Poughkeepsie Branch of the

American Association of University Women, Inc.

P.O. Box 1908, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601



Volume 29, Number 5                                            

60th year of publication                        


Follow us at


January 2016








MAY 15, 2016


2:30 – 6 PM


The Links at Union Vale




Lucinda Franks

Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me


Jeffrey T. Sammons


Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the Quest for African American Equality


More information on the authors’ works and lives will be coming up in later issues of The Branch.



Join Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW:





Thursday, January 14th

7:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall

67 South Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie

There will be a short business meeting.


What are the true facts about the Common Core?

Why was it necessary to create a new set of standards?

Why has the implementation of the Common Core been so controversial?

How might the recent actions at the federal, state and Regents levels impact New York State?


Come and listen to three professionals who will enlighten us on this important educational reform.


Rick Longhurst is the Executive Administrator of the NYS PTA and a long -time member of the NYS Educational Conference Board.  He is a retired assistant superintendent of schools.


Maria DeWald is the Education Coordinator Dutchess BOCES Arts and serves on the Executive Committee of the NYS Alliance for Arts Education and the NYS Family Engagement Coalitions.  She is a public member of the NYS Professional Standards and Practices for Teaching and a member of Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW.



Lori Orestano-James is the Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts and Foreign Language for the Wappingers Central School District.  She serves as the Advocacy Chair for the NYS Music Association


Questions: Sandy Goldberg, 297-7670


         Betsy Kopstein, 485-7044




Online Calendar at

Contact: Kathy Friedman


4       Word Games: 2:00 pm

         Hostess:  Kathy Friedman (485-8671)

         Coordinator: Betsy Vivas (485-2379)

6       The Ediss Book Group: 7:00 pm

         Book: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

         Hostess: Celia Serotsky

         Coordinator: Celia Serotsky (473-8426)

8       Daytime Literature: 10:00 am

         Book: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

         The Manor at Woodside, 168 Academy, Pok.

         Coordinators: : Leona Miller (471-0777) &

                  Vicki Greenberg (462-6763)

9       Board Meeting: 11:00 am

         Barbara Van Itallie’s

9       Bridge 3: 10:00 am- 12:00 pm

  Hostess: TBA

         Coordinator: Donna Reichner

11     All those books...: 2:30 pm

         Book: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

         Hostess: Carol Loizides

         Coordinator: Carol Loizides (452-3208)

12     Movie Night: Time TBD by show

         Movie: Group members will be notified the

         Thursday before - sign up with Sue.

         Discussion: Eveready Diner, Rt. 9, Hyde Park

         Director: Susan Osterhoudt (889-4469)

         Producer: Diana Gleeson

13     Gourmet: Out & About: 6:30 pm

  Dinner: YOLO Bistro, 260 North Road, Poughkeepsie

  Contact: Mary Ann Boylan (462-2504)

                  Kay Saderholm (229-8545)

14     General Membership Program: 7:00 pm

         All members are invited and encouraged to attend

          – see details on page 1.

15     Poetry & Play Readings: 2:00 pm 

         Hostess: Cathy Kinn

         Coordinators: Jackie Sweeney (518-947-6682) &

                  Carol Loizides (452-3208)

15     Diversity, One Out of Many People: 5:00 pm

         Book Talk:  Love Stories from around the World 

         DCC, Taconic Hall, Room 103

         Coordinator: Jacqueline Goffe-McNish


18     Manderley Literary Society: 7:30 pm

  Book: Euphoria by Lily King

         Hostess: Diana Salsberg (471-7620)

         Coordinator: Rochelle Friedman (462-4996)

19     Cuisine: 6:30 pm

         Dinner out

         Restaurant to be announced

         Contact Barbara Lemberger if you want to attend.

         Coordinator: Barbara Lemberger


20     Bridge I: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

         Hostess: Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

         Coordinators:  Linda Ronayne (897-9745)      &

                  Mary Ann Ryan (897-9679)

21     Aventures en Soleil: 11:30 am

  Planning meeting (snow date January 26)

  Galleria Community Room

  Contact: Ruth Sheets

         Coordinator: Ruth Sheets (473-6202)

27     Mah Jongg: Noon - 4:00 pm  

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch

         Contact Blanche (462-3955) by January 25

         Coordinator: Blanche Bergman (462-3955)

27      Contemporary Literature: 7:30 pm

         Book: The End of your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

         Hostess: TBA

         Coordinators: Ann Wade (229-5267) &

                  Linda Freisitzer (266-5427)

28     Bridge II: 12:00-4:00 pm

         Uno Chicago Grill – Lunch ($15)

         Coordinator: Cathy Kinn 

28     Pins & Needles: 7:00 pm

  Project: Crocheted Bracelets taught by Chris

         Hostess: Chris Eidel (485-7235)

         Coordinators: Arlene Seligman (297-0006) &

                  Mary Ann Williams (868-7465)


Art on the Go: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

         Francis L Leob Art Center, Vassar

         Date and time TBA

         Coordinator: Mary Coiteux (226-8275)


         Pedal Pushers:

         Watch for our return on April 6.

         Coordinator: Sheila Zweifler



         Back on the trails in April!

         Coordinator: Tori Smith (345-0043)


World Travelers:

         No program in January.  Happy travels!

         Reservations: Jeanette Cantwell (452-4188)



“The Branch”  contact Joanne Scolaro (592-8314)


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                

Barbara Van Itallie *462-3924*


Last month I wrote about my son living in Australia and some differences between the US and that country.  To continue with some important social and economic issues:


The lack of pay equity for women here in the US is an issue of concern to AAUW members.  Australian women only do slightly better than those here in the US, earning 81 per cent of a man's average salary compared to 79 per cent here.  In general, here in the US a person would likely be paid more for a professional position and less for a minimum wage job.  The minimum wage in Australia is now $17.29 while $7.25 here (more in NYS).  On the upside your family would probably make more money in the US.  In 2012, the median household income was $51,324 for Americans compared to $47,736 in Australia.  Another issue of major concern to some of us is class divide; there is considerably less of a class divide in Australia (as measured by the World Bank’s measure of wealth distribution).


Health insurance, or lack thereof, and health care costs, are always issues here in the US.  Of the total expenditure on health in the US, the government contributes 18.7%, while the Australian government 70%.  Australia has a universal health care structure, with the federal government paying a large part of the cost of health services, including those in public hospitals.  This is funded by a 2% Medicare levy.  There are out-of-pockets costs and individual can add private medical insurance to cover these and other expenses.  The government encourages private insurance by increasing the levy rate to those above a certain income level who do not take out private insurance.  An international study of the health care systems in several countries including the US, found that "Australia ranks highest on healthy lives, scoring first or second on all of the indicators."


Certainly violence, and particularly gun violence, is a major concern to many of us.  An interesting statistics I came upon was that if you lived in Australia instead of the US, “you would be 71% less likely to be murdered”.  I cannot vouch for this number but I do know that Australia has a stricter gun ownership policy than we do in the US.  In 1996 35 people were killed and 23 wounded when a former convict with a history of violent and erratic behavior opened fire on shop owners and tourists with two semi-automatic rifles.  He claimed to have purchased his firearms from a dealer who did not require the proper license.  This event had powerful political consequences.  The new legislation, required of all states, included a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and a tightly restrictive system of licensing and ownership controls.  They also institute a buy-back program, which purchased and destroyed about one million firearms.  My daughter-in-law’s father lived on a farm at the time and felt that he needed a rifle to kill pests.  He was at first upset to give up his gun.  Years later, he now says that he can see the need for these restrictions.


Again, Australia’s small population and population density certainly contribute to its handling of these important issues, more easily dealt with than here in the US I imagine.


One more statistic: Australians have 7% more free time than those of us in the US!  So, does my son like it there?  What’s not to like?  It is more expensive to live there, and he misses Thanksgiving, but otherwise it is a great place to live.  And as to how he came to live there, you can fill in the end of this story:  A young Australian woman was traveling in the United States…..




Feb 10:  Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie on

         Human Sex Trafficking


Apr 14:  Maria Idoni, Hudson Valley &

         Westchester Area Director, The American

         Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Apr 15 - 17: AAUW-NYS Convention, Saratoga


May 15: Writers' Tea & Auction


AAUW-NYS Convention will be held at the

Holiday Inn, Saratoga Springs,

April 15-17, 2016




Margaret Nijhuis *635-8612*


Please check your entry!!!


Each of you should have received your directory in November.  Please check your entry and see if there is anything that needs to be corrected.  In February a correction sheet will be sent to all members for inclusion in their 2015-16 directory.


Please send any corrections or changes to Mary Jo Cottrell, Poughkeepsie’s Database Manager, at (preferred) or call her at 845/635-5175.  Mary Jo will see that the appropriate people are notified.  Changes should also be sent to the interest groups and/or community initiatives to which you belong.




Annual contributions from members help defray the expense of publishing The Branch and other communication expenses.  All patrons and sponsors are listed in each monthly newsletter unless anonymity is requested.


Patrons ($25 or more)


Catherine Albanese,  Marge Barton,  Mary Ann Boylan

Joan Cordani,  Patricia DeLeo,  Lillian DePasquale,

Ruth Gau,  Gloria Gibbs,  Sandy Goldberg,

Jacqueline Prusak,  Terry Schneider


Sponsors ($10 or more)


Ann Wade


To add your name to the list, mail a check payable: “Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc.” to Margaret Nijhuis, 9 McAllister Drive, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569



Ann Pinna, Chair *462-3140*


New Training

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Please respond by January 29th.


Rationale: In accordance with AAUW’s mission to provide equity for women and girls, the “Stand Up to Domestic Violence Initiative” was created in 2011.  Its purpose was to document systemic issues in the local justice system that result in the re-victimization of women and children suffering from domestic abuse.


What Court Monitors Do:  Court Monitors go into Family Court and observe judges, attorneys, and other court personnel in order to look for systemic problems relating to cases of domestic violence.  Court Monitors fill out specially designed Observation Forms and then submit them for Data Entry.  The data is collected, results are analyzed, and their findings are shared with judges and appropriate court personnel in the hope of creating greater accountability and making improvements in the court system.


The Goal Of Court Monitors: The monitors’ goal is to assist in providing information and insight for the fair and equal treatment of women and everyone else associated with domestic violence.


Time Commitment:  Monitors go to Family Court at least one-half day per month, according to a prearranged schedule, for either a full morning or afternoon session.  While in court, monitors are required to fill out separate Observation Forms for each case they witness and submit their sheets each month for Data Entry.  In addition, monitors are required to attend occasional meetings to update information and to participate in Group-Share sessions.


New Training: The next court monitoring training will take place on Thursday, March 31, 2016.  It will be a full day of training, from 9 am to 4 pm.  The venue will be the Boardman Rd. Library.


To Register: If you wish to be trained to become a court monitor and can commit to the necessary guidelines and requirements as indicated in the description above, please submit your contact information and questions via e-mail to  or call 845-462-3140 by January 29  so proper arrangements for training can be made.


****Please Note: If you register, you must be able to make a commitment to monitor Family Court for one-half day per month for one full year according to a pre-arranged schedule.  You must also be willing to fill out Observation Forms for each case and attend occasional educational meetings.  The full-day training in March is also a requirement in order to monitor.




Cathy Kinn, Interest Group Coordinator, 

A column that gives us the news of “What’s Happening” in our Interest Groups.



Tori Smith *345-0043*


As you might know I have taken Karen Haynes position as Interest Group Leader of Trekkers.  Karen did a wonderful job and I hope I can do half the job that she did over the past 10 years. 


I have made some moderate changes to the group.  We will not always meet on a Saturday it could be a weekday.  I will be mindful of other groups' dates, such as, Pedal Pushers and Soleil, and others that have daytime meetings. 


In January, I will send an email asking for suggestions on hikes/walks.  You will not be obligated to lead the hike, just send some ideas.  I will schedule one hike each month as well as a rain date.  There could be other impromptu hikes/walks depending on the group interests.  


If you would like to add your name to the email list please contact me by email or phone above.


Thanks and hope to see you soon on the trails of Dutchess County and beyond. 


Have a happy holiday season,

Tori Smith 



Patricia DeLeo *883-5181*  


Seeking Refuge


"The story begins on April 18, 1938, with a letter addressed to then-AAUW Director Kathryn McHale concerning a woman named Marietta Blau.  The letter was signed Albert Einstein.


At this time, the women of AAUW were receiving numerous requests to help women academics who were trapped in Nazi-controlled countries.  In 1941, spearheaded by International Relations Secretary Esther Brunauer, AAUW created the War Relief Committee to try to aid more than 100 women threatened by war and oppression, whether to support their research or to aid with immigration — which often meant finding them jobs in safe locations.  The committee found an ally in Einstein, who had avoided Nazi persecution by leaving Germany and wanted to help scientists of Jewish descent do the same"


Most Syrian and Iraqi women refugees do not have degrees.  Many are uneducated and have been denied a lifelong opportunity to obtain schooling.  They don't have "credentials." Many are the victims of kidnapping, rape, enslavement, trafficking, domestic violence, forced marriage, sexual torture, sexual harassment and assault.  Refugees are more vulnerable to sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence and battery.  Their only hope may be to seek safety in a global refugee program.  Where do they look?  To Colossus..."Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me?  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Who can write a letter on their behalf?


AAUW?  I believe they did.  As a member of the National a Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, a letter was sent to Congress urging "The United States remains a leader in the fight to end violence against women globally by continuing to accept Syrian and Iraqi refugees."


During WWII, the United States rejected Jewish refugees and interned Japanese Americans out of fear...fear of Nazi and Japanese infiltration and spying.  The fear of terrorism, not unfounded in this day and age, is paramount to many and overshadows the humanitarian outreach to aid the millions of homeless refugees.  The security argument, that Middle Easterners pose a constant and serious threat to Western nations, is refuted by U.S. officials who claim an intricate vetting process is in place and our history with Middle East immigration is positive.  The scarcity arguments, that refugees will consume resources already in short supply (money, housing, employment, etc), also fall flat as the government has budgeted for these types of international crises.  Others argue that the refugees, a majority being uneducated and unprepared for a work force will bring no benefit to the country.  Our grievous errors of the past do not need repetition.  I am proud that AAUW remains dedicated and will not surrender to the

fears of terrorism and maintains its commitment to protect and aid women and children.  Humanitarianism and compassion do mix well with politics. 


You, like Einstein, can write a letter.  You can help those who can't advocate for themselves.  Contact Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at  and Senator Chuck Schumer at .  Affirm the intent and spirit of VAWA and IVAWA. The International Violence Against Women Act of 2015 (I-VAWA) (S.713, HR. 1340) was introduced to ensure that addressing violence against women is included in the nation's foreign policy, with best practices for preventing violence, protecting victims and prosecuting offenders.  It has failed to pass, but will be submitted again.  Remind Senators Gillibrand and Schumer that AAUW cannot witness human rights violations without demanding action.  Help the refugees!


First Lady Laura Bush reminds us that: "Fighting brutality against women and children is not the expression of a specific culture...  It is the acceptance of our common humanity...a commitment shared by people of goodwill on every continent...  The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women."



Maria DeWald, Community Liaison Chair


Middle School/Junior High Liaisons for the AAUW Girls’ Conference: Do you have a student or know a staff person at one of the following middle/junior high schools who can help inform their middle school students about the November 6, 2016 AAUW Girls’ Conference?  Can you either send us a name or volunteer to be a liaison for that school?  Your job would simply be to help motivate attendance from that school at the Conference next fall.  Please contact Suzie Stoller, Middle School Liaison, at or 845/462-4137.


Public Schools:

Arlington: LaGrange MS and Union Vale MS

Beacon: Rombout MS

Dover: Dover MS

Hyde Park: Haviland MS

Millbrook: Millbrook MS

Pawling: Pawling MS

Pine Plains: Stissing Mountain MS

Poughkeepsie: Poughkeepsie MS, Circle of Courage

Red Hook: Linden Avenue MS

Rhinebeck: Bulkeley MS

Spackenkill: Todd MS

Wappingers: Van Wyck JHS and Wappingers JHS

Webutuck (North East): Eugene Brooks Intermediate


Parochial Schools: For example, Holy Trinity has asked to be invited

Private Schools: For example, Poughkeepsie Day School



Maria DeWald, Community Liaison Chair


If you would like to be involved in the reinstitution of our AAUW Poughkeepsie Girls’ Conference, please read on!


It is always exciting to be involved in planning an event that will help increase the confidence and communication skills of young girls, particularly at their critical middle/junior high school.  After two recent meeting of many AAUW members dedicated to again sponsoring a Girls’ Conference, we are now ready to begin the planning to have that happen in November 5, 2016.  Although there is lots of enthusiasm and energy to make this happen, and many who have already committed to a leadership role (including Dutchess Community College), we would like to also involve many of you in making this a memorable and impacting experience for sixth/seventh grade girls.


There are many ways to be involved such as volunteering for one of the committees we have formed so far.  They include:

Ø   Logistics Committee,

Ø   Communications/Liaison group which will foster contacts with Dutchess County middle schools (see page 5, column 2), Dutchess Community and Marist College regarding work with their interns, guidance counselors, social workers and so forth

Ø   Conference Agenda Committee which will plan the event including a facilitator, workshop presenters, and activities for the day. 

You could help in any of these areas whether it be planning a particular workshop, working on materials for publicity abd  registration or on many other tasks large and small.  There is ample opportunity to shape this Conference, which we hope will be an at least annual event, with your input and assistance.  We need your ideas, leadership and follow through for this to work.


Our next meeting will be Monday, January 11 from 7:00-9:00 pm (second Monday), and every first Monday of the month after that, to plan the Conference. Please let Barbara Van Itallie/ know if you are interested in being added to our Conference Committee so we can keep you informed.


Looking forward to your participation!


Happy New Year!


It’s Time Already to Think About


Co-chairs: Carol Barmann 845-229-9063

& Joanne Long 845-229-0664


Please submit your nominations for

2016 Woman of the Year !!


Criteria for Poughkeepsie AAUW Woman of the Year:

Ø  She has made outstanding contributions to the community in either a voluntary or paid capacity.(Most recipients have served in both capacities.)

Ø  She reflects the AAUW mission: AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Note: Qualifications should not be based solely on accomplishments within AAUW.


To nominate an outstanding woman for 2016, please use the form found on our website: under Resources/Woman of the Year or use the search function.


Return your nomination to: Carol Barmann or Joanne Long by email: or

or mail to: Carol Barmann, 22 Julia Drive, Hyde Park, NY 12538

or Joanne Long, 106 Roosevelt Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538


If you encounter difficulty downloading the form, feel free to contact either Carol or Joanne for assistance.




Linda Roberts *227-5287*


A Happy, Healthy Holiday season and a very Happy New Year to everyone!


We still have five months before our Tea & Auction so that gives us plenty of time to acquire all the wonderful items that we will be auctioning off.  After the New Year I will write again with some specific ideas and let all of you  know what kind of help we will need.


Thank you all for your continued support of our Writers’ Tea & Auction.



Katherine Friedman *485-8671*


Voting will take place at the January 14th membership meeting.


The National AAUW has mandated changes to the bylaws of all AAUW branches.  These changes involve some additions, changes in wording and numbering of articles that must be made in order that our bylaws conform to the national bylaws.  Since these changes are mandatory (they were approved by a membership vote held last spring and announced at the National Convention in June), they do not have to be approved by the local membership.  However, we have included the following non-mandated changes.  The membership will be voting to approve these changes in January.


  Ø Article VI, section 1C (formerly Article VII, section 3)

Previous wording states “The appointed directors shall be appointed by the president and the board and shall be the following as needed to fulfill the functions of the Organization:  editor, coordinators of women’s issues, honors and awards, international relations, public policy, community, education, cultural, publicity, bylaws, interest groups, hospitality, and Legal Advocacy Fund.”

The new wording states “The appointed directors shall be appointed by the president and the board as needed to fulfill the functions of the Organization.”


  Ø Article VI, Section 1 – add the following sentences:

H.  If a position is filled by co-chairs, each individual shall have one vote.

I.  The immediate past president may serve on the board as an advisor for one year at the completion of her term of office.  She shall be entitled to one vote.


The current bylaws of the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc., the Poughkeepsie bylaws with the mandated changes, as well as a copy of the mandated bylaws changes from National AAUW may be read and/or printed from our website /About Us/ Policies and Procedures.



Double Your Impact by Giving to AAUW This Holiday Season


The season of giving is a time to reflect on what we have accomplished together as we look ahead to what we can do in the coming year to continue to empower women and girls. If you donate to AAUW Educational Opportunities Fund today, your tax-deductible contribution will be doubled. Thanks to the generosity of the Mooneen Lecce Giving Circle, every gift made before the end of the year will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $40,000 total.


Send donations to Diane Jablonski, 41 Parkwood Blvd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.  Make checks payable "Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW" and put EOF in the memo line. Diane will forward the funds to AAUW National.




Peggy Kelland *297-0507*


AAUW organizes a variety of stand-alone monthly events in leadership development and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).  Geared to girls in grades 6-12 throughout Dutchess County and the Mid-Hudson region, it is a collaboration with the Girl Scouts, who arrange for the venues, girls, chaperones, transportation, and insurance.  We plan the programs and provide presenters.


On January 8 we are presenting "The View from You: Finding Your Voice," with art, writing, and storytelling.  It will be held Friday evening from 6:30-8:30 pm at R.C. Ketcham H.S. on Myers Corners Road in Wappingers. (This program was postponed from November.)


Next on Sunday, February 7, from 2:00-4:00 pm we are having a repeat of last year's successful "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads," a service project of jewelry making at New Hackensack Reformed Church on Rte. 376 in Wappingers.  The girls will be able to keep their creations or donate them to the Piggy Bank Bazaar, an at cost holiday shopping opportunity for children.


We have been invited to Larchmont to repeat last year's series, the Girl Scout Cadette Journey "Amaze."  It will be offered to girls in grades 6-8 in January and February.  Future events are listed on the web site.



Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW, Inc. Officers 2015-2016


President                              Barbara Van Itallie                462-3924

Program V.P.                      Sandy Goldberg                    297-7670

                                             Betsy Kopstein-Stuts             485-7044

Membership V.P.                 Susie Blecker                        462-7074

Educ. Foundation V.P.        Linda Roberts                       227-5287

Secretary                             Katherine Friedman              485-8671

Treasurer                            Diane Jablonski                    485-6228

Membership Treasurer       Mary Anne Hogarty              221-0203

Association website:                               

NY State website:

Poughkeepsie Branch website: 


AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.                                


In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.  There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or class.


The Branch is published ten times a year, September through June, by the Poughkeepsie Branch of the AAUW, Inc.  Send articles to the editor: Margaret Nijhuis, (635-8612).