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Check out our event listings in the weekly calendar / 20 PHOTOS Lawn bowling club members celebrate opening day / 23

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Developer CELEBRATING VICTORIA DAY files OMB appeal after Humbertown plans refused CYNTHIA REASON creason@insidetoronto.com Less than 24 hours after westend councillors and Mayor Rob Ford banded together to unilaterally refuse a widely reviled redevelopment plan for Humbertown plaza, the developer who proposed it went to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) last Wednesday to appeal the decision. While First Capital Realty’s decision to file an appeal to the independent provincial planning tribunal was widely expected, its timing came as a surprise.

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LONG MEETING Tuesday night’s refusal of the application by Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC) – after nearly five hours of deputations – marked only the precursor to next month’s final debate and ultimate decision on the matter at Toronto City Council next month. Jodi Shpigel, First Capital Realty’s vice president of development, said the decision to appeal immediately was a preemptive one. >>>RESIDENTS, page 22

Staff photo/IAN KELSO

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY: Victoria Day was celebrated across Toronto, including at Montgomerys Inn in Etobicoke. Jean Sinclair, under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria, served tea, jam cake and crown-shaped shortbread to visitors at the inn Monday afternoon.

Sweatshirt could be key to year-old homicide case ANDREW PALAMARCHUK apalamarchuk@insidetoronto.com Police believe a sweatshirt may be the key to solving the yearold shooting murder of 27-year-

old Delano Coombs. The STG Entertainment sweater, which police say was worn by a gunman, was recovered in the days following the May 10, 2012 homicide.

A DNA profile was obtained from the clothing. Det. Tam Bui said Coombs was lured to 4020 Dundas St. W., the townhouse complex where he grew up.

“Delano was ambushed while in his vehicle, and then shot to death,” he told reporters during a Friday afternoon news conference at police headquar>>>VICTIM, page 18

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Principal praised for leadership at wellness academy Inclusive style supports all students at school: trustee CYNTHIA REASON creason@insidetoronto.com

“M

r. Currie is my role model. He always shows character – he is respectful and fair.” “John’s leadership makes our school effective through his dedication to student success, engagement and equity.” “(He) makes it his business to know and understand each child. My son with autism now enjoys school and shows no signs of frustration of anxiety like he did before.” Those are just a few of the glowing reviews submitted by James S. Bell Sports and Wellness Academy students, staff and supporters that garnered their principal, John Currie, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Excellence Award earlier this

month. “It was a total surprise, but I think at the end of the day it totally reaffirms all the stuff we’ve been doing around here,” Currie said. “I know it’s my name on the award, but we’ve got such a great group of students and staff and parents that contributed to everything we were able to pull off in this first year as (a Sports and Wellness) academy.” The annual TDSB Excellence Awards, of which 10 were handed out this year, recognize “outstanding” staff that support and contribute to achieving the TDSB’s five strategic directions: to make every school an effective school; to build leadership within a culture of adaptability, openness, and resilience; to form strong and effective relationships and partnerships; to build environmentally sustainable

Courtesy photo

From left to right: Etobicoke-Lakeshore Trustee Pamela Gough, James. S. Bell Principal John Currie and Debbie Wagdin, Gough's assistant.

schools that inspire teaching and learning; and to identify disadvantage and intervene effectively. Etobicoke-Lakeshore Trustee Pamela Gough said Currie’s accomplishments over the last year in transforming James S. Bell into a Sports and Wellness Academy have checked each and every one of those boxes.

An impressive feat, she said, given that he was saddled with the task during a year marked by labour disruptions and limited extracurriculars. “I so admire his vision and his fortitude in carrying out that vision in such a difficult year. It was the worst year in a decade to have given him that assignment. But he ran with it,” Gough said.

“And the model that he used was so compassionate and so inclusive of children of many different types. Not all kids at James S. Bell are there because it’s a Sports and Wellness Academy – it’s very much a home school, too. The model John developed there is one that parents of all children really appreciate, because even the special needs kids seem to be thriving in it.” Currie said that despite the “unique” circumstances this year, his staff really pitched in as much as possible to make the school’s transition into a Sports and Wellness Academy that much smoother – and more fun for everyone. “There were times where our staff had to pull back and do what they needed to do, but they also were very quick to get things going when 95 per cent of the schools still weren’t doing a thing,” he said of the labour disruption that saw school extracurriculars come to a halt across the province. “I have nothing but

good things to say about the teachers here, because they did what we needed to do this year and they got things up and running...They were gold through all this.” From yoga classes for kids in JK and SK, to a nutritious lunch program run every day by parent volunteers, to tweeting with Cmdr. Chris Hadfield at the International Space Station, to breaking students up into houses Hogwarts-style, Currie’s approach to sports and wellness has been all about engagement, Gough said. “Schools these days impose the burden of sitting on children...children are naturally playful and active. They love to run and jump. And schools are sometimes all about ‘sit here and do this work at your desk’,” said Gough. “John Currie really understands that, so James S. Bell keeps active in so many ways...it’s fantastic.”

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Visit our website at www.etobicokeguardian.com to read the complete story.

22 Division detective honoured for work with at-risk youth CYNTHIA REASON creason@insidetoronto.com For 22 Division’s Det. Pat McGrade, being honoured as this year’s recipient of the ProAction Cops and Kids Jim Sneep Award was special for two reasons: one, because he used to work for the award’s late namesake, and two, the award recognizes a youth golf program he’s very proud of. While the award, which recognizes the “Toronto police officer who shows the most remarkable level of commitment to police-youth programming funded by ProAction”, is an individual one, McGrade said it’s a team effort that makes the Islington Community Golf Association the success it is.

“None of this could be done without the team of people we have. We all work together to make the program what it is,” he said, noting that he accepted his Jim Sneep Award at a ceremony Wednesday night on behalf of the entire Islington Community Golf Association team. “For me, it’s a recognition of our program as a whole.” Now in its fourth year, the golf program runs Tuesday evenings out of the Islington Junior Middle School gymnasium. For two hours every week, six officers from 22 Division, along with several members and a golf pro from Islington Golf Club, teach atrisk kids from the Mabelle community aged eight to 17 the fundamentals of the

Courtesy photo

From left to right: 22 Division Supt. Frank Bergen, Islington Golf Club's John Tyers, Det. Pat McGrade, Sue Huang, and 22 Division Insp. Gerry Cashman.

sport. “We provide them with guidance and help them out learning the rules of golf – with that comes the etiquette and the honesty

and integrity for the score keeping, working together,” McGrade said. “Even though golf is an individual sport, we try to promote a team environment there. When

somebody makes a good shot, we cheer that good shot, and when somebody doesn’t do well, we encourage them to keep trying. And that’s what we try to get the kids to do for each other, too.” At the end of each golf session, the participants are also treated to healthy snacks – usually sandwiches, chocolate milk and apple juice – of which there are seldom any leftovers. “One of the things that really struck me was just seeing these kids eat – it’s like it’s the only meal they’ve had that day. A lot of the time they ask if they can take some home to have snacks at school the next day. So you really see a true side of what some of these kids are having to

deal with – not having proper meals and food. Suffice it to say, we never have leftovers,” McGrade said. For McGrade, who took over the golf program two years ago, the opportunity to hit some balls with the kids each week offers him a unique opportunity to connect and form trusting relationships. “It’s a good feeling. We’re getting our message out and these kids are trusting us,” he said. “Now they want to talk to us and tell us how they’ve done in school. So instead of running away from police, they come towards us now.”

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| ETOBICOKE GUARDIAN | Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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ETOBICOKE GUARDIAN | Tuesday, May 21, 2013 |

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Victim was “extremely ill” at time of his murder: police >>>from page 1 ters. “We know that multiple offenders were involved and that multiple different firearms were used. This was a dangerous daytime shooting on a sunny Friday afternoon at the end of the school day.” The suspect who wore the sweater is black, about 20 years old, 5’10” tall with a slim build. He had braided hair at the time. STG Entertainment is a Toronto-based urban music production and promotion company. “We do not know the offender’s relationship to the company,” Bui said. “However, there’s nothing to suggest that that production company had anything to do with this murder.” Bui, of the homicide squad, said Coombs was “extremely” ill at the time of his murder. “He was with his family the week leading up

• • • •

WALK, RUN, BIKE

Staff photo/ANDREW PALAMARCHUK

Tricia Rodney, sister of homicide victim Delano Coombs, speaks at Toronto Police headquarters Friday afternoon during a press conference announcing newly uncovered evidence in the investigation into Coombs' murder.

to his murder, and he was with his family the day of the murder.” Coombs’ sister Tricia Rodney said his brother was very much loved. “For whoever did this to him: if they could turn themselves in. Our family, we’re

getting by daily, but it’s very hard. I still can’t believe my brother is dead,” she said. The detective wouldn’t disclose a possible motive in the case.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.

Staff photo/IAN KELSO

ACTIVE FUNDRAISER: Westmount Junior School students in Etobicoke walked, ran and biked for cancer with staff and volunteers this past week. They hope to raise more than $1,000 with bake and art sales, along with donations.

Come ‘like’ our Facebook page for local stories and photos from your neighbourhood at facebook.com/EtobicokeGuardian

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The New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club entered its 110th season this long weekend with an open house event welcoming new members.

NEW SEASON: Counter clockwise from top right, Judi Weir pushes bowls at The New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club’s 2013 Open House on Saturday; The club, which opened 110 years ago, is located on the edge of Lake Ontario at 10th Street. It’s open for new members with open bowling Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.; New member Gloria Nicoll is learning how to bowl from Nan Beelby (left); Vicepresident Richard Thompson takes part in the New Toronto Lawn Bowling Club open house event; For more information or to join, call 416-2556139. Staff photos/IAN KELSO

| ETOBICOKE GUARDIAN | Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Opening Day

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May 21 North  

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