Busing the disabled
eli shupak illustrates well the problems the disabled have in accessing public transit (NOW, December 6-12). Difficult operators are only part of the problem.
Other transit users can also pose obstacles. Low-floor buses accessible to disabled people are of little use if the other passengers are impatiently fuming for the few minutes it takes the operator to assist the disabled person to board.
I suggest that the TTC implement a rotation system whereby operators from the regular bus divisions would do six-month stints at Wheel-Trans in order to learn how to better serve the disabled.
Nothing will help the disabled overcome accessibility problems more than an accepting attitude from society at large.
John M. Thompson, Toronto
"Pinko rag" hypocrisy
it's funny how hypocritical Peter Scowen can be (NOW, November 29-December 5). He calls NOW a "miserable pinko rag," when in the not too distant past he presided over not one but both of Montreal's English-language alternative weeklies.
But hypocrisy is something that comes easily to the former Montrealer, who made Toronto-bashing an editorial policy before moving here to become the editor of the Toronto section of the National Post.
Rob Ferraz, Toronto
George would not approve
isn't it a pity, as george harrison might have lamented, that we can't even say goodbye to him graciously without using the opportunity to take more cheap shots at Paul McCartney, not to mention Ringo?
Susan G. Cole's memoriam is only one of several such examples (NOW, December 6-12).
Once upon a time, rock and roll was rude, irreverent, exciting, provocative and sexy, but mostly it was just fun.
Paul McCartney wrote, sang and played that music with as much passion, joy and talent as anyone has before or since.
But somewhere along the line, hipper-than-hip rock journalists have determined that "authentic" rock and roll had to be dark and sinister, and only those with tortured personalities were acceptable. McCartney's been getting kicked in the teeth for it ever since.
Rest in peace, Dark Horse.
Steve Paul Simms, Toronto
Ringo no dummy
re so long, brother. it's rather sad that Susan G. Cole bought into A Hard Day's Night's cartoon portrayals of the Fab Four. (John arty & troubled, Paul cute, Ringo dumb, etc).
The Beatles were a band in the true sense of the word. Four sides of a square, if you will. As for the statement that Macca "remains user-friendly and Ringo's dumb enough to play Casino Rama," well, please, Sue, keep your ignorance to yourself.
He played his ass off at that show, but you probably wouldn't know that, since you only frequent cool venues.
Kevin Skory, Toronto
Paul's hippy-dippy pop
i, like millions of others, have been bombarded by the latest reports of goings on since the bombings of the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
But have you heard the latest Paul McCartney abomination in support of the victims?
I'm sorry. I know he's a genius. We've all been told. But I do believe that, occasionally, silence is golden.
I don't doubt for a second that the song Freedom was written with the best intentions. However, instead of recording a substandard record, maybe he could have donated more of his own money (lord knows he has enough). Instead, the rest of us have to listen to his hippie-dippy pomp.
Clayton Hobson, Toronto
No end to Mideast hatred
sadly, ellie kirzner learns no lessons from history (NOW, December 6-12).
Allow me to paraphrase her article: "Peace will come to the Middle East only when the Jewish settlers retreat from the Occupied Territories."
Since Israel's inception, there has been one terrorist atrocity after another rained down on Israel's cities and settlements.
Does Kirzner honestly believe that a retreat from these lands will end the decades of ingrained hatred and war-mongering from a people whose mandate is to obliterate Israel? How naive can a nice Jewish girl get?
E.F. Balkan, Toronto
B'nai Brith's sullied name
b'nai brith has just been grant- ed $124,000 by the federal government for its actions against racism. You owe it to that organization to publicize this fact.
After all, you have the effrontery to print Ellie Kirzner's disgustingly distorted, biased and self-centred criticisms of B'nai Brith's good name.
Rudy Brunell, Toronto
Kinder, gentler lacrosse
in his article field of ironies (NOW, November 29-December 5), Drew Hayden Taylor makes some poignant and amusing observations about the modernization of our other national game, lacrosse.
Too bad NOW's editors chose to put the article in the Newsfront section, since Taylor's experience of lacrosse is far from the truth.
A phrase like "Kim Squire must wince every time he hears the national anthem" is supposition, based on the conflicted feelings of the author's girlfriend (always a reliable source for a news item). Maybe with his connection to the team, Taylor could have tried to ask Squire about his feelings.
Also, Taylor's assertion that lacrosse has been appropriated by non-natives is faulty. While it may be true that professional lacrosse is funded, played and enjoyed by many non-natives, the most prestigious prize in lacrosse is the Minto Cup, the Canadian amateur championship. Look at the team names and the rosters of previous winners of this title and native names are found in abundance.
I grew up near Brantford, where I was fortunate enough to watch the Warriors play many professional lacrosse games. I enjoyed the game with both whites and natives. And at least for three periods of "the fastest game on two feet," the barriers between us were dissolved.
Andy Smith, Toronto
Moose ad fast and loose
the loose moose ad that appears on page 5 of your magazine this week (NOW, December 6-12) is without a doubt the most offensive advertising I have seen in a long time.
Is there no limit or line for NOW that is too offensive, degrading, disgusting? I'm assuming there are men who would also find this offensive. Here's hoping I won't have to see this ad again.
Michele Bell, Toronto
CBC pulls plug on charity
bah, humbug to those at the cbc who decided to pull the plug on the United Way auction, which raises thousands of dollars for the needy.
Many artists, performers and volunteers offer their time for this event. Supposedly, it has only been postponed. Try telling that to the poor and afflicted who benefit from the funds raised.
The technicians in question should be ashamed of their union and should apologize to one and all. Tiny Tim awaits your call.
Name withheld by request
Member Nabet 700 CEP
Tenant group after cash
the city's housing forum was a farce (NOW, November 29-December 5). People from the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations were going through the crowd handing out "Save the hotline" buttons. They only seemed to care about us tenants demanding more money for their group, and not what they could do for tenants. The whole forum was a well-scripted show for public and media consumption.
Susan Forest, Toronto
Rental dustup gets curious
i found the article tenant clashes curious. Dan McIntyre of the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations says, "Fairer taxes for tenants... shouldn't come at the expense of higher taxes for homeowners or cuts to city services." Does he claim his group represents homeowners or tenants?
N. Kanagasabapathy, Toronto
maker of the segway two-wheeler, Dean Kamen, is quoted as saying, "It makes no sense at all for people in cities to use a 4,000-pound piece of metal."
He's right about the car. It never did make sense. But whether this $3,000 (U.S.) body- and briefcase-moving machine is the answer to our local transportation needs is another kettle of fish. The Segway, cute and gimmicky and Christmasy as it is, is just another way for us not to do something with our own two feet. We can only hope that long before we run out of global fuel we come to realize that getting to that convenience store four blocks away might be best accomplished walking.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Keepin' hiphop real
oddities (now, december 6-12) local nerd rappers? Since when has NOW been in any condition to call others nerds, when more often than not NOW has been leading the pack with more praise for independent MCs than Fritz the Cat in the Bay Area.
As usual, you missed the whole style and feel of a hiphop event.
But essentially, I'm writing to call you out on your claim that Dilated Peoples were upstaged. Not sure what era of hiphop you grew up in (shell toes or Gravis Knapsacks) or how deeply you understand the culture, but Dilated Peoples are possibly the best hiphop band out there.
Have you ever seen any band start a show with their hits and end it with B-sides and LP cuts? Nope. So why would you expect it from them?
Henri Brisard, Toronto