Vol. XXXVII, No. 10 --- November 2000
NOTE: 2001 CFMS Bulletin Contest Rules and Procedures for Bulleting, Articles, Poems and Special Publications Published in 2000 are in the hardcopy November 2000 issue of the CFMS Newsletter. They will be added to this page at a later date.
The lobbying issue was brought up recently by questions concerning the All-American club contest and the reluctance of some of the participants to respond to the section requesting information about contact with legislators regarding matters which could impact our activities. Out of fear that their clubs could lose their non-profit status if they made such contact, the resume preparers opted to by-pass this category and therefore forfeited 10 points. It is fair to assume that there are many more clubs within our Federation which share the same fear.
Apparently it is time to revisit some comments made by Mike Kokinos in an article on the subject of lobbying which was published in the CFMS Newsletter in 1992. Mike provided some excerpts from the original article which are included elsewhere in this issue. The information published in 1992 is still valid and clubs which confine their efforts to these guidelines have nothing to fear. Clubs which are 501(c)(4) are not limited to the 5% rule.
Whereas clubs may be limited in what they can do as far as influencing legislation is concerned, individual club members are limited only by the number of letters they wish to write. Legislators want to hear from their constituents and get their opinions, yea or nay. This is one way they gauge their decisions on the various matters brought before them. Believe it or not, they do pay attention.
Unfortunately not every club is made aware of the issues affecting us. Editors should make a point of including this type of information in their newsletters. While it is wise to exclude items which show a clear partisan or political bias, there is sufficient general information published regularly in the AFMS Newsletter in the Loud and Clear column to keep your readers updated. Much of the information included in the ALAA bulletin or on their web site is useful. Those persons who are concerned with land use issues should consider joining ALAA and lending their support to that groupís efforts.
It is unfortunate that so many members are passive or donít want to be bothered. We tend to reflect the general population in this regard. It is much easier to complain after the deed is done, than to take the time and trouble to write that letter or send that FAX. Not every ruling or piece of legislation will go in our favor, but if you did contact your representative, youíll rest easier knowing that you tried. The letter writing should not be limited to elected officials. Officials at the Forest Service and BLM need our input when these agencies are gathering data and information for policies concerning our use of the public lands. Our involvement (or lack thereof) helps determine what areas stay open or get closed.
We need to become involved in two areas of direct interest to our clubs. One is the formulation of the rules for implementing Proposition 17 which okayed the conducting of raffles. There is an article written by Mike Kokinos elsewhere in this newsletter. Please heed his request and get that letter written to Sen. McPherson. We should also write our representatives regarding HR3676, the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Act of 2000 requesting amendment of the bill allowing mineral and rock collecting for recreational or educational purposes within the proposed boundaries.
Aside from the sheer fun of it, we run shows for two reasons - to raise money and to attract new members. I'd like to share with you a new tactic we've tried over the last two years that has produced some great results for us with new membership.
First, let me point out that we have no admission fee. We ask only that folks fill out a short registration form as they enter. Analyzing the forms later tells us how many people attended, where they saw our advertising, and where to send them a postcard about next year's show.
Starting two years ago, we added one simple question to our registration form that has created a gold mine of new member prospects that we use all year long. The question is simply "Would you be interested in attending one of our club meetings?"
At our 1999 show this resulted in the names, addresses, phone numbers and (in 40% of the cases) email addresses of 146 people who added their names to our "hot prospects" list. This year at the 2000 show, the number climbed 13% to 165 people.
Needless to say, this has presented us a big problem. How many people can you reasonably invite to your next meeting? Typically we limit our invitations to 30-40 for each of the next few meetings. Luckily, not all show up!
Now when have you heard a club complain about having too many membership prospects?
Like with all other advertising, we've found you have to keep inviting them several times before they usually show up. Now this is a lot of work if you try and do it by postcard or letter, so I've automated a portion of the job. First, I gave all the data for the "letter people" to our Membership Chair to handle. Then I set up a system for those who had given us their email addresses.
The "system" uses an email mailing list furnished free by Egroups. I used www.egroups.com to set up a list just for club announcements, and I loaded all the membership prospect names onto it. Presently, there's about 122 people on the list representing our last two shows.
With this system, all I have to do each month is write a little blurb about the speaker and send it to the list address. Each message usually also gives the address on our club's web site of a map that shows the meeting location.
The amount of effort it takes to remind everybody of upcoming meetings is trivial. Membership is up considerably, and the idea might work for your club too.
Here's the questions we ask on our form:
Postcard in the mail
Last November, the California voters approved Proposition 17. The proposition amends the California Constitution to Aauthorize private, nonprofit, eligible organizations, as defined by the Legislature, to conduct raffles YY.@ Ninety percent of the gross receipts from the raffle must go directly to beneficial or charitable purposes in California. Any person who receives compensation must be an employee of the organization.
I contacted Senator Tim Leslie to determine eligible organizations. His office frnished me a copy of Senate Bill 639 authored by Senator Bruce McPherson. To my surprise, the current bill does not include organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) or California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701f (similar to 501(c)(4). Most of our societies are exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(4).
I wrote to Senator McPherson with a copy to Attorney General Lockyer. As presently worded, the bill proposes to require the Division of Gambling Control, within the Department of Justice to regulate the raffles.
I did not receive a response from Senator McPherson but Attorney General Lockyer furnished by letter to a staff member. He also sent a copy of his letter to me to Senator McPherson with the name of his staff member to contact regarding my concerns with SB 639.
PLEASE WRITE to the Honorable Bruce McPherson, Senator, State Capitol Room 3076, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Advise him that your Society is a member of the California Federal of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. That you understand that Senate Bill 639 does not make organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4) eligible to conduct raffles. Request they be included as income derived from all sources including any raffle must be used for educational or charitable purposes.
If Senator McPherson represents you in your district, please contact his office in person or by telephone. Reference the letter I sent him on April 3, 2000.
Santa Lucia Rockhounds
The vertebrae from an ancient whale was discovered northwest of San Miguel, California. The vertebrae dates from the Middle Miocene Epoch and is 10-12 million years old. - The vertebrae was found in a Monterey Shale Formation which is the remains of the ocean floor of an ancient marine environment.
The vertebrae is one of the largest ever discovered. Whales during this time averaged 15 feet in length. It is estimated that the whale from which this vertebra came measured over 72 feet in length. Paleontologists did not believe whales of this epoch lived to reach this great length until discovery of the skeleton from which this vertebrae came.
The whales of this epoch swam in huge lagoons and deep bays. They shared these water bodies with the largest predator shark to ever live, the giant Carcharocles Megalodon, a distant cousin of the present "Great White". Ancient Megalodon sharks reached a length of 60 feet or more. It is remarkable that this whale survived to reach its great length in such dangerous waters.
The vertebrae will be on display during the CFMS 2001 Show in Paso Robles. Come to the show and be amazed by this huge and rare fossil discovery.
Editors Note: The Santa Lucia Rockhounds are hosting the CFMS 2001 Show and invite all society bulletin editors to carry this article in their newsletter.
The January 1992 CFMS newsletter published an article I wrote concerning lobbying. Excerpts from the article are included in this article.
Most of the CFMS societies have exemption under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(4). A few have exemption Under Section 501(c)(3). Those societies exempt under Section 501(c)(4) are essentially not restricted in attempting to influence legislation affecting their activities. Like Section 501(c)(3) societies they are forbidden to support or oppose candidates for public office.
The term lobbying (attempting to influence legislation) does not include providing information to the public or legislators on legislation if it is not biased for or against proposed legislation. Some efforts to influence legislation will not jeopardize tax exemption if it is carried out to an insubstantial degree.
What does the term insubstantial degree mean? The measurements used by the Internal Revenue Service in the past involve both effort (time) and money spent. A decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seasongood held that if 5% of an organization=s activities are lobbying activities, then the organization was engaged to an insubstantial degree.
Current law allows up to 20% lobbying activities upon filing a specified election and strict accounting of the time and money spent. If any society wishes to make the specific election, I will be glad to answer questions and provide assistance.
In a separate article, I will be requesting your help in providing information to a California Senator who is authoring the bill to implement Proposition 17 that was approved by the voters during the last election. I believe that providing information to the Senator is providing information and not attempting to influence legislation.
The final judging results for all national 1999 entries are now available.
As you can see, the South Central Federation topped us, with five entries to our three. Can we do better next year? Since our Isabella Burns will be AFMS president next year, let's support her with the most entries from the CFMS. We encourage all of our CFMS clubs to plan to enter the 2000 submission. Section 6 of the entry asks about lobbying activity, and we remind you that 501(c)3 clubs are not prohibited from lobbying as long as they do not exceed five percent of club expense or activity. Don't lose points by not reporting your efforts to influence legislation affecting our hobby!
We will be using the same rules and forms as last year, and any club wishing the entry material should contact us. Our e-mail address is in the CFMS Newsletter.
CFMS Safety 2000
Most people recognize that if you reduce the amount of stress in your life, you will be healthier. But not too many people realize how truly important stress management is for chronically ill patients. HIV/AIDS RESEARCH: Recently studies in Africa have shown how this relates to people who are chronically ill with HIV. The report stated that they used 4,000 HIV/AIDS patients who were tracked over a ten year period. None of these patients were receiving any medication what so ever for their HIV/AIDS infection. Of these patients, 2,000 were given a placebo (a sugar pill) and the other 2,000 were taught stress reduction techniques and given basic nutritional -- diet information. Of the 2,000 patients who received the placebo, 90% had died. Of the 2,000 patients who were given the stress reduction classes and the nutritional information only 20% had died.
Now granted one could make the argument that the first group, who got the placebo, had ingested too much sugar on a daily basis. But that does not fully explain why those who had used the stress reduction ideas had done so well.
HEART PATIENTS: When scientists study cardiac patients who were taught meditation and stress relieving methods, they had almost 100% respond. Their heart medication was reduced, they had far less incidences of further cardiac attacks and were found to be in better health than their counterparts who were only given the standard heart medicines. Most of us have seen the statistics of married men and women who live longer and are considered healthier because they have someone to support them during a serious illness. There are many stories about how people who either have a spouse or loving pet can help them reduce their stress levels. Well, in some cases, spouses seem to ADD to the stress level! I guess it depends on the spouse!
REDUCING STRESS: Now there are several ways to reduce stress if you have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Whether or not you are currently going through REBETRON or Interferon therapy, your Hepatitis Virus will replicate faster and be harder to keep under control if you don't get a handle on your stress. Massage therapy is always a great muscle and tension reliever. Careful attention needs to be paid to the hepatitis infected patient because they can bruise easily. Massage products that use heat should be avoided. Hepatitis patients can have very sensitive skin and can burn more easily, as well as they can have topical rashes that might become infected. Getting regular exercise, even if it's just a short walk around the block, is very important to help release the correct endorphins to relieve stress. Even better would be a walk on the beach, around a lake or in a park with a garden. Many people swim for a low impact workout. Whatever you choose to do for exercise; make sure you don't over do it! And for heaven sakes, consult a doctor before starting any major exercise routine. Eliminate the amount of time you spend with difficult people, noisy places or other incidences that cause you stress. Many people who are on Combo therapy try to limit the time they spend on their job, taking time off when possible or going on Disability.
The number one reason people become stressed is because of money issues. Try and limit your spending, stick to a budget and if possible, have someone assist you paying bills while on combo therapy. Keeping the books straight while battling brain fog can be an impossible task. If possible, try to use automatic debits for paying the regular bills. Don't take on any new projects or assignments while on combination therapy.
Now is not the time to redecorate, remodel or move! You can reduce the stress that surrounds the subject of food preparation by eating out more often. It might cost more money to use restaurants or fast food places, but for people with children or spouse who normally depend on the Hepatitis patient for meals, it can be much easier to deal with, thus relieving the stress. Just try and eat healthy, it can be done, but takes more effort to choose non fried foods.
Laughter is the best medicine. Yes, I know this sounds too simple to be effective, but it's true! Those who have studied this subject for years have discovered that the people who read joke books, went to comedy shows, told jokes to friends and family, and generally found reasons to laugh out loud, had better immune systems, healed quicker and had less chance of a relapse than those who didn't laugh at least 4 times a week. Giggle, it's a good stress reliever! Eat healthy and take Vitamin and Mineral supplements. Often people who suffer from liver dysfunction or disease can have problems absorbing or digesting food. This can be stressful because you are not able to keep enough critical nutrients in your body to fight off stress. Adding Vitamin C, E and all of the B's will help your digestive system work better. Many people believe that using milk thistle will help, some folks believe selenium is the best mineral and then there is the thought that these two ingredients plus an added third, Alpha Lipoic Acid makes a triple antioxidant that helps to deal with toxins. If your body is full of toxins, it is impossible to fight stress effectively.
Go to support group meetings. This helps reduce stress because getting human contact is critical for the Hepatitis patient. Often when one goes through a chronic illness, they feel alone and isolated. But when the patient can reach out and discover that there are other people who are going through the same things, it can make the patient relax. Plus it's often the case that other people can suggest other ways to deal with common problems such as itching, nausea and brain fog. Hugs are better then Drugs! This too is a simple saying that has roots in a deeper meaning. Having people who care enough to give the patient a hug can relieve stress in many ways. Sometimes patients have experienced prejudice behaviors from people who learn about their plight. Many people who are ignorant of the facts can be leary of touching a person with Hepatitis. Not wanting to become infected themselves, they misunderstand and steer clear of physical contact. The importance of touch has been studied at many universities and their findings prove that it's just as important as breathing clean air!
Take time for yourself! Just the act of doing nothing or meditating in a quiet room, can regenerate a patients immune system. Relaxing listening to music can be soothing to the soul. Read a book and take your time. Do what ever you can to make stress reduction a priority at least 4 times a week. Ideally you need a few quiet moments to yourself every day. There are those who make time in the morning, some take longer lunches in which they can take a nap or meditate. Then there are those who relax before bed, this can reduce the incidence of insomnia and restlessness. Do what's right for you. Take charge of your stress!
This is from a Liver disease site on the internet I found when I was searching for info on Hepatitis B. I think if you adept the info on stress management it shouldn't hurt you. But maybe you should check with your doctor, which I'm not.
Scholarship Committee 2000 Chair
Well we are almost through the year, and it is hard to believe. For me, it was not an easy year. Much of my communication was lost in my hard drive crash. Yes, to those who choose to communicate via US Mail, I suppose less mail is lost . Actually in retrospect that is not exactly true for me. This was my first computer glitch since 1980, but as for Snail Mail, too many things have never gotten to where they were sent.
Speaking of missing in the mail, is there any CFMS Director or Club President, that has sent me a nomination for Scholarship Honoree? I still have the one from early in the year, and that has been it. Think I will send one in for my home club, I have a good one in mind. This brings into my mind the famous JFK quote with a slight variance; Ask not what CFMS does for your club, ask what your club does for CFMS, which by the way is every one of you. Yes we are CFMS, you, your club members, me. The primary difference is in the degree of volunteerism. We, whose names you see listed here in this Bulletin extend ourselves and give to all, a bit more of our time and efforts, for the mutual benefit of all.
I would like to end my year as Chair with more donations, nominees, positive words about this wonderful Scholarship program CFMS offers to encourage more students to select Earth Sciences as a career. To this point this is an unmet goal. I feel quite sad about this.
A year or so ago I asked that donations to the Scholarship fund also include happy events rather than just Memorials for the deceased. I again ask that this be considered. When you are setting your club's budget for 2001, please consider a happy event, for example the Anniversary of the Societies' founding, and make an annual donation to the Scholarship fund. Donate something to a Raffle specifically for Scholarship fund. Ask your membership to donate directly. We have a
wonderful program here, please support it.
Fellow Rock and Gem affectionados and clubs. Once you read this message, you will have only two weeks in which to send me your club's recipient for recognition for Year 2000. Remember it is my hard work and your hard work which keeps our hobby active during the year, and it is oh so much fun to receive a surprise recognition. Next year I am going to run a contest between Northern CA + NV and Southern CA + AZ to see which area has more clubs sending in their recognition award winners.
Orange Belt Mineralogical Society, Inc. chooses EVELYN STALLINGS. Evelyn became a member in 1974 and has held every chairmanship and nearly every office for our club. There have been times when we needed a place to meet and Evelyn would just donate her motorhome. Generous of heart, she's always there to lend a helping hand. For years she donated so much to our club, staying silent when the curious asked "where did it come from?" After an absence to pursue a nursing education and graduating with honors, Evelyn returned to regular attendance and the lapidary hobby she loves. Her Impact on O.B.M.S. has been deeply felt, new blood has been transfused into an old club that had grown tired and placid. Because of her, new enthusiasm has been generated for which we members are truly grateful. Thank you Evelyn Stallings, our choice for "Rockhound of the Year 2000."
CFMS Safety Chairman 2000
Yes, I know, everybody and their uncle is telling you that you should be consuming more water everyday. Well, I'm jumping on that band wagon too! With the advent of bottled water becoming the craze over 15 years ago, it has become perfectly acceptable to run around town with one's "personal bottle" in tow. There are tons of studies that will show you that your average adult weighing in at under 200 lbs should be consuming at least 1 gallon a day of life giving, life sustaining water. Adding at least a cup for each additional 10 lbs. Now most of us can handle that. And not only will that amount flush out the toxins our bodies love to hang on to, but it will also keep us hydrated which is a huge problem for liver compromised patients.
Most people will agree that drinking that much fluid in the form of plain water is boring. So the experts have altered their recommendation, stating that any clear fluid is acceptable. Sports drinks like Gatorade are acceptable in small doses. But their sodium content may be a little high for exclusive use. Other drinks such as coffee or, carbonate and caffeine laced sodas are discouraged because the effect can have the opposite of what the patient is trying to accomplish. Sodas can cause head aches and coffee can increase diarrhea. For patients that are on any type of therapy, whether it be mono or combination, it is vital that they consume as much water as they can handle. The Interferon works best if it is flowing through out the body by way of hydration. It assists the toxic chemicals out of the body instead of holding on to them and making the patient feel bad. In fact it is common for Schering-Plough's "Be in Charge" program representative to suggest drinking 2 gallons of fluids a day, especially for the larger patients. Over 25 years ago the saying "Don't leave home without" used to refer to the American Express card, now it's the motto of all Hepatitis patients and their water containers.
REMEMBER. I'm not the Doctor, I just do the Chuckmckiedoctoring until the Doctor comes. So maybe you'll check with YOUR doctor before you take my suggestions, they're not really advice.
Recognizing Service to Juniors
Junior Activities Chair
This month's column has one goal: to issue a call for names! One of the truly satisfying aspects of being the CFMS Junior Activities Chair is the occasional phone call from a junior activities coordinator in one of our many local clubs or the chance meeting at club shows or local and regionally sponsored field trips with others involved in educating our younger members. I've never failed to come away from such a meeting without new ideas for this column and new activities I'd like to try myself--and without renewed appreciation for the efforts of so many out there working to educate and serve our youth. In a tabloid-dominated world where all-too-often the negative aspects of youth behavior (the old "sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll") gets all the press, it's great to hear of young kids pursuing positive activities and of the dedicated adults who take the time to guide them.
It's in this spirit that I'd like to begin recognizing individuals and their accomplishments. Is there someone in your club who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving youth, either during your club meetings and shows or through community outreach to local schools, Boy and Girl Scout groups, and elsewhere to teach our kids about the earth sciences and lapidary arts? If so, please send me their names, a brief description of their activities, and their phone number and/or email address so that I can contact them myself. I know many such people are out there (at least four individuals within the Carmel Valley, Ventura, Conejo Valley, and Kern County gem and mineral societies immediately come to mind, and there are surely many more). Please call, write, or email me with their details: Jim Brace-Thompson, 7319 Eisenhower Street, Ventura, CA 93003, phone (805) 659-3577, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to begin acknowledging such individuals within the pages of this column to provide them with recognition and thanks and to spread the wealth by sharing their ideas and activities. Along the way, I'm sure we'll all learn a lot and-as always-have fun!
chair Bulletin Editor's HALL OF FAME
Two people were chosen to be the 2000 recipients of the AFMS'S Bulletin Editor's HALL OF FAME from California.
Toy Sato, the very first CFMS Bulletin Newsletter editor. We owe so much to Toy, for the format, which is basically still in use, and for her original ideas on what to include in the Newsletter. All this and she was Secretary too. At that time the Secretary had a number of "hats" and this very important job was one of them. Our "hats" off to the first lady of the CFMS Newsletter, Toy Sato.
The second recipient was Renata Williams-Bever, who was so much help to editors in her days at Gems and Minerals magazine, and when taking on the job of Executive Secretary/Treasuere of the CFMS was always there for the editors. In this her last year as Ex Sec/Tres, we salute you for your dedication and enthusiasm.
Programs Aids Chair
It's November, and back in my home state of Iowa, the harvest is already in. Farmers were able to get into the field early last spring, and despite a National Weather Service prediction of drought, there was enough "vet" when it should have been wet to make the corn and beans grow, and plenty of "dry" this fall to allow combines to get in and out of the fields with no problem. The farmers are thankful for another good year.
Now, you may ask, what does all that have to do with programs? It's pretty simple, really. One plants the seeds, prays for a good season, and hopes for a bountiful harvest with programs, too. I hope you took my advice last spring to chat with your club members to find out where they were going and what they would see over the summer. I hope you asked them to take lots of slides and to think about doing a presentation in the Fall. That is the way to plant the seeds for new programs! The part about having a good season is usually no problem, since rockhounds simply can't travel sixty miles without stopping in a museum, visiting a rock shop, or pulling into a collecting site.
So, how was your harvest this year? Did you have at least one program this Fall entitled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation"? If not, get out there and beat the bushes! When I asked club members at the September meeting where they had traveled over the summer, they told me they had been to the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon; to the Natural Science Museum in London, England; and to the Traverse City area of Michigan to pick up petoskey stones. Topics like these make great programs, so encourage and help your members to assemble slides, a script, and plenty of specimens for their talk.
November is also the month to give thanks. I talked with the CFMS Slide & Video Librarian, Richard Fuller, on Oct. 5, and. I am happy to be able to report that he is glad to be home, though he must remain horizontal most of the time. His wife Misako has been graciously handling slide and video requests since last spring, and we all owe her a great deal of thanks for taking over for Richard. She enjoys helping out, so if you need a Slide & Video Order Form or want to find out if a particular program will be available for your meeting, just call (408) 379-3195 or fax (408) 372-7201. Please be courteous. Don't wait until the last minute to order a program Mail your order form and your $6 rental fee early, at least 30 days before your meeting, so that Misako will have plenty of time to respond to your request.
And speaking of thanks, has your club ever thought about saying "thank you" to the CFMS? Here is one good way: send a copy of the best slide or video program that your club has seen in the last year to the CFMS Slide and Video Library. Over the years, many CFMS clubs have donated all sorts of educational and fun programs, and everyone has benefited.
To get the ball rolling, I am donating a copy of the beautiful video, Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution. This Emmy Award winner presents 300 examples of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary American Indian art, including carvings, paintings, sculptures, baskets, rugs, jewelry, and pottery. The excellent photography is by Jerry Jacka, well known for his work with Arizona Highways magazine. All jewelers, rock carvers, lapidaries, and designers are guaranteed to be inspired by the beautiful and detailed execution of each piece displayed in this 45 minute voyage through American Indian culture.
Note: Next month, look for the Annual Program Report form in the CFMSNewsletter. I will ask each CFMS club to have their Program Chairman complete this form and return it to me. Last year, just for fun, I offered a reward to the first thirty people who turned in their reports, a nice piece of topaz rough. I will continue this tradition in 2001, switching to a mineral, fossil, or lapidary item suitable for a door prize.
Bulletin Aids Chair
The CFMS Bulletin Editors Breakfast, and Awards is history. We only had four entries in the New Editors category, six Small Bulletin, and one Large Bulletin category. In the Adult Article category there were twenty one entries. The Winners are:
CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION
The top three of each category were sent to AFMS competition; the winners will be announced after the AFMS Show in Moab, Utah.