Somerset Hills AAUW Branch Activity – August 2021


Sincere THANKS to all members and adult and student volunteers who contributed to the success of the 2021 Book Sale held on August 5, 6 & 7. We grossed over $25,000 which will be distributed primarily to local libraries and as scholarships. And THANKS to everyone in the community who supports our annual used book sale year after year.


Tue, Oct 12, 6:00 PM, in a heated tent at Basking Ridge Country Club, 185 Madisonville Road, Basking Ridge. The cost for the dinner is $51, checks made out to: “AAUW Somerset Hills” – drop off checks or mail them to Christine Ellis, 43 Victoria Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. 


Details about the Saturday, Sept. 11 AAUW NJ day out at Allaire State Park are on the attached flyer. To register for this and other programs on the calendar go to the AAUW NJ website: The website and monthly Newsletter cover AAUW NJ programs, as well as great programs being shared by other New Jersey branches each month. 


We have a couple of openings in our For A More Equal Society Interest Group. The group meets weekly via Zoom on Friday mornings. The format is to discuss a book that the group has chosen together, over several consecutive weeks (i.e., read a couple of chapters and then discuss what we’ve read in depth, once a week, until we’ve completed the book). In addition, as we go along, we share with each other relevant articles or videos, to enrich our discussions. 

Our next For A More Equal Society meeting will be on Fri 9/17, 9:00 – 10:15 am. We will be discussing the Prologue and Part 1 of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer. This book provides an in-depth analysis of social and political events from 1890 to the present and how they have affected Native Americans. It was originally published in January 2019, is available in various formats, is readily available for purchase from a variety of booksellers, and is likely available at your local library as well. Please contact Becky Hughes if you would like to join the group. Phone 908-213-1539 or email (see above). 

GREAT DECISIONS: Chair Brigid Coakley, 

While Great Decisions 2022 meetings don’t begin until January, briefing books must be ordered in early October. The Great Decisions program from the Foreign Policy Association is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. We proved last year that Zoom meetings can be an excellent, flexible alternative to in-person meetings. Anyone interested in being part of respectful, curious, open discussions – please email Brigid to let her know you will participate in 2022. There is so very much to discuss! 

NEW DISCUSSION GROUP FORMING: Can We Talk? Anyone interested in an open, respectful forum to share thoughts, ideas, & questions on current events, please email Brigid Coakley, to help form a new discussion group for these changing times. 


ENVIRONMENTAL TIP (from the May Branch Meeting): Most cash-register receipts cannot be safely recycled because they are printed on thermal paper. Thermal paper contains a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA), or sometimes bisphenol-S (BPS), which cannot easily be separated from the paper pulp during the recycling process, making it a potential health concern if it makes its way into new recycled paper products. (If you scratch the receipt and a dark line appears, it contains BPA or BPS.) 

The only safe way to discard thermal paper receipts is in the trash; it is not ideal, but it is the most effective way to isolate BPA and BPS from the environment. A better choice is to opt-out of getting a receipt or ask the clerk to email it to you. (Have you noticed that most check-out clerks wear gloves these days? That is primarily to protect them from directly handling the thermal paper.) By ditching the receipt, you will do yourself, the planet, and those hardworking clerks a favor.