Thursday, April 22, 2010

  • Campus makes room for CarShare
  • More news in green, black and white
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Billows of black smoke]

A major fire hit the University Plaza, just east of the main campus, early this morning. Initial news reports said the Tabu night club was at the heart of the disaster. Traffic was blocked along University Avenue as firefighters worked on the blaze. This cellphone picture was taken about 6 a.m. by mechanical engineering student Levi R. McCulloch.

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Campus makes room for CarShare

On this Earth Day, the university is announcing that seven vehicles from Grand River CarShare will soon be parked on the Waterloo campus, ready to be used by CarShare members who need a vehicle for a short time and may not have cars of their own.

“It will not only be an added convenience to members of our community, but may also allow some people to find alternate ways to work rather than bringing their personal vehicle, knowing that if an unforeseen circumstance arises where they need a car, one is available,” says Dan Anderson, director of police and parking services.

He said the seven new vehicles “will be scattered throughout the university, in various parking lots.” There’s already a car positioned at Conrad Grebel University College and one at a housing complex across the street from East Campus Hall, as well as one at the UW Architecture building in Cambridge.

[CarShare logo]“Vehicles will be put in position as they are acquired,” Anderson said. Signs reserving the parking spots for the CarShare vehicles will go up very shortly, he added.

Grand River CarShare and Hamilton CarShare “are incorporated as a single not-for-profit carsharing co-operative,” their web site says. “The Co-op’s mission is to deliver a carsharing service and to promote carsharing as an important component of a transportation system that supports an alternative to the privately-owned automobile within the Region of Waterloo and the City of Hamilton. Through this the Co-op seeks to reduce overall transportation costs, traffic congestion and air pollution, thus improving our communities.

“We have fleet locations throughout Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Hamilton, with more to come, permitting members to reserve cars close to where they live and/or work. Members can make vehicle reservations 24/7 by using our convenient online reservation system or with a simple phone call to our reservation line. Vehicle reservations can be for as little as an hour at a time or for as long as you need. When a reservation is made, the member picks up the reserved car (using her/his vehicle access key) at the preferred fleet location and brings it back at the agreed time. Trip logs record the time and distance travelled for each member so that members are billed monthly.

“All rates include gas, maintenance, and repairs.” Rates average $6 an hour.

Anderson notes that “dozens of staff and faculty” already use the service, and CarShare welcomes more members. There is a $25 application fee, and each member makes a “membership loan” — in effect, a security deposit — of $400 for one driver or $500 for two.

Students over 21 are also welcome to join, though there are insurance-based restrictions on what cars a driver under age 23 can use.

Departments and faculties can also register as corporate members, Anderson said, receiving a single monthly invoice for work trips taken with CarShare vehicles, instead of reimbursing individual trips on personal cars.

He explained the university’s interest in the project: “The University of Waterloo is working with Grand River CarShare to support new transportation choices on campus, reducing pollution and expenses. By contributing new parking spaces to the CarShare system, the university is giving this green transportation service room to grow as more members of the campus community join the non-profit co-operative. This gives faculty, staff, and students over 21 years of age the flexibility to reach campus by bike, transit, carpooling, or another alternative, without losing convenient access to a vehicle if the need arises.”

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More news in green, black and white

[Mushroom cloud]The earth on this Earth Day can be pretty scary. Waterloo earth scientist Alan Morgan, a volcano chaser all his life, visited Iceland this week to see the Eyjafjallajökull eruption that has interfered with air travel across Europe and the Atlantic. This photo, he says, shows a ground view from about 25 kilometres west of the volcano on the road from Sellfoss to Vik. "The eruption cloud was reaching a height of 8 km (26,000 feet). The photograph was taken just after sunset as it was getting dark. Activity was building in the main eruption column." • Airlines are finally getting off the ground as the ash cloud dissipates, and Elisabeth Adrian of UW's career services, in Germany visiting family, is among those who are hoping to get flights home soon. • Carmen Jaray of central stores reminds departments that incoming and outgoing airmail to much of the world has also been affected by the week-long aviation shutdown.

Earth Day activities continue this weekend, as UW’s Faculty of Environment and one of its spinoffs, the Residential Energy Efficiency Project, jointly sponsor “Eco-Showcase 2010”. Saturday afternoon visitors are invited “to listen to the solar success stories of three local solar owners. Other enticing features are solar demonstrations; eco exhibitors including solar installers; free bike tune-ups; and a tour of REEP House, a showroom of green living ideas.” The event will take place in the Kitchener city hall rotunda from 1:00 to 5:00 Saturday afternoon. Says a news release: “Local asparagus farmer Tim Barrie has generated solar power on his Cambridge farm since 2007. Tim is thrilled with Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which pays him a premium price for the electricity that he generates to be fed into the power grid. He is one of three home and business owners who will share personal stories of the benefits of various solar technologies including photovoltaic (electricity-generating) panels, solar water heaters, solar air heaters, and more. Tim will be joined by Rolf Thiessen, owner of the Waterloo Region Green Home, and David MacKay, UpTown Waterloo resident. Leo Tasca, manager of the Renewable Energy Unit, Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, will explore how home and business owners can benefit from solar opportunities. This second annual Eco-Showcase brings together homeowners, students and other community members with businesses and community groups to celebrate Earth Day and work towards a sustainable future in Waterloo Region. The Home Sweet Home Green Building Tour will start and finish at the Eco-Showcase event.”

Nominations closed last week for three vacant seats on the university senate, and the results were mixed, the secretariat reports. For one seat, representing mathematics faculty members, a single nomination was received, and so Joseph Cheriyan (department of combinatorics and optimization) was acclaimed to the senate. For a second seat, representing faculty members at large, there were no nominations at all, and that position remains vacant. And for a third seat, representing graduate students, two nominations were received; an election will be held next week.

Leonard Enns of Conrad Grebel University College was a finalist for one of Sunday's Juno Awards, but in the end he wasn't the winner. By Monday morning, an announcement was out from the DaCapo Chamber Choir, which Enns directs: "At a ceremony last evening, Marjan Mozetich was awarded the Juno for Classical Composition of the Year for 'Lament in the Trampled Garden'. DaCapo's director, Leonard Enns was nominated in the same category for '"Nocturne'.  It was revealed at last night's ceremony that there were 55 submissions in this category and Len emailed from St. John's to say, 'it's great to be one of the five selected nominees from that list.' Congratulations again to Len on his nomination and to Mr. Mozetich on his win. To hear a clip of the Juno-nominated 'Nocturne', visit our web site, where you can also purchase a copy of DaCapo's ShadowLand recording which features this piece."

A posy of recent postings (“tweets”) from Waterloo people on Twitter: “It appears there are around 43 iPads on campus connecting to wireless and they still aren't available in Canada yet.” • “VeloCity Residence is now FULL for the Fall 2010 Semester!” • “I am seriously going to go mark exams at the grad club. Ideally, outdoors on the deck.” • “It's Admission Interview Week [in architecture]. The library is full of nauseous-looking high schoolers and mums trying to relax.” • “I know we hate @uwgeese, but since when did it become OK to harass wild animals and chase them around?” • “”I <3 the signs in the SLC 3rd floor study lounge that say no sleeping in here — this is for your own safety. Ridiculous.” • “Sorry Davis, Dana is now my new best friend.”

And . . . with winter term exams winding down, there are fewer people on campus to drink coffee and eat lunch, and so fewer places are open to provide those amenities. The REVelation cafeteria in Ron Eydt Village closed as of last night, though Mudie's in Village I continues in operation through tomorrow. Festival Fare in South Campus Hall is long closed, as are some smaller food outlets such as Pastry Plus in Matthews Hall and the PAS building lounge. The Modern Languages cafeteria will have its last day tomorrow, to be followed by summer-long renovations; Friday is also the last day until September for Brubakers in the Student Life Centre and most of the counters at Bon Appetit in the Davis Centre. Detailed food services hours are online.


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Link of the day

Jelly beans

When and where

Winter term examinations end Friday. Schedule.

Extended library hours through Friday: Davis Centre library open 24 hours a day, except Sunday 2 to 8 a.m.; Dana Porter Library open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Details.

Institute for Computer Research presents Don Batory, University of Texas at Austin, “Stepwise Parallelization of Streaming Architectures” 10:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

UW Recreation Committee presents “A Year on the Grand”, photos and stories, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 329.

Chemical engineering seminar: Todd Hoare, McMaster University, “Engineering Smart Materials for Biomedicine” 3:30 p.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Standard Deviation Theatre presents “Drinking Alone” by Norm Foster, through Saturday at 8 p.m., Studio 180, Humanities building. Details.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, breakfast seminar: “Sibling Relationships and Family Business” Friday 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Laura Babalola, "Drupal in the Faculty of Science" Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, proceeds to scholarship funds, Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), First United Church, King and William Streets. Details.

Bill Oldfield, library, retirement coffee break Friday 10:00, Dana Porter Library staff lounge, RSVP ajdandyk@

Campus-wide utility shutdown Saturday 4 p.m. to Sunday 8 p.m.: all main campus buildings, no heat or hot water; buildings in north and east areas, including Villages, SLC, Optometry, Davis, DWE and  CPH, also no electrical power, and closed by police. Details.

Unofficial grades for winter term courses begin appearing on Quest April 26. Grades become official May 25.

Fee payment deadline for spring term is April 26 (promissory note) or April 29 (bank transfer). Details.

Stratford Campus announcement of UW-Zambia initiatives, with High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia, Monday 11:00, University Club, by invitation.

‘Making Assessment Meaningful’ annual symposium on “learning about teaching”, April 26-27: Monday, Presidents’ Colloquium, address by Catherine Wehlburg, Texas Christian University, 2:00, Humanities Theatre, reception follows; Tuesday, faculty workshops 9:00 and 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 26-29, Davis Centre. Details.

UW-ACE upgrade to Angel version 7.4: system will be down Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fire drills in most main campus buildings, Tuesday morning. (Not included: PAS, ERC, DC, PHY, E2, E3, RAC.)

Opportunities and New Directions conference on post-secondary teaching and learning, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, April 28. Details.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference April 29-30, Ryerson University, Toronto. Details.

Spring term classes begin Monday, May 3.

Mothers’ Day brunch at University Club, Sunday, May 10, 11:00 to 1:30, $24.95 plus tax and gratuity, reservations ext. 33801.

Canada 3.0 digital media conference sponsored by Stratford Institute and Canadian Digital Media Network, May 10-11, Stratford. Details.

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