DAVE AGAR

Wednesday, July 23 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM

Several more people killed in Gaza overnight including many Palestinians in the city of Khan Younis.   It came under drone and tank fire from the Israeli military.

That's one round of tank fire.

Palestinian officials say the Palestinian death toll has now surpassed 6-hundred-50.   30 Israeli's have been killed, nearly all of them soldiers on the ground in Gaza trying to crush Hamas so it stops firing mortars and rockets toward civilian targets in Israel.  2 more soldiers were killed overnight.

The diplomatic effort to secure a ceasefire continues.  The Prime minister of Israel is scheduled to meet today in Tel Aviv with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

UKRAINE

It's national day of mourning in the Netherlands, the home country of most of the 2-hundred-98 people killed last week when a missile knocked down a Malaysian commercial jet in eastern Ukraine.

The first bodies recovered from the wreckage were put on a cargo jet from Ukraine this morning.

CBS correspondent Cami McCormick in Kiev.

SAMMY YATIM

No surprise here.  The family of 18-year old Sammy Yatim has filed an 8-million dollar-plus lawsuit against three Toronto Police officers involved in his shooting death, along with the Toronto Police Services Board and Police Chief Bill Blair.  They are alleging police showed "reckless disregard" for Yatim's life and used excessive and unreasonable force against a young man, the family admits was in the midst of an "acute emotional disturbance" the night of his death.

The suit was actually filed in February but the Star just found out about it.

It was July 27th of last year when Sammy Yatim was shot to death on a TTC streetcar on Dundas West.  The first anniversary of his death is Sunday.

The officer charged criminally in this case is still awaiting trial.  It is scheduled to go to trial next year.

FORD FEST

The city of Toronto has a bylaw which prohibits campaign events in city-owned parks during an election year.

This Friday, the annual Ford Fest will be held at a city-owned park Thomson Memorial in Scarborough.

Opponents of Mayor Rob Ford are furious the city granted a permit for Ford Fest.   They're convinced the Ford's will turn it into a campaign rally.

So why did the city give its OK.  It's simple really.  This is an event that is held every year and the city cannot base its judgements on permits on what, theoretically, might happen.   The permit application is all in order.

The question here is: does anyone trust Rob and Doug Ford to follow the rules.  Does anyone believe they'll not turn this into a political event.   The Ford's say no, it won't happen.  The city really doesn't have any option but to take them at their word but rest assured there will be a bylaw enforcement officer at the event and a supervisor from the parks department.

Also worth noting, the local councillor for Thomson Memorial park Glenn De Baermaeker has signed off on the permit pointing out the mayor and any city council can have community events in public parks up until August 1st and its up to the Ford's to follow the rules.

SIDEWALKS

Another one of those infuriating and costly snafus in Toronto.  One hand not knowing or not caring what the other is doing.

CBC Toronto has learned that the city is in the process of digging up and putting in new sidewalks in the west end.

The problem is the new concrete is being poured around Toronto Hydro poles that are soon to be pulled out, wrecking the concrete requiring a redo at taxpayers expense.  Hydro is in the midst of replacing its old poles across the city and the city has ongoing sidewalk replacement but no one seems to be smart enough to get them working together.

It is beyond me to understand why the city and Toronto Hydro cannot get their acts together.  The city owns Toronto Hydro.    This stuff has been going on for years....including all of Rob Ford's tenure as mayor.  So that's another thing he has not been keeping his eye on but no one else is either so he cannot be blamed for all of it.

Some advice for city hall planners and Toronto Hydro planners.   Get on to Google.  Download the Google Calendar.  Now sync up with each others calendar's so when one puts in work event, it will show up on the other's calendar.  What is the problem here.  Is it any wonder voters are fed up with city hall and all of its politicians.

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