Nukes as recyclable energy
Your recent critique of nuclear power (Fission Impossible, NOW, June 29-July 5) is quite persuasive. I might be able to live with the expense of nuclear power and the risk of radioactive pollution as long as Ontario's power needs are met. But if it turns out that supplies of nuclear fuel are running out, then nuclear power seems to be a hopeless proposition. The only way I can see to save nuclear power would be to dismantle nuclear weapons stockpiles - an excellent idea, since the existence of nuclear weapons only makes the world more dangerous - and recycle the uranium and plutonium from those weapons as fuel for nuclear reactors. That could keep the reactors running for quite some time at a very reasonable cost.
The combination of nuclear disarmament and nuclear power generation could be very beneficial. Can we persuade the U.S. to cooperate? Probably not.
Fission Impossible, by Wayne Roberts, is so wrong. Don't you have anyone to check stories before you print them? There is an unlimited supply of heavy metal that will fission in reactors. If you don't want to use uranium, then use thorium. There's lots of it around. And the spent fuel already stored at reactor sites in Ontario contains enough uranium to meet all of Ontario's needs for a century. Roberts does not have a clue.
Regarding Wrong Ward, Sewell (NOW, June 29-July 5). I'm running in Ward 21 because I have different political values and a much different political approach than the current incumbent, Joe Mihevc. I believe in trying to create community consensus on important issues rather than division, as has occurred on two important local issues, the Wychwood car barns and the St. Clair right of way. I want to create a strong community planning processes to replace the current development approval systems at City Hall, which seem to give the development industry virtually every change it wants, sometimes trading cash for density.
I want to restructure the unwieldy megacity to make it responsive, and I don't believe centralizing more power in the mayor's office is the answer. I want to make more affordable housing a reality, and as we know from the last three years, that's not a priority of the current majority on council.
Continuing on the same old path won't make City Hall more responsive and won't address the big problems the city faces. The best place for me to make that change is where I live - Ward 21. It's the right ward for me to be running in.
Down and dirty on Grimes
Thanks for your article on the planned skateboard installation at Sam Smith Park (NOW, June 29-July 5). I'd like to take issue with Sam Caragianakos's praise of Councillor Mark Grimes. His sentiment about Grimes is not shared by the majority of people in the communities of Alderwood, Long Branch, New Toronto and Mimico.
For your information, Grimes has no local office in his riding. I had to go through Jane Pitfield's office at City Hall to get answers regarding a concern about pesticide use at the New Toronto Lawn Bowling greens. He has one of the worst attendance records of any councillor at City Hall.
He is a councillor in hiding. At a recent event at Marie Curtis Park to commemorate 60 years of conservation, with the unveiling of a plaque in honour of the fondly regarded Arthur Herbert Richardson, Grimes was absent. Another councillor was there to represent him and the mayor.
Paul Terefenko's article illustrates the power of a local councillor, Mark Grimes, to determine the fate of our waterfront park lands. Parkdale residents have also been forced to battle Councillor Sylvia Watson's numerous schemes to develop the waterfront ever since she moved to our ward. Like Grimes, Watson spent a great deal of effort promoting a scheme to turn Marilyn Bell Park into an extreme sports park with a concrete skate park, Olympic BMX course, extreme sports and freestyle facility. She led an unsuccessful fight to privatize Dowling Beach for the use of two boating clubs.
Undeterred, she backed an unsuccessful proposal to pave the beach east of the Palais Royale, and then a plan to turn the Lakeshore Boulevard median into a parking lot. She finally succeeded. Last week, council agreed to lease treed public green space for a 140-space private parking lot for the Palais Royale Corporation.
Parkdale-High Park Waterfront Group
MLG's dead. Get over it.
Re Loblaws on ice? (now, june 29- July 5). Perhaps Andrew Cash should ask people who live around Maple Leaf Gardens whether they prefer a hockey arena or a grocery store. I don't know of a single person in the neighbourhood who would prefer a mostly empty hockey arena that's invaded a few times a week by masses of people over a grocery store that's constantly in use, complete with storefronts on Church and Carlton. Hockey is gone from Maple Leaf Gardens. Get over it.
Rings around the rosey
So producer Kevin Wallace thinks Canadians, and especially Torontonians, just didn't get his Lord Of The Rings. Interestingly enough, I was in attendance at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards (NOW, June 29-July 5) when Rings took home an impressive seven awards. I seem to recall the Rings company having nothing but fawning praise for Toronto - as a city, as an arts community and as a tax shelter. Funny the difference a few days (and one failed would-be blockbuster) can make. Apparently, he'd be happier if the critics fulfilled their proper role as commercial cheerleaders, happily regurgitating Mirvish press releases.
The fact is that Wallace and Mirvish need a dose of reality. Their show had every advantage of publicity, location and governmental support. If the show failed, it's no one's fault but their own. Who actually thought a Lord Of The Rings musical was a good idea anyway?
Barry, Barry, quite contrary
Don't listen to letter writer Laura R. and her ignorant ravings about your comics (NOW, June 29-July 5). I've been reading Ernie Pook's Comeek and Life In Hell since I was seven years old, and both are awesome. Lynda Barry and Matt Groening have had a lot to do with lifting comics to "the realms of fine art and literature," and in doing so they have allowed people like Laura R. to be pretentious about the medium. Both of the featured artists have become successful on their own terms after decades of hard work.
Maybe Laura R. should just buy an Archie comic or go see the latest crap churned out by Disney. Better yet, she should stay home and watch cartoons; ones that employ simple shapes and bright colours that won't confuse her. To NOW's editors: get Barry's work out of the classified section and put it back on a page that more people read.
Andrew E. Squire
Census's gay crap-out
I have worked for census canada as a helpline operator since it opened in early May. During our training in April, the issue of recording same-sex marriages did come up (NOW, June 22-28). At that point, we were instructed to tell same-sex marriage partners to use the "other" box instead of the husband or wife box, because of scanning/programming technicalities. After some raising of eyebrows, we did what we were instructed to do and happily registered any complaints that came in. After seeing your mention in your last issue, my co-workers and I did some further investigating.
Ironically, using the "other" box for "same-sex marriage partner" was meant to be an option for same-sex married couples who wanted to specify their relationship beyond simply "husband or wife."
It's too bad that wasn't made clear on the form from the get-go, or to the helpline operators who have been falsely instructing the public for two months now.
Trojan's sweet nothing
I just want to voice my disappointment with Trojan for handing out fortune cookies at the Pride parade. I would think with the amount of business they receive they could have handed out condoms.
Meth to HIV scare
Act is wrong on two counts when it states that HIV is on the rise and that meth use among gay men leads to HIV infections (NOW, June 15-21). There is no evidence linking HIV to meth use. Also, HIV rates in Toronto dropped in 2005.
According to the HIV Laboratory, Laboratory Branch, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto experienced a 6.3 per cent decrease in new HIV diagnoses (from 800 to 750 cases).
Thank you for your kind words regarding my departure from fab magazine (NOW, June 15-21). I just need to correct that I was the editor-in- chief of the magazine and that Mitchel is spelled with one "l." My father thought Mitchell with two Ls looked too feminine, like Michelle. Regards.