Campus Co-op's bad-guy act
Thank you for your coverage of the Coach House/Campus Co-op predicament (NOW, September 30-October 6). When I moved in to the Coach House in 1968, it was an empty shell of a garage. Over the next 35 years, I added, at my own expense, plumbing, electricity, doors, windows, etc.
Campus Co-op Residences has not spent a dime on maintaining the building. We have paid rent for 35 years on a garage that would have been otherwise unrentable. This does not look like a "subsidy" to me. In fact, our location has been more profitable to CCRI than any of its other garages.
It is important to note, too, that whenever CCRI has asked for an increase in rent, we have happily paid it - including a 25 per cent increase in the last calendar year alone. If at any point CCRI thought it was "subsidizing" Coach House or that the relationship was unfair, it should have said so. We'd have been happy to renegotiate.
Of course we sympathize with the financial plight of CCRI - as literary publishers, we certainly understand economic duress.
And we have had a mutually beneficial relationship for decades that we hope will continue.
We wish only that the other good guy would stop resorting to bad-guy tactics to resolve it.
Coach House Press
Parroting pro-Israel line
Re Lessons in Propaganda (NOW, September 23-29). What a shame that Mike Smith came to the Wolfond Centre for Jewish Campus Life to attend a talk that was explicitly advertised to be about countering negative media coverage of Israel, only to find - horror of horrors - strategies for countering negative coverage of Israel being discussed. I guess there's just no preparing for some things. Smith seems to have the impression that we at the Wolfond Centre are in the business of trying to sweep Israel's dirty little secrets under the rug.
Let me be the first to correct him by inviting him (and any other NOW writers or members of the public who are interested) to a Wolfond Centre-sponsored talk by Amos Oz entitled How To Cure A Fanatic on October 13.
If there's anyone you can trust not to parrot the Sharon government's party line, it's Oz.
Public Relations Coordinator, Hillel
Merkury feeling burned
Re Bluesy nude (NOW, September 23-29). As a former member of Merkury Burn, I find it insulting to read that Kelly Clipperton "called it quits." Kelly didn't quit Merkury Burn; he was ceremoniously handed his walking papers by the band at a meeting in March 2003. Second, Elizabeth Bromstein states that "Clipperton has always struck me as the kind of guy who's usually in a pretty good mood. You know, the type of upbeat person who has a million friends ."
Sure, Clipperton can strike you as that type of person. Work with him for a week and you might discover differently. And, well, this brings us back to the first point. It's too bad he was working with one of the best bands in the city making music he "supposedly" loved.
And now? I hope that you are enjoying being a lounge singer, Kelly.
Girls good to go
I attended the good grooming For Girls CD release party because of the glowing feature by Sarah Liss (NOW, September 16-22). I went with a bunch of friends and had a blast. I was surprised to see a subsequent nasty review of the show by Jason Richards (NOW, September 23-29). He knocked Jon Rae Fletcher for being too happy onstage. He continued his unjust criticism by suggesting he hogged the stage. Fletcher probably felt the need to keep playing because the packed room in front of him was dancing and cheering.
Richards may have rolled his eyes at the show, but I had to roll my eyes at this half-arsed review. He should have called in sick for work that night.
Sex assault's missing logic
Re Once a stripper by Sonya Cote (NOW, September 23-29). How could the court ignore the fact that the touching in this case was not accidental and that there was intent? It's simple physics. The perpetrator had to be pretty determined to get his hand down and up Cote's pant while she was crouching. And how could Cote's stripping past be relevant or admissible information? Am I miss something?
Tree bylaw out on a limb
On the same day that city council passed the so-called "tree protection bylaw" with no discussion or recorded vote (NOW, September 9-15), our city councillors also approved the removal of 40 trees to make room for a development by the Don River. During the Listening To Toronto sessions earlier this year, Toronto residents addressed their environmental concern that too many trees are being removed to make room for redevelopment. Hmm. Is anyone listening?
One out of 15 ain't bad
I made plans to go on the Cabbagetown ROM Walk scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday, September 19. I joined a group at Bloor and Church who said they had been waiting for the person from the ROM to show up. After a while, one of them phoned the ROM, only to be told that the walk had already left from Parliament and Spruce.
Some of the people waiting were voicing their opinions that NOW Magazine often gets info in its listings wrong. (The listing mentioned is from the Seven Days section.)
But I've gone to about 15 events listed in that section and this is the first one that didn't work out. Thanks for the info on low-cost and interesting goings-on around the city.
Irony lost on Pope lover
Concerning Marc Boudignon's letter (NOW, September 30-October 6) criticizing Robert Priest's tongue-in-cheek What The Pope Meant (NOW, September 16-22). I would like to suggest that Priest actually does understand what the Pope really means when he denounced same-sex marriages.
But since Boudignon insists on such a literal reading of the article, all I can suggest is that he pull out his dictionary and look up the words "irony" and "satire." Live and let live.
PETA's painful message
While I generally appreciate the tone of the article about PETA's campaign, Holocaust On Your Plate (NOW, September 16-22), I do take exception to the message that PETA has stepped over some kind of line by drawing comparisons to the horrors Nazis wrought in the concentration camps. Our silence on the enormous abuse that's heaped on farm animals every day is quite analogous to that of the German citizenry in the 30s and 40s. I see no distinction.
It's a painful message, but one that occasionally has to be brought to light.
Prudent racial profiling
As a pilot, I read the article by Shahid Mahmood about his Air Canada experience with interest (NOW, September 2-8). There are a couple elements to this story that leave the airline with no choice but to profile this customer.
Flying "discount" on the Jetsgo charter to Vancouver only to walk up to Air Canada to pay full fare for the Vancouver-to-Victoria leg doesn't make sense. It's viewed as "unusual." I would question this if I worked the gate.
I don't know how this all unfolded at the ticket counter, but in light of the "unusual" travel plans, coupled with ethnicity and perhaps attitude, I think the actions taken were prudent.
There may not be a profiling program in place, but in the world we live in today, people profile other people.
T. St. Clair
Labour's solidarity slip
The Labour Council's John Cartwright wants us to believe that Labour Day is merely a day to have fun (NOW, September 23-29). Given the impact of neo-liberal policies on communities around the world and the increase in military budgets to kill and subjugate entire populations in order to further that agenda (implicit as it is in the reigning definition of "democracy"), the necessity of solidarity should be stronger than ever. Labour Day should not be watered down as a "celebration" of past gains that were all too minimal in the first place and are now being continually rolled back.
The Labour Day parade described by Cartwright is missing the spirit of international working class solidarity and struggle.
Fine feathered tale
When I spied Drew Hayden Taylor's byline in a recent issue (NOW, September 16-22), I thought "Well, now, this should be good." And happily, I was not disappointed! A Feather In Sari-land was enlightening, thought-provoking and superbly witty. Thanks so very much. This reader was utterly enchanted!