Vaughan right on
RE Too good to be trinity (now, November 2-8). The good burghers of Trinity-Spadina are indeed lucky to have two great candidates, although I reckon three, including Chris Ouellette. However, the notion that a successor handpicked by Olivia Chow has any political traction in this ward is akin to the belief that Raul Castro will be the next democratically elected president of Cuba.
Curious that Glenn Wheeler dismisses as "random ramblings" Adam Vaughan's suggestion that the degenerating laneway system, so vital a part of the history and pulse of our neighbourhoods, might perhaps merit some attention in order to reintegrate them into the day-to-day rhythm of the community. I seem to recall Chow receiving kudos for painting over the graffiti in Cayley Lane a few years back. But I digress.
The truth of the matter in the debates [is that] Vaughan has the clearest understanding of the critical importance of planned and sustainable development as well as a profound commitment to the historically important architecture of our neighbourhoods.
Under the current regime, we've witnessed the gradual gutting of Queen West, the metastasizing developments of unparalleled Breshnevian whimsy ironically referred to as "waterfront renewal" and the architectural terrorism recently inflicted on us by state-financed institutional bullies like the AGO, ROM and U of T.
Come to think of it, Wheeler is right. There are two great candidates Vaughan and Ouellette. My choice is Adam Vaughan.
Front Street put-on
Apologies, but your recent election coverage is appallingly biased and blind on one key issue: why the NDP is keeping the dumb growth of the Front Street Extension alive. It's a major dis to the city, our air and tax dollars to ignore that Mayor Miller and 20 others voted to keep this quarter-billion-buck Metro road folly on the civic agenda, especially since there's been no rigorous exploration of about 10 transit alternatives to this costly excessway. Moving the busy Lakeshore West rail tracks that GO runs on and buying two new GO trains would do more to relieve congestion than the FSE while saving about $180 million. But to simply ignore this road, a live issue in at least Wards 14 and 20, for puffery is pretty rank. Please wake up and smell the exhaust and piles of burning money.
Candidate, Ward 29
Poverty missing issue
How can the people of downtown Toronto possibly re-elect any of the candidates in the upcoming civic elections? Many of them have been in office for more than one term, yet homelessness and poverty have only gotten worse. There have been many studies, but where is the action? Many councillors take the side of developers instead of their constituents, condominiums instead of geared-to-income housing, as in the Bridgepoint Hospital fiasco and Tim Hortons in the old Winchester Hotel.
Who's speaking up for people on welfare, disability and special diets, the homeless, the poor and seniors?
I loved your review of strombo and The Hour (NOW, November 2-8). You make some terrific points. More of a slam than a review, eh? The Hour is such a lame knockoff of The Daily Show, it makes me cringe. Strombo is an affable guy with some talent, but I'm not sure if he'll have the staying power as a TV host/comic of, say, Jon Stewart or Letterman or the wacky and wonderful Stephen Colbert.
Adrian Bell, www.Wave947.fm
Hate-on for George
Your frustrating and overly passionate rant on George Stroumboulopoulos reaffirms my belief that being a critic is way too easy, simply because you could never fill the shoes of the person you're attacking. We all know that The Hour has its flaws. Yet you've set the bar way too high for Stroumboulopoulos. You complain about his sad effort to incorporate silly and uninteresting issues, yet you neglect to mention his great interviews with David Suzuki, Rick Hansen, Lewis Black and other important figures. And I can't believe you dropped the Jon Stewart analogy. If that's the case, then all musicians who make an album that's too long should be criticized solely because Radiohead can make a masterpiece that's under 30 minutes. Don't hate on George; hate on the disinterested and ignorant citizenry who expect to see Jon Stewart on their tube 24/7.
k-os kicks ass
I'm a big supporter of your paper and look forward to it weekly. When I'm not around I even kind of miss it. (Aw, shucks!) I've never felt the need to write in, because all in all I think you do a good job. However, this ongoing catfight you are having with k-os (NOW, November 2-8) has brought up some interesting issues that you've failed to deal with. I think you've missed the point being raised by k-os. That is, balanced coverage of Toronto's vibrant hiphop and reggae/dancehall scenes is markedly absent from your pages. And I don't just mean the music; I mean the culture, art, gear and language embodied by each.
Your paper is very heavily weighted toward the indie rock audience and has been ignoring the hiphop generation. Not everyone cares about some pale kids with guitars who look like they need to get off the smack and eat something! I think you all need to wisen up. You're missing a huge audience here!
How about getting out of the clubs and into the dance hall? Why not provide some weekly coverage of some of the extremely talented hiphop emcees, producers, music directors and multimedia artists in the T-dot? Why not devote some regular space to the artists themselves to tell T.O. what's going on?
Isn't it embarrassing that in last week's Celebrity Spins section, DJ Numark from Jurassic 5, an internationally recognized non-local personality, did more to big up Toronto hiphop talent than you have all year! And why would you only cover all the old-time local reggae artists after some American label like Light in the Attic re-releases our own music back to us? It's madness.
k-os is no dumb cat. How about dealing with the very real issues he brings up? In this case I think you need to be wearing that shoe that he just kicked you in the ass with.
I. Guillermo Gonzalez
You guys must smoke that cheap crack from the Church of Rejuvenation on Queen East. Howard Moscoe the best councillor (NOW, October 26-November 1)? He's a senile old dope. As an awful TTC chair, he does not care if you sit in dog poo on the bus. Moscoe's worked too hard, too long, so send him a pair of white shoes and a one-way ticket to Florida, preferably to the Boca Vista retirement home. He's one of the reasons not one original idea came from City Hall
NAC back on track
I am writing to you on behalf of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) regarding a recent article (NOW, October 26-November 1). First of all, NAC does not have 700 member groups. As I had informed your reporter, our membership consists of up to 400 groups, members and individual donors. NAC's membership base was decimated in the 1990s by core funding losses to a majority of women's groups.
Second, NAC does not have an outstanding $100K debt! It did at one time, but thanks to donations from individual women and men and groups in the labour movement, the debt has been paid down significantly.
Lynn McDonald's statement re lack of participation by Quebecoises is completely off. NAC had representation at the AGM from Quebec.
Enisone L. Kadiri
National Action Committee on the Status of Women
Radio talk shock
Today on cbc radio's metro morn ing, Michael Hollett and Alice Klein, founders of NOW and formerly a couple but now just business partners and friends, were interviewed. While bragging about their success, neither could speak without continually saying "you know." Please, someone have the courage to tell them how bad they sound. Maybe they should listen to a recording of themselves. They need help.
Hear and NOW
RE Your 25th anniversary. The first issue of NOW I ever read was, I believe, the first issue of NOW, distributed at the Toronto Film Festival 25 years ago. And I've been reading you ever since and intend to continue doing so for quite some time. Congratulations, guys, for still being here and not stagnating.