Seeing through cab shields
Regarding Shields in cabs (NOW, July 13-19). Perhaps you're not aware the city conducted a survey of drivers last month to get a sense of where cabbies stand on this issue. Perhaps you are also not aware that many passengers have been injured by shields when taxis have been involved in collisions. And that rising insurance rates as a result forced many cabbies to remove their shields.
The fact that race has been brought into the current debate is disappointing. Did you racially profile all cab owners and do hard research on this, or is it opinion?
Yes, cameras did make a huge difference in the rate of assault and serious crime committed against drivers. However, it should also be noted that certain lobbies, mainly people in the industry who received compensation from the companies that owned and installed these cameras, got the bylaw rushed through before any real research was done. Cab owners were forced to shell out $1,500 per taxi.
Years later the city is finding that many of these cameras do not work. If the city is reluctant to make shields mandatory because the Canadian Standards Association does not approve, don't you think perhaps this is wise? Most insurance companies do.
Your article Taxi shield puts up race divide was so full of bullshit I feel dumber for having read it! You suggest that those against cab shields are mostly white cab owners who don't have to work night shift.
Well, being that I work in one of Toronto's largest cab companies, I feel I have the knowledge to correct your anti-Euro Canadian statements.
Most drivers I know and work with daily do not want the barrier. They see it as a further cost, and intimidating to possible clients.
Shields make sense
I lived in Melbourne, Australia, in the early 1970s. Almost all cabs had shields even back then. Nobody noticed or cared. The famous London cabs have screens. For god's sake, when will this small-minded city shut up and start doing something about the real problems here?
One fat conspiracy
Wayne Roberts's "report" (and that's really stretching it) on government food policies contributing to obesity (NOW, July 13-19) is a new low in conspiracy theorizing. Such a blatantly straw-man-wielding rant belongs on a blog or in a campus newspaper - anywhere but the pages of a widely distributed alt-weekly where people might, y'know, read it.
Veg on this scary scenario
In Feeding us big fat lies, Wayne Roberts points out that only 2 per cent of our cropland is used for fruit and vegetable production. Even at peak harvest, most of our fresh produce is imported from the U.S. and Mexico. If population growth and climate change continue to put growing demands on water consumption in the southern U.S., a time will come when the price of this produce will rise considerably - unless we sell them water.
The U.S. is us
Alan Young states in a commendable article that the "American preference for confrontation is slowly becoming the Canadian way" (NOW, July 13-19). Regrettably, the headline We Love Porn And Pot is possibly reflecting the hypocrisy that is deplored in this article. With current political developments, Canadian traditions are hardly distinguishable from the U.S.
Would you please get off your fucking high horse, Tim Perlich? I'm sorry if Cut Chemist's new album doesn't live up to your crate-digging expectations (NOW, July 13-19). God forbid someone you very well know is one of the largest crate-diggers in the world doesn't use obscure enough samples to make his songs. Okay, so apparently in your mind sampling Parliament is so uncool now, and you're not feeling the vibe of The Audience Is Listening. But are you honestly going to try and tell us this album is worth one N?
And that people who aren't gigantic geeks like you shouldn't even bother listening? Give me a fucking break, Perlich. I've always thought you were a grumpy bastard who takes his job too seriously. Peace.
I was a little surprised to see that you didn't publish a review of The Red Shift in your reviews of the Fringe (NOW, July 13-19). I am the director of the piece. I know a reviewer came to see our show with ample time for it to be in your paper. What's up with that? I notice that you devote precious space to a "Skip it" section (which we weren't in) and you gave space to The Stone Princess, a show that has already had a run in a theatre here.
What's going on? I'm confused. As you know, competition is intense in the Fringe. We rely on you to help fill our theatre. Maybe you could skip the "Skip it" section and focus on getting more plays reviewed. Might I be so bold as to request that plays that have already had a Toronto run take a back seat to plays that haven't?
I know NOW's love & sex column has been criticized in the past for having too much sex and very little love. But if Nicole Stoffman's piece (NOW, July 13-19) is the result of a move toward printing stories of a more romantic nature, then I would prefer the porn. The writing is certainly better.
I'm a little late in responding, but I just wanted to commend Sarah Liss for her fabulous article on Peaches (NOW, June 22-28). Her article was great not just because of what Peaches had to say but because Sarah did what many other lazy journalists do not: she suggested ideas for change rather than simply whine and complain. Her article and Peaches' comments are just what pop culture needs to hear. Excellent article, excellent questions and, best of all, excellent extraction of something that is actually meaningful.
NDP nowhere in Parkdale
As a member of the parkdale- High Park NDP riding association, I can tell you that unlike what was mentioned in Vanessa Milne's article (NOW, July 13-19), the riding is not an NDP "stronghold" in the true sense of the term. Going back to the 1981 election, the old Parkdale side of the riding has been continuously held by the Liberals. The old High Park riding, a bellwether, has elected a member of the governing party in every election since 1981, with the exception of Gerard Kennedy's 1999 win.
Queen of A/C hogs
i took a walk down queen west last week and was very disappointed to see that many stores both had their air conditioning on and their doors propped wide open (NOW, July 13-19). At a time when Toronto is facing electrical shortages and an increasing number of smog days, I find it unconscionable that some people act in such socially and environmentally irresponsible ways.
Whether these businesses are willing to pay their electrical bills is not the issue. Increased electrical demand means more use of smog-producing, coal-fired generating plants that reduce the quality of life for everyone. Additionally, electricity in Ontario is subsidized so the true cost of consumption is not fully passed on to the consumer. I encourage your readers to gently let store owners and managers know that such behaviour is unacceptable in our community. Pass the word!
I'm getting really frustrated as a store manager on Queen West with all the bad press regarding our air conditioning. Guess what? It's my company's policy to have our A/C off when our doors are open, and I have been co-operating with people such as Conserve.ca only to be backhanded by them this year when we have done nothing wrong. Every day I get activists coming in and yelling at us for having our doors open without giving me a chance to say, "Hey, can you not feel that our A/C isn't on and we're all sweating?" I have targets to meet here. In fact, we are saving more energy than the stores with their doors closed and their A/C on.
Name withheld by request