For the combined budgets of these Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, yes, we could feed the world for 25-plus years and more (NOW, August 16-22). Instead, we support this overrated and corrupt (under Juan Antonio Samaranch) celebration of excess and pomposity in sport, which most people can't even afford to see.
The Olympics should be stopped until we figure out how to conduct [the Games] in a manner that has no elements of commercialism.
Kowtowing to autos
Re Getting Our Biking Groove Back (NOW, August 16-22). The strategies to accommodate and expand cycling in Toronto, reiterated in the above-mentioned article by Adam Giambrone, however creditable, haven't achieved the objective of integrating cycling as alternative transportation in our urban infrastructure.
The municipal government has been plagued by conflicting and ineffectual policies, political partisanship and vested interests. Feeble planning has accomplished nothing.
We have kowtowed to the domination of the automobile, and the result has been [its] disproportionate impact on economics, health, safety and the environment.
Air Pollution Coalition
Bike credibility gap
Great article by Adam Giambrone on Toronto getting its cycling groove back. Too bad he didn't use his time as councillor to realize this future he speaks of. My ride downtown from Bloor West hasn't improved one bit in the last 10 years. And by the way, sharrows aren't bike lanes, as Giambrone said they were when Lansdowne was "revitalized."
Summer road raging
Re Blood On The Tracks (NOW, August 2-8). Every year, warmer weather in Toronto brings more news of pedestrian and bike accidents on our roadways. Every news report is worded [so as to generate] sympathy for the pedestrian/cyclist. Often, the following phrase is added: "No charges will be laid against the motorist."
By now, Torontonians have come to realize that that means the pedestrian/cyclist was at fault. I deeply empathize with the pain/loss the victims and/or their families are subjected to, but I grow tired of the "wagon jumpers" who then stage protests and shoot off at the mouth, blaming motorists for the lack of road safety.
Every day I see pedestrians jaywalking. Every day I also witness cyclists turning left at intersections from the right-hand lane, crossing three-way intersections on red lights and turning right at intersections despite the car in front of them not having completed its turn.
All these moves are liable to get you killed, and yet people continue to act in the foolhardy expectation that they "deserve respect" from the motorist behind the wheel. I feel the same way about the issue of crossing the streetcar rails. Follow the rules of intersection crossing and your own common sense: dismount and cross on foot. Until non-motorists take 100 per cent responsibility for their safety, I worry that these injuries and fatalities will continue to dominate our summer news.
Diesel train whine
Re Rush To Rail Link (NOW, August 16-22). If the province establishes a solid deadline for electrifying the Georgetown line, will the Clean Train Coalition keep quiet and finally go away? They're giving me a headache with all this whining. This is all needless delays because some people forgot what happens when you live beside a railway line. Oh, right, trains happen!
Joshua N Anderchek
Condos replace our heritage
I'm amazed that there were no online comments on My Hidden Toronto (NOW, August 9-15). No, wait - I'm not. My experience is that citizens and city alike don't care much about Toronto's history, and they certainly don't care about its buildings.
Adam Giambrone's article makes excellent points about the erasure of historical places and the ways city politicians could change that. Will they? Not with the condo boom that just goes on and on and on, I'm guessing. I've travelled extensively, and Toronto is unique in that it is a major cosmopolitan city that doesn't preserve its heritage.
When I was a student, young Torontonians lived in unique apartments in old houses in quaint neighbourhoods that were different from one another. Now they live in condos. With few exceptions, every major intersection looks the same.
Remember what Queen and Ossington used to look like? Sure, it wasn't pretty, but really, another condo forest, another Shoppers?
Wind energy blowback
Several months ago I started an online petition to ask that industrial wind turbines be placed along the GTA shoreline from Hamilton to Oshawa. There are several reasons why this would make sense.
But when it comes to McGuinty's wind energy policies, enviro groups and the media fall strangely silent.
Rural Ontarians are immediately labelled NIMBYs and traitors to the planet for opposing wind turbines. This is hardly the case. We just think it's time for the GTA to step up to the plate.
Perhaps rural Ontario wouldn't feel as if it has been relegated to third-class status if the biggest energy hogs in the province took on their fair share of this green endeavour.
Trash test dummies
I took this photo outside my co-op on Carr Street on Sunday (August 19). The garbage has been sitting on the street since last Tuesday.
A call was made to 311; [the operator] stated that the new privatized garbage collectors "forgot" to pick this up. Kind of hard to "forget" 14 big garbage containers. The previous week, the first week of the new, great privatized service, they came a day late.
The new service didn't bother making a trip to deal with their shoddy work, and why would they? It's a private company, and the bottom line, not a clean city, is what's going to count.I wouldn't be surprised if it sits there until the next garbage pickup day. In the meantime, new garbage is being added to this mess, and by next week, well, I don't want to think about it.
This never happened when the city was picking up the garbage.
The loss of this public service is alarming, and if this is the new normal for dealing with garbage I don't want it. I'm sure my neighbours aren't enjoying the smell of hot, rotting garbage either.
This morning at 9 am I heard the sound of a garbage truck and thought for sure it was one of those spanking new trucks coming to haul it away. Alas, it was the city workers doing their job, picking up the garbage at Randy Padmore Park.
Privatized pickup gets pass
Re Privatized Garbage Pickup A Disaster From Day One (NOW, August 9-15). Has anyone noticed that the new guys picking up the garbage are much better? They don't drop any junk on the street.