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Beaming Bioneers 

by PAUL K. HAEDER AND DOUG NADVORNICK & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & C & lt;/span & hances are you've never heard of Paul Anastas and Edward Tick -- unless you're also a fan of the work of Bioneers. Bioneers is a San Rafael, Calif.-based organization that, every year, holds a "gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities," according to the Bioneers Website.

This weekend Spokane will be one of 20 U.S. cities where people can see a satellite downlink of the Bioneers conference and then participate in local discussion groups to talk about similar work done in the Inland Northwest.

"Bioneers celebrates creative, solutions-based work," says Patty Gates, one of the local organizers for the Friday-to-Sunday gathering at Spokane Falls Community College. "Edward Tick is a pioneer in the work of healing veterans and in studying the costs -- the spiritual and ecological costs -- of modern war." Anastas has been dubbed the "father of green chemistry," working to make the materials that we use to feed, clothe and house us as benign to the Earth as possible.

Each morning and noon hour the Bioneers will present speakers from their California conference. Friday and Saturday afternoons will feature local workshops on subjects such as food and farming and "green" transportation, business and politics.

"We hope that people will be inspired," says Gates. "We feel that there's strength in numbers and that this will give creative people a chance to network. It's not the progressive environment like you might see in Seattle or the Bay Area, but there are a lot of progressive folks here and in the hinterlands."

The local Bioneers conference will also feature the Friday evening "Big Picture Film Festival" and a Saturday evening performance of York, a play about the black servant to Captain William Clark on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, both at the Magic Lantern Theatre. There will also be a jazz dance Saturday evening in the Community Building (35 W. Main Ave.).

You can register at Or call 509-209-2394. Students can attend for free.
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