September 2014 Chronicle

September 2014 Chronicle

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

By Patti Schonlau

 

      Greetings to All.  Time is flying by so quickly!  Before we know it, summer will be over and fall will be upon us.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† June and July proved to be very busy for me.¬† During these two months, I attended Allied Workers June‚Äôs monthly meeting, spoke at the Missouri School for the Blind Student Awards Banquet, attended Missouri School for the Blind Graduation, attended River City‚Äôs annual picnic and enjoyed the opportunity to visit with both River City and Delta Area Blind, served as an active representative of MCB on the Planning Committee for the Candidates‚Äô Forum, was an active partner in sponsoring the Candidates‚Äô Forum on June 21 at the Clayton Center, served as a special speaker at the Missouri Scholars Academy in Columbia, attended meetings in Jefferson City addressing Blind Pension issues, attended numerous Thrift Store Committee meetings, attended Blind of Central Missouri‚Äôs annual picnic, and was quite active in working with the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield in the planning of our upcoming State Convention in October.¬† I attended the MCB Budget/Finance Committee meeting focusing on the proposed 2014/2015 MCB budget, attended Convention Committee planning meetings, became more active in providing to Paraquad, ‚Äúthe blind perspective‚ÄĚ, visited the MCB New Image Thrift Store and gave an in service for the Doubletree Hotel staff in preparation for a smooth customer service experience for our MCB members and guests during our State Convention in October.

 

      My time of being MCB President is coming to an end as of November 1.  I am sincere in saying I truly have enjoyed my experience of being MCB President.  Being President has been fun, stressful, rewarding and a very valuable learning experience!  I wish to thank the entire MCB membership for being supportive and yes, at times being patient with me.

 

Convention News: 

      I am happy to report our MCB October Board Meeting will be streamed on Thursday, October 2 from 2:00 to 5:00.  Beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 3 streaming will begin and will continue until adjournment of the General Session.  Streaming will resume at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 4 and will break for lunch, approximately 12:00 p.m.  At 1:30 p.m. streaming will resume until adjournment.  Streaming will resume for the Banquet Program at approximately 7:30 p.m.  Streaming will resume on Sunday, October 5 at 9:00 a.m. until adjournment.

 

Important Items to Remember:

      If any affiliates have an interest in hosting our MCB State Convention in 2016, please contact the MCB Office.  October 2016, is just around the corner!

 

      Please note: While in Springfield during the State Convention, tours to our Missouri Council of the Blind New Image Thrift Store will be conducted.  Be sure to check the agenda for time of tours scheduled on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.  Please stop by to check out our thrift store.  I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised and happy you took the time to have such a delightful shopping experience!  You may view the Missouri Council of the Blind 58th Annual Convention agenda on our website at www.moblind.org. 

 

      In addition to electing a new president in October at our State Convention, we will also be voting on a first and second vice president and secretary.  Anyone interested in holding one of these positions should announce your candidacy soon so everyone will know the choices.

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Affiliates, please remember to ‚Äúbring your Buckets‚ÄĚ and items of interest to the Auction! (You will find more information about this event as you continue reading this issue.)

 

      I look forward to seeing each of you at the 2014 MCB State convention in Springfield.  My thanks to all of you for the work you do for MCB.  By continuing to adhere to the time tested practices of dedication, generosity, mutual respect, and hard work, there is no limit to the accomplishments that can be achieved by the Missouri Council of the Blind!  Be safe and keep cool!

UPDATE ON BLIND PENSION MATTERS

By Christopher Gray, Executive Director

 

      In the last issue of the Chronicle, readers were informed about the passage of legislation that modifies the requirement for eye examinations.  The legislation says that those recipients who have no chance of their vision improving can be exempted from the 5-year eye examination requirement.

 

      Now that this legislation has passed and been signed into law by Governor Nixon, the next step is to create regulations that describe how the legislation is to be implemented.  On July 8, MCB was represented by President Patti Schonlau, Education and Welfare Committee Chair, Denny Huff, and myself at a meeting to discuss matters related to such a regulation.  Several issues were discussed and the Department of Social Services was very receptive to our comments and concerns.  At the time of this writing, no draft regulation has been distributed, but we expect one in the near future. 

 

      In the same meeting, we discussed a second issue that will almost certainly affect recipients of the blind pension and supplemental aid to the blind within the next 3-4 months.  Prior to the meeting on July 8, MCB and many others were informed of the possibility that there is not enough money in the blind pension fund to meet the funds obligations throughout the 2015 fiscal year.  For this reason, we were asked to provide comments on a proposed regulation that specifies how such a situation is to be handled by the Family Services Division.  At the meeting, MCB provided comments verbally to FSD and a very positive discussion was held with the Division.  We also provided written comments to FSD.  Essentially, our comments spoke to the point that any reduction in blind pension amounts should be implemented in such a way as to make the reduction for each recipient as small as possible.  We also asked that an appropriate time period be implemented for any notice that would detail such a reduction.  The draft regulation proposed a 10-day notice.  We felt that at least 30-60 days’ notice should be provided.  No final regulation has yet been published.  It is believed and hoped that any reduction in blind pension will be relatively small.

 

      We will work to keep you fully informed on both of these issues in the coming months.  If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, never hesitate to contact me via email or phone.  Let us all hope for growth in the property tax base that funds blind pension.  It is the reduction in these taxes that has negatively impacted the fund and its recipients in the process.  Perhaps this situation will improve in the coming years.

 

AFFILIATE NEWS!

 

Delta Area

By Wanda Matlock, President

 

      Hello to everyone!  On June 14, we enjoyed a picnic at the Cape County South Park in Cape Girardeau, MO.  The picnic was hosted by the River City Workers.  Jim and Patti Schonlau also attended.  The food and weather were great, but the hospitality was awesome.  The River City Workers Group always makes us feel so welcome. 

 

      We at Delta Area are proud to say we have two new members. Donald and Kandy Goosens have recently joined our group. They will be an asset to Delta Area.  We hope everyone has a great rest of the summer.

 

Tiger Talk

By DeAnna Noriega

 

      The Tigers are looking forward to the state convention in Springfield.  Our newly elected president, Jannel Morris has already made her hotel reservation.  Secretary DeAnna Noriega is preparing to run for the position of second vice-president of MCB.  Immediate past President Gretchen Maune is on the big job hunt after graduation with honors completing a master’s degree in public administration.

 

      Members who attended the ACB convention in Las Vegas included Gretchen Maune, Hazel Fields, DeAnna and Curtis Noriega.

 

      The Tigers are working hard on fundraisers and planning our fall social.  Newly elected First Vice President Greg Griffin is already working on finding new members for the Disability Rights Legislative Day Planning Committee for next year.

 

      Our long suffering sighted guy treasurer was re-elected and getting geared up to host another trivia night when the M.U. students return to campus.  If it sounds like our president has taken on the task of herding cats, well what else would she be doing with a council full of tigers?

 

Braille Revival League of Missouri

By Judy Burch, BRL of Missouri President

 

      I hope this article finds you all doing well.  This year BRL of Missouri will be holding its Alma Murphey Braille Revival League luncheon on Saturday, October 4.  Lunch will be $16.00 and we will have a turkey croissant, fresh fruit, potato salad, chef’s choice dessert, coffee, and tea/iced tea. 

 

      Treasurer Patti Schonlau has asked that everyone send their BRL of Missouri membership dues of $15.00 to her by September 30.  Those who plan to attend the luncheon please send $16.00 to her by that date as well.  Patti’s address is 5521 Sutherland Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63109.  We look forward to seeing you at the luncheon!

 

Hello from SCCCB

By Veva Wolbrecht, First Vice President

 

      This is my first time writing an article for this column.  I have plenty of news about the doings of SCCCB.  We had our yearly installation dinner at Duchenne High School on May 30.  The new Board is composed of the following members:  President, Beverly Kaskadden, First Vice President, Veva Wolbrecht, for one year, Second Vice President, Victor Rodriguez, Secretary, Jan Sifford, for one year, Treasurer, Casey Thurber and Member at Large, Marjorie Petrofsky.  The Key Club at Duchenne did a wonderful job with the dinner.  MCB Executive Director Chris Gray performed the installations.

 

      The Fund Raising Committee has scheduled a bowl-a-rama for August 16.  Bowling tickets are $25 and include three hours of bowling and all of the pizza and soda a person wants.  Also, there will be raffle tickets for sale.  They are for two baseball games; one between the Cardinals and the Cubs at the end of August, and one with the Cardinals and Rockies in September.  We hope this fund raiser is a great success.

 

      The annual barbecue was held on July 28.  Mr. Larry White barbecued ribs and did a great job.  Each of us brought a side dish.  Though the turnout was small, everyone had a good time.

 

      SCCCB regrets the passing of Randall Wolbrecht on July 8.  He was diagnosed with cancer in April.  Randy was a sighted member of SCCCB who was willing to do anything to help.  He will be missed by all of the members.

 

      Well, that's about all for this time. We are all looking forward to the convention so that we can visit with all of our friends.  See you next time.

AND REPORTING FROM YOUR COMMITTEES!

 

Member of the Month

By Yvonne Schnitzler

 

      Congratulations to the Member of the Month winners.

 

      Marsha Martin, UWB was April’s Member of the Month, nominated by Brian Hallows.   Marsha was instrumental in helping organized the First Annual Americas Guide Dog Conference held in St. Louis. It involved the expertise of many committed individuals to undertake such a project. From start to finish, Marsha volunteered her time in whatever capacity needed to help assure the event was a success. Dedicated to her affiliate, she has assisted with numerous activities benefiting UWB in its mission to enrich the lives of the blind community.

 

      Marilyn Harding, BCM was the honoree for May, nominated by the Blind of Central Missouri. Senators and Congressmen know her by name having met her on many occasions advocating for the causes of the blind. Marilyn is an avid volunteer for her church and community. She attends meetings of the United Way as a representative of the BCM, relating to them the activities and goals of the affiliate with the hope of receiving funding.

 

      Paul Matthews was chosen June’s Member of the Month nominated by the Tower Club.   Paul is the backbone for Library Users of Missouri and a charter member. The original board of directors and signers of the incorporation papers on December 5, 1988 were Carolyn Anderson, president; Don Kerns, vice-president; Kaye Steinmetz, secretary; Paul Matthews, treasurer; and Leroy Welch, chaplain. Paul has been treasurer of Library Users for 26 years and a reader advisor for the Wolfner Library for 41 years.  Paul is an honest, fun-loving individual with a kind word for everyone. At conventions, you cannot miss his positive, jovial attitude and you will find him engaged in conversation, helping someone, or selling raffle tickets as a fundraiser for the Library Users.

 

      Joe Morgan is July’s Member of the Month, nominated by Blind of Central Missouri.  Joe is a gentleman with a positive attitude. He does an excellent job as MCB’s secretary and BCM’s president. You can count on Joe any time any place where he can be helpful. Many are grateful because he takes the time to show them how to use their new technology equipment. He is so patient when he has to answer the same questions repeatedly. He does so until the user understands and feels comfortable using the item. Joe is an asset to MCB and ATI. He enjoys the time he spends as a ham radio operator.

 

      We all know of someone deserving who should be recognized for their contributions to the organization. There are many.  Please take the time to send in your nomination. 

 

      The Member of the Month Committee, Barbara Dewberry, Nancy Hodson, Susan Sanderson, and Yvonne Schnitzler, Chair

 

 

Health Benefits

By Kenneth Carter, Chairman

 

      Update from Health Benefits Committee.  We are sorry to report our funds are depleted until new fiscal year starting in September, 2014. Please hold any applications until then.  We look forward to seeing all of you at Convention.

 

2014 Convention

By Donna Gimlin

 

      There is only one month until the convention starts. I hope you have your room reserved for the Oct. 2, 3 and 4. 

 

Following are the directions:

 

      From St. Louis take I 44 West to Exit 80 and go south on Glenstone to hotel.

 

      From Kansas City take Highway 13 South to I 44 East to Exit 80 and go south on Glenstone to hotel.

 

      From Joplin take I 44 East to exit 80 and go south on Glenstone to hotel.

 

      If you take a plane or the bus you can call the Hotel at 417-831-3131 and they will pick you up.

 

      We have planned two tours to the thrift store; one on Thursday and one on Friday.  Hope to see you there in October.

 

Craft Room

By Loretta Welch

 

      I am the chairman of the Craft Room again and will be taking care of the room at the October Convention in Springfield.  We will only have four tables available this year as the room is small.  You must have homemade crafts in order to be in the room.  Any club or person selling products for the club or personal ones will be in a different area.  The hours are Thursday, 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Crafts will be picked up at 6:00 p.m. Friday.  Please contact me at Loretta Welch, Route 2, Box 284, Butler, MO 64730 or call 1-660-679-5429.  If you need a table please get ahold of me.  We hope to have a wonderful craft room.

 

Reserve Your Assistive Listening Device

By Mary Hale, Dual Vision & Hearing Loss Chair

 

      The MCB Convention is fast approaching and it is time to send in your reservations.  I just want to remind anyone who wishes to be able to better hear and understand the speakers at the conference to PLEASE REMEMBER to check the box that you would like to use one of the assistive listening devices (ALD) that MCB will have available.  MCB has generously purchased these in the past for us to use, but there are only enough for 12 people.  It will be on a first come first serve basis when the registration forms come in. 

 

      Please remember at the conference, that you will need to turn in your State ID when picking up your ALD and you will get your ID back at the end of the conference when you return the device.  Headphones will be available to use.  However, you may also wish to bring your own favorite headphones or neck loop to use instead.

 

F. Y. I. ‚ÄúBring Your Buckets‚ÄĚ

By Wanda Lentz and Melvin Smith

 

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† This year the Silent Auction at the MCB State Convention will be very exciting!!! ¬†All affiliates are invited to participate by bringing a bucket of their choice; be it small, medium, large, plain decorated with designs, patterns, ribbons, balloons, animals, or cartoon figures. ¬†Your choice will be our delight!¬† The buckets will be on display before the Silent Auction begins. ¬†Pam Reed, a MCB Member at Large, will be escorting President Patti through the auction hall providing a detailed description of each bucket on display. ¬†Although Patti is totally blind, she will be judging the buckets for beauty, items of interest that are inside each bucket, and the weight of each bucket. ¬†Who knows what Patti may interpret to be the ‚Äúmost unique bucket‚ÄĚ she could ever imagine!¬†

 

      The affiliate winner of our Bucket Contest will be awarded a reserved table at the Banquet with a secret gift waiting upon arrival.  We are excited to see you at the MCB Silent Auction with your bucket in hand. 

 

      The Live Auction will be conducted as usual.  We appreciate individual and affiliate contributions.  The 2014 MCB Auction will be sure to bring a smile to each and every person in attendance.  See you there!

 

Wolfner Advisory News Summer 2014

By Darrel Vickers, Wolfner Advisory Board Chairman

 

      Wolfner Library contact numbers; Toll Free (800) 392-2614 and Phone: (573) 751-8720. 

Dr. Richard Smith Retires as Wolfner Director.  In June we said goodbye to Dr. Richard Smith.  Richard was very instrumental in transitioning Wolfner to the new digital talking book format.  Under his tenure, Wolfner also started recording books as part of the Shelf program and brought the portable reading machine, the Victor Stream to Wolfner patrons.

 

      I personally have enjoyed getting to know Richard and working with him on the advisory council. The Wolfner library is one of the premier special needs libraries in the country thanks to his leadership.  His retirement was short lived however, because he joined the staff of the National Library Service (NLS).  We want to wish Richard the best of luck and success in his new position.

 

      Wolfner Seeks New Director.  As of this writing, the Wolfner Library is still seeking a new director to replace Richard.  Barbara Reading, Missouri State Librarian is working with the Wolfner staff to keep the library functioning at its usual high level.  All Missourian’s should be proud we have such an excellent resource as the Wolfner library.

 

      The Wolfner book recording program, (Shelf), celebrates ten years.  In August the Wolfner shelf program will celebrate ten years of recording books.  Debra Stroup and her wonderful staff of volunteer readers have recorded around five hundred books for the Shelf program over that time.  The Shelf program records books by Missouri authors and books about people who either live in the state or have ties to Missouri or other books with a Missouri connection but have not been available through the National Library service.  Wolfner, as well as some other state libraries, are working with the N.L.S. to have these books available for download from Bard.  Please contact a reading advisor at Wolfner for more information about books available through Shelf.

 

      Bard App for Android in Testing.  I have found out, through unofficial means, a new Bard app is in or, soon will be in, beta testing for Android devices.  I hope by fall or winter the app will be publicly available.  This is unofficial because I was asked if I wanted to be a beta tester but I do not use Android devices so I could not participate.

 

Books you might enjoy:

 

Humor, Adventure

A Salty Piece of Land DB59523.  By Buffett, Jimmy. Reading time: 15 hours, 3 minutes. Read by Jim Zeiger.  Tully Mars recounts his transformation from cowboy to lighthouse keeper, fleeing a Wyoming poodle ranch for warm ocean swells. On his psychedelic odyssey Tully encounters many colorful characters, including 101-year-old ship captain Cleopatra Highbourne, who employs him to restore a lighthouse on Cayo Loco. Strong language. 2004.

 

Biography, True Crime

Orange Is the New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison DB77538.  By Kerman, Piper. Reading time: 12 hours, 29 minutes.  Read by Theresa Conkin.  Upper-middle-class author chronicles her conviction and incarceration in 2003 for drug smuggling and money laundering--crimes she committed ten years earlier after graduating from Smith College. Kerman relates her immersion into prison culture at a minimum-security facility in Connecticut. Basis for the Netflix original series. Strong language. Bestseller. 2010.

 

Historical Fiction

The Tilted World: A Novel DB77610.  By Franklin, Tom; Fennelly, Beth Ann. Reading time: 9 hours, 39 minutes.  Read by Jack Fox.  Mississippi, 1927. During historic floods, federal revenue agents Ham Johnson and Ted Ingersoll search for fellow agents who disappeared while trailing a bootlegger. Ingersoll finds a baby at a crime scene and meets Dixie Clay Holliver, a woman hiding secrets. Violence, some strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2013.

 

Biography,U.S. History

Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt DB30922.  By Vanderbilt, Arthur T. Reading time: 17 hours, 0 minutes.  Read by Christopher Hurt.  The author is one of the many Vanderbilts who inherited the name, but not the fortune. By his generation, the $100 million estate amassed by Cornelius Vanderbilt and added to by his son, had been squandered away. Cornelius's grandson's wife began the spending spree as she and succeeding generations accumulated pricey toys, built colossal homes, and partied away their fortune.

 

Stage and Screen, Humor

Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, And Where The Hell Are My Keys? DB77537.  y Crystal, Billy. Reading time: 8 hours, 44 minutes.  Read by Barry Bernson.  Sixty-five-year-old comedian and actor Billy Crystal (born 1948) looks back at his accomplishments. Highlights his happy Long Island childhood, career success, and family life. Ponders the realities and humor of aging. Strong language. Bestseller. 2013.

 

Stage and Screen

The Garner files DB 74277.  By Ray Childs.  Description: Actor, born James Scott Bumgarner in 1928 into a hardscrabble Oklahoma life, recounts his reluctant route to stardom. Discusses his television shows, including Maverick and The Rockford Files, and movies such as The Great Escape, Support Your Local Sheriff, and The Notebook.  Some strong language. 2011.

 

Human Relations, Psychological Fiction, Bestsellers

Barefoot: A Novel DB67080.  By Hilderbrand, Elin. Reading time: 15 hours, 43 minutes.  Read by Madelyn Buzzard.  Connecticut housewife Vicki takes her young sons, sister Brenda, and pregnant friend Melanie to Nantucket. Vicki battles late-stage lung cancer, Brenda was recently fired, and Melanie has a cheating husband. College student Josh babysits while the women ponder their dilemmas.  Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Bestseller.  2007.

 

Biography, War and the Military

Unbroken: A World War II Story Of Survival, Resilience, And Redemption DB72129.  By Hillenbrand, Laura. Reading time: 16 hours, 32 minutes.  Read by Faith Potts.  Author of Seabiscuit (DB 51968) details the life of Louis Zamperini (b. 1917), an Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, who survived a plane crash and forty-seven days adrift at sea only to become a POW in Japan. Relates Louis' later religious awakening under Billy Graham's ministry.  Violence.  Bestseller. 2010.

 

Family, Humor, Bestsellers

Fatherhood DB23037.  By Cosby, Bill. Reading time: 3 hours, 19 minutes.  Read by Bob Askey.  Warm-hearted revelations by the much-acclaimed comedian and television star. Cosby comforts parents with tales about his life as the father of five children, who are a source of bewilderment to him from their infancy through the terrible teens. Some strong language. Bestseller 1986.

 

Biography, Medical

Crashing Through: A Story Of Risk, Adventure, And The Man Who Dared To See DB63747.  By Kurson, Robert; May, Mike; Ordunio, Doug. Reading time: 10 hours, 12 minutes.  Read by Doug Ordunio.  The author of Shadow Divers (RC 58650) profiles Michael May (born 1953), who was blinded at age three and later became a champion skier, CIA analyst, and entrepreneur. Relates May's internal conflict over whether or not to undergo an operation to restore his sight. Commercial audiobook. 2007.

 

Human Relations, Family, Humor, Bestsellers

Good In Bed: A Novel DB54308.  By Weiner, Jennifer. Reading time: 13 hours, 5 minutes.  Read by Erin Jones.  After her ex-boyfriend discusses her weight problem in a magazine column, successful reporter Cannie feels betrayed.  Cannie's family offer little solace, but with her friends' help, the sale of her screenplay, and an unexpected baby, she realizes what's important.  Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller. 2001.

 

      If you are interested in any of these books and do not have access to Bard, please call Wolfner and ask a reading advisor to send it to you.  Hope to see you all at camp in September.  Email:darrel@ww4b.org

Phone: 636-667-3176.

 

PS.  Currency Reader Press Release.

 

      The U.S. Bureau of Engraving will initiate a four-month pilot where NLS patrons can pre-order a currency reader.  A press release from July 3 states To receive a currency reader, eligible individuals who are currently patrons of NLS need only call 1-888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323); Your account will be noted and a currency reader will be delivered to the address on file.  However, calls to the number provided for the purpose of ordering the currency reader will not be accepted until September 2, 2014.  The delivery of the readers will not begin until January, 2015.

 

THESE ARE THEIR NAMES, AND THEY APPROVE THIS MESSAGE.

 

Candidacy Announcement for the Office of President

Denny Huff

 

      I think that most of you would agree that Missouri is arguably the best state that a blind person could live in.  We are the only state that has a blind pension, the only state that has a program offered by Missouri Assistive Technology similar to the TAP-I and TAP for Telephone.  We have a great Rehab Services for the Blind and we have of course, the Missouri Council of the Blind, one of the largest and most influential affiliates of the American Council of the Blind.  All of these organizations and programs are not by accident but rather by work that was done in the past by many members of MCB; people such as Alma Murphy, Ellis Forshee, Nathaniel Johnson and Darrell Lauer, just to name a few.

 

      I am in no way comparing myself to any of these great advocates, but I do share in their vision for the blind community of Missouri.  As your president for four years I believe that I brought to this organization a sense of direction, more unity in what we believe in, cooperation between the Board, the officers and the membership and better communication for what was going on in MCB.

 

      I established a good rapport with not only other blind related organizations in Missouri, but other disability organizations in the state as well.  We participated in several statewide events involving cross disability organizations and they knew that we were willing to work with them in whatever way possible.

 

      We worked with several local affiliates in an attempt to strengthen their membership and were fairly successful in doing so.  I was committed to working with any and all affiliates in addressing any problem or questions that they might have had.

 

      Our name is now held in higher esteem among other blind related organizations.  They know that we are an organization that serves not only our members, but will address the concerns of all blind Missourians alike.

 

      I didn’t take the position as your president lightly.  I tried to represent MCB in a professional manner and address the concerns of each member alike.  Although it was quite a task to juggle my work schedule and my duties as president, I most of the time found it was a very rewarding experience.  I tried to promote MCB and explain the services we offer everywhere I went.

 

      We have many great members in MCB that are very knowledgeable about the blind community and their needs.  I tried to assign positions throughout the state to individuals I felt were qualified for a chairperson to balance out the workload.  I was committed to using the most qualified person for each position available.  Although some of the appointments did not prove to be as successful as I had hoped, if elected it will be a priority to select the right person for the job.

 

      Although I failed to balance our budget for the four years I was in office, if elected, this will be another one of my priorities.  I can say that our budget was in better shape when I left office two years ago than it was when I took office with our deficit being $200,000.00 less than what it was in 2008.  My focus will not be on lessening the amount of our budget, but rather increasing our income to overcome the deficit.  I know there is money out there for organizations like ours and financial support for the programs we have.  It is just a matter of making changes in the way we present MCB to the general public.  Although some of these changes have already been made, there is still work to do.  It is also a matter of finding these sources of income that are willing to support our cause.

 

      We now have one of the best operating office staff that we have ever had.  They are knowledgeable in what needs to be done, how to accomplish the tasks they are presented with and willing to work with not only the president, but the Board and membership to accomplish these tasks.

 

      Since I left office in 2012 I have been committed to keep working for MCB.  I serve on the Thrift Store Committee, served as the Public Relations Director and also as the Education and Welfare Chair.  I have worked closely with our president, Patty Schonlau and our executive director, Chris Gray in several areas and have given Patty support throughout her tenure as president.

 

      I also now serve on the Heartland Independent Living Center Board and have been working with the Franklin County Emergency Preparedness committee as an advisor for the disabled community.  My business has grown substantially and I have now hired two visually impaired people to work for me.

 

      If I am elected as your president, I promise to serve you and represent you in a professional manner and keep myself available to you for any questions or concerns you might have.  My vision for MCB is to keep it the great organization it has become over the past 58 years.

 

Candidacy Announcement for the Office of Second Vice-President

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

 

      Fellow MCB members, I am hereby declaring my willingness to continue serving you as an officer of the Board of the Missouri Council of the Blind.  I have served as your first vice-president for two terms. I am offering to serve as your second vice-president should you so choose to honor me.  I am a life member of ACB and GDUI and have now lived in your beautiful state 8 years.  I have served two terms on the ACB Board of Publications and been appointed to the following committees at the national level by three ACB Presidents: Multicultural Committee, Public Relations Committee, Resource Development, Women’s Concerns and the ACB Store Committee.  I have served as state affiliate president for Oregon, Colorado, and as president of BRL.  I have also served on the Boards of local ACB affiliates and the Boards of LUA and GDUI.  I currently serve as secretary of the Tiger Council of the Blind (Columbia affiliate), on the Board of the Wolfner Advisory Council and the Governor’s Council on Disability.  If elected, I will bring my writing talent and negotiation of consensus building skills to your Board.  I am a quiet hard worker who just wants to get the job done.  If the Board chooses a direction I don’t agree with, I will support their decisions and work to implement them.  I don’t take it personally if my views are voted down and understand that we all want what is best for the organization even when we don’t agree what that might be.  Thank you for electing me to office in the past and for giving me the opportunity to serve you.  I hope you will vote to elect me again, if not this year, then at some future date. With warm regards, DeAnna Quietwater Noriega.

 

Candidacy Announcement for the Office of Vice-President

Michael Keller

 

Hello MCB Members,

 

      I, Michael Keller, am announcing my candidacy for First Vice-President of the Missouri Council of the Blind.  Most of you know me since I have been in the U.W.B. and MCB since 1961.  In the U.W.B. I have served as President, Vice President, and Treasurer and served on several committees.  While in MCB I served two terms as Treasurer of MCB and served on several committees. 

 

      I am currently your Second Vice-President.  While serving in this position I have tried to always vote in the best interest of MCB and its members.  I listen to both sides of a situation and the proposed solutions before I vote.  I have the knowledge, skills and ability that are needed to continue to serve MCB as First Vice-President.

 

      I am a graduate of Missouri University at St. Louis.  I retired from Anheuser Busch as a Senior Cost Analyst.  Currently I serve as Chair of the Policy Committee and serve on the Thrift Store Committee.

 

      Following is a partial listing of my service record for the past several years.

MCB Treasurer

MCB Budget and Finance Committee

MCB Scholarship Committee

Representative of MCB to American Council of the Blind to their Nominating committee

Advisory Board for the American Foundation for the Blind

Member of the Soul That Sees Foundation Board

Past First Vice-President of the Service Club of the Blind

Past Chair of the Leadership Advisory Council

Past Chair of the Statewide Independent Living Council

Currently serving on the City of St. Louis Office on the Disabled Advisory Council. 

Served on Y.M.C.A. Committee for Retention of Members.

International-served on two missions working with the Blind in Mexico and Guatemala

 

      My purpose is to continue to increase the quality, effectiveness and awareness of MCB. 

 

      Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments, my contact information is below my name.  Please consider me when you are voting for the First Vice-President of the Missouri Council of the Blind.  Respectfully, Michael Keller, Phone 314-771-5195, Email mhkeller65@att.net.

 

From the Lower Left-Hand Drawer

By John Weidlich

 

      Just a few items in the drawer this time but I hope there will be something here that you will find interesting or useful.  All information is passed along for your benefit.  They are not endorsed by MCB or me.

 

      In the exhibit hall at the ACB Convention was a booth staffed by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, (BEP), which is part of the US Department of Treasury, at which members were given free Talking Currency Identifiers.  This is a result of the lawsuit filed by ACB against the Treasury Department to make US currency accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.  While the Department continues to do research on putting tactile features on US currency, the BEP will be providing free iBill Talking Banknote Identifiers to eligible blind and visually impaired individuals.  The first phase was to distribute them to people who attended the ACB and NFB national conventions.  The next phase will be a pilot program in partnership with the National Library Service.     If you are an NLS patron, beginning on September 1, you can obtain a free currency reader by calling (888) NLS-READ or 657-7323.  Your currency reader will be delivered to the address on file with NLS.  Currency readers will be available to all US citizens who are blind beginning in January.  Individuals who are not NLS patrons will need to submit an application signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility.  For more information about this program you can call (844) 815-9388.  The currency identifier that I received at the convention came with operating instructions in Braille, print and on CD.  It reads currencies from $1 to $100 using either speech, tones or vibrations.  It operates on a triple A battery, which was supplied.  It also has an earphone jack for privacy.  So when will we see tactile marking on US currency?  A speaker from the BEP told the ACB convention that this will happen when new bills are issued in 2020.  I can tell you that convention attendees were quite happy about the free currency identifiers but not at all pleased that it will be six years before tactile marks will be put on bills.  The assembly expressed its dissatisfaction with the length of this process in the form of a strongly worded resolution.

 

      At the Convention we also heard about a lot of progress that is being made in the area of talking drug prescription labels.  Walgreens has launched a nationwide program offering talking labels on prescription medicine for blind and visually impaired customers at its retail pharmacies and through the Walgreens prescription mail service.  The device, developed by Walgreens, is called the Talking Pill reminder.  It will be attached to prescription bottles and the service is free.  You can listen to information about the medicine found on the label buy pressing a button on the Talking Pill Reminder.  It will also have an audible alarm to remind you when to take the medication.  CVS Pharmacies is offering a similar service to blind customers but with a different device.  We were told that negotiations are under way with other large pharmacy chains, including Express Scrip.  Stay tuned.

 

      The Missouri School for the Blind will have a new Superintendent in the fall.  His name is Geoffrey Barney.  He is replacing Patty Yocum who retired after five years.  Mr. Barney has served as a Building Administrator and Area Director for Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled.  He has had 12 years of experience in education and administration and has taught Biology and Spanish.

 

      You may have heard by now that the Braille authority of North America (BANA) has adopted a new Braille Code called Unified English Braille of UEB which is supposed to go into effect in 2016.  Braille is not going to be radically different but some new symbols have been added to indicate things like type faces and other punctuation marks.  What you will notice is that several contractions have been dropped and words like and, of, for and the can no longer be written without spaces between them.  If you want to see what the new UEB will look like, there are some books on the BARD site produced by BANA in the new code.  One of them is the new Stephen King novel called Mr. Mercedes.  The new symbols and the changes are outlined at the beginning of the book.  So check it out and see what you think.

 

      After more than one hundred years, the Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind has ceased publication.  The magazine was founded in 1906 as a way of bringing news and information to blind readers.  Each monthly issue contained articles from print publications, a reader’s form and classified ads.  The Board of Trustees apparently decided that there was no longer a need for such a publication because of the increased access that blind people have through the Internet and other sources.  If I may be permitted a brief editorial comment, I read the Ziegler for many years and always found it interesting and informative.  To me, it is sad to see such a useful publication being discontinued.  Many of the readers lived in countries where information to news and information is not as easily accessible as it is to us and I believe the end of this magazine will be a great loss to them.

 

      National Braille Press has published a new reference card written by Anna Dresner.  It is a reference card for IOS7 devices, iPhone, iPad and iPod.  It is a guide to Voiceover, Bluetooth keyboards and Braille displays.  To order, contact NBP at www.nbp.org or call (800) 548-7323.

 

      Congratulations to Richard Smith on his new position. After fifteen years as Director of our Wolfner Library, Richard has been appointed the new chief of the Network Division for the National Library Service.  He began his new job at NLS in June.  He has had twenty years of experience with the NLS Library network as Director of the Louisiana Library for the Blind and the Wolfner Library.  We wish Richard Smith well in his new position.  I have heard no announcement yet about a new Director for Wolfner.

 

      Twelve Steps to Living with Vision Loss by Elena Thomason is a new book that is a resource to individuals dealing with vision loss and their family members.  The book covers such issues as understanding the changes in one’s vision, communicating with doctors, making changes to personal environments, transportation, adaptive devices, and living independently.  For more information contact the author at elenathomason@surewest.net.

 

      Here is another new Braille book from National Braille Press.  Healthy Frozen Meals:  cooking Directions and Nutritional Values covers thirty healthy meal choices from Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice and Weight Watchers.  It includes both microwave and oven cooking instructions.  To order, contact NBP at the address given earlier in this column.

 

      The Bright Focus Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting research and providing public education on brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma.  Bright Focus Chats is a free monthly telephone discussion on macular degeneration and glaucoma.  Archives of previous chats are available. For more information visit www.brightfocus.org and the number to call to participate and to listen to previous calls is (773)572-3164. Long distance charges may apply.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The Acrobat HD-mini is a portable, electronic magnifier that ‚Äúlets you see near, far, and in between.‚ÄĚ The camera‚Äôs auto focus allows objects to be magnified at any distance and settings are saved for each view. ¬†It is also compatible with a computer. ¬†For more information, visit www.enhancedvision.com or call (888) 811-3161.

Well, it turns out that I had more information than I originally thought but that’s all for now. See you in December.