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Newsstand: April 27, 2012

Happy Friday to you all. And remember, there's nothing shameful about a nap, as long as it's capped at three hours. Okay: Mike Del Grande wants to put hefty city staff salaries on ice; the mushy middle turn mighty, and have a meeting; James Pasternak proposes a North York Relief Line; and Queensway sex store gets under some people's skin.

Toronto budget committee chair Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) may get some dirty looks at the proverbial water cooler today, though from who and how many, it’s hard to say. In the spirit of fat-trimming, Del Grande says that at today’s budget committee meeting he’ll propose freezing pay levels for all City staff earning upward of $200,000. It’s not totally clear how many individuals occupy this lucky category, or how much “coin” (his words) would be saved by this measure. According to a provincial salary-disclosure list, however, the number of folk who earned this sum or more last year is in the neighbourhood of 30 (including those working at agencies, commissions and boards).

If you didn’t get the memo that the nine city councillors who dwell in the murky space between staunch Ford-ites and hard-and-fast lefties are no longer “mushy” but “mighty,” well, it’s probably in the mail. Headed by Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence), said councillors held their first official get-together yesterday, with plans to meet again, apparently. Though they didn’t emerge with concrete policies, there was an agreement to defer talk of transit—because, enough already, am I right? (Not their words.)

And…we’re still talking about it. Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10, York Centre) is proposing a North York Relief Line, with two new lines to carry suburbanites to the north and east ends of the city. Apparently, it’s a somewhat modified, somewhat scaled-back (and according to some transit experts, somewhat smarter) variation on Mayor Rob Ford’s never-realized darling: the Sheppard subway extension. Huh. After floating the idea, Pasternak hooked up with fellow mighty middles, but stayed mum on transportation specifics.

Lastly, Aren’t We Naughty—the Queensway sex shop—has triggered a debate about whether “adult” stores can be part of an area’s image cleanup, and whether condoms and lubricants can be conflated, morally speaking, with other, er, erotic aids.

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