Posted on November 29, 2013 | No Comments
by Linda Herman, LMHC
After a day of eating, most of us are either resting, or in the stores as shoppers or employees. The conversations of yesterday at the dinner table are done. In the midst of preparation for the holiday, you may have missed some items that have been in the news. I’ll devote my blog today to a few of them:
- Of all the things for which we are thankful in this country, the freedom to drive is one we take for granted. Not so for women in Saudi Arabia. That is the only country in the world that forbids women from operating a motor vehicle. I was reminded of this reading the Seattle Times columnist Sarah Stuteville this morning. (Burien woman driven to fight for Saudi women’s … – The Seattle Times) Ms. Stuteville interviewed a local woman, Samia El-Moslimany, who has dual citizenship and residence in the US and Saudi Arabia. Ms. El-Moslimany was in Saudi Arabia in October while a number of Saudi women protested against the driving ban by taking to their cars. After seeing that few were arrested, she decided to take a drive as well. With her Washington State Driver’s license in hand, she got behind the wheel of her car.
Unfortunately for her, she was stopped, ticketed, fined and had to sign a pledge that she would not drive again until women were given permission to drive. (And when will that be!?) Somehow her Washington’s driver’s license didn’t impress the local police.
- In its efforts to retain a cool and hip city image and accommodate the new law legalizing pot, the City of Seattle has approved a 500-person free public pot party for Dec. 6 at the Seattle Center.
(500-toker pot party gets OK’d outdoors at Seattle Center), by Bob Young.
The organizer is sponsoring the party to honor the first anniversary of the law’s passage. There will be music, a light show, and an outdoor pot-smoking area. Lest anyone be offended by having to view the smoking and in compliance with the new law, the city has arranged to have two screened fences separating the party from the rest of the public.( What a relief!) For those of you Washingtonians who have to miss the party, do not be dismayed. The state is allowing 334 pot retail outlets to be opened, probably in May or June of 2014. What a thrill for the citizenry and for visitors to our state. People who “just wanna have fun” will have new places to go and are helping the state’s economy at the same time. The tax revenue generated in the first five years is estimated to be up to $2 billion dollars. As for the message to children about the wisdom of cannabis use, the city has taken special pains to insure that no retail outlets be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school. I feel so much better knowing that.
- November 23 came and went for most of us without any fanfare. Not so, however, for 4,500 foster children across the country who officially became part of “forever families”. For them, the day is one they will forever remember. National Adoption Day, celebrated the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is a collective effort throughout the nation to raise awareness of the 100,000 children in foster care who are waiting for to be adopted. The average age of a child in foster care is 8.5 years. Each year, 23,000 “age out” of the system with no permanent family. In the Seattle area, one family increased its size from five to seven members on this special day. The Kahler family of Woodinville, WA adopted two babies for whom they had provided foster care since birth. (http://www.thenewstribune.com/search_results?q=Debbie+Cafazzo#storylink=cpy) The children, born a month apart in late 2012, had each been left at the hospital by their drug-addicted parents. For the Kahlers, who already have three daughters ages twelve and under, this had to be their best Thanksgiving ever.
I say “Amen” to that.
For more on National Adoption Day, go to www.nationaladoptionday.org .