Putting a face on voicelessness

It’s the holiday season and the homeless shelter at Yonge and Sheppard is eerily empty. The majority of the women and girls who usually populate the YWCA have left to join their families. Except for Elisheva Passarello. She walks the halls by herself once again; it has been five years since she has seen her son, let alone spent a holiday with him.

“What was hard was homeless people often have someone; I had no one, not even my own son,” Passarello said. “What’s more difficult was that he didn’t have me.”

Amy Moledzky and John Rutledge with daughter Ava

Family learns to cope with post-natal depression

John Rutledge felt overwhelmed. He had experienced the sleepless nights, changing diapers, finding that one bit of furniture not yet “child-proof.” After his daughter Ava was born, Rutledge became even more stressed and anxious, to a point where he knew something wasn’t right.

“We were in the doctor’s office and it felt like I was in free fall,” Rutledge said.

Coping with stress calls on a variety of approaches

It happens at every exam time. He comes home with a pounding headache, plenty of anxiety and pressure on his shoulders.

Studying in the health and sciences program at the University of Toronto, is especially stressful. For Alex Singh, there is only one answer to his stress.

“I make my way into the kitchen, grab a shot glass and pour in some … vodka,” Singh said. “The shots temporarily take me away from my reality.”

Film prompts discussion on plight of Syrian refugees

Tasneem Fared, clad in a white bridal dress, tells the story of a horrific night in Syria in the documentary The Bride’s Side. That night, she recalled, she danced away, using music to drown out the sound of exploding bombs, occasionally taking off an earplug to check whether her home had been shelled.

Todmorden Legion event honours legendary member

Angie Gualtieri holds a book in her hands. Tales of Todmorden Veterans by Jack Aldred. It’s obvious this book means a lot to her.

Gualtieri recalls when the roof at her Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden, Branch 10, needed fixing. The branch couldn’t afford to fix it. Jack Aldred, a well-loved member of the branch, stepped up. Proceeds from Aldred’s helped raise money for the roof repairs.

“That’s who (Jack) was,” Gualtieri said. “A great man.”

Author highlights how Marconi ‘shrank’ the world

The year was 1912. On April 15, the sinking RMS Titanic sent out distress signals received by nearby ships. While more than 1,500 died in the sinking, during the next few hours on the North Atlantic, rescue ships picked up more than 700 survivors. Marc Raboy believes there was an upside to the disaster.

“(It) really opened the imagination to the importance of wireless communication,” he said. He credits wireless radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi.

“The world would never be the same again,” Raboy said. “We now had the capacity to do long distance communication.”

IMAX film inspires students to dream big

Pricilla Daniel sits in a large dining area at the Ontario Science Centre. She’s just had an unexpected movie experience.

“I thought we were just going to watch a movie,” she said, “but it was more than a movie. This was an experience.”

Shronak Datta saw the same movie. It explored an unusual aspect of engineering.

“Engineering is often too closely associated with economics,” he said. “The movie focused away from that and focused on how engineering is a method of problem solving in society. That really resonated with me.”

East York to get its own Hall of Fame

Long-time East York activist Justin Van Dette believes that an East York Hall of Fame will help celebrate community leaders.

Van Dette, also a member of the Kiwanis Club of East York, offered his vision of the hall of fame at a dinner meeting of the KCEY at Thorncliffe Park on Feb. 15.

“I expect the East York Hall of Fame to be an organization to recognize those individuals (who) have a special relationship with our community,” Van Dette said.