Noon luncheon meetings are held on the first two Tuesdays of each month, at Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Breakfast meetings are held at 8:00 AM on the last two or three Tuesdays of each month. Breakfast meetings are held at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Guests are always welcomed to attend our Tuesday meetings. COME JOIN US


January 25th Breakfast Program: Tim Barrett spoke on conflict resolution between global religions.

Tim Barrett extended his prior discussion on Conflict Resolution to issues that exist between major global religions. Today there are many religions active in America. In the world today, there is conflict between radical Islam religion and the Western way of life. Other conflict between religions also leads to friction and open conflict.  He mentioned a book: “The Faith Instinct” by Nicholas Wade (who is a science reporter for the New York Times). Click here for website. Wade notes the important role religion has played in all cultures for thousands of years. Religion serves as a way of binding people together in difficult times. Evolution has built religion into who we are as humans and Wade argues that there is a “religious gene.” We are “hard-wired” to be religious people.

Tim also referenced a second book: “The evolution of God” by Robert Kaplan. Kaplan argues that every major religion that has survived has evolved. There is a central, fixed unchanging core, but outside of the core the religion has evolved to grow and be more relevant in the changing world.

What allows religion to speak to people in a such a deep way? It is the powerful symbols. One such symbol is The Sheppard. While Tim recited “The Twenty-Third Psalm”, the room became silent as listeners were drawn into the deep, underlying meaning of the words. God can be known through the experience of thinking about The Sheppard and his sheep.

That Jewish Psalm grew to be embraced by the Christian religion. Jesus tells a story about how the Good Sheppard will help his flock of sheep, no matter what it takes. This same symbol is used over and over, even in the scriptures of Islam. The deep words of the Psalm connect us to people who were our ancestors thousands of years ago. We are bound to people here in the present and to others going far back in time.

The program ended on a positive note. What religions fight about is very superficial in comparison to the deep powerful experiences that unite us together. While there are differences between religions, there are powerful ancient experiences of union that bind us together and make us one.

Kiwanis January 25 Meeting Announcements

Nancy Boucher reminded members to sell Wines from Around the World Wine-Tasting tickets, which are available from Mary Anne Maloney. She also has post cards which members can use to invite their friends to the February 24 party. Nancy will distribute postcards to New Jersey Kiwanians at the January 29 Mid-Winter Conference.

Mary Anne Maloney hands Wine-Tasting Tickets to Doug Bryant as Nancy Boucher looks on.
Alan Robertson handed out Fish and Chips Dinner placemat ad bills to members. He also asked members to suggest businesses who might be advertisers.

Dick Plambeck said that he will not be going to the Kiwanis International Convention and asked for a volunteer to attend the Geneva, Switzerland event.

Valerie Olpp passed around a sign-up sheet for the Valentine Luncheon to be held on February 8. The served meal will include a choice of entrées: prime rib, chicken, pasta, etc.


Winter-Mix: January 18 Kiwanis Breakfast Meeting Cancelled

Due to hazardous snow and ice weather conditions, the Kiwanis January 18 breakfast meeting was cancelled. Photo shows rhododendrons clad in freezing rain.


January 11 Program: “Conflict Resolution” presented by Mary E. Barrett and Tim Barrett, Individual and Family Counseling

Mary E. Barrett and Tim Barrett, who do Individual and Family Counseling, were introduced by David Lloyd. They then described their education and experience. They are now in private practice. They also teach conflict resolution at Drew University. Much of the talk dealt with how the couple helps organizations deal with conflict.

Mary E. Barrett, David Lloyd and Tim Barrett
The talk addressed how individuals interact with communities (including organizations, families, etc.) that they are a part of. Individuals are all different and sometimes that leads to conflict in an organization made up of many individuals. People are happier if they are connected to and participate in communities. However, participation is in decline. A recommended book on this subject is “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam (click here to learn more about the book). Both individuals and communities are better off if there is more participation. There is reciprocity when groups of people interact in communities and help each other. A strong community can better deal with difficult problems that come up from time-to-time.

Family therapy techniques can be applied to conflicts in groups, organizations and institutions. Mary and Tim work primarily with religious institutions, which sometimes get in conflict. The approach is to hold an all-day retreat and to reframe the issues. The leaders of the church are asked, “Why are you still here?” Participants then tell stories about the good things that happened over the years. They see that in spite of the conflicts, the organization still has deep meaning to them. Next, the group is asked what is wrong with the organization (no finger-pointing allowed). Many problems are identified. Then the group works together to pick the top 10 problems. At the end of the day, the group realizes that they are all “in it” together and they are ready to work things out. One of the issues in organizations is how people communicate when there are differences of opinion. Mary and Tim train participants to communicate about the differences in a positive way. The differences should not become a win-lose situation.

Mary and Tim will continue this program at the January 25th breakfast meeting. 

Kiwanis January 11 Meeting Announcements

Valerie Olpp introduced guest Terece Patalini, the manager of the Peapack Gladstone bank in Chatham.

Joan May reviewed club scheduling information for the month of May. Madison May Day (Kiwanis cleans up Cole Park) is the first Saturday, May 7. Mother’s Day is the next weekend. The Neighborhood Sale could be held on the third or fourth weekend. Evangeline Lee suggested combining the Alumni Concert, held last year at Bayley-Ellard Field on the last weekend in May, with the Neighborhood Sale in Cole Park. Plans for the event must be made early so that an approval request can be submitted to Madison Borough by the beginning of March.

Betty Anne Keat reported that the CHS Key Club meeting on 1/12/11 will probably be cancelled because of the forecasted snow storm. She said there will be a Builders Club meeting on 1/11/11.

The Board of Directors meeting will be held Wednesday, January 19 at 8:00 pm at the Methodist Church. The District Mid-Winter Conference will be January 29 and six people are attending, more can attend if they want to.

Alan Robertson asked for help with the Fish and Chips Dinner which is scheduled for March 30. He needs volunteers to lead certain tasks. Rich Behling passed around the Wine-Tasting signup sheet, looking for a few more volunteers. Everyone is asked to contribute to the tricky tray and he passed around a list for sign-ups. Posters for the Wine-Tasting were handed out. Discussions regarding plans for the event were continued at a meeting on the Wine Tasting event held after lunch.

Wine-Tasting: Wines from Around the World

Chatham-Madison Kiwanis will hold the “Wines from Around the World" Wine Tasting event to benefit Kiwanis Chatham and Madison High School Scholarship Funds and the ECLC Foundation for Developmentally Disabled. The event will be held on Thursday, February 24, 2011 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm in Grace Episcopal Church, 4 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940.  Wine samples from a variety of vineyards and food from a local restaurant will be served.  There will also be a 50-50 drawing, a “tricky-tray” auction of contributed items and door prizes. Advanced admission tickets may be purchased in-person at a price of $50.00 (cash or checks made out to “Chatham Kiwanis Scholarship Fund”) by visiting Main Street Wine Cellars, 300 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940. Go to website for more information, to place on-line ticket orders and to print a form for ordering tickets by mail.  Ticket orders by mail should be sent to arrive before February 18 to Chatham Kiwanis, P.O. Box 422, Chatham, NJ 07928. For more information and to order tickets, please call 973-635-7779 or 973-635-1705 (extension 17) or send email to Tickets will also be available at the door during the event at a cost of $60.


Mary Lloyd spoke on "Social Security Numbers and Other Kinds of Frauds".

Mary Lloyd was introduced by David Lloyd, who noted that there are ID problems because Social Security (SS) numbers have expanded beyond their original use. Mary described studies done by a company called “ID Analytics” which helps clients, including the SS Administration, fight fraud. MSNBC Red Tape Chronicles published results of an ID Analytics study of SS Number (SSN) fraud.
Mary Lloyd, on the left, spoke at the January 4 meeting. In the center is Elizabeth Sloan and on her right is her grandfather, Alan Robertson.
ID Analytics can track 290 million SSNs. Forty million numbers are attached to more than one name. Twenty million people use more than one SSN. Most transpositions are caused by typographical errors that get into the credit system. A data entry person in a credit company can type one number wrong and suddenly you have a second SSN.

SSNs were originally intended to be used only for SS administration and IRS. Then their use expanded to ID purposes in credit and other areas. Because the SS number was never designed for new additional purposes, there are no internal checks on whether on not that SSN is really yours.

If the new erroneous SSN is unassigned (called a synthetic number), there is generally no problem. If the erroneous number is assigned to someone else, both people have a problem. The SS Administration and IRS don’t have the time and money to cull out transpositions. But sometimes they do send a letter saying that there is a mismatch in SSNs and ask the taxpayer to figure out what is causing the problem.

There are over 12 million illegal aliens in the USA. Six million of them work and use false SSNs. Some are unassigned “synthetic” numbers which don’t cause you problems. Others are using someone else’s active SSN, which is a problem. When the government agencies find there are two people with the same SSN, they don’t credit your contributions to your SS retirement fund but instead put contributions into a “suspense fund”. By 1999 the suspense fund contained $300 Billion. This grew to $585 Billion in 2005. Most is due to aliens giving false SSNs to employers and they leave before the 90 days allowed to deliver documents (which don’t exist) expires. Valid workers who try to receive benefits are turned down because the illegal alien with the same SSN is shown to be working. There are similar problems with student loans, warrants, etc.

To know if someone else is using your SSN, watch for problems with your credit (e.g., you are billed for and item you didn’t buy), not getting a tax refund or Estimated Tax Payment credit from the IRS, or for some other problem. Avoid giving your SSN to someone unless it is absolutely needed.

Mary noted that the SSN does indicate the area of the USA where you first received your SSN. (Click here to view website showing this.) There is no proof that other information can be determined from your SSN. Anyone could have a problem with SSNs privacy, so always guard your number and watch for strange things happening that could indicate a problem.

In 2006 the US Military decided to move from SSNs to newly generated military ID numbers. This was necessary because the US Military did not adequately protect the SSNs. For example, the military stencils the last four digits of the SSN on laundry bags. To this day, the new system of ID numbers is still not implemented. Military people on combat duty are vulnerable to SSN ID theft because their priority is to just stay alive.

Mary also mentioned that a local scam, geared toward grandparents, is striking our area. It is called the “Hey it’s me” fraud. Some scammer calls you on the telephone and says, “Hey it’s me.” The grandparent guesses who it is and says, “Is that you, Alex?” The scammer answers “yes it’s me” and he goes on to say that he is in Canada or Mexico and has an awful problem and needs $5,000 wired to him right away. The scammer continues by offering to have a friend in the local area pick up the targeted grandparent, take him/her to the bank to withdraw cash and then to Western Union to wire the money. Another scam to watch for is someone calling to say that you won the sweepstakes. Be careful and don’t fall for any of these scams.


Kiwanis January 4 Meeting Announcements

Rich Behling passed around a sign-up sheet for the Wines from Around the World Wine Tasting Event. Members are asked to volunteer for unfilled jobs on the sheet. He will continue to pass the sheet around at future meetings.

Stu Shippey gave members a final report on the Holiday Nut Sale project. The project was completed as scheduled December 25th last year, income was very good and everyone gave Stu a rousing round of applause for a job well done. He and President Dick Plambeck thanked everyone, many of whom stood in the cold, for selling all the nuts. Mary Lloyd told everyone how helpful Stu was in delivering a large order of nuts to her office. She thanked him for doing a fabulous job.

Dick will be going to the training session Thursday evening and he asked anyone interested in going along to contact him. He also passed around a sign-up sheet for the NJ District Mid-Winter Conference to be held on Saturday, January 29 at the Crown Plaza in Somerset. Tom Mullin mentioned a letter from the NJ District office asking for input regarding planning for the 2012 District Convention. He will forward the letter to Ron to email it out to everyone. Karen Swartz announced that next Wednesday at 10:40 am there will be a general meeting of the CHS Key Club in the auditorium.

The buffet lunch menu for the day was announced: cream of broccoli soup, chicken Frances, meat balls, teriyaki salmon, mashed potatoes, string beans, garden salad, mushroom salad, corn salad, barley salad, garlic beans and assorted deserts.