Index - November/December 2013

30 Years of Change, and Vermont Women Are Just Beginning
by Rickey Gard Diamond  

When Vermont Woman published its first edition in 1985, a woman-owned and operated newspaper was front-page news, the lead television story of the day. Reincarnated in 2003, we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of a lively decade of fresh design and one of the state’s earliest media webpages; Vermont Woman has now spanned 30 years. We’ve seen big changes.

Many more women populate and own newsrooms, for instance. Pamela Polston and Paula Routley began the weekly Seven Days in 2003, and in 2010 Ann Galloway founded a digital-only investigative daily, Vermont Digger. Yet most media—radio, newspapers and television—remain male-owned nationally and in Vermont. Does that matter?

More than ownership, what distinguishes Vermont Woman from other media in the state is its intent to provide a collective woman's perspective on an entire range of topics, from current events, politics, health, finance, education, sports, and the arts. Vermont Woman has thrived with its public focus on a woman's point of view. And on the numbers of bold women change-makers found in our pages: together.

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Cover photos IDs – (left to right) Melinda Moulton & Lisa Steele; Singer & Musician Grace Potter; Ellen Miller & Indius; TV Host Fran Stoddard; Green Mountain Derby Dames: Kristin Ackerson, Mary Katherine Dow, Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell & Robynn Beams; Gov. Madeleine Kunin; Vanessa & Katrina Hernandez; Philanhropist Crea Lintilhac; Marjorie Susman & Marian Pollack, Orb Weaver Farm; Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell; entertainer Jenni Johnson

Publisher's Message: Time Spans, the Brain and the Art of Celebration
by Suzanne Gillis  

For awhile now, I have been considering and trying to make sense of the speed of time passing and time spans: events that happened years ago but seem like they happened a few days ago. Most recently, it is the convergence of events: including the celebration of Vermont Woman's 30-year-span, saluting the remarkable women of Vermont, combined with the joy of finding a long lost friend from 50 years ago, and then learning about the Human Brain Project, made all the more poignant to me by Kay Ryan's poem, The Edges of Time.

In mid-September, while vacationing in Maine, I became acutely aware of time compression. That is to say, unwittingly and unknowingly, I hit the friend button on an obscure Facebook page and wham! I was quite suddenly myself, fifty years ago. Here is what happened.

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#4 Vermont Woman Special Series: Green Mountain Care Board Profiles
Is There a Doctor in the House? YES, Two! Drs. Karen Hein and Allan Ramsay
by Roberta Nubile  

The wool that Dr. Karen Hein gathers from the herd of cashmere goats at her Whitingham, Vermont home has had to wait for her to card, spin, weave, knit, and felt it. Her creative energy, she says, now goes into her work on the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) as she heads into her third and final year of service.

Meanwhile, the goats, too, must wait for the days of the week that Hein and her spouse Ralph return home; the rest of the week they stay in Montpelier, to lessen the commute.

What has brought her, and keeps her on the board despite the commitment required? “Vermonters,” she answers. “We deserve a quality healthcare system that is affordable. That is what Act 48 is all about.”

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Dr. Karen Hein and Dr. Allan Ramsay are the two physicians currently serving on the Green Mountain Care Board. Both Ramsay and Hein have formidable credentials and deep commitments to reform.


Vermont Woman's Special Series: Green Mountain Care Board Profiles

Look for another upcoming article in this series in the Feb/Mar 2014 publication.


Flying High: A Mother Shares Her Daughter’s Dream
by Carolyn Workman  

Ella Workman, a 14-year-old from Williston, Vermont, is still too young for a driver’s permit for the family car, but she has already clocked five hours of flight time in a little prop plane stationed at the Vermont Flight Academy in Burlington.

Hard to believe but true: a teenager can fly an airplane solo at the age of 16, conceivably on the same day she or he takes the exam for a driver’s license. After another 8-12 hours of inflight training—and as soon as she turns 16—Ella will be ready to take a solo flight test, the first of many hurdles along the way toward a commercial pilot’s license, her ultimate goal.

Ella Workman is my daughter, and her fascination with flight caught me by surprise. One day, I dropped her off at summer camp, and when I picked her up, she was a changed person.

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Ella Workman, a 14-year-old from Williston, is enrolled at the Vermont Flight Academy in Burlington.
Photo: Jan Doerler

The Arctic: Larger than Words and Irreplaceable
by Diane Gayer  

How do I begin to describe a place so vast, so unimaginable, so other? Like most everyone, I had heard about the Arctic’s melting polar ice cap, new attempts there to drill for oil and gas, and plans to keep shipping lanes open year round.

But I hadn’t yet witnessed the Arctic’s fragility, its uniqueness, or its beauty. This past August, Mary Twitchell and I flew from Ottawa to Kangerlus- suaq, Greenland, where we boarded a former Russian military vessel, now being used as a research vessel and offering tours of the Northwest Passage. The vastness we traveled through eludes description. At times land seemed to be layers of fog, and at other moments, appeared as bands of light on the horizon. The landscape was elusive and mesmerizing, yet earthy with the everyday grit of life, and wild changeling weather.

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Ice floes in Lancaster Sound
Photo: Diane Gayer

How Susanne Terry Puts Peace on Conflict’s Table
by Ginny Sassaman  

Every holiday season, we are surrounded by written and sung hopes for peace. Yet it remains elusive, whether on the home front or the international stage. Fortunately for Vermonters, we have an expert peace builder here: Susanne Terry has been wielding the tools of alternative dispute resolution for nearly 40 years.

Hers is not a household name, but the mediator community in Vermont knows that Terry is both a state and a national treasure. In 1983 she created and designed Vermont’s first mediation education program, an innovative approach to solving conflict at the then newly created Woodbury College in Montpelier. Woodbury was eventually purchased by Champlain College.

Thirty years later, she is still one of that program’s most respected teachers. Just this June, Terry was presented with Champlain College’s 2013-2014 Francine Page Excellence in Teaching Award. Champlain College President David Finney says Terry “is without a doubt one of the most inspiring teachers. There are some teachers who give you their heart, and others who help you find yours. She does both. She is flat-out terrific.”

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Inspiring Educator, Suzanne Terry
Photo: Jan Doerler

She's Got the Beat: Make a Joyful Noise
by K.C. Whiteley  

I joined the Montpelier Community Gospel Choir several years ago and was immediately impressed by the diversity of its singers. Ages range from seven to 70, and singers come from as far away as Barton, Morrisville, Corinth, Waitsfield, St. Johnsbury, and points in between. It’s a non-auditioned choir and, as such, includes singers of all skill levels.

You don’t have to read music to join; in fact, John Harrison, the choir’s director, hands out song sheets with only the words, no musical notation; he teaches each section of the choir its part by playing the song and then singing together.

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