Prof raises new concerns after seeing uncensored oil spill plans

The federal-provincial agency that regulates oil activity off Newfoundland is mulling changes to required oil spill plans as newly released documents raise safety questions, wrote The Canadian Press July 27.

[The documents] include plans for Chevron Canada as it drills the country’s deepest exploration well in 2,600 metres of water, about 425 kilometres northeast of St. John’s.

Critics have raised concerns that Chevron only projected how an oil slick originating on the surface would spread. There were no such models done for a deepsea blowout such as the April 20 explosion on a BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers and spewed up to 700 million litres of crude into the sea.

Biologist and researcher Gail Fraser of York University in Toronto is among those calling for better regulation and updated oil spill plans from offshore operators.

The repeated failure of efforts to cap the gusher in the Gulf exposed the limits of existing technology, she said. “I think Canadians really need to consider what is the worst-case scenario and ask themselves, ‘Is that tolerable? Are we willing to put up with that?’ Because we’ve seen now what the worst-case scenario is in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We really need to be thinking very hard and asking our governments: Are we doing our best at protecting ocean ecosystems? I would say we’re not even close.”

  • Fraser also spoke about the concerns over deepsea oil spills, on radio stations in Belleville,Ont.; Saskatoon, Sask.; and Gander and St. John’s, Nfld. July 26.

Capturing memories in 3-D

Riyaz Datoo knows the majority of souvenirs tourists bring back from a trip to Niagara Falls often end up collecting dust on a back shelf or boxed away never to be seen again, wrote The Niagara Falls Review July 27.

“I wanted to do something,” said the 32-year-old Toronto entrepreneur, who created Crystallize It Inc., which uses the latest in digital photography and micro-laser technology to offer personalized 3-D images suspended in crystal.

As a fourth-year student at York University’s Schulich School of Business, Datoo (BBA Spec.  Hons.’01) was given a daunting challenge in his entrepreneur program.

“We had to come up with a business idea and 100 per cent of your grade was based on your end-of-year presentation. You can imagine the amount of pressure based on one presentation for the entire course.”

And just how did Datoo make out in that entrepreneurship program at university? “I got an 87 per cent. But when I spoke to my professor last year and showed him how I’d come along, he said he was giving me that 13 per cent back,” he said.

Practice, patience paying off for Durie

Some 20 minutes after most of the Toronto Argonauts had headed for the locker room Monday, former York Lion Andre Durie remained on the field, running pass patterns in the afternoon sun, catching balls from Cleo Lemon and the team’s backup quarterbacks, wrote the Toronto Star July 27.

It’s been part of the routine since even before training camp began as the Mississauga native, who turns 29 on Tuesday, continues to reinvent himself in his fourth season in the Canadian Football League.

A backup running back who rarely touched the ball until last season, when he led the Argos in kick return yards, Durie is now a key on offence, lining up and catching passes at the slotback position.

But after spending three seasons at York University and another three with the Argos, all as a running back, Durie said he’s got “habits I’ve got to break,” especially when it comes to running routes. “I stay after practice just to iron those things out,” he said. “Every day’s a building process."

Camp creates memories that last a lifetime for York grad

The treasures to be discovered at camp are priceless – new friends, role models to look up to, and even the love of a lifetime, wrote the Toronto Star July 27.

Zack Isakow (BA Hons. & BEd ’10) encountered all of the above at Camp Moshava, including his new bride, Aliveres. He was responsible for the education program; she was a counsellor. On their first date, the final day of camp, they played basketball.

After camp ended, Aliveres returned to Israel. Isakow happened to be doing a year abroad there at the same time. The rest, as they say, is history. The couple was married this past spring and they’re back at Moshava for their honeymoon, working with the kids.

“I can’t think of a better way to give back,” said Isakow, who first attended Moshava as a camper, then as sports staff and later as a leader. A graduate of York University who majored in Jewish education studies and teaching, Isakow wants the kids coming up behind him to have the same great summer experiences and lasting memories he enjoys.

On air

  • Paul Delaney, professor of physics & astronomy in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about the discovery of five new solar systems and the possibility of life outside our system, on CTV News July 26.
  • Diabetes research at York’s Summer Sport Camps by Michael Riddell, professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health, was featured on Global TV July 26.