The problem with the poor
I want to thank NOW for running Panhandling Panic, by Mike Smith (NOW, May 31-June 6). I can only hope that those who need to will read it and think for a moment on how their very own ignorance partially facilitates their problem with the poor.
Unfortunately, I expect that you will be getting more than a handful of uneducated, bigoted responses from those who have a friend of a friend who knows someone whose sister was attacked by a panhandler for their loose change.
It's too bad, really, since the article laid out many starting points from which anyone who is truly interested in understanding the problem can look. These "Malthusians" no longer have an excuse not to know better other than being lazy, which, oddly enough, is a trait often falsely associated with panhandlers.
Suckers for panhandlers
Poor Jim Aldridge, who is all upset about downtowners feeling "saddened and awkward" about panhandlers. I just tell these con artists to fuck off, and they understand and respect me for it. People who give to panhandlers are just suckers.
Ditch the white chick
How come every time now has a special issue (NOW, May 31-June 6) there's a super-white, skanky babe with tattoos on the cover? What is wrong with the sisters?
Astral needs to lighten up
I had to snicker at the piece on the anti-corporate art attack on Astral Media info pillars (NOW, May 31-June 6) and the over-reaction by the advertising giant. From the photo, the pieces of art were taped, not stapled or pasted, on Astral's pillars and can easily be removed. And yet Astral wants to sue for loss of revenue and lay vandalism charges?
It wasn't as if the protestors tagged the pillars with obscenities.
And the revenue loss? Astral's got thousands and thousands of similar ads all over town on billboards, TV and online, [showing] materialistic and useless junk that we don't need, and they're complaining over a few lousy pillars with childlike posters that lighten things up? How anal.
Your article Where's the Latin in AluCine? (NOW, May 31-June 6) touches upon aluCine's ongoing attempts to find new approaches to further the way we think about diversity.
The questions posed in your article are relevant to the way we understand and perceive each other in contemporary multicultural cities like Toronto.
Are labels useful in allowing us to understand our differences and similarities?
AluCine is an artistic project that went from a culturally specific festival that questioned the barriers of discrimination to a Latin, Canadian and international festival that showcases short films/videos and media works.
AluCine is a Latin festival, a Canadian festival and an international festival. We create platforms of communication that foster dialogue amongst film/video and media artists, curators and audiences in Canada, Latin America and the world.
We offer an inclusive festival that encourages different ways to think about identity and diversity.
Publicity Coordinator, aluCine Toronto
Arnie's California dreamin'
As a powerful Republican in George Bush's America who is pushing for real action on global warming - like tougher efficiency standards for vehicles - California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (NOW, May 31-June 6) is an important and intriguing figure.
But with all due respect to Governor Schwarzenegger, he is building on a strong environmental legacy.
California has been a leader in pushing efficiency and conservation for 30 years, primarily because a 1976 referendum led to a law banning new nuclear plants until the waste problem was solved. (BTW, we're still waiting).
All of which has resulted in California's electricity consumption per capita flatlining for the last 30 years while the rest of the continent's has jumped by about 50 per cent.
Per capita consumption has grown by 31 per cent during the same period here in Ontario, almost double California's.
Climate Change Campaign WWF-Canada
Not two for TEA
RE McGuinty's Arnie act. We must clarify the Toronto Environmental Alliance's role in advocating for Bill 164, giving consumers the right to know if products contain carcinogens.
TEA has no formal partnership with NDP MPP Peter Tabuns to generate community pressure to pass the bill, as the article implies.
We are non-partisan in our support of solid environmental initiatives. Five months ago we asked our members to write letters supporting a government-proposed ban on use-oil space heaters.
If the conservatives had a great plan, say, one that proposed energy conservation over building more nuclear, we would be thrilled to ask our members to back their endeavours, too.
Sadly, there are too few opportunities to applaud politicians for truly putting the environment first.
Toronto Environmental Alliance
Star's content crunch
RE your comments about the new redesigned Toronto Star (NOW, May 31-June 6). They're so right on.
I used to love to spend an hour in the morning reading the Star, but now I can blow through it in 15 minutes and it isn't all that interesting. The self-described new Voice of the GTA is a joke.
RE Don't believe the tech (NOW, May 31-June 6). Wow! Wayne Roberts sure can tarnish a whole major industry with one brush, confident that he knows better!
Oh, horrors. He describes how a pseudo-natural food product is food-formulated by food technologists. (We train these people here, and it's still a legal profession as far as I know.)
Using terms like "tampered" to describe the job people do in the food processing industry is just plain irresponsible, even slanderous.
It's a big industry, lots of jobs. Expensive equipment. Very clean factories. People love convenience foods and want them natural as well.
Nobody here is adulterating foods with melamine.
The only "tampering" I've heard of was by some guy who didn't like pork, and he's in jail.
You actually won't die (acute illness) going to the supermarket, believe it or not, you crazy, fuzzy conspiracy guys!
Me, I'm a top-notch bioregional cook. Easy for me, I love cabbage.
If you want to change the diet product laws, then go ahead and lobby, just don't whine in my weekend entertainment zine about how my food is going to destroy me and the planet with every bite.
Regarding your upfront quote suggesting that the tragic murder of Jordan Manners may provide a watershed moment for the black community to now cooperate with police (NOW, May 31-June 6).
There is an expectation placed on the black community to cooperate, but I have rarely heard of police officers coming forward with evidence on colleagues when they've been accused of breaking the law.
There is a tacit public agreement that police officers as part of the code of their profession do not have to provide information on the criminal behaviour of fellow officers.
We are all grappling with the tragedy of the death of Jordan Manners. We do not need the preachy double standard from police.
That synching feeling
In regards to Sarah Liss's Broken Social Sync (NOW, May 24-30). With all the bands in this town that deserve a spot in your paper, you chose to run an article that was spat out in extremely poor taste.
We here at Scene HQ take offence at your treatment of the Social Scene women, especially Lisa Lobsinger, who recently moved to Toronto. Thanks for the typical Toronto welcome. She sang her guts out for us all over the world, and we couldn't have continued without her.
This band's success is based on a revolving-door policy.
No one replaces anyone. Liss has had the all-access pass into our lives for the past few years and has been an incredible supporter. Why she has chosen at this time to write a tabloid-style piece and act with such silly vengeance is unclear to us.
You know you're better than this, Sarah.
Don't let the alternative newspaper biz drag you down.
Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew
I'm just back from a ride along the waterfront with my son to check out the Luminato events.
We were interested in the lights and the free "art" boat.
I had a hard time enjoying it, as I was distracted by all the generators powering those lights and the strong gas fumes from the boat, which didn't seem to have any connection to art (or maybe someone should have pointed the "art" out to me). Luminato is supposedly groundbreaking for the city.
Has anyone considered its impact on the environment?