Gail's still learning
I was stunned to read Graham Duncan's review of my wife's tiny restaurant, Gail's River Café (NOW, July 6-12). Gail was unaware that she was being reviewed, and it's a mystery why it was even done in the first place. Gail opened the restaurant barely a year ago. People in the working-class area around Danforth-Dawes love her, but she makes no claim to the "brilliant cooking" that Duncan was apparently seeking. She's still learning the fine art of Thai cooking.
The antithesis of the typical restaurateur, she's a typical Thai Buddhist (kind, gentle, sweet and very proud), and she was deeply depressed by Duncan's comments. She's simply not ready for a review.
Come back in another year, for God's sake. You really hurt a wonderful person. Shame on you.
Fishy cap story
While I am grateful for your mention of my new advisory service, xyyz.ca (Boys Will Be Boys, NOW, July 6-12), I am not at all sure what a "fishing cap" is, but I am quite certain that I do not own one.
Sewell a mouthpiece for biz
John Sewell claims that he believes in trying to create community consensus in Ward 21 (NOW, July 6-12). This certainly wasn't evident when Sewell sided with business-backed Save Our St. Clair (SOS) against the St. Clair streetcar right-of-way. During the environmental assessment hearings for the right-of-way, Sewell's allies in SOS screamed down any transit supporters who dared to speak.
When SOS lost that fight, they used a technicality created by the pro-developer Ontario Municipal Board to take the city to court.
After losing in court, they're counting on Sewell to further obstruct democracy at City Hall.
John Sewell was once a great progressive mayor, but now he's a mediocre mouthpiece for business, even if he dresses his message up with tough anti-developer rhetoric.
Unrest in the forest
Tim Tiner's great article Axing for trouble (NOW, July 6-12) accurately portrays the convergence of crises that are threatening Ontario's northern boreal forests.
The McGuinty government can solve this dysfunction by fulfilling its promise to implement comprehensive planning that balances economic development opportunities with the conservation of the planet's largest remaining tract of intact boreal forest, thus providing sustainable futures for impoverished aboriginal communities. Ontario Nature (mistakenly identified by our former name, the Federation of Ontario Naturalists) is proud to be a leader in protecting Ontario's northern boreal region and its inhabitants, both human and wild.
Director, Conservation and Science
Softwood cut and run
At issue in the softwood lumber dispute with the United States (NOW, July 6-12) is the rule of law.
The American way has been to press for advantage rather than honouring the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Americans have not accepted the findings of NAFTA panels that there are no subsidies on Canadian softwood lumber exports into the United States. Canada is one panel finding short of having all the litigation possible under the dispute mechanism ended.
The Harper government's decision to "cut and run" rather than follow through with this last challenge sets a precedent for all future NAFTA disputes: press hard and Canada caves in.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Thank Canada for us
re Pushing the terror button (NOW, July 6-12). The Hindu Conference of Canada was one of the sponsors of the film Obsessions. As a significant ethnic lobby group in Canada, we feel compelled to articulate our position. We are perplexed with propaganda that tries to paint Muslims as victims of the West.
Canada is fortunate to have groups such as ourselves who can dispense real historical facts to counter the ranting about oppression against Muslims.
Director, Hindu Conference of Canada
THS weeds out wannabes
I was disturbed by the self-righteousness and naéveté of Doggone Shame (NOW, July 6-12).
A staggering percentage of adopted Toronto Humane Society animals are later returned, and the only way to weed out would-be offenders is to ask applicants basic questions like the one the author, John Hanan, fumbled. Hanan also refers flippantly to petting THS dogs through the bars of their cages, despite clearly posted signs warning against this not least because diseases like kennel cough are transferred easily between cages.
He fails to comprehend that seemingly docile, purebred animals like Rupert are adopted from the Society within days (if not hours) of their cage debut: the rejection of one would-be Labrador owner is no big deal in the overall scheme of placing abandoned animals in loving, permanent homes.
Those genuinely concerned with rescuing shelter animals know to head for the ones that are more easily overlooked: that is, the "angry pit bulls, Dobermans and unidentifiable mutts" to which Hanan refers with such scorn.
Toronto Humane Society
Dog lover has no instincts
Hmmm. The Humane Society rejects a potential owner whose first instinct when asked what he would do if faced with aggression is to bring the dog back. Amazing they wouldn't value him as a good candidate when they're looking for long-term owners. The Humane Society probably knows more about what makes a good owner than some guy off the street who really wants one.
Boarders bowled over
re Paul Terefenko's article on Colonel Sam Smith Park (NOW, June 29-July 5). Not only birders are unhappy about the proposed skateboard facility, now the boarders are, too.
They don't like the proposed "urban plaza" design and believe falling tree leaves will invite accidents. [See story, page 23.] There is a unique opportunity to work with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to create a Nature Centre in the Power House in Sam Smith.
The TRCA's excellent classroom Wetland Rehabilitation program, which culminates with a field trip to plant such species as bulrushes, began in Sam Smith Park.
As to the Grenadier Group receiving a city vending contract for snacks in the park, an alternate plan would have a company provide healthy litterless snacks, for which students and other users could bring their own containers and utensils. Imagine, an ecological snack bar.
Aside from human needs, many animals, including deer following valley trails, are escaping from suburban sprawl and claiming refuge in Sam Smith Park.
Mayor Miller, you say you're a friend of the environment.
If so, get off the fence.
Answer letters. Ensure that this gem of a park is used wisely to enhance our children's education and social well being, to provide a meditative spot for the citizens of our city, to share space with the few remaining animals and to preserve green space for everyone.
Where there's no will, waste
Yes, Wayne Roberts has identified the economic insanity of nuclear power (NOW, June 29-July 5). However, Gordon Edwards in Follow The Road Backward convincingly shows the waiting nightmare of disposal.
Roberts touched on this part of the issue when he referred to "finding a garbage dump for nuclear waste."
Wish us luck at inculcating the political will into those in positions of power.
Energy plan springs a leak
Before leaving for his summer holidays last week, Premier Dalton McGuinty again spent time trying to wiggle out of his commitment to consult Ontarians fully on his blast-from-the-past plan to rely on coal and nuclear to meet Ontario's future energy needs. On the last day of legislative debate, opposition members offered a number of good suggestions on how the premier could subject his dubious "double-double" coal and nuclear power plan to real independent scrutiny.
The premier, not surprisingly, was uninterested and continued to insist that superficial federal assessments of individual projects would suffice.
We suspect that a full credible independent review may reveal that the government's nuke-and-coal plan has more holes than a leaky CANDU reactor.
Ginger's bright red ramp
I would like to point out an error in Steven Davey's review of Ginger 3 (NOW, June 22-28). Davey states that Ginger 3 has five steps and no wheelchair access, when in fact to the left of the entrance there is a beautiful, bright red ramp!
As a wheelchair user and frequent customer, I would like to say that, in addition to the ramp, the staff are quite helpful and very friendly! Thanks.