Tiresome big biz slagging
re corporate tree huggers (now, June 19-25). NOW's anti-corporate editorial agenda is getting a bit tiresome. Ultimately, you judge an organization on its accomplishments, not its funding sources.
In the same way that I don't judge NOW for taking advertising money from questionable sources, I don't judge the Nature Conservancy of Canada for taking money from large multinationals.
In my opinion, NCC does good work. Applying for a job and then using the experience to slag the organization, as writer Daniel James Wright does, is both unfair and unethical.
Doug Watt , Toronto
Roads enhance urban life
your well-intentioned article on the evils of vehicular traffic (NOW, June 19-25) misses the target by a country mile. First, your environmental concern. The area west of Bathurst and south of King has undergone enormous growth. Congestion on the neighbourhood streets is oppressive. The Front Street extension relieves these streets of the traffic they were never intended to carry. When last we checked, idling cars were an even greater problem than moving ones.
The Front Street extension will without doubt precipitate renewal and redevelopment. The new GO Train station, now bleak and unapproachable after dark, will attract the riders for which it was planned.
Do we need more and better public transportation? Of course. Is the burning of fossil fuels a problem? Of course. But until public transportation is improved and alternative forms of energy are found, new developments need new roads. This one enhances urban life all along the area it abuts.
Robert Eisenberg The Toronto Carpet Factory
FLOW doing well, thanks
michael yarde's flow goes for Broke (NOW, June 19-25) was nothing but offensive. Yarde states that FLOW is a copy of the old KISS. I beg to differ. On KISS, you could only hear one hiphop song an hour - if you were lucky. FLOW changed all that. KISS tried to follow and failed.
The station is doing well. Why should it have to cover all types of "black or urban music?" Toronto has separate stations for non-urban music (rock, alternative, soft rock, etc).
Melanie Skinner , Toronto
Where's right-wing agenda?
as a member of the jewish community, I take great pride in the principled position the Canadian Jewish Congress has taken in standing with the Roma community against hatred (NOW, June 12-18), as reported in your magazine. But on page 21 of the same issue, René Biberstein's article on "anti-occupation Jews" characterizes CJC as a "right-wing" organization. OK, so now I am really confused.
This is the same CJC that intervened on the side of the angels over the matter of gay rights in the Vriend case; that publicly demanded the prosecution of Muslim-hater Mark Harding; and that has worked with the Muslim community to support the construction of mosques in the face of municipal intransigence.
Perhaps you can help me to understand how your paper can in any way characterize an organization with this outstanding record of human rights accomplishment as "right wing."
Is support of the Jewish state's right to live at peace and within secure borders sufficient "proof" of a right-wing agenda? Shame.
R. Burstyn Whitby
Bitter boy needs to mellow
i really could give a ratz about Mike Smith's issues with celebrity. Really. But I couldn't help wondering what the hell was going on in his piece about Julia "Butterfly" Hill (NOW, June 12-18). I don't think I've read an article so two-faced or confused in a local rag in years. Before I read the article, I admit I knew next to nothing of Julia Hill. Having read it several times now to try to squeeze some sense out of the bitter anonymity that is Mike Smith's life, I can only say that I probably know even less about Hill and a whole lot more about Smith. It came across like so much sour grapes.
What was more galling to Smith: the $4,000 honorarium or the fact that he and his activist buddies aren't getting enough weed in exchange for sharing their own enlightened views? For god's sake, editors of Now, get that boy an ounce and mellow him out.
Duncan Hines , Toronto
Chippy's, clean up your act
normally, i wouldn't bother writing to the editor, but Chippy's 5N rating (NOW, May 29-June 4) really bugged me. I welcomed their presence at first, but as their popularity in the neighbourhood increased, so did my disgust.
Their exhaust pipe spits out grease and fish smells to nearby decks. This grease is not something you want to deal with - it's not easy to get rid of, and it will ruin your clothes, drapes and sofa.
Queen West between Walnut and Strachan is now littered with immobile people waiting for their fish and chips. Trinity Bellwoods park has become their garbage dump.
My friends, neighbours and I certainly will not be supporting Chippy's until they clean up their act.
Gaping hole in health care
a note of praise for robert Priest's generous sharing of his toothy reconstruction courtesy of his dentist and one Mendelson Joe (NOW, May 29- June 4). Priest's experience explains the sad truth about the gaping hole in the present health care system, where if you are under-waged you simply don't have the means to cover the price of maintaining your own teeth.
For those unable to pay and on social assistance, the only solution under the current system is to have a painful tooth yanked rather than have it repaired (unless, like Priest, you have the support of a generous patron).
Although costly, a smarter policy would be to include universal dental coverage in the health-care system. Healthy people are able to live more productive lives and are likely less of a burden on the already listing health system overall.
Michael D'Amico , Toronto
Three inches of crap
i was amazed and shocked to read Matt Galloway's review of 3 Inches of Blood in your NXNE festival roundup (NOW, June 12-18). I had the misfortune to catch their sorry-ass metal show at the Kathedral. This band has two singers/screamers (who played air guitar the entire set), and their song Balls Of Ice, which Galloway calls the "best thing I saw all weekend," sounds like it was written by a six-year-old with anger management issues. Bands that absolutely blew me away didn't even get a mention (Koogaphone, the Corporation, Class Assassins, the Bloody Mannequins), so I was really distressed. Galloway has shown himself to be completely ignorant or to have ridiculous taste in music. Astrid Bin , Toronto
Critic didn't see whole show
sarah liss's short paragraph on a Girl Named Sue in the NXNE follow-up surprised me. Contrary to the writer's assertion that "folkie singer/songwriter stuff doesn't go over well in the wee small hours," the full room (including people standing at the back) reacted well to the show. At the show I went to, everyone seemed to be having a good time, although I must also admit that I'm not sure what was folkie about the music other than the acoustic guitar.
My impression is that the reviewer didn't stick around very long, and this would seem to be supported by the fact that she also reviewed Bishop Allen, who were performing at a different venue at the same time.
Greg King , Toronto
A little deeper next time
i was pleased to read the positive review of the Coldplay/Ron Sexsmith show in last week's issue (NOW, June 19-25), as I'm a fan of both these bands and particularly because a good friend of mine plays guitar in Ron's band. His name, however, is not Tim Visconti but Tim Bovaconti. I'm glad you liked the show, but let's dig a little deeper next time, shall we? Patrick Allcock , Toronto