Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions & Words to Auld Lang Syne

New Year's Resolution

Wikipedia has the following explanation for the meaning of "New Year's Resolution":

A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day. Some examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more environmentally responsible.

There are religious parallels to this secular tradition. People may act similarly during the Christian fasting period of Lent, though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.

Ten New Year's Resolutions
  1. Spend more time with family and friends.
  2. Become more fit.
  3. Lose weight.
  4. Quit Smoking.
  5. Stop and smell the roses more.
  6. Quit drinking alcohol.
  7. Get out of debt.
  8. Learn something completely new.
  9. Help others.
  10. Get more organized.
Auld Lang Syne

While nearly all of the English speaking world sings this familiar song a the stroke of midnight to welcome in the New Year, almost no one actually knows the words. The song was written in 1741 by Robert Burns, one of Scotland's favourite sons and the title 'Auld Lang Syne' literally means 'the good old days'.

Follows is the complete words to this popular song, which everyone signs and no one knows. It is written as Mr. Burns wrote it in 1741 so even though you may be able to read the words, knowing what they mean could prove challenging.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes

And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar'd

Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne


BC Hand-held Cell Phone Ban



B.C. drivers are reminded they must abide by a new law that brings in a full ban on hand-held cellphones and texting while driving.

On Jan. 1, 2010, police will begin enforcing changes to the Motor Vehicle Act that mean drivers can only use hands-free cellphones and devices that require just one touch to activate. Fines will begin on Feb. 1, when a driver talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device will be subject to a fine of $167. In addition, drivers caught texting or emailing will be subject to three penalty points.

To abide by the new law, licensed drivers can use hands-free technology that is activated by a single touch to a button, or when it is safe to do so, pull over to a legal parking place and stop their vehicle before they talk or email.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nanaimo New Year's Eve Party

Click Poster To Enlarge

Click Poster To Enlarge


Product Recalls

Wide Range Of Products Recalled

There is quite a variety of products being recalled as we wind up 2009. They include several different types of utility lighters, a high chair by IKEA, Dinosaur Fossil kit, diving regulator, Canadian plates and faulty roof brackets to name a few.

To get full details on these and other product recalls visit Canadian Product Recalls using this LINK.


BC Ferries Goes Mobile

Mobile Friendly Website

Now you can access up to the minute conditions at BC Ferry terminals from your portable communication device with web connectivity.

Just visit to connect to the new website designed for small screen viewing. You can also click on the above graphic.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nanaimo Christmas Tree Chipping

Recycle Your Tree and Help Lions Club

The Lion's Annual Christmas Tree chipping service will be available on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10 2010 at the Sears parking lot in Nanaimo North Town Centre (formerly Rutherford Mall).

Your donation helps local charities and recycles your tree at the same time as the chipped trees get turned into compost at the Duke point composting plant.

Chipping is available both days between 10:00am and 4:00 pm.


Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest 2010

Short Fiction Contest 2010

The Nanaimo Arts Council is pleased to announce the launch of the 6th annual Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest. This event is held in cooperation with Vancouver Island University – Creative Writing and Journalism Department. Local writers of all ages, living on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, are invited to submit original stories of up to 2,000 words in junior, youth and adult categories. Cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2010. Entry fee is $15 per submission.

Judith Millar, one of the 2009 winners of the Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest, expanded upon her submission and went on to receive the 2009 John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. Her story ‘The Insomniac’ tells of a man whose life unravels when he is unable to sleep.

Entry forms for the Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest are available at the Nanaimo Arts Council gallery #259 Nanaimo North – Town Centre or online at For more information call 250.729.3947 or email


Monday, December 28, 2009

Nanaimo Christmas Lights Winner

921 Cadogan Street - - - WOW!!

If you haven't taken a drive around to see this years Christmas light display, don't leave it much longer as the lights might be off after New Years!

For the complete list of this years winners, use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Remember Hot Wheels?


BC Strata Changes In Effect In New Year

New rules and regulations to create more rental housing and help strata corporations improve financial management take effect Jan. 1, 2010.

The changes will:

· Simplify requirements for renting space in buildings constructed after Jan. 1, 2010.

· Strengthen conflict of interest guidelines.

· Improve strata corporation accounting practices.

· Clarify responsibilities for strata property and expenses.

Over the coming months, the Ministry of Housing and Social Development will consult strata developers, owners, councils and other stakeholders for input on a new dispute resolution process and requirements for depreciation reports.

The provincial government passed the Strata Property Amendment Act this fall, enhancing the legislation that provides a framework to create and manage strata developments in B.C.

In addition to changes that will take effect in the new year, the Province also amended regulations that restrict court-ordered changes to original strata unit entitlements, effective Nov. 25, 2009. As a result, individual owners have greater assurance that the financial obligations and property rights will not change for their investment within the strata.

Visit this LINK for more information about the Strata Property Act.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nature's Bird Feeders

The above images captured in Nanaimo by photo artist Sheryl Falls shows that even those last over ripe apples remaining on the trees serve a good purpose.

The images also clearly depict two different sides to bird 'manners' when it comes to the 'pecking order'.

More of Sheryl's work can be seen at


Nanaimo RCMP Kept Busy With Fraud and Grow Op

Mobile Fraud Unit Busted

One male from the Lower Mainland is in police custody facing multiple fraud charges after a seizure by the Nanaimo Property Crime Unit of hundreds of fraudulent credit cards and electronic equipment used to produce them.

The seizure came Dec. 22 around 9 PM while Property Crime members were investigating a possible stolen trailer parked in the Superstore parking lot on Metral Drive. In the course of their investigation, members were able to examine the interior of the trailer. It was only then they realized they were dealing with much more than just a stolen trailer.

One male age 40 associated to the trailer, was arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and taken into police custody .The trailer and truck used to tow it was later seized.

A search warrant was granted later today for the trailer which is believed to be a portable office used in the production of credit cards and debit cards. “Our members believe this was a very organized operation and it will take some time to sort through all of the information obtained from this seizure” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. It is unknown how many transactions were fraudulently obtained by this operation and how long this portable office was operating in the Nanaimo area. Our investigators will most certainly be liaising with other investigators up and down the Island as well as in the Lower Mainland to see how far this operation reached, said O’Brien.

No formal charges have been laid however the male in custody is expected to have a bail hearing this early evening. Nanaimo Property Crime Unit members are also asking any card owners victimized by fraudulent means to not call their office .They will be in contact with as many card owners as possible in the next while but it will take some time to sort through all of the seized data.

Pin Pad Fraud Foiled

An alert employee of the Windward Beer and wine prevented their business from becoming another victim in a multi million dollar nation wide PIN pad scam .

The incident began when a male and female came into their store , located at 1588 Boundary Crescent on Monday night just before closing time. The female immediately went to the rear of the store and asked the clerk to assist with the selection of a certain type of beer. While this was going on, the male accomplice managed to remove the PIN pad on the counter and replace it with a fraudulent one. The whole incident lasted no more than several minutes.

After the two left ,the clerk became suspicious when her PIN pad no longer worked properly. She then checked surveillance footage and called police to report the incident.

The next day at 9:30 AM the two suspects were seen in the parking lot and again an astute clerk briefed by the night time clerk, called police and shortly thereafter the two were arrested and taken into custody. The male arrested had on his person the PIN pad taken from the Windward Beer and wine the day before.

A 26 year old male from Vancouver and a 18 year old female were taken into custody on charges of Possession of Stolen Property. Along with the PIN pad several pieces of fraudulent identification was seized.

Debit card fraud was a $105 million dollar business last year in Canada and affected over 148,000 card holders. In this scam a legitimate PIN pad is stolen then replaced with a stolen or phoney one. The phoney one is equipped with a card reader to record each cards information as well as the PIN number attached to it. The data is then retrieved either wirelessly or by reclaiming the phoney pad, and transferred to blank cards which ATM’s accept as the real thing.

A couple of simple techniques to deter your business from becoming a victim of PIN pad fraud are to attach a sticker so that you can easily identify your unit from a phoney one .The other is to have the pad permanently attached to the counter so it can’t be removed.

‘Every year there are over four billion debit transactions that take place and 99.9 go through problem free. Having said that, any amount of fraud is a concern to us “ said Constable Gary O’Brien media spokesperson for Nanaimo RCMP.

Grow Op Taken Out

The Municipal Drug Unit Green team has unofficially become known as the “Grinch Team” after dismantling another marihuana grow operation scheduled for harvest on no other than Christmas Day.

At 10:30 Dec. 22 morning members of the “Grinch Team” carried out a search warrant in the 2000 block of Cathers Drive and located 226 plants, eleven grow lights and miscellaneous grow equipment .Some of the plants pictured above were around 4 ft high. Two adults, a male age 31 and a female age 26 were arrested without incident in the residence.

The title of “Grinch Team” not only reflects the number of search warrants being carried out by this select team of Nanaimo officers so close to Christmas, but in this particular case, one of the accused indicated some of the “BC Bud” was to be harvested on Christmas Day.” In this instance our members had no concerns that this persons Christmas was ruined” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP

Both adults were released on a Promise to Appear on charges of Production of a Controlled Substance under the CDSA and are expected to appear in Nanaimo Provincial court on March 16th .


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

These two pictures depict two different views of the meaning of Christmas. As is the case in the 'real' world the meaning in the first picture is reasonably obvious and easily seen.

The second (bottom) picture, while representing the true meaning of Christmas requires one to spend some time to clearly see the meaning of Christmas.

While the word 'peace' does not jump out at you, it is still not the full meaning, which will take more time to clearly see. On the matter of 'peace', while it is commonly interpreted as meaning peace among men, the true meaning is peace being established forever, between GOD and man.

When men finally get that right and enter into the true peace found in relationship with GOD then peace among men will just naturally follow.


For Your Listening Enjoyment


Nanaimo Pub Robbed of Safe and Cash

Custodian Bound and Robbed

Masked men confronted a custodian at a local pub early this morning then made off with a safe and money.

The incident began shortly after 5 AM Monday when a female custodian working at Pipers Pub located on Hammond Bay Rd was confronted by two masked men. They quickly bound her hands and feet with duct tape then proceeded to take the pubs safe and cash from an ATM. The suspects also managed to force the custodian to tell them her PIN numbers for several financial institutions.

The males then left in what appeared to be a 2000-2001 white pickup .The custodian managed to free herself and got to a phone and called 911 with a description of the two.

A short time later an officer on patrol spotted a male inside the HSBC bank near Aulds Rd. The suspect attempted to flee from the officer and a foot chased ensued ending in a violent confrontation between the officer and the suspect. The officer at one point called for assistance from a nearby bus driver with the Regional Transit service who came to his assistance. With both of them struggling with the suspect, the male was eventually taken into custody.

A 48 year old male is currently in police custody facing a variety of charges ranging from robbery, forcible confinement to wearing a mask while committing an indictable offence.

The second male involved in the robbery and the vehicle were not located. The only description of this male is a male around 6 ft, thin, wearing a dark jacket with white stripes on the sides.

Some of the money taken was recovered but the safe and the remainder of the stolen money was not recovered. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800–222-8477(TIPS)


Theft From Vehicles On Rise

RCMP Offer Tips To Avoid Theft

In 2009 Nanaimo will see over 1500 theft from vehicles,an increase of ten percent from 2008 and the reality is most of them could have been prevented.

Crime statistics compiled for the Nanaimo area show three distinct areas where thieves have been targeting vehicles."Departure Bay ,Harewood and College Heights are where the thieves are working and most of the reported incidents involved vehicles that weren't locked said Constable Gary O'Brien media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. The majority of the crimes happened late at night and thieves entered by way unlocked doors in cars or through sliding back windows on trucks said O'Brien.

The items being taken are small and easily concealed by crooks.They consist of change,sunglasses,wallets,clothing and the latest and most popular item-GPS units. "Thieves will take anything that is in sight ,all of these items need to be taken out of your car or concealed.The GPS units in particular are expensive and should always be removed from your vehicles when not being used.

Always lock your vehicles and take anything of value out or have it locked in your trunk. If you have a trunk latch in the interior of your vehicle, make sure it is locked .Car alarms are also effective crime deterrent techniques."While most of these incidents happened in driveways of homes, please remember to practice what we like to call " Stow and Go" while out shopping this Christmas season ."Stow and Go is simply taking a few minutes to place your gifts in the trunk along with other small items before heading out to a Mall for store .Don't leave anything in plain view for criminals. Don't become another statistic this year and make sure your hard earned money is locked away safely " said O'Brien.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nanaimo House Prices and Canadian House Prices Nov. 2009

Nanaimo House Sales
Up 73% Over Nov. 08

Nanaimo unit house sales increased by 73% when compared with November 08 with 85 units sold compared with 49 last year.

House prices in the Nanaimo market have declined by 6% compared with last year but have risen marginally when compared with the previous month.

Based on average MLS sales summaries for Nanaimo and other Canadian cities for November 2009.

National Average
Nov 09
- $337,231
Nov 08 - $282,691

Victoria BC
Nov 09 - $490,892
Nov 08 - $429,204

Vancouver BC
Nov 09 - $622,564
Nov 08 - $510,465

Nov 09 - $401,201
Nov 08 - $384,243

Nov 09- $245,753
Nov 08 - $222,179

Nov 09 - $418,502
Nov 08 - $368,582

Nov 09 - $314,071
Nov 08 - $291,695

Nov 09- $360,328
Nov 08- $382,439

Units Sold

Nov 09 - 85
Nov 08 - 49

Remember that these prices provide a broad market trend only and do not necessarily reflect the true market value of real estate. For a proper evaluation of your property you need to consult one of the many professional realtors in Nanaimo.


BC Cellphone & Driving Ban Jan. 1 2010

Only "Hands Free" Cellphones
After Jan. 1 2010

B.C. drivers have just 11 days to change their driving behaviours and comply with new cellphone rules to enhance road safety in the province, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Kash Heed said today.

“Making B.C. roads safer was an easy call,” said Heed. “Now, we're asking the public to get on board and abide by the new rules. To help raise awareness for drivers, we are rolling out a public education campaign in conjunction with police enforcement of this law to reduce distracted driving across the province.” Heed also noted that in the new year, highway signs warning motorists not to drive using hand-held devices will also begin to appear along B.C. roads at major international border crossings and airports.

Under changes to the Motor Vehicle Act introduced by government last fall that take effect on Jan. 1, 2010, drivers will be allowed to use only hands-free cellphones and devices that require only one touch to activate. As of Feb. 1, a driver talking on a hand-held phone or electronic device will be subject to a fine of $167. In addition, drivers caught texting or emailing will be subject to three penalty points.

For new drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP), there will be a full ban on all cellphone and electronic devices, including hands-free. A recently released report entitled ‘Teens and Distracted Driving’ by Washington D.C.-based Pew Research found that of those teens 16 to 17 years of age who own a cell phone or text regularly, more than half have talked on a cellphone while driving, and one in three has texted while driving.

“Police chiefs in British Columbia support the new rules,” said Chu. “This legislation provides Vancouver police with a valuable tool to improve road safety and better protect everyone on our streets. Since driving is a full-time activity, distracted and inattentive drivers will be subject to both education and enforcement by the VPD in our efforts to improve safety for all road users.”

To abide by the new law, licensed drivers can use hands-free technology that is activated by a single touch to a button or, when it is safe to do so, pull over and stop their vehicle before they talk or email.

Police, fire and ambulance personnel who may need to make calls in the performance of their duties, and motorists who need to call 9-1-1 are exempt from the legislation. The use of two-way radios for commercial or industrial vehicles will be permitted.

Details on what is permitted and what is prohibited can be found here.

Comment: I hope you asked Santa for some hands-free technology this year if you plan on using your cellphone while driving.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Dinner Menu

Traditional Christmas Dinner
at Our House

Of course I realize that whatever tradition you hold will be your traditional Christmas dinner. What follows is what I would call our traditional dinner menu which our family have shared for about as long as I can remember.

The Turkey

The centerpiece of course is the perfectly roasted turkey which has been filling the house with an inviting smell for the last hour or two.

Over the years I have found that the extra paid for a fresh bird is worth the few extra dollars when compared with a frozen bird. That is not to say I have not been pleased with the results of the frozen fowl, but simply have found the fresh to be more tender and without a doubt more juicy. Freezing and thawing takes something from any type of meat, and the turkey is no exception.

Cooking times will vary depending upon the size of bird chosen and also whether you cook it stuffed or unstuffed. The brand of turkey we buy has a cooking guide printed on the package which I have always found to be accurate. Of course this is also dependent upon the accuracy of the temperature in your oven. A few dollars spent on a thermometer placed in the oven helps determine how accurate your oven dial setting is.

In the end, it is always good policy to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the thigh meat when you think the bird is done. If you have stuffed the bird be sure to remove the stuffing completely and don't leave it sitting in the turkey as it cools down.

The size of turkey I use is usually in the 14 - 16 pound range and from fresh I have always found it to be perfectly cooked in about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Before putting it in a preheated oven I lightly brush it with either butter or vegetable oil and generously season the skin with salt and pepper. I have seldom found it requires basting when cooked for the 3+ hours at 325 degrees. I should mention, I do not stuff our turkey.

I always leave the turkey, covered lightly with foil, on top of the stove to 'rest' for about 20 - 30 minutes before carving as I find this tends to 'set' the meat and make for easier cutting. The meat tends to fall apart if I attempt cutting it straight from the oven.

Garlic Cheese Potatoes

The other requirement for our traditional Christmas Dinner are garlic & cheese potatoes which make a suitable addition to the roast turkey.

I usually do this dish the day before and finish it in the oven for about 45 minutes before I expect to put the turkey on the table.

In a large pot I put as many cut up potatoes as I think will be enough for Christmas dinner and also leftovers for boxing day. A good rule of thumb is one large potato per person and then one more for good measure. By large I mean a baking size Russet. To the potatoes and salted water I add several ( up to your taste) cloves of peeled garlic which cooks along with the potatoes.

When the potatoes are done I mash them while they are still very hot being sure not to throw out the garlic with the pot water. I will also add some butter at this time to smooth the potatoes and then will quickly mix in 2 well beaten eggs. You have to do this quickly or you will wind up with scrambled eggs, which is not the desired effect. I have not found it necessary to use either milk or butter as the egg seems to give the potatoes a good consistency and also provides some 'lift' when the potatoes go into the oven.

At this point I mix in a very generous portion of sharp grated cheddar cheese, and I do mean generous. When this is well blended I spoon the potatoes into a greased 9 x 13 glass dish and finish the top with a light coat of butter and some more cheese sprinkled over the top. A light sprinkle of paprika also provides a nice finished color to this dish if you like.

This dish can be made the day ahead and kept in the fridge until needed. I take it out of the fridge about two hours before going into the oven so the glass dish is not going from ice cold to a hot oven in one move. I am told you can go from fridge to oven with Pyrex but I have never personally tried it, as I have always felt a broken glass dish is not the perfect companion for Christmas Dinner.

In a 350 degree oven the potatoes (which are already cooked) are usually heated through within 45 - 60 minutes. You can tell they are done when the potatoes begin to 'rise' and the top is a nice golden color with the cheese well melted.

The Veggies

Usually the vegetables to accompany our Christmas dinner will include brussel sprouts (not everyone's favourite), brown sugar glazed carrots, baked sweet potatoes and green snap peas. While not really a veggie, there is of course whole berry cranberry sauce for those liking it with their turkey.

The Trimmings

Some might think the lack of gravy unforgivable, but I have found that with the cheese potatoes smothered in butter and the juicy fresh turkey that gravy is not really necessary. I will use the pan drippings for gravy on boxing day which I use on my leftover turkey casserole which uses up a good portion of the leftover turkey.

Since I do not stuff our turkey, but the meal would not be complete without dressing I have taken in recent years to using the store bought, stove top stuffing, which while it is not as good as home made we find an acceptable substitute.

The meal is washed down with either a white wine or our new favourite, white cranberry juice.


On the off chance that anyone can still move after our Christmas feast, there will always be a choice of mince meat tarts, pecan tarts, shortbread and nanaimo bars for dessert.

A Turkey FACT

It has been scientifically proven that turkey contains a good source of portein and is an unusually high source of vitamin zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Nanaimo 2009 Christmas Lights List

Nanaimo Spirit Of Christmas
Residential Light Up Entries

UPDATE: To view the 2010 Christmas Lights Contest Winners  click here. 

This Christmas be sure to load everyone into the car and make a night of driving around to the many decorated Nanaimo residences. The following is the list of the entrants in the Chamber of Commerce Residential Light Up Contest with the 'winners' listed in the first, second and third position.

All houses are sure to please and inspire. Now where's the mitts and cocoa?

Spirit of Christmas
Residential Light Up List

#1 – 921 Cadogan Street
#2 – 269 Laurence Park Way
#3 – 1535 Knight Court Road

1527 Knight Court Road
4311 JinglePot Road – corner of Labieux
McGirr Road – Candy Cane Lane
Harpooner Way
4647 Lost Lake Road
4827 Lost Lake Road
2172 Duggan
2027 Latimer
399 Nottingham Drive
3037 Breonna
6247 Olympia Way
6262 Olympia Way
520 Churchill Ave
365 Howard Ave
491 Howard Ave
1205 Townsite Road
516 Kennedy Street
776 Parkview Drive
5424 Leslie Cres.
5150 Hammond Bay Road
3600 Departure Bay Road


Charges Laid In Fatal Car Crash

Malakai James Coyle Charged

The name of the deceased has been released and charges laid in the fatal car crash from yesterday morning on Cranberry Ave .

Laurel Lea DART age 40 a resident of Nanaimo died as a result of injuries sustained in the car crash. She was a passenger in an older model red Pontiac Sunbird that crashed in front of Chase River Elementary school. As a result of the crash the school remained close yesterday while investigators examined the scene.

Also ,Malakai James COYLE age 20 of Nanaimo has been remanded into custody on charges of Possession of Stolen Property under Section 355 of the Criminal Code and Fail to Remain at the scene of an Accident under Section 252, also under the Criminal Code of Canada. The vehicle in question was stolen five days earlier from a residence in Comox. With respect to the second charge, COYLE fled the accident scene and was located a short distance away by Police Dog Services and taken into custody .

Charges were laid late yesterday afternoon and COYLE will appear before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge this afternoon.

“This investigation is only in the preliminary stages. As the investigation continues and more information obtained there is always the possibility more charges could be laid”, said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.


Ex-City Manager Has New Job?

Mr. Berry Working For Pemberton?

The local Daily reports that Mr. Berry has taken a job with the village of Pemberton. The village of less than 3,000 can't likely afford Mr. Berry's $200,000 + salary so perhaps it will turn out that the good citizens of Nanaimo will be paying his salary for the benefit of our friends in Pemberton.

According to the deal our city council struck with Mr. Berry, he can earn up to 75% of his salary after six months without affecting his severance being paid by the city. During the first six months monies earned would reduce his severance being paid by the city, but a smart guy might just work for gratis for the next three months and then collect whatever salary Pemberton can pay and still collect his full severance from Nanaimo.

Remember, you have the current council to thank for this generous package being paid to Mr. Berry.



"Consider Some of These
Last Minute Gift Ideas!"

Gift Cards or Cash

A popular gift for all ages is money. Giving gift cards or cash allows the recipient to pick out the present, ensuring that it’s the right size, style, color or whatever. While gift cards for local merchants or other brick and mortar establishments may need to be purchased during regular business hours, gift certificates delivered by email are available online 24 hours a day. Although gift cards may be purchased for use at specific retailers, a VISA gift card is accepted most everywhere. Alternatively, an even easier option is cash. Just decide whether to give a single bill in the desired denomination or a few bills that equal the chosen amount. Keep in mind that it is often more fun for children to have several small bills to count and spend.

Holiday Treats
For a less expensive gift alternative, a variety of homemade treats and snacks can be whipped up in a hurry. Consider old favorites like Chex Mix or caramel popcorn. Fill a festive tin, or package in a zip top bag and add a bow. Bake a batch of cookies or some miniature loaves of holiday breads. Cook up some fudge or other Christmas candy.Whether homemade or store-bought, holiday treats are a great last minute Christmas gift. Keep a few loaves of fresh-baked pumpkin bread or some festively boxed fudge on hand for unexpected gifting opportunities. Ensure that the intended recipients do not have health issues or dietary restrictions that preclude sweets. Also, never give sweets to someone who is trying to lose weight.

Gift Baskets

For a gift with a personal flair, consider putting together a gift basket. Use an actual basket or choose a decorative tin, nice box or gift bag. Select a variety of small items that match one or more of the recipient’s interests. Focus on items that frequently need replacing such as pastels for the artist, fabric for the quilter, sandpaper for the woodworker or specialty spices for the chef. A variety of gift baskets are also readily available for purchase in stores and online. These festive beauties are frequently heavy on aesthetics and light on content, however. When considering a commercial gift basket, be sure to read the label or description to determine how much of each product is actually included. Often, a purchased gift basket contains more packaging than product.

Gift of Time
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best last minute gift may be the gift of time. Consider giving the grandkids a hand lettered or computer generated certificate good for a ballgame or trip to the zoo. For busy parents, a free night of babysitting is usually welcome. Teens may enjoy learning a skill or hobby such as cake decorating or woodworking. The gift of time is especially appropriate for small children or senior citizens. While toddlers and preschoolers may quickly lose interest in a toy, they get hours of enjoyment when taken to the playground. The elderly appreciate personal attention and often need help. Consider the gift of a monthly outing or help with housework or other chores. Keep in mind that the gift of time is usually a promise. The actual event will most likely be scheduled on some future date. Once the holidays are over, ensure that all gift of time promises are kept.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Dec. 18 - 20

Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for every interest from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory click the banner above or Nanaimo Info LINK.

Fri. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sat. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sun. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Clippers Hockey use this Nanaimo Info LINK

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.

Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. A. Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. B Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. A Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Rocket Richard Exhibit use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, December 17, 2009


New Unit To Enforce
Traffic Law & Road Safety

If you get stopped by one of the special IRSU officers don't expect to get a warning as they are mandated to enforce traffic laws which means they will be issuing tickets, not warnings!

It is reported in the local daily that this new unit will be made up of five officers and will be cruising the roads from Parksville to Shawnigan Lake on the lookout for aggressive, impaired and high-risk drivers.

They will be conducting traffic blitzes, road blocks, seatbelt checks and other strategies.
They will still assist with accident scenes and emergencies, but their primary task will be to target dangerous drivers and enforce the law.

The unit will also employ unmarked cruisers in their efforts to rid the roads of poor drivers.




The following relates to three people arrested in the Richmond and North Vancouver area, however, these guys are totally mobile and could well have been working on Vancouver Island. It should also be noted that there are likely many crooks out there trying to steal money who are using this type of technology all the time. So, if you are a merchant you need to be aware, and if you are a customer you need to watch your credit card and bank statements for suspicious activity.

This is the time of year when debit and credit cards get a serious workout and is likely the time of year these crooks are making some serious 'hay' at your expense.

On December 5th, 2009, the RCMP Federal Commercial Crime Section’s Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team, with the assistance of the Richmond and North Vancouver RCMP arrested three individuals involved in swapping Pin Pad’s throughout the Lower Mainland and stealing payment card information.

This investigation began on December 2nd, 2009, after the RCMP Federal Commercial Crime Section’s Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team received information pertaining to three males from Montreal suspected in setting up credit card skimming operations in the Vancouver area. Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Ibrahim ABOU AL NAJA (19 years old), Youssef DOHA (20), and Amir Omar ELARROUSSI (19).

Searches of a rental car and two hotel rooms produced pin pads, counterfeit credit cards, modified gift cards, two “Personal Digital Assistant” (PDA) devices, two laptops, electronic tools, printed circuit boards, credit card readers, supplies for modifying pin pads and cash. Expert examination of one of the pin pads revealed “blue tooth” and “e-storage” technology, that is capable of storing and transmitting up to 5,000 stolen numbers remotely to a "PDA".

With advances in technology, law enforcement continues to see a dramatic increase in the volume of payment card skimming and counterfeiting schemes within the Lower Mainland and across Canada. The Canadian Bankers Association ranks Canada as second highest in the world in the use of debit cards as the preferred method of payment and this is being exploited by criminals.

Merchants Can Prevent This Theft

This is a good opportunity to remind merchants of preventive steps that can significantly reduce this type of criminal activity from taking place. Merchants are encouraged to:

  • Keep their Pin Pad terminals out of sight when not in use or securely fasten them to the counter
  • Lock terminals in a safe place at the end of the shift, much the same as cash
  • Maintain a log of terminal usage at the beginning and at the end of each shift
  • Place security stickers on terminals, and examine terminals daily to ensure they have not been tampered
  • Know your employees
Consumers Need To Be Aware

It is also highly recommended that consumers pro-actively monitor their payment card statements for any suspicious transactions and change their PIN numbers on a regular basis.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jason John Ehret Wanted By RCMP

Canada Wide Warrant Issued
Jason John EHRET

A Canada wide warrant has been issued for the arrest of 33 year old Jason John EHRET of Nanaimo. EHRET’s parole was recently revoked after he failed to comply with several of his release conditions, specifically , not to consume or partake in illicit drugs. EHRET had been residing in Nanaimo since being released from a federal institution in April where he was serving two years for various property crime related offences.

EHRET is described as being 5 ft 8 and approximately 190 pounds. He has shaved brown hair ,green eyes and a goatee. He has full sleeve tattoo’s and a tattoo of a goblin on his abdomen.

EHRET is not considered to be a risk to the community ,however, if he is seen do not approach and call 911. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-22-8477(TIPS).


Five Tips For A Safe Holiday Season

'Tis the season for good cheer, but December has already bought its share of snow and rain, along with an increase in crashes on B.C.'s roads and highways.

In the hope that everyone enjoys a safe holiday season, ICBC offers these top five tips:

No. 1 – Prepare your vehicle: Winter in B.C. always means mixed weather conditions – heavy rain, sleet, fog… and if last winter was anything to go by, substantial snowfall.. It's vital to adequately prepare your vehicle for a range of conditions, especially if you'll be travelling to different parts of our province over the holiday season. One of the most important tips is to make sure you've got the right tires and they are in good condition. Winter tires are a must if you are planning to drive in snow or icy conditions. Put a toonie between the tread on your tire. If the tread doesn't reach the gold centre of the toonie, it's time to think about getting new tires.

No. 2 – Protect your vehicle: Auto thieves always look for an easy target – and there can be lots of those around over the holiday season. While it's always best to take your possessions with you, that's not always possible. If you're using your vehicle to do the holiday shopping for the whole family, remember to remove any gifts from sight by securing them in your trunk. If you're shopping and take gifts back to your car before heading back to shop some more, then consider moving your car to a different location.

No. 3 – Get a smart last-minute gift: While we're thinking vehicle protection, why not treat a family member or friend to a great holiday gift that's also practical too – steering wheel locks are cheap to purchase and are a great visual deterrent for any auto thief. For more sophisticated auto crime protection, consider an immobilizer – the best way to prevent your vehicle from being stolen on any pre-2007 passenger vehicle (all passenger vehicles since then have immobilizers as standard equipment). A good standard immobilizer can be picked up and installed for as little as $160 and will make any vehicle virtually impossible to steal. ICBC customers who have a passive electronic immobilizer installed receive a discount on their comprehensive coverage and can receive a $100 rebate on their deductible at the time of any theft or attempted theft.

No. 4 – Be a role model: While you're busy rushing around making those last-minute holiday plans, remember to start getting into the habit of letting any calls to your cellphone go to your voicemail while you're driving. As of January 1, no handheld communications devices will be allowed behind the wheel. This is a great chance to act as a role model to your passengers, especially if you have children who are nearing the legal driving age.

No. 5 – Plan a safe and smart party: December is CounterAttack season in B.C., so help make B.C.'s roads safer by providing your guests with a safe ride home – encourage the use of transit, designated drivers, have taxi numbers on hand, or call Operation Red Nose at 1-877-604-NOSE. It's also possible to have a lot of fun without alcohol– a hot apple cider, a smooth and creamy Kootenay Koffee or a tart and tingling Lemon Fizz are fun and easy-to-make mocktails treats. For these quick and simple recipes use this LINK.


Mount Washington Snow Report

Click For Snow Report

Starting today...Cafe will be changing it's hours to 9am to 5pm, for the rest of the season.

Starting Thursday...Night Skiing. Raven Lodge will be open until 8pm, with some dinner specials starting at 4pm.

Holiday Hours. We are open until 8pm on Dec 17th, 18th, 19th, 26th to 30th and Jan 1st and 2nd.

Looking forward to see you all for the holidays.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Toys Recalled

Wooden Toys by Canasia Recalled

If Santa happens to leave any of the above toys under your child's tree this year, be sure to dispose of them, as they contain small parts which can pose a choking hazard to young children.

For more complete information on this recall visist Canadian Product Recalls.