In May, Vermont became the fourth state in the nation to approve allowing doctors to offer lethal medication to terminally ill patients. Commonly known as death with dignity legislation, similar laws were approved by referendum or court order in Oregon, Washington and Montana. The laws have strict safeguards – Vermont's legislation requires the patient to be over 18, have less than six months to live, and must have asked for assistance at least once before – and the patient has the right to change his or her mind at any time. Barbara Coombs Lee is the president of Compassion and Choices, a national organization which advocates for end-of-life choice legislation.
Since the implementation of NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement, almost all 3,000 textile
mills in New England have closed, devastating local economies. When the Eastland Woolen Mill in Corrinna, Maine shut down in 1996, a family of woolen mill factory workers bought the old machines and moved them to their barn. Since then, the Marchellettas have been employing the entire family and even members of the community that once worked at Eastland. They turn wool into the yarn that makes tennis ball fuzz, enough to cover 1,000,000 tennis balls a week. In 2011, Rupa Marya prepared this profile of Ruth Marchelletta and her sons, the owners of Family Yarn.
Ruth died last summer at the age of 80 – but the business is still going strong.
Let's talk about working moms. Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, has had her share of headlines...and criticism, after promising to take a shortened maternity leave, banning telecommuters, then building a nursery next to her office. Daily Beast writer Jessica Grose says she thinks Mayer's a scapegoat – but it's an opportunity to discuss the issue.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.