RE Cameron Bailey's 12 steps to a Cure (NOW, July 28-August 3). I understand the desire to mix up the genres in Caribana, but what tends to be forgotten is that this is a mas (costume)- focused event, rooted in Trinidad. It is not a black thing. It is not a white thing. If you want reggae, go to one of the many Jamaica Days in the GTA or Marcus Garvey Day. If you want hiphop, listen to the radio or go to a club any time of the year.
Also, what I cannot understand is how Taste Of The Danforth can close down a major artery in Toronto for three days, how Pride can close down a neighbourhood for three days, yet Caribana begs for 12 hours each year and generates more income for the city than any other single event. We even have to close down the King And Queen show early because the folks in the new funky "lofts" at Dufferin and King whine about the noise.
Suck it up! You live in the city! Please, do not gentrify the event!
Libs come clean
RE Grits' fuzzy clean-air crusade (NOW, July 21-27). I am proud of the McGuinty government record on the environment, which is far from "fuzzy", as Hijal De Sarkar would have your readers believe. Since taking office, we have been working hard to clean the air we breathe. We have applied tough emission limits to more industrial sectors than ever before. We are the first jurisdiction in North America to say no to coal. The government's three RFPs [requests for proposals] for renewable power are expected to bring up to 1,600 megawatts of new, clean energy. We've invested $1 million for conservation outreach through the Conservation Partnerships Program and pilot projects reaching a wide range of NGOs and not-for-profits. We are investing over $1 billion in public transit over five years. Finally, we have invested in an Ethanol Growth Fund that will serve as a springboard for the development of a large bio-economy.
Cleaning up our environment will take commitment and a complex set of strategies. We are tackling the challenges responsibly on as many fronts as we can.
MPP Don Valley West
Breath of fresh air
Last week, on a rare visit to Toronto, I marvelled at the contents of NOW. It was like dying and going to heaven. Toronto's last gasp, your 10 moves that council must adopt to help alleviate the smog crisis, is simple yet stunning. Also brilliant is your photo exposé, Doors Wide Open (NOW, July 21-27), singling out greedy, self-serving retail establishments that ignore conservation pleas by wasting their air-conditioning on the outdoors. Finally, your piece Missing Windmills (NOW, July 21-27) demonstrates that there's no reason why Ontario can't follow the example of Denmark, where 20 per cent of electricity comes from the wind.
It's great to see NOW still brimming with relevance and ecological vision.
With all the talk about the dangers of smog (NOW, July 28-August 3), I have a very simple idea to address the problem. The city denied funding to Pedestrain Sundays in Kensington Market, a program that helps reduce smog and increases awareness of vehicular pollution. Add one paid or volunteer bylaw officer (I'm sure someone in the Market would love this job) whose sole responsibility is to ticket the dozens of illegally idling drivers in the Market on any given day. The money raised could go directly to P.S. Kensington, and ticketing would also reduce the vehicle emissions that we are all forced to choke down.
I would like to commend you for NOW's excellent coverage of the threat to St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican Church (NOW, July 28-August 3). We need St. Stephen in our community. I urge your readers to contact the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and ask them not to close the church.
Poetry in motion
RE Flight of the falcon (NOW, July 21-27). What a truly talented writer you have in Debbie O'Rourke. Every week, I glance through almost every article in NOW, but hers always make me stop and pore over those perfectly constructed sentences. She seems to possess the rare gift of being able to create beautifully sculpted poetry along with reflective politics. Hang on to this one!
Shooting the salesman
Letter writer Murray D. Lumley is so busy wringing his hands in misplaced liberal guilt (NOW, July 21-27) that he can't seem to think straight. "So-called terrorism is a response", he alleges, "to the crushing high-tech military power of the industrialized countries, particularly the U.S. with its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Small detail, Murray: 9/11 happened before those invasions, as did the al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Indeed, the U.S. high-tech military's most salient relation with al Queda prior to 9/11 was the CIA's supplying the jihadists with Stinger missiles in Afghanistan.
Get your head out of the sand.
Shock and awe
Wayne Roberts's article equating the terrorist bombings in London to G8 economic policies (NOW, July 14-20) was beyond distasteful. Equally distasteful was his equation of American revolutionaries with people who blow up Iraqi children. Unfortunately, this is the sort of "analysis" we are used to from Roberts. No one really takes it seriously. Your readers are too busy looking up the movie listings and the sex articles. It's too bad your writers have had the shock value of their writing wear so thin that most of us hardly give such columns more than a glance.
Bashing our own
RE Same-sex regress (NOW, July 7- 13). I wonder if Glenn Wheeler has ever been denied access to his dying lover's hospital room? Has he been gay-bashed for holding hands with a same-sex partner in an unfriendly neighbourhood, only to have cops snicker at his misfortune? Or what about trying to sponsor a same-sex partner from a developing nation? I am the first to critique the corporatism and privilege of my queer, white, upper-middle-class community, but also realize this does not represent the majority of queers in Canada. The passage of C-38 is a civil rights victory that is to be celebrated - not something to be reduced to an elitist obsession. The ahistorical cynicism of Wheeler's article is unhelpful.
Words will never hurt you
RE B'nai Brith's terrorism tack (NOW, July 28-August 3). You asked, "When is B'nai Brith is going to deal with the extremists in their own midst?" This is unconscionable. I have not heard of any Jewish terrorist suicide bombers or Jews using explosives to kill innocent civilians in London, Madrid, New York or elsewhere. Whatever extremists there are in B'nai Brith are only extreme with their words. I thought this was a democracy and we had free speech. Or does that only apply to the views of NOW?
Maxim W. Engel
I just read You're getting very sleepy (NOW, July 28-August 3, 2005) and, as a hypnosis instructor, wonder who the author has told you she is. Her knowledge of hypnosis is less than perfect and clearly expresses her ignorance. Unfortunately, many of your readers will take what she has to say as truth. I would like to know her qualifications.
Daniel F. Cleary
Hypnosis for Health Learning Center
North Palm Beach, Florida
Early bird gets the seat
Don Berns wrote a letter to the editor (NOW, July 28-August 3) taking the Fringe Festival to task for not letting in latecomers. I'm one of the regular patrons who appreciate the Fringe's ruling. As I sit in a venue, I know the no latecomers rule means that when the door is closed I can watch comfortably, without surprises. The latecomer rules are stated plainly and clearly in the program and on the advance tickets. Oh, if only movie theatres would do the same! Just to warn you, Mr. Berns: SummerWorks has the same rules, as do other Fringe fests across Canada.
I was extremely happy to see Jon Kaplan and NOW Magazine devote some press to new and young playwrights (NOW, July 7-13). Toronto has some stellar young artists who rival established ones. I think it's about time the media recognized youth efforts and talent.
Chris Jai Centeno
Boobs, not bombs
I find it silly that so many people are upset by the American Apparel ads (NOW, July 21-27). I guess it really is effective advertising. Letter writer Andrew Munger asks what he should tell his daughter about the scantilly clad young women in the underwear ads. You could tell your daughter that there are a lot worse pictures your daughter could see in a newpaper, like people being blown up. If seeing an ad in the paper uspets you and you forget everything else that's good about the paper, stop looking.