Miller's convenient no-show
I don't know about don wanagas's assessment that David Miller's being away on vacation at the time of voting on the Union Station proposal is an indication that city council's "asleep at the deal" (NOW, August 8-14).
Given the rumour that Miller will be running for mayor, with the support of some prominent Tory and Liberal deal-makers, I find his absence a little too convenient.
Could this have been the beginning of the moral compromises Miller will be making to appease his supporters and handlers?
Gangadai Persaud, Toronto
Thanks for the hilarious naked City column on penis size (NOW, August 8-14) by Robert Priest, an obvious Scot!
He forgot to mention another of the disadvantages of large penises: the fact that they frighten women but not horses!
S.K. Taylor, Toronto
Lilywhite gay scene
I'm wondering why Glenn Wheelerer had to go all the way to Paris to find ethnic segregation within a gay community (NOW, August 8-14).
He could have walked a bit further north of NOW's Church Street offices and dropped into one of Toronto's gay clubs.
I have a number of Asian, black and Indian friends who constantly bemoan their fetish, trophy or PC-status within Toronto's predominantly white gay community.
Last Friday at Slack Alice, for example, I was with an East Indian friend who was hit on by a white guy who told "Jay" that he "likes brown boys."
I know this guy was just voicing his appreciation of Indian men's beauty, but it was also patronizing.
The more I see how ineptly my non-white friends are approached and spoken to, the more I understand their disenchantment with Toronto's gay scene.
Bill Clarke, Toronto
Leave the tadpoles alone
Lesley Mcallister refers to her "annual spring rite of bullrush and tadpole collecting trips to the Island" -- presumably to dump same into her Parkdale backyard pond (NOW, August 8-14).
Why does she have to keep going back to the Island to procure those living specimens? Is it because every year they die in her funky backyard after being ripped from their sustaining Island habitat/home?
It's so easy to see how wrong the practice of collecting wildlife is when we hear on TV about airless crates of smuggled rare birds or exotic reptiles from abroad in airport customs quarantine.
Not so different than an orchid in the trunk of your car from a weekend camping or a tadpole in a jar going home on the Ward Island ferry or the High Park streetcar.
Bob Allisat, Toronto
In the name of progress
Does scraping bottom (now, auggust 1-7) ring a bell?
As a Peruvian native living in Canada, I find this article ironic. No matter how much they protest, and how democratic and civilized these farmers, they will most likely lose this battle.
No doubt both the Peruvian govern ment and the rich Canadian mining corporation will impose their right to "industrial progress" on the region.
If this mine is allowed to move forward and ends up polluting agricultural lands, many of these farmers will lose their jobs and homes, and worse, their health will deteriorate.
Perhaps some of them will emigrate to Canada, just as I did a few years ago. And when they arrive, their stories will begin with someone politely asking, "What makes a Peruvian come to Canada?"
Rocio Navarro, Toronto
TTC, the smoggier way
I read with interest Jason Smith's letter complaining about Toronto polluters (NOW, August 8-14).
Not much can be done about the pollution resulting from the traffic flow. However, TTC buses do contribute needlessly to the smog. A few use a stop in front of our building as a bus terminal of sorts, where they park with running engines for up to 10 minutes at a time.
Depending on how much spare time the drivers have at the "Craigton Drive Terminal," we are exposed daily to toxic and cancerous diesel fumes for four and a half to six hours.
Last summer we mostly kept our windows closed, but the diesel stink still penetrated.
I contacted the TTC but was merely brushed off. I then sent a letter to Mr. Ducharme, the chief general manager. I was told that the drivers had orders not to let their engines idle beyond three minutes.
The situation improved for about two months. Then all went back to "normal."
In all my communications I asked them why it seemed so difficult for the drivers to simply switch off their engines. I have never received an answer.
Joachim Richter, Toronto
Don't take a pill
re psychiatry not out to harm and Of Fear And Confusion, by Lori Bonari and Brian Foley respectively (NOW, August 8-14).
I can understand that both these people feel that the psychiatric system is worth the trouble.
My experience is that it's not. I was labelled a paranoid schizophrenic.
I, too, believed the propaganda that drugs would control my chemical imbalance and the lies that they had no side effects.
I have been drug-free since 1984. The only voices I hear now are of a cowardly system that wants to medicate me and trample on my rights.
John Teixeira, Toronto
Suck on this
In his letter, Mark Magee calls Mark Smith's article on the Pope Squat "a sloppy blow job" (NOW, August 8-14).
But what about your response, Mr. Magee? Was that just a raspy bone-thrashing, or do you actually care about the people you're shaking it at?
You say, "Maybe if more of the able-bodied homeless followed my lead they'd have a roof over their heads, too."
I think you miss the point. These people are working -- to create something beyond the predictable largesse our governments show for selected "world-class" events in a city starved for healthy air, where thousands await essential services.
Doug Moore, Toronto
It's ironic that a local paper has focused so much time and space on the Mideast conflict this year.
It is particularly disturbing, and quite telling, that 100 per cent of the material has been anti-Israel, not to mention highly under-researched and, in most instances, false.
So tell me, are you folks at NOW deliberately trying to deceive or being typical left-wing ideologues?
Then again, I am likely over-analyzing here. You are probably just plain stupid... and racist.
Josh Brull, Toronto
Carnival not to remember
This year's newly designated , Toronto International Carnival did not encompass the essence of Caribana as it has in previous years.
We reject the notion that we must alienate segments of the Caribbean diaspora as a whole in order to depict accurately a historical Carnival atmosphere.
The Toronto Mas Bands Association (TMBA) has characterized the celebration as a "Costume Parade... working closely with the community" to ensure that this event creates exciting memories.
But if, in an effort to alleviate bottlenecks along the parade route we restrict others from participating, we have to ask whether our communities will have truly been represented.
Denise Jones Productions
Diluting Caribana's roots
Would anyone in their right mind ever suggest that Pride Day should accommodate and incorporate heterosexual culture?
Why is it, then, that African-based cultural expressions like Caribana are always required to dilute themselves to accommodate everyone?
Why not, then, just roll all the festivals into one grand party? That way we can have Caribana, Pride Day, the Santa Claus parade, St. Patrick's Day parade, Caravan and even the jazz festivals in one fell swoop.
M. Nourbese Philip, Toronto
Next time, read the invite
re Club Pulse by Benjamin Boles (NOW, August 8-14).
A modicum of research would be appreciated. My name is Rick, not Rid, Diculous. At the gathering I held, patrons enjoyed performances by Sid Delicious, Lone Male (both incorrectly identified in said article) and Robotic Kid. Invitations with this information were available at the door.
Kyla Boyle and Jenny-Orenda Smith
aka Rick Diculous, Toronto