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Morning Brew: More on the Star vs. Rob Ford, bag tax could protect city trees, comparing GTA bike lanes, this city has a "superb" transit system, and the Jays lose

A few details of last week's Ford-Daniel Dale incident are driving speculation that The Star is preparing to break a big story on the mayor. The aggressive reaction to the reporter, the mysterious call from Dale's cell while it was in the mayor's possession, and now a comment on the Ford's weekend radio show suggest the mayor's PR people are going to be busy pretty soon. "They're gonna make up another story, another story, another story," said Ford (who else talks like that.) "There's gonna be another story coming out, you know that" at a caller's suggestion he open up to The Star and clear the air.

This morning, the paper reports Ford wanted to demolish his home - contrary to his comments at a hearing on the parkette he wants to buy - and construct a "nice" new one. Is there something bigger going on here?

Councillor Michelle Berardinetti wants cash from Toronto's 5-cent bag tax to help fund improvements to the city's tree canopy, if she can save the check-out charge from the axe first. A report to be released later today recommends the city ask retailers to donate some of the $5.4 million in revenue to restoring fees, according to the Globe and Mail.

Toronto's bike lanes - or its lack of them - is a perennial source of discussion among cyclists, but how do we compare with other cities in the golden horseshoe? Well, not good. Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington all have more kilometres of bike lanes to streets than Toronto. Maybe taking out lanes isn't the way to go after all. I mean, come on, Burlington?

In other two-wheeled news, Zef Kraiker is building bamboo bike frames in his garage in Kensington reports Torontoist. If it's strong enough for scaffolding, it's strong enough for the bike lane.

A civil, world-class city with a superb mass-transit system. Who, us? The New York Daily News certainly thinks so - and they should know. NYC is one of only two "Alpha++" rated cities in the world.

Proud part of the 1%? Then this record-breaking $8 million home in the Beach could be for you. The whopping price-tag for the 1920s Arts and Crafts home includes a putting green, wine-tasting room and a swimming pool with glass walls, not to mention the chance to lord it up over the neighbours forever. Elsewhere in the same neighbourhood, from OpenFile, residents are fighting to stave off a six-storey condo.

This week's trip back in time with Retrontario takes us on the TTC in 1987 when it was all fluorescent colours, neon lights, weird sets and big hair. The colourful hairspray girls do a pretty good job of making the brown-jacketed bus driver look particularly drab, too. Check it out.



Photo: "Untitled" by earth to ilyse in the BlogTO Flickr pool.

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