Morning Brew: Tax Hikes and Service Cuts, Smitherman and Husband to Adopt, Ajax Hockey Team Escapes Disaster, Ending the Reign of Fat Rich Kids, GPS Thieves Target Homes, CTV Olympic Coverage Complaints
Photo: "Lovers?" by neilta, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
It's budget day at the City of Toronto. What can we expect? It'll be tough to balance, and in tough times we're likely to see both tax hikes (boo!) and service cuts (boo!). As belt-tightening is expected across the board, both the TTC and Toronto Police Services (which combined account for 24% of our operating costs) are asking for more money. And a big bailout from the Province is not likely, given it's facing a $24.7-billion deficit.
Toronto mayoral hopeful George Smitherman and his husband Christopher Peloso have been given the green light by the Toronto Children's Aid Society (CAS) to begin the lengthy adoption process. According to some nutso commenters on Posted Toronto, this is not good news because the CAS steals babies from perfectly good parents and gives them to the gays.
Had a late game scoring chance been successful, they would have gone into overtime in Pittsburgh. And rather than being in the locker room at the time, an Ajax tykes hockey team would have been on the ice when the arena roof caved in. Luckily all escaped without injury, and lived to tell the tale in earthquake- and dinosaur-metaphor detail. See the CityNews video below.
Rich kids in the city are battling obesity while poor kids are lucky to be able to afford enough food to stay alive. It's the reality that is our urban food system, and the Toronto Board of Health is making lofty goals to improve food programs, create community gardens, and enhance communal food education. The problem is... are they achievable?
There was no love on highway 401 on Valentine's Day. A woman was somehow ejected from a moving car, but is expected to survive the ordeal. Police haven't revealed the relationship of the couple, or confirmed whether or not she fell from the car or was forced from it.
Thefts of GPS units from vehicles are up dramatically, and police are warning owners of the devices to be smart about how they record the "home" bookmark. Thieves who steal the GPS might also make off with keys or garage door openers (and a nice car must mean a nice house, which must mean more nice stuff to steal).
People aren't particularly happy about CTV's television coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games, and are pining for the CBC. It's a shame our national public broadcaster couldn't have won the bid to be the media host. Watching Lisa LaFlamme laugh at herself, listening to the commentators go on and on about a Ukrainian figure skating pair's shiny blue Avatar-like outfits, and missing the timely moment that Bilodeau stepped up onto the gold position of the podium (instead showing a random crowd shot) are just a few of the annoyances I experienced this weekend.
And for even more hyperlocal news, here's what the writers at blogTO were up to this busy long weekend:
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