Apr. 4, 2017


Friday, March 31, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – In response to discussions on Facebook, I posted the community contributions by the Nanaimo Port Authority. (see editorial). Kim Smythe, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce added his own comment: "The Port also sponsors many events and activities in this community that did not show up on the list. The Port Authority is a major supporter of the Chamber of Commerce. As a not-for-profit, we rely on community partners to provide resources through volunteer commitments, expertise sharing and financial sponsorships. The NPA is a community leader in this arena and has never let us down."

LOOKING FOR A JOB? – GT Hiring Solutions is holding a WorkBC job fair on Thursday, April 6, at the Conference Centre. No fooling around, bring your resume and be prepared for an interview. Be there when it starts at 1 p.m. and be ready to stay until 4 p.m. For tickets, go tohttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2017-workbc-nanaimo-job-fair-tickets-31295432481?aff=efbevent

DOWN THE CANAL - Mike Surrell’s Lady Rose Marine Services has bought the former B.C. Ferry MV Kanaka hoping to provide vehicle ferry service up the Alberni Canal. The company’s current vessel, the Frances Barkley, is already the largest tourism operator in Port Alberni bringing upwards of 17,000 visitors and $6 million to the city every year. If Surrell gets approval to use the MV, the impact could be huge. “This initiative will, I think, blow that out of the water,” says Pat Deakin, Port Alberni Economic Development Manager. 
REMEMBERING PETER - A celebration of life will be held for Peter Thomas on Sunday, April 2 at First Memorial Funeral Chapel on Bowen Road. Peter died earlier this month in Edmonton where he and his wife Renee had moved last fall. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides would be appreciated. Peter was active in the local Lions Club for 42 years.

GRUNT AND GROAN – If you like your entertainment rough and tumble, pro wrestling is back at Departure Bay Activity Centre Saturday night. Doors open at 6:30 and the bell rings at 7 p.m. Nanaimo’s own B. J. Laredo squares off against Scotty Mac in the main event.

NICE TO BE HOME - Curtis Toneff has been hired as coach and general manager of The Nanaimo Buccaneers, the city’s junior B hockey club. Curtis is a local who resigned as assistant coach of the B.C. Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters to take a full-time job with the Buccaneers. “This is the right choice for me in my coaching career.” he said.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Do you realize that in about 40 years we will have a whole bunch of people running around with saggy tattoos?


Thursday, March 30, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Which part of Nanaimo has the highest average sale price for homes? North Nanaimo had the greatest real estate sales activity last month with 14 sales at an average of $690,871. The market remains hot with almost 100 homes sold in February, up 16 per cent. SEE STORY HERE 

IT'S TIME TO GET in the mood for politics. The provincial election campaign is under way, and that means all-candidate meetings. The first I’ve heard about is the BC Teachers Federation event with candidates from all three ridings that make up Greater Nanaimo. It’s April 18 at Dover Bay Secondary. https://www.facebook.com/events/282445988845011/?active_tab=about

GET PLUGGED IN - There’s been a lot of talk about tech in Nanaimo recently. And that includes Ladies Learning Code - Central Vancouver Island. They are a group of volunteers promoting tech education in our region. Here’s all the dope about the next upcoming workshop, on Saturday when the focus will be on Wordpress. Check out their website. https://www.facebook.com/events/402678313432164/

IN FOCUS – News about training for careers in the film industry is coming to the North Island today. Michelle Stilwell MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation is meeting representatives from North Island College and the Vancouver Island Film sector for an important announcement.

HEY, I NEED TO hear from you. If you have any news tidbits, suggestion or events coming up and you want the word out to the public, this page is getting read. Nothing is better than good gossip. Email to news@nanainonet.com


HAVE A NICE DAY – Everyone appreciates your honesty until you are honest with them

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Colliery Dam Park created quite a stir in the past couple of years, and there will be more discussion. There are new additions for the park and an update of the green space. The city has ideas of additions and improvements to the park. To let you have a look and tell them what your think, they have an open house this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the lower lake between the washrooms and old spillway.

HOLD THE PHONE – The call came with a great news tip – “John Ruttan is running for mayor”. Well, not so fast folks, someone discovered John’s website from the last election still on the internet, and they assumed. When you assume you make an ass-u-me. John teased that he’s looking for a campaign manager.

TOP OF THE LADDER - Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Jim Stewart who has been elected Grand Poobah of the B.C. Real Estate Association. (That’s president). Jim is with 460 Realty and has been in the industry for more than 24 years so he knows a thing or two. He previously served as president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. Speaking of VIREB, Janice Stromar of Coast Realty is the new president, taking over from Margo Hoffman.

TIME TO PULL THE GOALIE – It’s not over yet for the Nanaimo Clippers, there are stirrings behind the scenes to rescue the local junior hockey team after they were virtually given the bum’s rush in the event centre delerium. Here’s a sound clip with team manager Mike Vandekamp updating the latest. https://soundcloud.com/nanaimoclippers/mar-27-mike-vandekamp

THAT’S DIFFERENT – If you’re looking for a really unique gift for the angler in the family, Peetz Outdoors Limited, which has been making fishing reels, rods and tackle in Victoria for more than 90 years, has partnered with Duncanby Fishing Lodge in Rivers Inlet for a customized artist series of reels. That should be interesting.

NO MORE ALARMS - Almost 12 years since he joined Nanaimo Fire Rescue as assistant chief, Craig Richardson is hanging up his fire helmet. He retires at the end of July but with accumulated holidays he’ll finish up some time in May or June. His parting words, “I’m proud to have been a part of this department . . . and thanks for all your support over the years.” Good luck, Craig.

B.C. LIBERALS AND NDP, take note – Watching Canadian and U.S. politics it’s become evident that politics is the greatest obstacle to good governance. Just run the country, the province or the city. Quit throwing mud at each other, tell us what YOU will do FOR us rather than how wrong the other guys are.

HAVE A NICE DAY – I was told years ago that “one day a week does not a good Christian make”. Sunday is not enough.



Monday, March 27, 2017

 OUR NANAIMO? – A hint of things to come is a new grassroots non-partisan group on Facebook to help selected candidates in the next Nanaimo city council election. Members are from a cross-section of the city, including retirees, working families, professionals and business owners. The FB page named Our Nanaimo says they will support some candidates – a number have already declared. The FB page asks citizens to join with them, “just as they did for NoVote2017”. Conveniently, If you are already a NoVote email list, you’re already in. Is a civic party being born?

DO SOME GOOD – If you’re looking to do some good, take a look at the Make A Wish Foundation. This being Children’s Wish Month, only a few days left, you can support the Bluewish campaign through Friday (March 31) by visiting www.textbluewish.ca or by texting ‘bluewish’ to 80100 to donate $5, $10 or $20 to the foundation and Pacific Blue Cross will  match it. Where can you beat that? The foundation fulfills wishes of kids diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Four wishes have been granted in Nanaimo over the last five years.

MOVE OVER MAYOR MOONBEAM – Nanaimo is getting serious about biking. The city has committed close to $850,000 for several cycling route projects. It will start with the Dover Bikeway and Turner (McGirr) Bikeway, sharing dedicated and shared-use lanes. They will connect existing north-south cycling routes to Lantzville and Woodgrove Centre and the Rutherford neighbourhood to the Dover Bikeway and commercial services around the Uplands Drive and Turner Road intersection. Check out Chris Bush’s story in The News Bulletin.

HAPPY TRAVELS – Remember all the fooferaw about Canadians being denied access to the United States since Donald Trump was elected president? Well as so many other things, that was fake news. Refusals of Canadians at U.S. land crossings actually dropped 8.5 per cent between October and the end of February compared with the same period a year earlier. U.S. government figures show the total number of Canadian travellers denied entry also dropped: 6,875 out of almost 13 milliion, a refusal rate of half a per cent. There was also a sharp drop in the number of Canadians denied in the first two months of this year, down by 25 per cent.

HAVE A NICE DAY - Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Our fair city is familiar with the cost of severing high-level civic employees, but it has been nothing like the lengthy schmozzle into Victoria Police Chief Frank. Former B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed says it’s going to cost more than a million bucks and may even go into mult-millions. In 2015, the Victoria Police Board conducted a four-month investigation into inappropriate tweets Elsner admitted to sending to the wife of a subordinate. And that’s not even going into any possible severance pay that might result.

SOME TIMES YOU just can’t win. What promises to be a record-breaking cruise ship season for Victoria has brought out the negative side of the gold mine for Victoria business. People living in residential areas complain that emissions from tour buses, and clogged traffic are causing them a pain. Victoria Mayor Lisa Help took matters into her own hands and conducted personal walking tours for ship passengers. I know where those ships would be welcome.

WE NOW HAVE blasphemy regulations in Canada, the much-debated M-103 or anti-Islamophobia bill. By singling out one religion, are we to assume that anti-semitism, hatred of Catholics, Sikhs, Hindus and all other religions is okay since they are not covered by special government protection? Is it any wonder that respect for elected officials is at such an all-time low? 

WICKANINNISH BEACH and surrounding areas have been closed after a wolf attacked a dog owned by a Nanaimo woman on Thursday morning. The dog was on a leash at the time of the attack, the park's resource conservation manager Renee Wissink told Black Press, adding wolves won't ordinarily go after dogs on leash.

I’M OUTA HERE - People who teach lessons tend to think they have the answers ... if only it were true.


Friday, March 24, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – I’m in a giving mood this morning. I have two tickets to tonight’s Tanya Tucker performance at the Port Theatre. All you have to do is go to the bottom of this page and fill in the comment section with your name and phone number and mark it “tickets”. Cut off is at 12 noon today, so get busy. 
WINNER - Mike Sinstadt

IT’S NOT EVEN April Fools Day, but already that old canard of a sky tram up Mount Benson is being dragged out. The idea is being pitched to see where the public stands on the concept. Jim Johnson is a supporter of improved access atop Mount Benson and he's  launched an online petition to gauge community support. So what does that leave us for an April Fool’s prank?

IS IT JUST ME or is it impossible to get a hot meal at a Nanaimo restaurant? I have gotten to the point of asking in advance if my meal will be hot, but it still comes out luke warm. It happens regularly at high-end restaurants and that has me wondering if that’s intentional. One restaurant   insisted that meat has to “rest” before being served. I’m quite prepared to let it rest after I’ve swallowed it. Steaks should still be sizzling when they arrive at your table. Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I'M OUTA HERE - The great thing about democracy is that even fools can play a prominent role.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Congratulations! The celebrations were loud and the green beer was in abundance, but Nanaimo’s “Irish For a Day” stayed out of serious trouble. Mind you, 21 partiers were taken to the hoosegow to chill out. Three idiots got behind the wheel of their car and were charged with drunk driving. But over all, the celebrants stayed out of serious trouble. 

THAT’S NOT REALLY ODD – Did you see people walking around with mismatched socks yesterday? If you did, then World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) got your attention, as planned. This day signifies the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the chromosome which causes Down syndrome. WDSD is observed in many countries around the world and since 2012 has been declared a global awareness day by the United Nations.

HOMELESSS SQUEEZE - Island Crisis Care Society, which operates Samaritan House emergency women's shelter, is out of room. ISSC is planning a $1.9-million expansion of the 20-bed Nicol Street facility. Executive director Violet Hayes says the number of homeless women continues to grow. Nanaimo News Now has the rest of the story. 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT - The Nanaimo Clippers are still in limbo, without the local ownership that the present owners say they need to keep the club operating in Nanaimo They set a two-week deadline, and that was a week ago, and so far there’s been no word of anyone local stepping forward. It’s a great status symbol to own a sports franchise, and it’s guaranteed you won’t get rich. Team president David LeNeveu says, however, it can be very rewarding in other ways. There are rumours that folks in Campbell River are just itching to buy the Clippers and move them further north. Check out Dan Marshall’s report on Nanaimo News Now.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FOLLOWING UP OLD NEWS, or just tying up loose ends is one of the things we do in the news business. Stories and events happen, but what is the outcome further down the road? For instance, whatever happened to that citizens petition to have Mayor Bill McKay removed from office over a perceived conflict of interest? That’s still a loose end. To the best of my knowledge, the mayor has never been served.
 The list of names is in my column at  http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

NO CONSPIRACY – Monday night’s housekeeping measure at city council was not a nefarious, devious plan for anything. It is standard procedure that someone be authorized to act when the chief administrative officer is not available – vacation, illness, leave, etc. It’s always been done in the past.

THERE IS NO FREE MONEY - The Canada Revenue Agency has issued a warning about a scam that lures victims with a text message that the agency is sending them money via an INTERAC e-transfer. The text suggests that the CRA has sent the e-transfer, and then asks the recipient to click a link “to deposit your income tax return.” Sadly there are thousands and thousands of people who buy into this crap and then cry when they get hurt. All those "abused pet", "I am ugly, nobody loves me" and "like if you love Jesus" posts are ALL scams. If you continue to open them you deserve what you get. Don’t do it!

PROVINCIAL ELECTION time means glad-handing and schmoozing with the voters. That’s what Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog has on tap for the opening of his campaign office on Sunday, 2-4 p.m. at 1588 Boundary Crescent. He’ll have his campaign team on hand. Parksville Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell had her open house last week.

I’M OUTA HERE - A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.



March 20 GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Remember that string of severance payouts to former city management employees who were forced from their jobs – more than 20? All that money could have made a great down payment on a new arena. (There I go thinking out loud again). But if anyone thought the money drain was finally plugged, the morning buzz that there’s another big one brewing and it could get expensive. Watch it!

SOMETHING NEW – We’ve juggled our pages a little bit to respond to readers’ interests. Don White added considerably to the information and debate on the referendum, so we’ve talked him into posting fairly regularly on Nanaimonet.com. http://www.nanaimonet.com/432760080

IT LOOKS LIKE SOME Lantzville councillors want to be like their big city cousins up the road, ganging up to pile on their mayor. Mayor Colin Haime commented on nanaimonet.com and social media during the arena referendum campaign in Nanaimo. His personal comments did not represent the town but I’d venture to say his knowledge of the Municipal Charter helped a lot of the online discussions. Councillors should devote their attention to the job they were elected to do. (Oh my, now I’m commenting on Lantzville’s issues).

CRIME STOPPERS RECOGNIZED - Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers recently held an appreciation dinner, thanking two long-time directors, as well as the media partners in Nanaimo that have been big supporters of the program. Supt. Cameron Miller, officer in charge of Nanaimo detachment, presented certificates of appreciation to two retiring members – president Chuck Campbell and secretary Karen Linterman.

SPRING BREAK – Ah yes, a houseful of rambunctious kids. The Nanaimo Museum has two weeks of activities during spring break. Heritage drop-in programs, self-guided tours and the Night at the Museum event are designed for kids aged five to 12. Aimee Greenaway, interpretation curator, says Night at the Museum was busy last spring break. Parents who work during the day need family activities in the evenings. Night at the Museum is on Wednesday (March 22) and March 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Activities include night time-themed crafts, and lantern tours through the coal mine in the dark.

AFTER THOUGHT – What’s to stop members from the old Empire Days to step back into the breech and rescue the Victoria Day weekend now that the replacement Heritage Days is stumbling? What’s to stop them? Can they overcome the disrespectful and insulting way they were treated in the past?

READER SURVEY – Would you like to see Empire Days return to Nanaimo? Please go to the bottom on this page and fill in the comment section with a simple “yes” or “no” or you can add a comment.

I’M OUTA HERE - The dictionary defines bigotry as intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself. So don’t disagree with me.

March 17 - GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – A great way to start the day; a note from Brian Peckford about the Vancouver Island University Big Band under the direction of Greg Bush in  concert last night with guest artist Delfeayo Marsalis, of the famous Marsalis family, the brothers and father of New Orleans.

“Delfeayo is a internationally-acclaimed trombonist and just as famous for his composing and arranging.  He conducted classes and lectured at Vancouver Island University for the past two days and he and the band developed the over-two-hour program I heard tonight, played to a packed theatre which included the music of Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glen Miller  and arrangements and originals by Delfeayo.  Amazing music”! Thanks for that Brian

NANAIMO ABORIGINAL CENTRE  has a building permit for a new 25-unit affordable housing facility on Bowen Roadd (across from Quarterway Pub). Construction begins this month and will feature 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses for young families, units for elders and for youth transitioning from in-care to independent living.

YA GOTTA EARN IT - A third of British Columbians don’t tip at restaurants where they feel they got bad service, but most are happy to reward food servers with a higher gratuity if performance was exceptional, a new Insights West poll has found. In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, one third of British Columbians consider it acceptable to not leave a tip at a sit-down restaurant if the service was below average and the server was clearly not busy – a proportion that rises to 41per cent among residents aged 55 and over.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is running amok. Parks Canada has banned (censorship) a major film production in Banff National Park because well-known Canadian First Nations actor Tom Jackson, is portraying a First Nations gangster. Hey Parks Canada, acting is pretending. He's not really an FN gangster, it's only a movie. So, the feature will be filmed in Beautiful British Columbia. By that, I guess modern-day kids in Banff can only play cowboys now.

DON’T TELL ANYONE - Everybody is just dying to find out what’s happening at the corner of Departure Bay Road and the Island Highway, at the former Shell station and Pizza Hut. If you promise to keep it secret, I’ll let you in on some confidential rumour information. There’s going to be a a min-mall with a Wendy's Restaurant. Now keep it to youself.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect

Thursday, March 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Things keep on happening for our man Terry Beech who has been inducted into the 2017 Young Global Leaders Program. The group’s website states they are involved in developing gene editing technology, building computers that recognize human emotions, leading multi-billion dollar companies to renewable energy, and rebuilding civil society in a war torn nation.

“Each year, we select the most innovative, enterprising and socially-minded men and women under the age of 40 who are pushing boundaries and rethinking the world around them. “This year’s class of Young Global Leaders gives hope that they are ready to tackle the world’s most complex and pressing challenges.

"They are invited to join a community and a five-year leadership journey that we believe will help them break down silos, bridge cultures and use their collective skills to get things done for positive impact across private, public and civil society organizations”.

HAVE A GREAT DAY - Being famous on Facebook is a little bit like being rich in Monopoly.

Thursday, March 15, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – A note from Scott Littlejohn - Nanaimo has lost another outstanding member. Just heard of the passing of Judge Stan Wardill. Avid boater and trumpet player, Stan dedicated much of his life to serving this community. I have fond childhood memories of falling asleep aboard a boat listening to him playing his trumpet to the night sky on the dock, entertaining his many friends, including the likes of Frank Ney.

THE MONEY TRUCK has hit the campaign trail. Nanaimo Airport is undertaking some major work, thanks to cash from the federal and provincial governments. Airport president Mike Hooper says the $7.5 million bonanza will allow doubling the passenger lounge and tripling the security areas of the main terminal. The whole ball of wax is going to cost about $11 mill. Work will start in June and be finished next summer.

VICTORIA AND OTTAWA are kicking in more than $4 million to convert some 300 Upper Lantzville homes from septic fields to sewer lines. Mayor Colin Haime says they had to act quickly or the town could have wound up in a smelly situation. The government cash will soften the blow for homeowners, who will still cover the remaining $2.2 million for the service upgrade in the Winchelsea area.

TOP BUSINESSES - The deadline to nominate Nanaimo businesses for annual awards is approaching. The 17th annual Business Achievement Awards are accepting nominations for Nanaimo businesses in categories ranging from manufacturing and technology to retail, restaurants, youth initiatives, community service organizations and more. The deadline to nominate is March 24.

DIGGING IN - Barsby Bulldogs football players are doing some groundwork before they head into next season. As in the past, the team is selling manure for garden use on Friday and Saturday this week. All the proceeds go to pay for uniforms and other equipment. All proceeds from the sale go to uniforms and protective equipment. Bulldogs’ coach Rob Stevenson says the team is getting a delivery of two-year-old cow manure and then the players will fill 40-pound bags.

THANKS FOR WAITING – that’s standard procedure for medical procedures in B.C., but do you know what has the longest waiting list? Right now it’s cataract surgery, with more than 22,000 people in the province in the lineup. Other elective surgeries with long backlogs include knee replacement (7,454), abdominal hernia repair (4,482), hip replacement (3,519), and uterine surgery (2,678).

I’M OUTA HERE - Sometimes you just have to turn around, give a little smile, throw the match and burn that bridge.

March 14

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - At Ladysmith council meetings when somebody says “Duck”, they are referring to Coun. Duck Patterson. At Nanaimo council meetings that can have a whole different meaning. Watch it.

THREE CHEERS – speaking of Ladysmith, congratulations to the citizen design team for an amazing three-day charrette on the future of their waterfront. A tip of the community hat to the many citizens who came by Sunday afternoon to see the emerging ideas created this past weekend. Check it our here: http://ow.ly/VGBi309RRi7

YEAH TURNOUT - The voter turnout for the referendum on Saturday was good news in the eyes of the Chamber of Commerce. President and CEO Kim Smythe said “It speaks for the passion of residents faced with making such a large decision that would impact the community for generations.” 

OKAY ALL YOU forgetful types who planned to get roses from the Vancouver Island Symphony of Roses, you can’t get out of it. There’s still time to order roses for this annual fundraiser. A dozen boxed roses for $33, delivered by volunteers next week Wednesday (Mar. 22). You have to order by Friday, March 17 though. Turley’s Florists have been doing this for 18 years. All you have to do to order and have the roses delivered is call them at 250-754-6344. You can’t say I didn’t remind you.

DOING IT YOURSELF - McGirr Elementary School’s playground has received an infusion of $30,000 from the Rick Hansen Foundation Access4All program. The parent advisory council is raising funds for the target costs of $104,000 for upgrading the playground to wheelchair accessible standards. Shows what hard work and elbow grease can accomplish.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – It’s Tara Keeping’s big day today. Happy birthday.

JUST WONDERING - If it’s neither here or there, then where is it?


March 13, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you won’t have to water the lawn today, or any time for the next week or so. The weatherman has no more snow on the horizon.

THANK YOU – I was going to send personal thank you notes, but when the millions and millions wished me a happy birthday I realized that was beyond possibility. So, thank you to everyone who remembered from virtually all parts of the world, as far away as China and Japan in this huge social media world.

CONNECTING – Good news, the city’s web site is being updated this spring. Perhaps that will include the email system which doesn’t allow all councillors to use it to the fullest extent. No wonder some of us are not getting replies when we send messages or ask questions of our elected or appointed representatives. 

COME ON DOWN – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens wants to get working women off their high heels. He says some employers require that their staff, mostly in the food and drink services areas, wear heels at work. That shouldn’t even be a question for the Legislature, that should be right out of the question. That’s a work safety issue which should be ruled on by WorkSafe BC.

ROTARY NEEDS YOU  - If you've ever thought you might be able to help while enjoying excellent company, check out Rotary. There are five clubs in Nanimo and they could all use a few more members. They meet breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you're interested, call me and I'll send you in the right direction. news@nanaimonet.com

TONIGHT - St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

I’M OUTA HERE – With the provincial election campaign under way, be careful when you follow the masses – sometimes the M is silent.


Peter Thomas

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We have lost another great community booster. Peter Thomas, an icon of community service in Nanaimo, died on Tuesday in Edmonton where he and his wife, Renee, had moved last fall to be closer to their family.

Peter was the face of the Lions Club in Nanaimo, a club he founded and chartered in 1984. He was a member of Lions International for 42 years. Renee was involved in Lions with Peter for all those years. 

In a story in the News Bulletin last August, Peter said he joined Lions because there’s a need to help in Nanaimo. While the Hub City Lions help children with disabilities, the blind and visually impaired and provide support to Camp Shawnigan Lions Easter Seal Camp for children with disabilities, the project he is most proud of is the Lions sports pavilion at Beban Park’s Gyro Youth Sports Fields.

Peter was a regular at the News Bulletin office as he pursued publicity for his various causes. He was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his service to the community.

I’M OUTA HERE – I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

 7 p.m. St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at 2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer 

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Friday, March 10

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you’ve all been busy beavers following the events centre referendum. Since we launched the events centre pages on this site, more than 18,000 views had been recorded on that topic alone, as of last night, and the ticker was still clicking. That’s the reason we are here, to keep our community informed.

ON THAT NOTE, a heads up from Coun. Bill Bestwick about a huge success story from Penticton and its new casino that’s opening in that city next month. This is a Nanaimo site, but what the heck, you can never have too much good news. See more here Western News 

STINKY IDEA - A city councillor in West Vancouver thinks cities should collect doggy doo, put the DNA into a database, and hunt down owners who don’t clean up after their dogs. Mary-Anne Booth suggested the idea in a council meeting earlier this week that left-behind dog poop could be tested and the culprit owner fined. Is it any wonder some people shake their heads in disbelief at some of their own elected officials.

ON TRACK - Some folks on social media are getting quite excited about the idea of commuter rail service for Victoria. Not so fast, the provincial government agreed to look into it. Remember, we’re in an election campaign, and a feasibility study is somewhat like a promise you don’t really have to keep. While the government was making that announcement, NDP leader John Horgan was in Nanaimo saying “me too” on rail service.

MISSING A MOTOR? Nanaimo cops have a brand new expensive outboard motor in their possession after it was found in December in some bushes off Doumont Road. It didn’t walk there by itself. If its yours and you can prove it, call Const. Gary O’Brien at 754-2345.

I’M OUTA HERE - Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

7 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

$80-million borrowing referendum for a Nanaimo Events Centre, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check our Arena page for polling locations and information

St. John Ambulance volunteer information night, at2250 Labieux Road. Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com


Thursday, March 9

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, Happy birthday Gordon Halkett, today is the day. Tamara Hensbee is also celebrating her next year off the calendar.

WHAT’S GOING HERE? There’s a vacant lot at the corner of Island Highway and Departure Bay Road where Pizza Hut and Shell gas station used to be. In many cases where gas stations are abandoned they turn into fenced vacant lots because of the high cost of remediation, due to the contamination from the oil over the years. Very large dredging required in many cases. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this one.

IF THERE IS A very strong no vote on Saturday, should some councillors consider resigning?. The referendum pre-expenses have been estimated at $1 million . . . wasted tax dollars. Or if there's a very strong yes vote, should we all rush to buy season tickets to our new hockey team?

LEARN ABOUT volunteering with St John Ambulance in Nanaimo on Monday, March 13, 2250 Labieux Road, Drop in and check out their volunteer information night. Learn about their services, find out what's required to be an SJA volunteer

I’M OUTA HERE - At my age I speak my mind, it hurts to bite my tongue all the time

12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com


Wednesday, March 8

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO. Almost lost in all the referendum chatter yesterday was the news that the Nanaimo Port Authority, Snuneymuxw and the city are going back to the table with Island Ferries Services to talk leases. Even talking is great news for people who have been waiting for this service for years now. Let’s hope something happens not too far down the line.

THE WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE yesterday committed to putting a franchise in Nanaimo this fall, if citizens approved the referendum to build a new arena. The league said a team would begin play at Frank Crane Arena until a new rink is ready.

ADVANCE VOTING - today is the final advance poll for the $80-million events centre referendum – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Conference Centre. The full vote is Saturday, same hours with a lot of polling locations to choose from. Check them out at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432708469

I’M OUTA HERE - Society has become so artificial that the truth actually bothers some people.


8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, you hear some profound things while you’re having coffee with friends. One commented yesterday that he wants to draft former Councillor Loyd Sherry to run for city council again. “He knows how to say no”.

HATS OFF to Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime who has followed up on the Conference Centre management contract award to Spectra. This company has a lot of expertise, including running venues for Western Hockey League teams. And they also manage the Penticton Conference Centre. Their website shows the properties they manage. CLICK HERE

DON’T FORGET tomorrow is the final advance poll for the $80-million referendum – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Conference Centre. The full vote is Saturday, same hours with a lot of polling locations to choose from. Check them out at http://www.nanaimonet.com/432708469

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Marilyn Sullivan, our premiere special events organizer.

I’M OUTA HERE - I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford; then I’ll move in with them.

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road
7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Monday, March 6

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, just wondering, if I threw a snowball at the next person who mentions global warming, would any court convict me?

POLITICS IS the greatest obstacle to good government. We’re about to get a gigantic dose of that over the next two months in B.C. as our parties try to out-smear each other.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE members will get a survey form by e-mail today, asking for their view on the proposed Nanaimo events centre. The forms have to be in by tonight, and we’ll have the results some time Tuesday. This should prove interesting, and could well give us a fairly accurate reading of how the referendum will turn out on Saturday. Check here tomorrow for the result.

I'M OUTA HERE - Fighting over race is like fighting over Smarties. They’re all made of the same thing and thinking they are not makes you look really stupid.


5 p.m. Special City Council Meeting, Doug Rispin Room, Shaw Auditorium

7 p.m. Regular Council Meeting, Shaw Auditorium

7: 30 p.m Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play acoustic solo sets and together at the Port Theatre. SOLD OUT

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance poll for the $80-million borrowing referendum for an events Centre. Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

12 – 7pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road

12 – 7 pm Blood Donor Clinic, Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Road

7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

If you have any events for our notice board, please send them to news@nanaimonet.com

Sunday, March 5, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Weather is usually the main topic of conversation, but more so this winter. If you’ve been feeling this is one of the most miserable winters in your life, you are absolutely right. Environment Canada confirms this has been one of the coldest winters in Nanaimo in the last 120 years. The average temperature for December, January and February was 1.6 C, the seventh coldest since the government began record-keeping in 1893. That’s two degrees colder than normal at Nanaimo Airport. There was 115 cm of snowfall at the airport this winter, compared to the average of 51 cm

THE ISLAND ROOTS MARKET Co-op plans to construct a building to house a Year Round Community Market at Beban Park by the fall of 2018. The new building will replace the two summer farmers markets that operate at Beban and the winter market at Pleasant Valley Hall. Beginning this summer, markets will operate on Wednesday afternoons and on one day each weekend. Island Roots needs your help to determine when the weekend market should be open, Saturday or Sunday. http://tinyurl.com/zbrh6eq

 I’M OUTA HERE - One thing people have in common is that they are all different



1 p.m. - Celebration of Life for Bob Fenty, Coast Bastion Inn

1 p.m.  Old City Association information meeting to discuss the Malaspina Gardens property at 388 Machleary St. at St. Peter's Catholic Church at 301 Fitzwilliam St.


5 p.m. Special City Council Meeting, Doug Rispin Room, Shaw Auditorium

7 p.m. Regular Council Meeting, Shaw Auditorium


7: 30 p.m Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt play acoustic solo sets and together at the Port Theatre. 


7:00 p.m. Harbour City Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of Nanaimo’s talented jazz students from John Barsby Community, Cedar Community, and Wellington Secondary Schools. Port Theatre.

Send your Notice Board events to news@nanaimonet.com We'll post them at no charge.


Saturday, March 4

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO, put on a happy face. Most of the daffodils are poking their heads through the soil and crocusses are in bloom. We'll enjoy a balmy 5 or 6 degrees today, and if we're lucky tonight's forecast for snow may be wrong. Following the social media chatter, I notice a lot of our local snowbirds are heading north after weeks and months in the southern sun in search of climate change. They’re in for a bit of a shock when they hit the reality we’re enjoying here.

It's one week from today that we get to decide the $80-million-dollar question – do we want to go into debt to build a new arena. Overheard on coffee row the other day, an older gentleman said, " I'm not in favour of that, I'm not even going to vote." That's the most dangerous part of this question, when people don't vote they are actually helping the side they are opposed to. There are voting locations close to home for everyone. You can find the MAP with all the locations right here. Last-minute note: City staff will be at Woodgrove Mall today 12-4 if you still need more information.

There’s a lot of garbage in the Nanaimo Regional District’s plans for this year. Secondary wastewater treatment upgrades at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre are among capital projects this year. Initial work will consist of site clearing and start of construction – roughly $45 million. At the regional landfill in Cedar, $2.5 million has been budgeted for items including the scale house and capital works associated with ongoing operation of the landfill.

Great to see Clay Tree Society is finally getting its own home. They’ve got a deal in principle to buy the place they’ve been for 50 years and make it their own. The tab from the school district is $750,000. MORE HERE

I’ve been preaching the value of AEDs (defibrilators) for ages, and we had proof again this week that they save lives. 83-year-old Jim Corder went into cardiac arrest during a senior leisure skate at Frank Crane Arena. That’s when bystanders and staff came to the rescue and restarted Corder’s heart. There isn’t a place in Nanaimo where people gather, including businesses, that should not have an AED and trained staff to use it. St. John Ambulance can get you fixed up in a hurry. Call them.

Speaking of emergencies, you have a fire alarm in your house, right? Don't let that give you a false sense of security, a record of fire department inspections shows that only about one quarter of alarms actually work. Check yours out and also make sure your fire extinguisher is up to par.

Don't be shy, leave your comments and suggestions at the bottom of this page.

I'M OUTA HERE - A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.


March 3, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - It's tough to put on a cheerful front when the weather forecast is for more snow on Saturday. Enough is enough.

EVENTS CENTRE INFO - More than 200 people came out to a citizen forum in Beban Park last night, looking for answers about the City’s proposal to build a downtown events centre. Jordan Bateman, the BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, compared the successful, public-private partnership that built the Langley Event Centre with the unsuccessful 100% publicly-funded Abbotsford Event Centre. From here onward, the most important thing for everyone in the community is to vote, regardless of where you stand on the issue. Have your say, it's your right 

BRONWYN PREECE returns to Nanaimo for another afternoon of Action Theater® on Sunday (March 5) at the Rotary Fieldhouse 3:30 to 6:30. This will be an extended 3-hour session rather than the usual 2 hours.  Action Theater® is an improvisational physical theater training and performance method created by Ruth Zaporah  for Actors, Dancers, Vocalists, Public Speakers, Musicians, Enthusiasts and The Curious. Learn how to embody your actions and voice. 17+ and requires maturity. All skill levels welcome. $35 for tickets. Crimson Coast

I'M OUTA HERE - A tip for social media users – Just because you are offended doesn’t mean that you are right

March 2, 2017

HATS OFF – to John Gardiner on capturing the People's Choice Award during the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival at Malaspina Theatre. John’s comedic flick Reproductive Cycles took home the award. He said winning the top prize was an unexpected and thanked his team. The festival early last month attracted nearly 600 attendees. The festival featured short films from around the world including Canada, the United States, Spain, China, Ireland and elsewhere. There was a record-breaking number of submissions this year from 14 countries.

IN THE SPIRIT – Sometimes it’s the things you don’t see up front that make the biggest impression like when Hometown Hockey hosts met representatives from Snuneymuxw First Nation. The show’s co-host Tara Slone was moved to tears when presented with a totem pole, carved by Noel Brown. Earlier, on Newcastle Island, Slone talked with Brown about the process and slicing a sliver of wood from the pole, which Brown said now contained a piece of her spirit because of her contribution, albeit small, to the carving. "Nanaimo, you've filled our hearts," said Slone.

COUNT DOWN – I’m watching the weather forecasts daily now, waiting for the exact day we can declare Global Warming Day. It’s coming. When the temperature hits or passes 10 degrees we can celebrate GWD.

DON’T BE A VICTIM - Canadians lost more than $90 million to online and phone scams in 2016, reports the Better Business Bureau. The scam that hit people the hardest was online dating, swindling $17 million out of the hands of Canadians last year. A fraudster uses a fake identity in an online dating profile to earn a potential victim's trust and eventually for money or even steals things. Those are the reported ones, many victims are too embarrassed to admit they have been victimized.

I’M OUTA HERE – While we often hear government is too big to fail we should also recognize government is too big to succeed


March 1, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. That may well have been the strategy of the boosters of the events centre referendum when they pulled out of a scheduled debate, siting fears for their safety. To date we have not had any reports from the RCMP about any alleged threats on anyone’s life. As it turned out, more than 300 people showed up for the Chamber of Commerce event and the question got a good discussion. Three audience volunteers represented the Yes side of the debate. Even though they were ill-prepared, some assertions raising eyebrows, they gave a good accounting of the topic at hand. It turned out to be a good night and nobody got hurt.

EARLY VOTING - If you are unable to vote in the referendum March 11, there are two advance polls. March 1 (today) and Wednesday, March 8, 8:00 am and 8:00 pm at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. 

TANYA AND GARY – Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, Gabriola’s Gary Fjellgaard, will be a special guest of Tanya Tucker on March 24 at the Port Theatre. TANYA has been inspirational to many female artists topping the charts today   Her debut single “Delta Dawn”, recorded when she was just 13, earned her a Grammy Nomination. She has paved a path through country music and beyond, achieving incredible longevity. From the signature classics “Delta Dawn” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” Tanya has proven to be timeless. She has amassed 23 Top 40 Albums, 56 Top 40 Singles, 10 #1 Billboard Hits, 2 CMA Awards, 2 ACM Awards and 3 CMT Awards. Tickets are $65 (all-inclusive) available at the Theatre Box Office.

I’M OUTA HERE - I’m totally flexible as long as everything is exactly the way I want it.