SFU People in the News

April 12, 2012

This report on Simon Fraser University in the news lists the main items of known media coverage from 9 a.m. Pacific Wednesday April 11 to 9 a.m. Pacific Thursday April 12.
The report is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations.

SFU Pipe Band | Bomb threat | Earthquake | Transit | Hockey | Education | Donations | Environment | Hospital | Athletics


  • The Scottish newspaper The Scotsman reported that Vancouver’s ban on buskers’ bagpipes was overturned with a little support from a Scottish cabinet minister who knows of the SFU Pipe Band.
    “Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop intervened in the row while on a trip to the Canadian city. Vancouver’s mayor Gregor Robertson, who claims Scottish descent, overturned the ban following his conversation with Ms Hyslop.”
    Said Hyslop: “With more than five million Canadians claiming Scottish roots—many of them here in British Columbia—and Simon Fraser University home to one of the world’s leading pipe bands, I am delighted that people in Vancouver can continue to hear bagpipes played in public places.”
    The story also noted: “Jack Lee, the pipe sergeant with Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, had fought against the ban. ‘To ban bagpipes is so short-sighted,’ he said. ‘They are one of the greatest and oldest instruments in the world. Anyway, bagpipes are not really that loud.’”
    Full story:
    Glasgow Herald:
    Scottish government news release:
    CTV News: (an earlier story):
  • A national Canadian Press report on the end of the busking ban quoted Terry Lee, Jack Lee’s brother:
    "‘Hallelujah,’ said Terry Lee, pipe-major for the SFU band. ‘I think everyone should have the right for freedom of expression, especially in the cultural arts, and bagpipes in the right hands are a beautiful instrument.’”
    Full story (on CBC News):
  • The Province carried a feature on the SFU Pipe Band, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
    “The world of bagpiping is alive and well, Terry Lee says assuredly. . . .
    “The band is celebrating its 30th anniversary, throwing a party that will include not just a show at the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, but also a performance at New York’s Lincoln Center. Not to mention the six world championships under its belt and a reputation that attracts pipers from across the world. . . .
    “Lee and his brother Jack Lee are what you might call the ‘originals.’  They’ve been with the band since it officially formed in 1981. What started off as a childhood activity to please their Scottish grandparents turned into a serious hobby turned 24/7 job for both siblings.”
    Full story (with video):   
  • The Georgia Straight also ran a feature, quoting the band’s lead drummer, Reid Maxwell.
    “In the Big Apple the SFUPB is the chief focus of the Highland Arts Festival in early May, and will also be performing at Lincoln Center. This summer, the band flies to Scotland to try for a seventh title at the annual World Pipe Band Championships competition in Glasgow.
    “‘It’s always held the second Saturday in August, and we’ll head over a week beforehand,’ Maxwell says. ‘Most of that time is for allowing the bagpipes to adjust to the different climate and moisture and stuff. They can take a few days, and it has to be right. It’s no mean feat to put a band of 35 individuals on a stage and get them to play together.
    “‘I’d say it’s no less daunting than for an orchestra like the VSO—the type of work and dedication is no different when you have pipers and drummers playing at the highest level. And it’s all volunteer. Nobody in the band gets paid. It’s all for the love of doing what we do.’”
    Full story:
  • Surrey NOW told readers: “The Vogue concert will provide a glimpse of the technique and artistry that has raised the band to the top spot at the Glasgow World Pipe Band Championship six times and second place nine times, including in 2011.
    "‘We put our own stamp on the music,’ Jack (Lee) said. ‘We've been at it for a very long time. One of our sources of pride is that we've been able to stay at or near the top of the bagpipe game for 30 years.’"
    Full story:
  • The Vancouver Sun listed the band’s concert in Vancouver on Sunday (Vogue Theatre, 2 p.m.) as one of the “Best Events in Vancouver this Week.”  The paper added:
    “One of the best pipe bands on the planet, the six-time world champions perform both traditional and contemporary styles for its 30th anniversary celebration-and first hometown show in five years. Then the ensemble heads to New York, where its Lincoln Centre concert will be recorded for its 11th album.”
    Ticket info:


  • André Gerolymatos, historian and a member of Canada's Advisory Council on National Security, did several interviews in the wake of a bomb-threat that caused a Korea-bound airliner to land at Comox BC, escorted by two American F-15 fighters.
    The Canadian Press: “Gerolymatos said there is a base in Cold Lake, Alta., where jets are kept but there must have been some reason Canada's own fleet did not make the interception. Fuelling the two jets would have easily cost the Americans $100,000, he said. . . .
    “The incident could fuel the ongoing political controversy around whether Canada should equip itself with new F-35 fighter jets, he added. ‘I guess if we want to protect our own airspace and not have the Americans to do it, it would make sense to have our own planes.’"
    The same story added:  “But Stuart Farson, an adjunct professor who specializes in national security at Simon Fraser University, said the argument around purchasing more fighter jets is irrelevant.
    “He said it's more likely that deployment strategy—including where planes are located, along with the maintenance, pilots and other support staff—needs to be looked into.
    "‘What we're talking about is replacing what we have with a smaller number of planes,’ he said. ‘So that doesn't get us anywhere in terms of dealing with this situation.’"
    Full story (in the Winnipeg Free Press):
  • Then Gerolymatos was on CBC-TV’s national news:
    “The death toll would be humongous if it exploded over a city like Vancouver, so the purpose of the jets is to guide the plane to a safe area, where if there is going to be an explosion, it would not cause too much loss of life. . . .
    “We do not have the plane capability to defend our own airspace. Now there's a long debate going on in Canada. Do we buy more planes, do we not? I think we should, because, if we are going to be part of an alliance, like that with the United States, and belong to NORAD, we should be able to carry part of our own weight.”
  • Earlier, Gerolymatos was on the Early Edition show on CBC Radio. He told host Rick Cluff that such bomb threats must taken seriously.
    "Even if you don't see the bomb, it doesn't mean it's not there. It could be in the hold where they keep all the baggage, right?
    "So protocol means the first thing they do is contact ground control, say there's a bomb threat, then visually try to see if they can spot one. Either way, the plane is not going to get to its destination. It's going to be diverted."
    Gerolymatos also did interviews with CBC-TV (local) and CBC Radio Victoria.


  • SFU earth scientists Brent Ward and John Clague were on national TV news programs following the big Indonesian earthquake on Wednesday, and three earthquakes that hit Wednesday off the west coast of the U.S. and Mexico.
    Ward was on GlobalTV’s national news, explaining why the Indonesian earthquake didn’t cause a huge tsunami:
    It relates to the type of earthquake that we had. Because the plates were sliding approximately horizontally, we didn’t have vertical movement which would cause displacement of water. And it’s a that vertical movement of the sea floor, causing the displacement of water, that triggers a tsunami.”
    Global video:  (Ward’s segment starts at the 14:18 mark.)
    News1130 Radio in Vancouver also interviewed Ward.
  • Clague was on the national news on CBC-TV: “(It was) what we call a strike-slip earthquake and even though it is very large and you do get magnitude 8 earthquakes on these strike-slip faults, they almost never produce big tsunami.”
    Reporter Ian Hanomansing added: “(Earthquakes) almost never occur in clusters, but now we have three more earthquakes off the west coast of Mexico and the United States. John Clague says he hesitates to say they are linked, but given the size and the timing he can't completely rule it out.”


  • SFU’s Gordon Price was in The Province after the independent regulator of TransLink, commissioner Martin Crilly, rejected a proposed 12.5-per-cent fare increase for 2013.
    Gordon Price, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University and a former Vancouver councillor, said the public has ‘a love-hate relationship’ with TransLink.
    "‘The conclusion people can fairly draw is that the commissioner is saying to TransLink you don't need more money, that there is waste. Find the efficiencies.’ said Price.”
    Full story:


  • Before the Canucks lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in Game One of their NHL playoff series, psychologist Joti Samra was on GlobalTV, talking about the subdued mood of the city.
    "Yeah, the mood this year is so different. I think we can all feel the lack of energy and fever that we all had last year.  I live right in the heart of the city, and just the vibe in the city is so different; it's really muted." She said it’s due to a combination of the weather, last June's hockey riot, and the fact the playoffs are only starting. (Global did not identify her SFU role as a clinical psychology associate with the SFU Clinical Psychology Centre.)


  • The Province featured one of last year's high-school valedictorians, Carson Graham Secondary's Leah Bjornson, who is finishing up her first year at SFU.
    Last June, when we printed the speeches of our valedictorians, Bjornson told her fellow North Vancouver classmates to ‘find some-thing you're passionate about. It doesn't have to make you any money, for doing something you love is never a waste of time.’
    “In between her studies at SFU, Bjornson and friend Alyssa Salt have done just that, forming Wear For Care, a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting the green recycling of clothing while collecting donations for homeless youth at Covenant House Vancouver. . . .
    “On May 13 (12-4 p.m.), Bjornson and Salt will hold their second Wear For Care clothing swap, an event aimed at the 13-to-24 age group . . . at Mollie Nye House, 940 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.”
    Full story:
  • The Maple Ridge Times featured a success story from an SFU Continuing Studies program in restorative justice.
    “Since 2002, Connie McGonigal has worked at The Caring Place Ministries, a Salvation Army-run social services organization that offers an emergency shelter, transitional housing program, and community meal program to residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
    “In 2010, the Salvation Army was given a grant for 20 of its employees to take a Restorative Justice Certificate Program through SFU continuing studies. McGonigal was one of two people from B.C. who took the year-long online course. . . .
    “‘We use restorative practices here from the time we've opened. Everything I learned from that course, I use every day,’ McGonigal said.”
    Full story:


  • The Peace Arch News told readers: “Simon Fraser University’s Wilf Hurd is not the only university external relations director to attend a partisan political fundraiser, Peace Arch News has learned.
    “Kwantlen Polytechnic University sent representatives to BC Liberal party fundraisers but may not have violated party guidelines that forbid contributions from publicly funded institutions.
    “Mary Jane Stenberg, the university’s executive director of external affairs in the office of the president, has on more than one occasion attended an annual fundraiser organized by Rich Coleman, the veteran Fort Langley-Aldergrove Liberal MLA, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing.”
    Full story:
  • And a column in the Peace Arch News and Langley Times concluded: “Hurd should not be viewed by the public as some sort of transgressor or pariah. He was doing what many others were doing—and what he was paid to do.”
    The column also said: “It needs to be said—Hurd is far from the only representative of a post-secondary institution to attend BC Liberal fundraisers. Many representatives of many different institutions have attended them regularly, as recently as last fall. In some cases, they have bought tables.
    “It is quite likely that representatives of virtually all B.C. post-secondary institutions have attended BC Liberal fundraisers over the past 11 years. The party has been in power since 2001, and as government has had control of the post-secondary funding allocations. . . . Community colleges, including Kwantlen (which is now Kwantlen Polytechnic University), have sent numerous representatives to such partisan events.”
    Full column:


  • The Kingston (ON) Whig-Standard covered a presentation by SFU’s Mark Roseland, director of the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development. He said we need to do a better job of explaining and communicating what “sustainable development” is.
    “‘Sustainable development is not about environmental protection or economic growth to pay for environmental protection,’ he explained. ‘It’s about doing development itself differently.’”
    Full story:
  • The Rocky Mountain Outlook in Canmore AB spoke with SFU’s Dan Esler about a drop in the number of harlequin ducks that breed and nest each spring along the Bow River in Banff National Park.
    “Esler, a research associate and adjunct professor in the Centre for Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University  . . . said exactly what is driving local numerical change is hard to say. ‘Harlequin ducks tend to be closely linked to density and availability of their invertebrate prey, so I would speculate— without any data—that food resources may have declined.’”
    Full story:


  • Burnaby NOW reported that Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan called for community and business support for a new hospital in his annual State of the City address. “He added that Simon Fraser University's kinesiology department could also train at the new hospital.
    “‘It would be interesting to have a teaching hospital that wasn't focused on teaching doctors, that was focused on teaching all of the other people who are required to work at a hospital, which is the majority,’ Corrigan said.”
    Full story:


  • The Langley Advance reported “Langley's Stuart Ellenwood was part of a Simon Fraser University track and field team that enjoyed a very successful meet last weekend.
    “Ellenwood, a freshman, recorded SFU's second win at the University of British Columbia Open on Saturday, winning the men's 400-metre with a time of 50.25.
    “In total, SFU's track athletes won five events, including the men's and women's 4x400-metre relay events with the men winning in a time of 3: 30.22 and the women in 4:00.30.”
    Full story:

Also in sports

  • The Toronto Sun featured football player Tyrone Crawford, 22, of Windsor ON, a hot prospect for the National Football league. Among other things, the feature noted his younger brother, Tarrence Crawford, 19, “was a redshirt freshman last fall on the Simon Fraser University football team in British Columbia, which plays in NCAA Division II.”
    The QMI news agency story also ran in the London (ON) Free Press.
    Full story:




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