I'm not sure if I'm jumping the gun here, but I've just done an online search on nowtoronto.com and am very disappointed to find very little information on Caribana this year (NOW, July 29-August 4). You dedicated a whole cover story and guide to Pride weekend. It's one of North America's largest cultural events, drawing hundreds of thousands of people, so I think something similar should be done for Caribana.
Thank you so much for publishing The Lion In Brian (NOW, July 29-August 4). Brian Williamson was my father's cousin, and though it has been years since I last spoke with or saw Brian, his kindness, sweetness and loving smile will never be forgotten. I regret that I did not know him better, as it has been in his death that I have learned about all of his wonderful work and the brave courage that most likely led to his death.
He was a beacon of hope for many people who hide in shame simply because the culture unto which they have been born is not really all Irie. His education program, FLAG, was the first of its kind in Jamaica, and he helped to bring AIDS awareness to the island.
We are all worthy of the freedom to live our lives as we have been created, provided we do it with love and kindness toward others.
Scary sky experiments
Your story about chemtrails (NOW, July 29-August 4) was interesting coming from someone like Mike Smith and his what-can-you-do? attitude. A search of the CBC Web site for "Espanola" will bring up the story Ontario Town Worried About U.S. Military Flights (August 29, 1999). This phenomenon has been going on for some time, with no response from government and no follow-up in the media.
I am amazed at how many people don't even glance up from their cellphones to see what rains from above. For you newbies, this is the tip of the iceberg.
Locals losing out
I read NOW Magazine every week in the hope of reading about a new Canadian band, only to find its highly Americanized music midsection. I'm sorry, but to me the Hives (NOW, July 29-August 4) are as much an American product as Sum 41. It's no wonder Canadian culture is so fucking non-existent - nobody believes in anything from Toronto.
Coach House preservation
Recent media reports have included statements regarding Campus Co-operative Residence Inc's (CCRI) rejuvenation plans and the potential impact these plans may have on its tenant Coach House Press (NOW, July 22-28). We would like to set the record straight on a few points. We are 100-per-cent committed to finding a workable solution for all parties involved. Our plans on this site are part of a broader mandate to ensure our long-term economic viability.
As a cooperative organization, CCRI strives to incorporate the principles of cooperation in our decision-making. Coach House Press has been involved in our design committee and was an active voting member in selecting the plan architect.
That said, CCRI is about another important issue in the Canadian landscape: affordable student housing.
We are working hard to ensure the integrity and preservation of the buildings that reflect this site's historical significance.
YouSearched.com a dud
Joseph Wilson claims that YouSearched.com is actually accessible, given that it won "certification" from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (NOW, July 22-28). Really? YouSearched.com easily flunks the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Its code isn't valid, that is, grammatically correct (another of its claims), exhibiting four errors when you run it through validator.w3.org.
The RNIB's standard, by its own admission, isn't even at the middling level of WCAG compliance, level 2. Perhaps that's because RNIB's site also flunks level 2, with 346 errors on the home page. And we're supposed to care that YouSearched.com is certified by the RNIB?
Kerry's missing exit strategy
RE Kerry's Free Ride (NOW, July 29- August 4). Despite his laudable acceptance speech, John Kerry leaves a lot to be desired. Although he lambasted the bush-league Bush administration for artfully lying about invading and occupying Iraq, he failed to announce an exit strategy for American troops.
I am incensed at your article about organizations aiding and abetting illegal immigrants (NOW, July 29-August 4). I guess illegality is treated flippantly by social workers, who create sympathy for the "helpless." Some individuals are so warped that they start to re-label illegal immigration as "non-status." Wake up, people! A crime is a crime, no matter how you dress up the situation.
Car park not about NIMBY
Thank you for highlighting an important issue (Car-Crazy Park Plan, July 22-28). Lest we be accused of NIMBYism for opposing another parking lot in our neighbourhood, it bears mentioning that there are crucial issues at stake, (including) citizens' right to participate in decision-making on issues that directly affect them, environmental degradation, air pollution and related health effects, etc. On September 14, we are holding a neighbourhood consultation (time and location tba). This will be a chance to have accurate information and real discussion. Case Ootes is welcome to attend, of course, and we hope he will.
L. Garton, W. Reid, S. Weiss
Free market smog
Robert Priest's article on emissions trading (NOW, July 22-28) certainly wasn't a a rigorous contribution to the technical literature. But for letter-writer Loretta Yau (NOW, July 29-August 4) to say his position is reducible to simple ignorance of micro-economics is an insult, not an argument. Plenty of very learned people doubt that market mechanisms can reduce pollution, even if all the assumptions of economic theory (no price-setting by the biggest players, for example) more or less hold true.
To the firms with the greatest profits will go the greatest rights to pollute, whether their business is building SUVs for insecure yuppies or providing sanitation, houses and schools to the wretched of the earth. Is this good? Is this just?
Queen West eco hogs
Remember the blackout last summer? Obviously, not everyone does. Yesterday, as I walked down a short stretch of Queen east of Spadina, I felt the cold blast of air-conditioned air from about half a dozen stores that had their doors to the street wide open. What a disgusting and greedy waste of energy.
Your welcome critique of police Chief Julian Fantino (NOW, July 22-28) triggered memories of a few other abuses committed and/or condoned by Fantino during his five years. Under Fantino, approximately 80 protestors were held at 51 and 52 Divisions for almost 24 hours as preventive detention during the Tory convention.
In the 52 Division "bullpen," police gave us one stale cheese sandwich after eight hours.
In 51 Division, police intentionally harassed several of us by opening all windows opposite jail cells when the temperature outside was freezing cold.
Under the guise of "community policing," Fantino criminalized dissent generally. Some legacy!
I was surprised to see no review of the July 17 Los Lobos show on Harbourfront's mainstage. I had never been to a Los Lobos show and wasn't sure what to expect. Los Lobos came on shortly after 9:30 pm and played a few tunes from their new disc that got the mostly Latin audience warmed up. They followed with Bertha (Grateful Dead) and Let's Go (Buddy Holly). The crowd was all standing at this point, and when they played Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young) the love affair was in full swing.
The encore included an extended La Bamba that contained a mini-version of the Rascals' Good Lovin. It was an excellent show, and both the band and the audience really had a blast. The kicker was that it was free.
Here's to Los Lobos, who still know how to get in touch with an audience.
Where does the garbage go?
Our collective values, and the city's, are demonstrated in the current design of our billboard/"trash" cans (NOW, July 15-21). That there's no logical order to where the garbage (paper, or glass) receptacles are shows a blatant and alarming disregard for efficiency and waste management principles.
Soccer sucker punch
I live in the St. Clair West area of the city. The neighbourhood is transformed during soccer season. I like the sport, but whether it's the World Cup, Euro Cup or the recent South American Cup, drunken yahoos take over and parade their cars and have no respect for people who have to get up early for work the next day. It's fine to support one's native country or favourite soccer team, but let's confine the party to the bars.
Please, let's not wait until someone is hit by a car during all this mayhem, because then the partying will mean little when a human life is lost.
Thanks for the memories
I would like to personally thank NOW for sponsoring my daughter's soccer team in the West End United league.
All the parents appreciate NOW's generous donation. I have - and expect many more - fantastic memories from this year's soccer season.