Give me Credit
for several years, alterna savings and Credit Union (formerly Metro Credit Union) has had a booth at the Pride Marketplace (NOW, June 22-28). This year it will not be present, not because it doesn't want to be, but because TD/Canada Trust has purchased exclusive rights and no other financial institutions are allowed. For a community that understands exclusion better than most, such behaviour is unthinkable. Pride should be about community participation, but it seems Pride is now for sale to the highest bidder. I find such discrimination unsavoury, and so for the first time in many years I will not participate in any Pride activities.
Google me Shahid
re jason keller's review of tasa's Urban Turban disc (NOW, June 22-28). Sigh. Has the music department at NOW never heard of Google or Wikipedia? Sarangi and sarod are not south Indian (Carnatic) instruments, they are north Indian (Hindustani) instruments. There is a difference. Does anyone there know anything about music outside of the stuff played in bars by kids from the suburbs? Since Keller clearly doesn't know the first thing about Indian music, why is he reviewing Tasa?
BTW, my copy of the CD has Shahid Ali Khan on it, not Shalid. If you can spell Furtado, you should be able to spell Shahid. At least one of them can actually sing.
Road to hell poorly paved
your report on the smog summit asks if technology will get us out of this mess (NOW, June 15-21). Roads designed and maintained for the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and transit users are not a priority but would encourage more people to stop using cars. Improvements like new pavement markings and police enforcement would cost little. We need it now. Will this be an election issue?
Cut off at the path
the problem with the bike path as it passes Ontario Place (NOW, June 15-21) is that it is circuitous, dipping under the west footbridge with two blind corners as it skirts the water without a guard rail, then following the pedestrian-clogged pathway running between the public parking lot and the seawall boat moorings. To skirt around this obstacle, cyclists cut across a corner of a private parking lot used by Ontario Place employees. The cyclists encroached on no more the 3 square metres of the lot.
David Crombie, former poster boy for the waterfront cycling trail, sounds like an absentee chair of Ontario Place receiving poor information and bad advice from his administrators. Pity that someone generally held in such high regard should suffer this embarrassment!
Mysteriously, the gates in question were unlocked on Friday, the day after the NOW article, but we wonder each day whether we will find them open or closed.
Tearing a strip off
i have a slight problem with your otherwise thoughtful and well composed paper. Your comics are boring and irrelevant. Since the comic book/strip has been lifted into the realms of fine art and literature (gaining immense popularity in both), why do you insist on showcasing poorly written and drawn comics? The strips have become so tiring to read that I personally have turned to your competition. (Yes, comics do matter this much to many people.) It would be nice to see something that reflects the artistic talent Toronto has to offer. How about supporting some local talent? How about something edgy and fresh?
Come on, NOW, we can do better, can't we? Thank you for your time.
Whose style is it anyway?
each week i unenthusiastically scan the My Style article. As I hold no expectations for the column, I generally don't react one way or the other. It's always the same moderately influential Torontonians wearing the scarf they "stole from a friend" and the boots they "found in Kensington" in a very contrived and uninspiring ensemble. Sometimes you go too far, with models wearing clothing from the Gap and Smart Set.
Am I being judgmental? Yes. But only because I don't feel this constitutes an appropriate profile in NOW. You stand for more than this. Time to raise the bar on what really constitutes style in Toronto.
Love your rag nonetheless.
Take Miller's broom to TTC
the ttc is morally and financially bankrupt (NOW, June 1-7). Mayor David Miller's broom has failed to sweep it clean, and chair Howard Moscoe's outdated antics are just making things worse. The whole operation needs a shakeup to bring in serious managerial professionals. Right now, it's a joke and a shame at the same time.
In the dark on clean coal
re clean coal's dirty little secret (NOW, May 25-31). NOW's critique of the Power Workers' Union ad regarding "clean coal" is enlightening, to say the least. It clearly reveals that NOW doesn't have the slightest clue about this subject. According to Claim 1, "Clean coal tech doesn't actually exist," and "No working technologies can eliminate harmful emissions from burning coal." That would come as a complete surprise to the numerous countries around the world that have been successfully using the technologies for almost 20 years.
Claim 2 is that "Lambton Generating Station is Ontario's second-largest source of nitrogen oxides." A cursory look at any emission inventory clearly shows motor vehicles are far more massive sources of air pollutants.
With respect to the real cost of coal-fired power generation, the claim that "every year the province's coal plants kill 668 people" has little relation to reality. When all other sources of smog are considered, the impact of coal-fired emissions in Ontario becomes insignificant.
Dodging our duty
re bush on the bbq (now, june 22- 28). U.S. War Resisters today are coming to Canada as objectors to the war in Iraq, which has been condemned by the international community (hence Canada's refusal to send troops in 2003). Many are coming as Iraq War veterans who've served admirably and even been wounded but refuse to participate in any more shootings of civilians at checkpoints, house raids on terrified Iraqi families or mutilation and torture of so-called insurgents and detainees. While all of these soldiers entered the military to defend their country, no one volunteered to kill, maim or break the law in the name of a misguided and potentially criminal chain of command.
Canada should open its arms to those who refuse to do the terrible dirty work of George W. Bush.
These are men and women of conscience and personal integrity whom Canada should celebrate and accept, not vilify and expel.
There's no U.S. in peace
sending young canadians to af ghanistan to kill "scumbags," as Canadian General Rick Hillier put it, is a profoundly naive understanding of how to dismantle the ancient evil of terrorism. Sent to fight Muslim terrorists in Algeria in the 50s, French General Jacques de Bollardière was confronted with his government's support of torture against suspected terrorists. He immediately refused to cooperate. He was imprisoned. After 30 years of fighting - WWII, Vietnam, Algeria - this highly decorated general completely renounced the very institution of war and gave the rest of his life to living out and promoting active non-violence.
Later, he reflected on the military and terrorism: "By attempting to resolve human problems through violence, [the military] obtains the opposite results than it seeks."
Canadian parliamentarians accepted a stunted vision of involvement in Afghanistan [put forward] by a Conservative government whose leader strongly advocates support for the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq.
We need to free ourselves from this U.S.-led war. We need to forge a truly independent plan of support and protection for genuinely grassroots initiatives by the people of Afghanistan.