FES alumnus joins the battle against ORVs in the forest

York alumnus David Donnelly (MES ’94) is the lawyer representing the Friends of the Northumberland County Forest, wrote the Cobourg Daily Star June 29 in publishing a letter he wrote to the local town council about a proposed bylaw permitting off-road vehicles (ORVs) to exit and enter the forest on public highways. The paper noted Donnelly has a master’s degree from York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. He is also a registered professional planner and the former executive director of Environmental Defence Canada. Below are some excerpts from the letter.

ORVs cause significant environmental and safety concerns for the Township, wrote Donnelly. The Forest…has been designated as the most sensitive type of land, worthy of the most stringent protection. ORV use may destroy, among other things, vegetation, sandy soil, landforms, and ultimately, the aquifer.

Over time, continuous ORV use may widen roads and trails, erode the soil, and destroy vegetation. As the roads become deeply rutted, the furrows fill during rains, causing an ever-widening of the roadbed as the ORVs attempt to skirt the new bogs. As these roads and trails get busier, ORV riders create new trails through the forest destroying further vegetation in their wake. While one ORV riding over a patch of vegetation might not be enough to destroy it, 50 drivers on the same patch certainly will.

Opera singer coming to Faculty of Education this fall

Barrie soprano Kristin Wilkes has had back-to-back successful shows play to sold-out audiences at the Orillia Opera House and will be performing one of those musicals three nights next week at the Gravenhurst Opera House, wrote the Orillia Packet and Times June 29. Wilkes will be attending York’s Faculty of Education this fall. She is also an accomplished flautist and pianist and operates an active music studio in Hillsdale, Ont.

Former York voice instructor heads up north

Debora Joy will be returning once again to Kirkland Lakes’ Junior School of the Arts for Northern Ontario this summer as a voice instructor, wrote the Kirkland Lake Northern News June 29. Joy has been the voice instructor at George Brown College for the past 10 years. She has also taught at York University among other places. A Tyrone Guthrie award winner, Joy spent five seasons at the Stratford Festival, three seasons at the Stephenville Festival and has performed at the Grand Theatre, the National Arts Centre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Broadway, and the Old Vic in London, UK. Her directing credits include “Our Country’s Good” at York and she has a private voice studio in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto where she lives with her husband, Misha and her son, Nikolas.

On air

  • Robert MacDermid, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, spoke about his latest study of election financing, on CFRB radio (Toronto) and CBC Radio’s “Here and Now”  (Toronto), June 28.
  • A study by Rhonda Lenton, sociologist and dean of York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, titled “Sexual Harassment in Public Places” was mentioned in a report on CIGM-AM radio (Sudbury) June 28.