Actor, writer, newsman and peace advocate on tap

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerMay 10, 2013 

The new season of the Yakima Town Hall Lecture Series will have a mix of speakers for its 2013-14 season: Academy Award winner Geena Davis, award-winning travel writer Doug Lansky, legendary newsman Bob Schieffer and peace advocate Arn Chorn Pond.

Here's the schedule:

Oct. 2: Davis earned a best supporting actress award for her role in The Accidental Tourist, but she is perhaps best known for her starring roles in A League of Their Own and Thelma & Louise.

Nov. 13: Lansky, who lives in Stockholm, has written books for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and contributed to Esquire, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure and Reader's Digest.

He has spent the last decade traveling to more than 100 countries, and his presentations are usually packed with humorous slide shows from his best-selling book Signspotting.

March 12: Pond is a human rights activist who tells a gripping story of his childhood and surviving the killing fields of Cambodia during the Vietnam war.

He founded the Cambodian Living Arts organization in 1998, which focuses on restoring Cambodia's cultural heritage by reviving his country's traditional music that was lost during the war. He also penned the bestseller Never Fall Down.

April 30: Schieffer is no stranger to TV news fans. He has been a correspondent and anchor for CBS news and currently anchors Face the Nation. He's also the author of the bestselling book This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV.

The Town Hall board of directors was challenged to find a headliner for the new series after Laura Bush held that honor last year, said Debby Douglas, a spokeswoman for the Town Hall series.

"But we think this year's two noteworthy people have filled the bill," she said. "We strive for variety, and Geena Davis and her challenge to media moguls to redesign womens' roles, Arn Pond's story of survival, Lansky's humorous travelogues, and Schieffer's secret news stories should do it."

Tickets to the series cost $85 for all four lectures and can be purchased at or call 509-966-0930.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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