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Morning Brew: Manslaughter Acquittals in Jane Creba Case, Street-racing Law Deemed Unconstitutional (again!), Deer Wandering in Downtown Core, TTC Ushers Help Relieve Commuter Congestion, Funky Bikes for City Staff

Photo: untitled by sa-ra-ha, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

Four of the remaining seven who stood accused of manslaughter in the 2005 Boxing Day shootout slaying of Jane Creba near Yonge-Dundas Square have been acquitted. The crown wouldn't likely have been able to convict them, given that these four didn't fire any weapons. Are the many years they've already spent in jail punishment enough for being associates with those that did fire guns?

Once again, an Ontario judge (this time in Newmarket) has deemed the provincial street-racing law unconstitutional. Without the ability of the accused to present a defence, the potential six-month prison sentence the law carries seems very wrong. The Attorney General believes the law is sound, but it's looking more and more like adjustments to or abolishment of the law are not far away.

If you're heading downtown today, be aware that a brave and bewildered deer somehow ended up strolling into the urban concrete-laden core. Animal control is on the case and will likely round the beast up in short order.

Why didn't the TTC hop on board (pun intended) when the PRESTO card was being offered as an option back in 2006? GO Transit, and regional systems in Oakville, Mississauga, York Region, Durham Region, Brampton, Hamilton, Burlington and Ottawa are all rolling out the smartcard as automated fare payment, but the country's largest system balked on it, citing costs. Now the TTC is showing interest, and is years behind the rest.

In an effort to curb congestion at the Yonge and Bloor subway stations during rush hour, the TTC is testing a new strategy that involves ushering the crowds and dispersing them more evenly across the platforms. It's too bad people can't figure this out themselves, but hopefully after a few weeks of coaxing the behavior becomes habit and the transit staff involved can return to more important roles. Congestion during rush hour sucks, but it could be MUCH worse.

Funky bikes for city staff, instead of motor vehicles? Seems like a great idea. Too bad a safety course is required, and that we live in a city that prevents this kind of program from being popular for more than just a few months out of the year.

And Famous BBQ on Queen West has rats lounging around within view of passersby with cameras, and the guy who runs the nearby Payless Shoes is concerned that other businesses nearby are at risk. Imagine trying on a shoe with a rodent camping in the dark toe area? Eek!

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