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Morning Brew: Public School for Parents, 11 New Police Cameras, Vaughan Tornado Victims Helpless, Cell Phone while Driving Ban Starts Monday

Photo: untitled by danger.beard, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) director of education Chris Spence has some interesting ideas for public school reform - including a school for parents. "Sorry, Mom. You can't watch Grey's Anatomy until you finish your homework. And you won't be going to Florida in December if you still have a failing grade in Parenting on your mid-term report card!"

Note to city workers: stop throwing those garbage, recycling, and green bins around - they break, and it looks bad. Two city councilors are stepping up in an attempt to protect the city's investment and aesthetic, and I'm glad they are. The guys who pick up the trash on my street are brutal in this regard!

11 new police surveillance cameras are going to be installed in targeted communities in Toronto. This is in addition to the 15 already in place in the city. The news comes at the same time that police appeal to the public to help identify an SUV that was caught on video and involved in a vicious murder. In doing so, police have also revealed that video compatibility issues are preventing them from quickly accessing and reviewing a number of related videos, and that time-stamps on some of the recorded videos are incorrect (see video below).

David Chen, the shopkeeper facing charges stemming from a citizen's arrest that arguably was taken too far, did not see the charges against him dropped in court yesterday. Instead, the crown tried to plea bargain with him to help him avoid jail time, but the defence outright rejected the offer, calling it "insulting."

It's been about two months since tornadoes ripped apart some 70 homes in Vaughan, and in many cases, residents are still waiting for their insurance companies to give them compensation and set them on a path to recovery. We pay into insurance on time and for all time, but when it comes time to use it, it's often like pulling teeth.

And the much debated cell phone driving ban takes effect on Monday. Anyone want to put a wager on when the first charge will be laid? Toronto Police are going to let it slide until February 2010, but are the OPP going to set an example early on, or will it takes several months before police act on the new law (eg. the smoking in cars with kids law)?

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