by H. Kathleen Gresham and Diane Harrington
Houston's City Controller, was featured
in US magazine
(September 4) in an
article called "One
of these women may
be our first woman
president." The article took note of
the fact that she is
"being promoted as a successor to the
city's politically troubled mayor, Jim
"But," she insists, "I'm not interested
if my principles have to be compromised.
I'm getting pressure from business groups
to change my position on women's and
gays' rights. The office isn't that important to me."
When asked about running for national
office, Whitmire commented, "I don't
think you can plan those steps in advance. I didn't plan to run for city controller, but the timing was right . . .
We're a fair distance away from having a
woman president. I think we'll see a
woman Vice President first."
Also featured in the article were
Carol Bellamy, president of New York's
City Council; Jane Byrne, Mayor of
Chicago; Olympia Snow, U.S. Rep. from
Auburn, Maine; Pat Schroaeder, U.S.
Rep. from Colorado; and Yvonne Braith-
waite Burke, U.S. Rep. from California.
"Some of them may seem like long
shots now," the magazine points out,
but adds, "remember that two decades
ago, Ted Kennedy had just passed the bar
exam in Massachusetts, Gerald Ford was
a greenhorn Michigan Congressman and
Jimmy Carter was the chairman of the
Sumter County (Ga.) School Board.
Mary Heather, a 75-year-old retired teacher in Stockbridge, Mass., is helping beat
the energy crisis by saving and restoring
to operation one of hundreds of abandoned small hydroelectric plants in New
England. "My own power plant—that's
exciting," she said laughing, "but our
prime thing is saving energy."
People call it "Mary's power plant,"
although she owns it with her 70-year-old
brother, a retired electrical engineer.
They hope to have it in operation by
October. The plant should have a capacity of about 200 kilowatts when it starts
up with one turbine powering a generator. Heather is confident they can re-
harness the waters of the beautiful
Housatonic River, and so is the New
England Electric System, which has
contracted to buy their power. The
plant is expected to provide enough
power to light and run appliances in
100 or more homes, saving many thousands of gallons of high-priced foreign
Some people wanted to tear down the
50-by-50-foot granite building (built in
1906 and shut down in 1947).
"I don't like to see anything destroyed that can possibly be used again,"
she said, "and I thought that this was an
exceedingly well-built structure. It would
be a crime to tear it down."
"Mary was the pioneer," said Jack
Casey, coordinator of power contracts
at the New England Electric System.
"Hundreds of old sites will (now) be
"It has made a lot of other people
aware that New England is blessed with
streams and abandoned dams," she
said, "and that we should use these
Linda L. Cathcart is the new Director
of the Contemporary Arts Museum.
Cathcart comes to the CAM from a position as curator at the Albright-Knox Art
Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. for the past
She told a New York Times reporter
recently, "Buffalo taught me that the
real function of a museum director, in
the end, is to build the collection. In
Houston my new museum doesn't have a
collection at all-its function is to house
temporary exhibitions-but I'm wondering if I oughtn't to try to change that in
Her previous professional associations
have included the Brooklyn Museum, the
Whitney Museum of American Art in
New York, the Los Angeles County
Museum and the Metropolitan Museum.
Cathcart's educational background includes a Fine Arts undergraduate degree
from California State University at Fuller-
ton, a M.A. degree in Art History from
Hunter College in New York and postgraduate study as a Fulbright Fellow at
the Courtauld Art Institute in London,
Cathcart was the unanimous choice
at the May 31st meeting of the CAM
Board of Trustees following an intensive nationwide search which included
distinguished museum personnel from
throughout the country. She assumed
her new role on September 1 and is
working on a Nancy Graves retrospective.
Sue Bennett a Family Connection counselor was found
innocent of sexually
abusing a child following a trial in
State district court
'$£ last May 17 (see
story page 8). Although the year-long
ordeal is over, her
friends who raised
over $16,000 to meet bail bond and legal
fees, still need $2,000 more to repay
loans. A benefit concert on behalf of the
Sue Bennett Fund is planned for Thursday, September 27 at 8 p.m. at Fitzgerald's, owned by Sarah Fitzgerald,
located in the Heights, 2706 White Oak at
Studewood. ADD LIB, the all women's
jazz band will play at the concert. See
Network page 26 for ticket information.
Cassandra Cole, age 12, of Chicago,
spent her summer vacation teaching in a
school she started last summer, called
Excel to Excellence. The 13 pupils, ages
4 to 8, met on a porch in Cassandra's
back yard each week day afternoon from
June 5 to August 20.
She was assisted by her cousin Gia
Huff, 11. Together, they taught mathematics, spelling, and reading. Cassandra
took her school seriously—giving individual attention to each child. She assigned
homework, administered tests, and issued
report cards three times during the summer.
Cassandra says she thought of starting her own school for a long time.
Last year, with her parent's permission,
she obtained the permission of her pupils'
parents and did it! "Some people said I
should charge, but I don't want to. I
just wanted them to come and learn,"
Cassandra knew the value of praise.
She put stars on good papers and hung
them on the "good work" wall in the
classroom. Good students received a
certificate at the end of the summer.
Debbie Rollins, Cassandra's seventh-
grade teacher was not surprised to hear
about the summer school. "I think it's
typical of the type of grown-up Cassandra
is going to be. And she's going to be
much more and achieve much more."
founder of the Women 's Success Development Center,
which opened this
year, describes the
"We're an educational and counseling
center for women,
with an emphasis on
"Women learn from talking with other
women and from that talking we learn
who we are, what we need, and what we
feel. We also learn about the lives of
Twice weekly, she holds "Brown
Bag Lunch Talks" for a $ 1.00 donation.
Working women come on Wednesdays;
homemakers on Thursdays. On Wednesday evening a support group meets from
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for a rap session.
Friend, who has a master's degree in
sociology and her mother, Sharlee Friend,
M.S.W., and Jeanne Zell, M.S. run the
They hold workshops on such topics
as self-esteem and confidence building
time management, and sex education.
The center is located at 5400 Memorial, Suite 708. For information, call
Barbara Ellman, M.S.W. is leading a six-
week lecture and discussion on Women:
The Other Sex at the Jung Educational
Center, 5200 Montrose. It is for those
who are ready to explore the philosophical, historical and psychological components of women's subordination and
the alternatives available today.
The lecture continues for six weeks
beginning September 12 and runs
mid-day from 12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Call 524-8253 for more information.
Ruth Yale Long, Ph.D., is a Houston
nutritionist and the founder of the Nutrition Education Association, Inc., now
offering nutrition services for anyone
who wants to gain pep and energy, to
eliminate damage from stress, to ward
off colds before they start, to be slim,
and to feed her body (and those of her
family) so well that the body will heal
itself of dis-ease.
Dr. Long conducts nutrition classes
and does individual counseling in nutrition. A home study course is also
Dr. Long will speak without charge to
any organization on such subjects as
Stress, Depression, and Mental Prob-
ns; Allergies; Disabilities; Nutrition
and Weight Control; a Basic Diet and
Food Supplement Program; Vitamins;
Minerals; and What We Should and
Shouldn't Eat and Why.
Offices are at 3647 Glen Haven.
For information call 665-2946.
Send information for this column to
Newsmakers, Houston Breakthrough,
P. O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004.
September 1979 Vo. 4, no. 7
Mary Cerruti, Gary Allison Morey,
Melissa Hauge, Eula McMurry,
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff,
H. Kathleen Gresham, Dixie Lee
Hawkins, Brenda Loudermilk,
Gary Allison Morey, Hildegard Warner
Cathy Whitmire, Red Zenger
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff
Janice Blue, Shirley Bryson
Janice Blue, David Crossley, Bill Dennis
Theresa Di Menno, Sharman Petrie,
Ernie Shawver, Danette Wilson
Janice Blue, Gabrielle Cosgriff
Gary Allison Morey, Debra Thornton
Gabrielle Cosgriff, Judy Hopkinson,
Debra Thornton, Dorris Taylor
Nancy Lane Fleming (host)
Mary Lou Chollar, Mary Fouts,
Gary Allison Morey, Lynne Mutchler,
Second-class postage paid at Houston,
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is published monthly (except for the
bi-monthly issues of July-August and
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Rosewood, Houston, TX 77004; P.O.
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