NFB of Maine News Matters for January, 2012

Vol.2 Issue 1

January 08, 2012

editor: Patricia E. C. Estes, Affiliate President







We are off to a great and growing start to 2012!

*The NFB of Maine Board of Directors just concluded it's third board meeting last week and we have some news to share and important work to do for the blind of our state.
*Mary Ellen Frost and myself, as Presidents of the ACB and the NFB advocacy groups, have been invited by Jim Phipps, Executive Director, to be on the Iris Network's Consumer Action committee (CAC). The Iris Network has been active in legislative issues, networking, and in providing alternative choices within Maine for education and rehabilitation.
*All that we know at this point about hearings for LD 765 is that the hearing is on January 18 and Jim Phipps will be sending out time and room assignment as he receives it. From here, I will schedule a conference call for all those interested and able to attend the hearing so we can coordinate rides, testimony, etc and Have Jim address us with the details. This call will include all parties and may serve (if you agree, Mary Ellen) to be a good way to prepare for the hearing.
*Our Open to All Call will be on January 19 (the third Thursday) and our guest will be Samantha Green of the Iris Network with Independent Living skills. Thought about organizing your fridge lately? And more! Watch for the details as we get closer.
*We are real close to beginning an At Large Chapter that will meet monthly by conference call. This has been a goal of ours for over a year. The Open Call will continue, however. But to get to know the Federation and to do Federation business, check this out. Info forth coming, we are still working on clarifying and gathering information. This will serve as the chapter meeting for all of us, since there are not any local chapters, as yet. Active members, bring a friend! Details are headed your way.
*Newsline is being spearheaded by our VP, Walter Woitesek. Anyone can apply for Newsline and the more the better our chances of a grant to fund it here in Maine. Membership to the NFB is a separate thing, but you can see why the two go easily hand in hand. Send any questions or requests for applications to Walter Woitesek. But membership in the NFB is different from a Newsline application. You can do one or the other or, hopefully, both!
*Our Legislative Liaison, Roger Cusson, is doing a great job of making appointments and getting us organized for the Washington Seminar coming up in early February. Our NFB representatives to the Hill are Roger Cusson and Leon Proctor (VP and Treasurer, respectively). They will need added help on the return to Maine as we need to keep the local Congressional offices moving on our items of concern for legislation.
*We are organizing a Fund Raising Committee, a Parents' Division and a Students' Division. We have a contact person for those with diabetes, small business owners and access to transportation experts, as well. Have a technology problem or question or need a speaker for your church or group? Contact me, Patricia Estes, at this email or call 207 344 8292.
* Also needed are ideas for meeting places in Augusta for April's combined Open Board Meeting and Chapter Face-to-Face get together. And our state convention is starting to take shape and we would also like to locate that in the Augusta area, if possible.
*Several of us will be traveling to the National Convention in July and will have lots to learn and to report back.
*There have been several people interested in attending an NFB Center and we may need to develop an exploratory committee to assist these people to approach VR for the assistance.
*Get in shape and join us at the Dempsey Challenge in Lewiston-Auburn in October for Meet the Blind month!
And, last but not least, a big "thank you" to our Affiliate Board of Directors and our membership around the state. In cooperation with the support from our National Center, the NFB of Maine will realize a great 2012!


Patricia C. Estes
NFB of Maine
207 344 8292

"The Voice of the Blind-changing what it means to be blind in Maine!"