Stop the Danforth from going to the dogs
I am the Mike Tanner at whom George Kokolakis lobs so many angry questions in his letter (NOW, September 28-October 4).
First of all, George, you say that I and the hundreds of other Danforth-area residents who have signed my petition (we're a very large "handful") are dictating which businesses should be allowed to open and telling local landlords what to do. We are not. Rather, we're concerned that the street we love for its vibrancy and eclectic mix of independently run restaurants and stores will become yet another generic strip of fast-food-chain outlets and homogenous retail franchises.
Secondly, we recognize that landlords will rent to whomever they think are the best tenants, and we understand this point of view.
No, George, I'm not a retail property owner; but I am a local homeowner, and I'm sure you appreciate the ties between a residential community and the businesses springing up in its midst. Is it surprising that those who shop and eat should care about their choices?
Finally, George, I'd be happy to get together with you to talk things over sometime -- how about at the local independent establishment of your choice?
What's so bad about garden weeds anyway?
RE the article Pesticide City by Scott Anderson (NOW, September 28-October 4). Call me a hippy, but what the hell is wrong with a couple of weeds? Is anyone really that offended by the sight of a lawn speckled with dandelions?
I'm not sure when in our horticultural history we decided that it was necessary to have immaculate, unblemished grassy lawns, but isn't it time to rethink this ridiculous notion? It is beyond frustrating that with all the current evidence on the detrimental effects of pesticides, they are not banned outright. But while working toward this end, why not promote a new concept in landscaping?
Nature is wild and woolly, not a dull, generic green carpet. That's what Astroturf is for.
Cops care more about sex than public safety
Since the raid on the
Pussy Palace earlier this month, two men have been beaten up on Maitland Street. Can someone tell me why citizens of Toronto are getting beaten up in the gay ghetto on a weekly basis?
I'll tell you why. The police, as NOW reports (NOW, September 28-October 4), are more concerned with going after Kyle Rae (someone in City Hall who actually seems to be doing his job) and naked men and women rather than patrolling those areas of Toronto that are known to be dangerous at night.
No one, regardless of orientation, should walk with fear through our streets at night. I, for one, have had it.
If the police cannot and will not do their job, then would they please, as John Cleese so eloquently stated in A Fish Called Wanda, fuck off. We'll do it ourselves.
Here is the issue. The police, and in particular Dave Wilson, must be oblivious to the motto printed on the side of their cruisers.
The only thing they are serving and protecting is their own fears, supported by extremely outdated laws based on moral codes that have absolutely no relevance to the realities of modern-day Toronto. Or maybe it's just that they're more interested in cheap thrills than actually protecting citizens from real harm.
In diverse Canada, not everyone thinks alike
Phillip Ernest finds the beliefs of Bilal Abdullah a dangerous aberration (NOW, September 28-October 4). Bilal Abdullah (NOW, September 21-27) thinks homosexuality is an aberration to be corrected.
Ernest is going to have to get used to cultural differences. Culture is more than just using different spices in your cooking. It involves deeper beliefs, not all of them consciously held. With more than 200,000 immigrants coming into Canada per year, the total numbers become significant. Immigrants will increasingly have an effect on elections. They will naturally act as trained by their culture. Canada is changing. Ernest may not like the changes, but that's the price of high immigration.
The Trudeau who backed war machine
The death of Trudeau allows us another opportunity to engage in feel-good mythologizing about the "greatness" of Canada.
While many remember Pierre Trudeau as some kind of peacenik, I have yet to see any reference to or comments from victims of Trudeau policies, such as Iraqis or Yugoslavs whose lives have been ruined by the explosions of cruise missiles in their neighbourhoods.
Trudeau not only funded cruise missile construction in Canada (a massive federal grant that went to Litton Industries), he also signed an agreement for cruise testing over Canadian airspace.
These very missiles were used against the people of Baghdad and Belgrade.
Under Trudeau's "peaceable" administrations, arms exports continued unabated to the U.S. during the wars against Vietnam and Central America, as did uranium exports for the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Perhaps we have forgotten how "welcome" Trudeau tried to make Ronald Reagan feel when Pierre dissed anti-war protestors during one of their Ottawa meetings.
All about Weetzie Bat and the followers
In the book review for I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block (NOW, September 28-October 4), the writer is incorrect in stating that IWATF is Block's first book since Weetzie Bat. WB has four sequels, collected in the book Dangerous Angels. She has also written more novels and collections of short stories, including Violet And Claire and Girl Goddess #9, since WB in 1991.