Mental health prejudices are a learned behaviour

Plus, butting out Toronto's other addiction, Danforth Music Hall memories and Woodstock playback in Letters To The Editor this week


Taught to stigmatize mental illness

David Reville notes in Mental Health Establishment Gives Doug Ford’s Hate Talk A Pass (NOW Online, August 26) that “two out of three people are prevented from seeking help because of the stigma attached to mental illness.” That we have been taught to stigmatize mental illnesses rather than educate those trained to hold that prejudice speaks volumes. 

Harold A. Maio, Ft. Myers, FL

Onus is on us to curb plastics obsession

In Samantha Edwards’s informative article Plastic Addiction (NOW, August 15-21) she strongly implies that all the onus is on companies, organizations and governments to curb our collective reliance on plastic. 

It takes hardly any effort for consumers to refrain from buying takeout meals or coffee in disposable containers, and this would be a giant step toward eliminating their use completely. 

And when it comes to plastic pollution, Starbucks is one of the top five offenders. Has she ever thought of switching to another, more environmentally friendly coffee brand?

James R. Edwards, Toronto

Butting out Toronto’s other bad habit

I enjoyed your story on society’s plastics addiction and Toronto’s plastics problem. Obviously this pressing environmental calamity is too distressing to take lightly. I’m happy to see progress is being made, but nobody seems to care that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered across the globe every year. 

As I write this on the patio of a local bar, I see numerous other patrons chucking their cigarette butts onto the street. Cigarette butts are toxic and poisonous and as harmful to the environment as plastics. Let’s do something about cigarette butt pollution.

Andrew van Velzen, Toronto

Danforth Music Hall one of the city’s best

Thanks for the great piece on the Danforth Music Hall at 100 (NOW, August 15-21). It truly is one of the best live music venues in the city, from the shabbily comfortable seating upstairs to the very helpfully sloped general admission seating on the main floor. I’m usually someone who’s blocking the view because of my height, but my considerably shorter wife appreciates the sightlines! Let’s also not forget the helpfully efficient side door exits after a long and ste-amy show.

Doug Harris, From nowtoronto.com

Hamilton the place to be

Regarding Squeezed Out? Six Musicians On Why They Left Toronto (NOW, August 21). I would highly suggest musicians and artists move to Hamilton. There’s an awesome music scene here and lots of opportunities. It’s getting more expensive to live here, but more affordable than T.O.

Stephanie Dragan, From nowtoronto.com 

Israel changes channel on human rights 

Regarding Criticism Of Anti-Semitism Resolution Misses The Mark by Michael Mostyn (NOW Online, August 14). 

B’nai Brith gives 100 per cent support for Israel. That’s why it labels “Free Palestine” graffiti as anti-Semitic. It wants to silence any discussion of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. 

If the world discovered that almost two million people are being kept in an open-air prison in Gaza, and that almost two million people in Israel proper (20 per cent of the population) are second-class citizens who can’t live where they want, then Israel would have to stop its crimes. 

That’s why Israel and its surrogates like B’nai Brith want the world to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. They want us to talk about anti-Semitism and not land theft and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

Wolfe Erlichman, From nowtoronto.com

Woodstock playback

Regarding Woodstock Remembered by Linda R. Goldman (NOW, August 22-28). I was listening to the first part of the stream of the recently released Rhino Records 38-CD box set of Woodstock on WXPN Radio (Philadelphia) last Friday when I heard the PA announcement mentioned by Goldman in her article calling her to the information booth. It comes right after Bert Sommer’s set. I’d just read her article so it was great to hear her name come up in the recording. I really enjoyed this article. Thank you!

David Wharton, From nowtoronto.com

Captain Obvious meet Captain Epiphany

How hilariously predictable that Captain Epiphany Michael Coren would pen his 25th harangue on the Ontario sex-ed curriculum (Doug Ford Performs About-Face On Sex Ed, NOW Online, August 21). Of course, it’s also one more opportunity for Coren to invoke his favourite bugaboos: Tanya Granic Allen, Sam Oosterhoff and Charles McVety. 

John McKellar, From nowtoronto.com

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