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Friday, March 7, 2003

  • Road will soon cross north campus
  • SLC festival is up in the air
  • It's going to be a Warrior Weekend
  • Other events on the calendar
Chris Redmond

Shabbat across America and Canada

[Aerial view]

View from Columbia Street, at lower right, shows the planned route of Westmount Road, already graded, across the north campus.

Road will soon cross north campus

Construction of Westmount Road through UW's north campus is almost certain, following approval earlier this week by Waterloo Region's planning and works committee. The final okay from Regional Council is expected shortly.

There was last-minute opposition to the project, but regional staff have been so confident it would go ahead that the proposed route across UW's land is already cleared and graded. Westmount is one of several streets that are to be constructed or improved as part of the infrastructure for UW's research and technology park, with funding approved by the Region two years ago.

The new portion of Westmount Road will start at Columbia Street, where the existing Westmount comes to an end beside Ron Eydt Village. It will extend northward on the west side of Columbia Lake, cutting off the western third of the north campus -- to be developed later -- from the eastern section, which includes the planned R&T park and the environmental reserve.

Beyond the north campus, it will cross Bearinger Road and continue to Northfield Drive. There's already a section of road between Bearinger and Northfield that's called Westmount, but a new route is planned, over land that formerly was part of the Laurel Creek Conservation Area.

The Bearinger-to-Northfield section of road is to be built this year, and the Columbia-to-Bearinger section in the summer and fall of 2004. Both will be four-lane roads with a median, on-road bicycle lanes and a pedestrian trail.

The project is expected to reduce traffic jams in the northwest corner of Waterloo, completing a direct Westmount Road route from the north side of the city along the west side of Waterloo and Kitchener to Bleams Road in the south. The final staff report, approved by the committee this week, says the other major road on the west side, Fischer-Hallman, "carries a significant amount of traffic and will continue to do so", but Westmount will help "balance" the traffic load.

It's been in the plans for years; a "route selection and preliminary design study" was completed in 1985. Says the staff report:

Although there has been some opposition to the Westmount Road Extension by some members of the public, others have expressed general support for the project. Issues raised by the public that are addressed in the body of this report include a request to consider alternative routes to the Westmount Road Extension, safety and vehicle speed concerns, noise concerns, trail concerns and environmental effects at the Laurel Creek Crossing.

University of Waterloo lands abut both sides of the Westmount Road Extension between Columbia Street and Bearinger Road. Throughout the course of the study, staff have fully consulted with University staff and can advise that the University is fully supportive of constructing the Westmount Road Extension on the approved 1985 alignment.

It notes that the Westmount project is not really consistent with UW's 1992 campus master plan, but repeats that the university now supports it.

Of interest on the web

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  • 'Atlantic schools lure Ontario's best' (Globe)
  • Curse of the undergrad: tenured profs (Globe)
  • U of Michigan affirmative action lawsuit
  • How many terms do grad students need to finish degrees?
  • [Juggler]

    SLC festival is up in the air

    The 11th annual UW Juggling Festival will take place this weekend in the great hall of the Student Life Centre.

    "What is the UW Juggling Festival about?" I asked math student Joe West, of the UW Juggling Club. Well, actually, I didn't ask him, he volunteered, but in any case, here's his answer:

    "It's about playing with your balls. And don't worry: If you don't have any, you can play with someone else's. We'll even teach you. We also have rings, clubs, torches, and even rubber chickens. Not to mention diablos and devil sticks.

    "So come on out and learn how to juggle! If you know how to juggle already, you'll love it: on Saturday, there will be workshops, raffle prizes, and competitions all day long, and Higgins Brothers will be here selling their cool juggling props. There will even be a workshop on how to make your own juggling balls. On Sunday, there will be casual juggling for whoever shows up.

    "Did I mention that admission is free?"

    Everybody is especially invited to the show Saturday evening "around 7 p.m.", featuring Bob Cates from Comedy In Motion doing his interactive plate-spinning act.

    "So don't be surprised if you see a hundred or so people playing with their balls in the SLC this weekend."

    It's going to be a Warrior Weekend

    Another "Warrior Weekend" cluster of things-to-do will be taking place in the Student Life Centre tonight and tomorrow -- free food, free movies, six hours of unlimited play at the Campus Cove game room for $5, and various special events.

    Karyne Velez in the student services offices explains why: "Warrior Weekends is a student-directed project that provides a diverse selection of events geared towards first-year students. Warrior Weekends are usually held on the first Friday-Saturday of the first three months of the fall and winter terms."

    Free dance lessons seem to be a regular feature of the Weekends, and this time the options are belly dancing (8:00 tonight), hip-hop (9:00) and breakdancing (10:00).

    The movies are "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "But I'm a Cheerleader", starting at 10:00 and 11:30 respectively in the great hall.

    Other activities tonight include a "mocktail contest" at 8:00 and a "buy an off-campus don for a day" auction at 9:00. The free snack break is at 10:00.

    Tomorrow's programming emphasizes the juggling festival, which I've already described, and a free show starting at 8:30, put on by the UW Film Club. Hey, I didn't even know there was a UW Film Club!

    Student's funeral tomorrow

    The funeral service will be held tomorrow for Darrell Townsend, a computer science student who was killed Monday in a car crash in London.

    The service begins at 11:00 Saturday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Huron Street in Stratford, which was Townsend's home town. Visitation is today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Young's Funeral Home, also on Huron Street.

    'An illustrious life in science'

    Boris Stoicheff of the University of Toronto will speak today (3:00, Physics room 145) about the life and work of Gerhard Herzberg, Canada's first Nobel prize winner in the sciences. Herzberg, who received the Nobel for "contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure and geometry of molecules, particularly free radicals" in 1971, was UW's Hagey Lecturer in 1982.

    Other events on the calendar

    Today is "Two for Blue Day" in support of research into juvenile arthritis. Michelle Banic of UW's institutional analysis and planning office notes that "common perception is that arthritis is an elderly disease. That's not so! My daughter Amanda was diagnosed when she was 18 months old with arthritis. Fortunately for her, she's been one of the lucky ones -- she can still dress herself and can climb out of bed in the morning. However, that isn't the case for all kids who suffer with this disease. Some need assistance with even the basic elements of life. But you can help make a difference." The idea today is to "dress casual, wear blue, and pay a toonie in support of juvenile arthritis research". For more information, Banic can be reached at ext. 5042.

    One more time, tours of the new Co-op Education and Career Services building are being offered today, starting at 12:00 and 12:30. . . . Trent University's "classics drama group" will perform the Suppliants of Aeschylus, starting at 3:30 in Environmental Studies II room 286 (admission free). . . . The dean of arts will host a reception at 4:00 today (Festival Room, South Campus Hall) to recognize students on the dean's honours list in arts during 2002. . . .

    Pick Your Plan Week -- the season for selecting or changing a major, or adding a minor or option, in an undergraduate program -- winds up today. . . . Today at 3 p.m. is the deadline to nominate a candidate for a staff seat on the UW board of governors. . . . There's Cajun catfish on the menu today at Ground Zero restaurant in the Student Life Centre. . . .

    Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe will give the second of his two Bechtel Lectures tonight at 7:00 at Conrad Grebel University College, speaking on "Mennonite Land Fictions". . . . The much-recognized production of "The Laramie Project", touring from Toronto, continues tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 in the Theatre of the Arts. . . .

    The traditional Black Forest Coffee House, "a showcase of Waterloo's talented musicians and performance artists", is scheduled for tonight and tomorrow, 8 p.m. to midnight, at MacKirdy Hall of St. Paul's United College. Admission is $5 for one night, $8 for both.

    The Association of Caribbean Students presents "Amazing Grace" in the Humanities Theatre at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, and while I don't actually have any information about it, somehow I think it's going to be quite a show. Also on the weekend: engineering orientation leaders will hold a retreat Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. in Rod Coutts Hall room 101. . . . The Waterloo Engineers in Toronto alumni group have scheduled a "curling funspiel" Sunday at the High Park Club. . . .

    The Warrior Nordic ski team is taking part in the national cross-country championships, currently under way at Duntroon, south of Collingwood. "It is not currently a CIS competition," says Chris Gilbert of the athletics department (referring to Canadian Interuniversity Sport), "but still has university results. Last year the Warriors were silver medalists overall among the competing Canadian university teams."

    The DaCapo Chamber Choir, directed by Leonard Enns of Conrad Grebel University College, presents a concert Saturday night under the title "Reflections". It starts at 8:00 at St. John's Anglican Church in downtown Kitchener. Guests include the Waterloo Chamber Players, oboist Michael Purves-Smith, and members of the Wellington Wings. To be played: "Logos" and "Komm" by Enns himself, Barber's "Adagio for Strings", and Bach's "Komm Jesu Komm". Tickets are $15, students $10, at the door.

    Here's an invitation from Nancy Heide in the communications and public affairs office: "Join a taping of CTV's W-FIVE at the University of Waterloo. Trevor Bayliss, British inventor of the wind-up radio, will be filmed speaking to faculty, staff, students at UW. We invite you to be part of the audience. He will speak about his invention, entrepreneurship and innovation. It will take place on Monday, March 10, at 4:30 p.m. in the J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall, room 305. Refreshments will be provided following the event." The Entrepreneurs Association of UW is co-sponsoring the event. Space is limited; anyone wanting to attend should send an RSVP to Linda Howe in C&PA at ext. 3580, e-mail ljhowe@uwaterloo.ca.

    Monday: UW math students who have been on international exchanges and visiting exchange students from other universities will talk about their experiences at 3 p.m. (Math and Computer room 5158).

    And here's a reminder that Tuesday and Wednesday next week will be the Campus Day open house for future students and their parents.


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