Cheol Joon Baek
Ford losing pounds, votes
Thank you for Wayne Roberts's excellent article on Rob Ford's weight loss challenge (NOW, January 19-25). The picture is priceless. The perfect backdrop to announce a diet.
I don't believe a word of it. This diet is nothing but a smokescreen, an attention-diverting device to get us to stop looking at his record in council and start looking at his medicine-ball stomach.
Most likely his advisers told him to do something about his weight because he's losing control of council. Panic must be spreading since funding for homeless shelters and libraries has been "saved."
Shape of things for Ford
For me, Rob Ford isn't trying to lose weight for the right reasons, and thus will ultimately fail. The motivating force behind an effort to lose weight must be strong. This one is political.
I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic in late 2009, and the doctors told me that if I didn't get my life in order I had to take insulin jabs every day. It really scared me into action.
I've lost 180 pounds since. I'm no longer pre-diabetic and I'm in the best shape of my life. It wasn't easy, but I can say that everyone can do it if they have the right program.
Ryan E. Parker
Weight loss sideshow
The Fords' weight loss challenge is the weekly sideshow at Toronto City Hall: guess their weight while the real carnival is taking place at the bargaining table with city unions.
City worker, Oshawa
Two faces of Karen Stintz
As Karen Stintz hides from residents on budget and bus route cuts (NOW Daily, January 20), she has retreated from her constituents. She has a problem keeping her two faces fully operational. She has declared a conflict of interest regarding a ravine development at Chatsworth and Yonge She's refusing to help her own neighbourhood, because "she lives near there."
She knows she might have to resist a developer, and you can't do that and run for mayor. I fear her neighbours are in for a shock. Even with Anne Johnston we didn't have this much divisiveness in the ward.
Airing for women's hockey
Regarding Michael Hollett Shoots Hockey's Gender Gap (NOW, January 19-25). Great article. I sure hope it lands on a few desks over at TSN. It would be wonderful if sports networks gave our female hockey players a little airtime. Thanks so much for supporting female sports.
Director of player development
Leaside Girls Hockey Association
Playing puck percentages
Women have been a large part of hockey since its inception in this country. Their involvement has been undergoing a resurgence. According to Hockey Canada, there are now more than 85,000 girls and women in organized hockey, a tenfold increase in the last 20 years. Perhaps even more notable is that 58 per cent of new players in the game are women. If these growth trends continue, Michael Hollett should find it increasingly easy to hear about the latest women's hockey success.
I enjoyed Norm Wilner's article on David Cronenberg and A Dangerous Method (NOW, January 12-18). I was reminded of a psychiatrist's motto: "I shrink, therefore I am."
Springing a Streep surprise
I was absolutely delighted to see your cover proclaiming Meryl Streep Blows Minds As Margaret Thatcher (NOW, January 12-18), the last article I'd expect to grace your left-of-the-Toronto-Star weekly.
NOW branded Thatcher a Reagan crony, criticizing her for the war to safeguard the Falkland Islands. However, the Iron Lady resolutely stood in defence of "the will of democracy-loving citizens of the islands," who were spared any infringement of their liberties by the threatening totalitarian dictatorship in Argentina.
As for humanizing Thatcher, well, she loved Britain, her husband, Dennis, her cats and above all freedom. When her nation's economic well-being was under siege by powerful, entrenched unions and her country's territorial integrity was threatened by the Warsaw Pact, she mobilized, bringing Mikhail Gorbachev with her, thereby marking the end of the Cold War. Meryl Streep was brilliant and god bless the Iron Lady.
David C. Searle
Grits' pot problem isn't
In liberal take 5 in newsfront this week (NOW, January 19-25), you listed the Grits' advocating decriminalizing pot as a sign of "certain death" for the party's comeback. This is a peculiar assertion, since NOW has so eloquently advocated decriminalizing pot in the past. I understand that you would like to get rid of the Liberals - less competition for the NDP. But they're right about decriminalizing marijuana.
Archives with snap
I enjoy your weekly look back at your past covers. However, you do a disservice to the fine photographers who have been part of your tradition, many of them now renowned in their own right. Susan King's work, for example, has made its way into Archives Canada and the U of T archives. In future, please tell us who the photographer was for the featured covers.