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Saturday Brew: The Safe Cycling Debate Continues, Finally Summer, Plane Problems for Leafs, No Cigar for Halladay, Africentric School Starts Tuesday

Photo: "Windows / FenĂŞtres" by faramars1, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Cycling safety and the poor relationship between cyclists and motorists is still dominating the headlines. There are a plethora of theories as to why our roads are so dangerous and on how they might be fixed. One report cites the overregulation of traffic in North America as the key hazard and holds up the more loosely controlled European system as the model to follow. Another points to how few rules cyclists tend to follow as a critical issue. And, risking idealism but endorsing common sense, Marcus Gee of The Globe wonders "why can't we all just get along?"

I generally don't enjoy (small) talk about the weather, but after this 'summer,' I was positively ecstatic to read that meteorologists are calling not just for a perfect labour day long weekend, but a warm and dry autumn in general. This July was the coldest one we've had in 19 years based on the stubborn jet stream refusing to move north of the Great Lakes. Here's hoping these predictions are accurate and it cuts us all some slack for the next month or so.

In sports news, it looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs and other Canadian NHL teams are going to need new planes. Well, sort of. Quite the argument is brewing after the Obama administration decided to enforce a rule that stipulates that Canadian charter flights can't fly between U.S. cities (after arrival at a U.S. destination, they're supposed to return to Canada rather than continuing to fly in the States). NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly points out that this will be a nightmare for scheduling during the upcoming season, and Transport Minister John Baird is threatening to do the same to American charters flying in Canada. Messy stuff, but somehow I think they'll manage. Back in the 'old days,' teams used to have to take the train.

And, in much the same way that hitting a golf shot to about an inch from the cup can actually be more disappointing than satisfying, Roy Halladay pitched a one-hitter last night in helping the Jays to defeat the New York Yankees 6-0. It was the second of his career, and I feel for the guy. Though it might be mentioned in today's news, in the long run no one remembers the one-hittters now do they?

With the school year looming, a project that brought a great deal of controversy will finally see full-scale implementation. Toronto's first Africentric school is set to welcome its inaugural crop of students (85 total) on Tuesday. Personally, I'm excited to see how this pans out. Claims that this is a sort of reverse racism in action tend to gloss over the fact that Canadian pedagogy at grade schools has never been race-neutral. Despite their not not being explicitly named Eurocentric, the staggering majority of schools are just that. But, forgetting this, it'll be intriguing to see if the altered curriculum helps to achieve the goal of reducing the 40% drop out rate for black students in Toronto.


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