Bursary news is ‘music to President Marsden’s ears’

Multicultural groups, along with police and entertainers from the first Roots and Culture Festival held last July in the Jane and Finch area, raised $8,000 for the Randall Dooley Memorial Entrance Bursary, tenable at York University. Western Union added another $8,000 to the bursary, which is in memory of Randall Dooley, the seven-year-old child who was in the headlines this past year when his father and stepmother were convicted of his murder, says the Globe & Mail Jan. 3.

The strong community response to the festival has organizers dreaming of a three-day event this year to raise even more money for the Randal Dooley scholarship, says the Globe & Mail, adding, “That is music to the ears of York University President Lorna Marsden, who describes the Roots and Culture fundraiser as ‘an amazing philanthropic gift. The fund shows us enormous hope coming out of something truly evil’.” The bursary will pay $2,000 each for three graduating high-school students from the area, starting this fall.

Centrefold models’ shapes changing

“Centrefold models’ shapely body characteristics have given way to more androgynous ones,” says a study co-authored by Maryanne Fisher, a doctoral candidate in psychology at York University, and published recently in the British Medical Journal reports the Toronto Star Dec. 20. “People still do think of Playboy models as being really shapely and it’s not necessarily true,” Fisher told the Star’s Mary Gordon. The study did not explain the trend toward a more boxy, boyish shape, she said. “It’s not surprising. Fashion models, the catwalk…you see the Calvin Klein models [on billboards]. There’s definitely some sort of shift happening, but in terms of what’s going on exactly, I don’t know.”

Coverage of the study was anything but slim on Dec. 20, the day it appeared in the journal. News of its findings were distributed by Canadian Press and Associated Press wire services, on broadcast news and in major dailies in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Montreal. For more on the study, check out York’s media release at www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/121902-2.htm.

Distributing pot for therapy OK

A judge in Montreal found two men guilty of possessing and trafficking marijuana but refused to convict them. Police had arrested them at a club where sick people could buy pot to ease their pain. “We’ve had courts say that you cannot criminalize therapeutic use. This is the first time we’ve had a court say you cannot criminalize therapeutic distribution,” Alan Young, Osgoode Hall Law School professor, told Peter Mansbridge on “CBC News and Current Affairs” Dec. 19.

Bell appointed to Downsview Park board

Canada Lands Company Limited has announced that it has appointed David Bell, director of York’s Centre for Applied Sustainability, and four other new members to the board of its Parc Downsview Park Inc. subsidiary, reports Canada News-Wire Dec. 19. The board oversees the development and ongoing management of Downsview Park on the former Canadian Forces Base Toronto lands.

Wychwood shows Signs of a New Park

Bob Hanke, a social science professor at York and co-author of the study “Signs of a New Park”, says Wychwood residents no longer want parks with grass, benches and some trees. They want to preserve the heritage of the five streetcar repair barns at Wychwood Avenue, near St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street, reports The North York Mirror Dec. 20. The redevelopment of the Wychwood barns is a perfect example of how society has changed its attitude about public parks and the use of city space, the study says. “The industrial heritage and the green space needs are not mutually exclusive, they will be integrated into an overall park. The buildings will be a park within a park, so rather than seeing it as inside-outside, private-public, it will all be integrated. It will be year-round public space, which includes an arts component,” Hanke said. The 27-page study will be published in the February issue of York’s contemporary art and culture journal, Public 26-Nature.

On air

Carol Carpenter, York University folklorist, who began teaching a course on Tolkien 30 years ago, reacts to the Lord of the Rings‘ film The Two Towers and talks about how she first acquired her passion for Tolkien’s work, on CBC’s “Metro Morning” Dec. 19.