News in brief

Two dozen break-ins

Winter term got off to a bad start for a number of students who returned to Kingston last weekend to find their homes broken into.

Kingston Police Constable and Media Relations Officer Steven Koopman told the Kingston Whig-Standard that 24 reports of break-ins near Queen’s were reported between Jan. 4 and 6, with most of them having taken place over the winter holidays.

The incidents took place on William, Johnson, Barrie, Albert, Brock, Nelson, Bagot and Earl Streets, all within walking distance of campus.

Koopman said there have been a similar number of holiday break-ins over the years. He doesn’t see it decreasing, despite an extra police presence in the area.

“Quite often we are not looking at a massive amount of thieves. We are looking at a few,” he said.

— Holly Tousignant

Downtown theatre closes

Kingston’s downtown movie theatre — a local mainstay for over 80 years — officially closed its doors on Dec. 20.

The closure of the Empire Capitol 7 theatre came a year after the company announced its relocation to a new facility at Divison St. and Dalton Ave. near Highway 401. The new location opened its doors the day after the downtown location closed.

Any new owners of the former location are forbidden from opening another movie theatre at the location, according to a clause in its sales contract.

The building has been used as a movie theatre location since the 1920s when Famous Players purchased the site shortly after its construction. Empire Theatre began operating at the location in 2005. It’s uncertain whether the location has been sold.

Holly Vetro, ArtSci ’14, said the company’s move uptown will make her movie viewing experience more inconvenient.

“Personally I find it upsetting that they’re closing,” she said. “I mean, from a broader perspective than my own, too, it’s really inconvenient for students who want to see a movie without having to take the 40+ minute bus on the unreliable transportation that Kingston offers to the new location.”

She added that the former location had a special place downtown.

“I also think the oldness of the theatre adds a nice charm to Kingston, especially opposite from the Grand [Theatre],” she said. “It was endearing.”

— Vincent Matak

Copyright policy changes

Queen’s recently announced changes to its copyright policy to reflect the revision of the Copyright Act, as well as decisions made by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The copyright policy in Canada was last updated in 1997 and the government has since been working to modernize these laws to fit a more digital world.

The greatest revision was made to Queen’s Fair Dealing Policy to act in accordance to the new laws. Fair dealing is an exception in the copyright law that allows unpaid copying of material under certain circumstances.

Instructors will now be able to share up to 10 per cent of a copyrighted work with their students without seeking permission from copyright holders.

Mark Swartz, Queen’s Copyright Specialist, said that these changes will have a positive impact and make it easier for instructors to provide education materials to students.

Videos will now be permitted to be shown in class (provided that instructors have a legal copy of the material), without buying public performance rights.

In addition, instructors may use publicly available material on the Internet for educational purposes provided that there’s no clear notice stating the contrary and no laws have been breached otherwise.

— Rachel Herscovici

Homeowners not responsible for clearing ice

The remnants of Kingston’s large December snowfall may be diminishing, but on many sidewalks and driveways the ice and slush remains.

According to City of Kingston bylaws, local businesses are required to “remove snow and ice from the portion of the sidewalk fronting the location,” “ensure slippery sidewalks fronting the location are covered with suitable material, such as salt or sand,” and to “remove snow and ice on the roof top and icicles hanging above the location.”

Failure to do so can be reported to the City’s bylaw enforcement office at 613-546-4291, ext. 3135.

These bylaws don’t, however, apply to private homeowners; the city website advises that “good neighbours shovel their sidewalks,” driveways and the alley crossings in front of their homes within 24 hours.

— Holly Tousignant

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