Blah, blah, Bob
I found your piece on Bob Rae (NOW, May 11-17) pretty conventional. It regurgitated the Liberal spin that Rae's candidacy will have a negative effect on the NDP vote, Jack Layton is in big trouble, the NDP could fade into non-existence, blah blah blah. Haven't you considered that Rae could do to the Liberals what he did to the NDP - make it such an unpopular party by implementing Liberal ideology while in government that it will destroy the Liberal Party?
Rae was a Liberal before and has just returned to his roots.
I'd urge you to do a bit more critical thinking around this issue. There are many of us not fooled by the mythology of strategic voting either.
Bark at the Moon
Sheila Gostick's recent article on the revocation of the Blue Moon Restaurant's liquor licence (NOW, May 11-17) has done a great disservice to the people of Parkdale. To characterize public harassment, crime and extreme public drunkenness as "indigenous street and social life in Parkdale" is an insult to the residents who know how to have a good time without resorting to disorderly, offensive and illegal conduct.
My office received constant complaints about the Blue Moon. These came from local business owners and residents forced to pass by it as they travelled to and from the Parkdale Public Library or the Masaryk-Cowan Community Recreation Centre. Public urination, vomiting, fighting and abuse were commonplace.
The Blue Moon had the opportunity to join the many other Parkdale businesses who are making a positive contribution to the neighbourhood. Instead, the proprietors chose to flaunt liquor laws. The Blue Moon is not a loss for the poor, but a victory for all Parkdale.
Councillor Sylvia Watson
Moon's lunatic fringe
Did everyone at now smoke crack ? Just read the extremely touching article about the shutting down of the Blue Moon and am wondering how anyone in love with that shithole could actually be published in your magazine. I've been living two doors down from the Blue Moon for a year and a half, and the scene outside my window was the same every night (and day sometimes) - very drunk people fighting over absolutely nothing, screaming, breaking glasses and rendering the whole strip of the sidewalk utterly disgusting. My friends stopped visiting for fear of getting harassed.
Toronto is changing.
So stop your propaganda against the natural development of the metropolis and keep writing about movies and music. You're good at that.
Wham, bam, no thanks, Stan
The excellent adventures of stan, Carl and Ming in Love & Sex (NOW, May 11-17) are neatly summed up by participant Stan: "Sadly, I have proof that testosterone and digital technology don't really make for a tasteful mix." Reporter Stan fails to note that if the event was tasteless, then so was writing it up. Unless this was a cautionary tale?
Poor caught in NIMBY crush
People, in stealing the sun (now , May 11-17), I couldn't help but notice the writer's focus on condo development. As is fairly well known, the proposal for 48 Abell is for up to 200 units of affordable, non-profit housing including artist live/work studios. It isn't only condos that are being opposed - it's also housing for low-income people.
Crosswalk-ing the plank
re Crosswalk cross up (now, may 11-17). The trouble with crosswalks and at lights is that people using them are almost forced to run. There's not enough time to make it across. It's very bad for us senior citizens to even consider going for a walk. It's almost like having to walk to the gallows. P.S. Thanks for putting copies of your paper in the Dominion at Cloverdale Mall.
Joseph William Lea
Harp's Bush act
Cindy Sheehan is absolutely correct to point out the dangers to Canada of electing a right-wing pro-war party (NOW, May 11-17). With their get "tough on crime," love of military spending and pro-U.S. (and pro-Israel) foreign policy, the Harper administration appears to be heading us in the same morally and financially bankrupt direction as space cadet Bush.
But Sheehan is preaching to the converted. Those of us in Canada who are educated, intelligent and tolerant already know this and overwhelmingly oppose Bush Jr.
Unfortunately, there is a large, predominantly white, Christian and rural populace that Harper knows he can call upon to oppose multiculturalism, gun control and other "evils."
Although not as large as the Christian right in the U.S., this group is just as interested in preserving its backward way of life and doesn't worry about peace and justice.
Stand-up guy soft on U.S.
Stephen Harper campaigned with the slogan Stand Up For Canada. In fact, while in opposition, our prime minister had this to say: "If U.S. industry is able to pressure the government not to return duties when it has lost its last NAFTA appeal, it will not matter if most other trade is dispute-free. If the rules are simply ignored, then the very basis of a rule- based system is threatened and the future of all Canada-U.S. trading relations could be profoundly affected." If this new softwood lumber deal is protecting our national interests, I truly fear what the future will bring with regards to our fresh water supply, democratic liberties and progressive social programs.
Smells like mean spirit
Letter-writer Mark Shouldice applauds the chorus of boos from many in the audience that "challenged the Cadillac Escalade commercials that preceded all screenings" at the recent Hot Docs festival (NOW, May 11-17). The audience certainly enjoyed the irony of GM sponsoring a festival that screened the Ralph Nader biography An Unreasonable Man. By the third day of the festival, booing the Escalade commercial had become quite the running gag. At least I hope that's all it was.
I'm as mindful as anyone of the evils multinationals inflict. But in my opinion gleefully booing a company whose sponsorship helps enable the top-quality festival you're attending reeks of smug, pseudo-activist hypocrisy.
Bullfrog Power: don't rib it
Letter-writer Craig Leroux is mistaken in suggesting that Bullfrog Power is not enabling "the creation of more enviro-friendly generation" (NOW, May 11-17). In fact, Bullfrog Power has invested in the development of two new wind turbines on the Bruce Peninsula that will come online in 2006. Leroux's second point regarding the relative cost of green electricity is more nuanced. Currently, green electricity does cost more than conventional. Bullfrog Power pays a premium over market prices for green electricity to reflect this additional cost, as well as to enable our generators to build more green generation facilities.
However, the cost of conventional electricity does not take into account the significant subsidies that conventional electricity generation receives, the fact that the price of power is capped, or the cost to society associated with the health and environmental consequences of conventional electricity. If these factors are taken into consideration, green electricity becomes very competitive.
They got John, we got Jane
Enjoyed Wayne Roberts's fresh take on John Kenneth Galbraith (NOW, May 11-17). Seldom do things work out for the best for both countries, but they seem to have this time. They got Galbraith and we got Jane Jacobs.
Old Nick head trip
Steven Davey's updated review of the Old Nick's organic brunch (NOW, May 4-10) reads like a smear campaign. I really have to question if Bellerose even expects half her comments to be quoted, in or out of context. They come across as cruel, and her time at the Old Nick as opportunistic. She's an exceptional cook; that can't be denied. But her tag-team effort with Davey is a little hard to swallow.
N is for know-nothing
I understand why now readers see so many three-N ratings in CD reviews. It's an easy way out when you really don't know what you're talking about. But Jason Richards has really stretched the boundaries of what ratings are supposed to mean. In reviewing Phatt Al's Transistor (NOW, May 4-10), he didn't make one negative comment about the music - a testament to his recognizing Phatt Al as one of the few Toronto hiphoppers who continue to keep it real. Instead, he decided to give his two cents about the not-too-impressive graphic design on the album cover. What the fuck does the graphic design have to do with Al's old-school homage and authentic production? Unless his name is Kevin Temple, I suggest Richards should just stick to reviewing the actual music.
I wonder what would happen if Richards had to review a white-label record. Without pictures, the artists would surely be stuck with a dreaded three-N rating, no matter what the music sounds like.
James Di Fiore
Tim Perlich wonders whether Bruce Springsteen is "unaware that his country is at war" (NOW, April 27-May 3). I wonder if Perlich is unaware of Springsteen's two previous releases, Devils And Dust and The Rising.
New York City
Putting boots to police
Another police officer has been killed in the line of duty (in Windsor). Are you going to write an article that honours him, or do you see this as another chance to put down the police as you usually do?
David L. Shanoff