So we went on the Gardiner expressway Critical Mass and very much enjoyed your coverage of it (NOW, June 5-11). Both articles were wonderfully written. But what has been largely ignored is the behaviour of the police officers.
The biker who mistakenly cut through the police barricade could have been simply returned to the group (with a warning) and sent down the ramp (since we were all leaving the Gardiner anyway). Instead, he was handcuffed and arrested.
When we asked what the charge was, we were threatened with pepper spray. His bike was left on the Gardiner. Police took no responsibility for it.
This behaviour must be investigated. I sent an e-mail to my councillor and to the mayor but have as of yet received no response.
Antoine Duchastel de Montrouge
Ramping up the insanity
Short of hurling David “I saw Heaven” Thomson off the highway, I’m hoping Mayor David Miller sends him the entire bill to cover the costs incurred by police called to clear the Gardiner. Hopefully, the Children’s Aid Society will get involved to remove the kids involved in this amazingly stupid stunt from their insane parents.
Outrageous car culture
I’m glad Mike Smith touched on the collective irresponsibility of drivers in his piece on freeing the Gardiner. It’s something we rarely hear about in the news media.
There would be immediate outrage if property damage and harm occurred at even a fraction of the rate we see with personal automobiles. We have become numb to the cost of car culture.
Now that hummers, escalades and big trucks are being put out to pasture, it probably won’t be too long before the same happens to Cadillac. The suit in the red Caddy speeding through the psychedelic tunnel muttering arrogantly about being “the hammer” will have to get used to pressing the accelerator on a modest Prius, Smart or – who knows? – the pedals of a bicycle.
Drag on this
The recent law banning displays of tobacco products (NOW, May 29-June 4) raises an interesting question. If this legislation is all about protecting the public, why is the LCBO allowed to advertise its highly destructive product?
Post, be free
While reading popped for rock (NOW, June 5-11), I couldn’t help wonder why the city is so upset about grassroots postering. When people poster to promote their gigs or small businesses, it contributes to the community. The fact that council has passed a bylaw to stop it undermines the building of community and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Too brown for NOW
Oh, NOW. What am I going to do with you? You seem to fill a need for local, alternative media that this upwardly mobile young man of colour from well beyond the Don cannot shake. Your articles on labour and pedestrian rights complement the concert listings and music reviews I cannot find elsewhere. Rarer still are any food reviews.
And yet there’s a serious disconnect between us. As a recently returned-to-the-city graduate student, I cannot help but notice that week after week, almost all the people featured in My Style look the same: white hipsters from Queen West in a mix of vintage and Holt Renfrew.
I decided to take a look at the archived covers for the past little while and found my suspicions confirmed: only four out of the past 23 featured people of colour.
Occasionally, NOW hits the mark with the other half of Toronto. I guess I’m just too damned middle-class and brown for you.
Pictures of Lily
Wow. A pic of Lily Allen’s vagina (NOW, May 29-June 4). Has NOW’s website always been NSFW? Can readers not load it in public now?
Charles DH Crosbie
The unthinking Susan G. Cole has hit a new low with her review of Barbara Walters’s laughably sentimental memoir, Audition (NOW, May 29-June 4). According to Cole, the woman who made a career of [submission to the] banal is owed a debt of gratitude. Her chauvinistic male colleagues, gasp, rolled their eyes at her! And with apparent seriousness, Cole explains that “deep research” is the “reason why world leaders chose her as the person they’d talk to.” Not the more obvious reason that people in power prefer not to be challenged. Walters is not a victim. She’s well positioned in the vanguard of the “access journalism” revolution that trades integrity for “the exclusive.”
Your review of the Spaghetti Factory (NOW, May 15-21) sucks. We have always received good value there, and look forward to returning. You talk about a restaurant catering to people who won’t return? How about a customer who won’t return to your pathetic website? The place has been in business for almost 40 years. It’s doing something right.
Blair it out loud
Regarding rockets red blair (May 29-June 4). Letter writer Dr. Michael Gaspar was upset because Tony Blair was scheduled to speak at the fundraiser for Women’s College Hospital Foundation.
He notified us that the Coalition to Stop the War was planning a demonstration.
Instead of raining on the fundraiser, Dr. Gaspar and the coalition could more profitably spend their time on their own fundraising for the exaggerated “4 million Iraqis who have been rendered refugees.”
More demonstrations are not going to stop what is now essentially a civil war with the meddlesome intervention of Iran, Syria, etc.
Jim sits as jobs go south
Enough is enough! Manufacturing jobs are being lost at an alarming rate. Since April 2007, 112,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared in this country.
In Oshawa, where thousands of jobs have been lost, MPs Jim Flaherty, the federal finance minister, and Colin Carrie, parliamentary secretary to the minister of industry, sit idle and watch as families and the community are decimated. No plan, no action, not a word!
President, CAW Local 112
The list of the Dora nominations for this year made me laugh out loud. Who are these jurors, and what are their agendas? This year’s jury proved incompetent in distinguishing in most cases between great art and mediocre art, and that is a shame for this city. I can only tell you that during Fire at the Canadian Stage Company, the entire row where I was sitting fell asleep before the intermission. Somebody on the jury was doing a friend a favour. Art and agendas do not go together. If Dora jurors do not know that, they should make their careers in politics, not theatre.