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3 tips for creating a holiday shopping budget

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 11th, 2016

    • Tip 1:  Figure out what the holidays are for.
      • You need to get to the core question of “what are the holidays for?”
      • Family time, gift-giving, activities, shows.
      • Distinguish between traditions and habits.
      • Traditions: Something we hand down.  Things we do every season that are deeply important to us.
      • Habits: An acquired behaviour that is involuntary.
      • You and your spouse and family: Holidays are not an individual thing.

 

  • Tip 2:  Renegotiate the terms.
    • Change can be difficult. Especially around something some emotional.
    • Who: Pick one of your family members who you think will be able to think differently, and talk to them first.  (Don’t go to most change averse person first. Build some support).
    • What: Say, “Looking ahead to holidays and how we do it this year.  What could we keep? What could we do differently so we have more of what we want?”
    • When: Now. So people haven’t shopped.  And the emotions are running as high.
    • Why: Align spending with what the holidays are about, so you can lower stress.
    • Pitfall:  Making it personal.  “You don’t want to exchange gifts anymore, therefore you don’t love me”.
    • More likely it’s because I want to simplify my life and use money for other things.

 

  • Tip 3:  Develop a holiday spending budget.
    • Have a number and stick to it.  It doesn’t even matter what the number is.
    • If you have no money worries.  Don’t do this.  Do some eggnog shooters and go shopping.  But most people aren’t in that situation.
    • List everything.  And I mean everything.
      • Gifts
      • Immediate family
      • Relatives
      • Friends
      • Teachers
      • Host/hostess gifts.
      • Charity
      • Food
      • Liquor
      • Entertainment
      • Clothing
      • New outfit for the holiday party
      • Travel
      • Cabs to parties
      • Babysitters
      • Gas to drive to Sarnia
      • Flights
  • Make some trade-offs.
  • We don’t do big gifts as a couple.
  • Our family does almost no gifts.
  • Figure out how you’re going to pay for it.  Let’s say it is $1,500.  Where is that money going to come from?  Where are you going to cut back to cover that amount?
  • Shop with a list and stick to it.  Virtually impossible, I know.  It is you against the retailer.  Especially now that I have kids.  “Abby would like that”.

What you need to know this Thanksgiving long weekend

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

pumpkin-pie
Maple leaf cookies on pumpkin pie. GETTY IMAGES/Tom Merton

What are you thankful for this year? That will be on mostly everyone’s mind this weekend as families and friends gather around the table to give thanks and share a meal together.

For those who are spending Thanksgiving weekend enjoying the comfortable weather (highs in the mid-teens are expected), there are several events across the city.

Keep in mind that there is a subway closure on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) all weekend and a late opening on Line 4 (Sheppard-Yonge) on Sunday.

As always, be sure you check out our list of what’s open and closed over the long weekend.

Events

Pumpkinfest Toronto
If you’re looking for some family fun this Thanksgiving weekend, Pumpkinfest Toronto is your one-stop shop.

Guests of all ages can enjoy the Pumpkin Express train, traditional farmers market, baked goods sale and a princess meet-and-greet. There are also plenty of prizes to be won in the bull riding, costume, pumpkin carving and “Little Miss Pumpkin Fest Toronto” contests. The autumn-themed fun runs all weekend long from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Pumpkin patch. GETTY IMAGES/Paul Keleher

 

Toronto Zoo Panda Party
There’s a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this weekend at the Toronto Zoo. Along with Thanksgiving, Canada’s giant panda cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, are celebrating their first birthday.

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Panda cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue play in an enclosure at the Toronto Zoo on March 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The three-day party includes panda-themed activities, photo opportunities, giveaways, interpretive stations, panda mascots, and more. The pandas were born to mother Er Shun on Oct. 13 last year. The Toronto Zoo says the female panda, Jia Yueyue, tends to be more independent, while Jia Panpan is quite an instigator, often play-wrestling with his sister.

The celebration runs in the Front Entrance Courtyard and Panda Interpretive Centre from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

Harvest Brunch at Casa Loma
Need a break from all the cooking this Thanksgiving weekend? Let Casa Loma do the work for you.

casaloma-878x494

Casa Loma in Toronto. Photo via Wikipedia/Creative Commons/Maria Carmen.

 

The city’s famous castle is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Brunch, where guests can experience the splendour and elegance of the space. Reservations are required and the meal costs $60 for adults and $45 for children aged 13 and under. After brunch, guests are encouraged to explore the castle grounds at their leisure.

Halloween Haunt
If you’re up for a scare this Thanksgiving weekend, Halloween Haunt has once again transformed Canada’s Wonderland.

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A paranormal presence near a window. GETTY IMAGES

 

The heart-thumping event promises to be more terrifying than ever with 20 haunted attractions, including the return of Zombies 4D Interactive Dark Ride.

There are also mazes, scare zones, live shows and 700 monsters prowling the park. You can check it out this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Remember to keep the costumes at home. Canada’s Wonderland says guests wearing costumes or face paint will not be permitted.

Torontoberfest
Brewers Backyard will be hosting its final event of the year this long weekend. Torontoberfest is returning to the Evergreen Brick Works on Monday.

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Stock image of beer. LEHTIKUVA/Jussi Nukari

 

 

The Oktober-fest themed celebration will feature a lineup of Ontario craft brewers, including Beau’s, Granite, Muddy York, Junction and Big Rig. If you’re looking for some food to enjoy, WVRST will also be on hand, serving up delicious sausages, along with Delight Bite and Sugar Mamma’s. Torontoberfest runs from noon until 5 p.m.

 

What’s open and closed

Open

  • TTC will run on holiday service
  • GO will run on a Sunday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Several malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

 

Closed

  • All LCBO and Beer stores will be closed
  • Most grocery stores (select ones are open but call ahead)
    Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
    Government offices, municipal buildings, and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery

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Fall colours can be seen in foliage on the Canadore Trails in North Bay, Ont., on Oct. 12, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Wendy McCann

 

TTC and road closures

Partial shutdown on Line 1
TTC workers will be hard at work this weekend making the subway system better for all of its riders – something to be very thankful for. But the work comes at a cost.

Subways won’t be running between St. George and Pape stations on Line 2 due to bridge work on the Prince Edward Viaduct on all three days.

On Sunday, subway service will start at 2 p.m. on Line 4 between Sheppard-Yonge and Don Mills stations due to signal upgrades. Shuttle buses will be running in both cases.

Road closures for construction
The intersection of Bay and Richmond streets will be closed from 6 a.m. on Thursday to Tuesday at 6 a.m. for TTC track replacement work, road reconstruction and sidewalk repairs.

Estrada superb as Blue Jays thump Texas in ALDS opener

NEIL DAVIDSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

blue jays

It was a beat down but this time the bad blood stayed under the surface.

Toronto rocked Cole Hamels for five runs in the third inning and a near flawless Marco Estrada delivered 8 1/3 stellar innings as the Blue Jays thumped the Texas Rangers 10-1 Thursday to win Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Jose Bautista, Public Enemy No. 1 in Texas, slammed a three-run homer in the ninth inning off reliever Jake Diekman to rub salt in the wound. No bat-flip this time. He put his weapon down gently after the blast to left field, where the fan who caught the ball whipped it back into play.

The Jays slugger was happy to keep the focus on baseball rather than rehash Toronto’s recent Hatfield-and-McCoy-like feuding with the Rangers.

“I wanted to avoid all the questions about the whole ordeal because we’re baseball players, not UFC fighters, and we came here to play ballgames,” Bautista said. “That’s why I wanted everybody to kind of focus on that in our clubhouse. And we did and we played a pretty good game today and hopefully we continue to do that.”

It was Bautista’s fourth home run in his last eight post-season at-bats. He is tied with Joe Carter for most playoff homers by a Blue Jay with six.

Toronto came close to its first complete game of the season – and the first of Estrada’s career. But Elvis Andrus tripled to open the bottom of the ninth and scored on a Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout. Manager John Gibbons then brought in Ryan Tepera to close the door.

“Two outs away from finishing it. Unfortunately I couldn’t,” said Estrada, who failed to convince Gibbons to keep him in. “But who cares, we won. That’s all that matters.”

Estrada (1-0) gave up one run in 8 1/3 innings on four hits with six strikeouts in a 98-pitch performance with 72 strikes. He becomes the third Jay in playoff history to record a start of eight-plus innings while giving up one run or less (Dave Stieb, 1985, and David Cone, 1992).

In contrast, Hamels allowed a playoff career-high seven runs in the shortest outing of the 2008 World Series MVP’s post-season career.

While Bautista relishes the big stage, Estrada says he treats it like any other game.

“I don’t change anything. I just think of it as another regular-season game. Why am I going to add extra pressure on myself?”

Estrada is like baseball’s answer to Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. Both are single-minded.

“Essentially it comes down to the same thing – stopping pucks,” Price said in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

Estrada can relate.

“Basically I just try to pound the zone. I look at Russ’s glove and I try to hit it as many times as possible,” he said, referencing catcher Russell Martin.

Gibbons, meanwhile, savoured a game where the drama came early not late.

“In reality we were due to break out ? Can’t say we necessarily relaxed, but it was kind of nice to have a game where you have a little breathing room, because we haven’t had too many of those lately.”

Toronto’s performance had many rushing to the record books.

ESPN Stats says the Jays are just the third team in post-season history to win Game 1 of a best-of-five series by at least nine runs on the road (joining the 2002 Cardinals and 2011 Rays). It also notes that teams up 1-0 in a best-of-five MLB post-season series win the series 70 per cent of the time, although it didn’t work for Texas last year against Toronto.

It was 32 degrees under the sun at first pitch before a sellout crowd of 47,434 that had little to cheer about at Globe Life Park.

The Jays sent nine men to the plate in the third, scoring all five runs – all with two outs. Troy Tulowitzki did the bulk of the damage with a three-run triple.

Melvin Upton Jr. hit a solo homer in a two-run fourth for Toronto. Josh Donaldson, who had two singles, two doubles and a walk on the day, drove in a run in each of the third and fourth. His four hits tied a club post-season mark.

While Hamels (0-1) wobbled in 3 1/3 innings, Estrada was rock-steady, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced. The only Ranger to get on during that stretch was Adrian Beltre, on a second-inning infield hit that saw first baseman Edwin Encarnacion make the play only to find no one was covering first.

Estrada retired 12 straight after Beltre before Andrus singled to open the Texas half of the sixth. Andrus was promptly caught stealing as Choo struck out – it was that kind of day for the Rangers.

The 33-year-old right-hander faced just one batter over the minimum over eight innings, helping ease the load of a Toronto bullpen that was looking to rest closer Roberto Osuna and his sore shoulder.

Toronto outhit Texas 13-4.

Thursday’s game marked the first meeting of the teams since a wild game on May 15 in Texas. Baseball gave way to payback as Bautista was hit by a pitch and then clocked in the face by a Rougned Odor right hook when the second baseman objected to the Jays slugger’s hard slide. The ensuing brawl resulted in discipline against 14 players and staff.

The Rangers were still seething at Bautista’s three-run homer, complete with bat-flip, which served as the coup de grace in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS.

Bautista, who drew boos throughout the day, started his payback Thursday by helping the scoreboard keep ticking in the third.

The lone blemish on Hamels’ line in the first two innings was an early walk to Donaldson. But the bottom fell out in the third.

Ezequiel Carrera walked with one out, went to second on a wild pitch and came home one out later on a Donaldson screamer that went off Beltre’s glove at third and into right field. Donaldson, whose slide into second on the play survived a Texas challenge, went to third on an Encarnacion hit that deflected off Hamels’ glove.

Bautista’s RBI single, after an eight-pitch at-bat, made it 2-0. A Martin walk loaded the bases before Tulowitzki cleared them with a triple that centre-fielder Ian Desmond lost near the wall. The ball left Tulowitzki’s bat at 102 m.p.h. and travelled 395 feet.

It was Tulowitzki’s first post-season triple – and the first by a Blue Jay in 23 years (Paul Molitor, October 1993).

Hamels, who is making US$23.5 million this season, needed 42 pitches to get out of the inning. Estrada threw a total of 44 in his first four innings.

It was Hamels’ first start against Toronto since last season’s playoffs. The 32-year-old left-hander had never beaten the Blue Jays (0-4 in his career including the post-season).

Texas finished as the top seed in the AL with a 95-67 record that included a franchise-record 53 home wins. Toronto had to beat Baltimore in the wild-card game after ending up the fourth seed at 89-73.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he does not expect any fallout from the one-sided loss.

“Given how our club has played all year long, and we’ve been in these type of situations before, look, we’ve come back and played well after these type of games. And with the veteran group that we have in there, I don’t worry about the collateral damage in a game like this. Obviously we would have liked to have a played a lot more competitively. But the other thing that you’ve got to look at, too, is Estrada threw a heck of a game.”

Neither team will have much time to reflect on it, given Game 2 starts at noon local time.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize

Mark Lewis and Karl Ritter, The Associated Press | posted Friday, Oct 7th, 2016

Juan Manuel Santos

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a press conference at the Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, on Feb. 10, 2015. GETTY IMAGES/AFP/Luis Acosta

 

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end a five-decades-long civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people in the South American country.

The award came just days after Colombian voters narrowly rejected the peace deal that Santos helped bring about, and Nobel authorities conspicuously left out his counterpart, Rodrigo Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, from the honour.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that voters’ rejection doesn’t mean the peace process is dead.

“The referendum was not a vote for or against peace,” it said. “What the ‘No’ side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.”

Santos and Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, signed the peace deal last month, ending a half-century of hostilities, only to see a major setback in the shock vote against the agreement in a referendum six days later.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it believes that Santos, “despite the ‘No’ majority vote in the referendum, has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution.”

It said the award should also be seen “as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process.”

The agreement was reached during more than five years of at first secret negotiations in Cuba.

Santos, 65, is an unlikely peacemaker. The Harvard-educated scion of one of Colombia’s wealthiest families, as defence minister a decade ago, he was responsible for some of the FARC’s biggest military setbacks. Those included a 2008 cross-border raid into Ecuador that took out a top rebel commander and the stealth rescue of three Americans held captive by the rebels for more than five years.

Under the peace deal he negotiated, rebels who turn over their weapons and confess to war crimes will be spared time in jail. FARC will also get 10 seats in congress through 2026 to smooth their transition into a political movement.

Santos and Londono met only twice during the entire peace process: last year when they put the final touches on the most-controversial section of the accord — the part dealing with how guerrillas would be punished for war crimes — and again last month to sign the accord before an audience of world leaders and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

It was the first time the peace prize went to Latin America since 1992, when the committee awarded Guatemalan human rights activist Rigoberta Menchu.

A record 376 candidates were nominated for this year’s award.

Last year’s peace prize went to Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet for its efforts to build a pluralistic democracy.

How Blue Jays’ Estrada is approaching dangerous Rangers lineup

Arden Zwelling | posted Thursday, Oct 6th, 2016

Marco estrada throws seven scoreless innings

ARLINGTON, Texas — Marco Estrada has an awfully important start Thursday night against the Texas Rangers. Perhaps you’ve heard—it’s Game 1 of the ALDS.

The process for some pitchers in a situation like Estrada’s would be to look back at film of the last few times they faced their opponent, analyzing what went right and, more importantly, what went wrong. Baseball players have an embarrassment of data and resources available to them in today’s game, from advanced scouting to heat maps to spray charts to multi-camera, slow-motion footage of each and every major league hitter’s swing. You can analyze your game to an unbelievable degree, and some pitchers will take advantage of those resources, devising a plan to best nullify their opponents.

Not Estrada. He’s not about that life.

“No, I haven’t looked at one thing,” Estrada said Wednesday, a day before he starts Game 1 for the Blue Jays. “I don’t really do that sort of stuff. I feel like guys change their approach all the time, and you can kind of see it off their swings as the game goes on. I try to pay attention to that a little more than going back and seeing what they’ve done off of me. It’s just something I’ve changed in the last few years. And it seems to work out. So, I’ll just keep it that way.”

And, of course, that’s fine. You’ve got to do whatever works for you. Last season, following the advice of the revered Mark Buehrle, Estrada stopped worrying about the small stuff. He began to take the mound with a conviction to simply throw the exact pitch the catcher called, every single time. The most important thing was hitting his spot, and executing the pitch he’d been asked to execute with precision. Nothing else—results, defence, weather, who’s up in the bullpen, whatever—mattered.

And it’s worked for him. Since the start of 2015, Estrada’s allowed the second-fewest hits of any major leaguer to make more than 32 starts, trailing only some guy named Clayton Kershaw. His 3.30 ERA over that span sits 20th among starters, ahead of name brand pitchers like Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, and his opponent Thursday night, Cole Hamels.

“To be honest with you, I don’t really think about much while I’m out there. I focus on the glove and the sign and that’s about it,” Estrada said. “I’m just focused on throwing strikes and getting early outs.”

The Rangers will present an interesting challenge. Carlos Beltran and Adrian Beltre are future Hall-of-Famers; Rougned Odor and Carlos Gomez are tough outs and no fun to deal with on the base paths; Jonathan Lucroy, Nomar Mazara and Ian Desmond can leave the yard in a heartbeat. A dangerous lineup awaits Estrada Thursday night. Not that he’s even thought about it.

“I feel the same about this lineup as I feel about any other lineup. Nothing changes for me,” Estrada said. “I actually don’t really pay attention to who’s playing that day. I find out who is going to hit the day of, basically when they step up to the plate.”

It’s an admirable approach. Don’t worry about them; worry about you. Make the hitters try to beat your strengths, instead of you trying to beat theirs. That’s what some of the best pitchers in the game do. Chris Archer isn’t going to shy away from his slider against lineups with a patient approach. Noah Syndergaard isn’t going to lay off his fastball against teams that hunt for heaters. And Marco Estrada shouldn’t back away from his change-up, which is well regarded as one of the best in the game.

“Guys like Lucroy or Gomez, I haven’t really faced them. So we’ll see what we throw at them. But other than that, everybody seems to be the same,” Estrada said. “I try to hit the glove. That’s about it.”

That change-up is Estrada’s best weapon, and when he has it working he’s generally going to perform very well. It’s no coincidence that when Estrada struggled through a frustrating stretch in late August and early September when he posted a 7.53 ERA in six starts, it just so happened to be a rare stretch of time when he lost the feel for his change-up.

Any pitcher who has tried to make a change-up a core piece of their repertoire will tell you that it can be a challenging pitch to harness at times because there are so many working parts. You want your arm action and release point to look like a fastball, creating a deceptiveness that is absolutely paramount to the pitch’s success. You then have to manage the velocity of the pitch to give it adequate separation from your fastball. And on top of that you want to throw it with late action, so that it drops or fades as it reaches the plate, increasing the chance of a swing-and-miss or at least a groundball.

Really, it’s remarkable that Estrada has been able to command the pitch so consistently over the last two seasons, rarely having an outing where he isn’t able to use it successfully. But when he hit that rough patch with it, he found it exceedingly difficult to locate the pitch where he wanted to, which left him with only an 89-mph fastball, an 85-mph cutter and a 77-mph curveball to attack with.

Those three pitches alone aren’t enough to get big-league hitters out. There’s nothing overpowering or especially filthy in terms of movement there. He needs the change-up to be his great equalizer. Without it, Estrada’s practically naked on the mound.

“I kept bouncing my change-ups. Guys weren’t even offering. To be honest with you, I didn’t even see guys flinching at it,” Estrada said. “That’s how bad it was.”

Estrada’s change-up usage plummeted during that stretch as he tried to rely on other pitches to get through his outings. The low point likely came on Sept. 9 vs. Boston, when Estrada was lifted after only 2.1 innings, having allowed 10 of the 16 batters he faced to reach base. Estrada threw just 15 change-ups that day, getting a swing with less than half of them.

But from there, Estrada regained his feel for the pitch, performing better in his next outing before rattling off three straight strong starts to finish his season. In his most recent outing last weekend in Boston against a very patient, very dangerous Red Sox lineup, Estrada threw 34 change-ups, the most he’s thrown in an outing since early August. The pitch was great that day, getting Estrada a strike 62 per cent of the time as Red Sox hitters batted just .111 on the seven change-ups they put it in play.

So, toss out the scouting reports, burn the heat maps, delete the video files. Estrada doesn’t need any of that junk. He just needs his catcher, his approach, and his change-up.

“It’s been much better lately,” Estrada said. “So, I’ve just got to make sure that the pitch is there Thursday. If it is, I think I’ll be OK.”

Hurricane Matthew gains new fury as it hurtles to Florida

Mike Schneider and Keli Kennedy, The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Oct 6th, 2016

florida storm
Waves crashoff the pilings under the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier on Oct. 05, 2016, as Hurricane Matthew approaches Jacksonville, Fla. Photo by Bruce Lipsky/The Florida Times-Union via AP. 

As the threat from the major hurricane rose along the Southeast seacoast, the centre extended a hurricane warning area on a large swath of Florida’s east coast farther up to Altamaha Sound, Georgia. And it said a newly expanded hurricane watch area would now reach from the Altamaha Sound to the South Santee River in South Carolina.

As Matthew put the U.S. in its sights, about two million people were encouraged to head inland ahead of the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic coast in more than a decade. Matthew killed at least 16 people in the Caribbean as it cut through Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.

The storm is forecast to near the Florida coast starting Thursday night, potentially as a Category 4 storm with 209 km/h winds. Any slight deviation could mean landfall or it heading farther out to sea. Either way, forecasters say it will come close enough to wreak havoc along the lower part of the East Coast, dumping up to 15 inches in rain in some spots. Storm surge of 5 feet to 8 feet was expected along the coast from central Florida into Georgia.

None of this mattered to John Long, who lives in the Florida town of Cape Canaveral.

“The hype is going to be worse than the actual storm. I feel I can do quite well,” said Long, who owns a bike shop and plans to ride out the storm with his cat in his 32-foot recreational vehicle a half-mile from the ocean. He has lived in the Space Coast area for three decades. “There’s always tremendous buildup and then it’s no stronger than an afternoon thunderstorm. I’m not anticipating that much damage,” he said Wednesday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has urged people to reconsider.

“This is a dangerous storm,” Scott said. “The storm has already killed people. We should expect the same impact in Florida.”

Similar warnings were issued in Georgia and the Carolinas, where the storm is expected to arrive by the weekend. The last Category 3 storm or higher to hit the United States was Wilma in October 2005. It made landfall with 193 km/h winds in southwest Florida, killing five people as it slashed across the state.

In South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley reversed the lanes of Interstate 26 for the first time on Wednesday so that all lanes of traffic were headed west and out of Charleston. Plans to reverse the lanes were put in place after hourslong traffic jams during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

Haley planned to call for more evacuations Thursday, which would bring the total to about 500,000 people in the state. Florida urged or ordered about 1.5 million to leave the coast, said Jackie Schutz, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott. About 50,000 people were told to go in Georgia.

On Tybee Island, home to Georgia’s largest public beach, Loren Kook was loading up his pickup truck with suitcases and a computer late Wednesday afternoon. He and his wife were trying to decide whether to board up their windows overlooking the marsh grasses of Horsepen Creek before hitting the road to metro Atlanta.

“It seems like a lot of the longtime residents are staying,” said Kook, who moved to the coast four years ago. “I’ve never sat through a Category Whatever. I’ll watch it on TV.”

Early Thursday, Matthew’s centre was about 410 kilometres southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida, and slogging ever closer at a clip of 19 km/h.

Yet despite evacuation orders and dire warnings, Robert and Georgette Tyler said they were staying put in their 500-square foot rental home in Cape Canaveral, undeterred that Matthew might soon be pounding at their door.

Taking a break from putting plywood on windows, Robert Tyler said he feared getting stuck in traffic and that it was too much trouble to pack up his motorcycles and firearms. He has two generators, 50 gallons of fuel and enough food and water for a week. Plus, he is a handyman and his phone will be ringing off the hook once the storm passes.

“It’s part of Florida life I guess, especially on the coast,” he said.

La La Land’ named TIFF people’s choice award winner

News staff | posted Sunday, Sep 18th, 2016

stone-gosling

‘La La Land’, which stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, has won the people’s choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film beat out Garth Davis’s ‘Lion’ and Mira Nair’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ for the honour.

‘La La Land’ is the story of Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

The selection is traditionally a good indicator of which movies will do well at the Oscars next year.

“The King’s Speech”, “Slumdog Millionaire” and “12 Years A Slave” are among past winners of the award which have gone on to win Best Picture honours at the Academy Awards.

There will be a free screening of the ‘La La Land’ at Roy Thomson Hall Sunday night starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Close to 400 films were screened at this this year’s festival, which wraps up Sunday.

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