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Morning Brew: March 20th, 2009

Photo: untitled by Ste&We, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):

The jury in the high-profile Stefanie Rengel murder case is going into their second day of deliberations today. To be honest, I'm looking forward to this one being wrapped up - I'm tired of the media's constant and relentless efforts to tug on our heartstrings. Yes, it is a really tragic story, but the saturation of depressing daily headlines and photos of Stefanie are bringing me down.

The National Post has a very telling list of six things you should know about Toronto City Councilor spending. While many expense items seem easily justifiable, others are not so: a $3500 Macbook Pro, $1039 (or $173 each) for six councilor's Pride festival beads, and one councilor's $15,583 annual cell phone bill jump out as excess to me. Then there are professional development expenses, which are a whole other beast.

Another day, and another flag controversy. This time it's not a question of the legality of flags though... it's a question of where they're purchased from and whether or not saving taxpayers money should come before supporting local industry. Ontario flags that are made in China are causing some debate.

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Massasauga rattlesnakes from Ontario were amongst the strange and slithery loot police intercepted at the Canada/US border, in a major animal smuggling ring bust. And I'm liking CityNews' high-quality embeddable (i.e. accessible) video content.

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A 15-year old boy and a 71-year old man were amongst some 122 people that were tasered by Toronto police in 2008. In another instance, a 12-year old boy was shown the current but not zapped. The debate rages on about both the safety and appropriate use of tasers, but until we see some in-depth, independent testing and reporting we can't be sure, can we?

A typo on the front page of the Toronto Sun (the classic Eglinton vs Eglington Avenue mistake) has led to them taking a deeper look into other city street and landmark spelling evolutions.

And if the ultra-ironic fact that Coke is a sponsor of Earth Hour isn't enough to make you think that the event is a pseudo-eco farce, check out the irony-rich details on what Pearson Airport is doing to mark the event.


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