Island airport not viable
the future of toronto's waterfront ought to be an immediate concern to everyone (NOW, October 10-16). One need only travel 10 minutes in the bay by canoe to understand how inappropriate any airport expansion would be. There is simply no viable or appropriate location for an airport in the bay.
Ted Engels , Toronto
Forgotten native claims
the toronto port authority (formerly the Toronto Harbour Commission) is an agency (whose members are) behaving in a most suspicious manner.
They are planning an expanded airport on land they know is being reviewed by the federal government as part of a First Nations land claim. Shame.
Mitchell Gold, Toronto
Turn airport into parkland
the tories call island residents squatters. When are these fiscal conservatives going to refer to suburbanites as freeloaders? Their oversized houses consume parks and greenspace. Their multiple bathrooms and vast lawns (supplanting farmland) deplete and pollute the water table. The Toronto Islands community is a refuge of sanity in this polluted city, and a model of civilization. It is compact, quiet, green, friendly and safe for kids and pets.
If the Tories are worried about "returning land to public ownership," will they seek to turn the fiscal welfare case called Toronto Island Airport into public parkland?
Anne Hansen, Toronto
Hidden costs of living high
Former tourism minister Cam Jackson's expense account may be more interesting than we think (NOW, October 10-16).
If you thought $900 and change seemed a bit pricey for a meal, keep in mind that most strip clubs bill credit cards using a more innocuous name. For example, I know of at least one such establishment frequented by the business set that shows up as an eatery on credit card bills.
Sid Plested, Toronto
Turkey up Fantino's sleeve
In cops' big-biz flyby (now, octoer 10-16), Helen Armstrong reports on Julian Fantino's move to escape civilian control of his public purse by soliciting corporate donations for police projects. He twists language to name this turkey a "charitable foundation." I agree with lawyer Paul Copeland that a truly democratic society would never let this happen.
Max Blanco, Toronto
Highbrow views on crime
Helen Armstrong's throwaway reference to "South Africa, (where) private sponsorship has taken a more ominous turn with the funding of closed-circuit television cameras monitored 24 hours a day in Cape Town" displays ignorance.
I happen to live in South Africa, a place where Armstrong has obviously not spent any time. If she had, she would know that initiatives like this are the only way citizens can be assured some degree of safety in the face of a collapsing police and legal system that cannot fund anything. You would be hard pressed to find people in Cape Town who object to such schemes. Highbrow liberal views are the luxury of those who can afford to safely hold them.
Brent Mendelsohn, Thornhill
On the menu in Cuba
in all the trips my husband and I have taken to Cuba, we have never encountered cat or parrot on the menu (NOW, October 10-16).
My in-laws and my husband (all Cubans) have known what it's like to go without. But eating Fluffy is not an option.
If you're trying to illustrate how bad Cubans really have it, portraying the nation's hungry as characters from Heart Of Darkness is no way to do it.
Remember the time when that stupid tourist went to Cuba to do a poignant story on the Cuban socialist system? His name was Ted Ferguson.
Elizabeth Wells-Requejo, Mississauga
Learning to tough it out
re surviving on welfare (NOW, October 3-9). I'm a pensioner who has to get by on a fixed income.
But I'm used to it. Life has taught me how to get by. I was born during the Great Depression. When I came to Canada in 1955, I had $35 to my name. I had to get work in three days or risk being sent back on the next ship. We immigrants were on our own. We earned $50 a week. That was pretty good back then. My wife and I survived on $7 a week. Why am I telling you all this?
Because even today I must stretch to make ends meet. I only have one real meal a day. Sometimes I skip lunch. So you see we pensioners are not that much better off than people on welfare. And I donate to the food bank.
Joseph William Lea, Etobicoke
Left morally insane
Christopher Hitchens finally walked from The Nation. Michael Walzer asks in Dissent: "Can There Be A Decent Left?" and answers with a qualified "no." Ron Rosenbaum admits in the New York Observer that like Robert Graves in 1929, he now renounces a lifetime of leftist activism.
One by one, the paragons of the left are awakening from their long sleep. Whatever its past "accomplishments," the modern left is today almost wholly depraved, a new layer of ideological sludge slathered on top of the ignoble history of evil.
Are there none in your midst who are not sneering middlebrows obsessed with hating what is good and loving what is vile? How do you live with yourselves? You literally cannot see that there is a problem, because as bright and literate as you tend to be, you are morally insane.
Contemplation of this condition inevitably yields nausea, a feeling I find myself having to tolerate nearly every time I am forgetful and flip open your publication searching for a restaurant ad, and instead end up reading your disgraceful and prurient "content."
Well, goodbye to NOW. I will never, ever read your paper again.
Steve Macdonald, Halifax
re ignoring U.S.'s pain (now, october 3-9), by Justin Kennedy.
Leave it to an American to assume that anyone who attacks the U.S. has an inferiority complex. I grew up in the U.S. of A., so I know the drill: Americans are simply the best at everything.
Nobody in their right mind blames the people in the WTC for what happened to them, but a lot of people are sure suspicious of how the U.S. government's policies brought the disaster about. I wonder how upset most Americans are about the thousands of Iraqis who have died under U.S.-influenced sanctions.
Oh, that's right -- it's all Saddam Hussein's fault. His citizens ought to just rise up and overthrow him, after all.
John Kneeland, London
Bush bought and paid for
I was appalled to read Justin Kennedy's suggestion that the Canadian prime minister is appointed by the president of the United States.
He should know that our prime minister is not appointed by the U.S. but bought and paid for by powerful interests, just like his American counterpart.
david nelson, Toronto
Naomi Klein's fuzzy logic
if naomi klein really wants to avoid turning No Logo into a global brand (September 26-October 2), she should have it patented it to prevent everyone from using it, especially the press. But then again, I am pretty fuzzy about what is wrong with a brand or why "owning ideas is kind of... sick." I have yet to see a cogent argument in support of these ideas.
Steven Salamon, Toronto
All about booty
My younger sister was supposed to represent Manitoba in the Miss Black Canada pageant (NOW, October 3-9). I am so glad she got out of it.
The organization, even on a local level, was dis-gus-ting. My sister was expected to run around the city to find sponsors, learn the ins and outs of beauty pageantry, buy or find the dresses/costumes/whatever and perfect a kick-boxing routine for her talent within one month.
Now, I hate to agree with the woman who was quoted saying she rarely attends events organized by black people, but it's too true. It all comes down to booty.
Why couldn't Roy Pinnock keep his head out of his hindquarters long enough to organize a credible event to show off the young black women of Canada?
Marie Christian, Winnipeg
Rude cops in cars
friday, october 11, 3:20 pm, augusta and Queen. Two police officers stuck in painfully slow traffic, hauling a pair of horses behind their van, vent their road rage by commanding the cab driver in front of them to back up and pull over into a space that their own vehicle partially blocks, then ridicule the man for taking a long, cautious time to pull into that space.
It's perhaps not pertinent that the cabbie is black and that the two white, middle-aged cops are doing matching John Wayne imitations.
It does seem remarkable to me that they feel comfortable mocking the driver's attempts (and his apparent incomprehension of their shouted, sarcastic instructions) to passers-by.
Do they assume that we, the other drivers and pedestrians, are all equally willing to victimize someone whose first language may not have been English?
Do they believe their cowboy posturing puts them unassailably into the role of "good guys," however juvenile their bullying might be?
It's not reassuring that in 2002 the Toronto police force still seems to shelter individuals so blithely accustomed to wasting public time and resources with petty displays of power.
D. Findlay, Toronto
Accessible eats and johns
I read with enthusiasm your restaurant guide, Toronto's 100 essentials (NOW, October 3-9). It was very informative and useful in my never-ending search for good, cheap eats.
But I need to know how a place can be called "barrier-free" when its washrooms are located in the basement.
Accessible eats and johns are already hard enough to find for people like me with disabilities. Please don't make it more difficult.
Penny Baltzer, Mississauga