Animal torture necessary
I've been a fan of your magazine since moving to Toronto several years ago, but sometimes you really miss the opportunity for intelligent discussion of complex issues. Weird Science (NOW, July 17-23) is a good example. While the suffering of animals is a horrible thing, the implication that "non-medical" research could easily use tissues or other models instead of live animals is naive and frankly rather misleading.
As a student working in basic immunology, I can tell you that results from cell cultures give lots of good hints but taken alone are about as informative as, say, a Mel Lastman quote taken out of context.
Furthermore, the cost of buying animals is usually less of an obstacle than getting permission to use them.
What's the difference between using a "purpose-bred" rat and a stray dog that will otherwise be put down? Only sentimentality.
Alex Atfield, Toronto
Island airport beats Pearson
re island airport crash count (NOW, July 10-16). I was outraged to read in Upfront your advocating using Pearson Airport rather than the Island Airport for all commercial flights.
The tragic plane crash that you refer to could have been worse had it flown over a residential community.
Pearson Airport flight paths cross over 300,000 more people than the Island (Airport) and include residential houses, condos and apartment buildings.
If safety were the real concern, you would be suggesting the Island Airport be expanded and that Pearson close down.
Gloria Lindsay Luby, Toronto City Councillor, Etobicoke Centre
Much ado about sunlight
as an avid enthusiast of your great magazine, I must say I was a little disappointed in your article about artist Gordon MacNamara's battle with Canadian Tire (NOW, July 17-23). I for one love art immensely. I spent years in college studying it. I think it is very important for society to value and appreciate art, but to a certain extent.
With our local economy battered by SARS, I think it is important to stir up the economy a little. This article failed to mention the hundreds of jobs this project would create in our wonderful city. A whole page article devoted to what comes down to a few hours of sunlight? Must have been a slow news week.
Jared S., Toronto
Valley artist's good karma
gordon macnamara's fight with Canadian Tire is one in which many of us should participate. This lyrical entrance into the heart of Toronto off the harried Don Valley Parkway has for years been a calm entrance into the city, a scenic, park-like drive not unlike the welcome curving roads in Central Park.
Where are the urban planners to support Mr. MacNamara?
Where are the heritage organizations that sponsored the Lawren Harris Park, now about to be in twilight should Canadian Tire erect its towers?
Have they not recognized the individual's essential need for generous light to generate good karma and creativity for thoughtful purpose?
Diana Carolyn Coates London
She deserves two-timer
I, like letter-writer merrilea Shields, thought New Age Flame-Out, by Hannah James (NOW, July 3-9), was hysterical , but for totally different reasons. Swallowing the preconceived notion that as a yoga instructor he will automatically be a demon in bed, James falls head over heels for him. In other words, for all the wrong reasons.
Frankly, if she chooses to date another for such blatantly shallow reasons, James deserve to be as hurt as she refuses to admit she really is. And she is. Otherwise, she wouldn't have written such a nasty, spiteful and downright slanderous column.
Kind of like that girl I dumped in high school who then started all those nasty rumours about me so I wouldn't be able to date anyone else. Like I said, hysterical.
Granted, this guy (as presented, anyway) is a dweeb. If James had looked past his outer appearance, she would have noticed this immediately.
If indeed he was cheating on James, all that proves is that he thought she was as lame in bed as she thought he was.
Hugh McJanet, Toronto
Hunters doing the poaching
dean thatcher states in his let- ter (NOW, July 17-23) that "it always has been illegal to hunt female (bears) in the spring, and we have a name for those who do it - poachers." Well, until January 1999 it was legal to shoot female bears in the spring and the fall. And to this day it is legal to shoot mother bears and their cubs in the fall. And about 13 per cent of the fall hunt are cubs of the year. So the best word to describe who participates in this activity is hunter, not poacher!
It was the ending of the spring bear hunt in 1999, to protect mother bears, that ended the hunting of male and female bears and the orphaning of cubs.
Previous regulations prohibiting the shooting of mother bears with cubs in the spring were flawed, since mother bears weren't always with their cubs and hunters unknowingly killed mothers. So the government ended the spring bear hunt altogether.
Killing bears in the spring doesn't target bears that come into town to eat garbage when natural food failures occur. Cleaning up the garbage (all attractants) and implementing non-lethal bear management practices solves the problem. Killing isn't the solution - it just creates a space for another bear to move in. Learn more at www. bearsmart.com.
Director, Canadians for Bears, Toronto
Hucksters rule City Hall
good for don wanagas. unelected, self-interested hucksters filling the leadership vacuum at City Hall (NOW, July 17-23) have turned Toronto into a taxpayer-funded circus. When did Toronto go from liveable to laughable? The watershed has to have been the Skydome fiasco.
Since then, the mayor's cronies have chased wrestling, the Pope and the Olympics while our neighbourhoods have gotten dirtier and our air smoggier. I propose we dub the upcoming Stones concert "Meltamont."
Nick Manning, Toronto
Nitrous piece cracked me up
I read your article on nitrous oxide (NOW, July 10-16). I especially enjoyed the last sentence: "Now that you've been let in on the secret, are you interested?" Why, yes. I am. How much for a balloon? Aaron Dietrich, Toronto
No Spearhead, what gives?
I'm beginning to wonder about NOW Magazine, as a review of any of the last three Spearhead shows (including last Saturday's, July 12), has been conspicuously absent. Not a peep in the wake of their thermonuclear success. Where is a review? When will Now come out and give recognition? Craig Charnock, Toronto
Boys loving geezers? Sure
I thought gerald hannon was writing journalism, not fiction (NOW, July 17-23). Are we to believe a hot 20-something would pay to have sex with a man close to 60? Puh-leeze, girlfriend! Give us a break. Bruce Robertson, Toronto
Pissy, whiny letter-writers
robert farmer's letter regarding the Nathan Phillips Square art show (NOW, July-17-23) is part of an annoying tradition in NOW of pissy, whiny people writing to disguise sour grapes. He blasts and dismisses as crap the artists and artisans who worked their asses off for this show, and mentions in passing that he knows his business because by coincidence he is an artist (gasp). He seems to imply that if the organizers of this event had chosen to display his art, it would have been a great event.
Maybe Farmer just doesn't know art as well as he likes to pretend. Surely, NOW has a special section for talentless pseudo-artists, tone-deaf garbage bands and crap theatre, so they can all write in to explain how nobody "gets them." It's called the "letters" page.
Ted Heeley, Toronto