September 2011 Chronicle

September 2011 Chronicle

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Greetings to All,

While it’s been a long hot summer for us here in Missouri, it has also been a summer packed full of meetings, conference calls and decisions for MCB.  I’ll try and cover as much of what MCB has been doing over the past few months as possible in my report to you.

Let me first begin by saying that I am very proud of the MCB board and the support it has shown to the residents of Joplin.  As you know, in May Joplin was devastated by the most destructive tornado ever to hit the USA.  The MCB board took immediate action by reaching out to the Joplin members of MCB and to all of the legally blind in that area that were affected by this traumatic event.  By a unanimous decision, the board voted to donate $25,000.00 to the Independent Living Center with the stipulation that this money would be used exclusively for our members and other legally blind that needed help.  Through the cooperation of ILC this money is still being distributed for that purpose.  Not only did MCB make donations, but donations from other affiliates of MCB and from other state affiliates of ACB and individuals came in.  I believe the total to date is over $32,000.00 that has been given.  My heartfelt thanks go out to all that had a part in assisting those in need.

The next item that I am sure a lot of you will be interested in is concerning the blind pension.  We are getting closer to a settlement on this long drawn out process.  In June the western appeals court in Kansas City handed down their decision.  Although it wasn’t completely what we had hoped for, it was still a victory for the recipients of the blind pension.  The court ruled in our favor on 4 of the 5 points that were appealed by the state.  The one we were ruled against on is the statute of limitations.  Instead of going back to 1992 for back pay, the court ruled that the statute of limitations should be only 5 years from the time of the filing of the lawsuit which takes it back to 2001.  This translates to approximately 7 million less for the amount of the settlement.

We had as our guest on the MCB Connect our attorney, Debbie Greider in July and she explained the procedure and answered a lot of our questions on that conference call.  If you would like to hear that recording you may call, 712-432-6190.  When asked for an access code, put in: 129071 followed by the # sign.  Then when asked for a file name put in: 072511#.

My main concern as we go into the 2012 fiscal year is our budget and income.  The board has approved a budget and although we made several cuts in many areas, we are still operating in a deficit.  My main focus over the next year will be our income.  We are diligently seeking ways to increase our income and have had several meetings with possible funding sources.  Although I don’t have anything positive to report on these meetings, I do have high hopes that something good for MCB will come out of these meetings.  These meetings include a possible new management company for the existing thrift stores we have in Springfield and Kansas City.  It also includes collaboration from Apogee, a company in Minnesota that would solicit goods for their thrift store in St. Louis and pay us by the pound for the goods collected.  We have also been talking to Alternative Solutions with the possibility of them becoming a management company in much the same way we are operating our current thrift stores.  We will keep you apprised of any developments as they become available.

If we are not able to increase our income over the next year, then more cuts in the budget will become necessary in 2013.  We want to be able to continue to support our programs that we offer to the legally blind of Missouri, but in order to do so, we need to be able to balance our budget in one way or another.

An all out effort is being made to find an Executive Director for MCB.  Although we have had several applications to come in up to this point, the personnel committee feels as though none of them meet the criteria we are looking for to fill this position.  We are considering hiring a company that specializes in finding executives for non-profits and therefore being assured of an appropriate candidate for this position.  Hopefully I will be able to report our success in the next edition of the Chronicle.

Missouri is proud to be the host of the first Midwest Leadership Conference ever held.  The conference was held in St. Louis at the Marriott West on August 19th through 20th.  It was attended by over 50 representatives from 7 different states with MCB having 12 of those representatives.  The conference featured as our guest speakers Dan and Brenda Dillon, Dr. Ron Milliman and Chris Grey.  The conference was considered a success by all that attended.

MCB was also the host of the RSB Advisory Council open forum in August.  The forum was held at the MCB office on Chippewa and was well attended.

During our convention this year we will be electing several new board members.  Those positions include a treasurer, 3 directors and a public relations chair.  We have had several people to announce their candidacy for these positions and I hope that you will take as much time as necessary to find out about the qualifications of these candidates before you vote in October.  To assist you in making your decision we are inviting anyone interested in one of these positions to be our guest on the MCB Connect on Monday, September 19th at 7:00 PM.  To participate in the conference call you may call: 712-432-6100 and enter the access code: 129071#.  We will give everybody time to ask questions of each one of the candidates on the conference.

Words cannot express my gratitude to all of the committee chairs and committee members we have in MCB.  Without their hard work MCB simply wouldn’t be what it is today.  I also greatly appreciate the officers and board members we have.  They have a large responsibility in the decisions that need to be made and although often times those decisions aren’t easy ones to make, I am confident that the correct decision is made.

Let me close out by encouraging you to attend our 2011 MCB convention this October.  The convention will be held in Joplin and Susan Sanderson; our convention coordinator will have more information about it later in the Chronicle.

Our guest speaker from ACB this year will be Chris Grey, immediate past president of the American Council of the Blind.

God bless each and every one of you and I’ll see you in the next edition of the Missouri Chronicle.

Denny Huff - President

2011 MCB CONVENTION

It is time to begin preparing for our MCB Convention.  The convention will be held in Joplin, Missouri at the Holiday Inn – Joplin October 14 through October 16. 

Make your reservations now for a great and wonderful time.  To make your hotel reservations call 417-782-1000.  When making your reservation be sure you tell them you are with the Missouri Council of the blind to get our discount rate of $89.

Don’t forget to register. Send your completed Registration Form with payment to the MCB office no later than September 7 to qualify for the pre-registration rate of $5.  Registration after September 7 is $15.

The Break-Away Sessions include Basic Self Defense, presented by Team Joplin Martial Arts teacher, Mickey Seeten and Storm Safety, presented by the Redding Fire Department.

 

IN AFFILIATE NEWS

Joplin Service Club

Of course everyone knows of the indescribable awful tornado that hit Joplin May 21st.  Our long time members Harold and Alice Poiry's home was completely destroyed.  Harold had built the house in 1954.  Both Harold and Alice were shopping at the 15th Street Wal-mart when the tornado struck.  The store was destroyed also.  They received cuts and bruises and were trapped under rubble for a short time before being rescued.  Their car was also destroyed in the parking lot.  Our member C. J. Campbell's home was destroyed and C. J. was trapped in his house for a short time before being rescued.  Ron Brauner received minor cuts on his head and was trapped in the Wal-Mart rubble for a short time and also lost his car in the parking lot.  We would like very much to thank the Pony Express Club for their generous gift to our club.  It was forwarded to Harold, Alice and C. J.  I am sure it could not have come at a better time.  We thank the Lord that they are O. K.  Now, on a lighter note.  I had one of those spooky experiences sometime back with a friend of who was blind.  He was all alone family wise and lived in a nursing home. God love him. Some of us from the church were having Bible class studies on Tuesday evenings at one of the dear lady's home. After the study we would have cookies and milk and fellowship and that sort of thing.  Now I would always go to the nursing home and pick-up Paul and bring him to the Bible study as he just loved being there and getting to go somewhere, bless his heart.  Now that night at the meeting we studied about demons and evil spirits as they are discussed in the Bible.  It was quite an extensive study and when it was over, Cookies and milk and all that, it was time to take Paul back home.  It was after dark.  Spooky!!  Anyway we got in the car and proceeded on our way.  We hadn't gotten too far when Paul who can’t see jumped and turned to me as white as a sheet and said AL, who's in here?  I said no one Paul but you and me.  He said very definitely, there is too and it just brushed against the back of my head!!  Now that part about "it" got my attention.  Paul there's no one else in here.  Paul, "there is too."  He says I want out and I say Paul I can't let you out here in the dark.  By now I'm looking in the back seat and everywhere for boogies or something evil jumping the curb, running down the sidewalk dodging fire hydrants, mailboxes, etc. looking for boogies or something evil.  Never did see one.  Finally, I got Paul home and he said I got to go the bathroom.  I helped him get inside and asked a nurse to help him and told him you're on your own now.  Get'im boogie.  I went back to the study group to get my wife.  I made her go to the car first!!  She's kind of spooky herself anyway!!  'til next time laugh a lot and have a good Labor Day holiday.

AL ASHTON,  PR  MAAANNN

WAGGIN TAILS

--Judy Burch

Hello fellow MCB-ers.  Once again it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming October convention in Joplin, and to get ready for this year’s MGDU breakfast meeting which will be held on Friday, Oct 14th. We look forward to seeing you all there.  Our affiliate has been busy, as you’ll hear at the meeting, and that trend is going to continue on into the upcoming year.  Come to the breakfast to enjoy some good food, thanks to Melvin Smith who is helping to put together a variety sure to please every palate.

And while we’re all discussing MGDU business, our faithful guides will be quietly exchanging their own doggie thoughts and impressions underneath the tables.

As always, October is dues-paying time, so don’t forget to bring your dues!  See you in October!

St. Charles County Council Affiliate

Anne Murphy, Vice President

Wow! Where did the time go?  Our Trivia Night held on May 21st produced $6000 for our affiliate.  A huge thank you goes to Julie Chinn, President, Carolyn Kemper and her husband as well as David White who worked hard on getting donations and people to attend.  Our Installation dinner was great fun with Dave Andrews from the Blind Lutheran Mission giving an inspiring talk as well as Edna Freeman, a longtime member giving a history of the SCCCB.  The dinner was delicious prepared by the Duchesne Key Club.  An award was given to Carolyn Kemper for member of the year and a special recognition award was given to David White for his hard work in getting a multitude of donations for the Trivia Night.

It was a long hot summer with the annual BBQ held at the parents of David White’s with great food and wonderful company.  Thanks goes to David’s parents for letting us use their nice home. 

We are back to our monthly business meetings at the Delta Center on the first Monday of each month. We are looking forward to the upcoming convention and conversing with the other affiliates.

We still have cookbooks available at $12.00 a donation.  This book is packed full of delicious recipes from our members as well as other MCB and ACB members.  In addition we have recipes from the mayor of St. Charles, Jay Nixon, the Obama’s and John McCain.  It is a nice book with nice card stock and nicely laminated so as easy to get wiped down when cooking.  To order a cookbook please contact me at 314-434-4051 or at jasmurphy@sbcglobal.net.

See YOU Next time.  Anne

Hello from Rite,

I hope you are all weathering the heat okay. It was so hot a bird laid an egg in mid air and before it hit the ground it was hard boiled. Now if you believe that I will sell you some property on the ocean in the middle of Arizona.

We held our picnic on June 18th in Wilmore Park. The weather was very nice and there was a very pleasant breeze blowing. The only problem was that on the rafters of the shelter we were using were mamma birds, papa birds and baby birds. They sang songs for us and left little surprises all over the tables and benches. We had a good turnout, lots of food and oodles of fun.

Four of us attended the ACB convention in Reno. We went on the train and had some memorial experiences. We had to take 2 busses from St. Louis to Chicago. Because of flooding several tracks could not be used causing the train to be late. It was 5 hours late to be exact. I was pleased with the assistance we received on the train. There wasn’t much entertainment at the hotel except the casino and those slot machines were very stingy. We did go to a couple of restaurants near the hotel, a pub and a mexican establishment. I was disappointed that the hotel was so isolated. I thought the speakers were rather interesting though.

From Reno to Chicago everything went well. The mountains are magnificent and the conductor described a lot of the scenery to us. However, when we got to Chicago things went awry. Our bus was due to leave Chicago at 6 pm. The train was late getting there and we only had 10 minutes to catch it after we left the train. Our assistant wasn't there to meet us. Of course, we missed the bus. After spending a lot of time working things out with the Amtrak office they put us up in a hotel. I thought they would give us a room in Hotel 6 or some place of that price. I was wrong. They sent us to one of the nicest places I have ever had the privilege of staying. We stayed at the Embassy Suites. It had all the conveniences of home. It was very comfortable, clean and pleasant. Amtrak also gave us money for food and cab fare to the hotel and back to the station. We had a free buffet breakfast. We had a good time and thank Amtrak for their consideration.

We would like to welcome our new members. Sherman and Theresa Davis, Carol and Patrick Moody. Sherman and Theresa are new members to MCB and Carol and Patrick transferred from another affiliate.  Welcome guys.

Several of our members attended camp at Cobblestone this summer. I understand, although it was very hot, they had a wonderful time.

We are planning to go to the ball game to see the Cardinals and Cubs in September. Go Cards.

Before this turns into a book I'd better shut it down. I hope you have enjoyed your summer and have made a lot of good memories no matter what you did. See you in the next chronicle or at the convention.

Warm blessings, Bunny Maginnis

Ozark Association of the Blind

Ozark Association of the Blind celebrated Dorothy Moranville’s 52 years serving as Treasurer of our organization with a dinner and party at the Hotel Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve. OAB presented Dorothy with a money tree representing her years of service.

The Missouri Council of the Blind honored Ida Scotti, Ozark Association of the Blind, and Loretta Welch, Member At Large, with Lifetime Membership in the American Council of the Blind at the National Convention convened in Reno, Nevada. The council congratulates you.

Yvonne Schnitzler

Hello from Lake Stockton Area Affiliate

We had a great day on Saturday, August 6, as we celebrated our 25th Silver Birthday.  Mary Gray, our charter member, was with us and Beverly Robertson, our president and newest affiliate member, surprised Gray with a silver necklace and a copy of the original charter.  A big thank you goes out to all who attended the dinner and auction to help us celebrate.

Bill Deaton was named Missouri Council of the Blind’s April Member of the Month.  During the affiliate’s May meeting, Willa Hood read the article about Bill from the local newspaper.  Eddie Robertson read the announcement that was sent via email from MCB President Denny Huff as LSACB President Robertson presented Deaton with a framed “Pat-on-the-Back.”  Deaton has been a devoted and valued member of Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind for over eight years. 

Beverly and Eddie Robertson, Garland Brich, Willa Hood, and Wayne and Linda Dawes attended the White Cane Walk hosted by the Springfield Service Club on Saturday, May 21. 

In July, Garland was hospitalized due to blood clots in his left leg.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Jo Ann Mitchell joined LSACB as our first Associate Member.  The affiliate had approved an Associate Membership in order for more sighted individuals to become members of our organization.

As I write this for the Chronicle, much needed rain is falling, and that takes me back to the devastating tornadoes that our friends in Joplin and Sedalia endured.  We, the members of Lake Stockton are thankful that you are still with us.  You are in our thoughts and prayers as you rebuild and/or help your friends and neighbors rebuild.

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Thinking of all our precious friends,

Linda Dawes, Secretary

 

BRAILLE REVIVAL LEAGUE

Judy Burch

The members of the Braille Revival League once again are looking forward to this year’s annual Alma Murphey BRL Luncheon, which will be held on Oct. 15 at the MCB convention in Joplin.  Last year’s luncheon was well attended and very much enjoyed by members and guests alike.  Besides another great luncheon this year, we’re looking forward to some fundraising activities that we hope you’ll enjoy.  See you all in Joplin, and keep on reading that Braille!

 

LIVE FROM YOUR COMMITTEES!

Special Services Committee

Anne Murphy: Chairperson

Thanks goes to our professional President, Denny Huff, for appointing me to this position.  Due to my long work history as a social worker and my Master of Social Work Degree as well as my LCSW I am confident this is a perfect fit for me.  I love to assess individual’s needs and have a lot of experience doing so.  I am glad to help “my own “sort of speak meaning the visually impaired. I am rest assured that there is actual money to give to those individuals who are in need of it.  I had been in the past burnt out in my work positions navigating the bureaucracies to get the assistance people need.  

My committee members Linda Hager, from Progressive, and Robert Jako, from united workers have worked in coordination with me to make decisions quickly and to get the funds people are eligible for out in a quick manner.  Special thanks goes to Virginia and Eleanor from the MCB office who get me what I need, when I need it and work hard with me to get individual’s the resources and assistance they need. 

We were given $15,000 this fiscal year and used all of it except $64.08 which ran out in early May.

I am eager to start the new fiscal year and to make any improvements in getting services as well as financial assistance to individuals.

Thanks again.  More next time. Anne

 

Emergency Preparedness

Bunny Maginnis

As you all know we are in the middle of an extensive heat wave. I sincerely hope that you have taken every precaution to protect yourself from of the heat related illnesses. It is extremely important to stay hydrated. If you must be outside make sure that you drink plenty of cool water. Water is the best drink you can partake of in weather such we are having.

If you don't have air conditioning in your home be sure to keep your house or apartment well ventilated with fans. You might try sitting with a pan of ice in front of you with a fan blowing across it. Go to a movie, shopping or whatever you have to do to get into an air conditioned place for awhile to give your body a break from the heat.

Wear loose fitting clothes of light color.

If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, weak or if you developed a headache, don't hesitate to get help. Those are some of the symptoms of heat strokes. Heat strokes are an emergency. Get help.

If you live alone please be sure to stay in contact with a relative or neighbor daily. You are part of the MCB family and we don't want to lose you. Always remember, don't be scared. Be prepared.

Bunny Maginnis

 

Craft Room Report

I will be the Craft Room Chairman this year again.  I thoroughly enjoy doing this work for MCB.  We are looking for a lot of you to bring crafts this year and make this a big year for our convention.

We will open the craft room on Thursday of convention at 10:00 am to close it at 8:00 pm.  On Friday, the craft room will be open from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm then again from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Then on Saturday, you will just pick up crafts from 12:00 to 1:00.  That is all at will be open Saturday.  Let’s give it a big boost this year and have the craft room full.

I am looking forward to this year.  Phyllis Lovett will be helping me.  Thank you for this opportunity.  Please let me know if you need tables.

Loretta Welch – 660-679-5429

Public Relations Report

By: Leroy Welch, Public Relations Chairman

This is my next to last report as my PR term will be up in October.  I have enjoyed so much serving you in this capacity for 14 years out of my 30 years as a member of MCB.

I intend to run for Director of the Board, so please consider me for this office.  I want to continue to serve you in this new capacity now as I enjoy so much serving MCB to help in any way.

I love MCB and have enjoyed attending Power-Up and Children’s Conferences.  Also, attending affiliate special meetings over Missouri.  I love meeting people and telling them about different things about MCB.  Working for MCB is a pleasure.

I have served as representative on the Board for West Central Workers of the Blind in the past and county Line Council also on the MCB Board of Directors for 8 years previously.  I was also Membership Chairman for 1-1/2 years.

I will try to do my part to help MCB continue to grow and make the best program in Missouri and elsewhere.

We attended the MCB Convention in October and handed out PR products. 

In April we attended Power Up in Columbia and met many people and talked to them about MCB.  Then we attended the Board Meeting in Joplin in April and gave out products there.

We have been on most of the conference calls and in May we attended Springfield White Cane Walk and handed out many products there.

We will be going to Joplin in the near future to help Linda Russell collect door prizes for the convention this year.

We will also be attending at bolivar – the Lake Stockton Auction and Dinner on August 6th and will hand out some more PR products.

Thanks so much to my committee, Linda Burris, a wonderful lady and helper.  I appreciate working with such a lovely person and also, my wife Loretta.  Then at the Convention in October at Joplin, we will hand out what products we have left over.  We have sent out different products to some of the affiliates also.

Again, thanks so much for giving me this great opportunity over time.  God Bless you all. We love you all. 

Leroy Welch

MEMBER OF THE MONTH COMMITTEE

There are many who deserve recognition in MCB. Take time to nominate someone who has been of service to your affiliate, MCB, or community. If chosen, they will win a $25 gift certificate and will be honored at the MCB Convention banquet. All monthly winners are entered in a drawing with a chance to win a $100 gift certificate. Send in names for September and October.

Member of the Month

July: Dorothy Moranville, Ozark Association of the Blind

June: Emma Lou Swopes, Blind of Central Missouri

May: Linda Russell, Joplin Service Club

April: Bill Deaton, Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind

March: Gregg Hollins, Allied Workers for the Blind

February: Leroy Welch, Member At Large

January: Tom Armstrong, St. Louis Council of the Blind

December: Terrica Sanders, Blind of Central Missouri

November: Reba Carter, Blind of Central Missouri.

October: Celita White, United Workers for the Blind

Yvonne Schnitzler, Member of the Month Chair:  Please note new email address
meshowjys@charter.net

 

CAST YOUR VOTES!

Patti Schonlau

I would like to submit my candidacy for the position of Director of the Board of Missouri Council of the Blind, for the 2011-13 term.  I know that I have the experience and qualifications for such office as I have served on the Board of Directors in the position of Affiliate Representative for United Workers for the Blind of Missouri; President, Vice-President, and Member at Large for UWB; and currently I serve as the Chairman of the Personnel Committee of MCB and representative of the Blind Task Force for MCB since 2004.

For the past 30 years I have dedicated my life and career to the education of blind individuals as I have worked as a Rehabilitation Teacher in a center for newly blinded adults, as a rehab teacher/counselor with working age adults at the Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, as a home teacher with older individuals who are blind at the St. Louis Society for the Blind, and I have taught Braille and Transition Skills at the Missouri School for the Blind for the past fifteen years.  Such work has been rewarding, but it has also benefited the community as I have educated the blind in the areas of legislation, scholarship, transportation, and technology.

A key component that qualifies me for this position is my experience in leadership.  Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of Midwestern Braille Volunteers, while also teaching braille transcription within the organization.  I was the Vice-Present and then President of the Mehlville Lions Club, in which I moved support for the Prevention of Blindness (EYE Care), support of low income families during the holiday season, and scholarship support for students attending college.  I also have experience in directing major group events as I was the Convention Chair for the MCB State Convention in 1995, and I orchestrated the speakers, the planning, the overall organization for the Children’s Vision Summit in 2007 and 2008.

As a lifetime educator, I have a personal interest in the development and continuation of scholarship in all individuals.  Such drive for education developed as I attended Central Methodist University, where I earned a Bachelor in Music Education. I also attended the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, where I earned a M.A. in Special Education, Rehabilitation Teaching for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults.  Additionally, I am certified to teach blind and visually impaired children in the state of Missouri.  I continue to support education beyond being a school teacher as well, as I am the UWB Chairman of Scholarship Committee for blind students in which I seek out young adults attending college in the state of Missouri that are blind and provide them with financial support. 

It is with the combination of my experiences with the community, the education of blind individuals, and the opportunities I have had with direct leadership that I know I would be an excellent choice for Director of the Board.  I would appreciate your support, and I hope to serve with you in such role in the future.

Sincerely, Patti Schonlau

 

Brian L. Hallows

I would like to be considered as a candidate for one of the Board of Directors positions.

I am relatively new to the MCB but I promise all of you I will be an active board member for all of you my friends and fellow MCB members.   Your best interest should be at the forefront of any board members actions and I promise you that your best interest is what I will use to influence any decision I make on the board.   All of you will have my email address and I will respond to each and every one of your concerns.

I hope that you will consider me when placing your votes for Board Members for MCB.

Respectively Submitted, Brian L. Hallows

bhallows@att.net

Bunny Maginnis

I am hereby declaring myself a candidate for MCB board director.

This is not a hasty decision on my part. I have given it much thought and I think I am well qualified and one of the best people for a job such as serving on the MCB board. I served as board representative for my affiliate for 4 years. I also served as legislative representative 4 years. I have served on MCB committees such as chairing the credentials, membership and emergency preparedness.  In my affiliate I have served on committees.  I was recording secretary for several years. I served as first/vice president and I am currently president. I also served as corresponding secretary for the Missouri School for the Blind alumni association. I am currently president of that organization. I work closely with the senior citizens in my home town. I am honest, steadfast and not afraid to speak up when I feel the necessity of it. I believe that the members of an organization should have a voice in that organization and I will do my utmost to say that their rights are considered. I am fun loving, capable and energetic. And I will work to make MCB fair, strong and an organization we can all be proud of. I would love to have your vote. Thanks in advance.  Bunny Maginnis

Kimberly Hallows

I would like you to consider me for one of your three people on the board.  As you know I have been a founding president of an ICB affiliate.  I have been a PTA President for two years.  The ICB sent me to the National Convention as their student representative one time.  I did some call in shows for Mind’s Eye when they still had the call in shows.  I was supposed to line up my own guests.  One of my many guests was a Neurologist talking about migraine.  Another was a Physician talking about Glaucoma.  And the list goes on.

Respectfully yours, Kimberly Hallows

Celita White

I am a member of United Workers for the Blind.  I live in Crestwood, a suburb of St. Louis, and I announce my candidacy for the office of MCB Treasurer.  My MCB resume includes serving six years as MCB treasurer. I am currently on the Adaptive Technology Committee, Summer Camp Committee, and Finance and Budget Committee, and, in years past was the Building Chairperson. My previous experience as treasurer also includes United Workers for the Blind for both their General  and Building Funds and currently I am the  treasurer for the Service Club for the Blind in St. Louis. Being MCB Treasurer can be a challenge but I will give it my best.  Celita White

Lynn Smith

I would like to introduce myself.  I am Lynne Smith, a legally blind member-at-large.  I am running for Director of MCB.  I joined SCCCB in the fall of 1986.  I held the offices of President, First Vice President and Secretary in SCCCB.  I was also the Legislative Representative for 4 years.  I have two years of college.  I have attended state conventions and also national conventions. 

The reason I would like to be involved at the state level is that I have been in business for over 20 years and have good business experience.  I am a people person and have an open door policy.  Please feel free to contact me at any time and I will do my best to answer any questions you might have.  I would appreciate your vote for Director and look forward to serving on the MCB Board of Directors.  I can be contacted via email at sweetbratz1@yahoo.com or by phone at (636) 745-2877. 

Leroy Welch

I intend to run for Director of the Board, so please consider me for this office.  I want to continue to serve you in this new capacity now as I enjoy so much serving MCB to help in any way.  I have served as representative on the Board for West Central Workers of the Blind in the past and County Line Council. I also served on the MCB Board of Directors for 8 years previously.  I was also Membership Chairman for 1-1/2 years.

I will try to do my part to help MCB continue to grow and make the best program in Missouri and elsewhere.

 

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From the Lower Left-Hand Drawer

By John Weidlich

Just a very few items in the drawer this time but, who knows? One of these items may be just the thing you are looking for so let's see what we have. These announcements are presented for your information in the hope that they may be helpful to you; they are not being endorsed by MCB or  anyone connected with the Chronicle.

Mattingly Low Vision sells magnifiers, telescopes and other low vision aids. the Mattingly Mouse is a mouse that can be plugged into a computer or TV to be used as a CCTV. It has seven magnification levels, and full color. There are two models, one for $99.00 and a wireless version that sells for $129.00. For more information about this or other products, contact Elena King, customer Service, Mattingly Low Vision Inc., 2361 Bear Rock Glen, Escondido, CA 92026, phone: (888) 642-0842. Their web site is www.mattinglylowvision.com.

Have trouble sleeping? It seems that many blind people do and it may be caused by a problem related to the lack of light needed to keep your body's internal clock in sync with day and night cycles. There is an ongoing clinical research study being conducted to evaluate a new treatment for this type of sleep disorder. To be eligible you must be between the ages of 18 and 75 and be totally blind. Compensation is available and all materials are provided free. To learn more about participating in this study, call (877) 708-1933 or send an email to info@non24registry.com. Pleasant dreams.

Seedlings Braille Books for Children has 33 new titles, ranging from preschool books to novels for teens. For a catalog you can email info@seedlings.org or call (800) 777-8542, or visit www. seedlings.org.

Word 2010 with Keyboard Commands is a quick reference guide  for using Word 2010 with various screen readers. It is available in Braille, or Word document from National Braille Press, (800) 548-7323. Their web site is www.nbp.org

I haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, but an increasing number of blind people are using the popular iPhone and many of those userrrs are totally blind. National Braille Press has just published Twenty-six Useful Apps for Blind iPhone Users by Peter Cantisani. It lists apps for your phone that you can use to take your blood pressure, dictate emails, get turn by turn walking or driving directions to a destination, record your own music and more. It costs $9.00 and can be ordered using the phone number or web site given in the previous paragraph. NBP has also published a detailed book on using the iPhone which I described in an earlier column.

Another useful app for the iPhone is ZoomReader,from AI Squared. It magnifies print information or converts print text to speech using OCR software and the iPhone's camera. It can be purchased from the iTunes store for $19.99. You can also find out more by contacting AI Squared at (800) 859-0270.

And here's another one. The BrlPen Slim and the BrlPen 12 can be connected to  the latest versions of an iPhone, iPod or iPad    to enhance the accessibility of those devices. They are battery powered, small Perkins style Braille keyboards. The BrlPen 12 also has a twelve cell Braille display. You can use Braille keyboard commands or a joystick to change iPhone settings or you can use the braille keyboard to type text messatges, emails, web addresses or notes. the BrlPen works with the VoiceOver screen reader to make navigation and writing easier. the BrlPen Slim costs $299 and the BrlPen 12  with the braille display is $995. For more information send an email to braillepen@flyingblind.com or call (216) 381-8107.

Net Echo is a subscription-based service that allows people to access the Internet using a phone rather than a computer. It can be used to surf the Internet, access email or access Twitter and Facebook. For information, call (408) 532-8460.

Ann Morris Bliss, who used to operate Ann Morris Enterprises, sells a jumbo, waterproof, black backpack that is large enough to hold a 17 inch laptop and lots of other stuff. It has lots of large and small front and side zippered  pockets. This might be very useful for all of the gadgets we seem to carry around with us wherever we go. I don't see a price on this but here is the contact information: email: annbliss1@gmail.com, phone: (845) 282-0643.

Here is something I definitely plan to check out. Magnets and Ladders is an online literary magazine for writers with disabilities.. It is published by an organization called Behind Our Eyes. Writers may submit short fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays and articles for publication. I don't necessarily plan to submit any writing but I would certainly like to read what others have written. to read the magazine or submit material go to www.magnetsandladders.org.

No More Social Security Checks: The Social Security Administration is phasing out the use of paper checks for social security benefits or other government assistance payments. New applicants for Social Security are being required to choose another method for receiving payments electronically and current recipients will no longer receive checks by mail after march, 2013. You will be given alternate choices such as direct deposit into a bank or credit union account or direct deposit to a debit card. It is estimated that this will save about a billion dollars over the next decade.

Freedom Scientific has announced an update on its Topaz line of video magnifiers. the new Topaz and Topaz XL desktop magnifiers provide access to a wide variety of printed material, including phone books, prescription bottle labels, and small print in contracts and bills. Screen sizes have been increased and controls have been made more simple to use. the new Topaz models range in price from $1,995 to $3,695, depending on monitor size and features.

For more details, visit www.freedomscientific.com or call (800) 444-4443.

Finally, the Touch Memo is a new digital voice labeler which you can use to record and play back personal labels on items such as groceries, cosmetics, and medicine. You record the information on an adhesive  label and attach it to the item you want to identify. Place the item with the recorded label on the Touch Memo, press the play button and hear what you have recorded on the label. There are also washable labels that can be used for clothing. the North American distributor for this product, which is made in Japan, is VisionCue, located in Portland, Oregon. The price is $179, which includes a supply of labels. For more information, call VisionCue at (888) 318-2582 or send an email to atinfo@visioncue.com

that's it for this time. Please send me any information you would like to share with others in this column.