Morning Brew: Holyday defends Rob Ford's antics, Blair appoints judge to lead use-of-force review, RT closed by track issues, old parking tickets, and concrete "Lovebots"
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is, perhaps not surprisingly, defending - or at least not outright scolding - Rob Ford in the wake of his weekend adventures on the Danforth. Holyday, who was recently elected to Queen's Park, said the three cellphone videos taken Friday night are "inconclusive" as to whether Ford was drunk while appearing in an official capacity. "He's human like the rest of us," he told reporters.
Toronto police chief Bill Blair has appointed a retired judge to help lead a review of use-of-force policy in the wake of the death of Sammy Yatim on board a streetcar last month. Dennis O'Connor has presided over previous inquiries and sat on the Ontario Court of Appeal for 15 years. He'll make recommendations and examine best practices from around the world.
The Scarborough RT is closed this morning due to a damaged power rail and train at Kennedy Station. Shuttle buses are running between Kennedy and McCowan stations - the entire line - as a result. It's not clear when things will be back up and running but Brad Ross from the TTC says things are unlikely to be fixed this morning. Is this a taste of things to come?
Mahmood-Reza Arab is waiting for his day in court to contest a parking ticket. It's been 8 years. In 2005, Arab received a $100 yellow slip for parking too close to a fire hydrant. He decided to plead his case before a judge, but so far nothing's happened. As more and more people decide to fight parking tickets, the city's backlog has grown to several thousand cases. Last year 74,000 people were added to the waiting list.
The Don River Valley bike trail is getting better signage after a cyclist complained about a frustrating, unannounced closure. Enbridge, the company making repairs in the valley that necessitated the shut down, will now post signs at the entrance to the path and limit down time to outside rush hour. Earlier this week some cyclists had to bike a distance down the path only to find it was impassable.
Get ready for an invasion of concrete robots. A hundred 113-kilogram Lovebots, the creation of OCAD U industrial design student Matthew Del Degan and a team of assistants, will soon appear around Toronto to commemorate good deeds and acts of love submitted by members of the public. Careful you don't stub a toe on someone else's good karma.
Is it the Skydome or the Rogers Centre? Officially it's been the latter since 2005, but that hasn't stopped the original title - selected during a naming contest in the 1989 - remaining in common use in Toronto. Now, a branding company wants to get 50,000 votes (read: Facebook Likes) in an attempt to get the stadium re-named the Rogers Skydome. Does it matter what the stadium is called?
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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