Polling 101

PULLMAN, Wash. -- As the nation continues its recovery from election night's media-fueled roller coaster ride of "we'll give that state to Gore... no wait, we'll give it to Bush," the TV networks have had a lot of explaining to do.

On Thursday, April 5, CBS' News Director of Surveys Kathleen Frankovic will be at Washington State University to discuss the concept of exit polls and some of the lessons learned on Nov. 9.

She'll be joined by WSU sociology professor Donald Dillman, who's internationally recognized for his work developing modern mail and phone surveys. Dillman will be talking mostly about Florida's infamous butterfly ballots and how they may have impacted the final election result.

On election night, Frankovic, who was a political science professor at the University of Vermont prior to joining CBS, was in charge of the decision making that went into calling the races. She'll be talking about what happened, and how the networks are trying to prevent wrong calls during upcoming elections.

Frankovic and Dillman will speak on Thursday, April 5, at 6:30 pm in WSU's Todd Hall, Room 216, in Pullman. Call: (509) 335-4262.

Boys and Girls Club

SPOKANE -- If you're around 10 and not really into sports, 4-H or scouting, there really isn't a whole lot for you to do once school is out. But that'll change on June 1, when the Boys and Girls Clubs of America opens a club in the old St. Xavier's School on East Providence.

"It's going to be open after school, typically until 9 pm," says Kevin Bacon, a banker for U.S. Bank, and the president-elect for the local club's newly formed board of directors. "We are the fastest growing non-profit organization in the country, opening almost a club a day."

The Boys and Girls Club is non-denominational and funded by state and federal monies, but a big part of its funding comes from businesses. Nike sponsors some sports programs, and Microsoft just donated $100 million for computer technology to all the clubs. Local business support is needed as well.

"The majority of the club's budget is funded locally by donations from businesses and individuals," says Bacon. In return for donations, businesses get exposure at the school.

Boys and Girls Clubs offers programs in sports, art, education and many other areas. A paid staff of between five and 10 people will run the club together with volunteers.

Youth between the ages of 6 and 18 can join the club for a small, annual fee -- but no one is ever turned away because of lack of money.

"What's so great about this concept is that you can add new programs as the kids grow passionate about something," says Bacon. "There's great flexibility."

For businesses or volunteers interested in joining the upstart phase of the new club, call 489-0741.

Northwest Winterfest @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Saturdays, 4-8 p.m. and Sundays, 3-6 p.m. Continues through Jan. 1
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