Betty Disero unplugged
on Tuesday (May 22), I instructed my lawyer, Julian Porter, to fax David Miller and NOW magazine an intent to sue. It requested an apology for statements made by Miller about my decisions on city council.
When I read the Don Wanagas column (NOW, May 23-29), I was shocked. Councillor Miller's statements were unfair and hurtful. I have worked hard in all the appointments I have been given. Over the last 16 and a half years I have worked well with all Toronto's mayors, regardless of their political background.
Miller chose to make his response to my lawsuit in the mainstream media, instead of NOW, where his original comments were made.
I believe that collectively and individually, council deserves better than that. I believe time will also show that the newly appointed standing committee chairs, advocates and other appointees will prove to be good choices.
I have instructed my lawyer not to proceed with the legal action, because it is the taxpayer who would carry the financial burden.
Council must continue to work together on important issues, because we are all democratically elected. If council doesn't, it is the people of the city who will carry the burden.
City councillor, Ward 14, Toronto
A little adhesive, please?
i was walking to work on thursday and took notice of all the Hoegaarden "patio guides" (aka your directory of bars and restaurants in which people pay to be listed) scattered and blowing around the streets.
I grabbed my issue of NOW and there it was. Before throwing it in the recycling bin, I read it. What a piece of crap!
It listed so few establishments, I wondered if it was meant for Newmarket.
Did NOW take the time to examine the insert, see if it would fall out when someone grabbed a copy out of the box, and consider a way to avoid the obvious mess? A little adhesive, perhaps?
Come on, NOW, stick to your socially and environmentally responsible roots next time some corporation drives a dump truck full of cash to your offices. This was too much.
Aron Harris, Toronto
For those who question pot
i am compelled to write after reading the article How Pot Saved My Life, by Alison Myrden (NOW, May 30-June 5).
"It's only because of medical marijuana that I now have a life," she states. Wow. That is quite a testimonial. Thank god that through all the trials of seeking medical care she found something as innocent as marijuana to help so significantly.
People may say, "Oh, smoking marijuana is bad for your lungs." Tell that to Alison. I don't think she cares.
Donna M. Paridee
New Baltimore, MI
i'm 32 years old and am suffering from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis.
I came close to death in 1994, and there was no medical doctor who could help me. In time, I tried cannabis and I think that's what saved me.
I would have done myself in if I hadn't started using cannabis cookies. It has to be the best body painkiller. There is no way I could get through the day without it.
The government doesn't seem to care that pot is not getting to the sick. What does this say about our government? They also allow our teeth to be filled with mercury. They're concerned if the levels are too high in fish, yet they can fill our mouths with it.
Corby-Ann Fehr, Toronto
The poison principle
your article greenwashing poison (NOW, May 30-June 5) is most timely, given that many municipalities, including Toronto, are considering a phase-out of lawn and garden pesticides.
The city already has programs in place to limit the use of non-essential pesticides on public property. Since 1998, staff have reduced their use of chemicals by more than 90 per cent.
The public is ready for a phase-out of cosmetic pesticides. Loblaws announced in March that its garden centres would be free of chemical pesticide products by 2003.
Everyone is talking about the "precautionary principle," but not the "environmental" front groups for the pesticide companies, about whom you report in your article.
Wherever they feel threatened, they hire PR hacks to spew about "freedom of choice." Their freedom of choice ends at our water source and our air and food supply.
Anne Hansen, Toronto
Pesticide quick fix
it looks like the pesticide industry is applying the full court press in Toronto. Quebec was bad enough for them, as different municipalities have passed bylaws, upheld by the Supreme Court. I'm not sure the law, as slow as it is, is the most effective way to deal with this.
What works better is building awareness of the potential hazards of these materials. A little pesticide goes a long way, especially when it's just a small garden.
Using poisons is a quick fix that ultimately gets the lawn or other plants addicted to its effects, and eliminates natural controls. But one can't blame these people for wanting to keep their jobs, which would be threatened if the citizenry woke up en masse to the folly of poisoning themselves and their neighbours.
Jeremy Wallace, Montreal
How can a road kill peace?
i am outraged by the misleading article by Scott Anderson (NOW, May 30-June 5). He suggests that the cross-Israel road is another Sharon conspiracy tool to gain access (and more control) over the West Bank.
If Mr. Anderson ever visited Israel, he would clearly observe the traffic congestion and need for further highways. The highway plans, in fact, go back 15 years or so, well before Sharon came to power.
Gali Bar-Ziv, Toronto
for the past several months, now has shamelessly published articles vilifying Israel.
You made us suspect that distinguished columnist Christie Blatchford's boss at the National Post forced her to pay obeisance to Israel.
More recently (NOW, May 16-22), Jonathan Kuttab and Mubarak Awad were paraded as Palestinian "peace activists" in calling for the cessation of "military activities" against Israel.
Yet they did not mention at all the savagery of the Palestinian suicide bombers targeting Israeli civilians.
Jacob Mendlovic, Toronto
Abuse swept under the rug
re glenn wheeler's article on gay priests (NOW, May 16-22).
While I applaud Wheeler for finally addressing distorted and homophobic accounts that link homosexuality to pedophilia, Wheeler has not addressed the issue that must also come out from under the rug: the abuse of young boys.
We need to ask ourselves what kinds of messages these boys are receiving to have hid behind their horror for so long.
We also need to ask ourselves how many more young boys continue to live in silence, to be an invisible statistic in a problem we know not nearly enough about.
Jessica Weiser, Toronto
Money the almighty
i was disappointed to discover the goddess festival was cancelled at the Great Hall (NOW, May 16-22).
I have attended other earth-centred (equinox, solstice) celebrations in downtown church spaces, and they have been wonderful venues.
Connie Crompton's letter to the editor (May 30-June 5) referred to its being "unreasonable to expect the Great Hall to promote events that honour other gods."
What about bingo in church basements? Doesn't that promote the almighty money god?
Solund Hope, Toronto
re your article on whole foods. How can you have an organic showdown and not include Baldwin Naturals, one of the oldest natural foods stores in the city?
The store is well stocked with amazingly fresh produce at reasonable prices. As well, the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. And, no, they don't employ me!
Holly Farrell, Toronto
Moved by Dream Syndicate
while, sadly, i never saw the Dream Syndicate in their heyday, as Tim Perlich obviously did, I did see Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 in their last two stops at the Horseshoe and thought they were just brilliant!
In his review of the May 10 show, Perlich had nothing but praise for Wynn, yet insisted on comparing his current band to the Dream Syndicate of 20 years ago, which seemed irrelevant to me.
Wynn has put out lots of amazing solo material since that time. So if his current band doesn't move you, that's fine, but maybe the fact that you're 20 years older has something to do with it
Barbie Shore, Toronto
Canuck missed at Cannes
john harkness seems to have missed the Canadian winner at Cannes. Stone Of Folly, directed by Torontonian Jesse Rosensweet, won the Jury Prize in the short film category.
What's Graph Nobel done?
what's wrong with you guys?
First covers of ne'er-do-wells Woody Allen and Jennifer Lopez, and now Graph Nobel?!?
OK, I don't know much about Nobel, but I'm sure she's done something wrong.
David Eng, Toronto