TDSB trustees hold private meeting to discuss selling land

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 11/19/2012 9:13:00 PM

Trustees with the TDSB have gathered tonight for a private meeting to discuss a leaked report.

The report suggests selling parts of playgrounds at 127 schools to raise more than $100-million for building renovations and additions.

The report has many parents concerned today, and the director of education at the TDSB is trying to calm their fears.

"This is very much at the exploratory stage," says Chris Spence.

He says there are still many discussions to be had before a feasibility report is presented sometime in the new year.

"There's a lot of technical analysis that has to go in. You have zoning bylaws you have to take a look at. You have city plan that you have to take a look at," Spence says.

By the time the board makes any final decision, Spence expects the list of 127 properties being considered right now to be much shorter.

"I ...

Opposed to Diesel Trains on Air-Rail Link, Coalition Has Day in Court

Posted By: Russ Courtney · 11/19/2012 6:46:00 PM

Toronto's Clean Train Coalition has had a day in court, trying to prevent diesel trains on the new rail link from Union Station to Pearson Airport.

The group was speaking in favour of its application for a judicial review of the decision from provincial transit agency Metrolinx to use diesel trains on the line.

Lawyers for the coalition and Metrolinx spent the day in court in front of a three judge panel with a decision expected back in 3-4 weeks.

The coalition is opposed to diesel trains running on the line, saying it will negatively impact the health of some 300,000 people that live within 500 metres of the track.

Metrolinx says the vehicles being used on the project could be converted to electric in the future, but doesn't have the money to pay for those upgrades now.

Queens Park has approved a $15 million dollar environmental study to look ...

Closing Arguments Begin in Ford Libel Case

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 11/19/2012 5:40:00 PM

Rob Ford's campaign promise to stop the so-called gravy train at city hall may have steamrolled him into office two years ago, but it came at the price of a local businessman's reputation, the Toronto mayor's defamation trial heard Monday.

In the middle of the 2010 mayoral campaign Ford seized on controversy over a sole-sourced, untendered, 20-year lease deal between the city and a restaurant on public land, telling a Toronto newspaper it "stinks to high heaven'' and suggesting the deal was corrupt.

With no concrete proof to back up those assertions, Ford's remarks were merely `"opportunist'' without any foundation, said Brian Shiller, the lawyer for restaurant owner George Foulidis.

"This is not about genuinely looking into criminality,'' Shiller said Friday in his closing arguments. "It's about seeking votes and wining elections, and the roadkill is Mr. Foulidis.''

Ford had no concrete proof of wrongdoing, Shiller said, he just didn't ...

Maple Leaf Gardens Dressing Room Toilet Sells at Auction

Posted By: Russ Courtney · 11/19/2012 4:41:00 PM

For $5300 a Barrie lawyer is the proud owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room toilet.

55 year-old Jim Vigmond bought the item at auction after the piece he really wanted (the 1967 Stanley Cup banner) got too expensive.

The toilet was offered up along with over 100 items from Maple Leaf Gardens earlier this year.

Vigmond says his friends were skeptical, telling him "I've got shit for brains, they thought I had money to burn, and surely there was something that I could have better spent my money on."

But the long-time Leafs fan says this was just too good to pass up.

"They've got a point," he laughs. "'s a part of an icon. I just thought...what a rare piece and just think of all of the people that have spent time contemplating in that dressing room what lies ahead of them."

Vigmond says he was actually ...

Blue Jays Mega-Trade Finalized

Posted By: Newstalk 1010 · 11/19/2012 3:22:00 PM

The Miami Marlins have finalized their big salary dumping trade that sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes to the Toronto Blue Jays with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for seven relatively low-priced players.

Miami receives infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino, catcher Jeff Mathis and outfielder Jake Marisnick under the deal, which was agreed to last week and completed Monday.

The Marlins also are sending Toronto cash.

The trade was finalized Monday after baseball Commissioner Bud Selig decided not to block it.

The players traded by the Marlins have combined guaranteed salaries of $163.75 million through 2018, including $96 million due Reyes.

(The Associated Press)

UPDATE: Neighbour says 78-year-old murder victim kept to herself

Posted By: Justine Lewkowicz · 11/19/2012 4:33:00 PM

Neighbours say a 78-year-old woman murdered in her building at 215 Wynford Dr, near Eglinton Ave and the DVP, kept to herself and never bothered anyone.

Her body was found inside her apartment on Saturday morning.

Police held a press conference Monday afternoon to give an update on the investigation.

Det Mike Carbone says they believe Manijeh Bostani-Khamsi was targeted. They are not ruling out robbery as a possible motive. 

While her killing does not appear to be random, the detective wouldn't say whether the woman of Persian descent knew her killer.

Det Carbone says Bostani-Khamsi was likely killed sometime Friday in an altercation after an unknown person entered her apartment.

Police are not releasing cause of death but say Bostani-Khamsi was suffering from obvious signs of trauma.

Bostani-Khamsi had lived in the building for more than 10 years and her family lives abroad. She lived alone after her husband passed away several years ago.

Michael Fernandez ...

UPDATE: VIDEO: Rob Ford Makes Grey Cup Bet with Calgary Mayor

Posted By: Katie Franzios · 11/19/2012 5:36:00 PM

Mayor Rob Ford says he's down for a bet with Calgary's mayor, which would see the loser not only wear the winning team's jersey during a council meeting, but also donate their weight in non-perishables to a food bank.

Ford estimated he's between 315-320 lbs and thinks Mayor Naheed Nenshi is around 240 lbs.

Toronto's mayor laughed about the fact that he weighs more than Nenshi but underlined it's a friendly bet. Nenshi made the suggestion on Twitter Monday morning.

Ford says he can't wait for Sunday's Grey Cup match-up. While he's proud of the Argos, Ford admits Calgary played well this season.

Bell & Astral Submit New Deal to the CRTC

Posted By: Suzette Francis · 11/19/2012 8:03:00 AM

Bell Canada and Astral Media Inc., the parent company of NewsTalk 1010 have submitted a new proposal to the federal broadcast regulator, saying they've found ways to address the CRTC's concerns over the level of ownership concentration in some markets.
The companies say in the joint announcement that the revised deal is worth $3.38-billion, subject to approval by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau, about the value as the original deal.
Bell and Astral say their proposal includes steps they'd take to comply with ownership thresholds.
They say details of the new Astral-Bell proposal will be made available by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission when it launches a public consultation on the application.
Bell Canada's parent company originally agreed in March to buy Montreal-based Astral for $3.4-billion but the CRTC rejected the deal last month.

Bell has also announced that it ...

Report: TDSB To Sell Acres of Land From School Playgrounds

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/19/2012 5:58:00 AM

The cash strapped Toronto Public School Board meets behind closed doors Monday night to look at a staff report showing the trustees a way to raise at least a $100-million to pay for building renovations and additions to schools.

The proposal is to sell off parcels of land from the playgrounds of 127 public schools to developers.

The Star has its hands on the confidential shortlist. Most of the 367 acres of land is in North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough. It's believed that more than half of the schools affected are in the ward of Etobicoke Centre.

Here is a list from The Star of some of the schools that could be affected. The first number is the current amount of acres, while the second is the proposed amount.

- Hollycrest MS: 16.75 to 12.47
- Norman Ingram PS: 9.56 to 6.67
- Rippleton PS: 8.9 to 6.11
- Pelmo ...

York Elementary School Teachers Begin Job Action

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/19/2012 5:42:00 AM

Parents won't notice it, and neither will the kids, but about 5,000 elementary school teachers in York Region will begin scaling back on Monday, in protest.

Both Monday and Tuesday the teachers are being asked by their union, to arrive only 30 minutes prior to class, and leave 30 minutes afterwards, at the latest.

This being the first phase of potentially escalating work to rule actions.

It'll happen in about 170 schools, but the union emphasizes, marking of work will still be done and nothing else will change during the school day.

Meantime, the first locally bargained deals happened Saturday between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation and the York, and Upper Grand boards.

Education Minister Laurel Broten will look at those today and determine if they should be approved.

Progressive Conservative education critic Lisa MacLeod says Premier Dalton McGuinty promised parents that the school year would be free from ...

Canadian Justin Bieber Wins Big at AMA's

Posted By: Michelle Rosa · 11/19/2012 1:11:00 AM

America proved its Bieber Fever was strong: The teen singer dominated the American Music Awards on Sunday night.

Bieber's wins included the show's top award, artist of the year. His mom joined him onstage as he collected the trophy, beating out Rihanna, Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Drake. ``I wanted to thank you for always believing in me,'' Bieber said, looking to his mom.

The 18-year-old also won the honour in 2010. He said it's ``hard growing up with everyone watching me'' and asked that people continue to believe in him.

Bieber and Nicki Minaj performed together (and separately) at the AMAs and were both multiple winners.

But another collaboration was the night's most colorful performance: Korean rapper PSY and MC Hammer. Hammer joined the buzzed-about pop star for his viral hit ``Gangnam Style.'' PSY rocked traditional ``Hammer'' pants as they danced to his jam and to Hammer's ``Too Legit ...

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