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May 2012











2 • May 2012


THE Judge


Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third female to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court Courtesy, Hispanic Culture Online


onia Sotomayor became the third woman and the first Latina to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court. That accomplishment indeed, went a long way from her humble beginnings. Born to Puerto Rican parents who came here to find the American dream, Sonia lived

as a young girl in The Bronxdale housing project with her parents and her brother Juan. Sotomayor's family lived with a modest income, with her father Juan being a tool and die worker while her mother Celina was a methadone clinic nurse. When Sotomayor was just nine years old,

her father died leaving her mother to fend for their needs. Working two jobs, she still managed to buy the only encyclopedia set in the neighborhood for her children. Believing that education can set them free from poverty, her mother encouraged them to excel in school. In an article for Latina Magazine, Sandra Guzman a personal friend of Sonia's, reveals that Sonia's interests in law began by reading Nancy Drew books. Her keen interest in law was deeply instilled after watching an episode of Perry Mason. With the judge's face focused on the camera, Sotomayor realized that the judge plays the most important role in the courtroom. It was then she realized that she wanted to be a judge one day. This famous Hispanic woman graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School and completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University in 1976. She graduated summa cum laude and received the highest honor Princeton can bestow to its undergraduate students - The M. Taylor Pyne Prize. She earned her law degree in 1979 from Yale University where she became the editor of the Yale University Law Review and managing director in World Public Order. After her graduation and until 1984, Sonia Sotomayor worked as a prosecutor under Manhattan District AttorneyRobert Morgenthau. She went to private practice as an associate, and later as a partner of the

Pavia and Harcourt Law Office in New York City until 1992. She gave up private practice after she was confirmed as a federal judge by the senate on the 11th of August 1992 through the nomination of then President George H.W. Bush. On June 25, 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Sotomayor for a seat on the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals but received confirmation after more than a year. The Republican-led senate reportedly feared that she might be considered for the Supreme Court someday, how ironic. However, she was finally confirmed by the senate through a 68-28 vote on October 2, 1998. She worked as a professor at New York University School of Law from 1998 to 2007 and is a lecturer at Columbia UniversityLaw School since 1999. With her sheer talent and strength of character, she overcame the adversities of her growing up years. The fulfillment of the American dream came when President Barack Obama nominated her and became the 111th justice of the United States Supreme Court in August 2009. At the day of the White House reception to celebrate her appointment, Sonia showed President Obama her red-flashy nails and her black semi-hoop earrings, he chuckling told her she had been briefed on the color of her nails and the size of her earrings to what she replied: "Mr. President you have no idea what you have unleashed." COVER PHOTO / COURTESY PACE UNIVERSITY

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May 2012 •


ContentsMind ~ Body ~ Spirit ~ Self


From The Publisher’s Desk… By Janet Davis-Leak, Publisher/Editor-in-chief Of all the social justice issues facing women and care, housing, education, criminal justice, immigration, economic security, etc.....the overarching issue that encompasses all of these is poverty. The problem is so huge, and so multifaceted, that it's difficult to know where to begin. As individuals, most of us work to ease the plight of poverty when and where we can, by contributing time, talent, money, or other resources to direct-service agencies. But these actions, worthwhile as they are, do little or nothing to solve the real problem. Real solutions can only be realized through political will and legislative action, and it takes advocacy to influence these efforts. In the Maryland area, organizations such as the Catholic Relief Services, Maryland Hunger Solutions and on


ENLIGHTENING Cover Story 2 Woman of the Month 4 Mom Central 5 Let's Get Organized 5

EMPOWERING Fitness 6 Move of the Month 6 Health 7 │ Medical 8 Sports 9





Green Living 14 Food 14 │ Gardening 15 Poetry Corner 13

Travel 13 │ Fashion 20 Arts & Entertainment 18 Beauty 19 │ Off the Shelf 19



Advice 10 │ The Healing Place 11 Inspirationally Yours 10 Woman of Faith 11

Career Corner 12 Her Story 12

national and international levels, Share Our Strength, Feeding America and Bread for the World, endeavor to address this pervasive problem through funding, education and partnering. They need our support. When you sit down for your next meal, consider those less fortunate and if possible make a donation to a local hunger organization or help serve at a community feeding program. Some of you may even consider fasting one meal per week. I’m certain that it will be most appreciated and would probably make you feel great as well! Our cover this month is on Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third female appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor’s rise to prominence is a story that inspires hope and faith in the human spirit to overcome obstacles. She is a credit to her race and to women of all nationalities everywhere. As usual, this issue is packed with wonderful articles imparting worthwhile news and information that we hope you can use. Please continue to support our advertisers, and don’t forget “mom” this month! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th!



Manners For Personal Mobile Devices


he most important manner to remember when it comes to technology is this: be aware of how your use of technology impacts those around you. When you use your cell phone, iPhone, BlackBerry, iPad or smart phone, be polite! When you write an email or text, think before you send! Apply a little common sense to the use of your cool tech tools and you'll be an etiquette superstar.

Car Care 21 │ Wired 21 Ask the Homebuilder 22 Pet Care 23 Finance 23 │ Smart Woman 23 Education 25 Success Strategies 26

How I See It 24 Veteran Women 25 Political News 27 National News 28 International News 29 Editorial 30

4 • May 2012


Pat Summitt... A Woman of Substance By Teresa M. Walker, Courtesy of Huffington Post Pat Summitt, who won more games than anyone in NCAA college basketball history, stepped down as coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, less than eight months after revealing she had earlyonset dementia. "I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," the 59-year-old Hall of Famer said in a statement issued by the school. Longtime assistant Holly Warlick will take over for Summitt, who will become head coach emeritus. A news conference is scheduled Thursday afternoon at the school in Knoxville. When the Lady Vols lost in a regional final to eventual national champion Baylor, Warlick's tears were a telltale sign of how draining the season had been and also that it likely was Summitt's last game. "She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting," athletic director Dave Hart said. "Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role. She is an inspiration to everyone." Summitt will report to Hart in her new role while assisting the program she guided to eight national titles since taking over in 1974. Tennessee said that Summitt's responsibilities will include helping with recruiting, watching practice, joining staff meetings, helping coaches analyze practice and games and advising the Southeastern Conference on women's basketball issues and mentoring players. "Pat's vision for the game of women's basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. "In her new role, I'm sure she will continue to make significant impacts to the University of Tennessee and to the game of women's basketball as a whole. "I am thrilled for (Warlick) as this opportunity is well deserved and Pat will be a huge asset to her moving forward," he said. Warlick, a three-time All-American who played for Summitt, was her assistant for 27 years. Hart said he watched Warlick grow this season under what he called "unique circumstances" and that she is deserving of the head job. "Her mentor will be available for insight and advice, but this is Holly's team now," Hart said. Warlick said she was thankful for all Summitt has done in preparing her for this opportunity as her coach, mentor and friend. We will work as hard as we possibly can with the goal of hanging more banners in ThompsonBoling Arena," Warlick said. One of Summitt's former stars, Tamika Catchings, saw the news on TV during a meeting. "Everyone in the back of their minds was thinking this was going to happen anyway. Holly will do a good job," she said.

Last season, while Summitt devoted more attention to her health, Warlick took the lead during games and handled postgame interviews, while the entire staff handled recruiting and practices. Even so, Summitt still managed to put on her trademark icy stare a time or two during the tournament. "As I've said many times, Pat Summitt is a pioneer in basketball," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Her amazing career accomplishments are among an elite group of leaders. Very few people leave a lasting legacy in their chosen professions and Coach Summitt has done just that at the University of Tennessee and in women's basketball. She raised the level of commitment, pride and notoriety of her sport. I am honored to call her a friend." Summitt's diagnosis came during one of the Lady Vols' most disappointing stretches – by Summitt's lofty standards, anyway. Tennessee hasn't won a national championship since 2008 and hasn't even reached the Final Four, which ties for its longest such drought in program history. Tennessee's five seniors were part of the team that lost in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament, the only time in school history the Lady Vols had bowed out on the first weekend. Those seniors promised they would win a ninth national championship this season – not just for Summitt, but as center Vicki Baugh put it, " ... for everyone who has Alzheimer's." But they couldn't make it back to the Final Four, losing to Baylor and Brittney Griner, a player Summitt couldn't convince to come to Knoxville. Summitt's career ends with a 1,098-208 record, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships and 16 SEC tournament titles. During her time, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5 and reached 18 Final Fours. "Words cannot adequately describe the extraordinary career that Pat Summitt has had in the world of basketball," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She is a model of class and courage, and I don't think that enough can be said for just how much Pat has accomplished in building and elevating women's basketball to its current heights." Her impact reaches beyond wins and losses. Every Lady Vol player who has completed her eligibility at Tennessee has graduated, and 74 former players, assistants, graduate assistants, team managers and directors of basketball operations are currently among the coaching ranks at every level of basketball. "You think about the University of Tennessee and you think of Pat Summitt," Catchings said. "You don't think of anyone else. The great players that have come and gone, coaches that have come and gone, but the legacy that she built for herself and for the university. It's amazing how far women's basketball has come. Her legacy isn't over yet."


Pat Summitt retires as head women's basketball coach at Tennessee after 38 years with eight NCAA championships and 1,098 wins

May 2012 •



Climb, Swing & Snuggle: Reading Readiness Involves the Whole Body By Laura Grace Weldon Today’s children sit more than ever. Babies spend countless hours confined in car seats and carriers rather than crawling, toddling, or being carried. As they get older, their days are often heavily scheduled between educational activities and organized events. Most children today have twenty-five percent less time for free play than they did a generation ago, and that’s before factoring in distractions like TV or video games. Left to their own devices, children move. They hold hands and whirl in a circle till they fall down laughing. They climb, dig and run. They beg to take part in interesting tasks with adults. They snuggle. Stifling these full body needs actually impairs their ability to learn. We know that our little ones walk and talk on their own timetables. No rewards or punishments are necessary to “teach” them. Yet children are expected to read, write, and spell starting at five and six years old as if they develop the same way at the same time. In fact, academics are pushed on preschoolers with the assumption this will make them better students. This approach is not only unnecessary. It may be contributing to problems such as “learning disorders” and “attention deficits.” Literacy isn’t easy. It requires children to decode shapes (the alphabet) into sounds and words, to remember these words correctly in written and spoken form, and to understand their meaning. Allowing reading to develop naturally or teaching it later tends to create eager, lifelong readers. In contrast, teaching children to read early, between four and seven years, is often stressful. Why? Children pushed to read young tend to rely on right brain processes because that area matures more quickly. These early readers are likely to guess at unknown words using clues such as appearance, context, beginning and ending letters. Their main tactic is memorizing sight words. These are valuable methods but not a balanced approach to reading. Such children may quickly tire after reading short passages or read smoothly but have difficulty deriving meaning from what they read. The procedure they use to decode words can make the content hard to comprehend. These reading problems can persist. However children benefit when they learn to read naturally or are taught later. That’s because, as the left brain matures and the pathway between both hemispheres develops, it becomes easier for them to sound out words, to visualize meanings and mentally tinker with abstractions. They memorize short sight words but sound out longer words, an ap-

proach that is less taxing. As they incorporate more words into their reading vocabulary they more easily picture and understand what they are reading. In order for children to read, write, and spell, they must be developmentally ready. Some are ready at the age of four or five, some not for many more years. This readiness includes complex neurological pathways and kinesthetic awareness. Such readiness isn’t created by workbooks or computer programs. It’s the result of brain maturation as well as rich experiences found in bodily sensation and movement. These experiences happen as children play and work. This includes expansive movements such as climbing, jumping, digging, swimming, playing hopscotch and catch, riding bikes, sweeping, running. It also includes fine movements such as chopping vegetables, drawing, building, using scissors, and playing in sand. And it includes the essential growth that comes from snuggling, listening to stories, singing, trying new tastes, playing rhyming and clapping games, enjoying make believe. Children are drawn to such experiences. Without them, they won’t have a strong foundation for learning. These activities stimulate the child’s brain to develop new neural pathways. Such activities also build confidence, smooth sensory processing, and create a bank of direct experience that helps the child visualize abstract concepts. Well-intended adults may think a good use of a rainy afternoon is a long car ride to an educational exhibit. A young child is likely to derive more developmental value (and fun) from stomping in puddles and digging in mud followed by play time in the tub. There are many other factors contributing to reading readiness. Perhaps most important is a supportive family life where reading and conversation are an enjoyable part of each day. But it helps to remember that young children want to participate in the purposeful work of making meals, fixing what’s broken, and planting the garden. They also need free time without the built-in entertainment of specialized toys, television, or video games so they can explore, pretend, and play games. These direct experiences prepare children for the magic found when shapes become words, words become stories, and they become readers. Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm where they raise produce, livestock, and the occasional ruckus. Laura writes for a variety of print and online publications on learning, sustainability, and mindfulness. She's a non-violence educator, book editor, and friendly hermit. Connect with her at


Proponents of Free Range Learning believe that children learn best on their own time table, and that they should be given plenty of opportunity to learn through play and new experiences


Do You Want To Be Greener? Get Organized! By Nettie Owens, Staff Writer, Professional Organizer

Going green and getting organized go hand in hand. There was a time that I believed efforts to be more environmentally conscious should be postponed until a person was more organized. However, this led to waiting until ‘just the right moment’ to start and often that time never came. But going green does not have to wait until organizing has occurred, in fact, these two efforts can support each other. Follow the R’s of environmentalism: reduce, reuse and recycle. Reducing what you bring into your home has an immediate positive effect on both the environment and your efforts to reduce what you have overall. If you are bringing less in, then you have less stuff to handle. You will make your organizing task much easier. How can you reduce? Remove yourself from mailing lists that send catalogs and other advertising mail. Shop with a grocery list and be conscious of what comes into your home via purchases and gifts. Remember the rule of one in, one out when purchasing new items and if possible donate or recycle the old item. With the Internet and such sites as it is easier these days to find ways to reuse what would otherwise be trash. At first, pick only one or two items to reuse such as newspapers in your flower beds or bags at the grocery store. Set up a system around reusing and designate a place to store your saved items. Be sure to also set a limit so that once you have

enough newspapers for your garden projects you recycle the rest. Reusing can turn into hoarding when taken to an extreme. Be mindful that reusing is a great next step in helping the earth. Recycling comes into place when reducing and/or reusing are not options. is a great website for finding places to recycle unusual items. If you have single-stream recycling in your area then commit to recycling as much as you throw in the trash. Have recycling containers just as you would trash cans in commonly used areas such as bedrooms, kitchens and offices. Talk to family and friends to let them know you are trying to recycle. Think outside of the box with recycling as well; use or a local thrift store to unload unwanted items, earn a little cash and then purchase what you need from those same places. Set a reminder to take out the recycling weekly until you get in the habit. Making lifestyle changes around earth friendly practices is the final step. A habit takes 28 days to build. Pick one area to focus on such as using cloth bags at the grocery store for one month. Then, focus your efforts on remembering to use those bags by keeping them in the front seat of the car and returning them after shopping to reinforce using them. Then, invest your time and energy to a new skill such as making a meal plan for the week. It is easy being green when you are organized. A desire to be green is a great reason to apply organizing ideas to your home.

6 • May 2012


May... Ladies, It’s Your Time By Tonya Wigfall, Staff Writer/Fitness Trainer/Instructor May is an ideal time to not only switch your exercise routine to outdoor activities but also focus on your overall health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health promotes women’s health during a week-long observance starting on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 2012 and celebrated until Saturday, May 19, 2012. The theme of this year’s 13th annual National Women’s Health Week is “It’s Your Time” and begins with a national checkup on Monday, May 14, 2012. There are local events going on in your area. For more information go to Often times, women fail to make time for them because they are worried or consumed with numerous other things such as their family or career. During National Women’s Health Week, be encouraged to improve your physical and mental health and lower your risks of certain diseases. There are several ways you can do this, but first make sure that you take the time to schedule and visit your physician for a regular check-up. This especially holds true for women over 40. Other things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle are: DON'T SMOKE. If you smoke or use

other tobacco products, ask your physician for help to quit. It's also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. You can also check your local health department or clinic for smoking cessation classes/programs. EAT A HEALTHY DIET. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. Eating a healthy diet that consists of the aforementioned will assist with maintaining/losing weight. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT. Extra pounds increase the risk of diseases and prevent you from living your best life. To find out an appropriate weight for you consult your physician. Many health professionals use the Body Mass Index as a guide. This guide is simply a height to weight ratio but does not take into account your body fat measurements. For this, you can consult your local health club professional. Body fat percentages are broken into six categories: athlete, lean, normal, above average, over-fat and obese. For women: • Athlete is less than 17 percent body fat • Lean is between 17 and 22 percent • Normal falls between 22 and 25 percent

• • • •

Above average is between 25 and 29 percent Over-fat sits between 29 and 35 percent Obese is above 35 percent body fat Anything below 12 percent body fat for women is unhealthy Read more: http://www.livestrong. com/article/252475-ideal-body-fat-forwomen/#ixzz1rfmk38ez MANAGE CHRONIC CONDITIONS. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your physician’s treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control. By eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, chronic conditions can be managed. INCLUDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE. Physical activity does not have to be time consuming. Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from brisk walking to ballroom dancing. An afternoon of gardening once a week may even do the trick and keep your yard looking well groomed! LIMIT ALCOHOL. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

MANAGE STRESS. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways like exercising or meditating. Remember, there is such a thing as good stress which is what psychologists refer to as "eustress." This is the type of ‘positive’ stress that keeps us vital and excited about life. Examples of eustress include the excitement of a roller-coaster ride, a scary movie, or a fun challenge. Ladies, it’s your time to take care of yourself in every way – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Your family and children depend on you!


ONE-ARM DUMBBELL ROWS Starting Position: With one dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing the body, step forward with your left leg as if you were going to lunge. Bend the left knee and straighten your right leg back. Rest the center of your left forearm on your left leg. Note: Create a flat back/neutral spine so that your head and spine are in alignment with your right leg. Keep upper body steady with the abs pulled in tight. Ending Position: With the right palm facing inward, "row" or pull the dumbbell up as high as possible (towards your armpit) while keeping your elbow close to the body. Slowly lower dumbbell back down until arm is straight/relaxed in starting position. This completes one repetition. Note: Do not lock out your elbow while arm is extended. Finish one set of 15-25 repetitions and switch sides. Complete 3-4 sets

Starting Position

Ending Position

May 2012 •

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month By Sarah Woods, Health Writer May is National Osteoporosis Month, which is promoted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). Eighty percent of those affected by osteoporosis are women, according to the NOF. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis due to low estrogen levels. It is estimated that 8 million American women suffer from osteoporosis.1 Osteoporosis occurs when the body is forced to use calcium stored in bone to maintain normal physiological functions at the cellular level. When there is not enough calcium absorbed into the bloodstream, the body takes calcium from bone to make up the difference. This results in decreased bone mass and increased fragility.2 The NOF estimates that the number of fractures caused by osteoporosis will rise to 3 million by the year 2025. The three most important factors in preventing osteoporosis are adequate calcium, vitamin D intake, and regular exercise.2 Women younger than 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, and 1,200 milligrams when they are older than 50.2 However, the average US women’s calcium intake can be as low as 748 milligrams each day. Calcium

supplements are used by about 43 percent of the US population in order to make up for their calcium deficiency.3 Some menopausal and postmenopausal women are prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to prevent osteoporosis, but not all women are willing to take the risks associated with that preventative measure. Some of those risks can include blood clots, stroke, and heart disease.2 Medical practitioners who do not prescribe HRT often offer medications such as biophosphates to help maintain healthy calcium levels throughout menopause and post-menopause.3 For reference, 8 ounces of lowfat yogurt contains 415 mg of calcium, 3 ounces of canned sardines have 325 mg calcium, and 8 ounces of non-fat milk contains 299 mg of calcium. It is important for women to assess their daily calcium intake and consult their healthcare providers in order to determine if, or which, calcium supplement is necessary.3


HEALTH Vitamin D is important to osteoporosis prevention because of its impact on calcium absorption. Vitamin D can be obtained from UV exposure, foods, and supplements. Long-term Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to osteoporosis by preventing the absorption of calcium for long periods of time.4 The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D for women 19-70 years is 600 International Unit (IU) or 15 microgram (mcg). Women over the age of 70 require 800 IU, or 20 mcg, of Vitamin D daily. The Vitamin D intake level of an average female is 144 to 276 IU/day from food, far lower than the RDA. To complement Vitamin D intake from foods, 37% of the US population consumes a Vitamin D supplement.4 The best types of exercise to support bone strength and prevent osteoporosis are strength training and weight-bearing exercises. In order to reap the most benefits from a bone health exercise program, it is important to begin while young. Some examples of bone health exercises are walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing, and high-impact sports such as volleyball, soccer and basketball. Strength training can include resistance bands, weight lifting, or using exercise machines that can provide resistance.2 There are two different groups of risk factors for osteoporosis- lifestyle risk factors that can be changed and risk factors that cannot be

changed. Factors that can’t be changed that can put people at an increased risk for osteoporosis are female gender, aging, menopause, family history of osteoporosis and broken bones, low body weight, and decreasing height. Changeable lifestyle risk factors include inadequate intake of calcium, Vitamin D, fruits and vegetables, increased levels of protein, sodium, and caffeine, having a sedentary lifestyle, weight loss, smoking, and alcohol use. It is important for women to do as much as possible to decrease their risk factors for osteoporosis while they are young and before irreversible damage can occur.1 Many types of doctors test and treat patients for osteoporosis, such as family practitioners, endocrinologists, geriatricians, gynecologists, internists, orthopedists, psychiatrists, and rheumatologists. If you are at risk for osteoporosis, speak with your primary healthcare provider to arrange for testing and evaluation. If you have trouble finding a physician, consult your local hospital for practitioners in their network who provide osteoporosis evaluation.1 For more information about osteoporosis, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website at References 1 National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2011) About osteoporosis. Retrieved from http:// 2 Mayo Clinic. (December 13, 2011). Osteoporosis prevention. Retrieved from http:// 3 National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (August 31, 2011). Calcium. Retrieved from 4 National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. ( June 24, 2011). Vitamin D. Retrieved from

Fatigue Facts: 5 Things That Make You Tired By Eliana Osborn Your extreme fatigue might be coming from one of these energy suckers.

1. Dehydration It turns out that even moderate dehydration (which results in the loss of 3 percent of your body weight) can make you feel mentally sluggish and mess with your concentration. The next time you're feeling foggy or lightheaded, don't just assume you're in serious need of some food. Try downing a glass or two of water.

2. Cell Phones

Checking your cell before bed amps up brain activity, making it harder to doze off. Plus, any electronic gadget's artificial blue light can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. A 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 20 percent of people ages 19 to 29 are awakened by a call, text, or e-mail at least a few nights a week. Power it down well before bedtime.

3. Medication

Many drugs have veiled energy-sapping side effects. Chief among them are some classes of antidepressants and certain beta-blockers

used to prevent migraines or treat high blood pressure. If you start a new med and feel more lethargic than usual, see your doctor for an alternative. (If there isn't one, take your dose right before bed.)

4. Overtraining

While working out zaps the stress hormone cortisol, prolonged sweat sessions—like, for example, regularly running for more than 30 minutes at a steady rate—can actually rev cortisol production. Interval training (bursts of intense activity) combined with strength training (free-weight and body-weight moves) helps keep cortisol in check.

5. Low Iron

The mineral shuttles oxygen around your body and removes waste from your cells. If you're not getting around 18 milligrams a day, your body struggles to function properly and you can feel worn out; low iron levels in your diet can cause iron deficiency anemia. If you feel sluggish, ask your doctor for a simple blood test to see if you should be taking a supplement.


8 • May 2012


New for the Knee: MAKOplasty for Osteoarthritis By Drs. Marc Hungerford and Kamala Littleton

The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital at Mercy Medical Center Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and leading cause of disability worldwide. OA is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of joint cartilage, the cushion between bones of a joint. Patients with OA have had the top layer of cartilage break down and wear away, causing bones under the cartilage to rub together, causing pain. Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include pain while standing or walking short distances, climbing up or down stairs, getting in and out of chairs, swelling, a grating sensation or crunching feeling in the knee during use, joint stiffness, etc. Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or replacement remains the ‘gold standard’ for treating degenerative joint disease. While proven to be a very successful procedure, it’s an invasive procedure and requires extensive rehabilitation. It is also best suited for patients with late stage osteoarthritis—that is, where

all three compartments of the knee are affected. Fortunately, there is now a new option available for patients with this disease--MAKOplasty Partial Knee Resurfacing using the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. MAKOplasty involves replacing the worn, damaged and missing cartilage with an implant made out of metal and plastic. It’s not unlike capping a tooth. The basic structure of the knee remains — most of the bone, the ligaments, the skin, the nerves, the muscles — as the damaged and diseased part of the knee is removed and a new bearing surface is put in place. Key to this procedure is the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. During surgery, the RIO provides the surgeon with real-time visual, tactile and auditory feedback which optimizes joint resurfacing and implant positioning—it’s a kind of “GPS” for the knee. It helps the surgeon place the implant which is crucial to achieving natural


Reminds you to...




Your Mother

knee motion for the patient after surgery. Using this information, the RIO robot resurfaces the diseased area of the knee and replaces it with the implant. This approach provides a less invasive option for patients who are living with the daily pain of early to mid-stage knee osteoarthritis. Benefits of the MAKOplasty Partial Knee Resurfacing include: • Joint resurfacing • Bone sparing • Smaller incision • Less scarring • Reduced blood loss • Minimal hospitalization • Rapid recovery Proper implant alignment and precise positioning during surgery, as afforded by the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System, can improve the life expectancy of an implant. The longer an implant lasts, the less likely the need for another surgery to replace it. The use of RIO helps ensure the knee implant is properly aligned and positioned to ensure long implant life. In addition, because very little bone is actually removed during this procedure, the implants can be easily replaced should another procedure, like a total knee replacement, eventually be necessary. In traditional knee replacement surgery,


Dr. Marc Hungerford, of Mercy Medical Center, with the MAKOplasty Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System at least the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and frequently the Posterior Cruciate ligaments are cut and the entire joint surface is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. TKA performed in patients with early stage osteoarthritis typically involves removing healthy cartilage. A recent Duke University study revealed that over 90 percent of men and women would decline having total knee surgery. See Robot Surgeon, Page 12

May 2012 •



Colliding with Collision By Keith Henry, Staff Writer Roughly six years ago, Joy Collision, also known as Marisa Singleton, was introduced to the sport of roller derby. “A friend of mine told me about roller derby. I had no idea what it was. But it sounded like a fun, aggressive sport when I was told about it. It was up my alley” said Collision. Collision went to a practice and right away, she was hooked. Even in her first year, she had been inspired by a few skaters. “Shevil Kanevil was just an amazing skater. Lady Kaboom and Buzzkill were all fantastic skaters I can look up to right off the bat when I was just starting out,” said Collision who by day is a massage therapist. Roller Derby isn't a new sport. Especially for the fans who regularly attend the Charm City Roller Girls (CCRG) bouts. “We love our fans in Baltimore. There are people that have been coming to every game since the very first season. It's really nice because you know we're Facebook friends and chat. It's not like we're inaccessible to our fans. If they want to come and say hi, take a picture, get an autograph or hang out, we're there to do that.” For those who have never been to a bout, Collision offers, “You don't need to know all the rules right away. You will be thrilled and excited regardless of whether you know the game. There's a lot of hitting, falling, jumping, spinning, fast skating and teamwork. It's just really

exciting. Even if you don't know the rules, you'll still be very entertained.” The CCRG are in their 7th season in Baltimore. There are seven home dates that are all held at Du Burns Arena. Early in the season, four separate home teams, which the All-Stars will be comprised of, skate against each other in a round-robin format. They are the Mobtown Mods, Night Terrors, Junkyard Dolls and Speed Regime. Collision currently skates for the Speed Regime. In April, the home teams skate for the championship, then the CCRG All-Stars take to the track and start their season. The skaters run every part of the CCRG organization. CCRG is also a member of the World Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). So in addition to their skating responsibilities, their work behind the scenes is as important to them as performing on the track. Due to Collision's love of the media and mentoring, she joined the coaching committee because it gave her a chance to talk to girls about sports. This enabled her to do her job and help out the league at the same time. Collision says that there's some ownership there and most leagues around the country are run similarly. Tryouts are held in order to join the CCRG All-Stars. Some of the ladies from the four home teams make the squad and have the option of just playing for the home teams, the All-Star teams or both. The CCRG AllStar team gets to compete with others from all over the country and Canada. Once a year, regional tournaments take place all over

A Preview of Things to Come By G. Stoler, Staff Writer As the new Sports Columnist for WomanScope Magazine I hope to bring you inside the world of women's sports like never before. I will tell stories of female athletes, coaches and trainers from inside and outside the lines. I will put you inside the ring with female boxers, on the horse with female jockeys and also tell you the story of how they came to fight or ride. As a youth, I grew to respect the extra dedication and specialized training that women must bring to the competitive arena of sport. My mother holds a brown belt in Karate and coached basketball and bowling, my sister Ka-

tie played for one of the most exclusive girls American Athletic Union basketball teams in the state, and my sister Stephanie earned a B.A. in ballet. As a high school state champion and AllAmerican wrestler, I was recruited to some of the top schools on the east coast. I went on to wrestle at Shippensburg University. While there, I also edited the sports section of the school newspaper. It was at the sport desk where my respect for female athletes grew to deep admiration. I could always find someone to cover football and men's basketball, but finding someone to


Joy Collision fights to hold off Winona Fighter during a bout with the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

the country and the top three teams from each region earn a spot in the WFTDA Championships. Last year, the CCRG All-Stars placed third in the Eastern Regional’s, which were held in Baltimore, earning a spot in the WFTDA championships. Though they lost in the first round to the Minnesota Rollergirls, Collision and her teammates forged on. On April 6, CCRG were invited to the ProRollerDerby Invitational in Glendale, Arizona where they won a nail biter in the championship game over the Arizona Derby Dames 182167. Amazingly, this tournament represented the first time they’ve competed on a banked track. CCRG is the first flat-track team to ever win the ProRollerDerby Invitational. Collision was chosen to represent the USA Roller Derby team in the first ever Roller Derby World Cup last year in Toronto. She was so ecstatic about the chance to represent the country because she had to work her tail off to get picked out of many who tried out. “It was really hard. It was nerve-racking because

there are so many good skaters out there and I was nervous the whole time that maybe I wouldn't get selected for the team,” said Collision. All nervousness aside, she prevailed and was named captain of that squad by her peers. The USA squad went on to dominate everyone in their path and won it all, but the experience to Collision is priceless. “Skating with so many amazing, fantastic skaters was most amazing experience ever,” said Collision. That event led her to wanting to do more roller derby because she has plenty of time left in the sport. She has since coached in Australia, Europe and Canada. For the young ladies that are interested in roller derby, Collision advises, “Just get out there and start skating.” The next bout is May 12 at 5:30 pm in the Du Burns Arena located at 1301 South Ellwood Avenue in Baltimore. For more information about the Charm City Roller Girls, check out their website at

cover the women's teams was more difficult. I began covering the Shippensburg Lady Raiders sports team to provide equal coverage. The Lady Raiders seemed to rely much more on the fundamental skills of the sport than their male counterparts. While everyone on the men's basketball team thought they were the next Michael Jordan, using one-onone moves to drive the ball to the rim and dunk, the women's team ran an almost beautiful motion offense, unselfishly passing the ball to achieve the highest percentage shot. The Lady Raiders basketball team used this unselfish play to make three runs to the NCAA Elite Eight, and I had the pleasure of covering every shot, pass and rebound. For the last two-years, I have been the lead sports writer for several Baltimore based local news websites, building trusting relationships

with coaches and athletes which grants me exclusive access that other journalists just don't have. I plan on telling WomanScope readers the story of Mallory Richards, a figure skating teacher who for the past six-years has taught underprivileged, inner city boys and girls not only to skate, but to play ice hockey as the head coach of the Patterson Park Stars. I will put you inside the minds of females competing in combat sports like mixed-martial-arts, professional wrestling and roller derby telling you what drives these women to endure punches, elbows and atomic body slams. I plan on covering women in all levels of competition, from local rec-leagues to Olympic level athletes, giving WomanScope readers an unprecedented inside look at the world of women's sport.

10 • May 2012


W oman to Woman By Dr. Renée Parks, Staff Writer





Dear Dr. Renée Two months ago I cheated on my husband with a co-worker. It was a one-time thing and I regretted it almost immediately. Hoping that I could clear my guilty conscience, I came clean with my husband and told him what happened. Now he says he doesn’t think he can trust me and is talking about divorce. How can I get him to trust me again? We’ve been married for 10 years and I don’t want it to end because I was stupid one night. -Ashamed Cheater Dear Ashamed, Open up the lines of communication and find out what he’s thinking. Is he hurt and betrayed? Angry? You need to talk it out with him and explain the reasons that you cheated and let him know that it will never happen again. Remind him of the good times that you had together. Don’t try and defend what you did. Admit that it was wrong and tell him that it won’t happen again. Ask if there’s anything you can do to prove that you won’t do it again. Remember that we make many choices in our lifetime. Some choices we are proud of, while others make us wish we had made better decisions. Forgive yourself from past mistakes and be gentler with yourself.

Dear Dr. Renée, Every first date seems to go worse than the last one. I’m socially awkward and can never come across good on a first date. We usually spend most of dinner just staring at each other and eating the food with little to no conversation. As a result, I can never get past the first date. Any advice so I can make it to date #2? I’m getting very lonely over here. -First Date Dear First, This is more common than you think, so don’t worry about being a little different. There are a number of ways to try and move past your social awkwardness or find someone who is equally as awkward so that the two of you have an immediate way to bond. Speed dating is a great way to meet some new people and get used to sharing quick tidbits about yourself. Online dating may also be a way for you to get to know someone a little bit before you meet face to face. If all else fails, try doing something different for a first date where the conversation can flow a little easier. Bumper cars, go karts, miniature golf or something where there’s a little action can be an easier ice breaker so that you can move past your awkwardness and finally make it to the coveted date #2.

Dr. Renée is the author of The Four Paths to Ultimate Wellness, an amazing new book that reveals the secrets of how to feel fantastic, look more attractive and enjoy more of life’s pleasures. For more information, go to or 410 630-6989. Submit your lifestyle questions to:


‘Tis the Season for Living By V. Lee, Staff Writer A 1980’s high school classmate of mine died recently. Even as Mother Nature was laying out her bounty of colorful flower blooms and bursting tree buds for this, our 50th birthday year, Ronnie Chester’s beginning was ending. No longer will his family and friends be able to hug him; nor will his classmates be able to tell him just how much his smile and playful nature lit up a room. And just as the family and friends of Whitney Huston, Don Cornelius and Michael Jackson will continue to mourn them, we will all mourn Ronnie’s passing. But how will we live through our mourning? For the Native American Yokaia mother whose baby died, the grieving process meant a daily trip to the place where her baby was cremated, and milk her breast out into the air while crying out for her baby to return. For women who had few, if any, other choices other than hard work to help them move on, this method of grieving may have served their purpose. For our society, while this method of grieving might be considered unacceptable, we might benefit greatly from the concept of hard work – on ourselves, our careers, and our goals – as part of a more productive grieving process. Not only will finding ways to move our lives forward help when we are mourning someone else’s death, but it will help when we are mourning our own. It is possible to revive the deaths of our self-esteem, self-respect, misdirection and hope that have lead us toward lives of drug use, prostitution and criminal activity. But we have to first recognize those deaths as redeemable and then begin our mourning process. I love the scene in “The Color Purple” when Shugg, after reuniting with the father that had disowned her said, “See Daddy, sinners have soul too.” And how the track on

Deitrick Haddon’s “Lost and Found” album entitled: “A Sinner’s Prayer” embraces all of us. They are both messages of hope for those of us whose lives have taken wrong turns; for those who may need a reminder that this is the season for living. Let’s face it. We’re going to hit roadblocks and take wrong turns. That’s what makes this life. But we don’t have to wallow in guilt or remorse because of it. We’re experiencing the seasons of life. Like the seasons of fall, winter, spring and summer, our life seasons will climb up, crash down and eventually level off. But in the meantime, we have to dust ourselves off, regroup and re-direct our lives. But how do we do that? How do we make the decision to pull back the covers, sit ourselves up and put one foot on the floor and then the other when we’re grieving for ourselves or someone else? How do we break through the nearly impenetrable pall that guilt, anger and frustration cast over our mental and physical energy? Counseling will release negative energy. Many people still consider it taboo – that you must really be bad off if you’re seeking any kind of mental therapy. If you feel that way, find other ways to release your grief: Journaling: keep a written diary of what you’re feeling, when you’re feeling it Record yourself: find a private spot and record your strongest feelings. Either of these will do what you’d pay a therapist to do which is to draw your deepest pain out of you so that you can think Exercise: Get yourself a healthy dose of endorphins! Run if you don’t already. Walk if you don’t run. Get squares for a blanket or pillow; knit a floppy hat; needle-point a wall hanging; sketch a picture. Or read! See Moving Forward, Page 11

May 2012 •




Kim Lee Becomes Hero For Battered Wives In China By Gillian Wong

Female clergy are shaping American religion from the pulpit Courtesy of Desert News


BEIJING -- Her head was ringing from the blows. Once, twice, three times, her husband slammed her face into the living room floor. Kim Lee tried to twist her tall but skinny frame out from under his 91-kilogram (200-pound) body, scraping her elbows and knees on the carpet. He kept on pounding. Eight, nine, 10 times – she thought she might black out. Then, close to the floor, she glimpsed the neon pink-painted toenails of her 3-year-old daughter, Lydia. "Stop!" the child cried. "What are you doing? Stop, Daddy, stop!" She jumped on her father and scratched his arm. "Damn it!" he yelled. He loosened his grip on his wife, and she crawled away. It wasn't the first time in their relationship that Li Yang, a Chinese celebrity entrepreneur, had struck her – but for his American wife, it was going to be the last. She scooped up her wailing child, grabbed their passports and a wad of cash, and walked out of their Beijing apartment. And in doing so, she opened the door to a torrent of anguish

about domestic violence in her adopted country, inadvertently becoming a folk hero for Chinese battered women. Domestic violence everywhere lives in the shadows, and in China it thrives in a secrecy instilled by tradition that holds family conflicts to be private. It is also hard to go public in a country where many still consider women subservient to their husbands, and there is no specific national law against domestic violence. At least one in four women in China is estimated to have been a victim of domestic violence at some point in her life, surveys show, with the rate in rural areas as high as two out of every three women. The violence takes many forms, from physical and sexual assault to emotional abuse or economic deprivation. Lee's case has spawned tens of thousands of postings on Chinese Twitter-like sites, along with protests and talk show debates. It is especially explosive because she is a foreigner, at a time when China is particularly sensitive about how it is understood and treated by the world

Betty Wells' sense of humor and love of people cause those around her to say she has a sweet spirit. As associate pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Coushatta, La., Wells uses that selfproclaimed "gift from God" to minister to others. Coming out of a nearby WalMart several weeks ago, Wells was able to share that gift to help a familiar face. "I'm like you now, Sister Betty," her friend tells her. "I lost my husband, too." Having lost her husband more than 10 years before, Wells knows the anguish such a crisis brings. She embraces the forlorn woman and with a calm assurance and a bit of attitude, letting her know there is hope. "Guess what? You can make it," Wells reassures. "You are going to make it." While Wells' almost 20-year ministry is somewhat unorthodox for a conservative church in the American landscape, the prominence of women in U.S. religious life is as strong as it's ever been. According to data gathered in 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 86 percent of women are affiliated with a religion, compared to 79 percent of men. Also, 44 percent of women say they attend religious services weekly, 10 percentage points higher than the number for American males. Adair Lummis has studied the sociology of religion for more than 30 years at the Hartford Seminary and says the reasons for the discrepancy among sexes

is still under review. "Some have suggested women are more caring, more concerned with helping other people and their nurturing instincts lead them to want to raise their children in faith," Lummis says. "Some say that's caused by something biological within women to be more involved in faith. It's still being debated." Women in America have always had a prominent role in churches, according to Elaine McDuff of Truman State University. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the traditional female roles as homemakers and child-raisers. For whatever reason, the activitiy of women in the church has been solidified for some time. However, McDuff suggests the decline in men's church activity may be due to the national culture moving away from organized religion as a whole. "Having a position in the church doesn't have the same status that it might have had a few generation ago," McDuff says. "That would be true not only for men in serving a church as a pastor or going into the clergy, but also just being involved in the church in any role. It's not providing the same kind of social status because of the secularization of the wider culture. In the past, to be a business leader you had to play a role in a church and that has really broken down."

Moving Forward through the Grief Moving Forward, from page 10 Learn: Take a jewelry-making class or a pottery class. Will a class help you get a promotion? Still trying to find the time to pursue that degree? Still waiting for that magic wand to tap you on the head and say, “It’s tiiii-iiimmme.”Tomorrow’s not promised. What’s wrong with now? Spend time: loving and laughing This is our season for living, our springtime, our time to wipe the slate and begin again. As long

as we’re still breathing, we need to live. Move forward. Do what people who have passed on no longer have a chance to do-that is, make a mark in this world in the best way we know how to. Just because we started off wrong, doesn’t mean we just keep going wrong. I read somewhere that “We don’t need a degree in education to teach life’s lessons.” We have all lived, so we all have experiences. Let’s remember to hit the share button and keep living this season.


Rev. Nicole M. Lamarche leads the Silicon Valley United Church of Christ, a newly forming spiritual community in the Silicon Valley.

12 • May 2012


The Internet: Attendance Is Required

By Stephen B. Thomas, Global Career Development Facilitator at Maryland New Directions

If you’re part of the workforce world like me, you seek out hiring trends straight from the horse’s mouth. So there I was, at a post-lunch speech by Adrienne Alberts, Lead Associate of University Relations at Booz Allen Hamilton. I scribbled notes during the entire thing and found her insights very timely. Much of her speech emphasized that you as a job seeker need to have an online presence if you’re looking for employment beyond entry-level positions. A main reason for this, said Alberts, is that most corporations are trimming operations – including their recruiting departments. With fewer staff, HR is seeking out prospective talent in more time-effective and cost-effective ways for them…and not for the job seeker. So what does that mean for us, the job hunters? Plain and simple, it’s a buyer’s market, and you want them to choose what you’re selling over the rest of the competition. Sometimes, it’s not just the best talent who’s chosen. It’s the one with the best positioning. Put yourself in a position to be seen first. Here are some recommendations I think are very useful: Visit the company’s website. Note their vocabulary. What words do they use to describe their products, services, and future goals? Write them all down. Inject those key words and phrases into your own recruitment tools. Edit your resume to reflect the same verbiage used by the company for whom you want to work. Re-write your cover letter to do the same.

Post your resume and other job-search tools online after they’ve been updated, in places where it’s easy for an employer to see them. To gain a professional-level job, utilize professional networking tools such as your own blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and even “lighter” social networking websites such as Facebook. Face-to-face meetings are also recommended, especially with the right people. Look for local and national organizations related to your chosen career, and become a member. Attend training seminars and other networking events; contribute to roundtables, committees, online discussions, and career-related events to further cement the image of you as a go-to person in that industry. I understand many folks reading this may cringe at the thought of using online tools to promote themselves and network (I still turn my nose up at the “short form” style of Twitter, despite its obvious popularity.) But it cannot be denied that leaner companies are using the tools that save them time and money. The Internet is the perfect proving ground for prospective hires: quick and cheap. In the world of no-cost accounts for e-mail, social networking, and blogging, you’re only halfright when you think of them as tools to reach out to others. These tools make it possible for employers to reach out to you as well. Just ensure that you’re speaking their language once they come knocking.

Robot-assisted Surgery Robot Surgeon, from page 8 On average about 600,000 patients undergo TKA, though there are about 15 million people who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. For patients who undergo TKA, a return to normal life activities may range between one and six months. The average short-term recovery time for a total knee replacement is between six and 12 weeks. In MAKOplasty cases, hospital stays average from one to three days. In many cases, patients are walking soon after surgery, driving a car within a few weeks and returning to their normal activities shortly thereafter. MAKOplasty provides surgeons with another

option for patients who are reticent about TKA. With the RIO Robotic Arm, we marry the tools with the technique to achieve the best possible result for patients suffering with early to mid-stage knee OA. We resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing the patient’s healthy bone and surrounding tissue. An implant is then secured to the joint so the knee can move smoothly again. Mercy Medical Center ( in Baltimore is the first hospital in Maryland to offer robotic assisted partial knee resurfacing. With over 80 cases since last summer, we are very pleased with the results to date.


One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.


Writing herself into history By Medallio Green, Staff Writer

Gertrude Louise was born in Granite, MD on September 21, 1915 to Worthy and Bertha Poe. She was the youngest of five daughters born to the couple and proved to be the most independent and headstrong of them all. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Beltsville, MD., where Ms. Poe attended a one room schoolhouse in her elementary years. As she got older, she had high hopes of becoming a lawyer. Graduating early at the age of 15, she went to work as a legal secretary and court reporter for the McCeney law firm for $5.00 a week. Because this was during The Great Depression, Ms. Poe (like so many others of her age at that time) had to work and put dreams of higher education on hold to help support her family. While it was noble to want to help her family through hard times, Ms. Poe never lost her interest in law practice. Seeing this, the father-son partnership of the law firm encouraged her to attend law school. She enrolled at the then Washington College of Law in Washington D.C., where she attended night classes and worked as a secretary by day. After a three year leave of absence and having graduated in 1939, Ms. Poe returned to the McCeney law firm expecting to start work as a lawyer after she passed her bar exams. What she was greeted with was something even she couldn’t have expected. McCeney Jr. had recently acquired a small newspaper in a business transaction. When he said, “See what you can make of it….” Ms. Poe protested saying she knew nothing about editing news productions. Though that fact was true, she put her all into making the Laurel Leader a success.

What started as an eight page “newsletter” soon grew so large that in 1946, it merged with three other local papers (The Bowie Register, The College Park News, The Beltsville Banner) to create The News Leader. Ms. Poe was in charge of everything. “I was solely responsible for reporting, advertising, editing, make-up, putting the newspaper to bed, and delivering the newspapers to the post office and dealers” said Poe. Having had all this on her plate, she still found time to write her own column called “Pen Points” and manage an insurance agency. During these years Ms. Poe was also helping to establish a group of weekly newspaper publishers and editors, which was then called The Maryland Press Association, now the Maryland Delaware DC Press Association. She served in many leadership positions within the association, eventually becoming elected president in 1958. What was an amazing feat for women in general, Ms. Poe became the first woman in the country to head a state press association. At the age of 65, Ms. Poe decided to retire from her work at the newspaper after 41 years of contribution. Despite her retirement, Poe remained active in the local Laurel communities, serving on several advocating boards such as the Captain John Chapter of the Maryland Questers, which is group that promotes the preservation and restoration of existing historical landmarks and the acquisition of antiques. Ms. Poe never married and is now 96 years old, living in Ashton, MD. sc3500/sc3520/015200/015217/html/15217bio.html

May 2012 •



In Full Bloom:

Women Friendly Travel Spots in the U.S. By Jenna Swartz, Staff Writer With spring in full bloom and summer around the corner, it’s a great time for women to travel. Take a look at some of the best domestic spots to see. Admire stunning red sandstone canyons in the southwest city of Sedona, Arizona. Many have described it as a “hotspot” for metaphysical journeys and the natural scenery provides the perfect backdrop for rest and rejuvenation.5 Hiking buff? Try spring hiking in historic Tombstone, Arizona, Madera Canyon, the Chiricahua and Santa Rita Mountains and the Coronado National Forest.2 Maybe you’re looking for an antiquing adventure with girlfriends. Try Bennington, Vermont, which has quaint bed and breakfasts, pubs, and boutiques. Stop by Bennington Potters and admire American StoneWare with a free, self guided tour of the site factory which ends at the pottery shop. Take a tour of the Park-McCullough estate and marvel at the impressive wrap around front porch, stables, and gardens. Outdoor enthusiasts will love what Portland has to offer: hiking, kayaking, museums, theatre, and art galleries.1 If you’re active and over 30, visit AdventureWomen for trip ideas. Raft, hike, zip-line, fly fish and safari into Yellowstone, an area home to the last remaining wild land in the United States. If you’re a city dweller, this is a nice change of pace from your everyday surroundings.6 Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been affectionately called the "Venice of America.”The city has five-star resorts, plenty of dining options, and yachting expeditions. Fort Lauderdale is a female and family-friendly beach getaway.8 In the last couple years, the Poconos have upped their travel creed by adding a performing arts center, a casino resort and

a massive indoor water park. The Poconos also has hiking, boating, fishing, and skiing, so it makes the perfect outdoor destination not too far from Maryland.8 If you need a more glamour getaway, West Hollywood is an ideal spot for females traveling alone. You can walk the famous Rodeo Drive and shop at the famously exclusive stores the area is known for. Drive down Sunset Boulevard into Beverly Hills, where visitors can enjoy the winding streets and view the incredible homes with dropped jaws. Just west of Beverly Hills, the Getty Center is an art and culture center with free admission perched beautifully on top of a mountain.9 Lastly, don’t forget what’s in your own backyard. Washington, D.C. offers the Smithsonian Museum complex which is free and chocked full of museums, an arboretum, botanical gardens and a zoo. Most of the major monuments and museums are in the safe northwest section of town. Visitors can see many shows at the Kennedy Center's several venues. If you’re in the mood for a southern getaway, Atlanta has the world's largest aquarium, a Coca-Cola museum and several art museums. The MARTA train and bus system gets tourists into most parts of the city.9 But no matter where you travel this spring and summer, soak in your new surroundings and don’t forget to relax. 1 2 cfm?country=US 3 4 5 6 aspx?id=96 7 cfm?country=US 8 9 html


These Lost, These Come At A Cost Women ~ By Regan Mackenzie ©Copyright 2008

I see these city lights and flashy cars These beautiful women lost under stars These daughters and sisters and mothers These lost women These come at a cost women Given a glance then a dance Given the means to live by the fiends of these beautiful women Lost in a daze of green A daze I've seen Spotlights on these beautiful women Eyes on these and cheers for these beautiful women Lies in these and fears in these lost women These come at a cost women Show, bought and ready to go At a price higher then they know These women worth more then gold Priceless But still sold Oh these lost women Don't you know your beautiful Not hot women That your beautiful Not meant to be bought women Beauty needs to be taught in these women Instead of this that is not Left in them to rot Oh these beautiful women These I've seen Women whos pupils are all green Men whos eyes are gazed in between wide thighs Silent cries eventually taking its toll Night after night eventually breaking the soul I see these city lights and flashy cars These beautiful women lost under stars These daughters and sisters and mothers These lost women These come at a cost women Don't you know your beautiful Not hot women That you’re beautiful Not meant to be bought women.


14 • May 2012


What's the Dirt on Household Cleaners? By Wendy Priesnitz, Courtesy of Natural Life Magazine

Q: Which household cleaning products for sale in the supermarket are green? A: Actually, making your own is greener, cheaper and healthier...and not difficult! A leading laundry soap has more than 400 ingredients, but in North America, the manufacturer can call them a “trade secret” and doesn’t have to list them on the box. (In Europe, manufacturers must tell you if a product contains a carcinogen or other harmful ingredient.) If a manufacturer won’t tell you what’s in the product, why should you trust it to be safe to clean the bathtub in which you bathe your children, the clothes that your family wears or the dishes on which you eat your food? These products contain some exceedingly nasty ingredients and they’re tested by the manufacturers, not the government, prior to being unleashed into our homes. PHOTO / TAMMY HANRATTY

DO-IT-YOURSELF HOUSE CLEANING ALTERNATIVES You can avoid using harmful commercial products, and save money too, by making your own natural cleaning supplies at home using common, food-grade materials. • Salt will take out wine or fruit stains • Club soda will remove lighter colored stains • Baking soda and cornstarch make good deodorizers • Clean your oven with a paste of baking soda, salt, and water • One part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle will clean most areas of your home • Remove toilet bowl stains with vinegar

ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER 2 cups white distilled vinegar 2 cups water 20 drops of essential oil (optional) Warming until lukewarm will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Useful for countertops, appliances, windows, mirrors. FURNITURE POLISH ¼ cup white vinegar a few drops of olive oil 2 teaspoons lemon juice Store in refrigerator. Shake well before using. Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain.

CREAMY SCRUB CLEANSER 2 cups baking soda ½ cup liquid castile soap 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (optional but acts as a preservative) 5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary (optional) Stores up to two years in a sealed glass jar. For exceptionally tough jobs, spray with vinegar first, let sit and follow with scrub. Great for kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks. DRAIN OPENER ½ cup baking soda ½ cup white vinegar Pour baking soda down the drain, follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water. Repeat if necessary.

Notes: Although many of our readers like to use Borax in their handmade cleaning products - especially for laundry - it can be toxic and has been recently classified as a reproductive toxin. Sufficient exposure to borax dust can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. So we do not recommend its use. The use of essential oils is controversial and not necessary to the effectiveness of these formulations. Exposure can cause breathing problems for children and for some people with asthma or other respiratory problems or sensitivities. Most sources say that pregnant and nursing women should avoid many essential oils. Additionally, many of the plants used to make essential oils are gathered from the wild, which is decimating some species, such as rosewood and sandalwood.

Wendy Priesnitz is Natural Life's Editor. This article is an update to one first published in Natural Life magazine in 1981 and based on reader input. We welcome your green and healthy home cleaning tips for inclusion in future updates. More information on this topic is available in Natural Life Magazine's new Green & Healthy Homes book.

Add Healthy Fresh Produce to Family Dinners Re-print from The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. While this may seem difficult, summer-fresh fruit from Chile provides for year round availability and daily use in a variety of healthful recipes. With fresh beets, sweet maple syrup, blueberries, tangy Dijon mustard and walnuts, this crowd-pleaser salad can be easily adapted to fit the tastes of even the little ones. The stuffed sweet potato recipe features notes of sweet potato, pear, grapes, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon with the added crunch and nutty flavor of almonds.

FRESH GRAPES-PEAR-ALMOND STUFFED SWEET POTATOES Ingredients: 4 medium sweet potatoes (3-1/2 lbs) 3/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup butter 1 Red Bartlett pear, chopped 1/2 cup halved grapes 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar Nutritional Facts per serving: 211 calories, 1 tablespoon honey 10g fat, 15mg cholesterol, 64mg sodium, 3g protein. Serves 8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Preparation: 1. Place potatoes on aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. 2. Heat almonds in nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted. Remove from skillet. 3. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears and grapes; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until pear is tender. Stir in brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Remove from heat. 4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop pulp into large bowl, leaving shells intact. Add pear mixture to pulp in bowl; gently stir until blended. Spoon mixture into shells. Place on baking sheet. 5. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with nuts.

May 2012 •


Spring Planting Tips By Michael J. McGroarty Spring means that the garden centers are packed with people, and car trunks are packed with plants. Everybody has dirt on their knees, dirt under their nails, and are excited about gardening. To make certain that this excitement yields positive results, let's discuss the basics in this article of spring planting tips. Installing new plants and having them grow successfully is not difficult, nor is it as complicated as some would have you think. Is it as easy as just digging a hole and setting the plant in? Yes, it certainly can be. I won't get into bed preparation, as I have covered that in other articles that are available at Let's start with B&B plants. B&B is short for balled in burlap. Closely examine the ball on the plant that you have purchased. Did the diggers wrap twine around the ball to hold the plant secure? If they did, you should at least cut the twine and lay it in the bottom of the hole, or remove it completely. Pay close attention around the stem of the plant where it emerges from the root ball, as diggers often wrap the twine around the stem several times as they tie the ball. This is extremely important because if the string is nylon, it will not rot and will girdle and kill the plant two or three years from now. When B&B plants are stored in the nursery for extended periods of time it becomes neces-

sary to re-burlap them if the bottom starts to rot before the plants are sold. If the plant that you buy has been re-burlaped it is possible that there could be nylon stings between the two layers of burlap, check the stem carefully. As long as the nylon string is removed from around the stem of the plant, it is actually harmless around the rest of the ball, and you do not have to remove it. Is the root ball wrapped in genuine burlap, or imitation burlap made of a non-biodegradable plastic material? Genuine burlap will rot quickly underground and does not have to be disturbed before planting. If you're not sure or suspect a poly type burlap, you don't have to remove it completely, but should loosen it around the stem of the plant and cut some vertical slices around the circumference of the ball.

More spring planting tips . . . Now here's the critical part. What kind of soil are you planting in? If your soil is heavy clay, I highly suggest that your raise the planting bed at least 8” with good rich topsoil. If you can't do that for some reason, install the plant so that at least 2” or more of the root ball is above the existing grade and mound the soil over the root ball. Keep in mind that plants installed this way could dry

ROASTED BEET-FRESH CHILEAN BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH MAPLE VINAIGRETTE Ingredients: 6 medium beets (red, golden, Chioggia about 6 ounces each) 1 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup canola oil 1 package (5 ounces) gourmet mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed 1 cup fresh blueberries 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


GARDENING out over the summer, but planting them flush with the ground in heavy clay can mean that the roots will be too wet at other times of the year. The “experts” suggest that when planting in clay soil you dig the hole wider and deeper than the root ball and fill around and under the plant with loose organic material. That sounds like a really great idea doesn't it? Some of these experts also recommend that you dig the hole extra deep and put a few inches of gravel in the bottom for drainage. Where do you suppose they think this water is going to “drain” to? Keep in mind that most B&B plants are grown in well drained soil. That means that the soil in the root ball is porous and water can easily pass through. Now imagine if you will, a root ball about 15” in diameter, setting in a hole 30” diameter. All around and under that root ball is loose organic matter. Inside of that root ball is porous soil. Now along comes Mother Nature with a torrential downpour. There is water everywhere, and it is not going to soak into that hard packed clay soil, so it is just flowing across the top of the ground searching for the lowest point. When it reaches our newly planted tree surrounded by loose organic matter, it is going to seep in until the planting hole is completely full of water. (Remember my article on getting rid of standing water and the French drain system?) By using this planting technique we have actually created a French drain around our poor little plant that can not tolerate its roots being without oxygen for long periods of time. Because the bottom of this hole is clay, even though we've added gravel for drainage, there is nowhere for the water to go, and this plant is going to suffer and likely die. If you can not raise the planting bed with topsoil, and are planting in clay soil, I recommend that you install the root ball at least 2” above grade and backfill around the ball with the soil that you removed when you dug the hole. Backfilling with the clay soil that you removed is actually like building a dam to keep excess water from permeating the root ball of your newly planted tree. The plant is not going to thrive in this poor soil, but at least it will have a chance to survive.

More spring planting tips . . . Nutritional Facts per serving: 581 calories, 52g fat, 22mg cholesterol, 383mg sodium, 11g protein. Serves 4.

Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim beet stems to 1 inch; gently wash beets. Wrap individually in aluminum foil; place on jellyroll pan. 2. Bake at 400°F for 1 hour or until tender. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool, wrapped in foil, 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, decrease oven temperature to 350°F. Bake walnuts in single layer on jellyroll pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cool completely on wire rack (about 15 mins). 4. Whisk together lemon juice, syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Add oil in slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. 5. Peel beets; remove stem ends. Cut beets into 1/2-inch wedges; gently toss with 1/4 cup vinaigrette. 6. Arrange greens on serving platter. Top with beet mixture, blueberries, cheese, and walnuts; serve with remaining vinaigrette. Enjoy these dishes with the whole family, and find more healthful recipes at SOURCE: Chilean Fresh Fruit Association

Once again, raising the bed with good rich topsoil is the best thing you can do to keep your plants healthy and happy. No matter what kind of soil you have, be careful not to install your plants too deep. They should never be planted any deeper than they were grown in the nursery. Planting too deep is a common problem, and thousands of plants are killed each year by gardeners who just don't understand how critical planting depth is. Staking newly planted trees is always a good idea. If your new tree constantly rocks back and forth when the wind blows it will have a very difficult time establishing new roots into the existing soil. Stabilize the tree with a stake. You can use a wooden stake, a fence post, or for small trees I often use 1/2” electro magnetic tubing (conduit), available at any hardware store. You can secure the tree to the stake with a single wrap of duct tape. In about six months or a year the sun will dry the glue on the duct tape and it will fall off. Check the tape to make

Rich topsoil is the secret to beautiful plants sure that it has fallen off. You don't want to girdle the tree with the tape.

More spring planting tips . . . Container grown plants are much easier. Follow the rules for depth of planting as described earlier. Before gently removing the plant from the container check the drain holes in the bottom of the container for roots that might be growing out the holes. If so cut them off so they will not make it difficult to get the plant out of the container. The easiest way to remove the plant from the container is to place your hand over the top of the container and turn it completely upside down and give it a gentle shake. The plant should slide right into your hand. Examine the root mass as you hold it in your hand. Sometimes when plants have been growing in a container for a long time the roots start to grow in a circular pattern around the root mass. This is not good, and you should disturb these roots before planting so you can break this circular pattern. You can take a knife and actually make about three vertical slices from the top of the root mass to the bottom. This will stimulate new roots that will grow outward into the soil of your garden. Or you can just take your fingers and loosen the roots that are circling the root mass and force them outward before you plant them. What about fertilizer, bone meal, peat moss, and all those other additives they are going to try and sell you at the garden center? Raise your planting beds with good rich topsoil and forget about the additives. Be very careful with fertilizers, they can do more harm than good. I landscaped my house 14 years ago and I haven't got around to fertilizing the plants yet, and have no intention of doing so. They look great. As far as bone meal and all those other soil additives are concerned, don't get too caught up in all that stuff. The only thing that I know for sure is that they will make your wallet thinner, but I don't think you'll see a difference in your plants. Over the years I've landscaped several hundred homes with fantastic results, and I never added any of these additives to my planting beds. Did I mention planting in good rich topsoil? That's the secret! Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most interesting website, and sign up for his excellent gardening newsletter. Article provided by,





18 • May 2012



(Starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham, Armie Hammer) By Judy Thornton, courtesy of The Flick Chicks Lately there appears to be a resurgence of interest in the fairy tale, Snow White. The hit new fantasy TV series, Once Upon A Time, features Snow White as one of the show's main characters and now the “fairest of them all” comes to life in two movies to hit the big screen in 2012. Mirror Mirror is the latest retelling of the Grimm Brothers beloved bedtime story and the other, titled Snow White and the Huntsmen, which looks to be a different and darker tale is due to be released in early June. Working from a witty script by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller, Mirror Mirror director Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”, “The Fall”, “Immortals”) once again utilizes the creative visual style he has become known for and delivers another eye dazzler featuring a splendid cast that is perfectly suited to each character. Beautiful, rising star Lily Collins (daughter of rock star Phil Collins), who at times bares a striking resemblance to a young Au-

drey Hepburn, and handsome hunk Armie Hammer make the ideal Snow White and her dashing Prince. It is obvious, aging superstar Julia Roberts had lots of fun in the role of Snow White's evil stepmother/ wicked Queen whose looks have begun to fade, but not her immense ego. And then there is funny man, Nathan Lane lending support as Brighton, the Queen's most trusted (or so she thinks!) hapless, manservant sent to do her nasty bidding, and he, as usual, is hysterical. After coming back from being turned into a cockroach, he delivers one of the film's funniest lines, which I won't divulge. In this re-imagined, loose adaptation of the original story, lovely Snow White (Collins) has been kept locked up in the castle by her mean, jealous stepmother the Queen (Roberts) since the disappearance and presumed death of her father, the benevolent


Armie Hammer plays the role of the handsome prince... in distress King. That is, until Snow turns 18 and with the help of her only confidante, the Queen's head female servant (Mare Winningham), she decides to sneak out and head for the village to see what life is like for the queen's subjects in the outside world. Snow soon discovers that the wretched, self indulgent Queen has never cared about the starving, impoverished people of her kingdom and has been taxing them to the hilt to pay for her lavish parties and luxurious lifestyle. While wandering through the forest, Snow encounters Prince Alcott (Hammer) who has been tied up and hung upside down from a tree by a band of stilt wearing thievery dwarves who stole his clothes. After freeing the bare chested Prince, to no surprise, the pretty pair lock eyes and form an instant romantic attraction before parting ways. The Prince winds up at the castle where the Queen, married four times and looking for another handsome and rich husband, is eager to make him hubby number five. Knowing her feelings would never be reciprocated, she

uses a magic potion to make him fall in love. Unaware that the potion was labeled “puppy” love, the Queen quickly discovers the Prince behaving like a loyal dog, licking her face and hands and jumping all over her. As silly as it is, Hammer who has proven to be a fine dramatic actor (in J Edgar and Social Network) is up for the task, capable of doing anything for a laugh. Meanwhile, after Snow has a run in with a tree branch, she is taken in by the seven dwarves whose names are not Grumpy, Happy, Doc and so forth, but are called Half Pint, Butch, Grub, Grim, Napolean etc. Snow adds a feminine touch to their abode, and they teach her how to fight and use a sword, which comes in handy as empowerment to standup against the villainous Queen who wants her dead. Instead of the Prince coming to save the day, the tables are turned on the traditional story as Snow becomes a strong and able bodied heroine eager to take back her rightful place on the throne and rid the kingdom of the Queen and her terrorizing ways. Of course, she gets help from the courageous dwarves and the Prince who has captured her heart. As a lighthearted, family friendly, fantasy adventure, the story encompasses slapstick humor, some very amusing back and forth banter between the dwarves, and clever lines that might go over the heads of kids, but which garner laughs from older audiences. It doesn't hurt that the art direction, costumes and visual effects are exquisite, giving the film a high rate on the eye candy scale. Be sure to stay through the ending credits for a Bollywood style musical number. It is a magical treat you don't want to miss.

May 2012 •



The Newlyweds By Nell Freudenberger

A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh. In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online. For Amina, George offers a chance for a

new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together. The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.


The Pursuit of Beauty Are you putting your health at risk? By Kathleen Novak, Staff Writer Recently I experienced an extreme allergic reaction and as a result ended up in the emergency room. My eyes were swollen shut, I had large, itchy hives covering my entire body, and I was having difficulty breathing. Luckily for me, I recognized the need to seek professional help and the wonderful staff at my local hospital pumped me full of enough steroids and Benadryl to bring me back to something resembling normal. This event baffled me because during my entire thirty-one years of life I have never been allergic to anything. What caused the allergic reaction is still a mystery; one that I may never solve. The doctor explained to me that the culprit must have been something that contacted my skin, as opposed to something that I ingested, due to the hives speckled all over my body. After telling him that I have not started using any new beauty or cleaning products, the kind doctor informed me that allergies can occur at any time, at any age, even with products that you have used for a long length of time. The experience made me think about how your health can really affect the way that you look, and things we do in the name of beauty can affect our health. Your health and your looks are very closely related; however some do not recognize or choose to ignore the warnings that their bodies give them when something is not right. Some turn their cheek at the numerous clinical studies that have been conducted and published for the public to see, and decide to believe that the worst could never happen to them. After researching how intertwined health and beauty are, I quickly learned that many common habits, choices, and practices, can have a negative effect on our health and our looks. According to the FDA, almost all cosmetics can cause a reaction in some people. It could take several uses of the problematic product or occur spontaneously after years of use with no reactions. Symptoms of the body coming into contact with an allergen manifest in two different ways. The most common skin reaction caused by a beauty product is named Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Signs of this reaction on the skin include, burning, itching, stinging, and redness in the area where the product was applied. Allergic Contact Dermatitis is the most extreme reaction, and is caused by the person having a true allergy to an ingredient within the product. The user could experience redness, swelling, itching, or blisters on the skin. One of the best

ways to prevent a reaction of any kind is to conduct a patch test. Test the product on a small patch of skin to determine if you are sensitive to its ingredients. A patch test will usually result in a milder reaction but the symptoms would be the same as I described above. If you see any signs of an allergy appear you should immediately discontinue use of the product. For some, the pressure to be thin can be so strong that great lengths are taken to achieve the desired results. Extreme dieting, skipping meals, and too much exercise can permanently damage health. Carbohydrates, fat and protein are usually the first things eliminated when dieting. By eliminating these nutritional essentials and dramatically cutting down caloric intake, you rob your body what it needs to build body tissue and the body reserves what nutrients it has for vital organs like the brain and heart. As a result, nutrients that would otherwise nourish hair and skin are sent to the areas of your body that work to keep you alive. The bottom line is make sure that before starting a diet or exercise regime, think about if your goals are reasonable. Exposing your skin to UV rays, either from the sun or tanning beds, puts you at risk for a variety of health conditions. UV rays are invisible wavelengths emitted by the sun or the bulbs in tanning beds. The most harmful rays UVA, (ultra-violet A) and UVB (ultra-violet B) are also responsible for tanning skin, sunburns, and damage to skin cells. Over time, continued exposure causes collagen in your skin to breakdown faster and you will end up looking older than you actually are. If that isn’t enough to scare you than perhaps talking about skin cancer will. According to, ninety percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with UV exposure. Consider a safer alternative such as self-tanner. Paying attention to your body’s cues will help you know when you have taken things too far. Not staying in tune with what’s happening inside of you will without a doubt reflect what you look like on the outside. Take care of your body and it will take you far. PHOTO/MOODBOARD / CULTURA

20 • May 2012


Sseko {SAY-KO} Designs Fashion that empowers By Jewel McFadden, Staff Writer “It's not all AIDS, disease, poverty and war,” says Liz Forkin Bohannon, founder of Sseko Designs, a Ugandan footwear exporter. Forkin Bohannon was like any other new college graduate in 2008, but just a year later she is pioneering a system to end the cycle of poverty in Africa by affording underprivileged Ugandan women a ticket to college education. Gender equality is a hot topic for the country known as the “Pearl of Africa.” A decade ago, the literacy rate for Ugandan women was at an alarming 57.7 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau, compared to 66.8 percent for men. The 2010 Human Rights Brief, published by Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law says: “Currently, only one-third of girls who enroll in primary education in Uganda are still in school at the age of 18, compared to one-half of boys. Early pregnancies, sexual harassment, lack of sanitation facilities and female genital mutilation cause many girls to drop out or miss school. The country’s failure to adequately address women’s issues has hindered its economic development as well…ending gender inequality in education and formal sector employment would increase the GDP by 1.2 percent annually.” But Forkin Bohannon did not fly over 7,000 miles southeast of her hometown St. Louis, MO with plans to be a martyr. In fact, after completing college, four years of journalism academia in tow, Forkin Bohannon went on to begin a public relations career with a successful communications company. A few months later the scholar turned her focus elsewhere. “I went to learn. To understand. To be changed. To break. And to grow,” wrote Forkin Bohannon. While in Uganda she stumbled

across Cornerstone Leadership Academy, a preparatory institution that provides academic training and support for disadvantaged kids in order to prepare them for college years. In Uganda after finishing secondary school, wannabe university-goers have nine months to find work and save for their higher education. For many women this task is problematic in a male-dominated society. Girls who aren’t able to find employment cannot afford education and have a harder time finding work later in life. Sseko, inspired from the Ugandan word for laughter, was started shortly after Forkin Bohannon witnessed the disconnection between women and education. The “not-just-for-profit” enterprise hires recent graduates to partner in making handmade sandals for nine months. At least half of the student’s salary goes into a fund for their university education. At the end of the program, each girl also has the opportunity to receive a scholarship from Sseko Designs that matches 100 percent of their savings. The girls are paid prior to the sale of any goods; meanwhile profits from the sandals are reinvested back into the company for buying materials or hiring more women. Individual pairs of sandals range from $4760. In addition to casual footwear, Sseko Designs offers a collection of formal wedding sandals which Forkin Bohannon wore on her own wedding. “The goal of Sseko Designs is two-fold: provide university tuition for these promising young women through a sustainable monthly income, while also contributing to the overall economic development of Uganda,” wrote Forkin Bohannon.

Founder Liz Forkin Bohannon is determined to give these girls a chance at a better life

The base of every sseko sandal is the same, just choose your favorite color or patterned straps. Then experiment with tying them in a nearly endless array of styles. Sseko Designs ship internationally from their online store at Forkin Bohannon hasiopes to continue to spread the word by using fashion as a means to educate and empower.


May 2012 •



11 Car-care Tips that Save Gas By Lucy Lazarony •



FILL UP WITH A LOWER-OCTANE GASOLINE Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with highoctane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel won't boost your car's fuel economy or performance in the least, so skip it. If you're not sure what grade of fuel works best for your car, open up your owner's manual and take a look. As long as your engine doesn't knock or ping when you fuel up with regular unleaded, you're good to drive on this much cheaper gas. Passing on pricey premium gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year. DON'T TOP OFF Don't bother topping off when filling your car's gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Why waste your money paying for gas your car won't use? Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off. TIGHTEN UP THAT GAS CAP Gas will evaporate from your car's gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car. GO FOR THE SHADE The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. "If you let your car bake in the sun there's going to be a greater amount of evaporative emissions that take place than if you park in the shade," says Jim Kliesch, research associate at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and vehicle analyst for So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car. USE YOUR GARAGE FOR YOUR CAR Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won't have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive. PUMP UP YOUR TIRES Don't get caught driving on underinflated tires. Underinflated tires wear down more quickly and they also lower your car's gas mileage. "Tires that have low pressure offer more

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resistance so the engine is going to work harder to keep the car at 60," says Brian Moody, road test editor at Your car's gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on underinflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more. CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE ONCE A MONTH Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner's manual and on the placard in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car's been idle overnight. KEEP YOUR ENGINE IN TUNE Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You'll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. REPLACE AIR FILTERS Keep a close eye on your engine's air filter. When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel-efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It's a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car's air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as specified in your owner's manual. USE THE RIGHT OIL You can improve your car's gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Opt for motor oil with the words "energy conserving" on the API performance label. This oil contains friction-reducing additives. DON'T SKIMP ON MAINTENANCE Be serious about auto care. Your car's performance depends on it. "Always follow the manufacturer-recommended maintenance," Moody says. "The car's designed to run a certain way. If you neglect it, it won't be as efficient." Obey the car-care guidelines outlined in your owner's manual. For more auto-care guidelines check out this free maintenance schedule from the Car Care Council.

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Young Girls Not Interested in IT Careers Due to Lack of Female Role Models, RIM Study Finds By By Al Sacco, The number of young boys who've considered pursuing a career in IT is double that of young girls, who don't perceive enough strong female role models in the space, according to a study from BlackBerry-maker RIM. Though technology becomes more pervasive in the lives of young people each day, technology jobs aren't high on the lists of what they want to do when they grow up. Consider the 90 percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 16 who think computers and cutting edge gadgets are cool, according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.K. adolescents: Only 28 percent of those girls are considering careers in the technology industry. The number of boys in that age range who say they've thought about pursuing technology careers is nearly double the number of girls, at 53 percent, according to the research, which was conducted by youth communications group Dubit Ltd. BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) commissioned the study in conjunction with its annual BlackBerry Women & Technology Awards. Dubit conducted the survey in April and asked respondents about their perceptions of the IT field and about their future career plans. Seventy-three percent of young girls say there's a big difference between using technology in their personal lives and wanting to pursue careers in technology because of the relative few "smart female role models," the survey says. More than half the girls also think there should be fewer celebrity role models like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, and more inspirational business role models. Notable technology executives who could fit the bill include CIO magazine Hall of Fame inductees Barbara Cooper and Dawn Lepore. RIM itself also has a female CIO, Robin Bienfait. Similar to this Article "Never underestimate the power of role models. If young women can see a career path which has been enjoyable and rewarding for another, they are

more likely to follow it themselves," said Maggie Philbin, former host of popular British science and technology TV show, Tomorrow's World, in a press release. "It's so frustrating to see teenagers using technology naturally and creatively, seemingly unaware that they could play a key role in shaping the way we use technology in the future. And it's equally important, once they make the decision to work in this area, that they are encouraged and inspired to rise to the highest level." Additional survey findings include: • Thirty-eight percent of young girls surveyed use the latest technologies, including social networking applications, online games and mobile downloads, on a daily basis • Forty-three percent of respondents (male and female) say they haven't considered a career in IT because it was "not exciting" • Just under a third (30 percent) of those surveyed said a career in technology is "too geeky" • Survey respondents cited good pay and excitement respectively as the number one and two priorities most important in shaping their future career plans. Three-quarters of kids surveyed said they'd be more attracted to IT careers if they associated such jobs with high-pay. • More information and help regarding tech opportunities in schools would make IT careers more attractive to respondents.

CREDIT/WoodlyWonderWorks on Flickr (CC)

Although adept at using technology, few girls want to persue careers in the field

22 • May 2012


Choosing Color: An Interview with Sherwin-Williams Interior Designer Celeste P. Gilbert, ASID By Sarsfield Williams, Staff Writer, Urban Home Builder As a General Contractor one of the most important and often challenging phases of the construction process for our clients is selecting the perfect colors for their projects. One of our strategies we offer our clients to address this challenge is to consult with a professional Interior Designer. This month we interviewed Sherwin-Williams Interior Designer, Celeste P. Gilbert, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and asked her to discuss color and to share helpful insights that will assist you in your color selection process. 1) Describe your professional experience and your ASID qualification. Why did you choose to work with The Sherwin-Williams Company? I began working in the interior design industry in 1998. I have been working for Sherwin Williams for the past four years. During my career with Sherwin-Williams, I have worked as a Decorative Product Specialist, a Sales Representative, and currently as Designer Account Executive. My professional experience with ASID has been since I started my career in the field of Interior Design and I continue to see the value in being associated with a professional organization that has industry standards for certifica-

tions for Interior Designers. Sherwin-Williams is an industry partner with ASID. 2) Why is color important in interior spaces, how does it affect us emotionally and how can an Interior Designer and Sherwin-Williams assist with the color selection process? Color stimulates, comforts and inspires. There’s no question that color can generate a strong emotional reaction. This is why so many people find that choosing, using, and combining colors can be intimidating as you try to identify your individual style. Perhaps you will find a color you love in the upholstery of a favorite chair, a piece of art or article of clothing. Monochromatic Palette: The simplest way to use color is in a monochromatic scheme. Choose one color family and vary its intensity and value. To create a foolproof monochromatic palette, select several shades from one Sherwin-Williams Color Strips. Use colors adjacent to one another for a subtle effect. Pair colors on opposite ends of the strip for drama. Keeping bedding and carpeting in neutral tones will allow the wall colors to take center stage and allow for easier changes later. Accent Colors:

Harford Land Trust Announces “Campaign to Preserve Our Lands” Harford Land Trust is seeking broad community support for its mission with a fundraising initiative timed to coincide with its 20th anniversary

Timed to coincide with its 20th anniversary in 2011, the Harford Land Trust (HLT) announces the launch of its three-year “Campaign to Preserve Our Lands” which is designed to increase awareness and raise funds to further land preservation in Harford County. While the campaign was officially launched at HLT’s annual meeting in March 2011, according to Harry Webster, president of the nonprofit’s board of directors, the initial phase of the campaign solicited donations exclusively from current members and donors. During this “quiet phase,” several generous gifts were made to the HLT, including one substantial donation that was matched through 100 percent participation by the HLT board of directors. Now, HLT is kicking off the next phase of its campaign by reaching out to the general public for support. To date, the HLT has raised $60,000 towards its end goal of $250,000. Says Webster, “It is the goal of the HLT to become the citizens’ institution that keeps giving… from next month through hundreds of years from now, when sensitive watersheds, natural open space and agriculture are threatened. During an era of historic growth and expansion in Harford County, this campaign will position us to be successful in protecting these irreplaceable natural resources.” Organized in 1991 by local residents, the HLT joins over 52 other land trusts protecting land throughout Maryland. The HLT provides Harford County landowners, private and public, resources and tools to help them conserve their land and protect the natural resources. To date, HLT has helped protect more than 10,109 acres, holds easements on 1,226 acres of land, and has acquired 204 acres for public use. The HLT has also provided technical and financial assistance to numerous other landowners who want to preserve their land, and is an active partner with other like organizations, assisting them in their preservation efforts.. The HLT is a volunteer-driven nonprofit, comprised of a board of directors and 500 members. There are several ways for Harford County residents to join in the HLT’s efforts to protect and preserve Harford County’s agricultural and natural landscapes, including becoming a member or volunteer, making a donation or sponsoring its Campaign to Preserve Our Lands. For more information please visit www. or call 410-836-2103.

Accent colors add interest to a monochromatic scheme. Try analogous colors, which appear immediately next to your monochromatic family on a color wheel. Complementary colors, those opposite your monochromatic color family on a color wheel, also make suitable accent colors because the contrast creates drama. Color Continuity: Consider the sightlines you have from one room to another, particularly in the open areas of your home. Repetition of color will visually link spaces to create a sense of harmony. Use accessories and art to repeat colors throughout your home. This creates balance and encourages the eye to move easily throughout the space. Color Temperature: Cool colors, such as blue, violet, gray, and green, give off a tranquil atmosphere and recede into the space. This visual effect will make a room appear larger and less intimate. Warm tones of red, orange, and gold pop with energy and make the room feel cozy. Combining cool and warm colors in your palette will intensify the perceived temperature of each in the space. Color and Light: The source and density of light can dramatically affect the perceived feeling of a color in your home. Direct sunlight provides the truest color, but few interior rooms offer this ideal, natural light source. The best way to judge your color choices is to sample them in your room at various times of day under the lighting con-

ditions you have. I always recommend samples and living with a potential color choice for a couple days in your home. 3) What value is added by utilizing professional services like a contracting firm and interior designer? A general contractor and interior designer as a professional team can help you get the results you want and most likely save you time and money. In addition to having a great sense of style and design, professionals are trained to consider many functional matters and resources that might not occur to you. With so many design publications, TV shows and websites available, it's easy to become overwhelmed with choices and advice. As you search for inspiration and the latest trends, keep in mind that good design applies to all styles and types of spaces. When contacting a firm ask if they do consultations and what the rate is for consultation services. Some firms charge a flat fee, and some by the hour. We are inviting Womanscope readers to meet Celeste and join ASPIREhomes and Sherwin-Williams at our upcoming spring event, “COLORFUL YOU” in historic Reservoir Hill, Baltimore. For a complimentary invitation to “Colorful You”, or if you have questions or comments, forward your request to: Continued progress. Next Month: Enjoying the Sunshine with An Outdoor Deck

May 2012 •



Five Money Myths That Can Keep You Apart By Candace Bahr, CEA, CDFA and Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP Managing money with your significant other is difficult enough. Don't burden your relationship with half-truths that can make it even harder. Make sure these five money myths aren't keeping you apart. THE PARTNER WHO EARNS MORE, KNOWS MORE Your earnings are only a measure of how much you earn right now, period. They don't represent your negotiation skills, job skills, investing skills-or just plain common sense. The partner with more intuitive skills can more easily sense a bad investment than the one with a high income but a faulty BS detector. Respect your partner's contribution of knowledge and insight to your team-regardless of his or her financial contribution at the moment. PENNIES MAKE MILLIONS A penny-pinching partner may starve the essence and spirit of his partner, instead of encouraging her to achieve her full potential-economic and otherwise. Monitoring day-to-day spending is fine, but don't keep your partner from pursuing dreams because of temporary financial risks. Concentrate on your partner's long-term potential. If you restrict her from achieving her best, she will always resent you for it-and the costs will far exceed pennies. WE HAVE TO AGREE ON EVERYTHING Some couples think that any disagreement is a deep and permanent conflict that will destroy the relationship. If he likes to spend and you like to save, or vice versa-this does not




mean the end of the relationship. Agree to disagree on small matters, and compromise on the large ones. Remember, if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary. WE CAN'T ENJOY THE PRESENT BECAUSE WE HAVE TO SAVE FOR THE FUTURE An intelligent savings plan includes some enjoyment in the present. You don't have to go on an expensive vacation or spend lots of money on weekend entertainment, if that is outside of your budget. You do, however, have to reserve some time (and some funds) for enjoying yourselves right now. If you don't nurture your relationship with some pleasures now, you might not have a future together. MONEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR RELATIONSHIP Every relationship has its share of money regrets. Each partner says to himself: "If only she (or he) had let me invest… or kept me from investing… or spent money on… or not spent money on…" These regrets and unfulfilled wishes can be very expensive in terms of energy and goodwill in your relationship. This ruminating is not productive, so let it go to make more space in your relationship for future inflows of moneyand love.



Traveling with your pet


By Aileen Gabbey, Staff Writer, Executive Director, MDSPCA Summer is a great time to take family vacations. And for many of us, pets are family. It can be great fun to bring a pet, most likely a dog, along for the ride. Here are some tips for traveling with your pet or, if he can’t make the trip, how to plan for his care while you’re gone. Traveling with your pet: Hopefully, your dog does well on the road and isn’t prone to getting carsick. Some dogs do, and some remedies such as Rescue Remedy or Dog Appeasing Pheromones can help calm them. Humans need to be secure while traveling in a vehicle and so do pets! There are a variety of products to safely secure your pet in the car from sturdy crates to special harnesses that work as seatbelts. Personally, I use the ‘Easy Rider’ for my dog Alvie. This keeps him safe in case of an accident, but also keeps other occupants safe, as he won’t move around. For dogs that have crates at home, bringing the crate for use at your destination can be very reassuring. A special blanket and toy will also go a long way to make your pet feel more at home wherever you are. Be sure to have a collar and updated ID tags on your dog, just in case he wanders off. Microchips are also a great tool to identify your pet. And, if you need to find dog-friendly hotels, try for lots of great information. Traveling without your pet: Sometimes it’s best to leave your pet at home. Cats, in particular, may be happier in the comfort of familiar surroundings. There are a variety of choices including asking a friend to help, utilizing a kennel, or hiring a pet sitter. Give your caregiver all of your pet’s informa-

tion: feeding schedule, exercise regimen, any medicines, and regular/emergency vet phone numbers. You should make sure she has your numbers while you are gone and those of a trusted neighbor. Having a collar and ID tag are, again, very helpful in case your pet happens to slip away. If you hire a pet sitter, do your research. Ask for referrals and meet her ahead of time. A valuable resource to find local pet sitters is www. If you aren’t sure about bringing your pet along for the family vacation, consider his personality. Often, a shy pet that is used to a quiet house doesn’t do very well with the hustle and bustle of a busy trip. If you have a more boisterous pet, he may be able to handle the busy journey, but he needs to behave well around others in order for everyone to have a good time. For all personality types, obedience training ahead of time will work wonders for preparing for the trip. Bon voyage!


Payday Loans By Mediallio Green, Staff Writer Times are hard and for quick cash Payday Loans (i.e cash advance or check advance loans, deferred deposit check loans or postdated check loans) are becoming more popular. A Payday Loan is when an individual(s) borrows a small amount of money for a short period of time at a very high rate of interest. Typically the borrower writes a post-dated check of the amount they wish to borrow, plus a standard fee in exchange for cash. The Payday Loan is all about putting your mind at ease by not cashing your check until the date you’ve disclosed. The problem is that by that date, the interest rate has already increased. The Truth in Lending Act requires certain loan information be given before the loan is even made for the borrower. Here is the information that the borrower must receive: • The dollar amount of what the loan will cost you or the amount of the finance charge. • The annual percentage rate (APR), which is the cost of the credit to you that is usually stated in a percentage on a yearly basis. • Make sure the disclosure terms are given to you in writing before anything is accepted or signed. For those mathematicians out there here is an example of what to expect. You, the borrower, borrow $100.00 with the understanding that the payment will be due in the next two weeks. You write a check for $115.00 (amount of loan plus standard fees), the lender holds onto the $15.00 until your next payday or when the loan rolls over into the next loan period. The lender takes $15.00 and you receive $100.00, equaling an APR of almost 400 percent. If the loan term is extended to three more two-week periods then you’ll pay $160.00 for that $100.00 loan. Sounds like a very sticky situation. If you are in a financial pickle there may be a few practical alternatives such as: • Contact your lenders or creditors to inform them that they you may be late paying a bill. Often times you’ll be able to work out an alternative payment plan. • Look for low-cost loans or credit cash advances. These lender sources for personal loans include credit unions and smaller loan or finance companies. • Seek advice from a consumer credit counseling service. • Save money – if possible – for any extra expenses that will pop-up when you least expect it. • See about overdraft protection plans for your checking account – this could save you fees, and bounced checks. In conclusion, Payday Loans are a quick source of income, but they come with high interest rates. Times are hard, but should we really allow dollar signs to cloud our judgment? These loans are advertised to bring peace of mind, but in the end you’re giving up so much more. The best advice in this situation is not to use a Payday Loan provider. There are easier and less financially straining ways to come up with quick cash. Remember that if you do end up using these loan services don’t forget to get everything in writing, stay on top of your payments, and pay attention to the APR. Payday Loan, 2012. payday-loans.asp#axzz1oS8z62NN. (March 2012). Pay Day Loan Scams: Required Disclosures, 2011. (March 2012).

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24 • May 2012


Women in Politics: A Mars vs. Venus Thing?

By Kevin M. Briscoe, Staff Writer

When John Gray, Ph.D. published Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in 1992, he confirmed a notion I’ve known to be true my entire life: women are indeed from another planet, a species religiously acclimated to a set of behaviors that clueless men—yes, all men—find beyond their intellectual or emotional grasp. Need proof? Why else would my hypothetical girlfriend/fiancée/wife burst into tears when I offer up words of advice when she’s having a bad day? Because she didn’t want advice; she wanted to vent, to purge herself of the day’s toxins and restore her sense of wellbeing. As a man, ignorant of the subtleties of the Venusians’ culture—I ruined the moment.

Men are indeed from Mars

In the business world, we dominate meet-

never mind that my targeted opponent was former Del. Larry Young (D-38, who served as a delegate for 13 years, and was elected to the state Senate where he was later expelled for ethics violations), my outsized ego—stroked by promises of NRA cash to back my campaign—compelled me to run. Later, as I contemplated the likelihood of being labeled an NRA lackey in a black community for which the gun lobby had done very little, I wisely (I think) opted not to run. But, with that, the considerations that drive the current political gender gap never crossed my mind—I was more worried about what my mama and her pinochle club would think! The Lawless/Fox report concluded that major cultural and political shifts must occur to tear down the barriers that hinder female participation as elected officials, starting with a heavy emphasis on recruiting woman candidates and getting the word

“ Hilary Clinton would have been president, absent the phenomenon of Barack Obama,

and the arc of gender politics would have...a far rosier hue ings, with a tendency to raise our hands and express thoughts even before they are fully formed. The fairer, smarter sex is more likely to undersell itself, make self-deprecating remarks and refrain from speaking up. The Mars-Venus thing can also be seen in the world of politics, as fewer women are running for office, especially at the state level. In “Men Rule: The Continued Underrepresentation of Women in U.S. Politics,” Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox outline a number of factors contributing to fact that men are 16 percentage points more likely to run for office than women: perceived bias against female candidates in a highly competitive electoral environment; their feeling that they are less qualified for office; their aversion to risk and distaste for campaigning, and their responsibilities for the majority of childcare and household tasks.

Women are indeed from Venus

Would a man be restrained by these factors? I think not! Hell, back in 1988—armed with little more than a degree in political science and scant TV time as a spokesperson for a doomed-from-the-start statewide referendum campaign against gun control— even I let some National Rifle Association cronies talk me into a possible run for a Maryland House of Delegates seat. Never mind that I was as green to the world of state-level politics as a newly-picked banana;

out about the electoral environment. Several groups like the Center of American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, The White House Project and the Women’s Campaign Fund are but a few of the organizations engaged in these efforts. In an April 5, 2011 Washington Post article, Pulitzer Prize-nominated columnist Ruth Marcus opined: “Absent the phenomenon of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton would have been president—and the arc of gender politics would have taken on a far rosier hue. In 1984, when [Geraldine] Ferraro was tapped to be the vice presidential nominee, there were only 24 women in Congress, including two senators. … The overt sexism Ferraro encountered—questions about whether she could bake muffins or, alternatively, pull the nuclear trigger—is inconceivable today.” Maybe. Today, there are 73 female House of Representative members and 17 senators. But, while “Martians”, through their innate aggression, will continue to pursue the lion’s share of elected offices, it’s in our collective best interests to empower “Venus” to further engage … to run, to vote, to lead. Only then does the hue achieve the desired state of rosiness.

May 2012 •



Mediation: Is It Working? By Heather McCubbin, Staff Writer Those of us who are parents, teachers, or who interact with people every day, have taken part in the mediation process in some way. Over the last few decades, schools have invested money and time into teaching our children how to mediate with each other and how to handle tough situations. Supposedly, all of this effort is to help keep youths away from drugs, alcohol, violence and making bad choices. Is it working? Conflict is inevitable, but violence is not, so teaching students how to deal with their emotions and make smart choices helps them to avoid disastrous situations. Training adults is the first step. In addition to workshops, there are businesses to help schools begin the mediation process and numerous reading materials such as, "Conflict Resolution Quarterly" which was published beginning in 1983. One can search Amazon and find hundreds of books on the subject. Numerous schools begin their mediation process with students who volunteer to become a mediator and are taught how to work with their peers if a conflict arises. They handle issues such as: minor disruptions in class, boyfriend/girlfriend issues, friendship quarrels, and arguments on the playground or verbal conflict. A study was done on the effectiveness of a peer mediation program by the American School Counselor Association,

who discovered, "The most significant finding…[was] the impact that this program had upon long-term levels of school violence." The program known as "Peace Pal" ran during the 2004-2005 school year. "Peace Pal" is supported by the following objectives: a) to enhance students’ levels of understanding regarding anger and conflict, (b) to enhance students’ knowledge pertaining to conflict, conflict resolution, and mediation, and (c) to resolve peer disagreements peacefully through peer mediation. Judging by the statistics below, it seems to be working. In 1994, over 300,000 high school students were physically attacked each month—over a nine-month school period that is 2.7 million. According to a National Center for Education Statistics report, in 2008, there were 1.2 million victims of nonfatal crimes at schools with students' aged 12-18; a decrease by more than half over 14 years. As we can see, over the past few decades, schools have turned to the students themselves; teaching them ways to communicate, manage their anger, how to be a leader and teach them decision making skills. According to the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (NIDR), schools nationwide are adopting peer mediation programs – but only 8,500 schools in 1999 currently used youth-led mediation to resolve conflict. (The exact number today is still being investigated.)

Students in Georgia participate in PeaceWorks, a peer mediation program that has been implimented in over 20,000 schools worldwide Teens Initiating Peaceful Solutions (TIPS) confronts conflicts that occur not only inside but also outside the confines of an institution. Mike Brennan, a student who attended high school in Troy, MI, back in 1999 was a mediator through the TIPS program. He was only seventeen years old when he said, "The job of the mediator is to get the kids to understand how they feel. We can't suggest a solution. We ask questions to lead them into their own solution. That way they can live with it." Even though he spoke those words over a decade ago, the same rule applies now. Telling children how they should handle something usually backfires, but helping to

guide them to a solution that they are a part of produces much better results. National Crime and Prevention Council, "Strategy: Peer Mediation in High Schools, accessed March 30, 2012. Raines, Susan S, Editor. Wiley Online Library: "Conflict Resolution Quarterly" (ISSN)1541-1508/issues. Accessed March 30, 2012. ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN. "How Should Schools Address the Problem of Violence?" Accessed March 30, 2012. Roberts, Zhang, Truman and Snyder. National Center for Education Statistics-Institute of Education Sciences. "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010" Accessed March 30, 2012. Schellenberg, Parks-Savage and Rehfuss, "Reducing Levels of Elementary School Violence with Peer Mediation." Vol. 10:5, June 2007, ASCA, page 479. Journal.pdf


Veterans Face Long Waits For Mental Health Care Courtesy of Women’s Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, held a hearing addressing the lack of sufficient mental health care for returning veterans. According to a report released by the inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this week, it often takes far longer than the VA’s stated goal period of 14 days for first-time patients to receive a comprehensive mental health evaluation. Last year, more than half of returning vets had to wait an average of seven weeks for an evaluation. “Getting our veterans timely mental health care can quite frankly often be the difference between life and death,” Sen. Murray said in a statement. In her opening statement, Sen. Murray addressed insufficient staffing and space available for veterans’ mental health care, and sought answers to ensure that military men and women receive the crucial treatment they need to keep them safe from


harm following their service. Women’s Health’s special report in the May issue focuses on the mental health struggles among female veterans. As Julia Savacool reports in “Home Safe But Not Sound,” suicide rates are on the rise among women in the military after they return home from war, when they’re supposedly out of harm’s way. We investigate the pressures facing women upon their return, note the disturbing lack of female-specific mental health services available to help them, and seek to discover how we can protect them.

26 • May 2012


PULL THE STRING! By Ann Hosmer, Team Management Specialist, Building Winning Teams

In one of my workshops in team problem-solving I present the string exercise. As participants work in pairs, each holding one end of a string, I present a series of scenarios, each with four possible responses. The goal is to identify the response for each scenario that reduces tension so dialogue can happen. As we review each response, each pair does an instant evaluation: If it increases tension, they pull the string tight; if it eases tension, they let the string go limp. The pair applies this test to each choice of response until they locate the one that reduces tension the most as indicated by the depth of the loop in the string. Got it? Now take your temperature! Consider this example: You work all day and you come home tired. As soon as you open the front door your teenage daughter comes running up to with a complaint. You are ready to explode! So what do you say? a. Both of you, get outta here now!! b. You slam your brief case on the floor and

glare at them. c. You stop, release a breath, and say, “Could I take my coat off first?” d. You turn, walk back outside, and slam the front door. You are right!. Example c is the correct answer. But why? In answer c you respond; in the others you react. A reaction is quick and frequently carries strong emotion; a response is thoughtful. Now, if your life is being threatened, or you step on a snake, a reaction is completely normal. When we apply this concept to people interacting socially, the goal is to respond rather than react. A reaction is emotion-packed as in act before you think; a response is thought-packed as in think before you act. The former brings grief; the latter, relief. Respond and you open the door to dialogue. React and you shut it down. The goal is to connect with another person rather than alienate them.

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tive is the goal of the “Pull the String.” Try one more for size: I thought I did the right thing. Then, Barb corners me and tells me how I offended everybody by the way I handled things. I felt angry , sad and scared all at once. I said: a. Thanks for letting me know. Right now I don’t know what to say. b. I really need to think about this. Could we talk tomorrow? Maybe around noon? c. O.K. then tell them to stuff it! d. You can all go to_________! Now we can have a field day with this one. The pair picks a response. What if the one member of the pair pulls the string tight and the other loops it? That’s what keeps this exercise interesting—baggage! Or, do you want to call it context? It’s how each of us perceives an event based upon our own collection of personal experiences. While you can bet that c and d are out, sometimes, many times in fact, the right answer is the one that opens dialogue between you and the other person. Speak and then take your own temperature. Did I just create a step toward a solution?

Or, did I just create a new problem? The most important thing this exercise does is to help people see how they react to situations common to their “world” and how another option can avoid the pain of, “Oh my, what have I just done?”. Sound logical? It’s logical and it works. You may try this at home and most certainly at the office. Ann Hosmer, Team Management Specialist Building Winning Teams. Call Ann at 410-752-3437 for a complementary strategy session.

May 2012 •



Senate Passes VAWA without Republican Changes By Samantha Kimmey, WeNews correspondent


The U.S. Senate voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, though its passage is less certain in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. (WOMENSENEWS)-- The U.S. Senate voted to pass S. 1925, the Democrat’s version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (VAWA), 68-31, on April 26. It will now go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where its passage is less certain. S. 1925 cuts the previous 2005 authorization by 17 percent and will continue VAWA until 2016. The U.S. Senate defeated three proposed amendments to VAWA this afternoon. The Grassley-Hutchison amendment, which modified or eliminated protections for female immigrants, Native women and those in same-sex relationships, was defeated 36-63. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, argued that her amendment actually protected those in same-sex relationships because it included gender-neutral language. However, others claimed that not specifically including language to protect gay and lesbian individuals did not adequately provide protections. It would also have eliminated the ability of tribal courts to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence. Many Republicans, like Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, claimed that allowing tribal courts to do so would be “unconstitutional.” The amendment also would have increased minimum mandatory sentencing for many sex offenders. Senate Democrats were concerned that these changes would dissuade women from reporting crimes, reported Roll Call April 26. The upper chamber voted 57-41 on another amendment proposed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to address the backlog of rape kit testing by increasing funding, but 60 votes were needed to pass it. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, proposed a similar amendment, though Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Cornyn's amendment had “onerous and illogical reporting requirements." Cornyn's amendment was defeated.


I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves ~Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

28 • May 2012


Scandal highlights lack of women in Secret Service By: Eric Tucker, AP News Service


Boys club? The secret service does not come across as an agenc welcoming to women, evidenced by the fact that only about 11 percent of agents are female

WASHINGTON — Secret Service agents are often portrayed in popular culture as disciplined, unflappable, loyal — and male. A spiraling prostitution scandal that has highlighted the dearth of women in the agency that protects the president and dignitaries has many wondering: Would more females in the ranks prevent future dishonor? Only about a tenth of field agents and uniformed officers are women, a shortage some attribute to travel demands that can be especially taxing on women balancing families and careers. A scandal that risks portraying the agency as unfriendly to women, however, could set back efforts to close the gender gap. "I can't help but think that there would be some progress if there was more diversity and if there were more women that were there," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "When you have a diversity of people there, it brings more accountability. What you see is a lack of accountability in this." Women make up about 25 percent of the agency's workforce, but only about 11 percent of agents and uniformed officers, said spokesman Ed Donovan. That's significantly lower than the 19 percent of female special agents in the FBI, though higher than the 9.7 percent of special agents who are women in the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Secret Service does not provide gender breakdowns on the agents assigned to presidential details, though women have been included on those assignments for years. The agency has aggressively recruited women, targeting female-oriented career

fairs and sending brochures to colleges. "We all recognize that we want to get more women into the Secret Service," Donovan said. But that wasn't easy even before the prostitution embarrassment in Colombia, which unfolded two weeks ago when a dispute over payment between a prostitute and Secret Service officer spilled into a hotel hallway. A dozen Secret Service employees and a dozen enlisted military personnel have been implicated. Although Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said it appeared to be isolated, the agency has since confirmed it's investigating if employees hired prostitutes and strippers ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to El Salvador last year. The agency on Friday also announced stricter measures, including assigning chaperones on some trips to enforce new rules of conduct for agents and employees. Paige Pinson, 45, spent 15 years with the agency and her father, W. Ralph Basham, is a former director. She said it wasn't the culture that encouraged her to forego her agent's position. After all, male agents were loyal to each other and fiercely protective of her. She'd drink alongside them at bars and laughed at the "groupies" who fawned over their status. It was, instead, the birth of her first child that inspired her to seek a less travel-intensive analyst's position. She left the agency in 2009. "You do miss birthdays, you do miss Christmas, and you miss piano recitals," Pinson said, "and maybe women are just more sensitive to that than men can be." The agency enjoys vaunted prestige in American popular culture, but the rigors

of a protective detail — jet-setting the globe at a moment's notice to protect a dignitary, being on-call around the clock — isn't for everyone. It's the type of full-bore commitment that leads to canceled vacations and blownoff family obligations, an occasional workaday drudgery that, former agents say, can distinguish the Secret Service from other law enforcement agencies. "I know they work hard and long hours too, but at the end of the day, they go home at night," said Barbara Riggs, who spent 31 years with the agency, serving on presidential protective details for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — ascending to the role of a supervisor — before retiring as deputy director in 2006. "You can't say the same for being a Secret Service agent." Cavorting with prostitutes on the job isn't all that different from holding a business meeting in a topless joint: Both are hyper-sexualized activities that some men may condone but are bound to make women uncomfortable, said Donna Milgram, executive director of the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science. "Whenever you have a culture in which it's accepted that sexual activity as has been described is part of that culture — i.e. using local prostitutes — that is not going to be a culture in which women are going to be want to be in," said Milgram, who has advised law enforcement agencies on recruiting and retaining women. "Those are generally not cultures that want to have women." Other incidents over the past 15 years haven't helped the Secret Service come off as welcoming to women. Emails filed as part of a race discrimination lawsuit show workers sharing racially and sexually inappropriate jokes. An alcohol-soaked bar brawl involving off-duty agents in 2002 involved allegations that an agent had bitten off part of a man's ear — though no charges were brought and a jury sided with the agent in a civil trial. A 2002 U.S. News & World Report contained allegations of heavy drinking, pornography viewing at work and security lapses. Some former agents acknowledge a close-

knit atmosphere where employees travel, dine and socialize together — sometimes in the form of so-called "wheels up" parties held in foreign countries after the departure of a president or other person under protection. But they say the prostitution scandal does not represent a cultural problem or reflect a broader disdain for women. The Secret Service began adding women in the early 1970s, a time when returning Vietnam War veterans signed up in bunches. Just as they do now, agents prided themselves on being physically strong and on a strict selection process for the presidential detail, said Joseph Petro, who joined in 1971 and a co-author of "Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service." New recruits were expected to prove themselves. "We wanted to look at them — see what kind of shape they were in, how they fit, what their manner was. That goes on — and it should," said Petro, who after Vietnam spent 23 years with the agency as an agent and manager, helping protect Reagan. Some women had it tough in the early years, he recalled, bumping up against "hardheaded" men who had never worked with women. But some found niches through special skills, like horseback riding, and the atmosphere was genteel and respectable enough that Petro said he always felt comfortable bringing his wife and daughter on trips to Reagan's ranch in Santa Barbara. "There were a couple of guys who brought their wives and kids," Petro said. "That puts the brake on a lot of things." In the latest debacle, the Secret Service has forced eight employees from their jobs and was seeking to revoke the security clearance of another employee, which would effectively force him to resign. Three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing. How much it sets back efforts to recruit women may depend on the pervasiveness of inappropriate behavior, Milgram said. "It's a way of operating," she said, "that I think most of us would consider a way that was left behind 30 years ago."

e s a Ple rt

po p u s s! r r e u s o erti adv

May 2012 •



Women and Agriculture: Empowering Women to Feed Our Future By A. Albez, Staff Writer It is a well-established fact that empowering women leads to a stronger local and global economy. According to, there is a 10 percent increase in crop yields when women have the same amount of land as men. The benefits of female agricultural empowerment span generations; more crops means less hunger on a micro and a macro scale, and when women control their own income, they are more likely to spend it on their children’s nutrition and education. Still, too many women around the world are not agriculturally empowered: women make up 43 percent of the agricultural labor force, yet they are less likely to own land, and own less land than men when they do. In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the numbers are even more startling: nearly 70 percent of employed women work in agriculture, yet they receive less pay than men for the same work, and are more likely to be malnourished than men. In an effort to redress this inequity, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the US Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative recently

launched the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), which is the first index to measure women’s activities in the agricultural sector. In order to be considered “empowered,” women must have “adequate achievements” in four out of the following five areas: the ability to make decisions over agricultural production, power over land and livestock, decisions over income, leadership in the community, and time use. The WEAI is unique because it does not define empowerment as wealth or education--traditionally considered to be significant indicators of female empowerment. Dr. Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, explains that pilot studies in Guatemala and Bangladesh yielded surprising results: 76 percent of Guatemala’s wealthiest women did not meet criteria for agricultural empowerment, and though the Bangladeshi women were poor and did not own property, they had no compunctions about speaking up in public--an essential part of achieving empowerment and equality. True empowerment, then, is a slippery


Female farmers who feel empowered agriculturally can yield a 10 percent increase in crops, helping to reduce the global food shortage and ensure better nutrition goal to attain; it requires a drastic overhaul of heteropatriarchal cultural norms that dictate that women cannot own land or take leadership roles. In order for a woman to be truly agriculturally empowered, she must not only have access to the same productive resources as men (land and livestock), but she must be able to make critical decisions concerning those resources (when to buy a new animal, when to apply for a loan.) She must have the time and capability to join a women’s group or an agricultural forum, which will enable her to expand her market, combat typical agricultural problems, such as crop disease or drought, and become a productive member

of her community. These five indicators increase a woman’s economic power, which in turn helps her advance her children’s prospects, her community’s economy, and the global economy. Additionally, female farmers with equal opportunities help reduce the global food shortage and ensure better nutrition for the next generation. The WEAI is too new to have yielded significant data, but it is an extremely useful tool that will illuminate which countries need improvement, and how to best focus international efforts to ensure female agricultural empowerment.


30 • May 2012


Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns By Maureen Dowd, Courtesy New York Times, Op-Ed It is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures. Even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns. Who thinks it’s cool to bully nuns? While continuing to heal and educate, the community of sisters is aging and dying out because few younger women are willing to make such sacrifices for a church determined to bring women to heel. Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular, medieval men who run the Catholic Church. “It’s not terribly unlike the days of yore when they singled out people in the rough days of the Inquisition,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.” How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia? How do you take spiritual direction from a

church that seems to be losing its soul? It has become a habit for the church to go after women. A Worcester, Mass., bishop successfully fought to get a commencement speech invitation taken away from Vicki Kennedy, widow of Teddy Kennedy, because of her positions on some social issues. And an Indiana woman named Emily Herx has filed a lawsuit saying she was fired from her job teaching in a Catholic school and denounced as a “grave, immoral sinner” by the parish pastor after she used fertility treatments to try to get pregnant with her husband. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York recently told The Wall Street Journal that only “a tiny minority” of priests were tainted by the sex abuse scandal. But it’s a global shame spiral. The church leadership never recoiled in horror from pedophilia, yet it recoils in horror from outspoken nuns. In Philadelphia, Msgr. William Lynn, 61, is the first church supervisor to go on trial for child endangerment. He is fighting charges that he may have covered up for 20 priests accused of sexual abuse and left in the ministry, often transferred to unwitting parishes. Somehow the Philadelphia church leaders decided that the Rev. Thomas Smith was not sexually motivated when he made boys strip and be whipped playing Christ in a Passion

play. Somehow they decided an altar boy who said he was raped by two priests and his fifth-grade teacher was not the one in need of protection. Instead of looking deep into its own heart and soul, the church is going after the women who are the heart and soul of parishes, schools

and hospitals. The stunned sisters are debating how to respond after the Vatican’s scorching reprimand to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main association of American Catholic nuns. The bishops were obviously peeved that some nuns had the temerity to speak out in support of President Obama’s health care plan, including his compromise on contraception for religious hospitals. The Vatican accused the nuns of pushing “radical feminist themes,” and said they were not vocal enough in parroting church policy against the ordination of women as priests and against abortion, contraception and homosexual relationships. In a blatant “Shut up and sit down, sisters” moment, the Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, noted, “Occasional public statements by the L.C.W.R. that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and mor-

als, are not compatible with its purpose.” Pope Benedict, who became known as “God’s Rottweiler” when he was the cardinal conducting the office’s loyalty tests, assigned Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to crack down on the climate of “corporate dissent” among the poor nuns. When the nuns push for social justice, they’re put into stocks. Yet Archbishop Sartain has led a campaign in Washington to reverse the state’s newly enacted law allowing same-sex marriage, and he’s a church hero. Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic lobbying group slapped in the Vatican report, said it scares the church hierarchy to have “educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.” She told NPR that it was ironic that church leaders were mad at sisters over contraception when the nuns had committed to a celibate life with no families or babies. Given the damage done by the pedophilia scandals, she said, “the church’s obsession, at times, with the sexual relationships is a serious problem.” Asked by The Journal if the church had a hard time convincing the flock to follow its strict teachings on sexuality, Cardinal Dolan laughed: “Do we ever!” Church leaders behave like adolescent boys, blinded by sex. That’s the problem with inquisitors and censors: They become fascinated by what they deplore. The pope needs what the rest of us got from nuns: a good rap across the knuckles.

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