Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trash Can ... Trashed

Why Do You Suppose ...

That some people find it necessary to destroy the good efforts of others? What sort of sad soul delights in trashing a trash can?

This garbage can spotted along Nicol Street has obviously been decorated and placed there in an effort to keep the neighborhood clean and inviting.

Was it just some foolish teenage nonsense? Some frustrated soul trying to prove their manhood by beating up a defenseless trash can? Or perhaps it is just sport on the way home from the bar in an intoxicated state?

In any case they have done nothing to enhance the area others are clearly trying to improve.

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Formidable Night Watchman

Fish & Chips Shop
Well Guarded

It is doubtful any local security company could provide better protection of the premises than this fellow who faithfully stands his watch all night long.

During the day you can see him tied to a steel post, firmly embedded in concrete. I can only assume that is so this sea lover will not make good his escape and commandeer a vessel in the nearby harbour.

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Departure Bay Beach Nanaimo

Departure Bay Beach
Busy But Never Crowded

The sunny weather gets people out and enjoying the many great spaces Nanaimo has to offer and Departure Bay Beach is just one of them.

On low tide you can go beach combing and find all manner of treasure and delights otherwise hidden beneath the sea.

You can go for a stroll, lay out a blanket and sunbathe, cool your toes in the water or just sit and enjoy the ever changing scenery. The arrival and departure of the BC Ferry is another welcome addition to the landscape as are the colorful banners adorning the beach.

Yes, except for Bathtub Race Day, Departure Bay beach can be busy but is never crowded simply by virtue of it's size.

Have you enjoyed what it has to offer lately?

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Another Nature World Drama

Will That Eeensie Beensie Spider
Have Mr. Caterpillar For Lunch?

The other morning I spotted this little drama unfolding just outside my porch window,

Apparently the hapless caterpillar, on his way to find safe lodging to spin it's cocoon, got entangled with Mr. Spiders web.

The size variance made no difference to the spider as he began to spin his web around the struggling caterpillar. If successful, I am sure he planned on taking the rest of the year off, as the caterpillar would certainly provide enough food for the rest of the season.

So, how did it turn out? Well, after much effort Mr. Caterpillar was finally able to get his many pair of feet onto the nearby window frame and break free of the spiders trap.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Nanaimo Weekend Weather Looks Great


More Good Kite Flying
Weather On The Way

Grab your kite and head down to Departure Bay Beach or your favourite park this weekend as the weatherman promises to co-operate once again.

Bowen Park, Westwood Lake, Diver's Lake, Coliery Dam, Piper's Lagoon, Syw-a-lana Lagoon, Maffeo Sutton Park, Nanaimo's Seawall are just a few great places to spend sunny weekend days in Nanaimo. And they can all be enjoyed for FREE!

You can also take a ride on the ferry over to Newcastle Island which is another popular summertime spot with Nanaimoites and visitors alike.

Downtown offers the daily cannon firing in the plaza next to the Bastion which is also open if you haven't taken that in yet. There is also the art gallery downtown and the Nanaimo Museum also being worth a visit. Pop into the PNC and see the E.J. Hughes mural if you haven't seen it. Of course there is the farmers market on Friday and a pleasant stroll along the seawall as great options also.

If being on the water appeals to you be sure to check out the free paddling and sailing sessions at Long Lake this Saturday. All ages are welcome for this fun day put on by the Nanaimo Canoe and Kayak Club in conjuntion with the Nanaimo Yacht Club. There will be coaches on hand to offer basic instruction and training and those participating can enjoy a free barbecue.
This fun event is on from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm this Sunday May 31 at Loudon Park on Long Lake.

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Things To Do In Nanaimo May 29 - 31

Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for every interest from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory click the banner above or
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Fri. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sat. calendar of events use this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Sun. calendar of events use this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.


Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nanaimo Toilet Rebate Program Extended

Toilet Rebate Program Extended
$50,000 Added To Fund

The toilet rebate program is proving to be popular with Nanaimo residents wishing to install a new low flow toilet. The program to date has funded the installation of 709 low flow toilets.

City Council recently approved an additional $50,000 in funding for this water saving scheme.

To get a copy of the on-line toilet rebate application form, use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Editor's Note: This is one time when having taxpayer money thrown into the crapper, may not be a bad idea. :^)

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SPCA Pets For Adoption

Yin and Yang
SPCA Featured Cats For Adoption

Yin and Yang are two handsome five months old boys, who were found when they were barely 2 months old. They spent a couple of months at a wonderful foster home and are now ready to find their forever home.

These two boys are a little shy, but as soon you touch them and give them a nice pet they turn on the loudest purr you have ever heart and relax and enjoy. Yin loves to be in your arms and will stay as long you will have him, purring and looking at you with those beautiful green eyes, often relaxing so much he will almost go to sleep. Both these sweet boys are very playful and love to toss around toy mice and balls and will make you laugh watching them play.


For more information about these and other pets for adoption contact the Nanaimo SPCA at 250 - 758-8444 or visit them at 2200 Labieux Road Nanaimo.

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Excuses Won't Avoid Speeding Ticket

The Police Have Heard Them All

ICBC's Top Ten Excuses List

If you’re caught speeding, you’ll want to throw away your bag of excuses. Police have heard it all and are warning drivers excuses won’t get you out of a ticket at any time. We asked police across the province to share drivers’ top excuses for speeding:

  1. I’m late for class/work/court. This age-old excuse won’t work, especially if you’re on your way to court! “My boss will fire me” or “My teacher will fail me” are lines that won’t work either. Be more realistic, plan your route and allow yourself extra time. There are many things that cause delays, such as traffic, construction, bad weather and, unfortunately, car crashes. If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay. Like they say, better late than never.
  2. I didn’t know I was going that fast. Normally, your speedometer doesn’t lie! Though playing dumb with the police will definitely earn you points—that’s penalty points with a hefty fine. Remember to check your speedometer once in a while. And be sure to focus on the road. There are around 8,200 speed-related collisions in an average year in BC, which injure 5,500 people and kill 161 (2003-2007 police data). Unsafe speed is one of the most frequently cited contributing factors in police-reported car crashes. Slowing down reduces your risk of getting in a crash.
  3. I didn’t know the speed limit. That’s like saying you didn’t know Canada was north of the U.S. border. The provincial and municipal governments ensure speed limits are clearly posted along highways and city roads. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, the basic speed limits are 80 km/h outside municipalities and 50 km/h within municipalities .
  4. I was passing a dangerous/bad/slow driver. Driving like Bond or Bourne should be left to the pros in Hollywood blockbusters. Weaving in and out of traffic is one of the top five high-risk behaviours that cause car crashes. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt and keep your distance.
  5. My car doesn’t go that fast. Nice try! Unless you’re driving a low-speed vehicle like a moped or scooter, your car can go as fast as a swift (the bird not the Suzuki) which flies between 160 and 320 km/h. A Swedish study shows that dropping your speed by five per cent reduces your crash risk by 14 to 20 per cent.
  6. I was just keeping up with traffic. Drivers aren’t like cattle in a herd—would you keep speeding if the cars in front were heading towards a brick wall? Sure, it’s important to keep up with the flow of traffic, but do so within the posted speed limit. If another driver is too close, safely move out of the way and let the vehicle pass. It’s better to do this than risk a crash or a speeding ticket.
  7. I was only going 10 km/h over the speed limit and that’s OK. Actually, if you speed up to 20 km/h over the limit, you could get a $138 ticket. Also, the faster you go, the longer it takes to stop. At 30 km/h, it takes 18 metres to come to a full stop. At 80 km/h, it takes 76 metres. Think of what that looks like when trying to avoid a person, an animal or a large truck.
  8. I have to go to the bathroom. Lame. This is something you likely learned from your mom and teachers over the years—“always use a washroom before you leave.” Plus, this excuse won’t hold up with the cops. There are plenty of gas stations and rest-stops along major roads and highways.
  9. I was having an argument with my spouse and wasn’t paying attention. Sure, we all have arguments from time to time (Canucks game vs. Canadian Idol, playing golf vs. a visit to the in-laws…). But these are far better resolved outside a car. If you simply must resolve the debate, pull over and park. It’s safer. Plus, you’ll make it home in one piece after your mother-in-law’s sumptuous cedar plank salmon.
  10. I’m sick and am going to the hospital/I’m about to give birth. Really? If you’re that sick or about to give birth in the driver’s seat, call an ambulance. You’re not trained to drive like an emergency medical technician, a police officer or a fire fighter, so stick with what you know and drive safe. Call a professional and get there safely.
Fines for speeding range from $138 to $483. As well, as of January 2009 , drivers who have one or more excessive speeding convictions will pay a Driver Risk Premium (DRP). For more information and tips, visit www.icbc.com.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Safe Kids Week May 25 - 31

SAFE KIDS WEEK

A new review of child injury research from Safe Kids Canada demonstrates that Canadian homes may not be as safe for children as many parents mistakenly believe. According to a new Harris / Decima survey on home product safety unveiled today as part of the national Safe Kids Week campaign, the majority of Canadians (86 per cent) assume the products they buy for their homes are safe for the family to use. This is not always the case. While products used every day by adults have a purpose, these same products can become dangerous when used incorrectly by children.

Between 1990 and 2007 there were over 1.6 million emergency room visits for children under the age of 19. In the last 10 years nearly half of these (46 per cent) were as a result of product-related injuries. However, according to the survey results, nearly half of Canadian parents (49 per cent) feel children are rarely injured by home products. In reality, there are 18,000 emergency room visits each year as a result of Canadian children who have been injured by products found in and around the home.

"Children are particularly vulnerable to home product-related injuries, often using normally safe products in ways they were never meant to be used," says Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada, the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick Children. "The majority of Canadians incorrectly assume the products they use in their homes are safe - especially if they've never had an incident - but this is not the case. Parents and caregivers need to consider how a child sees different products in the home and anticipate how they could be harmful if used improperly."

Danger in disguise:
Injuries to children by products found in and around the home are common throughout all age groups - not just younger children. In fact, as children grow they are at risk for different kinds of injuries from various home products.

Risk for children ages 0 - 4 years: FALLS FROM FURNITURE
Young children are at risk for falls from beds (i.e. bunk beds) and furniture such as tables, chairs and couches. Between 1990 and 2007, more than 5,403 injuries from bunk beds were reported. While bunk beds are functional and allow for maximum use of space, injuries from a fall from a top bunk were almost twice as likely to require hospital admittance than other injuries. Only allow children over age 6 to use the top bunk and install padded carpeting in rooms where bunk beds are used. Thirty per cent of Canadians have owned bunk beds; however 10 per cent of Canadians do not believe they could cause injury to a child.

Risk for children ages 5 - 9 years: TOPPLING FURNITURE
Whether climbing furniture to reach items they want or to turn on the television, children ages 5 - 9 years are at risk of injury from toppling furniture such as televisions, dressers, wall units, bookcases and water coolers. Between 1990 and 2007, children's injuries from toppling furniture, televisions and larger appliances averaged approximately 9,000 cases per year. Specifically, more than 100 children visited the ER each year from toppling televisions alone. Televisions need to be kept on low, sturdy furniture - never on dressers - and safety products like angle-brackets or furniture straps can be used for better security. Nine per cent of Canadians do not believe toppling furniture could cause injuries to children.

Risk for children ages 10 - 14 years: BACKYARD EQUIPMENT
Older children are at risk for injuries from backyard equipment such as playground sets. Approximately 25 per cent of injuries to children occur on home playground equipment. Falls and strangulation are the leading causes of injury to children on backyard playground equipment. Playgrounds should be surrounded by a deep, soft surface such as wood chips or sand to help cushion a child's fall, plus in order to prevent strangulations, drawstrings on children's clothing should be removed, and scarves should be tucked into clothing, before children play on playground equipment.

Keep Your Home S.A.F.E.

  • See products around your home through the eyes of your child and anticipate how a child might use it differently. Keep potentially dangerous products out of reach.
  • Ask yourself if the products you purchase are appropriate for your child. Look at the size, surface and remove any strings. Remember, the smaller child, the bigger the product.
  • Find products that follow safety standard seals such as CSA or ASTM when choosing an item for your home.
  • Educate yourself on products that have been recalled and contact Health Canada if you have a concern at 1 866-662-0666. Their website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps/, has extensive information on product recalls, product advisories and children's products.Another excellent resource is Canadian Product Recalls.

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Bicycle Recalls In Canada


Faulty Bicycles Recalled

There have been several recalls recently by different bicycle manufacturers including Norco, Trek, Dahon and Cannondale.

A variety of hazards have been identified which could result in injury to riders if the problems are not dealt with.

For more information about these and other product recalls visit Canadian Product Recalls website by clicking the following banner.



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Volunteer Nanaimo Opportunities

Current Volunteer Opportunities

NANAIMO FLYING CLUB (Nanaimo Airport)
“Wings & Wheels” (CYCD) Fly-in

1. Face Painter Volunteers required as face painters for this event on June 6 – 7, 2009 between 9am – 8pm. Minimum shift of 2 hours required from noon to 4pm Ability to work with people of all ages. On site assistance to help with set up, and reimbursement of supplies.
2. Facilitator Childrens’ Games Volunteers for this must have ability to conduct childrens’ games and work with children of all ages. Activity instructions and materials provided, on-site assistance to help with set-up. Minimum shift of 2 hours from noon to 4pm To apply or for more information, please call Barbara Riddy at 250.741.4055 or email creativeminds@adexec.com

LITERACY CENTRAL V.I.
(formerly Literacy Nanaimo)
Bookstore Volunteer
Enthusiastic volunteers with a working knowledge of English, physically able to carry and lift books and boxes of books, required at our Bookstore, 19 Commercial Street. Volunteers will be trained to alphabetize, sort, shelve and price books, and customer service. For more information and/or to apply, please contact Jane at the Bookstore between 9am and 5pm, or call 250.754.8988.

NANAIMO DISTRICT MUSEUM

Bastion Cannon Firing Volunteer

Possibly the most interesting job in town!! If you have two spare hours a week, enjoy history and meeting people from around the world, the Nanaimo District Museum is looking for volunteers to fire the Bastion Cannon once a week from May to September. All training will be provided, and a Criminal Record Check is required. For more information, and/or to sign up, please contact Bobbi Williamson at 250.753.1853 or email her at program@nanaimomuseum.ca.

ACCESSIBLE WILDERNESS SOCIETY
(two positions)
“Trail Accessibility”
Volunteers If you have a general interest in outdoors and a willingness and interest in improving the lives of people living with physical challenges, then this new Society would love to hear from you. The job requires visiting parks in the City and Regional District of Nanaimo determining accessibility. Training sessions (60 – 90 mins) to be arranged. Please phone Dan or Judy Bauer at 250.714.1773
Board Member
If you have experience in the general operation of a Board of Directors, and/or a financial background and are willing to help this newly formed Society endeavouring to improve the lives of those living with physical challenges, please telephone Dan or Judy Bauer at 250.714.1773 or email danbauer@awssociety.org

CANADIAN RED CROSS
(2 positions)


Health Equipment Loan Program Assistant
To inspect, maintain and clean all returned medical equipment, and inspect to ensure it is in safe working order. Clean and maintain loan shop and shipping/receiving areas in Nanaimo depot (aprons and gloves provided). One 4-hour shift per week.

Delivery Assistant
To assist the program technician for one 4-hour shift per week, with delivery, loading/unloading and installation of medical equipment for clients. Reports to the HELP Coordinator, should have good people skills, outgoing, friendly and patient, and diplomatic as work is done in clients’ home. Frequent out of doors work in all weather. Shifts for all positions are 9.30am-1.00pm or 1.00-4.30pm. To apply and/or for more detailed job descriptions, please contact Diane Marwick, Coordinator, at 250.756.9363 ext 222.

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Is Local TV Really In Trouble? Shaw Says No!


CTV and Global TV are trying to convince Canadians that local TV is in trouble. What they’re really doing is lobbying to push through a new TV tax, a charge to the cable and satellite companies and their customers for carrying their stations. They want this extra charge because they’ve misspent the hundreds of millions of dollars they’ve already received from taxpayers, cable and satellite companies.

Taxing Canadians to provide broadcasters with yet another bailout won’t help fix the problem. What it will do is add up to $72 to your cable bill.

The truth is, local TV doesn’t need saving.

The broadcasters are asking Canadians to help “save local TV”, but local TV doesn’t need saving. They say they’re broke, but the truth is both CTV and Global TV are both very big businesses with a number of very profitable channels and assets. Let’s be clear: it’s not local TV that needs saving. Broadcasters need to invest in local TV, not spend on foreign programming.

Canadians and Shaw are already doing their part.

Shaw and Shaw Direct contributed over $86 million last year alone. That’s 1.8 million dollars every week and that’s just our share. The fact is, cable and satellite companies provide hundreds of millions of dollars every year to broadcasters – as much, or more, funding comes from the Canadian government. Where does that money come from? It comes from the Canadian taxpayers.

The bottom line.

We can’t afford to keep bailing out companies who don’t know how to control their spending. Major broadcasters must be responsible for their own businesses. Get the facts and send a message to government. Be loud.

Thank you for your continued support.

Get the real story! Watch the Business News Network’s interview with Peter Bissonette, President of Shaw Communications.


Jim Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications has an important message for you about this current move to increase the cost of YOUR television. Use this Nanaimo Info LINK for his response.

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BC Wins National Energy Star Award

Reduce Home Heating Costs

The provincial energy efficiency market transformation strategy for residential furnaces, which is helping British Columbians lower their home energy costs, won the national ENERGY STAR market transformation award in Ottawa last night.

Heating a home generally accounts for half of a British Columbian’s home energy costs. Many existing furnaces are low-efficiency models that average between 60 and 70 per cent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). An ENERGY STAR natural gas furnace can perform up to 97 per cent AFUE.

British Columbia became a leader in energy efficiency when it launched the market transformation strategy in 2004. The strategy focused on increasing awareness, acceptance, affordability and accessibility of ENERGY STAR furnaces. To achieve this, the Province:

· Partnered with Terasen Gas and Pacific Northern Gas on information and incentive programs.

· Introduced a provincial sales tax exemption for ENERGY STAR furnaces (which ended on Dec. 31, 2007).

· Implemented a provincial sales tax exemption for ENERGY STAR boilers and oil-fired furnaces, which will be available until March 31, 2011.

· Launched the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program in April 2008, which includes incentives for super-efficient ENERGY STAR furnaces (92 per cent or higher, with variable speed, furnace blower motors).

· Introduced a regulation under the BC Energy Efficiency Act that adopted the same standard as ENERGY STAR (AFUE greater or equal to 90 per cent). This regulation took effect for new construction on Jan. 1, 2008 and will take effect for retrofits Dec. 31, 2009.

· Worked with the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA) and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) to develop trades training to promote appropriate installation and sales techniques for ENERGY STAR furnaces.

As a result of these measures, the market share of ENERGY STAR furnaces in British Columbia has increased from 27 per cent in 2004 to 64 per cent in 2008. Furthermore, with approximately 25,000 new furnaces being purchased each year in the province, the strategy will result in energy savings of 2,475 terajoules per year and greenhouse gas emission reductions of 123,000 tonnes per year by 2020.

This strategy supports the Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy: More Action, Less Energy, released on May 22, 2008. The strategy aims to transform the market to achieve energy-efficiency targets for existing and new buildings in British Columbia, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. British Columbians will benefit from net energy savings of approximately $3.4 billion over and above capital costs by 2020.

Provincial energy efficiency programs help British Columbians lower their energy costs, while creating new, skilled jobs and increasing B.C.’s economic competitiveness. By participating in the LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program, British Columbians have, on average, reduced their home energy use by 31 per cent and their greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6 tonnes per year.

LiveSmart BC builds sustainable communities by rewarding smart choices to reduce energy consumption and by promoting investment in green business opportunities to help create new jobs in a low-carbon economy. To learn more, visit www.livesmartbc.ca.


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Gassing Cats Petition Misguided

Gassing Can Be Far More Humane

There is a local petition and lobby afoot to ban the use of gas as a means of killing feral cats in the city.

The animal lovers think that lethal injection is far more humane and less stressful for the animal.

What they seem to be missing is the fact that these are not cute, little purring kitties but rather they are biting, scratching, squirming, hissing little hell-cats bent on being somewhere else. If your flesh happens to be in the way of their teeth or claws, they could care less.

To suggest that holding this fighting fur ball while shaving their leg, finding a vein and then injecting them with poison is any less stressful than putting them in an enclosure where they inhale a gas which does in fact put them to sleep, is an unfounded argument.

Gassing as a means of killing unwanted animals is accepted by both the Canadian and the American Veterinary Medical Associations.

As usual these petitions gain steam when people have their emotions tweaked by those who are misinformed about this nasty little subject. These same people should be required to actually witness both forms of killing before they go off on an emotionally charged tangent that is ill-founded.

Another Consideration:

Recently the SPCA in Sydney NS were told they could no longer use gas to kill unwanted cats, but instead have until Oct. to begin using lethal injections.

The staff of eight who are charged with killing about 1,000 cats per year are not pleased with the decision.

Their reason? Now they will have to hold the animals while they die, and they find that a very stressful situation for themselves. They also used to provide euthanasia services for local residents, but with this new rule, they will no longer provide the service to pet owners, who instead will have to take their pets to a vet to have them killed.

I also engaged those opposed to the use of gas to put animals to sleep and asked how they handle the feral cat who is not interested in being handled at all while you shave their leg, find a vein and inject poison into them. They said you simply sedate the animal first.

If that is their argument, then why not sedate the cats before putting them into the gas chamber? Their argument seems to fall apart.

Properly done, the use of gas (which is not some lung searing mustard type gas) but is either carbon monoxide (odorless and tasteless) or carbon dioxide, simply causes the animal to go unconscious, the same as carbon monoxide would put us to sleep.

Killing an animal is not a pleasant task, but the emotional furor being raised by the pro-injection crowd borders on hysteria. If an animal is placed in a chamber, which has been pre-charged with gas they will in fact 'go to sleep'. They can also be forcefully held while their leg is shaved and a needle is put into their vein, presuming they hit the vein the first time, if not, they have to try again. Then the animal is injected with a poison which stops their heart.

Neither choice is preferable to the animal living out a happy life, but if death is the only option, putting an animal to sleep with gas, is not the horror story some would have you think it is.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nanaimo Taxi Fares To Increase

Rates Increase About
10 Cents per Kilometre

It is reported in the local daily that city council has approved a rate increase of 4.6% for the local cab companies.

The increase is needed to keep up with rising fuel costs, labour costs and the costs of living.

The increse was approved by the Passenger Transportation Board and was passed by council at Monday's meeti
ng.

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Victoria Landlord Fraud Victim

A New Way To Steal Your Money

A Victoria landlord was recently scammed out of more than $25,000 after placing an advertisement for a suite for rent on the internet. The suspected fraudster, believed to be in Europe, answered the advertisement and sent a cheque to the suite owner for $35,000 to cover the rent and utilities for a year in advance. The cheque was subsequently deposited into the suite owner’s account. A short time later the fraudster contacted the suite owner requesting the agreement change and a portion of the money be returned as the fraudster now wanted to rent the suite for only six months.

As several days had passed and the cheque deposited was believed to have been cleared, the suite owner returned about $25,000 of the funds originally received back to the fraudster. The suite owner was later contacted by the banking institution involved and advised the original cheque for $35,000 bounced as it was found to be fraudulent. The suite owner is now faced with the financial loss of more than $25,000. This matter is still under investigation.

The public is reminded that fraudsters continue to create new and inventive ways to involve would-be victims in their scams. Never accept a cheque worth more than the value of the transaction involved and always wait until the cheque has fully processed before releasing the goods to the purchaser.

If you have any information regarding this or any type of scam please report it to your local RCMP detachment or police force and contact Phonebusters.

For More Information on How To Protect Yourself from Frauds and Scams, please check out the following websites:
RCMP Fraud Advice
Phonebusters
Better Business Bureau

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It's A Jungle Out There

Come Into My Parlour
Said The Spider To The Bee

If you look very closely you will see one of those little dramas lived out in the garden every day, which mostly go unnoticed.

That hapless bee has become supper for that small white spider which given it's size obviously packs quite a punch to take out a bee on the fly.

The spider sits ever so still amongst the flowers with pincher's at the ready, and should a bee not be paying attention, the next thing you know he has become lunch.

I took this picture yesterday while tending to my flowers, or more accurately weeds.

I would be happier if this able hunter developed a liking for mosquito's and left the helpful honey bees alone, but I guess everyone has to earn a living someho
w.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Nanaimo On-Line Home Owner Grant



Be Sure To Claim Your Grant
Easy As 1 - 2 -3

You can claim you home owner grant for your 2009 property taxes online by going to the City of Nanaimo website.

It would seem the city has changed their website since they did the graphic on the brochure which came out with your tax notice. The above pictures are a current snapshot of the city website showing the way to claim your grant.

Go to City of Nanaimo website click on the RESIDENTS heading and choose Property Tax from the menu. That will take you to a page with the heading Property Tax and a blue Home Owner Grant button which will take you to the on-line grant application page.

You will need to enter your folio number from your tax notice and your access code to complete your application. This should be the only paperwork involved to claim your grant.

Even if you are unable to pay your taxes on time, be sure to claim your grant anyway and claim it before the July 2 deadline.

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ICBC Net Income $117 Million

ICBC Net Income Up Over 2008

Basic Rates Remain Unchanged

ICBC reported strong financial results for the first three months of 2009, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the economic downturn.

Net income for the first quarter of 2009 was $117 million, up from $102 million for the same period in 2008.

"We are pleased with our financial results given the tough economic times we are all experiencing," said Jon Schubert, ICBC's President and CEO. "In particular, the continuing decline in the number and cost of injury claims is good news for our customers. Good weather and improved claims-handling procedures have benefited our customers and had a positive impact on our net income."

Claims and related costs for the first quarter of 2009 were down to $735 million from $761 million for the same period in 2008. ICBC's customers continue to do their part to contribute towards this decline in claims costs and to keep rates low and stable by driving safely, while a moderation in the number of vehicles on the road has also played a role.

The impact of the economic downturn is evident at ICBC, resulting in lower premiums of $843 million from January to March, 2009, compared to $860 million from the first quarter of 2008. The slowdown in premiums written will likely have a greater impact on ICBC's financial results going forward throughout the year.

ICBC's investment income for the first quarter of 2009 was $123 million, relatively flat compared to the same period in 2008. The corporation's conservative and long-term investment strategy – with the majority of its portfolio invested in high-quality bonds – continues to position us well for the future.

ICBC also continues to be an industry leader with low operating costs, which are consistent with Q1 2008 despite the challenging economic times. Similar to previous years, approximately just four cents of every premium dollar will be used for administrative costs to operate its insurance business in 2009.

"Our strong performance in these tough times is benefiting our customers," said Schubert. "Our financial strength is allowing us to reduce optional rates for 2009 by an average of three percent effective October 1, 2009. Preliminary indications are that basic rates will remain the same for this year."

Editor's Note: If they really want to benefit customers, perhaps reducing the basic rate is a better place to start. Reducing optional rates is likely being done to address competitive pressures from other insuring companies more than it is being done to help BC drivers.


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Now Children ... Play Nicely!

Responding to Conservative Ads
Ignatieff Threatens Harper

The above Globe and Mail photo with the caption “If you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done,” Liberal Leader tells Harper, kind of sounds like the kids are acting up again!

Perhaps they all missed the message last year when all parties and politicians were behaving badly and the Canadian public was ready to give them all the boot.

The conservatives have been running a series of ads making issue of the fact that Liberal leader Ignatieff has not actually lived in Canada that many years of his adult working life. They further suggest he is nothing more than an opportunist who will head back to the states if he does not become PM in the next election.

While the ad does pose a question Canadians need to ask themselves about Ignatieff, it is done in the typical 'attack dog' style, which many find distasteful. The conservatives having successfully defined Dion with his famous " it's hard to make priorities", are once again trying to define the Liberal leader. They think his non-resident status could be his Achilles heel and are apparently going for it.

Perhaps they all need to be reminded that they were sent to Ottawa to govern the country and lead us through these difficult economic times. They all seem to be in 'campaign mode' most of the time trying to score points with the electorate at every opportunity.

They should all be just shut away and told to govern until the next election and quit the sniping in the meantime. There is no party not guilty of this sniping with the leader of the NDP perhaps the most proficient at it.

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Greyhound Wants To Reduce Island Service

Greyhound To Cut One Trip Daily
Between Nanaimo - Campbell River


An article in the Times Colonist says that Greyhound Bus Lines is applying to the B.C. Transportation board to reduce service to Campbell River.

Currently the bus lines has three daily trips between Nanaimo and Campbell River and they seek to have that reduced to two trips each way daily. Three years ago they sought to reduce the service from four trips to two but settled with three after a public outcry.

Any community between Nanaimo and Campbell River relying on the bus service for parcel delivery would also be affected by the reduction.

The B.C. Transportation Board is receiving comments from the public until June 17 and may consider a public hearing on the matter. You can submit your comments by sending them to ptboard@gov.bc.ca or faxed to 250-953-3788.

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Susan Boyle Does It Again


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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Port of Nanaimo Centre or IRIS Building?


Good Example of Effective Signage

The first new tenant at the Port of Nanaimo Centre is displaying how to effectively make use of your exterior sign.

Their prominent store front on the corner of Commercial St. and Terminal Ave. combined with excellent signage gives them a dominant position in this new center. In fact their signage overshadows anything which identifies the building as the Conference Center.

So, how long will it be before you are directing visitors to the PNC by referencing the IRIS sign on the corner?
Not long I'll bet.

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Suspicous Fire At Diplomat Motel


20 People Lose Shelter

What is described as a suspicious fire at the Diplomat Motel on Nicol St. yesterday morning has left 20 people homeless.

The fire is reported to have broken out around 7:15 am yesterday morning and a vehicle was seen speeding from the scene. Before that residents had been awakened with yelling coming from the suite.

The fire department was able to knock the fire down quickly and contain the fire damage to a limited area. None of the residents were hurt in the fire.

If you can shed any light on what happened here I am sure officials would like to hear from you.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Things To Do In Nanaimo May 22 - 24

Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for every interest from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory click the banner above or
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Fri. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sat. calendar of events use this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Sun. calendar of events use this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.


Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.


Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.


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City of Nanaimo 2008 Annual Report

NOTICE OF MEETING JUNE 15, 2009

2008 ANNUAL REPORT

Pursuant to Section 94 of the Community Charter, Notice is hereby given that the Council of the City of Nanaimo will consider the 2008 Annual Report as part of its regular business at the Council Meeting to be held in the Shaw Auditorium in the Port of Nanaimo Centre, on Monday, June 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm.

Some of the topics included in the report are:

a) Highlights of Financial Information
b) Municipal Services and Operations
c) Municipal Objectives and Performance Indicators

The draft 2008 Annual Report will be available for inspection during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Monday to Friday) commencing May 25, 2009 in the Legislative Services Office. Written submissions regarding the 2008 Annual Report must be submitted to the Legislative Services Office prior to Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 4:30 pm. Delegations on the report will be provided an opportunity to be heard at the June 15th, 2009 meeting. Requests for information regarding this notice may be directed to: B.E. Clemens, Director of Finance Telephone: 250- 755-4431.

To view a draft of the report (PDF) use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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Nanaimo RCMP Seize Drugs and Firearm

Matthew Bouron Arrested

With the assistance of the South Island Emergency Response Team(ERT) Nanaimo RCMP Property Crime members executed a search warrant at 09:30 am ay 19 resulting in the arrest of one male and the seizure of a loaded firearm and drugs.


Intelligence gathered by investigators indicated the possibility of firearms in an apartment located an apartment located at 250 Victoria Rd therefore ERT was utilized and the search warrant carried out without incident.

Mathew Thomas BOURNON age 19 a resident of the apartment was arrested without incident and remanded into custody to face charges of Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Careless Storage of a Firearm and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking under the CDSA.

The firearm seized was identified as a fully loaded 22 calibre semi automatic handgun. Some currency was located in the residence along with small amount of crack cocaine. .BOURNON was remanded into custody to await his next court appearance.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Neighbourhood Farmer's Market Opens Saturday


Farmer's Market
Opening Day

The Farmer's Market at Nanaimo North Town Center opens for the season starting this Saturday with a pancake breakfast from 9:00 - 11:00 am.

They will be offering Something for everyone! Fresh local farm products, baking, arts & crafts... Wellington High School Jazz Combo...Children's Activities - Planting Giant Pumpkins, Rock City Elementary Art Contest, Balloon Animals
and more.

They are open until 1:00 pm so be sure to come early for best selection. For more information you can visit their website using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

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Pedestrian Safety Tips For Parents

What your child needs to know about road safety ahead of Safe Kids Week

ICBC is marking Canada’s annual Safe Kids Week (www.safekidscanada.ca), May 25-31, by helping parents teach their children about essential pedestrian road safety tips.

Walking is a great, environmentally-friendly and healthy way for your children to get around, but if they don’t follow the rules of the road it can also be very dangerous. There are approximately 100 incidents and 110 injuries involving child pedestrians each year in BC. This means that most incidents result in a child being injured.

Here are ICBC’s top five pedestrian safety tips for parents to share with their children:

No. 1 – Make it fun: Too often we preach to our kids – telling them what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Kids hate that, so make your road safety teaching fun while still treating it as a serious issue. Sparking their enthusiasm for road safety will help keep your children safe and encourage them to share all the things they learn with their classmates and friends. On your next walk through your neighbourhood, try a fun and interactive game by having your children point out all the traffic signs you see and ask if they know what they mean. You can also p ractice how to get to and from school safely with your child, and make it fun by also drawing the route with them. In addition, remember, even older children need to be reminded about road safety. Try rewarding them for following the steps to safely crossing an intersection or coming up with solutions to intersection safety hazards they notice.

No. 2 – Be a role model: Parents are the number one role models for any young child so make sure you set a perfect example for them when teaching them about pedestrian safety around roads. If you are not modelling the behaviour you want your kids to emulate, then don’t expect them to be safe around roads. If your child sees you jaywalking, they will think it is okay to do and will do the same thing. The most common road safety error made by kids is in not finding a safe place to cross. Make sure you teach you child to cross at safe intersections that have a pedestrian crossing light or a marked crosswalk whenever possible.

No. 3 – Focus on the basics: Kids will digest information about serious issues when it’s kept simple and relevant for them to understand. Therefore, begin your pedestrian safety lessons with the key basics that you learned as a kid, and which are still relevant today. A great example is how to properly cross at intersections:

  • Stop: Before crossing, always stop at the curb. Make sure all vehicles have stopped.
  • Look: Look left and right for oncoming vehicles. Then look again over your shoulders for vehicles that might be turning. Teach your kids to keep looking for approaching vehicles as they cross.
  • Listen: Listen for approaching traffic that you can’t yet see.
  • Make eye contact: Children must assume that drivers have not seen them whenever they are around roads. Even if the walk signal is on, teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before they cross.
  • Walk: Teach your kids to never run when crossing a road.

No. 4 – Mark out safe areas: Focus on teaching your kids where to position themselves when they are around roads to ensure they are in as safe a position as possible. Children should always walk on the inside edge of a sidewalk – this way they are less exposed to traffic. If there isn’t the option of walking on a sidewalk, teach your kids to always walk facing oncoming traffic so they can see approaching vehicles and make eye contact with drivers.

No. 5 – Park it: Parking lots, or any areas where cars commonly park, require special attention. Vehicles can back up or move without warning and can do so quickly. Parking vehicles can be a complex manoeuvre too, and while drivers should always be looking out for pedestrians they can often be distracted when parking. In addition, it is often tough for drivers to spot pedestrians – especially small children – when they are walking around or between parked cars. When walking with your child, avoid any unnecessary shortcuts through parking lots.

ICBC provides free road safety materials to schools across BC. The materials are unique to each grade level and encourage road safety among students with fun and interactive activities. For information on ordering these materials and for more safety tips, go to icbc.com and click on ‘road safety’.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nanaimo Vancouver Island & Canadian House Prices April 2009

Nanaimo House Prices Off By 6%
April 09 to April 08

Up 5.4% April 09 to March 09

Based on average MLS sales summaries for Nanaimo and other Canadian cities for April 2009.

National Average
April 09 - $306,366
April 08 - $316,438

Victoria BC
April 09 - $455,143
April 08 - $494,204

Vancouver BC
April 09 - $565,003
April 08 - $615,304

Calgary
April 09 - $371,995
April 08 - $414,006

Regina
April 09 - $247,907
April 08 - $248,039

Toronto
April 09 - $385,641
April 08 - $398,687

Ottawa
April 09 - $298,593
April 08 - $295,909

Nanaimo
April 09 - $352,555
April 08 - $373,134
Units Sold
April 09 - 119
April 08 - 164

Remember these are 'average' house sales prices and do not necessarily reflect what the actual market value is of your property. For an accurate evaluation of your property you need to contact a real estate agent who is knowledgeable or a professional appraiser.

Averages are however helpful in identifying trends and clearly, real estate is not selling for what is was a year ago, which was over valued most likely. It is good news for first time home buyers, lower prices combined with record low mortgage rates in some cases make buying more attractive than continuing to rent.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dogs Are NOT Allowed In Buttertubs Marsh

Marsh is For Wildlife
Not Fido Leashed or Not

Apparently an error on a sign at the marsh, which gave the impression dogs were allowed, has caused some trouble at the marsh.

The sign error has since been corrected but it seems some people have not gotten the message.

The marsh is private property and public access could be denied if things went that far which is most unlikely. However the marsh is NOT for dogs and is a wildlife sanctuary where dogs are most unwelcome.

So you now know that you will need to find another place to give Fido his daily walk and let the wildlife live in peace.

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