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Showing posts from August, 2012

Book Review: On My Honor by Shannon Henry Kleiber

 I was a Junior Girl Scout from 4th to 6th grade. It was a ton of fun, but there wasn't a troop available after we transitioned to middle school. It also did not seem like a very cool thing to keep doing. Yet the further and further I got from my Girl Scout days, the more I cherish them. OK, I don't cherish the day my mom made me wear my uniform with knee length argyle socks, but hey, the girl time was great. The camping, the crafting and yes, even the cookie sales were filled with wonderful memories. That is why I started the ball rolling to start a Girl Scouts troop for my daughter and try to be the best volunteer I can be to support the leaders. It is also why I jumped at the chance to read Shannon Henry Kleiber 's book on the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, On My Honor: Real Life Lessons From America’s First Girl Scout . The Girl Scouts have been the site of controversy over the past year . Conservatives have questioned the radical direction of 10

Earthtalk Tuesday: Will Mt. St. Helens become a national park?

EarthTalk® E - The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What ever happened to the idea of turning Mt. St. Helens into a national park? -- Esther Monaghan, Boston, MA Mt. St. Helens, one of the less prominent yet massive peaks of Washington State’s Cascade Range, made history on May 18, 1980 by erupting with the force of 500 atomic bombs, devastating 230 square miles of formerly verdant forest and killing 57 people. After considerable debate about what to do with the decimated landscape in the aftermath, Congress sided with scientists advocating it be left alone for research and education. In 1982 Congress created the 172-square-mile Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which had already been overseeing the forests on the flanks of the mountain as part of the surrounding 1.3 million acre Gifford Pinchot National Forest. But in 2007 federal budget cuts coupled with diminishing visitation led the Forest Service to close one of its

What aren't I allergic to? CHOCOLATE! (Possible TMI)

Today I finally went in for allergy testing. I've suffered from seasonal allergies since I was in the first grade. As I have gotten older, my allergies have only gotten worse. Somewhere in my twenties, my allergies turned into a touch of asthma. Really cold weather is my big trigger, although heavy exercise does as well. But this spring I had a few weeks where my allergies were seriously killing me. I felt like they were aggravating, if not triggering migraines. Because I kept showing up at my doctor's office begging to be squeezed in, I saw a few different doctors. One, the man, diagnosed me with a deviated septum. This is something I have suspected for many years. When my allergies get really bad, I can feel it in the same spot on the left side of my nose. So he sent me to see an ear & nose specialist. That specialist said my deviation wasn't impacting my allergies very much. It wasn't helping, but fixing it wasn't going to do a lot for me. Instead she s

Book Review: Your Voice, Your Vote by Martha Burk

The biggest complaint I hear from my friends around election time is that they just don't understand all the issues and what candidates are arguing about. Who is right on Social Security? What really will jump start our economy again? Is there really a War on Women? Luckily for us Martha Burk , co-founder of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, has written Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman's guide to Power, Politics and the Change We Need. As we enter the final days of Election 2012 and with the conventions [ DNC / RNC ] just days away, this is a must have for every voter, not just women voters. Burk spends the first six chapters painting the political landscape and why it is important to have women in leadership positions. Chapter three dissects the gender gap -- the phenomena where women tend to vote Democrat over Republican. But the heart of this book is Burk's explanation of the issues. Taxes, health care, reproductive rights, war, the military,

EVENT: Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk!

You’re Invited! Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk! This Annual Event Supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention! Walk to Save Lives! Walk to Support the Cause! Walk to Raise Awareness! Walk to Honor a Loved One! Saturday, September 29th Check In at 8 am | Event Begins at 9 am At Independence Grove in Libertyville Register Today at Help Spread The Word! Post Walk info to social networking sites and around town. · Walk Tear Off Flier: · Flier: · Leaflet:

Earthtalk Tuesday: Why are some countries still whaling?

DiálogoEcológico De los Redactores de E/La Revista Ecológica Querido DiálogoEcológico : La pesca comercial de ballenas fue prohibida alrededor del mundo hace años, pero algunas naciones continúan cazando ballenas. ¿Por qué sucede esto y qué se hace al respecto?                                                                                                          -- Jackie O’Neill, Hershey, PA Lamentablemente para nuestro mundo y su biodiversidad, las ballenas todavía son matadas a pesar de una prohibición internacional de la pesca comercial de ballenas. En verdad, la pesca de ballenas desenfrenada a través de los últimos dos siglos ha diezmado casi todas las poblaciones de ballena alrededor del globo. Según Greenpeace, muchas especies de ballena están ahora a alrededor de un uno por ciento de su abundancia anterior antes de los días de la pesca de comercial. Catorce naciones que pescaban ballenas se reunieron en 1946 para formar la Comisión Ballenera Internacional

Summer of Feminista: Action from Dissatisfaction

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes Dior Vargas.  You can find her at her blog:   I am also including this as part of Viva la Feminista's contribution to the Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice 2012 . Last election I was so hopeful about the idea of having Obama in office as did a lot of people. It warranted a completely different feeling than the one I have now. This time I’m disillusioned and not excited about what’s coming. The system is flawed and I don’t know if one candidate over the other will ensure the freedom and equality that we all deserve. If the Occupy Movement is any indication, people are not content with the way our country is being run. I’ve had to reexamine the country that I grew to love because democracy, the governmental structure that was supposed to work, has been corrupted. Sure the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, as it is now being referred to, is great. There are so many benefits for women. However, not all

Summer of Feminista: President Obama's Immigration Policy Threatens Campaigns in Battleground States

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes Jacquie Marroquin, a feminist advocate who's worked in the violence against women movement for over 10 years. You can find her at her blog , Facebook and Twitter . At the end of May I began to receive phone calls from a Washington D.C. area code and some private numbers. At first it was just in the evenings, then I began to receive calls throughout the day. I don’t normally answer calls from numbers I do not recognize and they did not leave a voice message. Curiosity finally got the best of me in early July, so I answered a couple of those calls and learned it was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and President Obama’s reelection campaign that had been calling me. The call from President Obama’s campaign went something like this: An overly enthusiastic voice asked, “May I speak to Jacquie?” Jacquie, I am calling you because we are in urgent need of your support.” I patiently listened to the caller as she e

CFP: Intensive Mothering: The Cultural Contradictions Of Modern Motherhood

CALL FOR PAPERS Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection Intensive Mothering: The Cultural Contradictions Of Modern Motherhood Editor: Dr. Linda Ennis DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: March 1, 2013! To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Sharon Hays' landmark book, "The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood", this collection will revisit Hays' concept of "intensive mothering" as a continuing, yet controversial representation of modern motherhood. In Hays' original work, she spoke of "intensive mothering" as primarily being conducted by mothers, centered on children's needs with methods informed by experts, which are labour-intensive and costly simply because children are entitled to this maternal investment. While respecting the important need for connection between mother and baby that is prevalent in the teachings of Attachment Theory, this coll

Summer of Feminista: Strength in numbers vs. diversity: can we have both?

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes KJ Sanchez. She is participating in the Yo Solo Festival .  KJ is the founder/ CEO of American Records.   She has produced national and international tours. I’m in Chicago, preparing to open my play, Highway 47, as part of Teatro Vista and Collaboraction ’s Yo Solo Festival, a festival Pan-Latina/o solo performances. As I’ve been watching my colleagues rehearse, the upcoming election has been much on my mind and one question has been nagging at me all week: How do we take advantage of increasing political leverage as the “Latino Vote” yet continue to make progress helping our fellow Americans – and our elected representatives – understand the diverse mosaic that is the Latina/o community? Let’s look at the Yo Solo Festival as a microcosm of this issue: The festival has six performers, six VERY diverse shows. We are culturally diverse – we come from a wide range of cultures – Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Dominican, just to name a few. My

Summer of Feminista: The Latina Vote – Neither Beast nor Savior

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes  Maegan "la Mamita Mala" Oritz,  of Mamita Mala: One Bad Mami Blog   and owner of VivirLatino . It's that time a year again. Time to revive stale metaphors of poking napping mythical creatures from their dens. Time to dust off the old book of stereotypes and pandering, the one that makes it logical to parade around a Cuban in order to win the votes of Mexicans all while playing reggaeton in the background. Time for non-profits to have their own race about who will register more people, hold more twitter chats, and out message with celebrity cameos. I'll see you an America Ferrara and raise you a Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony. It's presidential election time, 2012 edition. During the last presidential election it was easy to caught up in the excitement. There was a man of color running who actually stood a chance. People were desperate and ate up slogans and promises of hope and change and believed that yes we ca