December 2015 Chronicle

December 2015 Chronicle



By Denny Huff


Greetings to all members and friends of MCB.  I hope this Christmas season finds you well and enjoying the holidays with your family and friends.


I only have a few items I want to share with you.  Let me begin by saying a big thank you to the Allied Workers for a great convention.  Thanks also goes to Act Now for their contribution.  Although a lot went on during the convention, one of the highlights was when we honored Ida Scotti and the member of the year.  She is quite a young lady and has lived an extraordinary life.  Read more about Ida further on in this edition or the Chronicle.


MCB was presented with the Shine the Light award presented by the Joplin Independent Living Center (ILC) early last month.  It was my privilege to receive this award on behalf of MCB at a banquet hosted by the ILC.  This is the first year the Joplin ILC has had the Shine the Light gala event and for MCB to be the recipient of the award when there are so many other great organizations they could have chosen from is indeed an honor.


Preparations are already being made for our 2016 convention to be held in St. Louis.  The convention committee has met several times and since this will be our 60th anniversary, you can look forward to a special time at the convention next year.


Chris Gray, Chip Hailey and I traveled to Kansas City early in November to sit in on the hearing for the blind pension litigation.  More about that will appear further on in the Chronicle.


Plans are also being made for a youth convention to be held in August of next year.  I have combined several committees to work on this project that were approved by the Board in October.  The Membership Committee, Low Vision Committee and Youth Committee will be working together to reach out to the legally blind young people in Missouri between the ages of 15 and 22.  If you know of someone that meets that criteria please let us know about them and we'll make sure we reach out to them.


That's going to wrap it up for my report in this edition.  My thanks to all of the great chair people of the various committees for the work they do.  You sure make my job so much easier with your contributions.


God Bless each one of you and a very Merry Christmas.

Blind Pension Report


First thing Monday morning, November 3, Denny, Chip and Chris were at the courthouse in Kansas City to hear oral arguments before the Missouri Court of Appeals in the blind pension case.  We were ably represented by Attorney John Ammann who has been involved with us since 2004, maybe longer. 


Testimony and the questions from the three justices hearing the case can be pretty obscure and even sometimes tedious.  So, I won't try to recreate that here point by point.  Generally though, Mr. Ammann began by reminding the justices that the blind are a special population and the ones for whom the people of Missouri created this fund in the state Constitution.  He suggested that as a group, the blind may be more reliant on the state for honest and transparent administration of this fund. 


He then took up the primary issue at hand for the day:  How much money are blind pension recipients owed due to the misadministration of the fund which goes back to 1994 and lasts through 2005. The state says approximately $75,000 is owed. MCB says approximately $19 million is owed.  Through a lot of figures and charts, Mr. Ammann explained the discrepancy from our point of view.  There were many questions and clarifications requested by the justices.  They were engaged, attentive, prepared, and had all the necessary paperwork at hand. Ultimately we all believe that they fully understand our reasoning and I will even go so far as to say there appeared to be some sympathy for our position shown by some justices.  To try and describe the discrepancy, we maintain that blind people are owed money between 2001 and 2006 and that the amount owed month by month for those years must be based on the amount of money the blind should have received had the pension not been miscalculated from 1994 onward. Believe it or not, it's a matter of only $50 per month per recipient when all is said and done but this mounts up significantly over the entire period of time.  The state claims the calculation must begin at what the state paid recipients in 2001 even though what they were paying was in error to the blind of Missouri due to the miscalculations between 1994 and 2001.  Simply put, that is the issue being argued.  It is the only remaining issue in this litigation.  No others were raised during the hearing.


We all walked away feeling like this was a fair hearing of the issues and that the justices truly understand the points being raised on both sides.  We can only hope they will render a favorable ruling by the end of the year to MCB.  Also I hope you will feel heartened in knowing we were well represented and that we were listened to with respect and attention.



By Christopher Gray


Though 2015 may not be finished yet, it's coming closer than seems possible.  MCB has many things to celebrate that we can all keep in our minds and hearts as we celebrate during this festive time of the year.


A high point of the year was our two meetings in Kansas City, once for the Board of Directors meeting last April, the other for our 2015 convention.  Both were great successes and a big "Thank you" is certainly due to Melvin Smith and Shirley Brokaw for their instrumental role in helping to make this all happen.  They are great examples of two people rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done.


The convention torch is now passed onto Jesuita Tabor, the local convention organizer in St. Louis, and our newly appointed convention coordinator, Jerry Annunzio.  They and the St. Louis convention committee are already meeting and planning great things for MCB in 2016.  A big "Thank you" is also due to Eldon Cox as outgoing convention coordinator. 


The 2015 legislative session was a mixed bag for us.  Initiatives we would have liked to move further got bogged down in committee or set aside for larger issues.  The supports we hoped might be approved for the deaf-blind were primarily this year to be an educational, introductory effort.  Sometimes though, that's the only way to get the ball rolling.  Let's hope we can give it a big kick into action for 2016.


On the other hand, we and all disabled people saw a means to increase our ability to save money with a state implementation of the ABLE Act.  A set aside fund can now be established to hold funds for disability-related expenses and not have them counted against Medicaid eligibility and other services.  We are still waiting for regulations to specify exactly how this will work, but they will be forthcoming.


The Missouri Council of the Blind proudly participated in Disability Rights Education Day last April in Jefferson City.  Over 500 disabled Missourians gatherered in the Capitol rotunda to hear from leaders in the disabled movement and representatives from Missouri's House and Senate.  I was proud to represent MCB as a speaker at that event. Only by working in unity with the disability community can we hope to make major strides forward in improving the lives of all disabled Missourians. 


In July, MCB was ably represented at the national conference and convention of the American Council of the Blind.  As your Executive Director, I made several appearances on the convention platform.  On one occasion, I presented national and international awards related to ACB's efforts to promote audio description both in the United States and throughout the world.  I also represented MCB in honoring outgoing Executive Director of ACB, Melanie Brunson, as she retired from our national organization as Executive Director.


And now for something just breaking as we go to press!  In November, MCB has achieved a huge victory in matters related to recipients of the Missouri blind pension.  The Court of Appeals, after several years of briefings and hearings, agreed with MCB's assertions regarding how damages should be calculated on behalf of pension recipients in awarding back payment for the years 2001-2005.  We have worked tirelessly to secure the appropriate compensation.  A very special thanks go in particular to MCB's council Debbie Greider as well as St. Louis University Professor John Ammann for their assistance in this matter.  While this may not be the end of the story regarding this litigation, a huge step forward has been made and it is because of the perseverance and dedication of all of you in fighting for the rights of the blind of Missouri. 


In this past year, we have stood shoulder to shoulder in our work to fight for individual blind Missourians and for all of us as a whole.  We have a lot to celebrate and let us continue this work into 2016 and beyond. 


Finally and on a more personal note, let me assure you of Marvelena and my commitment to MCB and to what we can do for one another and for the blind as a whole in Missouri.  There is not a day that goes by in which we cannot do something to promote the well-being of the blind and the disability community. We celebrate that with all of you particularly in this season of the year.  If we continue to believe in one another and through that continue our great work in MCB, there is nothing we cannot accomplish over time. 


Each year, Marvelena and I love to share a personal, favorite recipe with you.  We have learned that people in Missouri love to eat excellent food and we want to make a small contribution to that effort.  Nothing would make us happier than to share these recipes with each of you, maybe not in our too small house, but how about at the MCB office?  Well, it's a great idea, but barring that, you can try out these dishes and I guarantee you, the experience of eating them is truly exquisite.  This year, we are going to share Salmon Mousse with you.  The recipe seems a little complicated.  But, if you just follow the steps it really isn't hard.  And the results are so worth it.  Enjoy this and please join with us in celebrating 2015 and what we will accomplish together in 2016 and beyond.  We wish you the happiest Holiday season.


Salmon Mousse


Garnish this delicious spread with fresh dill if available, and serve with crackers or pumpernickel bread.  It's really very quick and easy.


1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs grated onion

dash Tabasco or hot pepper sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried dillweed or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

2 cans (7.75oz) sockeye salmon

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup drained capers


In large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.  Add boiling water and stir until the gelatin is thickening; let cool. 


Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, Tabasco, salt and dillweed; mix until smooth.  Refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.


While jello mixture is cooling, Drain salmon and discard any skin.  Mash bones. 


When the jello mixture has cooled, Flake salmon and fold into the mixture.


Whip cream until soft peaks form.  Fold into salmon mixture and fold in capers.  Pack into 3 cup mould or bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm. (mousse can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.)  Makes 20 servings.





Delta Area News

By Wanda Matlock


Hello to everyone, from Delta Area.


After a fun and relaxing time at Cobblestone Lodge in July, several members of Delta Area enjoyed a picnic hosted by Semo Blind Club at Whitley Park in Poplar Bluff. Thanks to all of the Semo members for making the afternoon so much fun! On October 1-4, several of our members attended the 2015 MCB Convention and Board Meeting in Kansas City. We thought the meetings were good and the presenters gave us a lot of useful information. Our affiliate is still in the process of updating our bylaws. It has been a slow process, but I am sure we will get there. On October 10, several Delta Area members traveled to Poplar Bluff for White Cane Safety Day. We joined Semo Blind Club for this event. There were several leaders from the community in attendance, such as the president of the Lions Club and the mayor of Poplar Bluff. We also had a police escort for the walk. Mr. Lee Young was the captain for the White Cane Safety Day walk, and he did a great job planning this event.


We have also been busy planning our holiday events, and again this year we plan to adopt two families for Christmas. Our Christmas luncheon will be held on December 10 at the China King Buffet Restaurant in Sikeston.


From our affiliate to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Ozark Association of the Blind

By Yvonne Schnitzler


The OAB is pleased Ida Scotti was honored as September Member of the Month and her name drawn for the Member of the Year. Ida expresses her gratitude for the accolades witnessed by the prolonged applause and standing ovation she received at the convention banquet. She said it made her feel very special.


Thanks to the host affiliate, Allied Workers, and the contributing affiliate, Act Now Council of the Blind, for the time and energy spent putting together a great convention. The hotel staff were friendly and available, and the atmosphere animated, with members meeting old friends and making new ones. OAB was excited with the new way of voting. Thanks to Executive Director Chris Gray and others involved in selecting the electronic voting system. It was great to stay seated, press a button to vote, and visit while the Parliamentarian tallied the numbers.  We are looking forward to our Christmas Party.


Agape Council of the Blind

By Wilma Chestnut-House


This year has been a good one for Agape Council of the Blind. I was elected to finish Denny’s term as Public Relations Director, due to the fact he was elected President.


In February, we had our fourth Black History program. It was entitled “Hot Fish, Cold Beer, and the Blues”. We highlighted a lot of the blues singers such as Bessie Smith, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. On February 16, 2016 our program will be “The History of Gospel Music”. This event will be held at the Grace Fellowship Center at 4276 Athlone.


We had our Chili and Karaoke supper at the Society for the Blind in March. This program is held in order to give a scholarship to a student, to assist them in furthering their education. The scholarship was named after Mrs. Bessie Reece’s mother, Ida Mae Sparkman, to honor her after her death. She was a long time member and a great help to the blind and visually impaired.


Our member, Lillie Wilson, has been the Chair of a committee for the past three years to get donations and sponsorships for EPWORTH, an organization that helps runaway youth. Care packages including such as personalized toiletries, underwear, and winter items are made for the youth. This has been very helpful to the organization.

When I attended the World Series in New York for beep baseball in July, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Lauren Lieberman. She started an organization called Camp Abilities in 1996. It is a one week sports camp for blind and visually impaired children. There are now 12 such camps. Next year, the St. Louis Firing Squad beep baseball team and Agape Council will start the first Camp Abilities in Missouri. It will be held at the Missouri School for the Blind. The dates are July 31 through August 5.


We had our Gospelfest in September. This is a fund raiser, and it also gives the blind and visually impaired a chance to make the public aware of programs, resources, and assistance that MCBVI and our affiliates offer.


Our member, Elizabeth Reece-Moore, remarried her first love, David Brown, on September 22.


At our state convention that was held in Kansas City, I was re-elected to the position of Public Relations Director for the next two years. I am proud and happy to serve the members and MCBVI again.

In October, I led a state wide white cane safety day walk. Ours was held at Union Station in St. Louis. Other affiliates participated in their cities. Ours started off a little shaky, but it was great fun. I took notes and am already working on ways to improve next year. In 2016, it will be held on the actual anniversary date, October 15.


By the time this is issued, we will have had a Christmas brunch with our new affiliate, St. Louis Northern Lights. Welcome Steve and Northern Lights!


As you all know, next year is our 60th anniversary. I will be going to different areas promoting this milestone, where we will have small celebrations. What I need from each affiliate as I do this in your area, is for you to help me find a place to host the event. I will let your president know in advance when it is your turn. Your job is to also try to bring new members to the event. I am hosting the first celebration on December 12 in Kansas City with Act Now. Hopefully, Allied Workers will be attending also.


Joplin Service Club of the Blind

By Mary Coe


Fall greetings to one and all!  Since the beginning of this year, our club has lost 7 members to death – Joe Verhaar, Sandy Goettel, Raydean Moore, Gloria Beagle, Carly Smith, Penny Elam and Pat Hackworth. They are missed, but will be in our hearts forever!


We recently welcomed four new members – Marvin Haase, Billie Haase, Jane Olson and her attendant, Jessica Zaccarello.


A total of nine club members and two guests from Joplin attended the 59th annual Missouri Council of the Blind convention. Our thanks to the host club for a wonderful convention!


Our club honored White Cane Safety Day with a walk at Joplin’s North Park Mall on October 15. Mayor Pro Tem, Morris Glaze, presented a proclamation to the Service Club proclaiming October 15 as White Cane Safety Day. The local TV stations were present for the event.


A big thanks to one of our members, Jim Murray, who has been using Apple TV for the purpose of bringing information and training to our club at our weekly luncheons and monthly support groups.


The Joplin Association for the Blind’s Annual Chili/Soup Fundraiser was held on November 12. A silent auction was held, along with sales of pecans and walnuts.


We hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!


Tower Club and United Workers for the Blind

Hosts of the 2016 MCB Convention


Make plans to attend the MCB Convention October 6-9, 2016. You will feel as if you are at a Chalet in France but, you will be at the Westport Sheraton Chalet at Westport Plaza.


The address is 191 Westport Plaza Drive Maryland Heights MO, 63109. The phone number is (314) 878-1500 or toll-free (800) 325-3535. Room rates are $95, plus tax per night.  Reservations are open now.


The hotel restaurant is open from 6:30am-10am for breakfast, 11am-2pm for lunch, and 5:00pm-10pm for dinner.


For your convenience the following restaurants are within easy walking distance of the hotel:

McDonald's, Imo's Pizza, Fuzzy Taco, St. Louis Bread Company, Starbucks, Patrick's Westport Grill, Drunken Fish, Train Wreck Saloon, Paul Mineo’s Trattoria, and Kobe Steakhouse.


For your entertainment:  Jazz Club, Funny Bone Comedy Club and Jive Wail Piano Bar. 


There is also a Family Nut and Candy Shop and Fernando Hair Salon. Try your luck and go to Hollywood Casino. We are planning a 90 minute descriptive tour on a trolley, no walking necessary. The cost will be $20.


The hospitality will be exceptional and the banquet very elegant. Stay tuned for more details in the future.

St. Charles County

By Beverly Kaskadden


An Autumn greeting is going out from St. Charles County.  Time is flying, as are the leaves, especially in my neighborhood. I clean off my deck, and before I get back in the house, there are more leaves! It is endless this time of year. I love it though. As I rake and sweep, I ask myself, why don’t I just get out the leaf blower!


St. Charles Council members have been very busy and very productive. We just completed a fund raiser that brought in $2600. Our goal was to get public awareness out to the community, raise funds, and have fun. We accomplished all of our goals. A few days after that, we headed to KC for the convention. The following week, we toured a cemetery on a hay rack as a social outing for our members. Then, three days later, we were invited to the Riverfront of St. Charles for a Pioneer Harvest. We participated in the preparation of a meal as the pioneers did in the 1700’s. It was all done over a wood fire and included churning butter. Good thing we had all day! Our ancestors were very hard workers.


I want to send out a big congratulations to the Northern Lights for organizing a new affiliate in North St. Louis County. It was bitter sweet for me. When approved, we lost six tremendous members. Thanks a lot Steve! Big smile. I understand, really I do, but I sure miss you! Now I am working on a membership drive. Hopefully by the next affiliate report, I can report that we have grown in members. How about a member challenge to the other affiliates across the State? Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into? Sending out joyous holiday blessings, and more to report next year.


St. Louis Northern Lights Council

By Steve Schnelle, President


Hello to everyone from the newest affiliate in MCB, St. Louis Northern Lights Council. We’re excited that you voted us in as an affiliate of MCB at the annual convention in October, and we all look forward to joining the mission of MCB. Some of our members are members at large that were just floating around up here in North County St. Louis, and others are brand new members wanting to make a difference in the lives of the blind and visually impaired of North County. This area had an affiliate a while back called Action Council but membership was small. Since then the population of blind and visually impaired has grown in North County, and transportation options have opened, up which will make it easier for Northern Lights to grow by leaps and bounds.


We are 20 strong and growing, and we have the potential to take part in a lot of fundraising ventures which will allow us to implement several ideas which we feel will benefit not just the blind and visually impaired of North County, but other areas of St. Louis as well.


We hope to be there in numbers at the convention next year in St. Louis to meet and mingle with all of you.


We are very fortunate to meet at a coffee house with wonderful coffee and scrumptious breakfast on the second Saturday of each month. I know I’ve said it so many times, but I’ll say it again: If you know of anyone in the North County area of St. Louis that is looking for an organization to join, please tell them about St. Louis Northern Lights Council. The MCB office has our contact information for any interested folks.  Thank you, and Happy Holidays from Northern Lights!


ATI News

By Darrel Vickers, President


Convention:  We held our annual meeting at the MCB convention. We elected two new officers, Laura De Vries, our new secretary and Christy Schulte, our new treasurer. Congratulations to you both and thanks for stepping up to help out.


We discussed the website and took questions about computers and smartphones. Through some of the questions I discovered many members needed more information on iPhones and iPads.


Rita Howells posts weekly tips on the iDevice list and she gave me permission to reproduce them on our website. There is a lot of useful information in her post. I went back and added all of her previous posts, which started in May 2015. You can find them and other useful information under the smartphone and tablet category. Just type in the following link in your browser:  There is also an article on useful IPhone apps for blind and low vision people.


Financial:  We currently have $691.88 in our banking account. We have 29 members.


Conference Call:  I am discontinuing the monthly conference call due to a lack of interest.  See you in the spring. 

Email:; Phone: 636-667-3176


Library Users of Missouri

By Darrel Vickers


The following is an excerpt from the Wolfner Library Newsletter, Fall 2015


Announcing Braille Games!

The Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library is pleased to announce that it will now be offering Braille games. These will be traditional board and card games, such as Hi Ho Cherry-O, Apples to Apples and Uno. The games are available now for a loan period of two weeks. Each patron is limited to one game at a time and one renewal of seven days for that game. The games will be shipped in Braille mailers as “Free Matter for the Blind.”


NLS Releases BARD Mobile Android App

The BARD Mobile Android app joins the iOS app to serve patrons with mobile devices. The BARD Mobile Android app may be downloaded from the Google Play store. Use your BARD account to log in and start downloading and listening to books directly from your Android device.


New Wolfner Library Staff

Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library is pleased to announce two new staff members.


Amy Nickless started her new position as special services librarian on August 3rd, 2015. Prior to this appointment, Amy served as a graduate reference assistant at the University of Missouri’s Ellis Library and a volunteer and intern at the State Historical Society of Missouri while she worked on her Master of Arts in Library and Information Science. She has also served as a substitute teacher. Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Southeast Missouri State University.


Marsha Posz is the new reader advisor for institutions. Marsha holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts, both in English Literature, from Truman State University and Western Illinois University respectively. Before coming to Wolfner Library, Marsha was employed as a writing instructor at a community college and then as a staff member at the public library in Jefferson City. Additionally, Marsha is a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady.”


Summer Reading Wrap-Up

According to a recent white paper provided by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, “summer and out-of-school-time programs can have positive effects on gains in reading achievement mitigating summer learning loss.” For this reason, Wolfner Library provides a summer reading club for patrons 18 and under each year.


This year the slogan for the summer reading club was Every Hero Has a Story. Club members were encouraged to count how many minutes they read from June 5th through August 13th, 2015. This summer, 77 patrons registered; 38 children and 39 teens. Of those who registered for the club, 53 completed the program, reading 219,768 minutes.


Every club member who completed the program received participation prizes, such as hacky sacks and bracelets, purchased with state funds that support summer reading programs in public libraries. A book in the format and reading level of each member’s choice was also awarded, and was purchased by the Friends of Wolfner Library.


Donna Riegel, Director of Wolfner Library; Waheedah Bilal, director of Reference Services at the Missouri State Library; Lisa Hellman, Wolfner Library’s Youth Services librarian; and Barbara Reading, the Missouri State librarian, selected two lucky patrons on September 2nd, 2015 to win an iPad Air 2. Planning is already underway for the 2016 summer reading club. The 2016 program will have a sports theme.


Coming Soon: Thrillers and Killers!

The results are in! Wolfner Library patrons chose “Thrillers and Killers” as the Adult Winter Reading Program theme for winter 2016. Our custom-made reading list will range from quaint cozies to intense suspense, so get ready for some thrilling reads! The program will begin on January 25th, 2016, and run until March 4th, 2016. Registration will open on Monday, January 11th, 2016. Expect more details to follow in the winter newsletter.


Note on UEB Materials

The National Library Service will implement the Unified English Braille (UEB) Code starting on January 4th, 2016. This is the first major change to the braille code since the 1930s. Like the old code, the new code uses the same six dot cell pattern. However, the new code uses different spacing rules, drops some contractions and allows for translating a wider array of symbols. These changes have been made with modern technology in mind.


The National Library Service already has several dozen electronic titles with the UEB code listed in BARD. These are most easily viewed by utilizing the “Browse by subject” dropdown and selecting “Unified English Braille.”


Existing books in English Braille, American edition will remain available to patrons. The same equipment can be used to read both versions of the braille code.


NLS announces Wolfner Library audio book is the 1000th locally produced book added to BARD

On June 29th, the 1,000th locally produced talking book was added to BARD! "One for the Murphys," a children's book by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, was produced by the Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library in Missouri. It was posted late on a Monday afternoon, and by the next morning it had already been downloaded 26 times.


“One for the Murphys” was a Truman Award Nominee for the 2014-2015 school year. It was narrated by Laramie Thompson, who has been recording books for Wolfner Library since 2009.


Just a reminder that Wolfner Library’s locally recorded books now have book numbers starting with DBC, instead of the MDBs that were previously used.


New Books from the Wolfner Recording Studio

Abby Finds Her Calling by Naomi King


Generations of Amish neighbors and friends enjoy the simple things in life in the lush countryside of Cedar Creek, Missouri. But matters of the heart have a way of complicating the most clear-cut plans.


Lilac Lane by Jane Brooks


One day, Jane Brooks' six-year-old granddaughter asked her grandmother, "Grandma, what was it like when you were a little girl?" This book is her answer, describing the author's childhood on a farm in Mid-Missouri in the 1930s.


Murder on Rouse Hill by Terry Alan Wright


On November 22nd, 1915, Jasper Jacob Francis, a prosperous farmer and leading citizen of Stoutland, Missouri, was found dead in a brush pile on Rouse Hill. He had been savagely murdered. The case helped launch the career of Phil M. Donnelly, who acted as the defense attorney for the accused killer, and later became governor of Missouri, and a U.S. Congressman.


North of Clever by Suzanne Ledbetter


Hannah Garvey, manager of the Valhalla Springs Retirement Community, and her gang of geriatric gumshoes join Sheriff David Hendrickson, Hannah's slightly younger romantic interest, for a third lively romp that picks up the week after readers leave South of Sanity (DBC05755), the second installment in Ledbetter's madcap series. Hannah Garvey series, book 3.


Rosemary Opens Her Heart by Naomi King


While caring for her Amish in-laws, Rosemary Yutzy's father-in-law wants to merge his business with Matt Lambright's--which will require the Yutzys to relocate to Cedar Creek, Missouri, and bring widowed Rosemary into constant contact with Matt, who makes no secret of his romantic interest in her.


Wicked Springfield: The Seamy Side of the Queen City by Larry Wood


Founded in the 1830s as a rough frontier town, Springfield managed to maintain an outward appearance of respectability, unlike other wild mining towns in Southwest Missouri. However, when Larry Wood began to research Springfield, he decides that its tame reputation is due to the city's ability to cover up most of its sins. Here he exposes some of the more notorious characters and capers.


Juvenile Books

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig


Brian has always felt invisible at school, but when a new student, Justin, arrives everything changes. Show Me Award Nominee, 2015-2016. Kindergarten-grade 3.


Joseph Kinney, Steamboat Captain by Maryellen McVickers


Joseph Kinney grew up on the Ohio River watching riverboats. He always wanted to be a riverboat captain, so he worked and saved his money until he was able to buy a steamboat.  Notable Missourians series. For grades 3-6.


Put it on the List! By Kristen Darbyshire


The chicken family has pancakes but no syrup and cookies but no milk. After serving a terrible casserole for supper, Mom finally flips out. The family agrees to help more with the grocery list and the shopping and comes up with a great emergency plan. For preschool-grade 2.


Rump: the true story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff


Relates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin's childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important; how he is able to spin straw into gold; and why a first-born child is his reward for helping the miller's daughter-turned-queen. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades 3-6.


Trouper by Meg Kearney


Trouper, a three-legged dog, remembers his life as a stray, before he was adopted. Show Me Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades K-3.


Wilfred by Ryan T. Higgins


When Wilfred, a big, hairy, and lonesome giant, enters a town full of tiny bald people, he finds only one friend but that proves to be enough when the other townspeople trick him out of his warm hair. Show Me Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades K-3.


Young Adult Books

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes


Gaby enjoys working at the local animal shelter and wants to adopt a cat but is unsure of her own living situation when her mother is deported back to Honduras. Mark Twain Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades 5-8.


Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender


While in Paris, France on a class trip, Colette Iselin enlists the help of her charming French tour guide to help uncover a possible connection between Marie Antoinette, a series of gruesome murders, and perhaps her own family history, and he also gives her insights into herself. Truman Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For junior and senior high.


Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz


Based on the life of Jack Gruener, this book relates his story of survival from the Nazi occupation of Krakow, when he was eleven, through a succession of concentration camps, to the final liberation of Dachau. Truman Award Nominee, 2015-2016. For grades 6-9.


Collection Spotlight: Descriptive DVDS!

Wolfner Library offers a selection of descriptive DVDs. These DVDs feature narration during lulls in the dialog to better describe what is occurring on the screen. Here are some of our recently acquired titles:

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Longest Ride
  • Peabody and Sherman


Talking Book Topics Update

Talking Book Topics no longer prints an index of authors and book titles. If you have a favorite author you used to search for, Wolfner Library suggests contacting your reader advisor to add the author to your preferred author list if you have not already done so.


Frequently Asked Question: Why Am I Not Receiving Books?

Here are some tips to help ensure that books and other material keep arriving on a regular basis:


  • Timely return of material: In most cases, when you return items to Wolfner Library, a new title is shipped out. It is best to send back items as you finish them to ensure that new material arrives on an ongoing basis. The magazine issue you currently have must be returned before the new issue will be sent.


  • Type of Service: If titles are mailed to you based on a request list, make sure you keep a lengthy list of requests. This ensures that you always have material en route.


  • Number of Books: If you go through materials quickly and have to wait for more, call to request an increase in the number of items you can receive at one time.


  • User Interests: If your materials are automatically selected based on your interests, you may need to expand your preferences to receive new material. If you have read every title in a genre and want to read them again, you can opt to make that request as well.


  • Mailing Time: Our materials come to you through the USPS. Generally, expect delivery within 7-10 business days as you anticipate your books.


Most of these issues can be resolved by contacting your reader advisor and asking him or her to modify your account.  (800) 392-2614


Western Stories, Bestsellers, Holidays

A Big Sky Christmas DB77883

Johnstone, William W; Johnstone, J. A. Reading time: 9 hours, 58 minutes.  

Read by Patrick Downer.

Description: Against his better judgment, Jamie MacCallister agrees to lead a wagon train of settlers from Kansas City to Montana by Christmas. They meet up with a reluctant outlaw who saves an actress. MacCallister also gets help from frontiersman Smoke Jensen and a mountain man called Preacher. Some violence. Bestseller. 2013.

Classics, Holidays


A Christmas carol DB43546

Dickens, Charles. Reading time: 3 hours, 28 minutes.  Read by Clark Niederjohn.  
Description: Classic nineteenth-century Christmas story set in England describes the conversion of grasping old miser Ebenezer Scrooge when he is visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.


Historical mystery fiction, Holidays

A Christmas grace: a novel DB67855

Perry, Anne. Reading time: 4 hours, 43 minutes.
Read by Barbara Rappaport.
Description: Christmas, 1895. Thomas Pitt's sister-in-law Emily Radley reluctantly leaves her family before the holidays to take care of her dying aunt Susannah on the west coast of Ireland. Emily not only encounters suspicious townsfolk, she also learns about an unsolved village murder and tries to determine the culprit. 2008.


Romance, Holidays

A country Christmas DB80267

Macomber, Debbie. Reading time: 11 hours, 9 minutes. Read by Carol Dines.
Description: Two previously published holiday romances. In Buffalo Valley, an army veteran scouts a rural community in North Dakota for a corporation's development and discovers new priorities after falling for a charming young woman. In Return to Promise, a separated couple reevaluate their relationship, just in time for Christmas. 2001

Short Stories, Holidays

A Christmas sampler: classic stories of the season, from Twain to Cheever DB38182

Crawford, E. A; Kennedy, Teresa. Reading time: 10 hours, 7 minutes.
Read by Mitzi Friedlander.
Description: American authors reinforce the notion that Christmas brings mixed emotions. "Christmas Thoughts" evokes the festivity of the season and "Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor" puts a new slant on the joy of giving gifts. "One Christmas Eve" brings out mean-spiritedness towards a black child and "Oh, Joseph, I'm So Tired" introduces anti-Semitism.


Western Stories, Romance, Holidays

A Creed country Christmas DB70048

Miller, Linda Lael. Reading time: 5 hours, 6 minutes.
Read by Ray Foushee.
Description Stillwater Springs, Montana; 1910. Juliana Mitchell, disowned by her family for refusing to marry, is destitute after the Indian school where she teaches closes. Widower Lincoln Creed needs a governess for his daughter and brings Juliana and the students in her care home for Christmas. Some descriptions of sex. 2009.


Miracle on 34th Street DB12986

Davies, Valentine. Reading time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Read by John Stratton.
Description: Humorous twentieth-century Christmas story about an old man who says he is Santa Claus. The reindeer in the zoo eat out of his hand and the children who come to Macy's are convinced he is Santa. His sanity is questioned and the case goes to court.

Religious Fiction, Historical Fiction

Only the river runs free: a novel DB46729

Thoene, Bodie; Thoene, Brock.

Reading time: 10 hours, 49 minutes.

Read by Jill Ferris.

Description: Just as Mad Molly Fahey predicted, it seems a miracle has come to Ballynockanor this Christmas Eve, 1841. Fifteen years earlier, while the lord of the manor lay dying, his son supposedly died in the frozen river. The new landlord made life difficult for the villagers. But now a stranger, Joseph Connor, has crossed the river, and soon hope comes once more to Ballynockanor. 1997.


I am sorry to say this will be my last Wolfner article. I have stepped down from the Wolfner Advisory Council. I have too much on my plate and I also feel the Board could use some new blood, as it were. I love Wolfner and have enjoyed serving on the Advisory Board.


As always I want to encourage all of you to read. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power—but it is also essential for personal growth.  Very happy Holidays to all.




Policy Committee


American Council of the Blind Life Membership Guidelines


This award may or may not be given annually. The award will be given to a deserving person whose efforts have resulted in a positive impact on the lives of Blind and visually impaired persons. Nominations for this award shall be sent to the MCB office by April 1st. The Executive Committee will select the applicant for the award.


The following qualifications must be met.


Candidates must have been a member of MCB at least 6 years, must have attended two (2) MCB conventions, must have attended two (2) American Council of the Blind conventions, must have served as a Chair of at least one (1) MCB committee, and must have served on a committee of the American Council of the Blind.


Approved by the MCB Board: October 1, 2015

Member of the Month

By Yvonne Schnitzler, Chair


Best wishes to those honored as a Member of the Month at the MCB Convention banquet. Thanks for making our world a better place.


Steve Schnelle, St. Charles County Council is the July Member of the Month, nominated by the Tower Club. Thanks to Steve’s perseverance, MCB has a new affiliate, the St. Louis Northern Lights. Steve spent countless hours working toward this goal. Steve is active in the MGDU and involved in technology. He is a family man, rehabilitation teacher, and an inspiring person to be around.


An enthusiastic entertainer, some lucky members have been charmed by Steve’s singing and guitar playing. Luckier members have been present or seen Steve parading around the Cobblestone meeting room modeling bits and pieces of clothing. Someone said Steve definitely has the legs for modeling. Did the rumor come from his secret pal, Mortimer?


Paul Mimms, chosen for August’s award, served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Luzerne County LST in the Mekong Delta. He received medical discharge after sustaining an injury that left him blind in the left eye. MCB is grateful to Paul and all veterans for their service and sacrifices.


Paul’s busy life led him to organize a Real-Eyes computer user group to assist visually impaired individuals to learn adaptive equipment. He was instrumental in the merger of Kansas and Missouri Regional Groups of the Blind Veterans Association into the Heartland Regional Group.


Paul was a counselor for the VA in Kansas City and a Computer Skills Instructor at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. He served in different offices of the Florida Regional Group of the BVA, on the Mayor’s Council for Persons with Disabilities, and Governor’s Advisory Council for Rehabilitation Services. Paul was on the Board of Directors of Guide Dog Users Incorporated, an affiliate of ACB, and organized Heartland Guide Dog users, an affiliate of GDUI in Kansas City. Paul is active in two MCB affiliates, on the leadership team of his church, and is service officer in American Legion Post 626. He volunteers at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.


Paul received the Golden Gavel Award and the Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award.


Ida Scotti of Ozark Association of the Blind, is MCB’s Member of the Year and September’s Member of the Month. “A Tribute to Ida Scotti” may be found elsewhere in this issue.


Stephen Bryant is October’s Member of the Month. The Delta Area calls Steve their “professional driver” for providing transportation for meetings, conventions, and outings. Steve and his wife Judith travel two and one-half hours total to attend meetings and seldom miss one. They pick up members along the way, and on the return trip they are happy to make stops for members to shop.


Stephen looks for ways to gain new members and for projects to advance the causes of the Delta Area. Stephen is a strong believer in his religion and family, an all-around nice person, and an asset to the Delta Area.

Summer Camp Committee

By Beverly Kaskadden


2015 was another fun and relaxing time at Cobblestone. It is always something that everyone can look forward to attending. Since my first time attending summer camp with my family, I have always thought this to be one of the best programs MCB has to offer. I am very honored to Chair this program. It has given me a chance to get to know so many dear people. I have deeply enjoyed the opportunity. You could not ask for better people to work with than the Leytons at Cobblestone. They jump hoops to accommodate us.


As the temperature drops, I am thinking about sitting around the pool at Cobblestone. If you have never attended, you might want to consider joining in the fun.

MCB Education & Advocacy Chairman

By Chip Hailey


Greetings and Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with lots of friends and loved ones. December should always bring a lot of happy festivities with family and friends, but it is also a time for tracking bills that have been filed that will have an impact on the lives of blind Missourians. We will be keeping a very close watch on any bills prefilled that may affect the blind community. One of the ways we do this is with Trackbill, our online bill/hearing/legislator tracking tool.

Chris Gray will be using the tool to track any bills with key words such as blind, braille, service animals, voting machines, and managed care. The tool can also be used to track committees and legislators as well as bills being introduced, read, and later assigned. This is an effective way for MCB to continue to keep its finger on the pulse of what's happening at our State Capitol.


Since my last report, I have attended several House interim committee hearings. Back in August, I attended the Select Committee on Budget. The committee discussed the Department of Social Services eligibility determination system, as well as enrollment and Medicaid caseloads. As many of you are aware, DSS had some initial problems with their system related to timely determinations and eligibility issues.


On October 21th, I attended the appropriations hearing on Health, Mental Health, and Department of Social Services. Updates were given by each department and oversight concerns and questions from committee members of the Task Force for examining statewide medical delivery models were addressed.

On October 6th, I attended the Hands Around the Capitol event. The event celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ADA and highlighted the need for further progress in disability rights, especially related to employment and improved health care and long term care options. Great participation was received from organizations and citizens representing all parts of the state. The event also received lots of news coverage on the radio, TV, and in several newspapers around the Missouri.


At the time of this writing, I'm planning on attending the Cross Disability Policy Summit on November 13th in Jefferson City. Several topics will be discussed that may have a major impact on Independent Living services. I've also been asked by Chris and Denny to represent MCB on the Disability Rights Legislative Day (DRLD) planning committee.  We will once again be working closely with DRLD in scheduling a date for our MCB Legislative Days. Once a date has been set, we will pass the information along to you.


I continue to participate in numerous legislative conference calls that could possibly be of great significance to all of us.


One of the key discussions has again been around managed care. House Speaker Todd Richardson announced that Representative Marsha Haefner will chair a task force with the intent of reviewing ways to place all Missouri Medicaid recipients into a managed care model. Rep. Haefner says that she intends to recommend legislation to switch all Medicaid services to managed care. To date, Missouri Medicaid (MO HealthNet) has served most persons with disabilities in a fee-for-service model because of significant questions as to how individuals will be served under risk-based capitation systems, adequacy of provider networks, beneficiary protections and other critical issues. We will continue to monitor any activity revolving around managed care and whether the aged, blind, and disabled populations will be exempt.


In conclusion, I would like to encourage you to join our Education & Advocacy listserv to keep abreast of any pieces of legislation we are tracking.  You can go to our MCB homepage at to get the details on how to subscribe.  If I can ever be of any service to you or your affiliate regarding your advocacy or legislative efforts, please don't hesitate to call on me.  I hope everyone continues to have a safe and warm holiday season.

A Tribute to Ida Scotti

©2015 Yvonne Michaud Schnitzler


Ida has experienced life in ways most people can only dream of, and then, only with a vivid imagination and the time to sit around and dream.


Ida jokes that she was a stowaway when she came to this country. Her mother was expecting when her family arrived in New York in 1919.


Ida’s first job after graduating from the New York Institute for the Blind was running a Braille press, printing and editing “The Searchlight” and “The Gleams,” magazines some of you may have read.


Ida was photogenic, and with an exuberant personality was an ideal person to do promotional work for the New York Lighthouse. Ida was their “poster girl.” She greeted, entertained, and was photographed with numerous well-known personalities for National and International newspapers and magazines. People like Gene Autry, Vivian Leigh, Veronica Lake, Helen Hayes, Edgar G. Robinson, David Niven, Rex Harrison and countless others who benefitted the Lighthouse. She stood under the 59th Street sign with Mayor Vincent Impellitteri when he named it Lighthouse Street for a week. Ida participated in these publicity events to show the world that differences should not exclude anyone from living a productive life.


Ida did not particularly care to have her three-foot portrait plastered all over subways and transit buses. It was an elaborate plan to bring attention to the Lighthouse and its programs. When she and her sister rode the subway, her sister made sure they never sat under Ida’s picture even if it meant standing.


Ida was portrayed sewing pillowcases for the armed forces, donating blood to the Red Cross; with her Seeing Eye Dog, Missy supervising from the cot next to her. She was pictured in newspapers selling war bonds and filing her income tax return, happy to show that blind people contributed to society, worked, and paid taxes.


Ida enjoyed a life of fun as a member of a theater group, performing with Broadway stars in numerous stage plays. She appeared in Tennessee Williams’ “Summer and Smoke” and played Jo in “Little Women.” Ida received pages of publicity and accolades. As a blind actress playing sighted roles, reporters were eager to interview her. Patty Duke, who played Helen Keller in the “Miracle Worker,” visited with Ida to discuss various mannerisms of blind individuals.


Ida spoke to Helen Keller and presented her with a corsage. Ida told Miss Keller she was happy to meet her. Helen felt Ida’s face, placing her fingers on her lips and her cheekbone, and exclaimed in her stilted speech, “Very…young.”


Ida was adept at publicly interacting with people in the news or giving interviews on talk shows promoting the interests of the blind and changing public opinions. She and her Guide Dog, Missy appeared on the Steve Allen TV program and stole the show. As Steve was leading Ida to her seat, he bumped into the desk. He said, “Here I am trying to lead you and bumping into everything.” Ida quipped, “Would you like to borrow Missy.” The audience roared. She enjoyed visiting and having tea with Mrs. Ed Sullivan and other celebrities.


Ida moved to Missouri in 1962 and, encouraged by Durward K. McDaniel, joined MCB. Ida has entertained, held offices, been active in legislation, and served on the Board and committees for MCB. Ida was a representative on the St. Louis Archdiocesan Council of the disabled, served on the Wolfner Library Advisory Council, and on the Governor’s Committee for Education.


Ida is a role model for students. She inspires them to view personal problems in a different light. They better understand the capabilities of the blind and disabled and recognize the disabled, not just as people with disabilities, but also as people just like themselves, to be respected for who they are. She encourages students to cultivate those special friendships.


Ida is a lector for her church. She visits shut-ins and hospital and nursing home patients, offering encouragement to those who are losing their sight.


In 2003, at the ACB Convention in Pittsburgh, the ACB honored Ida with the Distinguished Service Award “In recognition of her life-long accomplishments on stage and in the community. Her work is a shining example to all.”


When Ida received the Ellis M. Forshee Award, MCB’s highest honor, the late President Ken Emmons said, “Ida has done so much and lived a very remarkable life. She has been so capable and accomplished so much, but she is modest to the point that, even though I have known her for years, I was unaware of most of the things mentioned in her nomination letter. Ida is someone who does for others without seeking glory for herself. She is a wonderful person and a wonderful example.”


Charles Crawford, former Executive Director of ACB said, “What a wonderful tribute to Ida from MCB! She certainly is an extraordinary woman who has done so much to make our world a better place. No wonder Missouri plays such a pivotal role in the history of our blind community.


Ida has educated, persuaded, and influenced every person she has ever met, whether it was a President of a country, a King or Queen, a child, an individual on the street, or a lonely person sitting in a nursing home. Her life has been a dedication to serving, loving, and caring about people.”






"Blessed are they that refrain from shouting when they speak to me.


Blessed are they that talk directly to me and not to someone else.


Blessed are they that say who they are when entering a room and say hello to me.


Blessed are they that say goodbye to me when they leave so I am not left speaking to the air.


Blessed are they that do not hesitate to say "SEE" when talking to me.


Blessed are they who tap my shoulder gently when they approach from behind or from the side when speaking to me.


Blessed are they who wait for me to extend my hand before shaking it.


Blessed are they who place my hand on an object such as the back of a chair when telling me where it is, so I can seat myself.


Blessed are they who do not leave me in a strange environment without  orienting me to it.


Blessed are they who offer me their arm so they can serve as my guide, instead of grabbing, pulling, or shoving me.


Blessed are they who come up to me in a large crowd and offer to help me when I appear disoriented.


Blessed are they who do not embarrass me in a group of people by openly referring to my blindness in word or action.


Blessed are they who laugh with me when I tell a joke related to blindness.


Blessed are they who read me the menu and its prices and allow me to order my own meal.


Blessed are they who take me to the cashier so I may pay for my own meal.


Blessed are they who do not distract my guide dog from being my active eyes.


Blessed are they who treat me like a human being, for like it or not, I AM a human being."





By John Weidlich


Not too much in the drawer this time, but I give you what I have. These items are gathered from a variety of sources and presented for your information. They are not being endorsed by MCB or the writer.


Sonar Glasses Now Available: Sonar Glasses by G-Technology Group are a new assistive tool designed to increase mobility independence for blind and visually impaired people. They are intended to be used in connection with a white cane to provide information about the location of objects above waist level not easily detected by the cane at a distance of six feet, like tree limbs, signs, and walls. The glasses are based on echolocation. Here’s how they work. If an object is detected at a distance of six feet, the user feels a subtle vibration coming from the glasses. The intensity of the vibration increases when the object is within three feet. The range of detection can be adjusted. The glasses are available with clear or dark lenses and provide 100% UV protection. The glasses come with two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. I have no idea of the price, but for more information, contact Jeff Shad with the G-Technology Group. He can be reached at (571) 297-4756 or by email: Visit the website:


Last time, I mentioned the Six Dot Braille Label Maker, which can create Braille labels using either a built-in Braille keyboard or via connections to a qwerty keyboard. I have additional information. The cost is $599 and the contact information has changed. it is now being sold by a company called Logan Tech. The phone number is (866) 962-0966, email


If you have the New Generation Victor Reader Stream, you know that you can do a lot more with it than listen to books. You can use it to listen to Internet Radio stations, download podcasts, look up articles on Wikipedia, read books from Bookshare, and subscribe to newspapers and magazines on Newsline. But have you managed to access all of those new features, or are some of them still a little confusing to you, even after listening to the User Guide? There is a new audio tutorial from a company called Mystic Access that covers everything you need to know to use the New Generation Victor Reader Stream. The tutorial runs eight hours and gives detailed instructions on using all of the Stream’s many features. It also describes how to use the Humanware Companion software to download books from the BARD site.


The tutorial is available in Daisy format, making it easy to find the sections you need and skip the ones you don’t. It costs $89 and can be ordered from Mystic Access, at (716) 543-3323, or email


At the MCB Convention, Denny demonstrated a new solar powered audio bible from Christian Record Services for the Blind. It is quite small, but with a good sound. It doesn’t have synthetic speech but rather a human voice. It is quite easy to navigate by book or chapter. The player contains the New King James Version as well as some Bible-related books for study. I don’t remember if other versions were available. The audio Bible player is free to anyone who is eligible to receive books from NLS. Call Christian Record at (402) 488-0981, Ext. 248.


Freedom Scientific has released JAWS Version 17 with some new features. Smart Navigation allows for more efficient navigation of complex web content, such as pages often found on banking, shopping and other corporate sites, which can be challenging. Braille translation supports the new Unified English Braille. The upgrade can be downloaded from the JAWS download web page, The update will be shipped to users who are eligible to receive an upgrade with their SMA agreement beginning in early November.


Allow me to close now on a very personal note. Most of you know that we experienced a break-in and robbery at our home in September. A person or persons broke a front window while we were gone during the day and stole a television and other electronics, threw our clothes on the floor, and dumped out the contents of our file cabinet. We discovered the theft when we arrived home from an appointment. We were not hurt and our dog was unharmed. Nothing was recovered but our insurance company came through quickly and we were able to replace the items that were taken.


As any of you know who have gone through a similar experience, this can be a very traumatic event, not so much because of the stuff that was taken—stuff can be replaced—but it is an invasion of your personal space. It brings feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and a sense of being no longer safe in your home. But we are fine, although Donna has had some bad dreams about what happened. We now have a security alarm system which has brought us more peace of mind.


I want to thank all of you who expressed concern and support for us during this difficult time. Your kind words, thoughts, and prayers have meant more to us than you can ever know.


One more thing.  Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals. I probably wouldn’t be saying this if they had played and beaten my Cardinals but I am very happy for them.


Happy Holidays and see you next year.