New trash bins fire hazard
As a former employee of EUCAN, I have had a first-hand look at the new EcoMupi trash bins (NOW, July 15-21). All these bins will provide is twice the space for the glue-happy poster people who plaster them night after night and create three times the work for city garbage collectors.
If people can't find the right slots in the regular three-slotted SilverBoxes to dump their waste, how the hell are they going to find the right place for their trash and recyclables when the new EcuMupi bins have slots for garbage and the different recyclables on each end?
The proposed bins are so high that kids won't be able to reach the slots for recycling, but they might just be able to reach the handy cigarette trays that, with a simple pull, will dump the smouldering butts into the trash cans. Who will we blame this on?
Your photo of the EcoMupi bin fails to show the four 3-foot legs that protrude from each side of the bin that will have to be buried under the concrete in order to keep the structure stable.
Marc F. Ross
Setting scooters straight
Your Ecoholic column reported that the only retailer of zero-emission electric-motor scooters is based in Vancouver (NOW, July 15-21). However, we are actually the first dealership in Canada and located right here in Toronto. I liked the discussion on motorcycles' emissions exemptions, but you fell short on the fuel efficiency of gas-powered scooters. Independent reports have yielded a rating of about 5.6 litres per 100 kilometers for the new Vespa, a ridiculously poor number that firmly places these scooters in car territory, not "super-fuel-efficient" as you state. My five-seater mid-size car, a hybrid Toyota Prius, gets better fuel economy than that!
I particularly liked your warning about forgetting the filthy two-stroke machines, but I don't understand what you meant by "can run from 10 to 100 km/hour." It will do a maximum of 55 km/hour (on the flat, no tail or head wind) and will travel between 30 and 50 km/hour on a charge, depending on terrain and average speeds. I hope this puts matters a little straighter.
Hiphop's alarmist weirdos
It's no wonder hiphop fans don't vote (NOW, July 8-14). The people supposedly in charge of running the ship are freaked-out alarmist weirdos. Does anyone in their right mind think these fatigue-clad dreaded 30-somethings are going to be able to appeal to the hiphop youth? I really don't understand what "summits" like the one detailed in NOW are trying to accomplish.
There are too many megalomaniacal weirdos crawling out of their bomb shelters trying to get hiphop heads to vote for something that doesn't exist. Instead of getting up behind the podium and preaching about the big evil political machine, why not try giving the people a reason to vote? Apathy will continue like this until hiphop fans stop being confused on purpose.
re Your review of Inside Out's new CD, What Is This Thing? (NOW, July 8-14). The reviewer referred to our recording as a "straightforward improvisational jazz album." This may be a guitar trio and we do play standard tunes, but this is anything but a straightforward jazz recording, as anybody who has attempted to play this music will testify.
I suggest that if you're going to review music, especially jazz and improvisation-based music, you hire somebody with at least a little knowledge of what it is they are critiquing!
Fringe's anti-war freak out
This weekend I was in Toronto and, against my better judgment, was having a good time. I went to some Fringe shows and laughed my ass off. In fact, pretty much all of my Montreal-induced prejudices against Toronto were slipping away into the ether. Then the most appalling thing happened. I was in the Fringe beer tent on Sunday when I saw two guys representing a group called THAW (Theatres Against War) being thrown out.
Their crime? Handing out flyers trying to get people down to the Republican National Convention to theatrically protest Dubya.
According to an organizer, this would have been fine had they paid the Fringe money for the privilege, but as it was, this was just "too controversial." Too controversial for the Fringe?
I'll be back in Toronto, but the Fringe has just lost one pissed-off customer.
Breathe deeper next time
re Alt Health, Airway Angst (NOW, July 15-21). Alternative health advice is of interest to many people, and we were happy to see the article about asthma and how to ease your symptoms. But why wasn't a respiratory therapist consulted in the "What the experts say" section? Not an alternative therapy, true, but RTs are often the first health professionals called onto the scene in a variety of emergency situations, from helping premature babies breathe to working on the front line treating chronic lung conditions, and even SARS. Simply said: respiratory therapists help people breathe, and we would like everyone to know it.
College of Respiratory Therapists
Watch me blow a donkey
re Sex in the Grey Zone (NOW, July 8-14). It's articles like these that make me regret ever having learned to read. You sit on a woman's face while your boyfriend has his way with her, and you think this falls in some kind of "grey area"? That is so sick and ridiculous. I might even laugh if I weren't occupied with spewing vomit all over this fine, fine paper. (Sorry, Ethan Hawke! Sorry, zebra-pants lady!)
My saintly dead grandmother's sex life would provide more relevant controversy than articles that are all, like, "Look at me, I'm so free and uninhibited! Watch me blow seven donkeys and your dad, in no particular order!"
Silencing sexual assault
In regard to Sex In The Grey Zone, someone needs to tell L. Ipsum that her partner callously and indisputably sexually assaulted that woman. She said no. Getting fucked after the fact is not consent. The only matter lying in a grey area is L. Ipsum's resolve in continuing to do the right thing. The absolute minimum she should do, though, if she is too afraid to talk to her partner, is contact that woman. Her silence only adds to the already suffocating silence of this society toward sexual assault. But I commend NOW for printing the piece. It's a very messy subject usually only seen from very obvious angles.
'Pussy loses thunder
re Alabama Thunderpussy review (NOW, July 8-14). So Nick Flanagan says "this fun rock show deserves a bigger audience." I could not agree more. But Flanagan says "a lack of advertising" is a reason the show was poorly attended. Cannibal Corpse played the Opera House the same Saturday (July 10), their show was advertised in the same manner and 800 people showed up. Are they a better-known band?
Had Flanagan decided to give this show some pre-press, perhaps it could have helped bolster attendance.
Instead, he does a review (which really means fuck-all after the band has left town).
Inertia Entertainment/Club Rockit Toronto
Just a quick word of thanks for the super-cool write-up on Canteen Knockout (NOW, July 15-21). As the band's producer on their EP, I've always believed in the talent of Andre Skinner and know he will be known on a larger scale (in time) as a creative local music powerhouse. Your magazine is certainly helping to make this happen. Thanks to your staff, and especially Nick Flanagan.
re Your review of Notebook (NOW, June 24-30). Did Andrew McIntyre see this movie? He states that "You never find out why the story is being narrated in a nursing home to a woman with advancing Alzheimers, but that doesn't matter." The "why," Mr. McIntyre, was revealed by the notebook itself when the last entry was shown to the audience. The woman, superbly played by Gena Rowlands, is in fact the wife of the reader (James Garner at his best).
Knowing that she had Alzheimers, she wrote the story of their love affair and asked her husband to read it to her during the advanced stages of the disease. He did, in the hope that the memories would bring her back from oblivion, and he succeeded for a short while. To report that "it doesn't really matter" relegates the story to meaninglessness.
As a former team member, I never thought I'd be coming to the defence of Heather Reisman, but after reading "O Heather" in your UpFront section (NOW, July 8-14), I have difficulty understanding the link between a Chapters ad extolling the company for being "made in Canada" and the same company putting other bookstores out of business. Do Americans have a monopoly on that sort of corporate culture?
I get a lot out of NOW Magazine but was recently disappointed that no one caught a rather glaring misrepresentation in the Election Notebook (NOW, June 10-16) - a reference to people on welfare receiving $15,000 a year. While single parents with children receive something approaching $15,000 a year, you may have read recently that a computer problem is preventing the new Ontario government from distributing the 3 per cent increase on welfare rates that have been, since 1995, $325 per month maximum for rent (rent receipts required) and $195 a month for living expenses. That's slightly over $6,000 a year for single individuals on welfare.