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A Union at the Edge

An embarrassing confession: Until such time as I was goaded to stand for election to the Writer’s Guild of America East’s governing council, I never actually voted in my union’s elections.  I pride myself on being an educated voter and dropping the lever on the right people, and to be entirely honest, I went through my first two decades in the WGAE without the slightest clue of who was who in my union leadership or what anyone stood for. Sorry to say, I think I regarded the politics of our generally healthy, often aggressive union of screen and television writers to be beyond my any worry. In a previous career, I was a veteran of more fraught struggles as a member of the Newspaper Guild in Baltimore, where industry retrenchment and the brutal realities of out-of-town ownership had made print journalists vulnerable. By comparison, collective bargaining in an entertainment industry with unrelenting profits did not invite the same focus. When we negotiated, we gained...

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Dorothy Simon, 1923-2020

Dorothy Simon, a homemaker who returned to her college studies after 30 years to graduate with highest honors and undertake a late career as a crisis counselor and therapist, died Sept. 21 of natural causes at her Silver Spring home. She was 97.  “I had the unusual pleasure of attending the University of Maryland campus at College Park with my mother,” said David Simon, the youngest of her three children. “We both graduated the same year, albeit she was summa cum laude and I was summa cum nothing. She was a far better student.” But even before her degree, Simon had embarked on a late career as a crisis counselor at Alternative House, a residential facility serving runaway adolescents and their families in McLean, Va. She also saw clients for personal and marital therapy in her Silver Spring kitchen. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. as Dorothy Ligeti, she was raised in Williamsburg, The Rockaways, and The Bronx before graduating from James Madison High School in 1940. She then attended...

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