Not sold on green bins
"... some of the finest raccoon scientist minds in the Don Valley (are) trying to figure out how to pry open (the new green bins)?" (NOW, October 21-27). How out of touch is the NOW staffer who penned this classic? I live on Cambridge Avenue, a street backing onto the Don Valley, and let me assure you, it wasn't 48 hours before I found my brand spanking new green bin toppled over, its lid flung open and its contents (those not devoured) scattered in the garden (and, yes, I had secured the lid properly).
I've heard that the city's best minds are working on a tougher, probably double-catch, supposedly raccoon-proof bin. I'll believe it when I see it.
In compost heaven
I was pleased to receive my stylish new green bin for organic waste, and already my roommates and I have cut our garbage output in half. Many of us apartment-dwellers would like to be able to compost but were unable to until now. This is a very cool initiative and makes me feel like I live in a progressive city. I encourage everyone to use them. Let's make this work!
Temagami's sights unseen
While Jessica Le Poidevin's travel piece on the bonuses of canoe tripping in Temagami has its merits (NOW, October 21-27), I would like to point out that the last glacier to recede across this part of Ontario was the 2-kilometre-thick Wisconsinan glacier 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. On a second point, the Temagami region is pristine and a haven for wildlife, but, unfortunately, there have been no verified sightings of a wild cougar in Ontario since 1884. Their existence may just be the stuff of legend.
One of Mike Leigh's best
Re Mike Leigh regresses (NOW, October 21-27). John Harkness, in his review of Vera Drake, (says) Mike Leigh has spent more than enough time on the lower classes. Fair enough. But as one who grew up in England in the late 40s and early 50s, I admire Leigh's depictions of the time: the claustrophobically small houses, the dim sculleries, the electric-fire fireplaces. For me, this is one of his best.
Art crap out
Re Art that smarts (NOW, October 21-27). Judging by all the crap you presented as "art," you wouldn't know art if it bit you in the ass.
TEA hard to swallow
Re Subway's last hurrah (NOW, October 14-20). Whether the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) is being funded by the city or not, it should be able to credit actions and not rhetorical "efforts" in its annual report card. Giving a B+ to council, considering that the smog problem has increased over the last year, makes one wonder what TEA was thinking.
This council, with the leadership of Mayor Miller and his sidekick, Councillor Joe Pantalone, is also supporting the Front Street Extension.
Then there's the car-free fiasco in Kensington Market that has jeopardized the creation of permanent car-free areas.
But don't despair. Our councillors are making an effort to learn! They attended a conference in Atlanta to follow in the steps of the world's most auto-dependent country on how to improve public transit.
Too quick to scream racism
Arshad Khan writes in to express his ire that Dan Savage identifies a correspondent as Saudi when "all he said was that he was from the Middle East" (NOW, October 14-20). Arshad, either you failed reading comprehension in grade 4 or you're so ready to find a racial slur that it blinds you to reality. Savage refers to the writer as SAUDI (note the capitals), not Saudi, because the writer signs his letter "So Alluring Until Disease Intervenes." Get it? I know the times stink, but relax, buddy.
Do NOW's music writers even listen to the albums they review? While I support NOW week after week as a reader, it's evident the music section is a weak link in the magazine. Admittedly, some of NOW's music writers are knowledgeable, but they need to do a better job in their reviews at hiding the obvious fact that they're jaded.
The reviews often remind me of those acquaintances who seem like they're about to say something nice but are really building up to insult you.
My advice: stop hating! While dissing records provides you with the "opportunity" for clever lines and quotes, readers want a fair review and will go elsewhere to find it.
Tired of f**king
Just wanted to let you know I'm starting to find Savage Love and some of the Love & Sex columns a bit offensive. There always seems to be the "fucking" word, and I'm getting tired of it. I don't know why a word for sex, which is supposed to be a beautiful thing, has been turned into the most offensive word in our vocabulary. It's difficult to have a sexually healthy culture when "fuck" is the worst word around. Anyway, the rest of your magazine is great. Keep up the good work.
Take-control men a turn-on
Sonya Cote's love & sex column was oh so hot (NOW, October 14-20). As a 23-year-old woman, I can completely identify with and understand what the writer was going through and why her sexual experience with a stranger was one she'll never forget. I, too, wish more men were like the one in the story.
Undeserving Tent City folk
Re Steve Jones's Shelter sweepstakes (NOW, October 14-20). Where I live, I've watched three former Tent City squatters shuffle out to the balcony of their new digs and, up until recently, crank classic rock from their balcony all day every day as if they were on permanent vacation at Wasaga Beach. The screening process used to select candidates for the Emergency Housing Pilot Project, in my opinion, has fallen short of its goals. Surely, a more deserving group of people exists (perhaps a single-parent family living below the poverty line)?
T.O. dollars make sense
Thanks to Robert Priest and NOW for letting all of Toronto in on our secret (NOW, October 14-20). Just to clarify a few facts: the Toronto Dollar board is proud that more than 600,000 Toronto Dollars have been used to purchase goods and services from 200 businesses, and that $85,000 have, as a result, been donated to community agencies. We continue to hope that the city will formally adopt the Toronto Dollar and put its resources behind us in the not too distant future. As the number of Torontonians investing grows, we look forward to expanding the scope of this currency and encouraging more banks to participate.
Two small corrections: St. John's Bakery is located at Broadview and Kintyre, and the grocery store at Gerrard Square accepting Toronto Dollars is Food Basics. Thanks again for a great article
Toronto Dollar Community Projects Inc.
Canada Post needs biologist
My roommate just showed me his Year Of The Monkey commemorative stamp set folder from Canada Post, and I was amazed to see pictures of chimpanzees! Like gorillas, gibbons, orangutans, etc, chimps are apes, not monkeys. In fact, chimps are humans' closest living relative. On the evolutionary tree, chimps and other apes are no more monkeys than we are. One of the many easy ways to tell apes from monkeys is that apes do not have tails.
It is most amusing that nobody noticed this! Maybe Canada Post should hire a biologist to ensure they don't use pictures of cows to commemorate the year of the horse.