Mary Jo Riley – Sportswoman Extraordinaire

Once a year, Archbishop Williams High School inducts athletes into its Hall of Fame.

Mary Jo Riley, Class of ’64, was one of those honored in the ceremony March 26 at the Lantana.

Mary Jo, who lives in Milton, was the only woman in the list of eight honored this year.

Another member of the Class of ’64 was also honored. Donald May, a track star and National Honor Society member, moved to Alaska after graduate school. He returned to Massachusetts for the awards dinner.

Several dozen members of the Class of ’64 were on hand to cheer for their two classmates.

She was a pioneer in women’s sports in the days before the government mandated equal spending on sports for female athletes. She was on the first women’s basketball team at AWH. She was co-captain in ’63 and ’64.

“During the 1964  season, Mary Jo led the AWH women’s basketball team to an impressive 10-3 record, placing second in the Girls’ Class A Catholic League and receiving a slot in the Girls’ Canton Invitational Tourney.

“According to her teammates, Mary Jo was the ston the strength on the court who kept the team focused while enjoying the love of the game,” the program said.

True to form, she mentioned every member of the team she played with as she accepted the award. She was also on the sailing team at AWH and at Maryville College of the Sacred Heart she continued sailing, serving as captain of the sailing team.

She earned her master’s in public administration from Suffolk University in 1976.

She continues to be a role model of sportspersonship and integrity.

So Many Issues …

Our paper doesn’t rely on Saturday delivery but we serve readers beyond the town limits and Saturday delivery matters to many of those out-of-towners. Like many business, we also rely on the mail to deliver our cash flow.

Are we looking at better ideas? We’d have to be crazy not to …

Anyway, the latest news from the PRC, as relayed by NNA director Tonda Rush, is that if Saturday mail is eliminated, the Postal Service should permit newspapers to use the mailbox for Saturday delivery. The PRC’s opinion on 5-day mail delivery, takes a skeptical look at many of the Postal Service’s assumptions about the impact of the proposed change. While it does not firmly recommend for or against 5-day mail, the PRC advises the Postal Service and Congress that USPS has over-estimated how much money it would save, under-estimated how much business it would lose and failed to sufficiently analyze the impact on rural, remote and non-contiguous areas (like Alaska and Hawaii) if Saturday delivery is eliminated.

National Newspaper Association President Elizabeth K. Parker, co-publisher of Recorder Community Newspapers, Inc., Stirling, N.J., said the Commission’s analysis would enlighten lawmakers.

“We have said all along that ending Saturday mail would hurt mail-dependent rural areas and slow down other mail service at a very critical time in our economy,” Parker said.

“Apart from the impact on our newspapers — which would be substantial —taking this route to fix the Postal Service’s financial woes sets the nation’s universal mail service on a course fraught with danger for all postal customers. The Commissioners agree with us that more analysis is needed, and we appreciate the time and attention it gave to this serious concern.”

NNA Postal Committee Chairman Max Heath, who presented critical testimony to the PRC on the impact upon community newspapers, said the Commission had taken notice that forcing newspapers out of the mail could hurt local readers and also create a backlash effect against USPS by costing it more business.

“If we can’t get Saturday mail delivery and have to create our own delivery forces to reach our readers, we wind up pulling our mail out of a system that needs our business. If that happens, we create a new competitive delivery force, and that isn’t good for USPS. It isn’t great for newspapers either, in a high fuel-cost environment and at a time when our investment needs to be in covering the news in ever-changing products, not in creating new delivery teams. I’m pleased that the Commission took notice of our viewpoint,” he said. “

The best thing about the Commission’s opinion is the attention it gave to the importance of local newspapers in informing local communities.”

Heath also said that the Commission noted that newspapers are presently permitted to use the mailbox on rural routes for Sunday delivery and that he had recommended if Congress does eliminate Saturday mail, that exception should be extended to Saturdays. The Commission accepted his recommendation.

The opinion is not the final word on 5-day mail. Congress currently requires 6-day and rural delivery at the 1983 level. But that requirement is up for renewal each year with postal appropriations legislation.  USPS has said it intends to continue to push for repeal of the law so it can gain permission to set delivery levels on its own.

The USPS campaign for 5-day mail, however, will now have to respond to the Commission’s reservations about potential financial gain to the Service if Saturdays are eliminated.  The Commission’s findings included:
A difference in the net annual savings in eliminating Saturdays. USPS claims $3.1 billion. The Commission says the savings would be $1.7 billion;

The full savings would not be achieved until the third year after implementation;

USPS would lose $.6 billion in net revenue; USPS says it would be $.2 billion;

About 25 percent of First-Class and Priority Mail would be delayed by two days;

The Postal Service did not evaluate the impact on customers who reside or conduct business in rural, remote or non-contiguous areas.

National Newspaper Association, based in Falls Church, VA, and Columbia, MO, is a 125-year old association representing community newspapers.  Most its 2,200 members use the mail for distribution to readers.

Back to Work Doesn’t Mean Full Time

Last week I visited the office several times.

I changed the message on my phone. I wrote a batch of checks.

None of the work I did was fun – all of it was necessary.

Actually the weekend was more stressful – but it was joyful. I have so many people around me who are helping me cope with my recovery.

It will be months before I manage to thank everyone who is helping me.

I haven’t even asked about the special projects that were underway before my operation.

But now I need to look at how we are doing in preparing the new APP for smartphones and Ipads. And I need to check in on whether the advertising for the next year’s Milton telephone book is arriving on schedule.

Good News It Would Seem

My horoscope for today said, “Thursday, Even if your life seems to be unfolding as planned, you still aren’t sure that you should trust the good news. Although you don’t want to be hurt by what you discover now, you might overcompensate today by gathering all the information you can find. Unfortunately, you don’t need any more data; just make a choice and then take a few healthy steps in the direction you want to go.”

OK, the good news came from my medical oncologist. No chemo, no radiation.

My chances of a recurrence – if I do not take Arimidex, which prohibits estrogen production- is 3%. If I do take the pills, my chance for recurrence of my cancer drops to 1.5%.

Anyway my medical oncologist is getting a bit more information from my primary care doctor before deciding if he thinks I should try the pills. “Try the pills” is the important  phrase here.

He and I agree that quality of life is important.

Good news, I am not a candidate for tamoxifen or other pills with a list of lengthy possible side effects.

No I didn’t say there were no possible side effects of Arimidex.  There is a list but the worst item on the list is loss of bone density.  It’s up to the doctors to figure out my bone density issues. And they are the people who have the ability to assess my cancer risk.

I need to say I didn’t feel ill at all before my operation. But I believed the doctors, (especially after I got a second opinion.)

I haven’t felt totally well since the surgery. But the cancer is gone, my lymph nodes were cancer free.

Oh, ever since scheduling the surgery, I’ve been reading material on breast cancer.  Does that sound like overcompensating?

I keep the study time to a limited dose. It’s part of my own prescription for healing.

Beginning to Work

It’s not that I’m ready to go back to work… but the deadline for filing my corporate tax forms is March 15.

So I have managed to work through the maze of numbers and filed both my federal and state tax forms.

Filing taxes is not good for my health – but it is obviously necessary.

I haven’t done my personal taxes – but they aren’t due until April.

Tonight I am getting together with some friends, hoping the healing energy of friendship will wash away the negative energy caused by dealing with financial information.

It’s all about balance.

Many Gifts

A few hours ago I received a card from one of my high school classmates who pointed out a coincidence between the journey I have begun as I deal with cancer and a similar path he found himself on about five years ago.

The simple story he offered is one of hope. His wife is a survivor of breast cancer. And today, so am I.

These stories about people I know, their wives, their sisters, their friends, are gifts that help me heal.