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Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

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A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Moms to U.S. Senate: “We're Trapped in the Last Century”

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Thursday, June 18, 2009   

Washington, DC - Many working families are victims of a corporate culture and public policies that were forged in the middle of the last century, when Dads went to work and Moms cared for the kids at home, according to the National Association of Mothers' Centers. "Bring us into the 21st Century!" is the message they gave this week to a U.S. Senate work group looking into work/life reforms. The Association's executive director, Linda Lisi-Juergens, says today's employees can't juggle fast enough.

"There has been a change in the demographics of how families are functioning, who is working, who is able to be home - and the policies and the corporate culture don't support that."

Juergens' group wants paid sick days, although some small employers say they can't afford to offer them. The group also endorses paid family medical leave so workers can tend to new babies, illnesses or aging parents. Washington is one of only a few states with a family leave law on the books - but it's on hold until October of 2012 because of lack of funding.

In Washington, for instance, less than half of full-time workers and only 12 percent of part-timers have paid sick days. Juergens says adding some workplace flexibility should not be viewed as running "counter" to the interests of business. Studies show that when companies are more flexible, it enhances their employees' morale and productivity.

"One characteristic that makes them effective is their flexibility in terms of what their workforce needs. Employers who are able to implement this type of thing successfully are saying, 'I get much more out of my workers; I have a much lower turnover.'"

The group's Washington, D.C.-based blog has current posts about related legislation at www.womaninwashington.org. Washington law updates are available from the Economic Opportunity Institute at www.eoionline.org.




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