Wayne Roberts' The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food covers the loss of "real food," the growing dominance of Western agribusiness, and successful alternative practices based on the concept of community food security. Roberts, who writes about food issues for NOW, is also active in the community food security movement, serving on the board of the Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada, and coordinating the Toronto Food Policy Council. "[The book] clocks in at just under 200 pages and is a great primer for how the global food system really works," writes Jeff Nield in a review on Treehugger.com.

Continue ReadingNOW Magazine Columnist Releases Book on Global Food Issues

Peter Ladner defeated Sam Sullivan on Sunday for the mayoral nomination of the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), a civic-level political party in Vancouver. "He dresses well, runs a weekly business publication and is pleased to describe himself as a 'fiscally conservative' member of the generally right-wing NPA," reports the Globe and Mail. But the Canadian daily also notes that Ladner is an "ex-hippie" who was a back-to-the-land farmer raising goats and chickens in the 1960s. He later worked for "the respected alternative weekly, Monday Magazine," and had plans in the 1980s to launch a new weekly to compete with AAN member The Georgia Straight. Those plans fizzled out, and Ladner instead launched Business in Vancouver, a weekly business publication. The general election is scheduled for November.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Alum Running for Mayor in Vancouver

"A lot's changed since Hour's inaugural issue on Feb. 4, 1993, notably what constitutes an 'alternative' weekly," editor-in-chief Jamie O'Meara writes. "But a little soul searching is never a bad thing -- it makes you better and, hopefully, stronger." In her column introducing the special anniversary issue, O'Meara says the paper has come to be inextricably tied to the communities it serves. "In an era of mostly borderless, reflexive information sharing, it's more important than ever to have boots on the ground, and to remember that there are still smaller communities within this larger global community of ours that need tending to," she writes. "And that's where we at Hour find our strength."

Continue ReadingHour Magazine Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Canada's Print Measurement Bureau recently released numbers showing a 14.2 percent drop in NOW's readership over the past two years, according to the Globe and Mail. The Canadian daily uses the readership drop as a springboard to examine the state of Toronto's alt-weeklies -- NOW and its competitor Eye Weekly, which is in the same ownership group as the daily Toronto Star. "Alt-weeklies are a particular case. Entirely reliant on advertising revenues, their revenue is not augmented by subscriptions or newsstand sales," the Globe and Mail reports. "At the same time, they're threatened by a panoply of other free offerings." NOW publisher Michael Hollett shrugs off the latest numbers, and says the paper's health is strong. "It's just one of many ways of counting," he says. "Our boxes are empty and business is good." Indeed, the Globe and Mail reports that NOW's ad revenue was up in 2007, and Hollett notes that the paper continues to innovate -- and gain readers -- online.

Continue ReadingNOW Magazine Confronts Drop in Print Readership

Bob Bierman, whose "Bierman's Corner" was a "staple feature" in Monday Magazine, died in the hospital on April 17, four days after suffering a massive stroke, the Globe and Mail reports. He was 86 years old. Bierman was best known for being sued for libel by a British Columbia cabinet minister in the late 1970s. He leaves his wife Angelina, two sons, and two grandchildren.

Continue ReadingMonday Magazine Cartoonist Dies

Michael Hollett was hurt in the Juno Cup Friday night, and will likely be in the hospital for several more days, the Calgary Herald reports. The Juno Cup is a hockey game where rockers take on NHL old-timers. "He fractured his leg in three places and it's a pretty bad situation," team captain Jim Cuddy tells the Calgary Sun. "He's in pretty rough shape. They'll operate on him, they'll put a rod in his leg, they'll put some screws in. I think it'll be quite a long recovery."

Continue ReadingNOW Magazine Co-Founder in Hospital After Hockey Accident

In "How I Could Have Voted Three Times," James Di Fiore claimed that no fixed address or ID card was required to vote in Canada -- and he went to three polling places on election day to prove it. However, he never explicitly stated that he cast ballots in all three locations. After more than a year had passed, Di Fiore wrote a letter to the Toronto Star admitting that he "voted -- three times." That caught the eye of election officials, and nine months later Di Fiore was charged under the Canada Elections Act. When the trial began in December, Di Fiore told the National Post he was disappointed that NOW was not supporting him. But senior news editor Ellie Kirzner said Di Fiore was to blame. "We felt our story was completely discredited, he had lied to our readers about staying within the bounds of not tampering with the election," she said. "Painful as it was for us, we realized we could not defend the story." Di Fiore's trial resumes in February. He faces a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and up to three months in prison.

Continue ReadingWriter’s 2004 Piece in NOW Leads to Federal Charges

John Harkness, the film critic for NOW since its inception on Sept. 10, 1981, was found dead in his home in Toronto on Tuesday. "John Harkness was simply the best film critic in Canada over the last 26 years," editor and publisher Michael Hollett says in a release. "He will be sorely missed by all of us at NOW, his family, friends and the film community as a whole." Harkness, who was 53, had been suffering from high cholesterol. "He had never missed a deadline in 26 years," Hollet tells the Globe and Mail, "so we sent somebody to his house when his copy didn't arrive." They then found his body and called the police.

Continue ReadingNOW Magazine’s Senior Film Writer Dies

Tonight's birthday party for the Athens, Ga., weekly will feature a variety show modeled after a gong show, a contest for costumes made with flagpoles, and local bands, according to Red and Black, an independent student newspaper. "You'll see everything from people eating fire to singing," Flagpole editor and publisher Pete McCommons says. In the paper's own 20th anniversary special issue, McCommons reflects on Flagpole's history and its ongoing mission: "We have fought a 20-year battle against those who would exploit local resources for gain regardless of the impact on our community," he writes. "And we have continued to be the Colorbearer of Athens alternative music, along with other music and arts and entertainment."

Continue ReadingFlagpole Magazine Celebrates 20th Birthday

Former arts editor John Threlfall says he has been named the editor-in-chief of the Victoria, British Columbia, alt-weekly. After a lengthy stint as acting editor -- "a charming period of time I like to think of as 11 months of chaotic madness," he says -- Threlfall becomes the tenth editor in the paper's history. Amanda Farrell will replace him as Monday's new arts editor.

Continue ReadingMonday Magazine Names New Editors