E-news for 2017
The ASURA E-news is published after each Board Meeting and sometimes extra issues are published. The listing of future events, the last section of most E-news issues, has been deleted. Note: the links are likely broken.
Editor is Barry McNeill
|12 Dec 2017||The busy holiday season is upon us with all the baking, grandchildren’s school plays, parties, etc.; there is so much going on. Even so I hope you can take a moment each day to just enjoy the season. I’ll try to keep this Enews short so you can get on with your holiday activities. Today’s issue addresses:
December Board Meeting
Harkins Staff Council Fundraiser
There is still time to take advantage of this fundraising opportunity. If you are looking for a Holiday gift Harkins has the perfect gifts for family, friends and students. A portion of each item purchased goes to one of several Staff Council programs, e.g., Staff Helping Staff Endowment and Judy Reynolds Memorial Scholarship. You can order and pay online or call the Staff Council Office at 480-965-0892. Order by December 15 to get your Harkins items by Christmas!
New Board Member Elections
It's not too late to get on the new Board Member ballot. There are still three slots open but you had better hurry before these are snapped up (smile). Reply to this Enews if you are interested.
|30 Nov 2017 (Open Enrollment Supplement)||Well Thanksgiving has passed, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone so it must be time to get ready for the holidays. There are only a couple of items in this Enews but several events come up in early December and if I wait until the Board meeting they will have already occurred. If you want to attend only one these events then make it the ASURA Holiday Potluck and Bake Sale; registration for this event seems a bit light at the moment.
Harkins Staff Council Fundraiser
Looking for a Holiday gift? Harkins has perfect gifts for family, friends and students and a portion of each item purchased goes to one of several Staff Council programs, e.g., Staff Helping Staff Endowment and Judy Reynolds Memorial Scholarship. You can order and pay online or call the Staff Council Office at 480-965-0892. Order by December 15 to get your Harkins items by Christmas!
|5 Nov 2017 (Open Enrollment Supplement)||Well I hope you have had a better experience than I’ve had in re-enrolling for my AODA Health Insurance options. If it weren’t for Larry Carlson Connie and I might still be trying to log into the ADOA site using our old passwords. It turns out that it helps to read the ADOA booklet before proceeding to the ADOA website!
The following material includes items from the ASURA Open Enrollment Seminar prepared by Bev Buddee, two pages from the October AARA Bulletin, and hopefully some useful links. There are three parts to this Enews:
The ASURA 2018 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar, held Thursday, October 26 at the Tempe History Museum, was well attended. Jerry Waterworth, Community Volunteer with the Community Educators Program at AARP Arizona, spoke about the ABCD of Medicare. He clearly explained the differences between Original/Traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare drug coverage (Part D). He explained the need for medigap and drug coverage insurance with Original/Traditional Medicare. Jerry also touched on eligibility, enrollment periods (initial, general, special and open) and assistance available through Medicare Savings Programs and/or low income subsidy. Resources include:
ADOA 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment
ASRS 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment
Barry McNeill, editor
|1 Nov 2017||I know this is early for the November issue but there are a couple of items that occur early in the month and I did not want you to miss out. If something really special comes up during this month’s ASURA Board Meeting I’ll send out a supplement. This month’s Enews features the following:
ADOA 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment
ASRS 2018 Health Insurance Open Enrollment
Emeritus College Symposium
The Emeritus College is holding its Twelfth Annual Symposium The Arts in a STEM World. ASURA members are invited to attend. The Symposium will be on Saturday November 18. One of the reasons for this early Enews is that registration for the symposium closes this Friday, November 3. The symposium includes two key note speakers, a series of short presentations and a poster session. To register download a registration form, complete the form and send it to the Emeritus College at the address given on the form
A Call for ASURA Board Member Candidates
Now is the time to get your name on next year’s Board Member ballot. Historically there has not been an overwhelming interest in Board membership. But being on the Board is not onerous, there is only one meeting a month during the academic year and it is fun, a chance to meet and interact with some of the most interesting people in the world. The early bird gets the worm so if you are interested in joining the ASURA Board let me know by replying to this Enews and I’ll add you to the list of those wishing to run in the election. While expressing an interest is probably enough to get on the ballot, if you want to guarantee being on the ballot you can submit a nominating petition – see Board Nominating Procedures for the details.
|23 Oct 2017 (Suppliment)||
Rotator Cuff Study
Researchers at ASU conducting a study of upper limb motion in older adults are looking for volunteers. To be eligible for the study participants must:
If you are interested in participating in this study contact the research team at asuUPEXFunction@gmail.com or by calling 602-827-2294.
Free parking on campus and an $80 compensation will be provided for participants.
|10 Oct 2017||If it’s October it must be time to say good bye to 100-degree days and say hello to health insurance and open enrollment. This month’s Enews features the following:
October ASURA Board Meeting Update
Health Insurance and Open Enrollment
Open enrollment for health insurance begins this month. Members with ADOA coverage must reenroll this year; members with ASRS coverage need not reenroll if they are satisfied with their coverage. There is additional information on the ASURA’s Health Insurance & Health Issues webpage. This month’s seminar addresses Medicare, ADOA, and ASRS issues, see calendar below for details.
Small Group Activities
At the recent Meet and Greet one of our members asked if there was a way he could find members who would like to play golf with him. This request seemed reasonable but not only for golf. There could be other types of small group activities that members would like to do, e.g., gardening enthusiasts, cards, hiking, book club, etc. With the goal of facilitating the creation of these small group activities, the Board approved the addition of a Small Group Activity section to Enews. The idea is for members to post requests in Enews for the creation of a small group activity while other members view Enews to see if there is some small group activity they might like to participate in.
If you are interested in suggesting some small group activity then send the request to the Enews editor, i.e., me, with the following information:
A submitted item will appear in three successive Enews issues unless the submitter requests it be removed. Items can be resubmitted after a one-month absence.
Fall 2017 Prime Times
Jeannette Robson has completed another fine addition of Prime Times and it should be in the mail later this week. If you cannot wait for your paper copy to arrive you can view the color version of Prime Times saved on the ASURA website.
|18 Sept 2017||I am not sure who received this letter from President Crow but I thought the letter was important enough that I should send you a link to the letter in case you had not received it. The letter contains some impressive statistics about ASU's access and affordability.
|13 Sept 2017||Welcome to the start of another year! Cooler weather is only a month away. I hope you all had an enjoyable and productive summer, but now it’s time to get back to the business of being retired. This month’s Enews has something on the following topics:
September Board Meeting
The meeting was mostly getting organized for the upcoming year. The annual budget was presented and approved.
ASU now offers AllClear Identity Repair as a free service for all current and retired faculty and staff, as well as students, applicants and their parents. This new benefit gives you automatic identity repair assistance – no sign-up required – if you ever suspect that your identity has been stolen.
ASURA is looking for people who would find sponsors for the ASURA Golf Tournament. If you or someone you know is good at fund-raising and would volunteer for this, please contact President Jeri Meeks Volunteers do not have to be members of ASURA. Proceeds help fund the scholarship we give annually to an ASU student who is returning after a break in studies.
Questions and Answers from the Meet and Greet Pizza Party
During the Meet and Greet party the following two questions arose:
ASU Speech & Hearing Clinic Summer Special
Last February the Seminar Committee presented Living with Hearing Loss. The seminar was presented by Kathryn Wexler from the ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic. The clinic is currently offering a summer special on hearing aid checks and/or a comprehensive, diagnostic hearing evaluation. If you are interested download the flier for details or call the clinic at 480-965-2373 and mention "Summer" to take advantage of these limited offers.
|17 May 2017||
We're Looking For Ideas
The ASURA Board doesn’t meet over the summer but the committees continue to work on plans for the 2017-18 activity year. Please put your thinking caps on and provide some ideas/input on the following:
Travel Committee – The committee is looking for ideas on local day trip destinations. Give it some thought and tell the committee chairman where you’ve been that you think others would enjoy or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Write him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seminar Committee – The committee wants to know kind of seminars that you’d like them to schedule. What kind of topics would you like to know more about? They’d really like to know. Send your ideas to committee chair Bev Buddee at: email@example.com
Annual Meeting – The ASURA Board is seeking ideas about where to hold the ASURA Annual Meetings besides on campus at the MU. They would like ideas on locations that have convenient free parking and a meeting room with a capacity to hold 60 – 100 people. Also being considered is moving this annual event to a weekday in April instead of a Saturday. Please send your ideas and input to President Jeri Meeks at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are two articles regarding three bills on the Citizen Initiative Process and one bill expanding the school voucher programs.
Arizona Legislature Passes Bills to Rollback Arizona Citizen-Initiative Limits
Angered by the Citizen Initiative to raise the minimum wage, the Arizona Legislature passed three bills to Rollback Arizona Citizen-Initiatives. These bills are:
Protecting our Rights: Petition Drive to Stop Implementation of these Bills by Referring Them to the Ballot for a Vote
Former Attorney General Grant Woods and former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson are chairing the committee, which filed its paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office to refer all three of the bills to the 2018 General Election ballot.
"Arizona, since statehood, has treasured the right of the people to serve as a check on the Legislature," said Woods, a registered Republican. "It's pretty obvious they are trying to chip away at that. We're not going to let them."
The Task: 75K Signatures in 90 days
The committee needs to gather 75,321 voter signatures within 90 days after hitting the streets to qualify for the 2018 ballot. Joe Yuhas, the committee's consultant, said they will aim for 120,000 to 130,000 signatures to have a cushion. The drive will use a combination of paid and volunteer circulators.
Arizona Legislature Passes Bill (Senate Bill 1431) to Expand School Vouchers.
The expansion of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program opens ESAs to all public- and charter-school students. Up to 30,000 parents could use the new program by 2022. It's scheduled to take effect 90 days after the state Legislature adjourns. ESAs had been limited to certain children, including those with disabilities and those from poor-performing schools.
ESAs are funded by diverting between 90 percent and 100 percent of a student's state school funding from their local school district to private schools or other education expenses. The money is placed in an account, which parents can use to pay for private-school tuition, uniforms, books, tutoring, educational therapies and other items.
Parent Group Seeks to Overturn Arizona School-Voucher Expansion
Public-education advocates (Save Our Schools Arizona) are launching a referendum campaign to halt the controversial expansion of Arizona’s school-voucher-style program and let the public decide to either uphold or overturn the school-voucher expansion. The committee will have 90 days to collect about 75,000 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.
The Task: 75K Signatures in 90 days
Beth Lewis, a teacher and founding member of Save our Schools Arizona, said "Our public schools are starving…As a teacher and a mom of two students who are about to go to public school, I am so concerned about the state of education in Arizona…The ESA issue is the straw that broke the camel’s back. And we don’t have any choice but to start fighting for what’s right.”
Additionally, Professor Paul Bender, former ASU Law School Dean in his address to the Friends of ASU and the League of Women Voters pointed out that he believes this expansion is unconstitutional. Specifically, Article 9, Section 10 states: “No tax shall be laid or appropriation of public money made in aid of any church, or private or sectarian school, or any public service corporation.
Automatic Membership for New Retirees
ASURA is now automatically enrolling new ASU retirees for their free Introductory Membership. The first group to be automatically enrolled retired on or after October 1, 2016. Through this new policy, we expect to provide more new retirees with helpful information about our organization and the benefits of membership.
Do you offer or know of a service that you think our members might find useful? If so, share the information via a small ad in Prime Times. In December, the Board agreed that appropriate advertisements could well be valuable to our members, and passed some guidelines covering the specifics. See our web page “Prime Times Advertising” – https://asura.asu.edu/PrimeTimesAdvertising for full information, including how to submit an ad.
Prime Times Now Available In Color
While ASURA's newletter Prime Times is still printed in black and white and mailed to association members, an enhanced color version is published and available for reading on-line through the ASURA website. To see this enhanced color version of the publication just click on this link https://asura.asu.edu/PrimeTimes.
|10 Jan 2017||
ASU E-mail System Changes
If you are using the same e-mail/calendaring/contacts system as you used when you were employed at ASU, you will most likely be affected by some changes that ASU is making on January 23 for most faculty retirees and January 25 for most other retirees. Many people who will be affected received an e-mail recently from the Office 365 Migration Project team that outlines the changes and what you will need to do to deal with them. The system in question is the Exchange/Outlook system that has been operated by ASU. No changes are being made to ASU gmail accounts. If you are affected, here is a short summary of what you need to know:Most people will not have to do anything to prepare for the migration. If you think you might have a very large e-mail that you want to keep – over 150MB because you have a huge attachment – follow directions at https://asu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe5/form/SV_6A9qkSwPaPEUz2d to find the large item(s) and remove/save attachments.
1. Most people will not have to do anything to prepare for the migration. If you think you might have a very large e-mail that you want to keep – over 150MB because you have a huge attachment – follow directions at https://asu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe5/form/SV_6A9qkSwPaPEUz2d to find the large item(s) and remove/save attachments.
2. Your e-mail address, i.e., email@example.com, will not change. Behind-the-scenes changes to your Electronic Post Office entry will be made for you so that your mail goes to the right new place.
3. You will have to know your ASURITE UserID and password. Most of you do, since you use it now to access your e-mail. If you are not sure, see https://asura.asu.edu/technology/Q_ASURITEID for assistance.
4. Once your account is moved, you will have to make some changes to access it. You will know your account has been moved when you cannot log in the usual way anymore. The changes to make are outlined by device type at https://asu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe5/form/SV_6A9qkSwPaPEUz2d . Scroll to the bottom of the first page of that article and click on the “Next” button. On the next page, click on the type of device you use to access your e-mail, and again scroll to the bottom and click on the “Next” button. Then follow instructions for that type of device. You can go back and select another device if you are accessing your e-mail from more than one device – select only one type at a time. Note: if you are accessing your mail via a browser such as Chrome, Windows Explorer, or Firefox choose the appropriate “Desktop or Laptop” instructions and scroll to the bottom where instructions beginning “After the migration is complete, web access…” are located. You will want to change any bookmarks in your browser from https://ex2010.asu.edu to https://outlook.com/asu.edu.
NEED HELP? The e-mail sent to you from ASU’s migration team gives a variety of resources. The Help Center at 844-849-9057 or one of ASU’s campus Tech Studios – locations listed at https://uto.asu.edu/techstudio - are best options. There is no help available at the ASURA office, nor can I provide individual assistance.
Note: There are some people who are not using ASU Exchange/Outlook for their e-mail, calendaring and contacts but still exist in that system and have a mail-redirecting rule set there. Those people will need to log in to the new system at https://outlook.com/asu.edu and set a new redirecting rule. If you don’t know whether this applies to you, you can wait to see if there are people at ASU who are sending you e-mails that you are not receiving. If that happens, you need to set the rule.
Next March the ASURA will be holding elections for five members of the ASURA Board of Directors. The Board manages the affairs of the Association and establishes policies as needed to carry out is mission. Members of the Board are elected for a term of three years; the Board meets monthly during the academic year. You may offer your own name or the name of another current ASURA member as a potential Board member. To be sure that your nominee’s name gets on the ballot, you can submit a petition of nomination bearing the signatures of at least ten current ASURA members. Nominating petitions must be received by January 31, 2017. Send names and/or nominating petitions to: Jim Fordemwalt, Chair, ASURA Board Nominating Committee 2017, P.O. Box 873308, Tempe, AZ 85287-33078, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medicare At Risk
On November 10, 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News that he would push legislation in early 2017 that would end Medicare's guaranteed health care benefits. For more information, see the article by the Alliance for Retired Americans at https://retiredamericans.org/medicare-risk-2017