by Inlander Staff

Republicans for Nature -- COEUR D'ALENE -- The Kootenai Environmental Alliance has invited Jim DiPeso, the national communications director for Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP), to give a talk titled "Conservation is Conservative" on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Why would Republicans need their own environmental organization?

"We were formed because years ago, during Nixon's time as president, for instance, protecting the environment was more of a bipartisan issue than it is today," says DiPeso. "Over the past 20 years, that bipartisanship has gone by the wayside, and that's bad policy for the Republican Party and for the environment overall." As a reminder, DiPeso adds that it was Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We are trying to restore the Republican Party to an environmental leadership role," says DiPeso, who agrees that it will be a difficult task.

Today, most environmental groups believe the Republican Party is bad news for the environment, period. But that doesn't worry Barry Rosenberg, the executive director of the Alliance.

"The policy DiPeso presents is very close to ours. We believe that conservation of the environment doesn't have any political boundaries," says Rosenberg. "You hear the term 'Republican environmentalist' and say that's an oxymoron, but not all Republicans are hell-bent on destroying the environment."

But how are these ideas being received by the Republican Party?

"Well, it depends on who you ask," says DiPeso. "Some say this is just what we need, and then there are the ones who think an environmental platform is just an attempt to introduce a socialist order on America."

DiPeso will be speaking on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 pm in the Driftwood Bay Room in the Edminster Student Union Building at NIC. Call: (208) 667-9093.

To War or Not -- CHENEY, Wash. -- Faculty and students at Eastern Washington University are hosting a public forum about the potential war with Iraq on Thursday, Oct. 24.

"We didn't do this last year at the time of the Sept. 11 bombings, and I know that many faculty thought privately that we should do something," says Dr. Ann Le Bar, chair of the history department and coordinator of the forum. "I mean, this issue is quite separate from what happened last September, but we wanted a forum where the members of the campus community, and anyone else who is interested in talking about this issue, could have a good conversation."

Lui Hebron, director of the international affairs program at EWU, and Ayesha Umar, a student from Pakistan, will be on the panel as well as representatives from the Military Science program and the Associated Students of EWU.

The 90-minute program will begin with a short presentation of each panel member's personal stand on the potential for war with Iraq, followed by questions from the audience.

"We wanted this to be a forum where a broad range of issues and opinions could be discussed," says Le Bar.

The forum on war with Iraq is on Thursday, Oct. 24, at noon in the Pence Union Building's multi-purpose room. Call: 359-7952.

Meet the Candidates -- SPOKANE -- The Hillyard, Logan and Nevada-Lidgerwood neighborhoods are hosting a candidate forum on Tuesday. Candidates from the Fifth Congressional District, the Third Legislative District and those running for key county positions have all been invited.

"Commissioner candidates Phil Harris and Louise Chadez are going to be here," says Jean Farmer, assistant director of the Northeast Community Center, which is also sponsoring the debate.

From the Third District, expect to see Rep. Alex Wood, who's running against Jeff Knox, and Rep. Jeff Gombosky, who's running against Ryan Leonard.

From the Fifth Congressional District, voters can meet Democrat Bart Haggin and Libertarian Rob Chase, but incumbent George Nethercutt hasn't confirmed his attendance yet.

"The League of Women Voters is providing a time keeper," says Farmer, "so we can keep things organized."

The candidate forum is on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 pm at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook. Call: 487-1603.

-- News Briefs by Pia K. Hansen

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