Our Community: An Aging & Disability Conference – August 3rd, 2016

June 10, 2016

ADRC 2016 conference flyer 06102016

Our Community: An Aging & Disability Conference

August 3rd, 2016

9am – 4pm

Holiday Inn Express, Grass Valley

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Celebration of Trails – June 4th!

May 31, 2016

Join the Bear Yuba Land Trust, Sierra Club, and FREED for a family friendly, all ability levels, hike on the Hirschman Trail this Saturday, June 4th!

When: June 4th at 9:30 a.m.
Level: Easy to moderate (depending on distance), .8 miles (wheelchair accessible) – 5 miles (moderate ascending and descending)
Meet: Hirschman Trail Trailhead

Bring the whole family for this kid-friendly, all ability level exploration of Nevada City’s Hirschman Trail. Join Ana Acton of FREED and Richard Thomas of the Sierra Club as we investigate the flora and fauna of this popular trail. Thomas is a longtime resident of the area and will bring his scope for viewing wildlife, such as the resident Western Pond turtles, at the pond. Bring your camera and sketch book if you wish. This is a wheelchair, limited mobility accessible trail to the pond (.8 mile round trip). Those who want to go further, will have that option, too. We are fortunate that local natural history buffs, Ralph and Lisa Cutter, have signed on again for this year’s hike!

Questions may be addressed to Richard Thomas at 264-6740 or email at randtthomas@sbcglobal.net.

http://www.bylt.org/events/event/celebration-of-trails/

 

HT-HirschmansPond

 

FREED’s Friendly Visitor Program Celebrates Alfredo Nespral’s 100th Birthday!

May 31, 2016

FREED’s Friendly Visitor program matches elderly, stay-at-home locals with volunteers. Earlier this year, Friendly Visitor Coordinator Maureen Gerecke made such a match between Alfredo Nespral of Penn Valley and me, Jeff Russell.

In just a few short months we became good friends. As I am relearning Spanish at Sierra College, we visit in both English and in Spanish.

Alfredo Nespral was born on April 21, 1916 at San Antonio de Los Baños — 15 miles southwest of Havana, Cuba. He grew up with two sisters, Josephine and Olga. During the tumultuous 1930s of Cuba, Alfredo finished high school and was admitted to Havana University to study medicine, anatomy, and physiology. Only nine months later, when student unrest shuttered the university, Alfredo applied to the Havana Naval Academy. He was one of 1,200 applicants who took the entrance exam at La Punta, Cuba. Even in this stiff competition, Alfredo excelled and was accepted. After three more years of Naval Academy, Cuba recruited Alfredo to join the then fledging Cuba Naval Air Force. He quickly “earned his wings.” Because he was coming out of the Naval Academy, they nicknamed him “el Marino.” In those early days Alfredo flew a single propeller 500 HP Stearman airplane.

Later Alfredo trained in long distance navigation with the then world leader in such, Pan American Airlines. For many years he flew the Havana to Madrid route. With a stop-over in Bermuda to refuel, it took 17 hours to go one way. Because Havana/Madrid was such a long flight they stayed four days before the return flight.

Alfredo’s life changed for the better in the closing days of World War II. One afternoon while at the seawall of the Commodore Club on Havana harbor, he sat down next to a very pretty lady. He was 29 years old and she was just 24. Her name was Thais (try to imagine the romance of the tropical breeze blowing there — think Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall). After just a short time talking, Thais turned to Alfredo and stated, “Quiero casarme” (“I want to get married”). Not to be undone, Alfredo quickly replied he wanted that too! And so, after a year or so of courtship and, his winning over her protective parents, they did marry.

In those same years, Thais attained an impressive post doctorate education in the USA majoring in both dentistry and orthodontics. She became the head of orthodontics at Havana University. Eventually she encouraged Alfredo to become a doctor of dentistry also. They created a very comfortable life in Cuba.

After Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban dictator Batista in 1959, Cuban life became more oppressive. In 1962, Alfredo and Thais secretly fled by boat to Caracas, Venezuela. They left everything they had behind.

In Venezuela life was not very inviting and shortly, after many applications, they landed jobs in orthodontics and dentistry in the USA. Eventually they moved to Southern California.

Alfredo and his much beloved Thais enjoyed more than 50 years of marriage together. After many world travels and two very productive lives, they settled in Penn Valley in the early 2000s to raise horses. Sadly, less than three years later, Thais died. Alfredo’s son Cesar Nespral still lives near their old hometown of Palmdale, California. Everyone who meets Alfredo today remarks that he moves and acts more like an 80-year-old than 100!

Realizing that Alfredo was doing “nothing special” for his 100th birthday, I began to plan a grand birthday party for him.

Spanish teacher Sara Casler helped in these efforts by securing a venue on Sierra College campus. She also encouraged other Spanish students to attend. To prepare, they practiced singing the Cuban birthday song “Felicidades.” On April 21, with Maureen Gerecke and several other of Alfredo’s friends in attendance, Professor Casler’s students serenaded Alfredo with this song. He was most pleased by the festivities and certainly by the birthday cake decorated with the Cuban flag. 

After such a long and interesting life, Alfredo Nespral certainly deserves the attention. 

Jeff Russell lives in Big Oak Valley.

http://www.theunion.com/news/21886522-113/jeff-russell-a-special-birthday-for-alfredo-nespral

Don’t forget to Register to vote!

March 10, 2016

Register-to-Vote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Office Hours- Starting January 1st

December 29, 2015

Starting in January the FREED office will be open Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

Disability rap December 4, 2015

December 9, 2015

Cover of HolLynn's book Becoming real in 24 days

On Friday, December 4, we hosted HolLynn D’Lil, a veteran in the disability activist community who covered the national sit-in in 1977, which won our freedoms under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. HolLynn is also author of the book Becoming Real in 24 Days in which she tells the story complete with photos and first-hand accounts, of how 504 was won.

We also hosted her on Disability Rap, and you can listen to that episode here. Learn about the impact that 504 has had on the lives of people with disabilities everywhere.

Join us on December 4th to learn about the history of disability civil rights

November 19, 2015

Cover of HolLynn's book Becoming real in 24 days

Know your history: Know your rights: Know yourself.

What: Join us as we learn about the history behind the famous section 504 sit ins, in which the disability community won freedom from discrimination in federal programs.

When: Friday, December 4 from 3 PM to 5 PM

Where: FREED Grass Valley office at 2059 Nevada City Hwy. Suite 102 Grass Valley

Why: Because we have to know where we’ve been to know where we’re going.

 

Picture of HolLynn

Join us for a presentation by HolLynn, a disability rights activist and author of the book Becoming Real in 24 Days, on the story of the longest sit-in at a federal building in history, in which activists with disabilities fought for the regulations which made section 504 a reality. Thanks to the work of these early pioneers in the disability rights movement, people with disabilities, their friends and family can access federal programs without discrimination.

disability rap October 2, 2015: desegregating the workplace for people with disabilities

October 5, 2015

Join us this month as we talk with Bryon MacDonald of the World Institute on Disability and rose Sloan of the National Federation of the Blind about the practice of segregating people with disabilities in sheltered workshops where they can be paid literally pennies on the hour. We will also consider what is being done to end this practice.

Disability Rap: celebrating our roots

September 14, 2015

Join us this month as we talk with Tony Sauer, former director of FREED, and Caleb Dardick, son of Sam Dardick, about the way that FREED and the local disability rights movement have redefined ability over the last 30 years.

disability rap August 6, 2015

August 19, 2015

On this episode Of disability rap, FREED Executive Director, Ana Acton, discusses information and referral services of Nevada County 211 with Alice Johnson, and an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of the Americans With Disabilities Act on August 7, with Youth Organizing Intern, Kristin Ansell and Deputy Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers Christina Mills.

stay tuned for information on more ADA Panel Discussions coming up.