Attack on Libs aids Tories
NOW has always been way off base in its ongoing, propagandist attack on Dalton McGuinty and all things Liberal. This week, the woman who is presiding over the destruction of public education, Janet Ecker, quoted Enzo Di Matteo's insidious article (NOW, May 24-30) to defend her government's ill-conceived private education tax vouchers. Congratulations, Enzo! Just wondering if the Ontario PCs have sent Di Matteo his honorary Tory membership yet.
Attacking the Liberals achieves only one thing -- a third majority term for the Tories. Progressive people out there should be very concerned about the kind of agenda NOW is pushing. Certainly not the resuscitation of the dormant NDP. Give it up.
E. Churley Toronto
Reform Jews back policy
As executive director of the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism, I was dismayed when I read Scott Anderson's article Jews Split On Funding (NOW, May 24-30). The position of the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism on fair funding was misrepresented.
The Canadian Reform movement strongly supports the issue of fair funding for independent religious schools. We speak with one voice as constituents of the Canadian Jewish Congress when Ed Morgan (chair of Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario region) says, "The decision of the Ontario government to provide 50-per-cent-rebatable tax credits for independent schools is warmly welcomed in the Jewish community."
While I understand that some individuals within the Reform movement might not be in agreement with our policy, the Canadian Council for Reform Judaism's official policy is very clear: we are in full support of equity and parity in public funding of public schools and independent religious schools. We applaud the Harris government's first steps toward making this a reality.
Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel
Canadian Council for Reform Judaism
Graffiti artists not criminal
My son is a graffiti artist. i am the first to admit that graffiti (NOW, May 24-30) is a very complicated phenomenon. Treating graffiti artists as criminals (even though they gain permission from owners and landlords to practise their art on buildings), is a disingenuous marketing strategy of police messaging. It engages in tactics that distort by characterizing graffiti artists as gang-related.
Most of the graffiti artists I have met hail from white, middle-class families -- some even attended private schools -- and are highly intelligent, with a post-secondary education.
I have learned much from my son and his friends about their need for individuality and life force. I see a city so barren of natural beauty that graffiti art reminds me in startling ways of my own need for acts of beauty that give colour and form to an otherwise neat and clean superficiality.
Frances Roberts Toronto
Outside art brightens ride every morning, i have to battle
for a spot on an overcrowded subway filled with drab, emotionless people. And every evening, I face this dark and depressing subway with its horrid artificial light and lack of oxygen that chokes the life out of daily commuters.
But for fleeting moments between Keele and Dundas West stations, I am exposed to the outside and the beautifully coloured works of graffiti artists.
Sometimes the sunshine makes the colours so vibrant, it's almost too beautiful.
And for those fleeting moments, I can't help but stare and smile.
Keep fighting the Fantino crackdown on graffiti artists.
Stephanie Sawitz, Toronto
Wall murals and vandalism
your editors seem to have a problem distinguishing between wall murals and vandalism. I am all for the police crackdown on graffiti vandals, who do nothing but aid the deterioration of a neighbourhood.
How would your writers and editors like it if their homes were targeted by these paint-spraying belligerents?
George Goldberg Toronto
Blame your article hey, it's just business by Enzo Di Matteo (NOW, May 17-23) asserts that multinational companies are responsible for "toxic spills, mass deforestation and the displacement of peasant farmers." Toxic spills are caused by narco-traffickers, who have thrown more than 900,000 tons of pesticides and herbicides into Colombian rivers and the soil in order to grow coca and poppy.
Oil companies invest responsibly in Colombia. Our environmental legislation is as strong as the Canadian legislation, and enforced as well. The continuous attacks of the guerrillas on the pipelines make it unavoidable for pipeline companies to look for protection from the armed forces and police.
If a Canadian company's pipeline here were attacked 97 times in 2000 (twice a week), 80 times in the first five months of 2001 and 10 times in a single day in February (as has happened with one pipeline in Colombia), I am sure that company would be looking to the RCMP or other lawfully constituted security forces for protection.
At least the author is aware of the terrible destruction of Machuca, where 84, not 56, poor people died in flames caused by guerrillas blowing up the Ocensa pipeline.
And why are the guerrillas attacking the pipelines? Because companies like Ocensa and Occidental and others do not yield to their blackmail. Or would the author prefer Enbridge to pay millions of dollars to the guerrillas, or to the illegal self-defence groups?
The assertion that half of Colombia's armed forces are dedicated to guarding the oil infrastructure is just ludicrous. If it were so, the guerrillas would not have been so successful in their irrational destruction.
My only recommendation is that you send the author to Colombia and let him learn for himself. Or maybe he is afraid of going to Colombia. Not like Enbridge, which has a long-term commitment to the people of Colombia, for which we are grateful.
Fanny Kertzman Ambassador Embassy of Colombia, Ottawa
Exhibit was Maltby's dream
My friend david barker maltby died tragically (NOW, May 24-30). He was a young man still in his 30s. Throngs of people attended the funeral service, yet in life David had reached out to me in loneliness several times.
The local press offered full-page pictorial eulogies, proudly stating their involvement with this talented photographer's career. In life, however, social assistance was part of David's mainstay, and this was not due to resource mismanagement. He lived the most spartan of lifestyles not out of idealism, but because that's the best he could do on the pittance he was paid for his photos, which happens to be the going rate.
The display and dispersion of David's photographs through media and now a solo exhibit of his work are the realization of his lifetime dream -- only he had to die to achieve it and he isn't among us to enjoy it.
Only our presence and support we offer a person in life validate the sincerity of a eulogy.
Bailey Bedard Toronto
Mocking non-anglo name
I was browsing your web site looking for reviews when I came upon the following passage in Critic's Picks:
"Matjash Mrozewski (hey, just call him Matt) is quickly becoming one of the hottest choreographers in town..."
The author reduces the choreographer's name as if Matjash were too hard for him to say. Or too hard for the reader to sound out. In this day, we should have gone beyond making fun of non-anglo names. I was disappointed to read what seems like cheesy cultural slap-on-the-back-at-the-office-party-barbeque humour in NOW. I could pronounce it just fine.
Winsome Brown, Toronto
Loathsome REM review
I thought now would have put their best writer onto a kick-ass review of REM's well-anticipated free concert, their only appearance in North America this year. But alas, the article that we read on page 47 (NOW, May 24-30) was a misrepresentation of what every other columnist, fan and lunchtime viewer witnessed.
Matt Galloway's loathsome attempt to review REM was unintelligible and a piece of tripe. I began to think that this Galloway didn't even attend after his comment about how the band made a "mid-tempo after mid-tempo, dreary and charitable attempt."
In the end, who was this surprise free concert for? It was for us, Canada. It may have cost REM's label over $200,000 to set up, and they did it for free. And they did it here in T.O. If that didn't impress you, how about the 20,000 people crowding Yonge, and not one of them instigated a fight, negative energy or a rush of the stage. Pretty impressive for a free outdoor concert, wouldn't you say?
Chrystale Thompson Toronto