SFU PEOPLE IN THE NEWS - Nov. 22-26, 2010

November 26, 2010

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Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations. (PAMR). This weekly edition covers media coverage from Nov. 22-26.


The Globe and Mail interviewed SFU public policy professor Kennedy Stewart about Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong, the first target of the anti-HST opponents’ recall campaign. While Chong said there is clearly a political agenda here, Stewart believes her MLA is in serious jeopardy.
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Those hoping that B.C. politicians will keep their campaigns clean won’t get their wish, said SFU public policy professor Kennedy Stewart. He added that we’re asking too much for politicians to change their behavior. "To say we wish politicians to clean up their act -- it's not going to happen. They're hardwired to behave that way," he told The Province.
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Reusable shopping bags may not be as environmentally as we thought. CTV News Vancouver interviewed SFU health sciences professor Tim Takaro after the media outlet found traces of lead in random testing. According to the report, Health Canada does not set limits on how much lead is allowed in reusable bags, and that it’s up to companies to make sure their products are safe.
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Economist Jon Kesselman was on The World Today show on CKNW, telling host Jon McComb that a cut in BC's Harmonized Sales Tax would be better for BC all than the income-tax cut first promised by Premier Gordon Campbell but then withdrawn.

Kesselman: "The proposed income tax cut, which has now gone up in smoke, would have benefitted only three out of five British Columbian adults because two out of five B.C. residents do not pay any B.C. income tax, at low or moderate incomes, so they would have gone nothing from it. A cut in the rate of the HST would have benefited everyone.

"Secondly, because more of the (Harmonized Sales) tax reduction would go into the pockets of the moderate-income households. They are the ones who will probably spend every penny of tax savings, so that's good for stimulus for the B.C. economy; something that we could use now. 

"More important is that the HST, despite its great unpopularity with the public, is in fact a very positive type of tax reform for the B.C. economy. It's going to lead to a lot of growth in investment and jobs, particularly in the Interior and the north in those resource sectors that are very capital-intensive, that were feeling the old provincial sales tax before. And if we end up after the referendum killing the HST we will go back to this economically damaging form of tax."


Gary Mauser, SFU Business prof emeritus, was on the national news on CBC Radio talking about the change in leadership of the B.C. Liberal party. "When premiers or politicians stay beyond the applause, they risk an ugly exit and that's exactly what Campbell has done."


Former B.C. lieutenant-governor David Lam passed away yesterday but his legacy and vision will go on. Paul Crowe, director of SFU’s David Lam Centre for International Communication, told The Vancouver Sun that Lam “wanted people to get to know each other and unify, regardless of where they came from in the world.”
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University Highlands elementary school officially opened today and Vancouver Sun education reporter Janet Steffenhagen blogged about the event. The state-of-the-art environmentally friendly school is next to SFU’s Burnaby campus. SFU Education dean Kris Magnusson said the school “serves the university community (and) signals the start of a ‘symbiotic relationship in learning’.”
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USA Today interviewed Anthony Perl, director of SFU’s urban studies program, for an article that said proposed high-speed train projects in America might be in jeopardy following the results of the recent U.S. elections.
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Rob Gordon, director of SFU criminology, is as surprised as the police investigating a car explosion in Squamish. According to The Globe and Mail, police said this is an isolated incident and wouldn’t acknowledge whether the vehicle’s owner had a criminal record.
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Two Vancouver companies received a huge boost after talk-show maven Oprah Winfrey endorsed their product. SFU marketing expert Lindsay Meredith told CTV News that Lululemon and Ethical Bean received the equivalent of a “golden handshake” as a result of the publicity.
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SFU environmental economist Mark Jaccard is a nominee for The Globe and Mail’s list of 25 Transformational Canadians. He is a prominent leader in sustainable energy policy and “has spent the past 25 years working to prevent climate change, conveying the urgent need for regulations and energy policies that will prevent greenhouse gas emissions.”
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The Tri-City News highlighted the Banner Bags program headed by SFU’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). The students recycle banners previously used for events and on city streets and turn them into colorful bags.
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Duc Nguyen, husband of SFU biology grad assistant Marlene Bockmann-Nguyen, just returned from visiting the world’s most dangerous and war-torn countries. He visited 15 countries on his trip to spread a message of peace on behalf of his wife. "Bring our kids home," he told the Burnaby NOW. "There are no just wars, only atrocities and sufferings."
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Postmedia News spoke with SFU criminologist Neil Boyd about the decline in solving homicides. A recent study showed B.C. and Quebec are the worst at solving murders. Boyd isn’t surprised by the findings. He said “killings with handguns are now twice as common as they were 15 years ago, and homicides committed with guns are more likely to be targeted hits – which are more difficult to solve.”
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The Globe and Mail interviewed Mike Volker, director of SFU’s Industry Liaison Office, for an article about the new breed of investor: the “super angel.” He said super angels are vital to business investment “as other funding sources dry up.”
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The sale of Vancouver’s Tinseltown theatre was a hot topic of discussion in SFU filmmaker Colin Browne’s screenwriting class at SFU Contemporary Arts. He told The Globe and Mail that his students were worried the new owner, Cineplex, will stop showing less mainstream films.
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In a Vancouver Sun opinion piece, SFU public policy professor Jon Kesselman said axing the proposed income tax cut could be good news for the HST. “Revoking the income tax cut opens the opportunity for an alternative, superior form of tax relief for British Columbians,” he wrote. “The best candidate would be to reduce the HST rate by one point to 11 per cent, with B.C.'s portion dropping from seven to six per cent.”
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Most media outlets reported on the closure of SFU’s Burnaby campus due to unsafe conditions Thursday, but the focus of the storm coverage focused on weather-related crashes and a Canada Line train that got stuck on the tracks in Richmond.
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Now that Britain’s Prince William has announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, the so-called “princess fantasy” is being discussed again. What is with our infatuation with royalty? SFU education professor Beth Marshall told CBC News that the “princess archetype is so woven into our popular culture … that it’s impossible to jettison the fantasy altogether.”
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A new non-profit society started by SFU PhD student Samantha Franks is partnering with two other organizations to conduct a waterbird and shorebird survey on Vancouver Island. The study will update 15-year-old information about the Tofino Mudflats’ habitat and involves counting migrating birds for a month, reports Postmedia News.
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SFU public policy professor Doug McArthur is the co-author of a new ThinkCity report that said municipalities cannot continue to rely on property taxes as a revenue model. "The challenges facing all local governments in B.C. are interconnected – symptoms of an unsustainable system of municipal financing," McArthur said in a news release.
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Liberal leadership candidate Moira Stilwell made a great strategic move announcing she’s in favor of hiking the minimum wage, said SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith. By being the first one on this issue, other candidates who make the same declaration will be seen following her lead, he told Canadian Press.
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Scientists are getting worried there may not be enough food for wild salmon and hatchery-raised salmon. Randall Peterman, a professor in SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, told McClatchy Newspapers this could lead to a reduction in wild salmon stocks.
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Political parties in Canada are much more uptight when it comes to abiding public displays of dissent, said The Globe and Mail. They typically air their differences within caucus and not in the media. SFU public policy professor Kennedy Stewart said the situation is much different in the UK where there are 650 MPs in Parliament and many of them aren’t afraid of speaking their minds.
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The Globe and Mail reported on a new study that said “a federal carbon tax or emissions-trading system could easily be designed so it doesn’t hurt the carbon-intensive economies of Alberta and Saskatchewan.” SFU environmental economist Mark Jaccard, who co-wrote the report, said it’s time Ottawa set out its carbon-reduction policies.
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SFU researchers are part of a group of scientists that may have detected “a phase of matter created moments after the Big Bang” at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, according to CBC News.
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Rob Gordon, head of SFU Criminology, questions some of the expenses that were paid to witnesses in the Robert Pickton trial. According to The Vancouver Sun, the missing women probe cost taxpayers $124 million.
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As an SFU grad, Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Rick Skolrood knows how dangerous Galglardi Way can be. The Burnaby NewsLeader spent an afternoon with him near the spot where a West Vancouver man died in a fatal crash last week that closed the road for hours.
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SFU psychologist Joti Samra has started writing a column on mental health for The Globe and Mail. One of her first columns is titled, “What’s the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?”
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CBC Radio did a national documentary on SFU sociology professor Barbara Mitchell’s book, The Boomerang Age: Transitions to Adulthood in Families. The book focuses on the generation of emerging adults – twentysomethings who are becoming known as The Boomerangers.
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SFU physicist Michael Hayden did an interview from Switzerland with the Burnaby NOW about his team’s recent scientific breakthrough: capturing and holding antimatter atoms. "We've managed to create a complicated magnetic bottle in which the antimatter can be stored, without ever touching the walls," he told the newspaper.
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He saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. Today, SFU economics student Jordan Gutierrez runs the largest company that sells Spanish-language medical textbooks online. “I saw the opportunity that nobody was shipping books to other parts of Mexico,” Gutierrez told The Province.
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Brittany Palmer funded her university education through scholarships and now the SFU grad is paying it forward. According to The Province, she’s launched a company that shows high-school students how they can take advantage of scholarships, too.
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According to The Province, SFU marketing professor Leyland Pitt has been appointed to the Dennis Culver EMBA Alumni Professorship by the Faculty of Business Administration.

Research by SFU associate international studies professor Alvaro Santos Pereira was cited in an article by the Melbourne’s The Herald (Australia) discussing the economic difficulties the country is facing. Periera’s research estimated some 700,000 Portugese left their country from 1998 and 2008.
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Goldcorp’s donation to SFU Contemporary Arts was referenced in an article by the University of Toronto’s student newspaper. The Varsity interviewed a PhD student Masrour Zoghi from Vancouver who protested a $35-million donation to UT by Peter Munk, who is chairman of a mining company. During convocation, Zoghi refused to accept his diploma and wore a T-shirt that said “U of T Inc.” on the front and “Univ for SALE” on the back.
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Vancouver Sun digital life writer Gillian Shaw mentioned an iPhone app developed by SFU MBA students in her latest article. Quake Aware provides real-time earthquake alerts and survival tips.
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A film about the tribulations of Chinese-Canadian immigrants by producer Jordan Paterson from SFU’s Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) will be shown Nov. 29 at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema. published an SFU news release about the premiere being held at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.
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A New Westminster company is behind the idea to bring the Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) to Burnaby Mountain in 2011. According to the Burnaby NOW, participants will compete in orienteering, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking all over Burnaby Mountain and the SFU campus.
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The Cecelia Suragh Memorial Award has been established to recognize a former SFU Management of Technology (MOT) MBA student. Suragh, a MOT biotechnology candidate, died suddenly in June at the age of 31.
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Both SFU soccer teams had disappointing weekends as each of them failed to advance in the NAIA national championships. The men’s team – which only lost one game all season – fell 1-0 to the University of Great Falls despite out-shooting their opponent by 21 shots. "Today we outshot a team and lost on their only real threat," said SFU head coach Alan Koch in The Vancouver Sun. "It is incredibly disappointing to lose with this talented group. However, an individual approach and a cocky attitude was prevalent today and you will not win matches or have success in the game of life with this approach." On the women’s side, the No. 1-ranked Concordia Cavaliers beat the Clan 2-1 in Oregon. SFU’s Aly Benes scored the lone goal for her team. "It was a really good match between two well-deserving teams," said SFU women’s soccer head coach Shelley Howieson. "A game that really should have been a quarter-final."
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Jessica Smith couldn’t keep her perfect record intact at the NAIA cross-country championships in Vancouver, Wash. The SFU runner, who had been recovering from a leg injury, had won all four races she entered this season but finished 18th last weekend, according to The Province. The Clan team finished fifth overall, lead by Helen Crofts. reports Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe almost recorded a triple-double in the SFU women’s team 75-69 win against Warner Pacific College last weekend. The sophomore finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals, five assists, and three blocks for the Clan in its first game of the season. SFU improved to 2-0 by winning its next game 88-65 against Southern Oregon. Raincock-Ekunwe and her teammate Anna Carolsfeld each posted double-doubles in the victory.
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SFU’s women’s wrestling team took second place at the 2010 Can-Am Open in North Dakota last week. The Clan also won three dual meets to improve its season dual-meet record to 5-0. The men’s squad was also in action and finished fourth at the 2010 Spokane Open in Washington state.

Greg Bowcott’s hometown newspaper, the Abbotsford Times, wrote a feature about his first season with the SFU football team. The original plan was to redshirt the freshman quarterback but he wound up with the starting job late in the Clan’s season. "Greg graded out as our best quarterback," said SFU head coach Dave Johnson. "Even going way back to training camp, Greg Bowcott was a guy who deserved to be a starter."
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The SFU men’s hockey club team handily beat Okanagan College 6-1 in a battle for first place in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League, reported the Kelowna Daily Courier.
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SFU women’s soccer player Lauren Lachlan has been named the NAIA Association of Independent Institutions (AII) player of the year for the second time in three years. On the men’s side, sophomore Max Baessato was also selected player of the year. Joining him is his coach, Alan Koch, who was named coach of the year.
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The Province wrote a season preview of SFU’s men’s basketball team. Reporter Howard Tsumura said the Clan’s backcourt duo of Ricky Berry and Justin Brown could be the best in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference this year.
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SFU women’s soccer player Ari Adams has played her last game for the Clan. The Maple Ridge Times spoke to the four-year player who was named player of the tournament at the 2010 Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championship.
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