LWV logo

League of Women Voters of Somers, NY

PO Box 371, Somers, New York 10589



September 28 Meeting: County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz

County Legislator Michael B. Kaplowitz, Chair of the Westchester Board of Legislators, will address our Monday, September 28, membership meeting at 10:30 am, following the general meeting at 10:00 am, in the Somers Library.

Mr. Kaplowitz has represented District 4 (Yorktown, Somers, New Castle) since 1998. An attorney, he earned his B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and J.D. from the Boston University School of Law. In the County Legislature, Mr. Kaplowitz has served as Budget & Appropriations Committee Chairman, Envi-ronment & Energy Committee Chairman, and as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Board. His community and civic involvement includes the United Way’s Volunteer Center, Partner-ship Fund for the Aging Services, and the Somers Lions Club.

In his presentation, Legislator Michael Kaplowitz will cover a number of county-wide topics, including updates on the Algonquin Pipeline expansion and forthcoming plans for Playland, as well as a preview of the County’s 2016 budget. Please be sure to attend this im-portant discussion on Monday, September 28.

President's September Message: The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) is the highest Federal Court of the U.S. It was established by the Constitution in 1789. It has ultimate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law. The S.C. is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law.

The court consists of the Chief Justice, John Roberts, 59, and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed they have life tenure unless they resign, retire or are removed after impeachment (it has never happened). They are Sonia Sotomayor, 60, Stephen Breyer, 76, Samuel Alito, 64, Elena Kagan, 54, Clarence Thomas, 66, Antonin Scalia,78, Anthony Kennedy, 78, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81.

Major decisions by the S.C. in 2015:
*  The court decided that states may use a drug
linked to apparently botched executions to carry
out death sentences.
*  The court decided that the Constitution guarantees
a right to same sex marriage.
*  The court decided that tax subsidies were being
provided lawfully in three dozen states that had
decided not to run marketplaces for insurance
*  In Arizona the court ruled that voters had the
power to strip elected lawmakers of their au
thority to draw district lines.

The LWV has taken stands on stopping partisan errymandering, on Health Care Tax subsidies, the Voting Rights Act and others.

Naturalization Ceremony

Anne Stafford and I went to the Westchester Court House for the Naturalization Ceremony held twice a month for immigrants. This is the fifth time I have attended such a celebration. The first one was my own, a long time ago!

Here, the court opened by Proclamation. The presiding Judge was the Hon. Linda Mamison, Supreme Court Judge. The Executive Deputy County Clerk declared. "Your honor, I would like to introduce 113 new citizens who have been examined by the Immigration Services and have been found to comply with all the regulations.” The Clerk administered the Oath of Allegiance and lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The new American citizens were from different countries of the world but all had a broad smile.

Somers Partners in Prevention

Kathy Cucchiarella, Chairman of Somers Partners in Prevention, was guest speaker at our August 10 membership meeting. The primary mission of Somers Partners in Prevention, a community alliance, is to help Somers youth stay alcohol and drug-free. It involves school organizations, law enforcement, and town government as well as local groups and committed parents.

Kathy spoke enthusiastically about how the community has come together for its important substance-free common goal. Her presentation was attended by interested community members including Town Councilman Anthony Cirieco and Midge Miller, the Director of Somers Middle School Team Tuskers Mentoring Program.

First and foremost, Somers Partners in Prevention is committed to educating students on how to make “smart and healthy choices.” Throughout the school year, the group sponsors speakers who speak to the students about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. Teens, Kathy related, respond better to real stories, not to random statistics. Somers High School Principal Mark Bayer has worked closely with the group and SHS driver-safety program has informed 1,100 potential drivers. When it comes to substance abuse, SHS has zero tolerance.

In particular, Somers Partners in Prevention has built strong relationships with local law enforcement. Police Chief Michael Driscoll implemented a Narcon training program for civilians, including school nurses. He has supported the National Disposal of Drugs effort; unused prescription drugs and other medi-cations can be dropped off at the Somers Police Station. These drugs are then safely incinerated at a facility in Valhalla. In addition, the police officers assigned to SMS and SHS are available “friendly faces” to students there.

Somers Partners in Prevention meets monthly on the last Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in Town Hall, and all are welcome to attend. Currently, the group is reaching out across the community for more support. Information about future Somers Partners in Prevention events and activities can be found on the Town website, under “Committees.” The group is partnering with local communities, including Mount Kisco and Yorktown to expand its efforts in Northern Westchester.


Benefactors help to support our League with their tax deductible donation of $25.00 (+) to the Somers LWV Educational Fund.

For those of you who have generously supported us in the past, it is time to renew your donation. For others, we ask you to join in this effort and send your check to the Somers Educational Fund, Box371, Somers NY 10589.

of Events

Due to the changes in schedule this month, there will not be a Bulletin for October. The Bulletin will resume in November.

Mon. Oct. 5th
Fall Luncheon, guest speaker Andrew Farber, Somers Library Director. Le Fontaine Ristorante.

Tues. Nov. 3rd Election Day

Mon. Nov. 9th
10am Monthy Meeting
10:30am Dr. Christopher Malone "Our Favorite Professor." A preview of the 2016 election, Somers Library, Reis Park

Wed. Nov. 11 Veterans' Day Parade, Bailey Park, 10:00am

Mon. Dec. 14
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am Holida Park. Join us in honoring Harriet Leib. Somers Library, Reis Park

HaveYou Paid Your Dues?

Individual $60; Family $85. -- we need you! Mail your check to Somers LWV, PO Box 371, Somers, NY 10589

Why We Pay Dues
(from LWVUS)

Your League's per member payment (PMP) invoice for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 is in the mail and will reach you shortly. The basic PMP rate is $32.00, the rate adopted by delegates to Convention 2014 for the fiscal year that started on July 1st. In accordance with our bylaws, an additional one-half PMP, $16, is charged for a second person in a household. The PMP rate for students is $16, half that for other members; this reduced rate is intended as an incentive to encourage students to join the League.
Your League's FY ‘15-‘16 PMP obligation is based on your January 2015 membership count. Your membership count was determined by the actual number of active members which was stated in your League's online member database, including any revisions that your League submitted by the January 31, 2015 deadline. You can view your January 2015 summary sheet anytime throughout the year through our online system.

What does PMP support?
As you know, PMP is the way Leagues satisfy the requirement to financially support the national level of our three-level organization. PMP accounts for only a quarter of LWVUS/EF income but it is critically important as the “seed money” that enables staff to raise the other 75 percent of the national budget. Included in the national budget is support for our advocacy work, our communications to a national audience and direct assistance to support state and local League activities. Although payment of PMP is mandatory, the national board recognizes and appreciates the significant commitment Leagues make when they pay their PMP.

From the County
View: Westchester Election Bosses Won't Listen
by Marylou Green and Janet Zagoria, as published by the Journal News, July, 11, 2015. Read the article

Somers LWV 2015-2016

CoPresidents, Francoise Bennett and Loretta Nelson

1st Vice President, Joyce Liebman

2nd Vice President, Lucille Kennedy

3rd Vice President, Ann Harper

Treasurer, Ann Stafford

Recording Secretary, Lucille Williams

Corresponding Secretary, Myra Linker

Directors (2nd year of 2 year term
Bea Bartner
Carol Fox
Rita Gottfried
Doris Lipman
Carol Sturtz


Updated by Valerie CastlemanSept. 30, 2015