Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Levers vs. Scanners: NY's Challenge

From Irene Miller:

Join the New York VOTERS who will be asking the state court for a ruling that "forcing us to vote on concealed, undetectably mutable optical scanners violates our constitutional right to a reliable, open, electoral process."

Our lever system is the only secure voting system left in America.

Here are two resources analyzing the voting machine issues.

1. To become
informed about the lawsuit and how you can participate in saving our secure lever voting system, read
Re-Media Election Transparency Coalition: "Software-driven optical scanners and DRE voting systems have proven to be vulnerable to undetectable tampering. New York voters must fight to hold onto their theft-deterring lever voting system before they lose it. New York courts must defend our proud history of transparent, safeguarded, trustworthy elections and proclaim to the State's legislature and to the rest of the nation:" [Read more]

2. To see close up why we must preserve the only secure voting system left in America, see this documentary recounting what has happened in every other state with computer-counted votes:

STEALING AMERICA, Vote by Vote. Opening in NYC, August 1st through 7th --- a "must see" film. Watch an eight-minute trailer for STEALING AMERICA

Monday, July 28, 2008

Benefit Concert for Woodstock Meals on Wheels

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Health Care Forum Planned for October 4th

Postponed until spring

What's Up With Health Care?

We haven't heard much about it during this election cycle, but we know that the number of uninsured people grows daily. We can expect it will grow even faster as families have to contend with their shrinking purchasing power.

On October 4th, the AAUW Kingston Branch is hosting a public policy forum to explore the dimensions of the problem and the two most cited health care proposals -- one government run, the other through the private sector.

So, hold the date! We hope you will join us. More details will follow.

Hear Jill Bolte Taylor Tell the Beginning of Her Story

Spend nineteen minutes watching this video. Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness –- shut down one by one. An astonishing story.

Sorry, it doesn't seem to be loading. But you can watch it on TED here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Improve, Don't Limit, Reproductive Health

Oppose Administration Regulations that Limit Family Planning Services

Take Action!

We invite our friends to join us in letting the Secretary of HHA know our distress over the regulations the agency is preparing.

Last week, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration was preparing regulations that would severely limit women's access to reproductive health and family planning services, including some of the most common forms of birth control. While current law does prohibit providers from using federal money to perform abortions, as well as prohibiting discrimination against employees who refuse to perform abortions, the possible new regulations would go many steps further.

Proposed Changes

Among the most startling of changes in the draft regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services is language that would redefine abortion to include "any of the various procedures - including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." Under this broad definition, many common forms of birth control, including birth control pills, IUDs, and emergency contraception would be falsely labeled as abortion.

The possible proposed regulations would also permit health care providers to refuse to perform any service they deem morally objectionable. In addition, the proposed regulations would trump state laws that protect women's access to reproductive health care, including those requiring health insurance plans that provide drug benefits to include coverage of contraception; laws that require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors; and laws that require pharmacies to fill patients' valid medical prescriptions. The proposed regulations also could severely limit access to counseling, education, contraception, and preventive health care services for low-income and underinsured women and men-those who need it most.

Our Position

AAUW supports the right of every woman to safe, accessible, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services and believes that access to complete reproduction health information and services enhance women's reproductive choices.

We urge the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the reproductive health and safety of all women and girls, rather than limit it.

Take Action!
Send a message to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt urging him to reconsider this attack on family planning. Simply click on the "Take Action" link in the upper right corner or copy and paste the following URL into your Internet browser. Then follow the instructions to send your message. http://capwiz.com/aauw/issues/alert/?alertid=11665371

For more information, please read AAUW's position paper on reproductive rights.

Photo by littlemisskool

May the Tulips Bloom!

Ulster County Quadricentennial Tulip Bulb Planting Campaign

In 2009, New York State will celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s famous voyage up the river bearing his name and the influence of the Dutch on the Hudson Valley.

We are hoping to blanket the county with 100,000 red and yellow tulips in May 2009 by getting the bulbs to municipalities, schools, community and civic groups, historic sites, libraries, garden clubs and community beautification committees for public planting projects.

If you are a member of a group or organization that can plant bulbs in Ulster County, ask your group to plan a project. The Ulster County Legislature has agreed to supply the bulbs.

For more information contact:

Lisa Berger
Ulster County Tourism
t. 845.340.3567