Should a doctor racing to an emergency get a ticket?

There is no consensus in the case of the cop-cardiologist conundrum, wrote the Toronto Star Jan. 13 in a story about the police officer who gave a speeding ticket to Dr. Michael Kutryk on his way to an emergency.

Susan Dimock, a York University philosophy professor and past director of the school’s Centre for Practical Ethics, applied a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis. The “minor risk, or minor increased risk” created by Kutryk’s speeding, she said, was far outweighed by the benefits of treating his patient in a timely manner.

An ancient antidote for modern working pains

It’s the frozen silhouette of anyone who spends too many hours zoned in on a computer screen: the hunched back, bent neck, fingers locked in a repetitive dance, wrote The Globe and Mail Jan. 12. And it’s one of the leading causes of workplace disability – back and neck pain – especially for women. But working out those kinks, according to a new York University study, doesn’t have to make you sweat.

“It was a short period of time and yet we were able to see an improvement,” said Hala Tamim, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health, who led the study.

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time causes muscles to tighten into a limited range of motion, said York Professor Roni Jamnik, who worked on the study. Tai chi stretches the muscles into varied positions.

Although the study tracked participants for just 12 weeks, she said, people could expect to see more benefits the longer and more frequently they attended classes. But even a brief session of tai chi, she points out, can be performed just by standing up from your computer. “You could easily do a routine at your desk if you had the space.”

Let pensioners fully unlock their LIRAs

The NDP’s proposal for an Ontario pension plan for the majority of Ontarians who have no workplace pensions is a very welcome and necessary policy that will enhance both the quality of life for older Ontarians and stimulate the province’s economy, wrote Bill Gleberzon, contract faculty in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in a letter to the Toronto Star Jan. 13.

However, this proposal should be expanded to enable the unlocking of 100 per cent of Ontario’s locked-in retirement accounts (LIRAs), as Andrea Horwath, the NDP leader, previously proposed. This has been done in Saskatchewan and is enjoyed by a select group of Ontario politicians and ex-politicians.

Allowing full accessibility will enhance the quality of life and personal freedom of hundreds of thousands of Ontarians, save the province money by reducing the cost of bureaucratic management of LIRAs, increase government revenues since withdrawals from these pensions are taxable and stimulate the Ontario economy.

Archaic paternalism has no place in the 21st century, especially during this time of devastating job and retirement savings losses.

Soccer player walked away from the game but made a return – big time

Sometimes you have to lose something to truly appreciate it, wrote the North York Mirror Jan. 12. North York native and part-time York student Nana Attakora-Gyan, a defender with Toronto FC and a back-to-back recipient of the Canadian U-20 Player of the Year award, learned that invaluable lesson early on in life after turning his back on the game he was born to play.

Reminiscent of a scene from television’s “Intervention”, only with an athletic twist, the North York-born, Brampton-raised soccer star said his family and friends sat him down to discuss reconsidering. “I just didn’t want to do it anymore,” said Attakora, who battled injuries his first two seasons with the Major League Soccer franchise, but has reversed those fortunes in 2009, starting in 19 of 20 games and tallying two goals and four assists.

Federal finance minister in Miramichi next week

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (LLB ’73) is getting back to his Miramichi roots next week, but the trip will likely include just as much business as it will pleasure, wrote the Times & Transcript (Moncton, NB) Jan. 13.

Flaherty, whose father was born in the former village of Loggieville, will be in Miramichi on Monday to engage in a round-table discussion with local business leaders, meet with Miramichiers and travel to Loggieville to connect with long-lost relatives. Flaherty was born in Lachine, Que., in 1949 and holds a law degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Nursing students edgy as college strike vote looms

A group of second-year nursing students are worried their class will be the first to lose their year, wrote the Barrie Advance Jan. 12 in a story about a possible strike at Ontario’s community colleges. “We have to have a certain number of clinical hours and pass the class in order to move on,” says Windsor native Amanda Parent, 20, who is scheduled to head to York University in the fall to complete her university nursing program. “They’re prerequisites.”

York grad sets up chiropractic clinic in Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores has welcomed a new chiropractor, wrote the Shoreline Beacon Jan. 12. Laura Armstrong (BA Spec. Hons. ’05) has set up her clinic in Port Elgin in the former Hot Heaven’s Spa location on Goderich Street.

As a licensed chiropractor, Armstrong specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions related to the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.

She completed her undergraduate degree at York University and received her honours bachelor of arts degree from York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science in the Faculty of Health.

Lions’ coach’s son touted as hoops phenom

One of Canada’s young basketball phenoms will be in action this weekend at the Silver Fox high school tournament in Hamilton, wrote The Hamilton Spectator Jan. 13.

Local fans get an opportunity to see highly touted Kevin Pangos, a Grade 11 backcourt player with Newmarket’s Dr. Denison Huskies. “We’re pleased with the opportunities that he’s had with the Canadian national development programs,” said Kevin’s father, Bill Pangos, the veteran coach of the York University women’s basketball team.

On air

  • York student Orville Lloyd Douglas’s comments on racism in the 3-D film Avatar were discussed on CFRB Radio’s “The Bill Carroll Show” Jan. 12.
  • York grad John Criswick (MSc ’94) spoke about his upcoming private trip into space, on BNN-TV’s “SqueezePlay” Jan. 12.
  • Lauren Sergio, professor of kinesiology & health science in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about the results of a study she led into video gaming and brain activity, on Global TV stations across Canada Jan. 12.