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Morning Brew: the Tamie Dolny Column, Dragon's Realm Voyeurism, the Jim Hearst Probe, Rail Upgrades

Photo: "Go make the city beautiful!" by Maryam S., member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

16-year old Tamie Dolny's Toronto Star column (she was temporarily hired on as a columnist for the duration of the strike) is a fun read. When she writes "But nobody expected the city to be this stubborn. It's like two children fighting over one toy truck," I can't help but smile at her glowing sincerity and naivety.

It took emergency crews 3 hours to finally rescue a contractor who was nearly buried alive by sand on a job site in Scarborough. Apparently he was neck deep in the stuff, and the conditions were such that when sand was removed, more continued to spill in. Lucky stars. I'm sure he's counting them.

The owner of the Dragon's Realm comic book store in the Norwood Plaza in Maple was arrested and charged with voyeurism after the boyfriend of a woman who used the washroom found a camera on a tripod in the adjacent room. If the allegations prove to be true, this doesn't bode well for nerds who are collectively fighting the sexuality stigmas that comes with being a comic book collector.

The probe into the death of Jim Hearst and emergency medical services slow response is now shifting focus away from the city union strike and onto general policy. When paramedics have reason to be concerned for their own health and safety, it's common for EMS to lie in wait near the scene of a 911 call until police arrive (a term referred to as 'staging'). Why in the case of Hearst, they arrived within 9 minutes but needed to stage nearby for some 26 minutes while he died remains unknown.

The federal government seems to like rail that lies primarily outside of Toronto. Yesterday $300million was pledged to upgrading the passenger rail system between Windsor and Quebec City (which passes through Toronto, or course). Adding two more trips and shaving 30 minutes off of the travel time between Toronto and Montreal seems to be more important that effectively moving millions of people within the nation's largest city every day. I do like the initiative to upgrade trains to improve fuel efficiency, and it is a heavily used line... but I am admittedly still a bit bitter about the feds not pitching for our much needed streetcars.

And Mayor Miller is under a lot of pressure to hold a city council meeting before most councillors take their summer vacation. It seems totally irresponsible to not have an emergency meeting, given the circumstances. The city union strike is clearly creating all kinds of problems that need to be addressed. In a way, this situation reminds me of the country faced earlier this year - proroguing parliament during an economic nosedive.

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