Monday, April 30, 2012

BookFest 2012 Downtown Nanaimo

Click Image For More Information


Is Nanaimo Changing?

Very Poor Showing

The event at Pioneer Plaza on Saturday to mourn those who have lost their lives in the workplace and to draw attention to the need for increased vigilance to avoid such tragedy, had a very poor showing.

Given the long history of organized labour in this region and the ability of the Labour Council to publicize the event; the extremely poor showing with less than 40 in attendance is somewhat troubling.

Was the event simply poorly publicized (I don't recall seeing anything about it) or are people simply too busy with everything else to be involved?


Annex 'Spin' Keeps Gearing Up

'Brittle' Walls Won't Stand......

After deciding last year to spend $16,000,000.00 in secret, behind closed doors, city hall is now stepping up the 'sales' pitch to make sure Nanaimo taxpayers feel they are getting a good bang for their buck.

Reference to 'brittle' walls and the 'slightest' shake suggesting the annex is not able to withstand even a mild tremor are touted as the reason for spending $16 million rather than $4 million to make the building 'life safe'. They keep talking about the seriously dangerous state of this building, yet had no problem subjecting staff to this extreme danger since 2008 when an engineers report pointed out the dire condition of this building.

There also seems to be little will to examine all other buildings in town, both civic and private to protect the rest of the citizenry from this clear and present danger. Wonder why???

The local Daily (that Bastion of defending democracy) is doing it's bit, making sure taxpayers believe their money is being well spent with yet another front page story supporting this $16 million expense that never did go to public tender.

They also don't seem to question how this extremely dangerous building withstood the largest onshore earthquake to ever occur in Canada with it's centre, not 200 miles offshore, but in the Forbidden Plateau region of Vancouver Island. That quake was 7.3 on the Richter scale by the way.

Has anyone ever stopped to ask just what level of 'shake' this shiny new building is engineered to withstand? Remember the 'big one' is not the same as the 4.4 over the past few days or even the 6.3 of last Sept.(which incidentally did not cause those Brittle walls to crumble). The 'BIG ONE' everyone lives in fear of would be in the magntiude of 8 or 9 on the Richter scale.

Just call me a skeptic, but in my humble opinion, city staff and city council simply wanted a shiny new office, and I must agree the 'basement' of the old Annex could stand improving. To that end they 'discovered' the extremely dangerous state of the existing Annex which has only stood since 1937.

The fact it would have cost $4 million to make the building 'life safe' (if safety is the issue) simply would not provide staff with a shiny new office and so they went behind closed doors and engaged a very questionable purchasing practice to ensure they would end up with a new $16 million facility.

Austerity be damned..............Live within the taxpayers means, be damned........ We want a shiny new office and by golly we're going to get one.

Now the Daily is making sure YOU think you are getting good value for spending $16,000,000.00 instead of $4,000,000.00. Oh, and did I mention they spent that without going to a public tender??


North Island Wildlife Recovery

'Bardo' the Barred Owl

Eighteen year old 'Bardo' the Barred Owl was recently on hand at the Expo 50 show to raise awareness of the good work being done by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre located in Errington.

The centre has two main focuses, one being wildlife rehabilitation and the other being public education. They care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife which they accept all year round with a specialty in raptors and black bears.

The center features a museum of nature and a 140 foot long eagle flight cage where the public can view recovering bald eagles.

The centre has an adoption program with allows the public to sponsor an animal/bird at the centre for only $25 per year. For more information about the recovery centre visit their website HERE.


Port Place Mall

First 'Side' Of Mall Complete

The bottom photo shows the completed 'half' of the Port Place Shopping Centre in downtown Nanaimo. Old timers will remember the site as Harbour Park Mall.

The original plans show a similar style building with parking in front of stores on the other side of the lot, which is the area shown in the upper photograph. Clearly there is no building activity in the area enclosed with the blue fencing which as I recall is also approved for a high rise apartment building or condo as well as more retail space.

I have asked property owner First Realty what their plans are to complete the other side of the centre but as of yet they have not replied. It could be with the number of vacant spaces in the downtown area (including some in the newly finished area of this mall and in the Port of Nanaimo Centre) that First Realty has as many vacant buildings as they want for the time being.


Granddaughter Update

Let Me Pull Out My Wallet
And Show You A Family Photo

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of having your own blog, is the ability to show off family photos without having to pull out the dog-eared old photo in your wallet.

So, allow me an old guys bragging moment as I point out the photogenic qualities of my charming granddaughter. That other good looking person is her father, my son, Jason who I am pleased to say inherited most of the good looking genes available from his mother's side.

As much of a delight as Amelia is, she is also into those charming 'terrible twos' where she is engaged in the age old 'battle of the wills' when it comes to deciding whether or not her will, or Mom or Dad's will, will be done.

I am thrilled to say that her delightful side still outweighs her 'not so delightful side', which I am pretty sure she inherited from her Father's side of the family.

That said, she is sure one cute kid who seems to be the first 'perpetual motion human being' I have had the good pleasure of encountering.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nanaimo Floating Boat Show

Assurance Summer Is Coming!!

Just in case the current unspring-like weather has you wondering, I thought I would draw your attention to the fact that in a little over a month you will be able to take in the floating boat show in the inner harbour, right downtown.


Great Canadian Dollar Store Closing

Downtown Dollar Store To Close

Depending on the type of business you are offering downtown, it can be a difficult place to do business. The recent 'Closing Out Sale' signs on the Great Canadian Dollar Store bear testimony to that harsh fact.

When this store closes it will add to the already significant unrented retail space in the Port of Nanaimo Centre, which is also the home of the Vanvcouver Island Convention Centre. Incidentally, the convention centre would not be open either without the $1,000,000.00 per year coming from city taxpayers.

You may recall this Dollar Store was located in Port Place mall for many years, and moved into this space on Commercial Street when the Port Place Mall renovations began.


Nanaimo City Council Meeting April 30

Nanaimo City Council Meeting
Monday, April 30, 2012
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

You can view this week's Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

Council decided to add another $700,000 to the $844,000,000 financial plan to pay for a communications person (spin doctor), do you think that is a good use of YOUR tax dollar??

Last Year They Decided to Spend $16,000,000.00 On A New Staff Office. An Amount Equal To YOUR Tax Increase for 5 Years!

How The 2012 - 2016 Financial Plan Will Affect You:
Tax Increases Planned 16% Water Rates Increase 25%
$350,000 House Taxes and User Rates To Increase $375.00 /Yr.

Attending in person is the best way to see your business being taken care of, second best is watching on Shaw Cable from the comfort of your easy chair, it is also available live online using this link, and last but not least is reading what the local press says went on.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nanaimo Million Dollar View Penthouse

For Less Than The Price Of A Shack In Vancouver
This View Could Be Yours In The Beautiful Harbour City
Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada
From Your Own Waterfront Penthouse


Cliff McNabb Arena Upgrade

 $1.9 Million Project Gets Underway
April 27, 2012- The ice at Nanaimo’s Cliff McNabb Arena will come out on April 30 and updates to the 18 year old facility will begin on May 1 with an estimated reopening date set for early August in time for the busy fall arena schedule. The bulk of the work will be focused on improving the building envelope which significantly improves ventilation. There will be a number of cosmetic improvements in the dressing rooms that teams will appreciate, including heat. The total cost of the project is budgeted at $1.9 million with funds coming predominantly from the city’s facility development reserve fund.

Arena staff have been working with the various facility user groups to ensure groups are accommodated elsewhere. There will be an ice sheet in place at Nanaimo Ice Centre for summer ice programs. Both the Senior A and Junior A Timbermen teams will play at Frank Crane Arena and the Junior B and Senior B Timbermen teams will play at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The minor lacrosse teams and other dry floor teams and organizations will be accommodated between the facilities.

Diana Johnstone, Chair Parks, Recreation and Culture and City Councillor is quoted as saying: " As a department we are committed to continuously improving the life and leisure of our residents and by maintaining our facilities we can achieve this goal. We are all looking forward to seeing the finished project in August."

The scope of the project involves addition of five energy conservation measures which include rink ventilation upgrades; heat recovery systems to preheat hot water, variable frequency drives to the brine pumps, plant control upgrades and replacement of the brine chiller. Excess heat from the ice plant will preheat the hot water for showers and provide heat for a new indoor snow melt pit that will be constructed in a new fire separated zamboni shed addition. Additional energy upgrades will include a new exterior insulated roof system and insulated metal cladding panels which will eliminate air leakage and improve the energy performance of the facility. Upgrades will also include improvements to meet B-52 safety standards for mechanical refrigeration plants. Interior improvements to the dressing rooms will include new hot water tanks, recovery systems for the showers, new energy efficient furnaces to provide heat, and new rubber flooring. Visitors will also notice a fresh coat of paint on the steel structure when the facility reopens

In addition to the closure of the facility itself, the public is being advised that there will be a reduction in available parking in the lot closest to the arena. All of the department’s public schedules are available online at or by calling 250 756 5200.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Nanaimo Festival of Banners 2012

Local Artists Brighten Up Our Streets

The Festival of Banners has been a Nanaimo event for 25 years now which provides the theme for this years banners; 'Celebrating 25 Years of Creativity!"

This years banners are being painted in a store provided by Nanaimo North Town Centre right at centre court, you can't miss it!

If you want a sneak peak of this years entries drop in the next time you are at Nanaimo North Town Centre, but you will have to hurry as the banners are to be finished and moved by May 12th.

There still could be time to put your creative talent to work if you have an idea for a bright, creative banner, and considering the entry fee is only $8.00 and that includes paints and material..... you can't go wrong. Stop by the mall location for more details or call the Nanaimo Art Gallery at 250-740-6350.


Huge Nanaimo Rotary Club Book Sale

100,000 Titles To Choose From
Sale On Until Sunday May 6th
Nanaimo North Town Centre

Book Sale Price List

  • Pocket Books ..... $2.00 ea. or 3 for $5.00
  • Harlequin Romance..... 5 for $2.00
  • Large Paperback & Hardcover..... $3.00 ea.
  • Cookbooks ..... $1.00 ea.
  • Children's ..... $1.00 ea.

The huge Rotary Club of Nanaimo twice annual book sale helps the Rotary Club support many worthwhile Nanaimo programs, just some of which include:
  • Raise A Reader
  • Nanaimo Minor Baseball
  • Nanaimo Museum Society
  • Inner Schools PAC's
  • Georgia Avenue
  • Fairview
  • Bayview
  • Chase River
  • Park Avenue
  • John Barsby
  • Haven House 
  • Nanaimo Hospice Society
  • Bursaries - High School
  • Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation
  • Nanaimo Marine Rescue
  • Kids Sport Nanaimo
  • Island Crisis Care Society
  • Nanaimo Telephone Visiting Society
  • Upper Vancouver Island Music Festival Bursaries
  • Literacy Nanaimo
If you would like to contribute to this valuable program you may donate any of your unwanted books anytime during the year, by simply dropping them off at the collection bin by the London Drugs Mall entrance in Nanaimo North Town Centre.

Nanaimo North Town Centre also generously makes storage space available for the Rotary Club to store the donated books between sale times.


IOOF Wants To Donate Clock To City

Clock At Hope Was Inspiration

The IOOF or perhaps better known as the Odd Fellows Lodge have undertaken to make a significant contribution to their community in the form of a four sided clock similar to this one located in Hope BC. After several meetings with Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture reps a tentative location has been selected in McGregor Park across from the Port Theatre. Two other locations had been considered, one being Diana Krall Plaza and the other in front of the Great National Land Building on Commercial Street.

Easier Said Than Done

The exercise of giving a $50,000.00 clock to the city is not proving to be as easy as you might think. The first meeting Lodge members had with Parks and Rec was in February of 2011, as of April 25, 2012, they are still waiting for an answer. They had originally hoped to have all the approvals in place which would have allowed them to order the custom made clock last October making for a March 2012 installation. This timetable would have seen the clock in place well in advance of the tourist season. However, it seems that while the gears at city hall grind, they do indeed grind slowly and as of the last Parks and Recreation Commission meeting there still is no final decision made which would allow the Lodge to go ahead and place their order for the clock.

Lodge Background

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Black Diamond #5, was instituted in Nanaimo on April 7 1874 and is an altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization who have recently made several significant donations within the community. Last July they donated $50,400 to the Hospital Foundation for the purchase of a Vital Sign Monitor and also the furniture for the Family Quiet room in the emergency department. The room will provide a place of comfort for family members attending with a sick or injured loved one.

The Lodge also very recently  donated $50,000 to the Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation; the gift sustains a regular $1,500 a year scholarship for students pursuing studies in science, engineering or medicine.

The gift of the $50,000 clock fulfills one of three mandates, or covenants the Lodge operates by, which is to help the elderly, the young and their community. Like many other organizations in Nanaimo, their membership is aging and there are fewer young members taking their place.


How Much Tax Canadians Pay

VANCOUVER, BC, Apr. 27, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Say the word “tax” and most Canadians roll their eyes in dismay. But with the deadline for filing our income tax returns around the corner, we’re forced to temporarily think about taxes. The deadline, after all, is a sharp reminder of how much income tax we paid throughout the year.

While some gladly pay their share – thinking of the numerous government programs these tax dollars finance – others feel their income tax burden is too high. No matter where you fall in this debate, to truly gauge whether you’re getting value for your tax dollars, you must have a complete understanding of all the taxes you pay – in addition to income taxes.

Income taxes only the beginning

For that, you must look beyond your income tax returns because income taxes form only a portion of the total tax bill imposed on us by all levels of government (federal, provincial, and local). In 2011, a Canadian family with average income of $74,233 paid $9,137 in income taxes. Personal income taxes are the single largest tax Canadians pay, but they represent just about one-third of the total.

Two other significant taxes on our tax returns are contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI). Additionally, residents of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec pay health care taxes either through direct premiums or payroll taxes. All together, the average Canadian family paid some $6,328 in CPP, EI, and health taxes in 2011. Payroll taxes are second only to income taxes as the single largest government levy.

Next up are sales taxes which many of us hate since they show up every time we make a purchase. Calculating the amount of sales taxes paid by Canadian families is difficult as it requires people to track all their purchases of taxable goods and services. Nonetheless, our estimates suggest the average Canadian family paid about $4,748 in sales taxes last year.
Property taxes are no more popular than sales taxes and add $3,520 to the average family’s tax bill. A common misconception is that only homeowners pay property taxes. But renters also pay these taxes since they are rolled into their monthly rent. In one form or another, we all pay property taxes.

We’re not done yet. There are a host of less visible taxes that Canadians pay but do not see. For instance, the average Canadian family paid approximately $3,133 in profit taxes in 2011. Taxes on liquor, tobacco, and amusement amounted to $1,735 for the average Canadian family, while automobile and gas taxes totalled about $775. Finally, average families paid $1,416 in other taxes that are not easily discernible (i.e., import duties).

Summed up, the average Canadian family faced a tax bill of $30,792 in 2011 against income of $74,233. That means 41.5 per cent of the family’s budget went to paying for government. For perspective, 33.6 per cent of the budget went to paying for food, clothing, and shelter combined. Indeed, families now pay more in taxes that they do for basic necessities.

Deficits only make it worse

And it doesn’t end there. Most federal and provincial governments are running budget deficits, meaning that current taxes do not cover current government spending. By running substantial budget deficits, Canadian governments of today are putting off tax bills that will inevitably come due. Including deferred taxation (deficits) in the total tax bill raises it an additional $2,663 to $33,455.

This year’s tax deadline will bring mixed views on the appropriate level of income taxation in Canada. But it’s critical for Canadians to realize that the taxes delineated on their income tax returns are only part of the total amount of taxes they pay.

With a more complete understanding of our total tax bill, we, as taxpayers, can better assess whether we are receiving value-for-money. Armed with this knowledge, we can hold our governments more accountable for the resources they extract.

Charles Lammam and Milagros Palacios are economists with the Fraser Institute. The Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2012 is available HERE.


Golden-crowned Sparrows In Nanaimo

New Feathered Visitors This Week

Within this past week our backyard bird feeder has become the lunch counter for a small flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows. We have occasionally seen one or two of these birds stop by, but never in the numbers as lately. If you look closely in the top photo there are 12 of the little fellows at one feeder, with many more at the other and several on the ground.

A bit of 'Googling' would indicate that these little fellows over winter in California and actually migrate all the way to Alaska to breed and raise their young. A local birding friend says that the weather of a few days ago caused what is known as a 'fallout' which is when migrating birds simply 'fallout' of their migration for reasons best known to them.

While their numbers were not nearly as great there were also many White-crowned sparrows stopping by during this time period as well.

Whatever the reason, they have been an interesting and colourful guest this past week, and as I write this, this morning, it is the first morning that by now the feeder would not be hosting them, so perhaps they have rested up and continued on their way to Alaska.

How such a small creature can navigate from California to Alaska when I can get lost in town, without my GPS, is just one on those little wonders........


Book Launch & Reading Nanaimo Museum

Book Launch & Reading: 
Linda Dorricott and Dee Cullon

Nanaimo Museum
April 28, 2012
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Come to the Nanaimo Museum for the launch of editors Linda Dorricott and Dee Cullon’s new book The Private Journal of Captain G.H. Richards: The Vancouver Island Survey (1860-1862).

A rare personal glimpse into the history of Vancouver Island through the eyes of a sailor and surveyor who charted its entire coastline; this journal highlights many aspects of life on the Pacific coast – from First Nations’ encounters to the natural beauty of our island and beyond. With something for everyone, this book appeals to both academics and general readers alike.

There will be a short talk & reading from the book, and light refreshments will be served.


Chase River Estuary

The Spring Event of The Season In the South End

Learn more about the abundant outdoor treasures right here at home as the South End Community Association hosts the Chase River Estuary Park Day this coming Saturday.

For more information about this informative event contact 250-753-5778 or email CHARLESTORHJELM@SHAW.CA


Interesting Nanaimo Market Demographic

Location Location Location

Location, location, location are likely three of the most important words as it relates to real estate and locating your business.

The above comparisons are taken from the First Capital Realty website on their leasing information page for their properties in Nanaimo. Their site does not make reference to the retail space they own in the Port of Nanaimo Centre, home of the VICC.

First Capital Realty is the company that owns the Port Place Shopping Centre and Longwood Station Shopping Centre, they at one time also owned the outdoor mall at Terminal Park which houses the government liquor store, but have since sold that property after fixing up the exterior over the past few years.

One of the more interesting comparisons in the above is the average household income within 1 Km of each shopping centre with Port Place showing an income of $37,223 while Longwood Station shows $55,860 within the same distance from the centre.

These statistics could also shed some light on why some businesses will find a greater likelihood of success if they locate in the north end of the city as opposed right downtown. As improved as the downtown of Nanaimo is, it is still proving to be a tough place to run certain businesses.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

"Why'd the duck cross the road?" prove he/she wasn't chicken!


New Hospitals Announced For North Island

 $600 Million For Two New Hospitals

Premier Christy Clark today gave the green light for the North Island Hospitals Project at an estimated cost of up to $600 million, which includes two new hospitals to benefit Vancouver Island patients living in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and surrounding communities, as a part of Budget 2012.

"Our government is proud to invest in these two new hospitals to ensure North Vancouver Island families have the best medical care when they need it and where they need it, in their communities," said Premier Clark. "These projects will also create construction jobs in the region and will provide long-term opportunities for health-care professionals and their families."

Both hospitals are expected to go to procurement this spring, with construction planned to begin in 2013 and completion estimated for 2017. The cost of the project is estimated at around $600 million, but is subject to change once the procurement process is complete. The project will create approximately 1,900 direct jobs and over 1,400 indirect jobs in industries supplying goods and services used in construction.

 "The residents of the Comox Valley were very clear, the region needed improved health care services for the growing population of the North Island," said Minister of Agriculture Don McRae. "This project has been my number one priority since 2009, and I am pleased work is now underway to make it a reality. This project will provide an enhanced quality of life for the North Island residents for generations to come."

As one component of the two-hospital project, the new Comox Valley Hospital will have capacity for up to 153 beds and will replace the existing 116-bed St. Joseph's General Hospital. The plan is for the new hospital to be located at the intersection of Lerwick and Ryan roads in Courtenay, adjacent to North Island College. The design and location of the hospital will be finalized upon completion of the procurement process. VIHA has reached an agreement-in-principle with North Island College (NIC) to build the facility on land at Comox Valley campus. Steps are under way on consultation and final approvals required for the transfer of the land.

Locating the new hospital adjacent to NIC will support partnerships around the education of health-care professionals.

St Joseph's General Hospital in Comox was originally constructed in 1937, and is operated by the Archdiocese of Victoria through an affiliation agreement with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The second component of the two-hospital project will see the new Campbell River and District General Hospital built at the existing hospital site on 2nd Avenue in Campbell River. The new hospital will have capacity for up to 95 beds, including mental-health and addictions beds. The new facility will replace Campbell River's aging 70-bed acute-care facility, which was built in 1956, with additions to the facility in 1966, 1972 and 1990. The final hospital design is subject to completion of the procurement process.


Occupy Nanaimo In Krall Plaza May 1

Will The Real Occupy Nanaimo Movement
Please Stand Up!

The following first appeared on this website on April 10 and while it seems these posts have been taken down they do raise the question of just what is the REAL agenda driving the Occupy Nanaimo group.

They are reported as planning to attend in Diana Krall Plaza this May 1 for a two hour period in a show of solidarity with May Day. Only time will tell if they offer anything helpful and insightful or are just beating a drum designed to stir up the mob and advocate 'MAKING their DEMANDS heard"!

If you can't read the text in the top right hand red box it is a quote from Che Guevara which says: "I don't care if I fall as long as someone picks up my gun and keeps on shooting".

The top left quote if from President Kennedy which says "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."

The lower left is obviously a poster of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara who was a major figure in the Cuban revolution.

Finally the bottom right is calling from MAKING our DEMANDS be heard!

I realize that youthful frustration can manifest in less than heart felt sentiments, and from all outward appearances their spokesman gave during their recent protest in the Plaza downtown, inciting a violent revolution wouldn't seem to fit. However, the above graphics recently appearing on the Occupy Nanaimo facebook page perhaps explains why negotiations of a settlement never was an option. Only capitulation to the movements DEMANDS would satisfy.

Presuming that items appearing on their facebook page represents the sentiments of the 'movement' would certainly cause a rational person to wonder just who you are talking to when someone says they are a member of the Occupy Nanaimo movement. Peaceful, law abiding protesters, or armed revolutionaries?

Will the REAL Occupy Nanaimo Movement (if there is one) please stand up!


Treat Mom To Camerata Singers Concert


“The Time of Singing is Come”
Presented by

Flowers are lovely, and brunch is fine too. This year, treat Mom to a truly unique experience, as the Camerata Singers celebrate Mother’s Day with a springtime concert of beautiful, soul-stirring music, led by Director Marian Smith, recipient of Nanaimo’s 2012 Honour in Culture award.

Bring Mom and join us as we share this time of singing, and for tea and treats after the show.

Saturday, May 12th, 7:30 p.m.
St. Andrew's United Church
Fitzwilliam and Wesley in the Old City Quarter
Tickets $15
Available from choir members, or at the door


Nanaimo Dog Parks

More Places For Rover to Romp

The Parks and Rec Commission have approve staff's recommendations which will see some changes to the number of places in the city where Rover can Run without the being constrained by a leash.

Approval has been given to making the off leash park at St. George's Ravine and Invermere Beach permanent after a successful pilot project during 2011.

Four new pilot sites have been given the nod for 2012 which include the forested area adjacent May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park, an area beside the Northfield Road tourist kiosk, Gallows Point on Protection Island and finally Wardropper Park.

Staff have also recommended a change at Colliery Dam site which would see the upper dam loop be off-leash from dawn to dusk and the lower dam loop and other park areas would still require the use of leashes.

With over 8,000 Nanaimo residents having licensed dogs, the majority of which are exercised outdoors, there has been an increase in the number of dogs in parks  making enforcement of good park etiquette an issue being addressed to avoid conflict with dog owners and other users of the parks.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Segways In Nanaimo Parks?

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

It could be that the photo above is a leftover from a Flintstones-era Segway, and while considerably more cumbersome than the modern day version does bear an uncanny resemblance.

There is a company from Victoria that is currently trying to get all of the approvals so that the modern day Segway may be available for rent in Nanaimo Parks. There is still a number of approvals needed before that becomes a reality, but if acceptable could make getting around in our parks more accessible to those not up for the walking.


Nanaimo Buy Local Policy Unchanged

Note:Email subscribers may need to visit Nanaimo Blog to view this video.

Two Sides To 'Buy Local' Policy


Woodgrove Centre Forms Green Partnership

Woodgrove Centre Teams Up With Nanaimo Green Patrol
Keeping Nanaimo Green and Beautiful

Collecting 18 bags of garbage

Woodgrove Centre has partnered with the Nanaimo Green Patrol to help keep Nanaimo green and beautiful. Sharing a concern for environment, a team of volunteers from the centre and this local organization took part in their inaugural clean-up event in celebration of Earth Day on April 23. A total of 18 bags of garbage were collected in two and half hours. “This was our first clean-up initiative with the Nanaimo Green Patrol and it was very successful,” shared Woodgrove Centre General Manager, Mark Fenwick. “Woodgrove is committed to do what we can to contribute to a sustainable environment.”

Ron Coupal, founder of Nanaimo Green Patrol added, “I consider the environment my own backyard and wanted to do something to keep it beautiful. My hope is that by being more visible, more citizens and businesses will be encouraged to get involved.” Areas covered during the clean-up included all surrounding road ways and the grounds of May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park, Dover Bay High School, McGirr Elementary as well as along Hammond Bay near the RDN and library.


Woodgrove Centre, located on Vancouver Island in the harbour city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, is the market-dominant retail destination and focal point of the community. The centre features 723,600 square feet of retail space and is Vancouver Island's largest shopping centre attracting almost 6 million visitors per year. Woodgrove is home to over 140 stores and services.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Farmer's Market Vendors Wanted

Children, music and laughter;
A meeting place where you can visit with your friends and neighbours!
Access to healthy, local food for your family right in Lantzville;
Reconnecting with food, farming, farmers and farmland!
An opportunity to actually "support local"!

Interested vendors, please contact Mary at:
Child vendors are welcome.


Notes From FPCOW Meeting Apr. 23

FPCOW Meetings Will Be Captured On Video

The city managers report attempted to discourage council from video recording of the FPCOW meetings which are now being held in the Shaw Auditorium until such time as the new Annex is complete this fall.

In what seems almost like a contradiction, Councilor Johnstone says that she is in favour of transparency at city hall, but at the same time was opposed to the transparency the video recording would provide. Agreeing with city staff and others, Johnstone made the point that not being in front of cameras provided a more candid meeting where she felt more freedom to express her thoughts, a freedom she feels is lost in the more formal setting of the Shaw Auditorium and in front of cameras.

Her expression echoed the opinion of the city manager saying the less formal setting of a FPCOW meeting away from cameras allowed fro more in-depth review and discussion of issues. The inference being that as soon as the camera is present, and council are aware that the public can actually hear how they come to their decisions, this will somehow stifle the debate and deliberation you would hope council engages before deciding on city business. The idea that councillors may be too 'camera shy' to openly discuss matters is a little troubling to say the least.

As a personal observation I have always been bothered by the demonstrated lack of discussion that council engages in during regular council meetings. In fact, I had pretty much decided that Councillors must be meeting over coffee someplace to make up their minds, as open council meetings provide little insight into the 'decision making' process.


New Neighbourhood Group Meeting


If you live in the Eagle Point-Dover-Georgia View Heights-Brickyard community, this is your chance to find out about a new neighbourhood group forming for the area.

Proposed Boundaries:

North: city limits, West: Nanaimo Parkway,
East : Sealand area, South: Hammond Bay Road

If you want a voice in your community, please attend this meeting. Meet your neighbours. Have your say, or just listen. Everyone is welcome.

Meeting location:
Woodgrove Mall meeting room - entrance between Naturalizer and Walk In Comfort.
When: Wednesday April 25 7:00 p.m.

For more information, e-mail: Kelly Duncanson at


Progressions 2012

Progressions 2012
April 20 - May 5, 2012
Progressions is an annual, end-of-year event featuring the best work from Vancouver Island University students in the departments of Visual Arts, Graphic Design, and Interior Design.
Painting, photography, and printmaking from upper level Visual Art students will be featured at the campus location of Nanaimo Art Gallery.

 The finest from Graphic Design students, including posters, ads, and book covers, along with work from Interior Design students, including elegant floor plans and unique business and room designs, will be featured in the lobby of the Malaspina Theatre. Work from first-year students in all programs will be exhibited throughout the Art and Design Building, 325.

For more information contact Pamela Speight at


A Southern Ontario Morning

Why I like Living In Nanaimo!

My sister who lives 40 miles due north of Toronto sent a couple of pictures of what her front yard looked like yesterday afternoon with the note that this morning it is about double the snowfall.

Why anyone would consider moving to Nanaimo where the cherry blossoms are blooming and the daffies are done is beyond me.

The 'White' I Am Contending With!

I sent my sister a copy of the 'white stuff' my wife and I are having to contend with these days, I am sure it will cheer her up knowing she is not the only one with white stuff covering the shrubbery.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Duke Point Terminal Re-Opens May 1


BC Ferries announced today that the Duke Point terminal will re-open on Tuesday, May 1 with the resumption of regularly scheduled service between Duke Point and Tsawwassen.

Duke Point terminal was temporarily closed on December 20, 2011 following a hard landing of the Coastal Inspiration. Contractors have finalized repairs to the terminal structures including:
  • Repair and re-anchoring of the starboard wingwall
  • Repairing the port wingwall inner fender panel
  • Replacing the lower ramp abutment hinges
  • Repairing the upper and lower ramp maintenance hanging bars
  • Repairing the hydraulic cylinders
  • Replacing the electrical wiring and repairing some cracked welds
Since December 20, 2011, BC Ferries has been operating its mid-Island service to both Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen from the Departure Bay terminal. BC Ferries thanks its customers, the City of Nanaimo and the residents of Departure Bay for their understanding while two these two major routes operated from one terminal.

Crews are busy preparing for the re-opening of Duke Point terminal on Tuesday, May 1. At that point, Departure Bay terminal will revert back to servicing the Horseshoe Bay route only.

For schedule information, visit Nanaimo Info webpage.


Smart Phone X-Ray Vision?

X-Ray Vision Coming 
To Smart Phones Soon?

In one of those potentially creepy technology stories scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas say they are working on a technology that has the potential of putting a 'form' of x-ray visioning on smart phones everywhere.

While they are aware of the 'creepy' privacy issues the technology raises, they are currently working on a version which only works within 4 inches of the subject, meaning that being able to see us all in our 'birthday suits' would/should not be an issue.

The technology is far from being market ready but at the rate technology has been moving the past few decades, it could be sooner than we think. There are several practical applications this latest idea could be put to including finding that wall stud to hang a picture without having to put 50 pilot holes in the wall, it could also be used to authenticate documents and counterfeit money as well as having some possibilities of transferring files or information much faster than Wi-Fi.

For any of you techie-types a more detailed article can be seen HERE.


Canucks Head For the Links


Westwood Lake Tennis Club Nanaimo

Note: Email subscribers may have to visit Nanaimo Blog to view video.

Club's Application Goes To Public Hearing


Mark Your Calendar Estuary Park Day

The Spring Event of The Season In the South End

Learn more about the abundant outdoor treasures right here at home as the South End Community Association hosts the Chase River Estuary Park Day this coming Saturday.

For more information about this informative event contact 250-753-5778 or email CHARLESTORHJELM@SHAW.CA


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Herring Run At Piper's Lagoon Park

Local photo artist Sheryl Falls caught these delightful images at Pipers Lagoon Park last week under clear blue skies.

The top photo shows a young angler with his net and bucket at the ready while he observes natures born anglers as sea lions and sea gulls feast on the running herring which as you can see are doing whatever they can to stay off of the menu.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

FPCOW Meeting April 23/2012

 Finance Policy Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday April 23, 2012
Shaw Auditorium, 4:30 PM
80 Commercial Street, Nanaimo

NOTE: Change of Location!!
No Longer At City Hall

There is time allotted for anyone to address city council on matters related to the 2012 - 2016 Financial Plan, so if you have opinions on how and where and how much of YOUR taxes should be spent, now is the opportunity to let council hear from YOU.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Nanaimo Heritage Brochure

“A Walk Through Time” 
 Heritage Brochure

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) is pleased to announce the release of the newly updated heritage walking tour brochure, “A Walk Through Time”. 

“The updated Heritage walking brochure is an amazing piece that showcases Nanaimo’s history throughout the downtown core. It now has a focus on the Snuneymuxw people and their traditional land areas – Port Place/Front Street, Maffeo Sutton Park, Departure Bay and Newcastle Island. Visitors to Nanaimo will find that this brochure will be their ‘one stop shop’ to finding all things historical in and around the downtown area,” says AJ Hustins, Chair of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.

The brochure was re-designed as a joint collaboration project with the Nanaimo Community Heritage Commission, the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, the City of Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Archives, the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Tourism Vancouver Island. 

The new heritage brochures are being distributed widely throughout Nanaimo with 5000 copies printed. Locals looking for ideas on what do with visitors can pick up a copy at the VICC Visitor Centre kiosk located in the bottom floor of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre at 101 Gordon Street, at the Nanaimo Museum and at most City of Nanaimo facilities. A digital version of the brochure is also available online by clicking HERE.


Nanaimo Diving Promoted

Nanaimo Represented at 
2012 Dive & Travel Expo, Tacoma

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) is pleased to announce that the Harbour City will once again be represented in Tacoma this coming weekend, April 21-22 at the 2012 Dive & Travel Expo.

“The Dive & Travel Expo is a fantastic venue for exposing the incredible diving opportunities we have here in Nanaimo,” says AJ Hustins, Chair of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation. “Whether you are interested in exploring one of the three artificial reefs in our waters or snorkeling with the seals off Snake Island, Nanaimo is a must-see for divers of all types and should not be missed.”

Scuba diving in Nanaimo is second to none. Divers in search of an unforgettable experience should visit the HMCS Saskatchewan. This 366-foot navy destroyer was sunk off the shores of Nanaimo to create an artificial diving reef. Also off Nanaimo is the HMCS Cape Breton, a retired Canadian Supply Ship, which is now recognized as the World's Largest Artificial Upright Reef. Scuba Diving is one of many reasons visitors choose Nanaimo.

The Tacoma Dive & Travel Expo is happening this Saturday and Sunday at the Greater Tacoma Trade & Convention Centre. With over 300 booths to explore, the show will introduce divers to the the very latest in scuba diving. This year’s event will also host 50+ free seminars on everything from underwater photography to first aid. Visitors to the show will get a chance to update their diving skills, discover great new innovations and be inspired by divers who will share their experiences. Nanaimo’s Dive booth will be #307 at the show.


Mistie Goulet Sought By Police

Accused of Identity Theft

Police are looking for a woman they believe to be in Nanaimo who is wanted for identity theft who has an outstanding warrant for her arrest in connection with charges of fraud, possession of stolen property and personation.

Mistie Claudia Goulet is a white woman, five foot three tall, weighing 106 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes, she has a number of tatoos on her arms, ankles and waist. She has an extensive network of family and friends in Nanaimo and area.

If you have information about Goulet's whereabouts call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment at 250-754-2345, or you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477


Nanaimo Girl Guide Cookie Sale

 4th Nanaimo Guides Cookie Sale
April 21, 2012 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Save-on Foods Terminal Park
Only $5/box

Monies raised from this popular sale help to cover the costs of running the unit, puchasing badges the girls earn, taking the girls camping and crafts for community service projects.

4th Nanaimo Guides
Toy Drive from May 1st to 14th

A large portion of the Guides program promotes community awareness and involvement. The 4th Nanaimo girls aged 9 - 11 have decided they would like to raise 1000 toys for the kids in our community.

The girls also decided they would like to donate the toys to the Childrens Ward at NRGH, the Haven Society and the Canuck House.  The girls will be promoting the donation of NEW or GENTLY USED toys and stuffies at their schools and sports clubs.  Donations will also be accepted at VI HONDA.


Earth Day Special At Berry Farm

Dudink's Garden & U-Pick Berry Farm
Earth Day Special

To celebrate Earth Day, Dudink's Garden and U-Pick Berry Farm in South Wellington will be offering a one day special on April 22 only. You will be able to get 25% off berry plants, 50% off frozen berries, FREE Egyptian walking onions or artichokes for winter survival food, with your purchase.

Supplies will be limited so be sure to mark the date and arrive early to avoid disappointment. The Farm is open for business now, but until the regular season starts it is best to phone ahead. On Earth Day they will be open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

They are located at 2219 Gomerich Road, Nanaimo (South Wellington area) and their phone number is 250-740-0302. You can also visit their website HERE.