Ailing knee forces Serena to withdraw

Serena Williams made time for a charity event Wednesday, but her time is up in the Rogers Cup, reported The Toronto Sun (and many Toronto-area TV and radio stations) Aug. 18, in continuing coverage of the women’s tennis tournament at the Rexall Centre at York University. Williams won her first match of the event on Tuesday, despite being bothered by her previously injured left knee. However, she said Wednesday she does not feel well enough to risk another match this week. “I think it was the best decision for me and my body at this point.”

In the days leading up to the Rogers Cup, Venus Williams (flu) and Maria Sharapova (chest) pulled out. Then Mary Pierce (quadriceps) withdrew on Tuesday, before playing a match. At least Williams came to Toronto and got in one match before leaving, said the Sun. The Globe and Mail noted that six of the top 10 players in the world were still in the competition. Still, Tennis Canada tournament director Stacey Allaster acknowledged that ticket sales for the rest of the week would be impacted by the absence of Serena.

The positive side of Jane-Finch

“After graduating from the Faculty of Education at York University in 1992, I was offered a job at a school in the Jane and Finch community of metropolitan Toronto,” wrote Robert Burtch in a letter published Aug. 18 in The Kingston Whig-Standard. “It wasn’t until after I had accepted the teaching position that I learned of this neighbourhood’s infamous reputation as a crime capital of Canada.” Then he tells a story about losing his wallet in a park while playing soccer with his Grade 3 class. After a big search, he checked his phone messages at home and discovered that a recent immigrant from Vietnam had dropped the wallet off at the local police station. “I always tell this story about the lost wallet in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood to show that honest people exist in every neighbourhood. So think twice before judging a neighbourhood solely by its reputation.”

Watch students sculpt butter at the Ex

Sculpting takes centre stage in two live exhibits at this year’s Ex, with 30 artists crafting artwork out of two diametrically different mediums: limestone and butter, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 18. “Butter is really weird stuff to work with. It’s hard and then, when you start working with it, becomes soft and sticky,” says Cheryl Daniels, a sculpture technician at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Daniels is coordinating the event, which involves 20 student artists from OCAD and York University.

York’s Rachel McAdams horrified in Red Eye

“At first I thought, ‘I’m going to go insane. I’ll lose my mind’, ” Rachel McAdams told the New York Times News Service in a story printed in The Record in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo Aug. 18. “Can you imagine a plane ride that lasts for several months straight?” The 2001 York theatre grad was talking about the weeks she spent trapped aboard a non-flying airliner filming the Wes Craven thriller Red Eye, which opens Friday.