At odds with water
In your water issue (now, july 27- August 2), NOW is celebrating values that are at odds with one another. The focus of the issue is to celebrate the life-affirming and spiritual qualities of water, which you call "nature's most treasured gift meant for the whole of creation." Moreover, you advocate the value and the goodness of human life. In his article, Ze'ev Maoz criticizes Israel's bombing and killing of innocent Lebanese.
Yet in your Love & Sex column, Rebecca Anne Gibbins flirts with physical and psychological annihilation in her sexual practices to celebrate what exactly? Being cool and edgy?
Of what use is your article warning about the poisonous effects of fluoride in our water to people like Gibbins who are courting death anyway?
Fluoride's crooked smile
I challenge Mayor David Miller on his assumption that fluoride deprivation in childhood is responsible for his bad teeth (NOW, July 27-August 2). If his parents smoked or his family lived in a town where coal was burned (fluoride in air pollution is equivalent to or more than artificial water fluoridation), if his mother drank tea when she was pregnant, if he was bottle fed (formula is 100 to 400 times higher in fluoride than human breast milk), if he ate scones (phosphate rising agents have fluoride) with jam (concentrated fluoride residue), mechanically deboned meat products (4-10 ppm) or dry cereal (3-7 ppm), drank fruit juice (1-6 ppm) or soda (1-2 ppm), then Miller's smile defects could be from too much fluoride before age eight.
Fluoride is not a nutrient. There is no such condition as fluoride deficiency. It's about time Mayor Miller had a look at those 10 pages of peer-reviewed scientific references we presented to him last November.
Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative
Water to spare
Regarding the boycotting of bottled water (NOW, July 27-August 2). Out of curiosity, what is the difference between drawing our drinking water from upstream (headwaters, springs, etc) and drawing it from the terminus (Lake Ontario)? According to geophysics, the depletion from the aquifers and resupply into the atmosphere through evaporation, condensation and rainfall (after our "excess" is sent back to the lake via the septic recycling system and into the atmosphere via perspiration and exhalation) is exactly the same regardless of "draw" source. People are not drinking more water now, they're simply (and stupidly, I agree with you) using a different supply. The hydraulic cycle remains unchanged.
Devil's in the details
You say that the devils lake out let diversion project will effectively transfer water across the continental divide from the Hudson's Bay basin to the Missouri River (NOW, July 27-August 2). Actually, the Dakota Water Resources Act of 2001 specifically prohibits an inlet to Devils Lake from the Missouri River system. There are no contemporary serious efforts that I know of to construct an inlet. There has already been enough controversy and misinformation about this project.
The way your article was inadvertently worded confused the issue more. Hydrologists have known that Devils Lake is in the Hudson's Bay basin for probably 75 years.
Michael S. Noone
North Dakota State Water Commission,
Bismarck, North Dakota
Balancing act attack
As usual, it comes as no surprise that you publish an article slamming Israel (NOW, July 27-August 2) just as you waste no opportunity to slam the police (letter by Daniel Drader, NOW, July 27-August 2). Perhaps - though it's highly unlikely - you might want to provide some balance.
Trouble with peacekeeping
Canada send troops to lebanon as part of a UN peacekeeping force? Isn't that going to be another ill-thought-out plan - like the one that got us into Afghanistan? And do we really want more Canadians to become targets?
Glenn Wheeler's coverage of the "hastily organized meeting of close to 200 union and peace activists at the Steelworkers Hall" (NOW, July 20-26) is an example of distorted media reporting. The message from a diverse panel of speakers, which received wide support from the audience, was exactly what we need to hear from Jack Layton: a firm condemnation of Stephen's Harper's defence of Israeli aggression as a "measured" response against Gaza and Lebanon.
Harper's response is consistent with Canada's historic complicity with Israel's apartheid policies, where rights are assigned or denied based on ethnically determined and legally enforced categories. All of the speakers, including the favourably quoted Reverend Vicki Obedkof, made this clear.
Negative references are made selectively of two speakers only, from the Palestine Right of Return Coalition and the Muslim Unity Group. The article distorts the view that Hezbollah is a liberation movement, smearing the organization with the labels of anti-Semitism and authoritarianism.
Hezbollah has mass popular support; its program of resistance to Israeli aggression is a response to colonialism, illegal occupation and apartheid, not a challenge to the Jewish people.
Angels wing to the rescue
RE Angels No Godsend (now, july 20-26). I'm a member of the William Dennison seniors building safety committee that invited the Guardian Angels. Perhaps you wouldn't be so dismissive of the Angels if you were among the seniors who face crackheads, dealers, pimps, prostitutes and aggressive panhandlers every day. Just one day prior to the Angels' visit, one of our residents was attacked with a broken beer bottle. Residents here have been robbed, beaten and even threatened with guns.
Kemar Brown was shot and killed a few doors north of your own office on Church. He was a familiar face in front of our building. With bullets flying so close to your front door, you should realize why we're seeking help wherever we can find it.
We don't care about left- and right-wing political games. We care about community safety.
Since hearing about the water front linear park project, I have been nothing but excited about it and have promoted it to friends and colleagues. Imagine my absolute disgust and disappointment upon reading about waterfront condo residents who care about nothing but garage access for their Benzes (NOW, July 27-August 2). I am offended. I drive a 14-year-old Toyota Corolla, and I can assure you that it will remain in my underground garage for the two weeks, amongst the many hybrids and compact cars. My bicycle will continue to be my preferred mode of transportation, even without the linear park.
Queens Quay West, Toronto
Crotch shot makes me cringe
I picked up a recent issue while visiting Toronto. I must say I was utterly disgusted by your UpFront photo (NOW, July 20-26). Brent Gardner appears to be grabbing his privates as he enjoys the chariot ride of "Ponyboy." I find it sickening. Why was that photo allowed?
I found American Apparel's India- meets-Pakistan ad (NOW, July 13-19) racist and unduly provocative. What is that, the concession to respecting culture? Last week's ad (NOW, July 27-August 2) features a girl/woman who looks 12, looking very young and vulnerable, although the ad is careful to say that she is 18. It seems geared to titillating men who like to have sex with young girls, also known as pedophiles. Frankly, I am getting really sick of these ads on the back page of your paper week after week.