Waterloo celebrates Nino Ricci

Acclaimed author and York alumnus Nino Ricci (BA ‘81) is about to enjoy celebrity across Waterloo Region as the featured writer in Kitchener-Waterloo’s “One Book, One Community” campaign, reported The Record (Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge), Sept. 22. Former writer-in-residence at York, Ricci is the author of four best-selling novels, including Testament, a controversial novel about the life of Christ released in 2002. Ricci recounted his arrival at York where he enrolled in a creative writing course conducted by W.O. Mitchell, author of the Canadian classic Who Has Seen the Wind. After a couple of weeks, Ricci said, Mitchell told him he would likely fail. “He thought I had a penchant for acting, which had never occurred to me,” Ricci said. The Italian-Canadian author from Leamington, Ont., also talked about the upcoming television adaptation of his award-winning first novel, Lives of the Saints (1990), scheduled to air on CTV early next year. Directed by Jerry Ciccoritti, the mini-series stars Nick Mancuso, Fab Fillipo, Jessica Pare, Sabrina Ferilli, Kris Kristofferson and Sophia Loren.

York graduate joins Kawartha studio tour

York graduate Margot Whitfield (BFA ‘04) was featured in a Sept. 22 story in the Peterborough Examiner promoting the 20th annual Kawartha Autumn Studio Tour taking place this weekend. Whitfield, 23, who studied in York’s Department of Visual Arts, works in textile, silkscreen printing, and painting. She said the subject matter of her art has undergone changes in the last few years after she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. “I have gone from being interested in only the aesthetics value of art to being more concerned with meaning and expressing an intent or idea with my art,” she said. Whitfield is education officer at the Koffler Gallery Centre of the Arts in Toronto and works part time at the Art Gallery of Ontario as an assistant technician, setting up materials for educational programs.

Peltomaa joins Toronto law firm

Bennett Jones LLP announced the arrival of Osgoode graduate and former York professor Arthur Peltomaa (LLM ’81) to the partnership as opinions counsel in the firm’s Toronto office, in the Sept. 22 National Post. Following his call to the Bar in 1981, Peltomaa served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of Ontario. He has also worked as a consultant to the Law Reform Commission of Canada and has taught full-time at Osgoode and part-time in various academic and professional programs.

Survival through independence

Disabled high-school students including Ashleigh Judge, now a first-year student  in York’s Faculty of Arts, learn survival skills in Canada’s urban jungle participating in The Independence Program, reported Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s Daily Herald on Sept. 22. The Canadian Press feature story, which has run in many newspapers across the country, described details of the course run by the Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre in Toronto. Kim Jones-Galley, program co-ordinator, said the focus is to help kids who are getting ready to go to university. Judge, 18, said she’s hoping the program will help her feel more comfortable steering her wheelchair around York. “I’m really excited about university,” said Judge. “But I don’t have much experience going out alone, besides around my neighbourhood.”

Judge accuses Ottawa of bias against singles

One of Canada’s senior judges is accusing the federal government of discriminating against her and other single public servants by denying them the same benefits as married people and common-law couples. The failure to grant concessions to singles makes them “unworthy before the law” and violates the Charter of Rights protection against discrimination based on marital status, said Federal Court of Appeal Justice Alice Desjardins, 70, in a story published in Victoria, BC’s Times Colonist Sept. 22. Constitutional expert Peter Hogg, former dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, said Desjardins has a point and suggested that expanding benefits for singles, just as the government did for common-law couples and then same-sex couples, is a logical progression. “It seems to me that’s where we’re headed,” he said.

High-school quarterback has York heritage

Among the contenders for local high-school football supremacy, Northern Secondary School is the heavy favourite, said The Toronto Sun Sept. 22. The story also noted that Northern quarterback George Gretes is son of York University Lions head coach Tom Gretes, in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science.

On air

  • Professor Emeritus Bernie Folic, director of the Asia Business Management program at the York Centre for Asian Research, gave several interviews Sept. 21 on change in China since the appointment of president Hu Jintao in March 2003. The interviews were carried on CBC radio stations in Victoria, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa and Yellowknife.

  • Stephen Newman, political science professor in the Faculty of Arts, spoke about the US election, the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21 on CJME-AM radio in Regina.