Morning Brew: TTC town hall meetings, George Smitherman campaign woes, Hockey Night in Liberia, thwarted abduction attempt, Jays home opener

Bob Kinnear and the TTC union held their first of three planned town hall meetings aimed at bridging the gap between the public and the providers and encouraging open discussion about transit service issues. A smallish crowd of about 150 citizens attended the event, which was mostly collegial but at times emotional (it wasn't a popcorn-and-fireworks type of affair, despite the expectations of many) . The event was broadcast live on the web, but doesn't seem to be archived (yet?).

Jeff Bangs, George Smitherman's mayoral campaign manager, quit unexpectedly on Friday, leading to speculation that tensions were high within his camp. Jamie Watt, a key strategist on Smitherman's team shot back at the Toronto Star's report by calling it "bullshit." Of course, Smithermans's opponents have jumped on the bandwagon of opportunity, by citing this conflict as evidence that he's unable to lead a team and achieve consensus.

Hockey Night in... Liberia? Old NHL jerseys, including vintage Toronto Maple Leafs editions, have become somewhat of a status symbol in war-torn Liberia. At $4 a pop, in a place where many earn just $1 a day, the shirts are coveted for their quality and durability.

A quick-thinking woman fought back and escaped the clutches of two would-be abductors early Sunday morning in the Jarvis & Carlton area. Two men approached her in a grey sedan, asked her for the time, and then tried to force her into the vehicle. Fortunately, she managed to break loose and escape to a nearby building.

The Jays are in town for their first home game of the 2010 season, against the White Sox. I've got my ticket in section 534 of the upper deck (it's way more fun up there, folks) and will be Tweeting the brawl and boob counts. Hopefully the team can carry the momentum coming out of their series sweep of the Orioles. The Jays 5-1 start is impressive!

And here's what blogTO was up to this fine weekend:

Photo: "One for the road" by BruceK, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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