Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pointing Firearm Results In Arrest

Male arrested for pointing firearm

A 33 year old male is in police custody after allegedly pointing a firearm at two individuals early Saturday morning. The male was arrested several hours later without incident and the firearm was seized. 

At approximately 9 am on Saturday January 30, Nanaimo RCMP responded to a report that a male had pointed a firearm at two individuals, 3 hours earlier, at a home in the south end of Nanaimo.  Additional information was provided to officers that the male may be in a vehicle travelling in the north end of Nanaimo. A description of the vehicle was provided and it located and stopped near the intersection of Highway 19 and Mallard Way.  The suspect male was found in the vehicle and arrested for firearms offences. The vehicle was searched but the firearm was not located.

Officers continued with their investigation and later attended to a home on Woodhouse St. The home was searched and a firearm was located and seized. The investigation is continuing.

A bail hearing was held later in the afternoon which resulted in the suspect being remanded in custody to Monday February 1 at which time he will appear before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge.


Some Fine Feathered Friends Feeding

Steller's Jay (three regular visitors)
Spotted Towhee ( at least three, resident?)
Male Northern Flicker (at least one family of three)
Red Crossbills (a small flock of 12+, first time seen)
Red Crossbills
Varied Thrush (both the male and female)
Anna's Hummingbirds (two females and one male, regulars)

Wide variety of backyard visitors in Nanaimo

We maintain backyard bird feeders all year round, which has attracted and maintained quite a variety of fine feathered friends winter and summer.

In addition to the above our 'regulars' right now include Juncos, Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Purple Finches, American Gold Finches, Chickadees, Wren, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Robins, Starlings, Downy Woodpeckers (male & female), Red Breasted Sapsucker and more Pine Siskins than I care to mention.

A Northern Shrike stopped by for lunch a few weeks back, and for a day or two the yard took on an eerie silence as the aftermath of his visit worked it's way out. On a couple of occasions over the past years every now and then a hawk will stop in for lunch with the same effect. The neighbourhood cat sometime seems successful but that is pretty much a rarity.

We only feed the hulled sunflower seeds which provides a minimum of rodent-attracting litter on the ground and seems to be popular with most of our visitors. The one exception are the Bush Tits (20+) who only visit the suet block hanging outside our livingroom window.

They beat watching anything Shaw and the 500 channel universe has to offer, any day.


Lions FREE Skate - Sunday Jan. 31/16

The Lions Club of Nanaimo will once again be hosting Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm on Sundays from Sept.13/15 until March 27, 2016 at Frank Crane Arena. On Nanaimo Clippers Junior 'A' game days, the Lions Free Skate will run from 10:45 am to 12:30 pm. This valued project continues the long tradition of the Nanaimo volunteer service to the community of Nanaimo.

The Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions include admission, helmets and skate rentals.

There will not be a Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate session on December 27 due to the Winter Wonderland event.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Nanaimo Weather Forecast Jan 30 - Feb 3


Old City Hall Annex - Assessed for $2.00

How Does BC Assessment Work?

You may recall the old city hall annex was given to a local company for $2.00 a few years ago. The company I believe was called Tectonica, owned by Mr. Darren Moss. The reason for the property give away was due to a condition of sale put on the property that required seismic upgrades.

When the sale to Tectonica was announced in Dec. 2012, it was said the company had two years to either demolish the building or do the seismic upgrades or the property would revert to the city. At that time one of the terms in the agreement called for the city to pay Tectonica $40,000 which was said to offset taxes on the property.

Clearly, two years have elapsed since this agreement was reached and clearly the property still stands and is clearly not upgraded. So, I presume the city is in the process of taking possession of this taxpayer asset and I will advise what information is forthcoming from city hall.

In the meantime, I have to wonder why BC Assessment thinks this property only has a $2 value for the purpose of assessment given that another property of similar size at 450 Franklyn Street has an assessed value of $655,000.00. One might be forgiven for questioning just what kind of voodoo, BC Assessment uses when it comes to evaluating properties.

It is noteworthy that I inquired of Mr. Clemens last year when I noticed the property was also assessed for $2 thinking the city might have an interest in seeing the property was properly taxed. Apparently no action was taken and obviously there is no incentive for Mr. Moss to challenge the property assessment, even though he was paid $40,000 to offset the taxes.

City Hall Annexes, just another one of those city hall stories that stinks to high heaven.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

RCMP Seek Public Assistance

Can you ID these 3 males 

The Nanaimo RCMP is continuing their investigation into an incident that is alleged to have occurred at approximately 4:30 pm, on Wednesday January 13, at the Tim Horton's located on Bowen Rd. Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying 3 witnesses to the incident.

Information provided by the public has assisted investigators in identifying one male and this person has recently spoken with investigators. The individuals shown in the above photos may have witnessed the incident while at Tim Horton's and investigators would like to speak with them.

If you or someone you know has information on the identity of these males, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or submit your TIP on line at


Westwood Dog Off-leash Temporary Closure

BC Hydro conducting maintenance work on powerlines

Starting February 1, the dog-off leash area in Westwood Lake Park will be closed during working hours while BC Hydro crews perform powerline maintenance. Crews will be working between the hours of 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Those wishing to use the area are permitted to do so outside of the mentioned working hours.

The project is expected to be completed by March 31.


Woodstove Changeout Rebate Program Returns

Nanaimo residents looking to upgrade their woodstove to a newer model that meets today's standards will have the opportunity to receive some financial relief from the City of Nanaimo starting Friday, January 22.

Rebates of $250 will be offered to residents who replace their old woodstoves with approved units at participating retailers.

To be eligible, home owners must have an existing wood burning appliance or a non-EPA insert installed in an open hearth fireplace that does not comply with current smoke emission standards - typically an appliance built and installed before 1994.

For more information, a list of participating retailers and to see if you qualify, visit the City of Nanaimo website.

Residents looking to replace their old woodstoves may be eligible for a rebate through the City of Nanaimo. Rebate forms will be available at participating retailers beginning January 22 (while quanities last).

To qualify for the rebate homeowners must have an eligible existing wood burning appliance or a non-EPA gas fireplace insert that does not conform to current standards (CSA B415.1 or equivalent EPA standard) and a replacement stove must be purchased on or after January 22, 2016.

Participating retailers may offer additional discounts and rebates. Ask your retailer for details.


RCMP Seek Public Assistance & Issue Warning

Decorative spoon display owner sought

 The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in locating the owner of an antique spoon collection, and advising of an aggressive male going door to door in the north end of Nanaimo.

The spoon collection was recovered during a search warrant conducted in late December 2015. To date the owner has not been identified. Investigators said when they came across the item during the search of a Nanaimo home; it stood out like a sore thumb. Investigators seized the decorative spoon display for safe keeping. Charges are not being considered against the persons found in possession of it. 

Aggressive Door Knocker Warning

The second incident involves a male going door to door claiming to be looking for work. At approximately 3:30 pm on Wednesday January 27, the male went to an elderly woman's home on Shelbourne Drive and asked if there was work he could do to make some money. He told the home owner he was down on his luck and needed a break. Feeling sorry for him, she gave him 20 dollars and asked him to remove an old dishwasher from her yard. With money in hand and her being distracted for a moment, the male disappeared and dishwasher stayed in place. In another incident, the same male was confronted when found on the grounds of the Sharmin mobile home park on Metral Drive. Park managers said the male was aggressive but did leave when asked to do so.

The suspect male is white, 45-55, scruffy looking and wore a dark coloured jacket with green sleeves. He also had on bright coloured shoes. Additionally , if you know who owns the decorative spoon display, please give the Nanaimo RCMP a call at 250-754-2345. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Canadian Deficit Could Total $50 Billion

Huffpost is reporting National Bank Financial is forecasting a deficit in the order of $50 billion over the next two years.


Nanaimo Housing Starts Dec. 2015

Housing Starts  
Dec. 2015 / 2014
Single Detached Off 3 Units
Multiple Starts Off 74 Units 

Single detached housing starts in Nanaimo decreased in December from 17 in 2014 to 14 in 2015 while multi-family units decreased from 79 in 2014 to 5 in 2015 resulting in a combined total of 19 units in 2015 as opposed to 96 units in 2014.

YTD Total Starts Up 28%

Year to date single detached increased from 318 in 2014 to 384 in 2015, multi-family increased from 347 in 2014 to 466 in 2015 for a combined total of 850 in 2015 from 665 units in 2014 representing a 28% increase .

How Nanaimo Compares

The following shows YTD housing start data for comparable urban centres:
  • Chilliwack 631 starts
  • Courtenay  374 starts
  • Kamloops   523 starts
  • Nanaimo    850 starts
  • Pr. George 269 starts
  • Vernon     292 starts
YTD housing start data for larger urban centres
  • Abbotsford-Mission 806 starts
  • Kelowna    1280 starts
  • Vancouver 20863 starts
  • Victoria   2008 starts



Westjet Nanaimo To Edmonton Flight Stops

Photo: Westjet Blog
Another Casualty Of Declining Oil Prices

Westjet has announced they will be suspending the direct flight from Nanaimo to Edmonton effective March 5/16. There are still two direct flights from Nanaimo to Calgary on a daily basis.

The flight direct to Edmonton only began in December of 2015 and has been impacted by the sharp decline in oil prices with the resulting impact on oil-related jobs in Alberta. Alberta has been bleeding jobs with the sharp downturn in oil prices and some would say uncertainty with government regulations is putting a damper on investor confidence at the moment.

The Alberta government change coupled with the Federal government change and promised changes in regulations does nothing to encourage investment in the industry for the time being.

Closer to home, there are no hard stats on the number of local families that will be affected but you can be certain that those lost oil patch pay cheques will be missed when they get replaced with EI. There are very few, if any, local jobs that would come close to replacing the money being earned in Alberta in recent years.


Unsolved Crimes In Nanaimo Jan. 18 - Jan. 27/16

1.  Nanaimo file # 2016-1693 On Monday January 18 between 10:30 pm and midnight, a home located at 1600 Caspers Way was broken into. The home owner believes he was at home listening to his music when the break and enter took place. The suspect entered via the bedroom sliding door and took 2 watches and the attempted to take 2 pair of high end athletic shoes.

2. Nanaimo file # 2016-1619 Sometime overnight on Tuesday January 19, a  hole was cut in the fence surrounding Cascade Recovery at 800 Maughan Road. Several large containers inside the compound  locks were cut and recycling materials were taken. A red and black duffel bag was found near the fence line, believed to have been left by the suspect(s).

3. Nanaimo file # 2016-1770 Sometime overnight on Tuesday January 19 , 25 feet of fishing line was strung at chest height through Beaufort Park located at Lorne Place near Beaufort Drive. The fishing line has since been removed.

4. Nanaimo file # 2016-2046 On Friday January 22 at approximately 2:35 pm, a vehicle parked on Black Powder Trail was broken into. Taken was a briefcase containing personal information

5. Nanaimo file # 2-16-2141 Sometime overnight on Saturday January 23 community mail boxes at Camcrest Dr and Goldfinch Crescent were broken into. A number of mail box slots were tampered with and it is unknown if any mail was taken.

6. Nanaimo file # 2016-2324 On Monday January 25 a break and enter was reported at Nanaimo Organic Waste Plant on Maughan Rd. The fence surrounding the property was cut and two sheds had locks cut off. Taken was a red aluminum Honda 5hp water pump, a black 50' hose and a green fertilizer spreader.

7. Nanaimo file # 2016-2469 On Tuesday January 26 3 businesses located next to each other at Terminal Park Mall were broken into. The businesses were; Highview Optical, Wine Kitz and a third vacant property. The vacant property appears to have been the starting point and entry was gained to the other properties by kicking in the dry wall. Items of note taken from Highview Optical consist of contact lenses and some optical equipment.

8. Nanaimo file # 2016-2535 On Wednesday January 27 a rock was thrown through a truck window at 2805 Glenayr Drive.  A witness saw the person responsible and who described him as a white male wearing a black hoodie and riding a red BMX style bike. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fireworks Result In Strong Police Response

Report of shots fired leads to heavy police presence

An adult male who decided to set off some fireworks in the middle of the day did not get the response he expected when numerous police officers responded to a report of possible shots fired.

Shortly before 1 pm on Monday January 25, Nanaimo RCMP was alerted by a nearby resident who reported hearing what sounded like rapid gun fire, in the south end of Haliburton St. The caller was adamant the sound did not come from a vehicle backfiring or heavy equipment. Given the time of the day and persistence of the caller, numerous police officers attended.

Fortunately the situation was resolved and the person responsible for setting off the fireworks was located. The male showed the officers a box of 16 spent fireworks called Redneck Ruckus. The investigator then spent a few minutes with him pointing out the consequences his actions.


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More Nanaimo City Hall Intrigue?

Or Should That Be Integrity Intrigue?

Near the end of the Special City Council Meeting last night some questions were raised about a $20,000 expense apparently Mayor McKay took on 'his own initiative'. Going just by memory I do recall something being said last year about the Mayor hiring a consultant (the amount I remember was $50,000) to help his council learn to 'get along'.

It appears that the Mayor hired this consultant on his own, without Council approval and after expending at least $20,000 the contract was cancelled by Council?

It was also revealed that our City Manager got a call from a provincial ministry making inquiries about this contract. The City Manager was clearly uncomfortable with council discussing this matter in an open meeting, but it does raise some interesting questions about what is actually going on behind closed doors during some of these infamous in-camera meetings.

During question period, Robert Fuller asked a question or two about this consulting contract and was told he would have to address his questions to Mayor McKay.

Those answers won't be addressed I assume until sometime next week when the Mayor is expected to return after being absent now from three consecutive meetings.

Porosity Of Council In-Camera Meetings Needs Addressing
Whoever is disclosing in-camera confidential information should be removed from office

This matter with a provincial minister phoning to inquire about a civic matter which was dealt with in-camera, and also the apparent release some time ago of information designed to cast a shadow on the hiring of our interim city manager; needs to be dealt with and those responsible held to account.

You might recall that two Councillors were going to make a public apology for disclosing in-camera information with regards the hiring of interim City Manager Tracy Samra. At that council meeting, Councillor Thorpe made his apology and the expected apology from Councillor Brennan was not forthcoming with the Mayor saying Brennan was seeking legal advice and would make her statement at the next council meeting.

That statement has not been forthcoming which would lead one to assume that she is no longer willing to apologize for disclosing in-camera information to local businessman Don Bonner.

Bonner along with someone named Shaunna Morgan have been relentless in a social media campaign to cast doubt on the hiring process which saw Samra offered the position of interim city manager. Morgan appeared before Council asking them to conduct an investigation into the hiring of Samra and also asking for a provincial minister to oversee the hiring of a permanent city manager. She claims to be just a concerned taxpayer who wants to be assured the best person is hired for the job and said she did not have confidence in this council to complete the task, hence requesting third party oversight. When asked if her concern for the recent appointments at the RDN were of equal concern, she didn't seem to know what Councillors were asking her.

Both she and Bonner seem to have little concern for the confidence-shattering actions of Councillors who will disclose confidential information apparently because they were at odds with a decision made by the majority of Council.

Acting Mayor Kipp responding to some of Morgan's claims about the hiring process said they had received four legal opinions, three in writing declaring the hiring process was not flawed as Morgan was claiming.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Legacy News Media Going Way Of The Dodo?

Recent months have seen the results of the ever-changing landscape in the news media business. The four headlines above represent the loss of nearly 700 jobs in the legacy news media in the past four months. Those displaced employees will likely have a hard time finding work in their chosen field, although some willing to take a pay cut might squeeze out some of the newer, entry level people occupying those positions. 


Police Dog "Boomer" Aids In Arrest

Prolific offender arrested for armed robbery

A 32 year old prolific offender has been arrested in connection to a robbery of a local convenience store that occurred just after 4:30 am on Saturday January 23rd.

It is alleged the male entered the business armed with a knife, wearing a mask that concealed his face. Money was demanded from the cashier and after receiving an undisclosed amount, the suspect fled on foot.

Nanaimo RCMP General Duty members and a Police Services Dog were on scene within minutes. A containment area was quickly established allowing Police Services Dog "Boomer" and his handler to track the suspect’s movements.

The suspect male was tracked to a nearby apartment building and within 13 minutes of the robbery being reported the suspect was located and arrested without incident.  Investigators continued with their investigation, which lead to a search of a unit in the apartment building. Evidence was obtained that furthered the investigation.

"This was simply excellent work by all responding officers and Police Dog Services to control the scene, gather evidence and locate the suspect in a timely manner" said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. 

A bail hearing was held Sunday January 24 where the male was remanded into custody. Charges of Robbery and Disguise with intent have been recommended by police. The suspect male will be making an appearance in Nanaimo Provincial court later today.


Robbie Burns Day - January 25/16

Robert Burns (1759 -1796)
Scotland's Favourite Son
Robert Burns was born at Alloway, near Ayr, on January 25, 1759. His father William was a gardener to the Provost of Ayr. Robert was educated briefly at John Murdoch's school in Alloway and later in Ayr. 
Family financial worries forced Burns to work as a farm labourer, and it was while thus occupied that he met his first love, Nelly Kirkpatrick. She inspired him to try his hand at poetry, a song entitled "O, once I lov'd a bonnie lass", set to the tune of a traditional reel. 
If you research Rabbie's poetry there are no fewer than 579 poems online attributed to the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire or simply the Bard.
He had an eye for the ladies apparently having fathered 8 children with 5 different lasses, he did marry one in 1788 and Jean Armour became Mrs. Burns.
I tried to read many of his poems, but sadly the ones I found written in 1700 Scots dialect were just too much for me to understand. However, it is impossible to not see the quality that has endeared him these many years.
Among his many works there is one little poem you don't have to be Scots to be familiar with, you may have heard of "Auld Lang Syne"? If the spelling has you wondering, I'll give you a hint; it is very popular on New Year's Eve.


Nanaimo Daily News Closure - Just A Matter Of Time?

After 141 years and several different corporate owners, the Daily News (formerly Nanaimo Daily Free Press) announced the closing of this publication this month. The closure will affect approximately 25 employees.

Black Press purchased the Daily News and Harbour City Star from Glacier Press in a package deal that included several other Island papers. This gave Black Press a virtual monopoly on the print media in Nanaimo, as they already owned the Bulletin.

The following appeared on Nanaimo Info Blog in Dec. 2014 when the purchase was announced.

Local businesses will only have the Bulletin as an option for their print advertising which Black Press should find a desirable advantage. Whether it is a benefit to local businesses is another issue all together.

Obviously good for Black Press & Glacier
how about Nanaimo and Nanaimo businesses?

The recent announcement that media moguls Glacier and Black Press have divided up some of their competing money-makers on Vancouver Island is likely good for them, but not so good for local businesses.

This recent deal gives Black Press a virtual monopoly on the traditional mainstream print media in Nanaimo which eliminates the healthy market forces that true competition brings. That said, it is unlikely that Nanaimo could continue to support all three publications and consolidation of the market could well be the only way any of them will survive.

The Nanaimo News Bulletin has pretty much cornered the flyer market which in newspaper land is usually pure gravy as there are no production costs and very little extra work to include with their regular deliveries. The Bulletin has never gone for paid circulation so they are able to offer advertisers city-wide delivery which gave them the edge over the Daily which has less than 5,000 paid subscribers in Nanaimo. The Daily offers city-wide delivery on Thursday only in an attempt to take some of the Bulletins business. The Harbour City Star exists for pretty much the same reason.


The actual change of taking over operations does not kick in until March 2 when Black Press will take control of the operations of the Nanaimo Daily News and the Harbour City Star. The reality is, that one owner does not need to compete with themselves unless they are trying to keep out competition, which in Nanaimo would be highly unlikely.

With the purchase of the Daily News and it's production facilities the staff and production facilities at the Bulletin become pretty much redundant. How long Black Press will maintain two premises, two production facilities and two news and advertising staff is a bet I wouldn't take. I predict there will definitely be a loss of jobs in the mainstream media in town. The tricky part will be how Black Press handles their union and non-union staffing. A betting guy would think they will try and shed the union if at all possible making the News Bulletin staff, likely the most secure. It is safe to say at least one third of the staff will be redundant after the operations are amalgamated and 50% of the production capacity is also redundant.

It will be interesting to see if either the Daily or the Bulletin staff 'pick up their game' when it comes to producing a better quality 'news' product as neither of them would be in the running for any awards for journalistic excellence these days. The local Daily has certainly slid with the exit of Hugh Nicholson and Mark MacDonald these past few months, and of course the Bulletin is just a flyer wrapper parading as a newspaper for a long time now.


Going out on a limb here, I would say the days local merchants could haggle for the price of advertising will be a thing of the past as there will likely be an astonishing similarity in what the Daily and the Bully charge for print ads and flyer delivery.

After all, they are not likely going to be competing with each other any more, once they share the same building, staff and production facilities.


Body Found In Water At Stone's Marina

The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating the discovery of an adult male found in the water at Stone's Marina, located at 1690 Stewart Ave, Nanaimo.

At approximately 8:30 am on Saturday January 23rd, two men out for an early morning walk saw the body and called 911. BC Paramedics, City of Nanaimo fire crews and the Nanaimo RCMP responded. The male was pronounced dead at the scene. BC Coroner's Service was then notified and attended to the scene.

The Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Unit is responsible for the investigation and is being assisted by the Coroner's Service. Positive identification has been made of the deceased; however his next of kin have not been notified. Until such time notification has been made, his name will not be released. 

"While the investigation is in the preliminary stages, his death does not appear suspicious. Investigators are attempting to determine how the deceased entered the water and establish a time line of his movements prior to the discovery of his body", said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Violent Offenders Charged

 One male has been remanded into custody for a violent assault and another sentenced to significant jail time for a robbery with a firearm. 

33 year old Kevin Michael WIEBE of Nanaimo, appeared in Nanaimo Provincial court on Monday January 18th and was formally charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm. The charge stems from a violent assault of a female reported to the Nanaimo RCMP in late December. After the charge was laid, WIEBE was remanded in custody until his next court appearance set for February 23rd.

Another Nanaimo man, 26 year old Michael William Edward EADIE, was sentenced to 715 days jail time for a January 6th robbery of a female with a firearm that occurred at an ATM outside the TD Canada Trust Bank, Port Place Mall.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Poetry Submissions Invited "Riding the Bus"

Calling all Poets for "Poetry in Transit" Program
Let’s celebrate poetry and get creative about Nanaimo!

The City of Nanaimo is currently seeking poetry submissions through the "Poetry in Transit" program. The theme is "Riding the Bus".  Poets will contribute works that are in some way related to a particular point on a route, a site in Nanaimo or the experience shared while riding the bus.  Poems will be selected on the basis of their relation to the theme “riding the bus”, artistic merit and appropriateness for display, either on the bus or online.

Inspired by Nanaimo's Poet Laureate, this partnership between the City of Nanaimo, the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Vancouver Island Regional Library is a way for the many riders of Nanaimo's public transit to rethink and re-know their city.

The "Poetry in Transit" Program is intended to ask the reader to explore the city through poetry, to understand the spaces and experiences within it differently because of the poems.

Poets who currently live within the Regional District of Nanaimo and the City of Nanaimo can submit their poems to Poets can submit up to three (3) poems for review.

Poems should be only 3-5 lines (50 words or less) not counting the title.

The theme for the 2016 program is "Riding the Bus".

"Poetry on buses, while not a new concept, is certainly novel for the Nanaimo area transit.  While advertising has its function, poetry can allow the passengers a moment of quiet thought during their busy day.  A moment when they are diverted to consider possibly wider issues than their day to day personal concerns.  Often these pauses can allow us to see things in a different perspective and while poetry on buses is not supposed to be therapy, it can lift the spirits for a brief moment and that is not to be undervalued."  - Naomi Beth Wakan Nanaimo's Inaugural Poet Laureate


Friday, January 22, 2016

Nanaimo Daily News Closes - 141 Years Old

After 141 Years Daily News Closes

Black Press, owners of the News Bulletin and the recently acquired Daily News has announced they are closing the 141 year old newspaper as of January 29/16.

This did not really come as a shock to anyone understanding the economics of the print news business, as clearly competing with yourself in such a small market, simply isn't profitable.

The following is the short, sweet tweet posted on the Daily News Twitter page ..... ironic that the announcement first appears on their Twitter account, rather than their print edition...

Nanaimo will now be 'served' by the other Black Press publication which some see as mostly a wrapper for local flyers.


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Creative Commode Re-purposing


Bike Summit - Nanaimo January 23/16


Fire Destroys Local Library - 102 Pine St.

Photo supplied
Neighbourhood library destroyed by fire

A 40 year handmade cedar gun cabinet, used as public library, providing books to a local neighbourhood has been destroyed by fire. The cabinet was located outside 102 Pine St, near the intersection of Pine and Wentworth St. The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating and has determined it was deliberately set.

The fire was reported at approximately 9:20 pm on Wednesday January 20th. The blaze was so intense that fire extinguishers brought out by nearby residents could not control it. Fire crews were called and extinguished the blaze. The library, used by local families and had been the focal point of the neighbourhood. "Many local children would stop by on their way home from school to select a book. It was quite unique and the books provided many hours of reading enjoyment to the young and old alike," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

If you have information on who is responsible for this crime, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or submit your TIP on line at


Screen To Be Removed From Diana Krall Plaza

Nanaimo Info Blog File Photo
No Replacement Planned

The City of Nanaimo will be removing the Live Site screen and sound system that is located on the plaza side of the Port Theatre building. The equipment used to run the Live Site have reached the end of their useful life.

Increasing maintenance costs and the inability to source parts for the aging piece of equipment no longer make it viable to invest in and maintain. A saving of $15,600/yr. will be released by the screen's removal.

The LED modules will be carefully removed and sold off through the City of Nanaimo Purchasing department.

The sound system will be removed and possibly converted into a mobile sound system to be used for special events.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nanaimo - Gas-Gouging Capital Of Vancouver Island

CHEK News pays attention to Nanaimo Gas Prices

Nanaimo's reputation is spreading, and not in a good way. CHEK News did a feature on the price of gasoline in Nanaimo which appeared on their supper hour broadcast. The broadcast points out that Nanaimo's gas prices are well ahead of other Island centres and the only explanation being offered for the high gas prices is 'because they can'.

Regular readers of Nanaimo Info Blog will know this has been a sore point I have drawn attention to for years now. I have questioned whether there is any genuine competition in Nanaimo as the same price at most stations would seem to suggest there is no real competition.

Gas comes into Nanaimo yet has consistently been more expensive than Duncan (for years) which arguably should cost more simply to ship it from Nanaimo to Duncan. Victoria pump prices have a transit tax built in which Nanaimo does not, making the real spread between Nanaimo and Victoria even more.

If any readers of this blog know answers to the following I would dearly love to hear it:

1. How many suppliers of wholesale gasoline are there in Nanaimo?
2. Any difference in the gas at the Chevron pump and the Petro Canada pump? Does there gasoline come into Nanaimo from different places?
3. How many retail stations are run by the same owners?
4. How is the actual retail prlce determined from one station to another.

I wonder what the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Nanaimo and our own City Council think of the reputation we are earning as the Gas-Gouging Capital of Vancouver Island?

Following prices taken from Gas Buddy at 5:50 pm Jan. 20/16.

Victoria 98.9

Duncan 95.9

Comox 91.9

Nanaimo 108.9

Calgary 68.9

Ottaw 76.9


Some Shrike Bird Drama In Nanaimo

Northern Shrike Pays  A Visit

This little songbird (no bigger than a Robin) paid a visit to the yard yesterday, I realized I had seen him fleetingly before. He has a pleasant little song and interesting though not spectacular markings.

Don't let the size, pleasant song and general appearance fool you, this guy is a very adept hunter and has an interesting way of 'storing' it's prey.

Northern Shrike Invites Purple Finch For Lunch

If you look carefully you will see the larger Shrike in the background and the hapless fellow with the flash of red was a Purple House Finch that didn't see the danger coming. While not possessing the impressive talons and beak of hawks and eagles, this fellow is one deadly hunter. The little hook on the top bill can be most deadly and effective.

While at least one of them has territory staked out at the Nanaimo River Estuary this is the first one I have seen around our yard. Needless to say, birdie activity in the yard came to a sudden stop and as of this morning has not fully resumed.

One of the interesting habits of this adept hunter (who will take rodents as well as other birds) is their habit of impaling their kills on thorns and other spikes, which during mating season is one means of attracting a mate. I presume if there seems to be many kills hanging about the females feel they have a good provider and will settle into the males territory, which he does protect.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Next Update On Nanaimo Info Blog Jan. 25/16

Nanaimo Info Blog Will Not Be Updated
January 11 - January 25, 2016

For this time I will be 'unplugged' and simply taking some time off. Traditionally January is a very slow month in the news biz and except for some machinations that will likely continue until the next civic election, I don't forsee anything of any importance coming out of that bastion of civic leadership on Wallace Street.

I don't say that because there is a steady hand on the rudder, but because for the time being, it would seem there are several hands on the rudder and it remains to be seen who will ultimately be steering the good ship Nanaimo.

 I doubt if during this time there will be any earth shattering announcements to do with fast ferries, downtown hotels, multiplexes, core reviews, city budgets or the like. I would not be surprised however, if city council simply imploded, which could actually be beneficial if it meant Nanaimo citizens had the opportunity to replace a few members of this council who have proven to be disappointing.

So, until next week I bid you adieu.

Jim Taylor


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bridge Failure Closes Trans Canada Highway

Photo: Ashley Littlefied

The bridge which opened in late November is a choke point for the entire Trans Canada Highway. This is one place in Canada where there is only one road and one bridge effectively closing the Trans Canada Highway. The west side of the bridge pulled away from the abutment and lifted up about 60 centimetres.

The community, about 100 kms northeast of Thunder Bay has opened emergency shelters to house stranded motorists and truckers.

Local truck stops are packed as transports are lined up, unable to complete their journey. It is unknown at this time when the bridge may be reopened.


Spillway At Colliery Dams Park

This is the size of hole it takes for the city to bury millions and millions of your tax dollars in, with the only real logic being bureaucrats that must be on drugs or one HUGE power trip!!

Be sure to remember who you have to thank for this waste. Although I think many of the senior staff responsible are no longer working for the city. If my memory is accurate Mr. Seward and Mr. Hickey and Mr. Sims are the only city staffers who help engineer this project.

This council in their wisdom decided not to proceed with an investigation into how we got into this mess. Remember that, when we are told how much money we are going to have to bury at the middle dam.