Twisting by the park
I must say that your Party In The Park article (NOW, July 26-August 1) is quite a twist on the opinions I expressed about weed smoking in Trinity Bellwoods.
Although I did mention it, I never condoned weed smoking. Your article almost portrays me as a careless mother who puts her four-year-old daughter out there in the face of drunken debauchery. I would never immerse my daughter in an environment that could be toxic to her or her health.
The sensationalism you give to the topic bastardizes the rich culture that Toronto is known for. You might need to revisit your analysis of your alleged "party." I'd like to believe that Toronto still has peaceful communities that offer a diversity of activities and spaces where families can gather outside.
Maybe your article will brand Trinity Bellwoods Park as unsafe for children and families. Let's see what kind of demographic you'll be left with when that happens.
Marivi Barrios and Karyssa Barrios
Fly by greenwash
I'm very disappointed with Adria Vasil's column on eco-friendly ways to travel (NOW, July 26-August 1). It read more like a promo for Porter Airlines with its references to how short-haul flights may be more efficient than driving to Montreal.
A full 78-seat Porter Q-400 may be have a better per-passenger CO2 rating but a half-empty one does not.
The airport is also the largest or second-largest source of seven carcinogens in Toronto.
Remember that hundreds of children live, play and go to school in the area and spend the whole day in this chemical soup.
If your readers in their 20s and 30s concerned about global warming want to see 70, they'd better change their flying habits and quickly.
E-bikers taken for a ride
Thank you for Adam Giambrone's article My Parks Vision For The City (NOW, July 26-August 1).
Council adopted seven key Guiding Principles for future parks planning. The seventh Guiding Principle states, "Environmentally responsible practices and green initiatives should be incorporated into the daily planning, design, operation and maintenance of City parks and trails."
Despite this, e-bikes are being prohibited in city parks while their pedalling two-wheeled brethren, who can travel just as fast, continue to enjoy parks resources.
City staff claim that e-bikes present a safety issue, but the same arguments used to ban the e-bike (too big, too wide, too heavy) can be used to ban cargo bicycles, bicycle trailers and other practical forms of "bike".
Education on gunplay
Regarding Toronto's Gun Violence Begins In The Classroom (NOW, July 26-August 1).
I am an elementary school teacher employed by the TDSB. Students are not placed on an IEP (special education) and "stuck" with that designation, as Bairu Sium suggests, from that point forward.
Students can be placed on an IEP at any point in their academic career when multiple professionals have tried a variety of in-class interventions. The goal of special education is always to reintegrate the student into the regular classroom when and if it's possible.
I don't disagree with the author's assertion that Ontario needs to do a better job keeping African-Canadian students engaged in school and increase graduation rates. If there's a systemic problem, let's go at that with everything we've got. But I'm not clear how the recent gun violence can be attributed to the education system.
Gun pushers pop off
I'm not sure what's more disturbing : what Mayor Rob Ford said about immigration and the recent gun violence or what a few of your passionate commenters online are saying in response to Five Lessons Learned from the Danzig Street shooting (NOW, July 26-August 1). I'll have to say that it's the mayor's utter insensitivity that takes the cake here, because the commenters completely missed the excellent points and information in Enzo DiMatteo's article. Thank you and keep 'em coming!
Another meat ribbing
Thank you for your cover story on Toronto's Best BBQ (NOW, July 19-25). My copy of 2010's BBQ Special Issue was getting worn out, and it's been a long eight months since the Eat Meat cover.
I appreciate these issues of NOW because they make the severe limits to your vision of "social transformation" particularly stark.
I know you have encountered, and printed, arguments for ethical veganism, as well as stats on meat's environmental impact.
It appears, however, that when our city is in the throes of a meat mania, you'd rather join in the slavering than challenge your readers.
Eggs a hot potato
Café Fiorentina is one of my favourite places to eat in this city, and their food is amazing! Tina and Alex are kind, talented young chefs running a lovely little café using fresh and local ingredients and serving the public good food.
The bullying from city health inspectors over their heritage eggs (NOW Daily, July 24) is totally unwarranted. Thank goodness they're so resilient! They really don't deserve this. What they do deserve is your support.
Eat at Café Fiorentina. It's delicious.
Cabbies a bike turnoff
On Saturday, July 14, at 6:10 pm, my 12-year-old son and I were riding north on Yonge in the bicycle lane from Queens Quay.
At Lake Shore our thus-far peaceful and enjoyable ride was destroyed by a Beck Taxi cab honking its horn and bearing down on my son's rear wheel. The taxi was in the bicycle lane attempting to get to some people flagging him down.
I stopped and turned around to see what this fool's problem was. I assume he was expressing displeasure with our not moving out of his way.
I called Beck and lodged a complaint. Their attitude leads me to believe that my complaint will not be given a high priority.
My son no longer feels safe riding his bike. I am extremely angry that this driver's actions could end my son's cycling experiences before they have truly begun.
Saved by TTC angels
I am hoping you will print this letter to extend a thousand thanks to the TTC angels who appeared out of nowhere to assist my partner and me to get downstairs with packed heavy grocery carts in stations that still do not have elevators!
This has happened so often. They are truly a blessing and give us hope that there are still some kind and thoughtful people in Toronto.