Friday, October 30, 2015

Turn Clocks Back This Weekend - Nov. 1/15

Turn Your Clock Back Sunday November 1, 2015

Before going to bed on Saturday night remember to turn your clocks back one hour to return to standard time. Now is when we can pick up the hour we lost in the spring when the clocks went ahead.

Now, if I can just get me missus to bring me breakfast in bed and make the most of that extra hour. I think I can hear her laughing.

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Colliery Dams Design Drawings - Issued for Review

NEWS RELEASE
Distributed October 30, 2015

Colliery Dams Update

Golder Associates and Herold Engineering have completed the “Issued for Review” design drawings for the auxiliary spillway and bridge structures. The drawings have now been sent to the Province's Dam Safety Section for their review. Upon completion of the Dam Safety Section’s review, engineers will make any necessary revisions and the drawings will be issued for construction.

In addition, installation of the secant pile cut-off wall is half way complete. Copcan's subcontractor, Henry Drilling, is making faster progress than originally anticipated. Completion of the wall is now anticipated by November 6th.  Once the cut-off wall reaches the minimum required concrete strength, the excavation for the spillway and bridge structures will begin. The excavation will be followed by the concrete formwork, rebar placement and concrete pouring.

The “Issued for Review” drawings and correspondence with the Dam Safety Section are now posted on the City’s website.

Members of the public seeking previous information or future construction updates concerning the Colliery Dams are encouraged to visit the Colliery Dams Information page located on the City's website.

"The weather is cooperating and construction of the secant wall is proceeding better than expected. Once the issued for construction drawings are in hand, construction schedules will be developed for the remaining work. With this work comes more construction activity and a further safety reminder for park users to follow direction from workers on site and to observe posted signage."  -  Steve Ricketts City of Nanaimo 

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Nanaimo City Council Meeting Nov. 2/15




City Council
Mon., Nov. 2/15
7:00 PM
SHAW Auditorium




Some Agenda Highlights:

  • User rate increase bylaws
  • DVP 1721 Fleet Place
  • DVP 191 King Rd.
  • DVP 3985 Apsley Ave.
  • Notices on titles - 675 Beaconsfield Rd., 679 Beaconsfield Rd. 2132 Bowen Rd. 1363 Fielding Rd.
  • Council appointments to various committees

 Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

You can view this Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

If you can't attend council meetings in person (preferred) you can watch regular council meetings on Shaw cable channel #4. You can also watch the meetings live on the city website using this link. 

The regular city council meetings are the only ones broadcast live on either Shaw Cable or streaming video from the city website. The Committee of the Whole meetings, while not broadcast live are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.


As this is a new council with 5 new members it is important to note that the following decisions were not made by this council. I will leave it posted for a time as a reminder of the type of spending that council is capable of when the electorate isn't paying attention. 
If this new council makes questionable spending decisions as we go forward (and I am sure they will) It would be my intent to document them here and replace the following list with a 'new' list. Hopefully, it will be a very short list.

FIRST THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

In spite of promises to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, the first thing this council has done is approve a 6% increase in wages for CUPE employees over the next 3 years. This is well above the settlements the province is signing with other unions.

SECOND THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

On Feb. 2/15  a resolution of Council was passed with a 7:1 vote which was giving staff instructions with regards the Colliery Dams. This motion was ignored by City staff and this Council has shown no desire to see their wishes were carried out by City staff. As a precedent this is likely as disturbing as any fiscal decisions made by council. It goes to the heart of our whole democratic system.

Some Previous Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

The city just agreed to pay an outside firm nearly $25,000 to review the city website's content and set up a navigation structure. Our IT head gets paid about $150,000 a year and IT staff are paid at least $37.00/hr. and yet they can't properly set up the city website?

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Halloween Glow in Dark Skate



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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gonna' Need More Bird Seed This Year

This fellow and two of his companions seem to have adopted our yard this year. Previously they might show up from time to time but this year they seem to have moved in.

Over the past couple of weeks up to three at one time take turns at the feeder (they don't share real well) and they are not just snacking, they are loading up and hiding food for later. 

I enjoy these colourful, cheeky backyard visitors but they can lighten up on the hoarding, that feeder won't be empty anytime this winter.



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Nanaimo Residents Warned Of Wet Weather Hazards


Heavy rain weather system expected in Nanaimo
Take care on trails and around waterways


"We want to encourage all users of our parks and trails to use caution and to be aware of the conditions that come as a result of weather systems we can see at this time of year."  -  Al Britton City of Nanaimo 

With a heavy rains expected over the next few days, the City of Nanaimo would like to remind the public to be careful and use caution when using trails, boardwalks, stairs and bridges. Many of the trails and even playground equipment are wet and slippery this time of year. Residents are also urged to use caution around waterways. Heavy precipitation can lead to high and fast flowing streams and rivers.

To report concerns or issues in the parks and on the trails, please contact Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment at 250-756-5200 or email askpre@nanaimo.ca.

Residents are urged to be careful and use caution when using trails, boardwalks, stairs and bridges and when around waterways.

To report concerns or issues in the parks and on the trails, please contact Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment at 250-756-5200 or email askpre@nanaimo.ca.

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Halloween Party At Beban Pool



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Music & Dance Presented by VI Symphony



Vancouver Island Symphony presents 
Music & Dance.
Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at 7:30 pm at The Port Theatre.

Tickets: $33 - $59.00 / Students $18 / eyeGo $5
Subscription packages available - please call the Ticket Centre: 250-754-8550

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Feeding Wildlife Forbidden in Nanaimo

Nanaimo residents reminded not to feed wildlife

"The City encourages residents to have respect for wildlife and understand their natural foraging behaviour."  -  Rod Davidson City of Nanaimo 

Residents of Nanaimo are reminded that feeding wildlife is not permitted in the City.  This includes giving food to deer and feral rabbits.

Feeding wild animals puts them at risk or injury from predators and road traffic.

Feeding deer can lead to injuries to humans.

Human food is not suitable for wildlife.

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Tricks and Treats at Woodgrove Centre

Anna from Little Tales Princess Parties & Jack

TRICKS AND TREATS! 
Fundraising for Nanaimo & District Crime Stoppers

Woodgrove Centre is gearing up for a spook-tacular Halloween filled with tricks & treats! 

On October 31, children 12 and under in costume are invited to join us for a magic & illusionist show from 3 – 3:45 in front of the Haunted House display at centre court, followed by trick or treating from 4 – 5 pm for a suggested $1 donation in support of the Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers. 

We will be giving away mini safety flashers, while quantities last.


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China Trip To Boost Investment & Tourism

Officials from Nanaimo preparing for trip to China

The Mayor of Nanaimo, Bill McKay, and the Chair of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, Andre Sullivan, are scheduled to join Premier Christy Clark and other senior elected officials from the cities of Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Prince George and Comox on a trip to China supporting investment in BC, including tourism and development.

The Mayor and Mr. Sullivan will spend time in a number of Chinese communities, including Shenzhen and Shanghai where they will meet with various investment groups and organizations.

The trip will take place November 3 through November 11.
Central to the visit is the goal of presenting Nanaimo as a welcoming city that encourages outside investment.


"I am looking forward to joining our Premier, along with the Mayors of other BC communities, on this upcoming trip to China which I am confident will provide considerable opportunities to showcase our community and the investment opportunities that exist here today and in the future.  As well,  I am keen to further build the relationships and contacts we have already made in China so as to ensure Nanaimo remains top of mind among Chinese companies wishing to invest in BC."  -  Mayor McKay



"We are delighted to be one of the communities to join the Premier on her upcoming trade mission to China. The NEDC has decided to take this opportunity to join the Mayor with the goal of furthering our existing relationships in the cities of both Shenzhen and Shanghai. We feel that these markets present a great opportunity both in terms of tourism potential and economic development. We will be inviting business leaders we meet with to join us in Nanaimo on a return trip to showcase our community's investment opportunities."  -  Andre Sullivan Chair NEDC
  

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Bonfire Permits Needed for Halloween & Guy Fawkes

Fireworks in Nanaimo are strictly prohibited

The City of Nanaimo Fire Rescue Department would like to inform residents that a Bonfire Permit is required for  Halloween on October 31st and for Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th 2015.  These are one-time special event permits and separate applications are required for each event. In addition, residents need to be aware that the sale, possession, and discharge of fireworks is strictly prohibited.

The regulations for the bonfires, and application forms can only be filled out and submitted in person to 580 Fitzwilliam Street.  Deadline is Friday October 30th at noon for Halloween and Noon on November 5th for Guy Fawkes.    Fees for these one time only special event permits have been waived. 

We would also like to remind everyone that Halloween is a fun, and spooky time of year for kids.  If children are wearing a mask, make sure they can see, give the kids a flashlight or glow stick so they can be seen.

A Special Event Bonfire Permit is required for Halloween on October 31st and Guy Fawkes on November 5th. Fees have been waived. Permits must be submitted by noon October 30th and noon November 5th

The sale, transportation and discharging of fireworks within the City of Nanaimo is strictly prohibited, and subject to fines.

Keep the kids safe by ensuring they can see out of their masks, while carrying a flashlight or glow stick. Also, don't forget to change your batteries in your working smoke alarm this weekend as the clocks go backwards.

"If you plan on taking part in Halloween festivities, please stay safe and ensure you have the proper permits in place."  -  Ennis Mond Nanaimo Fire Rescue 

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High Centre of Gravity Cause Of Ship Capsizing


Huffpost reports the Transportation Safety board believes the high centre of gravity is what likely caused the 20 metre vessel to broach and capsize.

It is known most passengers and crew were on the top deck of the boat on the port side and the wave would have struck the starboard quarter. The high centre of gravity would have caused the ship to be less stable which rolled and capsized after being struck by the wave.  

The 20 metre vessel Leviathan II which is operated by Jamies Whaling Station capzised off Vargas Island in the Clayoquot Sound while on a whale watching tour.

There were 27 people on board the vessel, 21 people were rescued, 5 have been confirmed dead and 1 is still missing.

Photo: Jamies Whaling Station



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Whither goeth the walk-on ferry?

Oct 27, 2015


By Merv Unger

So, where do we go from here with the walk-on ferry project?

Now that the federal election campaign is over and any promises are null and void, does it finally sail off into the sunset? At least with the current proponent who has been trying to bring his plan to fruition for a number of years, without success.

The Conservatives promised to support the concept if re-elected, but that didn't happen. They never attached any dollar figure to their support.

We all know what "support" means in the language of politics. Many feel both the federal Liberals and Conservatives still owe Nanaimo in the neighborhood of $17 million promised by both of them for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre while it was being built. We’re still waiting.

There's no debate that we need a passenger-only ferry service between Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver. The question is how do we get there?

There have been many hurdles for this project. Financing has been the fly in the ointment right from the beginning, and expected Asian investment seems to have fizzled with the Asian economic downturn.

The city has gone above and beyond in trying to make this project happen, but it is restricted on what it can and cannot do. It cannot finance private businesses, and that's a good thing. The Nanaimo Port Authority is also restricted from investing in private business enterprises.

The city bought the former Welcox property, part of which was designated for the ferry operation. But it still needs a dock, terminal, paved parking and utilities. Buying land is usually a sound investment. Then leasing it to an operator makes solid business sense. Don't think the land purchase was a bad idea, it can be used for numerous other purposes.
In most cases, that would be a solid argument. However, just a few feet down the shoreline sits a fairly new cruise ship dock, and an award-winning passenger terminal which is turnkey ready. There's also acres and acres of paved parking availability, and the land has utility services on it. It's available for lease. The cruise dock can accommodate both a ferry and cruiseships.

So why re-invent the wheel when it's already there? If the city wants to be involved there has to be a serious discussion with other players.

As mentioned above, thankfully the city is prohibited from investing directly in the ferry business. To get around that obstacle the city turned it over the to the Nanaimo Economic Development office, a supposedly arms-length operation of the city. Doing the end-run financial assistance through NEDC makes it look like a shell game.

The first question to be asked is whether such financial investment by NEDC could lead to further taxpayer involvement in the future?

The present deal on the table apparently is not the only game in town. We're hearing suggestions of other proposals already "in the vest pocket" from some other operators, waiting for this deal to go away. Whoever it is, better have a fat wallet with their own money. But nobody will make proposals as long as there is a possible deal on the table. The city needs to divest itself of any commitment to the present deal on the table. It needs to clear the deck so it can look at other proposals, if there are any.

That would preferably be someone with transportation experience and the money to back it up.

The city needs to work with other players such as the Nanaimo Regional District and the NPA rather than in opposition. At present there's too much "who's on first" attitude to make anything happen. It shouldn’t matter who gets the credit, but that it gets done.

Merv Unger is a retired journalist living in Nanaimo, B.C.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nanaimo Still 'Gas Gouging' Capital

Nanaimo Has Highest Prices Again

For sometime it seemed the prices for Comox and Duncan were on par with Nanaimo but it seems the Nanaimo gas cartel is emboldened again and thought we might not notice.

Following prices taken from Gas Buddy at 9:00 pm Oct. 27/15.

Victoria 104.9

Duncan 106.9

Comox 100.9

Nanaimo 112.9

Calgary 94.9

Toronto 88.3

GAS n GO Island Hwy. & Morden Rd. 106.9

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One of Nanaimo's Inviting Paths


Regulars to Nanaimo's great outdoors will recognize this inviting 'gate' beckoning you to continue on to see what is just around the corner. Nanaimo may not be the trade and commerce capital of the Island, but takes second place to none when it comes to our parks and trails within the city.

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Interim Nanaimo City Manager To Be Selected

Council create Executive Hiring Committee
to oversee permanent candidate search

A meeting held Tuesday morning of Nanaimo's City Council has established a two part process for filling the organization's lead administrative role.

As the first step, Council will appoint an Interim City Manager following which the second step, searching for a permanent candidate to fill the position, will commence.  To oversee the recruiting process, an Executive Hiring Committee has been created whose membership includes all members of Council.

The process of filling the position of Interim City Manager will consider both internal and external candidates.

The Committee will reconvene in approximately one week's time to consider the names put forward.

 Individuals wishing to be a candidate for the role of Interim City Manager are encouraged to visit the jobs section of the City's website - Request for Expression of Interest (Interim City Manager).

"Council had a productive and thorough meeting this morning which concluded with a clear, open and fair process for filling both the interim and permanent City manager positions.  As the first step, we look forward to reviewing the names of all individuals who express their interest in applying for the interim role."  -   Bill McKay Mayor
   

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Departure Bay Beachfront Project Soon



Construction of upgrades to the existing Departure Bay Beachfront are set to begin in November and will continue over the winter.

The public is advised that the Seawall Walkway and parking along the walkway will be closed during construction. Parking along Loat Street will also be restricted at times. Alternate parking will available at the Departure Bay Activity Centre on Wingrove Street.  The Kin Hut and Playground will remain open during construction.

In order to ensure the safety of the general public, access points to the Kin Hut, Playground, and Beach will be restricted and may change throughout construction depending on contractor's activities. Further details will be posted on the project's website, on site, and at the Kin Hut as they become available throughout construction.

Strategic Link: This project supports the Waterfront Enhancement priority of the strategic plan.

Construction information signage will be installed in the area shortly. More information can also be found on the City of Nanaimo's Current Construction Project website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/DBSeawall

To ensure public safety, park users are reminded not to enter areas that are fenced off.

"This project is going to improve access and safety so everyone can enjoy visiting the Departure Bay waterfront. While park users can still access the waterfront, we ask that they adhere to signage around the construction area."  -  Phil Stewart City of Nanaimo

Archaeological consultants Millennia Research Ltd. and the Snuneymuxw First Nation will be completing monitoring of construction work due to the cultural and heritage significance of the area.

Departure Bay lies within the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and historically was the site of a Snuneymuxw winter village and burial ground. The present day seawall and promenade dates back to 1969.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Close to nature -- Nanaimo style

The above duck is clearly used to being fed by visitors to the viewing platform at Oliver Woods. The little marsh area is currently home to a couple of dozen Mallards and a pair of Ring-necked ducks.

It is a popular spot with the youngsters where you can feed the ducks with seed purchased in the centre. This little lady was within 3 - 4 feet and while cautious, clearly had her eye on a few seeds on the platform which she finally felt brave enough to eat.

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Things on the Net that make ya' smile

"I've been wearing it wrong ... all this time"

Another chuckle to lighten/brighten the day .............. thanks Terry.

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Five People Confirmed Dead - Whale Watching Tofino


Huffpost reports that five people have been confirmed dead in the boating accident on the west coast of the Island.

The 20 metre vessel Leviathan II which is operated by Jamies Whaling Station capzised off Vargas Island in the Clayoquot Sound yesterday while on a whale watching tour.

There were 27 people on board the vessel, 21 people have been rescued, 5 have been confirmed dead and 1 is still missing.

The community of Tofino is shocked by the incident and have rallied to do what they can including volunteering themselves and their boats in the search effort and providing food and comfort for the survivors.

According to the company's website the Leviathan II was described as:

Whale Watching - In Comfort
Depart from our marina in Tofino and cruise through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound. Watch whales in their natural environment from the comfort of our 65ft covered cruiser vessel; the 'Leviathan II'. Our 3 decks offer excellent views and allow you the option of sitting inside or outside. We are able to accommodate up to 46 passengers with lots of space left over to move around the vessel.

We offer complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate on board as well as warm fleece blankets to keep you warm and cozy. The 'Leviathan II' offers a great experience for the entire family.


  • 65 feet/20 metres
  • inside heated seating
  • outside open seating
  • outside covered seating
  • washroom
  • snack bar & liquor licensed
  • complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, or tea
  • full commentary by naturalists
  • fully licensed crew
  • Transport Canada Certified Vessels
Photo: Jamies Whaling Station



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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Senior Managers Leaving City Hall


Mr. Swabey & Mr. Howatt
did well in Nanaimo

Readers of this pathetic blog will know that comparing and crunching numbers is something I enjoy doing. An old mentor of mine once told me that 'figures don't lie, and liars don't figure', that has always stuck with me.

I realize that both Mr. Swabey and Mr. Howatt have taken on jobs with more and more responsibility over the years and that accounts for the increase in the size of their pay packets. That said, the figures are still the figures and what conclusions readers wish to draw are their own.

In 2006 Mr. Swabey earned $136,485.01 and in 2014 earned $231,356.96.

In 2006 Mr. Howatt earned $77,897.99 and in 2014 earned $189,486.93.

Tax revenue increase 2005 - 2014 = +56%
User fee revenue increases = +42%
Population increase = 5.5%

According to the reports on the city website tax revenue in 2005 was $60,480,683.00 and increased 56% by 2014 for a total of $94,712,405.00. During the same time user fees revenue increased from $22,985,163.00 in 2005 by 42% to $32,722,405.00 in 2014.

In 2005 the debt per capita stood at $195 and has increased 193% to $572 in 2014.

In 2005 the population was 79,626 and increased by 5.5% to 84,000 in 2014 during which time the total wages paid to city employees earning less than $75K and more than $75K increased by 40.5% going from $34,827,954.00 in '05 to $48,950,708.00 in '14.

The list of senior city management that were at the helm in recent years and are still employed by the city is getting shorter all the time, and the departure of Mr. Swabey and Mr. Howatt are two more names to add to the list which would include Mr. Berry, Mr. Kenning, Mr. Laidlaw, Mr. Holmes, Ms. Harrison, Mr. Franssen, Mr. Kristensen, Ms. Hartley, Mr. Clemens, and Mr. Churchill to name a few. I am sure readers familiar with city hall staff can add several other names to this list.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nanaimo Council COW Meeting Oct. 26/15



Regular
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Mon., Oct. 26/15
Shaw Auditorium
4:30 pm VICC

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS
  • City Revenue Policy Update
  • Quarterly single submission purchases
  • Quarterly direct award purchases
  • Automated Garbage Collection
  • Energy conservation and management policy
  • Extreme weather shelter and rent supplement program
  • In-house parking services


 Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

You can view this Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

If you can't attend council meetings in person (preferred) you can watch regular council meetings on Shaw cable channel #4. You can also watch the meetings live on the city website using this link. 

The regular city council meetings are the only ones broadcast live on either Shaw Cable or streaming video from the city website. The Committee of the Whole meetings, while not broadcast live are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.


As this is a new council with 5 new members it is important to note that the following decisions were not made by this council. I will leave it posted for a time as a reminder of the type of spending that council is capable of when the electorate isn't paying attention. 
If this new council makes questionable spending decisions as we go forward (and I am sure they will) It would be my intent to document them here and replace the following list with a 'new' list. Hopefully, it will be a very short list.

FIRST THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

In spite of promises to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, the first thing this council has done is approve a 6% increase in wages for CUPE employees over the next 3 years. This is well above the settlements the province is signing with other unions.

SECOND THING TO MAKE THE LIST:

On Feb. 2/15  a resolution of Council was passed with a 7:1 vote which was giving staff instructions with regards the Colliery Dams. This motion was ignored by City staff and this Council has shown no desire to see their wishes were carried out by City staff. As a precedent this is likely as disturbing as any fiscal decisions made by council. It goes to the heart of our whole democratic system.

Some Previous Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

The city just agreed to pay an outside firm nearly $25,000 to review the city website's content and set up a navigation structure. Our IT head gets paid about $150,000 a year and IT staff are paid at least $37.00/hr. and yet they can't properly set up the city website?

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Lions FREE Skate - Sunday Oct. 25/15



The Lions Club of Nanaimo will once again be hosting Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm on Sundays from Sept.13/15 until March 27, 2016 at Frank Crane Arena. On Nanaimo Clippers Junior 'A' game days, the Lions Free Skate will run from 10:45 am to 12:30 pm. This valued project continues the long tradition of the Nanaimo volunteer service to the community of Nanaimo.

The Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate sessions include admission, helmets and skate rentals.

There will not be a Lions Free Everyone Welcome skate session on December 27 due to the Winter Wonderland event.

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Put Garbage Where It Belongs

Garbage has its correct place 
help keep Nanaimo clean

The City wishes to remind residents that it is illegal to dump personal possessions, wares, waste materials or debris of any kind on City owned property.  For information concerning provided methods of disposing of garbage, please visit the City's website.

It is a contravention of City Bylaws to discard materials and debris on City property. Persons contravening these regulations are subject to fines or other enforcement action.

Dumping of discarded items or materials on City property increases costs to taxpayers.

Clean City property provides a pleasant overall appearance for a person living in or visiting Nanaimo.

"Nanaimo prides itself on being a clean and attractive City to enjoy, reside in and visit.  For items that are no longer needed, please take the care to responsibly dispose of them."  - Rod Davidson City of Nanaimo  

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Last Sunday Farmers' Markets Of 2015




Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 17 -  end of Oct. 2015)

Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 17 through to end of October.

The market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.

For information contact lantzvillefarmersmarket@gmail.com.




Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May - Oct. 25, 2015)

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

Open from May to October 25, 2015 Sun 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Field of the Crow and Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Road, Nanaimo, B.C.

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


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Friday, October 23, 2015

Ian Howat Leaving City Hall - Headed to Colwood

Corporate Services GM announces his departure

The City of Nanaimo's General Manager of Corporate Services, Ian Howat, has announced he will be leaving his position at City Hall having accepted a new position as the Chief Administration Officer for the City of Colwood.

Mr. Howat has worked for the City for 10 years. His responsibilities included overseeing the City's legislative services and strategic relationship functions and providing senior leadership to the areas of planning, development, finance, human resources and information technology.

"Ian's experience in local government, his knowledge of the important issues facing our community and his range of critical relationships has provided tremendous value to the City, Council and staff.  On behalf of everyone who has had the pleasure to work with Ian, I wish him great success in his new role."  -  Ted Swabey City of Nanaimo

"I would like to thank the many people I have worked with over the last ten years whose commitment to their job and community regularly supported the needs of Nanaimo and the people who live here."  - Ian Howat City of Nanaimo

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Nanaimo City Manager Departing Nov. 13/15

Ted Swabey going to Maple Ridge

Nanaimo's City Manager, Ted Swabey, has announced to Council his decision to depart City Hall having accepted a new position as the Chief Adminstration Officer for the City of Maple Ridge. Mr. Swabey's last day as head of Nanaimo's city administration is set for November 13. A meeting of Council will be convened in the coming days to begin the process of filling the City Manager position.
Mr. Swabey began working for the City in 1989. Over his 26 year career he has held several portfolios including planning, development, economic development, protective services and community safety. 

He was appointed to the position of City Manager in 2013.

"I'll miss him. Ted is bright, hardworking and knowledgeable; I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him during my first year as Mayor. His dedication to his job, his staff and his community will make him a tremendous asset to the City of Maple Ridge. I wish him all the best in his new role and sincerely thank him for his many years of service to our organization and community."  -  Bill McKay Mayor

"My years with the City have provided me many incredible opportunities to be a part of the changes and growth this community has witnessed. Along the way I have had the pleasure of working with a great number of people who have both made, and continue to make, Nanaimo a great place to live."  -  Ted Swabey City Manager



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Symphony Community Days - Free Events!



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Rotary Club Giant Book Sale - Last Three Days!


Rotary GIANT Book Sale
Last Three Days - Oct. 23, 24 & 25
Nanaimo North Town Centre
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

OVER 80,000 TITLES TO CHOOSE FROM


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

BC Ferries 50% Off Sale - Nov. 16 - Dec. 19

Click Image To Enlarge

For more information about select sailings and and discounts amounting to $27.70 for select Nanaimo sailings visit the BC Ferries website.

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Nanaimo Old City Heritage Walk

 Walk through time
Click image to download new brochure


In partnership with the Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA), the City of Nanaimo has released another self-guided heritage tour brochure entitled "A Walk Through Time: Your Guide to Nanaimo's Old City Neighbourhood".  At approximately 6.1 km total, the self-guided tour meanders through Nanaimo's historic Old City neighbourhood, highlighting a number of key heritage buildings and sites along the way.

Strategic Link: Heritage walk tours further the goals of the Cultural Vitality (Creativity, Diversity, Heritage and Innovation) pillar of the Strategic Plan.

The Old City "Walk Through Time" is the seventh addition to Nanaimo's series of self-guided heritage tour brochures produced by the Culture & Heritage Department.

The series includes walking tours of Downtown, Harewood, Newcastle, South End, Nob Hill/Chinatown, as well as a bike tour of Downtown.

Copies are available free of charge at City facilities, or can be sent directly to residents upon request by contacting the Culture & Heritage Department.

"This self-guided tour is a fun way to learn about the Old City neighbourhood and its significant role in the historical evolution of Nanaimo."  -  Chris Sholberg City of Nanaimo 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nanaimo 2016 - 2020 Draft Budget

Special Open Council Meeting
Thurs. Oct. 22/15 9:00 am
SARC Building

Nanaimo Taxpayers Have To Dig Deeper

Council and the public will get the first look at the next five year financial plan which includes tax increases over the next five years totalling 12.6%, water fee increases of 37.5% and sewer fee increases of 17%.

The property tax increase for 2016 raises $1.5 million a large portion of which is needed to cover the labour contract increases of $974,000. It is not clear if the $974K is all labour increases or just union labour. 

These increases are for Nanaimo property taxes only and do not include tax increases for the Library, Regional District, School District, Island Health Authority, Finance Authority and BC Assessment.

The average 2016 increase to a Nanaimo homeowner with a home valued at $331,136 for the City of Nanaimo increase only:


Tax increase  $33.33
Water             $31.00
Sewer             $  5.61
Garbage         $   1.00

Total $70.94

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Is Democracy Being Served At City Hall?

OPINION

Since being elected, some members of our new city council have valiantly attempted to follow through on their promises vis a vis the Colliery Dams and the level of taxation in the city.

In my humble opinion, from my vantage point I think their efforts to bring about a different conclusion to the Colliery Dams issue did not have the cooperation of the Mayor or members of city staff and the provincial government. The failure of a resolution of Council and the abysmal waste of time and money on the Select Committee are possibly due to a city council that simply has only begun the learning curve.

Whether the most recent attempt to see what went right and what went wrong with the whole dam process will bear any meaningful fruit remains to be seen. A sceptic might predict it will be another wasted effort if those being investigated are given a hand in crafting how the investigation will be conducted.

Arguably over the past decade or so taxpayers have not been well served with the way in which multiple millions of tax dollars have been spent. Also arguably it could be said that no one has ever been held accountable, the blame for which can be squarely laid at the feet of an apathetic electorate who bitch and complain over coffee, shrug their shoulders and simply carry on.

If this investigation is as thorough as it's proponents hope perhaps for once we will see some real transparency, accountability and responsibility within the organization responsible for the spending of 200 million tax dollars. That would be refreshing. 

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Canada'a Largest Company - Next Enron?



This Huffpost article reports another disturbing case of what appears to be a large legitimate company engaging in nothing less than criminal fraud. It is alleged the company has been selling product to companies it owns to give the appearance they are doing business, when in fact they are not.

Just three months ago, it was Canada’s largest company by market value, thanks to a big run-up in health care stocks in the earlier part of the year.

Today the company is under siege, its shares are down 60 per cent from their peak, and Wall Street pundits are even speculating it could face criminal charges.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Nanaimo Represented by the Orange Crash Party

Opinion

Will we ever wake up?

It is a well known fact that Nanaimo has never really been favoured with the largesse that can flow from Ottawa. Yes, a few shekels here and a few shekels there, but in the grand scheme of things, Nanaimo and the Island are pretty much no man's land when it comes to Federal favour.

Last night except for a small patch of Green (with even less influence) Vancouver Island was painted Orange once again, with Nanaimo following an age old pattern of sending folk to Ottawa with the proverbial snowflakes chance of doing much for us.

In the meantime on the local front our leaders will keep chasing Leprechauns and Rainbows and Railroads playing the role of business moguls all the while demonstrating their business prowess with their cutting edge approach to the food truck industry.

And we wonder why our Vital Signs Reports keep looking as if the patient is desperately in need of life support?

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Nanaimo RCMP Member Awarded

Councillor Gord Fuller, Constable Picard, Superintendent Mark Fisher

Constable Jocelyn Picard
performed lifesaving CPR

"I will be forever grateful, his actions saved my life," said City of Nanaimo Councillor Gord Fuller, who was on hand Friday October 16 for the presentation of the Officer in Charge Certificate of Appreciation to Constable Jocelyn Picard, who performed lifesaving CPR on Mr. Fuller.

On January 25th, 2015 at 10:45 am Constable Picard, while working General Duty in Nanaimo, came upon two males attending to an unconscious male lying on the side of road. A quick assessment of the situation led Constable Picard to realize the male was not breathing. Constable Picard radioed for Paramedics to attend and began CPR.

Constable Picard performed continuous CPR for approximately ten minutes until he was relieved by the attending paramedics, who later transported Mr. Fuller to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where he remained for several weeks in grave condition. Mr. Fuller has since made a full recovery and has resumed his duties as a city counsellor.

"All officers receive training in CPR and may go an entire career without ever having to perform it. Constable Picard reacted appropriately to a life threatening situation, utilizing his CPR training to the best of his capabilities. As a result, Mr. Fuller is with us today. For that reason, I am honored to present Constable Picard with this award," said Superintendent Mark Fisher, Officer in Charge of the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment.

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Nanaimo Ladysmith 2015 Federal Election Results


By the numbers

The following is taken from the Global News website which reported real time results for ridings across Canada.

With 245/254 polls tallied:


93,578 Voters
66,826 Turnout

71.4% Turnout



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Ritchie Bros. - Nanaimo Forestry Equipment Auction

Log truck selling at this auction

Ritchie Bros. coming to Nanaimo
Large forestry equipment auction

Unreserved public auction on October 26 at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf will feature a major realignment for Island Fibre Ltd.

NANAIMO, BC, Oct. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - Vancouver-based Ritchie Bros., the world's largest industrial auctioneer, is returning to Vancouver Island to conduct an unreserved public auction at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf (100 Port Dr.) on October 26, 2015. More than 285 equipment items and trucks will be sold in the unreserved public auction, including a 2003 Madill 124 grapple yarder, more than 20 log trucks, a solid selection of processors, forestry trailers, excavators, log loaders, log grapples, articulated dump trucks and more. Bidders can participate in person, online at rbauction.com and by proxy.

"This is our second sale on Vancouver Island this year, and it's really exciting to be back," said Adam Pruss, Regional Sales Manager, Ritchie Bros. "We have a major realignment for Island Fibre Ltd. at this auction, which features a quality selection of late-model, well-maintained, low-hour equipment. I'm looking forward to meeting with our customers from all over the Island, and seeing where all of this equipment ends up—we expect to attract buyers from across B.C., Canada and beyond. Everything will be sold without minimum bids or reserve prices, and all of the equipment is located right at the auction site so you can test, inspect and compare items before bidding."

More than 40 owners will sell equipment at the Nanaimo auction, including Island Fibre Ltd., a Vancouver Island-based stump-to-dump logging contractor. Island Fibre is downsizing and selling a large selection of logging equipment.

"Our gear is in good shape—you don't run the size of company we have and not maintain your gear," said Don Bahen, Principal, Island Fibre. "I've been attending Ritchie Bros. auctions since 1985. It is always a great place to buy, and with its online bidding and international exposure, Ritchie Bros. is a very safe place to sell too. They do a good job and there's a reason Ritchie Bros. is the leader in this space."

In March 2015, Ritchie Bros. worked with the Nanaimo Port Authority to hold an auction at its Duke Point terminal. Ritchie Bros. is pleased to be working with the Port Authority again and taking advantage of its conveniently-located Nanaimo Assembly Wharf, adjacent to downtown Nanaimo.

"The Assembly Wharf is a load centering port with convenient lay-down acreage that is central to Vancouver Island and easily accessible for all forms of transportation, whether by air, rail, barge and deep sea cargo ships," said David Mailloux, Manager of Communications & Public Affairs, Nanaimo Port Authority. "More than that though, we are a solutions port, and we're looking forward to working with Ritchie Bros. and providing solutions for their customers."

The auction starts at 9 am on Monday, October 26 and finishes when every item is sold. Full auction and equipment details can be found at rbauction.com. Highlights include: 

A 2003 Madill 124 grapple yarder
Two John Deere 3754D heel boom log loaders
A 2011 Madill 3800C heel boom log loader
A 2012 John Deere 2954D processor
A 2013 John Deere 290G hydraulic excavator
A 2011 Hitachi ZX290LC-5N hydraulic excavator
A 2013 Madill 3800C butt-n-top log loader
10 Western Star 4900SB tri-drive log trucks
Three 2012 Kenworth T800 tri-drive log trucks
A 2014 Freightliner M2-106 business class extended cab 4x4 mechanics truck

For complete auction details and schedule visit the Ritchie Bros. website to view the auction brochure.



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