Week of Feb. 7 - 14, 2000

Ruling on GST favours prof...A ruling in a long-standing court case involving SFU business professor Bill Wedley has found that GST is not part of the market value of his West Vancouver apartment. "Essentially, the property assessment appeal board ruled that GST is not part of market value when a new property is first puchased, that the assessor has been incorrect when including GST in the reported prices of new properties, and that the appraisal methodology is flawed in many respects," notes Wedley, whose case against the B.C. Assessment Authority was sparked after he found that the net GST was included in calculating market value, resulting in property tax which also included the GST - a tax on tax. The ruling can still be appealed. Wedley can look at the outcome and provide background on the case, which he says will be of particular interest to new home purchasers.

Bill Wedley, 291-4528 or 922-6116, or wedley@sfu.ca


Athletes 'warm up' for pre-Olympics...Players on the national men's field hockey team (which has qualified for the Olympics) will spend a few days this week getting used to the high temperatures they'll experience at a pre-Olympic tournament in Malaysia, but they won't be in need of any sunscreen. Team members will assemble daily, Monday - Thursday, from 11:30 - 1 p.m. in SFU's hyperbaric chamber, a small capsule housed in the school of kinesiology, where kinesiologist Andrew Blaber will help them acclimatize to the conditions they will eventually be competing in. The temperature in the chamber will be raised daily. The team has trained at the school before and attributes part of its success in world cup and international competitions in hot countries to the heat acclimatization they've undergone in the SFU chamber.

Andrew Blaber, 291-3276


The status of Middle East peace talks...SFU historian William Cleveland, who has just published the second edition of his book, the History of the Modern Middle East, can look at the complex issues that continue to hold up the peace process in light of recent events in the region. An internationally recognized expert on the region, Cleveland can examine the state of talks between Israel and the Palestinians and Syrians, and says the recent financial election scandal uncovered in Israel may prove to be significant. He can also talk about Iran and the parliamentary elections scheduled next week (Feb. 18). Cleveland will give a lecture on the tensions that will continue to shape the region, as part of the history department's legacy series, on Friday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fletcher Challenge Theatre at Harbour Centre. (Call 291-5000 to reserve a seat).

William Cleveland, 291-5815


Grandma's off to college...Barbara Guttmann-Gee graduated from SFU with a master's degree in 1995 - a rewarding feat at any age, but an especially significant one, since she earned the degree at the age of 80. Guttmann-Gee's 20-year educational journey has inspired a documentary, called Grandma's Off to College, which will debut on the Knowledge Network March 1 (at 10 p.m.). A preview screening will take place on Monday, Feb. 28, 7-9 p.m. in the Segal Centre at Harbour Centre (call 291-5100 to reserve a seat). The documentary is a story of personal perseverance and achievement, reinforcing the importance of accessible education for seniors, so-called "third-age" education. Guttmann-Gee, whose master's thesis focused on why women return to get their degrees later in life, can talk about her experiences and why she encourages seniors to return to the classroom.

Marianne Meadahl, media/pr, 291-4323


'A pedestrian stroll through the American ultra-right wing'...Steven Pearce teaches computing science at SFU, but he also studies a completely different subject - fringe organizations. Alarmed as a student in the U.S. over the violence and hate advocated by certain political groups, his studies have led him to become critical of U.S. government tactics to combat them. Pearce will talk on the subject when he addresses the B.C. Skeptics on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the psychology department's seminar room (CC5202).

Barry Beyerstein, 291-3743


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