Heather Boerner

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Profile writing:
Freelance writer Heather Boerner writes profiles on subjects involved in housing, local politics, the San Francisco Bay Area and other topics for print, magazine and web.

“The Power of Persistence”
BlackEnterprise.com, 03.09
Working for free is never fun, but it’s a big part of entrepreneurship. Marketing and pursuing your vision despite silence and rejection is even more important now, as businesses freeze budgets and banks withhold funding.
How do you stay motivated? Consider these stories from successful entrepreneurs.
Read the full article here.
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“Animal Lover: YogaFit’s Beth Shaw lives her karma yoga”
Yoga Journal, 08.08
Before Beth Shaw ever stepped onto a yoga mat, she knew her life’s work would be speaking for animals that don’t have a voice.
“I remember telling my boyfriend in high school that, when I had a lot of money, I wanted to have spay-and-neuter vans and go around and care for the animals,” says Shaw, the founder of YogaFit. And now, almost 24 years later, she says, “I feel like I’m stepping into my dharma [life path] now.”
Shaw has turned her business acumen—YogaFit has certified 70,000 fitness professionals to teach yoga worldwide—into a vehicle for promoting animal rights. In her hometown of Los Angeles, she was instrumental in passing a new law that requires the spaying and neutering of pets, which helps prevent the killing of millions of unwanted animals. She backs a similar California bill.
Read the full article here.
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“A Questioning Mind: The questions Deborah Tolman asked have changed the way people think about teenage girls and sexuality”
SFSU Magazine, Spring.07
Professor Deborah Tolman uses her hands as she talks, sweeping them up in an imaginary bell curve. She is mapping the way teen girls behave and think about their sexuality. The ends of that curve, where teens are either more chaste or more aggressive, are getting longer, she says, “as if someone has grabbed them and pulled them out a bit. But for the vast middle, my sense is that it’s still a minefield, and girls are still not entitled to their own sexuality.”
As the director of the San Francisco state center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, Tolman is one of the country’s preeminent experts on teenage sexuality and sexual health. From the classroom to the set of ABC’s “Nightline,” she challenges commonly held beliefs on these subjects and asks thought-provoking questions. “We only know what we ask,” she says. “The tagline of our center is, ‘Producing new knowledge to advance social justice and social change.’ But I’m thinking that ‘Asking new questions to advance social justice and social change’ is more accurate.”
Read the full story here.
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“A Radical in the Suburbs”
Curve Magazine, 06.07
A natural optimist and problem solver, Russell is the daughter of a Russian Jew who immigrated to avoid the Nazis. She’s also a woman who has always been out of the closet, even before Stonewall, and who went from welfare as a teenager to the founder of a multimillion-dollar employment firm that’s been studied by a Harvard professor and featured in Inc. Magazine. In other words, she isn’t one to let a small town or niggling fears stop her from pursuing her dreams.”
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Moment of discovery fuels synchronized swimmer”
Contra Costa Times, 03.01.07
Gina Pietras has been swimming practically since birth. And with a mother who was a water ballet dancer, it shouldn't be any surprise that Pietras, now 31, entered her first competitive synchronized swimming event at age 5.
Since then, Pietras has been a member of the USA national synchronized swimming team and lived in Zurich, Switzerland, where she coached the U.S. junior national team. After retiring from the team in 2003, she says it's a natural jump from Zurich to Walnut Creek, where she lives and coaches the 11-12 A team for WC Aquanuts.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Why his tenants Praise the ‘lord”
San Francisco Chronicle, 11.26.06
Indeed, Hallinan is a tenant's dream: a landlord who is actively involved in the health of his building, who attends annual Christmas parties, keeps rents low, responds to complaints promptly, and pays union employees higher wages and health benefits. And he's committed to not raising rents during this boom time.
"When I took over the buildings, I thought about, 'What would I be willing to pay for this space?' " said Hallinan, a former tenants rights organizer. "What's fair?"
Read the full article here.
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“Volunteer work stirs in his blood”
Walnut Creek Journal, 09.06
When David Ringler decided to volunteer for the Red Cross two years ago, it was just part of the recently retired 60-year-old's joking scheme to "keep the brain going." But he didn't know it would link him to his past and change him irrevocably."

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Writing with a human face