Budget head games
don wanagas is quite correct
to chide CAO Shirley Hoy for the lack of transparency in her budget when it comes to the city's unionized workers (Recipe For Fiscal Disaster , NOW, January 10-16).
The city is indeed "out to create a climate of labour strife that will either force a strike or allow "management' to lock out its employees."
To force city employees to carry the burden that has resulted from amalgamation and provincial downloading is as cowardly as chopping support programs., Toronto's programs and services define this city as a caring community. Cutting them is reprehensible. So is telling workers that they don't deserve to be fairly compensated for the valuable work they do.
Emergency Measures Committee CUPE Local 79, Toronto
Curious take on peace
re angels who kick ass (now, january 10-16).
According to Amy Gottlieb of the so-called Jewish Women Against the Occupation, "The only way Israel can survive is if it makes peace with Palestinians."
Curious that she makes no mention of Palestinians' need to make peace with Israel. I look forward to the day when I see the formation of Palestinian Women Against Violence Toward Israeli Civilians.
Bernie M. Farber
Executive Director Canadian Jewish Congress
Slagging Jeff Healey
eli shupak presents jeff healey as "one of Canada's most accomplished musicians despite the fact that he lost his sight to a form of cancer called retinoblastoma at age one" (NOW, January 10-16).
He then questions the manner in which Healey manages his nightclub. Are blind people who go to nightclubs really looking for Braille menus?
Douglas Helliker, Toronto
Piece of history
thank you for axeman cometh NOW, January 10-16). I spend about half the year at my cottage, which is a short distance from the Diamond Lake portage and the proposed logging area. I was born in Temagami.
What people need to understand is that this issue transcends the usual tree-hugging arguments.
The Diamond Lake portage and canoe routes are part of Canadian heritage. This portage is a main entry/exit point for numerous canoe routes in the region. Indians have been using the portage since the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes settled in the area approximately 6,000-8,000 years ago.
The north arm of Diamond Lake has a well-known historical site with Indian drawings that probably date back thousands of years. Frequent wars between the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes and the presence of large quantities of flint suitable for making arrowheads also made this an important strategic location in tribal wars.
I remember going to the portage as a child before the Red Squirrel Road was constructed, searching for arrowheads and finding one. I still have it.
The remnants of an old log chute still exist at the portage. Grey Owl himself used the portage frequently. I wish there were more people who were aware of this important piece of Canadian history and sought to preserve it.
Keevil Bond, North Vancouver
george bush has choked on a pretzel while watching Sunday-afternoon football. Key questions arise from this potentially deadly incident.
Who made this pretzel?
Which government harbours the manufacturer?
And is there a strong possibility that such pretzels will continue to be produced and distributed in benign-looking packages that could carry a deadly punch (much like the U.S. food packages that were the same colour as the cluster bombs in Afghanistan)?
Given that the U.S. is scrambling to find more places to rain down its 15,000-pound fuel air explosives and cluster bombs, it might not be too far out of the question to assume that the evil producers of the potentially deadly strain of chokus pretzelus may be next in line.
Matthew Behrens, Toronto
Playing up the bad
s. macdonald of boston is no doubt unaware of how he has embarrassed his own country by sending you his vulgar, obnoxious and irrational letter (NOW, January 10-16).
I'm sure you were delighted to print it as your lead letter to exhibit America's worst qualities. It's all part of your subtle editorial policy.
David Palter, Toronto
s. macdonald of boston, your letter in the last issue was hilarious!
As a voice for your fellow citizens, you displayed all the arrogance and insensitivity that probably incited people to terrorize your country in the first place.
Your knee-jerk ranting could not possibly serve the American people in any positive way. Please, just get back to raping the planet and pretending everything is OK. Mammon beckons.
David Nelson, Toronto
Cut the crap, snow guy
i have read michael tomasek's letter (NOW, January 10-16) and feel I can't just let it pass.
As a cyclist who rides in all weather, I can assure Tomasek that while roads are cleared and salted during snowfalls, bike lanes are not. Snow is usually pushed into the bike lanes.
While this may seem a minor inconvenience to his crewmates and other drivers looking for parking, a greater danger is posed for cyclists.
So cut the crap, snow guy, and just clean the goddamn street.
Ray Breuker, Toronto
canada's nuke tie to taliban (NOW, December 20-26, 2001) highlights what industry insiders have known for decades -- that emerging nuclear powers feed their nuclear programs with Canadian-supplied "civilian" nuclear technology.
Perhaps the most repugnant aspect of this story is how we taxpayers bankroll this dangerous threat. The federal government directs $160 million a year to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in extra subsidies to the domestic industry, Canada tries to entice countries to buy our reactors with huge subsidized loans, such as the $1.5- billion loan to China in 1996.
What's the return on this so-called investment? Other than the China sale (which the feds are still in court with the Sierra Club over because of their failure to conduct a proper environmental assessment), AECL has been unable to sell a reactor anywhere for a decade.
It appears nobody other than nuclear powers like Pakistan wants to assume the risks of CANDU technology, and nobody should. It's time to get nuclear off the dole and phase out this dangerous industry.
Arciris garay, Ottawa
what is up with now's constant Mumia-bashing (NOW, January 3-9)?
On the U.S. government's latest attempt to make this case disappear, Geov Parrish writes that radical activists "got one of their most gratifying victories in a very long time."
After speaking for us, he distances himself by calling us all "fruitcakes" and "misfits." Parrish himself even admits that Abu-Jamal's trial was flawed and unfair.
Mumia's supporters do not expect justice from the "just us" system. But we will fight for it ourselves, just as he has been doing for over 30 years.
Bernie Munich, Toronto
Fashion faux pas
what's with my style? it used to show people who wore local designers and funky thrift-store finds, or those who made their own outfits or bought from independent retailers.
Lately, it's been pointless, unless the point has been to provide my friends and me with a good laugh.
Two weeks ago we chuckled at the photo of a pregnant woman squishing herself into a $600 dress, but last week's cookie-cutter 20-something hipster (NOW, January 3-9) absolutely slayed us.
First, he sets himself up as a style elitist by saying he doesn't want to blend in or look like everyone else, and then he rattles off the three most heavily branded names in global corporate fashion: Nike, Calvin Klein and Diesel! Is the "my" in My Style supposed to be ironic?
Bill Clarke, Toronto
Too much cock in our rock?
re sarah liss's review all shock, No Rock (NOW, January 10-16).
I liked your contradictory descriptions -- the way you damned us for being too "cock rock" immediately after gushing over Cheerleadër's toned-down version of the same.
By the way, are you in favour of oral sex with minors? That's statutory rape, isn't it?
But don't sweat it, you've probably just made Cheerleadër your new best friends. I wouldn't expect any flowers from Loaded Gun, though. Hey, they're kids, they'll figure it out. Anyway, good luck in journalism school.
P.S. Was it the size of our guitars or the way we flashed them about that frightened you?
Troy Sinister, Toronto