by Cara Gardner

Sex Talk -- CHENEY - Most of us have seen reports about NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant's alleged sexual assault, but sound bites can't relay the whole story. When it comes to an issue as vitriolic as sexual assault, there's a lot to learn and understand. That's why EWU is sponsoring a sexual assault workshop on Thursday, Jan. 29, called "Understanding the Kobe Bryant Trial: The Story Behind the Headlines."

Michelle Pingree, EWU health and wellness director, says the workshop isn't really just about Kobe Bryant, but that the workshop will use the controversy to bring up issues surrounding the epidemic of sexual assault in America.

"People are talking about it," Pingree says of the Bryant case. "It's up for discussion, and for folks to understand what's happening, we thought we should fill in the holes of how it affects people and society."

At the workshop, experts will discuss the legal and societal aspects of sexual assault as well as how the media often portray victims and perpetrators. Pingree says she hopes the workshop will help dispel myths and stereotypes, especially those regarding "who a victim is and who a perpetrator is and where the responsibilities lie there."

EWU's sexual assault workshop will be held at the Pence Union Building from 2-8 pm; dinner is included. It is free for all students and costs $15 for members of the community. The registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 26. Call EWU's Women's Center at 359-2847.

"We're really trying to hit the student population in general," Pingree says. "Not just the ones in the groups or who come to the rallies, but the students who may not normally come to something like this."

Education Expansion -- SPOKANE - The power of experiential education has long been recognized as a way to galvanize and empower, but it's never been fully incorporated by educational institutions. Slowly, however, educators are finding ways to interpret and integrate experiential methodologies for their students. This is partly because of groups like Empowering Inc., a local nonprofit with a mission to promote experiential learning and team-building. The program is holding a free three-day workshop through the WSU Cooperative Extension for teachers, youth group leaders, coaches, counselors or anyone who works with youth, on how to facilitate experiential learning projects.

"[Participants] will be able to run [experiential] programs, sequence events to get the most out of them and debrief," says April Cathcart, director of Empowering Inc.

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 27, and Friday, Jan. 30, from 6-9 pm and on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 9 am-5 pm. The workshop is free, but space is limited. Cathcart says educators can receive continuing education clock hours for attending the full training.

To register for Empowering Inc.'s three-day workshop, call Anita Raddatz with WSU cooperative extension registration at 477-2087. For more information about Empowering Inc., call April Cathcart or Keith Orchard at 624-7104.

Cable Call -- SPOKANE - Comcast cable customers have undoubtedly noticed an increase in their bill this January; it was the same rate hike they saw last year. Cable companies are working hard to compete with digital technology, and Comcast spent $400 million upgrading its fiber network in Washington state in the past two years. But many consumers worry that such rate increases are only the beginning. Comcast is the largest cable company in the nation, with over 22 million customers, but the company says that because its costs have gone up, so will their customers' bills. The cost and quality of cable service is especially important in a market with only one cable company, like Spokane. Comcast Cable is about to renew its contract with the City of Spokane, and though the city can't "fire" the company or control what it charges consumers, citizens are encouraged to speak up during contract negotiations.

"We need to hear from the citizens," said council member Cherie Rodgers, the City Council's liaison to the Spokane Regional Cable Advisory Board (SRCAB), in a press release. "The city is trying to negotiate a franchise that will reflect the needs of our community, and to find out what those needs are, we need the help of our citizens."

The Spokane Regional Cable Advisory Board's public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The city encourages citizens to provide input by calling the its designated cable hotline at 625-6557 or by e-mailing comments to

Publication date: 1/22/04

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