Now, that's a wrap
I found Wrap Attack, by Paul Terefenko (NOW, April 20-26), very interesting.
Who knew we could bring our own containers into fast food restaurants? I'll give it a go and see how many curious looks I get. It's nice to hear that some restaurants, like Fresh, are willing to reward customers for being environmentally friendly.
You might find it interesting to know that Urban Herbivore in Kensington uses corn-based takeout containers that can be composted. Cheers, and keep up the good work.
Eco virtues of going vegan
I'm glad you covered food issues, namely fish, in your six-point plan for a healthier planet (NOW, April 20-26).
But what about land-based food? The land we grow our food on displaces the wilderness that would otherwise grow there, exposes soil to erosion and is usually doused in chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
What can we do? Eat a vegetarian diet. Eating organic is more gentle on the land, and eating locally grown means less fossil fuel is needed for shipping. Finally, look for ways to waste less food. A recent study found that almost half of all food is thrown out. More details at www.veg.ca.
Vegetarian Directory, Toronto
Air pollution solution
Number one in your six-point plan for a healthier planet addresses the problem of air pollution yet totally ignores motor vehicles.
It was widely reported last week in other media that between 35 and 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come out of the tailpipe.
Perhaps, then, another excellent step would be to legislate better mileage for all vehicles, not just the smaller ones.
Also, to ignore coal as a modern power source for generating electricity is as shortsighted as ignoring the possibilities offered by the modern technology now available for burning garbage, a side benefit of which is electricity generation. Time to get real about a few of these issues and not to hide behind old, bad science.
Sheila, show a little respect
"Without their Explorers and Destroyers, divorced men in leather jackets would have no identity" (NOW, April 20-26). Sheila Gostick seems miffed that these gentlemen won't join her "healthy, peaceful survival" parade. Not to worry, dear. You wouldn't last a second without your self-righteousness.
The car is the enemy, not the driver. The saving of the planet is serious business, and I can't see where pissing in the snow is doing any good. Gostick's attitude reminds me of the children I work with - they cannot understand that fighting over who goes first uses up all the time. Now, let's hear, nice and clear, please look me in the eye and say, "Respect is the key."
Alas! The glossy oversized advertising insert in an otherwise well-received Green issue screamed, "We really don't get this environmental crisis thing!"
Even the use of tree-sensitive/recycled paper printed with non-toxic inks on a smaller-sized insert would not have made me care to meet Boygroove. Now my only concern is what to do with this damn poster. Will my paper shredder even work on this two-colour glossy?
Lynn D. Fairweather
I am so completely fed up with your dumb writers trying to flex their supposed knowledge of rap music (NOW, April 13-19). To quote Jason Keller: "Illadelphia, a city known for producing conscious rap artists like Common and Mos Def...." What? Just because they've done tracks with the Roots?
Also, how the fuck does Philadelphia have a rep for producing conscious rappers? It's the birthplace of Schooly D (one of the world's first gangsta rappers) and Beanie Sigel, for shit's sake.
I dare your music writers to go for a whole issue without quoting the press release that was e-mailed/faxed/mailed to them. In future, when interviewing rappers, please assign someone who has at least a half-arsed sense of geography.
I'm writing in response to the article about Tam Goossen and how she has allegedly been betrayed in Trinity-Spadina (NOW, April 13-19).
While I cannot speak for Olivia Chow, I can say this to the gentleman who stated that she doesn't do anything without thinking: perhaps she has endorsed Helen Kennedy because she is the best candidate for the job. It's as simple as that.
The accusations against her character are completely uncalled for. If I'd been in Chow's place I would have wanted to end the interview with your writer as well.
As for Goossen making "the lily-white council chamber a little less so," we need to take a step back and realize that diversity is more than skin deep. As Kennedy said in the article, she'd be the first out lesbian at City Hall, also representative of our city's diversity. We should stop playing the "whose minority group is more marginalized" game and start looking at the qualifications each candidate has for the job.
As someone who's lived, worked and hung out in Parkdale for the past 10 years, I was appalled by Mike Langevin's letter (NOW, April 13-19) griping that the couches left behind from the Parkdale Globe sit-in were taken over the next day "by the homeless and drug dealers."
First of all, all the couches were hauled off within a couple of days, but when they were still there I saw moms with kids and ordinary Parkdale folks using them. I don't think any dealer would be stupid enough to do business in such an exposed area.
Maybe the folks he saw were ordinary people without cash who live in P-dale?And maybe that's the point. Space for regular people to hang out in Parkdale is shrinking all the time.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarainha
Knock-offs can't be art
As an art writer and beginning collector, I enjoyed reading Kevin Temple's declaration that paintings purchased at a mall are not art (NOW, April 6-12). To up the snob factor, I'd also include paintings bought at bars and restaurants. If the accompanying photo shows what Temple actually saw at the Bay's Collectors Art sale, I'd be hard-pressed even to call those "interpretations" tasteful home decor.
The problem isn't that these types of painters exist, but what to call their work. By default, it's called art.
What we really need is a new word for "strictly decorative and conceptu-ally empty pictures or objects that are visually inoffensive enough to be displayed in any middle-to-upper-class suburban living room."
Tenants can call hotline
we at the federation of metro Tenants Associations (FMTA) were very pleased to read all the useful information about tenants in NOW's special Housing Issue (NOW, March 23-19). Tenants cannot afford to wait any longer for real protection. They need support to help them cope with repairs and maintenance issues, evictions and rent increases.
We were disappointed, however, by the lack of mention of resources for tenants. FMTA operates a tenant hotline. We encourage them to call us (416-921-9494).
FMTA Tenant Hotline Coordinator, Toronto
Don't forget to bring a bud
We were happy to open NOW's Spring Guide (NOW, April 13-20) and find information about the Global Marijuana March at Queen's Park on May 6. Unfortunately, the website listed for contact info is incorrect. It should be www.cannabisweek.ca.
The Global Marijuana March is a peaceful celebration of hemp and cannabis culture taking place in more than 200 cities worldwide. Toronto hosts the largest gathering in North America.
Hope to see you all on May 6, and don't forget to bring a bud!
Global Marijuana March, Toronto