Flyer wasn't racist
i understand your paper is left- leaning, and as such you don't like to endorse Conservative candidates. However, what you wrote about Mike Del Grande in your ward picks (NOW, November 6-12) lacks fairness. A few weekends ago we had a big push to put up lawn signs. In haste, we made a flyer to go along with the signs. Originally, the bolded part at the bottom read, "After 15 years of foreign representation, it's time to elect a local resident with a proven track record to represent you." Clearly, the comment was not meant in a racist way, but to point out that incumbent Sherene Shaw doesn't live in the ward.
Even if it were, then to whom was the comment meant to appeal? Was it the Chinese voters? The East Indians? Would the Sri Lankans be swayed by this allegedly racist flyer that points out that the other candidate is not white?
The flyer itself was not even written by my father, but by a Chinese friend (and former candidate). The friend was trying to spruce up the literature and was using a dictionary/MS Word to replace certain words, so "non-local" became the fully appropriate substitute "foreign." The first draft was admittedly a bit rough, but when the possible problem of the different interpretations was discovered, the flyer was reworked to read unambiguously: "After 15 years of non-local representation, it's time to elect a local resident with a proven track record to represent you." I anxiously await your scolding of David Miller, whose "Looks like a mayor" poster is an obvious slag against minorities.
David Del Grande, Toronto
Not jaded enough for ya?
i was disappointed by your en dorsement for Ward 30. No reference was made to the most green candidate, Greg Bonser. Having been to a number of all-candidates debates, I can say that for the most part I agree with NOW that the contenders mentioned are all very strong community workers. So is Greg, and seeing that he is/was the green choice, I can't understand why NOW paid no attention to him. Instead, you made the predictable choice of Paula Fletcher, who in turn boasts the "heavyweight endorsements of Marilyn Churley and Jack Layton." She's a great candidate, I agree, but you neglected to mention that she used to be leader of the Communist party.
And why is no reference ever made to the NDP's labour influences? How can candidates be anti-car when they're getting donations from the CAW, for example?
Having thought this through, I have to wonder if maybe your magazine has not taken Bonser seriously for the same reason most of the candidates try not to: because he's in his mid-20s and not jaded enough for politics.
Ian Calvert, Toronto
Thumbs down for Adam
in your recent issue i learned which political candidates NOW has endorsed. Here's my two cents about Adam Giambrone, with whom I've worked for a number of years at one of our provincial agencies. To put it simply, he talks the talk but does not walk the walk. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him, and he's not a big guy at all. I've seen him in action in a regular work environment and in a union setting. He talks so much that the listener actually forgets the original question.
I have no personal issues with him, but entrusting him with a certain level of authority and decision-making is a choice the ward's citizens will regret.
Simon Leung, Toronto
Say it ain't so, Joe
joe mihevc may be your guy in Ward 21, but you should have investigated the reason why he curiously voted in favour of the Front Street extension, given what you call "his eco-sensitivities and record." Vote Toronto lists his donors in the 2000 campaign, including one of the principal landowners who will benefit from that quarter-billion-dollar waste of our tax money, not to mention several construction firms that will be laughing all the way to the bank once it gets under way. Thanks, Joe. Greg Gormick, Toronto
Lovely legs, great platform
re city vote voters guide. great read overall, but I was stunned by your Ward 27 pick. How'd you miss this one? Lovely legs, lovely platform and a valid candidate: Enza "Supermodel" Anderson. Shame! Enza knows her neighbourhood and the community. Too bad you missed one of Toronto's real treasures. Raymond MacLeod-Ivey, Toronto
New Age nonsense
now does great damage to its reputation by printing New Age nonsense, as in the case of Alice Klein's article about her journey into "Mayan time" (NOW, November 6-12). Whatever the ecological goals of these communes, Klein reports their time theology with a straight face, extolling a totally arbitrary 260-day "sacred cycle" and decrying the "mechanized time" started by the Romans. Well, my ancestors were those Romans, and though it's possible they shared other humans' love of money, they paid more homage to the "cyclical" nature of the cosmos than the Mayans.
By instituting leap years, the Romans more closely matched their year to the 365.2422-day cycle of the Earth's revolution around the sun, guaranteeing that their calendar alone would have months that would not change their seasonal associations from century to century.
Though granola may exist in the future, it is hoped that "cosmic consciousness" frippery will not, and that journalists will not be able to go on peyote-eating and cocaine-sniffing junkets.
Pierre Savoie, Toronto
Food for thought
we appreciate your airing the concerns of one of our board members about the difficulties confronting food banks (NOW, November 6-12). While we feel very strongly that public education and political advocacy is a necessary component of our work, our primary activity continues to be the delivery of food to relief programs across the GTA.
Daily Bread's distribution of food to our 200 member agencies across greater Toronto is not done on a "messy hit-and-miss basis" but is based on a fair-share model: the number of clients that agencies serve determines the amount of food received. Food shortages at any one agency are typically the result of increasing demand.
Daily Bread has a total budget of $2.9 million a year. That budget is not "heavily skewed toward advocacy."
Services and resources for public education, advertising and advocacy campaigns are either funded by specific grants outside our annual budget or donated by community partners. Only when such donations are not available are resources drawn from our budget. Ideally, we would like to allocate more resources to these activities, but our first priority is to do our best to meet the immediate hunger facing our clients.
We feel that abandoning either of these activities is akin to abandoning those in need of food assistance.
Alan Redway , Chair, Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto
Richler write on
i did not watch the gillers on tv, because I saw the ad campaign and thought it a waste to spend money on yet another awards night with lights, cameras and glitz that could be put to better use subsidizing writers. I was happy to see mention of Daniel Richler's comments to this effect at the awards in Upfront(NOW, November 6-12). I applaud Richler's willingness to point this out. I'm all for making Canadian writers and their work more visible, but I'd rather see them getting more than just a fancy dinner one night a year. J.M. King, Toronto
does now ever test the products it recommends in The Goods? I bought the Ryder Goggles listed in last week's issue (NOW, November 6-12) last winter, and they sucked! They fogged up all the time, the foam peeled off easily and they were uncomfortable. I would definitely not recommend them for winter cycling. A pair of ski goggles would work better. Anil Kanji, Toronto
Whale of a film
why would john harkness try to dissuade people from seeing a beautiful small film like Whale Rider (NOW, October 30-November 5) when the video store is full of over-hyped lousy films? I have recently endured some overly clever, dull films to which you gave undeserved high marks. Watching a film is not an exercise in detached intellectual analysis. Whale Rider is not only a well-told, brilliantly acted and visually beautiful film. It's also an important work of art that has a great deal of heart and offers a truly inspirational and empowering message - particularly to two marginalized groups, women and indigenous people.
"What's so good about the old ways" and being chief in some "backwater town"? Are you suggesting that uplifting a group of people while living in an awe-inspiring natural setting somehow pales in comparison to a desk job in the city?
Gerald Rosenberg, Toronto
Chaos going up
you might be interested to know that the visuals at the recent Elevator show (NOW, October 30-November 5) were provided by General Chaos Visuals.
As your reviewer suggested, it gives us great pleasure to take mundane high school AV gear like overhead projectors and use it to do cool stuff. "Pink Floyd-type"? We'll take it! Not that one could tell from the finished product, of course, but those who know us well have heard ad nauseam about our more direct influence: Hawkwind.
As for the "missing smoke machine," we really do need to get that repaired.
Steve Lindsey & Eric Siegerman , General Chaos Visuals, Toronto
Best of BS
both your "best rock star disap pearing act" and "Best place to see an off-duty multi-million-selling artist" paradoxically feature the estimable Gord Downie (NOW, October 30-November 5). Well, which is it? Is it just me, or is this descent into People magazine territory the bullshit I think it is? Ross Turnbull, Toronto
What about local biz?
i was disappointed by your recent Best Of Toronto poll because of the number of franchises that were featured as best in the city (NOW, November 6-12).
I know it's public opinion, but polls like this one should be a chance for local establishments that can't afford to run million-dollar ad campaigns to get some free promotion.
Michael Moniz, Toronto
Space for remembrance
each year, i try to honour remem- brance Day. I don't go to any ceremonies, but I do try to give it some space before the Christmas rush. I watch to see which stores (so far The Bay and Canadian Tire) advertise before November 11, and when the time comes to spend my money for gifts, I choose not to shop there.
Sadly, each year this has become more of a challenge. I watched Shoppers Drug Mart remove Halloween candies and replace them with Christmas chocolates.
And now even Global Television has started promoting the Santa Claus parade. Surely, these few days cannot be worth the insult to our veterans.
F.H. Robertson, Toronto
Ward 5 councillor Peter Milczyn voted for the lobbyist registry and MFP inquiry.