St John teacher charged with sex assault on 13 y.o.

Orlando Fusaro

Toronto Police have charged Orlando Fusaro, a teacher at St John the Evangelist elementary school in Weston, with sexual assault. The police allege that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl during 2011, while he was her teacher. The relationship continued into the summer, according to the papers.

Police believe there may be more victims.

Detective Rick Ramjattan of 31 Division told the National Post

“The mother noticed changes and asked the daughter. The daughter then told her mother what was going on, then the mother went to the police.”

The Post says that Fusaro is claiming the affair was “consensual”.

 

Thanks to anon for the tip.

UrbanArts owns Weston this weekend

UrbanArts is having a busy week. On Thursday, from 2–5 pm, they will be unveiling their newest mural; it’s at the corner of Weston and Lawrence. On Friday, they will be starting CultureShock, a two-day festival of art, dance and music.

The mural is part of an annual project that puts young people from the community to work to abate graffiti in Weston and Mt Dennis. They paint an average of two murals a year, and have done so since 1999. This year, they celebrate Weston as the “Home of the Bicycle”. A second piece will soon be installed in Mount Dennis.

On Friday and Saturday, UrbanArts will host the annual CultureShock Festival at Weston Collegiate.

Wes “Maestro” Williams (formerly Maestro Fresh Wes) will be headlining. Cabbie Richards, from TSN, and Canadian hip-hop pioneer Michie Mee will be MCing.

The festival starts Friday at 6, and resumes on Saturday at 1 pm.

Everyone is welcome at both events.

Tories Announce Provincial Election Candidate

The Provincial Progressive Conservatives have announced that Lan Daniel will be the York South-Weston candidate in the October 6 election. She is the wife of brand new Federal Tory MP for Don Valley East, Joe Daniel. According to Joe’s website, they run a graphics design business  in the Don Valley East riding.

Presumably Tory leader Tim Hudak couldn’t find a qualified Progressive Conservative living in York South-Weston to be the official candidate. It can only be hoped that Ms Daniel will get up to speed with the issues in this riding and will be able to explain why she is better qualified than a resident candidate. This, after all, was a major issue in Alan Tonks’ recent defeat.

Ms Daniel will be running against incumbent Liberal MPP Laura Albanese, and, for the NDP, former York South-Weston MPP, Paul Ferreira.

TAVIS successes

The Toronto Police TAVIS initiative, which is intended to reduce violent crime in Toronto and Weston, has netted a few crooks over the summer. In the somewhat-difficult-to-find newsletters, the police list six arrests clearly within Weston, most of them for fairly minor offenses. Other arrests were made, but it is not always possible to tell where.

Forthwith:

A male was observed near 2007 Lawrence Avenue West, near an industrial store area. The suspect was seated beside an open garage door smoking a marihuana joint. An investigation was commenced and the male discovered to be on two bails and was breaching conditions. The male, a 32-year old, was subsequently arrested and charged.

A 19-year old male was investigated for a Highway Traffic Act offence near 1901 Weston Road. While speaking with police, the suspect’s cell phone was in his pocket and was audible to the officers. It was found through investigation the suspect was on probation and one of his conditions was not to possess a cell phone. The suspect was placed under arrest.

A 16-year old male was investigated for trespassing on CN Rail property. Further investigation by police revealed the suspect was on probation with conditions not to posses any weapons defined by the criminal code. The suspect readily admitted he was in possession of a pocket knife. He was subsequently arrested and charged with failing to comply with the terms of his youth probation and carrying a prohibited weapon.

A male was observed by officers passed out near Weston Road and Wright Avenue. Investigation revealed that the 32-year old male was on house arrest and was subsequently placed under arrest. Further investigation revealed that he had just been involved in a violent domestic assault. The suspect threw his common-law wife into the bathtub where she struck her head and lost consciousness. When she regained consciousness he held a kitchen knife to her throat and threatened her life.

A 34-year old male was investigated by [TAVIS] officers in a laneway south of Queens Drive. During the course of their investigation, the suspect verbally identified himself by 4 different names, with varying dates of birth. As a result the suspect was placed under arrest for Obstruct Peace Officer. Once the his true identity was revealed, the officers discovered that he was on a recognizance for a Sexual Interference charge and was in violation of his curfew.

Officers observed a male selling goods from the trunk of his vehicle in the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue area. The officers investigated this male and found that he was in possession of suspected counterfeit clothing. This clothing included jeans, t-shirts, handbags, purses and accessories from several high end clothing manufacturers; Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry and Diesel to name a few. The suspected counterfeit clothing was seized from the male and brought to 12 Division for further investigation. An estimated retail value of all of the property seized: $80,000.

Bad news and worse news at St John school

There is bad news and worse news at St John the Evangelist Elementary School.

The bad news: St John is getting more portables, which will only add to the severe overcrowding problem on the grounds. In the fall, there will be 10 portables—the maximum possible, according to Dave Bennett, the Vice Chair of Parent Council. Staying positive, he says in an email newsletter that the new portables will reduce the number of classes held in the neighbouring church basement.

The worse news is that the overcrowding problem at St John will soon be solved, if Metrolinx gets its way. Dave Bennett says Metrolinx has asked the TCDSB to relocate 40% of the students—those in the portables—for three years, while the construction takes place starting in 2012.

The newsletter does not say where they could be moved to, but does say that building a new school while the construction is taking place would remove children from danger, keep the community together, and prepare the school for full-day kindergarten.

The administration at St John has been pressing for a new school built on the same grounds. Some progress has been made; according to the newsletter, the school is making its way up the funding list.

Mike Sullivan supports open libraries in letter to council

Mike Sullivan, the recently-elected MP for Weston, sent a letter to Mayor Ford and all members of city council urging them not to cut libraries and essential services in Weston. He told them that the libraries here are not “part of the ‘gravy’ you took aim at in the election campaign”.

The letter says that the libraries should not be considered for review as ‘non-essential’ services. Sullivan writes, “In fact, to many residents of this riding, wards 11 and 12, there is precious little gravy in the services they need from the city.”

Sullivan also argues against increasing user fees or fines, and says that “adding or raising user fees… is also unnecessarily punitive” for poor residents. User fees “penalize seniors, the poor, and marginalized residents. First because these person tend to use services such as community centres, pools and libraries more than more affluent residents, and second because the addition of such fees becomes, in effect, a tax on seniors and the poor.”

Mike Sullivan ended the letter by saying that he would do his part in the coming months to urge the government to provide more funding for infrastructure and transit.