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Newsstand: May 8, 2012

There's no Tuesday like show-Tuesday, like no Tuesday we know! In the news-day this Tuesday: what to do with all the budget surplus, RoFo celebrates World Press Freedom Week, TCHC has a new CEO, the CBC is looking for new neighbours, and the Gardiner Expressway is falling apart.

Funding for some zoos and programs that help the City’s needy may be revived now that council has turned up a $292 million dollar budget surplus. At yesterday’s budget committee meeting, Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10, York Centre) promised a “floor fight” over his planned motion to restore funding to things like the High Park Zoo and the Hardship Fund. Pasternak will send a motion to the June session of council to re-open the 2012 budget and spend about $1.7 million of the surplus on those projects and more. And by “floor fight” we are guessing he means some sort of lively debate over the proposal and not a showdown between Moroccan tile and reclaimed barn wood, which would be cool/weird to see, but probably ultimately unproductive.

Mayor Rob Ford kicked off World Press Freedom Week by reading a proclamation and then jumping in an elevator to avoid reporters. Granted, that doesn’t seem like the best way to mark the occasion, but it was an improvement over how the mayor spent World Press Freedom Day eve: confronting a reporter on public land and chasing him off for doing his job.

Toronto Community Housing has a new big boss, and he’s a Yankee. Gene Jones, Jr. will leave his current post at the Detroit Housing Commission and will be taking over for TCHC’s interim CEO in June. In addition to prior work experience in America, Jones also brings bedbug knowledge, which, according to TCHC board chair Bud Purves, no previous TCHC CEO has had. Which sounds like both a good and bad thing.

Nerd alert: the CBC is looking for some new neighbours. If you are a corporate client seeking office space in the city’s downtown core, then look no further than the exploding pizza. You, yes you, could be lining up alongside Strombo and Mr. Dressup for your morning coffee or trying not to make eye contact with Peter Mansbridge in the elevator after getting a little buzzed at lunch. In an effort to rummage up some extra revenue in the face of budget cuts, the broadcaster is making an effort to fill the vacancies in its massive downtown headquarters. Apparently about one-third of the building is empty right now, and filling those spaces could bring in $12 million for the Corporation.

And some lanes of Lake Shore were closed yesterday after chunks of concrete fell from the Gardiner Expressway overhead. No one was hurt in the incident, but a lot of people were like, “WTF.”

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