Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Mockingbird' flies for new generation -- April 30, 2014 column


As millions of Americans rushed to embrace the ebook, some of our best-loved authors defied the trend. 

“An ebook is not a book,” E.L. Doctorow, author of “Ragtime” and “The Book of Daniel,” declared last year when he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation.

Bestselling author Jonathan Franzen has warned readers that they’re being duped into thinking they need electronic devices for reading.

“The technology I like is the American paperback edition of `Freedom.’ I can spill water on it and it would still work. So it’s pretty good technology,” Franzen said at a literary conference in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2012, the Daily Telegraph reported.

“And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It’s a bad business model,” he said.

Harper Lee, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning “To Kill a Mockingbird” has sold more than 30 million copies in 40 languages, wrote fellow book-lover Oprah Winfrey in 2006:  

“Can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up – some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal.”

You can read Doctorow’s and Franzen’s books in digital “cold metal,” despite the authors’ misgivings. Until now, though, if you wanted to curl up with Scout, Jem and Atticus Finch and read about injustice and heroism in the South, you held a book with soft pages. Many readers still do. It still sells upwards of 1 million copies a year.

Lee, who is called Miss Nelle in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., – Harper is her middle name -- was one of the few authors holding out for the print book. She resisted the ephemeral incursion until her 88th birthday, last Monday.

HarperCollins announced that digital versions of Mockingbird will be released July 8, the 54th anniversary of the book’s publication.

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries,” Lee said in a statement released by her publisher. “This is Mockingbird for a new generation.”

The reclusive Lee didn’t explain why she decided to send her masterpiece into the digital age, but you can bet she worried over it. In her letter published in O magazine in July 2006, Lee recalled growing up with books in a family of readers.

“So I arrived in the first grade, literate, with a curious cultural assimilation of American history, romance, the Rover Boys, Rapunzel, and the Mobile Press. Early signs of genius? Far from it. Reading was an accomplishment I shared with several local contemporaries. Why this endemic precocity? Because in my hometown, a remote village in the early 1930s, youngsters had little to do but read. A movie? Not often…A park for games? Not a hope,” she wrote.

“Now 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books,” she added. 

Doctorow, 83, who will receive this year's Library of Congress Prize for Fiction, also talks about being a prodigious book reader as a child. He too still plods along with books. But he warns today's authors not to lose heart the way naturalistic novelist Frank Norris did in the late 19th century.

“Norris despaired of the Western Union telegram – 10 words and stop – the Twitter of its day. He feared it was the end of literary discourse. If people could express themselves completely in 10 words, the human mind would eventually be inaccessible to works of 100,000 words,” Doctorow said at the National Book Foundation event.

Norris also regarded the typewriter as the enemy of creativity, believing that much was lost when writing wasn’t done by hand.

“We don’t want to be today’s Norris – silly fellow he was,” Doctorow said. Could he have been thinking of Franzen, who hates Twitter and says it’s doubtful anyone with an internet connection can write decent fiction?

Better to be tolerant of change than to cling to the past. Harper Lee has it about right. It’s time for a new generation to discover Mockingbird.

So, young readers, if you choose to curl up in bed with a computer, that’s OK. Just don’t spill water on it.

© 2014 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Justice takes the long view -- April 24, 2014 column


At a party, I ran into a friend who retired a few months ago after a stellar journalism career in Washington.   

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“I’m still trying to figure out how to be retired,” he said. “I start every morning going over what I don’t need to do that day.” No commute downtown…no speed-reading the newspaper…no worries that something is taking too long, he said.  

This prize-winning journalist looked sheepish, as if he’d been put out to pasture instead of liberated.

In America, you’re nobody unless you’re crazy busy. And that’s crazy wrong.

Learning to be retired shouldn’t mean learning to be obsolete. Consider the retirement of John Paul Stevens. You may have caught the former Supreme Court justice, who just turned 94, on the media interview circuit. He’s a soft-spoken gentleman who favors bow ties and civility in an age of the rant. His new book is “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.”

Nominated to the court by Republican President Gerald Ford in 1975, Stevens became one of the court’s most reliable liberals. He resigned four years ago after nearly 35 years on the bench and wrote a memoir.

After taking time to read newspapers and other publications and to reflect on the court’s rulings when he was in the minority, Stevens turned in his latest book to where he thinks the court has gone wrong. He makes the case for change through an almost impossible route, amending the Constitution.

His proposals on the death penalty, guns, campaign finance and gerrymandering are making waves. But Stevens concedes that none is likely to become part of the Constitution soon; eventually, maybe. Give him credit for taking the long view.

His book began to take shape after the shooting massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, he told Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker.

“I read a newspaper story that said the federal database of criminal records might be incomplete because of a decision of the Supreme Court,” Stevens said. The court had ruled in 1997 that the federal government could not make states participate in background checks for gun sales.

“I thought if that decision might be responsible for a situation like the one in Newtown, they ought to change it. That got me to thinking that there had to be other rules that ought to be changed,” Stevens told Toobin.

Stevens proposes allowing Congress to force states to participate in background checks. He would limit the right to bear arms by adding five words to the Second Amendment: “when serving in the militia.”

The revised Second Amendment would read: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.

“Emotional claims that the right to possess deadly weapons is so important that it is protected by the federal Constitution distort intelligent debate about the wisdom of particular aspects of proposed legislation designed to minimize the slaughter caused by the prevalence of guns in private hands,” Stevens writes.

Stevens still holds the admirable idea that the primary duty of someone in public office is “to make impartial decisions, not motivated by personal profit or personal gain or advantage” to his or her political party.

When he read a newspaper story about a Maryland redistricting plan in 2011 that benefited Democrats, he was incensed. In an interview on, Stevens called the redistricting plan “outrageously unconstitutional.”

He proposes to prohibit gerrymandering -- legislators drawing state and congressional districts with the goal of boosting the political strength of the party in power.

“It doesn’t take a genius,” Stevens told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, to see that the shapes of some congressional and state legislative districts are fishy.

Reading and reflecting require time. They’re the first things we throw overboard in our multi-tasking lives and the last we retrieve when daily pressures relent.

Working or retired, we all could benefit from thinking about the country we want. Whether you agree or disagree with Stevens, his ideas deserve the same serious thought he has given them and intelligent debate.  

© 2014 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The $50 million question -- April 17, 2014 column


One thing about billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg: He’s an optimist.

The former mayor of New York plans to drop a chunk of his own change -- $50 million -- this year to build a grassroots political organization aimed at reducing gun violence.

That’s a lot of money to most of us, but Bloomberg, whose wealth is calculated to be $31.2 billion, threw out the $50 million figure in an interview “as if he were describing the tip he left on a restaurant check,” The New York Times reported.

To put the sum into perspective, $50 million is less than the severance package the fired chief operating officer of Yahoo received. Henrique de Castro got $58 million after just 15 months on the job. Political groups run by the industrialist Koch brothers reportedly have spent $30 million in the last six months, backing Republican candidates for the Senate.
Can $50 million change the national political climate on guns? The answer is almost surely no, and Bloomberg must know that. He has already spent millions trying to persuade Congress to require background checks for gun purchases, to no avail.
A year ago, the Senate killed a bipartisan compromise amendment that would have required most buyers at gun shows and online to undergo criminal and mental background checks, but exempted sales or gifts to friends and family members. The vote was 54 to 46, but it needed 60 votes to beat a filibuster and advance. 

Polls showed a vast majority of Americans supported the measure, but the National Rifle Association fought for its defeat, claiming it would have “criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members” to obtain government approval. PolitiFact rated the claim Mostly False.

Polls still indicate broad support for background checks, and a few states have passed limited gun control measures.

So Bloomberg is trying a new approach with Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group that covers two gun control groups he supports financially – Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – with about 1.5 million members. The goal is 2.5 million members. 

With Congress unlikely to touch gun control this election year, Everytown hopes to mobilize women and mothers in state elections, using Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a model. Since it was founded in 1980, MADD has changed attitudes and prompted tighter laws against driving while impaired.

Everytown intends to push for expanded background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other “gun sense” policies. It plans field staff in 15 states -- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Bloomberg wants to challenge the clout of the N.R.A., which typically spends about $20 million a year on political activity. The N.R.A. has raised $13.7 million for the 2014 election cycle and has spent $241,000 targeting candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign expenditures.

Gun rights advocates dismissed Bloomberg’s announcement as more of the same. “He’s got the money to waste,” Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America and a former Virginia state legislator, told the Times. “So I guess he’s free to do so. But, frankly, I think he’s going to find out why his side keeps losing.”

Katie Pavlich, news editor of Townhall, a conservative site, said in an interview with N.R.A. News that Everytown would target “ignorant, emotional women who don’t know much about the firearm industry.”

Bloomberg says this is a “battle for the hearts and minds of America.” Many politicians have tried, and failed, to defeat the N.R.A. Bloomberg, now a private citizen, is the first to put serious money into the effort. But even $50 million may be far from enough.   

©2014 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Women almost left out 50 years ago -- April 10, 2014 column


Six. One. Not at all.

That’s how many times President Lyndon B. Johnson uttered the words “men,” “housewife” and “women,” respectively, in his nationally televised speech when he signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The tally is significant because it shows how little emphasis even LBJ put on the law’s potential effects on women’s lives. Coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act again has focused on the struggles of African Americans and other people of color, but we should remember that the law transformed all of society. The law prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race.
Today’s media savvy White House leaves little to chance, making sure photos of the president look like a soft drink commercial. For example, women of nearly every age and ethnic group stood behind President Barack Obama at a National Equal Pay Day event this week.

You’d never know, though, that women stood to gain from the bill LBJ signed with more than 75 pens in a grand East Room ceremony on July 2, 1964.

 The first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, wearing a red dress, sat on the front row, a sea of white men in sober suits around and behind her. Among the hundred guests were powerful members of Congress, a few prominent male civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins, and almost no women.  Men also made up the fringe of reporters and photographers on the sidelines.

A hundred years after the Civil War, the president opened a new era of equal rights for all, but his remarks also reflected the reality that women were not really part of the picture.
“We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty,” LBJ said. “Yet millions are being deprived of these blessings – not because of their own failings – but because of the color of their skin.”

Johnson urged “every public official, every religious leader, every business and professional man, every working man, every housewife” to help make the law a success. He made no mention of women in the workplace.
You might think women were an afterthought in the law – and you’d be right.

Including the word “sex” in the law’s protections was an idea that backfired. House Rules chairman Howard W. Smith, D-Va., an outspoken opponent of civil rights, proposed adding gender as a ploy to kill the bill.

“He had counted on his colleagues to share his view that sex discrimination was not to be taken seriously and that its inclusion would sufficiently trivialize the bill, ensuring its defeat,” according to Encyclopedia Virginia, a publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Library of Virginia, which adds, “Johnson, meanwhile opposed the sex amendment lest it disturb what was already a fragile coalition supporting civil rights.

“Smith introduced the amendment as ‘a joke,’ according to a House colleague, and he snickered about the difficulties women faced in achieving what he called their ‘right to a nice husband and family.’ The chamber erupted with laughter,” the entry at says.

Other accounts say Smith insisted he actually had been working with Alice Paul of the National Women’s Party. In any case, Rep. Martha Griffiths, D-Mich., worked to keep the protection for women in the bill. When the measure passed, women in the House gallery cheered, and Johnson signed it into law that evening.

Johnson’s ability to build a bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill and his courage in pressing for equal rights, knowing that the law would be ruinous for the Democratic Party in the South, are impressive. Obama, speaking at the LBJ Presidential Library this week, took an expansive view:

“Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody…Not just blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability.”

Pictures told the story of how much of a difference the Civil Rights Act has made in all our lives – and  especially that single word that Griffiths fought to keep.

 © 2014 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Now on States try new approaches to helping workers find jobs

Getting Workers Back Into the Workforce

Unemployed electrician Stan Osnowitz, 67, sits in his Baltimore living room. Faced with shrinking labor force participation rates, Maryland and at least 16 other states are implementing new job training measures this year. (AP)
When manufacturers of cardboard boxes, wire bagel baskets and other products said they needed workers with technological expertise and strong social skills, Maryland officials agreed to set up manufacturing boot camps for recruits.
The eight-week sessions will train and test potential workers in financial literacy and anger management as well as in computer-assisted design and robotics. In the past, Maryland’s job training programs prepared participants for broad categories of jobs, with limited success. Now the state is bringing together business and industry, colleges and local and state agencies in partnerships to create training programs for skills that employers actually need.
Industry partnerships are just one strategy states are using to fight persistent unemployment and a less-discussed but troubling trend: In every state and the District of Columbia, the labor force participation rate is shrinking.
The labor force participation rate represents the proportion of the population 16 and over that has jobs or is looking for work. Simply put, if there are 100 people and 65 are employed or job hunting, the labor force participation rate is 65 percent.
The annual average labor force participation rate in Maryland dropped from 69.4 percent in 2008 to 67.4 percent in 2013.
Despite a dip in the national unemployment rate to 6.7 percent at the end of 2013, 10 million Americans remained jobless. Over the last five years, the national job participation rate has dropped almost 3 percentage points, to 63.2 percent—the lowest level since 1978. In 2008, as the recession kicked in, the rate was 66.0 percent.
“What exactly these people are doing is the question,” says Susan Campolongo, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a question many economists are trying to answer.
Labor participation rates vary widely among the states:
  • In 2008, 13 states had rates above 70 percent. They were Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In 2013, only three states had rates above 70 percent – Minnesota (70.4), Nebraska (72) and North Dakota (71.5).
  • On the low end of the scale, in 2008 only two states had labor force participation rates below 60 percent – Mississippi and West Virginia. Last year, eight did – the previous two, Mississippi (56.9) and West Virginia (53.5), plus Alabama (56.8), Arizona (59.3), Arkansas (58.3), Louisiana (59.6), New Mexico (58.1) and South Carolina (58.8).

Searching for Answers

Economists debate why the labor force is shrinking. Some blame demographics. The first wave of boomers reached age 62 in 2008 and qualified for Social Security. Some stayed on the job when their 401(k) plans and home values plummeted in 2009 and 2010 but are retiring now that stocks and housing have partially recovered. There’s also a trend for older retirees to re-enter the workforce. Some jobless workers are claiming Social Security disability benefits; those rolls have doubled in the last five years.
Fruitless job searches also lead the jobless to withdraw from the workforce. The Congressional Budget Officereported in February that “the unusually large number of people who have decided not to look for work because of a lack of job opportunities” has pushed workforce participation down. The trend is expected to continue through 2016.
Prime-age male workers leave the work force because they’re frustrated with their job prospects and wages or no longer feel the need to hold steady employment, some economists said.
10 States With Highest Labor Participation
“The core problem in the United States is: Why have employment rates of 25- to 54-year-old men been slipping?” said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who researches labor market policy. He suggested there have been fundamental changes in the job market, in society’s view of men and in men’s attitudes toward work since 1960.
“From World War II to the early 1960s, men 20 to 64 were very, very heavily relied upon” by women and families, he said.
Men without a high school diploma were able to hold a stable career and support a family by working in construction and heavy manufacturing. Over the last few decades, many of those jobs have disappeared, and women have become more equal in the workplace.
“Men as a group now are put in competition with women for jobs” that once were male preserves, he said, such as banks.
The CBO attributes about half the 3 percentage point decline in labor participation to the aging population and other long-term trends; about 1 percentage point drop to weakness in job prospects and wages, which prompts frustrated job-seekers to leave the workforce temporarily; and about one-half of a percentage point decline to discouraged jobless workers dropping out of the labor force permanently.
A shrinking labor force matters because it’s “the central factor in slowing economic growth,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told a U.S. House Budget committee hearing Feb. 5.
“After we get out of this current downturn, but later in this decade and beyond, the principal reason why we think the economic growth will be less than it was for most of my lifetime will be a slower rate of growth by the labor force,” Elmendorf said.
CBO projects the workforce participation rate will continue to fall, dropping to 62.5 percent by the end of 2017.

What States Are Doing

To help the unemployed get back to work, at least 17 state legislatures passed laws regarding workforce development last year, said Qiana Flores of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Maryland was one of them. The goal of its Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) program is to train unemployed workers for specific jobs that employers are trying to fill, while teaching skills that will help them thrive far into the future. For example, EARN  will train welders for  current bridge and other construction jobs with an eye to preparing the workers for new jobs assembling and maintaining turbines in future offshore wind farms. The first of 40 to 70 turbines are expected to be up and running off Ocean City, Md., by 2018.
“In the past, when we’ve trained people at community colleges or other places for jobs, they were not the right job fit for jobs,” said Maryland Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Baltimore Democrat. “Now we have employers coming to the EARN program, telling us what specifically they need. This is a very, very big change for Maryland.”
Maryland lawmakers appropriated $4.5 million for the first year of EARN. It was the first state general fund money Maryland had devoted to workforce development in many years, said Scott Jensen, Maryland’s deputy secretary of labor. Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley has asked the legislature for an additional  $4.5 million for EARN for the next fiscal year.
Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin also have established public-private industry partnerships. Wisconsin Fast Forward will give up to $15 million in grants to employer-led training programs over two years to train jobless and underemployed workers. The first round of grants -- $2.6 million – was announced Feb. 14.
Other states are pursuing different strategies to boost workforce participation. Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia were among states that passed laws aimed at helping veterans find employment. The Connecticut General Assembly unanimously approved expanding to all vets the state’s Subsidized Training and Employment Program, known as Step Up. The state has invested $10 million over two years in the Step Up program, which provides tax credits and wage subsidies to employers. New Jersey’s Helmets to Hardhats program, which is modeled on the national H2H program, helps vets find and train for jobs in construction. New Jersey offers $420,000 in grants for the program.
Virginia Values Veterans, a $450,000 program, aims to educate employers about the advantages vets bring to the workplace and to secure promises from employers to hire vets.  From June 2012 through February 2014, 180 companies pledged to hire 5,500 veterans. Of these, 3,300 actually had been hired, said Andy Schwartz, head of the program known as V3.
Connecticut increased its manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit. Indiana passed a Jobs for Hoosiers program, requiring claimants for unemployment benefits to make an in-person visit to the WorkOne office in the fourth week, and is working with new or expanding businesses to train and upgrade workers’ skills. Missouri passed similar legislation and created a “New Jobs Tax Credit.”
Large state investment is rare. “The majority of states don’t put state money into workforce development,” said Fred Dedrick, executive director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which has raised $35 million over seven years from foundations to be used in local job training programs in 30 localities. In addition, he said, state workforce programs tend to come and go.
“Every time there’s a new governor, a new program comes along,” Dedrick said.
Most states rely on funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to help the unemployed, and “the federal government has been cutting back year after year after year,” says Rich Hobbie, executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
The Labor Department’s employment and training budget has dropped from $7 billion to $6 billion since fiscal year 2010, according to the National Skills Coalition, which tracks federal funding.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rich people's money: one collector's gift to us all -- April 3, 2014 column

James Phillips was 34 when he perished in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, just 13 months after his father suddenly died.  James’s younger brother, Duncan, 32, was devastated.
“There came a time when sorrow all but overwhelmed me,” Duncan Phillips later wrote. “Then I turned to my love of painting for the will to live.”
In his grief, Phillips resolved to create a memorial worthy of his brother and father, who enjoyed collecting art. He would create a small museum that featured the “art of our best men…open at all times to the people of Washington and the strangers within our gates,” he wrote a friend.
Using his inheritance – his maternal grandfather was a co-founder of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Co. -- Phillips opened his gallery dedicated to modern art in his family’s mansion near Dupont Circle in 1921.
He devoted his life to the project. When he died of a heart attack at 79 in 1966, Phillips had a collection of nearly 2,000 paintings, 1,400 by American artists. The most famous painting is “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Renoir, an early acquisition for $100,000. Phillips left us one of the nation’s finest private museums.
His life, like that of many other 20th century philanthropists, has largely faded from most Americans’ memory. Now, however, The Phillips Collection’s “Made in the USA” exhibit freshens the story of his extraordinary role as a patron of the arts -- and not a moment too soon.  
There’s much concern in the art world about whether the next generation will support art museums the way their predecessors did. As boomers leave the stage, museums worry how to appeal to digital-centric young benefactors. The young also seem more drawn to solve social problems than to support the arts. Phillips was willing to wait for history to judge whether his paintings were great art. Millennials like to see immediate results of their contributions.
And then there’s the moral question. Say you have $100,000 to give. Which is the better use of your $100,000 donation: your local art museum for a new wing to better display its collection or a group working to reduce trachoma, an eye disease that affects children in developing countries and leads to blindness?
That is the provocative question posed by Peter Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton, in an op-ed last year in The New York Times. It’s hard to argue with Singer’s conclusion that the health expenditure leads to a bigger improvement in the lives of those affected.  
And yet, people give with their hearts, not just their heads. Phillips had a personal connection with art; he and his brother had begun to collect paintings and to advise their parents on purchases. He knew that visiting an art museum nourishes and expands our human spirit and inspires us to think beyond ourselves.
“Art offers two great gifts of emotion—the emotion of recognition and the emotion of escape. Both emotions take us out of the boundaries of self,” Phillips wrote.
Phillips took a leap of faith, opening his gallery before American art and modern art were appreciated. The Phillips opened before both the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Phillips bought and exhibited paintings by little-known artists, often giving a young painter his first museum show. (Yes, they were mostly men.) He also supported struggling artists with annual stipends, including Arthur G. Dove, who wrote Phillips: “You have no idea what sending on those checks means to me at this time…It has been marvelous.”
 “Made in the USA” includes more than 200 works by 120 American artists, including Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe.  It reflects Phillips’ determination to be a “beneficent force in the community where I live” because “art is part of the social purpose of the world.”
If you can’t stop by the exhibit before it ends Aug. 31, visit the Phillips website, I’d love to hear what you think.
© 2014 Marsha Mercer. All rights reserved.