Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pauline Haarer School Warning

Student grabbed by
strange male at school

Letters have been sent out with students at Pauline HAARER Elementary School warning parents after a suspicious male grabbed a 6 year old female student after lunch on Thursday afternoon.

The student had forgotten her sweater on the playing field and had returned with a friend to retrieve it before heading back to class. The student was startled when she was grabbed around the waist and lifted by an unknown male on the sports field.

Once she screamed, the male dropped the student who was able to run away. The student describes the male as Caucasian, 6' tall, skinny, approximately 30 years old, with short brown hair wearing sunglasses, a dark green t-shirt and black shorts.

The student was not harmed during the incident and acted appropriately when confronted by a stranger. Parents are reminded to talk with their children about stranger contact and formulate an action plan to follow.


Looking For A Good Home

'Scrappy" the Cat Needs Adopting

Described as big, loving, gorgeous and handsome, this affectionate three year old male cat could be a welcome addition to your home.

There is something very soothing about a cat all snuggled up on your lap with it's 'motor running'.

To see scrappy in person visit the SPCA at 2200 Labieux Rd. Nanaimo, phone 250-758-8444.


Nanaimo - Shots Fired

Townsite and Girvin
Late Night Shooting

The Nanaimo RCMP are investigating shots fired in the 400 block of Girvin Ave after neighbours reported hearing the gunfire shortly before 1 AM Wednesday morning. Residents on Girvin Ave and Townsite Rd heard several gunshots before two vehicles were seen fleeing the area. Vehicle descriptions were vague and cannot be confirmed at this time.

Police responded to the area locating evidence relating to the shooting. No one was injured during the shooting even though several rounds managed to hit a home on Townsite Rd. The motive for the shooting is not apparent at this preliminary stage of the investigation.

The investigation has been turned over to the Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Unit. If anyone has any information, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at (250)754-2345.


Only In Canada You Say?

What is Wrong With This Picture?

If you combine today's headlines you learn that Canada now has a 2% stake in a company going to declare bankruptcy and it cost us $15 Billion!

That's the last time I will question my investment manager!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tax Deadline Looms

Just A Friendly Reminder

If you have not filed your income tax return by now, chances are you are not expecting a fat refund. More likely you are putting off the pain of making your contribution to the federal coffers as long as you can.

Don't forget that if you do owe the tax guy some money, he will gladly charge you a late fee and begin to charge interest on any taxes unpaid after tomorrow's deadline.

There is still time to buy a tax program either online or from one of the local shops as most tax preparers are probably up to their eyeballs with last minute filing. If your return is fairly simple the computer based tax return is pretty easy to do.


Spirit of Endeavor Visits Nanaimo

First Cruise Ship of The Season
Spirit of Endeavor In Nanaimo Today

The small cruise ship Spirit of Endeavor will be visiting our city from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm today.

If you are so inclined, why not stop down by the waterfront and give our guests a warm Nanaimo welcome.
Seems the weatherman may be letting them down today, so let's all get together and make their visit memorable.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nanaimo Auto Show

Auto Show Supports
Boys & Girls Club

Come out and see some of the finest Specialty Vehicles on Vancouver Island and support a good cause while you are at it.

You can see Fords, Dodges and GM cars ranging from early vintage to classics, hot rods, customs, T-birds, pre-1973 Mustangs and more.

Trophies will be awarded by judging as well as the 'Peoples Choice' award, choses by spectators to the show.

There will be a $500 tire draw, 50/50 draw, 50' s & 60's tunes and a concession open all day.

This great family fun event is on this Sunday at the Nanaimo Curling Club at 106 Wall Street, (across from Bowen Park). The show is open from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.


Downtown Farmer's Market Opens This Friday

Downtown Farmer's Market
Starts Another Season

This popular farmer's market will re-open for the season this Friday May 1 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

It is in Pioneer Plaza overlooking the harbour right beside the Bastion, in case you forgot or are new here.

It will operate every Friday from May 1 - Oct. 8, 2010 and will also open during special events such as Canada Day and Bathtub Weekend.


James D. Maclean Remains Found

Found skeletal remains believed
to be from a missing person case

A missing person case from two years ago has been solved with the discovery of skeletal remains on Biggs Mountain at the end of Doumont Rd in Nanaimo.

On Saturday April 25, several youth camping as part of Prom weekend, discovered what appeared to be skeletal remains .Cell phone coverage did not enable them to call police from their location, so at first light they hiked out of their camp site and called police who quickly attended to the scene.

Investigators found not only skeletal remains but some personal effects and a BC drivers license. The individual identified on the drivers license James Douglas Maclean age 53, was reported missing by family and friends on March 13,2007.

“Investigators are satisfied,based on their findings and contact with remaining family members the remains are that of the individual reported as missing in 2007 and that foul play is not suspected in his death, stated Constable Gary O’Brien Media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. The cause of death is not being released by investigators.

The BC Coroners office is involved in the investigation and there has been no word to date if an autopsy has been scheduled.


Nanaimo Parking Background & Survey

Nanaimo Parking Survey Follow-Up

The City of Nanaimo conducted a Parking Survey through Opus International in July 2008. They are now posting a follow-up survey for you to fill out along with background information from Opus International.

To participate in the survey you can use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Diana Krall Plaza

Sculpture Adorns Plaza

I realize that art means different things to different people, and when it comes to judging such things, I am the last person I would consider knowledgeable or expert.

That said, I have to wonder if the piece d' art in front of the plaza on Commercial St. is really all that awe inspiring.

I realize my ignorance is showing when I say 'what the heck are those things with lights and baskets on them?'. As a wild guess I think they may be the inward working of a piano ?

Once again exposing my lack of artistic appreciation I hafta wonder if the city couldn't have been able to spring for a coat or two of paint? Or is the natural rusty look all a part of the artwork?

My apologies to the artist, and to put things in perspective, I never got Van Gogh either.


Nanaimo Southend Makeover

Ronald's Place Get's a Facelift

Saturday marked the official Grand Re-Opening of the Golden Arches on Nicol Street. Outside is greatly improved while inside you can still find the same popular food McDonald's is famous for.

Kudo's To Southend
Community Association

This groups efforts to 'makeover' the lane in the 200 block bounded by Haliburton and Nicol Street is quite evident.
It shows you what an involved citizenry can accomplish when they are not always looking for someone else to 'do something'.


Nanaimo Bait Locker Program

Bait Locker Program Launched

April 23, 2009- Nanaimo RCMP and City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture are joining forces to launch a bait locker program at local recreation centres. Selected lockers in change rooms at our recreation facilities will be rigged with alarms. It is hoped that the program will raise awareness of the importance of securing personal items in public places, and act as a deterrent to potential thieves.

"This initiative is just another tool in our crime prevention tool belt. By implementing the Bait Locker program we want to ensure the best possible recreational experience for all users and to reduce or eliminate thefts from lockers,” explains Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

“This program will help us provide an enhanced sense of security for our pool and gym patrons. This sense of security adds to the overall experience within our facilities,” states Suzanne Samborski, Senior Manager Recreation and Culture Services.

A contest to name the program will be held in the next few weeks and will involve the local high schools. "Engaging youth in crime prevention has always been a priority of the RCMP. The slogan should be catchy and no more than 3 or 4 words. The winning slogan will be added to our Bait Locker posters which will be displayed at the participating facilities. The top five entries will receive a prize. Our RCMP Youth Response Team members will be responsible for collecting all entries,” says Constable O’Brien.

For information about the program and naming contest please contact Constable O’Brien at the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment at 250 755 3257.


Cedar Community Policing

More Volunteers Needed

It is reported in the local daily that the Cedar Community Policing office could make good use of more volunteers.

The group provides a valuable link between community and the local RCMP according to RCMP spokesman Const. O'Brien.

Among other things they man the speed watch program in an effort to make drivers more aware of posted speeds, and the speed they are actually traveling. They also post reminders on windshields if they spot valuables left in parked cars.

The office is located above the Cedarbrook Restaurant where you can drop in to get more information.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Nanaimo Real Estate

Nanaimo Real Estate Still
A Bargain By Most Standards

The Nanaimo real estate market has enjoyed some tremendous gains over the past ten years, with average house prices rising from $146,829 in 2000 to $348,390 in 2009 posting a gain of $201,561 over the ten year period. This represents a gain of over 137%.

Even in spite of the current economic downturn, Nanaimo real estate prices have suffered nowhere near as badly as some other centers.

The spectacular setting the harbour city enjoys combined with extremely favourable weather makes Nanaimo real estate very attractive to people of all age groups. It is especially appealing to semi-retired and retired people who are weary of dealing with the type of winter endured in other parts of Canada.

Adding to the appeal of Nanaimo real estate is the extensive and varied retail base situated in this central Vancouver Island community. It would be hard to imagine what type of product or service you would be unable to secure in this thriving city.

Making real estate even more alluring is the fact Nanaimo offers most big city amenities while retaining the benefits of a smaller community.

When you consider the natural beauty this sea side community enjoys, fresh clean air, sparkling clear drinking water, swimming pools, ice rinks, golf courses, fishing, boating, coupled with the acres and acres of parkland, miles and miles of trails and seaside walks, good schools, large hospital, good access to medical and dental, large retail and service sector it is little wonder many consider Nanaimo Real Estate an outstanding bargain when compared with similar centers worldwide.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Apr. 24 - 26

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 use this 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.

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

For Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For the Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Southend Lane Makeover Planned

Lane Makeover
Sat. April 25 10:00 am

The Southend Community Association are planning a lane makeover this weekend. The object of their attention is the lane bordered by the 200 block of Haliburton and Nicol St. Work will commence at 10:00 am and continue until noon at which time local residents will enjoy a 'lane party' complete with hot dogs and beverages. Those who can are encouraged to bring along a potluck item to round out the meal. Their plans for the lane include:
  • clean up litter and debris
  • remove some of the brush and overgrowth
  • create a flowerbed or 2
  • cover up grafitti
  • paint some South End character on/around the lane
  • put some art bins in place
If you have any questions, please call Sydney at 753-1584 or Barbara at 740-0123. You can visit their website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


City of Nanaimo - - - Your Account Online

Introducing “MyCity”

The City of Nanaimo is pleased to announce a new way to view your City of Nanaimo accounts online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s easy! Create a profile, register your accounts, and access your information. To register your account, all you need is a copy of that account’s bill.

Go to and click on “Register Now” then follow the online instructions.

Why use MyCity?

• View your current and past bills;
• View your account payment history;
• Keep track of your water consumption history and conservation efforts;
• MyCity is an all-in-one location for tax, utility, dog, and business licence accounts.

For more information please contact us at:
or call (250)755-4511


Mexican Illness Raises Vigilance


VICTORIA – British Columbia health officials have stepped up monitoring of severe respiratory illness in the province following information from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) regarding a number of severe respiratory illnesses (SRI) in various locations in south and central Mexico. PHAC has informed the BC Centre for Disease Control, which in turn, has notified its network of clinicians and public health partners across the province.

There are no suspected cases of SRI related to the Mexican outbreak in B.C. at this time.

B.C. has an extremely vigilant and responsive public health system in place. The BC Centre for Disease Control oversees an extensive surveillance network with close links with regional public health and front line health-care workers.

The province is closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as they become available. The province has asked that all clinical and public health partners around the province be extra vigilant, increase screening and report any unusual illness, especially in travelers returning from Mexico.

It is not uncommon for there to be a greater incidence of respiratory illness amongst the public at this time of year. Like seasonal influenza, severe respiratory infections are also transmitted from person to person via the respiratory route. Coughs and sneezes release germs into the air where they can be breathed in by others. SRI symptoms from those seriously ill in Mexico include high fever, headache, eye pain, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue with rapid progression of symptoms to severe respiratory distress in about five days.

PHAC is currently developing a travel health notice for Canadians going to and returning from Mexico that will be shared with British Columbians. In the meantime, Canadians travelling to Mexico are reminded of all the usual preventive measures against seasonal influenza, e.g. receiving a seasonal flu shot, frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.

The public is advised to call HealthLink BC 8-1-1 at any time if they have questions/concerns to better prepare or reduce risk or spread of the illness.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your Comments Invited

Have Your Say

Starting today you will notice a 'comments' link at the end of each article. You can click on the link and add you comments.

The comments will be edited and removed if deemed inappropriate so please refrain from swearing, name-calling and the like. Just keep it civil but say whatever is on your mind.


Nanaimo Street Racers Caught

RCMP Lay Excessive Speed Charges
Street Racers Cars Impounded

Two vehicles were impounded and charges laid against two males in Nanaimo for the first recorded incident of street racing in over four years.

A caller to the Nanaimo Communications center alerted police to the vehicles on the evening of April 15 shortly after 8 pm.The caller said the vehicles were side by side and travelling at excessive speeds south bound on Highway 19a .

Patrol units were dispatched to the area and sure enough the two vehicles drove past in the opposite direction being clocked on radar at 135kms per hour in a posted 70 km zone.The member acitivated his emergency equipement and after some heavy braking by both vehicles, described as a newer model Ford Mustang and a Toyota Celica came to a stop for the officer.

Given the information provided by the caller and the officers observations the drivers of the cars were issued with a ticket under the Motor Vehicle Act for Excessive speed which carries with it a $483 dollar fine.The two drivers ages 18 and 20 then had their vehicles towed from the scene and both were also given a 15 day Driving prohibition for street racing .

The investigating officer Constable Derek MacFarlane ,said the two drivers "just didn't get it" when told why they were having their vehicles towed because of street racing.

"Street racing is prohibited and kills innocent people every year in our province.These two young men should feel lucky they were stopped before their actions turned tragic" stated Constable Gary O'Brien Media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.


Nanaimo Bike To Work


Diana Krall Plaza
Friday, April 24 2009 from 11am to 2pm

For more information about "Bike To Work" events in Nanaimo, use this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo City Mayor is 'Part Time Job'

A recent newspaper ad in which Mayor Ruttan and his wife are promoting a cruise have drawn some criticism about perceived conflict of interest. As a result the Mayor has withdrawn his picture from the ads.

In an article in the local press the Mayor says his involvement with his travel company does not affect his ability to perform his mayoral duties. He is quoted as saying:

"When I get my paycheque from the city it rates the position as permanent part time, and even legally it's recognized as a part-time position," Ruttan said.

"I mean, if it was a full-time job I wouldn't even have thought about it but given it's part time, then one would assume that when you are employed part time by the city you, in theory, could be employed part time somewhere else."

In the newspaper article he is quoted as saying the advertisement was a "brain fart". You can read the entire article using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Editor's Comment:
I don't think I would suggest the Mayor use the above quotations during his campaign for re-election.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Serious About Voting

People Lined Up To Vote

This photo shows a lineup of citizens exercising their franchise in Johannesburg South Africa.

Some people stood in line for up to five hours to cast their ballot and have their say in democracy.

The point? How many Canadians particularly British Columbians are serious enough about selecting their government, that they would stand in line for five hours to vote?

Something to think about?


Three BC Ferries For Sale


VICTORIA – With the decommissioning of the Queen of Prince Rupert from its fleet yesterday, BC Ferries announced that three surplus vessels are now currently for sale.

The Queen of Vancouver, Queen of Saanich and Queen of Prince Rupert are all being offered for sale. The vessels range in age from 43 to 47 years old.

Last year, three new Coastal Class vessels joined the fleet. This year the MV Island Sky, an intermediate size ship entered service in February and the Northern Expedition, a 600-passenger northern ship will enter service next month. These new ships allow for the retirement of some of BC Ferries’ older vessels.

“These ships have served our passengers well for over four decades. We are pleased to welcome new state-of-the-art ships with enhanced customer amenities and modern technological and safety features to our fleet,” said David L. Hahn, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “At the same time, we recognize the many years of outstanding service that were provided by the Queen of Vancouver, Queen of Saanich and Queen of Prince Rupert.”

BC Ferries is seeking expressions of interest from prospective buyers. Market demand will dictate the price. Prospective buyers should contact BC Ferries immediately at


Warmer Weather Coming

Weather Network 14 Day Forecast

If the weatherman has it right we should experience below normal temperatures for the rest of the week and then come into a stretch of above temperatures next week.

The white line indicates the average temperature for this time of year, while the yellow shows the forecast temperature.

Yesterday was nearly summer-like and garden and hardware stores were busy with green thumbers stocking up on their yard work needs.

Remember the old rule of thumb about planting annual in the garden though, as the old-timers say, don't plant until you can see the top of Mount Benson or all the snow is gone. Around here May 24 is still early enough to plant, because even though the daytime air temperature can be warm, the soil is still very cool.


New Twist On Old Scam

Beware of Promises of Easy Money

If you respond to a classified ad running in the Harbour City Star, be prepared to get scammed.

The ad promises earnings of $1,000 weekly stuffing envelopes. They claim they are legit and the income is guaranteed. When you go to the advertised website you will be greeted with the above graphic once again promising easy riches for easy work.

The ad claims you can make $4 for every envelope you stuff with brochures pointing out that if you stuff 75 brochures you will make $300. They say they will send you the pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes and brochures for you to stuff.

The website goes on at great lengths trying to sell you on their legitimacy and why companies are willing to pay people working from home $4 for a few minutes work. Think about it! Why would anyone pay $4 to put some brochures in an envelope??

The catch?? Before you can begin making all this easy money, you have to send their company $37.00 in the form of a registration fee!!


If you are gullible enough to send these scammers your $37 you may or may not get anything for your efforts. Most likely you will get a few envelopes with some lame instructions that will never work. Or even more likely you will get nothing except another come-on explaining how much more money you can make by sending them another 'fee'.

These envelope stuffing scams have been around since the Ark and every now and then someone brushes it off, and gives it a new twist and hopes for a new batch of suckers to take the bait.

During tougher economic times, people can become more desparate and may put their better judgment aside in the hopes of making some good money. Don't fall for it, you will just waste your money.

I wonder why the local paper needs ad revenue so badly they run these apparent scam ads?


Short Fiction Contest Awards Kathy Page Judge


Short Fiction Awards Ceremony and Reading
by Celebrated Author: Kathy Page

The Nanaimo Arts Council and the Vancouver Island University - Creative Writing and Journalism department will celebrate the Arts and Culture Week with the Short Fiction Contest Awards. Join author, and contest judge, Kathy Page for a reading and the awards ceremony.

Kathy Page is the author of six novels including Alphabet short-listed for a Governor General's award in 2005, The Story of My Face, long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and the recently reissued Frankie Styne & the Silver Man. Her themes are loss, survival, and transformation: the alchemy by means of which a bad hand becomes a good chance. She is a prize-winning short-story writer as well as a novelist, has written for television and radio, and was a winner of The Traveller Writing Award. She has taught fiction writing at universities in England, Finland, Estonia and Canada and held residencies in a variety of institutions and communities, including secondary schools, a fishing village and a men’s prison.

Thursday, April 23th at 7:00 PM

Vancouver Island University
Building 200 Room 203


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nanaimo Regional District Invites Input

Regional Growth Strategy

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is considering changes to the 10 year-old Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) to better ensure the future sustainability of the region.

The RDN received numerous suggestions on how to improve the RGS from the public and stakeholders during consultations in 2007 and 2008. It is clear that the RGS can be modified to address the issues raised and contribute to regional sustainability.

In response to input received, a number of possible changes to the RGS have been identified and included in a set of six discussion papers. While many of these possible changes would be minor in nature, some of them are more significant.

Between February 23rd and April 30th, members of the public and community groups are encouraged to comment on the possible changes to the RGS which are outlined in the discussion papers. Eleven of the more significant possible changes to the RGS have also been highlighted for your comment.

A number of channels for your input (a short survey, a longer workbook, meetings between RDN staff and community groups, e-mail, a public forum, etc.) are available during this period.

Comments and input received by April 30th will assist the RDN in drafting a revised RGS over the summer, with a new draft being released for further comment in fall 2009.

There will be a presentation on possible changes to the RGS on Tuesday April 21 at 7:00 pm in the RDN Board Room.

To complete a short online survey on eleven of the possible changes (prizes offered) use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


The Syringa Tree at VIU

The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien
April 22-26, 2009, Malaspina Theatre at VIU

“Uncommonly moving, even wrenching… a series of character transformations so instantaneous and so intense that you believe the stage is peopled with multitudes. Still, it is not just the technical achievement that startles one into attention. The grown-up Elizabeth leaves for America, and her subsequent return to Johannesburg to find her past again constitutes a poem of inconsolable loss and nostalgia that leaves the… audience grieving for the beloved country as much as the central character. This really is a transcendent dramatic experience!”

Single Tickets are now available by phone 250-754-8550 or by visiting The Port Theatre box office using this Nanaimo Info LINK.
For more information about this performance you can visit the Theatre One website using this LINK.


Crimson Coast Dance Society Presents Josh Beamish

At the age of just 21, Vancouver-based Josh Beamish has captured the attention of dance fans across Canada. He has been featured on CBC Television, and has been written about in glowing terms in the national press.

Crimson Coast is bringing Josh and his Company to Nanaimo for just one show, which you can't afford to miss!

Tickets $20

Available for purchase online - just use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Josh will be teaching two classes in Nanaimo on Thursday April 23,

Ages 13 to 17: 4:30 to 6:00pm, Harbour Dancentre, 139 Bastion Street, Cost $5.00

Adult beginners: 7:00 to 8:30pm, Nanaimo Centre Stage, 25 Victoria Road, Cost $12.00/$10.00 CCDS Members

Call 250 716 3230 to register


Nanaimo Art Gallery and VIU Presents "Progressions"

Annual Student
Art Show

Progressions is the annual 2009 student art show for graduating art and design students in a range of media. The work includes painting, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, interior design, and graphic design.

Many of the works are for sale.

The exhibition at the gallery (building 330) opens on Friday, April 17th at 5:00pm for viewing.

The awards ceremony at 7 pm takes place in the Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo campus cafeteria.

This student exhibition runs from April 17th to May 9th, 2009.

A great opportunity to see up and coming artists and purchase their works.

For more information, please call 250-740-6350 or email


Juried Art Show Downtown Nanaimo

New Works From Local Artists

The Show is open to the Public and art lovers and collectors are encouraged to attend the Opening and Awards Ceremony and speak directly with the artists.

Much of the Artwork, ranging in style from abstract to representational, in different mediums such as watercolour, oil, acrylic, mixed media, and collage, will be exhibited for the first time and all works will be available for sale.

The Show presents a unique opportunity to enhance or begin a collection of original artwork and appreciate the talent of established and emerging artists from the central Island area.

Sponsored by the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial St. Nanaimo. Phone 250-754-1750.


Special Film on Earth Day Arp. 22

A Sense of Wonder
A Sense of Wonder, a film about the life of Rachel Carson will screen on Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Vancouver Island University Nanaimo Campus, Building 200, Room 203. Admission is by donation.

The film concerns Rachel Carson's love for the natural world and her fight to defend it. A passionate advocate for the natural world and author of the book Silent Spring (1962), Scientist Rachel Carson's work marked the beginning of contemporary society's awareness that human actions can have inadvertant environmental consequences on a global scale.

Special guest speaker will be Dr. Jane Watson, from the Biology Department at Vancouver Island University, who career has focussed on Marine Ecology and Community Ecology.


Nanaimo Parking - - - Have Your Say

April 22/09 at 4:00 pm

The City of Nanaimo is seeking public input as part of the Parking Stategy being conducted by Opus International Consultants.

There will be a Public Open House held on Wednesday, Apr. 22/09, commencing at 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, 101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, B.C.

Your input is important to us. Thank you for taking the time to participate.

For further questions or comments, please contact Linda Murray, Risk Manager, at (250)755-4491) or


Monday, April 20, 2009

BC Hydro To Test Electric Car

B.C. to pioneer new electric car

VANCOUVER – The first production-ready, highway-capable electric car in the world will be on B.C. streets before the end of 2009.

The Mitsubishi i MiEV is a new zero-emission, pure electric car with extended range that will be tested by BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver according to a memorandum of understanding announced today by the city, the Province of B.C., BC Hydro and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Incorporated.

Under the terms of the agreement, one car would be added to BC Hydro's fleet of vehicles and one to the City of Vancouver's fleet for demonstration and evaluation purposes. The agreement also allows for the addition of more cars as they become available.

"Electric cars are part of the sustainable transportation solution for British Columbia and I am pleased that the i MiEV will make its Canadian debut in Vancouver," said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom. "By looking at new, innovative technologies, we can work toward achieving our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 33 per cent by 2020."

"We are committed to green technologies and to leading the way in electric car development," said Koji Soga, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. "The i MiEV represents the pinnacle of Mitsubishi Motors' green technologies. We believe in this car, in its potential and in its future."

BC Hydro and the City of Vancouver are already partners in the Province's broader plug-in electric vehicle program, which is committed to demonstrating the opportunities for electric vehicles in B.C. and their potential demands on public infrastructure.


Conair Clothing Iron Recalled

Iron Can Overheat Potential
Fire Hazard

Conair is recalling 2700 clothing irons with detachable water tanks model number DPP1500C which can overheat and present a possible fire hazard.

For more information on this and other product recalls visit Canadian Product Recalls.


Nanaimo House Prices

Average Nanaimo House Prices
Monthly Jan. 2007 - Present

To view a larger image click chart above or use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Remember average house prices are not necessarily what your house is worth, they are an 'average' of the highs and lows in any given month.

They are however, helpful in establishing trends in the local real estate market. For an accurate assessment of your homes value you need to consult a local real estate professional.

To view current Nanaimo House Prices use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Canadian Housing Resales Rebound For Second Month

Canadian Resale Housing Sales
Increase For Second Month In Row
Existing MLS® home sales activity increased for the second month in a row in March 2009, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The number of new listings also continued trending lower in March, which firmed up the balance of supply to demand.

A seasonally adjusted total of 31,135 homes traded hands nationally via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2009. This is an increase of seven per cent from the previous month, and builds on the 10.3 per cent activity gain in February. The number of transactions in March 2009 stands 18 per cent above levels reported in

January 2009, when activity sank to the lowest level in a decade.

The monthly increase in activity was largest in British Columbia (13.6 per cent), and Ontario (10.5 per cent). Sales were also up from February levels in Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) transactions numbered 35,225 units in March 2009. While this remains 13.7 per cent below levels reported in March 2008, it is the smallest year-over-year decline in six months.

The national average price for home sales via the MLS® remains below levels reached one year earlier, but year-over-year declines are shrinking. The MLS® average residential price for homes sold in March 2009 was $288,641, down 7.7 per cent from March 2008. This is the smallest year-over-year decline in six months.

The average price for homes sold via the MLS® set a new record in March 2009 in Manitoba, and remained above year-ago levels in Saskatchewan, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador.

The national average price continues to be skewed downward by lower activity in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets and by fewer transactions at the higher end of the price spectrum. British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, where homes are more expensive, are significant contributors to the current downward trend in national average price. MLS® home sales activity in these provinces accounted for 69 per cent of national activity in March 2008, compared to 67 per cent in March 2009.

The price trend is less dramatic for the weighted national MLS® average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. The weighted national MLS® average sale price was down 4.7 per cent year-over-year in March, compared to a 5.1 per cent decline in February.

“Housing markets are starting to show signs of buyer interest because of lower prices and interest rates,” says Dale Ripplinger, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “We expect April sales activity will feel some effects from the federal government incentives announced in the last budget, including the increase in the maximum withdrawal allowed under the Home Buyers’ Plan, and the First Time Buyer Tax Credit.”

Q1 2009 Results
Seasonally MLS® adjusted MLS® sales activity in the first quarter of 2009 was little changed compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, declining by less than one-tenth of a per cent.

The number of homes for sale remains high, but continues trending downward. Seasonally adjusted national MLS® residential new listings numbered 208,755 units in the first quarter of 2009. This is down 6.4 per cent from the previous quarter, and represents the third consecutive quarter-over-quarter decline. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of MLS® residential new listings has dropped 11.9 per cent from the peak reached in the second quarter of 2008.

With sales activity increasing and new listings trending lower, the balance between supply and demand is firming up in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. These provinces have the largest influence on the national housing picture, so a firming housing market balance there in March 2009 caused the national housing market balance to tighten for the fourth time in as many months.

“A number of major housing markets are stabilizing, as buyers respond to improving affordability,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “Looking back to economic recessions in the early 1980s and 1990s, national resale housing activity bottomed out before the job market or economy did,” said Klump. “It will take time for ample supplies of new and existing homes to be drawn down, but demand appears to be stabilizing.”

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.


Are You Paying Too Much With Telus?

Is Telus Ripping You Off?

Recently Star Choice told us we needed a new receiver that was going to cost us a few extra dollars a month to pay for. Since we had paid this company several thousand dollars in the time we used there service I decided to cancel with them and switch to Shaw cable. (Of course Star Choice is owned by Shaw, so to them it really makes no difference).

Only when I told Star Choice we were going to cancel did their rep decide to tell me that since we were such good customers they would waive the charge for the receiver. Since this offer was only made after our decision to cancel it left a bad taste in the mouth.

The Shaw cable installer pointed out the considerable pricing difference if we went to Shaw's phone service compared with Telus. In fact for the identical service we were getting from Telus, Shaw would charge $13.00 less per month based on their charge of $20.95 compared with good old Telus who had been happily charging us $33.98 per month for years.

I decided to phone Telus with the simple question of why should we consider paying them $33.98 for the same service Shaw offered for $20.95? The answer I got was quite incredible. The rep told me that I could get the same service we have now for only $24.95 per month, with no explanation as to why we were paying $33.98 for years. I asked why customers were not being made aware of the different pricing and was told they did not have the staff to make outbound calls! Can you see me keeping a straight face?

I am sure if they wanted to let me know I could be paying $9.00 less per month a simple notation on my bill asking if I wanted my bill to change would require little staffing effort. Better yet, they could simply change my bill from $33.98 to $24.95 without me even having to ask for the reduction.

But it seems I have to call in and ask why I shouldn’t change to Shaw for them to reveal their lower pricing. Clearly if you are doing business with these companies, you should not assume that you are getting their best price. In fact if you have been with them for a long time, you are not likely getting their lowest price.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to offer their best price, and by all means don’t expect these companies to grow a conscience anytime soon. After all corporations don’t have a desire to serve anyone but themselves.


B.C. Fishing Licences and Regulations

B.C. Fishing Licences and Regulations

Depending on where you intend to fish in British Columbia will determine the type of Fishing Licence you will require.

For all freshwater fishing you will need a licence issued by the provincial government and if you intend to fish in Tidal (Saltwater) you will need a licence from the federal government. You will also need a special licence to fish in a National Park which is provided within the park.

Awww for the good old days when all you needed was a pole and hook to enjoy the great outdoors fishing. You might even debate if the licencing process actually produces any positive revenue after the layers of governemnet are paid for but we all know governments are always looking for a way to pick your pocket.

However, this is one tax (licencing is just another tax) which has some enjoyable benefits making it all worthwhile. Remember if you always caught fish they would call it 'catching' but you notice we always call it 'fishing'.

For more complete information on the Federal and Provincial Fishing regulations covering Freshwater and Saltwater use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Find Me If You Can --- A Nanaimo Treasure

Intriguing Forest Giants
Right In The City

The next time you are out enjoying the great outdoors in one of Nanaimo's splendid parks, see if you can find these three friendly giants.

They are quietly nestled away in a wooded wonderland right in the middle of the City.

Just another reason that Nanaimo is the best place on earth in the best province on earth.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Apr. 17 - 19

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 use this 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.

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

For Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Bad Driving Habits

Does Nanaimo Have GOOD Drivers?

A special article in the Toronto Star recently listed the top 10 forgotten rules of the road. The author points out the most important thing we should be doing while driving is - - - - driving!

Here in point form are the top ten forgotten rules of the road. How do you rate yourself?

  • Failing to properly signal turns and lane changes.
  • Running amber and red traffic lights.
  • Committing improper turns at signalized intersections.
  • Failing to drive in the rightmost lane.
  • Driving is a privilege and not a right.
  • Following too closely.
  • Driving while distracted.
  • Being a traffic parent.
  • Knowing when not to drive.
  • Impatience.


Nanaimo - Police Nab Fraud Artists

Two Men Arrested

A theft of wallet from a parked vehicle lead investigators yesterday to arresting two males for running up several thousand dollars in fraudulent purchases at various Nanaimo businesses over the past four days.

The incident began when a resident went to his vehicle in the morning and reported to police his wallet had been stolen from his vehicle, parked in his driveway on Vaquero Place. He correctly called and cancelled his credit cards.

Due however to the time delay in realizing a theft had taken place, the victims credit card company informed him of several suspicious purchases that had already taken place at some gas stations and at Kal Tire on Norwell Drive for high end rims and tires. Some items were also purchased from from Home Depot .

Investigators contacted these stores and fortunately were able to obtain an Alberta license plate that the suspect males were seen driving . Officers quickly responded and were able to locate the vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 19 in Lantzville.
Two males were arrested in the vehicle and both matched the description of those involved in the fraudulent purchases. The two, ages 31 and 43, from Parksville and Alberta respectively ,were arrested for multiple theft and fraud charges and taken into custody.

“This case came together as the result of excellent team work and co-ordination by our general duty members. The citizens of Nanaimo should be proud of the effort put forth in resolving this file so quickly” said Constable Gary O’Brien Media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

Officers after searching the vehicle found other items believed to be stolen including other credit cards belonging to a individual from Saanich ,some antiques, tools and most notably a ceremonial Wilkinson sword, believed to have been issued to an officer in the military.The sword was engraved with the number 84151. RCMP believe the two males may also have been involved in other thefts on Vancouver Island and will be following up with other Island Detachments for similar thefts and frauds.

The two were held in custody and are expected to make an appearance in Nanaimo Provincial court today.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fitness Balls, Maracas and Waffle Maker Recalled

Canadian Product Recalls

A Belgian Waffle Maker, a Maraca and a Fitness Ball have all been added to the Canadian Recalls website.

For more details visit Canadian Product recalls using this LINK.


Cherry Blossoms Downtown Nanaimo

Cherry Blossom Express
Arrives Downtown

Spring is bustin' out all over Nanaimo and the annual show of cherry blossoms in the downtown area is spectacular as usual.

I doubt if any other area of Nanaimo can rival the natural beauty evident at this time of year as the Cherry Blossom Express rolls through downtown.

If you haven't seen this wonderful display of colour and form, be sure to take the time to take the tour and enjoy them while you can.

These pictures taken by local photo-hobbyist Sheryl Falls capture a bit of the 'magic' that has been locked up in those bare trees all winter.


Toilet Rebate Program Popular!

Nearly $21,000 Rebated To Date

As of April 15th, 2009, the City of Nanaimo's Toilet Replacement Rebate Program has rebated a total of $20,875.00 to property owners.

The program has been in place since February 10th of this year and the total amount budgeted for the rebate program is $50,000. Interest is strong so please ensure that you get your application in before funds run out.

The application form can be found using this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some People Just Look Foolish

Simon Gets It Right?


Average Nanaimo, Vancouver Island & Canadian House Prices March 2009

Nanaimo Prices Off By 3%
March 09 to March 08

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

National Average
March 09 - $288,641
March 08 - $312,852

Victoria BC
March 09 - $441,380
March 08 - $504,194

Vancouver BC
March 09 - $530,763
March 08 - $616,496

March 09 - $372,114
March 08 - $419,396

March 09 - $246,268
March 08 - $211,962

March 09 - $362,050
March 08 - $380,338

March 09 - $287,911
March 08 - $288,152

March 09 - $334,324
March 08 - $343,324

Units Sold
March 09 - 81
March 08 - 116

Remember these are 'average' house sales prices and do not necessarily reflect what the actual market value is of your property. For an accurate evaluation of your property you need to contact a real estate agent who is knowledgeable or a professional appraiser.

Averages are however helpful in identifying trends and clearly, real estate is not selling for what is was a year ago, which was over valued most likely. It is good news for first time home buyers, lower prices combined with record low mortgage rates in some cases make buying more attractive than continuing to rent.