2010 Womonwrites for Southeast Lesbian Writers

Dear Womonwriters,

Registration for spring 2010 Womonwrites is now open, and you can download the registration brochure, plus anthology information and “The Loop” (conference changes from this year’s Planners’ meeting) at http://womonwrites.wordpress.com. We expect to have the workshop information linked soon.

If you need these items mailed to you via the U.S. Post Office, please notify rose.norman@gmail.com . She’ll make sure your name gets on the snailmail list, which right now has only four names, although the Womonwrites master address list includes 122 women with no email addresses given.

Obviously, this online posting and email announcements saves Womonwrites a ton of money on copying and postage, so I hope you’ll use the online version if you can.

2010 Womonwrites Offsite Registrar


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Action Alert: Update on HB3386 Make Starving Horses & Livestock a Felony

Hi there,
Here’s the latest on a bill to make it a felony to starve horses. There’s more to it than that but this what came out of the fairgrounds horses case from cannon county. https://avalonfarmblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/84-seized-horses-update/
I plan to go to the hill next tuesday at 9am when it is introduced. Please read the letter from Janis Sontany. (below) I know for a fact she went out to see the 84 horses herself in November and vowed to present this bill. Please try to be there or at the very least…call the people on the committee and tell them to support HB3386. The animals don’t have a voice in this. It’s up to us and Janis is going up against Insurance lobbiest that are not willing to compromise. Let’s all help her in this fight.-Val

valerie reynolds
Speak softly and carry a carrot stick


PHONE (615-) 741-6861
FAX (615) 253-0325

(615) 331-7616

House of Representatives
State of Tennessee




I hope this finds you and your family doing well and looking forward to Spring.

Each of you has contacted me over the past few months regarding the starving horses rescued from Cannon County and taken to the Fairgrounds here in Nashville. I promised then that I would introduce legislation that would make withholding food and/or water from any animal a felony and that I would update you on the progress and ask for your continued help. It makes no sense to me to have two different penalties – aggravated animal cruelty with a felony penalty for companion animals and a misdemeanor for the same action for “livestock”. Cruelty is cruelty regardless if you are 3 lbs. or 16 hands high. How can we continue to say that it is far worse to starve a dog than to starve a horse?

When the horses were at the Fairgrounds, I was asked by the media why the penalty for starving these horses was only a misdemeanor. My answer simply was Farm Bureau Insurance Company. This company has always demanded different laws for “livestock”.

When I first drafted this legislation, I met with Farm Bureau Insurance Company’s lobbyists to try to find some common ground. I was told that starving these horses didn’t rise to the level of aggravated animal cruelty and the current law was working just fine and they refused to negotiate.

Last week, Farm Bureau’s President, Lacy Upchurch, and their Chief Administrative Officer, Julius Johnson, visited my office to discuss my bill. I was so in hopes that we could negotiate in good faith to have a bill that we both could agree on that would stop this continued cruelty. They, however, only wanted to express to me their concern that this legislation would land some poor farmer in jail for dehorning his cattle. My bill clearly exempts accepted veterinary practices and makes no mention of discontinuing current tax breaks for farmers on livestock.

I offered to file an amendment that would require the sworn statement of a veterinarian that the animal/animals were starved – deprived of food and/or water or abused in a depraved or sadistic manner before criminal charges could be filed, to no avail. Mr. Upchurch and Mr. Johnson wouldn’t agree to that either – they said there would be too much gray area. Clearly, they didn’t come in good faith to negotiate.

This cruelty continues to happen. There were the 20 horses in Sumner County that were reported starved, three in Smith County – one of which was already dead and the other two found with no food or water nearly starved to death. And, then there was the incident in Bedford County where over 100 head of cattle were found starved to death.

I was told that Farm Bureau Insurance Company has 650,000 members across Tennessee. When I asked how many of them had input on their positions and policies, I was told not 650,000 but a very small percentage. I think all their members need to know their position on animal cruelty and if they don’t agree with the company’s position, they should contact Mr. Upchurch 931-388-7872 x 2201 and Mr. Johnson at 931-388-7872 x 2205 and express their disagreement and dissatisfaction.

This bill addresses more than starvation of animals. It also addresses other forms of animal cruelty. There was a woman in Sweetwater last year whose husband got mad at her and dragged her favorite horse behind his truck until the animal was almost dead. To finish him off he stabbed him with a pitch fork. When the woman contacted the district attorney in her area, she was told that they would not prosecute this action because it was a misdemeanor and wasn’t worth their time. My bill would make this action a felony as well. A misdemeanor is like getting a traffic ticket.

I plan to bring HB3386 before the House Agriculture Committee on 3/16 at 9:00 a.m. I invite any of you that can to join me that day to show support for this bill. I know that for many of you that won’t be possible, however, I respectfully ask that you get this message out to any and all that are interested in supporting our legislation and also ask that you contact the members of the House Agriculture Committee to ask for their support. It will take all of us working together to get this legislation passed.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office at 615-741-6861 or 615-331-7616.

The members of the House Agriculture Committee are:

Committee Officers
Stratton Bone, Chair (615) 741-7086 rep.stratton.bone@capitol.tn.gov
Dale Ford, Vice Chair (615) 741-1717 rep.dale.ford@capitol.tn.gov
Willie Butch Borchert, Secretary (615) 741-6804 rep.willie.borchert@capitol.tn.gov

Eddie Bass (615) 741-1864 rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov
Chad Faulkner (615) 741-3335 rep.chad.faulkner@capitol.tn.gov
Curits ;Halford (615) 741-7478 rep.curtis.halford@capitol.tn.gov
John Litz (615) 741-6877 rep.john.litz@capitol.tn.gov
Steve McDaniel (615) 741-0750 rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov
Frank Niceley (615) 741-4419 rep.frank.niceley@capitol.tn.gov
Johnny Shaw (615) 741-4538 rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov
Terri Lynn Weaver (615) 741-2192 rep.terri.lynn.weaver@capitol.tn.gov
John Mark Windle (615) 741-1260 rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov


Janis Sontany

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This just in from Parelli.com…

On February 9, 2010, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) met to discuss the use of the highly controversial technique known as “rollkur.” Parelli was proud to contribute to the global initiative to stop rollkur, and we thank all of you who responded to our call to sign and spread the petitions in opposition of this abusive training method.

We are pleased to announce that 41,000 signatures were collected and presented to the FEI conference! The group reached the consensus that, “any head and neck position achieved through aggressive force is not acceptable.”

Thank you again for your support! Due to the protests of horse-lovers worldwide, the horse world has taken a huge step in the right direction.

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March 2nd Lobby Day on the Hill for Animals

The Humane Society of the United States invites you to participate in the Tennessee Humane Lobby Day at the Tennessee State Capitol Building where you’ll meet directly with your elected officials about legislation that will significantly impact animals.
Please RSVP at: http://action.humanesociety.org/site/Calendar/1798894681?view=Detail&id=101581

“I’m going and I hope to see you there too!”-Val

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The News is in the News

The state of news gathering organizations in the US is that they need healthcare as much as we do. How do we have an informed public when the news is so broken? How many newspapers are in danger or have closed this past year? How many radio stations and media outlets can one company own? In one city? Edward R. Murrow where are you when we need you?
How many right wing wing-nuts dominate the media?

When will the myth of the “Liberal Media” end? What we have is not only conservative media in control…we have ultra right wing extremists controlling the media. Dominating the public airwaves.

This week the Tea party convention is taking place here at Opryland Hotel. Local media was not invited. There is no national progressive radio talk show hosts on the air here to discuss the progressive angle. None, Nada, Zip.

What we have is ugly side of capitalism…monopoly. 5 or 6 companies now own and control everything we see & hear. If it’s not in their corporate interest for us to know about something they just bury it. Why should you care? Why do I harp on this problem so much? I’d love to just discuss GLBT issues…I’m sure Paul Revere would have rather just made his little beautiful bowls & spoons too…

The fact of the matter is we’re in a whole lot of trouble and a whole lot of Americans haven’t got a clue what’s going on. The ways you were informed in the past are gone. Journalism is disappearing. News organizations have merged with entertainment organizations and foreign news gathering offices have shut down. Ratings guide the direction of stories and dictate what leads. Companies that have been standards for years have been bought out by right wing nut jobs that have turned them into crap. Others have simply shut their doors.

There are organizations fighting back. They need all the support you can give. There are progressive voices out there but you have to go out there and find them. I can help you there. I can point you to where they are if need be. You can’t make an informed decision if you don’t have all the facts. The corporate media likes that. If you aren’t an informed electorate…well…they can make sure the politicians are in their pocket. A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court helped them even more to do just that. Next time you send a few dollars to re-elect your favorite politician…think about how that will go… when his or her challenger has the support of say, Walmart or G.E. Whose candidate do you think will win? Democracy is kind of over at that point isn’t it?

The solution to this problem we find ourselves in? WE THE PEOPLE. America will not be destroyed from without…it will be destroyed (if it is) from within. I’ve heard that my whole life. I think my parents told me that. I think it’s true. I’m afraid we’re in the midst of it now. As a lesbian, it’s difficult enough living in a “free, democratic society.” If America were to turn into something else…Fascist, corporatist, dictatorship…well who know what it would be like. I don’t want to know. We’ve got right wingers in DC at “the family,” helping Uganda pass laws to KILL gay people.

As I find news that I believe is important I’m going to continue to post it here and on my facebook page. If you find stories and want to do the same great. We need to help inform each other.

Remember this…Democracy and Capitalism are not the same thing. We do business every day with China and they are a thriving Capitolistic society. They are also a ruthless Communist dictatorship. Their record of Human Rights Sucks.
Free Market and Free Enterprise are not the same thing either. The so called free market system that right wingers are all fighting for today is what has led us to this debacle. What it really means is Un regulated laissez-faire capitalism. Think of the super bowl game with no rules. Free enterprise on the other hand is what we used to have when you went to the mall or shopping plaza and all the little shops were owned by local people. “Mom & Pop” operations. Profits went back in to the local economy and jobs were filled by local people too. There were factories where people actually made things. What a concept! When the country was in trouble during WW2 those same factories transformed over night into military supply machines turning out tanks and bombs and parachutes. Rosie the riveter could have been your grandmother or mine. If we’re buying everything from China and they threaten us what are we going to do? Ask them to sell us the materials we need to beef up our military?

That’s all for today. Thanks for listening to my rant. Sometimes you just gotta get it out. Next time you turn on the news think about who’s bringing it to you and what’s in it for them. Follow the money. Good Night, and Good Luck to all of us.

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Planned Parenthood response to Superbowl ad

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Free Nashville Entertainment Law Clinic

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville and the Tennessee Bar Assoc. Entertainment & Sports Law Section present the
Nashville Entertainment Law Clinic

WHAT THIS MEANS: Do you have questions about how to copyright your art? Would you like to have a pair of expert, legal eyes look over an entertainment contract? At the Nashville Entertainment Law Clinic, you can sign up for a 30-minute appointment to receive pro-bono legal advice from entertainment lawyers. They’ll answer questions about intellectual property (including copyrights, trademarks, and licensing) and all manner of entertainment law issues.

WHEN: Saturday, February 20, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

WHERE: Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the SunTrust Community Room, 222 5th Avenue South

HOW TO SIGN UP: All artists who would like to attend must sign up for a time slot by noon on Friday, February 19th by emailing vlpa@abcnashville.org or calling (615) 743-3055.

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