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Transgender Group, Restaurant Agree to Mediation

PEABODY — Members of a local transgender social club and Capone's Italian American restaurant last night agreed to attempt to resolve their differences before a mediator.
The parties have until April 26 to reach an agreement; otherwise, the group, Sisters Family, could proceed with a formal complaint against the restaurant with Peabody's Licensing Board.
Sisters Family is alleging that Capone's discriminated against eight of its members by refusing to let them in on Jan. 29.
Ashley Bottoms, 42, of Saugus, founder of Sisters Family, and a handful of others from the group submitted written complaints to the city that claim Capone's barred them from entering because their appearance did not correspond with the photographs on their identifications. Bottoms, whose legal name is Robert Knowles, asked to appear last night before the Licensing Board.
"A case like this begs for mediation," Peabody City Solicitor John Christopher said at the opening of a meeting in a small conference room in City Hall. He called it preferable to the "very frustrating," "time-consuming" and "expensive" route of litigation.


Family Mediation
When family mediator Jonathan Toussaint asked a 13-year-old boy recently what message he wanted to give his separated mother and father, the boy replied: "I have two messages. When you speak to each other, use each other's names [not insults] and don't use me as a message carrier. It's not my problem."

..."I was quite defensive before going to mediation," says Melanie, 29, of Newcastle. "But the Building Connections program really changed the way I looked at things. My two-year-old son, Riley, didn't really know his dad because I had stopped access when he was about one, after his father starting seeing another woman. After the program I realised the main person I was hurting was my son. I didn't want him to miss out but to enjoy having a father."

NPR Blog: Bring In A Healthcare Mediator?
Tomorrow is the big day for the White House's health care summit. Will it make a difference?
Democrats and
Republicans have been busy staking out their positions, with President Obama finally releasing his own proposal on Monday. Expectations are running high, but the odds seem stacked against the meeting cracking the impasse over health overhaul. Take a look at the latest dispute over who will sit where.

The situation seems to cry out for a referee. So we asked trained mediator Nancy Lesser at Pax ADR, an alternative dispute resolution firm in Washington, D.C., to size up the health overhaul dynamics.

Foreclosure Mediation Bill In Maryland
...The governor's proposal enjoys the broad support of Democratic lawmakers. But the court system, which would face an onslaught of dispute-resolution conferences with mandatory mediation, opposes it.
Among the concerns are the potential cost to courts and the legislation's failure to outline specific dispute resolution efforts that should be required before filing any court action, according to written testimony the court system will submit to lawmakers today.
Court officials also point out that it is "inherently unfair" to require borrowers but not lenders to show up in person for mediation. Banking officials can simply teleconference in, which "rarely results in a satisfactory outcome," according to the written testimony.

International Mediators Mull Sanctions
International mediators on Madagascar are threatening to increase pressure on President Andry Rajoelina's government unless he honors two previous power-sharing accords. Sanctions will be on the agenda Friday when the African Union's Peace and Security Council takes up Madagascar's case.

iUniverse Would Like to Announce the Release of Making Mediation Your Day Job by Tammy Lenski, Ed.D.
...Written by a mediator for mediators (and those who want to be) using common mediation principles as marketing fodder, Making Mediation Your Day Job (published by iUniverse) speaks to mediators in language they understand and already embrace — uncovering a market’s greatest interests, framing services to speak to those interests, and building dialogue with potential clients. By working with mediators where they are, Lenski’s street-tested approaches aim to make even the most reticent mediation marketer approach the task of practice-building with energy and excitement.

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