Perks · The opportunity to get involved at the local level by joining Chapter 32-Spokane. 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 As the leaves are showing their glorious colors and daylight grows shorter, we are sending birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrate in October. Stay safe, enjoy the changing seasons, and take time to sniff the remaining flowers. Alice Floyd has recently passed. Condolences have been sent to her family. Kathy Brooks recently lost her son-in-law, Tim, to cancer. Sincere sympathy to all who have lost friends and loved ones. 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 Lack of Exercise and poor nutrition could increase the risk of diseases like dementia —Kings College London New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience ((IoPPN) at King’s College London has found that both diet and exercise can influence the risk of cognitive decline (CD) and dementia by potentially influencing hippocampal neurogenesis (the process by which the brain produces new brain cells) long before their onset. The study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, suggest that altered neurogenesis in the brain could potentially represent an early biomarker for both CD and dementia.

SERVICE & OUTREACH Kathy Brooks 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: WSF: Spokane:

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