The truth about Greens
Kudos to Michael Hollett for identifying Elizabeth May's Green party as the vote-splitting "political vanity enterprise" it really is (NOW, April 26-May 2).
It's a tough, controversial stance that takes courage.
Tax too horrifying for rich
Until scanning the papers for their reaction to the small tax increase on the wealthiest of Ontarians, I simply hadn't realized what a brutal injustice this is to our persecuted rich (NOW, April 26-May 2).
To the tiny, tiny percentage of Ontarians blessed with incomes of over half a million dollars a year I offer my deepest condolences on this horrifying crime, this ethnic cleansing that threatens the very fabric of their privilege by asking them to pay 2 per cent more. The horror.
Dirty diesel particulars
Despite all the negative press around "dirty diesel" trains (NOW, April 26-May 2), the fact is they're not quite as bad for the environment as opponents are suggesting.
I'm an advocate of electrifying the line, of course, but diesel isn't the Devil. The new Air Rail Link trains have diesel particulate filters that capture all the ash we associate with diesel. It is my understanding that these trains will meet tier-four emissions standards with 94 per cent less particulate. In addition, they significantly reduce nitrogen oxides and sulphuric oxides. We need to tone down the rhetoric.
App plying the truth
Regarding App Pathetic by Joshua Errett (NOW, April 26-May 2). Oh, Joshua, where to begin?
I'll start by saying I don't support Rob Ford or his allies, but neither do I support dishonest journalism.
Why is it confusing to Errett that there are two apps that do the same thing? No one said they were only for graffiti. They both expedite the process of reporting a problem to the city for those with smartphones. Is that bad? And how is TDOT 311 worse? Because it's iPhone-only so far? Because it'll cost $1.99 after May 5? (It's free now.) Because you don't know where that money will go? Maybe to the developers who are trying to build a business?
Do you realize they're giving 30¢ per download to the library during the free period? Is that bad?
It seems the "trash mashup" headline on Adam Giambrone's article on diversion rates also applies to the statistics he uses to make his point about recycling (NOW, April 26-May 2). Even relative to regular garbage and not the grand total, the diversion rate is only 30 per cent, not the 47 per cent reported.
How can we strive for 70 per cent and adopt the correct strategies to do so when the base is incorrect?
U.S. criticism in la-la land
I found Susan G. Cole's take on American cinema culture (NOW, April 26-May 2) disappointing.
What we see coming out of mainstream Hollywood does not even begin to scratch the surface of the vast array of American films produced each year. Cole reinforces a thoughtless and shallow notion of Americans as people simply incapable of seeing through Hollywood's plastic lens. How many independent American film artists can she name?
Surely, Cole must have extensive knowledge on the subject, unlike our "xenophobic" neighbours who are too locked into their ways to sift through the facade of pop culture.
It is truly ironic that in her attempt to label Americans as people without the intellectual drive to understand other cultures, she commits the exact same error.
Flying fart for the mayor
Your comment in newsfront about the mayor putting his "backside" into the annual cleanup day (NOW, April 26-May 2) was nothing more than a flying fart. How many of your readers participated in the cleanup? Thought so. Get a life.
CBC's common thread
Regarding letter writer Nathalie Daumas's concern about cuts to the CBC (NOW, April 19-25).
It's only 10 per cent. I'm pretty sure the CBC will survive just fine after getting rid of some redundant management.
But Daumas is definitely correct when she states that the CBC "keeps Canada connected" - although she fails to identify exactly who or what is the "common thread" the CBC provides for all Canadians "across our massive and diverse country."
As far as I'm concerned, the only common thread the CBC provides is Rex Murphy and his creative, enlightened and relevant commentaries.
Your green issue was welcome (NOW, April 12-18). It revealed the hidden toxins we are exposed to every day. I fear it could give readers a false sense of security, however. What vexes me the most is the increasingly inescapable infiltration of plastics into our daily lives. Could manufacturers not at least use biodegradable plastics? So many products now sold come wrapped in plastic film that's totally unnecessary. We still have plastic rings for six-packs, which could easily be replaced by cardboard.
Billy Bryans at the Diamond Club, 1987.
Billy Bryans remembered
Thanks for the tribute to Billy Bryans (NOW, April 26-May 2) and for running my photo of him with Susan G. Cole's obituary.
I took it at the Diamond Club in 1987 during the Jane Vasey benefit featuring Downchild Blues Band, with Lorraine Segato as guest singer.
Billy was a gentleman and always easily approachable. He was a large presence in the local and Canadian music community. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, Billy.