School trustee's Scrabble addiction exposed. Yonge and Eglinton parents think the construction of a 33-storey residence comes with health and safety risks for the school next door. Gerri Gershon has suffered plenty of these meetings in her three decades as a school board trustee, so what’s the harm of a little smartphone Scrabble? Problem is, Gershon was caught by the dad leading the charge. “There was a lot of tension in the room, there was a lot of screaming out,” Gershon told Newstalk 1010, “and I find that if I focus on Scrabble for a little bit it helps centre me.”

Bathurst and Bloor is getting an actual strategy. The demolition of Honest Ed’s should drive change at the intersection's other three corners—that is, if recommended changes to the city’s official plan go through. Nonetheless, despite a year of outreach efforts, some Annex neighbours are still concerned about what one calls “horrendous, horrendous density.” Honest Ed’s, which closes on New Year’s Eve, will get a coda in the form of a community festival in February.

Ford Nation book push begins at Yorkdale. Doug Ford is eschewing the new Indigo store at his Etobicoke homeland's Sherway Gardens in favour of a signing appearance in North York next Tuesday. Whatever name-calling can be found between the covers will surely get plenty of attention, as will any factual errors. But a peek at the first pages reveals prose that’s tamer than the typical election brochure. The simplicity of the tome is reflected in the first 12 chapter titles:

Globe and Mail publisher joins the anti-CBC crusade. Phillip Crawley turned up at a Canadian Heritage committee hearing to ask for an “even playing field.” (Also, he acknowledged that email newsletters “are a very popular, addictive form of content.”) Not to be left out, the National Post’s Tristin Hopper wondered: “Maybe CBC could use its resources to do something other than steal other people’s ideas?

“Doogie Howser, MPP” lives in a filter bubble. Sam Oosterhoff, the Ontario PC candidate in tomorrow’s Niagara West-Glanbrook by-election, finally got around to an AM radio interview, in which he expressed surprise at the intensity of the media interest in his campaign. Rest assured, though: Ooosterhoff has not gone Hollywood. He's turning on that teenage charm at retirement homes. Meanwhile, attempts to criticize his home-schooled theology aren't sticking—even when raised by fellow Tories:

Chachi has earned the last word on Canada. After a week, it's time for a moratorium on news stories about how we're becoming more like the U.S.A. Even those who fight prejudice for a living are starting to roll their eyes at the contrived media tactics. Let's just leave it to Scott Baio to express sarcastic sympathy for celebrities who threatened to move if his candidate, Donald Trump, won the election.

Labatt suffers backlash for turning off the retiree tap. The union representing brewery employees has filed a grievance over the impending withdrawal of their favourite retirement perk: a lifetime of free beer. The beer-for-life rewards vary by region—as explained by the New York Timesfrom eight two-fours a year in London to a weekly 12-pack in Edmonton.

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