Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jenga Anyone?

Spotted On Local Beach

While out the other day strolling along the water at Neck Point Park my wife and I came across this interesting structure.

Granted it is not as complicated or intricate as the stone creations you sometimes see, this was nevertheless interesting to look at and reminds us that others were here before.

In the short time we were there several different people stopped and took pictures to remind them of their day at the beach.


Is Your Computer 'Scareware' Proof?

Fake Alert Malware
Looks Like Real Thing

Computer experts are reporting that scareware — yet another sneaky technique used by hackers to steal personal information and spread viruses online — is on the rise. Most recently, companies like Google, Twitter and the New York Times are being exploited by hackers as part of a massive scareware attack on consumers. Better Business Bureau is offering advice to consumers on how to protect their computer and personal information from the threat of scareware.

“The recent scareware attacks are cropping up everywhere and can be found on even the most trusted Web sites online,” says Rosalind Scott, Executive Director of BBB Vancouver Island . “The threat of scareware undermines consumer trust in compromised Web sites, and on the Internet in general, but there are steps computer users can take to protect themselves.”

In mid-September, visitors to the New York Time’s Web site suddenly received a pop up window — which looked like a message from their own computer — warning that their computer had been infected with a virus. The user was then told to visit a Web site to purchase and download anti-virus software that would fix the problem. The supposed antivirus software actually installed even more viruses and malware onto the computer — and the user’s credit card number was now in the hands of hackers.

According to the New York Times, the pop up was generated by an unauthorized ad. The New York Times later learned it had sold ad space to hackers posing as Vonage. Click Forensics is reporting it was the work of Ukrainian cybercrooks.

The same scenario on the New York Times Web site is playing out all over the Internet. According to Computer World Magazine, hackers are not only using pop up ads, they are also “poisoning Google search results.” Hackers monitor the news and hot topics online — such as the death of Patrick Swayze and the US Open — and through search engine optimization techniques are able to ensure that their Web sites are the top results. Victims who click on the fake search results receive a scareware pop up.

Microsoft has been warning the public that scareware attacks are severely on the rise and now the company is fighting back. The company filed lawsuits against five companies, accusing them of being the source of scareware attacks.

Following are steps computer users can take to protect their computer from a scareware attack:

Never let your guard down. A scareware attack can happen on trusted news sites like the New York Times, in search engines results from Google, and even now on Twitter.

Protect your computer. Install updates to your operating system, purchase antivirus software from a name you trust and keep that software up to date. Also make sure that all security patches and updates are installed for your Web browser and programs like Adobe Flash Player.

Take immediate action during an attack. If you receive a scareware pop up window, experts recommend forcing the window to close through your task manager. To do this, hold down ctrl, alt, and delete at the same time, open your task manager, find the browser in the list of running programs and click “end task.” Finally, run an antivirus scan with legitimate, trusted software.


Seatbelt Awareness Top Five Facts

Did you know that you are 25 times more likely to be killed or injured in a crash if you are ejected from the vehicle? Now that's a reason to buckle up.

As September's Seatbelt Awareness campaign continues throughout the province, ICBC is reminding drivers and passengers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt. The campaign includes advertising and enhanced police enforcement intended to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up.

95 per cent of British Columbians buckle up, but the consequences for the remaining 5 per cent aren't pretty. From 2004 to 2008, on average 1,601 people were injured and 106 were killed yearly in crashes in BC when the victim was not wearing a restraint (seatbelt, child restraint system or booster seat).

Here are the top five facts you should know about seatbelts:

No. 1 – Best protection. Seatbelts continue to be the single most effective protective device in your vehicle. An unbuckled 68 kg (150 lbs) adult involved in a 50 km/h frontal crash with a stationary object will strike other occupants, the interior of the vehicle or be ejected with the equivalent force of a 3.5 ton truck. Even in vehicles equipped with airbags, seatbelts are still a necessity. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seatbelts, not replace them.

No. 2 – Keep kids safe. A correctly used child seat reduces the risk of being killed in a crash by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent. As of July 1, 2008, all children over 18kg (40lbs.) must be in booster seats until they are 1.45 metres (4'9”) tall or age nine. It's important to be role model for your children by always wearing your seatbelt and reminding older children to buckle up every time they get into a vehicle.

No. 3 – Take notice. Even drivers who are buckled up have five times the risk of dying in a crash if their rear seat passengers are not wearing seatbelts, according to a Japanese research paper. Always remind those in the vehicle to buckle up – it could save your life. Eighty per cent of the deaths from these types of crashes could have been eliminated if the rear seat passengers had been buckled up.

No. 4 – Never double buckle. Always use a seatbelt for its intended use – never restrain multiple passengers with one belt. The force of a crash will throw both passengers violently together as their bodies attempt to occupy the same space.

No. 5 – Lock it up. All unrestrained objects – pets included – are a hazard in the event of a crash. If you need to transport your pet, use an animal carrier and if possible, restrain the carrier. Never leave unrestrained objects in your vehicle as they can become projectiles in a crash.

The fine for not wearing your seatbelt is $167 – including a 15 per cent victim surcharge. Remember that if your passenger is under 16 years old, you are responsible for ensuring that they are properly restrained.


DND Pays US Firm $285,000 To Teach French To Canadians

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

In an article in today's Ottawa Citizen it is reported that the Department of National Defence is paying a firm in Colorado up to $285,000 to teach French to Canadian Forces personnel stationed in Colorado.

Yup it seems the Canadian personnel stationed at the North American Aerospace Defence Command headquarters will have the opportunity to be taught French in part time and full time classes by an American firm in the language business.

The students will find little chance to practice their French outside the classroom. Only 0.3 per cent of Colorado residents speak French at home, according to U.S. census records, and that includes those who speak Patois, Cajun and Creole.

Editor's Comment: Honestly, there must be a secret department in Ottawa which does nothing but sit around and brainstorm as to how to give taxpayers money away!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Little More Sunshine Please

Two Out Of Three
Tomatoes Need More Sun

This has been a great year for gardening with stellar flower and vegetable gardens all over Nanaimo.

If you are like me however, you still have an abundance of green tomatoes that would really benefit from just a few more days of dry heat and sunshine.

If the weatherman doesn't co-operate an old trick I learned from a gardener long ago to ripen green tomatoes: don't put them in the window sill, instead put them in a brown paper bag to ripen. They will be just about as good as vine ripened, but not quite.


Flu Vaccine Campaign In BC


VICTORIA – B.C.’s seasonal flu vaccine campaign will focus first on those at highest risk for seasonal flu and be followed closely by the H1N1 flu vaccine that will be available to everyone who needs and wants it, announced Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong with provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“Delivering the vaccine campaign in this fashion allows us to best protect British Columbians most at risk from seasonal flu, while still ensuring that everyone who needs and wants the H1N1 flu vaccine will be able to receive it as soon as it’s available,” said Kendall.

“By initially targeting the seasonal flu campaign to those at highest risk, it not only removes a number of logistical challenges that come with trying to run two full immunization programs at once, but it is also in the best public health interest of British Columbians.”

On October 13, the seasonal flu vaccine will be offered to people 65 and older, and residents in long-term care homes. A pneumococcal vaccine will also be available at the same time for high-risk individuals (seniors and those with chronic medical conditions) to prevent influenza-related pneumonia.

“This is a decision that has not been taken lightly,” said Chong. “It has been assisted by independent ethical review and has undergone thoughtful review and deliberation by public health officials, scientists and policy makers in B.C. and across Canada over the past several weeks.”

Starting in November, the H1N1 flu vaccine will be rolled out and will be available to everyone who needs and wants it. Then, in early 2010, the seasonal flu vaccine will once again be offered to everyone else under the age of 65 according to the usual guidelines. “This year, the predominant strain of seasonal influenza is, in fact, the pandemic H1N1 virus,” said Dr. David Patrick, epidemiology services director at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

“While those people who are 65 and older and who live in long-term care homes should still receive the seasonal flu shot, for the majority of the population, the flu virus they need to protect themselves against is this strain of H1N1.” The decision to focus the flu vaccine campaign in this way was based on a number of reasons, including:
  • The possibility of an early fall second wave of H1N1 flu. ·The timing of H1N1 vaccine availability.
  • The strains of influenza that are currently circulating.
  • Canadian research that has suggested a potential association between prior seasonal influenza vaccination and the risk of acquiring pandemic H1N1 disease.
For more information on the seasonal flu vaccine, including a flu clinic locator that can direct the public to get information on clinics in their area once information becomes available, visit For more information on the H1N1 flu virus, visit


A Little Drama At Nanaimo City Hall?

Rumors Abound Over Departure Of
$219,000.00/Yr. City Manager

Little new is coming from city hall on the sudden retirement of City Manager Jerry Berry with all councillors forbidden to say anything. The only spokesman on the matter is Mayor Ruttan.

Some speculate the upcoming independent performance review, initiated by some council members could have some bearing on the sudden decision.

It seems there is some questions surrounding the need for secret severance package negotiations if the manager has chosen to retire. I thought if your retired, you retired and were not entitled to a severance package.

It will be interesting if anyone in the local fifth estate can do some serious digging and shine some light on just how much senior staff is being paid at taxpayers expense. Another question of interest; who exactly negotiated the contract for these senior positions in the first place?

Not all political drama is confined to the Big House down in Ottawa it seems.

Stay tuned, this could get interesting.


Starbucks Launches Instant Coffee Today

Canadian Starbucks Customers
Now Have An Instant Coffee

From the folks who turned the ordinary cup of coffee into an "affordable luxury" comes their newest offering: Instant Coffee.

Starbucks Coffee Co. is launching the product today across North America and, to prove it's a notch above anyone else's instant java, it's challenging customers to a taste test.

"There's a dramatic difference," Starbucks founder and chief executive officer Howard Schultz said in a telephone interview with Canadian media. "It's the difference between fresh squeezed orange juice and frozen concentrate."

Priced around $1 a cup, Schultz said he thinks consumers will see Starbucks "VIA" as good value.

The product will be available in all Nanaimo Starbuck's locations.

Editor's Note: I have tried this product and it is indeed not like any other instant coffee I have had. I think it's claim to being as good as fresh is going to prove true with some people. Give it a try and see what you think.


Monday, September 28, 2009

BC May Suspend Seasonal Flu Shot

Medical Officials Seem Uncertain
About What Course To Take

The following quote from the Times Colonist raises a few questions:

"B.C. might suspend seasonal flu shots as early as Monday for people who aren't seniors, in the wake of a Canadian study that suggests people who get the normal flu vaccine are twice as likely to contract the H1N1 virus.

Several news outlets have reported the preliminary findings of the study, which is still under peer review. Researchers found that those who received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to catch H1N1."

I know I am but a simple uneducated fellow, but it seems they are saying that the seasonal flu shot makes people twice as likely to contract the H1N1 virus (swine flu).

For that reason they are considering suspending the seasonal flu shot, unless you are a senior.

So if you are a senior, does that mean you are now twice as likely to get the H1N1 virus??


Mercury Cruise Ship Visits Nanaimo

The Mercury sits at anchor in the harbour off of Gallows Point under blue skies and light breezes.

One of several tenders shuttle visitors from the anchored Mercury to the wharf downtown in the inner harbour.

The extra traffic along the seawall didn't seem to bother this pooch as he waited faithfully for his master to finish his coffee.

A volunteer Nanaimo Information guide gives directions to one of our many guests to downtown.

Tourism Nanaimo meets and greets visitors from the Mercury on the seawall.

The crafter's market offered our visitors a wide variety of hand crafted wares which surely would be a pleasant memento of their visit to the Harbour City.

Passengers aboard the cruise ship Mercury couldn't have asked for a nicer day to visit Nanaimo. There was just enough of a breeze to make strolling along the waterfront or exploring downtown a pleasant time indeed.

A shuttle service provided our guests with tranportation from the seawall, and of course exploring downtown and the old city quarter on foot is an enjoyable way to spend a late September afternoon in our fair city.


Is Calling People Pigs An Insult To Swine?

Two Examples That Make Ya Shake Yer Head

Yesterday my missus and I headed over to Bowen Park to enjoy an absolutely perfect late September day.

The sun was streaming down, there was barely a breeze in the park and surprisingly there was almost no one else there.

The river is very low at this time of year and at this point could more accurately be called a stream, with so little movement in some places as to provide a near perfect mirror image of the bank.

Now back to the point of insulting swine by calling people pigs. In a very short time we firstly came upon the bottom image which was an empty 7/11 drink cup complete with straw, neatly left in the crook of a dead tree stump beside the river bank. It seems it was easy enough to carry in full but far too heavy to remove once empty.

The other example which is also seen in many other places, is the neatly knotted, city provided, plastic bag of doggie doo left beside a footbridge. Are people stupid or just plain lazy?

Anyway, that is my rant for the week and needless to say these two minor annoyances were not enough to ruin another enjoyable time in one of Nanaimo's great outdoor spaces. As I said to me missus, as much as I don't like the high taxes in Nanaimo, the money spent on maintaining our parks is money well spent in my opinion.
The jury is still out on some of the more elaborate projects such as Spirit Square in Maffeo Sutton Park.


City Manager Retires After 30 Years

Jerry Berry Announces Retirement

In what is being called a surprise announcement, Jerry Berry has announced his intention to retire from the position of City Manager after 30 years of service in Nanaimo.

The report in the local Daily News says that his retirement would save taxpayers $219,000.00 annually as council has decided not to replace him.

Deputy city manager Al Kenning is expected to replace Berry in the interim and could eventually replace him.

There are no shortage of rumors and speculation surrounding the surprise announcement, but Mayor Ruttan insists the move is an amicable one for all concerned.

It is reported that senior staff members are confident they can share the duties of their long time boss and continue without a replacement.

Editor's Comment: If staff can continue without a replacement, how do you justify a $219,000.00 salary? I would also be curious about what kind of a severance package is due when someone retires? Is this another golden handshake courtesy of the taxpayer?


9 Year Old Found Alive and Well After Cold Night Outdoors

On Saturday night, at around 6:20 p.m., Oceanside RCMP received a report of a missing 9 year old boy in the Englishmen River Provincial Park, located 13 kilometers Southwest of Parksville, on Vancouver Island.

The boy was in the park for the day, with a group of family friends, including two adults, and two other children. They were hiking from the lower bridge area to the upper bridge area, along a marked trail. The missing boy was walking parallel to the marked trail, a short distance away from the group. After realizing that the boy was no longer with the group, they began a search, which lasted for approximately one hour, before police were alerted.

The RCMP, and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, with the support of BC Parks Staff, and the BC Ambulance Service, searched on the ground throughout the evening, and overnight. No trace of the boy was found. Search resources were bolstered this morning with the addition of the RCMP Air Services helicopter from Comox.

At about 9:15 a.m. this morning, the boy was located off a logging road, approximately five kilometers from where he was last seen. He was discovered by a local resident, out for a bike ride with her dog. The boy was treated by BC Ambulance Service Paramedics for mild hypothermia, and reunited with his relieved parents. Temperatures overnight in the park dropped into the single digits. The boy was wearing only shorts and t-shirt.

Good Advice Could Save A Life

"Parents should take this opportunity to speak with their children about how they would handle being lost. Teach your children that when they realize they are lost or separated from their group, to stay put, call out for help, and to remain calm. It is extremely easy for a child to become disoriented in the wilderness. To arm your children with this simple bit of knowledge, could save their life.", says Cpl. Darren Lagan of the Vancouver Island RCMP.

Police extend their thanks to the men and women of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Team, the staff at Englishmen River Provincial Park, and local residents for their commendable efforts throughout this search.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

VI Raiders Football Today

VI Raiders vs Victoria Rebels
Caledonia Park 2:00 PM Saturday

A win over the Rebels would put the Raiders in a first place position in the BC Football Conference. They hope their final game will be Nov. 18 at Caledonia Park competing in the Canadian Bowl national championship.

If today's game against the Rebels is like previous encounters it should prove to be physical, emotional and on the nasty side.

"I hope it ends up coming down to being a real physical game . . . when it happens that way we sort of play our best," said Raiders head coach Matt Blokker. "I like the way our defence is playing right now. If it gets to the fourth quarter and it's close, it puts us to our best advantage."

The Raiders will finish the season with another home game Oct. 3 followed by two road games the following two weekends. To see the schedule visit their website using this LINK.


Mounties Won't Attend Minor Crash Scenes

Good News For Timmy's?

It is reported in the News Bulletin that firefighters will soon be attending minor fender benders leaving the Mounties free for more important duties.

The job of traffic control and assisting drivers exchange documents can be handled just as well by firefighters, who attend 99% of all accidents anyway.

The idea came from Surrey where firefighters have been managing accident scenes for several years now.

Since firefighters have more 'standby' time now it makes more sense for them to handle accidents which don't require special investigation.

Police and fire officials hope to complete training to start the new program this fall.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Morrell Nature Sanctuary

Here's a good chance to get out and get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors on what promises to be a lovely September day.

Would you like to learn more about the native plants and animal species that inhabit Vancouver Island?

Then join us for a 2 ½hr. guided walk in the Morrell Nature Sanctuary.

This 111 hectare (278 acre) Sanctuary has winding chip trails, and second growth coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem, and an abundance of bird life. The forest is lush with cedars, sword ferns, vanilla plants and huckleberries.

Walk the trails of Morrell Nature Sanctuary with volunteer experienced leaders who are knowledgeable of the area and the history.

Every Saturday at 10 A.M. beginning July to September. Bring a friend a neighbour or the family and learn a little bit more of what Morrell Sanctuary is all about.

Meet in the parking lot at Morrell Sanctuary 787 Nanaimo Lakes Road, Nanaimo. To view a map of their location use this LINK.

For more information visit their website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Sept. 25-27

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.

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.

Art in the Park 2009 use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Rocket Richard Exhibit use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stamp Out Hunger Campaign Sept. 28 - Oct. 3

Quality Foods and Postal Employees
Team Up To Help Food Bank

Next week Sept. 28 - Oct. 2 a Quality Foods bag will be delivered to 8,000 Nanaimo homes by Canada Post.

Those wishing to help are asked to put non-perishable food items into the bags and place them curbside on the morning of Oct. 3.

Volunteers from Canada Post will be picking up the bags on the morning of Oct. 3. If you did not receive a bag in the mail, you can still help by taking your food to either the Post Office on Wellington Road or to any Quality Foods.

Food received during this drive will be going to the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank.


Neck Point Park Acquistion

Park Land Still Behind Fences
With Private Property Signs

While out at Neck Point Park to get some pictures for and this blog I was surprised to see fencing and signs clearly stating that the land I thought the City had purchased was still private property.

There was also the sounds of construction equipment working doing some excavating of some kind on the site.

I contacted the City Parks Dept and have been told that while the City does own the land it is not yet safe for the general public to use. The equipment I heard working was in fact making changes to make the site safe.

In November the City will be inviting public input as to how best to develop the park for future use.


Your Share Of Federal Debt

The Debt Clock Shows
Canada's Federal Debt

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation Debt Clock shows exactly what YOUR share of the debt is and what the total Federal Debt is currently.

Remember the government has NO money of it's own and that is YOUR money they are spending - - - - but wait, they are no longer spending YOUR money, they are spending your great, great grandchildren's money.

Do you realize the Federal government is spending $84,000,000.00 each day, ON INTEREST ALONE! Yet at the same time, they have to cut programs here and there because they don't have enough money for that!

Currently the government of BC and Ontario are in the process of bringing in the HST, which will have the effect of moving the tax burden from business to the consumer. The reason given by the provincial government is that by removing the PST from business it will help them expand and create more jobs.

What they seem to miss, is they would have the same effect by simply removing the PST from these businesses, and not moving the expense to the taxpayer. Of course that would mean they would have to stick to their stated goal of not running a deficit budget all the time.


Police Dog Lar and Handler Save Woman's Life

Police Dog Lars and his handler Corporal Dean Muir are being credited with saving the life of a 45 year old female lost in the woods at the end of Doumont Rd.

Officers were called to end of Doumont Rd around 7 pm Sunday night after a female out quading with some friends wandered away form their site. The two males with her tried calling out to her and after searching the surrounding area, correctly decided to call the police.

The area where she was last seen is known as the Wastelands, an area frequented by motorcyclists, mountain bikers and quad riders .Even experienced outdoors men can easily become disoriented and lose their way .

Officers arrived at 7:25 pm and were told the female was not dressed for the weather, that she has been drinking and was thought to be fairly intoxicated. Search and Rescue crews were then notified by attending officers, along with Police Dog Services.

Corporal Dean Muir and Police Dog Lar arrived a few minutes later and began searching the immediate area. Lars quickly covered off some groomed trails and then lead Muir and cover officer Constable Simon Bentley, into what was described by Muir as “extremely dense brush”. Lar took then lead up and over a steep slope and down the other side into more dense brush where their efforts were soon rewarded. Found lying on her side, partially clothed and disoriented was the female. Members wrapped her in their patrol jackets and recognizing the signs of hypothermia called for the Search and Rescue crews to come to their location.

Search and Rescue soon arrived and the female was properly wrapped and lead out to a waiting BC Ambulance .She was treated for her hypothermia, some minor cuts and bruises an kept over night at the local hospital for precautionary reasons only.
“If it was not for the Cpl Muir and Police Dog Lar locating the female when they did, this incident could easily have turned into a body recovery. This incident simply reinforces the high regard all officers have for these dogs and their handlers. By profiling some of their successes, hopefully the general public will also see and recognize just what these dogs and officers bring to their communities” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.


Still Swimmin' and Playin'

In Long Lake At Loudon Park

Gone are the crowds from the dog days of summer, but Long Lake is still a refreshing place to cool off as we enjoy summer-like temperatures.

Three buddies hang out on the float, probably discussing why summer is better than being back in school, while two four legged friends frolic in the sand.

Welcome to fall in Nanaimo - - - - - - gotta luv it!


Late Bloomer?

or Daring To Be Different

Local shutterbug Sheryl Falls captured this late blooming hydrangea in a city garden the other day.

All except for the blue bloomer are spent flowers and long past their prime. The blue one seems to be happy to remind us we are in for a great continuation of the lovely summer we have enjoyed.

Some more of Sheryl's photo's can be seen on her website


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cruise Ship Season In Nanaimo

The Mercury Cruise Ship
Leaving Harbour

The cruise ship Mercury was seen leaving Nanaimo around suppertime under beautiful clear skies and lovely warm temperatures.

Her passengers would have seen a great day in Nanaimo as the weatherman went overboard co-operating and I am sure Nanaimo put it's best foot forward in the hospitality department.

From now until mid October, Nanaimo harbour will be hosting a cruise ship on 11 more occasions. So if you have some spare time and feel hospitable why not head downtown and greet some of our guests.

The cruise ship schedule can be seen using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Gabriola Built Cycle Sets Another Record

132.6 KM/H Speed Record

Sept. 15 at Battle Mountain Nevada saw Sam Whittington hang onto his speed record by blazing through the course at 132.6 km/h in the Varna Tempest bike.

His Varna partner Barbara Bautois of France set a new woman's record at 116.6 km/h during the same event.

The recumbent bikes are built by Gabriola builder/sculptor Georgi Geogiev using high tech materials such as carbon fibre and kevlar.


Sydney Dust Storm Brings Wonder and Amazement

Sydney Opera House
Shrouded In Dust Blanket

Sydney Australia residents woke up to an eerie site as the worst dust storm on record rolled across their city inspiring wonder and in some cases concern.

One observer said:

"Every Sidneysider woke up, looked out their window and thought, 'Oh my gosh, what the hell's going on?'" Ms. McArthur said by telephone today. "It was quite hard to breathe ... Every time you took a breath, you got the sense of breathing in dirt. It was like you were eating dirt."

"It was just this eerie sense. I don't know how you'd explain it. It was such intense colour that, at that time of day, you got a sense that something eerie or doomlike was going to happen."

While another reported:

"It was beautiful, and at the same time, it was scary," Ms. Silva said. "The sky was the most beautiful colour that I had never seen before. But then, when you went outside, you felt the dust and you couldn't breathe properly. But if you were inside, it was beautiful."

The full article can be seen using this LINK.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BC Strata Property Act Changes

Helps Owners, Buyers and Renters

VICTORIA – Changes to the Strata Property Act will create more rental housing and improve the dispute resolution process for strata owners and strata corporations, Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman announced today.

“These amendments will help owners and buyers protect their hard-earned investments,” said Coleman. “As well, in new strata developments, owners, tenants and buyers will have greater flexibility to rent a strata unit, creating more rental units, which we know are in demand in our tight housing market here in British Columbia.”

The proposals will mean that new strata corporations cannot change rules about rental units that impact the rights of owners and purchasers or the marketability of the units. Owners will be able to continue to rent their units until the date the rental period originally disclosed by the developer expires. Existing strata owners will not be affected by the change.

“We support legislative amendments that will result in more rental units coming onto the market,” said Martha Lewis, executive director of the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre. “It is upsetting to have condo units sitting empty at a time when many people are searching for appropriate housing. The sooner the amendments come into effect, the better.”

The proposed changes will allow disputes to be heard in Small Claims Court, rather than the B.C. Supreme Court. Strata corporations and strata owners will also be able to use arbitration or mediation rather than going to court. Strata corporations will have to provide audited financial statements and obtain depreciation reports to help them prepare for future repairs or upgrades. Owners and potential buyers will be able to access these reports.

The amendments also confirm that strata corporations can set age restriction bylaws to create adult and seniors’ communities, under both the Strata Property Act and the BC Human Rights Code.

The Strata Property Act provides a framework for the creation and operation of strata developments in British Columbia and sets out the guidelines under which strata corporations must operate. Amendments were previously introduced earlier in 2009.


HST Protest Goes To New Heights

Who Is That Masked Man?

You may not know who that masked man is, but there is little doubt about his opinon of the HST being brought in by the provincial Liberal party.

Drivers on the Island Hwy were being encouraged to veto the HST by this fellow carrying his placard on the pedestrian overpass by Long Lake.

If you feel there is nothing you can do about the HST, and therefore have decided to do nothing, then you have proven yourself to be right. However, if you want to see democracy work, you actually have to PARTICIPATE.

If you don't think the HST is anything more than another tax grab, let your Premier know what you think, contact Liberal Ron Cantelon and let him know how you feel and finally contact Colin Hansen and let him know how you feel.

Politicians will not listen to you, if all you do is complain to your friends at your favourite coffee shop or beer parlour.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Monster Living In Cameron Lake?

Expedition Finds Something
Worth Investigating

It is reported in the local daily that John Kirk head of the BCSCC and his team found something worth further investigation in Cameron Lake.

The lake is on the way to Port Alberni near Cathedral Grove. Over the years there has been various sightings of something quite large and dark swimming in the lake.

The weather on Saturday did not make for ideal research conditions but Kirk is quoted as saying there was something gargantuan on the fish finder compared to the regular fish hits they were getting. The object required four passes to confirm.

Could Vancouver Island have it's own Lock Ness Monster or Ogopogo? Kirk and his team should be returning sometime for a closer look.

Stay tuned!


Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Reopens

Aquatic Centre Reopens Today

With the annual maintenace shut down now complete, the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Third St. will be open for business again today.

During the shutdown all the water was drained and systems were flushed to allow for refurbishing, cleaning and replacing filters and minor repairs throughout the facility.

The public is invited to the first special event planned for Sept. 25th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, "Welcome Back to Fall".


Male Arrested For Indecent Exposure

66 Year Old Arrested For Incident

In Maffeo Sutton Park

A male arrested Saturday afternoon for exposing himself has been linked to a previous incident reported on Sept 7th at Maffeo Sutton Park

Saturday around 2:15 pm police were called to the 600 block of Kennedy St for a report of a male exposing himself. Police responded and from the description and location provided by witnesses, the male was quickly located and arrested without incident . Further investigation determined that the 66 year old male was also the same individual from an incident reported on Sept 7 at the water front.

In the Sept 7th incident, two females out for an evening stroll around 10:30 pm witnessed a male expose himself as they passed.” Our officers are confident the male who is well known to our office, is the same male involved in both incidents” said Constable Gary O’Brien media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. We also want to reassure the public these incidents are treated as a priority call by our members and that we have dedicated several police officers full time to locating and arresting the persons responsible for these disturbing incidents. Female police officers are also being used as decoys in our local parks at various times and places in hopes of drawing out the offenders” said O’Brien.

The male was released from custody alter Saturday afternoon and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on October 27.


First Week of Fall Looks GREAT

Nanaimo Gets More Sunshine
First Week Of Fall

Even though summer officially ends on Sept. 22, the sunshine is forecast to continue throughout the entire week.

Temperatures will however be somewhat cooler but that is to be expected. This past summer is one of the nicest I can remember in many years and flowers and veggies got a real treat with the many hours of sunshine.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

British Columbia Wants More Gambling Revenue

Click on to enlarge
Weekly Limit Increased To $9,999.00
As BC Chases Gambling Jackpot

British Columbia has the dubious distinction of being the only government in North America to go into the Casino Style Online gaming business.
In what would have been unthinkable ten years ago it seems Gordon Campbell has done a 180 on his opinion of financing a government with the proceeds of gaming.
In a National Post article he is quoted as saying in 1999 “ No new casinos, we don’t want an economy based on losers. There will be no further expansion of gambling. We will try to reduce it.”.
The BC Lottery Corporation previously had a weekly limit of $120 which could be wagered online if you wanted to purchase lottery tickets from the convenience of your computer. This is done through their Play Now website which allows anyone with a credit card to set up an account and buy lottery tickets or play other lottery games such as Keno.
That limit did not seem to be drawing in enough high rollers so the corporation has set about to increase that limit to $9,999.00 per week which can be deposited in a government run E-gambling account which accepts Visa and Mastercard of course.
That means you could put up to $519,948.00 into your gaming account over the course of a year courtesy of the Province of British Columbia.
Soon you will be able to not just buy lottery tickets you will be able to participate in games such as blackjack, roulette and poker, designed for computers and portable devices. Currently you can play a poker-style game with a predetermined outcome but a full-on poker game will be available next spring.
If you are wondering why the limit is set at $9,999.00 rather than an even $10,000.00, it is to avoid reporting to Fintrac. That is Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada which investigates money-laundering, and online poker is a popular way to launder proceeds of crime.
It would seem that simply collecting taxes is not enough to satisfy the monster we have built with the leadership and guidance of our ‘leaders’. We are now going full bore into the gambling business, which is a good compliment for our alcohol and tobacco revenue we are also dependent upon.
How many years before the government is in the BC Bud and escort business?? Impossible you say?? Think again!
Booze and gambling were the types of business guys like Al Capone built their fortunes on. Governments used to go to great lengths and expense to put those guys in jail for such activity. Now we elect people so the same activities are legal.
A line from a movie I recently watched seems quite appropriate for this little topic, “ it may not be illegal, but it is just WRONG “.
Whether things were wrong used to be the basis for the laws of the land but in recent years we have blurred the lines between black and white to the point where everything is now grey.

An example? Gordon Campbell passed a law making it illegal for a government to run a deficit budget. Instead of keeping the law (the right thing to do in a country where the order of law is a cornerstone) he simply changed it. Of course that is all perfectly legal. But is it Right?
So who are 'The Goodguys' these days? It seems no one is wearing a white hat anymore.


Pink Salmon Run Still Productive

Millstone River Run Pink Salmon
Still Rewarding Fishermen

The top photo shows the importance of knowing how to cast and not catch each other! It is debatable if the fish are more numerous than the fishermen.

The bottom photo shows two lucky fishermen cleaning their catch. These pictures were taken around noon on a low tide.

Get a licence and try your luck, the price per pound is still likely better in the fish market, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as cooking the fish YOU caught!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pearson Bridge Delays

Pearson Bridge Repairs Sept. 21 - Oct. 16
One Lane Closed Expect Delays

As the sign says one lane will be closed 24/7 during repairs to the Pearson Bridge over the Millstone River so you can expect to be delayed if you have to use this route.

So either plan on just slowing down and spending more time to get over the bridge than usual or plan another route around the bridge.


Nanaimo HST Rally Huge Success

Click on photo to enlarge top photo only

HST Rally Draws
People of All Political 'Stripes'

With just barely 10 days to organize the 'Fight HST' rally, event organizer Janet Irvine should be commended for a most successful effort.

Remember this is Canada, and this is Nanaimo and this is a lovely weekend with lots of other things to do. Given all that, when several hundred people come out for two hours to demonstrate their dislike for the HST that is clearly a success.

The purpose of the rally is to try and raise public awareness to what exactly is going to happen in the province when the HST is implemented next July. It is also to make people aware of the fact there IS something they can do about it not the least of which is letting your elected officials and Premier know just how unhappy you are with this latest tax grab.

If and when this tax is implemented it will transfer a large amount of money from business onto the backs of consumers. A latest study done by the TD bank says that prices can be expected to increase by about 1% across the board with this new tax.

This projection it should be pointed out is based on the idea that business will pass along all of it's savings to consumers by way of lower prices when the PST comes off their input purchases. When was the last time business passed along savings?

A list of items the HST will be added to prepared by the group include:
  • Non-essential groceries
  • Cable TV
  • Hydro
  • Concert tickets
  • Membership fees
  • Bus fares
  • Taxi fares
  • Whale watching
  • Massage therapy
  • Coffee- Horton's, Starbucks
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • School supplies
  • Health equipment
  • Moorage
  • Career planning
  • Naturopathy
  • Some physiotherapy
  • Painting
  • Accounting
  • Funerals
  • Safety equipment
  • First aid kits
  • Energy Equipment
  • Newspapers
  • Restaurant meals
  • Telephone
  • Natural gas
  • Haircuts
  • Movies
  • Magazines
  • Airline tickets
  • Skiing
  • Resort packages
  • Fast food
  • Vitamins
  • Photography
  • Consulting services
  • Campgrounds
  • Fishing charters
  • Reflexology
  • Museums
  • Real estate fees
  • Architects
  • Chinese medicine
  • Helmets
  • Smoke detectors
  • Insulation
  • Condo Management fees
  • Non-prescription meds
  • Internet
  • Hockey tickets
  • Admission fees
  • Theatres
  • Ferry fares
  • Golf fees
  • Spa services
  • Parking
  • Dry cleaning
  • Dietary supplements
  • Water heaters
  • Beverages
  • RV parks
  • Heating fuel
  • Vet services
  • Home renos
  • Bicycles
  • New home purchases
  • Marketing services
  • Life jackets
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life jackets
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Solar power
  • Windows
For more information about the HST and what you can do about it visit