A Town Where the Good Ol’ Boys Are All Women of a Certain Age: A one-stoplight town in the Texas panhandle is drawing attention for a noteworthy first: All the elected leaders are women. The AP’s Betsy Blaney writes:

Peggy Baer was elected mayor in May 2007 and leads a five-woman board of aldermen – yes, aldermen – in this town of about 830 residents.

The city secretary, justice of the peace and postmaster also are women, and women manage the bank, feed store, grocery store and nursing home. The school district’s superintendent is male but a female principal oversees the two schools.

Postmaster Diane Manuel’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek rationale: “We have people skills, and we’re a lot better to look at than most guys.”

She added, “You know why else women run this town? They’re not as cocky.”

All joking aside, it’s not just that women were elected, but that they’re getting things done. As Blaney notes, the board has attended to matters that were neglected in recent years, including lapsed vehicle inspections, employee evaluations and even weeding.

“There’ve been a few soreheads who think women can’t do this but they didn’t run,” said Baer, 65. “And we ran and we’re doing it. We’re conducting the business of the city and we’re doing a good job.”

Berlusconi’s Buffoonery: There’s a special place for people like Silvio Berlusconi, though we can’t say where it is. The 70-year-old media tycoon — who has referred to older women politicians as “the menopause section” and whose own wife last year demanded (and received) a public apology over his flirting with other women — is now making headlines for declaring, “The women of the right are certainly the most beautiful.”

“Berlusconi may only be joking. But jokes, especially when they show a repeated and denigrating conception of women, reveal a lot about the person making them,” commented Italy’s youth and sports minister Giovanna Melandri, cited by Corriere della Sera.

Berlusconi last month famously told a young woman who asked him what could be done about a lack of job security in Italy: “Marry my son or someone like him – with your smile this certainly won’t be a problem!”

Interview on Aging: Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By interviews Dr. Robert N. Butler, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Why Survive? Being Old in America.”

Today Butler is president and CEO of the International Longevity Center – USA, and he has a new book out, “The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life.”

The Active Centenarian: Try keeping up with Iowan Anna Orr, who at the
age of 100 still walks two miles a day.

“I can only remember two pains in my life, other than childbirth,” Orr tells the Des Moines Register — a bunion at age 81 and broken ankle at age 85. She’s worn out numerous pedometers and walking shoes.

Did we mention she has 10 children? “She used to ask the doctor questions,” said her son LeRoy Orr, 60. “Now the doctor just listens to her.”

Estrogen Linked to Benign Breast Lumps: “Add another risk to hormone therapy after menopause: Benign breast lumps,” reports the AP. A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute re-examines data from the Women’s Health Initiative pertaining to women who took estrogen only (only women without a uterus can take estrogen without progestin).

Those estrogen-only users doubled their chances of getting non-cancerous breast lumps. That’s a concern not only because of the extra biopsies and worry those lumps cause, but because a particular type — called benign proliferative breast disease — is suspected of being a first step toward developing cancer 10 years or so later.

Writing What We Know: “Toby Devens knows firsthand that being over 50 doesn’t make a woman over the hill. The Clarksville resident is a successful author, a widow twice over, and mother to an adult daughter,” writes Laura Shovan in the Baltimore Sun.

“The characters in Devens’ first novel, ‘My Favorite Midlife Crisis (Yet),’ could be her own circle of friends. They are three women juggling love lives, aging parents, relationships with grown children, and their own careers.”

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