Weekend Newsstand: April 26, 2014




Weekend Newsstand: April 26, 2014

Twenty-eight digital paintings that Andy Warhol made using a Commodore computer in 1985 have been recovered from floppy discs. Sadly, they can't get his copy of Mindshadow up and running. In the news: Olivia Chow's promise of 1 million trees for zero dollars, getting to know the interim boss at the TCHC, the police's return of stolen property lifted by a Spiderman-like thief, and yet another power outage in the city.

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In an email sent out by Olivia Chow’s campaign on Friday, the mayoral candidate promised that, if elected, she will plant 1 million trees in the city at no cost to taxpayers. For the jaded and cynical who subscribe to the “you can’t get something for nothing” life philosophy, rest assured that Chow does have a plan. Chow’s campaign claims that the city loses out on $3.5 million annually from businesses who do not pay the municipal levy to treat harmful chemical outputs, which she intends to crack down on and recoup in order to finance her efforts to replant some of Toronto’s diminishing tree canopy over five years. Earlier this week, fellow mayoral candidate John Tory proposed his own tree-planting strategy in which he would aim to plant 3.8 million trees over 10 years by doubling the city’s budget.

Gene Jones is longer the CEO of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. So, what is there to know about his interim replacement, Greg Spearn? Spearn serves as vice-president and chief development for the TCHC, and will continue in these roles in addition to his new capacity as interim CEO for the organization. He joined the TCHC in 2012 to spearhead the revitalization of City-owned affordable housing complexes, leading projects such as the Alexandra Park redevelopment. Spearn spent most of the early ’90s working on Toronto waterfront redevelopment, and prior to that was the president of the York University Development Corporation. City Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina)—who has worked with Spearn on the Alexandra Park project—says he brings a good blend of private-sector experience and public-sector know-how to the temporary post. “He’s no stranger to government, but he’s also no stranger to development and land use management, with his background in commercial real estate,” says Vaughan of his confidence in Spearn’s qualifications.

A cat burglar has been nabbed by police in one of the largest break-and-enter investigations in the history of York Region. The special investigation was dubbed Project Spiderman, and sounds more like the plot of a caper movie than reality. Since 1989, it is alleged that 43-year-old Shane Gagnon carried out 31 break-and-enters of high-end homes within the GTA by scaling the sides of houses and entering through skylights. Using high-tech devices such as flexible spy cams and precious-metal testers, Gagnon is said to have made off with close to $15 million in stolen property. Thousands of rare and valuable items including coins, medals, and jewelry were recovered by police, who have begun the task of trying to reunite stolen items with their rightful owners. In one case, First World War medals were returned to the family of Canadian Private Robert McNay after they were stolen almost 25 years ago.

A little over a week after large swaths of city’s west end experienced the first major power outage since this winter’s ice storm, approximately 6,000 Etobicoke residents were without power on Friday night. Toronto Hydro says the outage was cause by a pole fire, and that power has been restored to the majority of homes.