Williams sisters due to hit courts at York

Look for the biggest one-two punch in women’s sports – Venus and Serena Williams – to bring their sibling rivalry to Toronto this summer for the Rogers AT&T Cup, said the Toronto Star April 10. The tournament runs Aug. 9-17 in what will be the last time it’s staged in the current National Tennis Centre on York University grounds. A modern, spacious $35-million facility just west of the current site also at York is expected to be completed by 2004, said the Star. The National Post and The Toronto Sun also carried news of the sister act competing for the cup.

Jewish Tribune apologizes to York

The Jewish Tribune printed an apology April 10 to readers and the York University community “for any misunderstanding that arose from the cartoon which appeared in the March 13 edition. The cartoon was not intended to characterize any particular group but was attempting to depict an intimidating environment that day on campus, as reported to the Jewish Tribune. Nor was there any intention to imply that physical violence took place that day at the entrance to the campus. We acknowledge that York University and the Toronto Police Services are investigating allegations of violence elsewhere on the campus that day. The Jewish Tribune appreciates that York University is currently working diligently to maintain a positive environment for all students. The Jewish Tribune will regularly feature news and editorial comment relating to the environment for Jewish students at York University.”

Stockwell Day hits Canadian foreign policy

Opposition Foreign Affairs critic Stockwell Day led an impressive array of speakers, including fellow Alliance MP Jason Kenney and Charbel Barakat, the vice-president of the World Lebanese Organization, at a forum entitled “Canadian Foreign Policy – No Laughing Matter” held at York University on April 1, reported The Jewish Tribune April 10. The event, co-sponsored by the Canadian Alliance Youth Wing and York’s Young Zionist Partnership, was not only a powerful morale booster to the York Jewish student population but also a definitive attack on the federal government’s foreign policy, the Tribune said.

Palomino launches Web site creation tool

WebPal, a Web site creation and management tool, has been launched by Palomino System Innovations Inc. at York University, reported The Globe and Mail April 9. WebPal, an enabling platform for business-to-business interaction, is aimed at small and medium-size businesses looking to enter the e-business world. Retailing at about $2,000, the software structures input for multiple users and company-to-company interaction.

Iraqi exchange student excited by fall of Saddam

In Toronto, Amer Salih, an exchange student at York University, said he has heard from friends in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad on Wednesday, reported Canadian Press April 9. “They’re quite happy,” said Salih. “They are expecting that they will have a free, democratic Iraq. They are just watching the TV and just hoping it would end as soon as possible.” Salih, who said he has been glued to his TV for 21 days, was equally excited. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time,” he said. “My family suffered a lot under Saddam’s regime.” He added he wants to see the Iraqi strongman and his sons all face trial for their actions.

Prof doubts democracy will come to Iraq

More violence and suffering is the most likely outcome of the war in Iraq, a York professor told an anti-war teach-in at Laurentian University Wednesday, reported The Sudbury Star April 10. “The result of war is that the world we live in is a more violent place and more prone to disaster and casualties,” said David McNally, a political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, and a social activist. “There should be no illusions that democracy will be the result…. It is common to say the war is for oil, and there is some truth to that. But what often gets lost here, is that a war about oil is often not just about oil. It’s also about imperial control.”

She puts the face on the Lion King

Val Burroff’s job isn’t exactly the cat’s whiskers…but it’s pretty close, reported the Toronto Star April 10. Burroff, who graduated with a fine arts degree from York in 1985, is one of seven hair, wig and makeup artists who work behind the scenes at the long-running hit musical The Lion King, now entering its fourth year at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre. Her main responsibilities are Zazu, the loyal, prim-and-proper hornbill who is the confidant of King Mufasa, and Timon, the hyperactive, motormouthed meerkat who gets into all sorts of mischief with his rotund friend Pumbaa the warthog. “Those are my guys,” says Burroff affectionately, “although I also work with the hyenas.”

Soldier who died in Iraq ‘little guy with a big heart’

“A little guy with a big heart” is the way friends and family remember Corporal Bernard Gooden, the first Canadian killed during combat in Iraq, who was once a York University student, reported the Toronto Star April 10. The tank gunner with the US Marines died in central Iraq on Friday. Gooden moved to Whitby from Jamaica in 1997 at the age of 16 and settled with his father, Bernard Sr., a carpenter at York University. He believes his son died a hero. “But if I had my way he wouldn’t have been over there at all,” he said from his Toronto home. A memorial service will be held in the Bronx, near where his mother lives, later this month, tentatively April 19. He will be buried in Jamaica, said the Star. Gooden studied sociology and political science in 2000-2001 at Glendon College

Income has biggest impact on health, professor says

“There’s a perception out there that heart disease is a middle-class disease, and it’s not,” Dennis Raphael, a health policy professor at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, told a group of about 25 people yesterday at the University of Waterloo, reported The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo) April 10. It’s actually more likely a heart attack patient is a “joe” from a lower socio-economic class than a Bay Street financier with a high-stress job, he said. When it comes to almost any medical condition, income is the number-one determinant of health. That smashes the myth, Raphael said, that exercise, good nutrition and not smoking are the keys to good health.

On air

  • Host Avril Benoit chatted about the “French for the Future” conference at York University’s Glendon College on CBC’s “Metro Morning” April 8.