Wahnapitae’s whirlwind

Although it may seem instinctive to associate Northern Ontario with mining rather than dancing, 22-year-old York student Ashley Burton chose the latter to get her name on the map, wrote The Sudbury Star May 24. Born and raised in Wahnapitae, Burton left her community fresh out of high school in 2003 to attend York’s honours program in dance and. in her four years as a student, has managed to make a name for herself in the world of dancing and freelance choreography.

"I eat, sleep and breath (dance)," Burton told The Sudbury Star in 2006, when her modern dance creation, “Parts Arranged in Whorls”, was featured in the July 20 issue. In an effort to give back, Burton, who is returning to Toronto until July to finish a teaching contract with a dance studio, will be coming back to Sudbury for the remainder of the summer, and then will be returning to York in the fall to complete a year of the Faculty of Education’s Consecutive Program for teaching. "I have lots of plans," Burton says. "Teaching is something I would like to get into when my life is a little more stable. For now, I would like to pursue freelance choreography and travel to Europe."

York plugs into city’s hybrid car test project

Mayor David Miller will announce this morning an ambitious initiative to convert hybrid vehicles in the city to "plug-in" models that can be charged from any wall socket and powered mostly from electricity, wrote the Toronto Star May 24. The aim of the project – called the Toronto Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Pilot Project – is to prove that hybrid vehicles, when equipped with larger batteries that can be charged from the grid, can operate in an urban setting on a single charge for more than 50 kilometres with little need for gasoline.

Organizations contributing a hybrid vehicle to the project include York University, "green" electricity retailer Bullfrog Power, Toronto Hydro, the University of Toronto, architecture firm TAS Designbuild and the Ontario ministries of transportation and environment.

Orillia chapter of Habitat For Humanity names York grad to post

Habitat For Humanity Orillia/Lake Country Chapter is pleased to announce that York alumnus Jed Levene (BA ‘03) is the new director of public/community relations and promotions, wrote the Orillia Packet and Times May 24. Levene is from Orillia, graduated from Twin Lakes High School and York’s Faculty of Arts with a bachelor of arts degree in geography.

He and his wife Islay, a teacher at Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational School, decided to settle in Orillia after Levene sold the property maintenance business he started. Levene, for the last three years has been with Freedom 55, now serving as a certified financial planner and director of business development for the Georgian Bay Region.

York alumna’s mayor husband retires after 35 years at same school

Centre stage is no stranger to Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor and John Abbott College English and drama teacher Bill Tierney who is retiring after 35 years at the school, wrote The Gazette (Montreal) May 24. "I don’t feel like I’m leaving the college," said Tierney, who with his fellow Abbott English teacher and wife of 33 years, Deborah Campbell (MA ‘72), live on the periphery of the picturesque campus.

In 1971, Tierney joined Abbott in its first year of operation, while Campbell did her master’s degree in English at York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies. A year later, she, too, joined the Abbott English department, along with 14 others – the biggest single year hiring for the college.

Sarnia drug case reaches Supreme Court

Supreme Court justices were scheduled to put a dog’s nose on trial this week to settle a dispute that began in a city notorious for its smells, wrote Sarnia This Week May 24, which cited an article from The Court, Osgoode Hall Law School’s online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.

"(The court) will need to determine whether…the police use of a dog to sniff the belongings of people in public places constitutes a search under Section Eight of the Charter," says the May 15 article. "In this case, police acted upon a long-standing invitation from a Sarnia high school principal to bring dogs into the school to search for drugs. Although the principal had no particular suspicions on the date in question, he had previously expressed concern about the presence of drugs and had received occasional reports from neighbours and parents concerning drug use within the school."

Teens are taking on a very adult 50-hour workweek

Nigel Mansell, a student John Cabot Catholic Secondary School, is another teenage multitasker, wrote The Globe and Mail May 24 in a feature story about workaholic teens based on new data from Statistics Canada. He juggles school, homework, a part-time job in a shoe store and boxing four nights a week. Being busy helps him to stay organized and to know how precious time is, he says. "Before I was boxing and working I’d sleep more and get nothing done," says the 17-year-old, who hopes to study business at York University. "I look back and it was time wasted. I could have been doing homework."

Play shines new light on students

They’ve been all through school together. But until "Guys and Dolls," neither Jenna Skinner nor Paige Phillips had really heard their friends sing, wrote the Owen Sound Sun Times May 24. Both Skinner and Phillips, who plays the Hot Box club dancer Adelaide opposite Downing’s Detroit, have years of music or dance training. For them, "Guys and Dolls" is a chance to shine and grow personally while getting to know better their senior school peers and showing leadership to younger students, they said.

Phillips danced 10 years with Dancemakers, sang for a decade with the Owen Sound Children’s Chorus and has been in Owen Sound Little Theatre musicals. "It’s a great life experience," said Phillips, who plans fine arts and cultural studies at York University, with a focus on dramatic arts. "Dancing, singing and acting are basically my life, that’s all I do outside of school," she said. "Now every day after school we get to sing and dance. This is the stuff we really like to do. So it’s good."

Baseball loop includes York team

Windor’s St .Clair College will apply to the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association in October for a men’s varsity baseball program, wrote the Windsor Star May 24. Upon ratification, the college will join the Ontario Conference with a schedule of 12-15 regular season games for the fall of 2008. The conference currently includes Oshawa’s Durham College, Toronto’s York University and Kingston’s Queen’s University.

On air

  • Sarah Flicker, professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, spoke about being a first-year professor on CBC Radio’s “Sounds Like Canada” May 23.

  • Artist Kristan Horton, whose work “Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Strangelove” about Stanley Kubrick’s satirical Cold War film Dr. Strangelove is now on display the Art Gallery of York University, was interviewed on CBC Radio May 23.