Mayor visits blast evacuees at York shelter

Mayor David Miller called it a "terrific achievement" that all but 100 households of the thousands displaced by the propane disaster in Downsview were able to return within 24 hours, wrote the National Post Aug. 12.

Miller, who flew back from Vancouver to visit the evacuees, said the local councillor’s office received complaints from residents when the propane depot was originally created but there have been none since. After speaking with evacuees at a temporary shelter at York University, he said citizens told him they saw people smoking on the property and open flames at the site.

  • The lingering threat of airborne asbestos and serious damage to half a dozen buildings bordering the site of a massive propane explosion left hundreds of people displaced from their homes Monday, unsure of when they’ll be able to return, wrote The Canadian Press Aug. 12.

The fallout of the predawn explosions, which displaced thousands until the evacuation order was gradually lifted, left some 46 people at a temporary evacuation shelter at York University on Monday recounting the devastation they witnessed in their northwest Toronto neighbourhood.

Police began allowing some residents back into the area around 7:30pm Sunday, while the evacuation centre remained open overnight so those who couldn’t go home had somewhere to stay.

  • Public health concerns about airborne asbestos kept some 100 homes behind police cordons yesterday as a handful of evacuees of a massive propane explosion wondered just when they’ll be able to return home, wrote The Canadian Press Aug. 12.
  • Officials said 46 people stayed at the evacuation centre at York University, and more than 180 registered, wrote Canwest News Service Aug. 12.
  • An emergency shelter was set up at York University‘s Tait McKenzie Centre. About 25 people remained there yesterday, wrote the Toronto Star Aug. 12.
  • Numerous television and radio stations also reported the fact that evacuees were sheltered at York University.

York alumnus could have gone to Olympics

Steve Boyd (MA ’91, PhD ’00) was admittedly a late bloomer to distance running, as late as can be for someone whose first footrace took place in Grade 6 at R. G. Sinclair Public School, wrote the Kingston Whig-Standard Aug. 9 in an article about people who almost made the Olympics.

He won three national open championships but had reached the athletically ripe age of 29 before the first one entered the books. Boyd entered Queen’s University and left years later with a degree, two Canadian intercollegiate titles and five medals overall. He pursued a master’s degree at York University, remaining in the Big Smoke for the next 11 years and training at the Toronto Olympic Club. He returned to his hometown, where among other things, he is adjunct faculty at Queen’s and running coach at his elementary alma mater, R. G. Sinclair.

“Sure, I think about the Olympics every now and then,” he conceded. “It’s what every kid in our sport dreams about. I was no different. If I had realized how great an opportunity and how rare an opportunity it is and how hard you have to work to achieve that goal, I probably would have done some things differently.”

Man wins shoe-lover contest with video

"Sex and the City" gave credence to women’s shoe obsessions by insisting, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, that "you can never have too many shoes." But now a local self-professed shoe-aholic is proving men can also be swept off their feet by footwear, wrote Canwest News Service Aug. 12.

"Women are more inclined that way," says 20-year-old York student Alex Josselyn, this year’s Ottawa winner of Town Shoes’ Shoe-aholic Search. "I guess that’s the way society is but men should also feel comfortable taking an interest in shoes."

Josselyn entered the contest on a whim after learning about it when he went into an Ottawa Town Shoes store to apply for a summer job (which he didn’t get). Currently studying film production and screenwriting at York University and naturally artistic, he immediately turned to his home movie studio, complete with aging software, as a means for expressing his love of shoes.

Indeed, upon viewing Josselyn’s video, the judges – who are drawn from the fashion community across Canada – voted unanimously to award him Ottawa’s top prize. In addition to being a nod to an emerging filmmaker, the event marked the first time a male has won top honours for a region.

York student receives Fulbright scholarship

Simon Black, a York University PhD student in political science, has won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship for his research into public policy surrounding labour law and employment standards, wrote the North York Mirror Aug. 5. Black will receive a $15,000 scholarship for a year-long project, which will examine how labour law and employment standards are being shaped by organizations of low-wage workers, and how this process differs across regions.

"I’m honoured to receive a Fulbright," Black says. "This award will allow me to do much-needed comparative research on urban labour markets in Canada and the US, and the low-wage workers who are organizing to mitigate the labour market insecurity they face."

Ceramic tableau coming to archives building at York

A ceramic tableau created by Warsaw, Ont., artist Kate Hyde is destined to be part of the Government of Ontario Art Collection and for permanent display in the new Archives of Ontario building, wrote the Peterborough Examiner Aug. 12. Entitled "Material Memories," the tableau will be on display when the new building opens on the campus of York University in 2009.