Even if you like pot...
i had to laugh at your attempt to find a scandal in the possibility that police may have been incorrect when they stated that some grow ops contain mould (gasp!) (NOW, December 7-13). I know that NOW's news coverage is driven by its political views, and I admire your determination to unearth stories that mainstream media ignore. But sometimes the result is a really stupid article.
In this case, two activist tenets - Cops bad! Dope good! - have seriously clouded the reporter's viewpoint. The fact is that the rash of grow ops in the GTA in recent years is a real problem that destroys homes and endangers neighbourhoods.
The effort to eradicate these operations is worthwhile. This should be clear to anyone, even if you support the decriminalization of weed and believe that police activities should be viewed with a critical eye.
Thompson tells his side
i'd like to correct one small in accuracy in Mike Smith's otherwise interesting and insightful article Scarborough The Great? (NOW, November 30-December 6). Contrary to the article's assertion, I've never been a supporter of a ban on "youth gatherings" in Albert Campbell Square. In fact, I agreed to chair the Albert Campbell Square task force when asked by the mayor to find a way to give youth safe and free access to public facilities that would also accommodate the needs of other Square users.
Moreover, I spent the last three years pushing the city to enhance and increase facilities for youth, including the revitalizing of basketball courts at Goodlad Park and the creation of a state-of-the-art skateboard park at the Ellesmere Community Centre.
The result of the task force's work was the improvement of security at Albert Campbell Square and safer access to a cleaner square for people of all ages.
Councillor, Ward 37
At least China's honest
re the china syndrome (now, November 30-December 6). While it's always good when someone speaks out on human rights, the fact that someone like Stephen Harper is doing so on China is useless. Harper has no credibility to speak on human rights, considering how he has let Canadian air space be used to transport prisoners (including Canadians) to the Guantánamo Bay gulag and remains silent on other torture chambers operated internationally by his ideological buddy Bush. His fanatically Zionist Christian dedication to supporting every single Israeli human rights violation further erodes any moral impact he may have had.
I have a lot more respect for China, which officially states that its trade is driven by economics and admits no interest in human rights, than for a hypocrite like Harper (or Bush) who only speaks on human rights when it strikes his fancy.
Leave Israel alone
re israel's slipping grip (now, November 23-29). Bravo, NOW Magazine, you have now, in my opinion, joined the ranks of printers of hate propaganda. Fourteen other powers once held rule over Palestine, but until the British gave it to the Jews as a safe haven, there were relatively no problems. Once the Jewish state was established, then the problem began in the eyes of the rest of the world, even in the wake of the Holocaust.
"We are probably still 20 or 30 or even 50 years away from the day when Israel faces a real war for its survival," according to Gwynne Dyer of London. Why does there need to be a day when Israel faces war for its survival? Why do the Jews need a reason to survive? Can Israel not just exist like the rest of the Middle East?
Why Tasty wasn't so tasty
regarding your comments on Tasty Restaurant (NOW, November 23-29), I would like to set the record straight. Chef Elena Embrioni worked at Tasty for eight months when it was first purchased by the Tivoli group in 2003. Interestingly, it was during her brief appearance as a food consultant that NOW named Tasty one of the top 10 restaurants in the city. It's been over a year and a half since her departure, and consequently the restaurant began to falter. Blame its failure on bad management, but don't blame it on the one good thing that Tasty ever had, chef Elena Embrioni.
it disturbs me that now dedi cates space to violent, nauseating garbage like Belinda Fox's Love & Sex article (NOW, November 16-22). Perhaps it takes more finesse than the contributor was capable of to write about intimacy in a beautiful, sensitive style, conveying love. No wonder, after the bloody rape she experienced. With content like this, the environmental consciousness you proudly proclaimed in last week's issue becomes almost meaningless. Violence on the micro level is mirrored on the macro level.
Rah rah raw milk
michael schmidt produces raw milk. E. coli found in raw milk somewhere else has as much relevance to his Glencolton Farms dairy as bacteria on Mars. Schmidt has staged a 20-year-long successful experiment on cheerful volunteer subjects who've never once experienced negative consequences. On the contrary, many report improvement to their health. I'm not surprised that bureaucrats, whether in white coats or without, are attacking him. It's the nature of bureaucracy to maintain the status quo by trying to do as little new as possible. In contrast, I expect publicly elected high officials like the premier and his cabinet to apply their vigorous intelligence to discern and nurture a promising growth industry for the benefit of the province.
Schmidt is a national treasure. Return his equipment and establish a framework for his further progress!
Rock The Bells bailout
when i heard the lineup for the Rock The Bells show, I had my doubts that everyone on the all-star bill would actually make it, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that over half the roster would be absent. When a bottle was thrown toward DJ Scratch of EPMD while he set up to rock the set, we quickly realized that we'd just paid a premium ticket price for locals, no-names and 10 uncomfortable minutes with a visibly upset Erick and Parrish.
Is this what we have to look forward to when it comes to hiphop shows in the upcoming year? Half-assed promoters who don't do their job correctly and then literally rob thousands of people of their money for a lineup they couldn't deliver?
Dreamchaser (the promotion criminals behind the Toronto leg of Rock The Bells) completely dropped the ball on the handling of this event and have yet to do anything about explaining themselves as to how they justify continuing on with the show or what they have to say to the nearly 2,000 people who were deceived.
Learn a little, Richards
i'd like to second the motion put forth by Aaron Campbell of Toronto in his letter Virtually Insane Review (NOW, November 30-December 6). I have long found self-important music reviewer Jason Richards to be ignorant about most genres, with the exception of the ones he himself takes a personal interest in (mostly rap and hiphop, from what I can gather). Not only does Richards refuse to leave his own musical comfort zone, but he doesn't even bother to do his homework, leading him to make blatantly erroneous statements such as the one about Jamiroquai cited by Campbell last week. Richards hides his obvious insecurity about his very limited music vocabulary behind flippant, sarcastic copy, and boy, is that getting tired.
As long as Richards maintains the attitude that he has everything to teach us about music but nothing to learn from it, NOW's music section - arguably the cornerstone of its success as a magazine - will continue to suffer.
High on Higher Grounds
we were very upset and shocked to read your negative review of our favourite restaurant, Higher Grounds (NOW, November 23-29). The establishment is clean and friendly and serves fresh, homemade food in large portions.
Fans of this restaurant - and there are many, of all ages and backgrounds - were surprised to read Lisa Paul's negative review. We think you missed the boat on this one and need to give it another shot.
40 patrons of Higher Grounds
Adam and Steve
now that parliament has put to rest the debate on same-sex marriage, I hope we won't have to hear "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" any more, since Adam and Yves are now getting married.