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Weekend Newsstand: March 31, 2012

Let today be one of those Saturday's when you sing Bob Marley in your head and don't look outside. Also, read some news: Some councillors consider a run for mayor, Occupy protesters arrested, supporters of the St. Clair Right-of-Way hope science will prove them right, City turns down offer for new High Park playground, and the mayor's executive committee loses one member.


Guess who’s running for mayor in 2014? We already know that Rob Ford (and maybe some fans of his radio show) will be vying for spots in the council chamber come the next municipal election. And now we know at least two councillors who are considering a run at the mayor chair: Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) and Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East). So get pumped Toronto, your election cycle is kicking into overdrive. (By “overdrive” we of course mean “super slow motion.”)

Some Occupy Toronto protesters are proving Occupy is still a thing by getting arrested yesterday. Four people were arrested in the afternoon after police tried to evict a small encampment in the rotunda at the Universtiy Avenue court house. When word got out about the arrests, and minor injuries inflicted on two of the protesters in the process, a larger protest cropped up outside 52 division, which also resulted in one arrest.

A couple of optimistic city councillors think a third-party report on the St. Clair Right-of-Way will settle the debate over whether the project was a total disaster/waste of money/proof from now and into perpetuity that at-grade urban rail transit is the stupidest thing of all time, as the mayor and his brother tend to think it is. Local councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s West) wants the report to use science and stuff to examine things like ridership, development potential, and traffic patterns to make an objective evaluation of the project. Godspeed, reason and facts.

Anyone hoping to slide the slide once more at High Park’s Jamie Bell Adventure Playground anytime soon will have to wait. After the playground was burned down in an act of arson, the community and companies have rallied around the rebuild. But a recent offer to build a $300,000 new playground was turned down by the City, who cited the need for a ton of bureaucracy. Before building a new park, City spokespeople say, they need a formal plan and community consultation, not to mention environmental evaluations due to the playground’s position near a ravine. So basically, the opposite of fun has to happen before any fun is allowed to happen.

Hold up before you go calling Mayor Rob Ford LL Cool R, since some are asking why the ladies of council do not seem to love him. Ford ally Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West) has announced she is quitting the mayor’s executive committee at the end of the year, leaving just one female councillor, Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest), at the committee table. And Berardinetti isn’t even sure if she’ll stay on herself.

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