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League of Women Voters of Somers, NY

PO Box 371, Somers, New York 10589



Monday, March 9

The State of Our Schools

On Monday, March, 9th, at 10:00am, the League will hold its monthly meeting at the Somers Library. Dr. Ray Blanch, Superintendent of Schools, accompanied by Ken Crowley,
Assistant Superintendent for Business, will present the proposed school budget for 2015-16.

Once again, we will have the opportunity to discuss the issues now facing the school. What are the pressing concerns? Can the Somers schools function well within the State budget cap of 2%? Has the academic program continued to offer new challenges to the students?

Dr. Blanch is in his fifth year as Superintendent of the Somers Schools. He began his career as an elementary school teacher and went on to become principal, and eventually Superintendent. He has an Administrative License and a PhD. in educational leadership from the University of Denver. He , his wife and four children live in Heritage Hills.

Be sure to attend this informative meeting!

President's Message March 2015

Global climate change. The League of Wom-en Voters has been at the forefront of the en-vironmental protection movement for dec-ades, consistently supporting legislation to preserve our nation’s natural resources and protect our public health. We support legislation that protects our country from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change. The League’s environmental work falls into 3 categories; global climate change, clean air defense and clean energy.

Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation. The League supports legislative solutions, in-cluding setting caps on greenhouse gas and carbon pollu-tion. They also support strong executive branch action under the Clean Air Act to cut industrial carbon pollution from new and existing power plants.

The League works to protect air quality by advo-cating for federal air pollution control on government in-stallations, fuels and motor vehicles. League members across the country campaign to urge the President and Congress to lead the world in the fight against climate change.

The League advocates for legislation to improve en-ergy efficiency and opposes oil drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. They oppose the construction of the Key-stone XL Pipeline which threatens to pollute huge drink-ing water reserves, increase the world’s dependence on dirty oil and increase the greenhouse gases that contrib-ute to climate change. Preservation of a healthy environ-ment is a top priority and state Leagues have taken the lead in working to block fracking that threatens to pollute natural resources in their community.

Can Lame Ducks Fly?

For the last time, the One Hundred and Thirteenth Congress returned to Capitol Hill on Monday, December 1, 2014, after the long post election and Thanksgiving holiday hiatus.

Before entering chambers, many visited the gymnasium. There, the mood was jovial as new family photos were passed between treadmills and bicycles. Upon entering their respective chambers, Congressman and Senators reached across the aisles greeting each other and shaking hands. A feeling of camaraderie was in the air. There was an expectant buzz as if something was going to happen.

And, it did. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, took his place on the podium. He wel-comed the Representatives back and announced, “This is a new day. Let’s show the country what we can do. Let’s leave some mark as the 113th Congress. Shall we attack immigration first?” There was a burst of applause. Spencer Bachus, retiring Republican representative from Alabama, addressed the floor, “Since Obama has made his immigration move and chang-es will be made anyway, may I move that we adopt Senator Charles Schumer’s 2013 Bill 5744 that the Senate passed fifteen months ago and we have buried in committee since then. It is far more inclusionary and will reflect well on us.” move was seconded by Trey Goudy, Republi-can of South Carolina, a member of the Judiciary and Immigration Policy Committees. Bill 5744 will be revived and voted on during this Session of Congress.

The Speaker next suggested that an effort be made this very week to begin confirming the fifteen judicial nominees for posts that have been vacant for so long. Boehner used his gavel to quiet the humming house. He then made this startling announcement, “While we are adjourned for lunch, I want you to strongly consider withdrawing the suit against President Obama and the wording of the Affordable Care Act. We now know Obamacare is a fait accom-pli and politically popular. Doing this will certainly smooth the transition to the 114th Con-gress.” Another burst of applause followed and the Representatives, all in their navy blue suits with either blue or red ties, filed out on the way to the Capitol Lunchroom.

Word of Congress’s action immediately traveled to the White House and Senate. With the exception of “Grinchlike” Ted Cruz, Senators stood and cheered. President Obama shook his head in wonderment. He and Vice President Biden notified the House that they would visit it in the afternoon.

Perhaps, there was a Black Friday special on goodwill. Perhaps, they wanted to dispel the thought of Blue Monday. Maybe it was due to public unrest. Could it be the Holiday spir-it? Or, is it a Miracle? This Lame Duck 113th Congress has decided to spread its wings and reach a height America never thought it would. Will the 114th Congress follow suit in 2015?


The past year has seen many accomplishments for the League of Women Voters. We continued to organize registration drives, hold-ing nearly 600 candidate events and handing out over a million pieces of literature to help educate voters.

During 2014, we continued to oppose discriminatory voting laws and worked strenuously to restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. We were successful in Missouri where we helped to stop a discriminatory voter photo ID bill and a re-strictive early voting amendment. In Pennsylvania, we were instrumental in stopping a state voter photo ID law and in Minnesota, we helped pass online voter registration. The League continues its efforts to ensure voting rights for all citizens throughout the country.

In addition to the critical issue of open access to voting for all citizens, the League has also worked to protect a clean environment, having sent nearly 100,000 comments to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Our League also supports measures to limit the influence of special interests and big money donors. The League strives to support efforts to improve the lives of citizens and protect the democratic process.

of Events

Mon. Mar. 9
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am "The State of our Schools" with Dr. Ray Blanch. Somers Library, Reis Park.

Mon. Apr. 13
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am "Report to the People" with members of the Town Board. Somers Town Hall, Route 202

Mon. May 11
10am Monthly Meeting
10:30am "Women and their Money" with Paul Sheldon. Somers Library, Reis Park

Thurs. May 21st
12:00 Book & Author Luncheon, Traveler's Rest, Route 100, Ossining

Sat. June 6th and 7th NY State LWV Convention, Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, Albany, NY


The NY State LWV is strongly supporting the New York Health Bill that would create single-payer health care coverage for all. The Bill will come to a vote in the Assembly this session and will probably pass but has no chance of passing in the Senate. Still, as LWVNY points out, “it is a step forward.”


In a building in Mount Kisco, more than 30,000 pieces of art collected by William Louis Dreyfus and previously unavailable to the public, was the scene of a group viewing by Somers LWV members. For fifty years, Louis Dreyfus collected art by unknown artists, many of whom have since become well-known. The collection, seen by LWV on Tuesday, February 10th, includes paintings, drawings, etchings, sculpture and other art forms.

Through the efforts of Bea Bartner and Joyce Liebman, we viewed the work of indigent, untrained street artists as well as more accomplished efforts. It was a very exciting experience unlike the usual visits to museums and art galleries.

Following the exhibit, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Café of Love where we were able to exchange our impressions of the art collection and enjoy being with old and new friends. Many thanks to Bea and Joyce for this unusual opportunity!




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.

Updated by Valerie Castleman Feb. 26, 2015