Morning Brew: Transit City Ownership Questions, Hate Crime in the Beaches, Burning Tow Trucks
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
There's a power struggle brewing over the design and ownership of the proposed Transit City LRT lines. On one hand, Metrolinx is insisting that they will pretty much run the show and will own the new streetcar lines, which will merely be TTC-branded and staffed. On the other hand, the TTC is saying that they're the experts and that Metrolinx doesn't have the experience required to design and oversee the new lines. I can see this getting messy, and predict that the result will be projects fraught with problems - over-budget, and delayed.
About 35 anti-Semitic and other racist words and symbols were spray-painted along the boardwalk in the Beaches, requiring an estimated $7000 in repair costs and making us wonder who the pea-brains were that would do such a thing.
With essential ambulance services staffed and running at about 75% of the norm due to the city union strike, a related accusation was bound to arise sooner or later. Despite three phone calls to 911, it took over 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on the scene where a collapsed man ended up dying. The debate now centers on whether or not good information was provided to dispatchers, allowing them to properly prioritize the response, and whether or not the result would have been the same were they running at full capacity.
No one likes coming back to the street or parking lot to find that their car has been towed. If it happens to you, you know how expensive it can be to get your car back and pay the fees and fines (about $150 minimum). For the second time, a rig owned by Downtown Towing was apparently set ablaze, spurring speculation that either an angry towee or a rival company is to blame. Police are investigating.
Expert astronomers are not happy about the takeover of the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill by a group of enthusiasts and amateurs. They're concerned that the telescope will be broken by those not qualified to run it, and have asked that the re-opening halted. It becomes borderline comical when nerds fight over toys and start flashing their PhD parchments.
And Tim Hortons is apparently taking NYC by storm, either selling maple-glazed donuts faster than they can make them, or not yet selling maple-flavoured items at all locations (it's not clear in the article). Should Dunkin' Donuts be shaking in their boots?
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