The Week — Nov. 8: City steels throne crown

City steels throne crown, bridging the controversy, Nature Deficit Disorder, adult industry for the win?

Councillor Chris Coleman (sitting) and Mayor Dean Fortin celebrate the Langley Street Loo’s national win.

City steels throne crown

Victoria is flush with pride — our city now boasts the best bathroom in the country.

Victoria’s Langley Street Loo is being named King of the Throne in Cintas’ 2012 Canada’s Best Restroom Contest. “It’s not just number one that counts with this win — number two counts, too!” Mayor Dean Fortin punned at the winning announcement on Tue., Nov. 6.

While our loo enjoyed a comfortable advantage in the contest, voters all over Canada had other finalists challenging Victoria’s lead. In the end, two Toronto facilities notched out second and third place, while a Vancouver location wiped up fourth and a Quebec bathroom, fifth.

But Victoria can’t take all the credit — the ready-made stainless steel facility was purchased from the City of Portland for $90,000. It features solar-powered lighting, a unisex toilet, exterior hand-washing station and graffiti-proof coating. Portland has installed four of these washrooms in their downtown over the past two years. Fortin says Victoria hopes to install more as well, and notes that Portland shares in the victory.

Bridging the controversy

Our favourite bridge is back in the news again. On Nov. 1, the request for proposals to build the new Johnson Street bridge closed. Three proponents submitted packages by the deadline: PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. and WCC Construction Canada, ULC. Now, the city says staff will begin an evaluation process, which is expected to take several weeks.

“Following the completion of the evaluation, staff will recommend to council the selection of the preferred proponent and the rationale for the selection based on the set criteria laid out,” says Katie Josephson, the city’s director of corporate communications. “Once selected, the preferred proponent and the city will negotiate a fixed-price contract for the construction of the new bridge.”

Final approval will be required from council prior to an award and execution of the contract. Victorians will have to wait on either side of the bridge debate.

Nature Deficit Disorder

What are the consequences of removing a child from nature? The newest acronym is developed: NDD — Nature Deficit Disorder.

While the disorder is not yet widely known among parents in our region, Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) and Open Cinema have a plan to teach everyone about the side effects with a documentary and panel aimed to examine what happens to youth that play more behind screens than outside.

PLAY AGAIN (2011), billed as a compelling and humorous documentary, follows six digitally-identified teenagers as they take their first unplugged wilderness adventure — with no electricity, no cell phone coverage and no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts, including environmental writer Bill McKibben and geneticist David Suzuki, PLAY AGAIN investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature.

And just to inspire action for a sustainable future, a technically ironic open-forum discussion will be livestreamed after the film with Lisa Lockerbie of Sooke Nature Kindergarten, David Segal of Power To Be, Todd Carnahan of the Habitat Acquisition Trust and moderator Dr. Richard Kool from Royal Roads’ School of Enviro & Sustainability.

Join the debate 7pm Wed., Nov. 7, at the Victoria Event Centre (1415 Broad). $10-20 suggested donation. Learn more by contacting: mandy@opencinema.ca, 250-882-7441.

Adult industry for the win?

What does a presidential election and porn have in common? Turns out, quite a lot when one of the candidates declares that fighting adult entertainment will be a top priority.

GameLink, an adult video-on-demand platform, crunched some numbers on their user data to reveal the watching habits of Americans during the 2012 election season. Mitt Romney may be disturbed to learn Utah residents subscribe to adult sites more than anyone else in the nation, according to a report in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, or that eight out of the top-10 adult-film-consuming states gave their electoral votes to Barack Obama in the 2008 election. And the fans don’t like being threatened.

“We found that the big primary states of California, New York and Texas are the largest consumers of adult material, consuming more than nine million minutes of adult video so far during this election season,” says GameLink executive Andrew Sullivan.

Canada may feel liberated next to its frocked neighbour, but, for now, the U.S. remains the top producer of adult videos, with a new title produced every 39 minutes. While more than 28,000 internet users watch adult films every second around the world, U.S. consumers account for over half of all online adult entertainment revenue. M

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