Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bobby Kennedy event postponed

Posted on Wed, May 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Thursday's Spokane appearance by Bobby Kennedy Jr. to support local environmental watchdog groups has been postponed.

"We personally spoke with him and he told us he's got a family emergency he needs to deal with and that he's committed to coming to Spokane," says Rick Eichstaedt of the Spokane Riverkeeper group. Eichstaedt hopes to reschedule the event, possibly in September when area colleges are back in session.

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, is president of the board of directors for the International Waterkeeper Alliance, a coalition of groups that fight to ensure clean water laws are enforced. He was to speak in Spokane Thursday evening and Sandpoint Friday morning in support of two of the newer members of the alliance, Spokane Riverkeeper and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper.

National media are reporting that Kennedy's wife, Mary, was arrested Saturday for driving while intoxicated in Bedford, New York, and that police were called to the Kennedy home on May 10 and 13.

Eichstaedt says anyone who purchased tickets online via brownpapertickets.com will be automatically refunded. People who purchased tickets in person can either hold onto them or return them to their place of purchase for a refund, he says.

"Obviously we are very disappointed, but we understand family comes first," Eichstaedt says.

Riverkeeper boat named. On a related topic, Eichstaedt announces that Spokane Community College instructor Dave Braun is the winner of the contest to name the boat that Spokane Riverkeeper will use for its patrols. The winning submission is "Sumesh," an interior Salish word meaning Guardian Spirit. Eichstaedt says the choice also won approval from the Spokane Tribe's Business Council.

The winning entry was to be announced at the Kennedy speech.

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