Newsstand: October 23, 2012




Newsstand: October 23, 2012

Tuesday is defined as the day of the week occurring after Monday and before Wednesday. You're welcome. Today: Mayor Ford used City resources to beautify land near family business; Mayor Ford kept out of the loop about the Gardiner report for more than a month; talk and text coming to a subway station near you; Dalton McGuinty will not run for federal leadership; and a Beach institution takes a lickin'.

Remember when Mayor Rob Ford seemingly jumped the queue by asking senior City officials to bump up repairs to the road outside his family business so potholes would be fixed before the company’s 50th anniversary party? Well, apparently the requests did not end there. The mayor also asked City staff to help with other beautifying requests, some of which involved private and provincial property: to cut the grass, make minor road and shoulder repairs, rebuild culverts, and remove nearby construction equipment before the party. Notes and emails obtained by the Globe and Mail show that more than a dozen city employees at the supervisor level or higher were involved in making the mayor’s request happen, and making it happen in a timely manner.

While he may presume to have City staff at his beck and call, it seems staffers aren’t jumping to keep the mayor fully informed. Mayor Ford is not happy that he was kept in the dark about a report exposing the dangers of the crumbling Gardiner Expressway until six weeks after it was received by City staffers. Perhaps, and we’re just speculating here, it was because they assumed he wouldn’t be overly concerned, even though the report found that the potential for more crumbling concrete to fall poses “a significant hazard to public safety.” Well, if that’s the case, they don’t seem far off the mark.

Have you ever wished you could order that take-out while riding the Rocket? Sneak in a quick “hello” to Mom? Place a persuasive call to have someone pick you up from the station in the rain? The time is nigh. Cell service will likely be available in most TTC stations in about two years. On Wednesday, councillors on the TTC board will vote on a deal under which Broadcast Australia Pty Ltd., who outbid Bell Mobility, will pay the TTC $25 million over 20 years to equip underground subway stations with cell service. Toronto, get ready to know the details of the private lives of your citizens a little more intimately. There’s no escaping it now.

Will he, or won’t he? He won’t. Dalton McGuinty has quashed rumours of a run for the federal Liberal leadership. Well, it did seem like a…how should we put this? A rather uphill battle, even without considering the premier’s provincial record. Come on, have you seen the other guy’s hair? Who could stand a chance?

Rarely does a neighbourhood mourn the loss of a fast-food restaurant, but some in the Beach might be feeling a tinge of sadness upon learning that the Lick’s flagship location will close on October 31 in order to make way for a new condo development. But if you are worried that this signals a loss of appetite among Beach residents to fight for what they want, your fears are premature. Members of Save Queen Street, a group that has launched an aggressive anti-condo campaign, is hosting a public meeting Tuesday night to discuss concerns with a new set of urban design guidelines, a so-called “Beach bible” that will tell developers what they can and cannot build in the area, which the group feels is not strict enough. Ah, that’s the Beach spirit we know and love.