Trouble with Dobozy
Until its last paragraph, Susan G. Cole's review of Tamas Dobozy's Siege 13 (NOW, November 22-28) was balanced and engaging. Her decision to mention that she once viewed Toronto's eastern European immigrants as "a bunch of right-wing anti-Semites" is baffling and offensive. What bearing does such a narrow-minded statement have on the assessment of an author's work?
Ford priming for 2014
I totally agree with Enzo DiMatteo's appraisal of the Ford libel trial (NOW, November 22-28). But now watch what he's going to try. You'll see him lose all the flubber as a campaign strategy.
Paul Joao Costa
Drawing the line on Line 9
Re Dirty Oil's T.O. Flow (NOW, November 22-28). The conflict in this whole issue is between the "we get absolutely nothing out of it" group and those advocating stopping the pipelines altogether for environmental, health and civil rights reasons.
We either believe this project is detrimental or join the governments of BC and now Quebec, which are [angling] for what they can gain. This ongoing division is defeating the purpose of protesting against Line 9!
Why nuclear energy is a responsible choice
Re Cathy Vakil and Eric Notebaert's Frontlines column on the nuke industry's blowing off health findings (NOW, November 22-28).
Whatever the clearly minimal risks to health are from living close to nuclear power plants, the likely death toll is going to be vanishingly tiny by comparison with the billions of deaths about to occur in the coming devastation due to global warming.
Renewable energy sources require an always available backup power source, because solar has to bridge night and wind power has to bridge calm. Nuclear power is the power source that can provide that bridge while producing by far the lowest amounts of carbon dioxide.
Responsible individuals and governments must logically support nuclear power generation, because it is the only feasible power source that can assist in the survival of humans on earth.
No level of nuclear contamination is safe
In the last five years, GE-Hitachi's uranium processing plant on Lansdowne (at Dupont) has released 25.9 grams of uranium into the air (NOW, November 17).
These airborne emissions fall onto our soil, vegetation and surface water and leach into groundwater that is then taken up by plant root systems.
In the same time span, the GE-Hitachi plant has also discharged 8 kilograms of uranium into our sewage system. If it makes its way into our drinking water, it can be absorbed by our bloodstream and taken up by our kidneys. This amount of uranium is capable of contaminating hundreds of millions of litres of drinking water.
It's recognized that no level of radiation is safe. Chronic low levels of are associated with increased risk of cancers, genetic damage, birth defects and mental retardation due to in-utero exposure. Women, children and fetuses are the most vulnerable. You only need a single mutation, in a single cell, in a single gene to cause serious health effects.
GE-Hitachi should plan its exit strategy, and Ontario should begin the phase-out of our nuclear industry, just as Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan are doing. The first step would be to cancel the Darlington rebuild and invest those billions in conservation and renewable energy instead.
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Too early to complain about Sherbourne bike lanes
We should wait until the Sherbourne separated bike lanes are completed before we pass judgment (NOW, November 22-28).
Dan Egan, head of cycling infrastructure at the city of Toronto, said at a recent meeting that bollards and other barriers will keep cars from parking in the Sherbourne lanes.
If you really want to complain about something, call Mayor Ford and his toady Denzil Minnan-Wong about their broken promise not to take out the Jarvis bike lanes before the Sherbourne lanes were completed.
Dedicated transit tax runs out of gas fast
Car culture councillors would quickly vote down Adam Giambrone's suggested 3¢ transit-dedicated gas tax (NOW, November 22-28).
And even if it did pass, huge numbers of car people would tank up outside Toronto, driving and polluting even more.
Giambrone says the property tax base is already "overburdened," but equally so are the income tax base and the sales tax base.
A Land Value Tax is a better way to finance transit.
Unlike income and sales taxes, collecting the rental value of land isn't a new tax, since it doesn't take the money people actually earn; it collects the unearned rise in land value (economic rent) that always occurs near new transit, and is the ideal source of revenue to build transit.
Frank de Jong
Bob Dylan givens
Letter writer Bill M. opines that Bob Dylan was fairly awful at his Air Canada show, by any measure (NOW, November 22-28).
Dylan is a troubadour who is measured primarily by his lyrical body of work. He ain't no Mario Lanza, and his guitar playing wouldn't suffer should his hands suddenly become webbed.
Mark Knopfler is one of the greatest guitar players ever and has effortlessly traded licks with the likes of Chet Atkins. To write that Knopfler's performance was better than Dylan's is to belabour a given.