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Morning Brew: Ford pushed the city for landscaping, Bloor-Christie youth denied bail, mayor backs DRL, TTC mulls cell signal, city bonuses, and a Spadina line delay

Rob Ford not only asked the city to expedite road repairs near his family's business property, he also pushed staff to beautify the area with fresh cut grass and culvert repairs in time for the company's 50th anniversary. The story published by the Globe and Mail, which is behind a paywall, says several supervisors were involved in speeding up the work at Deco Labels and Tags in Etobicoke. Previously, Ford has denied receiving preferential treatment. Is this starting to look bad for the mayor?

A fifteen-year-old boy charged with 14 counts of sexual assault and 2 counts of criminal harassment in relation to a string of incidents in the Bloor-Christie area has been denied bail. Police announced the arrest of the boy, whose name is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, at a press conference yesterday. Some sources report a female officer, acting undercover, was attacked prior to the arrest.

First Doug Ford spoke in favour of toll lanes on the Gardiner, now Rob Ford says he'll throw his weight behind a Yonge relief line on the advice of the TTC CEO Andy Byford. I'm not sure what's going on here, but it sounds like a trap. One unfunded version of the Downtown Relief Line would run between King and Pape stations and cost roughly $3.2 billion. Could this be progress?

I think the mayor is getting the wrong end of the bottled water debate...

Also in Ford, the mayor says he's worried he wasn't given a report on the dire state of the Gardiner Expressway until six weeks after it was completed but isn't interested in demolishing the elevated road. The report said the state of concrete is a significant hazard to public safety and criticized the way city workers visually inspect the material.

Cell service could soon be making its way underground if the TTC accepts an proposal from an Australian company. Broadcast Australia Pty Ltd. has offered the Commission $25 million over 20 years to add service to underground platforms, but not tunnels. The TTC has to conduct rigorous tests to ensure the cell signal doesn't interfere with its radio-controlled signals first. Should the subway remain a cellphone free zone?

The office staff of city councillors could be about to get a 3 per cent bonus. According to to The Star, some payouts could be as high as $2,432 for higher paid staff.

Another TTC story? Sure, why not. The latest news from the north of the city is the Spadina line extension wont be ready until 2016, a year later than scheduled. A worker fatality, the subsequent investigation, and other factors mean the project is currently running behind schedule.


Photo: "Untitled" by Lisa on the Run in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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