Legislative Watch: House Gets Into the Frack Act

Written by North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. Posted in Environment

The good news on the House version of SB 76, the so-called "Domestic Energy Jobs Act", is that it isn't as bad as the original Senate version. On the other hand, this could still be a matter of "damnation by faint praise".

The Ecstasy of Surrender:Letting Go Can Transform Your Life

Written by Malaprops Bookstore. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

 

Dr. Judith Orloff at Malaprop's Wednesday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

Are you longing for your life to be easier with more fun and less drama? Would you like to stop pushing and micromanaging, so you can relax? What if you could enjoy what you have instead of always lusting for “more?” What if you could live in “the zone,” propelled by intuition toward the right people and opportunities?  If you answer “yes” to these questions and want lasting positive change, prepare to experience the ecstasy of surrender.

But isn’t surrender all about giving up? Not according to Dr. Judith Orloff in her new book, The Ecstasy of Surrender. Though surrender may seem counter-intuitive to success--it’s wrongly associated with weakness and defeat--knowing when to be assertive and when to let go is the secret to manifesting power, success, and intuition in all areas of life including work, relationships, sexuality, spirituality, radiant aging, and health. Otherwise you can sabotage success by being too pushy or a control freak.  Surrendering removes roadblocks and the exhaustion that comes from “trying too hard”—and it helps you achieve goals more effortlessly and joyfully in the flow. 

Learning to surrender is an invaluable skill for anyone who wants to live more fully in the moment and radiate an irresistible lightness of being. It’s a positive intuitive way of living that increases power, inner peace, and ecstasy.

In this talk/workshop Dr. Orloff will discuss how to:

•        Surrender to success and stop pushing so hard you sabotage yourself
•        Identify the 3 types of surrender and how to achieve them
•        Surrender to your intuition
•        Surrender obsessive relationships & unavailable people
•        Avoid absorbing other people's stress
•        Surrender drama, resentments, and negative thinking
•        Surrender to the wisdom of your body and sexuality
•        Surrender your fear of illness, aging and death
•        How to read body language and emotions

 
"This luminous book is crammed full of wisdom on every page." --Larry Dossey, MD

"There is no real peace, happiness, or joy without surrender. This book gives your intellect the information necessary to trust the wisdom of simply letting go." --Christiane Northrup, MD, author, " Womens Bodies, Women's Wisdom"

"The Ecstasy of Surrender is a stunning accomplishment. Orloff masterfully explores the multiple facets of letting go and discovering personal and spiritual freedom. This is a wonderful book." --Caroline Myss, author of "Anatomy of the Spirit" and" Defy Gravity

""One of the most important changes we can make is to go from seeing surrender as a sign of defeat to seeing it as a land of victory inside ourselves. In this book, Dr. Judith Orloff offers beautiful guidance and insight into making the switch." --Marianne Williamson

"Dr. Judith Orloff not only writes eloquently about the beautiful process of surrender, but she "demonstrates" it through her open-hearted writing. She shows us the strength and power that comes from healthful vulnerability. Judith and her book The Ecstasy of Surrender are treasures!" --Doreen Virtue, author" The Miracles of Archangel Gabriel

""The Ecstasy of Surrender: wow! I surrender to my intuition, to my wisdom, to my inner guru, and to the moment." --Ram Dass, author of "Be Here Now"

"My wise and courageous colleague, Dr. Judith Orloff, has spun a brilliant book--The Ecstasy of Surrender--blending spiritual wisdom, modern medical insights, and Judith's vast intuitional skills. This book will remove blocks to your inner peace, happiness, and health. I highly recommend it." --Brian L. Weiss, MD, author of "Many Lives, Many Masters"
 
JUDITH ORLOFF, M.D., a psychiatrist and practicing intuitive, is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. She is the author of the bestsellers Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing and Second Sight. She is an international lecturer on the interrelationship of intuition, energy, and medicine. Her work has been featured on NPR and CNN and in USA Today and O, The Oprah Magazine.
 

Gender and Women’s Studies Presents: " Edie and Thea, A Very Long Engagement"

Written by Laura Vance. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Warren Wilson College Gender and Women’s Studies Presents:  "Edie and Thea, a Very Long Engagement"


TUESDAY, APRIL 16TH

* 7:00 P.M.   JENSEN

A lifetime of love. A marriage the government refuses to recognize.



FOLLOWED BY A CONVERSATION WITH
DR. PAULA GARRETT

When Edie Windsor realized that she was attracted to women she had to ask

a friend to show her “where the lesbians are.” From that obscure beginning

came a decades-long, loving relationship, and now a Supreme Court battle

over marriage equality. Come watch this engaging film about love and the fight

for marriage, followed by a conversation with Dr. Paula Garrett about United

States v. Windsor.

Handmade in America Small Town Conversations

Written by Yoko Morris . Posted in Visual Art & Film

Handmade in America Craft Labs and Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs

 

Morganton

22 Apr 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location:Burke County Arts Council, 115 East Meeting St., Morganton, NC

Topic: How To Get Your Work Seen

Come find out what goes in a portfolio, how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn how to approach galleries, create a portfolio, and what the difference is between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

Mt. Airy

04 May 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location:Surry County Arts Council, 218 Rockford St., Mt. Airy, NC

Topic:The Artist Portfolio/Digital and Print
Come find out what should be in every artist’s portfolio, what your portfolio is judged on, and how to approach galleries. You will also learn how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. You will also learn the difference between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

Mt. Airy

04 May 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location:Surry County Arts Council, 218 Rockford St., Mt. Airy, NC

Topic:Finding Your Target Market

The majority of businesses spend 6-8 months targeting the wrong market. By the time they realize it, they have wasted a good deal of time and money. We will do several activities in this class which will help you find your target market and how learn to reach them. Together, we will discover who your target buyer is and why.

 

West Jefferson

06 May 2013, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location:Ashe County Arts Council, 303 School Ave., West Jefferson, NC

Topic:The Artist Portfolio/Digital and Print
Come find out what should be in every artist’s portfolio, what your portfolio is judged on, and how to approach galleries. You will also learn how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. You will also learn the difference between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

West Jefferson

06 May 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location:Ashe County Arts Council, 303 School Ave., West Jefferson, NC

Topic: Social Media For Beginners

Do you know what Facebook is or how to pin a photo on Pinterest? If you are just starting out with Social Media, come find out the basic tricks to make it work for your creative business. Please bring a laptop if you have one.

 

Morganton

06 May 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: Burke County Arts Council, 115 East Meeting St., Morganton, NC

Topic:Learning to Love Your Digital Camera

Come find out how to use your digital camera to take great photos of your work. This is one of the most important things you can do to grow your craft business.

 

Asheville

14 May 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location:HandMade in America, 125 S. Lexington Ave., Suite 101, Asheville, NC

Topic:Artists' Critique

Artists often don't get together to formally critique each other's work, but it can be one of the best learning experiences. Hearing what someone else sees when they look at your work gives you important and constructive feedback. Come participate in a formal critique of your work. Everyone who wishes to participate must bring one piece for critique.

 

Lenoir

16 May 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: Caldwell County Arts Council, 601 College Ave., SW. Lenoir, NC

Topic:How to Get Your Work Seen

Come find out what goes in a portfolio, how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn how to approach galleries, create a portfolio, and what the difference is between an artist’s bio and statement.

Reservations are required. To register contact Yoko at 828.252.0121 x 303 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Cost

Members (Artist level or above) - Free

Members (Basic level) - $10

Non-members - $20

FREE Classes

 

Burnsville
09 Apr 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Energy Xchange, 66 Energy Xchange Dr., Burnsville, NC
Topic:Budgeting for a Craft Business

Learn how to set up a budget for your business, giving you an idea of what it will take to run a sustainable business. Learn how to set up a budget in Excel and how to create a way to document your expenses and income. Bring your laptop if you have Excel to create your own budget.

Instructor: Gwynne Rukenbrod

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Robert Branch at 828.766.1295 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone
10 Apr 2013, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC
Topic:Budgeting for the Artist

Dealing with your inner creativity doesn’t leave much time for dealing with your business? Come find out how to set up a budget for your business, giving you an idea of what it will take to run a sustainable business. Learn how to set up a budget in Excel and how to create a way to document your expenses and income. Bring your laptop if you have Excel to create your own budget.

Instructor: Caitlin Morehouse

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Burnsville
18 Apr 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Energy Xchange, 66 Energy Xchange Dr., Burnsville, NC
Topic:Business Planning for Art and Craft

How are art and craft business different from other businesses? Are there planning issues that are unique to an art or craft business? We will discuss the planning cycle for an art or craft business and how to create strategies to help you become more focused and organized.

Instructor: Yoko Morris

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Robert Branch at 828.766.1295 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone

24 Apr 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:Business Planning - SWOT

Business planning can be difficult and seem like a chore to the creative mind, but it is a very important part of having a successful small business. This workshop takes the participants through the process of analyzing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and using them to create very doable strategies. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming artists/crafters goals and plans for the future.
Instructor: Yoko Morris

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone

15 May 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:How to Find Your Target Market

The majority of businesses spend 6-8 months targeting the wrong market. By the time they realize it, they have wasted a good deal of time and money. We will do several activities in this class which will help you find your target market and how to reach them. Together, we will discover who your target buyer is and why.

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Boone (Date has been changed!)

11 Apr 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location:Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!

 

Hendersonville

15 Apr 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location:ArtMoB, 124 4th Ave., E. Hendersonville, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!

 

Sylva

24 Apr 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location:Needles in a Haystack, 2 Dills St., Dillsboro, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!


Participants must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Call for Entry: Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs
I-26 Exhibit

July 8 – January 6, 2013


HandMade in America is pleased to invite you to submit your work for the upcoming Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs exhibit at the I-26 Welcome Center. This exhibition will celebrate our AWE members and their work. All entries by AWE members will be accepted until we fill the cases, so please submit your entry early to ensure a space in the display! Please keep submitted items as small as possible so many artists will have opportunities to show. All entries will be included as space allows. Click here for all the details.

Entry deadline: May 24, 1 pm
Notification of accepted pieces: June 4
Delivery of accepted work: June 28, July 1-2
Selected work pick-up: January 8-10

For any questions, please contact Ryan-Ashley Anderson at 828.252.0121 x 321, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafting Studio Tours

 

When: Monday, 22 April, 2013

Where: Old Fort Depot, Railroad Museum & Visitor Center, 25 West Main St., Old Fort, NC


Join us for an exciting workshop centered on developing studio tours! Whether your community is tackling a studio for the first time or looking to refine your current tour, you will find the workshop packed full of insight. We have lined up great speakers with successful studio tours to give you an insider’s look at this great economic and community development opportunity.

Click here for more details.

Small Towns Annual Summit:Rural Creative Placemaking

When: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 9 am-3:30 pm
Where: UNC Asheville, Reuter Center, CPO #5000, One University Heights, Asheville, NC


Each May, HandMade Small Town leaders, volunteers, local officials, and interested partners come together for the Small Towns Annual Summit. The gathering showcases and celebrates the innovative techniques and practices that make HandMade towns some of the most successful redevelopment projects in the country. Existing HandMade Small Town leaders offer real solutions to common problems and share techniques to help attendees identify and build on community assets. Outside speakers and facilitators share strategies for implementing new techniques of creative placemaking, offer ideas for new resources and collaborations, and help HandMade communities further develop their plans of revitalization.

Stay tuned for 2013’s speaker and break out session details!
Click here for more details.

For any questions, please contact Jess Kryzenske at 828.252.0121 x302 or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HandMade in America

 

Call for Entry: “Mitered” Exhibition

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office Quilt Show

 

June 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014


In celebration of our rich regional craft heritage, HandMade in America and the Buncombe County Deeds Office are working in collaboration to create a regional quilt exhibition entitled “Mitered”. This exhibition is to be on display in the Deeds Office lobby for 6 months and will be visible to thousands of visitors each week. To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please submit a completed exhibition entry form. Click here for all the details.

Entry deadline: June 17
Notification of accepted pieces: June 21
Delivery of accepted work: June 24-28
Selected work pick-up: January 6-8

For any questions, please contact Ryan-Ashley Anderson at 828.252.0121 x 321, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HandMade ED Named as “One to Watch in 2013”

Gwynne Rukenbrod, Executive Director of HandMade in America, has been named one of nine national names to watch in 2013 in the April issue ofThe Crafts Report. These crafts professionals embody spirit, drive, and versatility in the world of contemporary craft.

Gwynne took over as Executive Director in January of 2011 and has forged the organization ahead by creating new programs which build on HandMade's national and international model of asset-based community development. Having worked as a craft artist, curator, and an arts administrator, Gwynne Rukenbrod has a unique and thorough perspective. Her passion to build economies through craft is the driver for creating a sustainable future for HandMade. This same passion is pushing the organization into a new era, providing both opportunity and education. Her background allows her to perceive collaboration opportunities in a new way and to create unusual programs which help cultivate a thriving craft economy.

The Crafts Report, established in 1975, is a monthly business magazine for the crafts professional. Their mission is to serve the beginning and the established professional craftsperson and crafts retailer.

Gwynne humbly responded to her mention, saying,“...alongside notables such as Bruce Baker, Brigitte Martin, Rebecca Mercado, Perry Price, and others, it is an honor to be recognized by The Crafts Report for my work with HandMade in America and throughout the industry.”

HandMade in America is a National Co-Sponsor for

Arts Advocacy Day 2013!


HandMade in America is happy to announce our co-sponsorship with Americans for the Arts for Arts Advocacy Day April 8-9, 2013. National co-sponsors help shape the legislative platforms and messages for the 2013 Arts Action Summit at a time when it is more important than ever to preserve the support for the arts.


When craft, culture, and the arts come together, the effects are powerful. They drive tourism, stimulate economies, connect people across generations, unite communities, and create livable, healthy neighborhoods. Craft, culture, and creativity create collaborations and strategic partnerships that take our limited funds and build on them to leverage united community initiatives and programs that have far greater effect/impact. Cultural agencies, like HandMade in America, are an integral part of this sustainable process, and we urge everyone to support funding and policies to promote and continue this work.

Please join us on April 8 - 9, 2013 to tell Congress why the arts matter.
Click here for more information and to find out how you can take two minutes to tell Congress why to support the Arts and Education. Unable to join us in Washington, DC? There us a statewide event in Raleigh April 9 - 10, 2013. Click here for more information of NC events.

Response to Governor’s Budget -Arts North Carolina

The Governor’s budget recommends a 4-6 percent reduction in grants funding for the North Carolina Arts Council. Arguably “it could have been worse", as the Grassroots Science Museums were cut 27%. However, this recommendation reflects a second biennium budget when the North Carolina Arts Council has experienced a disproportionate reduction in grants funding compared to other arts and library funding within the Department of Cultural Resources.

The question is not just about the money (which is a loss of $345,000); disproportionate funding reflects an undervaluing of the economic and education contributions of arts organizations in North Carolina.

Both the Governor and the General Assembly state that the economy and education are their priorities. If this is true, then how can it be logical to allocate less funding to the sector that produces the highest statistics in terms of jobs, expenditures, return on local and state investment, private match of state investment, and comprehensive commitment to arts education in all 100 counties?

Be an important part of changing the government’s perception about our sector. The Governor’s recommendation is only the beginning, as the work now begins in the Senate and the House. Arts North Carolina refuses to accept a disproportionate level of funding, and neither should you.

You are the only person who can change another person’s mind about the value of the arts in North Carolina. It can’t be done by lobbyists and it can’t be done by email. Advocates must look their Senator or Representative directly in the eye and tell them the statistics and the stories. As Seth Godin says, “Communication is the transfer of passion.”

If you believe in the value of your work, and you should because there are no harder working people in our state than the arts non-profit sector, then move
Arts Day to the top of your priority list. If it is impossible to be present, then make sure your Senator and Representative get a personalized letter or phone call from you week of April 8. Arts North Carolina will send a Call to Action with details and suggested talking points on April 2. Get ready to rally your colleagues and constituents to respond and make personal communication a priority during Arts Day week, April 8 - 12.

Handmade in America Craft Labs and Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs

Written by Yoko Morris . Posted in Fairs, Fests & Fundraisers

Handmade in America Craft Labs and Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs

 

Morganton

22 Apr 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location:Burke County Arts Council, 115 East Meeting St., Morganton, NC

Topic: How To Get Your Work Seen

Come find out what goes in a portfolio, how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn how to approach galleries, create a portfolio, and what the difference is between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

Mt. Airy

04 May 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location:Surry County Arts Council, 218 Rockford St., Mt. Airy, NC

Topic:The Artist Portfolio/Digital and Print
Come find out what should be in every artist’s portfolio, what your portfolio is judged on, and how to approach galleries. You will also learn how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. You will also learn the difference between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

Mt. Airy

04 May 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location:Surry County Arts Council, 218 Rockford St., Mt. Airy, NC

Topic:Finding Your Target Market

The majority of businesses spend 6-8 months targeting the wrong market. By the time they realize it, they have wasted a good deal of time and money. We will do several activities in this class which will help you find your target market and how learn to reach them. Together, we will discover who your target buyer is and why.

 

West Jefferson

06 May 2013, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Location:Ashe County Arts Council, 303 School Ave., West Jefferson, NC

Topic:The Artist Portfolio/Digital and Print
Come find out what should be in every artist’s portfolio, what your portfolio is judged on, and how to approach galleries. You will also learn how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. You will also learn the difference between an artist’s bio and statement.

 

West Jefferson

06 May 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location:Ashe County Arts Council, 303 School Ave., West Jefferson, NC

Topic: Social Media For Beginners

Do you know what Facebook is or how to pin a photo on Pinterest? If you are just starting out with Social Media, come find out the basic tricks to make it work for your creative business. Please bring a laptop if you have one.

 

Morganton

06 May 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: Burke County Arts Council, 115 East Meeting St., Morganton, NC

Topic:Learning to Love Your Digital Camera

Come find out how to use your digital camera to take great photos of your work. This is one of the most important things you can do to grow your craft business.

 

Asheville

14 May 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location:HandMade in America, 125 S. Lexington Ave., Suite 101, Asheville, NC

Topic:Artists' Critique

Artists often don't get together to formally critique each other's work, but it can be one of the best learning experiences. Hearing what someone else sees when they look at your work gives you important and constructive feedback. Come participate in a formal critique of your work. Everyone who wishes to participate must bring one piece for critique.

 

Lenoir

16 May 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: Caldwell County Arts Council, 601 College Ave., SW. Lenoir, NC

Topic:How to Get Your Work Seen

Come find out what goes in a portfolio, how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and get some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn how to approach galleries, create a portfolio, and what the difference is between an artist’s bio and statement.

Reservations are required. To register contact Yoko at 828.252.0121 x 303 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Cost

Members (Artist level or above) - Free

Members (Basic level) - $10

Non-members - $20

FREE Classes

 

Burnsville
09 Apr 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Energy Xchange, 66 Energy Xchange Dr., Burnsville, NC
Topic:Budgeting for a Craft Business

Learn how to set up a budget for your business, giving you an idea of what it will take to run a sustainable business. Learn how to set up a budget in Excel and how to create a way to document your expenses and income. Bring your laptop if you have Excel to create your own budget.

Instructor: Gwynne Rukenbrod

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Robert Branch at 828.766.1295 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone
10 Apr 2013, 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC
Topic:Budgeting for the Artist

Dealing with your inner creativity doesn’t leave much time for dealing with your business? Come find out how to set up a budget for your business, giving you an idea of what it will take to run a sustainable business. Learn how to set up a budget in Excel and how to create a way to document your expenses and income. Bring your laptop if you have Excel to create your own budget.

Instructor: Caitlin Morehouse

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Burnsville
18 Apr 2013, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Energy Xchange, 66 Energy Xchange Dr., Burnsville, NC
Topic:Business Planning for Art and Craft

How are art and craft business different from other businesses? Are there planning issues that are unique to an art or craft business? We will discuss the planning cycle for an art or craft business and how to create strategies to help you become more focused and organized.

Instructor: Yoko Morris

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Robert Branch at 828.766.1295 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone

24 Apr 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:Business Planning - SWOT

Business planning can be difficult and seem like a chore to the creative mind, but it is a very important part of having a successful small business. This workshop takes the participants through the process of analyzing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and using them to create very doable strategies. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming artists/crafters goals and plans for the future.
Instructor: Yoko Morris

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Boone

15 May 2013, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:How to Find Your Target Market

The majority of businesses spend 6-8 months targeting the wrong market. By the time they realize it, they have wasted a good deal of time and money. We will do several activities in this class which will help you find your target market and how to reach them. Together, we will discover who your target buyer is and why.

 

FREE, but must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x 303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Boone (Date has been changed!)

11 Apr 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Location:Appalachian Enterprise Center, 130 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!

 

Hendersonville

15 Apr 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location:ArtMoB, 124 4th Ave., E. Hendersonville, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!

 

Sylva

24 Apr 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Location:Needles in a Haystack, 2 Dills St., Dillsboro, NC

Topic:Make Your Exhibition Submission Stronger!


Participants must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Call for Entry: Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs
I-26 Exhibit

July 8 – January 6, 2013


HandMade in America is pleased to invite you to submit your work for the upcoming Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs exhibit at the I-26 Welcome Center. This exhibition will celebrate our AWE members and their work. All entries by AWE members will be accepted until we fill the cases, so please submit your entry early to ensure a space in the display! Please keep submitted items as small as possible so many artists will have opportunities to show. All entries will be included as space allows. Click here for all the details.

Entry deadline: May 24, 1 pm
Notification of accepted pieces: June 4
Delivery of accepted work: June 28, July 1-2
Selected work pick-up: January 8-10

For any questions, please contact Ryan-Ashley Anderson at 828.252.0121 x 321, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafting Studio Tours

 

When: Monday, 22 April, 2013

Where: Old Fort Depot, Railroad Museum & Visitor Center, 25 West Main St., Old Fort, NC


Join us for an exciting workshop centered on developing studio tours! Whether your community is tackling a studio for the first time or looking to refine your current tour, you will find the workshop packed full of insight. We have lined up great speakers with successful studio tours to give you an insider’s look at this great economic and community development opportunity.

Click here for more details.

Small Towns Annual Summit:Rural Creative Placemaking

When: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 9 am-3:30 pm
Where: UNC Asheville, Reuter Center, CPO #5000, One University Heights, Asheville, NC


Each May, HandMade Small Town leaders, volunteers, local officials, and interested partners come together for the Small Towns Annual Summit. The gathering showcases and celebrates the innovative techniques and practices that make HandMade towns some of the most successful redevelopment projects in the country. Existing HandMade Small Town leaders offer real solutions to common problems and share techniques to help attendees identify and build on community assets. Outside speakers and facilitators share strategies for implementing new techniques of creative placemaking, offer ideas for new resources and collaborations, and help HandMade communities further develop their plans of revitalization.

Stay tuned for 2013’s speaker and break out session details!
Click here for more details.

For any questions, please contact Jess Kryzenske at 828.252.0121 x302 or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HandMade in America

 

Call for Entry: “Mitered” Exhibition

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office Quilt Show

 

June 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014


In celebration of our rich regional craft heritage, HandMade in America and the Buncombe County Deeds Office are working in collaboration to create a regional quilt exhibition entitled “Mitered”. This exhibition is to be on display in the Deeds Office lobby for 6 months and will be visible to thousands of visitors each week. To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please submit a completed exhibition entry form. Click here for all the details.

Entry deadline: June 17
Notification of accepted pieces: June 21
Delivery of accepted work: June 24-28
Selected work pick-up: January 6-8

For any questions, please contact Ryan-Ashley Anderson at 828.252.0121 x 321, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HandMade ED Named as “One to Watch in 2013”

Gwynne Rukenbrod, Executive Director of HandMade in America, has been named one of nine national names to watch in 2013 in the April issue ofThe Crafts Report. These crafts professionals embody spirit, drive, and versatility in the world of contemporary craft.

Gwynne took over as Executive Director in January of 2011 and has forged the organization ahead by creating new programs which build on HandMade's national and international model of asset-based community development. Having worked as a craft artist, curator, and an arts administrator, Gwynne Rukenbrod has a unique and thorough perspective. Her passion to build economies through craft is the driver for creating a sustainable future for HandMade. This same passion is pushing the organization into a new era, providing both opportunity and education. Her background allows her to perceive collaboration opportunities in a new way and to create unusual programs which help cultivate a thriving craft economy.

The Crafts Report, established in 1975, is a monthly business magazine for the crafts professional. Their mission is to serve the beginning and the established professional craftsperson and crafts retailer.

Gwynne humbly responded to her mention, saying,“...alongside notables such as Bruce Baker, Brigitte Martin, Rebecca Mercado, Perry Price, and others, it is an honor to be recognized by The Crafts Report for my work with HandMade in America and throughout the industry.”

HandMade in America is a National Co-Sponsor for

Arts Advocacy Day 2013!


HandMade in America is happy to announce our co-sponsorship with Americans for the Arts for Arts Advocacy Day April 8-9, 2013. National co-sponsors help shape the legislative platforms and messages for the 2013 Arts Action Summit at a time when it is more important than ever to preserve the support for the arts.


When craft, culture, and the arts come together, the effects are powerful. They drive tourism, stimulate economies, connect people across generations, unite communities, and create livable, healthy neighborhoods. Craft, culture, and creativity create collaborations and strategic partnerships that take our limited funds and build on them to leverage united community initiatives and programs that have far greater effect/impact. Cultural agencies, like HandMade in America, are an integral part of this sustainable process, and we urge everyone to support funding and policies to promote and continue this work.

Please join us on April 8 - 9, 2013 to tell Congress why the arts matter.
Click here for more information and to find out how you can take two minutes to tell Congress why to support the Arts and Education. Unable to join us in Washington, DC? There us a statewide event in Raleigh April 9 - 10, 2013. Click here for more information of NC events.

Response to Governor’s Budget -Arts North Carolina

The Governor’s budget recommends a 4-6 percent reduction in grants funding for the North Carolina Arts Council. Arguably “it could have been worse", as the Grassroots Science Museums were cut 27%. However, this recommendation reflects a second biennium budget when the North Carolina Arts Council has experienced a disproportionate reduction in grants funding compared to other arts and library funding within the Department of Cultural Resources.

The question is not just about the money (which is a loss of $345,000); disproportionate funding reflects an undervaluing of the economic and education contributions of arts organizations in North Carolina.

Both the Governor and the General Assembly state that the economy and education are their priorities. If this is true, then how can it be logical to allocate less funding to the sector that produces the highest statistics in terms of jobs, expenditures, return on local and state investment, private match of state investment, and comprehensive commitment to arts education in all 100 counties?

Be an important part of changing the government’s perception about our sector. The Governor’s recommendation is only the beginning, as the work now begins in the Senate and the House. Arts North Carolina refuses to accept a disproportionate level of funding, and neither should you.

You are the only person who can change another person’s mind about the value of the arts in North Carolina. It can’t be done by lobbyists and it can’t be done by email. Advocates must look their Senator or Representative directly in the eye and tell them the statistics and the stories. As Seth Godin says, “Communication is the transfer of passion.”

If you believe in the value of your work, and you should because there are no harder working people in our state than the arts non-profit sector, then move
Arts Day to the top of your priority list. If it is impossible to be present, then make sure your Senator and Representative get a personalized letter or phone call from you week of April 8. Arts North Carolina will send a Call to Action with details and suggested talking points on April 2. Get ready to rally your colleagues and constituents to respond and make personal communication a priority during Arts Day week, April 8 - 12.

HandMade in America Craft Labs and Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs

Written by Yoko Morris. Posted in Visual Art & Film

HandMade in America Craft Labs and Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs

 

Asheville

16 Mar 2013, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Asheville Area Arts Council - 346 Depot St., Asheville, NC

Topic: Negotiations and Legal Issues

Beyond exclusivity and commission percentage, there are many issues to consider in a consignment agreement. Many of the same items apply for a simple exhibition agreement. Also, accepting commissions can be a nightmare without a proper contract. Tips regarding fifteen topics are included, plus problems to avoid, and how to diplomatically handle negotiations.

 

Lenoir
21 Mar 2013, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: Caldwell County Arts Council - 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, NC

Toopic: Artist's Critique

Artists often don't get together to formally critique each other's work, but it can be one of the best learning experiences. Hearing what someone else sees when they look at your work gives you new insight to what you make. Come participate in a formal critique of your work. Everyone who wishes to participate must bring one piece for critique.

Hendersonville
04 Apr 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Henderson County Arts Council - 401 N. Main St. #3, Hendersonville, NC

Topic:Arranging & Selling from Your Booth

Do you wonder if your booth has the optimum setup for engaging your visitor? Do you know what questions to ask your booth visitor? Come learn the answer to these and other questions. The basics of setups and sales techniques will be discussed.


Reservations are required. To register contact Yoko at 828.252.0121 x 303 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Cost

Members(Artist level or above) - Free

Members(Basic level) - $10

Non-members - $20


Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina - Visual Art and Craft, Photography

 

 

 

 

Boone
13 Mar 2013, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: To Be Announced

Topic: How to Tell Your Story- Bring a piece of your work in and Tell Your Story.

 

Hendersonville
18 Mar 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: ArtMoB - 124 4th Ave., East Hendersonville, NC

Topic: How to Tell Your Story- Bring a piece of your work in and Tell Your Story.

 

Sylva
27 Mar 2013, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location:Jackson County Library- 755 W Main St, Sylva, NC

Topic: How to Tell Your Story- Bring a piece of your work in and Tell Your Story.


Participants must register in advance to Yoko Morris at 828.252.0121 x303 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laughing Seed Cafe is looking for local artists to hang their work

Written by Hank Fuseler. Posted in Visual Art & Film

Laughing Seed Cafe is looking for local artists to hang their work

Greetings,

 

The Laughing Seed Café is getting a new paint job and is looking for local art to hang. We are a high volume restaurant right on Wall Street in downtown Asheville, offering a good opportunity for sales as far as restaurant venues go. I am open to all styles and levels of experience, although I feel more production oriented work with friendlier price tags will have more of a chance to move. The main desire is for quality work that will enhance our atmosphere and make it more representative of what Asheville is all about, i. e. art/creativity. Craft and 3D work is acceptable as long as it is wall-mountable. I have professional experience in art installation and sales so your work will be handled appropriately, all you have to do is drop it off.

 

Interested parties should e-mail me a bio along with 5-10 JPEG images that are representative of work that you have on hand and ready to hang at this time. I am interested in all good work, even if you only have a couple of pieces available currently.

 

Hank Fuseler

Manager

Laughing Seed Café

40 Wall Street

Asheville, NC 28801

 

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Oops50! Introducing Our New Blogger and Friend, Elaine Robinson Beattie

Written by Oops50! and Elaine Robinson Beattie. Posted in Uncategorised

Introducing Our New Blogger and Friend, Elaine Robinson Beattie

 

So I pondered night after night on how to introduce myself to you. I finally decided I would begin with the present and work my way back. Most people describe me as a creative, energetic, self starter, and a highly motivated visionary and entrepreneur who loves the Lord. I am also well known for my gift of hospitality, a field of work I enjoyed for over 25 years. In short, I would say I am called to love, lead, create and serve and I do this in various ways with the various roles and positions. Having turned 53 last June, I find myself now newly married for first time, a daughter with 2 siblings, business owner, corporate coach, health leader, community organizer, workshop facilitator, speaker and friend. This is what I do. And yes, I’m part of the baby boomer generation.   Click here to read the entire blog

 

 

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 30 Years of Service

Written by Ariane Kjellquist . Posted in Uncategorised

 

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 30 Years of Service

 

 

February 11, 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, the very first Habitat for Humanity affiliate in North Carolina.

 

“It took us 18 months to build our first house,” recalls Executive Director Lew Kraus who has been at the helm since 1988 and is incidentally the longest serving Habitat for Humanity Executive Director in the U.S. “This year, we will build 14 new houses and complete 30 home repair projects.”

 

While Asheville Area Habitat remains committed to building new homes, the organization has expanded its services in recent years to include the repair of existing homes in the community.  The non-profit has directly served nearly 1,000 adults and children and indirectly served thousands more thanks to the generational and societal impact of Habitat homeownership.

 

The organization grew slowly the first 5-7 years, and then the ReStore opened in 1990. With sustaining income generated by selling donated items to the general public, Habitat was able to expand its house building programs.

 

The success of the ReStore was instrumental in the continued growth of Asheville Area Habitat’s programs. In 2003, the ReStore relocated to its current location, 31 Meadow Road. Increased revenue from the much larger store enabled the affiliate to double its house production within a few years. “It took 18 years to build the first 100 houses and the second 100 houses were built in just 9 years,” notes Kraus. Since the relocation and expansion nearly ten years ago, ReStore sales have increased 600%!

 

In addition to sustaining income from the ReStore, homeowner mortgage payments help fund Habitat’s building programs. “Habitat is not a give-way program. Habitat homeowners and families that have partnered with us for home repair services pay back 0% interest loans. This year alone, more than $600,000 in payments from Habitat families will be put towards our building programs,” notes Kraus.

 

Celebrating 30 years, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has welcomed 242 Buncombe County families to safe, decent and affordable houses since 1983. Habitat homes, which are Green Built North Carolina certified, are sold at no-profit to partner families, who pay back a no-interest loan. The non-profit also offers a home repair program for low-income homeowners. Visitashevillehabitat.org for more information.

From Stonewall to the South

Written by Jean Cassidy. Posted in Uncategorised

From Stonewall to the South

Dear CSE Supporter,

We're off the road from Stage 4 and back in the office in Asheville, N.C.

It's been an incredible start to 2013. First of all, I want to thank you for all you did during Stage 4 of WE DO - from taking action, to sending messages of support, to digging deep to help fund this work, to hosting our team in your homes and hometowns, to amplifying the story we're telling to reach a national audience.

I am more hopeful now than I've ever been about what's possible in the next few years when it comes to achieving full federal equality for LGBT people in all spheres of life - employment, housing, health care, family rights and relationship recognition. I also know it's going to take all we've got to get there.

As you may have heard, President Obama mentioned Stonewall and specifically addressed marriage equality during his Second Inaugural Address. When I heard him say the words "our gay brothers and sisters," images of the past few weeks flooded my mind. I thought about standing alongside LGBT friends in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South and North Carolina, and Virginia this past month, as we called for federal equality and dared to express our full equality and humanity in town squares across the South. I thought about marching with many of you from Virginia into D.C. this past Thursday on the final day of Stage 4. About how we crossed into our nation's capital and, in that instant, became equal citizens under the law, a status that you feel in your bones and yet that dissolves as soon as you recross the border into the South.

I thought about Monty and Steve, and Sheila and Susan and the friends who stood with them in their hometown of Wilson, N.C. Because of their readiness to approach the marriage license counter again and again, a new conversation about full equality is happening in Wilson.

But President Obama was saying something more yesterday, I believe. Invoking the long history of civil rights struggles in our nation, he was telling us to keep pushing, and to push even harder now.Momentum is with us nationally, and yet all across the South, LGBT people remain second-class citizens under the law. That duality is at the heart of our work together. We can't - and won't - stop until LGBT people in all 50 states are truly equal under federal law.

So what's next for CSE? First, we'll be debriefing Stage 4 of WE DO to learn everything we can from about what worked and what needs improving
(check out our homepage later this week for a survey about Stage 4 - we want your feedback!). Based on those lessons, we'll start to plan Stage 5.

Locally, we'll continue to advocate for an inclusive non-discrimination policy in Buncombe County, N.C., where we're based. In South Carolina, we'll be working with Gender Benders, one of our amazing partners, to host a legal workshop focused on employment rights issues for transgender and gender queer folks, the first in our 2013 Community Law Workshop series. We'll be supporting amazing WE DO teams in Mississippi and all across the South who are fired up and ready to keep advocating for equality. And we'll be working with national partners like Freedom to Marry in advocating for the Respect for Marriage Act, a proposed bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

All this to say, in the words of my high school basketball coach, CSE is going to leave it all on the court. Our mission is not to build a large organization that will be around for 20 years. We're running a fast-paced campaign and we're trying to put ourselves out of business as quickly as possible. We'll maintain a lean, nimble structure that can respond to a rapidly-changing landscape and that keeps us focused on what matters most: responding to the daily realities of being a LGBT person in the South and, at the same time, standing with LGBT people and allies across the region to call for federal equality, again and again until we get there.

Thank you for you support and let's get to work,
Jasmine

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Executive Director, Campaign for Southern Equality

p.s. I'm also happy to announce we have met our goal of raising $5,000 before January 31. This means a generous donor from Mississippi will match that amount with a $5,000 donation! Thank you so much for helping us get there.

Exhibition: 'Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore'

Written by NASHER MUSEUM OF ART AT DUKE UNIVERSITY. Posted in Uncategorised

Duke University Exhibition: 'Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore'

 

Henri Matisse fondly called Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta Cone “my two Baltimore ladies.”

The two Cone sisters began buying art directly out of the Parisian studios of avant-garde artists in 1905. At a time when critics disparaged Matisse, and Pablo Picasso was virtually unknown, the Cones followed their passions and amassed one of the world’s greatest art collections. The exhibition tells this story and features more than 50 of these masterpieces–including paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, Renoir, van Gogh, Pissarro, Courbet and more–on loan from The Baltimore Museum of Art. Click here for more information about the collection and the exhibit at Duke University

HANDMADE in AMERICA Local Small Town Crafts

Written by HandMade in America. Posted in Visual Art & Film

HANDMADE in AMERICA Local Small Town Crafts

Dates:
Sun 09.02 - Sun 09.01.2013
Place:
Western North Carolina
Category:
Creative Life

Additional Information

Experience Our Memorable Places, Culture and People in Small Town News & Events and Calendar

HandMade's Small Towns are known for their natural beauty. Explore the beauty, charm, and cultural heritage of our small towns. Discover their rivers, creek walks, craft shops, special events, restaurants, parks, and meet their talented craft artists! Click on each town name to view their brochure.

The Status of Women in North Carolina

Written by Institute for Women's Policy Research. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

The Status of Women in North Carolina

 

IWPR continues to release briefing papers with findings on the status of women in different regions and counties within North Carolina. The research illuminates key issues such as education, access to health care, and the gender wage gap. On October 11, North Carolina's Governor Beth Perdue announced findings from our research. >>Watcha video of the release, including a brief statement by Gov. Beth Perdue.

Questions Remain about Osteoporosis Drugs and Unusual Fractures

Written by Rachel for Our Bodies, Our Blog. Posted in Health & Fitness

Questions Remain about Osteoporosis Drugs and Unusual Fractures

 

Bisphosphonates, a category of drugs that includes Fosamax and Boniva, are commonly prescribed to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, concerns have been raised about possible adverse effects of these drugs when used for longer than 3 – 5 years.

There are many unanswered questions about the long-term use of bisphosphonates. A 2012 New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece notes that it is unclear how long most people should take the drugs, whether certain groups of patients are more likely to benefit from longer term use of the drugs, how long benefits of the drugs last after stopping them, and whether there are reliable measures to help make that decision in individual patients.   Click here to read the entire article

Writing Changes You…

Written by Alix Jamieson. Posted in Uncategorised

Writing Changes You…

 

Your voice is unique.  No one has your imagination or your creativity.  Writing is a way of sharing with others... your visions and dreams... and opening doorways for them to explore new possibilities...to know themselves in new ways.  And this happens through the grace of you giving of yourself.   You can learn to reach into your creativity... triggering your imagination to paint with words, to touch people, to move people, to inspire people.

 

Through writing, you are discovering who you are, as you allow the words and images, the feelings and thoughts, to flow from unfamiliar places... on to the page.  You can surprise yourself. What you have to say matters more than you expect.  You have value, more than you know.

 

Your imagination can bring those little black symbols on the page … alive... by moving you to tears of joy, or terrifying you, or uplifting you and inspiring you... making you gasp, or laugh out loud.

 

Writing can be a transcendent experience, when you write for yourself … when you let your familiar expectations go.   You can be moved and even changed, by your own feelings and imagination... arriving at new and often surprising, perspectives, regardless of whether you publish or sell your work.

 

Your imagination is one of your greatest gifts.  It can help you create meaning, with the power of words. Open to your imagination and to the mystery of who you are.  Let your innocence open you to new possibilities within a new moment.  From here, let yourself wonder, without having to know where you are going.  Then create something, as if out of the blue.  Imagination. It’s fun. It can make your heart sing.

 

If you want what you write to reflect your most creative and imaginative self … if you want to participate in a world of giving and receiving … if you want to lift beyond who you know yourself to be … contact me at 828-683-9331 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I am available for editing, as well as private sessions for individuals and small groups.

 

I have thirty years experience in teaching creative writing for television and film scriptwriting, at the University level in California … as well as in editing books, poetry, short stories, fiction for children, and autobiographies.

 

Letters from Ground Zero IV - Women's Media Center

Written by Robin Morgan . Posted in Environment

Letters from Ground Zero IV

Twelve years ago, in the aftermath of 911, I wrote three “Letters from Ground Zero.” To my surprise, they went viral on the Internet. Today, my country, my city, and on a human level those of us who live in the lower part of Manhattan, are reeling from a new blow. So this is the fourth letter.

FILM PREMIERE of BeeSting

Written by Lisa Sturz. Posted in FILM, VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY

FILM PREMIERE of BeeSting

 

Created by Lisa Aimee Sturz and Diane Tower-Jones with music by Layne Redmond  White Horse/Black Mountain, Friday October 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm   Cost: $10.00

Things were looking good. I had gotten e   over the weekend to the fabulous Mark Blessington and was preparing for a two-week run of “Aesop’s Fables” at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Monday morning, before leaving for Atlanta, I was squeezed in for a biopsy of a lump in my right breast.

2012 Status of Women Report Release

Written by YWCA . Posted in Women's Lives & Education

2012 Status of Women Report

Click for the informaiton Women's Forum of NC

Rollout Event to take place October 11, 2012

The 2012 Status of Women Report conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research will be released to the public on October 11, 2012, at a public event at MAHEC. The NC Council on Women and Wells Fargo funded the state-wide research that focused on metropolitan areas; the Women for Women giving circle at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and MAHEC added funds to ensure a comprehensive look at the rural counties in our region. 

The research compiled available data regarding the status of women in North Carolina relating to education and job training, economic autonomy, financial education and health. These are priority issues for Women for Women and the focus of the giving circle’s grant program and advocacy efforts.

"This study reflects where we are in our giving today and where we want to continue focusing our efforts," said Jennie Eblen, Women for Women Chair. "Working from local, current data reinforces our work and mission. We hope it will encourage more women to join our giving circle and positively impact the lives of women and girls."

The public rollout will be held at the MAHEC Women's Care Center, 119 Hendersonville Road in Asheville, on Thursday, October 11, 2012, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Representatives from Women for Women and the Institute of Women's Policy Research will make comments and take questions.

The Women for Women giving circle is an initiative of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the lives of women and girls through women's collective giving. Since 2006, the Women for Women grant program has distributed $1.75 million to support programs benefitting women and girls.

 

 

Legislative Watch: North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Releases 2012 Scorecard

Written by SheVille. Posted in Making a Difference

Legislative Watch: North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Releases 2012 Scorecard

We thought the legislative session that just ended was bad, but the 2012 NCLCV Legislative Scorecard released today shows just how bad. An extraordinary 44 legislators received an absolute zero for their performance on the key environmental votes of the 2012 General Assembly session.

By comparison, prior to this year a total of just four zeros had been awarded in the multi-decade history of the Scorecard. So that's four in history before this year--versus 44 this year. Good grief.

Among the key criticisms of the 2012 General Assembly noted in the Scorecard:

  • Fast-tracking the legalization of untested hydraulic fracturing, without adequate safeguards for public health and resources.
  • Rolling back rules to clean up key drinking water supplies.
  • Delaying the adoption of sound policies regarding sea-level rise.
  • Defunding clean water management trust fund efforts, and dismantling and underfunding key state environmental agencies.
  • Undermining the state's health-based air toxics regulations.

The Scorecard rates incumbent members of the N.C. General Assembly based on 21 representative votes on these and others of the most important environmental issues considered in the 2012 legislature. It also describes the growing, disturbing polarization of legislators into two camps--one which understands and supports sound environmental resource conservation and effective pollution control, and the other which completely dismisses those as valid concerns.

The entire NCLCV 2012 Legislative Scorecard can be found here.


WMC Feature: Abolishing Prostitution—A Feminist Human Rights Treaty

Written by Kathleen Barry and the Women's Media Center. Posted in Uncategorised

WMC Feature: Abolishing Prostitution—A Feminist Human Rights Treaty



The author, long active in global human rights, argues that the time is ripe for a UN treaty to bolster ongoing efforts to end prostitution.

Recently, catching up on email after a few days of hiking in the wilderness, my heart leapt at a headline “French minister seeks abolition of prostitution in France and Europe.”  She is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's minister of women's rights. The new French campaign to abolish prostitution will have its naysayers:  “Impossible!”  “too idealistic," "so utopian it will never happen!"  . . . Click here to read the entire article

African Methodist Episcopal Church’s First Woman Bishop to Speak at Truett Seminary at Baylor

Written by Jean Cassidy. Posted in Making a Difference

African Methodist Episcopal Church’s First Woman Bishop to Speak at Truett Seminary at Baylor

 

WACO, Texas (Aug. 22, 2012) — The Right Rev. Vashti McKenzie — a former journalist and broadcaster who broke the “stained-glass ceiling” when she was elected the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s 200-year history – will speak on Tuesday, Aug. 28, at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.

McKenzie’s election in 2000 to serve the 18th Episcopal District of the AME Church, which includes the four sub-Saharan African countries Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique and Swaziland, was hailed as a symbol of hope and change for the oldest and one of the largest historically black denominations.

She has been named twice to Ebony Magazine’s “Honor Roll of Great African American Preachers” and also has been honored by Ebony on its list of “15 Greatest African American Female Preachers.”

In 2005, McKenzie made further history when she became the first woman president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops, making her the highest-ranking woman in the predominately black Methodist denomination.

Five weeks ago, she became the bishop of the 10th Episcopal District of the AME Church, a district which includes Texas. McKenzie said her  initial focus will be “Imagine AME: God Is Able to Do More than We Think, Ask, or Imagine (Ephesians 3:20).”

“This is an opportunity to redefine our ministries and teach new traditions,” she said. “We will be looking at our strategy statewide.”

The Rev. Joel Gregory, Ph.D., a professor of preaching at Truett, said some members of the AME denomination are enrolled at Truett.

“They are excellent students,” said Gregory, former president of the Baptist General Convention Texas and founder of Joel Gregory Ministries. “We want to affirm our ties with the AME, our common ground.”

The bishop is the author of the books Not Without a Struggle, Strength in the Struggle, Leadership Development for Women, A Journey to the Well and Swapping Housewives: Rachel and Jacob and Leah.

In sub-Sahara African countries, she opened a not-for-profit computer center, provided scholarships and expanded services and group homes for children orphaned or abandoned by the HIV/Aids pandemic.

During McKenzie’s journalistic career, her roles have included a radio program director, an on-air personality, a city desk reporter, a staff writer and a corporate vice president of programming.

She is the wife of Stan McKenzie, a missions supervisor in the AME church and a former player in the National Basketball Association.

McKenzie’s address on Tuesday will be during chapel from 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. in Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary, 1100 S. Third St. in Waco. The service is open to the public.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


ABOUT GEORGE W. TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary provides theological education leading to the Master of Divinity, the Doctor of Ministry or the Master of Theological Studies degree that is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ and consistent with historic Baptist commitments to prepare persons to carry this gospel to the churches and the world. Within the M.Div. degree program, students can choose concentrations in Biblical Studies and Theology, Christian Education, Ministry Leadership, Missions and World Christianity, Worship Leadership and Youth/Family/Student Ministry. Truett Seminary also offers two Dual Degree programs - M.Div./MSW and MTS/MSW - through a partnership with Baylor’s School of Social Work and an M.Div./Master of Music through a partnership with the Baylor University School of Music. Visit www.baylor.edu/truett to learn more.

The Importance of Female Mentors in STEM

Written by Karen Purcell. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

The Importance of Female Mentors in STEM

 

By Karen Purcell, author of Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

As a society, we learn about the world and advance our well-being through science and engineering.  The United States may be known around the world for its higher education, but compared to many other leading and steadily emerging countries we lack a strong focus on educating scientists and engineers. One significant reason that we have fallen behind is that we do not encourage our female students to pursue career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM).

 

Food, Shelter, and Clothing: Escaping the Damp Cave

Written by Rick Bayless. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Food, Shelter, and Clothing:  Escaping the Damp Cave

 

Throughout the Ages, we humans examined and selected the foods for sustenance.

We secured materials to wear for protection from the elements.

(Imagine the delight of the early human at their discovery of the warm sock!)

We continue these quests today.

Now consider that Shelter part.

 

You step downstairs into the lower part of your house. Your nose squinches up from the odor of mold and mildew.

With disgust you think, “Why does my dwelling smell like a damp cave! Haven’t we gotten past that eons ago!”

 

Your lower rooms, your basement, your garage, and your crawl space: Dark, damp, musty, moldy, bug and mouse-infested. This spells trouble for your health, your house, and your possessions.

 

You can change what’s going on in these lower parts of your dwelling both effectively and affordably:

* Remove both clutter and discarded debris.

*Get some light in there.

*Fix the roof, gutter, downspout, drain, and grading system to direct water away from the house.

* Seal the damp walls and floors with a moisture barrier (6ml plastic or vapor-lock sealant).

*Seal your air ducts against cold air conditioning leaks.

* Provide for slow but continuous mixing of air within those lower areas.

*Dehumidify the air down there to a target of 50% to 55% relative humidity.

*Adding a little bit of heat to that space will help. 75 to 77 degrees F is easy to achieve.

*Monitor for pests to limit their numbers.

*Monitor for Radon.

* Keep an eye on ducts, plumbing, wires, appliances, heater, cooler, walls, windows, doors, floors, and drains.

*Get some guidance from someone who understands these issues.

 

Every house in our area faces challenges with dampness. Both the drivers of dampness issues and the specific fixes differ from house to house. Most of the fixes are very do able by the homeowner. Hire out the work to a deserving local contractor if you prefer. With the right guidance or the right help you can turn your damp cave into a habitat that supports your health, your well-being, your home’s value, and the wise use of dollars.

 

The “Life and Leisure” program at Blue Ride Community College-Henderson and Transylvania Counties, offers helpful courses on this and related subjects.

Rick Bayless is owner of “A Healthier Home”, Instructor at the College, a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant,

Healthy Homes Specialist, and does not spread embarrassing rumors about somebody’s basement. To learn more go to www.RickBaylessHealthyHome.com.

 

 

Greenpeace Airship Flies by Asheville Plant to Tell Duke “Cleaner is Cheaper”

Written by Myriam Fallon for Greenpeace. Posted in Green Living

Greenpeace Airship Flies by Asheville Plant to Tell Duke “Cleaner is Cheaper”

 

New Report Highlights a Clean Energy Pathway that would Save Ratepayers Billions

 


July 30th, 2012

Asheville, NC - This morning, a Greenpeace airship flight near the Asheville Plant called on Duke Energy to transition away from burning coal at the plant and instead move boldly to a clean energy future.  The flight comes five months after 16 Greenpeace activists were arrested for a demonstration at the plant calling attention to the public health and climate impacts of the company’s continued use of mountaintop removal coal and high hazard coal ash impoundments.

Last week Greenpeace released “Charting the Correction Course: A Clean Energy Pathway for Duke Energy.” The report clearly demonstrates how Duke Energy can invest in wind, solar and energy efficiency while saving themselves and North Carolina rate payers over $100 billion in twenty years.

“Investing in renewable energy is a win, win,” said Mike Johnson, report author and senior analyst for Greenpeace. “Duke and their ratepayers can save money while investing in the long term growth of the region and significantly reducing pollution at the same time.“

Over the next twenty years, Duke Energy plans to generate the vast majority of its electricity in North and South Carolina by relying on 70-year-old coal plants and risky nuclear plants. During this time, the company will quadruple electricity rates for bill payers in the Carolinas within ten years, and increase them by nearly 20-fold by 2032.

The Greenpeace plan maps a different course for Duke Energy that will benefit ratepayers, the environment and investors. According to “Charting the Correction Course,” Duke could source 33% of its electricity from wind, solar and efficiency resources which would cost  57% less for rate payers over the next 20 years.  The clean energy pathway proposed in the report would also reduce long term debt for the company by 75% when compared to Duke’s current plans.

“Duke Energy has made it clear that they will continue to raise rates across the state to keep plants like the one rightThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.ere in Asheville on life support,” said Robert Gardner, coal campaigner for Greenpeace and one of the activists that climbed the Asheville Plant's coal stack in February. “Instead, Duke can invest in renewable energy and save rate payers $108 billion over 20 years.”

Today’s flight is part of a statewide tour to to push the country’s largest utility toward a renewable energy future that is healthier and more affordable for residents across the Carolinas.  Previously, the airship flew over Carrboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and past the Duke owned Marshall Steam Station. The 135 foot thermal airship flew with banners reading “Duke: Don’t Raise Rates for Dirty Energy” and “Cleaner is Cheaper." The tour is part of Greenpeace's ongoing campaign to push the county's largest utility toward a renewable energy future.

Greenpeace will attempt to fly the airship again this evening at 7pm and Tuesday morning at 7am.

for more information  708.546.9001, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Big Boys Don’t Cry, But Maybe They Should….Men and Mental Illness

Written by Monique Colver. Posted in Health & Fitness

Big Boys Don’t Cry, But Maybe They Should….Men and Mental Illness

 

Every time I see a commercial with a bumbling man child being supervised by a grown up woman, I cringe. Sure, it’s just a joke, but it’s so pervasive.  .  . “How many children do you have?” “Three, including my husband.”

Jokes are good. I love jokes. If there’s one thing I think the world could have more of, it’s laughter.

However, men with mental illness are much less likely to be diagnosed and treated, and they’re also more likely to take out their frustration and anger on someone else. There’s nothing funny about that. Men are also conditioned to avoid crying in public, so their problems are easier to overlook. It’s not just crying – if I’m angry I’m very likely to cry, because that’s just the way I am. This is true for many women, and as a result mental health professionals can see how upset we are, and that something is definitely wrong.

Contrast that with a likely male scenario: Man goes to doctor, keeps his emotions in check as he’s supposed to, because he’s a man. Doctor asks how he is. Man says he’s fine, maintaining his stoic expression. Doctor moves on. Patient thinks, “Can’t anyone see how much stress I’m under? How much anger I have?”

We expect men to be strong and invincible, even now in 2012, when we should realize that no one is, and that everyone is equally susceptible to mental illness.

The days when hysteria, once used in force when diagnosing women with mental illness-like symptoms, was the province of women are gone. Sure, some of us are still hysterical now and then, but it’s just likely that it doesn’t matter what gender we are. What does matter is how likely we are to take it out on someone else. As a woman, I’m more likely to internalize my pain, but a man is more likely to strike out at others.

And what does that have to do with bumbling men child? We have typically two extremes in our entertainment portrayals of men: the macho guy who can defeat any obstacle, or the bumbling man child. In real life, I know of no man who fits either one of those stereotypes. Perhaps that’s because in real life men are just people.

“Big boys don’t cry.” Maybe they should.

I have watched someone descend into schizophrenia and psychosis, and at a time when he had all of that on his mind there was also this, as he said, “But I’m the man! I should be taking care of you!” Many women feel that we should be taking care of things too, but many men feel an additional weight of being responsible for supporting themselves and their family, and the thought of being unable to work because of an illness can be overwhelming. What would people think if they didn’t do what was expected of them? Better to push those negative feelings down where no one can see them and hope they go away.

They don’t go away though. It’s not a useful strategy in the long run.

Who hasn’t heard anecdotes about men not wanting to admit they feel pain? Who doesn’t know a man who refuses to go to the doctor? To seek help would indicate weakness, and no one wants to be seen as weak, especially men, who may have their sense of self wrapped up in being seen as strong and tough. So instead they tough it out when they’re depressed, or angry, or even homicidal, or when they have no control of their emotions, and even when they know their own mind is lying to them.

Mental illness doesn’t necessarily explain mass murder, according to Melissa Thompson, sociologist and author of Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System. Research shows that not all mass murderers are mentally ill, and mentally ill people are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. In fact, it’s more likely someone with a mental illness will be the victim of a crime, not the perpetrator.

But men are under-served when it comes to mental illness treatment, and men are more likely to become violent. Whether the perpetrators or the victim of crime, they deserve better. We all do.

Monique Colver, Air Force veteran and military wife, is the author of An Uncommon Friendship: A Memoir of Love, Mental Illness and Friendship. She can be contacted at:  www.anuncommonfriendship.com

Vacationing with the Littlest Guests: Basic Rules of the Road

Written by Kathy Bertone. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Vacationing with the Littlest Guests: Basic Rules of the Road

Find a parent who breezes through an airport with one suitcase and a carry-on, and I’ll show you a parent who left their child at home. Good planning will mean less stress and headache for you the entire visit, but there’s a fine line between dragging the entire contents of your home and leaving everything to chance. You want to be prepared, but not overburdened. So, what to bring?

Start with the basics. Consider this list and start checking off who will provide each item: you, your host, or a rental service. Thankfully, there are places, easily found on the Internet, where you can rent items like cribs and car seats (even bottle sterilizers), which can be delivered to your destination.

You Host Rental

_____ _____ _____ Crib or bassinet

_____ _____ _____ Playpen

_____ _____ _____ Sleeping bags

_____ _____ _____ Car seat

_____ _____ _____ Baby bottles and/ or medicines

_____ _____ _____ Specific foods/formula

_____ _____ _____ Baby monitor

_____ _____ _____ Breast-feeding equipment

_____ _____ _____ Diapers, diaper bag, baby wipes, powder, etc.

_____ _____ _____ Night-light

_____ _____ _____ Plastic sheets if your child may wet the bed

_____ _____ _____ Entertainment material

_____ _____ _____ Sports equipment, life preservers, sunglasses, lotion

_____ _____ _____ Stroller(s)

_____ _____ _____ Baby gates

_____ _____ _____ Appropriate clothing for the weather and activities planned

Share with your host the items on your list you are hoping they can provide. If you’re worried that your needs will sound like a list of demands from a spoiled ‘tweener—don’t. Most hosts will appreciate your thoughtfulness by not having to scramble to get things after you arrive. Once they know what you need, and if they don’t have it, it gives them the opportunity to ask a neighbor or friend to supply something for the time you will be there. Your host will let you know what is not available. Coordinating with them in advance is the key.

Of course how you are getting to the visit makes a difference in what you can bring, or not, so know what is allowed on an airplane, bus, or train. It is always best to call the transportation company ahead or check their website.

Hot Toddler Travel Tip #1

VISIT TIP: Take the time to research the place you will be visiting. Check to see where the nearest doctor, pharmacy, playground or park, theater, library, or pool is located. Although one would assume the host will know, Grandmother may not have been water sliding in some time!

If there are just some things your children can’t or won’t eat or are allergic to, let your host know. Your host will most likely go to the store to stock up on some items and will appreciate not spending time or money on things that won’t be consumed. Emailing a list ahead of time is a smart and reasonable thing to do. You can always add the words, “But if you were not planning on going to the market, no worries! I am happy to go after we arrive.” If your child only eats certain foods, and you are driving, bring some with you or stop at a grocery store close to the host’s house. Don’t expect your host to have specialty items unless you specifically requested them in advance.

Brush up on the basics with your children before the visit. Go through the photo album and remind them who’s who; teach, or remind, young men and women the importance of shaking hands with a solid grip and looking adults in the eye. Tell them what is not allowed and what you expect in terms of their behavior, and what you hope they might enjoy during the visit. Remind them, also, of basic manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you” and “may I?” Children are much more comfortable when they know how to behave and what is expected of them.

 

Hot Toddler Travel Tip #2

VISIT TIP: Help your child make, or simply bring, a gift for the host or the children of the host. Even children feel special when presenting a gift and feel proud not arriving empty-handed.

Don’t break your own rules just because you’re visiting. If you want your children to be in bed at a certain time, make it happen. You rule! If you don’t want them to drink sodas or watch a movie you think is inappropriate for their temperament or age, don’t let them. Your host should respect your rules and support them.

Although difficult, do not allow your children to use electronic games or gadgets excessively. The point of the visit is to get everyone involved with each other—to be inclusive—not reclusive. This is especially important of course when the young ones are visiting the Grandparents.

When you get home have the child create, or pick out, a thank-you card for the host. How artistic it is makes absolutely no difference. The fact that it is handmade makes it beautiful. And the child will learn a valuable lesson from doing it. No, this time email will not do.

Kathy Bertone is the co-founder and former managing partner of a merger and acquisition firm located outside Washington, DC. For years, she and her husband have enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their three homes. She currently lives in Naples, FL where she continues to perfect her hosting expertise. Kathy is the author of the new book, The Art of the Visit: Being the Perfect Host, Becoming the Perfect Guest. For more information, please visit: http://www.theartofthevisit.com/.

Men Have It Wrong: Women DO Have The “Right Brain” for Humor

Written by Kathy Johnson. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Former Man Show host Adam Carolla recently sparked a firestorm when he announced that “women are inherently less funny than men,” with an “inferior sense of humor”. What an interesting way to get laughs! Carolla essentially became a laughing stock himself when he added that, with humor, “going cruel is preferred”.

But his comparison of the sexes, skewed as it may be, does bring up an interesting point - one begging a fair response - from the fairer, and funnier, sex!

Why is it that when a guy tells a joke, everyone laughs, but if a woman tells that same joke, she is looked down upon as (1) unladylike, (2) desperately seeking attention, or (3) still not over the pain of childbirth? Is it her delivery? Is it because women cannot tell a joke? Is it because ‘romantic comedy’ is the only thing females excel in? This is no laughing matter - there is something funny going on, and we girls are not laughing!

Carolla’s comedic timing is way off – and so are his facts. Over thirty years ago Ned Herrmann, physicist, concert vocalist and artist known for his brain-dominance theories, reported in his book, The Creative Brain, that women are significantly more humorous than men because they are more ‘right-brained’ – that is, they most favor that side of the brain known for creativity. In his studies, Herrmann found women to be more innovative, clever and witty, more concerned with the feelings of others and better at dealing with people, culture, and values than men. So why does the myth persist that men are funnier than women?

Is there funny business going on between the sexes? Last October, the scientific community finally and grudgingly acknowledged that women are funny – but less funny than men - by 0.11 points out of a score of 5. This conclusion was based on a study by psychologists at the University of California, San Diego, who asked 32 undergraduate men and women to make up captions for 20 New Yorker cartoons. Then a group of 34 men and 47 women subjectively judged the humor, invariably supporting the “men-are-funnier’ stereotype. Conversely, Mr. Herrmann’s right-brain research, which scientifically proves women have significantly higher humor levels, continues to be ignored.

It’s a comic ‘men’tality
: In the traditionally male-oriented comic-strip industry, less than 1% of the newspaper and web comic strips are created by females. With all that male-centric humor, no wonder males dominate the comics.

It’s a ‘gent’der thing: In comedy clubs around the country, where are the females? They are few and far between, because the bookers hire mainly male acts, saying they must appeal to their men-dominated audiences. Funny? Ha! Ha! Not!

 

Sexual bias is nothing to laugh at, and there are five main reasons why there are so few female humorists:

Too ‘many pauses’: The comedy industry frowns on jokes about women’s issues, a problem for almost every female capable of creating humor. Men call the women’s content too hormonal, when their real issue is chromosomal. Merida, Pixel’s first animated picture with a strong female lead and a mother-daughter story-line, finally gives girls relateable material; however, Adam W. Kepler, writer for the New York Times, wondered if the story would “repel little boys”?  Since when is this an issue? How many boys flocked to see the movie blockbuster, Bridesmaids, with its female storyline and gags?  Who cares!

 

Not into ‘c-rude’ humor: There is a sexual stereotype that women lack wit. False! We simply don’t find ethnic, sexual, insulting or bathroom jokes funny. Women, with their dominant-right-side caring and sensitive brains, find hurtful jokes offensive.

 

Funny as a heart attack: Men think they are a lot funnier than they really are. According to Christopher Hitchens, in his much-publicized 2007 Vanity Fair article titled “Why Women Aren’t Funny”, he wrote that men’s humor is aggressive and pre-emptive and went on to say, “men will laugh at almost anything” - except women’s jokes.

 

It’s a very bad ‘ha-ha’bit:  How can an intelligent person think the movie, The Three Stooges, is funny? This unfunny flick offers hostile, violent slapstick capitalizing on pain for humor. What is so funny about poking someone’s eyes out – or getting a pie in the face?


Women lack ‘testosterone’. Bottom line: Men don’t see funny women as sexy and therefore refuse to laugh at a female’s jokes, discouraging women from entering the humor marketplace. Talk about gagging!

With all this being said, I have a ‘funny bone’ to pick with the guys. Males argue that more men than women apply for humor-entertainment positions, so they cannot be blamed for the imbalance. Hello! Stop discouraging the gals, and maybe that ratio will change.

Cut the comedy: Women continue to be demoralized when they apply for jobs that they do not get, because men are doing the selecting and the process is heavily skewed toward the male applicant. Title IX, one of many sexual discrimination statutes, has been interpreted to require a proportionality mandate, which, if applied here, would mean that since women make up half the population, one-half of the comics, the comedy clubs, and the television, movie and entertainment industry should be administered by ladies.



‘DIS-WOMEN-NATION’: Sexual inequity in the humor arena must be corrected to be in proper proportion to the population. The most effective way to combat sexism is to create a movement that encourages and nourishes humorous female comedians, entertainers and writers, and brings the number of women humorists more in line with the number of males. Organizations should increase opportunities for women through scholarships, grants and contests and mentoring, recruitment and outreach programs.

Sexual bias is a wrong that women must ‘write’: Women comedians and humor-writers should flood the market with high caliber material appealing to females and become visible role models for young girls. Ladies everywhere need to write their newspapers, e-mail the comedy clubs and notify TV and movie producers that they want more female comedians and heroic role models like Merida and Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games, who are proven box office draws.

It does not take a ‘man-date’! Stop humoring the men and give females the recognition they deserve, since we’re at wits’ end. In the final analysis, we will have the last laugh.



Kathy Johnson, attorney and author, promotes humor, character, excellence and girl-power on her web site, www.starletteuniverse.com and in her ‘tween and teen girl-series book, STARLETTE UNIVERSE - Book 1: ‘CAT’Astrophe.  STARLETTE UNIVERSE – Book 2:  Eva from E-ville will be out next month.

How I Talk About Sex With My Kids

Written by Annie Brewster in Our Bodies Our Blog. Posted in Health & Fitness

My 13-year-old daughter is now in the throes of seventh grade Sex-Ed. Yesterday, while lingering at the table after dinner, just the two of us left, she asked: “Rubbing the clitoris is what makes sex feel good, right?”

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” Part of Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America” Exhibit

Written by Our Bodies Our Blog. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” Part of Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America” Exhibit

The original edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” has been named one of the Library of Congress’s “Books that Shaped America,” a list of important works “intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives.” click here to read more

Attract Birds & Butterflies No Matter What Size Your Landscape

Written by Melina Myers, gardening expert. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Add a little extra color and motion to your summer garden with containers designed to attract birds and butterflies. Many garden centers continue to sell annuals throughout the summer and many of these mid-season annuals are a bit bigger, providing instant impact.

It’s easier than you think to attract birds and butterflies and the good news is you don’t need a lot of space to do it.  Container gardens give you the ability to attract wildlife to your backyard, patio, deck or even balcony. Simply follow these four steps and your garden will be filled with color, motion and a season of wildlife.

1-      Provide food for birds and butterflies.  Include plants with flat daisy-like flowers like pentas, zinnias, and cosmos to attract butterflies. For hummingbirds, include some plants with tubular flowers including nicotiana, cuphea, salvia, and fuchsia. And don't forget about the hungry caterpillars that will soon turn into beautiful butterflies. Parsley, bronze fennel, and licorice vines are a few favorites that make great additions to container gardens. You can even create containers that will attract seed-eating birds. Purple Majesty millet, coneflower, coreopsis, and Rudbeckias will keep many of the birds returning to your landscape.

2-      Include water for both the birds and butterflies.  It’s a key ingredient and a decorative small shallow container filled with water can be included in a large container.  Or include a free-standing birdbath within your container collection.  I used a bronzed leaf birdbath in just this way.  It created a great vertical accent, added interest to a blank wall and provided a water supply for the birds. 

3-      Give them a place to live and raise their young. Add a few evergreens, ornamental grasses, and perennials to your container garden.  Use weather resistant containers that can tolerate the extreme heat and cold in your garden.  Then fill with plants that are at least one zone hardier.  Or add a few birdhouses.  These can be included in the container or mounted on a fence, post, or nearby tree.

4-      Skip the pesticides, please.  Nature, including the birds you invite into your landscape, will devour many garden pests.  Plus, the chemicals designed to kill the bad guys can also kill the good bugs and wildlife you are trying to attract.  And, if pests get out of hand, use more eco-friendly products like soaps, Neem, and horticulture oil as a control mechanism.  And, as always, read and follow label directions carefully.

And to conserve time and energy, try using one of the self-watering containers or hanging baskets that are on the market.  This helps to make it both easy and convenient when time constraints and vacations get in the way of providing ideal care.  I recently tried using one of the Gardener’s Supply Easy Roller self-watering containers.  I filled one with wildlife-friendly petunias along with papyrus and golden moneywort.  After a five-day trip during hot dry weather I returned to find my container garden in great shape and hummingbirds visiting the flowers.

So gather your family and get started planting your wildlife container garden today.



Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine.  Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. She has written articles for Better Homes and Gardens and Fine Gardening and was a columnist and contributing editor for Backyard Living magazine.  Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure.  Her web site is www.melindamyers.com

Burmese Nobel Laureate after 21 Years

Written by Elayne Clift and the Women's Media Center. Posted in Making a Difference

The author recalls her time in Burma just before the military coup that kept Aung San Suu Kyi from accepting her Nobel Peace Prize for two decades.

“Absolute peace in our world is an unattainable goal,” the diminutive woman in lavender said softly. “Even if we do not achieve [it] on earth…common endeavors for peace will unite individuals and nations in trust and friendship and help to make our human community safer and kinder.”  Click to read the entire article

Are You Bear Smart? Living Responsibly in Bear Country

Written by Asheville Green Drinks. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Wednesday, May 30  Socializing: 5:30PM Programming: 6:00PM

Location: Posana Cafe, 1 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801


If you live in WNC, you have probably seen a bear in the wild while hiking and you might have encountered one in you own backyard. Bear have even been spotted in downtown Asheville!



Asheville Green Drinks will team up with the Bear Education and Resources Task Force (B.E.A.R) of the Western North Carolina Alliance for a bear preparedness program.  Come out to learn more about how to keep bear out of your trashcans and how to stay safe in the wild.



Presenter Debbie Lassiter will host this free program to share practical advice on living responsibly in bear country and reducing human/bear conflicts.

Socializing: 5:30PM Programming: 6:00PM

Location: Posana Cafe, 1 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 (directions)







Thank you to our weekly host and sponsor Posana Cafe, a 3-star certified Green Restaurant! We encourage you to support their efforts by ordering drinks and/or food at Green Drinks' programs. Just make sure to tip your server or bartender and come a little early if ordering food.




Join Posana for lunch Tuesday through Friday 11am - 3 pm, Weekend Brunch, Saturday & Sunday 9am - 3pm and Dinner Tuesday through Sunday 5 pm - 9 pm.  You can visit their menu online and view lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and dessert offerings.

Gloria Steinem Addresses Sold-Out Crowd at the Power of the Purse

Written by Lindsay Hearn and The Community Foundation. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Women for Women Announces $252,000 in Grants for WNC Nonprofits (May 21 - Asheville, NC)

Gloria Steinem addressed a sold-out crowd of 1,100 at the 8th annual Power of the Purse luncheon today.  The event took place at The Crowne Plaza resort in Asheville and included the announcement of $252,000 in grants to nonprofits addressing economic security for women and girls in Western North Carolina made by the Women for Women giving circle.

The Listening Project - National and International

Written by The Listening Project. Posted in Making a Difference

A Listening Project (LP) is a comprehensive process that includes deep listening interviews and community organizing that can result in cooperative community education and action on a wide range of issues and concerns. LPs are especially useful in communities where conflict, divisions or disempowerment weakens efforts for positive change. They can help organizations successfully address injustice, conflict, community development, health, environmental and others concerns.

What It Does

  • Identifies problems and issues that people care about.

  • Includes often unheard or unheeded voices.

  • Fosters emergence and development of new community leaders.

  • Generates creative solutions for community needs and problems.

  • Disseminates issue-related information and determines needs for additional information.

  • Encourages personal growth as all involved consider new viewpoints and information.

  • Forms uncommon coalitions and alliances through which diverse viewpoints can resolve - rather than clash over - difficult issues.

  • Promotes insight, empathy, and understanding among people with conflicting views.

  • Creates long-term capacity for grassroots community building.  Click here to read more

Women and Cardiovascular Disease: Disparities in Care

Written by Kevin R. Campbell. Posted in Health & Fitness

The Doctor Weighs In - Sudden Cardiac Death and cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the US second only to ALL cancers COMBINED. The prevalence of coronary artery disease in women is similar to that in age-matched cohorts of men– yet women tend to be under-served and under-treated. When we look at specific interventions such as Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI or coronary stenting) and Implantation of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICDs), and advanced devices for Congestive Heart Failure, we find that men tend to have more access to advanced therapies and are undergoing procedures at two to three times the rate of women. (posted by Brian Klepper)  Click here to read the entire article

Holy Bee Press is launching a series of bee-ish articles

Written by Debra Roberts. Posted in Environment

At long last, Holy Bee Press is launching a series of bee-ish articles that are very near and dear to our hearts... and we hope to yours.

Please visit: Holy Bee Press

This information is for contemporary beekeepers who are interested in natural beekeeping and learning how to improve their bee stewarding skills.

The first two articles in the series are:

Taming the Mighty Mite: Some Thoughts on Living with Varroa
Getting to know Varroa; selecting for better, less-virulent mites and better-adapted bees. (Kefyn M. Catley, Ph.D.)


Trusting the Bees: Thoughts on a Stronger Stock or How to Raise Queens with Just a Few Hives
Breeding a stronger bee; learn how to make a split that supports the bees’ ability to select their own best future queens. (Carl Chesick)

Stay tuned for more articles across the year from other women and men “Bee Illuminati” (as we call them) from around our fine bee world. And feel free to circulate this to any friends who might be interested.  These authors are wonderful and they are covering important ground.

Wishing you and your bees a very happy spring and year.

Blessed be. Blessed bees.
Debra

Sex, lies and media: New wave of activists challenge notions of beauty

Written by Emanuella Grinberg, CNN. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Here's the fantasy: A half-naked woman lies across a couch, lips pouty and cleavage prominent as her sultry gaze implores you to buy this bottle of perfume.The reality: Women make up 51% of the United States yet only 17% of seats in the House of Representatives. They're 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 7% of directors in the top 250 grossing films.  Click here to read the entire article

International Women’s Day – Stories and Activism

Written by Our Bodies our BLOG. Posted in WOMEN on the MOVE

International Women’s Day is traditionally marked as a day to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for gender quality. The advocate component looms large today, considering the stepped-up attacks on women’s health and human rights. A sampling of stories and activities are featured below (most of which have been excerpted from their respective websites). Feel free to add your own links in the comments.

* Reproductive Rights and Justice in the United States: Democracy Now talks with Loretta Ross of the SisterSong Reproductive Justice Collective about the latest wave of legislative attacks on reproductive rights. Virginia has enacted a controversial law forcing women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound. Lawmakers in Georgia and New Hampshire meanwhile have advanced new curbs on abortion and contraception coverage. Georgia lawmakers are also considering a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks based on the highly contested notion that fetuses can feel pain at that stage.

“In Georgia we got tossed back to the 19th century,” Ross says. “Republican legislators really didn’t want to hear from women, they didn’t want to pay attention and presumed that they could tell us what to do with our bodies again.”

Plus: For a close-up look at the effect of anti-Planned Parenthood sentiment on health care for low-income women, read today’s New York Times story on the closing of women’s health clinics in Texas.

And for a very funny look at women responding to the ridiculous assaults on women’s health and human rights, check out “International Slutty Women’s Day: A Story in GIFs“ by the amazing Ann Friedman.

* Women of Courage Awards: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony today. First Lady Michelle Obama,  Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries also took part. Special guests this year included Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The names and photos of this year’s honorees — a remarkable group of activists, many of whom are working on gender-based violence issues — are available here.

The International Women of Courage will now travel to 10 U.S. cities to engage with their American counterparts through the International Visitor Leadership Program. Cities include Bozeman, MT; Cincinnati, OH; East Lansing, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Jackson, WY; Kansas City, MO; Minneapolis, MN; Pensacola, FL; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle, WA. Their visit to the United States began March 5 with a stop in Pittsburgh.

* Hollaback!: Support the efforts of women around the world fighting street harassment by sharing your story today at ihollaback.org. On March 22, the group will launch its new “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign.

* Women are the Fabric: A new exhibition of quilts in the lobby of the United Nations, a tribute to the enduring strength of women and a plea for the support and protection they need to take care of themselves and their communities, opens today. Women are the Fabric displays 20 quilts embedded with powerful messages and appeals for action. Some are cries of pain from women who have directly experienced sexual violence and massacres. Several express anger at the impact of war on women. One depicts the magic of a rainforest threatened by oil exploration. Together they convey the strength of women working together on shared concerns.



* Global Maternal Health and Family Planning: The International Museum of Women (IMOW) is presenting “Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby,” the newest gallery in the online exhibition MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe. The gallery showcases creative works, profiles, statistics and online advocacy steps to help support maternal health worldwide.

According to the United Nations (2010), a woman dies every 90 seconds from preventable causes during pregnancy and birth. “Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby” examines the current state of maternal health, as well as what is being done to improve upon the world’s maternal mortality rate.

* Planned Parenthood also has a global campaign focused on the fact that millions of women worldwide want to plan their births but lack access to modern contraception. Just last month in Honduras, the Supreme Court upheld a decision outlawing emergency contraception — and now, any woman or doctor found using or distributing the “morning-after” pill could face criminal prosecution and jail time.

Do anti-women’s health attacks like this sound familiar? That’s because the same people behind the attacks on Planned Parenthood and the women that it serves are attempting to eliminate health care funding and increase barriers to reproductive health care for women and mothers in countries all over the world. Watch the video and tell your legislators today — Health Has No Borders!

* RH Reality Check has published an article by Dana Hovig of Marie Stopes International and Alvaro Bermejo of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance on the importance of integrating family planing and HIV services.

“It is 2012, three years before the 2015 deadline the world set for itself to reduce preventable maternal deaths and new HIV infections. If we are to reach this goal, we must act more boldly than we have up until now,” they write. “Women who are at risk of unplanned pregnancy are also at risk of HIV, and vice-versa so separation of these services no longer makes sense. The global health community must work to bring family planning and HIV services together – and quickly – to save women’s lives.”

* Also at RH Reality Check, Jessica Mack writes about the maternal health advocacy group Women Deliver, which this week named its “Women Deliver 50” — a list not of individuals, but of solutions. The list includes advocacy and awareness campaigns, educational initiatives, health interventions, and more.

“It’s not quite as sexy, true, but it’s refreshingly pragmatic,” writes Mack. “Recognizing individual change makers is important, but it is almost always the case that change happens thanks to many, many people. Why not focus on how that change happened (or is happening), so others can be inspired to think bigger and crazier, and do better work?”

* “Our Bodies, Ourselves” Worldwide: One proven solution: women learning about and sharing information about their bodies and health. Take a look at the global projects based on “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” which has now been adapted by women’s groups in dozens of countries. OBOS staff has facilitated the publication and in-country use of materials in more than 25 languages, in print, digital and socially interactive formats. Learn more about these efforts by viewing panels and discussions from OBOS’s 40th Anniversary symposium, which featured our global partners in Armenia, Bulgaria, India, and Senegal, among other countries.

President Obama to Receive Barnard Medal of Distinction

Written by Barnard College. Posted in WOMEN on the MOVE

New York, NY – President Barack H. Obama will deliver the keynote address at Barnard College’s 120th Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 14, at 12:30 p.m. on Columbia University’s South Lawn.  He will address approximately 600 members of the Class of 2012 and receive the Barnard Medal of Distinction, the College’s highest honor. The speech will be broadcast live on www.barnard.edu.

“This is an extraordinary honor for Barnard, and we are thrilled to welcome President Obama for this important moment in the lives of our graduates and their families,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar. “His commitment to empowering women is so meaningful to our students, who aspire to lead and make their mark on the world. No doubt, the President's words will make this year's Commencement truly unforgettable.”

University President Lee C. Bollinger said, “All of us can be proud that President Obama, the first Columbia graduate to serve in the nation's highest office, has chosen to honor the importance of women's leadership by returning to campus at our historic sister liberal arts college for women in New York.”

President Spar will preside over the Commencement ceremony, confer the Barnard Medals of Distinction, present the degree candidates, and address the Class of 2012, their family and friends, and faculty, staff and guests of Barnard. The graduates will also hear from Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald ’81, chair of the Barnard Board of Trustees and CEO of the Alberleen Group. Helene D. Gayle ’76, president and CEO of CARE USA; Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry; and Sally Chapman, Barnard professor of chemistry, will receive Barnard Medals of Distinction.

Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, was previously announced as the keynote speaker and has noted that she is happy to speak at Barnard at a later date.

In recent years, Barnard’s Commencement speakers have included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and legendary actress Meryl Streep.

 

About Barnard College

The idea was bold for its time. Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, Barnard is the most sought-after college for women and remains dedicated to the education of strong, independent-minded women who change the world and the way we think about it. Visit www.barnard.edu.

For more information about the Commencement ceremony, visit www.barnard.edu/commencement.

Media Inquiries

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Alyssa Vine

802-578-3663


 

About the Medalists

Barack H. Obama is the 44th President of the United States. His story is the American story—values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that a life so blessed should be lived in service to others.

With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.

President Obama worked his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, attending Occidental College before transferring to Columbia, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1983.   His sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, is a Barnard alumna.

After graduating, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.  He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.

President Obama's years of public service are based around his unwavering belief in the ability to unite people around a politics of purpose. In the Illinois State Senate, he passed the first major ethics reform in 25 years, cut taxes for working families, and expanded health care for children and their parents. As a United States Senator, he reached across the aisle to pass groundbreaking lobbying reform, lock up the world's most dangerous weapons, and bring transparency to government by putting federal spending online.

He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10.

Helene D. Gayle ’76 is president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization with approximately 10,000 staff, whose poverty-fighting programs reached 82 million people last year in 87 countries. Since joining CARE in 2006, Gayle has led efforts to reinforce CARE’s commitment to empowering girls and women to bring lasting change to poor communities. Under her leadership, CARE has strengthened its focus on long-term impact, increased policy and advocacy efforts, and explored in greater depth the connections between poverty and the environment. An expert on health, global development, and humanitarian issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. Gayle then worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.

Evan Wolfson is founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. He was co-counsel in the historic marriage case in Hawaii that launched the ongoing global movement for the freedom to marry. Wolfson earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale College in 1978, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a village in Togo, West Africa, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983. Citing his national leadership on marriage and his appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale, the National Law Journal in 2000 named him one of “the 100 most influential lawyers in America.” In 2004, Wolfson was named one of the “Time 100,” Time magazine's list of “the 100 most influential people in the world.” His book, Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry, was published by Simon & Schuster in July 2004.

Sally Chapman, professor of chemistry, joined the Barnard faculty in 1975. She is an activist and advocate on behalf of young women wishing to pursue careers in the sciences. In 2009, Chapman won the College’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a fellow of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) and was chosen as Outstanding Woman Scientist of 2002 by AWIS Metro-NY. She is a charter member of COACh, the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists. Prof. Chapman is the principal investigator of a grant from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Leadership Program, in conjunction with the American Chemical Society PROGRESS program. She has taught and advised generations of students in general, analytical, and physical chemistry. Her research, often involving Barnard students, uses computational techniques to investigate molecular-reaction dynamics. Chapman received her AB summa cum laude from Smith College in 1968, and PhD from Yale University in 1973. She did postdoctoral research at UC-Irvine with Don L. Bunker, and at UC-Berkeley with William H. Miller.

# # #

Obama to Address Graduates of Historic Women’s College and Receive Barnard Medal of Distinction

Written by Alyssa Vine - Barnard College. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

“This is an extraordinary honor for Barnard, and we are thrilled to welcome President Obama for this important moment in the lives of our graduates and their families,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar. “His commitment to empowering women is so meaningful to our students, who aspire to lead and make their mark on the world.  Click here to read the entire article

What Did Egyptian Women Gain from Arab Spring Uprising?

Written by The American Anthropological Association. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Sherine Hafez and Jessica Winegar examine the role and future of Egyptian women in the Arab Spring Uprising in this quarter’s American Ethnologist by authoring personal accounts of women during the revolution. From the thicket of peaceful protest in Tahrir Square to tending to the domestic duties during such an uncertain time, many obstacles have challenged the role of women in politics.



Jessica Winegar, sociocultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, examines the responsibilities of women during the uprising. Professor Winegar was in Cairo during the uprising, however, like many women, she could not attend the protest due to family obligations in the home. “I call attention to the way that revolution is experienced and undertaken in domestic spaces, through different forms of affect, in ways deeply inflected by gender and class,” says Winegar in her article The Privilege of Revolution: Gender, class, space, and affect in Egypt.



Sherine Hafez, ethnographer and Assistant Professor at the University of California Riverside, takes an in-depth look at the role of women after the uprising to surprisingly find this role remains the same, in her article No Longer a Bargain: Women, Masculinity, and the Egyptian Uprising. She notes that “what the events of this uprising have revealed is that notions of masculinity undermined by a repressive regime have observably shifted the terms of the patriarchal bargain.”



American Ethnologist
, a quarterly journal produced by the American Ethnological Society (AES), in its February 2012 issue features these articles on the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt. The nine authors are anthropologists with a wide range of specialties who have years of research experience in Egypt. The online and print editions are currently available. Articles and abstracts are available at www.americanethnologist.org


This journal is edited by Angelique Haugerud of Rutgers University and its content deals with all facets of ethnology in the broadest sense of the term. Articles creatively demonstrate the connections between ethnographic specificity and theoretical originality, as well as the ongoing relevance of the ethnographic imagination to the contemporary world.

The American Ethnological Society, founded in 1842, sponsors the journal American Ethnologist. AES is a section of the American Anthropological Association.



-American Anthropological Association-
Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists and others interested in anthropology, with an average annual membership of more than 10,000. The Arlington, VA – based association represents all specialties within anthropology – cultural anthropology, biological (or physical) anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and applied anthropology.



Media Resources:
American Ethnologist:  www.americanethnologist.org

AE Online Issue:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/amet.2012.39.issue-1/issuetoc

Sherine Hafez:  http://bit.ly/z30gq3

Jessica Winegar:  http://bit.ly/AiiQ2E

Angelique Haugerud, Editor, American Ethnologist:  http://bit.ly/wEByYO

American Ethnologist Society:  www.aesonline.org

Contact:
Joslyn Osten, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
American Anthropological Association, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201-3357
(T) 703/528-1902 x1171, (F) 703/528-3546, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Women's Media Center Feature: Oscar and the Usual Suspects

Written by Martha M. Lauzen. Posted in Business & Money

Women's absence from Best Director nominees only reflects the industry's dismal hiring statistics, as demonstrated in Martha Lauzen's (left) annual Celluloid Ceiling study.

With this year’s Academy Awards ceremony just around the corner, Oscar has rounded up the usual suspects for filmmaking’s most prestigious honor.  Not surprisingly, the demographic profile of the nominees for the coveted Best Director award closely resembles that of the academy’s governors.  . . .Click here to read the entire article

Girls Get Called “Slut” Everyday—They Could Be Making Friends Instead

Written by Jessie Klein and Women's Media Center. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

Jessie Klein, author of "The Bully Society," writes that girls need help in building trusting relationships.

Girls get called “slut” every day. My students are so used to getting bullied and harassed they can’t imagine a school without bullying. A student in one of my classes once said, “Get over it.” They look at me like I’m some kind of crazy pollyanna professor when I suggest that it doesn’t have to be that way. The repercussions are growing however, even as students become more resigned. Click here to read the entire article

New Girl Scout Research Affirms Girls’ Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Written by Girl Scouts Research Institute. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

 According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, though a majority of today’s girls have a clear interest in STEM, they don’t prioritize STEM fields when thinking about their future careers.

 

 This latest offering from the Girl Scout Research Institute shows that 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study. Further, a high 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” And yet, few girls consider it their number-one career option: 81 percent of girls interested in STEM are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13 percent say it’s their first choice. Additionally, girls express that they don’t know a lot about STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields, with 60 percent of STEM-interested girls acknowledging that they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers.

 

 Girls are also aware that gender barriers persist in today’s society: 57 percent of those studied concur that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”

 

As to what girls are drawn to with regard to these subjects, Generation STEM notes that the creative and hands-on aspects of STEM hold the most appeal. STEM-interested girls take an active, inquisitive approach to engaging in science, technology, engineering, and math: a high percentage like to solve problems (85%), build things and put things together (67%), do hands-on science projects (83%), and ask questions about how things work and find ways to answer these questions (80%). Girls enjoy the hands-on aspect of exploration and discovery and recognize the benefits of a challenge: 89 percent of all girls agree that “obstacles make me stronger.”

 

 “While we know that the majority of girls prefer a hands-on approach in STEM fields, we also know that girls are motivated to make the world a better place and to help people,” says Kamla Modi, PhD, research and outreach analyst, Girl Scout Research Institute. “Girls may not understand how STEM careers help people, or how their STEM interests can further their goals of helping people. Girl Scouts of the USA is committed to engaging girls in STEM activities and encouraging them to pursue STEM interests both in and outside the classroom, [in part] through program partnerships.”

 

Girl Scouts’ relationship with AT&T constitutes one such partnership. Girl Scouts of the USA and AT&T have joined together to advance underserved high-school girls in science and engineering. As minority students and women are gravitating away from science and engineering toward other professions, and employment in STEM fields is increasing at a faster pace than in non-STEM fields, educational experts say the U.S. must increase proficiency and interest in these areas to compete in the global economy. Girl Scouts of the USA and AT&T are tackling this issue with a $1 million AT&T Aspire contribution, designed to spark STEM interest in underserved high-school girls across the country.

 

 Addressing another critical Generation STEM finding—just 46 percent of girls know a woman in a STEM career—Girl Scouts of the USA and the New York Academy of Sciences have announced a partnership to design and implement a STEM mentoring program for Girl Scouts, modeled after the academy’s current afterschool STEM mentoring program. The new curriculum will be adapted and scaled to Girl Scouts’ network of more than 100 councils across the country. The goal is to identify and train young women scientists to serve as role models and mentors for girls, and to work in collaboration with Girl Scout volunteers to bring high-quality, hands-on, informal science education opportunities to middle-school Girl Scouts.

 

 "America has a huge opportunity for economic growth with girls' interest in science, technology, engineering, and math," says Anna Maria Chávez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA. "When girls succeed, so does society. We all have a role to play in making girls feel supported and capable when it comes to involvement in STEM fields—and anything else they set their minds to and have traditionally been steered away from.”

Why We Women Leave Our Jobs—and What Business Can Do to Keep Us

Written by Caroline Turner. Posted in Business & Money

When I left the C-suite, it surprised people. I was “at the top of my game.” My kids were out of college so the hard part of juggling family and work was over. But I lacked the passion it took to keep it up. I couldn’t name a cause of my decision to leave. It just felt like it was time to move on.

 

Gloria Steinem to Give Keynote at Power of the Purse

Written by SheVille. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Writer, lecturer, editor and feminist activist Gloria Steinem will give the keynote address at the sold-out 2012 Power of the Purse luncheon on May 21, 2012. The event celebrates the power of women’s philanthropy in Western North Carolina.

 

A devoted activist and writer, Gloria Steinem is undeniably one of the most important voices of the modern feminist movement. Steinem's name is synonymous with the advancement of women's social equality in America and throughout the world. Perhaps best known as the co-founder and editor of "Ms. Magazine," she also co-founded the Ms. Foundation for Women, convened the historic 1971 Women's Political Caucus and founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Her books inlcude Revolution from Within, Moving Beyond Words and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions.

Proceeds benefit The Women’s Fund, a CFWNC permanent endowment that supports the unmet needs of women and girls across the region.  Click here for more information

War! What Is It Good For?

Written by Kimberley L. Phillips. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

African Americans' long campaign for "the right to fight" forced Harry Truman to issue his 1948 executive order calling for equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces.

 

Get Help for You and Your Pooch

Written by Meghan Jordan. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

January is National Train Your Dog Month

Get Help for You and Your Pooch at

Asheville Humane Society and Pet Behavior Aid


Asheville, NC, January 16, 2012---- Asheville Humane Society, in partnership with Pet Behavior Aid of Asheville, is promoting "National Train Your Dog Month," which highlights the benefits of positive training and socialization for all pets with the hope of keeping families together.  

 

Each  year, hundreds of thousands of pets are turned into animal shelters  across the nation because their owners couldn't find a reliable resource  to help them with their pets' behavior problems. The Association of Pet  Dog Trainers has designated the month of January as National Train Your Dog Month to bring awareness to the importance of socialization and training for  all pets! January was selected as the perfect month because so many  animals are adopted and brought home during the winter holidays. Families and their pets can start the New Year off right with  information on the behavior needs and training of their pets.


With many free classes offered by Pet Behavior Aid at Asheville Humane Society, including "What Is Normal? (W.I.N.)", pet owners can discover what is normal behavior in their dog and learn how to provide appropriate outlets to prevent natural canine behaviors from becoming behavior problems.
 
"Pet Behavior Aid is such a valuable resource in our community because their techniques empower owners to have a successful, positive relationship with their pet," said Katherine Shenar, President/CEO of Asheville Humane Society. "Their nationally-certified trainers teach people how to properly communicate with their pets which can actually help keep pets in the family rather than being relinquished to the shelter. And the best news is that their WIN classes are free to the public at Asheville Humane Society!"

 

The mission of Pet Behavior Aid is to increase the retention of companion animals in their homes in Asheville and Western NC through education and training programs for people who have dogs or cats, animal shelter and rescue workers, and the general community. They offer several different dog and puppy training classes and help sessions for dogs and cats. Classes are open to anyone and to dogs of any age.

 

For more information about classes offered by Pet Behavior Aid as well as a monthly schedule, visit www.petbehavioraid.org.

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Asheville Humane Society is thelargest nonprofit animal welfare organization in western North Carolina and has been saving lives of homeless animals in Buncombe County since 1984. We are dedicated topromoting the compassionate treatment of animals in our community througheducation, sheltering and adoption.

Name it Change it! Sexism and Equality Don't Mix

Written by Rachel Larris . Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Every year we like to evaluate the trends we’ve seen in political media coverage of women politicians and candidates. Sadly, in the year 2011 we found no limit to how demeaning or insulting some media outlets and personalities felt they needed to be towards women. No one says media pundits have to like the policies or actions of every female politician, but the Name It. Change It. project is about pointing out sheer misogyny disguised as mere criticism.  Click to read the entire article

Enrich Your Life by Living Gratefully!

Written by Rabbi Rami. Posted in Spirituality

Enrich Your Life by Living Gratefully!

By Rabbi Rami 

 What are you grateful for? Try not to cough up the usual suspects: sunsets, daisies, puppies, babies, and babies playing with puppies among the daisies at sunset. True, I’m grateful that the earth orbits the sun, and I love dogs and babies, but being grateful for these things is too easy. Being grateful requires more than warm fuzzy feelings; it requires clear seeing and right action.

 Not long ago a woman shared with me her experience as a lung transplant recipient. She was grateful to the organ donor, and the doctors and nurses who performed the operation. What about the drunk driver who killed the woman whose lung saved her life, I asked; was she grateful to him as well?

 She just stared at me. No one had asked her that before. To her credit, she closed her eyes, took a moment to see what was true for her, and said, yes she was grateful to the man who killed her donor and thus saved her life. Then her eyes filled with tears, and said, “And I hate myself for that.”

As we talked she realized that it wasn’t self-hate she was feeling but extreme humility. After all, she neither wished the death of her donor nor did anything to cause it; she simply benefited from this tragedy. But that realization was huge. What if the deceased woman had a family, she mused. What if she had little children who would grow up without a mom? What if she was caring for her parents? A single death can have so many ramifications. How do I live with this, she sobbed.

 Your situation may not be this extreme, but the question she asked is your question as well. You are being gifted by people and things all the time. How do you live with this? This is what gratitude is really all about: not feeling grateful, but living gratefully.

 Chances are you too have lungs, and don’t need a transplant to be grateful for them. But what about the Brazilian rainforest? Are you grateful for that? After all, your lungs are useless without oxygen, yet neither they nor any other organ in your body produces oxygen. Trees and plants in partnership with the sun do that, and the Brazilian rainforest processes 28% of the world’s oxygen, so the forest is a vital part of your body as well. If you are grateful to your lungs, you must be grateful to trees and plants as well. How do you express your gratitude? What do you do to help secure clean air for your lungs to breathe?

 Despite clichés to the contrary, it isn’t the thought that counts; it is the deed that counts. Gratitude that is merely attitude is cheap and meaningless. If you are grateful to your lungs, don’t poison them with carcinogens. If you are grateful for oxygen, protect the living system that produces it. Or, if you don’t, at least have the courage to stop claiming you are grateful for lungs and oxygen.

 * * *

 I wear Rockport shoes and return them to the company for resoling. The first time I did this the shoes came back in near mint condition accompanied by a hand-written note from the person who restored them. He explained how very disappointed he was that I disrespected the shoes he works so hard to make: the leather was scuffed and unpolished; the shoe backs were broken; and the toe box was misshapen because I didn’t keep my shoes on a shoetree. He concluded by asking me to treat his work with more respect.

 That was 30 years ago, and I have never treated my shoes the same since. What about you? You would be lost without your shoes. They support your arches, protect your feet from hot pavements and dangerous debris, and (along with your shirt) allow you to eat in restaurants. So how do you show your gratitude? Look at your shoes and see.

 What about the rest of your clothes? Do you keep them clean, neatly folded or hanging properly? When you no longer need them, do you toss them out or do you donate them where someone else can benefit from them?

 What is true of shoes and clothes is true of everything. It is easy to assess the quality of gratitude in your life by examining how well you treat the people and things in your life. You are being gifted by people and things—seen and unseen, known and unknown—all day, every day. That should make you feel grateful, but more importantly it should cause you to live gratefully.

 Living gratefully means taking nothing and no one for granted. It means treating salespeople, stock clerks, bank tellers, and cashiers kindly. It means not polluting your body with excess sugar, fat, and salt. It means not polluting your community with bigotry, fear, anger, gossip, and ill-will. It means saying thank you to everyone and everything by treating them all with utmost respect.

 Be grateful for babies and puppies, just don’t stop there. Join with others to offer a scholarship at a local daycare center, adopt or rescue an animal companion, or support a local animal shelter. Gratitude is not a way of feeling, it is a way of doing. If you aren’t living gratefully, feeling grateful means nothing at all.

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Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD teaches religious studies at Middle Tennessee State University and is the director of Wisdom House Center for Interfaith Studies in Nashville. He has written over two dozen books and a new series, Rabbi Rami Guides: Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, available at Spirituality & Health Books and Amazon.com; see www.rabbirami.com.   SMITH PUBLICITY, INC.  856-489-8654 x326

Exclusive: Media Heroes Recognized

Written by Marianne Schnall & Women's Media Center. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

To help envision a more equitable landscape, last week the WMC 2011 Women’s Media Awards celebrated today’s powerful and visible women in media.

It’s tempting to be passive in our consumption of media. But that’s a huge mistake.One of the most powerful cultural and economic forces at work today, popular media tends to determine our understanding of who we are and our place in the world.  December 5, 2011   click here for the entire article

Addressing the Prevalence of Eating Disorders through Fiction

Written by Barb Herding. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Before I Disappear, by Barb Herding, chronicles the story of Lauren Stafford, a 16 year old girl whose self-esteem has been crushed by rejection from everyone in her life.  Lauren develops a skewed perception of her body as a result of the rejection that she experiences, which turns into an eating disorder.

When her eating disorder spirals out of control and she is rushed to the hospital, Lauren meets other teens who are suffering from the same problems, and she sees that she is not alone and just how many different types of people are affected by the same affliction. As she is introduced to both males and females, she learns about teenagers from all walks of life who are internalizing different types of pressure.  In group therapy, she meets Bridget, a ballerina who collapsed during her solo in The Nutcracker, Paul who should be fighting in his first championship wrestling match, and Vivian, a model who never made it to her first real photo shoot.  Then there is Jenny, who does not want to tell her story to the group, as her eating disorder and near fatal episode result from a dark secret rooted in her childhood.

According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, approximately one percent of adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa and another two to three percent develop bulimia nervosa.  Alarmingly, one out of every ten anorexia cases is fatal, resulting from starvation, cardiac arrest, suicide, or other related medical complications.

Herding’s story provides an important message about eating disorders, their potential consequences, and the road to recovery, addressing an issue that is prevalent in our society through fiction.  Before I Disappear is a heart-rending story that is certain to tug at the emotions of its readers, provide teens with an important message about eating disorders, and help parents to understand their teenagers who suffer from eating disorders.
Contact: Emily - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mt. Protectors and WNCAlliance

Written by Mary Olson. Posted in Environment

Mt Protectors is the campaign working to ensure that 1000's of highly radioactive nuclear waste shipments will not travel through Asheville / WNC and that the same type of waste will NOT be buried in WNC granite.

 

Leaders of this work are exploring the IDEA of affiliation with Western North Carolina Alliance (www.wnca.org) as an "issue committee" or other form of connection.

 

We are having a meeting with Julie Mayfield, Executive Director of WNCA and Erica Palmer, Community Organizer for the Alliance on Tuesday November 8, at 5:45 -- but the location is yet to be determined.


I am going ahead and putting this message out -- and I will follow up with the location -- but I wanted folks to hear about this opportunity ASAP!!!

This meeting is a time to "fact find" and ask questions -- think about best strategies for keeping this campaign going over a long haul.

IF you cannot make the meeting, but have thoughts / questions you would like to have brought out in the meeting, REPLY TO ME OFF LIST:

Mary Olson -- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. n

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Southeast Office  *  PO Box 7586  Asheville, NC  28802

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     www.nirs.org

828-252-8409     cell 828-242-5621

 

"Until we know how to safely dispose of the radioactive materials generated by nuclear plants, we should postpone these activities so as not to cause further harm to future generations. To do otherwise is simply an immoral act, and that is my belief, both as a scientist and as a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing."

-- Dr Shoji Sawada

 

BeeSting - Exploring the Imbalance of the Feminine in Our Culture

Written by Lisa Sturz. Posted in Performing Arts

BeeSting is a response to the emotional, physical, and spiritual stress of breast cancer against a backdrop of the declining bee population and ever-increasing toxicity of Mother Earth. It explores the imbalance of the feminine in our culture, manifested inwardly with the disease of our breasts, and outwardly with the pollution of our planet. It moves between metaphor and realism, blending personal expression, medicine, humor, poetry, and gratitude. Visit our Website for more information

New Girl Scouts Research Exposes the Impact of Reality TV on Girls

Written by Joshua Ackley. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

As reality TV has become staple entertainment for young people and adults alike, tween and teen girls who regularly view reality TV accept and expect a higher level of drama, aggression, and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance, according to Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV, a national survey released today by the Girl Scout Research Institute.

Same-Sex Couple Arrested After Refusing to Leave Register of Deeds Office

Written by Southern Equality. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Asheville, NC – On October 14, Rev. Kathryn Cartledge andElizabeth Eve, together for 30 years, requested – and were denied – a marriagelicense for the second time at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds Office inAsheville, NC, as hundreds stood outside in support of them. When they were denied a license, Rev. Cartledge and Ms. Eve explained that they would notleave the office until they were served as equal citizens. In an act of civil disobedience, they began a sit-in, during which they read aloud from a list ofthe more than 1,100 rights that are granted by marriage under federal law.

 

They took this step as an act of conscience to express thebelief that the right to marry is fundamental and that a current North Carolina law that prohibits marriage equality is unjust. They were arrested atapproximately 4pm on Friday afternoon after law enforcement was called toremove them from the office. Their action culminates the first phase of the WE DO Campaign, which will expand to other communities in North Carolina in 2012.A video summarizing Friday’s actions has been released( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HyfhRXA3Y ).

 

“The WE DO Campaign is about real people saying, I will nolonger live as a second-class citizen in my country. Kathryn and Elizabeth havedevoted their lives to public service and to the values of love and fairness. Itaking this action, they stand up not just for their right to be marry, but forall LGBT people who know first hand how harmful these laws are,” said Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ. “We are saying simply, we are equal people. Laws that treat us as unequal must change. We will continue to resist them until they do.”

 

Since it launched on October 3, the WE DO Campaign has drawn the attention of thousands. Over 100,000 people have watched the first campaignvideo since its release on Wednesday, October 12.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP61wDGAmXA). The WE DOCampaign – and the new strategy it introduces into the LGBT civil rightsmovement - has been covered by local, state and national media.

 

 

[EDITOR’s NOTE: The following individuals are available forinterviews:

 

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaignfor Southern Equality, at (828) 242-6672 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Rev. Joe Hoffman, Senior Pastor, First CongregationalChurch, at (828)777-8729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Rev. Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, participants in WEDO Campaign, at (828)768-7171 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

The Nobel Prize and The African Woman -Score Two for Peace

Written by Kwei Quartey, M.D. Posted in Making a Difference

Three women are sharing the 2011 Nobel Prize for Peace. One is Yemeni human rights leader Tawakul Karman. The other two are African: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s current president and Africa’s only female democratically elected head of state, and her countrywoman Leymah Gbowee who is a peace activist and spellbinding challenger of the ultra-male, brutality-wielding world of warlords.

“Femicide”—The Power of a Name

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Sociologist Diana Russell has organized for decades to end violence against women. Here she argues that labeling the most extreme form of such violence is essential to combating it.

Public awareness about violence against women has increased dramatically over the last four decades in the United States, thanks to women’s multi-faceted activism. Click here to read the entire article

The Campaign for SouthernEquality Launches the WE DO Campaign

Written by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

The Campaign for SouthernEquality launches the WE DO Campaign, through which same-sex couples willrequest – and be denied - marriage licenses from October 3 to 14, 2011 inAsheville, NC. The purpose of the campaign is to resist state laws thatprohibit marriage equality in North Carolina. Clergy, elected officials andcommunity members are taking part in the campaign, which will culminate in apublic, interfaith blessing of LGBT families and a large public action. The WEDO Campaign takes place as statewide debate intensifies about a proposedamendment to the North Carolina constitution that would ban marriage, civilunions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

 

Asheville,NC – At 12 PM on October 3, 2011, Reverend Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve,her partner of thirty years, will request a marriage license at the BuncombeCounty Register of Deeds Office in Asheville, NC. Rev. Cartledge and Ms. Evewill be joined by two other same-sex couples who will request licenses and agroup of supporters including Representative Susan Fisher, Representative PatsyKeever, Asheville City Council Member Gordon Smith, and Reverend Joe Hoffman.

 

Rev.Cartledge and Ms. Eve will be denied a license because they are two women andcurrent North Carolina law forbids issuing a license to same-sex couples. Theyare prepared for this response, and will be back again to request a license onanother day as part of the WE DO Campaign, which calls for full equality underthe law for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Organized bythe Campaign for Southern Equality, the campaign involves over a dozen couples’requesting licenses between October 3 and 14, 2011 in Asheville, NC. Each couple will be accompanied by a team of supporters, including clergy, electedofficials, and community members.

 

“I'm taking part in the WE DOCampaign because we ought to be celebrating families rather than devaluingthem. Committed couples who want to access legal benefits that go along with astate-recognized relationship ought to be able to do so, “ says Gordon Smith,Asheville City Council Member

 

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara,Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality and a candidate forordination in the United Church of Christ, says, “Today, we launch an effort thatwill grow across the South. The WE DO Campaign is about people having the courageto stand up to laws that are immoral and unjust.  The people taking part in this action arecalled to act not just on their own behalf but on behalf of the large anddiverse community of LGBT people in our state, many of whom cannot be outbecause of very real concerns about their safety and security  – from the gay youth who endures bullying atschool each day to the transgender person who is not protected from employmentdiscrimination.”

 

On October 14, the final day of the campaign, Rev. Joe Hoffman andRev. Cartledge will lead a public, interfaith blessing of all LGBT families atRoger McGuire Green, in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse. They will bejoined by clergy from across faith traditions and from across the country. Followingthe blessing, clergy and community members will lead a large public action.

 

Rev. Joe Hoffman says, “For me, this is an act of faith, of saying that weare all equal in God's eyes, and we who believe this must live that truth. Wewho are allies must support our LGBT friends as they act with great courage,and we must struggle alongside them until our laws catch up with reality. Andwe will treat those who oppose us with respect and empathy while at the sametime not allowing injustice to go unchallenged. This is what I understand theway of Jesus to be. It is hard to do ­­– to love those who oppose us – but thisis what I believe we are called to do.”

 

Rev.Cartledge, age 65, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and followed her call toordained ministry in the United Church of Christ after a career of publicservice in the military and as an officer in the Atlanta Police Department. Ms.Eve, age 66, works as a massage therapist and is a small business owner. Raisedin Alabama, she has vivid memories of the Klu Klux Klan’s holding Friday nightrallies in her hometown during the Jim Crow era. For Ms. Eve, the choice toparticipate in the WE DO Campaign could be traced to lessons she learned as achild in the Deep South. “I’m involved because discrimination is a terrible thing– it eats away at your soul,” she says.

 

Havingraised two daughters, Cartledge and Eve now have four grandchildren, who oftenvisit the home the couple built on several acres of land in Asheville.  Rev. Cartledge and Ms. Eve describe their lifeas simple and blessed and, three decades into their life together, would liketo marry. “I have lived an authentic life,” Cartledge says, “and I am convincedthat only love can change the heart of someone who thinks I am less thanequal.”

 

TheCampaign for Southern Equality will provide ongoing support to those takingaction. “This marks a new chapter in the movement to achieve LGBT rights,”Beach-Ferrara says. “Our state legislature has just voted in support of aproposed amendment to our constitution that would ban any kind of relationshiprecognition for same-sex couples. Our state courts are similarly hostile toLGBT rights currently. There comes a time when we are called to resist unjustlaws and this is such a time. We will take action until our message – that weare fully equal – echoes throughout our entire nation, including the corridorsof Congress and the White House.“

 

[EDITOR’sNOTE: The following individuals areavailable for interviews:

 

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, ExecutiveDirector of the Campaign for Southern Equality, at (828) 242-6672 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Rev. Joe Hoffman, Senior Pastor,First Congregational Church, at (828)777-8729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Rev. Kathryn Cartledge andElizabeth Eve, participants in WE DO Campaign, at (828)768-7171 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Representative Susan Fisher, StateLegislator, available at (828)712.7711 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Gordon Smith, Asheville CityCouncil Member, available at (828)279-2551 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

MaryHart Craig, daughter of Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, who lives inCharleston, SC and is available at (843)697-8527 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

BessBryan, daughter of Kathryn Cartledge and Elizabeth Eve, who lives in Asheville,NC and is available at (828)301-8930 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..]

Soap Opera’s Swan Song is Good for Women who Refuse to Settle

Written by Patricia Leavy, Ph.D. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

As another long-time running soap opera bites the dust, it’s a good time to take a look at why. The over-the-top love stories that once made soaps the bread and butter programming of the major networks are no doubt a large factor in their demise. While soap operas long offered women a daily dose of low-fat love, today’s women seem to be looking for the real-deal. This is a good thing.

With the end of the television version of long-time serials All My Children and One Life to Live on the heels of the demise of As the World Turns and Guiding Light (the longest running program in the history of television), it is time to look at what these changes signify. While the latest casualties of the soap opera bloodbath are getting a respite thanks to a groundbreaking licensing deal that allows new episodes to be broadcast on the Internet, it is clear the genre is on its last legs.

The fall of daytime soap operas has been attributed to the economic downturn (networks seeking to produce less expensive programming) and the rise of reality TV (as an alternative source of melodrama). However, the overarching reason soaps have lost their appeal is the same reason they held a fifty-year grip on daytime television: women.

I am not simply talking about women entering the labor force in greater numbers—VCRs and TIVO can mediate the effect of women at work. The fact is that women’s views have changed, particularly when it comes to romantic relationships.

Historically, daytime soaps have been marketed to women of all ages, with mothers and daughters often watching the same shows. But women are changing. The two biggest constants in these programs may no longer appeal to most women: 1. myopic portrayals of female characters, and 2. melodramatic relationships.

Female characters are overwhelmingly one-dimensional. They typically ascribe to the virgin-whore dichotomy (the maternal good-girl versus the evil vixen). The one deviation to these simplistic characterizations is when characters have split personality disorders (a surprisingly common portrayal). They are caricatures.

Female characters are portrayed in the most unflattering and stereotyped ways—as prostitutes, adulteresses, gold-diggers, murderers, liars, sluts, kidnappers, baby-killers and conniving revenge-seekers. They often fake pregnancies, swap partners and confuse their baby’s paternity. When depicted sympathetically, they are systematically victimized: lied to, exploited, beaten and even raped.

Perhaps the clearest overarching trait is how needy these fictional women are in their relationships. When it comes to lust or love, these women are simply pathetic. Herein lies the overdue demise of the daytime diva.

Soaps typically revolve around convoluted romantic storylines that feature “super couples” that take on-again-off-again to extremes. When the relationships are in their predictable “off” periods, the women completely fall apart— becoming hysterical and out of control, making statements like “I can’t be without you and still be me” (Brooke Logan to Ridge Forrester on the Bold and the Beautiful, 7-18-2011).

Today women are better able to recognize the dynamics of negative relationships. Melodrama is a flashing neon sign of trouble, not love. This puts the mainstay of soaps—the super couple—into perspective.

A true partner helps us become the best version of ourselves—soap’s “super couples” are known for just the opposite. Many viewers are simply sick of rooting for dysfunction. “Super couples” epitomize the perils of low-fat love—attraction to men who withhold and settling for that which is less than we really want. As fewer women are willing to settle for low-fat love in their own lives, so too, fewer women are willing to accept this as entertainment.

Patricia Leavy, PhD, is an acclaimed pop-feminist author and expert commentator as well as a leading qualitative and arts-based researcher. She is also the author of the new book, Low-Fat Love

Where Hope Lives by Ali Warren

Written by Ali Warren. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

DEBUT MEMOIR CHRONICLES YOUNG WOMAN’S JOURNEY THROUGH THE ADRENALINE-FUELED MALE-DOMINATED WORLD OF FIRE FIGHTING

“Sometimes firefighting is not about saving lives but about giving someone peace when they die—that’s not an exclusively male job” – Ali Warren.

At the tender young age of sixteen, Ali Warren had an unusual calling. As one of the youngest female firefighters in the country, she endured countless hazing incidents, verbal abuse, and various intimidation tactics, and despite all she reveled in every victory and life-saving call to action. Where Hope Lives, the inspiring new memoir by Warren, asks, “how tenacious would you be to stay in a world in which you know you belong, but where others don’t want you?” 

Through Where Hope Lives, Warren shares intimate thoughts, devastating real-world incidences and coming-of-age career experiences that will hit home for anyone who has ever had a dream, a calling or unexplored journey.   The book includes an inspirational look at a vulnerable yet tough-as-nails young woman’s adventures and struggles as the life of a young female firefighter in a small town in central Pennsylvania.  When Warren realized the power of her story, overcoming adversity in a man’s world, she developed a vehicle that would reach across all racial, cultural and gender divides.

Where Hope Lives lovingly, yet painstakingly began nearly seven years ago as a series of cathartic journal entries—the book rose from the ashes of many smoldering memories.

“There is such power in finding what makes us all the same; qualities of ambition, passion and the belief in a dream,” says Warren.  “Where Hope Lives explores the strength that lives in all of our dreams and inspires us to carry our dreams to the finish line.”

Unfortunately, Warren is ‘unwelcome’ to pursue a career fighting fires in her home, though she continues to maintain collaborative relationships with mentors in fire houses from San Francisco to NYC and plans to follow her passion in another city someday.  In the meantime, she hopes that when others read her story; volunteer or paid, male or female, young or old, blue or white collar, students or seniors, they will appreciate her ambition and courage and identify with her challenges in their own way and subsequently understand the reasons and motivations for their dreams and passions and be motivated to take on that dream without reservations.

 The book highlights personal vignettes of hope and despairs, and promises readers will experience anger, happiness, sadness, and laughter and most importantly they will be inspired, as Warren explores the following themes:
  Coming of age as a young woman in a man’s world
  Confronting workplace harassment
  Alienation at work and in the community
  Why firefighting is the best job in the world
  How firefighting is about technique not strength
  Spotting the signs of a toxic workplace 
  Understanding the difference between a job and a career
  The power in embracing what makes you different

 Warren, who feels her story is bigger than just her, wants to touch lives around the world through her work.  This includes donating a portion of Where Hope Lives book sales to Invisible Children, a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers.

About the Author

Ali Warren received her Associates Degree in Fire Science from Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania.  She now works sixty hours a week at two jobs in order to bring her new book, Where Hope Lives, to fruition.  She plans to return to college to complete her Bachelors degree.  For now, she plans to travel the country and share inspiration with others searching for ways to reach their dream. 

Where Hope Lives is available for purchase at AliWarrenHope.com   

Information and Links on Nuclear Waste Policy

Written by Mary Olson. Posted in Green Living

Here are useful resources:

Mt Protectors Campaign: www.nonuclearwasteinwnc.com

On Facebook: a group – Mountain Protectors Action Alliance

Nuclear Information and Resource Service – www.nirs.org

Join the NIRS “ACTION ALERT LIST” –

see recent Alerts here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/blastContent.jsp

Join the list here: http://www.nirs.org/about/list.htm

 Limited messages – each with an ACTION (email link to press, or call to make with the phone number and talking points)

 

Radiation – why this waste matters to you!

http://www.nirs.org/radiation/radiationhome.htm

FACT SHEETS -- http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/fctsht.htm/#radiation  (radioactive waste, radiation, nuclear reactors)

 

National Nuclear Waste Policy

The Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future: www.brc.gov

Grassroots activist response to BRC research questions: http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/policy/policyhome.htm

KEEP IT WHERE IT IS FOR NOW POLICY: http://www.psr.org/nuclear-bailout/resources/principles-for-safeguarding.pdf

 

Info on Nuclear Transports in WNC

Reports by formerly active group “Common Sense at the Nuclear Crossroads” – www.nuclearcrossroads.com

Series of articles on so-called “low-level” waste transports: http://www.michaelhopping.com/features/featuresindex.html

Recent CLEAR CHANNEL Radio interview on the issue: http://www.wwnc.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?podcast=Changes

Our Southern Community radio archive of Green drinks presentation on both Fukushima accident (this event was in March) and also waste policy -- http://oursoutherncommunity.org/media/2011/AshevilleGreenDrink.mp3

Terrific graphic comparing new nuke to energy upgrades for houses – 90 TIMES more jobs and ½ the cash outlay to save as much as the nuke would make!

http://theenergycollective.com/petertroast/61269/infographic-nuclear-power-vs-energy-efficient-homes?utm_source=tec_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

 

Mary Olson

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Southeast Office  *  PO Box 7586  Asheville, NC  28802

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     www.nirs.org

828-252-8409     cell 828-242-5621

 

"Until we know how to safely dispose of the radioactive materials generated by nuclear plants, we should postpone these activities so as not to cause further harm to future generations. To do otherwise is simply an immoral act, and that is my belief, both as a scientist and as a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing."

-- Dr Shoji Sawada

Turning Sustainability Goals into Action: Buncombe County Example Helps Local Governments Go Green

Written by Michele Frisby Director of Public Information. Posted in Green Living

Survey of several thousand local governments and new report offer insights on
advancing sustainability policies in large and small communities

 WASHINGTON, D.C.— Though energy efficiency and improved sustainability remain important objectives for many local governments throughout the nation, turning abstract goals into concrete action remains a challenge for many communities.  As a result, Breaking New Ground: Promoting Environmental and Energy Programs in Local Government is an essential new resource guide for policy makers and sustainability advocates concerned with implementing sustainability initiatives.  Buncombe County, NC is one of nine communities profiled in the report, highlighting innovative ways the county is advancing sustainability.

 Written by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and James H. Svara, Professor, School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University and Doctoral Program Director at the Center for Urban Innovation, Breaking New Ground was released by the IBM Center for The Business of Government and is based on lessons learned by communities large and small. The report provides a framework for those seeking to implement smart and strategic sustainability programs in a challenging fiscal environment and with competing policy priorities.

  “Building a sustainable community requires contributions from all levels of government, all sectors of the economy, and all of the citizenry,” according to Professor Svara. “This report demonstrates that there’s work to do and offers a blueprint for how to begin doing it.”

 “Sustainability is the ability of communities to consistently thrive over time and involves making decision to improve a community today without sacrificing its future,” says ICMA Chief Operating Officer Ron Carlee. “Increasingly …sustainability is considered in the context of a ‘triple bottom line’—the environment, the economy, and social equity—three dimensions necessary for society to flourish in the near and long term.”

Breaking New Ground includes detailed analyses of the responses of more than 2,100 local governments to a recent survey on local government sustainability issues conducted by ICMA with input from the ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities, the Center for Urban Innovation, Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability (ASU GIOS), the Alliance for Innovation, and others. The instrument was sent to 8,569 local governments, with 2,176 local governments responding (a 25.4% response rate).

 The survey found that while many communities recognized the importance of this issue, most governments were still at the early stages of adopting a full range of measured sustainability activities. Breaking New Ground also profiles nine communities, including Buncombe County, in which the local governments have found innovative ways to advance sustainability issues.  As the Buncombe County case study highlights, in 2010, the county launched the “Buncombe Green Initiative” to promote energy efficiency and engage local residents to support the cause.  The county set out a clear plan for sustainability with the underlying goal of saving taxpayer money and an investment strategy that yielded tangible results.  Establishing credibility with residents was the driving force behind Buncombe County’s success.         

 The other case-study communities, representing a range of locations and sizes, are: Anacortes, Washington; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Jackson and Teton County, Wyoming; Palo Alto, California; San Antonio, Texas; Sarasota County, Florida; Washoe County, Nevada; and Weston, Wisconsin.

 Based on the survey results, the report includes five major findings that offer important lessons:
There is considerable variation in the extent to which sustainability actions have been implemented by local governments. More than 80 percent of local governments report recycling (90 percent), improving transportation (81.7 percent), and reducing building energy use (80.6 percent). In contrast, efforts to reduce energy use by altering work schedules or processes have been adopted by fewer than two governments in five (36.2 percent), and fewer than one-fourth of the governments surveyed (23.4 percent) employ any form of alternative energy generation.
  
Sustainability initiatives should be targeted to community needs.  No single approach to sustainability is right for every community, even when the government is actively committed. Framing the issues initially requires sensitivity to the concerns and motivators of a specific area.
  
Goal setting and progress measurement are important for all communities.  Whether a large city or a small town, communities need to establish goals and targets and measure progress in a quantitative manner through baseline studies.
  
A few local governments are leading sustainability initiatives.  The number of local governments at the low end of the sustainability initiatives adoption spectrum is slightly lower than that found in a normal distribution, confirming that many governments have at least begun to get involved in sustainability. It is also noteworthy that the pioneers and early adopters in the high category reflect the normal proportion. This means that an expected number of local governments are setting an example for others.
  
Policy priorities matter to sustainability initiatives. The survey results revealed that a community’s policy priorities correlate to its level of activity in specific sustainability activities. While those jurisdictions which placed a higher priority on the economy reported only modest sustainability activity, for all other policy areas, greater emphasis correlates to more sustainability action. Communities that assigned a high priority to green jobs or climate change, for example, reported the strongest association with action in that area.

 Based on the best practices and lessons learned in the case study communities and others, Breaking New Ground offers seven recommended action steps that should be taken by local government that seek an integrated, long-term approach to the design and implementation of sustainability initiatives:
  Obtain a formal commitment and pursue a broad sustainability strategy
  Develop an engagement process to broaden community outreach
  Appoint a citizens’ committee to engage the community
  Develop partnerships with key institutional, private sector, and nonprofit actors
  Make changes to break down silos and encourage coordinated action
  Measure performance to assess the sustainability effort
  Report to citizens on progress.

About ICMA

 ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. Our mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and advancing professional management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.

About the IBM Center for The Business of Government

 Through research stipends and events, the IBM Center for The Business of Government stimulates research and facilitates discussion of new approaches to improving the effectiveness of government at the federal, state, local, and international levels. The IBM Center's resources are available at www.businessofgovernment.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michele Frisby
July 21, 2011 Director of Public Information
202-962-3658, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Missing Betty Ford

Written by Mary Thom and Women's Media Center. Posted in WOMEN on the MOVE

I saw Betty Ford in person for my first and only time in November 1977. She was seated next to Rosalyn Carter, and they shared the stage with Maya Angelou and New York’s Bella Abzug, the former congresswoman who had written the legislation governing the National Women’s Conference in Houston.  Click to read the entire article

Saudi Women to Subaru: Stop Selling Cars Where Women Can’t Drive Them

Written by SheVille. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

***PRESS RELEASE***

Saudi Women to Subaru: Stop Selling Cars Where Women Can’t Drive Them

Saudi activists call on Subaru, which markets heavily to women, to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women get the right to drive; Change.org campaign already attracting 1,000 signatures an hour.
 
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – More than 1,000 people an hour are signing a new viral Change.org campaign created by a coalition of leading Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists calling on Subaru to stop selling cars in the oil-rich kingdom until a ban on women driving is lifted.

Saudi Women for Driving, a coalition of leading Saudi women’s rights activists, bloggers and academics campaigning for the right to drive, sent an open letter today to the senior management of the Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries, which owns Subaru.

“While Subaru is marketed heavily at women, your company is simultaneously making hundreds of millions selling your cars in the only country on earth where women aren't allowed to drive,” the Saudi women’s coalition wrote to the car manufacturer. “We write to you with a simple request: that Subaru publicly pledge to pull out of Saudi Arabia until such time as women are allowed to drive.”

Saudi Women for Driving plans to launch similar campaigns against a number of other car companies, but decided to target Subaru first due to the company’s heavy marketing of the Subaru brand to women.

Within hours of the campaign’s launch, Saudi Women for Driving had recruited more than 5,000 supporters on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change.

“It’s still early, but recruiting 1,000 supporters an hour while the U.S. is sleeping is an unprecedented level of growth for a campaign,” said Change.org’s Human Rights Editor Benjamin Joffe-Walt. “The amount of momentum these Saudi women have managed to build in one month is incredible: first they successfully mobilized more than 70,000 people to help a Saudi mother arrested for driving her own car, then they successfully led a month-long campaign to get the United States’ top diplomat to publicly stand with them, and now they are taking on their most ambitious campaign yet. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

The Saudi women’s Subaru campaign follows a significant victory for Saudi women’s rights’ activists. Saudi Women for Driving recently called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publicly support their right to drive. Her spokesperson responded, and said Clinton was doing so through "quiet diplomacy." But Saudi women pushed back on that approach, launching a massive Change.org campaign to convince Clinton to reconsider and telling the secretary of state yesterday that “quiet diplomacy is not what we need right now.” At a press conference two hours later, the top U.S. diplomat publicly declared her support for the Saudi women's right to drive campaigns, calling them "brave".

Saudi Women for Driving is an informal consortium of Saudi women’s rights activists pulled together after the arrest of Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi mother jailed for driving her car. The group seeks to use online campaigning to build international support for Saudi women’s right to drive. More than 100,000 people in 156 countries have joined Saudi Women for Driving campaigns on Change.org.

Peace Laureates Take On the War on Women

Written by Marianne Schnall and Women's Media Center. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Members of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are marshaling their collective wisdom and experience to tackle the challenge of ending rape as a weapon of war. Certain topics have always been hard to talk about—rape and sexual abuse ranking high up on that list. And yet we must speak up more because of the many women affected.

Jill Abramson—A Breakthrough at the NY Times, Decades in the Making

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in Making a Difference

 

The women who launched the fight for women’s advancement at theNew York Times enjoy the moment.

Jill Abramson is tapped as NYTimes executive editor. The news last week of Jill Abramson’s promotion to executive editor of the New York Times cheered feminists and female journalists alike, perhaps no one more than the women who sued the newspaper in 1974 over sex discrimination in hiring, pay and promotion.  Read the article

Jill Abramson—A Breakthrough at the NY Times, Decades in the Making

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in WOMEN on the MOVE

 

The women who launched the fight for women’s advancement at theNew York Times enjoy the moment.

Jill Abramson is tapped as NYTimes executive editor. The news last week of Jill Abramson’s promotion to executive editor of the New York Times cheered feminists and female journalists alike, perhaps no one more than the women who sued the newspaper in 1974 over sex discrimination in hiring, pay and promotion.  Read the article

Saudi Women's Right to Drive

Written by Change.org. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2011

Saudi Women Call on Sec. Hillary Clinton to Publicly Support Their Right to Drive
Saudi women’s rights activists inspired by the Arab Spring call on Secretary of State Clinton to make a public statement supporting Saudi women's right to drive
 
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 10,000 people from all 50 US states have endorsed a an open letter by a coalition of leading Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue a public statement supporting their right to drive.

The initiative follows the success of a series of campaigns by the women’s coalition to free and acquit Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi mother dubbed the ‘Saudi Rosa Parks’ after she was arrested for driving her car. Campaigns led by Saudi women on Manal’s behalf were joined by more than 60,000 people in 156 countries through Change.org, the world’s fastest growing advocacy platform.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive a car or even ride a bicycle. With no public transportation system, getting to work, school and medical appointments is complicated, expensive and dangerous for Saudi women. The dependence of Saudi women on men for transportation is repeatedly exploited by abusive fathers, brothers, husbands and hired drivers, and earlier this week a Saudi woman reported she had been raped at gunpoint by her hired driver.

“We were encouraged to see media reports that US diplomats have quietly pressured the Saudi government to give women the right to drive,” reads the open letter from leading Saudi women’s rights activists to Secretary Clinton. “But given the recent arrests of women trying to drive, now is the time for the US to show its muscle and make that pressure public... We believe that you making a public statement of support for Saudi Arabia opening the country's roads to women would be a game changing moment.”

“Secretary Clinton, you are a friend. Indeed, some of us have met you personally during your decades-long journey as a champion of women’s rights all over the world,” the letter continues. “Now, as we build the largest Saudi women's protest movement in decades, we need your help.”

Saudi women plan to take the streets en masse on June 17.

Change.org said that Saudi Women for Driving, the consortium of Saudi women’s rights activists, has seen unprecedented success in their online campaigns.  www.Change.org

 

Honoring Asheville’s Living Treasures 2011

Written by Asheville Living Treasure Committee. Posted in Making a Difference

The Asheville Living Treasures committee has chosen its first laureates, who will be honored this month (May, 2011) for their lifetimes of service to the community. The four remarkable Ashevilleans are: Jessie Coleman, the late Hyman Dave, Mary Parker, and Lucille Flack Ray. Click here for Urban News article.   Urban News - Gateway to the Multicultural Community

EXCLUSIVE: Kate Swift, Feminist Wordsmith, 1923 to 2011

Written by Rosalie Maggio - Women's Media Center. Posted in Making a Difference

Nonsexist-language pioneer Kate Swift, 87, died early Saturday morning after a brief encounter with abdominal cancer. Her generous legacy to the world includes her revolutionary influence on our language as well as her productive activism (she helped effect Connecticut’s marriage equality act, protect prochoice legislation, promote progressive candidates, protest the war on Iraq, and conserve the environment).

Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment FAQ

Written by Equality NC. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment FAQ

4/12/2011 You've got questions about the latest Senate and House versions of the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. ENC has answers! Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

What does the Senate's anti-LGBT amendment say?

In February 2011, a Senate bill (Senate Bill 106) was filed that would amend the state constitution to include a new section that reads "Marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Click here to see the full text on the legislature's website.

What does the House's anti-LGBT amendment say?

In April 2011, a narrower House bill (House Bill 777) was introduced that would amend the state constitution to read “Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. No other relationship shall be recognized as a valid marriage by the State." Click here to see the full text on the legislature's website.

What would an anti-LGBT amendment do?

The proposed Senate language represents the most extreme version of an anti-gay amendment. In addition to limiting marriage to opposite sex couples, as state statute already does, it would prohibit any other form of relationship recognition, such as civil union or domestic partnership. This kind of language has been used in other states to take away private benefits such as health insurance for LGBT couples, unmarried opposite-sex couples, and their children. This is a not a hypothetical issue but a very real one. These amendments have also been used to challenge other private contracts between couples. The amendment would not only write the current discriminatory marriage law into the constitution, it would actually take away rights and responsibilities that are currently available to some couples.

The House version is somewhat narrower, and would prohibit recognition of marriage for same-gender couples.

Both versions effectively represent divisive, discriminatory and distracting legislation that would actively write discrimination into the state’s founding document by prohibiting some form of legal relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples.

Who sponsored the Senate's version of the anti-LGBT amendment?

Primary: James Forrester; Jerry W. Tillman; Dan Soucek

Co: Tom Apodaca; Harris Blake; Andrew C. Brock; Harry Brown; Warren Daniel; Jim Davis; Don East; Thom Goolsby; Rick Gunn; Kathy Harrington; Ralph Hise; Neal Hunt; Brent Jackson; Wesley Meredith; E. S. (Buck) Newton; Louis Pate; Jean Preston; David Rouzer; Bob Rucho; Tommy Tucker;

(Click here to look up who your senator is if you don't know.)

Who sponsored the House's version of the anti-LGBT amendment?

Primary: Lewis; R. Brown; Crawford; Hill;

Co: Avila; Barnhart; Blackwell; Blust; Boles; Brawley; Brisson; L. Brown; Brubaker; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Cook; Current; Dixon; Dockham; Dollar; Faircloth; Folwell; Frye; Gillespie; Guice; Hager; Hastings; Hilton; Hollo; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Ingle; Johnson; Jones; Jordan; Justice; Killian; Langdon; LaRoque; McCormick; McElraft; McGee; Mills; Mobley; T. Moore; Pridgen; Randleman; Sager; Samuelson; Sanderson; Setzer; Shepard; Spear; Stam; Starnes; Steen; Stevens; Stone; Torbett; H. Warren; West; Wray;


(Click here to look up who your representatives are if you don't know.)

What happens next?

Now that both the House and Senate bills are assigned to committees, it is up to committee chairs to schedule them for hearings and votes (or to not schedule them at all). Typically, the chairs will announce that a bill will be heard in committee a few days prior to the actual committee meeting. During the hearing, legislators who belong to the committee can amend the bills and then vote whether to favorably report the bill out to the entire House or Senate chamber for a vote, or not. In some cases, legislators will take comments from the general public during the hearing on a bill. If a bill is reported out favorably from a committee, it will typically be voted on by the entire chamber on the next day the legislature is in session. If the first chamber passes the bill, it would then go through the same process in the other chamber.

Equality North Carolina is working to keep these bills from getting out of committee, and to line up the votes to defeat them if they do get to the floor for a vote.

What is the process to amend the constitution?

A final bill must pass both the House and Senate by a 3/5ths margin (that's 30 of 50 votes in the Senate and 72 of 120 votes in the House). It would then be placed on the ballot in November 2012 where it would need a simple majority of voters to become part of the constitution. The governor does not have veto authority on constitutional amendments.

What do we call it?

Call SB 106/HB 777 what they are: "the anti-LGBT amendment or "the anti-gay* amendment." It's not about "defending" anyone's marriage. It's an attack on LGBT North Carolinians.

What are our key arguments against the amendment?

  1. The anti-gay amendment causes real harm. It harms couples who will be denied even the most basic protections and it harms vulnerable LGBT young people by sending a terrible message that their state and their neighbors consider them second-class citizens unworthy of basic dignity and fair treatment, a message which exacerbates the epidemic of LGBT young people committing suicide.

  2. The anti-gay amendment is bad for business.It intrudes on businesses' right to provide competitive benefits to their employees and it signals to major employers that our state is not welcoming of the diverse, creative workforce that is needed to compete in the global economy.

  3. The anti-gay amendment is a distraction from the voters' priorities.The legislature was sent to Raleigh to tackle jobs, the economy, and the state budget, not to advance a divisive social agenda.

  4. Marriage is already denied same-sex couples by state law. The amendment doesn't change marriage in any way. It simply attacks LGBT North Carolinians and puts their basic rights up for a vote.

  5. Amending the constitution is an extreme act, not a conservative one. Constitutions are designed to protect rights and not to take them away. The rights of a minority should never be put to a majority vote.

What can I do right now to make a difference?

* We sometimes use "gay" in our public messaging when we mean LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) because not enough people know what LGBT means. We're starting with what's familiar to most North Carolinians so we reach as many folks as possible.

Mother-Daughter Bonds—Realizing their Power

Written by Joyce McFadden and WMC. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Psychotherapist and author Joyce McFadden found some surprising results when she asked women to reflect on sexuality and raising daughters.Women can’t fix what we don’t know is broken, so it’s empowering anytime we’re given the opportunity to look at ourselves from a new perspective. Especially when it concerns how we raise our daughters. One of the most effective motivators for change comes from our most valuable resource—our own stories.

EPA declares Swannanoa River a success story

Written by RiverLink. Posted in Environment

 The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled the Swannanoa River a "Nonpoint Source Program Success Story," citing efforts by local non-profit RiverLink and partners to improve the river's water quality.

What It Will Take to Get to Equal Pay

Written by Ellen Bravo - WMC. Posted in Business & Money

Have you heard the one about the CEO who sits down to eat with two workers, one male and one female? The table holds a plate with twelve cookies. After scooping eleven onto his own plate, the CEO turns to the male worker and says, “Watch out for that woman. She’s going to try to take a bite of your cookie.”


More and more women are demanding their fair share—not through a drop in pay for men, but through changes in how work and family time are valued. The result will be a boon for everyone, except those whose pockets bulge as a result of discrimination.  Click to read the article

Remembering Gerry and the Courage of Her Convictions

Written by Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin here gives us a close friend’s portrait of Geraldine Ferraro.

The bishop of New York showed up at the wake on Tuesday and kneeled before Geraldine Ferraro’s coffin.  Gerry would have been pleased.  The church owed her one for all the years when its establishment excoriated her for supporting abortion rights.  Read the rest of the article here

A Gendered Lens—Literal and Metaphoric

Written by Women's Media Center - Elayne Clift. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

 

As a teacher of women’s studies I often talk about “the gender lens”—the notion of adopting metaphorical spectacles to view the world so that you start seeing things through a special filter and with a special light.

Pet First Aid, CPR & Low-Cost Shot Clinic

Written by Animal Compassion Network. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2011
Contact: Kelly Stoner: 828.274.3647
 
Animal Compassion Network and the American Red Cross of WNC
Partner to Offer Pet First Aid & CPR Class plus a Low-Cost Shot Clinic
 
Class and Clinic Given in Honor of “Pet First Aid Awareness Month”
 
Asheville, NC  — Animal Compassion Network (ACN) and the American Red Cross of WNC, two well-known area nonprofit organizations, are partnering to offer the community a pet first aid and CPR class on April 16, 2011. The class will take place from 10 am to 2 pm at The American Red Cross, 100 Edgewood Road, Asheville, NC 28804 (corner of Merrimon and Edgewood). The low-cost shotclinic will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm at Pet Harmony, ACN’s adoption center and retail store, 803 Fairview Street, Asheville, NC 28803.
 
April is nationally known as "Pet First Aid Awareness Month". The American Animal Hospital Association, (AAHA) states that one out of four pets would survive an accident or illness if pet guardians were familiar with and capable of providing first aid when necessary. “Just like with humans, performing first aid to an injured pet prior to getting emergency veterinary assistance can be the difference between life and death,” said Eileen Bouressa, ACN Executive Director, and Mary Barnett, American Red Cross of WNC Health & Safety Services Director, in a joint statement.
The pet first aid and CPR class will teach pet guardians how to recognize an emergency, how to perform CPR, how to stock and use a pet first aid kit, how to muzzle and restrain an injured animal and how to respond and prepare for emergencies. Cost of the class is $35 which includes instruction and demonstrations, an American Red Cross first aid book and a DVD for either dogs or cats. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, please call Cappy Tosetti, American Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator at (828) 712-0983 or (828) 258-3888, ext.214, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The shot clinic at Pet Harmony will include low-cost vaccines by Dr. Margaret Moncure of Appalachian Animal Hospital.  Vaccinations available are Rabies for $10 (both one-year and three-year—a three-year Rabies vaccine can only be given if the pet guardian can provide proof of a Rabies one-year vaccination), DHLLP/DHPP for $15, Bordatella for $15 and FVRCP/FELV for $15. Microchips with a life-time registration also will be offered for $18. Cash, checks, MasterCard and Visa will be accepted.
"It is so important that the community seek preventative treatment for their pets in order to ensure that they don't contract unnecessary illnesses," said Bouressa. “We feel very fortunate to be able to partner with the Red Cross and provide these important services to the community’s beloved cats and dogs.”
For more information, please call Pet Harmony at (828) 274-3647 or visit www.animalcompassionnetwork.org.  
 
Founded in 1997, Animal Compassion Network is Western North Carolina’s largest, nonprofit, safe-for-life animal welfare organization. The organization’s mission is to end the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets in our community by finding lifelong, stable and loving homes for companion animals in need; by offering assistance to the community’s pets to help ensure their well-being and keep them in their homes; by advocating for animal welfare; and by educating the public about the contributions companion animals make to happy families and healthy communities.

The Shirataki Experiment

Written by The Celtic Dame. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Seeing wet noodles in bags in the “toad-food” department of Ingle’s, I was suspicious. But today I found the same thing all over the tofu department of GreenLife, so I decided to try them.

 

In Cairo: A Birth

Written by Mona Helmy from WMC. Posted in Making a Difference

Egyptian feminist writer Mona Helmy celebrates a fragile beginning of life in her poem, transliterated by Robin Morgan.

 

Healing and Feeling: Stress, Support and Breast Cancer

Written by Stanford University. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

They Teach It at Stanford

"I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker from the department of psychiatry said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Sensible Spending, No Matter Your Age

Written by Paul B. Brown. Posted in Business & Money

 

Cleaning for a Reason

Written by Roberta Newman. Posted in Making a Difference

 If you know a woman currently undergoing chemotherapy, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provided FREE housecleaning - once per month for four months while she is in treatment.   

Indie Bookstores and Google eBooks

Written by Alsace. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

You may have heard the news about Google’s launch of their eBooks program this week. 
Google eBooks  is  partnering with the American Booksellers Association so indie bookstores can provide an easy way for their customers to discover, read, and buy hundreds of thousands of e-books at competitive prices.

 

Batgirl and Other Fair Pay Heroes

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in Latest

Batgirl and Other Fair Pay Heroes By Linda D. Hallman

Part of a series. Read the rest of the series here.

On November 17, the Senate filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would have empowered women to learn more about how they’re paid while making businesses think twice about doling out discriminatory paychecks.

The vote ended in a 58 to 41 tally to move the bill forward, which, in most places, would have been a victory. However, the Senate makes its own rules, and without 60 yea votes on the procedural motion, the Paycheck Fairness Act cannot proceed.

But that’s enough doom and gloom. So many people worked so hard on this bill, and, while we’re not done yet, AAUW and I would like to give proper due to all those who did—and didn’t—contribute to our efforts to end the gender pay gap.  Click here for the article

Featured Poet: Debra Allbery

Written by Virginia McKinley. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

Alhough Debra Allbery has been on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College Master of Fine Arts program since 1995, she did not become a full-time resident of the Asheville area until June 2009, when she became director of the program. Both as the director of the program and as a poet, she is a welcome addition to the local arts scene, and her work has been published and read widely.

Ready for Right Now: Lessons from a Women's College by Anna Ziering

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in Women & Gender Studies

Being educated among women, WMC intern Anna Ziering writes, shaped her understanding of leadership.

A quotation from Madeline Albright's commencement address at Wellesley hangs on my bulletin board: Real leadership comes from realizing…that the time has come to move beyond preparing to doing. A compulsive over-preparer, I pinned it up the moment I stumbled upon it in a recent article on women's colleges.

As a third-wave woman, I was raised with the you can do anything mantra that's become so familiar to so many of us. Author? Sure! First female president? Of course! Professional mom? Go for it! Anything. Do anything. And I will, I tell myself.

Next year. When I've prepared a little more.

I, like so many of my friends and peers, am a perfectionist. In high school, I spent 18 hours studying for my first final exam. I sat at my desk for an entire weekend, memorizing details about australopithecines, emerging just long enough to eat a few meals and tell my mother that no, I was absolutely not studying too much, that this test was going to be hard.

I was, of course, completely over-prepared.

 

Hacking Your E-mail Account

Written by J. Lee Lehman. Posted in Business & Money

Just this week, a social network I belong to had an experience of identity theft: one of the members was supposedly stranded, and needed money sent right away. Three members of the group were conned into responding to this scam before the problem could be corrected. How does this happen, and what can you do about it?<

Featured Writer: Catherine Reid, Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in our Midst

Written by Virginia McKinley. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

The publisher's jacket copy for the paperback edition provides an excellent synopsis of the book as a piece of literary nonfiction that offers a well- researched and keenly observed naturalist's account of the eastern coyote, and includes elements of the author's own story, her concerns and her convictions that serve to frame her writing about something larger than herself:

When Catherine Reid returned to the Berkshires to live after decades away, she became fascinated by another recent arrival: the eastern coyote...

Catherine Reid's Coyote: A Word About Essaying a Response

Written by Virginia McKinley. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

After I had read Catherine Reid's Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in our Midst for the first time, Jean Cassidy (at Sheville.org) invited me to write a piece that would introduce others to the book and to Catherine Reid as a Sheville featured author. In preparation for writing the piece, I invited Catherine Reid to tea at my home and expected to conduct a conversational interview with her, to learn more about her and her approach to her art, and even to have her respond to a few questions I still carried with me about the eastern coyote. We spoke a bit about all those matters, but as the afternoon grew late, I had essentially learned that, a self-effacing New Englander and a teacher and mentor to others, Catherine Reid was not very inclined to see herself featured in an article (whether for Sheville or for another publication). Moreover, as our conversation developed over the afternoon, we spoke less and less directly of the eastern coyote and much more about what we had in common and what differed in our life experiences.

Essaying a Response to Catherine Reid’s 'Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in our Midst'

Written by Virginia McKinley. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

One morning in early April, the chirping of birds (it will turn to song only later) awakens me at 6:00 a.m. – a gentle pulling away from dreams and a readying for sunrise still some time away. This early, I can hear the distinct voices of individual birds; their chirping seems scattered in space and rarely overlaps in time. In this generous aural expanse, I am able to distinguish a call that sounds like “righ-tcheer, righ-tcheer, righ-tcheer” and from another direction, an occasional high-pitched whistle. As a first half-hour passes, the chirping becomes denser and more confused. It begins to remind me of the frog choruses I heard from the window of my efficiency cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains when I was an undergraduate decades ago. Like the frog choruses then, the bird chirping now gradually builds, becomes louder and more varied, then tapers off again. By 6:45, only a few solo voices sound in the midst of relative quiet. The outlines of neighborhood houses gradually become clear -- their colors tinted rose as I look toward the street through a chokecherry tree in intense pink bloom.

 

Why Women Get a Raw Deal on Retirement

Written by news or press release. Posted in Business & Money

After a long career managing large accounts for an insurance company, Lynn Brooks is hardly a financial novice. But when she sought help from a financial adviser at a brokerage after her husband died, they might as well have been speaking different languages.

Angles of Approach by Holly Iglesias

Written by news or press release. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

Publisher comments regarding Angles of Approach: It's unusual to call a book of poetry a 'page turner, ' but this collection, with the knocking and jostling of words that mark the peculiar rhythm and appeal of the prose poem, is just that. Iglesias has an uncanny ability to capture whole sweeps of history in a few lines, while her eye and ear for the quotidian result in the characters pulling us from one remarkable incident to another as if they had physically taken us by the elbow, whispering urgently.--Marie Harris
Holly Iglesias is the author of Souvenirs of a Shrunken World and a critical work, Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry.

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Robin Marantz Henig in The New York Times reports on the trend you yourself may have noticed lately: that a large percentage of twenty-somethings don't seem to be settling down at the same rate that this age group has done in the past. What you may not know is that some sociologiists and psychologists are calling upon social scientists to create a new age classification for the twenties (dare we say, tweenagers?) called emerging adults. The essay from the Times Magazine reports extentively on this trend, which is clearly supported by statistics showing higher age at marriage, higher rates of twenty-somethings living with their parents, more different jobs during the twenties, etc.

Women and WealthTaking the Pulse By Jill Marcellus

Written by Women's Media Center. Posted in Business & Money

Three recent reports offer contradictory messages about women and finance. Taken together, they suggest that women's greater financial awareness following the recent recession will take them only part way to greater solvency.

Women to Watch

Written by Womens Media . Posted in Politics

We're thrilled to introduce 11 women to watch as they inject their unique knowledge and perspective into the national dialogue.

The Price Ain't Right

Written by sheville staff. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Why is it so expensive to live in Asheville? Because Cindy Weeks hasn't built enough buildings yet - an article by Jess McCuan in Verve Magazine

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Written by news or press release. Posted in Politics

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

Eating Fossil Fuels: An Extended Book Report

Written by J. Lee Lehman. Posted in Environment

Pfeiffer, Dale Allen. Eating Fossil Fuels : Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2006.

This book is maddening. For the first few chapters, I couldn't decide what I though of it. The reason? The book has the look of a manuscript originally written about 1995. From what I can tell, this is not a re-release. So then I thought: perhaps the author started the book some time ago, and then never finished the project at the time.

That Notorious Good Friday Homily By Angela Bonavoglia

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in Politics

In his controversial sermon at St. Peter's last week, Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa expressed no concern for Catholic Church policies that endanger women, writes Angela Bonavoglia, author of Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church.

Garden Advice

Written by Donna Price. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

Springtime is here again, so it's time to visit your local garden center for new and exciting plants, shrubs and trees for your home landscape.

Writing Women Back into History

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

MARCH is National Women's History Month The overarching theme for March 2010 is Writing Women Back into History In 2010, in celebration of our 30th Anniversary, we'll highlight themes from previous years, ones that recognize a different aspect of women's achievements...

A Fish Out of Water

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Dear Community Member: Next summer, we are producing a tour for the documentary Fish Out of Water, and one of our tour stops will be in your Asheville!

Cathy Smith Bowers Named Poet Laureate

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in News

RALEIGH (AP) -- A Tryon poet whose poems read like miniature short stories has been named North Carolina's new poet laureate...Cathy Smith Bowers was installed Feb. 10. Gov. Beverly Perdue recently appointed Cathy Smith Bowers of Tryon as the new state poet laureate. "Like all good writing, Smith Bowers' poetry comes from deep in her soul. She's a woman who experienced love and loss at an early age. She's turned her journey of healing into an art form," says Mary B. Regan, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council.  For more Click here  and here for A Book of Minutes Click here

Therapy with Marla, Co-Parenting Coaching and Counseling

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Parenting after separation and divorce can be challenging. Conflicts, hostilities and differing points of view regarding how your children should be raised can leave you frustrated and angry. Disagreements can crop up about scheduling, extra-curricular activities, medical care, schoolwork and almost anything else. While you two may no longer be partners in marriage, you are still partners in raising your children. Your children deserve the love and support of both their parents and Co-Parenting Coaching can help you navigate the creation of a new two household family.

 

When A Fox Skull No Longer Points Home By Catherine Reid

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Environment

It is the quiet time of year no leaves, no insects, no nattering of squirrels, no birds asserting claims over small lands and new broods. In these woods, the snow cover is deep, and it contains and subdues most sounds, an absence that has its own weight and against which my snowshoes rattle and shirr. more

Indigo

Written by Maureen MacNamara. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Indigo's last breath left her body with a gentle sigh. Her giant head sagged heavily into my hands

The Secret History of the War on Cancer

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Health & Fitness

Davis, Devra Lee. The Secret History of the War on Cancer. New York: BasicBooks, 2007.

This work presents extremely disturbing  information about how virtually all information about the relationship between many synthetic chemicals and cancer have been blocked by both industry and government - leading to the conclusion that we are further behind in our understanding of this situation than researchers were in 1936. Dr. Davis also demonstrates the hypocrisy in which the same kind of experiments which are allowed to "prove" safety are considered inadequate to prove toxicity. Frankly, this makes the junk science of the Bush Administration look like a walk in the park.

more...

Hi Ho Silver! It's Santa!!

Written by Maureen MacNamara. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

With holidays approaching, it reminds me of the time Murphy, my silver-white trotting horse, and I were hired to drive Santa in Seattle's Sea Fair parade.

When Bogie and Bacall Came to the Farm

Written by Maureen MacNamara. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

At least once during the holiday season I hear a radio story or watch a TV segment that depicts turkeys as dimwitted, noodle brained creatures, too stupid to figure out how to eat or stay warm. Could this really be true?

A Conversation With Carol W. Greider On Winning a Nobel Prize in Science by Claudia Dreifus

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

Out of more than 500 Nobels ever awarded in the sciences, less than 40 have been awarded to women. That 3 Nobels were awarded to women this year represents a sea change in the Nobel Committee's decision-making as the successful result of a behind-the-scenes campaign to represent women more equally.

Rebekah Spicuglia, Media Manager for The Women's Media Center

Mandala: Creating Sacred Art for Healing and Self-Realization with Martha Kiger and Nancy David

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Spirituality

November 6 – 8, 2009

Friday 3 p.m. to Sunday noon at Satchidananda Ashram – Yogaville

Mandalas, or sacred circles, are used in many traditions as a form of creative expression and meditative contemplation. Like mirrors, mandalas reflect the inner light of your spiritual center. Psychologist C.G. Jung said mandalas express the idea of a safe refuge, of inner reconciliation and wholeness.

Daylight Lessons from Letterman's Late Night Escapades

Written by Womens Median Center. Posted in Business & Money

I don't know David Letterman or any of the staffers he had sex with.

I believe fidelity is the business of only one person, the philanderer's partner.

Extortionists aren't whistle-blowersthey're criminals, and should be put away.

But whenever I hear the justification, I didn't violate company policy and no one complained, my hackles jump up.

Let's talk about why it's bad business for the boss to sleep with subordinates.

In Defense of the French Health System

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in News

Poet Carolyn Forch's experience suggests that universal access to health care is not only the right thing to do morally but financially as well.

Who Is Your Website For?

Written by J. Lee Lehman. Posted in Business & Money

I see it all the time: I get a business card from someone who has signed up as a dealer or distributor of products for a larger company – typically a franchise. The e-mail address is Yahoo or Gmail: the website is the name of the franchise, with the person's name or business name embedded at the end.

When Girls Come First By Sharmeen Gangat

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in Health & Fitness

Groove With Me, a place where girls can experiment with their bodies without trying to look cute for the boys. It provides a far different atmosphere than those in the study where girls were often afterthoughts in programs designed for at-risk boys.

The Unforgettable Commencement Address by Paul Hawken

Written by new. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

To the Class of 2009, University of Portland, May 3, 2009:

But let's begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation… but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

View the entire speech here.

The Mancession

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Business & Money

The New York Times had recently published an article entitled "The Mancession," which points out that the current recession is hitting men's employment more severely than womens.

A Mountain Heritage of Apple Trees

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

"You ever eaten a Sugarloaf?" he asked. I shook my head. I was a hospice nurse and this gentleman, I'll call him Zeb, was my patient. We'd been talking about our favorite apples, but this sounded more like a coffeecake. "What about a Sheepnose June?" he tried again. I'd never heard of it.

ROBIN CAPE: ACTIVISM IS HER MIDDLE NAME

Written by Va Boyle. Posted in Environment

Have you ever had a conversation with someone effortlessly spins through a myriad of new and great ideas? Robin shared her enthusiasm,boundless energy and wealth of information about sustainability, local community and a collaborative political process.

Am I at risk for Endometrial Cancer?

Written by Susan Shinn OGNP. Posted in Health & Fitness

Over the past few years, we've heard a lot more about cervical cancer because of the HPV vaccine (and its issues). And we now hear and read quite a lot about ovarian cancer, with its subtle symptoms and often-missed diagnosis.

The European Decline in Fertility: An Extended Book Report

Written by J. Lee Lehman. Posted in Environment

Douglass, Carrie B. Barren States : The Population "Implosion" In Europe. Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Berg, 2005.

This work, by a series of anthropologists and ethnographers, attempts to get beyond the statistics in order to see what is really going on with Europe's decline in fertility. But first: two simple numbers. In any human population, it is estimated that the number of children per couple needs to be 2.1 in order for that population to remain constant in number, apart from immigration and emigration. Europe's fertility rate in 2003 was 1.4; 1.47 within the European Union itself. It is unprecedented within modern history for a population to drop so far below replacement value for reasons other than war, famine economic decline or disease. So what is going on here?

As the authors point out, this decline is mostly viewed negatively by governments and the press, since they fall back on the idea of growth as a positive phenomenon, and thus, population decline is seen as national decline, despite the obvious advantage from the standpoint of relieving environmental stress. The vast majority of economic and political theories are all built upon the virtue of growth – one of the very factors identified as so dangerous when one adopts a position favoring environmentalism.

New Energy Solutions WNC by Mike Fowler

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Business & Money

Mike Fowler recently started New Energy Solutions WNC that focuses on the critical, alternative energy needs. After 25 years in the construction business, Mike's addition of NES is a great add on to his 9 year old Ultimate Finish business which specializes in high performance, high build, architectural, eco-friendly permanent coatings. Fowler has also taken on a line of commercial roofing products including foam and Hy-Crown Hypalon Single-Ply Systems. This energy saving Conklin roof coating can also be used for metal roofs and roof repair.

Obama Needs a Frances Perkins by his Side

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

May 8, 2009

President Barack Obama has emphasized that affordable health care for all is crucial for long-term economic prosperity. Frances Perkins made that point in 1933. A new biography brings President Franklin Roosevelt's labor secretary out of the shadows just in time for us to understand why progressive women matter so much as America struggles with economic crisis, war and recovery from callous, corrupt government.

Pirates Feel The Might

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Making a Difference

Somali pirates causing peril on the high seas are now facing the might and mettle of a seasoned seawoman based in Bahrain. Rear Admiral Michelle Howard...

LGBTQ Caucus of SEWSA: Call for Papers

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Women & Gender Studies

Queer Progress in the South: Taking Stock
Since the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ activism has generated significant social change and met repeated and tenacious resistance, and this resistance has been especially intransigent in the Southern United States. In media, law, politics, family, employment, health care, religion, and virtually every other social realm, LGBTQ people and their allies have fought for and won advances, but concomitantly faced backlash.

FEATURED WORK “Be nobody’s darling”:

Written by Warren Wilson College Gender and Women Studies Program. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

FEATURED WORK “Be nobody’s darling”: Womanism as an Early Response to Racism within Feminism,and Sexism within the Civil Rights Movement by Freesia McKee - Warren Wilson College

Author's Statement:

I got my start in activism back in my hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Afghan Women to Obama: We Must Be at the Table! by Patricia DeGennaro

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in News

April 2, 2009 United States President Barak Obama unveiled his new strategy for Afghanistan last week. In it he pledged both military and civil support to Afghanistan. And, he went out of his way to say, we will continue to support the basic human rights of all Afghansincluding women and girls. Despite this, Afghan women continue to be absent from the discussion when it comes to their futures and the future of Afghanistan.

A History of Malaprops by Emoke B'Racz

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

A History of Malaprop's Bookstore/Café By Emoke B'Racz My love of books came naturally: it is an inheritance from my grandmother, who always told us that our only wealth was what we had in our heads, what we learned, because all else can be taken away.

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Written by Dawn Starks. Posted in Business & Money

Ah yes! Warmer day makes us think of springtime. The daffodils are blooming in our yard, bringing our thoughts to warm weather activities. But springtime brings about another feeling in me – the need to clean.

High Blood Sugar & The "Fat-Fighting 4" from www.Prevention.com

Written by Ellen Garrison. Posted in Health & Fitness

I'm the Fitness Expert for DTOUR and am sending you this link to this new program (book and website) by www.Prevention.com that was just launched last week. The video demo is of the show on CBS. - Ellen

People who are feeling tired or listless during the day, who are slightly overweight, or who have harried schedules and irregular eating schedules might be fighting high blood sugar cycles, and eventually be susceptible to type 2 diabetes.Prevention magazine teamed up with diabetic experts to try to design a system to combat the problem through food. Click here

Life and Work: A Conversation for International Women’s Day

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in Making a Difference

Where do you live? Isn’t that one of the identifying questions people ask new acquaintances? The four of us—feminists spanning five decades—might answer by describing the physical housing we find for ourselves in each of our generational life cycles. But in a larger sense, a generation views the world from where it “lives” and interacts uniquely with such circumstances as the current economic recession.

Deborah has just turned 40. She and her husband will soon look to buy a home larger than the one-bedroom they own, while trying to have their first child. Marco’s job was recently eliminated; still, at the midpoint of life, they can reasonably assume that investments will regain their worth and better income-earning days lie ahead.

Deborah’s two years older than I was when my youngest graduated from high school.

Elizabeth, 33, is pregnant with her first child, due in April. She and her partner Jessica rented a two-bedroom apartment two years ago because they planned to have children. Next they want to buy a larger place, possibly in suburbia, though the economy gives them pause.

Same sex couples would never have lived together openly, let alone get to experience the joys of children, in 1958. That’s when my Aunt Ida, bless her, died and left me $550 in savings bonds she’d bought from her meager department store clerk salary—exactly what my then-husband and I needed for the down payment on our tract house on Bonham Street in Odessa, Texas. (“Friday Night Lights” fans, that’s a block from Permian High School; yes, my children graduated from the mighty Mojo.)

And Courtney, our 29-year-old millennial, bought her first home last year. Her long-term significant other recently moved in with her, but not until she’d followed her mother’s advice to live alone for some years first.

I’m 67. Like most women from the post-WWII cohort, I was married with three children and keeping house, not building a career, in my twenties. Where Courtney wants work-life balance, I just wanted to work—and not in a “help wanted, women” tagged job. Even women with jobs couldn’t get credit without male co-signers. Buy a house? Laughable. Those injustices made the personal political for me. Once the feminist movement’s many firsts started liberating women, I thought life would naturally keep getting larger; I just knew there would always be bigger houses in my future.

So it felt shocking to sell the Central Park South apartment in New York City that I’d loved more than any previous home, though selling made perfect sense. My husband is retired. I’m freelancing after a career leading nonprofit organizations. Our income not only won’t grow; it will likely decline. We're at the downsizing, de-accessing stage. We want less stuff, not more. And we wanted to sock our assets away safely during this economic downturn so our kids won't have to support us in our dotage. Where one lives is a perfect metaphor for generational differences and responses to almost everything. The unfinished business of feminism today is to continue expanding opportunities for women, despite a contracting economy when we’ll be tempted to avoid risks. “Remember,” I tell the younger panel members, “crisis is opportunity. The resources you need are always there if you can only see them.”—Gloria Feldt

I am Generation X, hear me roar.

Deborah SeigelI entered the workforce in the booming 1990s, a time when all seemed possible and there was nowhere for a young college grad to go but up. I worked my dream job, went back to graduate school for a doctorate, then worked some more and began writing books—my dream career. A few years into the new millennium, I married the love of my life, left my staff job and started a small consulting business to help support the writing. I began to work through ideas for my third book and started fertility treatments, hoping to have a child.

And then the recession hit. My husband got laid off. Consulting contracts were cancelled. The publishing industry melted. But we are still here, adapting to new circumstances, and going strong.

Will we continue with our plans to try for a child? Hell yeah. When I was born, my parents earned $400 a month and spent $115 of it on rent. Like so many working couples, we are stressed but making do. While President Obama and the Republicans duke it out in Congress, we’re busy working on our economic recovery program here at home. My husband, a graphic designer, is freelancing by day and working on his design portfolio at night. I am more aggressive about pursuing new consulting clients and writing more for magazines. I’ve found a new topic to write about these days: gender shakeup in the wake of layoff. Turns out I have a lot to say.

In traveling around the country with our intergenerational panel in recent months, I’ve experienced marriage, work, and a fertility quest with an enhanced generational awareness. “Why get married?” asks Courtney, forcing me to articulate why it is that marriage was so important to me, feminist that I am. “I am sending you fertile vibes,” says Gloria, mother of three, who watches as I attempt in my forties something she began in her teens.

But it is around the topic of creating a work life that is truly a life, and not just work, that I find myself learning most from my intergenerational crew. We are all very fortunate in that we love what we do, but we still struggle and compromise, and in this time of economic crisis, we struggle even more. If I could design a bailout plan for our panel, I’d designate sums for childcare to Elizabeth, funds to secure Gloria’s retirement, and for us all subsidies to publishers so that they can continue to give us advances to write feminist books to push the public conversation in the directions we need and crave.

There is so much feminist creativity out there right now waiting to be tapped, so many hopes and prayers for a future driven by women's leadership and unfettered, we hope, by greed. I hope that Washington is listening. The other day, I was visiting one of the nonprofits I consult for, down near Wall Street, where, after 9/11, space for nonprofits went for cheap. Perhaps it was my imagination, but things felt newly desolate. The café on the corner had gone out of business, the side streets seemed bare. As I walked the narrow streets, I fantasized that the women’s organizations I consult for will join forces, rise up, and fill the gaping hole left by Lehman Brothers et al. What would an economic recovery plan designed by feminists look like? For visions, see the websites here, here, and here.—Deborah Siegel

Life is about choices—isn’t it?

Elizabeth HinesIn my mid-twenties I came across a quote that struck me as a particularly apt analysis of the struggle to construct a life of meaning in the modern world. “Life,” the quote read, “is about choices.”

I liked the phrase so much that one day, I set it as my preferred screensaver. Each time it scrolled by, I felt truly empowered: You could choose to be or not be anything and everything you wanted. Decisions about your life were in your own hands. You had the power to make the choices that seemed right for you. And besides, it seemed to me at the time, how hard could those choices really be?

Flash forward nearly a decade and one mind-boggling economic downturn and I’ll tell you one thing I now know about that quote: It’s a sentiment that could only have been written by a man. Or at least, it’s one that no mother (and few women with any life experience) could approach without a chuckle.

Pregnancy and motherhood, people will tell you, are humbling experiences—and no more so than when trying to achieve the so-called “work-life balance.” My boss, a mother of five, says there’s no such thing. There’s work and there’s life and all you can do is struggle to keep both balls in the air without losing yourself—or anyone else—along the way. That’s not balance, it’s a gravity-defying feat, and it’s time we stopped talking in terms that unfairly set us up to seek the impossible.

I’m only eight months into my motherhood journey and already it is profoundly clear how limited “choices” become when life is no longer about you alone. Because the United States has no mandate to provide paid parental leave, most of us, who can’t afford the luxury of a one-income household, are forced into the first of many contorted decisions when our children are born: stay home for a period of time and lose income (or possibly your job) or leave a newborn to be cared for (often at great expense) by someone else—an option no new mother I’ve spoken to relishes.

Huge percentages of our population can’t even consider staying home. For even the luckiest among us—those who believe they can manage the economic implications—the field of options is unhealthily limited. And in this dire economic climate, increasingly dangerous: there’s no guarantee that your job—or your company—will even exist when you try to return from any extended leave.

If the last eight months have taught me anything, it is that life is about compromises, not choices. It’s time we got real about that fact and started fighting harder for a world where women—and men—really can decide, with all things being equal, what path to walk as a parent and a worker. It’s a terrifying time to be having a baby, but here’s hoping that by the time my daughter becomes a mother, she and her peers will finally have a set of real options to consider.—Elizabeth G. Hines

Can someone find me a personal role model?

Courtney MartinWhen I was a little girl, my dad used to point our mammoth video camera in my direction on every birthday and ask the proverbial, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” At five years old, side ponytail in full effect, leg warmers covering my stubby little legs, I answered: “Part time waitress, part time doctor.”

It’s an absurd combination in a world of such glaring social and economic stratification, but it was also an intuitive metaphor for what I was observing about middle class women and work in 1985. It seemed that women had all the brilliance and authority of medical doctors, but hadn’t relinquished either the dynamism and or service mentality of really sassy diner waitresses. In short, I was identifying the “second shift” before having ever read Arlie Hochschild (although, an even more accurate metaphor would have been full time waitress, full time doctor.)

It’s amazing how little has changed over 20 years later. Despite the work of such organizations as Mom’s Rising, pushing for better work/family policy, and bold writing by feminist intellectuals like Pamela Stone and Judith Warner, we’re still totally flummoxed.

At 29, I’m taking copious notes on the work/family dances of my slightly older friends, and I’m not finding much that feels replicable. My partner works in a very untraditional work place (ping pong table, Odwalla juices, a Weiner dog named Pickle) with very traditional hours (about 9 to 8). I am a freelance writer—shaping each day out of an intuitive combination of deadlines, inspirations, and last night’s leftovers. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to guess whose career might take the major hit when we finally trash the birth control.

Even more confusing is that, while I absolutely love my work, I’m not sure that I’ll want to do it in the same way post baby making. A women’s studies professor in her fifties recently told me, “Having a baby is like being in love times a thousand.” And a filmmaker friend who made a documentary about mother artists called Who Does She Think She Is? explained, “I’ve never been so creative or so inspired as I was when I had young children.”

But I’ve also seen the exhaustion and the bitterness that comes from letting your partner slip out of shared parenting agreements. And I’ve heard a lot of flimsy justification for self-sacrifice: “It’s okay that I didn’t get to pursue my own career dreams. Raising children was the most important thing in the world to me.” Sure, but why can’t we have both?

Why can’t society support both mothers and fathers to be whole human beings (by which I mean present parents and inspired workers)? If motherhood is really so all consuming, at least in the beginning, why haven’t we created a system that allows for more fluidity between the two roles? And why are women still made to feel as if their incapacity to do two full time jobs is a personal failure?

I’m deeply grateful to the women who have paved the way—breaking glass ceilings all while juggling their multiple roles in an exhaustion defying circus performance with no safety net below—but I don’t want to imitate their act.—Courtney E. Martin
The Women's Media Center grants permission to reprint free-of-charge with the understanding that media outlets credit the author of the piece and the Women's Media Center.
The Women's Media Center (www.womensmediacenter.com

The WMC is a non-profit organization founded by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan, dedicated to making women visible and powerful in the media.

The Asheville Hub

Written by Dorothy Rogers. Posted in Environment

Check out the 17 goals of Asheville Hub, a non-profit with a unique and important economic focus.

"The Asheville Hub sparks collaborations within and across Buncombe County's technology, sustainability, rejuvenation, creativity, land/agriculture, manufacturing and enterprise clusters so our community may benefit from emerging opportunities.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Written by Ellen Garrison. Posted in Health & Fitness

Margaret Fuller tells us that in trying to make a living we often forget to live (and laugh).

Stress. Stress. Stress. . .and haven't we really made a mess of things? We who? you say. It's difficult to know who to blame for the economic crisis. Whether or not we share in the guilt for our country's current problems, most of us share in feeling extraordinary stress.

Women writers of Black Mountain College

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

Black Mountain College has attained near-myth status for the prominent roles it played in modern art, in the Beat poetry movement, and as a groundbreaking experiment in sociology. From its inception in 1933 until its closing in 1955, the college was populated by nonconformists and free thinkers... click here

Wellness Toolbox Tips - January '09

Written by Ellen Garrison. Posted in Health & Fitness

Want to lose or manage your weight in the coming year?
One of the most recommended techniques for getting accurate knowledge of what you eat is to keep a food diary. Record everything you eat and drink for 3 days and analyze it for calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Ready to Govern by Peggy Simpson and the Women's Media Center news distribution

Written by Womens Media Center. Posted in Politics

As the future administration takes shape in Washington, D.C., women come to the table with impressive credentials and the backing of national women's organizations.
Women's groups are moving on many fronts to seek to affect policies and appointments in the upcoming Obama administration.
A Wiki-Project to put forth names of women for top jobs has been underway almost since the election, spearheaded by Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority as an outgrowth of an idea from the National Council of Women's Organizations. It's now being done electronically,” says Smeal. We have 20 to 30 [national women's groups] participating.”

"Yes, we can!"

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

    "Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound." Psalm 72:1,6-7

WNC Luminary: An Interview with Adelaide Daniels Key

Written by Va Boyle. Posted in WOMEN on the MOVE

I drove through a lovely valley road on a beautiful North Carolina day into one of the lower, shady forests of the Blue Ridge Parkway to meet with a stalwart, seasoned survivor of life, Adelaide Key. Her big spirit is contained within her small stature set off by the humor and challenge which seems to coexist comfortably within her robust composure. Her clear blue eyes seem to see through any pretense one might carry and clear up any need to be what you are not.

Physiology and Political Party?

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Politics

A US study, reported in Science, indicates that there may be some psychological correlations between physiological responses and political orientation. Yeah, like we wouldn't have guessed....

In Desperate Need of Remembering

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

Every year, my wedding anniversary falls just one day after the commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The words from Paul's letter to the Romans, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all, were read at my wedding. And this excerpt of a first hand account of the bombing of Hiroshima, as remembered by then-fourteen-year-old Akihiro Takahashi, draws a sharp contrast between the principles of faithful living and the realities of our life together in a nuclear age on this one shared earth.

What do Trees have to do with Peace?

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Environment

Thirty years ago, in the country of Kenya, 90% of the forest had been chopped down.

Without trees to hold the topsoil in place, the land became like a desert. When the women and girls would go in search of firewood in order to prepare the meals, they would have to spend hours and hours looking for what few branches remained.

Farm Fresh Goodness Comes to the Table

Written by Denise Barratt. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

Spring Happenings:
Blooming bushes and flowering bulbs are signs that spring is on its way but one of my very favorite indicators that it is that time again is the increase of the variety of local produce at the farmers’ markets and grocers. Some of my favorite vegetables are the spring choices with their young, tender, and sweet flavors such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, peas and beets. Use this season to savor these delicate and tender gems and take advantage of them while they are fresh from the fields! Below are some recipes using a few spring vegetables along with a bit of the nutritional benefits that they provide.

The Physical Side of Self Defense – Keep it Simple!

Written by Brenda deLaet. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

In previous articles in this series, I have written about avoiding the situation, the ‘prey vs. predator’ mindset, and awareness – all important aspects of self defense. My instructor used to say “the best technique is no technique,” meaning that if you can manage to avoid having to use any physical self defense techniques - that’s the best self defense of all! But unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Even if you do everything right, you could still find yourself confronted by a threat some day. Anyone can be targeted – the young, the old, the aware, the distracted, the single woman, the married mother of three, the careful, and the careless. It could happen simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Women's Health Maintenance by Jeffrey Graham, MD

Written by Community Partner. Posted in Health & Fitness

In this section you'll find issues dealing with women's health maintenance, such as food and nutrition, and include tips for exercise, such as different activities available in this area, their specific benefits, and what to watch out for.

Awaiting the Birth of Peace

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

The holiday season is once again in full swing, despite the unseasonably warm weather we've been having in the south east. Being from Michigan, it strikes me as odd each time I pass a yard filled with holiday lawn décor, decked out with strings of light in every possible direction, without the bright white of snow off of which to cast a glow.

Bishop Tutu takes on Homophobia

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

In an interview with BBC-4 Radio, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticized
the Anglican Church for its homophobic stance concerning gay priests, decalaring
current Church policy as failing to be "welcoming." In strong language,
Bishop Tutu spoke out about how "saddened" and "ashamed" he
felt of what he referred to as an obsession regarding sexual preference while
issues of "poverty, HIV and Aids - a devastating pandemic, and conflict"
call for attention. Click
here for the full story

Big Medicine from Six Nations by Ted Williams<br> edited by and with an afterword by Debra Roberts

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Spirituality

Big Medicine from Six Nations is celebrated author Ted Williams' account of his lifelong engagement with traditional wisdom, spiritual knowledge, and his search for higher consciousness among the Six Nations of Iroquois.


According to Deb Louis, reading this book was like going home! How about purchasing it from the Long Branch Environmental Ed Center in Leicester and making it everybody's "Chrismukkah" presents this year!

ecology through art: the work of joyce metayer

Written by Joyce Metayer. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

When asked, What's your passion in life? Joyce Metayer says, without a moment's hesitation, Making art and being in nature. Joyce is an artist who is best known for her Sculptural Archetypes…wall reliefs that are a combination of painting and sculpture, impeccably constructed by sewing, and often circular in format. The look of her work is very contemporary even though she claims it is based on Paleolithic feminine symbology.

DIANA WORTHAM THEATRE at Pack Place

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Performing Arts

In the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District is the city's finest theatre, the Diana Wortham Theatre: an intimate 500 seat theatre inside the Pack Place complex, with convenient off-street parking and numerous downtown restaurants within a block of the theatre. Diana Wortham Theatre offers live performances of music, theatre and dance throughout the year by nationally touring artists (the Mainstage Series) as well as a wide array of performances by professional and avocational regional arts groups. Diana Wortham Theatre

Mukhtaran Bibi - April, 2007 Pakistan

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Making a Difference

Also known as Mukhtar Mai is a Pakistani woman from the village of Meerwala. She suffered gang rape as a form of honor-revenge on the demands of tribesmen. By custom, Pakistani women are expected to commit suicide after such an event. Instead, she took the settlement money provided her by the government following a court case, and opened a center for refuge and education, the Mukhtar Mai Women's Welfare Organization. In April 2007 she won the North-South Prize from the EU Council of Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhktar_Mai

Arise Mothers!

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

On January 25th, at 4:10am, Myles emerged into the world, weighing in at 8 lbs 3 oz. He was bigger than I expected and more beautiful than I could have imagined. They say that the birth of a first child is also the birth of a mother. And so Myles and I share this birth date and the indescribable experience of one being becoming disentangled from another…the birth of a child and the birth of a mother.

Press Release: Forbes ranks Asheville as a top place for Business and Careers

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Business & Money

Forbes magazine has ranked Asheville 23rd of the 200 largest metro areas in the nation as one of the top places for business and careers. Forbes focused on elements that are particularly important to businesses, such as keeping costs down and attracting smart people. Of the criteria evaluated, Asheville scored especially high for its comparably low cost of doing business, placing 10th in the nation. Expenditures for labor, energy, taxes and office space were each considered to derive a “cost of doing business” index for each metro. Asheville also placed high for positive population in-migration (32nd), low crime (67th), job growth (70th) and area colleges (82nd). Although the methodology has varied slightly over the years, this is the highest spot Asheville has ever placed in the Forbes ranking.

Women and Money: Financing Your Life

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Business & Money

Women, Mark Your Calendars! Do you want to better understand and manage your
money? On April 21st, Western North Carolina Woman magazine*, in partnership
with AB Tech's
Small Business Center/Incubator
, presents their second day-long conference
on women and financial literacy.


Educational and inspiring workshops will be offered by a powerful group of
local women, experts in fields such as relationships and money, investing, business
financing, protecting your credit, buying a home, planning for long-term care,
making a living as an artist/craftsperson and much more. Several organizations
such as Self-Help Credit Union, Mountain BizWorks (formerly Mountain Micro-Enterprise
Fund), Affordable Housing Coalition and Consumer Credit Counseling will present
workshops and be on hand during the day for questions.


Go to our website atwww.wnc-woman.com
and click on Women and Money for more details (or call Julie Parker at 828-689-2988).

*WNC Woman is a monthly publication “celebrating the wisdom, strength
and grace of women”.

The Flags at the Unitarian Universalist Church

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Politics

The Iraqi Civilian Casualties flags were made by Susan Oehler because it seemed to her that the general population was unaware of the true cost of this ongoing occupation in Iraq. The WNC Peace Coalition helped with financial support and assistance in making the flags. The spikes for the flags were donated by a friend of Susans. Originally, the plan was to make one flag for every hundred fatalities in Iraq, with white flags for the Iraqi civilians and blue flags for American fatalities. However, the death toll among Iraqis is now so high that the ratio of flags to fatalities was set aside. They continue to have one American flag for every 100 American fatalities. The focus of this endeavor is for the country of Iraq to find peace and for Americans to walk the path of peace and cooperation in this world rather than using war as the solution to the problems.

What You Need to Know about Cervical Cancer and the HPV Vaccine

Written by Susan Shinn OGNP. Posted in Health & Fitness

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2006 almost 10,000 cases of invasive cervical cancer were expected in the United States. About 4000 deaths from cervical cancer were anticipated. Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide, with over a quarter of a million women dying each year, mostly in developing countries.

Weeping for our Children

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

Copyright 2007 Amanda Hendler-Voss

My email inbox has recently congealed with a slew of invitations to march on Washington on January 27th. If the recent election of the 110th Congress was a referendum on Bush's war policy, this march is a bold reminder that the American people are still not being heard amidst the clatter of experts and leaders.

UCLA Study On Friendship Among Women - An alternative to fight or flight ©2002 Gale Berkowitz

Written by Sheville Staff. Posted in Women & Gender Studies

A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more. Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a daily basis.

WNC Luminary - Debbie Nordeen

Written by Va Boyle. Posted in Making a Difference

I'd like to teach the world to sing.” This is truly Debbie Nordeen's mantra. To boot, she not only teaches what she believes, she lives it; she walks the talk”. Debbie is well known in Asheville for directing the Womansong of Asheville chorus. She feels she has had a destiny with women all of her life even though she also enjoys working with men. In singing with and for women Womansong sings for the unsung heroes in our world, ones who make a huge difference. Debbie recognizes women as people who model, influence and bring about change.

A Trip to Abingdon

Written by Va Boyle. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Ever have times you just kinda' wanna'” get away; free your mind from the details of every day living? Well, if that‘s so, I have just the trip for you to take—a trip to Abingdon, Virgina. In fact, I took such a trip just the other weekend with a friend and enjoyed it so much; I just knew I had to share it with my friends and neighbors.

Toward a True "Culture of Life"

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Making a Difference

I work as a nurse in a newborn intensive-care unit. Sometimes the three premature infants I'm assigned weigh six pounds if you add them all together. They struggle vigorously to live. Thin chests strain up and down while tiny lungs work overtime to breathe. The entire medical team shares one goal: a healthy baby going home to a healthy life.

Planting Under the Moon

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Local Food

When I first started gardening in Yancey County the weekly trips to Troy's Greenhouse were more about talking with Wade as he worked behind the counter than buying marigolds or potting soil. My Grandmother's green thumb--wisdom on what to do in burning sun and Alabama clay--didn't translate to the cool fog and sandy soils of South Toe.

Rain and Sparrows

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Local Food

The tomato vines were lush and chest high, the best I'd ever grown in my three years of vegetable gardening. The leaves were dark green and unblemished, the picture of plant vitality. My secret, I had decided, was a generous shovel of year-old compost every two weeks.

Harvard to have first Female President

Written by J. Lee Lehman. Posted in Making a Difference

Drew Gilpin Faust, the current Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is about be be named Harvard University's first female president. We may ask: is this one more incremental crack in the glass ceiling, or is this a reaction to the controversy which erupted when Harvard's previous president declared that women were inferior in certain fields? http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/02/09/qt.

There is a Balm in Gilead

Written by Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss. Posted in Spirituality

Copyright 2007 Amanda Hendler-Voss

For a decade now I have owned a CD collection of some of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches and sermons. I listen to it on long road trips, around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and any time I'm in need of some spirited inspiration. There's one excerpt from a sermon that I turn to whenever I need some encouraging.

Stonewall Pride

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Making a Difference

It is never easy or quite accurate to pinpoint one event as the beginning of an entire movement...but many American LGBT people, we recognize that there have been hundreds of Actions that have signified our liberation throughout time, but we choose - JUNE 28, 1969 to Symbolize - OUR PRIDE!

Appalachian Herbalist: A Profile

Written by Ellenburg. Posted in Local Food

Two years ago I went to my grandmother's home to interview her. It was canning and freezing season, after the harvest, a beautiful late summer day. Her husband, Cecil was alive, but ill. “I hate to be a burden to you,” he told her, as he grew weaker and weaker with emphysema. “Don’t you say nothing,” she told him. “I’d rather wheel you around in that wheel barraw than be here without you.” Today Cecil is gone, and the vegetable and flower gardens in this article are smaller. She has seen so much pass away... the love of her life, the mountains, the clear rivers, the neighborliness of commu-nity, even that pure mountain dialect that turns a phrase in uncommon ways.

Ruby Wyatt said she was in the middle of canning, she just didn’t think she had time to be interviewed. Then she said she didn’t curl her hair until Tuesday nights, so she didn’t know about a photographer coming to her house. “Lord,” she finally admitted, “I won’t know what to say. I just don’t think I can do it.” But she did, and hidden beneath the shyness and the modesty is a mountain woman’s knowledge of the earth and its medicines.

Appalachian Herbalist: A Profile

Written by Ellenburg. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

Two years ago I went to my grandmother's home to interview her. It was canning and freezing season, after the harvest, a beautiful late summer day. Her husband, Cecil was alive, but ill. “I hate to be a burden to you,” he told her, as he grew weaker and weaker with emphysema. “Don’t you say nothing,” she told him. “I’d rather wheel you around in that wheel barraw than be here without you.” Today Cecil is gone, and the vegetable and flower gardens in this article are smaller. She has seen so much pass away... the love of her life, the mountains, the clear rivers, the neighborliness of commu-nity, even that pure mountain dialect that turns a phrase in uncommon ways.

Ruby Wyatt said she was in the middle of canning, she just didn’t think she had time to be interviewed. Then she said she didn’t curl her hair until Tuesday nights, so she didn’t know about a photographer coming to her house. “Lord,” she finally admitted, “I won’t know what to say. I just don’t think I can do it.” But she did, and hidden beneath the shyness and the modesty is a mountain woman’s knowledge of the earth and its medicines.

Planting Under the Moon

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

When I first started gardening in Yancey County the weekly trips to Troy's Greenhouse were more about talking with Wade as he worked behind the counter than buying marigolds or potting soil. My Grandmother's green thumb--wisdom on what to do in burning sun and Alabama clay--didn't translate to the cool fog and sandy soils of South Toe.

Biltmore Village's Enduring Legacy

Written by Stephanie Dalton. Posted in Home & Community

Asheville-area settlers built in the district now known as Biltmore Village as early as 1784. Today Biltmore Village is a quaint, tree-lined shopping neighborhood of English Tudor style houses that have been transformed into galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Eclectic Lexington Avenue

Written by Stephanie Dalton. Posted in Home & Community

Amy Moore remembers when she was young driving from Johnson City where she lived to Asheville so that she could shop at a thrift store on Lexington.

Same-Gender Blessings: Interview with the Dean of the Cathedral of All Souls

Written by Stephanie Dalton. Posted in Women's Lives & Education

In 2000, the Cathedral of All Souls, located in the historic district of Biltmore Village in Asheville, NC, made the decision to offer the Blessing of a Covenanted Relationship for same-gender couples. Soon afterwards, the American Anglican Council denounced the cathedral's decision. The controversy over homosexuality and organized religion is one of the fiercest and most delicate of controversies in the U.S. today.

Bring on the Russians: Adventures with Honeybees

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Local Food

Apples need them. North Carolina blueberries need them too. Cucumbers, squash, melons, strawberries, and watermelons all share the same small yellow-and-black requirement. Honeybees that is, lots of them.

Soaring With Eagles: The Triumph of Citizenship at Lake James

Written by Judith M. Francis, AICP. Posted in Environment

Having never observed a bald eagle at such close range before, I was stunned by the sheer size of him. Flying into the top of the dying pine, he grasped in his talons a branch as big around as my leg and, beating his wings powerfully, broke it free of the tree as easily as if it were no more than a matchstick.

Down and Up on Lexington

Written by Annelinde Metzner. Posted in Business & Money

You can begin at the perennial Penny Sale at Tops Shoes -

Begin at the top!

 

You can begin at the perennial Penny Sale at Tops Shoes-

Begin at the top!

There's old Morrison's, enameled pots and pans,

barrels of candy, ancient drawers,

and we are descending!

I cross Walnut Street .

In the little windows, blue and cream bowls and urns,

hand-painted from Fez , Morocco ,

start that wonderful spin that says, How did these get here?'

Bricks loose under the feet

clump along with the rhythm of Salsa.

A black girl and a white boy stroll by with guitars on their backs.

Dreadlocks under a gray wool cap call out,

How ya doin'? Where ya headed?'

Sky People is empty now, altars of the world all gone.

Purple and yellow walls, and everywhere,

March Against the West Asheville Walmart.'

I see bins of cotton cloths, and a DJ stand called Rooster Sauce',

as incense pours into the air.

The river of Water Street rushes boldly under the manhole,

still relentless, still full of sheer will, the need to just be.

Look up! Listen! The water, the hills!

Downtown Books and News, old turquoise paint and comfy sofas,

every book you could ever want,

I Am Spock', Sex, Money, Kiss' and don't forget

Christian Yoga and You.'

Descend a little farther to Rosetta's Kitchen-

Get some tofu and mashed potatoes!

Remember LAFF, the jousting bikes, the belly dance for peace,

the warmth, the youth, the flirting.

Crinolines of all colors, and a young man with a palette.

As I write, a peeking passerby says You write it, Sister!'

I do, and I agree- Start a Revolution!'

Old chairs and old friends relaxing at Izzy's Coffee Den.

I don't ever get in trouble as long as you're with me.'

A tiny ghetto, this street, one of those freedom spots.

Who will show up next?

One of those little worlds that make us dream big,

where what you create today can feed your next ten years.

The gate to Vincent's Ear is quiet, quiet,

rhododendrons dormant for winter.

Don't forget how we need this!,' old Vincent seems to cry.

There are wild beings inside of you no money can buy.'

Past the Liquid Dragon and I begin to ascend again,

a bit cleaner and prices rising, Minx and Bouchon.

Paper stars at Chevron, indigo, stained glass and rose.

Red prairie skirts and gnomish shoes.

Shiva and Parvati dance in copper. Palettes again,

palettes of bead, of paint and cloth,

palettes of poetry and bread and babies.

God wants choices, yes she does,

carved onyx and luscious nudes,

mud brown figures in window seats.

"God Bless the People of Every Nation'

I see before I go.

Imagine.

Up from the Ashes: Restoring a North Carolina cultural treasure

Written by Jeff Ashton. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

When people first learn of my involvement in restoring the Thomas Wolfe House, they generally ask two questions. The first one is, "Why in the heck has it taken so long?"

 

When people first learn of my involvement in restoring the Thomas Wolfe House, they generally ask two questions. The first one is, "Why in the heck has it taken so long?"

 

Some folks have dubbed it the "one-nail-a-day restoration," and that is certainly understandable. I was involved in this extraordinary project for 26 months, and it's been nearly six years since the July 24, 1998 fire that ravaged the historic home. But the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources' decision to undertake a museum-quality restoration turned what might have been a far more straightforward proposition into an exacting and challenging labor of love. And the long-awaited end product is something the people of Asheville can be justly proud of.



The fire that erupted during that year's Bele Chere, started by an unknown arsonist, destroyed significant portions of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, a state historic site since the mid-'70s. But it would have been a lot worse if not for the Asheville Fire Department's prompt and effective response. They were on site within one minute after the call came in. And while some fought the flames, others covered original Wolfe family furniture with wet blankets to protect it until the fire was contained. Even so, 25 percent of the house and 15 percent of the furnishings (200 items) were consumed. The most significant losses were in the dining room, where the fire began; they included all windows, wood flooring, doors and the original Wolfe family furniture and table settings.



As soon as the fire was out, Wolfe House staffers teamed up with qualified volunteers from the Carl Sandburg Home, Biltmore Estate and the National Park Service to tag and remove 600 artifacts and pieces of furniture, whose restoration took nearly six years. Even the best-preserved pieces required some degree of restoration and repair, and the last six weeks or so has seen a whirlwind of activity just getting it all back inside the house.

These dedicated volunteers were the first of some 400 people who came to be involved in restoring the Old Kentucky Home. The 29-room boarding house, where Thomas Wolfe spent significant portions of his childhood, was immortalized in his acclaimed 1929 novel, Look Homeward, Angel. The property remained in the family until 1948, when it was sold to the newly formed Thomas Wolfe Memorial Committee. The committee (and, later, the city) ran it as a museum until it was turned over to the state of North Carolina in 1975.



Sleuthing the past



The house at 48 Spruce St. was built in 1883 for E.M. Sluder, who moved here from Charleston to start the Asheville Bank. It was state-of-the-art construction, with beautiful windows, expensive trim and hardware, and all the accouterments a wealthy homeowner of the time would have expected. Sluder completed at least two major renovations (including expanding it from seven rooms to 18) before Julia Wolfe, Tom's mother, bought the property in 1905 and converted it into a boarding house.



A decade later, Julia had saved enough money to move ahead with her own extensive plans for the house, and the end results reflect her frugal, no-nonsense approach. Her additions – the south-side sun porches and the northwest and southwest wings, all completed in 1916 – feature low-pitched roofs with metal shingles, which were significantly cheaper than trying to match the original slate roof. In four places, dividing walls were erected to create hallways to new areas or extra rooms. The plaster in the additions was the rougher two-coat kind (another significant cost savings); in the divided rooms, the dividing wall is two-coat plaster while the others are the three-coat plaster used in the original house. When an addition enclosed a window, Julia moved it to a new location. And when new doors or windows were needed, Julia bought the cheapest ones she could find. Finally, much of the work was probably done in exchange for room and board by local men who knew their way around a barstool better than they knew their way around carpentry tools.



The great challenge of the Wolfe house restoration was to salvage and duplicate those frugal measures and sometimes shoddy workmanship. required examining each flaw (such as the unlevel rear-hall floor) or substandard piece of workmanship (such as a door bottom that had been radically trimmed to fit in an askew opening) to determine whether it stemmed from half-baked workmanship circa 1916 or merely from decades of neglect and normal wear.



But before we could even begin to address such complex issues, we had to tackle more pressing concerns. The heat and flames had compromised the entire roof and second floor ceiling, and a demolition contractor was hired to remove all framing, plaster and roofing materials from the second-floor ceiling up.



That immediately sparked a frantic round of discussions and brainstorming sessions (both here and in Raleigh) on how to cost-effectively protect what remained of the house until repairs could be conceived and carried out. Local civil engineer David Smith quickly designed a weblike framework supported by 6-by-6 posts running all the way down to solid ground in the basement. The whole thing was covered with a fitted rubber tarp – such a shocking shade of blue that I easily spotted it from the air as we approached the Asheville airport. This ingenious solution completely protected the opened top of the house during the ensuing five years; it was relatively easy to assemble (assuming you had a carpentry crew that thought nothing of running around on such a structure 60 feet off the ground), and it was relatively inexpensive (at least compared to such alternatives as a giant custom tent).



After the fire, a fitted blue tarp placed on the home's roof was such a shocking shade of blue that airplane passengers flying over downtown could easily spot it. Restoring the roof to its current splendor involved scrutinizing pre-aerial photos with a magnifying glass, reviewing old tax records, researching the region of Pennsylvania where the original slate shingles came from – and installing them in the traditional manner.



The next several years were spent trying to figure out precisely what needed to be done and who would do it.



Then, in November of 2001, Progressive Contracting Company Inc. got the contract to restore the historic structure to its 1916 condition. A few months later, PCCI awarded me the subcontract to complete all carpentry-related demolition and repair work on the project; soon after, I was hired as site superintendent instead.



When we first arrived on site, the structure had been under temporary roof for nearly four years. Even the rooms farthest from the fire had deteriorated due to smoke and water damage. In rooms adjacent to the epicenter, 115 years' worth of layers of mostly lead paint had blistered wildly in the intense heat (which probably saved much of the woodwork).



Pieces of the puzzle



The Department of Cultural Resources' central directive was to take all pains to salvage and use as much "historic fabric" (meaning anything original to the structure) as possible – even material that would later be covered by replacement plaster. This also required precisely duplicating lost parts and materials to match the originals in color, texture, size and type.



Almost all commercial-construction projects entail submitting samples and technical data for all materials to be used to the architect. This ensures that the work is done as specified unless the client later orders changes.



For the Wolfe house, however, this meant first determining the structure's "original" condition – much of which was obscured by nine decades of wear as well as smoke and fire damage. Simply establishing the correct materials became an epic journey involving countless correspondence, e-mails, formal requests for information, and monthly progress meetings. In the case of replacement tile, for example, we determined what the original had actually looked like when new by reviewing the protected edges of surviving tiles.



Architect Barry Seiler reviewed more than 60 custom colors of red tile (only one of the nine tile colors that had to be approved) before deciding on one that had the right combination of glaze, tone, clay-body color and texture. He reviewed at least 20 bricks to find one with the appropriate size, color, texture and compressive strength (important because replacement brick must move in concert with the existing material during the subtle movements and settling that all buildings go through – and particularly vintage structures). Mortar, grout and plaster had to match the originals both in color and in formula (which had to be determined via lab tests).



But this "museum grade" restoration also mandated that all reinstalled materials be returned to their exact, original position in the house. About 4,500 square feet of plaster, for example, had to be reattached to the underlying lath (leaving 18-by-18-inch "documentary passages" in each room so future conservators could study the numerous layers of original paint). The individual bricks in a severely leaning chimney (one of two that had to be dismantled and rebuilt; three more required significant repairs) were all put back in the precise rows and positions where they'd originally been laid. For the masonry crew, this meant boxing, labeling, storing and later reinstalling the contents of the dozens of milk crates holding the chimney pieces – all of which had to be inspected and approved for accuracy. The same exacting process of removal, tagging, cataloging, storage, restoration and reinstallation held for all the other components of the home: flooring, trim, hardware, plumbing and so on.



I could write an article much longer than this one just on the Herculean task of re-creating the roof, which required (among other things) scrutinizing pre-fire aerial photos with a magnifying glass, reviewing old tax records, researching the region of Pennsylvania where the original slate shingles came from – and installing them in the traditional manner.



A complex legacy



The restoration work is now complete, the historic home newly risen from the ashes. And sophisticated heating/cooling and fire-protection systems have been installed, taking care to minimize disruption of the historic fabric. The electrical system, for instance, appears to run on old knob-and-tubing exposed wire painstakingly added once the actual electrical and burglar-alarm systems were in place.



The restoration process also brought much fascinating information to light. The construction laid bare new archaeological evidence about how the original wood-burning fireplaces were turned into coal-burning stoves. A campaign button that fell out from behind a mantel when it was removed is a relic of President William McKinley's visit to Asheville a few months before his Sept. 6, 1901 assassination. Old-time metal match strikers on trim were revealed after many layers of paint had been removed. The same process explosed places where old metal advertising signs had been used instead of wood lath to span areas of patched plaster – a quick-fix method entirely in keeping with Julia Wolfe's no-nonsense approach to getting the job done and moving on.



During much of my time on the project, the extensive demolition work, the labyrinth of temporary support posts and braces that had to be negotiated when walking through the site, and the relentless soot all made it hard to get any tangible sense of the end product, or even of what Julia had in mind when she began massively expanding her boarding house. It wasn't until I'd been on the job for about 16 months that I began to get a feel for this remarkable woman.



Although thousands of dedicated fans visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial each year, it's worth noting that young Tom hated his mother's boarding house. Not having his own room, he was expected to sleep in whatever bed was empty. But Julia Wolfe's vision resonates through the house. A determined landowner and businesswoman who was ahead of her time, Julia knew exactly where she wanted to go and how to get there. And the house is at least as much her legacy as it is her son's.



Ghost busters



The second question people almost invariably ask me is, "Are there any ghosts in the house?"



I've been involved in restoring and renovating vintage homes for about 25 years, both here and in New England. I began in this business as a thoroughgoing skeptic of things that go bump in the night. But I know beyond a doubt that in the last quarter-century, I've seen, smelled, heard and felt things that have no explanation on this plane of reality.



At least half a dozen people have died in the Wolfe house. Tom's beloved brother Ben (another key character in Look Homeward, Angel) died during the influenza outbreak of 1918. Tom's father died a painful death from cancer there. And at least several people committed suicide within those storied walls.

In the past two years, I've been alone in the home at all hours. And braver souls than I would have been creeped out, as I have been, on entering in the middle of the night to make sure I'd turned off lights or heaters (after panic drove me from my cozy bed – though happily, they were always false alarms). In all that time, however, I never felt any sort of vibe emanating from the Other Side. And longtime Wolfe house staffers say there's no anecdotal evidence of ghostly activity.



But there is one apparition you can definitely hope to glimpse: the ghost of Asheville's past. And if you're one of the many folks (myself included) who've kicked themselves for never getting around to taking a tour of this extraordinary cultural treasure before the fire, the dedicated, savvy folks at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Visitor Center are now eager to oblige.

Western NC: Classic Fly-Fishing Waters, Easy Access

Written by Jeff Ashton. Posted in Fairs, Fests & Fundraisers

You can talk about mid-Floridian saltwater fly fishing opportunities for bonefish, snook, tarpon and barracuda within a six-hour drive from Orlando. But if you want to savor the pleasures of classic trout streams, you are only a 90-minute flight from the epicenter of southeastern fly-fishing destinations - Asheville, N.C.

Late Nights and Cinnamon Rolls

Written by Beverly A. Kaiser. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

I never had my mother to myself. My sisters, and what seemed to be an endless succession of boyfriends, were always louder and more needy. Poverty dictated little time and even less energy. My understanding nature made sure I waited my turn. A turn that often never seemed to come.

Barging in the Netherlands and Northern Belgium

Written by Va Boyle. Posted in Fairs, Fests & Fundraisers

Isn't the idea of barging on the canals and rivers of Europe such as the Netherlands and Northern Belgium a romantic idea? Well, we at Sheville.org thought so, and on the recommendation of one of Sheville's advertisers, Yurchenco Travel, we enlisted their help in setting up such an adventure.

Introduction to My Experience in Ghana

Written by Janna Hoekema. Posted in Fairs, Fests & Fundraisers

I watched the trees and river as we climbed past them in the air-conditioned car towards Akosombo. Nervous flutterings in my stomach mixed with excitement and awe. The gentle climb into the hills around Akosombo helped to highlight the beauty of the area. I was still unsure if the school where I would be working had actually managed to find a place for me to live; but had the car packed with my suitcases and a few things from my parent's house in Accra nonetheless. We pulled into the school's small gravel parking lot during their morning break. Watching the uncountable children in pink, the teenagers in blue or white mill outside the classrooms just heightened my nervous excitement. The heat, humid and spiced with strange smells, was what first hit me as I left the car. My adventure as a volunteer teacher was truly beginning.

Kathryn Stripling Byers: Poet Laureate for North Carolina

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in News

Kathryn Byer received the Hanes Award for Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers at its annual conference in Chattanooga in March, 2007.


Two other North Carolina writers--Pamela Duncan (fiction) and Jennifer Grotz (poetry)--were also among the Fellowship's nine award winners this year. For the tribute North Carolina poet James Applewhite read at Ms. Byer’s award presentation.

 

Women in the Military Commemoration Wall

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Vicky Miller is an Asheville woman on a mission. She is working to memorialize women's contribution to the protection and defense of the United States of America on a military commemoration wall at Asheville's regional VA hospital.

Rain and Sparrows

Written by G. Leigh Wilkerson. Posted in Food, Farm & Market

The tomato vines were lush and chest high, the best I'd ever grown in my three years of vegetable gardening. The leaves were dark green and unblemished, the picture of plant vitality. My secret, I had decided, was a generous shovel of year-old compost every two weeks. The vines were covered with swelling green tomatoes. I went around telling friends I had the prettiest tomato plants ever, despite the rainiest summer the North Carolina mountains had seen in years and a late start for lack of dry ground. From my window I could look out and see the huge green globes of fruit shining on the row.

Did You Know?

Written by Center for Women's Business Research. Posted in Business & Money

According to the Center for Women's Business Research 10.6 million privately held companies are now at least 50%-owned by women. And from 1997 to 2004, the estimated growth rate in the number of female-owned companies reached 17%, nearly twice that of all businesses, at 9%.

Appraisal Q&A

Written by Bonnie Rose. Posted in Lifestyles @Home

Q: We moved but some of our things did not arrive on the moving van. Can we still have them appraised?

A: Yes, you can. Hypothetical appraisals are used to estimate the value of property which is no longer available for inspection, such as property that has been stolen, destroyed by fire, or damaged or misplaced by the moving company. The value conclusions are based on critical assumptions, any one of which could render the appraisal useless, if inaccurate. All hypothetical appraisals must clearly be labeled as such and the reason for the appraisal being hypothetical must be included. In addition, all critical assumptions must be thoroughly identified.

These critical assumptions will be based on verbal descriptions you give to the appraiser, and through the use of photographs, invoices, receipts, cancelled checks, catalogs, sketches, etc. If you don’t have photographs, perhaps your friends, old neighbors, or relatives might have some that were taken in your home. If you cannot adequately describe what was lost, the appraiser will not be able to determine replacement values.

Consider having your valuable items appraised before you move again. If these objects become lost, stolen, or destroyed, a moving company or insurance company claims adjuster can rely on the appraisal to settle your claim. Things that have sentimental value that cannot be replaced, such as photo albums and family heirlooms, should be moved by you and not packed or loaded onto the moving van.

Sing Your Song

Written by Glenis Redmond. Posted in Poetry, Literature, Writing

Sing!
Sing your song, girl.
Bring in the coming of this new day of golden ray and brilliant light.
Sing the song that washes past regrets and persecutions away.

What's Not There

Written by Annelinde Metzner. Posted in Environment

Evenings, a salt breeze cools the skin.
Pelicans plunge deep, intensely focused.

Educate a Girl. Change the World.

Written by News or Press Release. Posted in EDUCATION & GENDER STUDIES

Why Just Girls? In 2001 the World Bank identified education of girls as the key to effective development, saying countries that promote women's rights and increase their access to schooling have lower poverty rates, faster economic growth, healthier populations and less government corruption than countries that don't. www.givegirlsachance.org

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