Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL



allvoices

Record Snowfall for Nanaimo

Over One Metre of Snow in December

Officially Nanaimo recorded 116cm of snow at Nanaimo airport in the month of December, which sets a record for the Harbour City.

For those of us still unfamiliar with metric that is over 3 feet of the white stuff. This beats the previous December record of 111cm set back in 1964.

It was nice having a white Christmas for a change, but those crocus can start poking up anytime!

allvoices

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches

WIND WARNING: East Vancouver Island
Issued at 4:40 AM PST TUESDAY 30 DECEMBER 2008

SOUTHEAST WINDS 60 TO 90 KM/H WILL DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING OVER COASTAL REGIONS OF SOUTH COAST AND CENTRAL COAST. THIS IS A WARNING THAT POTENTIALLY DAMAGING WINDS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

A STRONG FRONTAL SYSTEM APPROACHING THE SOUTH COAST TODAY WILL SPREAD SOUTHEAST WINDS OF 60 TO 90 KM/H OVER THE COASTAL REGIONS OF SOUTH AND CENTRAL COASTS THIS AFTERNOON OR EVENING. WINDS WILL SHIFT TO STRONG WESTERLY 50 TO 80 KM/H BEHIND THE FRONT OVERNIGHT THEN GRADUALLY ABATE THROUGH THE DAY WEDNESDAY.

allvoices

Governor General of Canada Message

Governor General’s New Year Message

December 29, 2008

As a new year dawns, we are filled with a renewed sense of hope. The days, weeks and months ahead may be whatever we imagine them to be and will be whatever we make of them.

But let us be realistic: the challenges are considerable and have caused a great deal of anxiety. This past year came to a close with the announcement of a global recession—one from which we are not immune—while an unprecedented political crisis shook the country. In December, the number of our soldiers killed in Afghanistan surpassed 100, and the entire country shares the pain of those tragic losses.

What these recent events bring to light is how important it is for us to work together—nations, governments, societies, businesses, organizations, individuals, side by side. The “fend for yourself” mentality has no place in an interdependent world, where the decisions of some have a profound impact on the lives of others; where our fates are inextricably linked. Today, I am calling for greater solidarity between us.

Given the magnitude of the challenges before us, the time has come for us to invent new ways of living together. It is up to us to seize that opportunity. It is in this spirit that my husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, our daughter Marie-Éden and our entire team join us in wishing everyone a year filled with promise and possibilities.

Michaëlle Jean


allvoices

Monday, December 29, 2008

WESTERN EDGE THEATER

WESTERN EDGE TO REMAIN
IN NANAIMO ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre has announced that it will present the remainder of its 2008-09 season in the downtown Nanaimo Entertainment Centre. In making the announcement, Western Edge Theatre artistic producer Frank Moher thanked the facility’s owner, Paul Manhas, for helping Western Edge out of a tight spot.

“Back in October, we suddenly had to find a new venue in which to produce. On short notice, Paul made the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre available to us. The reaction of our audience and artists to the facility was extremely positive, and as a result we’ve decided, with Paul’s cooperation, to present the remaining three plays in our current season there as well.”

The Nanaimo Entertainment Centre, formerly the Caprice movie theatre, is located at 46 Nicol Street. Originally built in the 1970s, it was equipped for live performance three years ago.

“As a small arts organization, we can’t pay commercial lease rates,” said Moher. “Fortunately, Paul recognizes the value of the performing arts to Nanaimo, and particularly to downtown.”

Moher noted that Manhas, through his various downtown businesses, has been a long-time supporter of Western Edge. “Back in 2004, we presented our first New Waves Festival of new plays at the old Dizzy’s Nightclub, where the conference centre now stands. The year after that we premiered the play 'Some Random City' at what is now Club 241.”

In addition to equipping the former Caprice for live performance, Manhas is responsible for the impeccable restoration of the historic Rendezvous restaurant, now called Basque, on Wallace Street. “That was another terrific contribution to both the heritage and liveliness of downtown Nanaimo,” said Moher.

“Our partnership with Paul at the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre is a good example of how business and the arts can work together to benefit the community."

Western Edge Theatre’s next production is the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” opening January 23rd at the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre. Tickets are available at 325-7777 or 1-888-320-3343.

Western Edge Season Sponsors, in addition to Paul Manhas, are the Government of British Columbia, KopyKo, MusicMaxx, The Wave 102.3FM, The Wolf 106.9FM, the Nanaimo News-Bulletin, The Nanaimo Daily News, and The Harbour City Star.


allvoices

City Assists Haven Society

CITY TO PROVIDE HAVEN SOCIETY
$942,000 ASSISTANCE BY WAY OF LEASE


Public notice is hereby given that the City of Nanaimo intends to dispose of a leasehold interest in Municipal property legally described as Part of PID: 003-192-121, Part of Lot A of Section 20, Range 7, Mountain District, Plan 2299 shown outlined in red on Plan 1823-R to the Haven Society: Promoting The Safety of Women, Children, Youth and Families. The term of the lease is sixty (60) years, commencing 2009-January-01.

The fair market value for a lease of the land for the Term is estimated to be Nine Hundred and Forty Two Thousand Dollars ($942,000), being the equivalent of 720 monthly payments of One Thousand Three Hundred and Eight Dollars and Thirty-Three Cents ($1,308.33).

Public notice is hereby given that the City of Nanaimo intends to provide assistance to the Haven Society: Promoting The Safety of Women, Children, Youth and Families by way of a rent abatement.:
The lease rent payable for the sixty (60) year term is One Dollar ($1.00). The total assistance to be provided to the Haven Society: Promoting The Safety of Women, Children, Youth and Families by way of a rent abatement for the Term, is approximately Nine Hundred and Forty Two Thousand Dollars ($942,000), being the equivalent of 720 monthly payments of One Thousand Three Hundred and Eight Dollars and Thirty-Three Cents ($1,308.33).

A copy of the lease is available for inspection during regular office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays) at the offices of the City of Nanaimo, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J6,

allvoices

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nanaimo Snow Begins To Melt

Bad News For Frosty

If Mr. Weatherman has it right (and he is almost never wrong), the next few days should see a lot of our snow begin to disappear. Temperatures, even overnight are expected to stay above freezing which means we should be in for a gradual melt.

This would be a good time to remind you to watch out for the potential for flooding as melting snow produces a lot of water which may have no place to go if drains are blocked.

This may also be the time you will find broken waterpipes which had frozen during our cold spell. Do you know where your water shutoff is? Now's a good time to find out.

It was nice (debatable) while it lasted, and Nanaimo had a rare white Christmas, but I think most Nanaimo residents will be more than pleased to get back to the familiar liquid sunshine we are more used to.

allvoices

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nanaimo Weather Confusing

Local Palm Trees Confused by Nanaimo Weather

The usual temperate and delightful winters normally enjoyed by Nanaimo, which have earned the name of being the banana belt; have taken a confusing turn this year.

It seems that in an effort to demonstrate unity with the rest of Canada, Nanaimo weather this year has chosen to adopt a more typical Canadian feel.

This has caused considerable confusion with some exotic plants totally unfamiliar with the solid, white substance which seems to be hanging around this year.

If the 80 centimeters we have received so far weren't enough the weatherman is calling for another 5 - 10cm of snow today before the temperatures return to what is normal for Nanaimo.


If you are up to it, there will be the annual Polar Bear Swim at Departure Bay Beach today. Dont' forget to bring the suntan lotion and wide brim hat to avoid sunstroke. :^)

allvoices

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

The First Christmas

And he took Mary his betrothed wife, being with child.
And while they were there, the days for her deliverance were fulfilled.
And she brought forth her son, the First-born, and wrapped Him, and laid Him in a manger-- because there was no room for them in the inn.
And in the same country there were shepherds living in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. And they were grievously afraid.
And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For behold, I give to you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For to you is born today, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this is a sign to you. You will find the babe wrapped, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:5-14



allvoices

Another Snowfall Warning for Nanaimo

Another 15 - 25cm Forecast for Nanaimo

My unofficial snowfall measurement shows nearly two feet or sixty centimeters accumulated since this snow began.

Nanaimo apparently has received more snowfall than any other place in BC since Dec. 12 with officially over 80 centimeters recorded. That does not include what has fallen overnight.

The following warning was issued by Environment Canada at 4:09 AM PST Dec. 24/08:

15 TO 25 CM OF SNOW EXPECTED TODAY AND TONIGHT. THIS IS A WARNING THAT SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

AN APPROACHING PACIFIC FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL BRING SNOW TO THE BRITISH COLUMBIA COAST TODAY AND TONIGHT. SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BECOME MIXED WITH RAIN OVER MANY LOCALITIES THIS AFTERNOON. TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 15 TO 25 CM ARE FORECAST BEFORE THE SNOW TAPERS TO A FEW FLURRIES THURSDAY MORNING. STRONG WINDS WILL ALSO DEVELOP AS THE SYSTEM APPROACHES AND VISIBILITY WILL BE LOCALLY REDUCED IN BLOWING SNOW. STRONG NORTHEASTERLY WINDS COMBINING WITH COLD TEMPERATURES WILL GIVE WIND CHILL VALUES BELOW MINUS 20 FOR THE INLAND SECTIONS OF THE NORTH COAST TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY.

We can always hope the weatherman is wrong, but he seems to have a reasonably good record lately (I mean that in a bad way ...lol).

Merry Christmas to All .....

allvoices

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fatal Nanaimo Car Crash

Two Children Die in Tragic Accident

Road Conditions, Speed and Alcohol Suspected

On 2008-12-22 at approx. 4:20 pm, RCMP members from Nanaimo detachment, South Island Traffic Services, and Central Island Traffic Services attended a 7 vehicle motor vehicle crash on Highway 1 near Haslam Rd. in Cassidy, British Columbia.

A Ford Escape SUV was traveling northbound on Highway 1. There was a 35 yr old Nanaimo female and 4 children in this vehicle. The Escape lost control on the snow covered and icy roads and swerved into the oncoming southbound traffic. This resulted in a chain reaction type of collision involving a total of 6 other vehicles. A total of 9 persons were injured and taken to local hospitals with non life threatening injuries. One child was airlifted to Vancouver with undisclosed injuries. Sadly, two young children, approx. ages of 2 and 8 , were pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained. The two children were passengers in the Ford Escape.

BC Coroners Office, RCMP Collision Analyst , and the RCMP Criminal Crash Investigation Team attended the scene to assist in the investigation. At this time, speed and alcohol are being looked at as possible contributing factors in the crash. The investigation is continuing.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police traffic units are dedicated to the safety of all that use the roadways and urge motorists to use extreme caution in the current winter conditions. Because you have a 4x4, doesn't mean you can't lose control and crash. Slow down and arrive to your destination safely.


allvoices

More Snow Coming For Nanaimo

Another Snowfall Warning for Nanaimo

What was that we say about the 'banana belt' and 'at least we don't have to shovel it'?

Nanaimo snow removal systems have already been stretched beyond their capacity and Nanaimo residents clearly demonstrate their lack of ability to deal with the white stuff.

As if the 50+ centimetres we already have weren't enough the weatherman is calling for another snowfall which could deliver 10 - 20 cm more of the white stuff.

The following warning appears on the weather network website:

SNOWFALL WARNING: East Vancouver Island Issued at 4:11 AM PST TUESDAY 23 DECEMBER 2008

10 TO 20 CM OF SNOW EXPECTED TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. THIS IS A WARNING THAT SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

It's kind of ironic, only in Nanaimo does the Santa Claus parade get cancelled because of the snow, and now people wanting to travel for that 'White Christmas' may just have to stay at home.

How's that song go? Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Delightful .... isn't it!

allvoices

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Lights in Nanaimo



SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - RESIDENTIAL LIGHTS

Looking for something to do over the Christmas holidays? Make some hot chocolate and dress everybody nice and warm and take your 'good snow tire equipped car' out and check out the above Christmas Lights residential displays.


These are the ones judged by the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce this year.

  • #1 6262 Olympia Way
  • #1 3037 Breonna Drive
  • #2 1535 Knight Court Road
  • #3 516 Kennedy Street
  • #3 544 Weber Street
  • 1205 Townsite Road
  • 921 Cadogan Street
  • 3780 Avonlea Road
  • 4311 Jinglepot Rd. - Labieux
  • 6205 Oliver Road
  • 6247 Olympia Way
  • 6299 Olympia Way
  • 6066 Christopher & Invermere
  • 5140 & 5150 Hammond Bay Road
  • Harpooner Place
  • 6023 Dover Road
  • 198 Heritage Drive
  • McGirr Road - Candy Cane Lane
  • 2027 Latimer Road
  • Boundary Road across from Woodlands School
For the 2009 Residential Light Up List Use This LINK.

allvoices

Nanaimo Gets More Snow And More To Come

Snow is Staying in Nanaimo This Time

The above is taken on the top of a patio table on my deck where the snow has accumulated undisturbed by wind etc.

There is now 20" or nealy 52cm accumulated over this past week of snow. The same spot measured 15" earlier in the day, meaning that unofficially 5" of snow fell yesterday. As you know, Nanaimo snow usually lasts for a day or two before it warms up and melts away.

Nanaimo drivers are just as unprepared and unskilled with winter driving as always with poor tires and driving habits evident everywhere.

While shoveling my drive yesterday, I heard my neighbour (who has not shoveled any snow at all) fighting with his car and wife, totally mystified as to why his car just kept spinning it's tires. I considered lending a hand but when I could smell burning rubber coming from his direction, I felt I was doing myself and others a favour by seeing this fellow stayed off the roads!

The snowplough came by once yesterday and made one pass up the middle of the road. This left about 6 feet of road at the end of my drive needing shoveling. It's bad enough keeping your own driveway clear, but when you have to start shoveling what the plough should be getting, it makes 'ya wonder. (Just my rant for the day!)

According to the weatherman, it is not over yet, with more on the way today and more forecast for the rest of the week. So don't put your shovel away and if you don't need to drive ... don't!

allvoices

Snow Plowing in Nanaimo

This is Snow Clearing??

This is our street on Monday morning which has not seen a plow since yesterday morning. The driver made one pass down the other side of the road and has never been back.

This leaves about six feet of untouched street at the end of the driveway needing clearing to get to the 'plowed' part. Whether he will now be able to move the snow banks will remain to be seen.

I realize the snow plow drivers are probably working round the clock (maybe) but the quality of service is definitely sub par this year. If two cars are to meet on this street, it could be hard for one to stay out of the snowbank!

allvoices

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Snow For Nanaimo

Nanaimo Could Get Up To 20 cm More Snow
Great For Making Snow Angels
But Not Great For Driving

The following snowfall warning has been issued by Environment Canada for the east coast of Vancouver Island, and that of course includes Nanaimo which already has had a considerable snowfall over the past week.


10 TO 20 CM OF SNOW FOR AREAS OF THE SOUTH COAST AND QUEEN CHARLOTTES IS EXPECTED TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. LOCALIZED AREAS WITH HIGHER ACCUMULATIONS ARE PROBABLE. THIS IS A WARNING THAT SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

For more up to date information visit the Storm Watch website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vancouver Island Short Film Festival

Local Film Festival Continues to Grow

The Nanaimo Arts Council

Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) has drawn more films than any previous year, an amazing 62 entries to this year’s festival.

“We are absolutely amazed at the quality of films this year, I didn’t think our local filmmakers could surpass the quality of last year but they have,” said VISFF organizer Johnny Blakeborough.

The festival will take place on January 23rd and 24th - 7:00 PM - at the Malaspina Theatre on the Nanaimo Campus of Vancouver Island University

All types of short films were accepted for consideration into the festival. Films had to be 10 minutes or less to be considered. The festival will include a screening of the 15-20 jury selected films, an intermission with concession and an awards ceremony for best films, selected by a panel of judges, with prizes for winning filmmakers.
“Our main goal is to turn the spotlight on our talented local filmmakers. More than anything, this festival is for them. It’s an opportunity to show their films in front of a large audience.” Last year’s Vancouver Island Short Film Festival was huge success with an amazing, positive response from the audience and the participating filmmakers.

Tickets to the festival are now on sale at the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in Nanaimo North Town Centre, Falconer Books at Park Place Mall and The Nanaimo Art Gallery VIU Nanaimo Campus. Tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets are $15.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is a Nanaimo Arts Council event. The Nanaimo Arts Council is dedicated to the promotion, development and support of all the arts in Nanaimo and area. Information on the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is available on the website at www.visff.com. For more information, contact admin@visff.com or phone 250-729-3947.

allvoices

MLS Home Sales Decline Sharply in Canada

MLS Home Sales Drop Sharply In November
The number of properties sold via the MLS® systems of real estate boards in Canada posted a second consecutive steep decline in November 2008, according to statistics released by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Seasonally adjusted residential MLS® sales activity numbered 27,743 units in November 2008, the lowest level for monthly activity since January 2001. While not as severe as the decline recorded in October, this is still down 12.3 per cent on a month-over-month basis. Seasonally adjusted activity was down from levels recorded in October in 85 per cent of Canadian housing markets.

However, year-over-year declines in the MLS® average home price were reported in fewer than half of all markets. Lower activity and the decline in average prices in Canada’s priciest housing markets continue weighing on the overall national MLS® residential average price.

The national average price of homes sold via the MLS® in November 2008 declined by 9.8 per cent from where it stood a year ago. The national decline reflects further declines in both activity and price in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

The price trend is similar but less dramatic for the weighted national MLS® average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. The weighted national MLS® average price dropped by 4.7 per cent year-over-year in November.

The MLS® price trend in Canada’s major markets was similar to the national trend. The major market average home price declined by 9.9 per cent in November from a year ago. Year-over-year declines in average prices were limited to a handful of higher-priced major markets (Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Oshawa and Toronto). The weighted major market average price declined by a more modest 3.0 per cent year-over-year in November.

“The housing market reflects the economic reality in Canada,” says CREA President Calvin Lindberg. Based on research done for CREA that measures economic benefits of MLS® sales, the decline in housing activity for the year to date translates into $2.8 billion less in spin-off consumer spending.

“But we should not lose sight of the fact the World Economic Forum labeled Canadian Banks as the soundest banks in the world, and remember that Canada is the only country of the G8 not running a deficit,” the CREA President added.

Seasonally adjusted dollar volume for MLS® sales totaled $7.9 billion in November 2008, down 11.7 per cent from the previous month and the lowest level since January 2004. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec account for more than 90 per cent of the monthly decline in dollar volume.

Seasonally adjusted dollar volumes for MLS® home sales in major markets declined by 10 per cent in November from the previous month. Some 95 per cent of the monthly decline in major market dollar volume was due to weaker volumes in markets located in the four provinces accounting for the bulk of the monthly national decline in dollar volume.

“These changes in the Canadian housing market reflect a broader and weakened picture of both the economy and buyer sentiment,” said CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “National sales activity and price trends will continue reflecting increased cautiousness on the part of lenders and buyers, as the economy works its way through and out of the current recession.”

Price Comparisons

National Average

Nov. '08 $280,880
Nov. '07 $311,485

Victoria BC
Nov. '08 $429,204
Nov. '07 $489,822

Vancouver
Nov. '08 $510,465
Nov. '07 $577,219

Calgary
Nov. '08 $384,243
Nov. '07 $408,638

Toronto
Nov. '08 $368,582
Nov. '07 $393,543

allvoices

BC Drinking Drivers Face $1560/Yr Charge

THOUSANDS OF DRINKING DRIVERS
PUT ON NOTICE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Up to 4,000 more British Columbians whose driving records show evidence of drinking and driving will now be forced to provide breath samples every time they operate their vehicles, under an expanded ignition interlock program announced today by Solicitor General John van Dongen.

“We introduced ignition interlock in 2005 to target some of B.C.’s most irresponsible, high-risk drinking drivers,” said van Dongen. “But as the death and injury tolls associated with driving under the influence of alcohol remain stable, we know that we can do even more to ensure those who put safe road users at risk are dealt with quickly and effectively.”

Starting Feb. 1, 2009, anyone who acquires a single drinking-driving conviction will be allowed to operate only an interlock-equipped vehicle. The requirement will now also apply to anyone who accumulates two 90-day administrative driving prohibitions or three 24-hour roadside suspensions within a five-year period. Participation will be mandatory for a minimum of one year, and the requirement goes into effect even after any related driving prohibition has ended.

The enhanced, mandatory program is not retroactive and will only apply to offences, prohibitions and suspensions received on or after Feb. 1.

In the past, participation in the program was at the discretion of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. Ignition interlocks have been installed in more than 500 vehicles to date in B.C., and the program currently has more than 300 active participants.

The dashboard-mounted devices require drivers to provide breath samples to start and continue operating their vehicles. Research shows interlock reduces recidivism by 45 to 90 per cent among both first-time and repeat offenders.

“We want to use an expanded, mandatory ignition interlock program to build on the tough legislation, tactics and tools we’ve introduced over the past several years – like automatic vehicle impoundment, civil forfeiture and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation – as part of our effort to make our roads safer,” said van Dongen.

Interlock participants are required to pay for enrolment, installation, monthly monitoring and the eventual removal of the device from their vehicles. Currently, a driver assigned ignition interlock for one year would face a total bill of $1,560. Any participant caught driving a non-interlock-equipped vehicle loses their driver’s licence.

In a 2007 survey by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, more than 80 per cent of Canadians supported mandatory ignition interlocks for drinking drivers. B.C. is among nine provinces and one territory with an interlock program.

More than 100 people die each year on B.C. roads at the hands of drinking drivers, and thousands more are injured.


allvoices

The Importance of Winter Tires on BC Roads

Do I Need Winter Tires?

Every year the same questions are asked;

Do I really need winter tires? The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why; Rubber tends to harden in cold weather thus reducing friction and stopping capability of the vehicle. The new generation winter tires maintain their elasticity and gripping power at lower temperatures (-35 C and bellow), whereas all season tires tend to stiffen and lose gripping power around 0 C. The improved gripping power at lower temperatures has benefits. A study showed that winter tires reduce stopping distances by up to 25% or between 2 to 3 car lengths. That could be the difference between a safe stop and a fender bender or worse.

Are all season tires good enough? No, all season radials are not by law approved winter tires. Winter tires will either have a symbol of a mountain peak with a snowflake on its sidewall or the letters M&S on the side wall or both. The law also says you must have no less than 3.5 mm of rubber tread.

This is a very important topic, every year there are countless collisions that could have been avoided if the vehicles had been equipped with proper tires. No one should have to experience a preventable collision. Furthermore, the cost of physical injuries and pain cannot be truly measured in dollars and cents.

If you plan on driving on snow covered roads, in the interior, the north or the Sea to Sky region make sure you have the proper tires on your vehicle. If the road conditions are such that snow tires are required to travel safely, it is possible that you could be stopped and turned back. In order to prevent this and for safety sake, please make sure your vehicle is equipped with proper snow tires.

For more information and specific tire maintenance tips please visit www.betiresmart.ca . Don’t wait until the snow starts falling, winter tire inventory will deplete quickly, act now.


allvoices

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Millennium Nanaimo Hotel Deal is Dead


City Could Seek to Recover $3 million
Already Invested in Hotel Project


It is reported in the local daily that City Council has finally issued a 30 day default notice to Millennium Corp. for their failure to produce anything tangible to prove they would complete this hotel project.

It is reported that Millennium still has 30 days to come up with a suitable plan and demonstrate good faith they would actually complete this project.

Jerry Berry the City manager said that even if Millennium sold the land to another developer there is a covenant on the land restricting use to a hotel.

If Millennium walks away from the deal, the City would also seek to recover $3 million it has already invested in this project.

Mayor Ruttan said the City would still prefer to have Millennium complete this project.

Editor's Comment: I will be interested to find out what exactly the City got for the $3 million it is said it has already invested in this project. I hope they have not actually paid Millennium $3 million for the oversized grave site currently occupying the property.


Related Links:
Development Permit Application
Plans for Hotel or Condominium?
Council Gets Serious with Millennium
Millennium Deal is Dead

allvoices

Nanaimo Snow Here To Stay

Nanaimo Should Have White Christmas

Nanaimo got another significant snowfall last night adding to the already 30 cm which fell in the past few days.

Side streets are quite the mess right now, so if you don't need to go anywhere, then just throw another log on the fire and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

The long term forecast calls for more snow and cold temperatures which means Nanaimo could lose it's bragging rights as the banana belt of Canada. But in the process enjoy an unusual white Christmas.

allvoices

Nanaimo Missed Garbage Pick Up


allvoices

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BC Ferries Extra Holiday Sailings

100 EXTRA SAILINGS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

33% discount applies on all sailings

BC Ferries is pleased to announce that it is offering 100 extra sailings between theLower Mainland and Vancouver Island to meet anticipated demand over the holiday season.

Between December 17 and January 4, eighty-two extra sailings will be offered between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, and eighteen additional trips between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay.

Customers are reminded that December 26, 27 and 28 are traditionally the busiest days for ferry travel over the winter holidays. For customers with a specific sailing in their travel plans, reservations are recommended.

Meanwhile, BC Ferries’ “Winter Super Sail” continues from now through the end of January. Holiday travellers can save 33 per cent on all sailings on all routes including the 100 additional sailings. The sale makes it easier for travellers to visit their families and friends during the festive season.

Please note that on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, sailings will be reduced on some routes to reflect the traditionally lower traffic demand. For full schedule details on all routes, visit www.bcferries.com.


allvoices

Thin Ice Warning for Nanaimo

Nanaimo Ice Not Safe

Unless you weigh no more than one of these fellows, stay off of the ice on Nanaimo lakes and rivers. It simply has not been cold enough, for long enough to be safe for walking or skating.

It takes about two weeks with -10 C temperatures to develop ice thick enough to support people.

Our fine feathered friends are no test of ice thickness as they are as light as a feather. :^)

allvoices

More Snow for Nanaimo

SNOWFALL WARNING: East Vancouver Island Issued at 7:40 AM PST WEDNESDAY 17 DECEMBER 2008

TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 15 CM OF SNOW EXPECTED OVER METRO VANCOUVER..FRASER VALLEY AND PORTIONS OF VANCOUVER ISLAND TODAY. THIS IS A WARNING THAT SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

A DEVELOPING AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS FORECAST TO TRACK SOUTHWARDS ALONG VANCOUVER ISLAND TODAY BRINGING SNOW TO MUCH OF THE SOUTH COAST. SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 CM ARE FORECAST TODAY FOR METRO VANCOUVER..FRASER VALLEY..GREATER VICTORIA..EAST VANCOUVER ISLAND AND THE GULF ISLANDS BEFORE TAPERING TO FLURRIES TONIGHT. AN ADDITIONAL 5 CM IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT. LESSER AMOUNTS OF NEAR 5 CM ARE FORECAST OVER VANCOUVER ISLAND TODAY. WIND CHILL VALUES BELOW MINUS 20 HAVE DEVELOPED THIS MORNING OVER THE NORTH AND CENTRAL COAST AND WILL FORM DURING THE DAY OVER FRASER VALLEY..WHISTLER..HOWE SOUND AND THE SUNSHINE COAST AS COLD ARCTIC AIR OVER THE INTERIOR RUSHES INTO THE COASTAL VALLEYS AND INLETS.

allvoices

Mount Washington Opens Friday

Mount Washington Opens Dec. 19/08

Just in time for the Christmas holidays, winter arrived with a vengeance on Vancouver Island and skiers and boarders couldn’t be happier. After receiving two significant snowfalls in the last few days, Mount Washington will open alpine and nordic terrain, plus the resort’s popular Ozone Tubing Park this Friday, December 19th.

With more snow on the way, resort officials are waiting until later in the week to announce specific terrain openings. Skier and boarders alike are being encouraged to check out both the online snow report and the resort’s snow cams for the latest conditions at mountwashington.ca.

It’s definitely time to get amped for the start of the snow season on
Vancouver Island! Opening day alpine ticket rates for Friday, December 19th will be $30.

“Cool temperatures with periodic snowfall are going to prevail right up to the beginning of the Christmas holidays,” explains resort spokesperson Brent Curtain. “We’re predicting a limited terrain opening at this point for Friday, but we’re confident that more terrain will open quickly after each successive snowfall.”

As of December 15th the mountain received 50 centimetres of new snow, which is halfway to the one metre mark the resort would like to see in order to open the majority of its front side terrain. However, the current snow base offers plenty of coverage for the nordic and beginner to intermediate alpine areas. The promising forecast should bring the snow needed to trigger the opening of additional alpine runs over the next couple of weeks.

The news about the good weather is followed closely by the recent announcement regarding another international team training at the resort. After hosting delegates from France’s Ski Federation two weeks ago, Mount Washington received confirmation that the French Snowboard Race, Freestyle Skiing, Cross-Country, and Biathlon teams will be training on-mountain in the weeks leading up to 2010.

The resort has positioned itself as key training site for a number of the world’s top teams in their respective disciplines. These include the Swedish XC, Biathlon, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding teams, the Canadian, Swiss, and US Snowboarding Race teams, and the German and US Biathlon teams.

“We’re building on the success of attracting other countries,” says Director of Business Services Don Sharpe. “We’re excited that another large international team has made the decision to train here.”

If you can’t make it to the mountain during daylight hours, you can carve up some turns Friday evening while helping out the Courtenay Foodbank. Bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation to the ticket window in exchange for a night ticket between
4:30pm and 9:00pm this Friday evening. Get in the spirit of giving this holiday season and enjoy some evening turns on Mount Washington at the same time!

Mount Washington Alpine Resort opens Friday, December 19th. The resort is located 30 minutes above the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. WestJet, Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines service the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ). To find out about accommodation and package information, call Mount Washington Alpine Resort at 1-888-231-1499 toll free or locally at 338-1386. Surf to www.mountwashington.ca for additional information including our live snow cam


allvoices

Unitarian Fellowship Needs Help

Emergency Shelter Needs Volunteers

It is reported in the local daily, that the recently opened emergency shelter on Townsite Rd. is in need of help.

A member of the Salvation Army stays overnight with those staying at the shelter which opens from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm when the weather warrants.

The shelter is looking for people to attend in the evening from 6 - 10 pm and from 6 - 9 am with duties including setting up and preparing a hot breakfast and soup in the evening.

The shelter is at 595 Townsite Road if you can help out.


Editor's Comments:
I may seem uncaring, but can't these people help themselves a bit, like setting up and cleaning up after themselves?

allvoices

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Millenium Makes Last Minute Offer

Is This Council Just as Gullible?

It is reported in the local daily that the new mayor says this latest offer from Millennium 'comes close to satisfying councillors'. The article then went on to say that Millennium offered to return the hotel land and forfeit $250,000 if they do not complete the project

These are already the terms of their existing agreement, so what is it that they are offering that is new?

This new council seems just as gullible as the last one. They were elected saying they would take this hotel deal seriously, and so far all they are doing is what they did before.


Could it be that Millennium has our City Councillors and City Staff over the barrel and are really calling the shots on this deal? How come this whole deal is not being discussed in public?

What proof is Millennium offering that they have someone who is going to run a hotel on this site, and not just sell the units as condos? It still doesn't look like a typical hotel plan. It looks more like condos to me.


allvoices

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nanaimo Cold Snap

Nanaimo Airport -14C
Yes, That is COLD

The temperature at the airport this morning at 7:00 am was a chilly -14C, which is about 7 F on the old scale.

Those kind of temperatures are enough to freeze water pipes and test the strength of you car battery.

It is also the kind of temperature which will send you searching for your warm clothes, which we seldom need to wear.

You might want to get used to it, as the weatherman is forecasting below freezing temperatures for the rest of the week.

Be sure to shovel you sidewalk and steps and apply some salt or sand to the slippery patches, as it looks like it won't be melting this week.

Here are a few cold weather tips which for the rest of Canada is considered just common sense, but for those of us living in the banana belt, we need reminding from time to time.

  • Dress in layered clothing and wear some kind of head cover.
  • Keep pets inside; when necessary to walk them, do so on the grass, not the cold sidewalk.
  • Protect livestock and other animals with adequate shelter, extra feed and supplemental heat.
  • Bring potted plants inside.
  • Cover outdoor plants with burlap or cloth. Cold will penetrate plastic.
  • Check space heaters for sufficient ventilation and wire condition.
  • Never place space heaters close to flammable objects, such as drapes or bedding.
  • Make sure fireplace flues are working properly.
  • Check extension cords for breaks or fraying.
  • Do not use charcoal or gas grills indoors. They produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
  • Check on the elderly and infirmed.

allvoices

Snowfall in Nanaimo

Nanaimo's Dreaming of a White Christmas

Sunday morning Nanaimo residents awoke to about 30 cm or 1 foot of the white fluffy stuff.

Unlike the usual wet, slushy stuff which tries to pass for snow in Nanaimo, this time we got some of that light and fluffy and really pretty genuine snow.

Shoveling or sweeping it aside was a breeze and if we have to get snow, this is the best kind.

Roads were pretty treacherous in places with the snow hiding the layer of ice which had developed on roads and highways the night before. There were many examples of drivers being unfamiliar with conditions sliding around corners and in some cases parking in the ditch.

If you don't have good tires and if you are really unfamiliar with driving in these conditions, take a ride on our transit system if you need to travel.

allvoices

Winter Driving Tips

Driving on Icy or Snowy Roads

The following tips are from the ICBC 'Safe Driving Tips' webpage:

  • Slow down.
  • Accelerate gently and steer smoothly.
  • Carefully test your braking and steering at a very slow speed.
  • Allow extra space margins.
  • Slow down before curves and corners.
  • Go down icy hills in a low gear.
  • Avoid passing.
  • If your wheels lock, ease off the brakes then re-apply them to maintain steering control.

How to handle a skid

  • You're driving straight and encounter a patch of black ice.
  • The rear of your vehicle skids to the right. Ease off the accelerator and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. (In this case, steer to the right.) Don't brake — this will make the situation worse.
  • Now the rear of your vehicle skids to the left. Overcorrecting in Step 2 likely causes this. Stay off the accelerator and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. (In this case, steer to the left.) Repeat Steps 2 and 3, if necessary, until you regain control.
  • Once you have regained control, proceed with caution.

Hidden dangers at zero degrees

Hidden dangers include:

  • Black ice. Normally, you can't see black ice. However, if the pavement looks shiny and black instead of grey-white, be suspicious.
  • Shaded areas.
  • Bridges and overpasses. Ice tends to form on them before it does elsewhere.
  • Intersections. Car exhaust and packed snow cause intersections to ice up quickly.

Turn off your cruise control

When the road is slippery, turn off your cruise control system. Snow, ice, slush or even rain can cause wheel-spin and loss of control.

The only way to stop this wheel-spin and maintain control is to immediately reduce power. However, an activated cruise control system will continue to apply power, keeping the wheels spinning. By the time you disengage the cruise control, you may have lost control.

When you're stuck in the snow

If you have the misfortune of getting stuck in snow, you must first assess the situation. Get out of your vehicle while being very aware of the traffic around you. Determine if you can get your vehicle unstuck on your own or if you will require assistance. If attempting on your own:

  • Clean snow away from the drive wheels.
  • If possible, enhance the traction to the drive wheels by using traction mats, old carpets, salt, sand or kitty litter spread along in the direction of the drive route you plan to use.
  • Make sure the way is clear and accelerate the vehicle gently. (Do not gun the accelerator causing the tires to spin rapidly).
  • If this doesn't work, you may want to gently rock the vehicle back and forth by shifting from forward to reverse, gradually increasing the distance travelled with each rock.

Note: Check your owner's manual prior to beginning this procedure. If the instructions are different, follow the steps outlined in your manual.


allvoices

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nanaimo Snowfall Warning

SNOWFALL WARNING: East Vancouver Island Issued at 1:05 PM PST FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2008

5 TO 10 CM OF SNOW IS EXPECTED OVER THE FRASER VALLEY AND HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF METRO VANCOUVER TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT. 2 TO 4 CM OF SNOW IS FORECAST OVER GREATER VICTORIA AND EAST VANCOUVER ISLAND EXCEPT 10 CM OVER INLAND SECTIONS TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT. THIS IS A WARNING THAT SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

A rapidly deepening low pressure system southwest of Tofino will move inland over northern Washington State today. Snow mixed with rain near the coast has developed over throughout the south coast. Fluctuating freezing levels and precipitation intensity add to the complexity of snow amount forecasts for this storm. Currently forecasts include snowfall amounts up to 10 cm for the Fraser Valley and higher elevations of Metro Vancouver with lower or no accumulations near the coast. Similarly, Greater Victoria and East Vancouver Island can expect small amounts with up to 10 cm over higher terrain and inland sections. Ahead of the low, southeast winds gusting to 90 km/h have developed over Discovery Island and are expected to reach Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands. The winds will ease this afternoon. Strong northwest winds gusting to 90 km/h will develop this evening over East and West coast of Vancouver Island in the wake of the low. Winds are expected to gradually abate Saturday morning although it will still be breezy. An Arctic front moves onto the coast from the interior for the weekend. Strong outflow winds combined with cold air will give wind chill values below minus 20 to inland sections of the north and central coasts beginning this evening. Strong outflow winds may also produce localized snow squalls along the east coast of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands through Sunday while the rest of the coast remains sunny, very cold, and locally windy.

WIND WARNING: East Vancouver Island Issued at 1:05 PM PST FRIDAY 12 DECEMBER 2008

SOUTHEAST WINDS 70 KM/H GUSTING TO 90 OVER GREATER VICTORIA AND SOUTHERN GULF ISLANDS ARE FORECAST TO EASE THIS AFTERNOON. NORTHWEST WINDS 60 KM/H GUSTING TO 90 WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS AFTERNOON OR EARLY THIS EVENING THROUGH ALL LISTED REGIONS. THIS IS A WARNING THAT POTENTIALLY DAMAGING WINDS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

A rapidly deepening low pressure system southwest of Tofino will move inland over northern Washington State today. Snow mixed with rain near the coast has developed over throughout the south coast. Fluctuating freezing levels and precipitation intensity add to the complexity of snow amount forecasts for this storm. Currently forecasts include snowfall amounts up to 10 cm for the Fraser Valley and higher elevations of Metro Vancouver with lower or no accumulations near the coast. Similarly, Greater Victoria and East Vancouver Island can expect small amounts with up to 10 cm over higher terrain and inland sections. Ahead of the low, southeast winds gusting to 90 km/h have developed over Discovery Island and are expected to reach Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands. The winds will ease this afternoon. Strong northwest winds gusting to 90 km/h will develop this evening over East and West coast of Vancouver Island in the wake of the low. Winds are expected to gradually abate Saturday morning although it will still be breezy. An Arctic front moves onto the coast from the interior for the weekend. Strong outflow winds combined with cold air will give wind chill values below minus 20 to inland sections of the north and central coasts beginning this evening. Strong outflow winds may also produce localized snow squalls along the east coast of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands through Sunday while the rest of the coast remains sunny, very cold, and locally windy.

allvoices

Unitarian Fellowship to Help Homeless


First Unitarian Fellowship
Provides Emergency Shelter


This winter the 50 strong congregation of the First Unitarian Fellowship on Townsite Rd. will be providing shelter for up to 10 needy people.

With funding provided by the Ministry of BC Housing the fellowship will provide sleeping mats, pillows and blankets as well as hot soup and beverages in the evening and likely a hot cereal breakfast.

The shelter will only be open when city and welfare officials determine that weather conditions warrant. It is expected that with the snow and cold predicted the shelter will be opened within this coming week.

You can visit the groups website by using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Comment: Perhaps if the other churches in the City and the Province were to be more engaged with their communities the whole issue of homelessness could be addressed without all the government involvement. Of course society does seem to object when Christian groups try to help since they always seem to have some hidden agenda, like getting people to acknowledge God.

allvoices

Canadian Economy Stimulus

Finance Minister Invites Your Opinions

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today launched the Government’s national consultation leading into its fourth budget, to be tabled on January 27, 2009. The national consultation will give all Canadians a voice in how to protect Canada’s economy. As in previous years, the Government will conduct online consultations, which begin today.

“It’s quite clear that Canada will continue to feel the effects of the global economic downturn,” said Minister Flaherty. “Our Government is developing our next budget to respond to this downturn. It will build on the progress we’ve made to keep our economy among the strongest in the industrialized world, and bring forward the measures we need to stimulate economic activity here in Canada, while avoiding a return to long-term structural deficits.”

“The Government is open to innovative new ideas that would help shape the plan for economic recovery in the 2009 budget,” continued Minister Flaherty.

The following ideas have been proposed as ways of providing stimulus in Budget 2009.

  • Investing in housing
  • Expediting infrastructure spending
  • Building strong and sustainable labour markets and training incentives
  • Supporting traditional and emerging industrial sectors
  • Improving access to credit

The Government is asking Canadians for their views on these priorities as well as any other ideas they care to submit at Consulting With Canadians. The Web page also features links to a presentation called Fiscal Stimulus. The online consultations will end at midnight, January 9, 2009.

Editor's Comment: We often complain the government doesn't listen to what we have to say, but here is YOUR opportunity to actually participate in the process. Give some serious thought to what you think will help Canada during this time of economic uncertainty and then participate in the online survey.


allvoices

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nanaimo Christmas Lights

THIS YEARS WINNERS
OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CONTEST


SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - RESIDENTIAL LIGHTS


Load everyone into your 'good snow tire equipped car', bundle up nice and warm and take along some hot chocolate and enjoy the residential light displays around Nanaimo.


  • #1 6262 Olympia Way
  • #1 3037 Breonna Drive
  • #2 1535 Knight Court Road
  • #3 516 Kennedy Street
  • #3 544 Weber Street
  • 1205 Townsite Road
  • 921 Cadogan Street
  • 3780 Avonlea Road
  • 4311 Jinglepot Rd. - Labieux
  • 6205 Oliver Road
  • 6247 Olympia Way
  • 6299 Olympia Way
  • 6066 Christopher & Invermere
  • 5140 & 5150 Hammond Bay Road
  • Harpooner Place
  • 6023 Dover Road
  • 198 Heritage Drive
  • McGirr Road - Candy Cane Lane
  • 2027 Latimer Road
  • Boundary Road across from Woodlands School
For the 2010 Spirit of Christmas Residential Light Up List use this LINK.

allvoices

Nanaimo Snowfall Forecast

SNOW PREDICTED FOR NANAIMO TOMORROW

If the weatherman has it right, and he usually is right about the bad forecasts, we are in for some snow overnight and again tomorrow and possibly again on Saturday as shown on the above graphic on the Weather Network.

If all of the forecast precip of 5 cm were to fall as snow that would translate into about 2 inches if you are still on Imperial.

If you are running on bald tires, or don't know where your snow brush and ice scraper are it would be a good thing to take care of today. Also dig out the snow shovel and whatever you put on slippery stairs and walks.

If you have seen what hit Ottawa, we still have bragging rights for being the banana belt of Canada.

If the cold temperatures follow that are predicted, any snow that does fall will likely be here for a few days. Below freezing temperatures are forecast right through to next Saturday.

Long enough to deliver a white Christmas? Not likely, but you never know.

Oh yeah . . . . . do you know where your snow boots, mitts and toque are?? EH!

allvoices

NANAIMO SANTA CLAUS PARADE

NANAIMO SANTA CLAUS PARADE
FRIDAY 6:30 PM COMMERCIAL ST.


Bundle up the kids and take them downtown tomorrow night to see the Santa Claus parade which runs from 6:30 - 7:30 pm.

The parade will come down Victoria Rd. around Victoria Cres. and up Commerical St. to the Diana Krall Plaza (by the library).

The downtown merchants association are sponsoring the Malaspina Choir who will be signing Christmas carols in the Port Theatre (free admission), with the event being broadcast on the BIG screen in Krall Plaza.

Kids can meet with Santa in the Plaza and enjoy hot chocolate and treats.

WIN A $1,000 SHOPPING SPREE

The second annual $1,000 Shopping Spree will be drawn for in the Plaza at 7:20 pm. Entry forms are online at www.shopnanaimo.ca.

So if the weather-guy is right the Big Guy from the North Pole might feel right at home if the snow materializes. Which is a whole lot better than that wet stuff we sometimes see at this time of year.

Come downtown and enjoy an event the whole family can enjoy.

allvoices