T.O.'s tagging problem
Too bad Eldon Garnet didn't photograph or identify the cover-of-night taggers vandalizing his home (Take on Tagging, NOW, June 14-20).
Toronto has become a visually oppressive city since I moved here from the U.S., encouraging several of the worst aesthetic blights, including visible trash cans and destroyed street pavement.
Of all the cities I travel to, Toronto has declined to become one of the ugliest.
Consider Philadelphia. It has marvellous public graffiti art and murals and nothing like Toronto's horrific tag problem.
Uniformed attendants (yes, poor-paying jobs, but jobs) sweep the streets. Trash cans are tucked away.
It's disheartening to hear that the culprits in Garnet's article were young people in their 20s.
I always imagined taggers to be 13-year-old arsonists from out of neighbourhood. Is tagging a reaction to depression in the next generation of citizens?
Ford firing blanks
On Adam Vaughan's call for council to ban bullets (NOW Daily, June 12).
Why doesn't the mayor [haul] his ass over to the home of the parents of the 13-year-old child who got shot in the head at the Eaton Centre and tell them why he opposes a ban on guns?
On his way home, the mayor can pop in and say hello to Louise Russo, whose spine was severed by a bullet meant for someone else.
Parkland sale questions
Great article on sizing up Rob Ford's Land Grab (NOW, June 14-20).
The media plays a vital role in ensuring that the public understands what is going on in the city. Otherwise, who would have known about the proposed sale of parkland to the mayor, considering that no public notifications had been issued?
Re How Much Sushi Is Safe To Eat? (NOW, June 14-20). I used to study whales. Now I track viruses in farmed salmon. These viruses are not good for the environment of the whales of British Columbia. Canada refuses to acknowledge the lab reports, so the only way forward is to let retailers know we don't want to eat this. Please sign our petition at change.org.
Violence ruining hip-hop
The Smashmouth entertainment showcase sounded like a show not to miss before it was cancelled (NOW Daily, June 14).
A side of me wanted to go so bad, but in reality I had no intention of going. Quite frankly, I didn't want to get caught in some stupid shooting among idiots who continue to ruin the hip-hop game with their cowardly behaviour of shooting one another just because they have a beef.
It's obvious this is why the popos (Five-O) cancelled the show. They were as terrified as I am. Sad!
All I want is to be able to enjoy a show with my kids while teaching them about our music, culture, etc, without any danger.
To the hip-hop community: please continue to send the message of no violence.
Flaming Lips as advertised
Regarding the Flaming Lips' NXNE show at Yonge-Dundas Square Saturday (NOW Daily, June 17). The advertising was awful. The Ben & Jerry's awning blocking so many sightlines was really disappointing and frustrating. I now have a long list of businesses I won't support. Twenty thousand people show up and there's only a pit for 5,000 in front of the stage, surrounded by a corporate blockade? That's negative advertising that doesn't work for anyone. The Flaming Lips, however, totally transcended the ridiculous set-up with their overwhelming awesomeness.
UN food fighting
Wayne Roberts's Harpercons play Hunger Games (NOW, June 14-20) is misleading.
With dire food emergencies around the globe, why did UN rapporteur Olivier De Schutter spend 11 days investigating the food situation in Canada, a country that ranks at the bottom of global hunger concerns?
Surely, the scarce time and resources of the international community could have been more effectively allocated to help those who are truly starving.
All of his explanations defy basic common sense. And why is De Schutter now attempting to launch an investigation of the United States?
Human rights should not be exploited by an extreme political agenda that seeks to blame the West for all the world's ills.
One has to ask, what has to take place to get reported in print in this town? Up to 2,000 folks marching down Bloor Street didn't work. Shooting up the Eaton Centre certainly did. As much as some hope the web will make up for what the mainstream media doesn't carry, the fact is that most folks are still getting much of their info via print and broadcasts.
We recently became aware of an ad featuring a chimpanzee dressed in human clothes in an issue of NOW Magazine.
We appreciate the attempts made to ensure that the chimpanzee was treated with respect during production of the ad.
Unfortunately, the use of chimpanzees in entertainment is inherently inhumane.
Chimpanzees used in advertising are separated from their mothers as infants. Individuals who have no chance of growing up in a normal group of chimpanzees not only fail to learn chimp etiquette, but are likely to show abnormal behaviours.
Chimpanzees are endangered in the wild. I hope you will reconsider publishing ads that feature them in your magazine.
The Goodall Institute of Canada
Plugged in to electric
Regarding City Considers Free Hookups For Electric Cars (NOW Daily, June 13).
NOW readers should check out Plug'nDrive, a non-profit that is promoting electric vehicles and working to have the infrastructure installed.
On August 12 we are hosting Electric Vehicle Day (evday.ca) at Yonge-Dundas Square. Come take a test drive on Yonge Street in an EV!