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Weekend Newsstand: December 21, 2013

ICE STORM! In the news: why the Sally Ann isn't at Union Station this year, Giorgio Mammoliti still thinks that brothels only belong on Toronto Island, a Moonlite Bunny Ranch may be coming to Toronto, striking MLSE workers will vote on a new deal, and police are asking for help to find a missing woman and her newborn child.

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Not known as a particularly great place for quiet and undisturbed reflection, you may still have noticed that Union Station is a bit quieter these days. It is partly because the Salvation Army has not set up its signature brass band in the concourse this year. Why have they given up such prime donation real estate that they say can net $1,000 in donations per hour on good days? For the past 50 years the charity has been allowed to set up a brass band to attract donations to its red-kettle loose-change campaign, until this year when they were told that, following complaints over noise levels, musical instruments would no longer be allowed to be played in the concourse. In fairness, officials did offer the charity the chance to set up their red kettles to accept donations sans brass band, which the charity declined.

So, the Supreme Court has struck down three anti-prostitution laws. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West), who evidently is half-psychic, was all too eager to rub it in our collective face that he predicted this move. He issued a statement on Friday titled “I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO, I TOLD YOU SO…I guess I’m not that crazy after all.” No, that’s not a joke. That actually happened. Anyways, Mammoliti does not believe prostitution has a home in Toronto. Except for on Toronto Island. You may or may not remember that he’s crusaded for a red-light district there a few times, including during his failed mayoral campaign in 2010, and now he’s at it again. “I firmly believe that the Toronto Island needs to be the only area where prostitution is allowed in the City of Toronto,” Mammoliti said. Well, okay then, since he makes such a compelling argument…

Who knows, though, maybe one day Councillor Mammoliti will get his island red-light district. In the meantime Dennis Hof, owner of famous Nevada brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, has announced his intention to set up shop in Toronto. Lucky us.

Striking Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment employees may be voting on a new contract today, a move which could bring closure to a strike by 600 workers that began on December 13. The strike has affected kitchen, service, and cleaning staff at the Air Canada Centre and two nearby MLSE-owned restaurants. Workers rejected an earlier offer from MLSE that proposed a wage increase of 1 per cent in 2014, followed by a 1.5 per cent increase in 2015. The results of the vote are expected later this afternoon, according to a source that spoke to the Toronto Star.

Finally, Toronto Police have now appealed to the public for help in locating a woman and five-week-old child who have been missing since Tuesday. Christina Lynn Potter, who is also known as Christina Lynn Nunez Guzman, was last seen with her newborn daughter at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday around Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road in Scarborough. No sightings have been reported since then. Toronto Police Constable Wendy Drummond told reporters yesterday that their main concern is for the safety of the missing infant.

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