Library board offers patrons staff-free extended hours

While she’s had a library card since she was a child, Marina Phillips-Anderson has never used the Todmorden library on the Pape Avenue. However, with a proposal to keep the library open additional hours coming this fall, that could change.

A pilot project for the Todmorden and Swansea Memorial libraries to extend their open hours will keep the libraries open as late as the community centre itself. The two branches have the lowest number of hours open to patrons, and although the proposal calls for extra hours of operation, librarians will not be present during those extended hours.

“I think it is a great idea,” Phillips-Anderson said. “Libraries are safe havens for people.”

Justin Van Dette talks to Tory and Wynne

Longtime local activist faces friendly fire at roast in his honour

Justin Van Dette is a staple of community activism in East York. He’s been a behind-the-scenes political operative for several local politicians. He’s the omnipresent community relations manager for the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation (formerly the Toronto East General foundation). He’s a tireless advocate for East York, most recently rallying residents for better TTC service at a December protest and then advocating for an East York “Hall of Fame” at the February meeting of the Kinsmen club. Columnist Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun affectionately refers to him as “The Shaker,” for the way he likes to rattle cages.

Film prompts discussion on plight of Syrian refugees

Tasneem Fared, clad in a white bridal dress, tells the story of a horrific night in Syria in the documentary The Bride’s Side. That night, she recalled, she danced away, using music to drown out the sound of exploding bombs, occasionally taking off an earplug to check whether her home had been shelled.