A heated international debate roars into town next week when U.S. Army Colonel Glenn Weidner, commandant of the infamous School of the Americas, goes up against author Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, who argues in School of Assassins that SOA should be shut down. In the wake of revelations that SOA graduates have been responsible for horrific military crimes in Latin America, Congress has threatened to cut the school's funding, prompting a rare Army PR campaign. "There are over 60,000 SOA graduates who have never been accused of anything," says Weidner. Nelson-Pallmeyer, noting that SOA protesters in this country are routinely jailed, counters, "Compare that to the SOA graduates involved in murdering people who have never spent a night in jail." Bring your appetite -- the blood &supl;n&supl; guts fly over lunch Wednesday at the City Club.
Freenet is back! Or at least an ambitious successor to Cleveland's groundbreaking free Internet service, which vanished into the ether when CWRU pulled the plug last September. At its peak in 1995, Freenet had an estimated 95,000 users plugged into local schools, libraries, and chat rooms. But the technical base was always thin, and usage dropped dramatically after other online service providers proliferated. Still, Dave Duffner, owner of Paradise Shore Communications, sees a need for a local electronic clubhouse. "Cleveland.com is just a front for The Plain Dealer," he says. "This will be themed for Northeast Ohio and run by Northeast Ohioans." The new Cleveland Public Access Network, scheduled to debut May 1, will offer free access to information boards, community events, and special interest groups. Follow the construction at www.freenetweb.com or shut off your computer and check out the real world.
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