News Roundup -- Democracy’s place overseas/Critical areas, budget slated

Democracy’s place overseas

The Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council Fall Current Event Series features two speakers with divergent views on whether or not U.S democracy is what all countries need.

Speakers Thomas O. Melia – the deputy executive director of Freedom House, a nonpartisan human rights organization – and Robert D. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly are featired in “Advancing Democracy: Two Viewpoints.”

Melia will speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Bainbridge Commons on Brien Drive. Kaplan will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Eagle Harbor Books.

Melia, who has taught democratic development at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service also held senior posts at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a nongovernmental organization engaged in the promotion of democracy worldwide.

He argues a democratic form of government is essential to safeguard human rights throughout the world, and democracy promotion is an important component of American diplomacy and foreign assistance.

Kaplan, a best-selling writer on foreign affairs and travel with more than two decades of reporting from world hot spots recently wrote “Grunts: The American Military on the Ground.”

He posits that democracy may not be the system that will best serve the world – or even the one that will prevail in places that now consider themselves bastions of freedom.

What people really want is security and a better life, he wrote, which benign authoritarianism and hybrid democratic-autocratic regimes may be better able to deliver.

Tickets to Melia’s talk are $10, or $5 for BIAHC members, students and seniors. Kaplan’s talk, co-sponsored by Eagle Harbor Books, is free. The Current Event Series is co-presented by The World Affairs Council,

—Rhona Schwartz

Critical areas, budget slated

The City Council will hold a special meeting and workshop 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at City Hall council chambers.

Up for discussion includes revisions to the Critical Areas Ordinance, governing land use in sensitive habitats from 9:30 -10 a.m.; the proposed 2006 city budget from 10:10 a.m. to noon; the council’s 2006 budget policies and priorities from 1-2:45 p.m.; future budget workshops, 2:45-3 p.m.; and the ethics program from 3-4 p.m. For more information call 780-8604 or see

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