Immigration, Friends & Candy

5/30/10 - Whew - things are getting hot in AZ! The temperature is rising & so are sentiments around immigration reform. Many friends across the country have been asking us what it is like in AZ right now. Unfortunately, immigration reform is a polarizing issue & no one seems to have a good solution, so there are constant demonstrations around the Greater Phoenix area. It certainly seems like S.B.1070, the bill our governor recently signed into law, is not the best answer. Although there are many supporters of the law, saying that something has to be done & this law makes the police do something, there are also many who strongly oppose the new law. They are concerned about the very real potential for the police to profile & harass anyone who looks Hispanic (the county Sheriff already practices profiling) and they are worried about the families of undocumented immigrants which will be torn apart as they are deported. By the way, about half of the undocumented immigrants arrived legally, with work or tourist visas, but never renewed the visas & decided to stay illegally. I come down on the side of opposing the law, very much because of the racial profiling potential. True immigration reform will have to consider the people who have lived most of their lives here undocumented & figure out some sort of amnesty program.

Anyway, Candy & I attended a rally & march in opposition to the bill on May 29th in Phoenix. Thousands of people gathered to march 5 miles from a central Phoenix park to the Capitol building. They were young & old, brown & white, moderate & radical, carrying signs, pushing strollers, shading themselves with umbrellas, chanting, singing - and non-violent. We were only able to walk for a short while with the crowd, as I have been struggling with an injured Achilles tendon & am in a rigid boot for several weeks. Walking 5 miles in the boot was not a possibility...

Our friends Val & Mike of Napa, CA visited AZ in late May. They were here for a wedding, so we got the chance to visit and have dinner together. They both looked terrific! Val worked with me at Chubb for many years and she and Mike lived near us in Martinsville, NJ, so it was a bit surreal to be visiting together in AZ, all of us retired & loving it!

Candy has settled into retirement well - pursuing her passion of photography right away! She immediately located and joined several camera clubs. They provide great learning & competition opportunities with other people who are as interested in photography as she is. She also began the volunteer process at the hospital nearest to us. It could take up to 6 weeks for completion of the security and medical checks.

Now, back to the heat - everybody always wants to know about the heat. Although the temperatures have been mostly in the 90's (with just a few days reaching 100 so far), the weather has been comfortable. We dog walk for a shorter distance in the mornings now, sometimes making up for it with an evening stroll. By 7:00 PM it is quite comfortable again. We also try to make it a point to sit outside in the backyard after dinner - enjoying the lengthening of the shadows, the sound of the fountain and the company of the many small birds (including hummingbirds) that come to drink & bathe in the fountain. We know the brutal summer heat is just around the corner, but we are relishing the amount of time we spend outdoors here!

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