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Morning Brew: TTC driver charged with assault after altercation with teen, Bandit euthanized, opening stores on statutory holidays, selling school land to developers, Raptors season over

The seemingly endless cascade of PR nightmares continues for the TTC. This time, 30-year old bus driver Bereket Hagos got involved in a fare dispute with Ricardo Jardim, an 18-year old student (who wanted to pay the reduced student fare but didn't have a TTC student card), It escalated to alleged neck wringing and head-into-window violence and in the end resulted in assault charges against the transit employee. And there's probably a lawsuit in the cards.

It took six years, but Bandit, an aggressive and unpredictable dog who nearly killed a toddler in 2004 (the child required 250 stitches after being viciously mauled by the crazy pit bull-cross), has finally been euthanized on court order. The Toronto Humane Society had been harbouring the canine (who during his long stay at the River Street shelter is believed to have bitten another three people) and insisting on rehabilitation as a solution. I'm all for the protection of animals and love them dearly, but some are simply not worth trying to turn around.

Should the city allow all stores to open on statutory holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving? Toronto is mulling over the idea of removing restrictions on businesses, in an attempt to boost business and create a level playing field with those that have already been given special "tourism" status and the green light to open on holidays (such as stores in the Eaton Centre). I can't see this amounting to much in terms of overall economic stimulation, instead feeling that it would really suck to have your employer forcing you to come in to sell coffee or plastic rather than being with your loved ones on holidays.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is taking a hard look at the idea of selling off some of its prime downtown land to developers, as a means of securing funding for much needed repairs and enhancements to its schools. At first look, the idea seems quite financially sound in the long term, but the problem with this plan is that in the short term many students, teachers, and parents would have to be willing to deal with years of their education being tainted by perpetual construction within eye- and earshot.

And the Raptors season ended at 40-42 with a solid victory over the Knicks, but in order to make the playoffs Chicago had to also lose. The Bulls instead enjoyed a cakewalk win over Charlotte, who sat many of their best players. It sucks to end the season with this kind of finish, but with a late-season nosedive and a sub-.500 record in the end, it's not like the team was all that really deserving of a birth in the playoffs.

Photo: "Don Valley GC anticipation" by PJMixer, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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