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Inland Northwest News Briefs 

& & by Pia K. Hansen & & & &

& & Children and lead & &

Kellogg, Idaho -- The Silver Valley People's Action Coalition (PAC) and the Community Lead Health Project Committee are reaching out to area residents this week. It's National Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, a perfect opportunity to become familiar with the lead issues in the Silver Valley, organizers say.

"We are really concerned about the lead in the environment here," says Jeanie Smith from PAC. "We live in the middle of the nation's largest Superfund site." Smith says some disclosure laws are not followed when people buy or rent homes in the area.

"The lead information must be shared with potential renters and owners," she adds, "and now we know that doesn't always happen."

Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency's national ombudsman is investigating the EPA's cleanup of the mining area, at the request of PAC.

"We are always trying to get the information out," says Smith. "People should know about this and how to ask the right questions."

& & & lt;i & The Silver Valley People's Action Coalition can be reached at (208) 784-8891. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & North Idaho elections & &

Coeur d'Alene --The Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce will host its first ever Congressional forum when District One's candidates meet on Wednesday at North Idaho College.

"We don't advocate or support any particular candidate for an office seat, but we are concerned about informing the public," says Chamber Spokeswoman Sholeh Johnson. "I was looking into what kind of coverage we get of the candidates up here, and couldn't find any other debates, so I guess I was the one who pushed for it." Johnson was hired by the Chamber recently and part of her job is to stay on top of legislative affairs in the area.

The forum on Wednesday hosts the four people bidding for Helen Chenoweth's seat in the United States Congress, which she has vacated. Chenoweth is not running again, since she is applying what she calls a self-imposed term limit.

The following candidates have confirmed their appearance on Wednesday: Lieutenant Governor C.L. 'Butch' Otter (R) from Boise; Linda Pall (D), an attorney in Boise; Kevin Hambsch, a Reform Party candidate, also from Boise; and Ronald Wittig, a Libertarian candidate from New Meadows.

On the following day, the chamber hosts its traditional forum for those local candidates seeking office in the Statehouse. These are the candidates who have confirmed their appearance at this City Hall discussion:

In the second legislative district, incumbent Senator Clyde Boatright (R) faces Nelson Campbell, a constitutionalist, and Don Hesselgesser, an independent. State Representative Hilde Kellogg (R) is challenged by Kristy Johnson (D).

From the third legislative district, voters will be able to meet John Goedde (R) and his opponent, Jim Gleixner, a constitutionalist; the other seat's candidates, Joann Harvey (D) and Chris Ellis (R), will be there, too.

Finally, in the fourth district, incumbent Mary Lou Sheppard (D) will face Chuck Reitz, a constitutionalist, and Kenn Schueman (R).

"I think this is a great opportunity for people to actually meet the candidates," says Johnson.

& & & lt;i & The Congressional Forum is Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 6 pm at NIC, in the Student Union Building's Lake Coeur d'Alene Room. The local legislative forum is the following day, Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 pm at City Hall in the city council chambers. Call: (208) 664-3194. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

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