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Morning Brew: Ford defended dangerous driver, silence after columnist rant, TPA supports jets, Bloor bike lanes clear committee, and TTC to celebrate 29 billion riders

Rob Ford has been writing more character references. The Star reports the mayor sent a note using his official city letterhead vouching for a tow truck operator with a serious speeding conviction. Douglas Sedgewick, who Ford says he knows from his work in the community, is also a convicted murderer. His sister is good friends with Ford, the report says.

Ford is keeping mum about his expletive-laden exchange with Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington this weekend. Ford, as is his wont, refused to answer questions from reporters outside his office, saying the exchange was "a private conversation between Joe and myself." Doug Ford was confident the column didn't signal a cooling of relations between Warmington, historically a Ford supporter. "Next week Joe will be writing a great article on Rob, mark my words."

Meanwhile, Rob Ford left a transit town hall meeting in Scarborough last night to attend to a "serious" family matter. The issue appears to centre around his brother, Randy. A member of Ford's team accidentally sent an Blackberry Messenger request for a get well soon basket to a Sun reporter.

The operator of Billy Bishop airport says it will support jets as long as they don't damage the environment or lead to an increase in noise. Toronto Port Authority chairman Mark McQueen said he will not take an official stance until city council makes its feelings known, in a speech. McQueen also took aim at critics of the proposal, suggesting they ignore how aviation technology has evolved.

A plan to re-start a cancelled environmental assessment of bike lanes on Bloor and Dupont has been approved by the public works committee. If approved by city council, the study will look at fully separated lanes from Keele to Sherbourne and on Dupont. The original EA was halted in 2011.

Priape, Canada's leading gay store and a gay village fixture, is finished. The company's general manager confirmed to Xtra that the store would be closing all of its stores, including one in Toronto. Denis Leblanc blames a ban on the sale of poppers for the financial downtown.

In happier news, frozen yogurt store Yogurty's has launched its very own - and very pink - food truck. The vehicle made its debut at the CNE Food Truck Frenzy.

The TTC will honour its 29 billionth passenger with a special ceremony at Queen station later today. The rider, randomly chosen from a list of regular Metropass customers, will be presented with a gift by CEO Andy Byford and Chair Karen Stintz. The Commission calculated the number from annual ridership figures since 1921. 540 million people are expected to ride the TTC in 2014.

IN BRIEF:

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Bob Roman/blogTO Flickr pool.


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