toronto police sound cannons g20

Morning Brew: Toronto Police purchase sound cannons for G20 crowd control, billionaire's fence too high, unsecured Wi-Fi networks and child porn, Beach home rebuild contested, only 28% of Torontonians got H1N1 shot

Toronto Police have purchased four new sound cannons in preparation for the upcoming G20 meetings. Long-range acoustic devices (LRAD), otherwise known as "communication tools," are used primarily in crowd control situations. They emit pain-inducing sound blasts that force potentially riotous protesters to think about protecting their ears rather than rallying. It's going to be fun times communicating with police on that lovely summer weekend, isn't it? In related news, Toronto hospitals are preparing for the potential influx of injured protesters. How many have damaged ears depends highly on how the communication devices are used.

Being a Forest Hill billionaire has its privileges, but being free of nagging neighbours and exempt from city bylaws aren't among them. Following a jewelry heist back in 2008, barriers were erected as added security around media mogul Paul Bronfman's mansion. But after fielding complaints from neighbours, it's been deemed that the added fencing is in violation of Toronto fence height bylaws and will have to be modified for compliance.

Wireless internet has become so ubiquitous and many of us have figured out the ease and importance of setting up a secure, password protected network. But not everyone is so savvy. A Bowmanville man was arrested for child porn after investigators traced his IP address, but was later released when it was learned that he's innocent of the charges. It turns out he's only guilty of not setting up his router properly to prevent the real pervert from tapping into his network to download the sick stuff.

A family's plans to raze their century-old home in the Beaches and replace it with a modern, architecturally unique and wheelchair accessible home have been put on hold. After blogging about his wife's rare neurological disease and posting his design schematics, neighbours rallied to put a stop to the plans, citing their desire to have the building declared a heritage site and their disdain for the flashy, boxy design of the proposed replacement house.

And despite being the most concerted vaccination effort Toronto Public Health has ever undertaken, just 28% of Torontonians got the H1N1 flu vaccination last fall. The number isn't far off the national average, and cited reasons for poor turnout include the late rollout of the vaccine and concurrent news reports that suggested the worst was over.

Photo: "acid reflux" by tanjatiziana, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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