Tag Archives: Steve Sparks Depoe Bay Oregon

For Immediate Release… My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2…Press Release!

Press Release–My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2… “Saving your children, family, and loved ones from inter-generational post traumatic stress (PTS).”

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Steve Sparks, Author, Depoe Bay, Oregon

 

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“Saving your children, family, and loved ones from inter-generational post traumatic stress (PTS).”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 14, 2015 | Author Steve Sparks |

 

My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2, will be released on Friday August 14, 2015.  The nonfiction narrative represents four years of outreach and research captured from the author’s blog, Children and Families in Life after Trauma. Selected topics are organized into eight chapters focused on trauma affected family circumstances and positive outcomes.

This third book release is about Steve’s personal journey of healing.  He writes as a survivor of childhood and early adult trauma growing up in a toxic military family torn apart by WWII and Korean War.  Steve’s blog, Children and Families in Life after Trauma, provides rich content as an e-book.  The narrative carries the reader on a story of inspiration, passion, and discovery of the roots of trauma-affected children and provides strategies for parents, teachers, and loved ones to help mitigate the suffering.

Steve’s story addresses the broader circumstances of children and families living with traumatic experiences, including military families, 1st responders, kids growing up with domestic violence, and in troubled neighborhoods affected by gangs, drugs, and severe crime. Sparks carves out a path of healing and peace of mind that has brought joy to his life and far better relationships with family and friends, including far less stressful and more rewarding professional experiences. The book truly shows an inspirational and motivational journey that has its roots in making a difference for others. Steve lives with his wife and soul mate Judy in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Judy has been a critical partner in supporting his work, including writing the Foreword for this latest release. Circe Olson Woessner, executive director, Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) writes an excellent Prologue to show the impact of post-traumatic stress (PTS) on the military family as a whole. One complete chapter of Steve’s book is dedicated to MAMF.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2… Click highlighted text for my author page for ordering or downloading eBooks.

Neighbors for Kids, “Kids Zone Classic Charity Golf” July 18th, Chinook Winds Golf Resort, Lincoln City, Oregon

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Chinook Winds Golf Resort, Lincoln City, Oregon

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Class of 2000 Linebacker >>> 6-3, 241 (Boise Junior College, Oregon) 1964-1974 San Francisco 49ers

David Wilcox. . .Third round draft pick, 1964. . .Also drafted by Houston (AFL). . .Nicknamed “The Intimidator” for aggressive style of play. . . Considered by many to be finest outside linebacker of his era. . .Particularly effective at keeping tight ends from getting off line. . .Prided himself on not allowing opponents to block him. . .All-NFL five times, second-team All-NFL three other times. . . Named All-NFC three times. . .Elected to seven Pro Bowls. . . Born September 29, 1942, in Ontario, Oregon.

Kids Zone Classic with Dave Wilcox, NFL Hall of Fame, San Francisco 49rs!  Click on this link to register!

The Neighbors for Kids Board of Directors is proud and honored to present the “Kids Zone Classic” in our 6th year as one of the most recognizable and popular charity golf tournaments on the Central Oregon Coast.  I remember as a new NFK Board Member 6 years ago when we started with dreams of building a charity golf event that would become a classic in the years to come.  We are grateful for the support of Chinook Winds Casino & Golf Resort, and PR manager, Heather Hatton, who is also the Taft HS golf coach.  Heather helped jump start the idea of promoting the best of Lincoln County’s HS golfers by donating green fees for selected students from each of the Lincoln County School District HS golf teams.  The NFK Board really felt that we should make our annual charity golf event about the K-12 kids we serve by recognizing young and aspiring golfers from our local community.  We then asked new NFK Board Director, Liz Martin, with a long history of golf experience from Agate Beach Golf Course in Newport to help us achieve lofty goals to become the very best charity golf event on the Central Oregon Coast.  Liz has done a truly amazing job chairing the event each year.

Since 1999 the success of Neighbors for Kids and signature after-school program “Kids Zone” has been a labor of love by the community as a whole.  With the passion and commitment from our staff, volunteers, and the NFK Board of Directors, we can now call ourselves the “Kids Zone Golf Classic!”  We are especially thankful to Chinook Winds Casino & Golf Resort and our many sponsors who have help make this event NFK’s largest fund raiser of the year.  The proceeds all contribute to a continued effort to offer the finest after-school, and summer camp education and enrichment programs on the Central Oregon Coast.  NFK is also a partner of the LCSD 21st Century Community Learning Center.

I can’t wait to get out on the course on July 18th in a foursome with my neighbors from the community of LIttle Whale Cove in Depoe Bay.  We all look forward to the fun and camaraderie of our entire community sharing in this amazing annual event to benefit “Kids Zone” in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

Steve Sparks, Vice Chair, Neighbors for Kids, Depoe Bay, Oregon

A Golden Nugget of History from Whale Cove, Depoe Bay, Oregon…

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Big Whale Cove, as we Depoe Bay coastal residents call this beautiful and stunning beach, with a large Harbor Seal population.

 

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Whale Cove, south of Depoe Bay, Oregon, colorized aerial photograph

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The Jonucus Hondius map of 1589 of Drake’s New Albion cove

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Sir Francis Drake…Pirate click highlighted text for more…

 

Sir Francis Drake and Whale Cove…  Quote from website article written by Patrick Alexander, Oregon Coast Today…

New exhibit could re-write history of Sir Francis Drake’s epic voyage

By Patrick Alexander…Oregon Coast TODAY

“To the casual observer, Depoe Bay’s Whale Cove appears to be nothing more than yet another breathtakingly beautiful inlet of the type that appears every few miles along the Oregon Coast.  But to historical sleuth Bob Ward, the bay is a key part of a mystery involving English explorer Sir Francis Drake, a 16th-Century cover up and the true birthplace of the British Empire.  Ward’s theories are the subject of a new exhibit, “Drake in Oregon,” on display at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum in Lincoln City through the end of this year.  Drawing on 30 years of extensive research, the exhibit makes the case that Drake spent the summer of 1579 at anchor in Whale Cove rather than the bay north of San Francisco that now bears his name.”

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When Judy and I moved to the coast in 2005 with our beloved chocolate lab, Mocha, we had no idea we would discover Big Whale Cove, a secluded cove with difficult access so close to our new home.  We already felt lucky to find our very own community of Little Whale Cove just south of Depoe Bay situated on a high basalt plateau close to the coastline.  As a special amenity we have access to a smaller fresh water cove known as “Little Whale Cove.”  A small fresh water pond formed tens of thousands of years ago and transformed into a beach head that emptied into the ocean, therefore not considered a public beach by Oregon law.  During the winter Little Whale Cove is often almost completely flooded by the Pacific Ocean’s high tides and waves that pound the shore…not always accessible during big storms.  White foam often covers the entire cove during a major storm…

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Little Whale Cove, a fresh water outlet to the Pacific Ocean…just a short walk south over the hill is Big Whale Cove.

After 10 years of Oregon Coastal living near Depoe Bay, Judy and I still can’t get enough of the beauty of this region, especially the coastline near our home.  Every summer we head to Big Whale Cove as much as we can.  The Harbor Seals (click to see images) just off shore watch us very closely…we are transfixed by the staring creatures who believe we are intruders.  Our American ancestors were also intruders 5 centuries ago when arriving here for the first time and meeting the Siletz Tribal Community…who made their home on the shores of the Central Oregon Coast.  The Native American culture has a very special place in our hearts and coastal community.

Assuming the legend and story of Sir Francis Drake’s discovery of America at Whale Cove near Depoe Bay is accurate, we are proud to be part of the long history of this very unique coastal area that was home to the Siletz Native American Tribe in the beginning.  The Oregon Coast continues to have a strong Siletz Tribal population located further inland, who have been good neighbors and partners in community building and economic development.  Drake and his band of pirates enjoyed their first summer on this gorgeous and still secluded cove in 1579.  Judy and I are definitely going to visit the North Lincoln County Historical Museum to learn more after reading about Bob Ward’s research and exhibit in Oregon Coast Today…

Summer is right around the corner…  So the joy of spending lazy summer days at Big Whale Cove visiting our Harbor Seal friends, inspired me to get a head start by sharing my family’s special experience living on the Central Oregon Coast near Big Whale Cove next to Depoe Bay.  We feel so grateful and blessed to have found this special place to live out our dreams and aspirations…and to share with family and friends… Being part of the amazing history of the Oregon Coast, and imagining the delight of those before us relaxing and playing on this stunning beach with a view that never tires, makes the experience even more special…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

 

What are the “lessons learned” from the tragic death of little London McCabe? “There is ALWAYS another option than taking the life of your child!”

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London McCabe at age 6… “He loved hats and his Dad.”

 

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Yaquina Bridge, Newport, Oregon

 

Response to the tragic death of London McCabe  Quote from the blog post by Catonatrampoline: Autism, Parenthood, and Life…

“Responsibility. Down the line. From organisations to individuals. This is not a comprehensive review of all the factors, I don’t know all the details of the case, I never will, but I do know this: There are always ways that services could have done better, there are always signs that things are starting to go wrong, and there is ALWAYS another option than taking the life of your child.”

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I appreciated the opportunity to speak to the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) in Lincoln County Oregon.  I started my talk about mental health emergency response and first aid by remembering the painful tragedy of little London McCabe, (click on highlighted text for previous post) who’s mother tossed her sweet little boy over the Yaquina Bridge in November of 2014.  I also related my own story of growing up in a toxic home during the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when at age 10 in 1956, I observed my older brother, age 15 at the time, getting punched with great force in his head by my father and knocked out…head swelling up like a football later. It was a miracle that my dear brother was not killed! My brother was not taken to the hospital at the time for fear my father’s US Navy career would be at risk, including his decorated WWII and Korean War service to America.  Of all the toxic, scary and painful childhood experiences in our troubled home, this is the one that triggers great sadness in my heart almost everyday of my life…

During my interaction with the very caring and passionate public service leaders in the meeting, I spoke of the need for a thorough “lessons learned” public investigation of the death of London McCabe.  It is not clear to me that we have started or completed such an investigation in a public venue with extensive awareness and actions that would lead us to mitigate the risk of a repeated tragedy in the future.  I am confident that everyone in Lincoln County and Newport, Oregon public service connected with police and mental health have done their individual investigations and have taken steps to improve emergency response and first aid to those who suffer from severe mental health challenges.  I listened to several officials in the meeting who discussed, with passion and emotion, the process of building a far more effective layer of emergency response that must be an alternative to calling “911” as the often too little, too late last resort.

As a City Councilor from Depoe Bay, Oregon representing the caring citizens of our town, I walked away encouraged.  But it is clear that we are not able to move as fast as everyone would prefer.  Our community is not unlike many rural areas in America in that we are often caught in a world of “silos” working feverishly in multiple departments of public safety and health, but not as a community force and together as a team, with the power to change up quickly to solve critical problems.

It is my goal going forward to continue being engaged with public safety and mental health resources to tackle the challenges of mental health first aid and emergency response as a whole community.  I also believe it would be profoundly healing and constructive to go back to the London McCabe tragedy to ensure that we have full comprehension of the lessons learned and community agreement on a faster and better path forward.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…

City Councilor, Depoe Bay, Oregon

Kennedy Forum Mental Health “Call to Action!” “Equity in Mental Health Care.”

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Feb 09, 2015 by The Kennedy Forum On Tuesday, February 3, Patrick J. Kennedy and Dr. David Satcher announced the formation of the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research, released new polling data on how Americans see the issue today, and issued a call to action. Learn more…

 

Kennedy Forum Mental Health “Call to Action” Webcast…  click on this attention getting video clip for an update on this most important initiative!

The Center will focus attention on a few key areas, including:

  • Quality, with a focus on provider accountability, outcomes, and the need to set clear and achievable standards that all providers can adopt and use.

  • Innovation, with a focus on cutting-edge technology, ongoing research, and leveraging the promise of big data.

  • Equity, with a redoubling of efforts to end disparities, fully implement parity, and support justice system reforms.

  • Integration, with an emphasis on caring for the whole person, and ensuring that all Americans can get a “checkup from the neck up.”

The announcement of the Center comes as 71% of Americans are calling for “significant “ or “radical” changes in the way mental health and addiction are treated. In addition, a majority of survey respondents highlighted two key areas of focus for reform: “Improving quality of care for people with mental health conditions” and “making sure people with mental health conditions have access to the care they need regardless of where they live, their ethnicity, or their background.”

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I am happy to share that we have our own “call to action” in the State of Oregon with the key legislative initiative, (click on this highlighted link) “Mental Health: Can’t we do better?”  At my local level, the Depoe Bay, Oregon City Council included mental health as a new business item in the agenda on February 3rd, which included input from the community and highly supportive discussion by the council.  As city councilor, I have been tasked to follow through with a grass roots local work group to start the conversation and begin developing ideas and solutions to improve access to mental health first aid and overall care.

Our first “grass roots” local work group meeting is scheduled for Monday February 16, 2014.  I am planning to keep the community posted on our progress in working with local, county, and state resources in meeting mental health care goals and spirit of a national “call to action.”  Teamwork and community collaboration are key to our success!

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

State of the Union in Mental Health and Addiction Live Webcast…and local initiatives…

Kennedy Forum…State of the Union in Mental Health & Addiction…  Click on the highlighted text

“Just as President Kennedy rallied the nation to dream big and set audacious goals 50 years ago, The Kennedy Forum seeks to set a new standard for the future of health care in the United States.

Our mission is big, and the stakes are clear. We seek to unite the health care system, and rally the mental health community around a common set of principles: Fully implement the 2008 parity law, bring business leaders and government agencies together to eliminate issues of stigma, work with providers to guarantee equal access to care, ensure that policymakers have the tools they need to craft better policy, and give consumers a way to understand their rights.”

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Mental Health is one of the State of Oregon’s key legislative initiatives for 2015.  League of Oregon Cities Local Focus (click this site) magazine for December 2014 is dedicated to mental health…”can’t we do better?” On the agenda for our City of Depoe Bay Council Meeting on February 3rd is Mental Health…to start this important conversation in our rural community on the Central Oregon Coast.  Communities everywhere are getting on the same page now and taking action…to find better ways to meet mental health challenges and improve services at the local level.  Following is a summary of the key issues we are addressing in our communities…

December 2014On the Cover…Mental Health: Can’t we do better?

  • It’s Time to Bend the Trend
  • Forest Grove – Mental Health Crisis Straining Police Resources
  • Wallowa County – Isolation Impedes Proper Response, Care
  • Portland and Project Respond: A 22-Year Partnership
  • Boardman – Crisis Care in a Small Community
  • Bend – Trying to Keep Pace in Deschutes County
  • Jail Diversion: Better for Cities, Better for Counties, Better for Patients
  • Mental Health Services: How We Can Do More
 

Please take the time to catch up on the State of Mental Health in America from the Kennedy Forum webcast.  Take a look at the Local Focus December 2014 magazine and learn more about specific challenges and opportunities for change in Oregon.  I will be reporting on the progress we are making in Depoe Bay, Oregon going forward.

Mental Health will be a high priority for me as city councilor during my 4 year term.  Our community will begin to seriously assess its needs and begin to collaborate with public private partnerships along with federal, state, and country resources to build a stronger foundation for mental health crisis treatment and referral services.  Join your neighbors in supporting a stronger Mental Health agenda for your community.  We can do better!

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1…  Click on the highlighted text for my author page…

“American Sniper” shows the painful effects of PTSD on the children and families of warriors…

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American Sniper…a portrait of PTSD’s Affect on the children and families of warriors…

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Reconciliation: A Son’s Story by Steve Sparks…a post WWII story of my family’s challenges and resilience in conquering the emotional torment of PTSD.

 

 

American Sniper, Portrait of PTSD… by the Dallas Morning News…by Chris Vognar

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see video clip review of movie…

“Eastwood, Hall and especially Cooper walk the line between Kyle’s valor and his torment. The movie is strongest when Kyle is home, as his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller, also strong), wonders whether the man who was her husband might re-enter the land of the living. Cooper turns Kyle’s emotional vacancy into a vivid presence. He wears it in the hollow eyes, and the clenched jaw, and the monosyllabic shutdown when anyone expresses concern.”

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Since the publication of my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, in November 2011, I have had fair success in educating the adult children and families of warriors on the emotional pain of PTSD and its intergenerational impact.  Now, the motion picture, American Sniper, the story of Chris Kyle, is generating more awareness, interest, and conversation than any past book, movie, documentary or story.  I say bravo! The stigma of mental health challenges, including moral injury and the symptoms of PTSD, is a global epidemic that often sticks with a family for generations with little or no treatment.

The worst of PTSD is the direct exposure to loss of life and in the act of killing another human being.  Worse yet is how PTSD affects the children and families of warriors for a lifetime.  The emotional pain of PTSD is considered a moral injury or a complete breakdown of spirituality…right vs. wrong in our human nature.  If we are in denial or disguise the emotional turmoil and don’t try to seek alternative treatments available, the worst case outcome can be suicide…loss of hope and desire to live.  Loved ones, children, and families who live with a parent or friend suffering from severe symptoms of PTSD often take on the same symptoms that carry forward like bad genes unless treated again…often a lifetime work in progress.

We can break the cycle of pain caused by moral injury and PTSD with honest conversation and treatment.  Revisiting the pain of the past either as a warrior or as a trauma victim in general has a way of releasing the stress that haunts a person’s mind and body.  The 24/7 pain of PTSD is taking a toll on thousands of combat veterans and millions of Americans who experience traumatic events from domestic violence, child abuse, and maltreatment.  Seeing this movie and starting a conversation with friends and family will be the beginning of your own journey of healing…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click on highlighted text for my author page…