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Our Opinion: Fabulous women

August 24, 2001

Every late August for the last several years, our newspaper has worked to bring its readers the Women of the Imperial Valley special edition — a collection of uplifting and inspiring stories highlighting more than a dozen women in the community doing great things. This year is no exception.

Tucked within Sunday's Press will be what we refer to in the office as the women's edition. (We jokingly used to call it the Fabulous Babes edition, but we have come a long way since then.) Long one of our most popular special editions, Women of the Imperial Valley spotlights just a smattering of our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and neighbors doing great things in a world still dominated — as much as we hate to say this — by men.

Women in general, especially a great many on the local levels, have made great strides. For instance, in this year's edition we feature Kris Fontaine, the first female department head in the history of the Imperial Irrigation District, one of the Valley's longest running businesses. Fontaine also serves as the district's chief financial officer, overseeing one of the largest budgets in the county.

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There's also stories on political figures in Brawley, City Councilwoman Toni Carrillo, and the three members of the Heber Public Utility District board, Diahna Garcia-Ruiz, Martha Soto and Patricia Becerra.

From business owners to Girl Scout troop leaders, from someone in the agricultural community to a school bus driver, this year's women's edition has a healthy cross-section of the community.

From an advertising standpoint, the women's edition is unique in that it's the one edition of the year where the predominant advertising is in layouts of business cards from the great many women running and working for this Valley's businesses and organizations. In addition to reading the informative stories, it's fun to peruse the cards and we encourage you to do so.

As a side note, we'd like to explain the cover and center sections you'll see Sunday. Designed by Press Graphic Artist Edgar Rodriguez, the cover, a two-page poster pullout and various other graphic elements throughout the edition were based on famous pop art themes from artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Warhol's multicolored Marilyn Monroe screenprints were the inspiration for the manipulated faces that surround the cover, while the comic-style, pixelated paintings of Lichtenstein gave birth to the recurring woman's profile seen on the cover, in the center and throughout the edition.

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