Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

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E-News from the Office of Senator Van de Putte

Dear Friend,

I hope this e-news finds you doing well. I am writing to send you updates on important national issues and helpful information too.

Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
Identity theft and financial fraud are on the rise; many people have reported unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts, or in the worst cases, complete theft of their identities, with the thieves running up debts and even committing crimes while using their victim's personal information. Identity theft and identity fraud refer to someone illegally obtaining and using another person's personal data, typically for their own profit.

Many people do not realize how easily criminals can obtain their information. In public places, for example, criminals may listen in on your telephone conversation when you give your credit card number. Some criminals may ­go through your garbage to obtain copies of financial records that contain your personal information. And in recent years, the Internet has become a primary tool for criminals to acquire identifying data; when you respond to­ an unsolicited e-mail ­that assures a benefit but requests information, you may be unknowingly handing over your personal data ­to be used at their expense.

We must all protect our personal and financial information. This means only giving out your identifying information in a secure environment, shredding financial records before disposing of them and never replying to an email with your personal information. However, if you or someone you know have already become a victim of identity theft, there are FREE resources for you.

The Victims Initiative for Counseling , Advocacy, and Restoration of the Southwest (VICARS) is a non-profit law office that assists victims of identity theft and financial fraud who reside in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. VICARS is a program of the Texas Legal Services Center and is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and Office of Victims of Crime.

VICARS provides information, counseling, advocacy and referrals to victims. They assist in restoring identity and credit, recovering monetary losses and even representing victims in small claims cases and other legal actions. No victim will be charged an attorneys' fee for their services.

For more information, please visit www.idvictim.org or call 1-888-343-4414. As always you are also welcome to contact my office with any questions or concerns at (210) 733-6604.

Methodist Mission Home
Methodist Mission home began in 1895, when the house was transformed to a "rescue mission for wayward girls." Today, the purpose of Methodist Mission Home continues to serve people who are experiencing major life transitions to help them reach their goals and realize their dreams.

Methodist Mission Home offers assistance on a variety of issues. One component is Family Services, which focuses on adoption and supporting services for adoptive parents, pregnant teens and young women facing unplanned pregnancies; birth mothers in need of a safe haven may even reside in the maternity center. While the Southwest Center for Higher Independence provides young adults with disabilities a transitional education teaching vocational and life skills to achieve their personal best.

To learn more about the Methodist Mission Home, please call 1-800-842-5433 or visit: www.mmhome.org

San Antonio Public Library Announces Extended Hours
Beginning Monday, March 31, library branches in the San Antonio Public Library system will add four additional public service hours to their schedules.

On Mondays, the Bazan, Collins Garden, Cortez, Johnston, Landa, Memorial, San Pedro and Westfall branches and the Tobin Library at Oakwell will open at 9:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m.

The Brook Hollow, Carver, Cody, Forest Hills, Great Northwest, Guerra, Igo, Las Palmas, Maverick, McCreless, Pan American, Semmes, and Thousand Oaks branches will all stay open an additional four hours on Thursday evenings, until 9:00 p.m.

For a complete listing of location and hours, please visit: http://www.sanantonio.gov/Library/branch/

CPS Energy Public Hearing
The CPS Energy Citizens Advisory Committee is holding a public meeting to discuss an increase in rate proposal, as well as the possible addition of nuclear-fueled electrical generation. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Villita Assembly Building, located at 401 Villita St.

Please feel free to contact my office regarding any of the above information; and please have a safe and happy week!

Sincerely,

HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR VAN DE PUTTE
District Office
700 N. St. Mary's St. #1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 733-6604
(210) 733-6605 - fax
leticia.vandeputte@senate.state.tx.us

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