Sunday, March 10, 2013

     ECAREA      Eau Claire Area Retired Educators
ECAREA Unit Meeting
Monday March 4, 2013
1:30 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church

The meeting began with Chris welcoming everyone and leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Two first time attendees were introduced.  23 people were in attendance. 

Business Meeting

A. Minutes:  The minutes from the February Unit meeting were approved and will be recorded as submitted by Sally.

B.  Treasurer: Judy reported that as of today we have a balance of $955.76 in the checking account and $1656.52 in the savings account. 

C. Committee Reports:

Social:  Loreen thanked the servers for today’s meeting.  She announced that the April 1st brunch will be at Lake Street Methodist and that reservations must be made/cancelled by March 28th.  Steve Betchkal will do a presentation on birds for our program that day.  Loreen also reminded everyone that the May meeting will be a noon luncheon at Avalon in Chippewa Falls.  A representative from Irvine Park will be our program.     

Membership:  Ruth welcomed the new members to today’s meeting and reminded everyone that you do not have to have taught in Eau Claire to be a member of ECAREA.  It is an organization for all area retired educators.  She asked everyone to encourage friends to attend our meetings.

Legislative:  Owen kept us up to date on issues involving annuity adjustments in both the Core and Variable Funds, Legislative priorities set for 2013-14, an article from the Leader-Telegram stating that the EC School Board is not planning to make changes to the benefits of those currently retired, and encouraged everyone to contact their Senator or Representative in opposition to the School Voucher Plan.

Past President: Cathy had nothing new to share.

Health and Education: Chris introduced Carla Pfund to the members as the new Education Chair.  She will share this position with Marlaine.  Carla addressed the topic of gun control and the fact that our retirement fund is invested in gun manufacturing.  She shared that Wisconsin is included in the 35 states that have Common Core State Standards and that along with State Report Cards there will also be District Report Cards. Carla also spoke of an article that tried to disprove the positive effects of the Head Start program despite the inability of determining the progress of those children had they not been in the program.
Marlaine thanked Carla for joining her on this committee.  She reminded members of the location at the Law Enforcement entry to the courthouse for the outdated medicine drop-off.  She passed around an article related to the affects grapefruit and cranberries can have on prescription drugs, and encouraged members to read books by August Derleth, a Wisconsin author.  

President:  Chris reminded members of the ECAREA website address.

Newsletter:  Jeanette had nothing to report.

Website: Cheryl was absent.

D.  Old Business
            1.  The retirement session will be held at Memorial High School on Tuesday March 12 in the Little Theater.  There are presently 40 people signed up        

E.  New Business

            1.  Carla Pfund was welcomed as the new Education Chair.

            2.  The State Convention will be in Stevens Point on May 7-8.
3.  Chris invited anyone who has an idea for a program for next year to share it with a member of the Board.

4.  Chris shared a letter she had received from the State indicating they were having some problems with money. 

F.  Raffle

Kathy conducted the drawing and reminded members that half of the money goes to the WREA Foundation to provide for scholarships and grants.
The business meeting was adjourned for the program.

G.  Program 
            Mark Ruddy and John Stedman presented the 11X15 Prison Population Reduction program and how it is a part of the JOHAH (Joining Our Neighbors Advancing Hope) project. and are two recommended websites.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Gordon, Secretary.