R. Jeanette Martin
Matt Mernagh was lucky to survive jail; other medpot users are too sick to.
Medpot life and death
Regarding Stoning of a crusader (NOW, August 28-September 3), my wife and I are (arguably) the most high-profile and outspoken medpot crusaders in the capital area, and we live in constant fear.
We have licences from Health Canada to smoke marijuana, but we know that doesn't necessarily protect us from persecution.
We walk a fine line between raising the ire of the police (with our letters, speeches and TV appearances) and being protected by our public, high-profile activism. The thing that endangers us is also, ironically, the thing that protects us.
But unlike Matt Mernagh and me, my wife could not survive in jail. Without her medicine, she would likely have powerful seizures within a day or so, especially with her food allergies.
This would mean she could be ignored in her cell and left to die. Or, worse yet, be sent to the ER where she would be pumped full of drugs that could kill her in short order, which is why she was forced to turn to the herb in the first place.
If she survived her ER stay, she would be stuck with months of depression, as happened just this past Easter Monday and in the weeks since. It has been touch and go for months.
People act like having a pot licence is some sort of privilege or prize. To us, it is a curse.
Interim CKLN station manager Mike Phillips is full of shit (NOW, August 28-September 3).
Phillips need look no further than himself, interim program director Tony Barnes and democratically impeached board member Josie Miner for any undemocratic secrecy and censorship going down at what was once a damn good community-campus radio station.
Since last May 5, Phillips has fired ("dismissed") and locked out 30 of us volunteers arbitrarily and unjustly axed 19 programs, including the grassroots OCAP Show and my monthly "Anti-psychiatry Radio" - the only anti-psychiatry program in Canada.
Our dissident and grassroots voices have been silenced for now, but many of us are fighting to take back CKLN as the powerful and empowering community station it was and will be again. Please join our weekly pickets every Friday at 6 pm and Sunday at noon in front of Ryerson's Student Community Centre (55 Gould).
Radio heads blowing hot air
I'm a former tech for Friday's Word Of Mouth show. The CKLN membership removed Tony Barnes and Mike Phillips from their positions on February 23, 2008, by a vote of 135 to 7. Since that time, the two have been illegally occupying the station and paying themselves salaries from CKLN's account. These people are not "management."
City bureaucrat Dan Egan, manager of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, is playing politics when he suggests that cycling advocates are opposing the interests of pedestrians in the Bloor Street Transformation project in Yorkville (NOW, August 28-September 3).
First, cycling groups, including our own, have made it clear to Egan and the city that we applaud the pedestrian improvements. In any case, since motor vehicles are still getting 14 to 16 metres of public space (in terms of road width), and cyclists are getting zero, the issue is hardly between pedestrians and cyclists.
Second, since the city claims to take global warming and air pollution seriously, it is unclear why dedicated space for cyclists isn't yet an automatic part of any reconstruction project. Instead, polluting emissions from motor vehicles are allowed to continue to rise.
Egan is supposed to be managing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, not creating some phony battle between the two groups.
Bells on Bloor
Progressive or just porn?
Regarding Fast and loose (NOW, August 28-September 3). Did letter-writer Paul Baines wake up from a Rip van Winkle sleep when he wrote to ask if NOW is "too cool" to say no to sexist advertising? Has he missed the colour girlie ads for escorts, etc, in the back pages of NOW week after week? Is he hallucinating? I am not against the girlie ads per se, but let's cut the crap about "progressive" and be honest with ourselves.
Hedging on Obama
Regarding the transformer and Biden Time (NOW, August 28-September 3). Tom Hayden gives us the view of an ex-60s-radical-turned-politician in his piece on Obama. Gwynne Dyer's sidebar on Obama's choice of Joe Biden as vice-presidential running mate provides a more realistic analysis of the existing geopolitical conditions facing Obama.
The fact remains that, given U.S. history since at least 1898, it really matters very little who inhabits the White House, as the Washington "political/military/intelligence machine" continues its quest for global hegemony.
Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden as a vice-presidential running mate has certainly created good conversation among Democrats.
As I walked along Dupont, one bike rider to another said, "He didn't pick Clinton, but chose what's-his-name?" This may be the best chance for Democrats like me to see victory since, well, since What's His Name was in the White House.
Mayor's cold shoulder
Andrew Cash writes of the propane blast that "Mayor Miller's vacation stopover was cold comfort when the city needed a hug" (NOW, August 21-August 27). I'm shocked.
Do people in Toronto know how to hug? Really? This is the coldest city I've ever lived in. Have you walked the streets and seen the faces? Do you think the people of Toronto need a hug? They don't even see you. But here's a hug from me.
Gases bound to go boom
Regarding Internal combustion (NOW, August 21-27). One has to question the wisdom of city engineers, being well aware of explosive energies, overpressures and wave velocities, permitting the building of houses in any neighbourhood. No matter how carefully maintained and operated, there is always the risk of explosions and fires and chemical plants.
Elizabeth Bromstein overlooks the best way to avoid the many health problems associated with using a mouse: don't use a mouse (NOW, August 21-27).
After one bout of mouse-induced carpal tunnel syndrome that left me unable to use doorknobs for a month, I switched to trackballs and haven't looked back since.
A trackball is always in the same place on your desk, so you don't have to wreck your shoulder by constantly reaching for it. You can plunk your hand down on it in the way that's most comfortable. Sure, the really good ones with the really big balls cost more than a mouse, but isn't it worth it to be able to continue using your hands?