TORONTO IS A CITY OF HORN HONKERS, A FORM OF ROAD RAGE THAT OFTEN LEADS TO COLLISIONS

Canadians don’t like horn honking according to a recent survey by KANETIX, a car insurance company.  But Canadian drivers are notorious for it. “Horn honking occurs too often, “ says Janine White, a company VP. “Drivers are quick to react to traffic related issues by aggressively blasting their horns.”The sexes are about equal in the Kenetix survey – with male honkers at 48% and females at 45%. Age it seems makes a difference in the way generations use – or don’t use – the car horn.

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THIS SUNDAY ‘RAINBOW RAILROAD’ WILL RECEIVE THE PUBLICITY IT DESERVES – ON ’60 MINUTES’

KIMAHLI POWELL, Executive Director of TORONTO’s Rainbow Railroad wants you to know that CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ magazine program will profile the great work being done by the organization in both TORONTO and New York City.

With more than 70 countries worldwide criminalizing LGBTQI individuals, including 1000 this year alone, volunteers have worked tirelessly in both Canada and the United States to help provide a pathway to safety. Mr. Powell says “their harrowing stories of unimaginable violence and persecution is why we do the work we do.”

’60 Minutes’ on CBS and CHCH – Sunday night, May 19 at 7 pm EST (or a half hour later depending on sports broadcasting).For up-to-date information on RAINBOW RAILROAD go to https://www.rainbowrailroad.com/

IN THIS SELFISH AGE, HOW AWESOME IS A WEEKEND VOLUNTEER CLEANUP OF THE DON VALLEY

Organized by ‘Don’t Mess With The Don’, hundreds of volunteers gave up their Saturday by picking trash in TORONTO’s Don Valley.

The Don is more than just a park. It’s home to a six-lane freeway, access to 10 ravines, bike and running trails, Evergreen Brick Works, and a sizable population of native animals and birds.

At day’s end, an impressive 1,500 bags (about 100,000 pounds) of trash were waiting for pickup.

Don’t Mess With The Don collaborated with Evergreen, Greenpeace, Salomon, Arc’teryx and One Piece a Day in this second-annual event.

<PHOTO ABOVE – some of Saturday’s volunteers in one of the Don Valley parks>

CEO OF CANADA’S LARGEST CRYPTO CURRENCY COMPANY HAS DIED, TAKING PASSWORDS WITH HIM

GERRY COTTEN, 30, was in India opening an orphanage, when he passed away taking the company’s passwords to his grave. Now Quadriga CX, based in HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, is in crisis mode. His wife is unable to find the passwords or keys that would unlock the wallets, worth about $250-million. “Cold wallets” are essentially offline storage systems that protect funds from hacking and theft. They’re locked solid without passwords.

The company has about $375,000 in cash while owing the equivalent of $250-million to about 92,000 users. Mr. Cotten died on December 9th with complications from Crohn’s disease.

TORONTO-BASED ‘RAINBOW RAILROAD’ CONFIRMS CHECHNYA IS AGAIN ATTACKING ITS LGBTQI PEOPLE

What is the Rainbow Railroad? It’s a Canadian charitable organization, founded in 2006, based in TORONTO, that helps LGBTQI individuals escape persecution in their homelands.

In 71 countries, queer and trans people face criminal charges under colonial-era anti-gay laws that can result in life sentences. In eight countries, the death penalty can be applied. LGBTQI people are outed in the media, attacked by mob violence, sexually assaulted, or rounded up in state-sanctioned crackdowns by police.

From KIMAHLI POWELL, Executive Director – “Two people are dead and at least 40 have been detained in what appears to be a second wave of a state-sponsored crackdown on LGBTQI people in Chechnya.

“Since the reports first surfaced two weeks ago, we’ve been connecting with our partners on the ground, such as Russia’s LGBT Network . . . Those who’ve managed to escape (from Chechnya) are still experiencing serious trauma as a result of the humiliation, torture and abuse that they faced there,” Powell says.

Over 1,200 people have asked for help in 2018. To date, Rainbow Railroad has assisted more than 600 individuals’ escape to safe countries.  Several of them now live in TORONTO. For up-to-date information go to https://www.rainbowrailroad.com/

MUSIC DIRECTOR OF THE METROPOLITAN OPERA, CANADIAN, MONTREALER, & HE’S GAY – NY TIMES

“A GAY CONDUCTOR: THAT MEANS SOMETHING” is an attention-grabbing headline in Sunday’s New York Times’ Arts & Leisure section.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now the music director of the Metropolitan Opera.

 

<PHOTO by JEENAH MOON for the New York Times – Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the right, with his partner Pierre Tourville>

ZACHARY WOOLFE writes: “Despite gay pioneers like Michael Tilson Thomas (at the San Francisco Symphony) and Marin Alsop (in Baltimore), conducting remains an overwhelmingly straight (and male, and white) profession.

“Even NEW YORK, the city that gave rise to the modern gay rights movement . . . has been dominated by two conductors: Leonard Bernstein and James Levine, who both kept their sexual relationships with men hidden.”

<PHOTO by JEENAH MOON for the New York Times – Mr. Nézet-Séguin on the left, with his partner Pierre Tourville>

The writeup about Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his long-time partner, violist Pierre Tourville, is an uplifting milestone for both the Opera and the LGBTQ community.

You’ll find Zachary Woolfe’s in-depth story at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/arts/music/yannick-nezet-seguin-met-opera-gay.html