July 2017 Buzz

It's time to talk about taking back Newcastle Island

July 29, 2017

We're definitely into the summer doldrums, the time of year when nothing is really happening so old topics are revived. Like, for instance, old minutes of Nanaimo City Council meeting.

One topic that's always good to dredge up is Newcastle Island – you know, a ferry, a zipline or a bridge – it's sure to get people talking.

That's the probem, we're always talking but not doing. I served for many years on the former Newcastle Island Pavilion Society, and it was mostly talk. It never mattered how viable the ideas were that came out, what decisions were made, B.C. Parks has full control over what goes on. After a while they just ignored anything that came out from the society. We're talking about 30 years here, folks.

Years later I was the city representative on a three-way committee with SFN and B.C. Parks. We worked with SFN, but it always was the stone wall from B.C. Parks. That really begs the question, should the city and SFN make serious representation to return the park to full local control? It certainly would not get any worse.

It's worth thinking about.

Sylvia Mlieczko plays trumpet in the Nanaimo Concert Band. The band plays a free outdoor concert on Monday (July 24) at Maffeo Sutton Park

0723- HELLO NANAIMO - If you're not watching Nanaimo City Council on TV, the Nanaimo Concert Band is performing a free concert Monday (July 24) at Maffeo Sutton Park’ s Lions Pavilion. “It’s very, very family oriented. We’re playing stuff that the kids will recognize, stuff for the older crowd… Almost every one of them, you’ll be toe-tapping,” says clarinet player Shari Barker. The band, nearly 50 members strong, was established in 1872 and Barker said “we haven’t missed a Monday night [rehearsal] in 145 years.” THE FULL STORY

 SPEAKING OF CITY COUNCIL - Now that there is the full complement of nine members on council, we wonder whether things will change in the chamber (and in the off-camera sessions we don't see). One thing is certain, the public has had more than enough of the bully tactics that have pervaded this council. It will be interesting to see what develops now that we're heading into an election campaign in about a year. Keep an eye on council, we may be in for some surprises.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I get tons and tons of useless garbage on the internet. However, a friend sent me the following which I am sure anyone over 60 years of age will identify with.

I just discovered my age group!  I am a Seenager (senior teenager). 

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50-60 years later. 

I don't have to go to school or work. 

I get an allowance every month. 

I have my own pad.

I don't have a curfew. 

I have a driver's license and my own car. 

I have an ID that gets me into bars and the wine store. I like the wine store best. 

The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.  They aren't scared of anything.  They have been blessed to live this long, so why be scared? 

And I don't have acne! 

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much. 

People do not decline mentally with age.  It just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains.  Makes sense to me! 

Scientists believe this also makes you hard of hearing as it puts pressure on your inner ear. 

Older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.  This is NOT a memory problem.  It is nature's way of making older people do more exercise. 

Life is good!  Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this, if you are a Seenager. 

So there! I hope you enjoyed this, but if you didn't, I don't care because I am a seenager.

Monday, July 17

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The Silly Boat Regatta was a rousing success, and now we focus on the Marine Festival and bathtub race coming up. Have fun.

NOW WE KNOW - I mentioned earlier that the original plan for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre included a Marriott Courtyard Hotel. Guess what, a decard later that appears to be what we may get after all. The company that now has control of the downtown propety has a good history in the hotel industry, so here's hope. Take a look at what they have and what they do. www.pegdev.com


Friday, July 14, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It looks like we may be back where we started from when it comes to a new downtown hotel. The original plan for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre was a Marriot Courtyard hotel. The guidelines may have changed a bit, but that’s probably what have been done in the first place an a lot of people would have wasted a lot less money. Now let’s get on with it.

WHEN YOU ARE ALL DONE with those shenanigans, along comes the  downtown ‘Bathtub Days Street Fair’ the following weekend during the 2017 Marine Festival July 21-22.  Two days of festivities will light up activity on  Commercial Street and Victoria Crescent, including Saturday morning’s Sail Past on Wheels parade. Streets will be closed all day both days allowing vendors, entertainment on stage and street, special events and activities during the daytime.

The chamber of commerce is doing all the organizing, and CEO Kim Smythe promises entertainment and events all day on Commercial Street, Diana Krall Plaza and Victoria Crescent. “There is definitely something for everyone – from artisan vendors to live entertainment on stage, food trucks to martial arts, a climbing wall, petting farm and even a two-man sub from the proposed Ocean Discovery Centre,” says Kim.

The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. from the Old City Quarter on Saturday. Some of the activities will be moved around a bit, around but all the popular attractions like jumpy castles, kids crafts and face painters will be there. Bathtub Idol will appear on stage and the public can vote for their favourite singer at Diana Krall Plaza. Then you and meander to Victoria Crescent for the watermelon eating contest and watch the waiter races.

Admission and most activities are free. The Street Fair runs from 11–5 on Friday and and 10–4 on Saturday. Updated information will be available at bathtubbing.com

ONE MORE THING - A real friend is someone who knows you but still loves you.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

HELLO NANAIMO – If you want to let your hair down and engage in harmless silliness, this is the weekend to do it as The Nanaimo Child Development Centre stages it annual Silly Boat Regatta Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park. This is the 33rd year for the event and it’s all about being silly and having fun. The regatta, the largest fundraiser for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, gives teams four hours to build something you hope will float before it makes its maiden voyage in a race around a buoy in the inner harbour. There are no kits or motors allowed, strictly the ingenuity of the participants.

FLOATING LUXURY - Nanaimo is the temporary home today and Friday to what is likely the world’s largest floating luxury condominium as the motor ship The World pulled into Nanaimo for a two-day visit. The 12-deck, 644-foot-long vessel has 165 individual homes for residents, who come from 45 countries and live onboard as it circumnavigates the globe. Since setting sail in 2002, the floating community has visited more than 900 ports in more than 140 countries. Local and regional shore excursions are being offered. Nanaimo Visitor Centre travel advisers will go on board to greet passengers and direct them to photo opportunities next to RCMP officers in red serge.

NANAIMO SEARCH AND RESCUE is closer to finding a new home now that negotiations have begun with the city for the former Greater Nanaimo Water District office land. City Council on Monday gave the green light for staff to negotiate with NSR about relocating to the land. NSR has a million-dollar nest egg from a private donor. NSR president Carly Trobridge told council that construction costs have risen by about 10 per cent and the province has allowed it to earmark another $200,000 for the project, but the funds have to be spent by next March.

ONE MORE THING - A truly happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

NANAIMO RCMP ARE SEEKING HELP in locating 22-year-old Yasmine Addiscott, last seen in Nanaimo on Saturday July 8. She has significant medical issues which have her friends and family concerned for her well-being. Please see more information and a photo in our news section. http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652555

NOT ALL THERE - We noticed a number of councillors were missing from Monday's meeting when someone quipped, "some of them aren't there even when they are there."

ONE MORE THING - Just discovered the best baron on beef on the planet, and it's at Troll's Restaurant in Horseshoe Bay. Definitely has the "wow" factor. You gotta try it.

July 6, 2017 

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - You have a chance to be part of history on Saturday. When you vote in the Nanaimo city council byelection, your name becomes a part of the permanent record of that exercise, preserved in the history of our city. And if you don’t vote, that’s part of the record too, so future generations can see you didn’t do your part as a citizen.

At the end of advance polling on Wednesday, 1,332 people had already voted, compared to about 500 in the last byelection in 2011.

The byelection is Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
• Chase River Elementary School, 1503 Cranberry Ave
• Departure Bay Activity Centre, 1415 Wingrove Street
• City of Nanaimo Service & Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir St
• Georgia Avenue Elementary School, 625 Georgia Ave
• McGirr Elementary School, 6199 McGirr Rd, 
• Nanaimo Alliance Church, 1609 Meredith Rd
• Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, 741 Third St
• Randerson Ridge Elementary School, 6021 Nelson Rd
• Beban Park Social Centre, Auditorium B, 2300 Bowen Rd

You have a choice of voting for one of 13 candidates who have put their names forward. The fact that some candidates are more serious and more qualified than others proves what a great opportunity we all have as citizens, anyone can become part of the process.

As far as predicting goes, I have a very solid idea who will come out at the end of the night, based on the number of “hits” the candidates’ platforms have received on the Nanaimonet.com byelection page. One candidate is far and above ahead of the rest of the pack, so it will be interesting to see how that translates into actual votes.

And on election night, this is the place to check for the results, probably before 8:30 p.m. When it comes to developing news, always check http://www.nanaimonet.com first.

 IF YOU LIVE in Lower Lantzville, you live in the highest-priced area for housing in Greater Nanaimo. The average price of homes sold there in May was $752,500, based on three sales. And you don’t have to drift far from that area as north Nanaimo and Hammond Bay were next in line. The Hammond Bay area had eight sales averaging $703,375 while North Nanaimo had the greatest activity with 36 sales averaging $648,235. The only other area above $600,000 is South Jinglepot at $631,711. That’s part of the over all look at real estate on Vancouver Island from John Cooper at Cooper McLintock. Check it out at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B41i7JiGS7lSeWdISHo0X0FpSVE/view

 ONE MORE THING - If you ever want to know whether people are reading your posts, make one small mistake and then watch the e-mail explode. Never mislabel Lower Lantzville because you'll really hear about it.




July 4, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Not much in the news feed after the July 1 holiday and the follup up celebration today south of the border. One thing to remember though is that if you can't make it to the polls on Saturday in the city's council byelection, you can cast your ballot in the final advance poll Wednesday at the Alliance Church on Meredth Road. The poll is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. About 400 people took the opportunity in the first advance poll as week. Just do it.

IN FOCUS - Something new we tried was posting a page of photos of the dedication of the Bofors 40 mm gun from HMCS Nanaimo at the Vancouver Island Military Museum. The response has been fantastic, hundreds and hundred of people have clicked on the page, more than any other photo layout. Check it out. http://www.nanaimonet.com/435673529

ONE MORE THING - Happy birthday to MLA Michelle Stilwell.

July 3, 2017

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Aside from our Prime Minister forgetting that Alberta is one of our provinces, all indications are that Canada Day 150 was a fantastic celebration right across the country. Justin's flub did not go unnoticed south of the border as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted "Happy Canada Day Alberta." If you are over 30 years old you will likely not celebrate our bicentennial. Just an observation.

Nowadays everyone has a camera, especially those that form part of our cell phones. That gave me an idea. You’re always busy shooting everything that moves, why not get them published on the Internet? Send your favourites to Nanaimonet.com and we’ll select some to publish for the world to see. Just send the photo along with information and what it’s about and we’ll see what develops. You know, cheque presentations, events, and so on. Send your photos to news@Nanaimonet.com. Almost anything goes. Take a peek

The Nanaimo Foundation was busy last week helping out various local organizations with a total of $70,000. PacificSport Vancouver Island got a $15,000 grant. Others receiving money were the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island ($5,000), Gabriola Arts Council ($10,000), Gabriola Historical and Museum Society ($5,050), Ladysmith Resources Centre Association ($10,000), Nanaimo Association for Community Living ($10,000), Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank ($6,150), Nanaimo Senior Citizens’ Housing Development Society ($6,000) and Vancouver Island Regional Library ($2,800). A $1,000 grant from donors David Stanley and Marie de Vos was also given to the Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society.

Here’s some good news to start the week, we can expect BC Ferries fares to remain steady after the corporation experienced a surplus for the second year in a row. BC Ferries had consolidated net earnings for 2017 is $77.4 million, up from $69.5 million the year prior. That came from a 2.9 per cent increase in vehicle traffic and 1.7 per cent increase in passenger traffic compared with 2016. CEO Mark Collins says the strong financial performance will help renew the ferry fleet, pay down debt and reduce the need for future loans.


Marianne Van Toor

July 1, 2017 - The past week was a real tough and sad one for Nanaimo – we lost two prominent members of our community who gave so much of themselves. The sudden death of Tom Harris was a shock to everyone in Nanaimo, and then we got hit with the double whammy that Marianne Van Toor had died June 25.

I worked with and through both of these solid citizens over the years. Tom was involved in St. John Ambulance as a fundraiser for St. John House in the early 2000s.

I had many connections with Marianne over the years, predominantly with Malaspina University-College and various community efforts in later years.

I’ll post more information on both of these pillars of our community as soon as they become available. Nanaimo lost a lot when they left us.

The Harris family is planning a memorial service open to the entire community. We’ll let you know when we have the rest of the details.