Annual series adds gourmet feature to public policy chats

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Scheduled speakers

July 12 - "A Dialogue on National Security and Civil Liberties: Detention, Interrogation and More" led by Stuart Taylor, a National Journal columnist, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and a contributing editor at Newsweek, and David Cole, a professor at the Georgetown Law Center, author of books on civil liberties and commentator for the PBS News Hour.

July 19 - "The United States and the Middle East after Iraq: Taking Stock of Iran and the Shia Revival" led by Vali Nasr, author of "The Shia Revival," professor of Middle East and South Asia politics at the Naval Postgraduate School and fellow of the Dubai Initiative at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

July 26 - "The Deceptive Nature of Intelligence Reform" led by Fred Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA and professor at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, writing and teaching on espionage.

Aug. 9 - "Critical Issues Facing U.S. Healthcare: Access, Availability and Cost" led by Steven Schroeder, professor San Francisco School of Medicine, University of California, and former president of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

— If you've ever left a Seminars at Steamboat discussion wanting more, this summer you'll have a chance to satisfy your appetite.

Jane Stein, a retired Time magazine journalist and Seminars at Steamboat board member, said this summer the public will have an opportunity to attend a "Dutch treat" dinner after two of the scheduled presentations. During that dinner, guests can continue the dialogue with the featured speakers.

"We've heard a lot of people talk about the seminars outside of the series in their homes, at restaurants, even on their way out the doors," she said. "We thought it would be a good idea to provide an opportunity for interested community members to continue those lively discussions."

The dinners will be July 12 and 26 at Rex's American Grill and Bar, and they will cost $25 a person. To attend the dinner, community members must be a "Friend of the Seminars," which requires a minimum donation of $100, she said.

Stein said the Seminars board is looking forward to this summer's series because all four topics are of particular interest at the local and national levels.

"All four (topics) touch on important public policies facing Americans today," she said. "The discussions about war and civil liberties are very important issues. These are things we didn't have to think about earlier but are ongoing topics of interest now."

Seminars at Steamboat is nonpartisan, Stein said.

"These are non-partisan public policy issues. These are issues that face everyone. They are broad based," she said. "The only thing we advocate is having a good discussion."

Because Seminars has grown so much in its first couple of years, the discussions will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Strings in the Mountains music tent to accommodate more attendees. All discussions are free and open to the public. For more information, call 870-4426.

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