Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cathedral Grove Is Still A Wonder

When Was The Last Time You Visited?

The grove of huge trees on the way to Port Alberni has always been an attraction for visitors of all ages and yesterday was no exception. Even though it was Friday there was a never ending stream of cars coming and going from this popular attraction. From the languages overheard many of the visitors to the park this day were either from Europe or Asia, with very few 'locals' being evident.

When I first moved here 40 years ago it was one of the first sites I was introduced to and I can honestly say, the place still has the same sense of awe it held the first time I walked through the grove.

It is truly like entering a majestic cathedral, in fact it surpasses any I have seen for a sheer sense of the touch of the divine. There is an almost immediate desire to lower your voice, if you choose to speak at all, and even though there were hundreds of people coming and going you never lost the sense of peace and calm that permeates the atmosphere.

When was the last time you stopped by for a walk in the grove? Or are you like me, and after a time seem to just pass by all these beautiful wonders British Columbia has to offer in our rush to run here and there doing more 'important' things?

When I first moved to British Columbia in 1967, the common greeting from the locals was: "Welcome To God's Country". Sadly, that seems to be a phrase no longer in vogue as we seem to ever increasingly loose our sense of the Divine as we hurry and scurry here and there.

Sometimes, it is really good, to just STOP, find a place of solitude and reflect on all the natural wonder and beauty that exists in supernatural British Columbia. No, that is not a catchy ad slogan.


Nanaimo Water Treatment Plant Open House

 Alternative Approval Process
for Water Treatment Plant

The public is invited to attend an Open House about the Alternative Approval Process seeking approval for the bylaw to borrow $22.5 million to complete the Water Treatment Plant project.

City staff will be present to discuss the Alternative Approval Process, and to present the latest information on the Water Treatment Plant.

The Water Treatment Plant Open House will take place: 
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 from 3pm to 7pm 
Bowen Park Activity Centre, 500 Bowen Road


Brooks Landing ATM Robbery

Woman Robbed At Royal Bank ATM

On Thursday evening around 10:00 pm a ski masked man robbed a 60 year old woman who had just withdrawn funds from the Royal Bank ATM.

The man brandished what looked like a metal object and made his escape in a "squarish" beige mini van heading north on Highland Blvd.

He was described as wearing a blue ski mask and blue windbreaker, the woman was shaken but not hurt in the robbery.

Anyone with information should call the RCMP at 250-754-2345.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Celebrate our many blessings on B.C. day

VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark made the following statement in recognition of B.C. Day, Monday, August 1.

“B.C. Day is a time to celebrate all of the things that are most important in our lives - the friends, families and neighbours who mean so much to us, the many blessings and privileges that we enjoy and the very special nature of this place that we call home. It is also a time to consider how we can continue to strengthen the future for our children and our communities.

“As British Columbians, we are fortunate to enjoy multiculturalism, which enriches us all. People from across the world have immigrated to B.C. and along with our First Nations, have worked hard to build a strong and vibrant province in an embrace of cross-cultural acceptance. This has made B.C. a shining beacon throughout the world, and it reflects who we are as a province.

“In 1858 Queen Victoria named a rough and lonely outpost of her empire ‘British Columbia’. Today we reflect on those humble beginnings and the impressive record of achievement that created the province we know today. 

“Ours is a province of promise and opportunity where we live together in mutual respect and inclusiveness. We enjoy peace, security and freedom, and a healthy environment of unparalleled natural beauty.  None of these things can be taken for granted. They are privileges that we must protect and celebrate.

“I encourage you to enjoy time with family and participate in some of the many festivals and events taking place across B.C. this weekend. On behalf of the government of British Columbia, I extend my best wishes for a safe and fun B.C. Day.”


Giant Car Show In Parksville

22nd Annual Oceanside Overdrive Show and Shine
Sunday July 31 In Parksville BC

Registration Starts at 8:00 pm and judging gets underway at 11:00 am. This is the largest Open Car Show on Vancouver Island. If you want more information visit their website HERE.


Brent Stephen Martin Wanted

Canada Wide Warrant Issued

UPDATE: Apprehended & In Custody
RCMP have issued a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of Brent Stephen Martin, who failed to return to the Nicol Street New Hope Centre on Wednesday night where he has been residing for six months.

He served three-and-a-half years of an eight year manslaughter sentence for killing a man in a fight in Victoria before being granted day parole in early 2011.

Martin is described as non-white, five-foot-seven and 150 pounds. You are warned not to approach Martin if you see him but you should call 911 immediately.

Martin is known to have  family in several communities throughout Vancouver Island.


What To Do In Nanaimo On A Friday

 Discover Downtown Nanaimo

Regardless of how high the thermometer climbs today, it is always a good day to head downtown and take in our ever pleasing waterfront.

A stroll from Maffeo Sutton Park along the water to the Pioneer Plaza is always a reward in itself. Once you get to Pioneer Plaza you can take in the Downtown Framers' Market which opens from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm where you will find a wonderful variety of produce and goods for sale.

If you time your trip right, you can take in the canon firing at 12:00 noon, and while you are there be sure and check out the newly refurbished Bastion.

If you haven't been downtown for awhile I suggest you meander over to Commercial Street and check out the variety of shops and art galleries that line the street. You  will also be sure to find something to suit your taste in food from one of the varied eateries along the street.

Check out the museum in the convention centre while downtown and you will have found a delightful way, to really fill out a Friday in downtown Nanaimo. It wasn't voted the Best Street In Canada for nothing!!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

BC Day Long Weekend BC Ferry Schedule


Perfect Long Weekend Weather

Long Weekend Weather Looks Fantastic!

Dare I said it? It looks like summer has finally arrived in the Harbour City and looks like it will be hanging around for at least the next ten days.

This should be good news for all you campers and anyone planning on hitting the great outdoors this coming weekend. Even if you are not travelling afar, it will mean we can enjoy our parks, lakes and beaches we are famous for.

Enjoy it!


Bathtub Racing Agony

It's Not All Glory & Glamour

These two hapless bathtub racers had prepared their craft and trained all year for the Great International Bathtub Race of 2011, only to have their hopes shattered before ever leaving the inner harbour.

Neither racer will be identified as I am sure publicity is not what they seek, but one hapless fellow had his engine conk out on him while doing practice laps before the race and even with the aid of a race boat crew was unable to get fired up before the race started.

The unfortunate racer in the bottom picture actually required assistance to keep his/her tub out of Davey Jones locker as I am sure it must have won the 'first to sink class'.

Oh well ............. there is always next year.


RCMP Marine Patrol Nabs Impaired Boater

Weekend Marine Patrols
Enforce & Educate Boaters

The first full weekend of marine patrols by RCMP personnel has resulted in one male being arrested for Impaired boating.

On Saturday night at approximately 10:30 PM, Nanaimo officers onboard the 7.3 meter  vessel, stopped a vessel that had entered a restricted area while fireworks were being discharged.The 23 year old male operator showed signs of impairment by alcohol and was presented with a hand held Approved Screening Device. He recorded a FAIL. None of his five passengers were able to take control of his boat due to their alcohol consumption and therefore , the boat was towed to the Nanaimo basin and secured for the night.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

West Coast Salmon Study Kept Secret

Fisheries Scientist

Kristi Miller

Salmon Study Muzzled

According to a story published in the Vancouver Sun, Kristi Miller who heads a $6 million salmon-genetics project at the Biological Station in Departure Bay in Nanaimo, has been muzzled by senior bureaucrats in Ottawa.

Since Miller is banned from speaking about the study little is known of her findings other than they could explain the steep and unexplained decline in salmon stocks on the west coast. The study could be linked to the discovery of a virus which may be responsible for large salmon kills in recent years. However, until the report is finally made public her findings will remain a mystery.

To read the entire article as published in the Vancouver Sun visit their webpage HERE.


Raw Logs Leaving Nanaimo

Raw Log Sales Good or Bad?

While visiting the new Cruise Ship Terminal and the visiting HMCS Nanaimo on the weekend I saw this ship being loaded with logs heading for Asia I presume, where they will be milled into lumber.

I must admit I have done little research into the economics or the politics behind the export of raw logs, but I really have to wonder why we can't be doing the milling right here, and exporting the finished product rather than the raw product.

I realize that for the most part, raw logs are coming from private land and the owners can sell their product as they please but still question the economics of not being able to mill the product here and sell it competitively as a finished rather than raw commodity.


Assured Loading Ticket Refunds


VICTORIA –BC Ferries has elected to provide a one-time refund to customers who purchased assured loading tickets between 1984 and July 25, 2011. This refund is being offered in an effort to clarify the terms and conditions of the assured loading product and address any confusion customers may have had.

For a 90-day period, starting July 26, 2011 through October 24, 2011, BC Ferries will provide a one-time cash refund to any customer who has an expired assured loading product, as well as any customer with a current assured loading product that no longer wants the tickets. This refund offer is available until October 24, 2011, after which time, assured loading customers forfeit this one-time opportunity for a refund.

For information on how to request assured loading refunds, visit Refunds will not be processed at the terminals. Proof of purchase is required to be eligible for a refund. Customers can expect refunds to be administered in six to eight weeks.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red Tape Hurts

Nanaimo Has Bad Reputation For Red Tape
And Bureaucratic Foot Dragging

A common complaint you will hear among the Nanaimo business community is the difficulty they have when it comes to dealing with city hall, in particular the department responsible for construction. One thing I have found more than a little troubling is the reluctance on the part of local business people to 'go on record' with the troubles they have had getting approvals for fear they will be the subject of retaliation in future. This is not a new problem, nor did it just happen in the last month or so, it is a problem that has been going on for a long time at city hall, and out of fear those affected choose to remain silent.

Loaves and Fishes A Good Example

At yesterdays special city council meeting held at city hall, well known and respected contractor Mr. B. Wall addressed city council outlining the difficulties he has had getting the go ahead to raise the height of a building and install a new roof at the Loaves and Fishes food bank.

Mr. Walls company tries to take on one worthy project in the community every year which they do not for profit as their way of giving back to a community that they have done business in for over 40 years. It is a perfect example of the kind of business you want to encourage in Nanaimo and who clearly demonstrate they are a good corporate citizen.


HST Hurts Nanaimo Restaurants

HST Needs To Go
Note: Email subscribers may have to visit Nanaimo Info Blog to view this video.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Special City Council Meeting Today

Special City Council Meeting
City Hall Boardroom 4:30 PM

The regularly scheduled Finance Policy Committee of the Whole meeting has been changed to a Special City Council Meeting. Unless it is the matters to be discussed 'in camera' there didn't appear to be anything on the agenda not usually dealt with at a FPCOW meeting.

You can preview today's agenda by visiting the city's website HERE.


Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal

Cruise Ship Terminal Open House

Nanaimo residents had the opportunity to see the new cruise ship terminal adjacent the new cruise ship dock which is hoped to be the gateway for thousands of seagoing visitors in coming years.

The terminal itself is open and airy with floor to ceiling glass walls highlighted with structural and decorative wood, which of course is something British Columbia is noted for.

Immediately outside the building there is plenty of parking for the buses which will transport visitors to Nanaimo and points beyond during the busy cruise ship season which sees in excess of 200 ships stop in Victoria.


Commercial Street Packs 'Em In

 "Greatest Street In Canada" Saw Record Crowds

In conjunction with this years Marine Festival and Bathtub Races on Friday and Saturday Commercial Street closed to car traffic as they had been in years past. This was the crowd that filled the street after the Sail Past on Wheels Parade finished.

There was lots of stuff for the little ones to do, and if you are an older person who likes crowds, this was the place to be.


2011 Sail Past On Wheels Parade

Westwood Power and Marine Racing Tub
NO ..... the occupants are not the official racers!
Marine Festival Royalty Was On Hand In the BIGGEST Tub
Popular Bathub Week Event Pleases Crowd

If you are a young family looking for a great way to spend an hour or so, the Sail Past on Wheels Parade is sure to please.

Many of the tubs entered in the Great International Bathtub Race could be previewed in the parade which also included many other entries including marching bands and our own Air Cadets.

Weather conditions could not have been better and the parade route started to fill up shortly after 10:00 am in anticipation of another great parade.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nanaimo Bathtub Race Winners 2011

First Place N. Barlow #240 1:11:54
Second Place S. Lamoureux #240 1:11:54
 Third Place D. McHarty #303 1:25:49
Fourth Place J. Lofstrom #340 1:26:03
Absolutely Perfect Weather & Sea Conditions

Described as being as calm as a bathtub, the seas this year have allowed the racers to finish in near record (if not record) times with the winning tub piloted by Nathan Barlow finishing in the incredible time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 54 seconds. For comparisons sake last years brutal sea conditions resulted in a winning time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 23 seconds.

Second place winner Shawn Lamoureux either ran out of gas or killed his engine to soon, but he had to finish the last few yards using the breast stroke, while fourth place contestant J. Lofstrom wound up sinking his tub at the finish line as he made a last second attempt to overtake third place finisher D. McHarty.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Nanaimo 2011 Bathtub Weekend Highlights

Nanaimo Marine Festival

Bathtub Race Weekend

Event Highlights

Sail Past On Wheels Parade
Sat. July 23 10:30 am
Downtown Nanaimo

HMCS Nanaimo
Open House Jly 23
1:00pm - 4:00 pm

Cruise Ship Terminal
Open House
Sat. July 23
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

QF Festival of Lights
Fireworks Show
Sat. Jly 23 10:00 pm
Downtown Nanaimo

Great International World Championhip
Bathtub Race July 24
11:00 am Sharp From Downtown Harbour
Finishes At Departure Bay Beach

For Complete Schedule of Events Click HERE

Weekend Weather Forecast


Phoney Hundred Dollar Bills In Nanaimo

High Quality Bogus $100 bill with serial number JMM1M01001

It is being reported in the local daily that high quality $100 Canadian currency has shown up in Nanaimo, with a local bar being the latest victim. There have been 14 instances of false currency showing up in Nanaimo since June.

To check the security features built into the new Canadian currency visit the Bank of Canada website by clicking HERE.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal Open House


Nanaimo Bathtub Race 2011

 Bathtub Races In Nanaimo 2011

The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race is only days away. The time when daring men and women challenge the unforgiving waters of our rugged west coast in a true test of both physical and mental endurance in a brutal contest that pits man and machine against the violent fury of a roaring Nor' Wester that whips the seas into a seething, foaming mass of man and machine bashing power!

Howitzer Sounds Start Of The Great Race

This years Race which is the 43rd anniversary of the race that started in 1967, will get underway on July 24th at precisely 11:00 am sharp, when the otherwise tranquil inner harbour off of Maffeo Sutton Park will be turned into a seething cauldron of angry sea as this years competitors jockey for position, when the sound of the Howitzer cracks the morning calm marking the start of another exciting event.

What is left of the fleet will race, or limp, into Departure Bay approximately one and a quarter to one and a half hours later, when the winning contestants will try to convince race cramped legs, and brutally abused bodies to somehow find the resolve to race across the beach, ascend the stairs to ring the bell which officially marks the end of the race.

The Longest Stretch To The Finish

After being pounded by relentless seas, and with every muscle literally on fire from exhaustion and being cramped into their tiny vehicle, the brave racers still must race across the beach and Departure Bay and ascend the steps to ring the bell to officially finish the race.


Townsite Area Burglaries

Increase In Area Daytime Robberies

Police are warning residents in the Townsite area to keep a lookout for anything suspicious in their area following an increase in daytime break ins. There have been several cases in the Townsite, Rosehill, Pryde and Cadogan area where homes have been entered during the afternoon while people are at work.

The thieves (expected to be teens) are gaining entry through unlocked backyard windows and making off with only small items which are easy to conceal and carry. If you see anything unusual you are urged to call the police at once at (250) 754-2345


Sunny Skies In Nanaimo Forecast

Sunshine and Blue Skies Finally Arrive

After what has arguably been a 'bummer summer' so far, it looks like we have finally caught a high pressure system that wants to stay around for awhile. The temperatures need an upward nudge but the sunshine is a welcome change to what we have been having lately.

No complaints though, I was talking with my sister who lives north of Toronto and with the humidity factored in they are expecting a 50 degree equivalent today, and apparently they haven't seen a drop of rain for four weeks now. So if i had to choose between our weather and theirs, we still win!
Great news for the International Bathtub race and all the Marine Festival activities planned for this week.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Port Theatre Nanaimo July 21st

CeltFest 2011
Sunset and Stars Gala
Thursday July 21 7:30 pm


A Budding Naturalist?

Childhood Curiosity Is A Wonderful Thing

This budding young naturalist serves as a reminder to the wonder that is all around us, most of which we 'grown ups' just rush on past in pursuit of loftier activities.

I am sure this young fellow left the tidal pool at Swy-a-lana lagoon in a much richer, more content state than those who choose to spend their spare time glued to the screen engrossed in some mind numbing, time wasting video game.

When was the last time you explored the wonders at your feet along the shoreline? More important things to do? Not likely.


RDN Eliminates Some Bus Stops

Bus Stop Changes In Nanaimo
For more information about the coming changes in the bus stop realignment program, and if it will affect you, check the RDN Bus site HERE.

Note: Email subscribers mail have to visit Nanaimo Info Blog website to view this video.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

I Wonder If He Has A Patent?


Nanaimo Bathtub Race Parade

Sail Past On Wheels
Fun Parade Sat. July 23 10:30 am

This years salute and theme is "100th Anniversary of the St. John Ambulance Nanaimo Brigade" Honorary Grand Parade Marshall Jack Patten, St. John Ambulance.

The parade starts at 10:30 am and comes down Fitzwilliam Street across the Bastion St. bridge and along Front Street to the dispersal area on Comox Rd. by the Maffeo Sutton Park entrance.

This is always a great event for the family, and the kids are sure to enjoy the parade, that is kids young and old, I mean to say.


HMCS Nanaimo Open House July 23

HMCS Nanaimo Open To The Public
Sat. July 23 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Her Majesty's Canadian Ships (HMSC) Nanaimo, Brandon, Edmonton and Whitehorse will be berthed at the new Nanaimo cruise ship terminal from July 22nd. They are in Nanaimo to take part in the annual World Championship Bathtub Race and Marine Festival.

HMCS Nanaimo and CFMETR both have entries in the bathtub race and personnel will appear with their bathtubs in the Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade on Saturday.

The public can view the HMCS Nanaimo on Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the new Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal, which will also be hosting an open house for the public to see the new terminal and welcome centre.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Bathtub Races 2011 Fireworks Show

Festival of Lights & Music
Fireworks Display In Nanaimo

Quality Foods once again is sponsoring 'Vancouver Island's Biggest Ever Fireworks Show' this coming Saturday, the night before the Great Bathtub Race.

The show starts at 10:00 pm on Saturday July 23 right downtown at Maffeo Sutton Park in the inner harbour. Be sure to get downtown early to get the best seat, as this popular event is always packed out.


Bathtub Race Week In Nanaimo

Bathtub Fever Returns To Nanaimo

Bathtub Race Fever and the Nanaimo Marine Festival saturate the atmosphere all over Nanaimo this week. The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race will be the grand finale to a week of fun and excitement for the whole family.

There will be lots to see and do this year with events of all sorts planned including the return of the Bathtub Days Street Fair in downtown Nanaimo, the Sailpast on Wheels Parade, the fireworks on Saturday night just to name a few of the many great events.

For a complete copy of this years events schedule click HERE.

You can find more information about the Bathtub Race HERE.