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1/2/1997 - Female Cadets' Lawyers Ask for Hazing Evidence from the Citadel

The lawyers of female Citadel cadets who were hazed during their first semester by upper-class cadets have requested evidence from the military institute. The lawyers are asking for a cassette tape taken from one of the women, Jeanie Mentavlos, when the upper-classmen discovered a concealed tape recorder she wore to prove the harassment occurred and the names of anyone who came in contact with the tape. The lawyers are also asking for a statement and anyone who came in contact with it that Mentavlos reportedly made to the school after she was hit across the face with a cardboard and wounded. And, the lawyers are requesting documents related to the confiscation of pornographic materials, weapons, alcohol, branding tools and fire-making material taken from cadets. The lawyers want to assess whether it is safe for the women to return to campus after the December break.


1/2/1997 - Supreme Court Asks Clinton Administration's Advice on Same Sex-Harassment Suit

The Supreme Court has asked the Clinton Administration to consider whether or not same-sex harassment violates federal law. The Court has put on hold a decision of whether or not to hear a case involving a man allegedly harassed by his male co-workers and supervisor at an oil rig until it hears an opinion from the Justice Department. Joseph Onacle alleges that his direct supervisor, John Lyons, and another supervisor, Danny Pippen, sexually harassed and threatened to rape him while he worked at the Sundowner Offshore Services oil rig. Though he reported the incidents to the companies top level officials, no action was taken. A federal judge throw out the case, stating that same-sex harassment is not covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the case, Oncale vs. Sundowner Offshore Services last May.


12/23/1996 - Department of Justice Enters Prop 209 Legal Fray

President Clinton's Press Secretary, Mike McCurry, announced on December 20th that the Department of Justice will intervene on behalf of opponents of the anti-affirmative action California Proposition 209. McCurry said that the President, who strongly opposes Prop 209, and lawyers for the Department of Justice examined the Constitutional issues involved in the proposition thoroughly before deciding to intervene. The department now contends, along with opponents of the Prop 209, who have brought suit against it, that it denies women and people of color opportunities available to other groups, such as veterans. The department is basing its case mainly on a 1982 Supreme Court ruling in Washington vs. Seattle School District in which the Court struck down a local ordinance limiting school busing. The Court ruled that the ordinance made it harder for African-Americans to petition the government for remedies against discrimination. Though the President opposed Prop 209, he did not want to act against the voters of California unless he had a Constitutionally sound basis; McCurry said, "the president as the chief constitutional officer has to act."


12/23/1996 - Three College Basketball Players Taped Alleged Gang-Rape

After watching a videotape made by three former college basketball players accusing of recording their gang-rape of a female student, a judge has decided the men will stand trial. Four men accused of raping or helping to rape the woman were expelled from Southwestern Michigan College on November 7, six days after the alleged attack on a 19-year-old woman who had passed out in an apartment near campus.


12/23/1996 - Jury Award Upheld Against Anti-Abortion Groups

The 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas decided on December 19 to uphold a $1 million jury award against two anti-abortion groups who staged demonstrations at Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas during the 1992 Republican Convention. The three-judge panel ruled that the group's use of firebombing and death threats was "highly offensive and repugnant


12/23/1996 - South Carolina Naval Brig Under Investigation for Sexual and Racial Harassment

The Navy and Air Force are investigating charges of sex and race harassment at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station. The Post and Courier papers said they received two written Navy reports indicating a climate of racial and sexual tension at the brig. The report did not recommend immediate punishment for the military prison's Navy Commander George Admire, but it did acknowledge that he might not be able to resume his post beyond a scheduled command change in April.


12/23/1996 - South Carolina Naval Brig Under Investigation for Sexual and Racial Harassment

The Navy and Air Force are investigating charges of sex and race harassment at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station. The Post and Courier papers said they received two written Navy reports indicating a climate of racial and sexual tension at the brig. The report did not recommend immediate punishment for the military prison's Navy Commander George Admire, but it did acknowledge that he might not be able to resume his post beyond a scheduled command change in April.


12/23/1996 - Serial Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Exposed

The Washington Post reported Sunday, December 22, on a number of sexual harassment cases in the workforce. One major incident of “serial” sexual harassment in which a harasser’s actions impact numerous women involved Dan Wassong, chief executive of cosmetic company Del Laboratories. After 15 women told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Wassong had asked them for oral sex, assaulted them, urinated with the restroom door open, worked in his underwear and used offensive language, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Del and Wassong alleging that Del tolerated the harassment waged by Wassong. Without admitting wrongdoing, Del settled the case in 1995 for $1.2 million.

In another case of serial sexual harassment, women at Baker and McKenzie, the largest law firm in the U.S., complained that partner Martin Greenstein inappropriately touched them, pressured them for sex, made sexual remarks, and caused their ultimate resignation. A judge significantly reduced the $7 million settlement granted to the secretary who was harassed by Greenstein after he was transferred to another office; Baker and McKenzie have appealed the verdict with a decision expected next year. A number of witnesses testified that Greenstein talked about hot-tubbing and made other inappropriate gestures or comments, but lawyers for Baker and McKenzie expect further reduction of the settlement.

Though Baker and McKenzie terminated Greenstein in 1993, the Post reports that many companies prefer to allow harassers to stay on than risk an accusation of wrongful termination. Sexual harassment expert Freada Klein said that she has been told by companies who pay off women who bring complaints, “this is the cost of doing business ... this guy brings in millions of dollars in business a year,” refusing to acknowledge the cost to the women who are harassed.


12/23/1996 - Women Demand Resignation of Indiana Representative from Army Sex Scandal Panel

Vice President of the National Organization for Women Karen Johnson said that Rep. Steven Buyer (R-Indiana) should step down from the Congressional panel investigating claims of pervasive sexual harassment at Aberdeen Proving Ground's Ordnance Center in Maryland. Buyer, an Army Reserve major, said that the scandal was the result of a "few bad apples." Johnson said Buyer's Army position represented a conflict of interest.


12/23/1996 - Curious George Co-creator Dies at Age 90

Margret E. Rey, part of the husband and wife team which created the mythical Curious George died on December 22nd in her Cambridge home. She had suffered a heart attack three weeks earlier. She helped create the monkey character while she and her husband were living in Paris during the 1930s. They smuggled an unpublished manuscript out of France when they escaped before Hitler's occupation. Houghton Mifflin published the first story in 1941; the Reys subsequently wrote six more books about Curious George's antics. Margret went on to write 28 Curious George books with Alan J. Shalleck.

Born in Germany, Rey studied at the Bauhaus, the Academy of Art in Duesseldorf and at an art school in Berlin. She held her first one-woman watercolor show in Berlin in the early 1920s. She later worked as a newspaper reporter, an advertising copywriter and photographer. Making her way to New York after escaping Paris with her husband, Rey went on to create more children's books and oversee the Curious merchandising projects. Moving to Cambridge in 1971, she became a large benefactor: donating $1 million each to the Boston Public Library and the Beth Israel Hospital's Center for Alternative Medicine for Research.


12/20/1996 - Clinton Appoints Alexis Herman to Secretary of Labor

Clinton has appointed his close aide, Alexis Herman, to become the Secretary of the Department of Labor. Herman has previously served as the Director of the Women's Bureau in President Carter's Labor Department and has served as the vice-chair for the Democratic National Committee. She has most recently served as the White House public liaison, where she enjoys a close working relationship with the president.

This appointment brings Clinton's overall appointment of women number to eight, larger than any previous administration. Other female appointments include: Janet Reno, Attorney General; Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State; Donna Shalala, Department of Health and Human Service; Janet Yellen, Chief Economic Advisor; Carol Browner, Environmental Protection Agency; Aida Alvarez, Small Business Administration and Charlene Borshefsky to U.S. Trade Representative.


12/20/1996 - Citadel Makes Changes to Address Hazing Incidents

The Citadel has announced that it plans to station overnight, adult supervisors to all barracks. This change, taking effect next month, was instituted to try and prevent the hazing incident which happened to two female cadets this past semester. The women reported the hazing to their student cadet supervisors but the supervisors did not take any action. The Citadel claims that the women could have reported the incidents to active-duty military officers assigned to their company, but failed to do so. The women's parents claim that they called school officials several times. The Citadel and FBI are both looking into the incidents and plan to discipline any adult officers if warranted.


12/20/1996 - Clinton Considers Changes to Welfare Legislation

Clinton aides helping the President with the 1997 budget have disclosed plans to increase some welfare programs radically cut in last year's welfare legislation. The plans include an additional $13 billion, aimed mainly at aiding legal immigrants, especially immigrant children and disabled immigrants. The plan also includes plans to give indigent people with high housing costs continued food stamps. Under the planned changes, persons who are actively looking for jobs but cannot find them will also be allowed to continue receiving food stamps. Earlier, leaks in the administration warned that the President's budget included $1 billion in cuts to housing for the poor. The President has apparently decided against the cuts, however.

The Administration expects that any changes will be met with strong opposition from a Republican-led Congress and is explicit in its approval for the overall direction and changes in the 1995 Welfare Reform legislation. Support for the changes, however, is expected to come from moderate GOP Governors whose state's are starting to feel the adverse effects of the drastic welfare cuts.


12/19/1996 - VOA Sex Discrimination Suit Coming to Close

Voice of America, a government sponsored overseas radio broadcasting program, faces sex discrimination claims in excess of $500 million dollars. Twelve years ago, a federal judge ruled that VOA discriminated against women in its hiring practices. Now, a special master, law professor Stephen A. Saltzburg, is in the process of deciding how much, if any, each of the 1,100 women bringing claims against VOA will be awarded. So far, he has awarded eight women a total of $4.7 million and denied claims to two others. On top of the monetary awards, the government must set up retirement accounts for all the women who have successful claims. The government has failed twice in getting a Federal Appeals Court to overturn the case and is now considering appealing directly to the Supreme Court.

The discrimination allegedly occurred between 1974 and 1984. It included hiring discrimination in various fields within VOA, such as writer/editor, foreign language broadcasters, foreign information or production specialists, and radio broadcast or electric technicians. One woman, Lynn Goldman Barrett, sent in an application along with her husband; they had essentially the same experience, having co-owned Mirasound Studios Inc. He was given a job as a recording technician immediately and she was not, even though there were plenty of job openings at VOA. At the first hearing, the government claimed it never received her application, even though it was sent in the same package as her husband's. Then she reapplied in 1982 and the government claimed she was not qualified. She protested and then was told she would need to fill out an additional form, which did not exist. Saltzburg wrote in his opinion, awarding her $562,481, "Women and men were treated differently. There were openings for 'warm bodies' as long as those bodies were male."


12/19/1996 - Social Security Cuts Disproportionally Affect Women

A proposed plan to base Social Security on an average of 38 instead of 35 years work will disproportionally hurt women. An Advisory Council on Social Security plans to deal with cuts including the above change in calculating benefits. Only 15% of women have been in the workforce for an average of 38 years while 57% of men have worked that long. Women often take years off of work to raise children and this affects their average work years. Edith U. Fierst, a council member, commented, "It would be unfortunate if mothers, pressured by fear of poverty in old age, gave up opportunities to stay at home with young children...In an ideal world the father of her children would take care of the mother's retirement needs..." However, many fathers are absent and when couples divorce, the woman generally loses the right to share her husband's retirement benefits. Fierst notes that government statistics show that the largest segment of the poor elderly are widows, who have a poverty rate in excess of 40%.


12/19/1996 - Clinton to Appoint Janet Yellen Council of Economic Advisors Chair

President Clinton has offered the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, the panel which advises the President on economic issues to Brown (B.S.) and Yale (Ph.D.) University Graduate Janet Yellen. Yellen, who has taught economics at Harvard, London School of Economics and at Berkeley, has most recently served on the Federal Reserve board. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she is married with one child.

Clinton continues to meet today with outgoing Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, current Chief of Staff Irksine Bowles and Vice-President Al Gore to finalize his appointments for a December 20th press conference. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Elizabeth Moller is a strong possibility for Energy Secretary. Clinton aide Alexis Herman and Representative Esteban Torres (D-CA) are both being considered for Secretary of Labor.


12/19/1996 - Woolf and Bloomsbury Group Biographer, Quentin Bell, Dies at 86

Viriginia Woolf's nephew and biographer Quentin Bell died on December 15th in England. Born to Woolf's older sister, Vanessa Bell, Bell spent his childhood with the now legendary Bloomsbury group and eventually became its most sensitive biographer. Growing up with such figures as E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Vita Sackville-West, and Virigina Woolf, Bell, in his fair-minded writing, brought the group to life. He once described a visit from Woolf as, "a warm capricious breeze blowing in from the southwest and bringing with it a kind of amazed joy." He also revealed, for the first time, that her two brothers had sexually molested her during her childhood. And, in Bloomsbury Recalled he expressed anger and disappointment at his father's fascist leanings.


12/19/1996 - Doctor Gives Up License Amid Re-newed Charges of Sexually Abusing Female Patients

A Somerset, Kentucky doctor who has twice been on probation for allegedly sexually abusing female patients, has given up his license amid new charges. The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure required a nurse to monitor the examinations because Dr. Russell C. Holtzclaw had been placed on probation in 1987 and 1993 for sexual misconduct. He examined a 17-year-old's breast and body without the nurse monitor and made inappropriate comments about her body during the examination. Holtzclaw is also under investigation for his financial dealings with two elderly and now deceased female patients. He had been placed on probation for three years in 1987 because of a patient's complaint of sexual misconduct. He was again placed on probation in 1993 for allegedly attempting to rape and sexually abuse a patient while exposing himself to her. He later gave the woman's mother $5000 to keep quiet about the incident. In the same year, three other patients filed complaints of sexual misconduct.


12/18/1996 - New Allegations of Hazing at Citadel

Attorneys for two women cadets at the Citadel released new information on recent hazing incidents. The attorneys claim that male cadets sprayed the women with nail polish and set their clothes on fire, not once, but three times within the past two months. Male cadets also allegedly entered the female cadet's rooms late at night, sung them sexually explicit songs and forced them to drink alcoholic beverages. One recruit, Jeanie Mentavlos, was forced to drop her pants to reveal a hidden tape recorder. Her attorney, Tim Kulp, claims that the women decided to record the harassment because they, "knew no one would believe them as to the fact the line had been crossed."

The female cadets did report the harassment to cadet officers, but the officers ignored their complaints. Mentavlos' older brother Michael, a senior at the academy, proceeded with two other senior cadets to report the harassment to school officials. The schools has suspended two cadets and relieved five others of military duty pending the outcome of a full investigation. The school also installed alarm buttons in the women's room which, if pushed, sound in a guard's room. The two harassed women are currently living off campus during finals weeks because of safety fears. The two other women cadets, who are in a different company, have remained on campus and have not reported any harassment.


12/18/1996 - New Allegations of Hazing at Citadel

Attorneys for two women cadets at the Citadel released new information on recent hazing incidents. The attorneys claim that male cadets sprayed the women with nail polish and set their clothes on fire, not once, but three times within the past two months. Male cadets also allegedly entered the female cadet's rooms late at night, sung them sexually explicit songs and forced them to drink alcoholic beverages. One recruit, Jeanie Mentavlos, was forced to drop her pants to reveal a hidden tape recorder. Her attorney, Tim Kulp, claims that the women decided to record the harassment because they, "knew no one would believe them as to the fact the line had been crossed."

The female cadets did report the harassment to cadet officers, but the officers ignored their complaints. Mentavlos' older brother Michael, a senior at the academy, proceeded with two other senior cadets to report the harassment to school officials. The schools has suspended two cadets and relieved five others of military duty pending the outcome of a full investigation. The school also installed alarm buttons in the women's room which, if pushed, sound in a guard's room. The two harassed women are currently living off campus during finals weeks because of safety fears. The two other women cadets, who are in a different company, have remained on campus and have not reported any harassment.


12/18/1996 - Congressman in Charge of Army Sexual Harassment Investigation Graduated from Citadel

The Congressman in charge of the investigation of the Army's sexual harassment scandal, Representive Steve Buyer (R-IN), graduated from the then all-male military college The Citadel, has served in the United States Army and continues to serve in the Army reserves. In 1995, while the Citadel was in the midst of a legal challenge of its state-funded all-male tradition, it awarded Buyer as its Man of the Year. Given his career in the military, many inside and outside of the military have begun to question his objectivity. Karen Johnson, vice-president of the National Organization for Women and a retired Air Force Lietenant Colonel commented last week to the Indianapolis Star, "When you're in the military as Buyer still is, whether male or female,your first loyalty is there and never will you paint it in a bad light. As a female who was in uniform for 20 years, I think the problem is large, serious, and Aberdeen is just beginning."

Aberdeen refers to the base where 25 drill sergeants are under investigation for sexual harassment and a captain and drill instructor have already been charged with rape and obstruction of justice. Buyer has already said that he believes the problem with the military is due to "a few bad apples" and not to a widespread problem in the Army. His solution to the problem - more military spending. He believes the problem is due to a breakdown in the Army's chain of command, itself a result of cuts in military spending. A 1995 survey by the defense department found that sixty percent of women in the military reported being harassed while on duty. This, and other scandals such as the Tailhook incident, counters Buyer's statements. Johnson also commented, "No commander wants to look bad. They have an investment in looking good, so they often talk an accuser out of a complaint. We recommend a system of reporting outside of the chain of command."


12/18/1996 - Texaco Plans to Diversify Workforce

The Wall Street Journal reports December 18th that a new Texaco program would expand the amount of business, by fifty percent, that it does with minority-owned companies. Texaco also plans to increase its minority workforce. The company settled a discrimination lawsuit last month for $176.1 million. When it did so, the company also promised to increase the percentage of minorities on their payroll from 23 to 29 percent.


12/17/1996 - Prop. 209 Blocked Pending Court Ruling

San Francisco U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson extended the temporary restraining order on the anti-affirmative action initiative Prop. 209 by one week. The order prohibits either CA. Governor Pete Wilson or Attorney General Dan Lungren from implementing the measure until December 23rd. On the 23rd, Henderson will decide whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction freezing 209 until a trial is held to determine the measure's constitutionality.

California voters narrowly passed this deceptive measure in November by a 54 to 46 margin. Funded by right-wing foundations, contractors and conservative scholars, the initiative will wipe out equal opportunity programs for women and people of color. Opponents of the initiative are currently suing, claiming that it is unconstitutional because it discriminates against women and people of color.


12/17/1996 - Second Citadel Cadet Suspended, Two Female Cadets Move Off Campus

The Citadel has suspended a second cadet in an incident involving the hazing of two female cadets. The charges of hazing include that one woman was thrown up against a wall and hit in the head with a rifle, while another woman's clothes were sprayed with nail polish and set on fire. Five other male cadets have been relieved of military duty pending an investigation. Due to security concerns, the two women will live off campus during finals week and wear civilian clothes. While on campus, they are restricted to the computer lab, the library and their classrooms. The women's lawyers had wanted them transferred to an infirmary on campus, but the school said no space existed there for them. Paul Gibson, a lawyer for the women's families commented that keeping the women off campus, away from training and without the ability to wear uniform was unfair.


12/17/1996 - Kentucky Paper Appoints First Female Editor

After serving for fifteen months as editor of Lexington's Herald-Leader newspaper, Pam Luecke became the editor and vice-president of the paper on December 16th. Luecke moved to Kentucky in 1979 and worked for the Louisville Courier-Journal and Times as a business reporter, business editor and regional editor. She contributed to The Courier-Journal's Pulitzer Prize winning series on the 1988 Carrollton bus crush. She moved to Connecticut in 1989 and worked as the assistant managing editor/metro and deputy managing editor of The Hartford Courant for six years. She served as the supervising editor for the Courant's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of the Hubble space telescope.

In 1995 Luecke moved back to Kentucky, this time serving as the editor of the editorial pages for Lexington's Herald Leader. Luecke also served as a Bagehot Fellow in economic journalism at Columbia University from 1986 to 1987.

Luecke commented on her promotion as the paper's first ever female editor that, "I'm enormously proud of that accomplishment. There aren't enough women in leadership positions in general. I hope maybe in some way I can be a role model for other young women considering getting into journalism."