Newsstand: August 20, 2013
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Newsstand: August 20, 2013

Can't think of anything witty to put here this morning. Sorry, readers! In the news: murder charges against cops are rare; Ford wants to talk Expo with the PM; Torontonians get a chance to chat up a city planner; a new site uses a wealth of info on parking tickets; convenience stores aren't actually supposed to sell bongs; and when it comes to uniforms, some are hard to please.

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Toronto police officer Constable James Forcillo, charged yesterday with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim on a streetcar earlier this summer, is said to be “devastated” by the event, Toronto Police Association head Mike McCormack told theGlobe and Mail. The charges against Forcillo are extremely rare—just three officers have been charged with murder since Ontario launched its Special Investigations Unit in 1990, two of them Toronto cops. Forcillo is due to turn himself in today.

Mayor Rob Ford is seeking a face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss a potential Toronto bid to host the World Expo. Canada is set to withdraw from the Bureau International des Expositions, which oversees the selection of Expo hosts, by the end of 2013 because of cost concerns—an action that would kibosh a 2025 bid for Toronto as host. The federal vote against renewing Canada’s BIE membership came six months after the city council voted 30-4 to produce a feasibility report on a 2025 Expo bid. Ford has appealed to cabinet ministers to continue the country’s BIE membership, and now wants to plead his case to the PM himself.

Starting today, Toronto’s planning division is launching “pop-up planning shops” across the city, where residents can pop in to ask a question—any question, really—of city planners. The events will continue at public events like farmers’ markets over the next month. The pop-up idea is a new one for Hogtown, but it recalls a different local initiative originating in the 1970s, where the planning department aimed to build relationships in communities all over the city by operating in storefronts across Toronto.

The creator of a new website has turned five years of data on parking tickets into a searchable database, making it easier to see where in the city you’re most likely to get fined. Darek Kowalski created parkintoronto.com after he realized the depth of data available on parking tickets in the city, right down to the hour they were issued. Open Data Toronto told the Toronto Star that as far as they know, Kowalski is the first to use their data to make a searchable site for parking information.

The Ontario Safety League has launched a campaign targeting the sale of drug paraphernalia in corner stores in the province, saying that items like bongs, pill grinders, and crack pipes are becoming increasingly common on the shelves. The CEO of the league, Brian Patterson, said in a press conference yesterday that the sale of such items is illegal, but were still found by their mystery shoppers. “All of these items were displayed prominently, often at the point of sale next to gum and candy and lottery tickets and the like at neighbourhood corner stores in Toronto, Newmarket, Aurora, Mississauga, Brampton, Windsor, London, St. Catharines, Guelph, Cornwall and Ottawa,” Patterson said. But we thought those were just for tobacco smoking?

And today in reaching, some people are apparently concerned that new TTC uniforms could have the same colours as the jerseys for the Montreal Canadiens, rivals of Toronto’s own Maple Leafs. After all, no one else has ever used the colours red, white, and blue before.

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