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Archive for August, 2011

The Unfair and Unbalanced “Super Committee

August 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

My Opinion
by Anna Marie Gire

The “super committee” has been charged with devising ways to cut the US debt.
This committee consists of only one woman and eleven men, including two men of color –
they are the 12-member panel charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in debt
savings over a ten-year period. The committee will have until Nov. 23 to propose ways to
reduce deficits and those proposals must be voted on by Dec. 23.

Republicans leaders picked six members who have pledged never to support tax
increases of any kind, and this unwillingness to compromise will surely complicate
the path to a sustainable plan.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington (Democrat and committee co-chair) is the only woman
on this unbalanced committee. Murray is not just a senator; she also chairs the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee and is a member of the Budget and Appropriations committees.

Because women are over 50 % of the US population, half of the “super committee” should be women:
Critical programs — like Medicaid, Medicare, child care, education, food assistance,
and Social Security – disproportionally affect women and families and those are the programs
in danger of being cut.
It’s also a problem that there’s only one woman on the Super Committee because numerous
studies have found that when women don’t have equal representation at negotiating tables, the outcomes
are worse for everyone.

For example, NPR recently reported, “Psychologists have found that when groups are predominantly
male, individuals tend to act in increasingly aggressive ways… They show off.”
The Harvard Business Review recently reported, “If a group includes more women, its collective
intelligence rises.” According to NPR: “Who sits around the negotiating table can make a big
difference to how negotiations turn out. Psychologists have found that when groups are predominantly male,
individuals tend to act in increasingly aggressive ways. They take bigger risks. They show off.

“Any place in which there are more men than women, the men are becoming more aggressive
with each other and are competing with each other to attract women,” says Vladas Griskevicius,
a psychologist at the University of Minnesota.Griskevicius has found that cities in which men
outnumber women have the highest amount of consumer debt — the result, he believes, of men
buying expensive stuff to show off. Most of us don’t think the same dynamics affect professional
settings, but Griskevicius finds in experiments that when men are surrounded by other men, their
behavior changes without their awareness.

So, who will convince who? Will Republicans convince one Democrat to join them in support of a
plan that keeps taxes at their current rates and reforms entitlements or will Democrats successfully
court one Republican toward raising tax revenues? The country doesn’t need more drama from
this group of mostly men, instead we need solid ideas and positive action.

Not enough women will be included in this very serious and important discussion that
will affect your life or someone you know.

5 Empowering Words for Women

August 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Mary Foley

As we wrestle with life’s challenges, gain new awareness, and learn more about ourselves, words can take on new, deeper meanings. Words like forgiveness, love, boundaries, and joy, become attached to personal experiences that make them rich and meaningful.

Mary Cox Garner, author of The Hidden Souls of Words: Keys to Transformation Through the Power of Words, says words can stimulate us to make powerful transformations in our lives if we let them. These five words have empowered and transformed mine. My hope is that they will inspire you to identify the five words that have empowered and transformed you.

Empowerment Word #1: No. Of all the words in the English language, you might be surprised that the first, most empowering word for me as a woman is two simple letters. Learning to say no was a huge step in overcoming my internal good girl and claiming my boundaries as an adult woman.

Empowerment Word #2: Yes. When your No really means No, then your Yes can really mean Yes. That’s when yes has power. The idea of yes comes in many forms. All right, Okay, Sure, Why not?, No problem, Of course, Agreed, and Fair enough all communicate the essence of yes. Yes is life-affirming. Yes is people-affirming. Oh yes!

Empowerment Word #3: Choice. Another common word, but one we often skim right over and take for granted. Choice means you have the freedom to decide what’s best for you among options. On a national level, it’s nothing less than miraculous to live in the United States where the freedom of choice is a birthright. On a personal level, it’s incredibly empowering to recognize and act on the notion that indeed, no matter what, you DO have a choice! No matter the circumstance, no matter the situation, each and every one of us can respond yes, no, or anywhere in between.

Empowerment Word #4: Woman. If you are a female over the age of 18, I know this news is going to blow you away: You are no longer a girl. You are an adult woman! You might be a scared woman, a worried woman, or an insecure woman at times, but you’re still a woman. You might also be a confident woman, an authentic woman, a loving woman, and a Bodacious Woman. Thinking of yourself as a girl only diminishes your personal power.

Empowerment Word #5: Bodacious. I never expected the word bodacious would become the word that represents my personal tipping point in my journey of being an empowered woman. In the midst of constant pressure to perform, dealing with a difficult marriage, and hitting the glass ceiling, being bodacious became a personal rallying cry during my ten years at America Online. Today, bodacious still gives me courage to make choices, small and large, that are good for me. Being bodacious gives me the courage to take risks. And on hard days, being bodacious gives me the courage to put one foot in front of the other.

About Mary Foley
Mary Foley inspires women with practical advice to create sanity for their lives and confidence for their careers – all while having a bit of fun! She is the author of three books including Bodacious Woman: Outrageously in Charge of Your Life and Loving It!, a popular national speaker, and co-host of the Girlfriend We Gotta Talk! radio show. Get Mary’s eBook “5 Empowering Words for Women” where she shares more about these 5 words with personal stories and fun graphics. It’s part of her FREE Sanity, Confidence and Fun Action Pack available now at maryfoley.com

How Feng Shui Can Help in Tough Economic Times

August 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

by Yvonne Phillips

Living amidst a challenged economy, everyone is looking for innovative ways to either increase or just maintain a steady income. The question so many are now asking is what can be done at a personal level to create our “own economy” and thrive?

Solutions can arrive from thinking outside the box and stretching into new territory, such as meditation, visualization and positive affirmations to supplement our efforts. An increasingly popular practice here in the west is the 5,000 year old science of Feng Shui, which is gaining new appreciation as an effective tool for attracting abundance.

Two areas that need attention for increased prosperity include good Feng Shui in your home and office, and harnessing the power of your mind and thoughts.

Feng Shui Cures for Prosperity

Your state of being is strongly linked to your everyday environment. Feng Shui is about working with the energy of your surroundings, and the intentional clearing and arrangement of objects to allow the circulation of positive chi, which directly affects and uplifts your own energy field; setting into motion the law of attraction.

An essential first step for kick-starting positive energy flow is clearing the clutter, which blocks the flow of chi. Embark on a thorough cleaning of your home and workspace. This means not just piling things into the corner, but clearing out home cupboards and closets, office filing cabinets, computer hard drives, organizing business cards and if possible, changing the color of paint and the artwork from depressing to uplifting, to shift the energies.

The next step is to work with the Bagua map in your home and workspace. When applying this map to your own space; the far left corner of a house and each individual room is the Wealth/Prosperity area, and this area in both your home and office deserves special consideration to power up the Feng Shui energy to attract abundance.

In analyzing this area of each room in your home or office to attract prosperity, consider the following:
• Ensure the area is clear of clutter, well maintained and has the color purple somewhere.
• Place crystals, lights or candles, and healthy flowers or plants there.
• Write down your intention(s) for more money and place this piece of paper in the area, which doesn’t have to be seen, but can be placed underneath or behind an object.
• Your office or workspace should have some type of action going on in the Prosperity corner, and along with being clean and orderly, have uplifting pictures, crystals or a lamp, and functioning equipment like a fax machine or computer is very good, generating a lot of energy happening in that area.
• Spruce up your book shelf to allow more prosperous energy to flow, with books about building wealth such as “Rich Dad Poor Dad” or other positive topics.
• To compliment the above mentioned Feng Shui cures in your Prosperity corner, another area to apply the same cures to is the corner of Helpful People, which is directly opposite the Prosperity corner. For example; from the entrance to a room, the Prosperity area is the far left corner and the Helpful People area is the corner directly to your right, forming a diagonal line across the room between the two corners.

The Power of the Subconscious Mind
When you want more money to come into your life, you need to be clearly focused to encourage the Laws of Attraction. Your conscious mind needs to see what your needs are very clearly, and the next step is to integrate those thoughts into your subconscious mind. Think of your mind like a magnet and know that your thoughts can help bring your goal to you faster.

An example of a positive, affirming statement is “I am happy that I now have additional wealth brought into my life.” Or “All of my needs are met, and more money comes to me every day.” A plan of action would then be writing down this positive statement or focus seventeen (17) times before you go to sleep, and again seventeen times when you get up in the morning. These times of day is when your mind is in the Alpha state, allowing your conscious thoughts to take root in your subconscious more easily. It takes twenty-one (21) days of repeated writing to shift your thoughts or habits.

The powerful combination of good Feng Shui and harnessing the power of your thoughts will boost your “own economy”. Try it and see for yourself!

Yvonne is certified with Feng Shui Institute International and has trained with world famous Feng Shui Master Lillian Too. As owner of Creative Color & Design, she incorporates Feng Shui principles into both residences and businesses, from small businesses to large corporations. Please visit http://www.fengshuiabc1.com or email yvonnephillips1@aol.com for more information.

Sal is “A Laugh A Minute” Book due out this fall

August 10, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Sal is “A Laugh A Minute”


August 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Events

August 2-13, 2011!
Join New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice for the fourth year of the LGBTQ Women of Color Reproductive Justice Series.
This year’s theme is “From Invisible to Invincible!”
The Series creates safe, positive and affirming spaces for Queer Women/People of Color as we fight for visibility and against violence where we live, work and love. There is something for everyone.

ALL ARE WELCOME TO ALL EVENTS. PLEASE RSVP TO LGBTQ@newvoicespittsburgh.org or call 412.363.6663. See you there!

1. LGBTQ Series 2011: Family Day at the Park!*
Pirates vs. Cubs Game
PNC Park, 115 N. Federal Street, North Side
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Pick-Up Your Ticket at Center Field Gate @ 6:30pm
*limited amount of tickets available. no rsvp, no ticket.

2. Doubleheader Happy Hour: LGBTQ Series Kick-Off and Contraception is Prevention Campaign
FREE with Cash Bar
BRGR, 5997 Penn Circle South, East Liberty
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

3. Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project Short Films Screening
FREE - Donations Accepted
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Homewood Branch, 7101 Hamilton Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

4. Spiritual Nourishment
ONEChurch, 937 Liberty Avenue, Downtown
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

5. Challenging Homophobia in the Black Community Community Discussion
Center for Victims of Violence and Crime, 5916 Penn Avenue, East Liberty
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

6. Reproductive Justice Allies Training
Three Rivers Youth, 6117 Broad Street, East Liberty
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
RSVP by August 9th

7. Queer Women of Color Artist BlowOUT!
(featuring “Pussies, Pens and Politics”, SolSis and more…)
$10 in advance / $15 at the door
Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Avenue, East Liberty
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
- August 11- Breakfast Briefing from 8:15-9:30 a.m. featuring former Senator John William Warner for a discussion on building a clean energy economy and the importance of energy independence. Senator Warner is traveling as part of the Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate to engage state and municipal governments, local organizations, and experts to address energy and security issues. As a veteran of two wars, and one of the nation’s most distinguished defense experts, he has been speaking about the expanding roles and missions of our armed forces due to increasing humanitarian disasters and international conflicts over resources, both of which are exacerbated by our dependence on foreign oil.

August 11-12 – The Global Leadership Summit - 9:00-5:00 - An amazing not-to-be-missed leadership conference broadcast via satellite in Pittsburgh. Fabulous world renown speakers - www.WillowCreek.com/events/leadership

August 12 - Zen Center Of Pittsburgh - Deep Spring Temple - ApalAsia Concert Under the Stars Zen Center of Pittsburgh Concert, 7:30-10:00PM -Appalasia, described as “worldly folk-jazz,” plays a benefit for the Zen Center. Bring a picnic basket, blanket, and chairs; they’ll provide music and dessert - 124 Willow Ridge Road Sewickley -(412) 741-1262 - http://deepspringzen.org.

August 12 - South Hills Country Club - $18 for non-chamber members – Noon Speaker:
Yvonne Phillips, FSII, is a National Feng Shui Practitioner, Author and Speaker with over 20 years of experience. Yvonne’s certification is with Master Nancilee Wydra founder of the Pyramid School. FSII’s training is an interdisciplinary version of Feng Shui. It combines biology, physics, psychology and architecture - As owner of Creative Color & Design, she incorporates Feng Shui principles into both residences and businesses, from small businesses to large corporations.

August 13 - Small Business Basics Workshop - 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM - Mellon Board Room, Chatham University, Shadyside Campus - $30 - Register Online: www.chatham.edu/cwe - The Small Business Basics workshop is a great introduction into the 10-week Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture™ program. Continental breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m. Parking is free.

August 17 - Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Presents: ApalAsia Lunch Time Performance -12:15-1:00PM - ApalAsia creates its own traditions by blending American string-band instrumentation (Sue Powers-banjo and Jeff Berman-mountain dulcimer) with the erhu (Mimi Jong), a two-stringed Chinese violin whose keening wail you’ve heard if you’ve ever seen a period film about China - Though many of their songs are based on folk classics either Chinese and American, all AppalAsia’s songs are “original”, most are instrumental - http://youtube.com/Veur9W0JwtM - Children Museum - For directions, admission and parking information please visit http://www.pittsburghkids.org/

August 17 - FOR WOMEN WHO WINE -Please Join The Musuneggi Financial Group & Single Steps Strategies for an Evening Of Wine, Conversation, Networking & Education while we are “Wine-ing” down the summer - 6:00 PM - Crowne Plaza Hotel South, 164 Fort Couch Road Bethel Park -Complimentary But Donations To “Dress for Success” Are Always Welcome - Guest Speaker: Mike Gonze of Dreadnought Wines presenting “The World of Wine Made Simple” - To register for you and your guest log onto www.singlestepsstrategies.com, e-mail info@singlestepsstrategies.com or call 412-341-2888 -Registration deadline is August 8th - Seating is limited so register early -Women Business Owners: Tables will be available for you to share information about your products and services - Please let us know if you would like to participate when you register.

Jeanie Griffin, LPC, MFT, LCD, BRI II, Shamanic Practitioner and healer will
present a workshop at the Unitarian Universalist Church
of the North Hills. (www.uucnh.org  This workshop is free.

From a shamanic point of view, the source of all things is Spirit and Spirit is in all things.
In the practice of shamanism, we look at illness from a spiritual perspective.
Shamanic Healing is a practice based on the belief that all healing has a spiritual dimension.

As a trained Shamanic Practitioner, Shamanic Reiki Master, and Theta Healer
she assists clients with soul retrievals, shamanic journeys, chakra balancing,
mindful visualizations for health challenges, healing negative energy & negative
thoughts with spiritual light and more.

Her mind body & spirit healing is grounded in simplicity, driven by spirituality,
fueled by a sense of humor and dedicated to healing individuals, families,
communities and the planet. (Www.jeaniegriffin.com).

Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills
2359 West Ingomar Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237-1625 T

August 26 - Celebrate & Share 3rd Annual Breakfast at the Rivers Club - Celebrate the 91st Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment! Oxford Centre Downtown, Pittsburgh - 7:45 am - 9:30 am - Donation - $35 - Birthday August 26? FREE! - Honorary Sponsors- $91.00 - Table of 10: $350 - MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW - Bonnie DiCarlo: bonnie255@aol.com 412-480-5247 - JoAnn Forrester: selfimagebz@aol.com  412.440.6969

-August 27 -Just in time for Back to School “SHOP FOR A CAUSE” AT ANY MACY’S STORE TO BENEFIT GIRLS HOPE OF PITTSBURGH - shop at any Macy’s store with your “Shop for a Cause” shopping pass to receive 20% off clothing purchases and 10% off select other items. Restrictions apply - Passes can be purchased through Girls Hope for $5 each. All proceeds from the purchase of the passes benefit Girls Hope - Contact Beth Exton at 724.869.6578 or bexton@bhgh.org to arrange pick-up or mail delivery of your shopping pass

September 8 – Prosperity Cycle Classes by Yvonne Phillips - Shift your energy & quantum leap your goals -6:00 pm-8pm - Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Road Pittsburgh - $25 -A Gourmet meal will be served - Register: www.fengshuiabc1.com


- Cong. Allen West’s angry, hostile tirade to Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is truly despicable. If you had any doubt about the Republican war on women, look no further than West’s email — it’s threatening, sexist and demeaning. We can’t sit by and watch such an appalling action from one of our elected officials. Join me and tell Allen West that you are standing with Debbie against this unacceptable behavior, just visit www.emilyslist.org/standwithdws/ to take action.

- August 2 - National Night Out is scheduled - Is your community participating? Please register today at: http://nno.pittsburghpa.gov. National Night Out is an opportunity for neighborhoods to raise awareness of crime prevention in a fun, family friendly environment and to celebrate public safety partnerships. It is America’s (and Pittsburgh’s) night out against crime. For questions or more information on Pittsburgh communities’ events, please contact Kyle Thauvette in the Mayor’s Department of Neighborhood Initiatives, at 412-255-2439 or via email at kyle.thauvette@city.pittsburgh.pa.us.

- On August 8, 2011, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and Global Solutions will host a Political Salon from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Eclipse Lounge (3705 Butler St.). Shea Gopaul will kick off a discussion of “International Aid: Challenges and Controversies.” Ms. Gopaul is an independent consultant, and recently, Special Adviser to the Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization (WHO) where she developed the WHO world-wide eManual that serves as a single repository for all global policies and procedures. Previously, she was the Director of Administration for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She will be drawing upon 19 years serving at the senior level at the UN, ILO, and WHO to discuss the role of international organizations in humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and development work.
- Want a thrill of a life time? Take a chance at winning a hot air balloon ride for two, sponsored by PMF Rentals. Tickets are $10 a piece and can be purchased by contacting CCN. Ride can be scheduled by the winner through the end of October 2011. Ride leaves from Zelienople Airport. Drawing will be held Friday, August 19th.
Winner will be notified that day. For more information or to purchase tickets,
contact Stacy de las Alas at 412-364-6728 x15.

- Join CCN and Three Rivers Harley Davidson as we present “Ride For A Reason.”
Get your motorcycle a runnin’ and join us for a rockin’ day of fun. Rain or shine - all bikes are welcome, you don’t even need a bike to join the party. Food, beverages, and music provided. Ride starts at 10:00 am at Three Rivers Harley Davidson - Rt 8, Glenshaw. $15 per rider - $5 per passenger. All proceeds benefit CCN! For more information, please contact Detmer at 724-272-7239.

-GreenWorks! Grant Funding Available - We are pleased to announce that GreenWorks! grants are available! Since 1992, PLT has distributed nearly $1 million to fund 1,000 environmental service-learning projects in communities across the country. This year, we are featuring two different grant application forms. The first is for Project Learning Tree’s traditional GreenWorks! grant funding and the second is specifically for GreenSchools! action projects. Both grant applications have a deadline of September 30th and a maximum grant award of $1,000.

- September 17 – October 22 - Self-Defense for Women - Time: 10 – 11:30 am - Wilkins School Community Center, Regent Square - Please feel free to forward or post the flier so more women can see it - We rely on friends like you to get the word out - Lioness Martial Arts - 412.241.6519 - info@lionessmartialarts.com

- September 18 - Spadafora’s Bar and Restaurant will generously donate 10% of all food sales on this date to CCN to assist with their mission to provide direction to victims of domestic violence. Stop by on Sunday the 18th from 4-9pm to enjoy great food and support CCN. For more information, please contact Stacy de las Alas at 412-364-6728 x15.

Save the Date

October 8 - Tickets on sale now for “Teal Ribbon Comedy,” headlining “Mike & Molly’s” Billy Gardell. The comedy show will take place on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at Stage AE in the North Shore. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm. General admission tickets (which are reserved seating on first come first serve) are $50 and proceeds benefit ovarian cancer research taking place at Magee-Womens’ Research Institute. Tickets will go fast, so reserve your seat today. For more information and to order tickets, visit http://www.mwrif.org/384.

for Building Change Film Festival. The mission of the Building Change Film Festival is to open the viewer’s eyes to the injustices that we see in the world by screening films and activist videos that will celebrate struggle, shed light on these injustices, and show us possibilities for a better future.

We are looking for feature length, mid, and short (25 minutes or less) films and videos themed around social justice issues, preferably those that have relevance to Southwestern Pennsylvania. This is open to a full range of issues including; the environment, poverty, LGBTQ issues, racial and gender equality, prison/police reform, food justice, peace and human rights issues. Ideal films and videos will demonstrate the power and value of filmmaking as a vehicle for exploration of social justice issues and will motivate viewers to seek solutions and promote change. There is no age limit and all genres will be considered. Deadline is August 10th.

The Building Change Film Festival is part of Building Change: A Convergence for Social Justice, a 3-day open attendance event being coordinated by the Three Rivers Community Foundation and other progressive organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania


August 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Book Reviews, Consumer Education

“Darkness Hides the Flowers: A True Story of Holocaust Survival” by Jerry L. Jennings as told by Ida Hoffmann Firestone

“Darkness Hides the Flowers” is a stunning Holocaust memoir on many levels, simultaneously poignant, beautiful, and terrifying. Ida Hoffman was a young teenager forced her to survive alone in Nazi-occupied France and her memoir recounts her decades-old experiences in sharp detail.

There are several things that make this memoir very distinct. One, Ida and her family never formally admitted to being Jewish so they never donned the yellow star. Her father was sent to a concentration camp, not because his ethnicity was discovered but because his Russian background made him suspected of Communist sympathies. The family’s Jewish identity was generally known to their acquaintances, however, but Ida, her mother, and her sisters were rescued by a kind neighbor just minutes before they would have been deported.

Ida and her family were helped by many kind people and almost killed by others and Ida recounts this varied cast of characters in photographic detail. Her first impression of the Germans was that of “some monstrous machine . . . raising and crashing their boots in unison” and “a colony of huge grey ants” but she encountered several more up close, one who, ignorant of their ethnicity, kindly gave them free bread until Ida’s mother countered his arrogant assumption of an easy British victory, and another who was romantically entangled with a French neighbor.

Her schoolteachers knew she was Jewish and though some had previously expressed their virulent anti-Semitism quite openly, the school’s Dean went out of his way (and put himself in considerable danger) by warning Ida of an impending Jewish round-up. After the family lost their breadwinner to the concentration camp, Ida’s piano teacher, a devout Catholic, risked arrest by continuing Ida’s lessons for free (although giving piano lessons to Jews was illegal) telling Ida that she was “so talented that God would punish me if I did not [continue].”

Shortly after she and her family wound up on a farm that harbored refugees, Ida, without being told why, suddenly became the slave of a rich, heartless Frenchwoman and this part of the story is absolutely nightmarish. Beaten and starved on a daily basis, she was forced to survive on her own when the family went on vacation, locating a series of temporary shelters in the surrounding rural area but in almost every case, keeping her ethnicity a secret. This kept her alive more than once: during a particularly frightening encounter, Ida overheard a farmer referencing the bounty offered by the Germans for escaped Jews in a conversation with his wife: “Ohh, if I could just find myself a Jew we could get a new tractor.” She left the farm night.

The starvation and constant fear nearly killed Ida and her physical and emotional healing took years. No one, not even her family members, wanted to hear about Ida’s experiences and this is a lesser-known but disturbing aspect of Holocaust history: the survivors were supposed to pick up the pieces of their lives, be grateful that they were alive, and above all, never discuss what had happened. Ida remained painfully silent for decades.

After finally coming forward with her story, she met author Jerry L. Jennings and the resultant memoir is illustrated with Ida’s paintings (from memory) of the French countryside where she was forced to wander and contains the poetry that she wrote during her virtual imprisonment.

“Darkness Hides the Flowers” is a beautifully written, powerful page-turner.

Contact Ms Atwood at historysingers@comcast.net.


August 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Tips for Seniors and caregivers

Summer heat waves can be especially dangerous for seniors because they are most prone to heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt contained in sweat. Below are some tips to protect yourself and the elderly folks in your life.

Drink Plenty of Fluid. Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level. During heavy exercise in hot weather, drink 2-4 glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Consult with your doctor if you have been prescribed a fluid-restricted diet or diuretics. During hot weather, you will need to drink more liquid than your thirst indicates.

Replace Salt and Minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body, which are necessary for your body and must be replaced. The best way to replace salt and minerals is to drink fruit juice or a sports beverage during exercise or any work in the heat. If your senior is on a low salt diet, ask his/her doctor before making significant diet changes.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen. Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will keep the head cool. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. Select SPF 15 or higher reduce the risk of sunburn.

Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
Pace Yourself - If you are unaccustomed to working or exercising in hot weather, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity, get into a cool or shady area, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or feel faint.

Stay Cool Indoors. The most efficient way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned area. If you do not have an air conditioner or evaporative cooling unit, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library for a few hours. Do not rely on electric fans as your primary cooling device during a heat wave. When the temperature is in the high 90s or higher, a fan will not prevent heat-related illness. A cool shower or bath is a more effective way to cool off.

Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully. If you must be out in the heat, plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening. While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area.
Use a Buddy System - When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your coworkers and have someone do the same for you. Check on seniors twice a day during a heat wave.

Adjust to the Environment. Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for the heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat.

Use Common Sense. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals; they add heat to your body. Do not leave infants, children, seniors or pets in a parked car. Limit sun exposure during the midday hours and in places of potential severe exposure, such as beaches.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally); unconsciousness; dizziness, nausea, and confusion; red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; and throbbing headache. Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary but may include: heavy sweating; muscle cramps; weakness; headache; nausea or vomiting; and paleness, tiredness, dizziness.

What to Do When You Suspect Heat Stroke?
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Call for immediate medical assistance and begin cooling the senior:
• Get the senior to a shady area.
• Cool the senior rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the senior in a tub of cool water; place in a cool shower; spray with cool water from a garden hose; sponge with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
• Do not give the senior alcohol to drink.
• Monitor body temperature. Continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101°F.
• Get medical assistance as soon as possible. If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.

These self-help measures are not a substitute for medical care but may help you recognize and respond promptly to warning signs of trouble. Your best defense against heat-related illness is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in your fluid intake, activities, and clothing during hot weather can help you remain safe and healthy.

For fifteen years, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network has been devoted to providing seniors with the highest quality care in their own homes, and to arming families with the information they need to make the best decisions about caring for aging loved ones. Family caregivers can visit www.homeinstead.com/567 for more information and resources. Until next time, if you, or any organization of which you are a part, is interested in learning more, please contact our office. We would be happy to speak to your group free of charge about this subject, our services, or even employment opportunities.


Rebecca Champagne, Human Resource Coordinator
Home Instead Senior Care
1102 S Braddock Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Phone: (412) 731-0733
*Source: State of Rhode Island, Department of Elderly Affairs


August 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Business Library Schedule, Consumer Education

Business Program Series
Summer Film Festival

August 2011
Thursday, August 4 Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
(DVD – 55 minutes)

When Rachel Carson, a biologist for the Federal government, became aware of the devastating effects of the indiscriminate use of DDT and other toxic pesticides on the natural world, she was compelled to write Silent Spring, a stinging indictment of the chemical industry that produced them. This American Experience documentary reveals how she raised the country’s ecological consciousness despite strenuous efforts to discredit her findings.

Thursday, August 11 Surviving the Dust Bowl
(DVD – 55 minutes)

Beginning in 1931, the seasonal rains that replenished the rich soil in the Southern Plain states never came, resulting in a severe drought that lasted almost seven years. The lack of rain, combined with ferocious winds, blew away millions of tons of precious topsoil, making farming impossible. Severe dust storms called ‘black blizzards’ darkened the sky even at mid-day. While many farmers migrated to California to find work, this American Experience documentary chronicles the struggles and determination of those who remained on their own land during this grim period of the Great Depression.

Thursday, August 18 Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (Part 1)
(DVD – 60 minutes – a Ken Burns PBS production)

Thursday, August 25 Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (Part 2)
(DVD – 60 minutes – a Ken Burns PBS production)

Join us for both parts of Ken Burns’ fascinating documentary about three dynamic men: an inventor, an engineer, and a hard-driving Russian immigrant who shared responsibility for the invention of the radio. Their story is complicated by jealousy, greed, lawsuits and tragedy. Jason Robards is the narrator who ties together archival footage, newsreels of the period, and on-air interviews with those who knew them


August 01, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Feature Article

By Debbie Hines

Voter ID laws enacted now in over half the states, requiring voters to present some form of identification as a requirement to vote, are seemingly simple in nature. But they will place unreasonable burdens on many women who may well be unaware of the difficulty they could face when casting their vote in the 2012 election.

Fourteen states require a government issued photo ID when voting in person. At the time of registering to vote, other states like Kansas and Alabama further demand proof of citizenship beyond the federal legal requirement that potential voters swear they are citizens. During the 2011 legislative session, five states—Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina—joined Georgia and Indiana by enacting the strictest form of photo ID requirement for voters, and most of these newest changes will first come into effect for the 2012 election.

Proponents of the laws argue that photo IDs are a reasonable way to protect our elections and make them fair. But far from harmless, the laws are complex and place unnecessary hardship on women—those who are newly married or recently divorced as well as senior citizens and low-income women.

Requiring voters to register with proof of citizenship is more problematic for women than for men. A survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU law school shows that only 66 percent of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with their current legal name. Women who have recently married or divorced and have changed their names—and whose passport, naturalization papers or birth certificate are in their former names—will then be required to obtain a certified court document showing the divorce decree or marriage certificate. These documents vary in cost from state to state but can cost upwards of $25 plus any time off work needed to obtain them. The certified court documents may not even be in the state where you now reside, further delaying and complicating matters.

And for low income persons including women earning less than $25,000 per year, at least 12 percent don’t even have ready access to passports, naturalization papers or birth certificates, according to the Brennan Center research. Voting rights advocates argue that citizenship requirements have the potential to affect millions of Americans, including low-income and women voters. The League of Women Voters in many states has long asserted these laws hinder those who can least afford to take off work and pay for transportation to get the necessary documents.

For those women who are already registered to vote, the same problem will hold true. The photo ID must be in the same name that is registered with the Election Board. Hence, any recent changes in name from divorce or marriage will require certified proof of the name change along with the new photo ID. Of course, most men need not endure such onerous paper trail requirements. But U.S. women change their names in 90 percent of marriages. Karen Celestino-Horseman, an attorney for the League of Women Voters, says “women in particular are going to be impacted,” by requirements that they produce documents authenticating every name change in cases of marriage and divorce.

Some of the laws will allow you to provisionally vote if you arrive on Election Day without the proper ID, and then return within several days with a current photo ID. There is no guarantee that a provisional ballot will count. And taking an extra day to straighten things out and get the necessary photo ID has an economic consequence for many working women, particularly low income women. Lawyers who challenged the Indiana voter ID law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2008, cited the experience of Valeria Williams. A black Republican in her 60s, she was told in 2006 that her telephone bill, letter from the Social Security Administration addressed to her and an expired driver’s license were not sufficient. She cast a provisional ballot that then was not counted. A Voter Advancement Project study of the 2006 general election in Ohio and Florida found that many provisional ballots of eligible voters were rejected “simply because their envelopes were incomplete” according to election rules, since poll workers had given inadequate instructions.

The argument by the supporters of these voter ID laws that you can’t cash a check, board a plane or drive a car without a photo ID fails to recognize that not everyone flies or drives. And many seniors who lack photo IDs have direct deposit into accounts, no longer need to go anywhere to cash a check and no longer drive. Seniors who have expired driver’s licenses may be prohibited from voting without another government issued photo ID. None of the arguments in support of these voter ID laws address the extra burdens placed on seniors and low income, divorced and newly married women.

Whether or not these new voter ID laws are intended to disenfranchise women voters, the result is the same. They will disenfranchise many women voters. Equal access to the polls is paramount for all. Women and particularly women of color who fought so hard for suffrage and became the last to get that right may now be the first to lose it