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Newsstand: August 14, 2013

Happy Blackout 10-year anniversary! What will you be doing to celebrate? Perhaps telling your 9-year-old the story of her conception? In today's news: Police Chief Bill Blair meets with the Yatim family; Doug Ford continues on in his role as official unofficial spokesperson for the mayor; Ottawa (or, at least one Ottawanian) wants a Mayor Ford to call their (his) own; coyotes get some positive PR; York Regional Police have a little fun on Twitter; and a York University prof creates a unique archive.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 1

Though he’s staying mum about what was discussed, Police Chief Bill Blair has confirmed that he met privately with Sammy Yatim’s family members yesterday, a meeting Blair says was not the first. The exchange came after a Toronto Police Services Board meeting, where chairman Alok Mukherjee read a statement addressing Yatim’s death.

The mayor’s mouthpiece brother continued to run defense on his behalf yesterday, calling concerns and reports about Mayor Rob Ford’s behaviour at Taste of the Danforth a “personal attack.” He also polished off and pulled out some nice folksy slang, saying things like “who gives a hoot” about where Mayor Rob Ford drank, and that it was no big deal, as it was only “a couple pops.” However, although he had all that to say while at City Hall (and apparently around the same time Mayor Ford slipped in the backdoor), he later backed down a little on this point, admitting to John Tory that, yeah, perhaps the mayor “shouldn’t have” had those, what did he call them? Pops.

While things aren’t looking so hot for the Ford clan right now, there’s at least one guy who’s still rooting for Mayor Ford. An Ottawa-based, self-described “grumpy old man” emailed the mayor to let him know that while the Toronto media’s been rough on Mayor Ford, he’d be quite welcome as mayor of Ottawa. However, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson will likely be very relieved to know that he won’t be turfed in favour of Mayor Ford just yet, as letter-writer Earle Rheaume received a note back stating that Mayor Ford does “love Ottawa” but that Toronto is his “home and heart.” You can read the full exchange here.

Not unlike our mayor, Toronto’s coyotes have been having a run of bad publicity as of late. So far this year, a Cabbagetown coyote was shot by the police, a Neville Park coyote killed a dog, and a Beach coyote became a thing of terror by wandering around front yards. While it seems they’re doing nothing to help their own tattered reputation, coyotes do have an ally in the Toronto Botanical Garden. Tonight, in order to help better educate people about the animal, the Toronto Botanical Garden’s team is leading a group of 50 adults and children along the nearby Wilket Creek path for a nighttime “coyote crawl.” Though with a group that size it’s unlikely crawlers will get to see a coyote, participants will get to “play coyote,” an experience which is meant to help them better understand what life is like for these oft-misunderstood creatures.

The York Regional Police is having a little fun with its Twitter feed. Yesterday, after someone ill-advisedly tweeted “@Sunith_DB8R Any dealers in Vaughan wanna make a 20sac chop? Come to Keele/Langstaff Mr. Lube, need a spliff,” the @YRP cheekily replied, “Awesome! Can we come too?” Though the incident did seem to come across as light-hearted, a later tweet from the YRP reminded followers that Twitter can be used as a monitoring tool: “@YRP If you shouted on a busy street corner about illegal activity & we drove by, we’d intervene. Think of Twitter as a virtual street corner.”

With the aim of cataloging the stories behind them, York University professor Deborah Davidson is creating an archive of “memorial tattoos.” The focus will be on those inked “in memory or honour of persons living or dead, animals, [or of] events in a person’s life course that have particular meaning to them.” No word yet on how many Stompin’ Tom tatts will be included in the collection.

CORRECTION: August 14, 2013, 9:45 AM This post originally misidentified the York University professor responsible for the memorial tattoo archive. We regret the error.

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