Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fall Shoreline Cleanup - Nanaimo Area

Nanaimo Shoreline Cleanup
Click map, search 'Nanaimo' to find cleanup needs around Nanaimo.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a conservation effort of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF, engaging Canadians across the country to help cleanup and rehabilitate local beaches, shorelines and waterways.

This year, there are 667 registered shoreline cleanups taking place throughout the province between Sept. 20 – 28, 2014

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Harvest Festival Sept. 20 Old City Quarter



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Sunday Farmers' Markets - Nanaimo Area


 Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 27 - Oct. 2012)
Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 27th through to October.
The new market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.
For information contact lantzvillefarmersmarket@gmail.com.




Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 13 - Oct. 28, 2012)

Take a Sunday drive out into the country, park in the fields of the Crow and Gate Neighbourhood Pub, feel grassy field below your feet and talk with the farmer that grows your food.

Open from May 13 to October 28, 2012 Sun 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Field of the Crow and Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Road, Nanaimo, B.C.

For more information visit their website at www.cedarfarmersmarket.com or call 250-668-5783


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Friday, 19 September 2014

NANAIMO SCHOOLS TO OPEN TUESDAY

 Nanaimo Schools To Open Tuesday Sept. 23

The 86% yes vote by striking teachers will see schools across the province back in business next week.

Nanaimo area schools are tentatively set to open on Tueday, September 23 for a full day, with some exceptions as noted on the Districts' website. More information about specific school openings and exceptions can be seen at www.sd68.bc.ca.

WHY NANAIMO SCHOOLS WON'T OPEN MONDAY

Some districts have already announced that their schools will be open for students on Monday. Our district is delaying having students in schools until Tuesday for the following reasons:
  • Our school district was under picket lines all summer. This was not the case in most other districts. The picket lines meant that facilities support staff were not able to clean and prepare facilities for school opening, nor were office staff able to carry out the organizational and registration processes necessary to organize classes, students timetables, etc.
  • While teachers may be back to work on Friday, under the terms of the back-to-work agreement there will not be an opportunity for organizational meetings with teachers on Friday.
  • We need the day on Monday to ensure schools are safe and clean and ready for students, and to complete the necessary organizational tasks.
  • In other districts that have announced a Monday start, typically students are only attending for an hour on that day. Our first day for students on Tuesday will be all day for elementary students.

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BC LANDLORDS & TENANTS WEBSITE



New website supports tenants, landlords

VICTORIA – The Province launched a new, updated website to help tenants and landlords access the information they need to maintain successful tenancies.

The new Residential Tenancy website is simple to navigate and provides plain language information on tenancy laws and regulations, making it easier for tenants and landlords to understand their responsibilities.

Website features include:
  • Searchable information
  • Helpful tips for landlords and tenants
  • Online forms
  • Contact information
The website redesign aligns with the B.C. government’s Citizens @ the Centre goal to increase self-service options for British Columbians online and supports the Province’s commitment to making government data, information and services more open and accessible.



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BRIDGE TO GABRIOLA STUDIED


Bridge would replace existing service

VICTORIA – In response to a petition signed by a significant number of Gabriola Island residents, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will study the feasibility of a fixed link between Gabriola Island and Vancouver Island that would replace existing ferry service.

This feasibility study is also consistent with government’s goals of connecting coastal communities in a sustainable manner, and finding innovative ways to reduce the upward pressure on coastal ferry fares.

The ministry will retain an independent consultant to examine potential locations for a fixed link, provide cost estimates for a fixed link, and undertake a cost comparison between a fixed link and the existing ferry service. The consultant will not be assessing the level of public support for a bridge.

The feasibility study will get underway this fall and is expected to be completed in spring 2015. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will post the study’s full terms of reference once the consultant is in place.

Gabriola Island is home to approximately 4,000 full-time residents. BC Ferries’ Route 19, between Gabriola Island and Nanaimo Harbour, carried 341,000 vehicles in 2013-14.

 “Gabriola Island residents have petitioned the provincial government to do this study so that any future discussion about a fixed link can be based on current, factual information. On that basis, and in consideration of our vision that coastal communities are connected in a sustainable manner, we’ll assess the feasibility of a fixed link between the two islands.”  Todd Stone Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure




Comment: Aren't BC Ferries in the process of taking bids to build a new Gabriola Ferry Terminal? Should that be put on hold until this bridge study is complete?

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Lions Free Skate Sundays



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Seafood Chowder Competition - Saturday


CHOWDER COMPETITION UNLEASHES TSUNAMI OF SEAFOOD!

A torrent of succulent soups, bisques and chowders will deluge visitors at Nanaimo's inaugural Seafood Chowder Competition on Saturday, September 20th, 11:30-3:30 at Country Club Centre. Under tents in the Country Club Centre parking lot, this family event is presented by Lucky's Liquor Store and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.

Up to 16 'Chowder Chefs' from local restaurants will offer their entries to a judging panel of event sponsors, presenters, media and local dignitaries. A 'Peoples Choice Award' will also be presented at the end of the day's tastings after public feedback weighs in.

Live Entertainmentis provided by "The Big Mess" - an amazing local father and son duo. A bouncy castle, face painting and lemonade stand are part of the family day too.

Chowder samples are priced at 12 for $12 with cash donations to Loaves & Fishes highly encouraged. Admission for the entertainment is free and advance passes for a dozen chowder samplings are available through participating restaurants, at Lucky's Liquor Store, or the Chamber of Commerce offices on Bowen Road. Individual sampling tickets are also on sale for $2 each at the event in front of Lucky's.

See you there 'chowda heads'! For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 250-756-1191 or check out our Facebook page.

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ELI WILLIAMS CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

The Times Colonist reports that Eli Williams 22, was arrested by Gabriola Island RCMP following a vicious assault outside the Old City Pub on Skinner Street.

When officers arrived they found two injured men, one 26 year old with a severe wound to his neck and other 32 year old with bad cuts who was unconscious.

Const. Gary O'Brien  described the injuries caused by a broken beer bottle horrendous and said that if it had not been for the emergency medical aid the injuries could have been fatal.

Eli Williams is in custody charged with assault, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault. Anyone who witnessed the assault is asked to contact the Nanaimo police bike unit at 250-754-2345.



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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Friday Farmers' Markets - Nanaimo



Downtown Farmers' Market in Pioneer Plaza beside the Bastion, Friday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Harewood Market behind the 7 - 11 in University Village (Harewood Mall) from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

Friday Evening Market downtown in Diana Krall Plaza 4:00 - 8:00 pm

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More Vote Pandering With Tax Dollars??


$6.6 Million For Port Theatre Expansion


In an 8 - 1 vote, council voted on a motion put forward by Councillor Pattje to commit $6.6 million to the Port Theatre expansion project at the Sept. 8 city council meeting.

This happens to be the one council meeting in the past year I missed, as sadly I had to spend some time on Saltspring Island away from streaming video, so I missed the entire event.

My understanding is that Pattje's motion was brought during the meeting with no advance notice which might have allowed a delegation to speak to the matter who might object to this commitment at this time. I am sure the entire community might want to know where $6.6 million is coming from before being committed to it.

It is likely this item would get the approval of Nanaimo residents as it has been promoted as a much needed addition in our community, It would be nice however, if we knew that for sure, and a referendum this November would be a sure way of knowing.

ANY RULES OR GUIDELINES FOR REFERENDUMS?

Referendums have an upside and a downside like most things we undertake in governance. The downside of course is the cost, the upside is the fact you give the people paying the freight an opportunity to have a say before spending millions and millions of tax dollars. I think some thought should be given to setting a dollar amount that would automatically trigger a referendum for items not already in the budget.

There are now three items that could be decided by referendum as part of the upcoming civic election which would allow the entire community to make their wishes known.

Those items include the Port Theatre Expansion $6.6 million, the Linley Valley purchase $9 million and the Georgia Park lease to the Hilton Hotel developer, while we are at it, perhaps the Colliery Dams could also be included.

I doubt if it would cost that much during an election time to include multiple items on the ballot and that would give the community a chance to PARTICIPATE in decisions effecting spending of their tax dollars.

REFERENDUMS AND PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY NOT POPULAR AT CITY HALL

Of course the idea that the community needs to have a say at any time other than election time is not popular with the majority of this council, and certainly seems unpopular with the current city manager.

I realize we can not put every single item to referendum as that would make the already slowly grinding wheels at city hall come to a complete stop, but I believe they do have a place for matters of significance and as stated earlier when a certain level of spending is involved.

As it now stands, if a project is being financed with long term borrowing (more than 5 years) it MUST go to referendum regardless of the dollar amount borrowed. However, if council chooses to repay a loan in less time there is virtually no limit to how much they could vote to spend provided it is repaid within 5 years. The source of repayment of course would be a large tax increase to repay the debt.

I invite your comments on the issue.

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Nanaimo Ratepayers Meeting Sept. 24, 2014

Nanaimo Ratepayers Association Secretary/Treasurer Ron Palmer Erects Sign

Sign and Meeting Raise Public Awareness


Nanaimo residents will spot three new signs around town advertising the website for Nanaimo Ratepayers and encouraging taxpayers to get involved with their organization.

The group is hosting a Special meeting to prepare for the upcoming election, They are holding a brief special ‘members meeting’ to discuss ‘why’ taxpayer's need to be involved, ‘how’  to effect change and ’what’ members can do to help elect the kind of candidates deserving support.

Why is this a “most important election”?  Because we have never had a better opportunity to replace a mayor and council.   Their recent decisions have been costly, embarrassing and unwise and the electorate throughout the city has awakened: said Randy O'Donnell the communications director for the group.

Special Meeting Sept. 24 - 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Beban Park Social Centre - Rooms 2 & 3

Taxpayers can add their voice to the association by visiting the website where they can take out a membership online with the convenience of using a credit card. Visit their website today at www.NanaimoRatepayers.com.

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lack Of Nanaimo Zombie Sightings Explained




While downtown the the other day I spotted this vehicle cruising through Maffeo Sutton Park. As the signage on the vehicle explains it apparently is part of, or perhaps is the entire Zombie Patrol.

I was not aware of this invaluable service being offered in Nanaimo, but it would likely explain the lack of Zombie sightings of late.

If anyone has information about this new arm of public safety officers I would love to hear from you.

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CELEBRITY SOLSTICE VISITS NANAIMO

Celebrity Solstice In Nanaimo Sept. 22


When built the Celebrity Solstice was the largest cruise ship ever built, she has now been surpassed by the Disney Dream built in 2010.

That said, she will dominate the Nanaimo downtown waterfront when she docks at the cruise ship terminal on Monday morning at 7:00 AM.

The ship can carry 2,850 passengers with a crew of 1,500 and is 1,033 ft. (314 m) in length with a 121 ft (37m) beam and has a draft of 27 ft. (8m).

I hope Nanaimo puts it's best foot forward and shows our guests an incredible, memorable time so that word may spread throughout all of cruise ship land, that Nanaimo has much to offer and is well worth the stop.

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Nanaimo Info Blog Mobile Version


Nanaimo Info Blog is available on your mobile device regardless of the platform you are using. Now you can keep up with 'Just The News You Need' wherever you happen to be.

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Island Ferry Services Seek Federal Funds

http://www.cheknews.ca/island-ferry-services-asks-federal-money-start-foot-passenger-ferry/
Island Ferry Services Seeking $14,000,000 in Federal funding

CHEK TV reports that Island Ferry Services has applied for 'joint funding' with the City of Nanaimo for $14,000,000 in Federal funding to bring the downtown to downtown ferry service to life.

Click on the above image to watch the complete coverage by Kendall Hanson of CHEK TV


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SCHOOLS COULD BE OPEN BY MONDAY

UNION ASKS TEACHERS TO ACCEPT DEAL


It is being reported that the tentative deal hammered out between the BCTF and the Provincial government, if ratified could see school's open again by next Monday.

A few highlights of the tentative deal includes a 7.25% salary increase over six years and the creation of a $400 million education fund to be used to hire additional teachers and address class size and composition.

The agreement says the education fund will begin in this academic year and discontinue in the 2018 -2019 academic year.

Premier Clark is calling the deal a 'game changer' saying it will allow for six years of peace during which time the government and teachers can sit down and work together rather than arguing and fighting all the time.

Comment: and some kids say yay!! and some kids say boo - hiss! and all parents say FINALLY!

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NANAIMO ART GALLERY EXHIBITION


Image: William Notman & Son, Nanaimo Coal Mines, Vancouver Island, BC, Photograph, 1903 | McCord Museum

BLACK DIAMOND DUST


Black Diamond Dust is a multi-site art exhibition, which considers the sedimentary nature of stories and histories. The title Black Diamond Dust refers to the coal mining industry that Nanaimo was built upon; an industry that both formed and fragmented communities through economic development, racial segregation and labour inequity, and served as the foundation of global industrialization. 

September 20 to December 13, 2014

Opening at both locations on Friday, September 19
4:00 - 6:00pm | campus gallery
7:00 - 10:00pm | downtown gallery


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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

TENTATIVE DEAL IN TEACHERS STRIKE

http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/09/tentative-agreement-reached.html
Click image to hear Vince Ready announcement

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Democracy DOES Work When You Engage

Engaged Citizens CAN Make A Difference

Followers of this blog will know that one of my favourite mantras is that 'Democracy is far too important to be left to the politicians'.  It also gets my dander up when I look at how casually we have thrown away, what other nations are dying for.

A common refrain used to excuse ourselves from not participating is 'it doesn't matter what I say, THEY will just do what they want anyway.... what's the use' ... sound familiar?

Well the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society is a perfect example of just what a group of engaged, committed citizens can do, even when they are fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds.

On one side of this engagement you had a well financed team of professional bureaucrats armed with unlimited tax dollars, legal and engineering advice and the power of city hall behind them.

On the other side was a small group of everyday citizens who had very limited resources and little to no experience in pushing back against the juggernaut at city hall.

Against all odds they have galvanized, organized and continued the good fight for a righteous cause and something they deeply believe in.

The final act of this saga is yet to be written but what they have accomplished to date, should inspire every one of us to get informed and engaged in the running of our city because it truly is too important to leave to the elected and unelected officials at city hall.

A seriously important election is facing Nanaimo this year and who we elect will be directing Nanaimo for the next four years, and once elected they can do pretty much as they like. So it is up to all of us to do our part by participating in the civic election process, which is the one political exercise where our votes really do count, and effect our day to day lives far more than any other level of government.

Kudos to the CDPPS and the determined group of citizens who have proven it does matter what you do, and you can make a difference.

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Colliery Dam Proper Study Data Closer



After hearing a presentation from city staff given by Mr. Seward and listening to 12 delegations it appears as if city council is now wanting more information before spending between $3 - $8 million on a problem that has still not been proven to exist.

As explained before on this blog, the information coming before council has been based on a lot of hypothesis and a whole lot of speculation and conjecture. This was the same type of hypothesis about the possible outcome of a dam failure during a seismic event which of course has been proven to have been a pure work of fantasy. 

After spending about $2.5 million on the original seismic threat, attention was given to the overtopping threat posed by inadequate spillways.The most recent $1.4 million study has concluded that even in an event with a highly unlikely possibility of happening there would be no loss of life and less than $3 million in damage as a result.

Spending $8 million to mitigate a $3 million risk always seemed to me to be logic only city hall would support.

After all of this money spent on studies and reports it is still not proven under what conditions the dams 'might' over-top, it has not been proven if this overtopping would result in all of the berm washing away, and finally even if all of the berm were washed away, it is not known the dam would fail. Why? Because after spending all of these tax dollars it is still not known if the dams would fail because the modelling studies needed have not been done.

A motion brought by Councillor Kipp and supported by Bestwick, Pattje, McKay and Anderson will hopefully result in council finally having complete information before them, before they make a final decision on Colliery Dam.



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THINGS ON THE NET THAT MAKE YA' SMILE

NO LADDER ? NO PROBLEM!

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Will LNG Be A 'Go' For Prince Rupert?


“I can’t think of another town in North America — certainly in Canada — that has the ‘optionality’ of the Prince Rupert area. It’s a town of only 13,000 people, and $15-billion could get spent here in the coming seven years”

This Financial Post article reports that within weeks there are three main catalysts happening that could reshape the entire economy and labour market of Western Canada:
  • The British Columbia government outlines its fiscal regime for LNG
  • The environmental assessment for the Petronas' LNG facility in Prince Rupert will be issued
  • The Malaysian national oil company Petronas is widely expected to give a positive final investment decision to build North America's first greenfield LNG export terminal at Prince Rupert

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Bowen Road Farmers' Market Sept. 17



Bowen Road Farmers' Market
 Open Wednesday

The Bowen Road Farmers' Market which is open every Wednesday from 4:00 - 6:30 pm has become a very popular spot for those seeking local produce, meats, bread, baking, cheese, preserves etc. etc.

Musicians add to the 'flavour' of the market which is truly a unique experience in Nanaimo offering a wide range of specialty products and quality food items.

There are many vendors offering locally grown produce that is as fresh as it can be, unless you grew it yourself. You will also find artisan bread, meat products, soaps, honey, organic bird seed (for your feathered friends) to name a few items.

So put a big circle on your calendar for Wednesday's and be sure to arrive early as some of the most popular vendors, simply sell out of product.

The market is located at Beban Park on the VIEX grounds ....... you can't miss it!

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