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Newsstand: January 29, 2013

Did all that slush from yesterday melt yet, or just freeze overnight? In the news: The chief city planner has some ideas about transit; Conrad Black is reinventing himself yet again; Markham's next council meeting could look like a hockey brawl; and the weather is still being weird.

newsstand_humbetown

Toronto’s chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, unveiled a new campaign called “Feeling Congested?” at a committee meeting at City Hall yesterday. The campaign looks at the future of transit infrastructure in Toronto, something Keesmaat called “the most important conversation we need to have in the city.” A website for the campaign is expected to launch in February, when four public consultation sessions will also be held. Residents will be presented with 17 options for funding transit in the city, including tolls and tax increases, and the option to not support funding for transit initiatives at all will also be available to citizens who want to express it. City staff are due to report back to city council on transit by April and Metrolinx by June.

Heeeeeere’s Connie! Conrad Black is going Boomer on us and will host a weekly television show for Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia. The show, called The Zoomer — Television For Boomers With Zip, will provide a “weekly ‘take’ on the world from a zoomer point of view,” the promo material explained. Do Boomers know a lot of big words? One hopes so, if Black’s going to connect with his audience. Former CBC exec Denise Donlon will cohost, and The Zoomer should begin airing on VisionTV in late spring or early summer.

Markham will vote tonight on whether or not to support the construction of a new NHL-sized arena. The proposed arena is projected to cost $325 million, with 20,000 seats. The financial proposal council will vote on shares costs between taxpayers and the private sector. The meeting is expected to be a lively one; “people should come out because it will be educational, entertaining and maybe confrontational,” said Markham councillor Jim Jones. Looks like Toronto doesn’t have the exclusive on boisterous council meetings.

Yesterday’s wet weather was nothing to get excited about, but things should warm up in Toronto over the next couple of days. Today’s high is 8 C, CBC is reporting, with the possibility of thunderstorms. Yes, in late January. And the thermometer could get up to 11 C on Wednesday. Things should flip-flop again later in the week, heading to a more seasonal below-zero temp once more.

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