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Communal Living Attracting More 60-Something Women PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 23 March 2012 13:51
Author Says Women are Choosing to Age
with the Support of Friends

Some say the ‘60s hippies are going back to the commune. Others call the growing number of female Baby Boomers rooming together “‘The Golden Girls’ phenomenon.”

Author Martha Nelson, who at 65 is on the leading edge of a tsunami of retiring Boomers, says it’s really all about choosing the company of friends.

“As a group, we’ve been empowered more than past generations of women,” says Nelson, whose debut novel, Black Chokeberry (www.BlackChokeberryTheBook.com), is the story of three disparate older women who unexpectedly end up sharing a home. “We’re more worldly, stronger, financially savvy and healthier than our ancestors – through no fault of their own – and we know what we want.”

Increasingly, what they want is to actively age with the camaraderie, laughter, understanding and support of other women who share their ideas of healthy lifestyles, good food from their own gardens, green living, and myriad activities on a moment's notice.

In 2010, 480,000 Baby Boom women lived with a least one unrelated female, according to an AARP analysis. The growing number of U.S. HomeShare programs, which help connect people interested in sharing a house, say their numbers have been steadily rising since the economy belly-flopped.

“This concept is really trending on the East and West Coasts and is very big in Europe,” says Ryan Cowmeadow, vice president of the National Shared Housing Resource Center, an all-volunteer clearinghouse of HomeShare programs.

“Our numbers are up about 15 percent since 2007, and about 75 percent of applicants are female,” he says.

“We’re hoping to see a real surge with the Boomers entering retirement age now. They’re the ones who didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Home-sharing just makes sense.”

Nelson notes that there are several reasons why women more than men are gravitating to communal living as an alternative lifestyle.

“Women typically live longer than men, and men are more likely to remarry quickly after a divorce or the death of a spouse,” she says.

“And fundamentally I think it’s as much about the special bonds women share. We form these wonderful, supportive, 'tell the truth' friendships, which survive the demands of husbands, children and careers. Whether living alone or with a spouse or partner, women cling to their friendships. When a woman considers living alone as she ages, it's a natural progression to seek the company of her best friends."

That’s what happened to Nelson, a former journalist and educator, whose long marriage ended in divorce when she was in her 50s. In regaining her balance as a single woman, she sought time alone to heal, then turned to her trusted friends as she stepped back into life. Her happiest moments came from long conversations over coffee, laughter over meals and movies, and, occasionally, indulgent tears she felt safe to shed.

"I came to fully understand the importance of women friends in my life," she says. "They are the gold standard and as we age, they are critical to happiness, regardless if one is married or in a committed relationship."

The movement for cohousing – where residents have private living spaces but share common areas, such as dining rooms, and tasks, such as cooking -- started in Denmark and is catching on in the United States. There are model programs in Boulder, Colo., and other communities, including three cohousing projects being planned in the greater Nashville area, where Nelson lives.

Practical considerations of creating close living communities include health and safety, care in times of an accident or medical emergency, and saving money, a concern for many women who find themselves single or widowed after long marriages, Nelson says.

But Boomers are renowned for demanding more than creature comforts from life, she adds.

“We want to be happy; we’re healthy, active and we want to enjoy ourselves as we age. We want to travel, go to a movie with a neighbor or housemate, cook a meal, share a garden, and feel that we are contributing to our communities.

“What started with Rosie the Riveter has brought us to this,” says Nelson who is happily married again, but fascinated by the new movement of cohousing.

“We’re strong women and we can choose to live the way we want as we get older. Very often, that will mean with other women in close knit communities."

About Martha Nelson

Martha Nelson is an award-winning former investigative reporter, columnist and editor at two New York newspapers. She also is a former educational and nonprofit executive, consultant, and chef. She retired in 2010 and settled in to write Black Chokeberry, a coming-of-age novel about three women confronting crisis and change on the other side of 50.

 
Democratic Lt. Governors Pick Illinois’ Simon As Chair PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Colleen Turrentine   
Friday, 23 March 2012 13:49
DLGA Elects New Leadership at Washington Policy Conference

 

The nation’s Democratic lieutenant governors elected Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon to chair their association at their spring policy conference in Washington this week.

 

A former law school professor and prosecutor, Simon was elected Lt. Governor in 2010.  She serves as Governor Pat Quinn’s point person on education reform and has used her office to promote ethical leadership.

 

“I look forward to working with Democratic lieutenant governors from across the nation, as Illinois aims to increase college completion rates and build a stronger workforce,” said Simon.  “We must learn from each other’s challenges and successes to ensure our nation moves forward.”

 

In addition, DLGA members elected the following officers:

 

First Vice Chair: Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.  A colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Brown was elected Lt. Governor in 2006 and 2010, and has spearheaded initiatives addressing military base realignment and closure, veterans’ affairs and health care.

 

Second Vice Chair:  Minnesota Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon.  A nine-year veteran of the Minnesota Senate, Prettner Solon was elected Lt. Governor in 2010.  She is a strong voice for rural communities and Minnesota seniors, leading administration efforts to address long-term care planning and nutrition efforts. She most recently served as Treasurer of DLGA.

 

Secretary: Rhode Island Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts.  Elected in 2006 and 2010, Roberts is Rhode Island’s first woman Lt Governor.  With an MBA in health care management, health care reform has been a priority for Roberts during her 10 year career in the Rhode Island senate and through her current leadership of chairing Rhode Island’s effort to implement the Affordable Care Act and addressing the issue of affordable insurance for Rhode Island businesses.

 

Treasurer: Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray.  First elected Lt. Governor in 2006 and reelected in 2010, is the former mayor of Worcester, MA and serves as the state’s liaison to municipalities.  He is scheduled to become Chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association in July and most recently served as Chair of DLGA.

 

The newly elected leadership of the DLGA will serve for two years.

 

The Democratic Lt. Governors Association is the only national political committee organized to support Democratic candidates and incumbents for the office of Lieutenant Governor across the country.  The DLGA provides candidates with policy briefings, financial support, strategic consulting and training.

 

For more information link to: http://democraticltgovernors.org

 
political intelligence registration falls due to Senate majority leader PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen. Chuck Grassley   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:05

Sen. Chuck Grassley today made the following comment on the Senate majority leader’s decision to proceed to the House of Representatives-passed version of an anti-congressional insider trading bill instead of the Senate-passed version.  The Senate-passed version contains a provision offered by Grassley requiring the growing political intelligence industry, which sells information to Wall Street, to register in the interest of public disclosure, as lobbyists have been required to do for many years.

“The majority leader is choosing the path that shuts out political intelligence registration.  His reasoning for choosing this direction is specious.  The Senate passed this legislation weeks ago, and the majority leader just now says he doesn’t have time to defend the Senate’s position.  The Senate gave 60 votes to the political intelligence provision.  The broader bill containing the provision received a vote of 96 to 3 in the Senate.  The majority leader ignored all of this.  His decision is a real blow for good government and transparency.  It’s a victory for Wall Street and a defeat for the American people.  It’s a victory for the hedge funds and big banks that like the secrecy of the status quo.”

A Washington Post news story said the Grassley political intelligence amendment, combined with another amendment, “transformed the (insider trading) bill into the most sweeping ethics legislation Congress had considered since 2007.”

 
maurices Announces Top 100 in Nationwide Model Search PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brittney Hanson   
Friday, 23 March 2012 12:03

Duluth, Minn. – Online voters have narrowed maurices Main Street Model Search from more than 1,400 contestants to the top 100 who will advance to the next phase of the contest.

These 100 women will compete to be among 12 finalists chosen to model for maurices, a national young women’s clothing retailer, in upcoming fall, holiday and spring campaigns. The winners will receive a photo shoot at an iconic fashion shoot destination and national exposure at maurices locations, www.maurices.com, mailers and social media. They will also be awarded a $1,500 maurices gift card and a $7,500 charitable makeover for a nonprofit in their hometowns.

People can visit www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com to view the top 100 contestants’ profiles.

“We are very pleased with the voter turnout for the second year of maurices Main Street Model Search. With more than 128,800 voters, participation was up almost three-fold from last year,” said Brad Hartmann, maurices vice president of marketing. “We hope the selected models are as excited as we are to move on to the next stage of our contest.”

Each of the top 100 contestants will create a video about why they should be a maurices Main Street Model. maurices will then choose 20 of these women to attend a casting call in Minneapolis, Minn., the week of April 16. A judging panel from maurices, including a celebrity judge and stylist Christopher Straub from Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” will select the 12 winners, who will be announced on April 23.

For more information, visit maurices.com, facebook.com/maurices or mauricesmainstreetmodel.com.


maurices Main Street Model Search 2012 Timeline

Video submission: March 20 – 27
The top 100 contestants create and submit videos that about why they should be a maurices Main Street Model.

Introducing the top 20: April 2
Judging panel reveals the top 20 contestants.

Casting call: Week of April 16
Top 20 finalists are brought to Minneapolis, Minn., for a casting call with a panel of judges that includes Christopher Straub from Season Six of Lifetime’s “Project Runway.”

And the winners are: April 23
maurices will introduce the 12 winners of maurices Main Street Model Search 2012.


About maurices
maurices, a division of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ – ASNA), is the leading hometown specialty store and authority for the savvy, fashion-conscious girl with a twenty-something attitude. Today, maurices operates 800 stores in 44 states. maurices stands for fashion, quality, value and customer service. Offering sizes 1-26 in select stores and online, our styles are inspired by the girl in everyone, in every size. For store information and to shop online, visit maurices.com.

 

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Simon to meet with Vice President Biden PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Friday, 23 March 2012 11:48

National conference coming to Chicago this summer 

 

WASHINGTON – March 20, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and her peers Wednesday during a three-day National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) meeting in Washington D.C., four months before the association celebrates its 50th anniversary in Chicago.

 

The NLGA meeting in Washington will focus on federal mortgage relief, energy efficiency, technology in schools and international trade. The association also will consider a resolution that aims to connect more veterans with their full range of benefits and find ways to provide the benefits faster, Simon said.

 

In July, the nation’s “seconds-in-command” will convene in Chicago at a conference expected to generate more than a half-million dollars in economic activity for the state. Chicago was selected to commemorate the NLGA’s 50th anniversary as it was the site of the inaugural annual meeting in 1962.

 

The NLGA is a nonprofit, bipartisan professional organization for elected officials who are first in line of succession to the governors in the United States and five territorial jurisdictions. Since 2000, at least 20 lieutenant governors have succeeded governors, including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

 

For more information on NLGA, contact 859-283-1400. To inquire about sponsorship of the Chicago meeting, contact 312-814-5240.


 
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