emery village flagpole

Morning Brew: Emery Village may get tallest flagpole in North America, big Casino Rama slots win, Presto falls short with the visually impaired, Ontario's worst roads, fugitive in disguise, a Toronto wish list

If approved, the North York community of Emery Village would be the new home of a public space featuring the tallest flagpole in North America. Former mayoral candidate and standing city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti has been working with the local B.I.A. and has high hopes that they'll become "the most patriotic community in the country." Some 2500 local business owners are expected to chip in to pay for the $3.5-million pole.

Imagine dropping $20 into a MegaBucks slot machine and winning really, really big? This kind of windfall doesn't happen very often, but after playing the machine for just the third time a Toronto-area man lit up the floor with a $1.7million win at Casino Rama yesterday. The house always wins, but once in a blue moon a gambler scores.

Disability rights activist David Lepofsky (the blind man who took the TTC to court, which resulted in the implementation of audible stop calls on buses and streetcars) is now pointing at flaws in the Presto transit payment system. Visually-impaired Presto users will not be able to read their card balances when they scan their way onto transit. An executive at Presto rebuts that from safety and privacy viewpoints, it doesn't make sense to have the card readers report balances audibly and any other option would create bottlenecks at gates.

CAA has posted the worst roads of 2009 and updates on what's being done to remedy them. It's also the time of year when they call for nominations for this year. As a new, positive, added twist, CAA is also asking for drivers to nominate the best roads in Ontario as well.

Police have been distributing reward posters in the Eglinton and Weston Road area, and seeking assistance in locating a murder suspect in a 2007 case in Windsor. Although not reported seen in Toronto since 2008, Mohamud Hagi is believed to be in the area and may also be disguising himself as a woman by donning hijabs and burkas.

And the Star ran a great piece yesterday, pointing out 25 ways to make Toronto "the city it wants to be." While many of the items making the list are clearly pipe dreams, a number of them are certainly doable, but would require a lot of directed effort, strong leadership, and money. I'm not sure we have that magical, winning combination now or any time in the foreseeable future.

Photo: "Canadian Sunset" by Lone Primate, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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