Archive » July 12, 2012
By SYVJ Staff
For the people?I woke this morning and the first thought that came into my head was, “We the People.” It might sound strange to anyone who doesn’t know me.
I love this country. I was raised in a family that was a father first generation and mother who was here in the beginning. On July 4, I celebrated my mother’s 97th birthday. When I was a young mother, I would put my record player in my window facing the front of the house with patriotic band music, and my children and our track children would march around our front tree. Not because I told them to, but because they wanted to. They were taught in school about this country and those who made the sacrifice for us. My husband was in the Korean War; he went right out of high school. He came back a man, ready to start his life. We met through friends and have been married for 58 years. He didn’t want me to work outside our home; I was a professional volunteer. I made most of our clothes, wedding dress, canned and sewed for people, etc. We grew our own vegetables.
When we moved to this valley, we moved as a family. My father-in-law bought a piece of land and invited his two sons to join him. Our children came up also. We were going to give them the chance to have a home they would build themselves. Then we learned about the leadership in this county. The next 15 years were a battle that brought us to lose the land and our homes. We now live on a smaller piece of land that is farmed with our younger son and family. We are reading that farm land and animals are polluting the water, so our leadership is talking about water rights. We have been here for more than 40 years. The laws and the same people are still not doing what they were elected to do. They were elected to serve “we the people.”
Summertime blues“Summer can be an exciting time for young people and yet, with more free time and less adult supervision, it can also be a very risky time, increasing the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse,” according to Lois Craig, Valley Youth Coalition Director.
A recent report published by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration reveals that more teens start drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and marijuana in June and July than in any other month of the year. As a nation, more than 11,000 teens between the ages of 12 to 17 will experiment with alcohol for the first time. These figures are over twice the daily average for adolescent use during any other time of the year.
“Our Valley teens are not unlike the teens across America,” states Lois Craig. “For this reason, it is critically important that parents and other caring adults talk to young people about the real risks of substance abuse, so they are informed and capable of making the right decisions on their own. Our homes should have safeguards in place to keep alcohol and prescription drugs out of the hands of young people, as this is the most common place that teens report getting these drugs.”
Summertime memories can last a lifetime. Let’s work together to help assure that those memories are not a recall of tragedy and downfall, but are the fond memories of family, good friends and healthy summer fun. For more information on how you can help protect youth from the harms of substance abuse, go to the Coalition website, syvdrugfree.org. Access the many resources that are available to help you stay informed and take a proactive approach in keeping youth safe. After all, parents are the greatest influence! The report, “Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents,” is based on SAMHSA’s 2002 to 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports involving interviews with 231,500 adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17.
Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition