York perks up coffee trade

York University and Timothy’s World Coffee have announced a partnership to market a brand of sustainably grown coffee from farmlands adjacent to a Costa Rican conservation area, Las Nubes, which is owned by the University, reported the Toronto Star March 17, in a feature sent over the wires by Canadian Press following a press conference organized by York’s Media Relations unit March 16. The Star story featured a photo of York University environmental studies Professor Howard Daugherty holding a fresh cup of Las Nubes coffee and a caption explaining that the beans were grown with help from York students and local farmers using sustainable practices. MetroNews, Toronto’s free daily tabloid, printed and Broadcast News disseminated a shorter version of the Star story. Daugherty was interviewed on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” March 16, and his remarks were aired on the radio network’s “St John’s Morning” and Calgary’s “Homestretch” the next day. Fairchild TV, the Chinese-language TV network available across Canada, also aired coverage of the coffee launch March 16. The Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet” aired a feature about York’s organic coffee to coincide with the launch and featuring interviews with Daugherty and two of his former students – Anna Baggio and Sandra Znajda – who had done coffee research at Las Nubes.

The shade-grown coffee, a selling point that other java companies have promoted of late, will hit Timothy’s 140 locations across Canada next month. “It’s no longer business as usual. The ecological component and the social dimension have to be built into the equation along with the profit,” said Daugherty, a force behind the initiative.

Coffee from Las Nubes, Spanish for “clouds,” will sell for $12.99 per pound, with a portion going back to the University. “The retail price point is at the higher end of our coffees, but the growers are getting good value, the University is getting some financial support, as well as the consumer getting great coffee,” Timothy’s president Becky McKinnon said.

For details on the launch of Las Nubes coffee, read the March 17 YFile.

York Lions aim for basketball trophy

The York University Lions have a “quiet confidence” about being the 10th seed at this week’s Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s basketball championship tournament in Halifax, reported the Toronto Sun March 17. They’re hoping that confidence will help them feed on their opponents, wrote sports writer Chris Morrison. This is only the second time in 22 years that the Lions have qualified for the national championship, helped by the fact that the tourney increased to 10 teams from eight this year. The Lions face the seventh-seed University of British Columbia Thunderbirds March 18. The Lions have a height advantage over the Thunderbirds with only four players under 6-foot-4.

Head coach Bob Bain, in his 30th season, hopes his team’s size and depth will overcome UBC’s mobile players and strong three-point shooting, said the Sun. The team will look to fifth-year guard Tom McChesney, who averaged 18 points per game during the season, to be a strong presence down the stretch. “Tom has been our go-to guy all year,” Bain said yesterday. “He is a large factor and has been big for us all year.” In a 89-87 victory against UBC on Dec. 29, McChesney had 24 points in 29 minutes while playing hurt. “UBC might have overlooked us the first game,” Bain said. “They were coming off a big win against Carleton [in that tournament] and should be tougher [March 18].” The Lions will use a zone defence to try and contain Thunderbird guard Casey Archibald, who torched the York defence for 38 points in their earlier meeting, and his speedy 5-foot-3 teammate Karlo Villanueva. The Lions were the highest scoring team in Ontario and fifth in the province in points against, the Sun added.

Middleton on ads

Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, told The Globe and Mail there has been a new breed of “strong, smart, independent smaller agencies” emerging in recent years, in a March 17 story about small ad agencies breaking into the big time. Unlike some boutiques in the past that would do “off-the-wall kind of stuff”, he said, the newer ones have owners that have a “strategic” or savvy business sense as well as being creatively exciting people.

In a Toronto Star story March 17 about Ontario’s $3.5-million tourism ad campaign in major American consumer magazines, Middleton saluted the “bold” strategy of spending big to sell tourism. “I think it’s great positioning for Toronto in terms of making it a sophisticated city. But the question I have is, why would I try to out-sophisticate New York or Chicago or Washington?” The marketing effort also doesn’t offer enough detail about specific events to lure tourists right away, he said. “I want [people] back in seats now, I want them this summer, I want them as soon as the snow clears…and I miss any sense of urgency in this piece.”

‘Osama’s Navy’ moves people and weapons

They may only be a fleet of rusty freighters, but the ships, dubbed “Osama’s Navy” by defence analysts, send chills down the corridors of intelligence agencies in western nations, began a CanWest News Service story printed March 17 in the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and Montreal Gazette about the 15 freighters believed to be under the control of al-Qaeda and sailing somewhere in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The fear is the vessels, thought to be used to transport weapons and equipment for the terrorist organization, could be turned into floating suicide bombs. Defence analysts such as Martin Shadwick, research associate in the York Centre for International & Security Studies, say, for the time being, it is likely that al-Qaeda would use its ships to move people and weapons.

Joint program gives nurses a chance to upgrade

Under a new joint agreement, York University and Georgian College will offer a post-RN degree program for registered nurses, at Georgian’s Orillia campus, reported the Toronto Sun March 17. The program will also be offered at Georgian’s Owen Sound campus. The agreement builds on the extremely successful partnership between Georgian College, Seneca College and York University in offering a collaborative BScN program, said the Sun. Classes for the collaborative post-RN program will begin in September 2004. The joint program means that qualified graduates of diploma nursing programs such as those previously offered by Georgian College, will have the opportunity to earn the bachelor of science in nursing degree that integrates theory, knowledge and practice in diverse settings. “This program specifically provides a convenient method for working nurses in our region to earn a degree without having to leave the area,” said Georgian College vice-president academic, Cheryl Simpson. “They can also be confident in the quality of teaching and learning, based on our existing partnerships with York University.”

Reliving the terror of the 1930s

This war against terrorism is only about one thing – will. The will of terrorists to kill indiscriminately versus the will of democratic nations to resist, wrote Michael W. Rutherford, a student at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business, in a National Post opinion piece March 17. There is no middle ground between the two sides, no co-existence is possible, Rutherford wrote. Winston Churchill realized this when he remarked that an appeaser “feeds the crocodile in the hopes that it will eat him last. Churchill knew what he was talking about. He watched Nazi Germany devour the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland before the democratic world decided that feeding the crocodile wasn’t such a good idea. “I actually feel that I am living the 1930s. Watching history repeat itself in slow motion is a terrifying experience,” said Rutherford.

On air

  • Political science Professor Robert MacDermid, of York’s Faculty of Arts, was the guest on CBC Radio’s “Ontario Today,” March 16. The phone-in question was, “How should political candidates be chosen?”
  • Paul Delaney, a senior lecturer in astronomy in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, discussed the discovery of Sedna, a new planet in the solar system, on CBC Radio’s “The Current” March 16. A news item in which he commented about the planet’s discovery was aired the same day on television news programs on CFRN-TV in Edmonton, CKY-TV in Winnipeg, CFCF-TV in Montreal and ASN-TV in the Maritimes.