& & by Pia K. Hansen & & & &

Cheney, Wash. -- When Katie Koestner was a first-year college student almost 10 years ago, she experienced date rape. Today, she's a sexual assault prevention advocate who's been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in HBO's project No Visible Bruises: the Katie Koestner Story, and she has written several books on sexual assault prevention on college campuses.

On Wednesday, Koestner stops at Eastern Washington University to give a presentation about date rape titled "He Said, She Said," together with Brett Sokolow, a specialist on sexual assault law.

"First Katie tells her story, and then Brett Sokolow presents a sexual assault case," says Denise Arnold, adviser for student organizations. "Because his background is in law, he challenges the audience to think critically about what they are hearing, while he gives the legal side of the issue."

The presentation aims to stimulate open debate about a sex crime that often leaves the victim with little legal evidence, but all the blame as to why it happened.

"The counseling office will be there, too. Sometimes, at these events, people come out of the woodwork who maybe didn't know they had help available before," says Arnold. "We have been trying to get Katie for a couple of years, and we are just so glad it finally worked out."

Katie Koestner speaks in the Pence Union Building, on EWU's campus in Cheney, on Wednesday Jan. 10, at 7 pm. Free. Call: 359-4711.

Gateway to the city

Coeur d'Alene -- The city arts commission is sponsoring a several mile long beautification project this spring, trying to spruce up the first impression visitors get of the city.

"We are seeking artists who will help us with Northwest Boulevard," says Betsy Bullard, Coeur d'Alene's public arts coordinator. "This really is the entryway downtown, and we are looking for someone who can help us develop a theme for the corridor all the way from I-90 to downtown." Along the Boulevard, there are nine potential sites for artwork, which have been identified by the Northwest Boulevard Public Art Selection Panel.

Artists from Idaho and Utah, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington can submit proposals.

"We have a minimum of $40,000 available for the artwork, and we may seek private funding if needed," says Bullard. "This is all very open-ended. We've had some visioning sessions, but we are in the beginning of the process."

There's a question and answer session at City Hall tonight, where artists can view the parameters of the project and talk to members of the selection team. Entries must be at City Hall prior to Jan. 19 at 5 pm.

"The panel will pick four finalists, and they will each get $500 to develop their concept," says Bullard. The final project will be recommended to the City Council on March 20.

"It's not really related to the downtown plan," says Bullard, "but this is still a significant long term project, and we are pretty excited about it."

Witness to Wartime: The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 16
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