& & Future voters & & & &

SPOKANE -- So what's the deal with young people today? Mainstream media often classify anyone under 20 years as disenfranchised and not interested in anything other than the newest CD. Well, mainstream media may just be wrong.

On Tuesday, the Chase Youth Commission and the Citizens League of the Greater Spokane Area are putting on a candidate forum at City Hall specifically for young people.

Many local candidates will be there: John Talbott and John Powers, who are running for strong mayor; Steve Corker and Rob Higgins, who are running for City Council president; and John Roskelley (D), Karl Wilkinson (R), Kate McCaslin (R) and Bill Burke (D), who are all running for the two contested county commissioner seats.

"Our main focus is that there are a lot of forums about politics and the politicians' specific job descriptions, so this one will focus on issues instead," says Nowell Bamberger, public relations officer for the Chase Youth Commission. "We are trying to see if we can get some promises out of these people, and then call them back by the end of their terms and see what they really have done."

The forum is open to all ages, but questions may only be asked by those who are students. There will be a voting session, using real ballots and supervised by the county auditor at the end of the meeting.

"This is the first time this has been done in Spokane," says Bamberger, who's 15 and a sophomore at Lewis and Clark High School. "We're anticipating a broad range of topics like minimum wage, discrimination against young people and activities for teens in the Spokane area. This is a very unique opportunity."

& & & lt;i & The forum is on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 pm at Spokane City Hall. Call: 625-6054. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & Curbing abuse & & & &

Coeur d'Alene -- The Enough is Enough Committee is continuing its work on curbing substance abuse in the area. This group is a local branch of the statewide substance abuse program, which started back in 1997.

"Currently, we are working on implementing this youth asset-building program," says City Councilwoman and committee member Dixie Reid. "The juvenile detention center in Bonner County has secured a grant to put the asset building program in every school in North Idaho."

Asset building, she says, is not as much about drugs as it is about assessing the students' social environment. "It's a check list to see how they are doing, how much adult involvement they have in their lives, what their feelings are about the school climate and the community values they apply," says Reid.

The Enough is Enough executive board is comprised of representatives from the business, faith and education community, with members from law enforcement, health services and the military as well.

"It's up to the different sub groups to come up with ideas as to how they can help stop substance abuse," says Reid. "It's a community problem, so we need representatives from all over the community to come together to stop this." Later this fall, the group plans to bring Monty Styles, a drug prosecutor in the Idaho State Prosecutor's office to talk to local schools.

"It's not like we are looking for prohibition, but I'm sick and tired of worrying about my family being killed by somebody who drives drunk," says Reid. "National statistics say that one in 10 people with a job have a substance abuse problem. It's huge. We've got to do something to stop it."

& & & lt;i & Enough is Enough will meet on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 7:30-8:30 am at City Hall, 710 E. Mullan, in the city council chambers. Call: (208) 664-3602. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

& & North bank plan & & & &

SPOKANE -- When the Parks and Recreation Department (SPRD) purchased 5.66 acres on the north bank of the Spokane River adjacent to Riverfront Park last year, the plan was to include the area into the park.

"In '99, we did a series of studies looking at the area with some activities in mind that could produce a net income," says Paul Crutchfield, administrative assistant with the SPRD, "and the conclusion, the plan that was chosen by the Park Board, was Scenario One."

Scenario One includes a Science Center and 3-D IMAX theater, one indoor and one outdoor ice sheet, and rides and amusements. It also includes park administration offices, some retail and open space, all to be located on the north bank.

The amusements at the park now would be relocated to the north bank, says Crutchfield, because it would cost about $2.8 million to bring the Pavilion site up to code.

And the bill for constructing a new facility on the north bank may not be picked up by taxpayers. "We would look to the private sector to come to Spokane with facilities such as the science center," he says.

Before the final decision is made, consultants Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc. will lead a series of workshops beginning Tuesday. At the third workshop in December, the consultants will present an analysis and the preferred plan, including a masterplan for the entire park.

"It's important that people come to these meetings. This is going to be the plan for the 10-acre park at the center of downtown, and we need all the input we can get."

& & & lt;i & The first workshop is Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 6:30-8:30 pm in the Champion's Room at the Spokane Arena. Call: 625-6455. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &

Unity in the Community @ Riverfront Park

Sat., Aug. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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