Wasaga Beach looks for grad students to research wind power

Wasaga Beach officials have been given approval to solicit student interest in a master’s level research paper about wind power as an alternative energy source, reported the Wasaga Sun Nov. 10.

The idea came from the town’s Healthy Community Network (HCN) chair Peter Willmott, a retired environmental health officer who has a master’s degree in environmental studies [MES ’83 from York] and a PhD. He worked with HCN staff representative Doug Herron, who works as the municipality’s senior planner, to develop the recommendation and research parameters.

Willmott said the genesis of the report was to raise the idea that there may be graduate students interested in doing a research project on the topic.

The municipality is looking for a third-party, unbiased review of the published and unpublished literature on wind power and alternative energy sources, based on reliability, cost-effectiveness and safety.

The researcher is to speak to different organizations – provincially, nationally and internationally – that have adopted wind power projects to find out what their experience has been.

Staff will propose the research topic to students at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo and York University, three universities that have environmental studies programs.

Herron said it would be considered reasonable that the town would pay the student between $2,000 and $5,000.

Universities tackle H1N1

As H1N1 counterattacks are well underway in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country, colleges and universities are also stepping up their efforts to ensure the safety of students, reported Metro Nov. 11 in a story looking at postsecondary response across the country.  

At York University, the institute’s Pandemic Planning Committee has installed hand-sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas and posted handwashing posters in all washrooms and cafeterias.

Students sick with flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home and arrange a deferred standing agreement upon their return.

Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations, said there are no significant H1N1 cases to report.

Students help Cineplex profits

Alba Munez sifted frantically through her knapsack to come up with the $5.26 in change she needed to get into the theatre, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 11. Three loonies and a toonie later, she let out a holler. "I just made it!"

Munez, along with York University student Jessica Ho, had arrived at the Scarborough Town Centre Cineplex on a Tuesday afternoon to see Michael Jackson’s This Is It, a documentary based on the pop star’s final concert. "We’ve been waiting a while to see it, but we didn’t want to pay full price," said Ho.

Thanks to holding the line on pricing while reintroducing a popular discount half-price Tuesday this fall, the silver screen has proven to be a particularly recession-resistant form of entertainment. Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, the country’s largest exhibitor, hit a new box office record for the third quarter of 2009, for the fourth straight quarter in a row.

On air

  • Seth Feldman, film professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, talked about his upcoming series for CBC Radio’s “Ideas” marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, on the CBC Radio afternoon show in St. John’s, Nfld.