Newsstand: February 3, 2014




Newsstand: February 3, 2014

How about that sportsbowl, huh? And the commercials! My goodness. After all that excitement, the news must be a letdown, but here it is anyway: a Canadian is one of Forbes' 30 most important people under 30 in music, Karen Stintz blockaded tree poachers over the weekend, more pigs are getting sick, Sarah Polley won another award, and groundhogs are bad at forecasting the weather.

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Derrick Fung, a 26-year-old former investment banker, was recently placed on a Forbes list of the “30 under 30” most influential people in the music industry. Fung created Tunezy, a website that allows bands and artists to sell access to themselves in the form of backstage passes, meet and greets, and even online chats. He came up with the idea after watching the music industry more or less implode in the early 2000s, and, in what may be the only documented instance of an investment banker acting selflessly, his former boss on the CIBC trading floor offered to fund the startup if Fung promised to quit his job to pursue his passion. Tunezy was purchased in October, just two years after it was started, but Fung is still the company’s CEO.

Mayoral candidate Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) blockaded a construction crew on Saturday with several neighbours. They allege the crew was removing trees without permits, and while there is a $10,000 fine for doing so, without evidence it is difficult to prove anything. This is why Stintz and some neighbours stood in place for hours until police arrived to record the information on the scene. The area near the trees once held a church and is slated, as so many spaces in town are, to be developed into a condominium building.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea has migrated north of Toronto to a Simcoe County farm. It is the fifth confirmed case in the province and the third this week, but more are expected. The disease is highly contagious: it has already killed millions of pigs in the United States. A vaccine will be made available soon “as a precautionary measure.” Importantly, officials insist that the disease carries no danger for humans.

Canadian film darling Sarah Polley won the documentary screenwriting Writers Guild of America award Sunday for her film Stories We Tell, about her parents and the extramarital affair of which she was the product. The little girl from Road to Avonlea has come so far.

Wiarton Willie, Ontario’s resident Groundhog Day groundhog, predicted six more weeks of winter on Sunday. Forecasts from groundhogs across the country were mixed: Willie and Punxsutawney Phil, the iconic American groundhog, both saw their shadows. However, Winnipeg’s Willow and Sam of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, predict an early spring. None of the groundhogs has a particularly good track record, though Phil’s seems to be a little better than Willie’s. If we have to resort to actual human analysis, the results are grim. Here’s hoping there aren’t any more polar vortexes in store.