Making a mockery of T.O.
re mel's secret plot (now, january 24-30). Mayor Mel Lastman's shifty, Capone-style manoeuvring behind the scenes reaffirms the unfortunate fact that Toronto politics leans predictably toward opportunism.
It seems all too clear that the public will continue to tolerate his embarrassing soap-opera antics, and the press, along with the international community, will continue to have their cash cow, thanks to indefatigable public indifference.
Lastman will continue making a mockery of Toronto city politics, and, what's worse, we'll have to go on commiserating over this malcontent and his incompetent troupe of greedy circus performers.
Justin Cullen, Toronto
as far as toronto's water quality is concerned (NOW, January 24-30), you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
Reduce the chemicals added and bacteria and micro-organisms are likely to pass through the sieve. Increase the chemicals and they themselves become a health hazard. It's a no-win situation.
Nothing is stopping us, though, from (implementing) aggressive measures to prevent water bodies from becoming cesspools. Let not the politicians wage their Common Sense Revolution on water quality. Water is life.
Mohan Rao, Toronto
Skeptical about doctors
i was surprised and disappointed to see an article in NOW (NOW, January 24-30) admonishing pregnant women about the necessity of regular visits to the doctor, when midwives have been registered health professionals in Ontario since 1994.
Midwives provide primary care to low-risk women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth, and care for both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth. They are fully covered by OHIP!
I'm currently pregnant with my second child and have yet to see a doctor (or visit a hospital, for that matter). Midwives allow those of us who are skeptical about mainstream medicine to make a different choice.
Nicola Lyle, Toronto
Pentagon may not have lied
despite enzo di matteo's complaints of U.S. media censorship (NOW, January 24-30), I personally do not care if we get to see the photographs of manacled and hooded al Qaeda terrorists.
Imagine that it was up to you to arrange air transport for a large group of members of an organization with a proven record of taking over airplanes and crashing them.
What precautions would you wish to take? It is a notable accomplishment that all these people made it to Cuba alive.
I recently heard a Red Cross spokesperson on CBC Radio say that the Red Cross does consider the publication of such photographs injurious to the prisoners' dignity. So the Pentagon may not have lied about that after all.
But even if their real motive was to prevent those photos from being used to inflame anti-American sentiment among countries whose cooperation is essential for the war on terrorism, that is an acceptable motive.
Di Matteo's concluding remark that by 2010 the Pentagon won't even tell us who we're at war with is silly.
Maybe by 2010 the U.S. will officially be at war with NOW.
The war may begin with a wave of anonymous New York City policemen coming to rip the hearts out of your more annoying letter-writers.
You have already been warned.
David Palter, Toronto
Someone likes us
now magazine is one of the few publications that has had the guts to raise a few questions about the "officially approved version" of the WTC attacks.
For those who continue to slag the paper, I would say that it's been a refreshing contrast to the cat-litter-box variety of coverage offered by the Sun, Star, Globe and Post, as well TV and radio, all of which continue to sound like parrots for the U.S.'s government's "war on terrorism."
Oleg Chmelev, Toronto
the un single convention on Narcotic Drugs is not a roadblock to medical marijuana (NOW, January 24-30). Clearly, physicians are now prescribing substances banned by the single convention: morphine, heroin, dilaudid and many other substances.
Codeine is a controlled substance under the single convention and is available without a prescription at any pharmacy in BC.
The only roadblock to prescribing marijuana is the government's insistence that it is not medicine, even though recent court decisions have affirmed that it is medicine and insisted that the feds make it available.
Also, there is a provision in the single convention that allows regulation of any drug, in the fashion of alcohol, if prohibition of such a substance is unconstitutional, which is exactly the case with medical marijuana.
Since the war on drugs is a failure and half of Canadians no longer want pot laws, we should withdraw from the convention in the same fashion that the U.S. has withdrawn from the ABM and Kyoto treaties.
Chuck Beyer, Victoria
Botox shot for Snow White
leah rumack's light-hearted and heartfelt trashing of the recent Anti-Aging Show (NOW, January 17-23) did more to rejuvenate me than any hurtful botox shot would. Just think, if Snow White's stepmother had had a more accommodating mirror, maybe she wouldn't have had to run away and live in the forest with all those funny little guys.
Geoff Rytell Toronto
Paris rents cheaper
i read the article no place like Home (NOW, January 17-23) and just wanted to tell you about my "renting experience."
I sublet my two-bedroom apartment at Dundas and University for six months and moved to Paris. In Paris I paid $1,200 for a beautiful, brand new one-bedroom. I realized it's cheaper to live in the world's most beautiful city than in Toronto.
Upon my return to Toronto, my landlord informed me that my unit had been sold. I'm now paying $270 more a month for a smaller space. It's extremely difficult to find a one-bedroom for $1,000.
The city statisticians who provided your figures should do another review of downtown city living. They must be fudging their numbers
Lee Saunders, Toronto
Sundance slag ill-informed
re redford's uncool sundance (NOW, January 24-30).
I always understood that Redford named his film festival after the acting role that gave him his big break in the movie business.
The character Redford played in that film (Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid) was based on a real-life cowboy-outlaw who was the one who actually chose the name. Perhaps, being an outlaw and all, Harry Longabaugh chose the name "Sundance Kid" to deliberate thumb his nose at the U.S. federal authorities for their banning of the Plains Indians' ritual. More likely, he took the name from Sundance, Wyoming, where he was first incarcerated.
The point is, neither Redford nor Hollywood is responsible for the name, and the censorious mindset of the politically correct is yet again revealed as both ill-informed and sanctimonious.
And that is really uncool. But then again, I could be wrong.
Michael McConkey, Toronto
A bilious, lazy hack
tim perlich's mean-spirited attack on Kathleen Edwards (NOW, January 17-23) said much more about the reviewer than about the performer.
I suppose Perlich means to convey an air of connoisseurship in his writing, but in fact his reviews reek of disaffected consumerism.
Songs of just about any musical genre "sound the same" if you don't know what you're listening for.
Whatever Richard Buckner's peculiarities, he is a serious artist with high musical standards.
If he were to limit himself to reviewing only the shows he's interested in, perhaps Perlich could be the reviewer he wants to be, rather than the bilious, lazy hack of recent months.
J.M. Smith, Toronto
Too much Canuck content
i enjoy michael hollett's reviews. His judgments are incisive and generally reliable. He should be praised for his support of Canadian music. We make some great stuff up here and deserve more attention.
But where's his critical objectivity?
Out of the thousands of records released in the world in 2001, five of the 10 best were from Canada (NOW, December 27-January 2)? Really? Is that even remotely plausible as a critical assessment?
I say, either create a separate list for the best Canadian releases of the year (with the risk that this ends up ghetto-izing Canadian art) or judge Canadian music against the same standards you apply to the music of other countries.
Todd Sherman, Toronto
John Paul Jones a rarity
it's sad that out-of-touch critic Marco Ursi was assigned to cover the John Paul Jones concert (NOW, December 13-19).
Jones treated us to an exhibition of talent rarely seen from a live performer. A new instrument was required for almost every number. Ursi should have been at a disco or dance club.
Warren Brubacher, Toronto
thanks to now for recognizing the Tecumseh Collective's exhibition at Fort York last summer as one of the year's 10 best (NOW, December 27-January 2).
The eight artists involved do have names, though, just like the other (non-First Nations?) artists mentioned. They are Hannah Claus, Carolyn Cote, Philip Cote, Bonnie Devine, Oscar Flores, David Hannan, Richard Hill and Raffael Iglesias.
Bonnie Devine, Toronto