Cartoon controversy a laugh
Re The Danish cartoons of Mohammed controversy (NOW, February 9-15). The whole thing is laughable, strange and frightening.
Laughable because a people who adhere to a religion that has little respect for any other religion now demand utter respect for their own.
Strange because since when do secular newspapers care what religious extremists think? And frightening because of the incensed hordes raging all over the world.
Don't cool it on gas plant
NOW, I'm not trying to knock the green intentions listed in Power Struggle In The Port Lands (NOW, February 9-15), as I most definitely think they're better than McGuinty's gas plant. But if we really want to prevent the destruction of the waterfront, let's phase in deep-water cooling projects so we can see how much they affect aquatic life in the lake.
Deep-water cooling is a method of heat transfer. When the water is returned to the lake, it is substantially warmer.
In a closed ecological system, a change of environment, even a slight one, can cause incredible long-term problems as species die and throw the balance of the lake out of whack.
Remember what zebra mussels did to the lake? This problem would be much, much worse.
What does the western world do when a group it considers a terrorist organization is elected into government (NOW, February 9-15)? The world remembers what it means to be a democracy.
A society is not democratic just because it holds elections. Elections are simply a tool of the democratic process.
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are both essential to democracy, and neither of these freedoms is present in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian society is as democratic as a man holding a paint brush is an artist.
Hamas may have won the popular vote, but they can hardly be considered democratically elected leaders.
Save Riverdale half-round
Kudos to now for your piece on the preservation of Riverdale Hospital, the best example of modern architecture in the country (NOW, February 9-15).
I just wish you'd shown readers what's behind the glass tile mosaic in the front foyer: the rotunda room, all shiny wood, with great acoustics and an accessible stage. Our drama ensemble from Community Head Injury Resource Services performed a three-act play celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month there a little while ago.
What kind of a message are we sending to disabled artists when city council deems it necessary not only to cut down Riverdale's old-growth trees but also to trash its cultural legacy by further marginalizing its vibrant disability culture?
If you feel as strongly as I do concerning the preservation of this amazing building, I urge concerned NOW readers to sign a petition to save the half-round at www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/savethehalfround. Do I hear an OMB challenge, neighbours?!
Editor's note: We tried to get a photo of the rotunda but were denied access by the hospital administration.
Harper gets boomeranged
It is to be hoped that two positive upshots flow from Stephen Harper as a cabinet maker (NOW, February 9-15): ending the use of the term "principled" - in the sense of "We got 'em, you ain't." And considering outraged statements before making them, cuz they may boomerang.
Sphere dear to Parkdale
Kate Zankowicz's article on Parkdale's World Peace Monument (NOW, February 9-15) leaves the erroneous impression that the monument is part of a wider attempt to "sanitize Parkdale for tourist consumption."
To this end, Zankowicz interpreted my statement, "Meet me at the Globe in Parkdale," to mean that I intended the World Peace Monument to be marketed as an international tourist destination. While I would certainly welcome tourists wishing to explore the rich sights and sounds of Parkdale, including the World Peace Monument, I was referring to local residents and the monument's potential to become a major gathering point for the community.
I also take issue with the suggestion that the World Peace Monument enjoys little support in the community. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a recent poll, Parkdale residents selected it as the neighbourhood's best landmark. See you at the Globe in Parkdale!
Councillor Sylvia Watson
Jabour of love
It's truly a shame that Brent Raynor took it upon himself to pen poisonous lines like "vaudevillian cabaret of the macabre" when reviewing the passionate and poignant work of Canadian independent artist Lenni Jabour (NOW, February 9-15).
The detractors will react as though they were asked to swallow cod liver oil. There appears to be little middle ground, and surely Jabour knows that being an original in a musical universe filled with carbon copies of guitar-slinging alt-whatevers comes with that price.
A supposedly sophisticated music critic should be able to appreciate the qualities of a wonderfully creative work like Les Dangereuses even if he's not a fan of the music.
Slagging our own original, gifted, underfunded and struggling indie artists is a pointless and destructive exercise. Save the condemnations for the Il Divo machines of this world.
No cash in catching idlers
Your article on the city's refusal to monitor the unnecessary idling of its own vehicles (NOW, February 2-8) highlights the fact that our councillors are not very interested in decreasing pollution. The obvious reason why there's no enforcement of the anti-idling bylaw is that there's no money in it. The real bonanza is in parking tickets. Since amalgamation, there are twice as many parking bylaw officers, fines have increased, and places to park for free have been eliminated - that is, if you live within 5 kilometres of downtown. And don't even think of inviting someone from out of town to visit you. You'd have to take a half-day off work to get a parking permit.
Public input scam
Reading your story on the public consultations related to the new street standards (NOW, February 2-8) shows the whole process is a scam meant to mislead the public and produce preordained results regardless of the public's desires.
Black kids with no respect
As the eldest of five children raised from the age of 13 by a single black father, I can tell you that Bairu Sium (NOW, February 2-8) completely missed the mark.
Black fathers and a flawed education system are mainly to blame for what's going on with these young men. That was the primary reason for the organization of the Million Man March, or have you forgotten?
Talk with some of these kids. They have no respect for human life and no discipline.
There are certain things that a boy can only learn from his father.
Stop blaming the police and the politicians and wake up. Finally, stop calling us minorities. I'm quite sure there are more people of colour in this world than there are white people.
Divine property rights
Letter-writer John Collins (NOW, February 2-8) advocates that "...perhaps it's time to recognize that ownership of property is a basic human right." Where does ownership of property come from? In the Old World, it comes from the divine right of kings, which no one takes seriously any more. In the New World, it's based on Europeans taking land from the people who lived here, who themselves had no concept of property in the European sense. Collins is therefore suggesting that military power and being the first person on a particular piece of land confer property rights. In that case, the U.S. owns the moon.
Your recent edition reported that Elizabeth Hasselbeck is married to Super Bowl quarterback and Seattle Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck (NOW, February 2-8). This is incorrect. She is married to New York Giants backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, who has played in 13 games over his four-year career.