Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adam Dennis Gerz Charged With Arson

 Arson Charges Laid In Howard Ave. Blaze

A 27 year male has been remanded into custody in connection with an arson to a home in the 600 block of  Howard Ave. in Nanaimo early Tuesday morning.

Adam Dennis GERZ ,age 27, of no fixed address , appeared before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge late yesterday afternoon and was remanded into custody on charges of Arson endangering Life and Break and Enter, both Criminal Code charges. His next court appearance is set for October 5th.

GERZ was arrested Tuesday morning by Nanaimo RCMP after a fire broke out shortly after 1:30 AM in a garage of a home occupied by six persons, three of those being children. Only one adult male sustained some smoke inhalation and was briefly hospitalized . The fire destroyed a car parked in the garage along with the garage itself.

The investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.


Jerry Berry . . . We Luv Ya

Many Thanks For The Years
Of Selfless Service to Nanaimo


Who Really Runs Nanaimo? Council or Berry?

If You Said City Council
I want Some Of What You're Smokin'

The continuing saga with ex-city employee Jerry Berry just keeps getting better all the time, that is if you are fond of nightmares or perhaps a dark comedy.

Berry decided to leave his job two years before retirement about this time last year, this was before the results of an independent study were released looking into city staffing.

At the time Mayor Ruttan became the only spokesman on the subject for the city (apparently councilors don't have an opinion), he issued an unbelievable statement as to the circumstances surrounding the more than generous golden handshake given Berry. A statement which clearly demonstrates the utter contempt that politicians have for the average taxpayer.

It went something like this: Mr. Berry did such a fantastic job for the city and his $200,000 a year salary was in no way enough compensation for his tireless efforts that the city simply had to give him over half a million dollars so the poor fellow could take an early retirement. The equivalent of two years salaries, plus benefits so he could tide himself over until his pensions kicked in. You know, those pensions the average taxpayer would die for, but alas they are not working in the public service so they don't get to collect them, they just get to pay for them.

Now it seems, that Berry's lawyers feel he should return to the trough for another 5% raise based on raises that would have been in effect had he stayed on the job, and actually done something to earn his money.


Massive Fisher-Price Toy Recall

Fisher-Price Recalls 11,000,000 
Products In Canada & Us

The much respected children's toy manufacturer is recalling nearly 11,000,000 products in Canada and the US for a variety of safety hazard reasons.

For full details about the products involved in this massive recall visit Canadian Product Recalls using this LINK.

Comment: You have to wonder how such a long time toy maker could take a product through all the research and development, design, manufacturing and marketing stages without these hazards being evident long before they are produced and sold.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Marihuana Grow Op On Beaver Creek Crescent

 Garage Grow Op Leads to Fire

Charges are pending against a home owner after a fire that broke out in his garage has been attributed to an illegal marihuana grow operation.

Fire crews and RCMP responded to the 2600 block of Beaver Creek Crescent shortly before 6 AM today for a fully engulfed garage attached to a single family dwelling. A neighbor called 911 after seeing flames shooting from the nearby garage. The fire quickly spread to an adjacent shed then to a 100 foot tree.

The home was occupied by a 46 year old male, his 22 year old son and a friend of the son’s .None of the three were injured in anyway. After battling the blaze for several hours , officers and fire inspectors were able to enter the home and determine that the fire originated in the garage where the remnants of a 150 marihuana grow was located.

Sufficient evidence was also obtained to support charges against the 46 year home owner for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act(CDSA) and Cultivation ,also under the CDSA..The male was not arrested at the time and the investigation is continuing .

Of note in the investigation was the discovery of a baby crib in one of the rooms of the home. A child was not present in the home but it appeared a child had previously slept in the crib. Officers will be following up with the Ministry of Children and Family Development(MCFD) with their findings.

Marihuana grow operations are dangerous and threaten the safety of our communities. If you have information on this illegal activity, call your local RCMP Detachment or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to


Did You Lose Your Rings?

Three rings have been turned into the Nanaimo RCMP and the public’s assistance is being sought to have them returned to their lawful owner.

On September 21 the rings were found in the parking lot of a large north end retail outlet. They were then turned over to the Nanaimo RCMP. There are three bands in total and they are welded together. The rings are believed to be made of white gold and two of the bands have small diamonds within the band.

“The rings are of considerable value and given where they were located, may have simply fallen out of a vehicle. Im sure some one has been frantically looking for them so hopefully they see this release and call our office” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP. If anyone has information on the owner of the rings , they are asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.


Classic Albums Live at Port Theatre

 ABBEY ROAD: Classic Albums Live

Thursday, September 30th   7:30 pm

“We want people to be sent back to that time when they were in their basements with the album open in front of them spinnin’ on a turntable, and we just want to trigger that memory – that whole feeling” ~ Craig Martin

Craig Martin, founder of Classic Albums Live project,was bitten by the music bug early on. Growing up in Scarborough, Toronto, he started his first band in the second grade. Infatuated with The Beatles, he got his hands on a copy of the Beatles’ Help record.

Classic Albums Live faithfully recreates the entire album live – note for note, cut for cut – in all its glory. The high level of musicianship required to recreate Abbey Road led Mr. Martin to bring together a bandof hand-picked professional musicians. Classic Albums Live will do “whatever it takes to present the shows to the audience…   youhave to know the album like it’s part of your DNA. We crawl inside the record.” “We don’t dress up,” Martin emphasizes. “The wigs, the costumes – it gets in the way of the music.”


Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile

All That's Missing Is His Rubber Duckie ....


Sunny Skies Return To Nanaimo

Great Weather Comin' Our Way

The cloudy skies and liquid sunshine of the last few days is a gentle reminder of things to come. However, in the meantime we will be experiencing what some might call an Indian Summer over the next few days. If the weatherman has it right, it should hold through to the weekend.

In addition to getting out an enjoying our hectares and hectares of fantastic parks and miles and miles of oceanfront walkways and parks, here are a few other things to do to take advantage of the weather:
  • Clean up the flower beds, the cooler weather and rain have meant the end of some annuals for this year.
  • Cut the grass which has sprung to life with the recent showers. Trim the grass around the edges also.
  • If you burn wood, get someone to clean your chimney and check it for safe operation this year.
  • Get your furnace 'tuned up' for another heating season, don't leave it until the last minute like everyone else.
  • Clean up any windfalls in the yard from your fruit trees.
  • Wash and clean the car.
  • Check your eves and gutters to make sure they are clear for another season of liquid sunshine.
  • Paint any woodwork around your house that needs protection from the fall/winter Nanaimo weather.
  • Reseal and caulk around your doors and windows to help keep the heat in and your heating bills down this winter.
  • Have your car checked for winter now and beat the rush later. Do you have snow tires from last year? Don't put them on yet, but don't leave it until the first snowfall either.
Now, if there is nothing left on the 'to do' list, for heaven's sake get out and enjoy the great advantages of living in such a wonderful part of the world.


The Truth Behind The Gun Registry In Canada

Why ALL Baby Boomers Should Fear Guns!

Contrary to what the various spin doctors would have you believe about the important role the gun registry plays in keeping Canada safer from the bad guys, there is an underlying reason for the fervor of support for the registry and all forms of gun control.

The police departments would welcome any data base which could make their jobs a bit easier when it comes to tracing firearms, even though many long time officers claim it makes no difference to how they 'do business'. An officer does not leave his guns in the car because the registry indicates there are no weapons present.

It has little to do with actually reducing the number of homicides, given that about 70% of all murders are NOT committed with a gun of any kind. Knives and baseball bats are quite effective and more often the weapon of choice by those capable of murder.

There is a whole lot of misinformation being spun about the need for the gun registry and how it will help our police officers prevent crime. It has nothing to do with reducing domestic homicide and certainly has no impact on the REAL bad guys who would never think about trying to register a gun, as they know they would never be given a license in the first place.

No, the REAL reason behind the push by senior governments to make possession of firearms very difficult, and the real reason they want to know where ALL the guns are locked up in all those gun safes by the law abiding citizenry ... is to keep them out of the hands of the next generation.

You see, far sighted leaders KNOW that when the next generation is going to have to pick up the tab for our drunken spending, and pick up the ever burgeoning tab for our gold plated pensions and health care, the only sane, sensible option that will be irresistibly attractive, is to get their hands on those guns and exterminate all of us self centered, self absorbed Baby Boomers!

Setting us adrift on the ice flows will no longer be an option as global warming will have completely destroyed the ice caps by then leaving the next generation with only one viable option to cleaning up OUR mess. You're damn right we want to keep the guns locked up!


Nanaimo City Hall Blog or Frank Murphy

Moderator's Agenda Questionable?

The local blogosphere had a new entrant a few months back with the appearance of Nanaimo City Hall Blog, moderated by local Frank Murphy. It is not so much new, as a remake of Frank's old blog titled Frank Murphy.

The blog, offers those interested in local civic affairs a soap box from which to express their opinion which some feel is stifled by the local press. Being very interested in local civic matters and interested in the concept that the alternative media could fill a worthwhile communications void in the local arena, I signed on as a contributor to the site. During the past few months I contributed a few articles, which I had published on Nanaimo Info Blog and they seemed to generate some discussion.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Invasion Victims Uncooperative

Investigators are being met with uncooperative victims after a home invasion was reported in the 100 block of Victoria Rd late last night.

Officers attended to the residence just before midnight after one of the tenants reported two males, dressed in black, wearing ski masks, burst into their home and bear sprayed the six tenants. The two suspects took a laptop computer then fled in a waiting vehicle.

The two males were described as being between 5 ft 8- 5 ft 10 wearing ski masks and black fleece jackets. BC Ambulance attended and provided treatment to the six adults  for the effects of the bear spray. None of the six agreed to provide statements to police and offered no explanation why their home would be targeted.

“ Our officers are seeing these types of incidents on a more frequent basis. Often persons whose safety has been compromised call 911 but for whatever reason are reluctant to work with our investigators to find out who is responsible . The end result is the file often gets concluded. In such cases, it does make us question what would cause their home to be targeted in the first place” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.You can also go online at


Early Morning Garage Fire Leads To Arrest

Howard Ave. Fire Male Suspect Arrested
Police Ask For Public Assistance

Nanaimo RCMP have made an arrest in connection with an early morning blaze to a home located in the 600 block of Howard Ave.

Police and Nanaimo Fire and Rescue were called out to the home shortly after 1:30 AM this morning . Fire crews were able to contain the blaze to the garage and no structural damage occurred to the remainder of the home. A car parked in the garage was destroyed. The scene was secured for the evening and this morning fire investigators returned along with RCMP investigators to examine the damage and search for any forensic evidence .

The home was occupied by six persons at the time, three children, ages 5, 6,and 14 and three adults. One adult male received minor smoke inhalation and was taken to local hospital for treatment and later released.

“ Early this morning a 27 year old male, not connected to the home, was arrested at a Pine St residence and charges of arson are being recommended . Although an arrest has been made our investigation is far from over. If anyone saw anything suspicious in and around the home prior to 1:30 AM, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345" said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

If you have information on this crime and you don’t wish to provide your name, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to .


Nanaimo Theatre Group Presentation

adapted by Steve Martin
Sept 30th to Oct. 16th, 2010
Matinee - Oct. 3rd, 2010

Show Times: 8:00pm and Mat: 2:00pm

Director: Eleanor Blakeborough
By permission of Samuel French

Comic genius Steve Martin, concocted this hilarious adaptation, set in Europe in 1910, about a housewife who becomes an overnight celebrity when she accidentally loses her underpants in public. 

Chaos follows in this witty comedy that explores fidelity, sexuality and hidden desire. This cheeky satire exposes the bewildering misfortune of love ... and other unmentionables.


What Is New At City Hall?

Is Mr. Berry Entitled To A Raise??

Just when you thought the snouts at the trough would have had there fill, it just keeps getting more nauseating all the time.

Last year as you will recall, amid much secrecy at city hall the ex-city manager decided to take an early retirement, before the results of an external study were made known which apparently indicated there was really no need for an assistant manager. Seems that because of a contract covering non-union workers at city hall ( I presume drafted or at least directed by Mr. Berry himself) he was entitled to be paid one month for every year of service just because he wanted to quit two years early, but did not want to forgo being paid.  Nice gig if you can get it!

At the time this iron clad contract was being crafted by Mr. Berry and legal staff under his direction, at least four current councilors (Sherry, Unger, Holdom and McNabb) in concert with ex-mayor Korpan thought the arguably excessive salaries and benefits were not sufficient reward for the years of service Mr. Berry and others have put in, selflessly serving their community. After all, why would you consider that salaries in the $200,000 a year range, car benefits, gold plated medical plans and pension plans be enough reward for all the fine work done on behalf of the local citizens?

Indeed, it seems reasonable that the taxpayers of Nanaimo should reward Mr. Berry with a meager half million dollars considering all the fine oversight he provided while working for the city. Arranging contracts with companies who seemingly have no real assets (Suro, Millennium etc.) and then giving them $3,000,000 to not build a hotel downtown is a shining example of the competence of this outstanding public servant. Not to forget all the stellar management skills demonstrated seeing a convention centre project which went from a $12 million idea, to a $52 million contract to a final product for only $72 million, and all done without competitive bids, no less! Fantastic! It is amazing Nanaimo was able to hold onto this world class city manager who I am sure had job offers from far and wide.

 So, what do you think? Should Mr. Berry be rewarded with another 1.5% raise for his fine efforts on your behalf? Or should he be required to forfeit his half million dollars of pork and return it to the taxpayers?

Remember at least four members on council are the same ones who thought this was a good deal in the first place. When is the next civic election? Not soon enough you say??


Security Features Of Canadian Money

Click Images To Enlarge

Counterfeit money has shown up in Parksville recently, which means Nanaimo could see some of the funny money as well. Canadian currency has many security features built into it to thwart counterfeiters which are aided by today's digital software and high resolution printers.
All new series Canadian bills have the above security features built into them which cannot be duplicated with a jet or laser printer no matter how good it happens to be. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these features to help yourself avoid taking fake bills. Remember no one reimburses you if you get stuck with a phony bill.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Rolling Stones Tribute At Port Theatre

 SATISFACTION : Rolling Stones Tribute
Sept. 27th 7:30 pm Port Theatre

"A spot on portrayal of The Rolling Stones" - Washington Post

Satisfaction is the international touring tribute show dedicated to the "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band". This glamourous show has been touring since 2001 with over 1500 performance dates to its credit. It is the only full time touring show of it's kind in the world. This highly acclaimed production showcases the most authentic cast and costuming audiences have ever witnessed. The likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and supporting cast bring a colorful performance to over 45 years of classic hits.
In 2008 they were honored to be contacted by Paramount Pictures and the IMAX Corporation to assist in promotion of the new Martin Scorsese produced documentary film "Shine a Light".

Tickets $35


Food Waste Collection Information Open House

Open House Sept. 28 & 30

If you are on City 'E' or 'F' garbage collection routes (look on your add a day calendar for route information) you will be receiving your green bin this month and food waste collection on your route will start Oct. 11th.

To learn more about the program and what changes are being made in the collection of garbage plan to attend one of the two open houses scheduled for next week.

Open houses will be at Wellington Hall, 3922 Corunna Ave. Tues. Sept. 28 and at Beban Park Lounge, 2300 Bowen Rd. on Thurs. Sept. 30. Both events will be open from 2:00pm - 5:00pm and from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

There will be displays and people available to answer all your quesitions and address your concerns.

For more information on the Green Bin Program visit or the City website at for information specific to Nanaimo households.


Rivers Day 2010 In Bowen Park

Bowen Park on Sunday was the location of this years Rivers Day and the weather was much more cooperative than on Saturday.There were several information booths designed to educate young and old about the vital role watersheds and river systems play in the scheme of things.
The Fish and Game Club was a popular booth providing visitors with helpful information.
The Nanaimo River Hatchery display reminded visitors of the important role they have played over the years enhancing Salmon stocks in the Nanaimo River. Their efforts are responsible for over 3,000,000 Salmon of varied species being released into the rivers and oceans. Of approximately 2500 eggs spawned, perhaps 2 adult salmon will return to spawn after their hazard filled life in the wild.
The Island Waters Fly Fishing Society was on hand with fly tying displays and a general sharing of their love of the sport. In addition to passing on information to current fishermen they were encouraging people to try the sport pointing out you are never too young, nor too old to appreciate the joys of fly fishing.

Friends of the Nanaimo River/Nanaimo Watershed Coalition were on hand with an informative model of the watersheds in mid-Vancouver Island. BC Hydro had an information booth highlighting the importance of energy conservation.

Nanaimo Fish Hatchery's booth outlined the work they do and were telling guests that now is a good time to visit the hatchery to see some of the returning adult salmon. Oceans & Fisheries were on hand to answer all your questions about local enhancement programs.

There were also guided walks along the Millstone Channel with Mel Shang from DFO . The side channel will see coho make it up around the falls this year and into Westwood and Brannen Lakes for the first time without taking a truck ride.

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange was on hand with an interesting model of a typical watershed including city streets and roadways. Children would add water to 'lakes' and 'streams' and then see how all the water sooner or later wound up in the ocean.

Sandy's Ukrainian Kitchen was on hand to handle the crowd's munchies, yours truly just can't pass up their fresh cut fries, done to crisp perfection.


Demolition Progresses At Port Place Mall

Mall Being Demolished
From the Inside Out

Visitors to Port Place Mall downtown (Harbour Park Mall for the old timers) will see some evidence of the demolition that is happening to the inside of the old mall.

Eventually this will all be removed to make way for the roadway which will run right through where the old mall sat. Thrifty's Food and London Drugs will remain in their present locations when the renovation is complete, but they will be pretty much all that remains of the old mall.

Times, they are a  changing and progress (?) or time waits for no man. It seems like only yesterday that all of Nanaimo headed down to Harbour Park Mall on a Saturday to take advantage of the bargains being offered by Sears who used to be the main store in the mall.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Poor Visibility Contributes To Accident

Dark Clothing No Light Contribute To Accident
Wearing A Helmet Reduces Injury

A bike helmet is being credited with saving a young teenager from serious injury after he collided with a taxi cab Thursday evening.

At approximately 9:30 PM, BC Ambulance and police were called to Mac’s Convenience store, located at the intersection of Norwell Drive and Departure Bay Rd for a report of a collision between a cyclist and a yellow cab.


Mothers Unite Event Cancelled

Fall Edition CANCELLED

Due to ongoing construction at Beban Park Social Centre this popular event is being cancelled. It was to have been held on Saturday Oct. 2 at the Social Centre.

In a press release Brian Sugiyama, recreation coordinator for the city said they understood what a disappointment this is for all involved and that the decision to cancel was not easy to make. The city is also committed to accommodating people that have booked tables at the June event. The next Mothers Day event  is scheduled for Sat. June 18 2011.

Mr. Sugiyama said the city simply did not have the room to accommodate the event elsewhere.

Comment: Too bad, there is not a great big building sitting downtown not being over utilized!


BC Cracks Down On Excess Speed

8 Nanaimo Vehicles Impounded 
For Excessive Speed

Nanaimo RCMP Municipal Traffic Services have been hard at work making our streets safer.
With the new legislation in effect as of Monday, Nanaimo RCMP have been enforcing speeding laws on the highways.  Over the past three days eight vehicles have been impounded for excessive speeding.  Excessive speed is 41 km/hr or more above the posted speed limit.

Anyone caught excessively speeding will be issued a violation ticket with a fine of $368 to $483 and the vehicle will be impounded for seven days.  Two vehicles were stopped on the Trans Canada Highway at the south end of Nanaimo yesterday and both vehicles were impounded.  The faster of the two was going 174 km/hr in a marked 90 km/hr zone.

Excessive Speeding Sanctions

These also apply to street racers, excessive tailgating and reckless driving actions, such as wheelies and doughnuts:
  • First offence: seven-day vehicle impoundment.
  • Second offence within two years: 30-day impoundment.
  • Third and subsequent offences within two years: 60-day impoundment.
Impoundment is in addition to existing penalties, which include: 
  •  A fine of $368 to $483, depending on the degree of the excessive speed.  
  • Three penalty points on a driver’s licence.  
  • An ICBC driver-risk premium of $320 per year for three years, over and above Autoplan insurance premiums.
Excessive SpeedingThe Motor Vehicle Act defines excessive speed as driving at a speed greater than 40 km/h over the speed limit. It is often a death sentence for everyone involved – the driver, their passengers and other innocent road-users. About 10,000 tickets are issued by police annually for excessive speeding.


Things To Do In Nanaimo Sept. 24 - 26

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.


Nearly 25% of Canadians Are Obese

Click Image To Enlarge
Is Obesity The Next Health Crisis
Or Is It Already a Crisis?

According to a report published Sept. 23 nearly 25% of Canadians are obese (measured as a body mass index of 30 or more). While the US and Mexico captured first and second place, Canada is pretty much in a tie for third place with New Zealand, Australia and Britain.

Sooner or later our society will have to pay the price for being fat 'n sassy (maybe not so sassy) as health care spending on an obese person is 25% more than for someone of average weight.

Comment: (tongue firmly in cheek) Could be all those people who quit smoking for their health took up chocolate bars and donuts instead.


Interesting Comment

The following appeared as a letter to the Editor in Thursday's Daily News over the signature of Blake McGuffie. Mr. McGuffie makes an interesting point.

When listening to different spokesmen, it is never about the money, yet it does seem that money is what always solves the problem.

What do you think? You can leave a comment by using the link at the bottom of this post.

Letter To Editor Nanaimo Daily News

Snuneymuxw benefited from estuary industry
Re: 'Complaints are justified' (Daily News, Sept. 20)

While I have considerable sympathy with the Snuneymuxw First Nation in their frustration in dealing with the Nanaimo Port Authority, what seems to be missing in your stories is the fact that the SFN have been collecting lease fees for their riparian rights in the Nanaimo River Estuary from all of the log booming that is and was taking place.
In other words, I believe they have been profiting from the issues for which they are complaining.

Blake McGuffie


My Fair Lady at Port Theatre

Click Image To Enlarge

This 1956 musical, winner of 11 Tony awards, 5 Olivier Awards, and at least 14 other awards was a smash hit when it opened and set what was then the record for the longest run of any major musical theatre production in history. With a Little Bit of Luck, you can get all your friends On the Street Where you Live to go, thereby buying tickets at reduced prices! Wouldn't it be Loverly?
This very talented cast of 24 under the direction of Arlene Blundell can't do Without You!
Music will be provided by Sharon Wishart and Rie Okamura on two grand pianos on stage with Michael Wright on percussion.

For more information visit the Port Theatre's website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


VI Raiders vs Kamloops Broncos Saturday 1:00 PM Caledonia Park

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B.C.'s WOOD FIRST Initiative Gets Traction


Nearly 70 midrise wood-frame buildings are either under construction or consideration across British Columbia, demonstrating growing support for the Province’s Wood First Initiative, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced as part of National Forest Week.

“Thanks to Wood First and changes to the B.C. Building Code, we’re proving that B.C. is a leader in wood design, knowledge and technology,” said Bell. “There are currently 44 midrise projects, or 68 individual buildings in the works, helping to spur local economies and demonstrate our expertise to the world.”

One example is the Library Square development in Kamloops. Framing of the six-storey, commercial-use, wood-frame building was recently completed by Tri City Contracting (BC) Ltd. Originally the project included a steel frame but was redesigned  to realize cost savings following changes to the BC Building Code in 2009 that allow for six-storey, wood-frame construction.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cabs Won't Be Waiting At Departure Bay Ferry Terminal

Cabs Can't Pick Up Fares Inside Terminal

If you are expecting to jump into a cab when you leave the BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal, you will be disappointed. The two local cab companies which had been servicing the ferry terminal are no longer able to pick up passengers inside the terminal. They will be able to drop off passengers inside the terminal, but will no longer be allowed to wait by the terminal to meet arrivals nor are they allowed onto Ferry property to pick up passengers without paying a fee.

The cab companies will be parked outside the terminal on Zorkin Rd. meaning anyone wishing to catch a cab will have to make their way from the terminal across the parking lot to Zorkin Road.

This has come about as the Ferry Corporation and the taxi companies could not agree on an acceptable fee for the taxis to pay for the privilege of providing pick up service inside the terminal parking area. BC Ferries is said to want $18,000 a year from the two companies for the right to pick up passengers.

The taxi companies find the fees demanded by the Ferry Corporation simply more than they can absorb and any increase in fares would have to be approved by the Province and would be an across the board rate increase and not simply applied to ferry customers. 

Spokesman for both cab companies, Mr. Reeves said they had offered the corporation $7200 annually but the corporation has held fast to their desired fee of $18,000 for both companies.

One of the inequities in the Ferries position as seen by Mr. Reeves is the comparison to what cabs are paying at the Tsawwassen Terminal where cab fares can be in the $50 range, whereas fares from the Nanaimo Terminal are in the $10 - $12 range.


Bear Sighted In Buttertubs Marsh

The local daily reports a black bear sighting in Buttertubs Marsh on Tuesday evening around 8:00 pm.

This is the time of year for bears to come down from higher ground in search of spawning salmon to fatten up for winter.

Area residents are reminded to make sure their garbage is bear proof and that fruit trees are kept picked and windfalls kept cleaned up. Both items mean 'free food' for the local bruins.

Should you encounter a bear in the wild, or your own backyard there are a few things you need to remember. 

You should talk in a loud voice and back away slowly being sure not to turn or run. In most cases bears prefer to leave when they realize a person is in the area. There are of course exceptions to that rule.


Nanaimo Spends $10,000 Putting Food On The Table

Local Groups Benefit 
From Community Service Grants

City Council approved recommendations that saw three local groups receive funding to help with their work of feeding Nanaimo's needy.

Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society received $2,000 and had requested $3,000. Loaves and Fishes Food Bank received the requested $4,000 and the Nanaimo 7-10 Club also received their requested amount of $4,000.

According to their website the Nanaimo Community Kitchen's purpose is:

A community kitchen is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to cook healthy, nutritious, meals. From recipe selection, to shopping, cooking, and clean-up, everyone participates. Within the groups, participants find fun, friendships, and the tools to stretch heir food dollars. The Quantity of food that is prepared is divided among group members to take home. You can visit their website using this LINK.

According to their website the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank's purpose is:

Our Mission Statement: To provide God’s unconditional love as we nourish the body and soul in a safe, friendly atmosphere.
Our Food Program helps feed the hungry of Nanaimo, providing survival rations consisting of a combination of five to seven non-perishable items selected to meet the basic nutritional guidelines.  Since we opened our doors, the people of Nanaimo, through their churches, businesses, service clubs and individually as donors and volunteers, have generously contributed time, energy, financial support, donations and vision to help feed those in need. Because of this help, we were able to provide 43,855 food bags in 2009 to those in need. You can visit their website using this LINK.

According to their website the Nanaimo 7 - 10 Club's purpose is:


The Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society was started in 1985 by a group of 12 people from differing faith backgrounds who came together to feed hungry children in the city. Since then, the 7-10 Club has served more than one million meals, not only to children, but also to anyone in need.

The 7-10 Club Meal Program provides a hot nutritious breakfast, homemade soup, plus a brown bag lunch to go that is served by community volunteers to those in need during the hours of 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. All meals are offered at no charge. You can visit their website by using this LINK.

Comment: Kudos to city council for spending tax dollars on a very basic need. Whether that responsibility should fall to municipal government is an argument for another day. This week the city spent $10,000 helping some people keep body and soul together, and it seems like only last week they spent $40,000 on a bike path to nowhere. Go figure!


Michaels Stores Recall 20" Square Glass Vase

Vase Can Break Easily

Michaels Stores is recalling over 200,000 vases that are 20" or 51cm tall bearing UPC 037916889603 which have been sold in Canada and the US from Jly 2006 to March 2010. This follows 9 reports of lacerations between the thumb and forefinger as the glass in the middle of the vase is too thin and can easily break.

For full details on this and other product recalls visit Canadian Product Recalls.


ICBC Optional Insurance Premiums Drop 3%

ICBC has announced an average reduction of three per cent in optional insurance premiums, effective November 1, 2010. 

“In addition to the 2.4 per cent reduction to our basic insurance rates announced last month, we are also reducing our optional premiums by an average of three per cent, generating combined savings of $80 million for our customers,” said Jon Schubert, ICBC’s president and CEO. “Our customers’ smart driving decisions and our multi-million dollar investments in road safety and auto crime prevention have had a significant and positive impact.” 

Rates are mainly driven by claims costs, and fewer crashes have helped us to control these costs and make a number of rate reductions over the last few years.

Today’s changes mean ICBC’s optional insurance premiums have gone down by more than 20 per cent over the past six years.

In addition to our customers’ smart driving decisions, ICBC’s annual investment in road safety and auto crime prevention has contributed to these savings. ICBC has also been increasing its investment in enhanced traffic enforcement, which supports dedicated police enforcement of traffic safety across British Columbia
“This is the third year in a row that our customers’ combined insurance rates have gone down,” said Schubert. “At a time when the price of everything seems to be going up, ICBC’s insurance rates are once again coming down.” 

The reduction in basic rates and the adjustments to various coverage options take effect on November 1.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Northern Lights Live On The Internet

The Canadian Space Agency in collaboration with the University of Calgary, the City of Yellowknife and Astonomy North have begun live broadcasting of the Northern Lights.

The website includes live streaming pictures of the lights as well as still photos and movies from previous nights.

To see the dance of the Norhtern Lights use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Green Bin Open House In Nanaimo

Open House Sept. 28 & 30

If you are on City 'E' or 'F' garbage collection routes you will be receiving your green bin this month and food waste collection on your route will start Oct. 11th.

To learn more about the program and what changes are being made in the collection of garbage plan to attend one of the two open houses scheduled for next week.

Open houses will be at Wellington Hall, 3922 Corunna Ave. Tues. Sept. 28 and at Beban Park Lounge, 2300 Bowen Rd. on Thurs. Sept. 30. Both events will be open from 2:00pm - 5:00pm and from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

There will be displays and people available to answer all your quesitions and address your concerns.

For more information on the Green Bin Program visit or the City website at for information specific to Nanaimo households.


City Bylaw To Collect From Wireless Services Providers

The E9-1-1 Call Answer Levy (CAL) Bylaw has passed through three readings at the City of Nanaimo Council meeting and will be moving forward to its final reading for consideration on October 4th, 2010. Essentially the CAL bylaw will obtain the participation of Wireless Services Providers (WSPs) to assist with the funding of 9-1-1 services by ensuring a User Pay System. The CVRD and RDN, who are partners in the 9-1-1 Operating System will be considering the same Bylaw in their jurisdiction.

The CAL is not an additional tax. The CAL bylaw allows for a ‘universal’ levy/rate covering the full cost of 911 operations by including WSPs thereby reducing the annual property tax levy for 911 services by approximately $500,000. The impact on the homeowner with a landline and cell phone will be zero and those without a cell phone will experience some savings as a result of the CAL.

Comment: It sounds like a good and fair idea, however, if you think the phone company is going to cough up $500,000 without a fight, I've got some more swamp land for sale. How much money does the city have in reserve to fight the legal battle to enforce this bylaw? How would they enforce it anyway??


Nanaimo Freshwater Fishing Improves

Fish Restocking Program Begins
In Nanaimo Area Lakes

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. has started it's fall release program in Nanaimo area freshwater lakes.

There were approximately 4,000 fish released in Westwood Lake and  the Coliery Dams lakes while Green and Divers Lake are scheduled for restocking in the next few days.

The fall restocking program for Nanaimo area is planned to see 5,000 catchable rainbow trout released in the Coliery #1,2 and 3 areas. Diver Lake is to get 1500 catchable rainbow, Long Lake gets 2,000 catchable rainbow, Westwood to get 3500 catchable rainbow trout also.

On Vancouver Island fish stocking takes place four times per year with catchable rainbow releases in early March, mid May, mid Sept. and late October.

For more fishing information regards licensing etc. visit this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Suspicious Teen Arrested Near Pleasant Valley School Charged With Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Nanaimo RCMP members were called to the Pleasant Valley school this morning at around 8:15am for the report of a suspicious male on the school grounds with a folding knife. Students on the grounds had encountered this male and quickly reported it to school staff who promptly called police. A 13 year old teenager matching the description was apprehended by police in the parking lot of the Real Canadian Superstore on Metral Drive. A search of the male at the scene resulted in police finding a concealed knife.

Investigation into this incident revealed that this young male did not threaten anyone with the knife, nor was it ever displayed in a threatening manner. The teen showed the knife to several students as he took a short cut through the school grounds. Nanaimo RCMP are commending the students and staff of Pleasant Valley School for identifying the seriousness of this situation, and quickly advising police. As a result of their quick actions, the young man was apprehended minutes later without incident.

A 13 year old Nanaimo youth is facing a charge of Carrying a Concealed Weapon. Police and School District 68 officials are working in partnership to address this situation and to ensure the ongoing safety of District 68 children.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to remind all students that the School District 68 has very strict rules about having weapons of any kind on the school grounds, and that folding knives are banned. Any such call to police from one of our schools regarding weapons will elicit an immediate response from RCMP.”, said Cst Sue Phillips, School Liaison Officer with Nanaimo RCMP Detachment.


Nanaimo Rivers Day 2010

Click On Image To Enlarge


Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile

"Just Take A Little Off The Top"


Ron Cantelon Makes Zalm's 'Hit List'

Fight HST Group Takes It Up A Notch

Fight HST organizer and former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm is encouraging individual ridings to sign up volunteers so they can "vote their MLA off the island' in a recall campaign adopting a game show theme.

As a supporter of the HST MLA for Parksville-Qualicum Ron Cantelon is on Zalm's hit parade as one of the MLA's that needs to be recalled.

You can read more in today's Province by using this LINK.

Comment: If Mr. Cantelon were recalled and therefore lost his job, I am sure he would  be welcome once again in local civil politics given his reputation for supporting the Port Theatre, and also the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.


Heavy Industry 'Pushing Back' In BC

How Much Freight Can Average Taxpayer Pay?

One of the things discussed at yesterdays city council meeting was regards the problems some municipalities are facing as a result of industry either closing or in some cases refusing to pay their full tax bill.
An example given were our friends in Port Alberni where the residential taxes went up 25% to cover the loss of taxes no longer coming from industry.
The problem would not be as acute in Nanaimo as approximately 4% of total taxes are paid by industry. There is the desire provincially to reduce the ratio of taxes paid by industry when compared with residential taxes. In this case Nanaimo is ahead of some other municipalities as we had already started to reduce the amount of taxes industry is paying.
The net result regardless of how you want to slice it, is there will be a continuing increasing burden of taxes being shifted to the residential taxpayers in our cities as industry pushes for lower taxes, or simply close shop and move elsewhere.
In Nanaimo there is a relatively small industrial tax base, however a large percentage of city taxes are paid by the commercial or business sector. This fact was pointed out at yesterday's city council meeting.
The point which was not made, was the fact that commercial taxpayers don't actually pay the taxes, rather they collect their taxes from their customers, which of course is once again the average taxpayer.
So you could argue that there is really only ONE taxpayer in the province. Perhaps they will come to the same place as industry has, in that they will simply pay what taxes they think is fair, and take the city to court to lower the bill.
Provincially, there is already the massive shift of taxes from business to the individual taxpayer with the implementation of the HST. Again, the voice of industry and business is being heard in Victoria. It is too bad the voice of the average taxpayer is not being heard.
The solution which seems to escape ALL levels of government is to simply QUIT spending money we don't have to spend.
Is it time for a tax revolt in this country? Not likely, after all we are Canadian!


Poodle Stolen Police Need Assistance

On Friday Sept 17, a man had been looking after his friend’s poodle in the 800 block of Bruce Ave. At approximately 6:00 pm. he observed an unknown male enter his yard and call the dog to him. The suspect then took the dog and put it into his newer model, red, 4 door car. The poodle answers to the name Mitzy and is described as a black standard poodle, short haired, well looked after and is 12 yrs old.

The suspect is described as caucasian male , 5'10', heavier set, and balding.
Anyone having information on this crime is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.