Nasty, but I like it, too
As I read your ratings of Toronto's best Chinese food, I noticed you reviewed a popular U of T hangout called New Ho King (NOW, February 3-9). I used to love eating at this place, because the food is truly good. That is, until I took note of the restaurant rating system conducted by the health department a few years ago. Since you gave them a three-N rating, perhaps it would be prudent for Now to incorporate the "Safe Dining" rating standards into your restaurant ratings.
Noshing north of Bloor
Have you considered venturing beyond downtown to check out the Chinese food in other parts of the megacity? I'm not a burb person myself, but I can assure you there are good cheap or reasonably priced eats in North York and Scarborough. For example, you can get a very filling lunch for $4 or $5 from the vendors in the food court in Metro Square on Steeles East. If you want to expand your scope to the GTA, I've also come across great noshes in Markham and Richmond Hill.
RE Alexisonflicker (NOW, February 3-9). Preciously pretentious lyrics? Attitude to the seemingly unimpressed audience? Refusing autographs and generally acting like dicks? This is what happens when a band doesn't have to "pay its dues"and is thrown to the top too quickly.
Just wondering if you guys could go a week without having some "art-fag" (nothing against homosexuals) or some shite Queen West shop owner with "radical" and "trendy" clothing in My Style (NOW, February 3-9). I'm sorry, but what's My Style about buying your clothing from ChateauWorks and shoes from Aldo? What happened to someone from your office hitting the pavement and finding people on the street with style?
RE Car-free crash (NOW, February 3-9). Activists must take the bull by the horns and demand permanent car-free zones in the downtown core. We are too satisfied pushing for crumbs and calling that success. Let's put an end to this futile and dysfunctional [battle] between politicians and activists and direct our efforts to projects for permanent changes if we are to create an alternative-living/car-free city.
Gridlock nothing to envy
Kudos to Mike Smith for car-free crash, and a raspberry to the person who placed a full-size advertisement for an infernal combustion machine on the facing page. The car ad warns, "Careful, envy is a sin." If there's something to envy here, it's not the sexy red car that promises fulfilment and delivers gridlock and asthma attacks.
Johnny on the flip-flop
Minister John Gerretsen would do well to remember his government's written promise not to raise taxes (NOW, February 3-9). Better, perhaps, that he and his federal counterparts start paying the city what they owe. Or is that too much of a stretch?
Happy, furry protestors
I think those fur-clad gals at PETA's anti-fur demo (NOW January 27-February 2) deserve a round of applause for scratching around in the cold risking their reputations. I believe their point was to de-glamorize wearing fur (by humans) and to attract media attention to the issue, not to make a mockery of themselves, as NOW suggests. Looks like PETA has found its furry niche. Keep it up!
Ban pols, not homeless
After years of first-hand experience, it does not in the least surprise me to see Toronto city council pass a resolution ostensibly crafted to address the problem of homelessness (NOW, January 27-February 2). What does disturb me deeply, however, is that most of my former NDP colleagues support this onerous ban.
I believe such a ban poses a serious threat to our civil community. It shifts the onus of homelessness from the economic and political leaders of our society onto the shoulders of those who already bear the brunt of the social travesty of homelessness.
The housing strategy proposal in the bylaw has some laudable provisions but is seriously flawed. Its funding proposals fall far short of the need and have no mechanisms to guarantee that funding be allocated.
Instead of a ban that would provide for the eviction, under the force of law and at the hands of our police, why don't we enact a ban of opportunistic politicians?
Metro Councillor for Don River, 1987-1994
This bad rap's the pits
Why is it so difficult for NOW - progressive, Think Free - to understand that banning pit bulls is a dumb, reactionary, jailing-the-homeless kind of idea (NOW, January 27-February 2)? Where is the in-depth article looking at the issue, the other cities where breeds have been banned and some real stats about dog attacks? What about listening to some other ideas that can actually deliver results, like education, and breeder licensing for neutered/spayed dogs? Plenty of problems happen with non-pit breeds, too.
Oscar hates sex, loves Foxx
I enjoyed your article regarding the omissions in this year's Oscar nominations (NOW, January 27-February 2). One very notable individual you missed in your article was Liam Neeson, in Kinsey. Perhaps the members of the Academy were scared off by the subject matter. This year's best-actor race is a cakewalk for Jamie Foxx.
Rob W. Musclow
Letter writer Alex MacLean accepts Stephen Harper's argument that approval of same-sex marriage implies approval of polygamy, and asks what's wrong with polygamy (NOW, February 3-9).
As currently practised, polygamy usually occurs in insular communities in which immature and naive women succumb to religious and social pressure to enter into marriages in which they are completely subservient to their domineering husbands.
The theoretical possibility of happy, successful polygamous marriages does exist, but the actuality of polygamous marriages is that the multiple wives are oppressed. We would be making a terrible mistake if we allow Harper to get away with his comparison of same-sex marriage to polygamy.
Cole calculus of reason
in her panegyric on the late Jeri Wine (NOW, February 3-9), Susan G. Cole writes that Wine "refused to allow men in one of her courses on violence against women, something unheard of then and probably impossible now." Thankfully impossible, you mean?
Is illegal discrimination suddenly OK if some hypothetical woman, lesbian or mentor of Cole's does it? If I'm not mistaken, Cole is old enough to remember the actual passage of the Ontario Human Rights Code; she might want to Google it.
Iraq's ill-fated hopes
before getting too enthusiastic about Iraq's elections (NOW, January 27-February 2), people should look closely at the details to understand why so many Iraqis believe the January 30 vote only serves to reinforce the occupation. Under the interim governments, billions of dollars in Iraqi assets were sold off to foreign bidders at fire sale prices. Lucrative contracts for services and industries once provided by Iraqis were awarded to U.S. and other foreign firms, leaving thousands of Iraqis unemployed. Meanwhile, IMF austerity measures ensure that any new revenue generated in the country is directed to foreign lenders, mostly to the U.S.
We were disappointed to see now endorse the TTC's plan to install video advertising in subway cars (NOW, February 3-9). Many riders who are trying to relax, socialize or read a book don't need another "distraction" for the ride. Besides, the guaranteed revenue for the TTC is insignificant. Hundreds of angry riders have written letters to the TTC. The message is clear: Please, no more video advertising in public spaces!
Toronto Public Space Committee
Cutting edge takes a pill
Who benefits from publishing Matt Mernagh's first-person account, Kicking Is Dangerous (NOW, January 27-February 2)?
Big Pharma? Not unless they want to be known as the makers of the "poison" in Mernagh's body. NOW readers? Antidepressants, at least the SSRIs in my own first-person experience, take a long time to take effect, and they should not be kicked cold-turkey as Mernagh chose to do. Any pharmacist would tell you the same.
Given the writer's "excellent dialogue" with his doctor, why did he choose abrupt cessation of his meds?
Does NOW benefit from this piece?
It gets to be cutting-edge, railing against how Big Pharma deludes the public and pushes Health Canada around, and this is useful to know.
RE T.O.'s Flood in waiting, by John Bacher (NOW, January 6-12). Tragic events like the recent and far-reaching Asian tsunami can no doubt [impel us to improve] our level of preparedness against natural vulnerabilities. The reduction or elimination of flood risk has been a core objective of conservation authorities.
Lower Don River West flood protection activities are examples of some of our current initiatives to try to deal with existing flood risks. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has just initiated a second environmental assessment that is also supported by the Waterfront Corporation. The EA will identify the best means available to naturalize the area surrounding the Keating Channel at the mouth of the Don River, removing the risk of flooding to the east and south of the Don River in the port lands area.
We continue to include the reduction or elimination of flood risk as a core objective in every activity we undertake, whether managed through the permit review and planning commenting process, the watershed planning process, or daily flood forecasting and warnings.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Cum in my Mini-Wheats
Lovely back-page ad on your recent issue (NOW, January 20-26). If I wanted to see a bathing suit hiked that far up someone's ass over my coffee and bowl of Mini-Wheats, I would have rented Swimming In Cum the night before and moved my DVD player to the kitchen.