Newsstand: May 4, 2012
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Newsstand: May 4, 2012

How're you feeling about the fact that it's Friday? Pretty good? Excited? Numb? All feelings are legit. And here's some news: a suspicious phone call was made from Daniel Dale's cell phone after he dropped it and fled; Daniel Dale is, he says, not a wuss; Mayor Rob Ford's family doesn't want him to resign; Toronto ombudsman calls for a better city services response in an emergency; and Toronto elephants must wait a few months to soak up the California sun.

If yesterday’s media hooplah turned you off hearing the phrases “Rob Ford,” “parcel of land,” and “fists cocked” together in one sentence—my apologies. But in case your interest in the Ford vs. Toronto Star Urban Affairs reporter Daniel Dale debacle is still piqued: the Toronto Star has obtained phone records showing a phone call was made from Dale’s blackberry about 45 minutes after he’d abandoned it behind chez Ford. Apparently, a call was made to Robert Andreacchi, executive assistant to Councillor Maria Augimeri (Ward 9, York Centre).

In one account of the event, Dale juxtaposes the fear of being “cornered” by Mayor Rob Ford in the way of a “mano-a-mano physical confrontation” with his previous bold forays into hurricane territory in the slums of Jamaica and refugee camps in the West Bank. The latter, apparently, did not scare him. Basically, despite being referred to as “soft-spoken” and “mild-mannered” by “sources,” he wants you (that’s right, you!) to know he is not a “wuss.” Noted.

Also not a wuss, apparently (oh, boys), is the mayor himself, who supposedly asked his family if they wanted him to step down after the aforementioned scandal. His seven-year-old and his wife both agreed that he should not step down.

Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean released a report calling for significant changes to the way the city provides services in the midst—or wake—of a crisis. Having investigated how city services dealt with a fire two years ago at 200 Wellesley Street East, a community housing complex, which forced 1,700 residents to flee the building, Crean says there was unnecessary confusion surrounding evacuation processes. Furthermore, post-fire, there was apparently a misunderstanding between the Emergency Planning Unit and Toronto Community Housing over who was calling the shots.

In elephant-related news, Toronto’s three, well, elephant matriarchs will have to wait a few more months before traveling to their new home/retirement residence at a California sanctuary. After a meeting in the mayor’s office yesterday, it has been decided that councillors Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) and Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) will be heading to California with senior zoo staff to talk out the differences between our zoo and the California facility. Honestly, who isn’t deferring their retirement these days?