Weird vibe in the square
re by permit only (now, may 15-21). A video crew and I were travelling around Toronto shooting footage for my soon-to-be-released music video (ironically, for a song called My Town).
We decided the Yonge/Dundas park would be a good location. We'd set up a camera and tripod and begun shooting when we were approached by two security guards, though I couldn't really tell who employed them. They may have been police.
We were told we were not allowed to be shooting there because it's "private property." We left without any hesitation, but I think the message is obvious. It's not a public park at all.
I remember during one of the peace protests that by far the highest concentration of police officers, consisting of officers on horses and a wall of riot police, were located at Yonge and Dundas, not Queen's Park. Weird.
Mike Conto, Toronto
OCAP's intimidating tricks
i am writing in reference to trial Of Tribulation (NOW, May 15-21).As a casual observer who has sat in on an OCAP trial or two, my best guess as to the cause of the "mystifying" physical reactions of some of the jury members is that extremely organized OCAP members employ clandestine intimidation methods in order to improve their odds of "winning."
They ensure that their members show up in sufficient numbers on each trial day to make jurors and witnesses feel outnumbered.
I have also observed OCAP members making casual comments of intimidation to witnesses outside the courtroom to "do the right thing for the cause"!
Funnily enough, the few members of OCAP whom I am aware of have come from extremely affluent backgrounds. They are white, silver-spooned sons and daughters of professionals who have grown up wanting for nothing.
Soon enough they'll most likely settle into their own lives of capitalist complacency and goods acquistion.
Sadly, it appears that (while) living through a turbulent period of horrible and polarizing provincial government, an equally abhorrent and reactionary group has reared its ugly head.
V. Gauthier, Toronto
Truth about pesticides
councillor gloria lindsay-luby is simply mistaken when she says her Etobicoke constituents are "not happy" with the proposed bylaw to phase out lawn pesticides (NOW, May 15-21). Polling done by my firm in late March shows that the bylaw is supported by over 74 per cent of Etobicoke residents. Our results are consistent with polling done by Toronto public health. With an election coming in November, Lindsay-Luby would do well to listen to these findings. Gideon Forman
Vice-President Strategic Communications
Jakobek's bad act
the first person to come to my mind after Tom Jakobek's worst-actor performance at the computer leasing inquiry (NOW, May 15-21) was Hugh Grant. Sorry, Jako. When Grant got caught in an uncompromising position in a car with a prostitute, he at least had the sense to go on national television within hours to say it was not too smart on his part.Months of denial, followed by an admission and then the Mel Lastman Repetitive Sorry (With No Sincerity In Voice) is a far cry from Grant's actions - about as far as your chances of being Toronto's next mayor. Douglas Helliker, Toronto
your picture of bud and muam-mer at the 519 Church Rainbow Ballroom Spring Prom (NOW, May 15-21) was terrific. Together 26 years, this couple looks like a family to me.
They probably know how to bicker, just as they obviously know how to enjoy themselves. I don't suppose sourpuss MP Elsie Wayne is likely to post a framed (and signed) copy of the photo above her headboard any time soon.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Blacks have little clout
re point of no return (now, may 1-7). The reluctance of the police services board to effectively deal with the issue of racial profiling reveals one very important but sad thing: blacks have very little political clout in this city. No one in the establishment will take the political risk of addressing their grievances, no matter how well founded they are.
The defiance shown by the head of the police union concerning the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling and his use of profane language (NOW, April 24-30) confirms the belief that if you are a minority in this society you'd better be powerful and have friends in higher places. If not, your most basic rights can be trampled and no one will notice. The police services board and chief have shown that they cannot be counted on to uphold those rights.
Jacques Touré, Toronto
Soup from waste new low
always a dangerous sub-reformist, always with the cloying silver-lining gibberish, Wayne Roberts way outdoes himself in Bowl Full Of Hope (NOW, May 8-14). Chilling, the workhouse dystopia he has drained out of his indubitably Prozac-addled brainpan. This has to be a new low. If soup from garbage is a solution, then let's start with Wayne. Peter Moreau, Toronto
Worshipping false gods
jacob mendlovic's rant about uri Avnery and other "radicals" and "extremists" reveals his ignorance of Zionist history (NOW, May 15-21).Prominent Jews and, yes, Zionists have taken a very different view of Jewish-Palestinian affairs than have mainstreamers, and cannot be justly accused of "vilifying their ancestral homeland."
Movements and organizations such as B'rit Shalom (Covenant of Peace), Ikhud (Unity), and the League for Jewish-Arab Understanding involved leading intellectuals, politicians from the left and ordinary Jews.
Would Medlovic accuse renowned Zionists and rabbis of being "worshippers of false gods"? They are among many in his so-called "tiny minority."
Bernard Katz, Toronto
Making our voices heard
According to mainstream media reports, the U.S.-led war in Iraq is as good as over. I have a confession to make. I did not march against this war. I was not among the millions who raised their voices in dissent. I told myself that this didn't matter. After all, what's one participant more or less?
But now, as the war the marching masses could not stop reveals its true horrors, I am ashamed of the work I did not do. For me, this signals a call to activism. I know I'm not the only person who believed that inner conviction was enough.
The illusion of a quick and easy victory sends the world the message that it's all right to use military power to enforce change. We must begin to make our voices heard. If not, what will the next target be?
Alison Powell, Toronto
what? an article about the best Croissants in Toronto (NOW, May 15-21) and no mention of Patachou? Come on. They've been around for years and are, in my opinion, one of the best places in Toronto. Alan Forsyth, Toronto
Jarman rush to judgment
i'm not even going to get into what a wonderful writer Mark Anthony Jarman is and how his piece is outstanding in AWOL. We're all welcome (thank god) to our opinions. But for Sarah Liss to remark that Jarman's piece is "vaguely misogynist" (NOW, May 15-21) when she admits she only "skimmed" his story is totally unprofessional.
Are male writers not allowed to discuss sex without being branded misogynist now? From now on, please read the piece, and only then, Ms. Liss, make your judgments.
Kate Sturdy, Toronto
Cunning linguist he's not
glenn sumi mentions in his re-view of Florence Gibson's play Home Is My Road (NOW, April 24-30) that one character tells another he's a "cunning linguist." Someone should tell writers to check their sources. That pun was already used (probably with greater effect) by Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Dina Forrest, Toronto
The real Hebrew Hammer
re lori fireman's review of adam Goldberg's The Hebrew Hammer (NOW, May 1-7). Please be aware that the original Hebrew Hammer was a New York City Golden Gloves champion in 1951 by the name of Louis Bartfield. Louis Bartfield, Toronto
Brushing up on road safety
Thank you very much for listing our Bike Week event, but it's being held Tuesday (May 27), not Wednesday as you listed in the Spring Bike Calendar (NOW, April 10-16). It would also help if you could reprint our Web site address correctly. It is www.web.net/~outburst.
Our video, Driving By Cycles, was filmed in Toronto and contains awareness and safety information that is useful to both morotists and cyclists. It will be shown free in Dufferin Grove Park's Rink House at 1, 2:15 and 3 pm. Here's a good opportunity, NOW, for your own delivery drivers to get a road safety brush-up at no cost to you.
Kyla Z.A. Dixon-Muir, Toronto