Monday, February 28, 2011

Nanaimo City Council Meeting Tonight

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.

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YPN Host All Candidates Forum

By-Election All Candidates Forum
March 10th 4:00 - 6:00 pm
VICC Shaw Auditorium

The Young Professionals of Nanaimo are hosting an all candidates forum to assist themselves and the community at large in making an informed decision on polling day in the upcoming Civic By-Election.

The public is welcome to attend and anyone wishing to submit a question to be answered by the candidates should submit it to info@ypnanaimo.com.

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BC Ferry For Sale

MV Mill Bay Now For Sale
Vessel Surplus To Fleet
This 55 year old ferry which sailed between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay will be retired from the fleet in May of this year.

This route will be temporarily closed from May 2 - 31 to upgrade the terminal infrastructure on both sides of the route, and then BC Ferries MV Klitsa will begin servicing this run beginning June 1, 2011.

The 122' vessel is currently advertised for sale on the Used Victoria free classified website which can be seen by clicking HERE.

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Port Theatre Nanaimo March 1, 2011

Paul Mercs Concerts presents:
EMERSON DRIVE
Tues. Mar. 1 - 7:30pm

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Parks & Rec Survey Flawed?

Click Image To Enlarge
Survey Won't Take 'Nothing' for An Answer

The Parks and Recreation Department are currently running an online survey for people in the Departure Bay area. In the interest of curiosity I took the survey.

The questions on page 7. asked what services I wanted provided in the area. I did not check any of the options, and was given a message that an answer was required. So this time I filled in the option 'other' and entered 'Nothing' in the appropriate box.

The survey still insisted I needed to answer a question before continuing.

Question? Is this survey designed to ignore the wishes of people who don't want Parks and Rec spending more time and money on programs people don't want?

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Branch 256 Donates $3500 To Hospital

New Equipment For New Emergency Department

Bob Chow, Dave Beyea, Joseph Briand and Seppo Hokkanen (L to R) present donation of $3500 to Amber Adams, director of donor relations at the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.

The generous donation was a gift thanks to the Poppy Fund and the funds will be earmarked towards departments that affect veterans specifically. The donation is a big boost in the Foundation's goal of raising a total of $4 million to purchase equipment for the new ER at NRGH.

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Bowen Road Widening & Bridge Replacement

Avoid Construction Delays
Avoid The Area If You Can

The Bowen Road widening and Quarterway Bridge project will be getting underway any day now and will take until the fall of 2012 to complete. During the construction you can expect the usual delays associated with any major construction, and this is a major project. Before completion it will have cost $10 million, unless of course there are over runs in costs.

When complete the stretch of road between Pryde Avenue to just beyond the Bowen Rd. and Buttertubs Rd will be widened and the Quarterway Bridge will have been replaced. The first phase of construction will see the installation of a two lane bridge that will be constructed north of the existing one and will include road widening and the needed utility upgrades. In the fall of 2011 traffic will be rerouted to the new two lane bridge.

The #3 Hospital bus has posted a notice advising of changes to their route which will be in effect during construction. The bus will not be using Pryde Ave. to Townsite during construction. Passengers are advised to use the bus stop near the 7 - 11 during this time. More information available HERE.

You can see a video 'fly over' view of the area of Bowen Road that will be affected by the construction by clicking HERE.

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Nanaimo Woman Enters Contest

My Morning Smile!

The local Daily reports of another Nanaimo lovely wishing to capitalize on her good looks by entering a magazine swimsuit contest. The article includes an address of the website where you can vote for your favorite, but the first thing that gets your attention (you can tell I'm over 60) is the fact the contest is only open to South African residents.

OK, no blonde jokes (my wife is blonde, and 'happy wife, happy life') and good on her PR people for getting her exposed in the local press.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christy Clark Is New Premier

Christy Clark New Premier
Of British Columbia

In another one of those moves that makes me question our democratic system, we now have a new Premier who hasn't been elected to the Legislative Assembly.
She is the second person to hold such distinction, the first being Mr. Vander Zalm, and she also holds the other distinction of only being the second woman to hold the office.
My questions about our system are not referencing her gender, but the fact someone who has not won a seat in the House can hold the highest office in the Province.
Just another one of those things that makes for interesting theatre. We are now to believe that one 'Lone Ranger' not elected by the general electorate is somehow going to single-handedly change the direction of the province? Uh huh! But she does have the most personality of the lot, and does make good 'sounding' promises, now to see if there is any substance behind the sound.

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The Public's Right To Know


My Cheeky Little Comment
About City Council's 'Transparency'

"The public has a right to know how city council makes it's decisions on how to expend taxpayers dollars. Unless, council doesn't want us to, in that case, the decision is made 'in camera' and then only the Mayor is allowed to explain things. So as to avoid different 'versions' being made public, which might cause confusion." 

Anyone who has followed my political ramblings over time will know, I see all levels of politics as a form of theatre. My suspicions were confirmed at a recent meeting of city council when councilors referred to ' at rehearsal this morning', seems council has to get together the morning of council meetings to 'rehearse' their play they put on in the evening. Is it just me, or have you noticed that very little real debate, goes on at the council meeting level. 


On items such as Berry's golden gift, suing Millennium and recently the Bestwick / BP event, the Mayor is the only one 'he' trusts to deliver the straight goods to the public. Why is that?

Question?? How does the public know if all things discussed 'in camera' actually qualify as needing to be hidden from the public? And, how would we know anyway?

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Missing Person: LISA MARIE YOUNG

 Missing For 9 Years

Nanaimo RCMP are asking the public for their continued assistance in solving the disappearance of Lisa Marie Young.

For the past 9 years Nanaimo RCMP have continued to revisit this file in the hope that one day her disappearance will be solved. A Crime Stoppers re-enactment of her last know movements was produced by Shaw TV in 2008. Officers assigned to the case have maintained contact with her family annually and just last year a walking vigil attended by many was held in downtown Nanaimo marking her disappearance.

Lisa Marie Young was last seen at approximately 3 AM on the evening of June 30th 2002 leaving a house party in the Cathers Lake area of Nanaimo. She left the party in the company of a male who was driving an older model red Jaguar. At 4:30 AM she phoned one of her friends. That was the last known contact anyone has had with her.

The vehicle and the male who she left the party with have been identified by police. The driver, like many others involved in this file, is simply a person of interest. ”Through the years we have received hundreds of tips on the car, on the male driver and her whereabouts on the evening of June 30th. Many of those tips were helpful in our investigation. Now we want to hear from those persons who, for whatever reason, have not contacted us. Someone knows what happened to her and the time to call is now ,” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP .

If you have any information on what happened to Lisa Marie Young, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS). You can also go online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com and submit your tip. The following video is a Crime Stoppers Re-enactment of her disappearance.


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Floatplane Terminal Dispute Needs Resolving


Problems between floatplane operators  and the company which owns the soon to be complete float plane base at the Vancouver Convention Centre are beginning to boil to the surface. There is more than one question needing an answer as to how this whole business has developed and how it could affect travel to Vancouver Island via float plane.

The 'nutshell' version of this business drama:

A private company got the rights to build a new $22 million float plane base adjacent the Vancouver Convention Centre which will be the base for float plane traffic terminating in downtown Vancouver, it would also be the departure point between downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

The company went ahead with the terminal without getting any agreements from float plane operators as to what they would have to pay for the facility, as it seems they pretty much have a monopoly and can charge whatever they like. Float plane operators are now looking at an increase in one-way fares of $12 per person to cover the cost of using the terminal. They feel the cost is simply more than their customers or the companies can bear and want a serious reduction. They have gone to the lengths of forming an association and have applied to build their own terminal downtown. That proposal will likely take months to be approved, if it ever sees approval.

The new terminal is scheduled to be open in May of this year and the current temporary terminal is due to close at the same time. Obviously if Island to downtown Vancouver float plane traffic is to continue a resolution needs to be forthcoming, and soon.

The head of BC Pavilion Corp said he wants to see the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre and the Vancouver Commercial Seaplane Association mediate their dispute with an independent fact finder who could suggest a non-binding recommendation.

Comment: Nanaimo, and any other city on Vancouver Island has a 'dog in this fight' as an extra $24 added to a round trip ticket to the island could put a dent in traffic to the island. Since making it as easy and inexpensive as possible to get on and off the Island is of serious importance to trade and commerce on the Island it is hoped that cool heads prevail and a viable solution is found.

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Perfect For Clearing Nanaimo Snow?


Answer For Clearing Nanaimo Sidewalks?
The recent snow flurries in Nanaimo (yes that was all we got, unlike Victoria) raised the question which always arises when we get that rare occurrence in Nanaimo: 'keeping our sidewalks clear'.  It is impossible to justify the expense of having specialized snow removal equipment on hand for the occasional snow event, but a fleet of these little beauties could be just what the doctor ordered. Perhaps after using one for a few hours, ordering the doctor might be just what you want also.

Now This Little Beauty Takes The Cake


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Truck Accident Blocks Pearson Bridge


The local Daily reports a truck loaded with cedar lumber for unknown reasons flipped onto it's side on the Pearson Bridge at about 5:00pm. The accident closed both southbound lanes on the bridge as police investigated.

No other vehicles were involved and fortunately no one received serious injury in the event. It required a large crane to right the vehicle and police reported that charges could be pending.

Comment: Sometimes you wonder where those inspectors are who check out the big rigs. They seem to blitz the area every now and then and then disappear. Where do they go anyway? Does the province only have one inspector for the whole province? How often are commercial trucks inspected for frame safety etc.?

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Harewood School Faces Demolition


Could It Be Converted To Provide Homeless Shelter?
One would think that in a sane world it would be possible to use this existing facility to provide many units of social housing for a fraction of the cost to society to demolish this building and build new elsewhere. But given it has sat empty for many years, perhaps its useful days have simply passed.
The figure of $3 million has been floated as a cost for demolition, I presume after that the land would be sold and the funds go back to the province and not the school district.
It also raises the question of how much money is the school board wasting keeping unused buildings in their inventory? They seem to have an aversion to building new schools (remember they did over throw the $80 million the province had committed to new schools in Nanaimo) and they need to give an accounting as to the cost of their decisions.
Local school enrollment has been steadily dropping from the peak of 16,900 to the current enrolment of 13,600 and is expected to drop another 220 next year. Four portables were removed from Dover Bay School leaving a total of 10 of which only 6 are being used.
In view of falling enrollment, would logic not follow that the number of schools being kept open should also decline? I think for that to happen, the current school board will need a serious revamp come next election, as clearly this bunch has proven to be quite inept.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Nanaimo Running Trails and Jogging Paths



MapMyRUN now available on Mobile 

This site allows you to find running trails and jogging paths in Nanaimo. Click on the map above to search, browse or create running maps of your favourite routes or destinations or visit their website by clicking HERE.

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Treated Sewage Leaks Into Hammond Bay


Crews Work To Repair Leak
A leak from an outfall pipe which runs through Morningside Park is proving challenging for repair crews. The leak was first spotted Feb. 23 by a contractor working in the area. Die was injected into the system to try and isolate the source of the leak but it is proving to not be as far from shore as first thought.

Crews are following the pipe back towards the shore and as yet have not located the exact place where the pipe has broken. It is in the same area that a repair was made some 15 months ago at which time a hole in the pipe approximately 1 1/2" in diameter was found to be the culprit. The effluent travels through a thick steel pipe which is covered over with a layer of concrete to provide further protection.

The best guess at this point is that the pipe has worn through in an area because of corrosion, and the best case scenario is that a quick repair will solve the problem. However, given the fact this is the second leak in a short period of time, it could point to a problem with perhaps a whole length of pipe. While the pipe is 38 years old it should have an expected lifespan of nearly 75 years.

This outfall is an integral part of the wastewater management system and simply can't be shut down for much longer than 3 or 4 hours to make a repair. Unless of course everyone simply stopped putting anything down the drain!

Compounding the challenge of finding the problem and making the repair is the fact that a low tide is required in order for the work to be done, and right now we only have one low tide every 24 hours.

In the meantime the park is closed, and people are advised to not go into the water, although not many people are likely inclined to go for a dip given the current temperatures.

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Nanaimo Clippers BCHL Playoffs

IN VICTORIA TO MEET THE GRIZZLIES
Your Nanaimo Clippers head to Victoria to meet their rivals the Grizzlies tonight and tomorrow night for the first two playoff games. The puck drops at 7:15pm at the Bear Mountain Arena.
Games 3 and 4 will be played in Nanaimo on Monday, Feb. 28 and Tues. Mar. 1.

The Clippers are hoping that next Tuesday's game will see them clinch the final in 4 straight. Possibly the Grizzlies have a different scenario in mind.

If you can't make the game live in Victoria, the Boston Pizza on Turner Rd. will be airing the game on their flat screen TVs for more details or reservations call 250-751-0090.
You can also purchase live coverage through BCHL LIVE by clicking HERE.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nanaimo Arts, Heritage and Culture Guide


Click On Book For Online Version

The City of Nanaimo 'Arts, Heritage and Culture Guide' is now available to residents and visitors. Containing information about local arts, heritage and cultural groups and events happening around town, the guide will be published annually to capture new events and additions to the local cultural scene.

The printed version is available at Nanaimo Museum, Port Theatre, Downtown Information Centre, Tourism Nanaimo, City Hall and recreation facilities. The online version is available by clicking on the picture above or HERE.

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Port Theatre Nanaimo Feb. 24, 2011

MOTHER MOTHER in Concert
Thurs. Feb. 24    7:30 pm

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ICBC's Facial Recognition Protects Customers

 Protects From Identity Theft and Fraud

Two years after it was introduced, ICBC's use of facial recognition technology has had a dramatic impact on helping to protect our customers from identity theft and fraud.

In 2010, the technology — which enables ICBC to compare a cardholder's image with their existing image on file and with an entire database of millions of images — played a vital role in a number of convictions. The technology works by analyzing facial characteristics that do not change, such as the size and location of cheekbones and the distance between the eyes.

"We've always been proud of the security of our driver licensing system but facial recognition technology has taken us to a new level in protecting our customers," said Fred Hess, vice president of driver licensing at ICBC. "We're now at the forefront of identity protection."

One of the many cases of identity theft and fraud that we uncovered in 2010 through the use of facial recognition technology happened in Nanaimo:

Nanaimo: We discovered that the photo of a Nanaimo resident was attached to two different driver's licences. Our investigation discovered that one of the identities used to obtain a B.C. driver's licence, register and insure several vehicles, was in fact deceased. This led to the man's arrest for 'personation with intent' and several further admissions from him. We learned that he had obtained the fraudulent licence to avoid his criminal history and the restrictions of his parole, and that he had debt with ICBC which prevented him from obtaining a licence in his own name. He pled guilty in December and was fined $5,000.

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Hammond Bay Cellphone Tower Rejected


The RDN has rejected a proposal from Telus to erect a cellphone tower in the Hammond Bay Road area bowing to pressure brought by concerned parents living in the area. Some parents feel that there is insufficient data available to indicate that a tower that close to the school would not in time cause problems for the children.
Government bodies and Telus seem to think the studies those in opposition are relying on are not reliable and claim the radiation that would come from the tower poses no health risk.
The purpose of the intended tower was to fill in a 'dead spot' in the Hammond Bay Road area, so if you need to call 911 on your cell phone because of an emergency in that area, for the time being you are out of luck.

Will Parents Take Away Their Kids Cellphones?

A recently released study published in the Journal of American Medical Association shows that spending 50 minutes on a cellphone can change brain cell activity in the part of the brain closest to the antenna. Whether that causes any harm is not clear according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health adding the study will not likely settle the concerns of a link between cellphones and brain cancer.
The following apparently shows how cellphone radiation penetrates the brain with varying depths of penetration based on age (and I presume skull density).

There are studies and reports all over the place that suggest sitting in front of computer screens, microwave ovens, television sets etc. may all have negative effects on the human body. However, the technology is simply too new for any meaningful long term data to have been collected.
In the case of the cell tower near a school  erring on the side of caution makes sense, but I wonder how many concerned parents are going to take Little Johnnies cell phone away? Good luck with that.
I suspect these studies which show we should seriously limit cellphone use, will simply be ignored as that is not a decision modern day parents would be willing to make, or for that matter would be able to enforce.

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Nanaimo Schools Open Today

Yes, Nanaimo Schools Are Open Today

Even though more snow is in the forecast local schools will be open. City crews have been busy keeping the roads open and getting around shouldn't be a problem. 
Of course the roads will be slippery and icy in spots, so just slow down and give yourself a few more minutes and you will still be on time.

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Snow and Colder Weather


It Looks Like Nanaimo Will Be
Chilly For the Next Few Days
The weather in Nanaimo is taking an unseasonable turn for the next few days with more flurries called for and frigid temperatures coming our way.

This will be a good test for the car battery (mine didn't fair too well) as well as your wiper blades and car's heater / defroster (mine's doing fine).

If the temperatures dip as far as predicted, make sure there is no water in your outside taps and hoses, as the freezing will expand the water and create leaks.

Snowfall accumulations seem to be different for the Island depending on where you are living, in Victoria by noon yesterday they had nearly one foot, while we just had a few inches, which for the most part melted by mid afternoon.

There is still a snowfall warning if effect for today, with sunshine back on tap for tomorrow. So if you have no place to go, throw another log on the fire and curl up with a good website and, as the song goes ..... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Things should be back to normal by next week, so don't put the lawn mower away!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Things On The Net That Makeya' Smile

Not Sure What Traffic Patrol Has To Say About It!
Try That With Your 'Smart' Car!

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40,000 T-FAL Maxi Fryer Deep Fryer Recalled


40,000 Deep Fryers Recalled Fire Hazard

This recall covers 40,000 T-FAL Maxi Fry Deep Fryers sold between 2003 and 2005 sold through Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, London Drugs and other retailers.
A loose connection can overheat  which poses a fire hazard. To learn more about this product recall and how to remedy the problem visit CANADIAN PRODUCT RECALLS.

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BC Hydro Rates To Increase 50% In 5 Years

$6 Billion Capital Plan
Costs Consumers 50% Over 5 Years

VANCOUVER – With aging infrastructure in need of significant upgrades and B.C.’s demand for electricity projected to grow by 40 per cent in the next 20 years, BC Hydro on Tuesday provided updated details about its $6 billion, three-year capital investment strategy aimed at meeting the public’s current and future demands for clean, reliable electricity.

Also part of its three-year plan, BC Hydro this week will submit one of its largest ever applications to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) for approval of an $800-million upgrade of the 80-year-old Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse. Located near Mission, B.C., the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse has not received significant upgrades or modifications since the last generator was added in the 1950s. It will also create approximately 1,050 person-years of employment during construction.

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Nanaimo Weather Unusual


Temperature Plummets To 3C
The fact this weather forecast is even newsworthy at this time of year, let's those less fortunates living eslewhere in Canada know what we would consider 'normal' for the end of February. Normally, we would expect to be inspecting our crocus and some of us might even be getting the mower out for a first tidy up of the lawn.

But alas, the next few days it seems we will have to endure temperatures at or slightly below the freezing mark. And what truly is a 'news' event is the fact we might be in for a few flakes of snow.
As a comparison the following is the forecast for the same time for our good friends in Halifax NS.
While we will be bundling up, our friends on the east coast would likely be dancing a jig outside in their shirt sleeves if they had our weather.



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RDN and Nature Trust Secure Moorecroft

Will Be Known As
Moorecroft Regional Park

The RDN and Nature Trust of BC will officially acquire Moorecroft Camp from the United Church on March 2, 2011. The cost for the 85 acre oceanfront Nanoose Bay property was $4.8 million.

The nearly pristine site has almost 3000 feet of waterfront and 79 acres of natural forest featuring Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Arbutus, Bigleaf Maple, Red Alder and Garry Oak. The RDN has had their eye on the site since it was identified in the 1995 Park Master Plan as a priority site for acquisition as a regional park.

The United Church had listed the property for $7.95 million in September of 2010. They accepted the RDN offer in Novemeber and as a condition of sale a conservation covenant has been developed with the Nature Conservancy of Canada that ensures the natural habitat and ecosystems present in the new park will continue to be protected.

Under the stewardship of the RDN the park will provide a place of beauty and sanctuary for people to visit for years to come; says United Church spokesman Doug Goodwin.

Comment: Perhaps now the cash strapped United Church in Nanaimo will be able to complete the much needed renovations at the historic St. Andrew's United Church on Fitzwilliam St. which apparently is badly in need of nearly $750,000 worth of renovations.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sean Damien Kulai Arrest Warrant

Sean Damien Kulai Wanted
Two Counts of Armed Robbery

 ARRESTED

KULAI allegedly robbed Thrifty Foods located at Brooks Landing Mall at noon yesterday. In that incident , KULAI was seen picking up a cartoon of cigarettes then proceeded to the exit without any attempt to pay for the item.Oncwe at the door an employee challenged him. KULAI then turned and told the employee he had a weapon and threatened her with bodily harm if she tried to stop him. He left the store and was seen leaving the area on a black mountain bike.

The next robbery occurred at 8 PM at Best Buy located in the North Town Center Mall. This time KULAI picked up an Ipad template, diasabled the alarm then concealed it in his jacket. He  started to the exit and once again ,he was challenged by an employee who told him to return the item. KULAI then pulled a screwdriver out of his jacket ,threatened the clerk then left on his mountain bike.

KULAI is 30 years of age and is  5 ft 9. He is very slim,has brown eyes and very short brown hair.He is highly unpredictable and should not be approached. Call 911 or Crime Stoppers if you see Sean Damien KULAI.

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Nanaimo Heritage Buildings


Nanaimo Heritage Buildings Page

There is a new page in the process of being built on www.nanaimo-info.com which has photos of many of Nanaimo's heritage buildings in their present state.

Many of the buildings have a direct link to the Heritage Registry at the city of Nanaimo website which gives the interesting history of many familiar buildings and locations around the Harbour City.


There will be some photos on the page which are not linked to the city website and are perhaps buildings without the official Heritage designation. They are still interesting buildings none the less and if any readers can provide information that might 'fill in the blanks' about these buildings you are invited to send your information along so that it can be added on the site.

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Nanaimo Arts Council March Feature Show

'Looking Back and Looking Forward" 

The Nanaimo Arts Council Feature Show for the month of March will highlight oil paintings by local artist Penny Grant. Grant paints in a semi-realistic style and her paintings are filled with light.

The show looks back to ten early paintings of boating scenes and real and unreal images of women. The show looks forward to five new paintings of Nanaimo Harbour and Newcastle Island.

Grant  will be available to meet you at the Gallery in North-Town Centre on Tues. Mar. 8 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and on Wed. Mar. 16 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The public is also invited to a reception on Sat. Mar. 21 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

For more information visit Nanaimo Arts Council or call 250-729-3947.

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Stats Canada Census Job Applications


Statistics Canada is now taking applications for a variety of supervisory and non-supervisory jobs for the 2011 Census.

These are ideal jobs for: students, recently retired persons, stay-at-home parents, and those wanting to supplement their income. The rates of pay range from $14.72 to $18.04 an hour plus authorized expenses.

They offer:
  • flexible work hours
  • competitive wages and
  • work in both rural and urban area

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Study Ranks Vancouver As Most Liveable City For Fifth Year Running

Obviously They Didn't Consider Nanaimo!

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in their Livability Ranking and Overview February 2011 ranks the city of Vancouver as the most livable city in the world. Toronto and Calgary are also in the top ten, so the world clearly recognizes what our great country has to offer.

The full report which can be purchased for US $500,  shows the findings of their study which assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world. The rating of relative comfort for 30 indicators is assigned across five broad categories: stability; health care; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. The survey gives an overall rating of 0 - 100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal.

The top ten places on the planet to live are ranked as:

  1. VANCOUVER, Canada
  2. MELBOURNE, Australia
  3. VIENNA, Austria
  4. TORONTO, Canada
  5. CALGARY, Canada
  6. HELSINKI, Finland
  7. SYDNEY, Australia
  8. PERTH, Australia
  9. ADELAIDE, Australia
  10. AUCKLAND, New Zealand

Nanaimo Beats Vancouver Hands Down!

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Port Theatre Nanaimo Feb. 22, 2011

PTEROS TACTICS:
Toronto Dance Theatre- Evocative Modern Dance
Tues. Feb. 22 7:30 pm


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Free Nanaimo Post Cards


FREE POSTCARDS

We know we live in the Most Desirable ...... Most Livable ......Small City in North America and now we can show our less fortunate friends who have to live someplace else by sending them a 'Postcard from Paradise'

You can download postcards which you can print on your own printer, take to a printer or order as a photo through any photo lab. The following postcards are currently available for free download and more will be added from time to time.

They can be downloaded by visiting the Nanaimo Info website by clicking HERE.


A stunning view of Nanaimo Harbour and the Coastal Mountains on a clear January day.

As another glorious sunset marks the end of a delightfully perfect summer day on Central Vancouver Island the viewer is forgiven if they think they are on some exotic Island Paradise in the South Pacific. For you see Nanaimo is situated on an equally enchanting Island Paradise in the Pacific, it is simply in the northern realms.

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Crimestoppers Website Now Online

New Tool In Crime Fighting Arsenal

The public will now be able to see information about warrants and arrests the police are working on. Information will be updated daily as suspects are caught and new ones added to the site.

The public can also use the site to send in tips which they think may help in solving crime. The site was created by the good folk at NISA web design and is a pleasure to navigate.

To check this new site visit their website by clicking HERE. To check out Nanaimo's Wanted list click HERE.

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Finance / Policy Committee Whole Meeting TODAY

FPCOW Meeting Monday Feb. 21, 2011
City Hall Board Room 4:30 pm

If you can attend this meeting, you might find it informative, as several items of interest are on the agenda,to approve the $699,030.08 tender by Knappett Industries for the second artificial turf field, report from Mr. Clemens re: 2011 Council Renumeration, council will move to "in camera" to discuss labour relations or employee negotiations.

Results of the Cilaire Streetlighting petition will be reported on as well. To view the complete agenda click here.

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More Product Recalls

 Most Recent Canadian Product Recalls

IKEA recalls 6000 cribs becasue of possible short bolts causing the mattress support to detach and collapse.
NESCO Food Dehydrator recalled due to electric fault posing burn or fire hazard.
LED Night Lights recalled due to burn and fire hazard.
Rechargeable batteries in baby monitor can overheat and pose burn hazard.
Ariens Snow Blower due to missing safety shield posing finger laceration hazard.

For complete information about these and over 400 other product recalls visit Canadian Product Recalls by clicking HERE.

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Pizza Sales Help NRGH Today

When you place a pizza order with either Domino's locations today and tell the order taker you have this coupon, they will donate $2.00 to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation.

The coupon must be received when your pizza is either picked up or delivered. To print your coupon visit the Hospital Foundation website by clicking HERE.

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Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame Nominations

This is the fourth year the Sports Hall of Fame selection panel is calling for nominations from the community of those people who live, or are from the Nanaimo area,who have made significant contributions to sport in the city and elsewhere.

The selection panel is asking for as much information as possible about the individual or team being nominated. You can get more information from the Nanaimo Museum website or you can download the criteria and nomination form by clicking HERE.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nominations Closed For Nanaimo By-election

Candidates In The Running

The people who have thrown their hats in the ring for the upcoming Nanaimo By-election are:
  • Filmore,Brian
  • Gartshore, Ian
  • Greves, Ted
  • MacKay, Bill
  • McNab, Murray
  • Olsen, Darcy
It is my understanding that all candidates have up to seven days after the close of nominations to withdraw their names, if they so choose. It will be interesting to see what kind of excitement this by-election gets from the population at large. Traditionally by-elections are pretty much a snooze but this one could be an exception as the winner of this by-election will have the tie breaking vote on council, which is a pretty big hammer when you come to think of it.

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National Ballet Comes To Nanaimo

September 30, 2011
The National Ballet lists Nanaimo and the Port Theatre as one of the locations on their Western Canada Tour this year. Their website gives a performance date of Sept. 30 with tickets going on sale July 6, 2011.
There is no information posted on the Port Theatre website about this event, at this time, but I am sure it will be sold out fast when the tickets do become available.

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A New Twist On Popular Nanaimo Bars

 Triple Chocolate Nanaimo Bar
Jessie Oleson who runs an award winning dessert website called Cakespy offers up this twist on Nanaimo's favourite dessert in the form of a Triple Chocolate Nanaimo Bar. To view the recipe click HERE.

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Van Isle 360 2011 International Yacht Race

 Leaves Nanaimo Harbour June 4, 2011
Two Entrants From Nanaimo
The Van Isle 360 has officially sold out their 40 boat limit for this years yacht race which circumnavigates Vancouver Island in a series of 10 legs. The boats ranging in length from 25 to 65 feet if tied end to end would measure 1650 feet which ties the 2007 race.

The yacht race which starts and finished in Nanaimo is scheduled to leave from Nanaimo on June 4 and finish back in Nanaimo on June 17 with the awards party in Nanaimo on June 19.

Two skippers are from the Nanaimo Yacht Club, Francis Walsh with his boat 'Cu Na Mara' and Bill Jones with his boat 'Ion'.

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Fraser Institute Nanaimo Report Cards

School Report Cards Tell A Story
Clearly Nanaimo Is Doing A Poor Job
14/25 Schools Failed

To view the online report card for Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District click HERE. Once there you will have to use the the drop down menus on the left 'Find an FI-rated school by location' to choose the Nanaimo District 68 schools, report cards.
While forms of testing and rating can be debated forever as to the methods and the value of the results, this report clearly shows room for improvement in the level of basic skills our young people are comprehending.
Educators who not surprisingly, seem unwilling to accept the tests results as a means of evaluating their own skill as teachers, will point to the fact that some schools have students with greater life challenges than others, which makes it more difficult for them to learn. The question to be asked would be: are these students having more trouble learning, or do the teachers in these schools need a different approach in their methods?
It is obvious that if you have a school full of Einsteins and another full of just average kids, their overall test scores should be higher. For that reason just comparing local schools tells less of a story than comparing local schools by rank with the 875 schools in the report and by comparing if the school itself is improving or not.
For example Park Avenue Elementary ranks 870/875 for 2009-10 while dropping from 2.2 to 1.1 out of a possible 10.0 when the results of the tests for their grade 4 and grade 7 students are evaluated.
If you compare a schools ranking when compared to the other 875 schools in the province you will see another story which, if correct is a disturbing result. Out of 875 schools in the province 14 of Nanaimo's 25 schools scored in the bottom 25% for the entire province. For example Rutherford Elementary scored 652/875 and Park Avenue Elementary scored 870/875. This means that Nanaimo's test scores when compared with the entire province put 56% of Nanaimo schools in the bottom 25% for the whole province.
To look at the results another way and using some old fashioned methods of comparison it means that if 10 is a perfect test score (achieved by Aspengrove) then 10 = 100%. Therefore a score of 4.8 (achieved by Rutherford) is 48%. Following applies test scores as a percentage:
  • 1 school scored 100%
  • 2 schools scored 72 - 79%
  • 3 schools scored 61 - 66%
  • 5 schools scored 51 - 59%
  • 14 schools scored 10 - 48%
I realize that modern educators don't like using percentages, but they are a very clear means of comparison, and in this case it would suggest that 14 of the schools in the district have turned in test scores ranging from 10% - 48%, and again,using an old fashioned yard stick, that means that 14 schools out of 25 are failing to teach the basics of reading, writing and 'rithmetic. To say that the next  5 schools turning in results of 51 - 59% actually passed is being a bit generous, so if they were added it would mean that 19 out of 25 district 68 schools are failing to teach the basics.

In the District 17 schools ratings declined compared to the most recent 5 years, 4 improved and 4 remained the same.

It would be hard to think that Nanaimo has been able to assemble so many 'un-teachable' young people in one place and clearly the problem and solution more than likely lies with the methods and teachers being charged with preparing the next generation.

I realize that tests, and their methods can be challenged, and perhaps the present method is less than perfect, but it does give an interesting insight into the state of schools in our district. As much as the teachers, and their unions are opposed to testing, I am reminded of an old saying that has stuck with me many years:

"Figures don't lie, and liars don't figure".

These tests are dealing with grade 4 and grade 7 students and tests their reading, writing and numeracy skills which are the most basic of skills the next generation needs to have as a foundation for future education and any life path they would choose.

It makes you wonder if the upcoming two weeks off for Spring Break shouldn't be scrapped, and the time spent back in the classroom trying to see if we can't teach our kids the 3-R's at least to a passing level!

Comment: Hopefully come next school board election these results will become an issue and perhaps we will start paying more attention to how well our kids are being prepared by the current school system in Nanaimo. Of course it would make little sense to ask the current school board about it, as they are the ones, who thought it wise to throw out $70 million worth of improvements to local schools.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Clippers Head To Victoria Tonight

The Nanaimo Clippers will be meeting the Victoria Grizzlies tonight at 7:15 at Bear Mountain Arena. After defeating Port Alberni last night they are now in a position to win home ice advantage in the finals.
This is the last regular season game with the finals starting Feb. 25, so pack up the car, charter a bus, rent a train ....... head to Victoria to support your Clippers.

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Mt. Washington Saturday Morning

Mt. Washington reports a snowbase of 520cm with 25cm in the last 24 hours and the conditions are described as machine groomed - packed powder.

Looks like a great day to hit the slopes if you are among the fortunate who have the time and money. If you've got next Mon. and Tues. off as well, it could be a great time for a mini-alpine vacation.

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Waterspouts Seen Off Nanaimo

Entrance Island Lighthouse Keepers
Spot Rare Waterspouts

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Friday, February 18, 2011

For The Birds (Watchers that is)

Golden Crowned Sparrow

Local photo artist Sheryl Falls captured this handsome fellow the other day at Buttertubs Marsh. You can hear this fellows lovely voice and learn more by clicking HERE.

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