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Morning Brew: Rob Ford urged judge to free drug dealer, mayor's staffer still on football duty, Wong-Tam gets $1 million for Bixi, falling glass, and a TIFF 911 call

Posted by Chris Bateman / September 11, 2013

toronto streetRob Ford pleaded with a judge to let a convicted drug dealer who burst into his Etobicoke home go free, the Toronto Sun reports. Scott MacIntyre, the ex-boyfriend of the mayor's sister, Kathy, was appearing at a sentencing hearing in June last year when Ford made the plea. MacIntyre was convicted of uttering death threats, possession, and attempting to break a court order after entering the mayor's home in January 2012.

Meanwhile, Rob Ford is still using a taxpayer-funded staffer to assist his football program. J. C. Hasko, who joined the mayor's staff following the departure of previous football aide Chris Fickel, is the team rep for the Rexdale Raiders, a team Ford founded. Hasko has been helping the Raiders find $1,950, including a $500 fine forfeited games, reports the Star.

Cllr. Kristyn Wong-Tam has convinced three developers in her ward to donate $1 million to the city's struggling Bixi bike share program, which could pay for 20 more stations. Wong-Tam says if other wards followed suit the program could be expanded to Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and other parts of the city. Canderel, DiamondCorp and Lanterra agreed to donate in lieu of building some parking spaces at new developments.

Yesterday's late summer blast of hot weather is due to end late tonight with rain and the chance of severe thunderstorms. A cold front is expected to clear the humid air mass currently lingering over the province. Temperatures are predicted to hit 33 degrees today.

"Captain" John Letnik isn't ready to let the city board his floating debt ship, the MS Jadran, just yet. Despite owing more than a $1 million dollars in taxes, charges, and fines, the owner of Captain John's floating restaurant says he's unwilling to walk the plank (to the shore.) "I am not leaving the boat. I am not leaving the ship," he told the Globe and Mail. The city started the process of seizing the property, which also serves as Letnik's home.

The husband of former deputy premier of Ontario and mayoral candidate George Smitherman is missing, and Toronto police say they're concerned for his safety. Christopher Peloso was last seen near the family home near Davenport Road and Bathurst Street area at 4 PM Monday afternoon. Smitherman confirmed Peloso was missing in a statement yesterday, saying he hopes the father of his children "will be home safely soon."

A 53-year-old man was treated in hospital after he was hit on the head by falling glass at University and Adelaide yesterday afternoon. The pane of glass fell from the 23rd floor of the residential building above the Shangri-La Hotel. A similar incident, which didn't result in any injuries, prompted the closure of Adelaide and Simcoe in January.

Finally, an American TIFF blogger says it was a mistake to report cellphone use at a movie screening by dialling 911. Alex Billington, a movie critic for FirstShowing.net, walked out of a screening of The Sacrament at the Ryerson Theatre after people in the audience began using their phones. "I overreacted. . . Mea culpa. Full respect for responders, no intention to waste time," he told the Star.


Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: That Boy/blogTO Flickr pool.



Hugs / September 11, 2013 at 08:32 am
So Rob Ford is a Hug A Thug person after all, who knew.
Dave / September 11, 2013 at 08:43 am
Chris, nowhere in the Sun article did for plead for Scott MacIntyre to be freed from jail. Ford, when asked, mere stated he did not think that Scott MacIntyre deserved any more jail time as Ford did not fear the man.
Nice spin though.
matts replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 08:56 am
Here's the opening sentence of the article, dumbass: "Mayor Rob Ford urged a judge to free a convicted drug dealer who had threatened to kill the mayor after bursting into his home, the Toronto Sun has learned."
Jimbo replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 08:58 am
If Chris isn't busy producing poorly written articles with mistakes that are acceptable if it were written by a four year old, he's busy purposely misreading articles and typing up bogus information.
Clearly, he thinks BlogTO readers are stupid. Which must be the case, since we continue to visit and attempt to read.
Martin replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 08:59 am
He did not plead, but he did "urge" the judge to free him. Still disconcerting.

Anyone else see the irony as "the mayor "does not fear" MacIntyre" but fears Mary Walsh "warrior princess"?
jen replying to a comment from Jimbo / September 11, 2013 at 09:02 am
You can always stop reading if you find his write-ups so awful, sweet-pea.

I find it hilarious that most of the comments on that Sun article are anti-Ford.
Dave replying to a comment from jen / September 11, 2013 at 09:08 am
Jen, if you had any sense of comprehension, the Sun comments section is usually full of leftists who don't agree with Sun articles, but to not have the intellect to read another paper.
I am suprised that your comments do not light up their board as you are clearly challenged.
Jimbo replying to a comment from jen / September 11, 2013 at 09:09 am
I generally read for the comments, pookie darling.
Alex / September 11, 2013 at 09:28 am
Wow, way to go Wong-Tam. Maybe if a few more wards want Bixi in them they can save the program. It's nice to know that at least a few of the councilors in this city actually work for their ward and do their job. Once we can get rid of the lazy do-nothings like Ford 1, Ford 2, Mammo, and Vaughn maybe this city can get back on track.
James replying to a comment from Alex / September 11, 2013 at 09:38 am
I ride my bike on weekends in my local neighborhood to do my shopping. The Bixi program is of little use to me because it's geogrpahy is so limited. It caters to a very narrow group of people living in the downtown core, but not to the majority of people living in Toronto.

It's 13km through some pretty steep hills for me to ride to my office downtown. I have no problem doing that in athletic wear, but it's just not feasible in a suit with a briefcase. And yes, I live in Toronto proper, not the 905.

Once I'm downtown, I walk through the PATH to get to the various offices.

Sorry, but Toronto, unlike Paris or Montreal, is a spread out city. I just don't see this working here. It's an unfortunate waste of taxpayers money when other things like pools are always threatened with being closed.
Dave replying to a comment from James / September 11, 2013 at 09:56 am
Paying $4,500 for one lousy bike is not a pittance and shows extreme financial recklessness if you ask me. And neither gov. nor it's monster offspring, the TTC, have any responsibility for bikes. We lack transit, traffic flow, have over 100,000 citizens who can't afford to live without gov. help, we need non-rusty water, major infrastructure improvements, to remove the Gardiner, etc. Bikes, showers, bike lanes that cost $1M/km just are not in the city's mandate and must be axed and kept out of any budget.
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 09:56 am
'the Sun comments section is usually full of leftists who don't agree with Sun articles, but to [sic] not have the intellect to read another paper'

The Sun comments section is actually usually full of people further to the right of the Sun itself, but with even worse writing skills than yours. If anyone had insufficient intellect to read the Sun (short words printed big), they'd be unable to read any paper at all.
Jimbo replying to a comment from James / September 11, 2013 at 09:59 am
"It's 13km through some pretty steep hills for me to ride to my office downtown."

Where do you live that your office is 13km away? Because "Toronto proper" is technically the downtown core, prior to the whole Megacity nonsense. Not Scarborough. Not Etobicoke. Not East York. Not North York.

So, unless you live in what is actually "Toronto proper", and you do some weird, stupid roundabout to total 13km, you don't actually live in "Toronto proper", whether you have a 416 number or not.
Warren replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 10:00 am
No one asked you, Dave.
DTbiker / September 11, 2013 at 10:08 am
there needs to be more regulation on condo construction and quality! It's unacceptable to have two cases of pedestrian injury in one year! As more glass towers are erected in the city, and they age, these things will just happen more and more often and we have to do something to prevent that
Sarah's Mom replying to a comment from Jimbo / September 11, 2013 at 10:09 am
Well, he let's Robyn/Sarah/Amy/Liora/wheyvernamewillshethink ofnext put her silly teen babblings here so......
Robert replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 10:11 am
Since the issue of bike infrastructure effects a significant amount of citizens..err taxpayers in Toronto it is a disservice and disrespectful of the citizens...err taxpayers of Toronto.
By the way it does not cost $1 Million/km for bike infrastructure.
Alex replying to a comment from James / September 11, 2013 at 10:12 am
You don't think getting some condo developers to donate $1 million dollars to a public biking program is better than a couple extra parking spaces? I don't use Bixi, but that doesn't mean other people don't. Sounds like people in Wong-Tam's ward said they wanted more Bixi stations and she got them for them without costing the city a dime. More importantly, this shows other councilors in development heavy areas that if they negotiate they can get something of actual value for the city, instead of those stupid sculptures every condo seems to put up for their mandatory contribution to the surrounding infrastructure.
Dave replying to a comment from Jimbo / September 11, 2013 at 10:13 am
Let's face it! Most serious bikers would never rent a Bixie bike. They are ugly, look fit for a grandmother, only have 3 speeds and are overly expensive to rent compared to what they provide.

In an era when most empty nesters are clearing out their children's bikes, a good used name brand bike should be available on Kijiji for under $200. With community bike repairs in several parts of the city, there is no reason why Bixie should not be discarded immediately if they cannot reduce the yearly cost which I understand is $100 a year or more to rent. What a joke!
Logan replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 10:22 am
the program should either sink or swim on it's own merrit. the city should not subsidize bicycles. they certainly can be owned for a fraction of the subsidy that is offered. look on Craigs list or Kijiji and see all the bikes offered at pretty cheap prices!!!
Al / September 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
I don't understand how someone with Smitherman's history of drug abuse could have been allowed to adopt. The process is very long and detailed. That is exactly the sort of thing that should disqualify someone.
Dave replying to a comment from Al / September 11, 2013 at 10:40 am
Thankfully the citizens of Toronto did not elect this tax abuser as Mayor.
I am sure that Smithershit used some of that Billion dollars to assist in him passing the adoption process.
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 10:49 am
Wow, you totally misunderstood the target audience for Bixi.

$100 (actually $97, so not 'or more', but you've never been able to resist the temptation to exaggerate) a year is reasonable compared to the cost of other modes of commuting.
Jane replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 11:03 am
I am a "serious biker" and that is exactly why I do like bixi.

I own an expensive bike that I use for road cycling and commuting to work. When I want to run errands downtown, or go meet someone for dinner/drinks/etc. I don't want to use my bike. Bixi is a perfect alternative for this.

A) I don't have to worry about my bike getting stolen, and

B) I can ride it 1 way and then taxi/ttc/walk home- this is often the case and bixi is awesome for this- ie. in case I have been drinking, or if I was shopping and have too much to carry, or if I end up staying at a friends place for the night, or if we end up bar hopping, etc.

Even if I had a cheaper bike that I didn't need to worry about getting stolen, case "B" above happens often enough that it makes having a bixi membership worth it if you live and/or work downtown.

That said, I would use it a lot more if it extended east (leslieville, danforth) and west (to high park would make sense).
X replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 11:11 am
Smitherman's husband is missing? What better time to personally insult the man and his politics!

Dave The Conservative BlogTO Comment Section Hero: courageous enough to kick a man when he's down.
Dave replying to a comment from Däve / September 11, 2013 at 11:13 am
"you get a bike where and when you need it" - REALLY?? - there's a Bixi bike stand at every corner?? Little wonder they are bleeding red ink everywhere and going bankrupt. Only the Miller Council would have put this kind of money (as in a loan guarantees) into such a ridiculous venture.
George replying to a comment from James / September 11, 2013 at 11:16 am
Paris isn't a spread out city?
AV / September 11, 2013 at 11:22 am
A body has been found on train tracks that may be Smitherman's significant other.... watch for the news to come out shortly
Dave replying to a comment from AV / September 11, 2013 at 11:27 am
Regardless of our political views this is a sad day for George Smitherman.
AV replying to a comment from AV / September 11, 2013 at 11:31 am
Enough with the crocodile tears Dave

Location is around Dupont & Lansdowne (not the Georgetown line)
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 11:36 am
'"you get a bike where and when you need it" - REALLY??'

I don't know where you're pulling that quote from, but I didn't say that. Nice try at distorting the conversation, you condescending fuckwit.

No, there isn't a stand at every corner, but they're distributed close enough for most trips within downtown.
Dave replying to a comment from Däve / September 11, 2013 at 11:40 am
Bixi is a Miller legacy. And now a public problem. Herr Miller's ideologically correct but financially unsustainable pet projects dot this city. Bixi is just one manifestation. Miller's way to deal with these white elephants is to get the public to fund it. Good thing Miller is gone and Giambrone no longer runs TTC. Stintz must not follow Giambrone's steps. Her riding is unlikly to support a NDP MPP in a few years.
McRib replying to a comment from Jimbo / September 11, 2013 at 11:40 am
he clearly stated that he lived in "Toronto proper, not the 905". Is Etobicoke in the 905? what about North York?

Seeing as you are aware of the conglomeration of the former boroughs into one big city, and we don't as yet have a time travelling device for him to go back in time and ride his bike to work during the halcyon years of pre-amalgamation, i wonder why you are so upset that he correctly stated he lives in "Toronto Proper".

Also your statement that Toronto proper is "technically the downtown core" is a falsity. Is Forest Hill downtown? What about Bloor West Village? Both neighbourhoods were in "old Toronto" before amalgamation.

If you're going to be an smart-ass on the internet, at least be correct.
AV replying to a comment from AV / September 11, 2013 at 11:45 am
Redacted: He's alive, police are high fiving on raw video feeds from the scene.
Logan replying to a comment from AV / September 11, 2013 at 11:49 am
It must be his husband as straight people do not high 5 anymore.
AV replying to a comment from Logan / September 11, 2013 at 11:52 am
LOL... more likely daps or ass taps nowadays right?
Mctaxpayer replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 11:53 am
The program simply cannot pay for itself. It never could, it never will. Shut it down. Shame on the people who voted to force the taxpayers to fund loan guarantees for another "Green Equals Failure" program.
Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 11:59 am
You do realize that Bixi was also strongly supported by Denzil Minnan-Wong, right? Not exactly a Millerite.

Herr Miller ... oh, you're still on that 'He's just like Hitler!' trip. Go on, name just one thing about Miller that is even remotely like what Hitler did.

What other 'unsustainable' Miller projects dot this city?

Oh, and it would be decent of you to acknowledge that you fabricated a quote on my behalf. The particular phrase you attributed to me gets exactly ONE Google hit: this very page.

So you are in the habit of inventing and attributing quotes. If Miller is Hitler, that makes you Goebbels.
Jahn / September 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm
I find it interesting that Rob Ford is trying to help a convicted, violent drug offender go free. Scott MacIntyre must have some great dirt on Rob for hizzoner to beg a judge to let him go free. Considering the fact that Rob has some drug issues of his own, perhaps Scott was offering to speak to the media unless Rob helped him plead his case.

Also, as someone above pointed out, Rob was scared of a CBC comedienne on his driveway but not a guy who barged into his own house, wild eyed and high, and threatened to kill him.

Something does not add up here but we all know that Rob is not good at math.
Dave replying to a comment from Jahn / September 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm
Jahn, I think you could hardly even fit your head through a door. Ford did not "beg", he simply answered a question.
If you have ever watched "This hour has 22 minutes" you would be frightened too.
Jahn / September 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm
It truly is sad that this great city has a mayor who cavorts with drug addicts, gun runners and murderers. We have sunk to a new low since the glory days of David Miller. We really used to be a world class city. Now we are a world class joke.
Dave replying to a comment from Däve / September 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm
Back peddle all you want. You wag your tongue then question when you are quoted.
Your anti semitic references are sicking.
iSkyscraper / September 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm
I'm going to go with Alex's suggestion and ignore Dave from now on, since it's no longer a challenge to correct him. And as others have noted, letting one guy destroy the comments section on this site for three months is simply wrong. So Dave no longer exists for me. Back to the news:


I've been using Bixi in New York all summer during my vaction from this website, and it's quite a different experience than Toronto. The system is so insanely popular that it is nearly impossible to find a bike or open docking station at rush hours - there is clearly something to be said for critical mass. I'm more convinced than ever that if Bixi could just expand in Toronto to get outside the downtown it would do just fine. It has to start hitting the residential areas just so the west, north and east of the existing service area. Kudos to Wong-Tam for finding a way to get them some more cash, in an entirely appropriate way -- building and zoning codes tend to be out of date when it comes to downtown and parking, and developers hate to build the spots for structural and layout reasons, so really not a bad idea.

As predicted, Toronto has suffered terribly under Ford in terms of non-automotive transportation. LRT lines were delayed or cancelled, streetcars remain stuck in mixed traffic, divisive subway debates went nowhere other than repeating the mistakes in Scarborough of the 1980s, pedestrians have been deprioritized, etc. And cycling has suffered worst of all, with ignorant comments about shower stations, a barely veiled attempt to undermine Bixi, the removal of downtown bike lanes and the failure to implement proper separated lanes. Compared to any other large city in North America the city has been in the transportation dark ages, despite a roaring economy and tons of new construction.

If the city were to become the first city to lose its bikeshare it truly would become a laughing stock. Let's hope that Wong-Tam's ideas are a start for a new post-Ford era.
iSkyscraper / September 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm
And by the way, bikeshare in New York is neither a right nor left issue. Yes, it was brought in by a Independent mayor, but all of the Democratic candidates for mayor here are looking to expand it and the Republican candidate is also supportive of continuing the program. Only stupid people criticize bikeshare, as it has clearly proven itself to be very successful and popular. The main electoral issue is people begging for it to be expanded to more neighborhoods.
Dave replying to a comment from Jahn / September 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm
The glory days of David Miller? Now we know where the actual crack smoking takes place. Miller did nothing but overspend, and tax us to the limits.
As for iskyscraper, I have retired this joke several times from our blog. Thank You. But it like a bad virus and keeps coming back. They have no skin in the city but have more opinions than NY has A##holes.
Redundant keeps popping into my mind.
Daves Mom / September 11, 2013 at 01:12 pm
Dave has his head so far up his a$$, that everything he types is just complete Bullsh!t. And where the hell is my rent, if I don;t get it you are out of my basement by the end of the month.
Sigh replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 11, 2013 at 01:37 pm
Bixi would probably do well setting up some stations in areas where there is a heavy condo-based population just outside the downtown core, like City Place, Liberty Village, etc. I'm in one of these areas and I've not seen a Bixi station, but my streetcar is always packed to the gills.
Jahn / September 11, 2013 at 01:37 pm
Rob Ford's football team has stiffed the Ontario Minor Football League $2000 in fees? The mayor's staff are still playing football on the taxpayer's dime? The mayor wastes taxpayer money spending his afternoons playing football? Ford promised to quit football while campaigning in 2010 only to pick it up again when he was elected. When will this end?

I guess Rob Ford does not care so much for the football playing kids in this city if he can't even keep his team's fees paid up. How many kids are now unable to play football because he is stiffing the league?

We all know that Ford has addiction issues and has trouble quitting but this is getting ridiculous!
jer / September 11, 2013 at 01:40 pm
I was in Montreal for the first time in the summer in a while(they put their system in storage during the winter) a few weeks ago and it was amazing how large their system was. Would be awesome if it was that big in Toronto.
Alex replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 11, 2013 at 01:41 pm
You're dead on about the car culture in this city undermining all other forms of transportation. It's not just politicians like Ford using it to divide people and get votes though, it's something much more built in now. Like when pedestrians using a crosswalk get hit by cars doing illegal left turns (and other dangerous practices) and the police blame the pedestrians. Or how people sitting in traffic blame everything (bikes, streetcars, buses) but the actual traffic for being stuck.

I don't actually have any sort of solution, unfortunately. If things get worse people will just get angrier and be more likely to blame an easy target, instead of dealing with difficult solutions. I guess we need some sort of transportation leader committed to improving traffic in the city, and I hope someone like that steps up soon.
AV / September 11, 2013 at 01:44 pm
"Like when pedestrians using a crosswalk get hit by cars doing illegal left turns (and other dangerous practices) and the police blame the pedestrians."

This x 1000000. The cops answer to everything is "They were wearing headphones/dark coloured clothing/weren't looking", even when there are no witnesses, or hell even when there are. Guess investigating is a little too much effort for our local trough-feeders
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Sigh / September 11, 2013 at 01:52 pm
Sigh, that's exactly how it works in Manhattan and Brooklyn -- there are tons of stations around highrises that are outside the CBD but within easy biking distance, and from my experiences many of the users are people who would otherwise be (and on bad-weather days are still) packed onto crosstown buses or taking the subway just a couple stops.

Note that a critical change to make this work might be to change Bixi Toronto over to the Bixi (Citibike) New York model, where annual members get 45 min instead of 30. That makes a huge difference.

This is always fascinating viewing -- note how the residential areas on the edges pulse at rush hours as people commute using Bixi:



The pattern is less pronounced in Toronto, probably because the system just doesn't reach far enough to get into those real residential areas yet (with the exception of maybe Harbourfront). Toronto seems to be more of a Union-Station-to-offices kind of pattern, since that all it really covers.


Däve replying to a comment from Dave / September 11, 2013 at 02:08 pm
You didn't 'quote' me on anything - you MADE UP something and claimed I said it, you lying sack of shit.

There is nothing anti-Semitic about calling someone out on a ridiculous comparison of a politician to Hitler. There is nothing remotely Hitlerian about Miller, and you have no way of backing that up. In fact, to liken Miller to Hitler is to diminish the real suffering of the people who were Hitler's victims.

At least, I presume you were implying that Miller was like Hitler in calling him 'Herr Miller' - I suppose you could have been thinking of one of the many other male politicians that the German-speaking world has known. Helmut Kohl, maybe. Feel free to correct me if you were in fact insinuating that Miller was akin to a relatively benign germanophone statesman.

It's also not anti-Semitic in the least to point out that someone who repeats lies in the hope they will ultimately be accepted as truths, and who wilfully distorts and misattributes statements, is similar to Goebbels in their dishonesty.

Dave replying to a comment from Däve / September 11, 2013 at 02:18 pm
You write so much gibberish that you cannot even keep track or your own drivel.
You racists are all the same, throw out a remark and hope that no one pick up on its subtlety.
Take a good long look in the mirror. You have to live with that face.
Sigh replying to a comment from Däve / September 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
He broke Godwin's Law. That automatically means he loses.
TM / September 11, 2013 at 02:45 pm
I live near Yonge and Finch and almost never go downtown. I would love to get a Bixi membership but because of where all the stations are I've only used it once. Presently Bixi fails me (and many others) because I have no way of using it - its network is too small to succeed.

Outside of the downtown core shops and other places of interest tend to cluster around subway stations. A good way of making Bixi more relevant to everyone would be to add Bixi stands to each subway station. If there were Bixi stands at each subway station then I could see myself, and others, using it enough to warrant getting a membership.

As an example, Yonge Street between Steeles and the 401 and Sheppard between Yonge and Don Mills have tons of new condos because of their proximity to the subway, but taking the subway doesn't make that much sense if you're only going a stop or two. Bixi stands at the stops would fill this gap and would see a lot of ridership from condo dwellers who don't have their own bikes, or do have bikes but don't want to risk them being stolen.
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