New African-Canadian parenting magazine

As Black History Month continues, one organization dedicated to African-Canadian issues is planning to launch a magazine at York University focusing on black parenting issues, reports the North York Mirror Feb. 5. The launch of Black Woman and Child is scheduled for March 1 at York University’s Curtis Lecture Hall L at 5pm.

MacLean mission in doubt

The Columbia space shuttle disaster will have major impacts on future Canadian space missions, one of which would include North York astronaut Steve MacLean, reports the North York Mirror Feb. 5. MacLean, 47, an Ottawa native and York University graduate on the board of directors of the York University Alumni Association, was to be on board the space shuttle Endeavour for a May 23 flight to the International Space Station (ISS). He was to attach two truss segments, deploy two solar arrays onto the ISS and be the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm. He was also scheduled for two spacewalks.

Ford F-word fetish doesn’t fly

“I can see it now, the Ford Foal. It doesn’t have quite the same power as the Ford Mustang. Are they seriously going to ruin powerful brand equity built up around the Mustang name just for the sake of neatness?” says Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, about Ford’s fetish for F-words, in a Globe and Mail story Feb. 7. Alliteration as a marketing strategy is misguided, he says. The effectiveness of Ford’s marketing activities will still depend on the strength of campaigns for individual cars – whether they start with F or not.

Aggressive driving declines

York University has observed success after introducing a Road Watch program, reports the National Post Feb. 7. Road Watch empowers motorists to report aggressive drivers by filling out a Citizen Report Form, although York’s campus is technically private property and thus governed differently than a municipality. It sees 30,000 vehicles per day and has no shortage of headaches. “I read the reports on a daily basis and I see what the trends are,” says Richard Pilkington, operations manager of York’s Security Services. “We have definitely seen  a decline” of aggressive driving incidents, he says.

Cutbacks a legacy of airline merger

The latest moves by Air Canada to sell divisions and cut executive pay are necessary but overdue, says Fred Lazar, economics professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, in a Toronto Star story Feb. 7 about Air Canada cutbacks. “This exercise should have started Dec. 31, 1999, when they took over Canadian Airlines, but their hands were legally tied by the (no-layoffs) rules set by Ottawa. Air Canada is not going to be able to avoid some layoffs. They just have too many people, a legacy of the merger with Canadian Airlines.”

Bullying dynamic is complex

According to Debra Pepler, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, the bullying “dynamic” is a lot more complex than one kid calling another kid “fat”, reports The Edmonton Sun Feb. 7. “Most children grow out of the habit of bullying because they develop their empathy,” she said. “For other children, the practice is reinforced. We’ve observed bullying behaviour on the playground, and the audience that bullying draws tends to be about 75 per cent in favour of the child doing the bullying. It’s a social display.”