Just call it Roger’s Cup

It’s time to add an apostrophe to the name of Canada’s premier tennis event, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 14. An exclamation mark would work too. The Rogers Cup really is Roger’s Cup! “We all know that joke. I like it,” said Roger Federer, the Swiss tennis magician, as he cradled the championship crystal on the stadium court before a capacity crowd of 11,000. Punctuating a fabulous week of tennis at the Rexall Centre, the world’s No. 1 player survived a scare yesterday, as he did several times this week, to win the Canadian title 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 over a very stubborn Richard Gasquet of France.

  • Here in Toronto, on the campus of York University, the fans seemed eager to see an upset at first, wrote The New York Times. Gasquet beat Federer the first time they met, on clay in Monte Carlo last year. Federer has won all five of their meetings since then, including their match in the first round of Wimbledon on June 26.
  • Major print media, including The Globe and Mail and Canadian Press, reported on the tournament finale, all mentioning York University as the location. Broadcast media, including CBC Television, and radio stations across the country reported on the tournament throughout the week.

Lazar suggests air travellers may soon go luggage free

Nearly five years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, travellers face another string of security restrictions in the wake of this week’s revelation that British police foiled a plot by terrorists to board US-bound jets at London’s Heathrow airport and blow them up over the Atlantic, reported The Globe and Mail Aug. 12.

Fred Lazar, a business professor at York’s Schulich School of Business who specializes in the airline industry, says it isn’t far-fetched to imagine a future where many passengers travel with little or no luggage, and typically show up at least three hours before departure. Those wishing to check bags would do so 24 hours in advance. On short-haul flights, bags would reach their destination by train or truck. On long-haul routes, there could even be dedicated cargo planes.

  • Lazar also spoke about changes to business travel following new security measures in the wake of the plot thwarted by British police last week, on CBC Radio Aug. 11.

York is the only bidder remaining for the new Ontario Archives

With a proposed new building on its campus at Keele Street and Steeles Avenue West, York University is the only bidder remaining offering to house the Ontario Archives, wrote columnist Ian Urquhart in the Toronto Star Aug. 14. One by one the other bidders dropped off until the government was left with just one proposal: York University. Bud Purves, president of York University Development Corp., would not discuss the details of his bid with me, wrote Urquhart, except to say that it is “competitively priced.” (An aside: Purves also sits on the board of Ontario Realty Corp., the government agency that is handling the archives transaction. Asked about the apparent conflict of interest, Purves said that he excused himself from all board discussions about the archives proposal, wrote Urquhart.) The government is now in a quandary. If the only remaining bid were accepted, the Liberals would face the wrath of the opposition for cancelling what Urquhart called a cheaper alternative two years ago.

Accordingly, there is buzz around Queen’s Park that the government might try to revive the Union Station proposal, which collapsed when the Union Pearson Group pulled out of its deal with the city for an overall renovation of the property, wrote Urquhart. The problem for the government is that York University has followed the legal tendering process to date and likely wouldn’t be pleased if the government pulled a Union Station rabbit out of the hat at the last minute. Asked what his reaction would be if a new Union Station proposal were to be added to the list at this late stage in the bidding process, Purves responded ominously: “I wouldn’t want to comment. I would have to read the documents carefully.”

Arrest, charge flag burners says political science student

As a political science student attending York University who studies different political systems, countries and international relations, not to mention as a daughter of an immigrant thankful to live in Canada, I was shocked and disgusted to see Canadians – living and breathing in Toronto, burning the Israeli flag in your newspaper yesterday, wrote Laura Dodgson in a letter to the Toronto Star Aug. 14. Although this latest conflict in the Middle East is deeply emotional and hits home for people, both Israeli Canadians and Lebanese Canadians, we should demand better from Canadians. This kind of hate crime should not be tolerated on either side and the “protestors” burning any country’s flag should be arrested and charged. Come on people, demand better of yourself, wrote Dodgson.

Schulich student is business apprentice finalist

Katrina Alton has been cast as the newest apprentice in a spinoff of a popular TV show, reported the Orillia Packet and Times Aug. 12. It will be called “Impact Apprentice” and she will join 31 other Canadian college and university students who will compete in real-life business scenarios for four days in the nation’s capital. “I’m just excited to put it on my resume. It’s something unusual, and anything like that helps when you’re trying to get a job,” the Oro-Medonte native said. The Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate just completed her first year at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Debate heats up over developer campaign donations

A report compiled by Robert MacDermid, professor of political science in York’s Faculty of Arts, shows in the 2003 municipal election, Vaughan regional councillor Linda Jackson disclosed $79,508 in total contributions, reported the Vaughan Citizen Aug. 12. A little more than 77 per cent of those contributions, or $61,475, were corporate in nature, a figure that includes developer donations.

A list compiled by MacDermid of 20 GTA candidates in the 2003 election who received the most corporate funding put Jackson 15th out of 20. Other names on that list include provincial opposition leader John Tory, who ran for mayor in Toronto in 2003, at number one with more than $520,000 in corporate donations, Mayor Michael Di Biase at number five, with $196,750 in donations and Markham Mayor Don Cousens, at number 16, who pulled in just more than $59,000 in corporate contributions. The professor’s paper also showed 81 per cent of all contributions over $100 to Vaughan candidates in 2003 were corporate in origin.

  • In a separate story on the report, the Citizen quoted MacDermid on why visible-minority groups aren’t well represented at the local political level, which he said was because often those communities haven’t organized a political drive. In other cases, ethnic candidates fail to win a seat because their campaigns aren’t has funded as well, MacDermid added. It’s difficult for a newcomer to overcome an incumbent, he said. “That’s a huge disadvantage running against people who are often funded by a developer. There are no parties (in municipal politics). You can’t ride on the party coattails whereas (with) federal or provinicial (politics you receive) assistance,” he said.

Reward offered in unsolved double murder

A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction in a year-old double murder case in which police say they have no leads, reported The North York Mirror Aug. 11. Loyan Ahmed Gilao, 23, a Rexdale resident and second-year York University student, and Ali Mahamud Ali, 19, were shot dead Aug. 8, 2005 while talking with friends at Maitland Place and Homewood Avenue in the Wellesley and Sherbourne streets area.

Writer cites York study about competitive females

Maryanne Fisher, a psychologist formerly based at York University, conducted a study several years ago that showed we of the female species become, um, more critical about other women when we’re at the most fertile, estrogen-driven point in our menstrual cycles, wrote a columnist in The Gazette (Montreal) Aug. 14. The study, published in 2004 in Biology Letters, an online journal of Britain’s Royal Society, compared our rating of other women’s attractiveness during high-fertility and low-fertility periods. And it turns out that those wonky teeth, pot bellies and bags under the eyes of others are ever so much uglier when we instinctively want to have sex – what Fisher called “competitor derogation.”

Interest in local politics sprouts from roots in community, says professor

Terry Fowler, professor emeritus of political science at Glendon who taught courses on municipal government for 30 years, suggested low voter turnout in municipal elections could be partially due to new residents not having established roots in the community, reported Newmarket/Aurora Era-Banner Aug. 12. “You have to have a history with the community before you get interested in the politics there,” Fowler explained. A lack of media interest in smaller issues such as street improvements also makes it an uphill battle in getting voters’ attention, he added. “People don’t get ideologically excited about sewers or garbage pickup,” Fowler said.

Olympics will put spotlight on BC’s race relations and economics

As we approach the 40th anniversary of Canada’s centennial celebration and of Expo ’67, it is worth considering some of the social dynamics that were part of that special year, wrote Myra Rutherdale, professor in York’s Department of History, Faculty of Arts, and colleague Jim Miller of the University of Saskatchewan, in the Winnipeg Free Press Aug. 14. As historians of native-newcomer relations, we are especially interested in how aboriginal Canadians imagined their role and how they participated in that year of celebration and spectacle. This question is particularly timely as we approach the 2010 Olympics, a year which is sure to bring great excitement but one which will also cast a spotlight on race relations and social and economic conditions in British Columbia and beyond. Let’s hope we will be able to say the same for the 2010 Olympics.

Greer plays an organ recital with a difference

The St. James’ summer noon hour organ recital series continues on Wednesday with yet another variation. Albert Greer, the resident organist and director of music at St. James’ will provide a variation on the traditional recital as he turns the church pipe organ into a quasi “theatre organ,” adding show tunes and radio themes to his classical fare, reported the Orillia Packet and Times Aug. 12. Greer taught high school vocal and instrumental music (as well as geography, history, English and mathematics) for 18 years followed by part-time teaching in York’s Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts, since 1980.

College plans next project

A new health sciences building – with labs and specialized teaching spaces, as well as clinic spaces for the community – is Georgian College’s next expansion priority, reported The Midland-Penetang Mirror Aug. 11. Georgian offers an array of health-related programs as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) in conjunction with York’s Faculty of Health.

Candles light way to Sharon Temple

Let the candlelight show you the way during the annual illumination event hosted by the Sharon Temple National Historic Site, reported the Newmarket/Aurora Era-Banner Aug. 10 . On Sept. 8, beginning at 7pm, the entire temple will be glowing with candlelight. Albert Schrauwers, professor of anthropology in York’s Faculty of Arts, will join Toronto Star writer Christopher Hume on the roster to speak about the Sharon Temple and its builders’ place in Canadian history.

On air

  • Fred Lazar, professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about Air Canada’s latest profits report on CBC’s “Radio Active” program on Aug. 11.
  • Peter Timmerman, professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, spoke about his Buddhist faith and his upcoming speech at the Couchiching Conference, on CBC Radio’s “Ontario Morning” program Aug. 11.
  • Diane Michelangeli, professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, answered the question, “how far would a golf ball hit by Mike Weir travel in space?” in a Sirius satellite radio transmission of the Radio Canada International program “Sci-Tech File”, in a repeat broadcast from April 2006.