Weekend Newsstand: March 10, 2012
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Weekend Newsstand: March 10, 2012

You’re here! But you were in my dream! And you were there, and so were you, and even that weird backwards-talking guy from Twin Peaks was there. There really is no place like Saturday. Today, news-wise: missing girl’s remains found, Fantino’s campaign spending questioned, councillors buy mundane items, and there are lots of cars in Toronto.

If you were somehow incapacitated yesterday, you may not have heard that remains found under an overpass belonged to missing teen Mariam Makhniashvili, whose 2009 disappearance provoked the largest police search in Toronto history. Since she went missing, there were reports she’d been seen with travelling hippies, and even stranger reports she’d hooked up with a Georgian religious cult. Her brother ran away, but only for a day, and her father stabbed three people, and is now in prison. It’s still unclear why she took her own life, but the discovery of her body puts a sad end to a story that captivated Toronto for three years. So long, Mariam.

Could Vaughan MP and former Toronto police chief Julian Fantino possibly be up to no good? It doesn’t seem right, does it? Well, three former members of his Conservative riding association seem to think it’s possible. They’re asking Elections Canada to investigate the Conservative MP’s campaign finances for the last general election and a previous byelection, saying his campaign chair once revealed that the group held a hidden second—and if true, very much illegal—bank account. They also believe there may be a third account. A representative for Fantino, the gentle crusader for seniors’ rights that he is, denied any wrongdoing.

Councillors just want to have outrageous, money-spending fun, even with reduced annual office budgets of $30,000. In this year’s release of councillor budgets, we learn that Ford ally Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest) spent $564 on fireworks so he could whoop it up with his constituents on Canada Day. Sounds like wholesome, patriotic fun. Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) charged lunches with other female councillors, which they did not expense. Her party style is notably more tame than Crawford’s however, choosing to opt for a virgin Caesar with her lobster roll. Councillor Ron Moeser (who’s that?) (Ward 44, Scarborough East) had his city-provided iPhone “lost or stolen” and spent $891.56 to get a new one. Sheesh! These people and their hemorrhage-like spending! In other words, please move along now as there is nothing to see here. As you were.

And, the war on cars continues. The Globe reminds us that the City has done nothing to ease gridlock for years, and will continue to do nothing for some time into the future. We think everyone should just buy an extra car and drive it super hard. That will sort things out.