Monday, October 29, 2007

In the Halloween Spirit - a free lecture

I thought I'd pass this link on to all of you. I've bought a lot of their courses over the years -- from the Teaching Company
...Halloween approaches, we are sending you a free online lecture on "The World of Witches" by UCLA Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz. We offer free lectures to our customers at various times throughout the year as part of our goal to provide a lifelong learning experience.

Professor Ruiz (Ph.D., Princeton University) is a medieval history specialist, selected by the Carnegie Foundation in 1994-1995 as one of four Outstanding U.S. Teachers of the Year. He has crafted three courses for The Teaching Company. This lecture is from his course The Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition and is a fascinating exploration of a 16th-century description of how to become a witch.

Click here to access the free lecture.

You may download this lecture and listen to it at your computer, transfer it to your iPod or MP3 player, or burn it to a CD.

Access your free lecture online between now and December 31, 2007. Please feel free to send the lecture link to friends who might also enjoy it. It is free for them as well.

Have any of you taken any of their courses? My very favorite is 'How to Listen to and Understand Great Music.' What's yours?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Abstinence Only Funding Increase Withdrawn

Update from Advocates for Youth

Yesterday, conservative Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) withdrew his amendment to increase funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and the Senate finally approved its fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill. The approved bill calls for a $28 million cut in the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program. Once again common sense has prevailed.

But our work isn't over!!

Senate supporters are working hard to keep the CUT in the final bill. But they need your support!

Three months ago the House of Representatives approved a $28 million INCREASE for the Abstinence Education program, even though a 10-year evaluation revealed that abstinence-only programs don't work. (Click here to read more:

Now, the House and Senate have to agree on a final bill. Negotiations are moving quickly. The final bill could be voted out and on the President's desk by November 1st.

Take action today!

Young people deserve accurate and complete information to help them make responsible decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

Please tell your representative: It's time for a change -- Support the Senate's abstinence-only-until-marriage $28 million cut!

Sonya Clay
Domestic Policy Director
Advocates for Youth

Monday, October 22, 2007

Take Action Against Limiting Increases to Abstinence-Only Programs

Here's a message from the Advocates for Youth Site. Their action messages work much the same way AAUW's Two-Minute Activist Site works.

Urgent Action Needed!

Tell Congress to vote NO on abstinence-only funding increases.

Conservatives in Congress want to continue pumping millions of dollars into harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs despite the fact that these programs don't work.

As early as today, conservative Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) plans to introduce an amendment to the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations bill to increase funding for the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program, the largest and worst abstinence-only-until-marriage program.

Please contact your Senators today and tell them to vote NO on the Brownback amendment!!!

Young people's health and lives are at risk. They need the facts!!

  • The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world.
  • Young people in the U.S. are also at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
  • Abstinence-only programs are prohibited, by law, from talking about contraceptives EXCEPT to discuss their failure rates.
  • A 10-year congressionally mandated study of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs proved once and for all that these programs don't work.

Young people deserve the truth. Take Action Today!!

Please contact your Senator today and tell them to oppose the Oppose the Brownback Amendment.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/23/07: branch meeting on Ulster Regional Drug Treatment Court

On October 23 the Kingston Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) learned about alternatives to prison for substance abusers. Melissa Ortquist of the Ulster County Drug Treatment Court, an alternative sentencing project, presented to the group.

Melissa Ortquist is the Coordinator of the Ulster Regional Drug Treatment Court since its inception 6 years ago. The program is an alternative to incarceration. Substance abusers are supervised in the community, rather than serving time in jail. The program includes weekly judicial monitoring and drug testing. 99 participants have completed the program and about 45 individuals are currently in the program.

Prior to this, Melissa worked for the Ulster County Public Defenders office for 8 years as their drug based advocate, developing individualized alternatives to incarceration plans for indigent justice clients.She has also worked as an environmental and peace advocate with Greenpeace, Clearwater, and Mobilization for Survival.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Even Cindy Crawford...

If you haven't seen this video, you must take a minute right now. Because even Cindy Crawford doesn't look like Cindy Crawford.

And every young girl needs to know that. From the Dove Self-Esteem Fund series.

Thank you, Dove, for shining a light on what women are really like.

Monday, October 15, 2007

10/16/07: literary group discussed Gilead

On 10/16/07, our monthly branch literary group met upstairs at the Kingston Library at 55 Franklin Street. We discussed Marilynne Robinson's book Gilead. Pat Stedge gave us some information about the author.
Photo by Islandboy

Membership Tea held on Sunday, Oct. 14

Our new Membership VPs, Elaine Hammond and Polly Langer, organized a lovely Membership Tea yesterday afternoon at the Woodstock Fire House. Though it was chilly and overcast outside, inside it felt warm and welcoming.

We had a nice mix of long-time members, newer members, and complete newcomers to AAUW. Five people signed up on Sunday, with a few more "in the works"!

After giving us a little time to sip, munch, and mingle, Garnette gathered us in a circle and welcomed everyone. There were about 20 women and one (brave!) man. We went around the room and each of us introduced ourselves. It was an awe-inspiring ensemble. One of our new members even dashed in for an "intermission" between her two afternoon selections at the Woodstock Film Festival. Newcomer Judith Karpova spoke briefly about her experience in Iraq. Janine Fallon Mower noted that we are a group devoted to "social action and social interaction." And that about sums it up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nonprofits Still Compensating Women Less Than Men

This chart is only one of several published in GuideStar's Nonprofit Compensation Study. There's no question in this arena that equity is still an issue.

GuideStar - News - Articles - Highlights of the 2007 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report: "Highlights of the 2007 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report The 2007 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report is based on 102,414 observations from 56,228 Forms 990 filed by 501(c) organizations with the IRS for fiscal year 2005. Among the highlights:

  • Median compensation of females continued to lag behind that of males when considering comparable positions at similar organizations.
  • Females held 50 percent of CEO positions at organizations with expenses of $1 million or less but only 34 percent at organizations with expenses of greater than $1 million. Overall, women held 41 percent of the positions reported upon but received only 32 percent of the total compensation.
  • As has been the case in the past few years, female CEOs at larger organizations are making slow but steady progress at closing the gender gap when it comes to compensation. Incumbent female CEOs at organizations with expenses of $25 million or greater had a higher median compensation increase from 2004 to 2005 than males. Results are mixed for smaller organizations."
Read more and review other graphs and charts by clicking the link above.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

CARE :: Defending Dignity. Fighting Poverty.

AAUW is now partnering with Care on several projects. Care invites women to share up to 500 words about the power of education.

CARE :: Defending Dignity. Fighting Poverty.:
"Knowledge is power, and we know one of the best ways to empower women and girls is through education. Inspire others to join the movement by sharing how education has empowered you!"

You can read what others from around the world have submitted here. And, we'd love to publish your submission in our newsletter. You can forward it (and anything else you'd like published) to me, the editor.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thanks to Peggy Kelland, International Update

At our September branch meeting, Peggy Kelland, NY State AAUW International Affairs Director, announced the new affiliation between AAUW and Care and shared an update on the break between AAUW and the International Federation of University Women. She explained that the IFUW break comes as a result of pure economics. National AAUW, despite our dues, can't afford the IFUW dues and now owes millions.

Peggy also provided an update on the Bina Roy Fund, where most of our branch contributions go.

She discussed AAUW's commitment to primary education for all women, worldwide. I especially liked her explanation why. She said, " When you educate a man, you educate a man; when you educate a woman, you educate a family."

Thanks for joining us, Peggy.

Claire Knickmeyer -- Finding Fellowship

Most important in Claire's life is family. She has ten grandchildren and two great-grandsons that fill her life with meaning.

She joined AAUW in the 1990's "for the fellowship of interesting and vital women -- not for the politics," she says.

Claire is our by-laws chair and also edits the annual membership directory -- that invaluable tool that sits by our phones and computers.

AAUW members are a creative bunch. Claire's no exception. She channels her creativity into a passion for watercolors and pastels.

Doris Goldberg - Inquiring Mind

Doris Goldberg is our most recent bride. Her husband is an AAUW member, too!

Doris is a physician with board certification in pediatrics and public health/preventive medicine. She retired from the NYC Department of Health and now invests much of her time "making art." She's an active member of the Woodstock Artists' Association and specializes in prints and portraits.

That's not where her creative streak ends, though. She loves music and story telling.

Doris is passionate about social justice and literacy. Her commitment to literacy has led her to a position on the Woodstock Library Board.

She joined AAUW for the great intellectual stimulation, the friendship, and the excellent trips.
  • Educational Foundation, 2009-11
  • Interim Co-president, winter 2010
  • Publicity 2007-09

Liz Rosen - Keeping Track of Our Assets

Liz will tell you not all women avoid math. She recently retired from her position as Chief Financial Officer and Systems Officer at the Morgan Library -- a museum and reference library in NYC. Now, we get the benefit. Liz manages our AAUW branch money. She's our treasurer.

Her commitment to equality drew her to AAUW. She has a passion for civil liberties and civil rights. And, peace.

She also quilts and knits as an outlet for her creativity. (Yes, accounting can be creative, too!)

She travels frequently and has two daughters -- and two sons-in-law.

Arlene Bruck -- Exploring the Diversity of the World

Arlene is our AAUW branch Diversity Chair. Her commitment to diversity grows out of her love of foreign travel and her career as an educator. Her on-going fascination with psychology and sociology round out her view of the world.

She's been an AAUW member since 1970 because she values being a part of a community of educated women and she supports post-graduate education for women.

Her passion for foreign travel has taken her on educational tours of Europe for 15 years. And she loves foreign languages -- especially Latin and French.

Arlene was Hudson River Valley Teacher of the Year, 1995, and the International Biography Center's list of Influential Women, 2000. You'll also find her listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Education.

Andrea Newman-Winston - Stage Manager

Andrea shared the presidency with Garnette for part of 2007-8. She joined AAUW in 2004 because she says she agrees so strongly with AAUW's raison d'etre.

She has a particular passion for education for all.

Professionally she works for the Onteora School District tutoring students who can't attend classes. And, the great love of her life is theater.

Andrea says, " I'm a stage manager who trained in Technical Theater, got an Actors' Equity Card through work at the Falmouth Playhouse back when dinosaurs roamed and electricity was two wires in salt water."

Of course, you can find her managing productions throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley, so she's not so old. She managed Merry Wives of Windsor in Woodstock this past summer.

She notes that she has been widowed for twenty years, raised two children, and got a master's degree in reading while continuing her theater work. And, like most of us at AAUW, she reads, and reads, and reads.

Registration Form 11/28 UN Briefing Effects War on Women

The League of Women Voters of New York State (LWVNYS) and NYS-AAUW
in association with
The United Nations Department of Public Information
Invite You to Attend
on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 from *9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
*LWVNYS AAUW Registration Desk will be open from 9:00 a.m. for tours and luncheon until 12:30 p.m., Briefings will start promptly at 1:00 p.m.* at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC -- First Avenue at 46th Street

City State Zip
Day Phone E-Mail
Members/Students, Please Select Your Organization
O LWV of____________________
O HS/College/University
O Other Co-Sponsoring Organization___________________________________________________
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Optional Tour of the UN $12.00
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Optional Lunch Buffet in the Delegates Dining Room
Includes International Buffet, Dessert Bar and Coffee/Tea only $35.00
UN requires proper attire: jeans, shorts, sneakers will NOT be permitted.
1:00 p.m. Р3:30 p.m. Briefings Program in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium
$73 Non-Member $63 Members of Sponsoring Organizations $50 Students $
Discounted fee to members of sponsoring organizations (AAUW) for Tour, Lunch, and Briefing
$ 100
My Check for $____________ is enclosed (make payable to LWVNYS)
Please charge my:________MasterCard ________VISA ________American Express ________Discover
Card Holder’s Name:______________________________________
Signature: ______________________________________
Card Number: ___________________________________________
Expiration Date: _________________________________
United Nations Briefings/LWVNYS**62 Grand Street ** Albany, New York 12207
Fax: 518-465-0812 (Credit Card Registrations ONLY)
E-Mail: with copy to to local Kingston Branch president Garnette Arledge if you want to car pool or share a van directly to UN from Ames Parking Lot leaving at time to be announced.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: 518-465-4162 or Garnette at 845-679-5246.
For updates on the “Briefings” forum, visit our website: and this AAUW blog.

Louise Flood - Volunteer Extrordinaire!

Sixty-four years a Girl Scout; 33 years in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Historian of the Kingston Rotary, and board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ulster County. AAUW for eight years, 1950-58; rejoined in 2004 to make a contribution in support of women's causes -- the Educational Foundation and the Legal Assistance Foundation.

Louise just compiled a 90 year history of the Kingston Rotary and keeps up the local Girl Scout Council's archives, as well. She reads in every spare moment -- always has.

Always there when needed, Louise has served in many leadership positions. Most recent include --
  • 2008-09 Hospitality Chair
  • Past Regent and current trustee and board member of DAR
  • Secretary of our AAUW branch until this September, 2007
Louise has four children and five grandchildren spread from the Hudson Valley to California. She says "The ultra-sound of my carotids is my only flattering photo."

Because Equity Is Still an Issue

Want to know more about AAUW? Here's a 6-minute video that features several AAUW members discussing why AAUW is important to them.