September, 2012

Ann Romney Has No Clue:
An Open Letter to Ann Romney


by Sue Gillis, Publisher of Vermont Woman


On Tuesday night, August 28, 2012, in Tampa, Florida, Ann Romney delivered her much anticipated speech to the Republican delegation. The speech was designed to humanize the awkward mannequin-like persona of Mitt Romney, her husband of 42 years and father of her five grown sons.

The convention started on the winds of Hurricane Isaac, which bypassed Tampa on its way to New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Though it was taboo to mention George W. Bush at the convention, it was impossible to erase the memory of his incompetence in handling this disaster and the subsequent suffering, loss of life and the billions of dollars needed in emergency funds.


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ann romney

Women at Work and Labor of Love: Encouraging the Next Generation


by Rickey Gard Diamond - Photos by Mary Claire Carroll and Rhye Brittenham


When I was a girl, the woman I most admired on earth was a top-shelf presence on my grandfather's roll top desk, proof of her status. My Aunt Caroline's graduation portrait, in a prim white nurse's cap, crowned my awareness of the handful of work choices I had: to be a mom, or a nurse, or a teacher, or a secretary. None of these appealed to me, but I did admire the way my family respected my aunt.

In 1900, two generations earlier, fewer than 20 percent of women worked in the labor market. By 2000, the number had grown to an unprecedented 61 percent. This increase largely comes from the rising participation rates of women with young children. In 1980, less than half of women with children under six were in the labor force, compared with two-thirds of women with young children today. About half of these working mothers are employed full-time, year-round.


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labor of love

Transforming Trash into Art Treasures


by Ginny Sassaman - Photos by Jan Doerler



Kat Clear travels to metal scrap heaps throughout Vermont to ferret out old farm equipment and historic junk to carry back to her Burlington studio, where she infuses the metals with new sculptural life. Janet MacLeod can just go downstairs from her studio to the Adamant Co-op, with its barn full of old wood and broken chairs ready for the junkyard — or, in her hands, ready to become art. Janice Lloyd organizes community clothing swaps in Plainfield, and ends up going home to repurpose leftovers into wearable art at her Red Thread studio.

The way each woman procures her raw material shows how very unlike they are. And yet all three artists are shining examples of a determination to create a unique life and art. Each has vision, talent, skills and experience that remind us of a world of daily possibilities, turning discarded materials into objects of beauty and utility.


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trash to treasure

Waste not, Want Not :
Vermont's New Recycling Bill and the Committed Women Who Made it Happen


by Allison Teague - Photos by Jan Doerler


Solid waste may not sound like a women's issue to you, but when Vermont's H.485 was signed into law early in June, the number of women standing behind Gov. Peter Shumlin as he signed the bill was notable. Many had been involved in the long legislative process that led to this first-in-the-nation legislation to ban organic waste—meaning biodegradable waste from animals or plants—in landfills completely by 2020.

The bold law, which represents the first major change in solid waste law in 25 years, went into effect in July. The first phase requires large-volume generators of food waste to recycle by 2014. Households will be required to recycle paper and plastic by 2015, all yard waste by 2016, and all organic matter by 2020. Vermont now recycles a bit more than one-third of its waste. Backers of the legislation say the new law will double the amount of material kept out of Vermont landfills.


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From Screening to Survivorship:
The State of Breast Cancer in Vermont in 2012


by Roberta Nubile - Photos courtesy of Fletcher Allen Health Care & Rutland Regional Medical Center


Every woman starts out with two good reasons for staying current on breast cancer screening and treatment. You may have worried about headlines on controversies within the medical establishment over the frequency of mammograms and their possible effect. You may have questions about the best preventative methods, or wonder how safe you are if a screening comes back positive—or doesn't. What are current treatments if a tumor is found? Will you have to leave Vermont to get what you need?

The short answer to the last question, according to Dr. Charlene Ives, medical oncologist at Bennington's Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's Breast Care Center, is no. "There is no need for Vermonters to go to New York or Boston for cancer care. We have state-of-the-art treatment and care here, " she says.


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Vermont Law Enforcement:
A Wealth of Opportunities


by Cindy Hill - Photos courtesy of the Vermont State Police


Budget cuts have slowed law enforcement job growth, but the popularity of television shows such as CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) has sparked interest in law enforcement careers. That combination makes jobs slots, generally for well-paid positions with generous benefits packages, highly competitive. And the qualifications are tough to meet.

Ironically, though, competition gives women a powerful advantage. The male-female balance in law enforcement is so skewed, and the recognition of women's value so increasingly acknowledged, that qualified female applicants have a superb chance of scoring a job.

There's more good news: With the graying of Vermont's police departments, retirements will open many slots over the next five years. For Vermont women looking for a job that is anything but boring, with a wealth of opportunities for specialization and advancement—now is a golden moment to move into uniform.


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