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Newsstand: December 5, 2012

Wednesday: her friends call her Wednes, her enemies call her Hump Day. In the news: bikers get their belt buckles back, Hudak’s provincial pop-up shop, casino-referendum piggyback ballots, the weather, and Rob Ford in court.

Toronto Hells Angels are getting back a whole bunch of fancy stuff that was taken in a 2007 police raid, now that a judge has ruled the Crown does not have the grounds to hold on to it. The rings, pins, calendars, T-shirts, belt buckles, and other belongings being returned to the bikers all feature the “death head” symbol that, according to club rules, only full members are allowed to own. The judge in the case, Maureen Forestell, essentially ruled that something with the symbol on it is not inherently criminal and therefore can’t be held unless it is actually used in a crime. Good, now we will all see far fewer bikers’ butt cracks.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak thinks that it is about time alcohol is made available at grocery stores, corner stores, and privately owned liquor stores, not just the LCBO and stores run by alcohol producers. That would be convenient, but the LCBO currently contributes about $1.63 billion to the province each year, so it wouldn’t be cheap. This follows statements from Hudak on Monday claiming that the province shouldn’t be in the business of running gambling, either (this also brings in billions of dollars for the province). What is this, Hudak, a war on the only fun things the provincial government has going for it?

Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) thinks that if we’re going to go through all the trouble of having a by-election to pick a new mayor (an if indeed), we might as well throw another question on the ballot, too. Vaughan has suggested that a casino referendum could be added to any ballot stemming from the post-Fordcourt fallout. The Ontario Gambling Commission has said in the past that it will not put a casino in any city that does not want one, and this would be a pretty good way to gauge that.

Whoa, baby, it was a scorcher yesterday. The thermometer-shattering 16 degrees above zero has set a new record for the warmest December 4 in Toronto. Okay, now put your jean shorts away, because today is back to normal, boring, cold December temperatures.

Lastly, keep an eye to Torontoist today (just like you do every day), as Mayor Rob Ford takes his case before Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu to try to get a stay in the ruling that will take him out of office next Tuesday. Ford’s appeal in his conflict-of-interest case is set for January 7, 2013, and legal experts are expecting him to remain in office at least until that is decided. But, then again, some of those legal experts probably didn’t expect him to get turfed in the first place.

CORRECTION: December 5, 2012, 11:25 AM This post subheading’s originally misspelled Tim Hudak’s surname. Torontoist regrets the error.

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