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Morning Brew: TTC Faces Tough Questions, Choosing Campaign Issues, Big Retail Discounts, New TFC Coach, Dunlap Observatory Trees Plowed, Leafs Hit New Low

Photo: "Hot Dog On Xpro" by Metrix X, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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

In their awful week, the TTC tried to ensure all blame for the Yonge Street subway shutdown was placed with Enbridge and their contractor, but now Enbridge is pushing back, saying the City of Toronto authorized the work. But the transit agency can't just focus there, they're also getting questions about why collectors let customers pay their fare without informing them they couldn't get on a train or get as far as they needed. Basically, the week just gets worse for the Red Rocket.

Councillor Joe Mihevc wants us to talk about issues, not just who's running for mayor next year, and is even having a public meeting next week to figure out which issues are on peoples' minds. He went so far as to set up a Setting the Agenda 2010 website so we can all discuss. Seems a laudable goal, but will people participate?

The American school of before-Christmas sales and discounts seems to be migrating north in the face of the sad worldwide economy. Look for Sears and Wal-Mart to start a big head-to-head price war: Sears is offering Boxing Day prices all weekend while Wal-Mart has a price reduction strategy that will see 18,000 prices drop in November. Small, independent retailers won't like this news, but none of the Canadian retailers will be happy if Canadians head to the U.S. for American Thanksgiving next week with such strong Canadian currency in hand to take advantage of the traditionally deep discounts.

The new Toronto FC coach will be Predrag "Preki" Radosavljevic, the team's fourth coach and the most highly prized options available to Major League Soccer teams this year. Preki has a winning regular season record but has faltered in the playoffs, but at this point the TFC just need to reach the post season to make a lot of fans happy. Come to think of it, that's not unlike another major MLSE brand, who play on ice...

A word to developers: don't knock down a bunch of trees you don't have the right to knock over. Richmond Hill will pursue charges against Metrus for doing just that on the DavidDunplap Observatory lands, a property with many trees and an uncertain future. Why can't developers and trees just get along?

It might just be an end to an era... Oprah Winfrey is expected to announce today that she will end her daytime TV show in 2011, after 25 seasons on the air. It doesn't sound like retirement, though, as she is also expected to start a new talk show on her very own cable network. Hard to imagine how that would be much different, except for having to tune into a different channel.

Perhaps least surprising news of the day: the Leafs have bottomed out and fans can expect changes.

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