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Newsstand: September 24, 2012

Guess what day it is? Monday! Guess what you have to put on this morning? Probably a warm coat! Ready to face the day? No, not yet! No need to rush out into that cold air—stay warm with some local news first. Today: the Ford brothers strongly dislike the media, all of it, everyone; TTC rates might stay the same, or maybe they'll go up, it really depends on who you ask; mobile dialysis patients lose access to Wheel-Trans; Yunel Escobar tries to add to his collection of gay friends; the co-founder of Sam the Record Man dies; and a free ride for the zoo's giant pandas.

In a case of biting the hand that feeds you (almost entirely positive news stories), the Ford brothers took to the Newstalk 1010 airwaves yesterday to complain about Toronto’s media—including Newstalk 1010. During their weekly radio show, the Ford brothers stated that the Chicago trade mission didn’t cost Torontonians “a dime,” a claim the radio station had refuted in a segment earlier in the week. The brothers made their displeasure about this known, calling members of the media who reported on this “pathological liars.”

Mayor Rob Ford had more than just the horrible, awful, unfair media to discuss during the radio show: he also stated that he doesn’t foresee a need to hike TTC fares in 2013, though TTC chair Karen Stintz doesn’t agree. Stintz believes that fares will have to go up by rate of inflation, which means the Metropass rate would increase by $30 over the year. Well, this should be fun.

As of next year, approximately 700 dialysis patients in Toronto will lose access to the TTC’s Wheel-Trans service. The decision to cut this group was made in order to save the City $5 million, and to free up limited resources for people who use wheelchairs and walkers. To help find an alternative form of transportation for these hundreds of people who rely on the service, the TTC has been working with other stakeholders, including hospitals and the Kidney Foundation of Canada, to try to find a solution. The silver lining here is that this could go a long way toward resolving the brewing turf war between those who require mobility devices and those with renal failure. It was about to get ugly.

More than 50 years after opening his flagship record store, complete with its iconic flashing neon-record signs on Yonge Street, Sam Sniderman, the co-founder of Sam the Record Man, has died. Sniderman was 92.

In addition to donating $90,000 of lost wages to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar will meet with Patrick Burke, the founder of You Can Play, an anti-homophobia-in-sports group, this week. OMG you guys! Wouldn’t it be awesome if they fell in love and adopted a rainbow of babies? Fine, rather unlikely, but it would make a great “this is how we met” story at their wedding.

Animals coming to or leaving the Toronto Zoo really seem to ride in style. First, Bob Barker offers to pay to move the zoo’s trio of elephants to a sanctuary in California, and now FedEx has proposed picking up the $3.7-plus million transportation bill required to fly two giant pandas, and their bamboo, over from China for their spring 2013 debut at the zoo. How lucky! Private jets and…oh, right, having to live in the zoo. The TTC it is!

CORRECTION: September 24, 2012, 11:22 AM This post originally said that Yunel Escobar’s lost wages amounted to $9,000. The amount is in fact $90,000. This post has been changed accordingly.

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