RE Anti-poverty flame-out (NOW, August 2-8). I agree with Wayne Roberts. Anti-poverty groups ought to hook up with other social causes like the medical reform movement.
My only problem is that this is exactly what anti-poverty groups like OCAP, as well as other Ontario Common Front (OCF) organizations all over Ontario have been doing.
OCAP's special diet campaign (covered by NOW) saw thousands of low-income families and individuals on welfare and disability across Ontario netting bucks to help feed themselves and their kids healthy, nutritious meals that were previously far out of reach.
In Belleville, for example, the Tenant Action Group ran with OCAP's idea and got medical doctors to operate our hunger clinics in the kitchens and living rooms of poor people's homes in housing projects.
Tenant Action Group
Dub me dissed
RE Bridge over the river why (NOW, August 2-8). I enjoyed the article but thought you dropped the ball on one point.
As a community paper whose focus is the city of Toronto, you should at least have mentioned the homegrown talent, namely, the poets representing us in Columbus. Didn't it occur to you that readers might want to know?
How can local talent get supported if we don't know who they are?
Nice wrap-up of the fort york picnic (NOW, August 2-8), although maybe NOW should send somebody with a better knowledge of hiphop to a music festival that's being headlined by the Roots.
Twice your reviewer name-checked Roots band member ?uestlove, even attributing a quote to him. One problem: ?uestlove wasn't even in attendance that night. They had a different drummer. Did your press kit not include photos? Or do you guys just need to listen to something other than Tokyo Police Club on your off days?
Fort York fete no picnic
I had the pleasure of attending the Fort York Picnic. The only real blight on the whole event was the sudden change of policy in regard to outside food.
Like a good concert patron, I had checked the official website the day before to confirm that I could bring drinks and snacks, only to be informed at the gate by a teenage security guard that no food could be brought into the concert at all.
My girlfriend and I had made sandwiches and salad the day before, which we were forced to quickly devour in the burning heat of the parking lot.
But, alas, we were unable to eat and drink everything and were forced to go through the indignity of leaving what was left in a large pile on the sidewalk.
Why should I give up my homemade food to pay for greasy and overpriced substitutes? And what's with the sudden change of heart by the organizers?
Filmmaker Curt Johnson doesn't tell the whole story about PETA's work (NOW, August 2-8).
While PETA does not run an adoption facility, we have managed to find excellent, lifelong homes for hundreds of animals. Many of the animals we receive have been rejected by other shelters. For them, euthanasia is, without a doubt, the most humane option.
PETA works every day through educational campaigns, by sterilizing animals in our mobile clinic and by subsidizing spay/neuter surgeries at private vets' offices.
Please, help us stop the killing. To learn more, visit www.helpinganimals.com.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
A leg to stand on
Take another look at your up front shot of the dancer at the Calypso Monarch Competition. (NOW, August 2-8). I know some men boastfully refer to their "manhood" as a third leg, but this is ridiculous!
Cops deserve an apology
Considering that a member of the under-20 Chilean soccer team has recently confessed to punching a female police officer in the face, setting off the recent controversial melee between players and the Toronto police, (NOW, July 26-August 1), has anyone considered issuing an apology to the cops for the unwarranted accusations of racism and police brutality? Yes, Professor Tanovich, I'm looking at you.
The trouble with tasers
RE The recent soccer melee at which a protestor was tasered (NOW, July 26-August 1). One big problem with "sub-lethal" tasers is the continuing misinformation by the police and media about its deadly effects.
Although Alan Young rightly criticizes its frequent and inappropriate use by the police, he fails to understand that the weapon itself is the issue; it's frequently deadly and should be banned. Amnesty International has called for a total and immediate taser ban.
Punishing "taser-happy officers" is not the solution. Abolishing tasers makes more sense.
Payne nose best
In response to letter-writer Anne Smyth's reaction to the "disgusting" Just For Laughs cover (NOW, August 2-8). I'm the chick on the cover with her finger in her nose. Anne, you're overreacting. There are way more important things in this world to be disgusted about. Things like abuse, poverty and racism. Grow up. By the way, my finger is up my nose as I write this.
Just For Laughs' biggest gag
I too am alarmed that hardly any women were programmed for the Just For Laughs festival (NOW, July 26-August 1).
As a stand-up comic and a producer of the consistently sold-out all-female stand-up show From The Mouths of Babes, I'm amazed that the female element at the festival was glaringly absent.
Toronto is full of talented funny women. Are we just to sit around in our petticoats and sip tea hoping this will change?
Rougher waters for kayaks
Thank you so much for Roger Brook's harrowing description of kayaking on Toronto's western and central waterfront (NOW, July 26-August 1). As an avid sea kayaker who paddles on Toronto's waterfront weekly, I have experienced first-hand the perils he describes: the harsh dock walls, lawless motorboaters and general sense of chaos on a busy day.
However, the joys of being out in a kayak definitely outweigh the difficulties, particularly in the lovely outer harbour.
Here, small non-motorized boats - dinghies, windsurfers, kite sailors, canoes and rowers - are numerous and coexist, generally peacefully.
Unfortunately, our unique small boating community is threatened by the proposed Lake Ontario Park, which will sever small boaters' access to the lake by developing a public beach.
Roger Brook's article highlights the need for planning efforts that incorporate water uses.
Solution to T.O. tax problem
Mike Smith is right. Most residents do lack a basic understanding of what's going on at City Hall (NOW, July 26-August 1). Many think the city is spending more dollars each year than Torontonians pay in taxes. Wrong.
We are paying billions more to governments than governments spend in Toronto. This can be stopped. But only by making Toronto a province. If we don't, the financial situation will only get worse.
Committee for the Province of Toronto
Dance off the beaten track
I dance alone, by Sheila Gostick (NOW, July 12-18), was amusing. I am 70 years old and love to dance. It is difficult to find places, however. Noah's Ark (Dawes and Danforth) offers a live band Friday and Saturday. They also offer the occasional Newfie jig. Drop by, Sheila. You will love it.