Tags >> nonprofit orgs
May 13
2010

"Traveling Blind"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in recreation , nonprofit orgs , lifestyle , Health , environment , disability , author , animals

Bruce Robinson

The gradual loss of her vision changed Susan Kreiger’s way of being in the world. So, she discovered, did the guide dog who is now her constant companion.

Susan Kreiger’s degenerating vision has forced her to gradually adjust to the absence of abilities she once took for granted, a profound self-redefinition that forms the foundation of her memoir, Traveling Blind, Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side.

Blindness is not an all-or-nothing condition, Kreiger explains, and in her case, the vision losses have been especially irregular.

Having lived and worked with her dog for some time now, Kreiger says they have formed a bond unlike any she has had with other dogs in her life.

Susan Kreiger  will read from her book, Traveling Blind, at Book Passage  in Corte Madera on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. You can read excerpts here. Further information about guide dog schools can be found by visiting Guide Dogs for the Blind and the guide dog schools page of the American Council of the Blind.

May 12
2010

George Houser

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , protest , poverty , politics , peace , nonprofit orgs , justice , international , history , government , author , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

george-houserFifty years of support and participation in the drive toward democracy in South Africa has earned some recent recognition for a new Santa Rosa resident, both here and there.

The South African award bestowed upon George Houser is named for Oliver Tambo (left) ,  the African National Congress' president-in-exile during the years that Nelson Mandella was imprisoned.  Tambo died in 1994.  Non-violence was a consistent theme throughout his lifetime of political involvement, George Houser recalls, starting with his early participation in the American Civil Rights Movement.

The Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County will hold their annual Community Celebration and Awards Ceremony--at which George Houser will be honored-- Saturday evening, Nov. 13 at the Sebastopol Veterans Building from 5-8:30 pm. A silent auction and no-host bar with hors d'oeuvers will precede the presentation of the awards, which begins at 7:30. Tickets are $40 at the door. Information at (707) 575-8902.sit-in

Bayard Rustin and George Houser (right)  in a sit-in protest against segregated restaurants in Toledo, Ohio in 1947.

As Houser explains, South Africa was the only region on the continent that was claimed and colonized  by the Dutch, who introduced the concept of apartheid, a state-controlled form of enforced segregation.

Houser, an ordained Methodist minister, was interviewed about the role of the clergy in pressing social justice issues on the PBS/ Tavis Smiley blog.

May 10
2010

Affordable Housing Week

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sonoma County , policy , planning , nonprofit orgs , legislation , housing , homeless , government , finances , families , economy , construction , Congress , California , business , budget

Bruce Robinson

  It isn’t getting any easier to build affordable housing in California. But the need for it is continuing to grow all the same.

Cities across Sonoma County have done an admirable job of meeting their goals for creating affordable housing, as specified in the Housing Elements of their respective General Plans, Diane Spaulding (left)  told the Sonoma County Housing Coalition on Monday.  But a close examination of those housing numbers reveals that, even with good intentions and political will, building units for low and very low income families remains difficult.

Finding funding for affordable housing in the California budget will be especially challenging this year, but the demand for it is continuing to grow. In a “new normal” world, Spaulding suggests, the solution may lie in creating ways to mesh the housing need with other social goals.

Diane Spaulding is the Executive Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. She spoke at the kickoff breakfast Monday for the Sonoma County Housing Coalition's annual Affordable Housing Week.  See the full list of Affordable Housing Week activities here.  You can read the Coalition's  annual Housing Progress Report for 2009 here.

 

 

 

 

May 06
2010

Hospital Safety

Posted by Bruce Robinson in toxic , speaker , public safety , Petaluma , nonprofit orgs , medicine , healthcare , Health , families , drugs , corporate responsibiliyt , children , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Even in the controlled environment of a hospital, human error is always a danger, too often a fatal one. That’s what Sorrel King is fighting to reduce.

As the mother of four young children, Sorell King was involved in every step of her daugther’s care when 18-month old  Josie was badly burned by a faulty water heater. Even that wasn’t enough to prevent the breakdown in communications that resulted in a fatal dose of methadone, the tragic mistake that abruptly turned King into a determined advocate for increased patient safety and better hospital procedures. It’s that painful personal experience, she says, that makes the medical personnel hear what she has to say.

King has documented her own first-hand experience with this wrenching issue in her book, the autobiographical Josie’s Story, which in turn led to the creation of the Josie King Foundation, through which she pursues her advocacy work. It’s a role she hopes to be able to pull back from sometime, but that day doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon.

Sorrel King believes that the number of near misses, when potentially fatal mistakes are caught just in time, or corrected before they have tragic consequences, is far higher than the actual number of deaths that occur. So she pushing hospitals to adopt procedures to report and track those near misses, too.

The seventh annual Gene and Evelyn Benedetti Leadership Award celebrationn honors Nancy Corda (right)  at  6 p.m. on Friday May 7 at the Sheraton Petaluma. Proceeds will be used to purchase a mobile ultrasound machine for Petaluma Valley Hospital. Information: 778-2796.

 

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