A Classy Answer to a Gender Gap

Rose Mofford has been Arizona secretary of state for 10 years and now is acting governor, despite what the state constitution says. Mofford took over for Gov. Evan Mecham, who was impeached Friday by the Arizona House. Eighth-graders from Tucson’s Basic Curriculum Middle School appeared before the House Government Operations Committee in Phoenix to point out that the constitution bars a woman from being governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general or superintendent of public instruction. Article 5, Section 2 of the constitution says that no one is eligible for those offices “except a male person of the age of not less than 25 years.” At the students’ urging, the committee voted, 12 to 0, to recommend passage of House Concurrent Resolution 2008, which would remove the word “male” from Article 5. If approved by both the House and Senate, a constitutional amendment would appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Last year, state Rep. Jim Green told the students he would sponsor legislation calling for any constitutional change they believed was needed. “I challenged them to come up with something that was unfair or inequitable, or something like that, and they did,” Green said.

--A second Minnesota entrant has withdrawn from the Miss USA pageant because of shoplifting charges. Jolene Stavrakis, 20, who was named to succeed Miss Minnesota-USA Sue Bolich, told officials she would not compete. Stavrakis was first runner-up in the state pageant. Police said Stavrakis had been arrested and paid a fine on charges of shoplifting two skirts valued at $76 in suburban Burnsville, Minn., in March, 1986. Bolich, 24, resigned as a contestant after misdemeanor theft charges were filed against her. She is to go to court next month on charges that she shoplifted $370 worth of clothing Jan. 22 in Edina, Minn. Frank L. Sweeney, state director of the Miss Minnesota-USA contest, said Julie Nelson, 20, will represent Minnesota in the Miss USA pageant in El Paso. “She assures me she has no record,” Sweeney said. Nelson was the second runner-up for the state title.

--An unpublished story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, written more than 50 years ago and rejected by Redbook magazine, will appear in the Princeton University Library Chronicle next week, according to the New York Times. The story, “A Full Life,” is about a woman who marries a munitions heir, then a French count and later works as a human cannonball. The one surviving copy of the story was found among the author’s papers in the Princeton Library. Fitzgerald died in 1940.