Setting the record straight
for twenty years the aids committee of Toronto (ACT) has been one of the city's leading AIDS organizations. We have had to find innovative ways to fund the work we do because government funding remains inadequate. Your recent article Charity Gap (NOW, May 29-June 4) makes the work we do that much more difficult.To set the record straight, ACT raises more than 60 per cent of its revenues through individual and corporate donations. Most charities in Canada rely on government support for the majority of their funding.
ACT is compliant with federal regulations requiring that 80 per cent of our revenues be spent on services. Administration includes staff who support programs and services. Indeed, using the formula your article cites, the amount we spent on programming rose by 26 per cent between 2001 and 2002.
Fashion Cares is an event we are very proud of, as it helps us raise the funds needed to deliver these services.
In our 20th-anniversary year we should be celebrating our successes and steeling ourselves for the continued fight ahead, not defending ourselves against attacks from our friends. Lori LucierExecutive Director, AIDS Committee of Toronto
i read john kennedy's charity Gap. I found the timing of the article interesting, and wonder what Kennedy was hoping to prove with ACT's major fundraising event, Fashion Cares, just days away. I am not certain where he got his facts, but I am a supporter of the organization and have been for a long time
I believe ACT does good work. Organizations do not survive that long if they haven't been doing what they're supposed to do. I guess not many people necessarily agree with you, as witnessed by the huge crowd Saturday night at Fashion Cares. Sorry I didn't see you there, John.
A friend of mine says the best use for your magazine is to help start a fire. After this piece, I agree.Barbara TrackToronto
Backing off critical coverage
in charity gap, writer john kennedy alleges that Xtra "backed off from critical coverage of ACT" because of advertising concerns.Advertising or its absence is not a consideration in Xtra's editorial coverage. NOW printed this allegation without giving Xtra an opportunity to respond. Should we conclude that Xtra would have been treated more fairly if it advertised in NOW?Paul GallantManaging Editor, XTRA Toronto
congrats on finally exposing act. John Kennedy's article was outstanding, although he made one significant mistake. He says there are 42 employees on the payroll at ACT, including "at least five managers who earn between $50,000 and $90,000 a year."But according to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency online database, these managers are making more! In 2001-2002 ACT reported four managers earning $89,999-$109,999. Good job printing that article, and good job printing it when you did.Maurie ShermanToronto
Ditch the rent-a-cops
you folks seem pretty eager to discredit Dundas Square (NOW, May 29-June 4). I think a bit of patience is in order. A city has to grow into a public square. The space needs to develop a history and a mythology. To sit back and complain about the lack of people congregating there is kind of pointless at the moment.
The real issue surrounding Dundas Square is the lack of municipal and private capital to follow through on the development of the northeast corner.
Toronto should ditch the rent-a-cops and open the space up to street performers and artists.Greg SmithToronto
Square wows 'em
in the interest of maintaining an open dialogue about the square, I want to say something in its defence.I attended the opening celebration and have to say I was very impressed. The programming had something to suit all tastes, and there were some spectacular performances and pyrotechnics.
The openness and two huge video screens also ensured that everyone had an excellent view and avoided the crowd crush usually associated with these kinds of huge free events.
I was struck by the irony that it's at the very same Yonge-Dundas Square that you're hosting the NXNE launch concert. Great choice!Rubina KhanToronto
is jan burton on your staff or married to or dating someone who works for Now? I can't understand why you continue to print this person's shitty, shitty letters (NOW, May 29-June 4). Once or twice, (to make) a decent comment or point, sure. But repeatedly giving her a platform is a waste of paper. Either give her a column or stop printing the bullshit.Josh McKillopToronto
Feds' legal pot conspiracy
you would think that a chronic pothead like me would be rolling a fatty after the Liberals' drafting of new marijuana laws. Not likely.The government plans to ease up on tokers but really put the screws to those who grow and deal it. So they want to increase the end user's right to smoke it but cut off the supply. That plan doesn't make sense - unless you're trying to corner the market in pot growing and distribution.
That's what the government is eventually going to do, despite its claims to the contrary.Mitch CutlerToronto
Star Wars secrets
re scary star wars (now, may 22-28). Canada has traditionally played a large part in the manufacture, testing and deployment of U.S. weapons.The source of the uranium used to obliterate Nagasaki and Hiroshima came from the Great Slave Lake region.
Then there's the cruise missile testing at Cold Lake (Primrose air weapons range); atmospheric testing (launching rockets filled with barium to create an artificial aurora borealis) in Churchill, Manitoba; DEW line sites; NORAD; low-level flight tests in Labrador; and ongoing chemical and biological weapons testing at Suffield, Alberta (the only such site on the continent).So it's no surprise that Chretien is looking to cooperate with the ultra-violent U.S. empire. Alas, we may not have any choice. Kelly ReinhardtToronto
Buying pro-war propaganda
i think the pro-war crowd owe the prime minister, protestors and the rest of us an apology. They bought every bit of the lies and propaganda that the U.S. and UK spit out - from the "weapons of mass destruction" line to the al Qaeda link to the big, bad Iraqi military that was a "threat to its neighbours."The U.S.-led cries of "freedom" for the Iraqi people appear to be empty, as Iraqis can only pick from a handful of U.S.-backed puppets, unless, of course, the U.S. meant freedom from running water and electricity.
Faced with the fact that they have swallowed lies, the pro-war crowd now point to "mass graves" as signs of Iraq's inhumanity and barbarity. If mass graves justify an attack on Iraq, then perhaps the pro-war crowd could tell us what the mass graves in Afghanistan - the handiwork of U.S.-allied Northern Alliance forces - mean.G. RuddinToronto
so people stopped getting excited about Rolling Stones concerts 25 years ago, did they (NOW, May 22-28)?Just another example of how sadly out of touch you are with the real world.Bob ScottToronto
very happy to see now's book cri-tics' picks in the Hot Summer Guide feature! (NOW, May 29-June 4). Scream In High Park got a yummy shout-out, with a fabulous picture of Elizabeth Ruth to boot.Indeed, I found almost all (the) arts listings to be great summer choices (and plan to heed the advice given). However, I notice that the Books section is the only one to list half good picks and half thumbs-down picks (NOW online edition). What gives?
Did NOW not have enough book event submissions to select from (and thus relied on negative filler)? I can list 10 literary events over June and July that are already on my must-attend calendar (only one of which was listed in the book critics' picks).
With all the great literary work done in Toronto - and with the accompanying events - it seems a shame that Now's summer guide would waste energy on the negative "losers."a.rawlingsToronto
Dissing jazz greats
in the traditional jazz world there's a term to describe those unyielding, unbending traditional players who won't listen to, play or appreciate any other jazz than that from the 30s. They're called jazz nazis. I prefer the softer, fuzzier label "mouldy figs."
Ironically enough, the traditional jazz that Nick Ali is so happy to dis (NOW, May 22-28) was considered risky, contemporary and modern when it was created back in the day.
For many, it still is a voice of expression they identify with for reasons other than nostalgia. Name withheld by requestToronto
Loblaws croissant a bagel
your vive le croissant article (NOW, May 15-21) misrepresented Loblaws.The croissant that was used in the taste testing would indeed taste like a bun or bagel, because it is. The 8-inch "weird bagel-croissant hybrid" is a bun product not to be confused with our butter croissant. The bagel roll weighs 35 grams and retails for 55 cents, the description in your chart. Our butter croissant weighs 50 grams and retails for 69 cents. It's on our top-five-sellers list in our bakery department. Your article may leave our customers with a negative perception.
In the future, to avoid confusion, please consult our staff on product selection before conducting your test.Gabriella MuoioSenior Merchandising Manager
Loblaws Supermarkets Limited