Friday, April 30, 2010

Cops for Cancer Donation

Charlene Leitch Long Time Supporter

Its often the small gestures that mean so much. This was certainly true when Charlene Leitch handed over her piggy bank and hard earned pennies to the Nanaimo RCMP in support of Cops for Cancer.

Charlene age 48 and her mom June Leitch came to the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment Wednesday afternoon and met with Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. Her pennies were gathered over the last year and Charlene has been a big supporter of Cops for Cancer for many years. June LEITCH said Charlene developed an interest in Cops for Cancer ever since seeing the riders going through Nanaimo. They would often stop at her trailer park and since then Charlene never misses an opportunity to assist the Ride and help her mom out with raising funds.

“Charlene is an active bowler who loves to ride the bus and go swimming with her friends. She is a lovely person and on behalf of the Nanaimo RCMP we want to thank her for her wonderful and generous donation”said O’Brien.


World Record Cardstacker At Woodgrove Mall

Bryan Berg

Guinness World

Record Holder


Bryan has been at Woodgrove Mall this past week and will be knocking down his latest work at 2:00pm Saturday May 1.

Bryan is participating in the mall's spring sales campaign by attempting to make a replica of the New York City skyline buildings using more than 22,000 recycled gift cards collected from mall retailers over the past year.

Overall the composition should be 6 meters long, 2 meters wide and 2.5 meters tall. The cards he will be using, if laid end to end would stretch more than 2 kilometers. To prove he has not used tape, glue or any other substance to aid his construction, on the last day of the exhibit he will knock it all down!

Cardstacking on this level is not child's play, this is Berg's full time job and he is the only professional cardstacker known worldwide. His tallest tower was 25 feet and 10 inches tall, built in 2007. His most recent largest structure used over 4,000 decks of cards.


City of Nanaimo Emergency Call Alert System

In the event of an emergency you need to know about, if you are registered with the Call Alert System you will automatically be telephoned and emailed with the nature of the situation and instructions to follow.

You can register as a resident or as a business owner by using this LINK.

Emergency Preparedness Week May 2 - 8

Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event taking place the first week of May. It is about education and the need for residents to prepare themselves for natural and man made disasters.

Learn how to prepare you and your family to cope in the event of a serious disaster. Two simple things you can do, are prepare a 72 hour emergency kit which will provide the basics necessities, it is however recommended that you prepare for at least 7 days.

You can also help prepare by registering with the Emergency Call Alert System which will ensure you are phoned and emailed in the case of an emergency. 

To view and download a 31 page guide to Personal, Family and Home Emergency Preparedness use this Nanaimo Info LINK. For more information on Emergency Preparedness use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


All About Pets Day

All About Pets Day May 8
Country Club Centre

Next Saturday May 8 from 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Country Club Centre will be hosting an amazing event for pet lovers of all kinds.

There will be exhibitors offering information on grooming, rescue centres, dog walking services, food, obedience training, acupuncture and more. There will be live demonstrations in the centre court at 11:30 am.

The SPCA will be on hand with some adoptable pets and professional photos of your pets can be taken by a professional photographer.


HST Approved by Liberals

To read Full Story Click HERE

It has been approved (rammed through) by the B.C. government, but who actually approves of the B.C. government?


Things To Do In Nanaimo Apr 30, May 1 - 2

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 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.

Nanaimo Clippers Hockey use this Nanaimo Info LINK

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.

Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. A. Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. B Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. A Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest 2010

 Congratulations To All 
Contest Winners

The Nanaimo Short Fiction Contest awards ceremony and Arts and Culture week event was held April 22nd at Vancouver Island University. Each year, for the past six years, the Nanaimo Short Fiction contest has been co-sponsored by the Nanaimo Arts Council and Vancouver Island University’s Creative Writing and Journalism department. We are grateful for the support of the Assembly of British Columbia Arts Councils for their support of this Arts and Culture week event.

Kathy Page, who judged the 2010 competition, offered the following comments, in praise of the winners: 
1st Place, Adult - Judith Millar, The Comfort of Stones. “This story about an obsessive-compulsive grandmother who tries - and fails - to help her grandson, is both heartbreaking and beautifully structured. From the first line to the last there is not a wasted word.”

2nd Place, Adult - Stefan David Martin, The D.O.L.T. Investigation. “This tale is both a satisfying narrative, a story within a story, and a wry glance at the nature of writing and reading. Funny and intelligent, it's a truly original piece.”

3rd Place, Adult - Roy Innes, for two stories: View from the Sidewalk and Gramma. “View from the Sidewalk takes an unusual perspective - that of an older homeless man sitting with his young friend on the sidewalk - and leads the reader unerringly towards its unexpected and devastating conclusion.” In Gramma, “sn old woman regrets past harshness towards her loved ones, and is comforted by a grandchild. It's written with great economy; well-observed characters, and the author's ear for voice and dialogue draw the reader in, and prepare the ground for the moment of emotional release at the end.” 

Winner, 13 to 18 category -  Kayla Tritschler, Sleepless Nights 33. “It's wonderful to see a young writer tackle difficult emotional territory, as does the winner in this category. The story is simply but strongly written, and shows us a twelve-year old boy who, struggling to come to terms with the prospect of his parents’ divorce, confronts his father.” 

Winner, 12 and under category - Laura Balfour, Dreams - “a fluent, lyrically written story about a girl's desire for a horse, and the border between fantasy and reality.”
The Nanaimo Arts Council sends out a special thank-you to each of the writers who submitted work


News or Noise?

Has 'The News' Become
Just More 'Noise'?

Does the average person really need to know all the 'news' that they are bombarded with every day, or has it just become more noise?

Back in the day when the 'news' paper was the main source of keeping informed, a once a week publication served the needs of the average person and even then not everyone was a news junkie. Many were able to keep abreast of events which actually affected them by talking to their friends and neighbours.

Now, news has become big business and 'dead air' is something that can't be accepted if you are to stay in business. The news, has become the same as any other form of entertainment offered by the media and make no mistake, if there was not money to be made, there would be no news programming.

The owner of a newspaper chain I used to work for, described news as something you used to fill up the space around the advertising! The same applies today, even if most righteous publishers are not that honest.

No longer, can we settle for hearing the 'news' on a weekly basis, we can get the paper delivered daily, listen to the news on the radio every half hour, see the news on television at noon, supper time, bed time, and all day long on some networks, you can search the internet for very specific news about just about any topic you can imagine, anytime you like.

So, what is the result of all this NEWS being made available all the time? Are we better informed citizens being able to take a more educated role in our society? Do we actively participate in matters of governance more now than we used to? Are we more aware of how our elected officials are making decisions that will affect our daily lives and pocketbooks?

Or has the News simply become so much Noise that we choose to simply Tune it Out?


Glow In The Dark Skate

Click Image To Enlarge

Next 'Glow In The Dark' Skate takes place on May 5 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm in the Cliff McNabb Arena.

Children $3.00 Students/Seniors $4.25 Adults $5.75

To view PDF Poster full size use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Telus Errors In Web Browsing Charge

Check Your Telus Mobile Account
For Errors In Web Browsing Charges

If you are like most of us you don't likely monitor all the charges on your cell phone account very closely. You should as it could save you some money.

I just set up a new cell phone and was getting familiar with my online account. Since I had only gotten the phone and had not been using it I was surprised to see a total of $2.30 charged to my account already.

There were a total of 23 ten cent charges identified as web browsing transaction. Since I was not browsing I called the customer care department of Telus to see what was up.

I was told that Telus was 'upgrading' their systems and as a result many customers were being charged erroneously for web browsing. The agent told me the charges were being reversed and that I should report any future errors.

I decided then to check my wife's cell phone account and sure enough there was one 10 cent charge for web browsing. Clearly this is another error as the phone is only used as a phone, and very seldom at that.

I am not quite sure how a company as large and sophisticated as Telus could suddenly start charging it's customers for services they are not even using.

Check your bill, it could save you a couple of bucks.


My Internet Was Down!

We Were Offline for 20 Hours

To think there was a time I could have cared less about being 'online', in fact personal computers seemed like a passing fad for a time. Just goes to prove I have never really been a cutting edge kinda guy.

Heck, I didn't think that the movie rental business would ever catch on either. :^)

Anyway, our service provider went down yesterday afternoon at about 4:00 am and did not get back in business until this afternoon at about 1:30 am.

Two nights ago the fuse on our hydro transformer blew and we were without power for nearly three hours.

It makes me wonder how our forefathers and foremothers ever got along without electricity and the internet. I guess they tried to substitute books and talking to each other to pass the time. How primitive!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile :^)

Billy Bob's Moving And Storage
Your Heirlooms Are Safe With Us!


Nanaimo Adult Outdoor Drop-In Sports

Click Image To Enlarge

Soccer, Beach Volleyball,
Street Hockey, Basketball

Just show up, pay and play on whatever nights fit your schedule. There are no commitments required.

Soccer: Caledonia Field Mon. 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Beach Volleyball: Bowen Park Sand Courts Sun. 7:00 - 9:00 pm Tues. 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Street Hockey: Bowen Park Lacrosse Box Sun. 6:30 - 8:30 pm Thurs. 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Basketball: Maffeo Sutton Park Sun. 4:00 - 7:00 pm Competitive Tues. 7:00 - 9:00 pm Recreational

To download PDF version use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Off-Leash Parks Open Saturday

More Places

For Rover To Romp!

This Saturday Rex and Rover will have two more places to romp without the restriction of a leash.

The upper dam at Colliery Dam Park (parking is off of Nanaimo Lakes Road) is open to unleashed hounds from 6:00 - 10:00 am.

Beaufort Park which is behind Dufferin Elementary school is another new off leash park for your favourite pooch.

Dog 'Off Leash' Park Rules

  • Dogs must be properly licensed and vaccinated in order to use an off-leash area.
  • Female dogs in heat are not allowed.
  • Owners are required by law to pick up their dog's feces and to properly dispose of in trash cans located throughout the area.
  • Fines will be levied for non-compliance.
  • Owners must be in attendance with their dog at all times within the boundaries of the dog off-leash area.
  • Owners must obey all park rules and relevant parking requirements.
  • Dogs must be on a leash prior to entering and upon leaving the off-leash area.
  • A maximum of two dogs per person in the dog off-leash area.
  • Owners must respect other park visitors by keeping their dog from running up to and jumping on other people and their dogs.
  • Identified agressive dogs and prohibited breeds must be muzzled and leashed. Pets must be under the control of the owner, and the dog must be in sight of the owner at all times.
  • No puppies under 4 months are permitted. Owners are personally liable for any damages or injury inflicted by their dog.


BC Impaired Driving Laws Get Tougher

BC Ramps Up Drinking Driving Laws

The Province is introducing Canada’s most immediate and severe impaired driving penalties to save lives, curb repeat offenders and give police more enforcement tools, Solicitor General Michael de Jong, QC, announced today.

“Despite increased enforcement and significant efforts to promote awareness, we’ve begun to see a rise in impaired driving across British Columbia,” said de Jong. “That trend is unacceptable and that’s why we’re bringing in these new laws: to get impaired drivers off the road with clear, swift and severe penalties.”
In memory of Alexa Middelaer, de Jong also announced a provincial goal: to reduce alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by 35 per cent by the end of 2013. Middelaer was four when she was killed by an alleged drunk driver in Delta two years ago.
Under changes to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), drivers who provide a failing breath sample above 0.08 per cent BAC or refuse to provide a breath sample at the roadside will face an immediate, 90-day driving ban and a $500 fine. As well, they will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days. They may also face criminal charges.
Drivers caught once in the “warn” range (between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent BAC) in a five-year period will face an immediate, three-day driving ban and a $200 fine; a second time, a seven-day ban and a $300 fine; and a third, a 30-day ban and a $400 fine. Research shows that driving with a BAC in that range means a driver is seven times more likely to be in a fatal crash than if they have no alcohol in their body.


Housing Market To Cool Down

Click Image For Full Story

Comment: Over simplified interpretation: interest rates will rise, housing prices will fall.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aquatic Center Closes For Maintenance

Nanaimo Aquatic Centre 
Closed May 3 and 4, 2010

Routine maintenance will be performed on the entire complex, including plumbing and mechanical upgrades. The fitness gym, multi-purpose rooms, Sharkey's concession, and the Swim Shop will also be closed; CBI Health Group (Summit Injury Management) will remain open.

Beban Pool has added additional sessions to accommodate Aquatic Centre patrons during this shutdown.

Schedule change information can be found on the city website.


Official Floral Emblem Public Input Invited

Proposed Official Floral Emblem

The City of Nanaimo is asking for the public's input on a recent proposal for Nanaimo to adopt an official floral emblem. Lotus pinnatus (also known as bog bird's foot trefoil) has been put forward as the first suggestion for this distinction.

The City requests the public's input on whether or not Nanaimo should have a floral emblem. If so, should the City adopt Lotus pinnatus as the official floral emblem or should alternatives be considered?

There will be an open house at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Saturday May 8 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm to present information about this flower and to display alternatives for feedback. A survey will also be available for input.

You can complete a brief online survey using this Nanaimo Info LINK. You can also preview the presentation material using this LINK.


Morrell Sanctuary Annual Plant Sale

16th Annual Plant Sale
Saturday May 1,2010
8:30 am - 1:00 pm

There will be lots of selection of native and domestic plants available for the green thumbers. All proceeds of the sale support Morrell Sanctuary, so come early to help the Sanctuary and spruce up your garden.

Coffee and Hot Dogs!

Morrell Sanctuary
787 Nanaimo Lakes Road
Phone 250-753-5811


Some HST Rules Take Effect May 1

The Harmonized Sales Tax will generally apply to consideration that becomes due or is paid without having become due on or after May 1, 2010, for property and services provided on or after July 1, 2010, based on the general HST transitional rules under the federal Excise Tax Act. The Harmonized Sales Tax is proposed to be effective in B.C. on July 1, 2010.

The transitional rules are intended to avoid imposing both the PST and the provincial portion of the HST on the same payments for goods and services—that is, to avoid double taxation. Generally, the HST will apply to goods and services purchased on or after July 1, 2010.

As a result of these rules, consumers that are purchasing property or services that will be provided on or after July 1, 2010, or entering into leases on or after July 1, 2010, will start seeing HST on their invoices or bills for these as of May 1, 2010.

Where leases or services straddle July 1, 2010, there are special transitional rules outlining when the portion of the lease or service that occurs on or after July 1, 2010, are subject to the HST.

On Oct. 14, 2009, the Government of B.C. released proposed general transitional rules to help guide businesses and consumers in a smooth changeover to the proposed HST. The transitional rules are being implemented in Ontario as well as in B.C.

To view complete information on the General Transition Rules for the HST, click HERE.

Extensive information is also available on the CRA website.

More information about the B.C. HST ,


Not For The Faint of Heart

It's Not the Fall That Gets You
It's the Sudden Stop At the Bottom

These daring fellows were busy at work Sunday morning preparing a roof for new shingles. They were busy tearing off the old shingles, nails and paper that were being removed to make way for the new. A good roof in Nanaimo is a great idea, as it has been known to rain from time to time.

This roof was at least three stories high and while they were secured with fall protection it still takes a certain amount of daring to do what they do every working day.

I wonder if they have ever considered seeking wage parody with the firemen and police given the level of danger they encounter on a daily basis?


Monday, April 26, 2010

Nanaimo City Council Meeting April 26, 2010

See What YOUR City Council is Doing

If you have the time, you should take a few hours tonight and go the the Shaw Auditorium in the new convention centre downtown. If that is simply not possible, you can catch the meeting live on Shaw cable, or on the city website. You can also view archived video of past council meetings.

If you leave it up to the news reporters to tell you what went on, you will only get a partial story at best. It is the ONLY way to really get to know how council members think. You will learn that some members think it is their duty to just throw money around to anyone who asks for it. Others seem to have a more prudent approach. Knowing who is who is the only way to make the right choices come next election.

For a copy of the agenda for tonight's city council meeting use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


A Garden Visitor

The Little 'Bandit'

One of the good things about a water feature in the garden, is that it attracts nature. One of the bad things about a water feature in the garden, is that it attracts nature. :^)

This little bandit came strolling into the garden yesterday afternoon to see if I had restocked the sushi bar.

The first two years we had the water feature we had a couple of Koi and pool goldfish. I guess the bandits left them alone the first two years to let them fatten up and once they were to their liking they cleaned them all out one night.

We have tried restocking a few times, but got tired of feeding the little rascals so now fish are kept in a deep tank on our deck and the babbling brook has no fish, but is a welcome watering hole for the local wildlife.


Another Email Scam Looks Like Postal Delivery Notice

Email Scam Warning

Canada Post warns of a new email scam that is desinged to look like a parcel delivery notice.

The email advises that Canada Post is trying to deliver a package and gives instructions to open an attachment.

The fake attachment likely contains a virus and anyone receiving such a notice should not open it but delete it from your computer.

If the email contains a tracking number, you can go to the Canada Post website and check the number. If the number is invalid then obviously it was a fake.


Pay Day Loans Smashed Into

Boarded Up Storefront
Scene of Car Crash

The Pay Day Loan store in Terminal Park was the scene Saturday of a near miss accident which caused property damage but little else. A store employee had to jump out of the way as the runaway Honda Prelude crashed into the store, damaging glass and bricks.

Police have not determined if the accident resulted from mechanical failure or driver error. The lone female occupant of the car was taken to hospital but is not believed to have suffered serious injury.


B.C. Conservatives Alternative to Campbells Liberals?

If former federal politician Randy White has his way, B.C. voters will have an alternative to the Campbell Liberals come next election. There is little doubt they would garner much support if an election were called right now, during the HST debate/non-debate.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Diana Krall Plaza Downtown Nanaimo

Diana Krall Plaza 'Sculpture'
The 'Dead Flower' Hanging Baskets
Are A Nice Touch Don't You Think?

While I was downtown on Sunday morning I thought I would check out the  sculpture which graces Diana Krall Plaza.

Readers of this blog may remember my comment last year about how I just did not get the artistic merit of this sculpture. Bearing in mind I don't get Van Gogh either.

I still stand by my comment last year, that a coat of paint might improve this work 'd art. Perhaps I am missing the potential that a few years of natural patina might add. I understand that copper and bronze can age quite gracefully, but I am not all that certain what the future holds for raw steel, except that, well rusty look.

It kind of looks like the city of Nanaimo can't afford an extra bucket of paint to spruce up this eyesore.

I also couldn't help notice that the weedy, overgrown, dead flower,hanging baskets sort of lent themselves to the overall theme being created here.

I wonder if downtown basket maintenance is one of those duties that used to be performed by the deputy city manager?


Brook's Landing Pedestrian Rail Crossing

Location Of Crossing
Viewed From Southern Approach
Viewed From Grant St. Approach
Viewed From Highway Approach

The Only Thing Missing Are Flashing Lights

The construction project across from Brooks Landing where Departure Bay Rd. intersects the Island Highway caught my eye a few weeks back. What could it be I wondered?

Then I found out it is a crossing to facilitate people in wheelchairs crossing the railroad tracks at this juncture.

Only could the civil service so grossly over engineer and over build what could be such a simple crossing. You would think they were expecting rush hour traffic similar to the 401 across Toronto.

The black top approach is wide enough to drive a car onto, and there are two lanes crossing the track, there is also an up and down set of stairs no less.

This is just another example of how those who are spending your tax dollar, do not seem to have any idea about getting the job done for the most reasonable cost.

If you compare this crossing to any other place along the rail line where pedestrians have created their own short cuts over the tracks, it is clear someone here has a whole lot of pull with those in charge of spending your money.

The following sign clearly shows why this crossing could create some confusion as well as legal wrangling. In spite of the over built and I am sure over priced crossing, it appears that if you use it you are guilty of trespassing!

Click Image To Enlarge
It clearly says:
No Trespassing 
Active Railway 
Will Be Prosecuted 
E & N Railway.


Greetings From the Heart of Nanaimo

Collecting Signatures For
The Book Of Greetings

Members of the Vancouver Island Military Museum were at the Rona Store at Southgate Saturday collecting signatures for the Book of Greetings  being prepared to send to Our Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

Their goal is to assemble over 7,000 greetings from the people of Nanaimo by May 31, 2010.
In addition to the book they will also be sending an official City of Nanaimo flag which will accompany the Greetings from the Heart of Nanaimo to our Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan.

Nanaimo currently has more than 20 military personnel stationed in Afghanistan.

The book will be available at various city venues throughout the month of May including local shopping centres etc. The Books are also available for signing at the following locations:
Vancouver Island Military Museum, Nanaimo North Mall
City Hall,
Legislative Services
Serious Coffee,
Commercial St. Downtown
Nanaimo Museum,
Commercial St. Downtown

There will also be  a Burger & Beverage social and book signing at the Branch 10 Legion, May 9 from 2:00pm - 6:00 pm. Tickets are $10.

For more information about Operation Nanaimo-Gram or to obtain tickets for the Burger and Beverage social and book signing call 250-755-1270.
 Naimo the Carrier Squirrel

Operation Nanaimo-Gram has a Facebook Group which you are encouraged to join, there you will meet Naimo the Carrier Squirrel. What is a Carrier Squirrel you ask?? You will have to join the group to find out. Search Operation Nanaimo-Gram on Facebook and add your support.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Things On the Net That Makeya' Simle :^)

Interesting Talent, Any Practical Uses?


A Spinning Lesson by Mr. Ignatieff

Talk About 'Spin"

Or Just 'Creative'

Mr. Ignatieff wrote a book titled True Patriot Love and like all books it has a few blurps on the outside jacket which are designed to get you to buy the book.

Since he is the man who would like to be Prime Minister someday, honesty is perhaps a character you would expect him to demonstrate. The following editing of the books blurps give reason to pause and reflect on his honesty.

The blurp on the jacket of his book says: "Plenty of scope for a rich story ....Some wonderful anecdotes, particularly about George P. Grant ... Well written."

In fact the review being quoted from the National Post, when read in it's entirety was far from laudatory. What it said was:

"True Patriot Love offers little that is new on the Grants save some wonderful anecdotes, particularly about George P. Grant," wrote reviewer Robert L. Fraser.

"As an exploration of patriotism, it offers up clichés about modern Canada but little more.True Patriot Love is a well-written disappointment."

For clarity I have highlighted the blurps, taken from the complete review to demonstrate how creative editing (or spinning) can make black appear to be white.

"True Patriot Love offers little that is new on the Grants save some wonderful anecdotes, particularly about George P. Grant," wrote reviewer Robert L. Fraser.
"As an exploration of patriotism, it offers up clichés about modern Canada but little more.True Patriot Love is a well-written disappointment."

They wonder why Canadians don't trust politicians to speak the truth?


Killer Whales Seen At Piper's Lagoon Nanaimo

Transient Pod Of Killer Whales
Stop For Lunch Off Piper's Lagoon

An article in the Daily News reports that a pod of transient killer whales were seen in the waters off Piper's Lagoon on Thursday for a period of about 5 hours.

It is suspected the local seal and sea lion population rang the dinner bell for the transient pod of whales who have a taste for meat.

Two marine biologists were seen in a small boat during the event, which caused some concern for local residents who thought perhaps they were harassing the whales. However, they were photographing the members of the pod and collecting samples of their lunch scraps to see what they were eating.

Anyone who sees killer whales in the local waters are encouraged to call Whale-Watch at 250-756-7253.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Nanaimo City Taxes

Are You Getting Your Money's Worth?

The following comparisons taken from the 2009 City Financial Report I realize are over simplified but nonetheless are worthy of consideration.

The total number of dollars your City Council spent last year was $138,773,559.00, which works out to $3833.00 per household or $1734.00 per person.

Now consider, what did you get for your share?

We have lived in the same 70 year old house in Townsite for the past 12 years and in that time have seen the snow plowed a few times, had one water leak fixed (took half a day) and had our water turned off one time.

There still are no sidewalks in the neighbourhood, there are still open ditches, and generally speaking there has likely not been anything done on this street for decades.

So where did all those tax dollars go?

Nearly $100,000,000.00 to build the convention centre which is costing another $1,000,000.00 per year to run.

$500,000.00 per year to subsidize people's entertainment at the Port Theatre. (By now you would think it would support itself).

$500,000.00 to pay an ex city manager to do nothing for two years.

$200,000.00 per year, for years, paying for a deputy city manager whose job has proven to be redundant.

$3,000,000.00 to Millennium to not build a hotel. (I would have done it for less)

$???,???.?? to tear down the old arena, after putting a new roof on it.

That is just a short list, which takes little time or research to put together, it does not even look at the 'fat' which I am sure independent research would uncover at city hall. Fat, which the current council seems totally unable or unwilling to address, even though it is the biggest single expenditure the taxpayers have in this city.

Parting Thought

What qualifies members of council or city staff to venture into the area of multi million real estate deals anyway? What kind of business savvy do any of these people have?

Beyond supplying water, sewer, roads, sidewalks and a few swimming pools, is it possible that our council and city staff is simply not qualified to be building convention centres and hotels and cruise ship terminals and the like.

To date their record seems to call their competence into question.


Park Concession Applications

City of Nanaimo Accepting Applications
For Westwood Lake Park Concession

The City of Nanaimo is accepting applications to operate a food concession in Westwood Lake Park for the term May 15, 2010 - December 31, 2010.

Applicable fees are $750.00 per season and hydro fees of $42.00 per month.

You can pick up an appliction package from the Parks Yard at 89 Prideaux St. between 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. Further inquiries to 250-755-7515 or email

Application submission deadline is 4:00 pm Tuesday April 27, 2010.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Apr 23 - 25

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 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.

Nanaimo Clippers Hockey use this Nanaimo Info LINK

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.

Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. A. Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. B Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. A Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.


BC Ferries To Offer Spa Services

Tswassen - Swartz Bay Passengers
Get Pampered Mid - May

BC Ferries has announced they will introduce a spa service on the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay ferry by the middle of May.

The service will be available Thursday through Monday on the 7 am, 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm sailings from both Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

Pampering will include chair massage and pedicures and manicures on a first come first serve basis, with prices ranging from $20 - $65 depending on your choice of indulgence.

BC Ferries spokesman said they are testing the new spa service and are looking forward to seeing how customers respond.

Comment: Perhaps if this proves a success, we might see them expand the service to include sailings from Nanaimo as well.


BC Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Retires

Associate Chief Justice

Retires Will Get

$195,000 Pension

An article in today's Vancouver Province reports that the 'Heart' of B.C. high court has retired after serving as a judge for the past 38 years.

He retired on April 15 at the mandatory retirement age of 75 years. B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman described him as being the heart of the court in many ways.

During his career he dealt with most of the high profile criminal cases including the Glen Clark trial, the Air India trial and the Basi-Virk trial.

The annunity (pension) he is to receive represents two thirds of his salary of $292,000 for a total of $195,000.

The full article can be seen using this LINK
Editor's Comments: I am sure this man has served the Province of British Columbia well during his 38 years of service and likely could have made more money in private practice (perhaps); but being paid nearly $200,000 per year in retirement seems just a little rich considering the financial state of the country.

Just how many of these generous pensions can Joe Taxpayer continue to support, as more and more public servants draw down huge pensions, which are not fully funded?
For comparisons sake, this man served on the BC Supreme court for 38 years, and was earning $292,000 per year. Mr. Jerry Berry is being paid nearly that for two years, for doing nothing. Thanks to the local City Council.


Things On the Net That Makeya' Simle :^)

And Basketball Was Invented??


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Win 7 Day Trip To Vancouver and Whistler


Dictators Are/Have Killed Democracy

Another Example Of Why Democracy
Does Not Seem To Be Working

Mr. Ignatieff allowed Liberal MPs to vote according to their conscience on the future of the long-gun registry, it passed second reading with the support of rural and northern Liberal and NDP MPs.

Now, it seems he has had another change of mind (big surprise) and is now going to whip his caucus and require all members to vote against the bill.

This is a private members bill, which has traditionally allowed members to vote their conscience, but for reasons only understood by the 'players' Iggy wants to set that aside this time around.

This is just another example of why democracy is broken, we think we are electing MPs that will reflect the wishes of those who voted for them. In fact, whichever Dictator is running their party will call the shots, regardless of the wishes of the people.

The Liberals are not the only party run by a Dictator, they all work the same way. Actually the REAL Dictators are not even the guys who stand up in Parliament every day, but the 'back room' boys who give the 'players' their marching orders.


Climate Apps Contest Opens


The Apps4ClimateAction contest is now open to submissions for mobile and web applications in five categories, Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap announced today.

“The opening of this contest is a great opportunity for the province to tap into the talent of the tech-savvy software community to help us address a challenge that faces us all,” said Yap. “We’ve seen mobile and web apps change people’s behaviour in a myriad of different ways, and we expect that these apps will help do the same for climate change.”

The contest’s five categories are: best mobile app, best web app, people’s choice, best of B.C. and overall best app. The contest will be open for nearly three months, with the deadline for submissions being July 15, 2010.


It's Time To Be 'Bear Smart" In BC

 Become "Bear Smart"

Following an unusually warm winter, bears are about to leave their dens in search of the nearest food source and Environment Minister Barry Penner is reminding B.C. residents that it is up to them to remove items that can attract bears to their properties. 

“The most effective and natural way to prevent conflicts with bears in urban areas is to put away any food attractants, such as garbage, bird seed, compost and fruit,” said Penner. “The City of Kamloops was the first B.C. community to achieve official Bear Smart status, and I encourage other communities in the province to follow this excellent example and work towards achieving Bear Smart status.”

Designed by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, the Bear Smart Community Program is a voluntary preventative conservation program. The goal of the program is to address the root causes of bear-human conflicts, reduce the risks to human safety and private property, and reduce the number of bears that have to be destroyed each year.


BC Ferries Introduces Biodiesel To It's Fleet

BC Ferries Now Burns B5 Fuel Blend

VICTORIA – BC Ferries is pleased to announce that the fleet is now using 5 per cent, or B5 biodiesel to fuel its vessels, making the company one of the largest consumers of biodiesel in British Columbia.

BC Ferries is now burning a B5 fuel blend in all service areas where the product is available. Thirty-one out of thirty-six ships are using the cleaner-burning fuel. BC Ferries worked with its fuel supplier, Chevron, for over a year before implementing the new product in order to ensure that the safety and reliability of the vessels would not be compromised. The Queen of Alberni, which operates on the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route, was the first vessel to trial B5 biodiesel in September 2009.
“BC Ferries is a leader in the use of ultra low sulphur fuel to reduce emissions,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering and Terminal Construction. “Adopting biofuel helps us further reduce our fleet emissions.” B5 fuel blend is a mix of 5 per cent canola-based biodiesel with 95 per cent low sulphur petroleum diesel. Biodiesel burns cleaner with significantly less unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter in emissions.

Editor's Comment: Does this fuel cost the same per km sailed? Does it save money? What is the actual improvement from an emissions standpoint based on the amount of biodiesel they use? Are there any negative long term maintenance issues with this fuel?