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Morning Brew: August 14th, 2008

Photo: "Brickworks Farmers' Market" by Maryam S., member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

Your Toronto morning news roundup for Thursday August 14th, 2008:

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the massive 2003 Blackout that temporarily eliminated TV, internet, radio, refrigeration, and more - for over 50 million people. How will you celebrate? I was overseas when it happened, but I'm also fresh off a 10-day road trip/vacation from all things involving computer screens and monitors so I can somewhat relate to the sense of disconnection it must have involved. Huge thanks to Sameer for doing the Morning Brewing in my absence!

A coalition of retailers on the stretch of Bloor Street between Church and University has hired a lawyer and intends to delay the revitalization project spearheaded by the city because they feel that they've been left out of the planning loop. I'm not sure what expertise retailers have in the realm of sidewalks or potted street plants, but since they're paying into the development, I suppose they should be part of the consultation.

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Emotions are high in the area affected by the propane facility explosion, leading to explosive shouting matches on live TV. City Councillor Maria Augimeri and a local community member (who hijacked Augimeri's press conference) ended up screaming, finger pointing, and looking very unprofessional. In the mean time, questions about the lack of safety inspections (and whose dad could beat up whose dad) are being raised.

Unionized Ontario elementary school teacher contract negotiations are ongoing, and educators are demanding that a major disparity in provincial per student funding levels between high school and elementary school be fixed. While a grade 12 biology text book surely costs a lot more than a grade 2 math workbook, younger students use far more erasers.

55,000 people forked out big bucks to see tonight's sold-out Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL exhibition game at SkyDome, but perhaps as many (who aren't attending) will also be affected by street closures in the area. An NFL security stipulation requires that no vehicles come within 100feet of the stadium, plus corporate-sponsored tail-gate parties in parking lots will make the area worth avoiding if you're driving.


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