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Real City Matters

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Weekend Newsstand: July 19, 2014

Apparently Jon Bon Jovi is part of a Toronto group that has expressed interest in buying the Buffalo Bills. Because nothing says “Toronto!” like Bon Jovi and the NFL. In the news: A 24-year-old Ajax man was among the passengers of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, David Soknacki wants to make early-morning commuting free, a crackdown on leash-free dog walking, and a new Ford enters politics.

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Ajax resident Andrei Anghel was the only Canadian aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was brought down by surface-to-air missiles as it flew over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. None of the 298 passengers survived the attack. Anghel was a medical student at Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania, and a graduate of Ajax High School and the University of Waterloo, where he is remembered as a conscientious and eager student of biomedical sciences. Having earned a reputation as being both bright and hardworking, at just 24 years old Anghel had aspirations to research a cure for cancer. He was aboard the flight with his girlfriend, Olga Ioppa, who was a fellow medical student at Iuliu Hatieganu, and they were en route to vacation in Bali at the time of their death. Sympathy for the Anghel family has since poured out from across the country, with Ajax mayor Steve Parish and Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne both offering statements of condolences, while Ajax-Pickering MP Chris Alexander also said in a statement that he had visited the Anghel family and was devastated by the loss of Andrei in what he called an “egregious act of terror.”

If you consider yourself a morning person, mayoral candidate David Soknacki might be your kind of guy. Soknacki plans to target rush-hour congestion by offering free Toronto Transit Commission fares to commuters who make the trip to work between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Soknacki’s campaign says that a recent poll revealed commuters were interested in commuting to work earlier in the day, and a free transit scheme would encourage that to happen. The PRESTO fare payment system would more easily allow for this sort of multi-tier fare system, even though Soknacki could not say specifically now how much free fares would cost the TTC in lost revenue each year.

Dog owners who like to let their four-legged pals roam free should be aware that bylaw officers are cracking down with a ticket blitz in order to remind people that animals cannot be walked off-leash unless in designated leash-free parks, or on their own property. As the City fields 440 complaints of leash-free dogs on the loose this year—compared to just 130 at this point last year—bylaw enforcement increased patrols of various parks on Thursday to dish out $360 fines to anyone letting their dog roam around in unsanctioned areas.

Finally, prepare to welcome another member of the Ford family into the political arena—whether you like it or not. Mayor Ford’s nephew Michael Ford has filed his candidate papers to run for the Ward 2, Etobicoke North seat that will be vacated by uncle Doug Ford who is not seeking re-election. While Ford the younger has yet to announce any formal platform, his Facebook page says that he is in his early 20s and works for his family’s sign company while he completes college.

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