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Tory repeats support for road tolls at York University subway station

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Nov 29th, 2016

Mayor John Tory is adamantly defending his plans to implement road tolls on two highways in the city, while challenging his detractors to come up with a better idea.

“I believe that a toll system is the fairest way to go because it allows us to build the transit and roads we need in order to fix traffic with the least amount of impact on our residents,” Tory said at the York University subway station on Monday.

He, along with TTC chair Josh Cole and budget chief Gary Crawford, toured the new station, which is not yet open.

Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION


Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION
Construction at the York University subway station, as seen on Nov. 15, 2016. TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION


Tory said the ongoing and upcoming transit projects have “big price tags but they will have a big positive impact.”




Last week, Tory said tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, as well as a hotel tax, are needed to raise $33 billion for city projects, mainly for transit expansion.

While the cost of the tolls has not been decided, Tory said a $2 fee would bring in more than $200 million every year. All drivers would pay the toll – not just those living in the 905 area.

On Monday, he reiterated that money generated from the road tolls would be “exclusively and only for transit and infrastructure to fix traffic.”

He also cautioned people about what traffic will be like 20 years from now when more people are living in Toronto.

“What will it be like to get around then, if we don’t start in earnest to both build and pay for transit now?” Tory asked.

Tory said he has received positive response from the public about road tolls, but has asked the detractors to offer alternatives.

“They have an obligation to spell out what they’re going to do.”

He said there are only three choices available: a massive increase in property taxes for Toronto residents, sell assets like Toronto Hydro or cancel the transit projects – all of which he is opposed to.

“If people want to stand up and say they want to cancel the transit projects and have traffic smother this city, they’re welcome to say that. But that’s not where I am and it’s not where I’m going to be,” Tory said.

Related stories:

Road tolls, hotel tax needed to fund $33B in projects: Tory

Video: 905 residents balk at proposed road tolls in Toronto

Video: Mayor Tory backs plan for road tolls on DVP, Gardiner Expressway

Delta apologizes for not booting pro Trump passenger from plane

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 28th, 2016

Delta Air Lines is apologizing for not removing a passenger from a flight to Pennsylvania who rudely professed his support for President-elect Donald Trump and insulted those who didn’t.

The Allentown Morning Call first reported on a video posted on Facebook by a fellow passenger on the Tuesday flight from Atlanta to Allentown. The video shows the man standing in the aisle, yelling and insulting Hillary Clinton supporters.

In the video, the man asks loudly: “We got some Hillary bitches on here?”

Referring to Trump’s victory, he says: “If you don’t like it, too bad.”

Delta said on its website Saturday that it is “sorry this disruption happened” and says the airline is responsible for “ensuring all customers feel safe and comfortable.”


Ottawa holds off furious Calgary comeback to win Grey Cup in OT

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Nov 28th, 2016

Henry Burris’s 18-yard TD strike to Ernest Jackson earned the Ottawa Redblack an epic 39-33 overtime Grey Cup win over the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday night.

Burris, the game MVP, found Jackson – who bobbled the pass – on the first overtime possession. But the veteran quarterback couldn’t hit a wide-open Khalil Paden for the two-point convert.

Calgary needed to match Ottawa’s six points but went three-and-out on its possession. Bo Levi Mitchell’s third-down pass went off Bakari Grant’s hands to give Ottawa one of the biggest upset victories in Grey Cup history.

Burris was stellar, throwing three TD passes and running for two more.

It was the third game in Grey Cup history to go to overtime and first since 2005 when Edmonton beat Montreal 38-35 at B.C. Place Stadium.

Rene Paredes’ 10-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining forced overtime as Calgary impressively rallied from a 27-7 third-quarter deficit.

DaVaris Daniels scored on a 19-yard TD run on third-and-two at 13:22 of the fourth to cut Ottawa’s lead to 33-30 before Glenn Love recovered Rob Maver’s onside kick at Calgary’s 49-yard line with 1:36 remaining.

Burris opened the third hitting Brad Sinopoli, the game’s top Canadian, on a nine-yard TD strike at 3:21 to cap an impressive 69-yard, six-play drive. But after a Paredes 32-yard field goal at 7:40, Mitchell hit Lemar Durant on a 34-yard TD strike at 11:01, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 27-17.

Then Andrew Buckley’s one-yard TD run at 1:25 of the fourth pulled Calgary to within 27-23 as Paredes missed the convert.

The game could be the last of Burris’s illustrious 17-year CFL career. The 41-year-old said this week he’ll take the off-season to ponder his future.

If Burris retires, he’ll certainly leave on a huge high, completing 35-of-46 passes for 461 yards en route to his third Grey Cup title. And he did a nice job of distributing the ball, using eight different receivers in the game.

Before a capacity crowd of 33,421, Ottawa was a staggering underdog after finishing atop the East Division with an 8-9-1 mark – the first team in CFL history take first in a conference with a losing record. Calgary was a league-best 15-2-1 and was coming off a 42-15 West Division final win over B.C.

And on Thursday, five Stampeders were honoured at the CFL awards banquet, including Mitchell, who received the league’s outstanding player honour. Calgary was looking to finish its banner season with a Grey Cup victory to garner support as the best team in history to capture a championship.

Calgary was also playing to win for Mylan Hicks, a practice-roster player who was shot to death in September. His mother, Renee Hill, attended the game wearing her son’s No. 31 jersey and huddled with the defensive backs prior to the contest.

But Burris, last year’s outstanding player, stole the show in leading an Ottawa team to a Grey Cup win for the first time since 1976 and avenging the franchise’s loss to Edmonton in the 2015 CFL title game.

Burris provided plenty of pre-game drama, leaving the field during warmups with an apparent knee injury. Burris wasn’t with the Redblacks when they took to the field but rejoined his teammates after undergoing treatment that reportedly included having the joint frozen and capped an impressive 65-yard, 10-play drive opening with a one-yard TD run at 6:46 to open the scoring.

Calgary effectively countered with a four-play, 79-yard march Mitchell capped with a seven-yard TD strike to Jerome Messam at 9:14. After Ray Early’s 37-yard field goal put Ottawa ahead 10-7 at 13:03, the Stampeders lost leading receiver Marquay McDaniel to a shoulder injury late in the quarter.

Patrick Lavoie had Ottawa’s other touchdown. Early added three converts and two field goals.

Paredes booted a convert and two field goals.

With deals offered early, will shoppers buy on Cyber Monday?

MAE ANDERSON. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 28th, 2016

Cyber Monday may be in danger of losing its online sales title.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest online shopping day of the year, but stores are releasing internet deals earlier, stretching them through the week, as well as making them available in stores. Shoppers looking for discounts spurred online sales on Black Friday to a new high.

During the holiday shopping weekend that kicks off on Thanksgiving and the day afterward known as Black Friday, more and more shoppers decide to skip the mayhem in stores and buy online. Consumers spent $3.34 billion shopping online on Friday, a 21.6 per cent increase from the same day last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks online retail transactions.

Online sales have also been stretching out more and more. Cartwheel, Target’s digital app, started offering holiday deals including 50 per cent off one toy per day on Nov. 1. Amazon started offering 35 days of Black Friday deals on Nov. 16. And Walmart kicked off its Cyber Monday deals at 12:01 a.m. EST Friday for the first time as it aimed to grab customers ahead of its competitors.

Lea Bishop shops online starting on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, but this year found many retailers had extensive pre-Black Friday deals. She found an iPad at Bestbuy.com for $625, at $150 off during the week before Thanksgiving. To Bishop, the convenience of online shopping is worth more than finding the best deal.

“It may not be the exact lowest price but it was a really good deal,” she said. “You kind of have to weigh the ‘get up early, stand in line and hope to be the first person there’ with the ‘Oh I can go buy it now,’ even though it may be a little bit more expensive,” she said.

Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving, has typically been the busiest day of the year for online shopping. The phrase was coined in 2005 to encourage online buying when people returned to offices where they had high-speed internet connections.

The term is still used to promote heavy discounts online, even though most people now have constant access to the web via their phones and computers. ComScore expects mobile sales to make up 20 per cent of online sales for the first time this year, and Adobe said mobile purchases surged 33 per cent on Black Friday to $1.2 billion.

“Thanksgiving has become the new Cyber Monday,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Technology Association. Out of the estimated 135.9 million U.S. adults who shopped this past week, 35 per cent did so by phone and tablet, an increase from a 28 per cent share last year, according to the trade group’s survey.

Promotions have changed in response to buying patterns. Instead of door-buster markdowns on a select few products, retailers are shifting to a stream of discounts and alerts during the entire week via email and social media.

“It’s really this weeklong flow of deals,” DuBravac said.

Research firm comScore had predicted online spending on Cyber Monday will jump to $3.5 billion from $3.12 billion last year. The firm’s preliminary holiday shopping forecast, which includes November and December, is for online sales to rise as much as 19 per cent to $81 billion.

Overall, the National Retail Federation trade group is forecasting holiday sales for the November and December period to rise 3.6 per cent to $655.8 billion, better than the 3 per cent growth seen in the year-ago period.

“Instead of fighting the lines, there are even better deals online,” said Madison Agnello, who plans to do 90 per cent of her shopping online. The week before Cyber Monday she bought a 43-inch LG 4K Smart TV at half of its original $600 price tag.

“I’m shopping soon rather than later, to get it over with and not having to worry about things being sold out,” Agnello said.

Associated Press writer Josh Boak in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

11-year-old takes parent’s car for joyride after playing Grand Theft Auto

News staff | posted Monday, Nov 28th, 2016

An 11-year-old boy was caught driving his parent’s vehicle after playing a video game and wanting to see what driving a real vehicle would be like.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said they received multiple calls for a vehicle being driven erratically on Highway 400 on Saturday night just before midnight.

“Drivers called it in thinking it was an impaired driver because the vehicle was all over the highway,” Sgt. Schmidt said.

The vehicle was travelling northbound from Major Mackenzie Drive to King Road.

Police pursued the vehicle but the driver refused to pull over, instead travelling at half the speed limit before accelerating to well over the limit.

“Well over the speed limit, 120 or more km per hour,” Sgt. Schmidt said.

Police eventually managed to pull the vehicle over without incident.

“Shockingly it was an 11 year old kid who had just finished playing Grand Theft Auto at home and wanted to find out what it was like to drive a car,” adding it was a very dangerous stunt.

“Here we have an influence of a video game making kids try things without their parent’s knowledge or consent.”

Schmidt said the boy was returned to his parents custody.

Black Friday mall hours and sites for navigating deals

news staff | posted Friday, Nov 25th, 2016

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. and, for most of us in Canada, that means only one thing: Black Friday deals. Here are the hours of operation for GTA malls on Friday — Plus, four sites to help you navigate the chaos of the popular retail event.


Mall hours

Eaton Centre: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sherway Gardens: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Scarborough Town Centre: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Square One: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Vaughan Mills: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Markville Shopping Centre: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Upper Canada Mall (Newmarket): 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Yorkdale Shopping Centre: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Oshawa Centre: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Bramalea City Centre: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.




Some reports have found Amazon’s algorithm promotes products and sellers that benefit the company over better deals. Camelcamelcamel tracks Amazon products for you and will send you an alert when the price drops.


Ever wonder if the review you’re reading of a product is genuine or, in fact, penned by a manufacturer with a vested interest? Fakespot will analyze Amazon’s (or Yelp’s) user reviews and grade them on their trustworthiness.


This online shopping community for sharing deals and coupons has an easy-to-navigate Black Friday dashboard. It lists sales by retailer and also has a feed of the latest deals. It links directly to the product or homepage.


This popular website has posted a roundup of ads, flyers and online deals in Canada. However, it’s buyer beware. A quick peek showed some out-of-date deals — a Scratch & Save sale at The Bay last weekend listed as “current flyers” and a link to an expired Canadian Tire flyer.

Florence Henderson, ‘The Brady Bunch’ mom, dies

LYNN ELBER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Friday, Nov 25th, 2016

Florence Henderson, who went from Broadway star to become one of America’s most beloved television moms in ‘The Brady Bunch,’ has died, her manager and her publicist said. She was 82.

Henderson died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before, said her publicist, David Brokaw. Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement.

Family and friends had surrounded Henderson’s hospital bedside, Pressman said.

On the surface, ‘The Brady Bunch’ with Henderson as its ever-cheerful matriarch Carol Brady, resembled just another TV sitcom about a family living in suburban America and getting into a different wacky situation each week.

But well after it ended its initial run, in 1974, the show resonated with audiences, and it returned to television in various forms again and again, including ‘The Brady Bunch Hour’ in 1977, ‘The Brady Brides’ in 1981 and ‘The Bradys’ in 1990. It was also seen endlessly in reruns.

“It represents what people always wanted: a loving family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there’s always an audience for that,” Henderson said in 1999.

Premiering in 1969, it also was among the first shows to introduce to television the blended family. As its theme song reminded viewers each week, Henderson’s Carol was a single mother raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed’s Mike Brady, a single father who was raising three boys.

The eight of them became ‘The Brady Bunch,’ with a quirky housekeeper, played by Ann B. Davis, thrown into the mix.

Mourners flooded social media with memories of Henderson.

Both her Brady co-star Maureen McCormick and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ host Tom Bergeron posted their thoughts on Twitter. Her last public appearance was at the Monday, Nov. 21 ‘Dancing With The Stars’ taping where she was in the audience to support McCormick, who competed this season.

The blonde, ever-smiling Henderson was already a Broadway star when the show began, having originated the title role in the musical ‘Fanny.’ But after ‘The Brady Bunch,’ she would always be known to fans as Carol Brady.

“We had to have security guards with us. Fans were hanging on our doors. We couldn’t go out by ourselves. We were like the Beatles!” she said of the attention the show brought the cast.

Like the Beatles, there was even a Saturday morning cartoon version called ‘Brady Kids,’ although Henderson was not in that show.

She and Reed did return, however, for ‘The Brady Bunch Hour,’ ‘The Brady Brides’ and ‘The Bradys.’ So did most of the original cast.

She was also back again in 1995 when a new cast was assembled for ‘The Brady Bunch Movie,’ a playful spoof of the original show. This time she was Grandma Brady opposite Shelly Long’s Carol. Numerous memoirs also kept interest in the show alive, as cast members revealed they were more than just siblings off camera. Barry Williams, who played eldest son Greg Brady, would confess to having a crush on his TV stepmom. Henderson, in her own book, denied having any relationship with Williams, but did acknowledge a fling with former New York City mayor John Lindsay.

Henderson was a 19-year-old drama student in New York when she landed a one-line role in the play ‘Wish You Were Here.’

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were so impressed they made her the female lead in a 1952 road tour of ‘Oklahoma!’ When the show returned to Broadway for a revival in 1954, she continued in the role and won rave reviews.

“She is the real thing,’ wrote Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune.

To broaden her career, Henderson took acting, dancing, singing and guitar lessons, even studying French and Italian.

She went on to play Maria in a road production of ‘The Sound of Music,’ was Nellie Forbush in a revival of ‘South Pacific’ and was back on Broadway with Jose Ferrer in ‘The Girl Who Came to Supper’ in 1963.

She made her movie debut in 1970 in ‘Song of Norway,’ based on the 1944 operetta with music by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

Her career nearly came to an end in 1965 when she suddenly lost her hearing while appearing in ‘The King and I’ in Los Angeles, and was diagnosed with a condition linked to heredity.

“Corrective surgery in both ears restored my hearing,” she said in 2007.

As her TV career blossomed with ‘The Brady Bunch,’ Henderson also began to make frequent TV guest appearances. She was the first woman to host ‘The Tonight Show’ for the vacationing Johnny Carson.

For eight years she also commuted to Nashville to conduct a cooking and talk series, ‘Country Kitchen,’ on The Nashville Network. The show resulted in a book, ‘Florence Henderson’s Short Cut Cooking.’

After ‘The Brady Bunch’ ended its first run, Henderson alternated her appearances in revivals of the show with guest appearances on other programs, including ‘Hart to Hart,’ ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘The Love Boat.’

In later years she also made guest appearances on such shows as ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Ally McBeal’ and ‘The King of Queens.’

The Los Angeles Times reports that she also became a commercial spokeswoman and co-produced ‘Country Kitchen,’ a Nashville Network series.

Florence Agnes Henderson was born Feb. 14, 1934, in the small town of Dale in southern Indiana. She was the 10th child of a tobacco sharecropper of Irish descent.

In grade school, she joined the choir at a Catholic church in Rockport, Ind.

After high school she moved to New York, where she enrolled in a two-year program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her studies financed by a theatrical couple who had been impressed by her singing when they saw her perform in high school.

She dropped out of the program after one year, however, to take the role in ‘Wish You Were There.’

Henderson married theatre executive Ira Bernstein and the couple had four children before the union ended in divorce after 29 years. Her second husband, John Kappas, died in 2002.

Pressman said she is survived by her children; Barbara, Joseph, Robert and Lizzie, their respective spouses, and five grandchildren.

The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed to this report.

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