Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Colour At Maffeo Sutton Park

Vivid fall colours ring Swy-a-lana Lagoon in Maffeo Sutton Park on downtown Nanaimo's spectacular waterfront.
Fall colours and a colourful mural greet visitors to Maffeo Sutton Park on an overcast late October afternoon. A perfect place to take in the fresh salt air and enjoy a refreshing stroll along the waterfront.
 Click either Image To Enlarge

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Art Vandalized In Maffeo Sutton Park

 Frank Ney Statue Damaged 

Local malcontents have caused damage to some of the art on display in Maffeo Sutton Park dowtown on Nanaimo's waterfront. The statue honoring Nanaimo's flamboyant mayor, Frank Ney has had the sword broken from the bronze statue which was erected in 1996. It will be repaired at some cost to local taxpayers and hopefully in time for next year's bathtub race.

Reward Offered

An anonymous art lover has posted a sign offering a reward for information regarding the person or persons who are responsible for destroying another piece of public art. The ceramic statue  titled Pelagic Cormorant by artist Lori Sorenson was damaged beyond repair before it could be sold at last week's public art auction. The number on the note offering the reward is 591-6116 and says that no questions will be asked.

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VI Raiders Defeat Hamilton Hurricanes

38 - 13 Victory Means 
Raiders Advance To National Championships

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Two Dead In Parked Car At Departure Bay Beach Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP are currently investigating the discovery of two bodies found this morning in a vehicle parked at Departure Bay beach.

Officers responded at 8 AM this morning after several calls were received of a man and women slumped over in the front seat of a parked vehicle.The car was parked in public parking, across from the 7-11 convenience store on Departure Bay Rd. Officers attended and confirmed the two individuals ,both Caucasian ,were deceased and had suffered apparent gunshot wounds. A firearm was later located inside the vehicle.

The vehicle was towed from the scene and is presently being examined by RCMP Forensic specialists. The firearm will be forwarded to the RCMP Forensics lab and will be examined by ballistic experts. “ It is to early in the investigation to comment on the cause of death. Our investigators believe however, based on their preliminary findings ,this was not a random act and that no other persons are involved and the public is not at risk ,” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

The female, found in the front passenger seat, is believed to be approximately 70-75 years of age while the male found beside her in the drivers seat, was approximately 40-45 years old. Officers are presently attempting to find and contact immediate family members of both deceased. “ Once family members have been notified, we will be able to provide further information on the investigation ,” said O’Brien.

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Amazing Pumpkin Carving


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Friday, October 29, 2010

When Clocks Go Back In Canada

Clocks Go Back Nov. 7, 2010

If you are like me, you are still expecting to set your clock back sometime near the end of October. That is the way it used to be, but a few years ago now both Canada and the USA decided to see if there was any energy savings that would result if the daylight saving time period were extended.

As a result our clocks jump ahead earlier in the spring and go back a week or two later in the fall now.

This year Canadians will have to wait until the first weekend of November which is Nov. 7 this year to gain back the hour of sleep we lost in the spring.

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Pleasurecraft Fire Nanaimo Harbour

 Photo Contributed By: TOM BEBYCK

The above photo was taken at 3:30 pm today by reader Tom Bebyck who contributed this timely picture.

From what I have heard the craft burst into flames as it was coming into harbour, the occupants were rescued by unknown people in a Zodiac, who after removing the people, returned and towed the burning boat out of the path of other vessels.

The fire department attended and fought the fire from the dock and the smoking vessel was moved to an area of the harbour away from all other craft. The cause is not known at this time but the occupants of the Zodiac are being hailed as hero's for their quick and brave action, with the result being a loss of property only.

Kudos to Ted for this great photograph which can be enlarged by clicking on it.

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20% of Grade 4 Students In BC are Failing

Are Students or Teachers Failing?

“Right now in British Columbia one in five students who complete Grade 4 do not read, write or have math skills at a Grade 4 level. It’s important for us to find ways to help that 20 per cent of students do better. We know the answer is to invest in early childhood learning,” said Premier Campbell. “It’s important that we make sure that every one of our children is lifted up to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie before them.” Quote from Premier Gordon Campbell Oct. 27, 2010.
 

A portion of the Premiers address to the province the other night which seems to have been pretty much ignored or glossed over by mainstream media declares our mulit-million (or billion) dollar education system still can not adequately teach the basics at a grade four learning level.

How many more decades of experimenting with teaching the basics will it take before we can expect grade 4 students who are 'completing' grade 4 will actually be able to function at the grade 4 level?


20% Failure Rate Seems Acceptable!!

This is obviously not some great revelation that just fell on the Premier the other night before he tried convincing us to give him another chance. Clearly our education system has been failing 20% of our students for years and years. Yet, why has it never been an issue, and better still, why is everyone not up in arms demanding to know just what is going on in the ministry of education.

Try applying a 20% failure rate to just about any human endeavour and see how long you would be holding your job. Would you hire an electrician that failed 20% of the time? A plumber? A dentist? A doctor? (that could be a bad example). But I am sure you get my drift. Since when did a 20% failure rate at anything become acceptable? 

I am presuming that under the current system those 20% who have basically failed to learn at a grade 4 level for the 3 R's are promoted to the grade 5 level and so on. Which begs the question, if they haven't grasped the grade 4 level stuff, how in blazes are they going to get the grade 5 level stuff? Another thing to consider, if these kids are being pushed along through the system without holding them back (because that ain't what we do anymore) what kind of ongoing frustration are they being set up for? 

Now, back to the title; who is it that is really failing here, the students or the teachers?

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Nanaimo House Prices and Canadian House Prices September 2010


Nanaimo Real Estate Sept. 2010
Total Nanaimo Home Sales
Decrease 34% Over 2009
Prices Off By 1%

Total number of homes sold in Nanaimo for the month of September 2010 numbered 78 which is a 34% decrease when compared with the 118 units sold in Sept. 2009.

The average selling prices in Nanaimo slipped a total of 1% year to year from $353,702 in 2009 to an average price of $350,998 in
Sept. 2010.

“We are beginning to see a plateau in inventories while prices are holding their own, “says VIREB President Cliff Moberg.” “With historically low interest rates still available, it may be as good a time as any to consider buying a home”, he adds.
 
The average sale price across the VIREB region for September 2010 was $325,336; a 2 % decrease from the $333,117 posted a year ago.

For the 12‐month period from the end of September 2009 to September 2010, average sale prices across VIREB's six zones were: Campbell River decreased 13 % (to $261,423), the Comox Valley was down 2% (to $327,043), Nanaimo slipped 1% (to $350,998), Parksville/Qualicum jumped 10% to $392,137), Port Alberni grew 3 % (to $248,136) and the Cowichan Valley slid 11% (to $313,363).

Following sales figures are based on average MLS sales summaries for Nanaimo and other Canadian cities for September 2010.


National Average
Sept. 10 - $331.089
Sept. 09 - $331,683

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Rocket Launcher Found On Malahat

A loaded military rocket launcher was discovered in an area of bush beside the Malahat Highway today.

On October 28th, 2010 just after 3:00 PM, a tree clearing contractor discovered a military rocket launcher in an area of dense bush beside Highway One approximately 100 meters north of McCurdry Drive in Shawnigan Lake on southern Vancouver Island. Officers from Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment were called to the scene and secured the area. One of the officers, a Canadian Forces veteran and who served two tours in Afganistan, recognized the weapon to be an M72 self propelled rocket launcher. The rocket launcher was loaded with what appeared to be one live rocket grenade in the tube.

The Canadian Forces Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit was called to the scene and took custody of the weapon.

It is not known how this rocket launcher came to be at this location. It was located approximately seven meters off the highway in a densely treed area. It appeared as though the rocket launcher had been there for at least six months or longer.

Anyone with information about this rocket launcher is asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment.

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Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile

What Happens When The Government Bailout 
Doesn't Come Through -- Listen Up Chrysler & GM

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Things To Do In Nanaimo Oct. 29 - 31


Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for all interests from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory use this  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.

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RCMP Urge Caution With Fireworks


The Explosive Disposal Unit would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween and remind parents that the purchase, use and possession of fireworks are restricted to individuals of at least 18 years of age.

Fireworks are controlled by the federal Explosives Act and its regulations. The Act is administered and enforced by inspectors with the Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) of Natural Resources Canada. The Act may also be enforced by officers with the RCMP or municipal police. 

Municipalities may have their own by-laws and regulations regarding fireworks, e.g., many jurisdictions restrict and or ban the sale or use of fireworks unless permitted by authorized permit.
The Explosives Act does not exempt anyone from complying with local requirements that may be more stringent.
According to the RCMP’s Explosives Unit, the misuse of fireworks in previous years has resulted in injuries, property damage, and even death.
Remember fireworks are considered explosives and therefore can be very dangerous. If used as per the manufacturers requirements and as permitted by law they can be fun for all, but when misused and or altered in anyway they can be dangerous, lethal, and without a doubt, this activity is certainly illegal.
Please contact your local Police Department should you witness the misuse of fireworks and or if you have any concerns or questions.
The RCMP hopes that the public have a safe Halloween without incident.
 
Happy Hallowe'en!!!

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Nanaimo Arts Council November Feature Show


Nanaimo Arts Council
November Feature Show
Rooting  By Artist –   Cécile van Woensel

‘Rooting’ is the title of the Nanaimo Arts Council Feature Show for the month of November. Artist, Cécile van Woensel was born in the Netherlands and always had a great interest in nature and art. After she completed her studies in Fine Arts and Molecular Biology, she worked as a teacher in Fine Arts and had her own mural and painting company. Since her Fine Arts study, she has taken full advantage of her Biology background. Drawing is an excellent way to study the morphological structures that are found in nature. While creating art, she can add a more subjective and personal vision, something that is not usually allowed in science. 

Cécile notes, “When I am inspired by something, for example a tree, I want to touch with my hands the bark with its mosses, the cracks, crevices and gaps. I want to explore the subject and try to get a glimpse of its unknown, mysterious world.”

In the Netherlands, willow trees were an important source of inspiration in her work. After moving to Nanaimo in the summer of 2008, Cecile continued to explore trees; inspired by the majestic west coast rainforest. Living so close to the forests and the ocean, she finds her imagination triggered by the many impressions of living and beached trees under a great variety of atmospheric circumstances. 

“My message to the viewers of my art is: look! Look how beautiful our world is! It is such a rich natural system; not only can you study it in a scientific way in order to unravel its mysteries; you can experience it.”

Cecile’s work was exhibited several times in the Netherlands. In Canada she participated in an integrated art project and in public art projects, showed her work at different locations and won several awards. 

Join us at the Nanaimo Arts Council on Thursday, November 4th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM for an opening reception (#259 in Nanaimo North – Town Centre mall).

‘Rooting’ runs for the month of November. For more information call 250.729.3947 or visit nanaimoartscouncil.ca





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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bastion Parkade Repairs Slowed

Weather Blamed For Delays

The Bastion Parkade repairs have been slowed due to weather. Decks seven and eight, the two top decks, are now sealed and some drainage issues identified. The city is  now hoping for completion of this project by mid-November.

In the meantime you will have to use the entrance and exit off of Terminal Ave.

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David Hahn Being 'Flippant'

Ferry Boss
Unconcerned
About Nanaimo
Passengers

It is reported in today's Daily News that Mayor Ruttan considers the response he got from BC Ferry chief David Hahn simply not good enough.

The mayor is reported as expressing concerns about recent ferry cancellations and the ongoing war with the taxi companies at Departure Bay Terminal.

It would seem that Mr. Hahn is displaying the arrogance one might expect from a highly placed, and well paid executive.

It sounds as if his only real concern would be the bottom line, and if he can't squeeze an extra few thousand out of the cab companies, he is totally unconcerned with the inconvenience it causes HIS customers.

The only thing likely to change this guy's attitude will be if your MLA's and the Premier, have a word with him, as clearly he does not take the concerns of Mayor Ruttan or his passengers seriously.

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GE Recalls Dishwashers Due To Fire Hazard

GE Recalls 5,320 Dishwashers In Canada
Potential Fire Hazard

Water condensation can drip onto the electronic control board, causing a short circuit and resulting in an overheated connector; this poses a fire hazard.

To find out more about this recall visit Canadian Product Recalls by clicking here.

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Trick or Treat Downtown

Click Image To Enlarge

Saturday, Oct. 30 from Noon to 3 pm throughout Downtown Nanaimo (look for the black and orange balloons at participating stores)
 
Halloween Crafts at Bocca, 427 Fitzwilliam St. from Noon to 3 pm
Spooky Story Time at Harbourfront Library from 2:00-2:30 pm.
Trick or Treat Maps available at participating merchants.

On Saturday, Oct. 30 from noon until 3 pm, more than 80 stores and shops along Commercial Street, the Old City Quarter, the Waterfront and Victoria Crescent will host a pageant of costumed kids as they seek out the ultimate Halloween bounty, namely lip-smacking treats.

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Personal BC Tax Rates To Drop



It was announced that a 15 per cent reduction in personal income tax rates (for the first $72,000 of personal income for all British Columbians) if passed by the legislature, will come into effective Jan. 1 2011. This tax relief measure, if passed, means B.C. individuals pay the lowest provincial income tax in Canada, on incomes up to $130,000.

Subject to legislative approval, the new 15 per cent rate reduction applies to earnings up to $72, 293, and is effective Jan. 1, 2011. That tax relief will save individual B.C. taxpayers up to $616 annually.
 
The Premier also laid out three new steps the Province will take to enhance early childhood learning and ensure B.C. students are entering school ready to learn and meeting targets for reading, writing and math. 

 20% of Grade 4 Students Are Failing

“Right now in British Columbia one in five students who complete Grade 4 do not read, write or have math skills at a Grade 4 level. It’s important for us to find ways to help that 20 per cent of students do better. We know the answer is to invest in early childhood learning,” said Premier Campbell. “It’s important that we make sure that every one of our children is lifted up to take full advantage of the opportunities that lie before them.”

New education measures announced by the Premier are:

  • Build an additional 100 StrongStart BC early learning centres, which provide school-based early learning services for adults and their young children, aged birth to five years, at no cost to families.
  • Beginning next school year, the Province will conduct early childhood learning assessments for every five-year-old child entering Kindergarten to tailor educational programs to meet their learning needs.
  • A commitment to ensure that, within the next five years, every child that graduates from Grade 4 in B.C. will be reading, writing and doing math at a Grade 4 level.

“These new measures are important steps to build confidence in B.C.’s middle income families,” said Premier Campbell. “I know many families are living paycheque-to-paycheque. This tax relief means that all taxpayers will have more take-home pay. It will help families with their home economies and, as it does, it will help stimulate the provincial economy

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Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile

Just Horsin' Around?

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Newcastle & Brechin Neighbourhood Plan Open House

Click Image To Enlarge

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Halloween Safety Tips


Spooktacular Safety Tips From ICBC


For parents:
  • Dress to be seen: Let’s not spoil our kids’ fun. Halloween is about putting on the spookiest outfit possible and that often involves dark colours. A good solution is to buy some reflective tape that you can add to the outfit or even to their shoes or bag – as long as it makes them stand out against the dark road.
  • The best ghouls see everything: Scary masks are a key part of many Halloween costumes but it’s important that your child wears a mask that doesn’t hinder their ability to fully see what’s going on around them. Put the mask over your own face to check the visibility and make any necessary adjustments.
  • The best ghouls hear everything too: As adults, we know that hearing is just as important as seeing to ensure our safety around roads. Remind your children to not use their cellphone or to listen to their MP3 player – they should keep their fun focused on Halloween and all the candy.
  • Safety in numbers: If you’re going for a walk on this spookiest of nights, you’ll be safer in a group. Walking in numbers will help drivers and others see your children and they should always be accompanied by an appropriate number of adults.
  • Gone haunting: If your kids are heading out for some trick-or-treating fun, make sure you help them plan their route ahead of time so they get home safely. Consider a route that takes them through a quiet residential area away from busy main roads and parking lots. And remind them to cross streets at designated points.
For drivers:
  • A fright’s just around the corner: Drivers need to slow down and expect the unexpected. Children can easily get caught up in the excitement of Halloween and forget to use caution, so slow down and be especially alert in residential areas. Limit any distractions in your car so your focus is solely on the road ahead.
  • The ghouls may not notice you: Children may have very limited visibility while wearing masks and costumes – don’t assume they see you approaching. And remember to always yield to pedestrians. By doing so, you help ensure they cross the road safely.
  • Beware of those dark alleys: Surprises often lurk in the darkest of places so enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Watch for little trick-or-treaters when backing up.
  • Don’t end on a true scare: If you’re hosting or attending a Halloween party, always ensure there are safe options to get home, such as designated drivers or taxi numbers at hand.

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Nanaimo Hospital Emergency Room To Double In Size


 New ER To Be Complete 2012

Premier Gordon Campbell and Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon officially kicked off construction for the new $36.9-million emergency department at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) today.

“This new, larger and state-of-the-art facility will provide top-quality care to patients not just here in Nanaimo, but from across the Central Island,” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “The region will benefit from this investment in health care for decades to come, and I want to thank everyone involved for helping to get this new project underway.”

The provincial share of emergency department is $19.7 million with the remaining funding coming from other sources, including $13.2 million from the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District and $4 million from the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.
 

When complete in 2012, NRGH’s new emergency department will have increased in size from 963 square metres (10,365 square feet) to 2,286 square metres (24,606 square feet). The facility will include a new psychiatric emergency service and psychiatric intensive care unit.

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Rail Crossing Safety To Be Improved

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the City of Nanaimo and the Southern Railway of Vancouver Island are taking action to improve safety at the intersection of Highway 19A and Dorman Road, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond and Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan last Monday.

“We are working together to ensure safety is our number one priority,” said Bond. “We’ve already installed new advance warning signage at the intersection of Highway 19A and Dorman Road and are instituting further safety enhancements this fall.”

Other safety enhancements include:
  •  Increasing the intensity of the existing flashing railway warning lights using LED   technologies.
  •  Installing additional high-intensity flashing railway warning lights.
  • Installing train-activated message boards in advance of the Dorman Road/Highway 19A intersection.

On Sept. 11, 2010, the Transportation Safety Board released a report on its findings of the Oct. 14, 2009 crash at this rail crossing that killed two people and injured a third. The ministry, along with the City of Nanaimo and the Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, immediately formed a partnership to find ways to act on those recommendations and are working together to implement improvements.

            “I am confident the additional warning signage and updated lighting technology will improve the safety of this rail crossing,” said Ruttan. “I am also very pleased with the co-operative effort taken to make these improvements.”

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nanaimo to Victoria Rail Service Planned

 Nanaimo To Be Home Terminus For Via Rail

A new Nanaimo-to-Victoria passenger rail service plan for Vancouver Island was announced today by the Island Corridor Foundation.

Graham Bruce, ICF executive director, said the foundation is hopeful that with the assistance of the federal and provincial governments and VIA Rail, the plan will be operational in the next 12 to 18 months.

The strategy, developed by the ICF and Southern Rail of Vancouver Island, calls for the existing VIA passenger service to make its home terminus the ICF’s Nanaimo rail yard. This would allow an early-morning southbound passenger service to Victoria to be added to the 8 a.m. Victoria-to-Courtenay daily service as well as a late afternoon train from Victoria to Nanaimo.

The two senior governments are being asked to equally fund $15 million in rail infrastructure improvements that will primarily replace ties and ballast, making for a smoother safer ride and securing the future of Island rail.

VIA Rail has been approached under its railcar refurbishment program to provide new passenger cars that are handicap accessible, can carry bicycles and have onboard food and beverage facilities.

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More Money Spent On Hotel Deal

City Council Spends
$19,000 On Hotel Study

At last night's city council meeting Mayor Ruttan and Councilors Unger, Holdom, Sherry, Johnstone and Pattje agreed to pay PKF consulting another $19,000 for a hotel feasibility study update.

Councilors Kipp and Bestwick opposed the motion which I presume will be explaining the feasibility of adding a hotel downtown to facilitate the convention centre. There was zero discussion on the motion so few details were explained supporting the staff recommendation. It would seem that city staff feel an updated study is needed to attract the interest of people who 'might' have an interest in a hotel. It would seem the study done in 2004 resulted in no one building a hotel, and given the current economic state you would have to wonder what has changed for the better?

This is yet another small example of how council demonstrates their inability to quit spending money on dust collecting studies. Is a downtown hotel adjacent the conference centre feasible? Ask the private sector and banking sector who currently have no intentions of investing in such a project. That advice is free, and just as valid as yet another money wasting study.

A more suitable study might be what can be done with the conference centre to eliminate the $1,000,000 per year burden it is on taxpayers of Nanaimo. I would also like to see the original study which shows this conference centre being anything but a huge drain on taxpayer resources.
I would be even more interested in seeing the study which was done on the feasibility of Millennium and company of being able to deliver on the $3,000,000 we paid them for a hotel which never materialized. Also a study showing the assets that Millennium was putting up to secure their performance end of the agreement with the city would make for interesting reading.

Will taxes ever actually quit going up? Bike lanes to nowhere and pointless studies are one clear way of insuring taxes will also have to keep going up. It is about one year to the next election, now is the time to start paying attention to what YOUR city councilors really stand for and whether or not they deserve your support next year. Deciding on who to vote for by only paying attention to what is said at election time, results in pretty poor choices being made. Paying attention to how councilors and mayors spend your money AFTER being elected is the only way to make a truly informed decision at the ballot box.

We need to all do our part to make democracy work. It will NOT work if the electorate at large does not take a continuing active role in the process between election campaigns. The future of our city is far too important to be left to the politicians and city staff alone.

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Everbody Sings St. Andrew's United Church

Thursday Mornings 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

EveryBodySings! Is a friendly group of people who simply love to sing.  People like you!  No auditions, it’s not about perfection.  It’s about the joy of singing songs from all around the world that are easy to learn and lend themselves to harmonies.  (Plus, we teach in the oral tradition so there’s none of the pesky sheet music!)

Singing coaches Shirley Whitelaw and Cyndi Doell help you discover your own voice and the joy of bringing it into harmony with others.
 
Drop in Sessions $8 each/$25 for 4 sessions
Thursday Mornings 10am -12pm @ St. Andrews United Church - Wesley on Fitzwilliam
 
For more information call:  250-729-6135
Email: info@moresingingplease.com Click Here to Visit Website.

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HANA Makes Presentation To Council Opposing High Density 'Wet-Housing' Project


Council Asked To Consider 
Smaller Complex To House Homeless

Members of the hospital area neighbourhood association (HANA), Miss Gwen Boyd and Mr. Jim Goldsack presented city council with a 1000+ signature petition opposing the 35 - 40 unit social housing complex planned for Dufferin and Boundary.

Their group has many concerns as to how this project will negatively impact their neighbourhood. Some of their concerns include: the proximity to schools in the area, the number of seniors who are housed in the neighbourhood and the fact that the area already has considerable facilities for people with either mental or addiction issues. They expressed a desire to help the homeless but feel that a complex of no more than 12 units would be a more successful and acceptable way of achieving that goal.

They presented council with several studies which supports the notion that this type of high density 'wet-housing' is not successful and that it does cause problems in the areas they are located. The lower density model which they feel is more home-like and less institutional like is desirable. They also felt that the general area is being asked to absorb more of Nanaimo's homeless than the rest of the city. They pointed out that between the project planned for Dufferin and the one planned for Quarterway, the area would become home for about 100 of Nanaimo's homeless. 
John Horn Social Planner
City councilors asked questions of the group and city social planner, John Horn, tried to answer some of the groups concerns but it seems clear this project will be proceeding as city council is only one of the  government bodies tasked with making this project become reality. BC Housing and VIHA are also very much involved with this and other projects aimed at assisting the homeless in our community.

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Port Theatre Nanaimo Oct. 27 & 28, 2010


STUART McLEAN & THE VINYL CAFE: Fall Tour 2010



The Vinyl Cafe Fall Tour 2010 will feature two brand new stories about Dave and his family as well as music by The Vinyl Cafe Orchestra and Matt Andersen.


STUART McLEAN is one of Canada's most beloved storytellers and a best-selling author. His hit CBC radio show "THE VINYL CAFE" premiered in 1994, and each week over 1 million listeners tune in to hear stories about Dave, owner of the second hand record store. The stories also feature Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours.

The show also features live and recorded music by both up-and-coming and established Canadian musicians. Increasingly, it is becoming a place where Canadians go to find new, undiscovered talent.
The Vinyl Cafe Fall Tour 2010 will feature music by Matt Andersen: winner of 2009 International Blues Challenge and multiple East Coast Music Award winner.
This autumn Stuart will be releasing a brand new Vinyl Cafe CD AND a new book: Vinyl Cafe Notebook: a collection of essays from The Vinyl Cafe. Stuart has sold over 1 million books in Canada.

Two shows : Wed & Thurs - October 27th & 28th at 7:00pm

Tickets $47 / Student (18 or younger) $32


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Frigidaire® and Electrolux ICON® Recall

28,000 Ranges Recalled In Canada

Frigidaire® and Electrolux ICON® smoothtop cooktops and slide-in electric ranges with rotary knobs and digital displays are being recalled due to a potential fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Apparently liquids can pool under the control knobs and cause the surface heating element to turn on unexpectedly, heat to temperatures other than expected, and then not turn off.

To find out more about this recall visit Canadian Product Recalls by clicking here.


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Monday, October 25, 2010

RCMP Seek Second Male In Vicious Assault


Nanaimo RCMP have made one arrest and are currently searching for a second male after a vicious crow bar attack on a male at a local motel early Saturday morning.

At approximately 6:42 AM two men kicked open the door to a room occupied by a male and female at the Value Lodge motel, located at 736 Nicol St . Once inside, the suspects proceeded to strike the male ,age 34, with a crow bar then kick and punch him repeatedly. A female in the room,age 45, was able to escape uninjured. Her screams were heard by others and nearby guests called 911. About three minutes later the two suspects were seen running from the room and were last seen going south bound along an alley way running behind the motel.

The victim was transported to local hospital where he was treated for multiple lacerations and a broken nose. He was held for observation and later released .

Video surveillance was obtained and was useful in identifying at least one of the males involved. On Sunday evening at approximately 7 PM, an 18 year old Nanaimo man was arrested without incident at his residence in the 100 block of Fifth St. He was transported to cells and later released from custody on a Promise to Appear. Charges of Aggravated Assault and Break and Enter are being recommended by police. The 18 year old is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Dec. 7.

“This was a vicious targeted attack that could have resulted in serious long term injury or death. Our investigators are currently attempting to figure out why he was singled out. The victim has spoken with police but to date has not provided anything useful that could assist in furthering the investigation,”said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

The second male involved and shown above, is Caucasian, between 20-23 years old , 5 ft 10 and with a thin build. He was seen wearing a blue fleece jacket, blue jeans ,blue baseball hat and black gloves. 

Anyone with information on this male is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.ca

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Move Coal By Rail Only On Vancouver Island

Group Wants Coal Shipped By Rail ONLY

Compliance Energy Corporation is proposing to open a new coal mine by the end of 2012 near Fanny Bay south of Courtenay.  This mine would produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of coal a year, mainly for steel mills in Asia.  The company has pointed to Campbell River, Duke Point, Gold River and Port Alberni as potential shipping points but right now has focused on moving the coal to Port Alberni by truck for export.  No matter where it goes, this represents nearly 100 trucks a day, or 1 truck every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 20 years.

The ONLY RAIL! - No Rail No Coal petition is focused squarely on the transportation aspect of the proposal.  It states that due to environmental, safety, cost and maintenance concerns, the only viable transportation method would be to use the Island Rail line.  

Over 450 people have signed the petition so far.  Those opposed to the mine itself have signed it as a "backup plan" in case opposition fails and to avoid a worst case scenario if it does.  Those in favour of the coal mine have signed in order to support a more sustainable way to move product on the Island, and to support the investment in the rail line itself.  And all signers agree that it just makes a lot more sense to ship this stuff by rail.

Anyone interested in the petition can go to www.norailnocoal.ca where you can sign it, and also download it and gather signatures from friends.   We are also looking for volunteers in the Nanaimo area to host, go door to door or pass along the petition, but most of all, sign the petition and pass the link on to all your friends.  The Island Rail line needs our support, and we need to tell the coal company that their plans are ludicrous.    For more information contact Chris Alemany at 250-723-0889 or chris@norailnocoal.ca

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Nanaimo City Council Meeting Monday Oct. 25, 2010

Democracy Works When The Public Stays Involved
It Is Too Important To Leave To Politicians

If you can attend in person that is the best way to see your business being taken care of, second best is watching on Shaw Cable from the comfort of your easy chair, it is also available live online using this link, and last but not least is reading what the local press says went on. Archived video is available of previous meetings at the same link used for live online coverage. You have to remember that the newspaper does not print everything that happens in a council meeting, and as a matter of fact, if their intrepid reporter dozes off at the wrong time, they might even miss something important. So, watch the meeting for yourself, and get involved with how YOUR city council takes care of YOUR business.

Past councils have been pretty generous with the way they have been spending your money, but don't blame them, YOU are the one who needs to keep on top of what is really going on if you ever hope for your taxes to quit going up every year.Remember taxes are scheduled to increase by nearly 25% in the next four years. If you don't think you can afford another $500 or so, then you need to be more involved with the process.

This should be a very busy and full council meeting with lots of 'meat' on the agenda. The citizens group opposed to the 'wet housing'  for the homeless on Townsite Rd. will present council with a petition and make a presentation expressing their reasons for opposition to this high densitiy housing project. To view the agenda for this council meeting use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

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Port Theatre Nanaimo Oct. 26, 2010

Legendary Platters & Ink Spots

Tuesday, October 26th  7:30 pm

THE PLATTERS were one of the top vocal groups of the rocking 1950's and among the first doo-wop groups inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. They were one of the first 'black' groups targeted to a predominantly 'white' youth audience in the US.

At the concert, Oscar Charles and his LEGENDARY PLATTERS will perform great chart topping hits like "Only You," "The Great Pretender," "The Magic touch," "My Prayer," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," & "Twilight Time".

Opening the show is Ray Richardson's THE INK SPOTS with songs spanning six decades and more than eighty chart hits and performances. They have been called living legends of American music. Their songs can be found on diverse movie soundtracks like Shawshank Redemption and Radio Days- "If I Didn't Care" or the BBC TV's The Singing Detective - "Do I Worry," "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall".
 
all seats: $40.00 


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Gordon Campbell Premier of British Columbia

 Click Image To Enlarge

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Opposition Mounts To 'Wet-housing' Complex

Neighbourhood Alliance Meeting 
Opposes High Density Housing Projects
BY NIGEL FORD

A meeting on Oct. 21, 2010 took place at the Alliance Church, and discussed the development of high-density 'wet-housing' (as opposed to dry housing, in which tenants must remain sober) which will provide shelter for homeless people who may have drug problems. HANA (the Hospital Area Neighbourhood Alliance) led the meeting, presenting the reasons for their opposition to such a building. John Horn, a social planner for Nanaimo, was present, and the leading supporter of the building's construction.

The building, to be built on the corner of Boundary and Dufferin, will consist of 35-40 single tenant, one-bedroom units. Construction of a similar building down town is to begin in 2011; both will be financed by BC Housing.

Gary Gardener, a speaker and author of 5 books on psychology, revealed the complex itself will be appointed two live-in support workers to manage and secure all the tenants. These staff will be able to connect tenants to services and programs, but unable to provide the services themselves. The hospital region would be able to provide ample support for the mentally ill.

Those against the building's construction feel that there are too many elementary schools and senior villages nearby, which could become new targets for crime. Statistics presented revealed that less than 4% of homeless people in Nanaimo don't use some sort of drugs. While they are not opposed to helping the homeless off the street, many feel that moving so many to a single neighbourhood would inevitably lead to an increase in crime. “Where will they get their drug money, when the money our government provides runs out?” one citizen demanded. Moving the problem... does not solve the problem,” another local reported.

The meeting itself sparked quite an outroar – on numerous occasions, the room was filled with shouts and complaints from the residents. A disgruntled citizen demanded a vote as to whether or not a woman's crying child would be allowed to remain.

A spokeswoman from the John Howard Society says that they run and operate similar dwellings around Bowen Road. “We run a similar housing project for the homeless,” she says, “and we've seen very few problems. We are respected tenants in the area.”

A member of the audience challenged John Horn, asking if he had any statistics as to the success rate of endeavours like these. John referred to statistics from Toronto, stating that “by Toronto's definition of success, over 80% of people admitted into shelters are... successful.” He also made note that, according to dozens of cities nationwide, the construction of high-density housing is recognized as the best solution.

Several attendees, who had spent time on the streets themselves, were opposed to the building. They feel that the new housing projects will be seen as a 'safe zone,' or a 'drug haven' for addicts to live out their addictions. It was suggested that some sort of rehabilitation program or drug test be a prerequisite for tenancy – and that a mandatory job search was instigated afterwards.

Through heated debate and many local residents voicing their opinion, the meeting's general consensus was that HANA is opposed to the building's construction. The meeting's resolution, which was carried, stated that HANA was opposed to a single, high-density wet house constructed in any neighbourhood in Nanaimo. They support the development of wide-spread, low-density housing in different areas across the city.

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Nanaimo British Columbia Canada Past and Present

Nanaimo Vancouver Island
"A Jewel In The Pacific"

Interesting Facts Past and Present

This article is intended to be a condensed source of Nanaimo information which many long time residents may be aware of but it is intended to give newcomers and would be newcomers some background facts about our lovely harbour city nestled on Vancouver Island on Canada's scenic west coast.


Nanaimo 'In the Beginning'
The beautiful coastal harbour which we now lovingly call Nanaimo was first occupied by the Coast Salish people whose name was Snuneymuxw (Snuh-NAY-moo).
 
Nanaimo was originally called Colevile Town until 1860 when the name was officially changed to Nanaimo which is an adaptation of Snuneymuxw (Snuh-NATY-moo). In that year the name Colevile Town was stricken from the maps and records.

It was in 1849, that in exchange for developing the territory, the Hudson Bay Company was given the rites to Vancouver Island and that included the monies earned from mining. They would have to resell the Island to the Crown in ten years and would have to use 90% of their gain to develop the colony. The remaining 10% could be kept by the Hudson Bay Company.

The iconic Bastion first built to protect the harbour still stands in downtown Nanaimo today, although this year, it has undergone a major overhaul which saw the entire structure dismantled and repairs made to stem the ravages of rot in some of the timbers. This highly specialized work was performed by a unique company paying particular attention to maintaining the original qualities of this century old building.
A more complete account of early Nanaimo can be found using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

 Nanaimo 'Today"
Nanaimo is situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island approximately 110 km north of the provincial capital of Victoria. The city is accessible from Vancouver via regular ferry service as well as via air to either the Nanaimo Airport or via seaplane to the inner harbour.

Nanaimo which is known as the 'Harbour City' was once also referred to as the 'Hub City' taken from the central location of the city on Vancouver Island making it an excellent central point for the moving of goods and people.

Nanaimo has a population of 78,692 with a median age of 40.4 compared with the provincial average of 38.4. The city has an expansive trading area of approximately 140,000 people.

The economy is in a state of transition as it has been from it's beginning. Once dependent on mining, then forestry and fishing the local economy enjoys considerable diversification including a large retail sector, service sector, tourism, health care, education, construction, manufacturing, technology and government services. The majority of local businesses are small in nature employing fewer than 20 employees. 

Tourism is a sector of the economy Nanaimo hopes to expand upon with the completion of a multi-million dollar cruise ship terminal being built in the inner harbour. Nanaimo is working hard to establish itself as a tourist destination city and not simply someplace you pass through going somewhere else on the island. The city itself has many of the benefits of a larger city, while at the same time offering some of the charm and appeal of smaller communities.


The climate in Nanaimo is one of it's most appealing natural features enjoying a temperate, Mediterranean-like marine climate. An island mountain range protects the city from the weather systems which come in from the Pacific resulting in cool winter temperatures with moderate rainfall and dry sunny conditions during the summer. 

For more information about a 'Jewel in the Pacific' the Harbour City of Nanaimo visit Nanaimo Info by clicking here.

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