so tooker gomberg is living off the hydro grid in Killaloe (NOW, August 21-27). Do we really need to read his middle-class, self-righteous description prescribing the manner in which each of us is supposed to be able to live if only we had the will? For a man who's positioned himself as a champion of the underdog, Gomberg doesn't offer us poor folk much hope for trying to figure out how to get through this current crisis.
We should all have the cash and time and wherewithal to transport ourselves off the grid and into cabin life when the city gets too bleak.
How about some observations of the energy mess and some solutions that are affordable and possible for us gridlocked poor people.
Ruth Warner, Toronto
Glimpsing the Dark Ages
stuck in an apartment for four days without electricity, coffee or nourishing food. And sleeping on the balcony because of the damp, stale and stuffy apartment air, my discomforts made me think and feel the misery of weaker nations around the world. Now I get the true meaning of "We will bomb them into the Dark Ages." Imagine not having any running water or sewage system. That's been the way of life in Iraq and Palestine for years now. Rudolf Manook, Toronto
on global news and again on ctv, cameras caught pictures of Lib MPs tootling around a golf course in North Bay on their electric golf carts. Funny how we're supposed to curtail use of electricity. Rebecca Gingrich, Princeton, Ontario
Cheeky parks and rec staff
just wanted to say thank you to the 10 or so police officers who kindly helped us girls out of the Scadding Court pool at midnight on the first night of the blackout. And thanks also to the parks and rec employee who graciously shone his flashlight beam up our asses as we were getting out. Name withheld by request, Toronto
Liberals' Red Hill flip-flop
re john bacher's eloquent report, On Red Hill (NOW, August 21-27). One of the last public events attended by Liberal stalwart John Munro was the large Civic Holiday valley rally to stop landscape wreckage. Spadina-stopping Bill Davis would understand.
But Hamilton city council and TorStar's defiant Spectator are drunk with land developers' daydreams: "If you build the sewer, they will come."
Before his June 2001 by-election win, Grit MPP Greg Sorbara told the Star about "public and political pressure" against plans to move ahead with the highway. And that "no government will approve development (there), regardless of political stripe."
Today, Dalton McGuinty and his Hamilton East MPP are silent except for how big they'll win Ontario before our November chance to get sanity into City Hall.
Shea Hoffmitz, Hamilton
i was happy to read your exposé of Pierre Klein (NOW, August 14-20) and his law-and-order ways. One area you did not cover was that those who support him and his "People's Forum" include not only right-wing ratepayers but the supposedly left-leaning Federation of Metro Tenants Associations.
The FMTA advertised Klein's forum on its Web site. The Federation's Gail Nyberg also was a speaker at the forum's affordable housing seminar.
Michael Edwards, Toronto
TTC's toxic bottom line
re the dirtier way (now, august 14-20). Your story suggests that green-minded commuters have no choice between diesel and alternate-fuel buses. We certainly do, and it isn't diesel. The air pollution difference is clear. Smog-causing nitrogen oxides?
The story also suggests that cleaner alternate-fuel buses are more expensive than diesel.
The good news is that with government bonuses and rebates, they are $10,000 cheaper.
The real bottom line on the TTC's proposed purchase of dirty diesel is that Toronto is suffering a public health crisis and the TTC is adding to the carnage.
Ingrid Kern, Toronto
Not getting Aussie humour
you'll find no bigger fan of glenn Sumi's in Sydney than I. Every review he ever wrote prior to Crikey Crap (NOW, August 7-13) is pinned up in our small apartment. Indeed, the Gould-Sumi-Bach triangle is often spoken of, the last occasion being on closing-lecture night during the Chekhov festival my family holds quarterly. As for the review itself, well, I understood most everything until I got to Sumi's use of the rarely heard archaic "crikey." It managed to ruin the rest of the review for me and for every other educated Australian. The spiteful, cretinous use of a word like crikey, which the author clearly doesn't understand, demonstrates a narrow-mindedness and prejudice against Australian humour for reasons presumably to do with the Americanization of popular culture in Canada.
Glenn, permit me to invite you to come to gay- and lesbian-friendly Sydney as my guest, where the term "theatre poofter" is celebrated in all walks of life. Unlike your review, He Died With A Felafel In His Hand's greatness resides in its sheer lack of pretension.
Simon Bedak, Sydney, Australia
Cops the ones misbehaving
as someone who shared a mon treal jail cell with Todd Parsons for two days, I respect his views but feel that the "concerns" he raises about the recent anti-WTO actions in that city are misplaced (NOW, August 7-13). Mass arrests are a controversial common tactic of Montreal police. Even the CBC called what happened July 28 an "unlawful arrest."
Equally controversial is the long history of Montreal cops using infiltrators at demonstrations. These actions of the police are barely mentioned by Todd.
Ken Theobald, Toronto
fFIDA's lost independence
the ffida (with the newly dropped "fringe" part of its name) may be upping the ante, expanding to a more permanent location and inviting a higher percentage of international artists (NOW, July 31-August 6), but it's not doing any favours for upcoming, emerging Toronto-based choreographers. The most exciting thing about fFIDA used to be that you saw artists you didn't get to see at Harbourfront or the Winchester.
Now, with the inclusion of the likes of Christopher House, the director of one of Toronto's largest and best-funded contemporary dance companies, all the nose-to-the-grindstone independent choreographers have lost yet another venue.
In dropping the word "fringe," it seems fFIDA has decided to screw the little guy. Oddly enough, the fest has not dropped the word "independent" from its title, yet fFIDA now only supports choreographers who already have grant money.
Perhaps fFIDA should go all out and pull "independent" from its name, too. Or perhaps it should just say it straight and rename itself FAEAFDA (Festival of Already Established Already Funded Dance Artists).
Lindsay Zier-Vogel, Toronto
many thanks to now for once again focusing attention on this city's ever-growing problem of sidewalk misuse and obstruction (NOW, August 7-13). Sidewalk cafés, retail merchandise displays, sandwich board advertising, trash and recyclable containers awaiting pickup, newspaper boxes, hot dog carts, buskers, etc, as well as the proliferation of illegally parked, curb-straddling cars and light trucks all contribute to the gauntlet pedestrians must run daily on Toronto's shrinking walkways.
Everyone involved agrees that "sidewalks are for pedestrians."
Indeed, a city-funded poster relating this very message is but one of the many measures adopted in the recent past to inform the public that adult cyclists are legally barred from travelling on the sidewalk.
Still, all of this ignores the main reason these two-wheeled scofflaws persist in their selfish and illegal behaviour. They are afraid.
Professional urban cycling veterans understand better than most the meat-grinding reality that faces hapless (and helmetless) amateurs like the ones pictured in your exposé.
Without a full complement of bike lanes in place, the city could be in a precarious legal position if it tries to seriously get tough with sidewalk riders and force them back onto the road where they are said to belong.
Wayne Scott, Toronto
Brazen Bay Street drivers
cheers to you for bringing atten tion to the complete joke that is Toronto's diamond lanes (NOW, August 14-20). As if bicycle commuting downtown weren't a harrowing enough experience, complete impunity from the law seems to make Bay Street drivers even more brazen.
Personally, I've found that nothing short of a physical barrier can stop a car from driving on any given square foot of pavement, but a little enforcement of the law would be nice in the meantime.
Raj Bharati , Toronto
Reg has heart
i'm an independent filmmaker and have just returned home from a business trip to Toronto. Quite by chance, I heard about Reg Hartt and his Cineforum during my trip. He was kind enough to take a stranger into his home/screening room and preview my 16mm short, Professional Courtesy. We had a good conversation about it and made tentative plans for a public screening sometime in the future. I'll be looking forward to that. Reg has since mentioned to me in an e-mail that one of your writers published some critical comments regarding the sound/picture quality at his screening room (NOW, August 7-13).
I certainly don't want to get in the middle of anything, as I am unfamiliar with your paper and only just met Reg.
But I will say that I was personally very impressed with the sound and picture quality at Cineforum.
Mark Price, Seattle
Bring extra loonie to Björk
thank you for creating the new Tip Sheet feature on page 4. It's a great summary of events. Just one small point: the notice for the September 3 Björk concert at Centre Island indicates the ferry fee is $5. In fact, it's $6. Angela Duchesne, Toronto