'Coal Crossroads' showing today

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SANDPOINT — Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper is hosting the showing of the “Coal Crossroads” documentary tonight.

Admission is free of charge. The film starts at 7 p.m. at the Old Granary Art District. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for those interested in learning more about the coal export issue.

The one-hour documentary investigates the controversy surrounding coal exports in Washington state.

“We think that this is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the potential ramifications associated with a dramatic increase in coal train traffic coming through Bonner County,” said Shannon Williamson, executive director of Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper.

Domestic coal companies with mines in the Powder River Basin propose shipping as much as 160 million tons of coal a year to slake the thirst for the material in Asian markets. The coal would be transported westward by rail in open cars to export facilities in Washington and Oregon.

Critics of the plan contend approximately 100 trains a day will roll through Sandpoint, about half of which would be laden with coal, if permits are approved for the export facilities.

The Sandpoint-based water quality watchdog group is also hosting the showing of another documentary called “Last Call at the Oasis” on Saturday. Admission is free and the film starts at 7 p.m. at the Panida Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m.

“Last Call” is described as a documentary that illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system and depicts communities already struggling with its ill effects.

Waterkeeper will also be collecting donations on to assist the city’s efforts to keep City Beach free of herbicides.

“The city of Sandpoint stepped up to protect water quality and the safety of its citizens by rejecting the use of herbicides and adopting an ecologically sound plan for the management of aquatic invasive weeds in the City Beach area,” said Williamson.

n Info: www.lakependoreillewaterkeeper.org

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