Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the News Bulletin are putting the spotlight on Christmas decorations, so they are publishing a map of where you can see the best light shows. If you gone to all the efforts to brighten your part of the neighbourhood, let them know. There are two categories – home and business. Judges will drive by and then provide a list of their favourites to the News Bulletin to be published in our annual Christmas light map. To enter the contest, e-mail an address to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca. To see last year’s list click this link.

MORE FERRY SAILINGS – BC Ferries is getting ready for the Christmas rush by adding a whole bunch of extra sailings. Between Dec. 19 and Jan.1, the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route will have 37 extra sailings. The most popular travel times between the mainland and Vancouver Island are between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23 and Dec. 26 to Dec. 27, when travellers return home. Check the Ferries website for sailings over the holidays.

MILNER CHRISTMAS – It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas at Vancouver Island University’s Milner Gardens and Woodland. The seaside garden in Qualicum Beach is home to Milner Christmas Magic, this month. Volunteers have been stringing thousands of lights over the past few months to turn the woodland and garden trails into a twinkling realm of Christmas cheer. Milner Christmas Magic runs December 13-15 and 18-22 from 5 - 8:30 pm with last entry at 8 pm. Admission is by donation. Shuttle carts are available to take people between the Welcome Centre, Gift Shop and Milner House for anyone with accessibility needs.  Check out their website Milner Christmas Magic. If Milner needs to close because of inclement weather, notices will be posted on Milner’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

 NEWS IN BRIEF

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2019

HARBOUR AIR MAKES HISTORY - Harbour Air made history this morning when its top executive took the controls of a Burrard Beaver floatplane retrofitted with a new electric motor, and lifted off to the cheers of media and well-wishers. CEO Greg McDougall completed the five minute test flight without burning a drop of fossil fuel. In doing so, he moved a big step closer towards realizing his long-time vision of creating the world’s first all-electric airline.

"That was just like flying a Beaver but a Beaver on electric steroids." McDougall told a crowd of reporters immediately following the flight. "It was such a great performance we had no way of knowing how it would perform until we flew it, and it was amazing."

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Judy Woodruff came home Saturday to find the bedroom in her home had been ransacked. The 71-year-old mother of singer David Gogo said every drawer plus her closet had been torn apart, even her hope chest that she’s owned for 50 years. Woodruff has lived on the property in the 800 block of Nanaimo River Road since 2016. She said some jewelry she’d inherited was taken along with a number of pieces of First Nations. She hopes talking about the break-in will prompt people to be careful about securing their properties.

HANG THAT BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE – Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers program has 200 pair of socks on sale for $10 (cash or cheque). The unique socks feature gold-coloured handcuffs and the Crime Stoppers phone number emblazoned along the side. They are made in Canada, comprised of 80 per cent bamboo and one size fits most. Proceeds from sales of the socks goes to support the local program. Nanaimo RCMP detachment supports this festive and timely fundraising initiative. The socks can be found at the front counter of our detachment, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. Don't be disappointed, get in early and pick up a pair, as we expect they will be a hot commodity this season, says Const. Gary O'Brien, Crime Stoppers Co-ordinator.

HOMELESS NUMBERS STILL RISING - One year after the downtown tent encampment was shut down it appears homelessness continues to rise. One year ago a count showed up to 400 people were homeless.  City councillors, staff and RCMP now estimate up to 600 people live on the streets and rely on shelters for sleep.  This is after approximately 160 units of temporary housing were hastily built to handle the mass evacuation of downtown tent city.

PARTING SHOT – Should the city have a role in pest control? Racoons are causing havoc all over the city, tearing up lawns. Would be nice to get those critters under control.

Monday, Dec. 9

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – You could be excused if you get the feeling that the downtown conference centre hotel is a fleeting dream. One deadline has passed and another is looming for the  proposed hotel. PEG Developments has a building permit for a $23-million, 172-room hotel but failed to begin construction by the Dec. 7 deadline. City council can now buy back the property for the $750,000 PEG paid for it. The building permit is valid until Dec. 31 and PEG says it will “carefully examine all of our options” before moving ahead with another building permit.

ERRINGTON CEDAR PRODUCTS CLOSES - Family-woned Errington Cedar Products is closing, another hit to B.C.’s forest industry workers. The mill was open for 30 years, on a 14-acre site on Grafton Avenue. The company provided western red cedar and yellow cedar products to the world lumber market. 

HOOPER ON FINAL APPROACH – The man at the helm of Nanaimo Airport is retiring. Nanaimo Airport president and chief executive officer Mike Hooper is on his final approach before landing in June. Hooper told the News Bulletin that after 14 years, the time to move on has come. “Most CEOs are in place for about eight years, I’ve been here for 14 years and I think it is a really healthy thing to do for an organization, to bring in new perspectives,” he said. 

ANOTHER BITTER LEGACY – A hangover from the previous city council is lingering – an outdoor skating rink bought by the City is gathering dust. The outdoor rink was bought for the Hometown Hockey event in Feb, 2017, costing $200,000, but hasn’t been used since. City parks director Richard Harding told NanaimoNewsNOW the costs and logistics of setting up and operating the rink make it a challenge.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT ­ – We’ve been lucky so far that there has been no flu outbreak in Nanaimo and central Vancouver Island thus far, a medical official still advises people get their flu shot  says Vancouver Island Health Authority medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control classifies the current situation as “low-level sporadic influenza activity” across the province. “When we see influenza, we tend to get a huge wave of illnesses happening and we haven’t seen that wave start yet. We sometimes see sporadic cases and we certainly haven’t had any outbreaks in the central Island area yet. All this can change very quickly.”

LABOUR SHORTAGE – The Globe & Mail reports Retirement Concepts blames a shortage of workers for the problems that emerged this year at three of its facilities – difficulties that led to an extraordinary level of intervention by health authorities due to the neglect of seniors. The pressure to fill vacancies led the facilities to hire new staff without being able to demonstrate that the workers met requirements for training, criminal-record checks, references and inoculations.

BABY SAFETY – Island Health is bolstering a program to prevent infant sleep-related deaths. The health authority is expanding its baby bed program to all new families in central and north Vancouver Island. It comes thanks to $350,000 over three years from the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. 

Brian Peckford

They get paid by us. Pretend they fight for us. But they can’t even respond to a serious issue in their municipality, province or country.
 
I have been trying to get answers concerning our health care system, given the sudden close down of a local medical clinic forcing 2,000 to be without a family physician. Read the full column

Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019

SNUNEYMUXW ELECTION - Congratulations to Darren Good, Kate Good, Isaac Thomas, Reagan Seward and Bill Yoachim who were elected to Snuneymuxw band council in Saturday's election. 474 ballots were cast, with one spoiled or rejected. Nineteen candidates were in the running for the five seats in the off-year election. There is no election for chief in an off-year. Michael Wyse is the chief. See full results HERE

OH,THE WEATHER - Fall was drier than normal in Nanaimo, we got only 60 per cent of the normal average precipitation. Victoria got about 80 per cent, Vancouver 90 per cent and Courtenay-Comox about 70 per cent. Fall is described by Environment Canada as Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. November was particularly dry with just 61 mm of precipitation compared to the usual 197mm, less than one-third of normal.  

THE MICAH MESSENT Memorial Environmental Award has been created at Vancouver Island University in honour of the 2018 grad who died in an Ethiopian Airlines plane. His family received “an outpouring of support from the community” after the 23-year-old’s death, stated a VIU press release. The family started a GoFundMe page and the family was able to create the two awards with the proceeds from the fundraising.

BAH HUMBUG - Every Christmas seems to have a grinch – this year you have to shake your head at Vancouver Island University. Retirees Kulwant and Narinder Parmar have been collecting cans and bottles at the campus for more than a decade, donating the money different causes each year. Ironically, this year it’s for the VIU Foundation – but they’re no longer allowed to gather empties on VIU property. The Parmars have donated up to $30,000 to charities over the years. VIU associate VP of university relations, William Litchfield, told the News Bulletin that VIU collects bottles and cans on campus for the university’s emergency bursary fund. There is a bin for empties at the residence buildings, where students can put empties for Loaves and Fishes food bank. Litchfield said collecting bottles on campus poses a health, safety and liability risk. Really? 

Dec, 7, 2019

GOOD MORNING – Here’s how you can really makes someone’s day. A Nanaimo mother took her young daughter for a flu shot the Health Unit on Grant Street. When she was done she took her little girl in her stroller and returned to her car. After placing the child in the car she drove away, inadvertently leaving the stroller behind. It is a three-wheel jogging style, green and black Chico stroller. She’s offering a reward (which should not be necessary) of $50. She’s just hoping some good citizen found it and will return it. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the stroller, please call 250 758-3337 or 250 741-4919.

Friday, Dec. 6

GOOD MORNING – I can’t believe how popular I have become of late. I am truly blessed. I’ve been getting tons of phone calls about winning vacations, a refund for me at Revenue Canada and someone trying to help me solve fraudulent activity involving my social insurance number.

On Thursday the first call came at 6:38 a.m. (that’s in the morning). In total I had eight calls, seven on our land line and one on my cell phone.

Aside from simply hanging up, I have developed a number of responses, and I’m sure my latest one set the scammer on her butt. She relayed to me that there had been a number of instances of criminal activity involving my social insurance number and that she was a fraud investigator who could clear this up for me. All she needed was my social insurance number so she could verify she had the right person.

That’s where I kicked in, asking her what the problem was. “I am a criminal and I conduct a lot of criminal activity, that’s how I make my living, are you trying to put me out of business? I don’t need you messing in my affairs,” I told her, adding my cousin Luigi looks after my security affairs. Click. She didn’t even thank me or say goodbye. 

I have used a number of other responses I answer with: “City police, how can I help you?” Click. Who says seniors can’t have fun?

Then it started again this morning with a call from a B.C. government office. When I answered I got . . . press #3 . . . press #2 . . . press #5. This went on for about six minutes and culminated with “to repeat this message, press #1”.

GET READY TO BLOW - “Have you had anything to drink?”  Expect to hear this many times as the Winter Counter-attack impaired driving campaign runs for the month. The long hours officers spend roadside on freezing December nights are for one reason, to stop impaired drivers. On average 68 lives are lost to impaired driving crashes every year in BC. For this reason, impaired driving enforcement is not only a local priority but a national one also. MORE

IT’S ALL DOWNHILL - Mount Washington’s slopes were set to open today but with one of the driest November on record, there’s no snow. The resort is waiting for a storm cycle to roll through, but that hasn’t happened yet. They are now hoping for Dec. 9.  They have been busy producing man-made snow; enough to start Free Discovery Days Monday for skiers and boarders anxious to get started.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019

GOOD MORNING – There are 3,500 people on the colonoscopy waiting list at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, and some of them have cancer in their body right now without knowing it. The Nanaimo Hospital Foundation is on a mission to raise $1.75 million through the Light the Trees campaign for construction of a new surgical suite at NRGH, which will be used predominantly for colonoscopies. Foundation CEO Janice Perrino, said NRGH can conduct 30 colonoscopies a day, but the waitlist grows by about 50 patients a day. The provincial government will provide operational funding once it is built – technicians, nursing staff, and doctors to use the room to full capacity. Perrino said there isn’t enough funding for the suite to be built without fund raising. You can donate at https://nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/donate/

DON’T GO THERE – The stairway to Blueback Beach in the north end is closed while it is being rebuilt. It will be closed for about three weeks while crews replace the stairs in the top half of the hill. Al Britton, the City’s manager of parks operations, said the new staircase will be an above-ground structure with handrails which will provide more safety.

UKRAINIAN FEAST – Hey, what’s better at this time of year than filling up with Ukrainian food? Well, here’s your chance. The Ukrainian-Canadian Cultural Society and the Vesna Ukrainian dancers have their Christmas bazaar Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Parish Hall, 4017 Victoria Avenue – off Norwell Drive. The menu is loaded with Ukrainian delights. A little bonus, if you have a bunch of bottles you would like to dispose of, they will take them off your hands and cash them in for their fund raising efforts.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - The Nanaimo–Ladysmith NDP Electoral District Association (EDA) is holding its AGM on Saturday, (Dec. 7) from 1 to 3 pm at Beban Social Centre (Rooms 2 and 3). The agenda is about reviewing the past year and election of executive members. 

 

Nanaimo RCMP have a very old gold women's watch found in the driveway of a central Nanaimo home approximately 90 days ago. The homeowner who found it, has no idea how it ended up on their property and turned it over to the police for safekeeping. There are two sets of initials engraved on the back along with "Always with Love". If you have information on who may own the watch, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-35406.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

ANOTHER TYPE OF BUZZ – How’s this for getting your daily buzz? Shopper’s Drug Mart is selling medical cannabis online. The company is expanding its online portal to British Columbia, a year after it launched for Ontario residents. It launched in Alberta in the spring, and on Tuesday the system spread nationwide. They’ve even got a doctor online to help with the process. The system allows people to order cannabis from one of 12 licenced providers, delivered to their door, in discrete packaging.

IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD A FLU SHOT please don’t go visiting anyone in hospital or seniors care facility. Even if you are not sick, Island Health requires visitors to mask up to protect patients, staff and the public from getting the flu. Masks can be found near main entrances, handwashing stations or near reception areas. Flu is among the top 10 causes of death in Canada, estimated to kill 3,500 people every year. Symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue and cough. The flu is often used to describe colds or stomach viruses, but its symptoms usually last longer and are more severe than a cold.

NANAIMO CRIME STOPPERS recently donated more than $1,400 to the Nanaimo RCMP Victim Services program. Victim Services members are without a doubt, the hardest working people who, provide care, comfort, support and guidance, to victims of crime. The donation came from several events the local Crime Stoppers program were recently involved in. 

Tuesday, Dec. 3

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If the number of candidates is an indicator, Snuneymuxw First Nation election for band council is creating a lot of interest. There are 19 candidates for five seats for the Dec. 7 vote. Being an off-year election, there is no vote for chief. One band member noted that the high level of participation by younger candidates paves the way for possible generational change. An advance poll was held Nov. 30. Voting takes place 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Chief and Council chambers, 668 Centre St.

ALL ABOUT ENTITLEMENT - A proposal to establish gender parity on city council and committees has been sent back to committee. The concept, proposed by councillors Erin Hemmens and Tyler Brown, included child care reimbursement for anyone serving on council or committees. Mayor Len Krog did not buy in, saying it speaks to a sense of entitlement. That’s the public reaction, and not inappropriately, he added. “This is public service. It is about showing leadership. You do not show leadership by giving yourself a benefit that nobody else in the community has. You show leadership by sacrifice,” the mayor said.

Nanaimo senior stuck in Thai hospital without insurance

Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Your pockets should never be so deep that you can't dig in at this time of year – Loaves and Fishes needs extra help during the pre-Christmas period. Food donations are below the need for more than 5,000 people and 2,200 households relying on thei annual Hamperville program. Executive director Peter Sinclair says cash is helpful as well as non-perishable foods which can be dropped off at the Loaves and Fishes Fry Street warehouse.

Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019

Climate change hits Port Alberni with record low temperature
Port Alberni recorded a new low temperature for Friday, when the mercury dropped to -9.2 C, surpassing the previous record of -7.5 C set in 2014.

Regional District stuidies ways to evacuate Nanoose Bay in emgergency
The Regional District of Nanaimo, the District of Lantzville and partners have been looking at evacuation routes out of Nanoose Bay and are planning an exercise in the new year.

Schools work together to create a better Christmas
Students at Nanaimo District Secondary School are partnering with local elementary and pre-schools to build Christmas care parcels for those experiencing homelessness in the area.

Police investigate bizarre drowning in Port Alberni
The Independent Investigations Office is investigating a bizarre drowning in Port Alberni. police say that the man began to flee police and refused to stop. He eventually ran into a nearby river, followed by police, where he drowned.

Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The last day of November. The lights are on, it’s time to head to Ladysmith for the 32nd annual festival of lights. The festival got under way on Thursday with a Christmas craft fair, followed by a parade and fireworks. The festival attracts anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people each year.

LIGHTS ON THE WATER - The Nanaimo Yacht Club has it's Christmas light sailpast this evening, starting about 6 p.m. on Newcastle Channel. Just find a good spot along the shoreline and enjoy the view.

NOW THAT’S VOTER TURNOUT – The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has been signing up employees at Tilray but more employees showed up to vote than the union had bargained for. Shane Dawson of the UFCW met with Tilray employees in mid September and began signing members. Tilray employees voted Oct. 16, but the result is under review by the Labour Relations Board. The union is focusing on about 120 employees who work in cultivation, but on the day the vote was taken, 200 or more employees from various departments turned out to vote. Tilray said the company believes all of its 259 Nanaimo employees should be included in the vote.

TRADES TRAINING GOING DIGITAL - Digital access to textbooks, lesson plans and research has been transforming the way people learn for the last two decades, but not across all disciplines equally. It’s about about accessibility for Sally Vinden, Instructor in the Faculty of Trades and Applied Technology at VIU. “As educators, we are the gatekeepers. We need to make sure the pathways are there, and the technology is available to us today that makes learning a lot more accessible to a diverse group of students. We know books are a huge financial burden for a lot of students and many suffer academically because they don’t have access to a required textbook,” says Vinden. “The academic side of universities have been working with open educational resources for a long time now, but the trades are just getting started. It’s an exciting time to teach and to learn.”

BACK ON THE PAYROLL - Paul Manly will be getting a pay cheque again once he’s  sworn in on Monday as the member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Members’ pay ends on the day Parliament is dissolved and they do not get paid until they are sworn in for a new parliament if re-elected. The swearing-in will take place in the West Block. Manly returns after first winning a by-election earlier this year and being re-elected in the October general election.

HEADLINES

Friday, Nov. 29

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We’re all familiar with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign, but there’s another way you can contribute and get something in return. This year’s campaign offers little snow trees for sale ­–­ real trees that come in little ceramic pots and are covered with a cotton flocking to make them look like snow. Once they outgrow their pots, they can be planted outdoors where they will grow up to be 4.5 metres. The trees are $12 each and proceeds support the Salvation Army.

THE MOVIE BUSINESS is big business in Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island. Chesapeake Shores and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie were among productions that contributed close to $20 million to the economy across the Regional District of Nanaimo, says Joan Miller of Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm) which is seeking $50,000 in support funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo.  Miller said Chesapeake Shores, the Hallmark Channel series, has provided a multimillion-dollar boon for the economy over the last four years with an $18.5 million economic impact. The show used 35,000 hotel room nights, vendor spend $9 million, local payroll $9 million. She said Nanaimo was where all the hotel rooms were. The Amazing Race Canada, another project we worked on this year, the extra total room nights were 4,000 and close to $1 million, Miller said, so close to $20 million direct input into this region.

VANCOUVER SALUTING VETERANS - Vancouver city council has voted to give veterans free parking year-round. Vancouver is not the first – Red Deer, Regina, White Rock and London, Ont., allow free parking for veterans year-round. White Rock and Regina allow veterans to park free at metred parking spots if they display a veterans’ licence plate.

ON THE BUS - Victoria has handed out more than 500 youth transit passes since they became available on Tuesday. The city instituted paid Sunday street parking to fund free youth transit passes. Sunday parking is anticipated to raise $850,000 per year. Victoria is piloting the program after reaching an agreement with BC Transit to access U-Passes similar to those used by students at the University of Victoria and Camosun College. In total, the passes cost the city $11.25 each per month. Nanaimo is looking at a similar program.

PUT BRAIN IN GEAR BEFORE PUTTING MOUTH IN MOTION – Former Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley accused new Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative government of corruption, claiming the UCP government had made an unethical liquor purchase from a Tory-friendly company. Oops, open mouth to change feet, the purchase was made by Notley’s government three months before the NDP was tossed from office. The NDP issued a statement on its Facebook page apologizing to Prestige Liquors, but not to the Tories or Kenney.

NOT AT ALL CHARITABLE – It isn’t always the way it appears. A King County judge in Washington State has ruled that Value Village used deceptive advertising by leading customers to believe they were a charity or a non-profit. Value Village is a privately-owned business with $1 billion in annual sales in Canada and the U.S. The judge ruled Value Village deceived its customers, citing an overwhelming barrage of advertising, signs, brochures and in-store announcements. No portion of any purchases owned by Value Village’s parent company, TVI Inc., has ever benefited charities, a press release from the Attorney General office stated.

THE BEETLE COMES BACK TO LIFE – We all know beetles are hard to kill. Volkswagen killed the Beetle last year with the final production ending in July. But the iconic car isn’t gone for good, it’s coming back as an electric car. The new electric model is good for 200 km between charges. Pricing and availability haven’t been announced, but a prototype for the vehicle will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week. There has been no information whether the electric bug will be available in North America.

HEADLINES

Schools on alert after unknown police incident
Dover Bay was locked down this morning while McGirr elementary, and Nanaimo and District Secondary School placed on hold and secure after a police incident. 

Two arrested in takedown at suspected drug house
A man and a women have been arrested after police searched a suspected drug house on Wednesday.

Missing teen found safe and sound
18-year-old Brianna Fisher, who was  reported missing from her Nanaimo home on Nov. 24 has been located safe and sound. 

Judge takes hard line in animal torture case
A judge surpassed the Crown’s recommended jail sentence for a man who tortured a rabbit in Nanaimo’s downtown. Kevin Paul Gartner, 47, was handed nearly 10-months jail for the May 2, 2018 attack caught on surveillance video outside the Vancouver Island Military Museum.

Lantzville looking at 23-per-cent rax hite for residents
Lantzville residents are a step closer to being hit with a 23-per-cent tax. Council the first three readings for the 2020-2024 financial. Lantzville residents are a step closer to being hit with a significant tax increase next year. Council removed #46,000 from the property acquisition reserve in order to lower the rate.

Thursday, Nov. 28

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Island Health has taken over management of Nanaimo Seniors Village. An administrator has been temporarily appointed to oversee the care facility. “Ensuring seniors living in our publicly funded long-term care homes are receiving the high-quality, safe and dignified care they need and deserve is paramount to Island Health,” Leah Hollins, Island Health board chairman, said in a prepared release. “This operator has been unable to meet the care expectations outlined in legislation.”

HOW ABOUT HANGING AROUND a mall or a store for a couple of hours over the next four weeks? The Salvation Army kettle drive is in dire need of volunteers to man the locations. Volunteers will be out with kettles 10 and a half hours a day, every day except Sundays, until the drive ends Dec. 24. This year’s target is $550,000. The kettle drive requires more than 7,200 volunteer hours on nearly 2,900 shifts throughout “We have 25 locations, from north Nanaimo to Ladysmith, four shifts a day, from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m.,” said Dawne Anderson of the Salvation Army. To volunteer for the campaign, call Anderson at 250-740-1004 or e-mail kettles@sananaimo.org.

IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE, but Eaton’s closed 20 years ago so former employees are planning a 20-year reunion next summer. Inga Gerard is organizing the July 13 event with Stephanie Harris and Glenna McCaffery. More than 80 people are expected, possibly from as far away as Toronto. Gerard said with about 120 people working at the department store at any given time over the years, with even more during the Christmas seasons. MORE

NEWS IN BRIEF

Police seek help in finding teen
The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 18-year-old Brianna Fisher, who left her south Nanaimo home on Sunday and has not returned. Her family and caregiversare  extremely worried for her safety and well-being. 

Regional District taxes projected to go up in 2020
Property taxes could rise across the Regional District of Nanaimo, but residents will see more bus service and rural automated waste collection, according to a 2020 budget proposal.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver stepping down in January
The B.C. Green Party announced leader Andrew Weaver will step down effective the first day of the party’s leadership contest, expected in early to mid-January.

Winds disrupt ferry services and cause power outages
Strong winds led to some ferry cancellations, power outages and driving warnings on Wednesday. Environment Canada issued a wind warning on Tuesday, which continued into Wednesday.

Wednesday, Nov. 27

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Metral Drive is getting a redesign in the city’s complete Streets project. It’s short notice, but citizens have a chance to take a peek today at Pleasant Valley Hall. City staff identified projects of similar scope and proximity in the area and saw an opportunity to combine the work to achieve economy of scale and a comprehensive product. The project helps achieve the city’s goal to create and build a more multi-model network that accommodates and move people – not only motorists. MORE

THE GINGERBREAD VILLAGE events continue at the Conference Centre for the next few weekends –  Nov 30 and Dec 5, 7, and 17. You can get photos with Santa andvote for your favourite gingerbread display and much more
Nov. 30 - Lion’s Club Santa Claus Parade.
Dec. 5 – 4 pm Photos with Santa for Pets.
All activities are by donation (suggested $10 per child or $20 per family) with proceeds are going to the Salvation Army. Activity Passes available on location during event hours. The activity pass includes Gingerbread House competition, Santa photos, coloring contest and cookie decorating

JONA KRISTINSSON is bringing her Indie Entertainment variety show to the Port Theatre Dec. 4 and she has a roster of veterans and rookies. The event includes Kristinsson’s Etta James tribute, John Gorash’s Frank Sinatra tribute and the members of Kristinsson’s band the Femme Fatales are bringing a Mount Rushmore of country chanteuses to life with their First Ladies of Country show. And she’s giving stage time to some of her West Coast Vocal Academy proteges.

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Judge spares life of dog after city legal case
A nearly three-year-old black German Shepherd won’t be put down in response to biting multiple visitors to its Nanaimo home. 

Nanaimo Victim Services to get half of requested $100,000
The cash-strapped Nanaimo Victim Services is receiving some help from the City, but not as much as was hoped.

School district sees more students than expected 
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has 259 more students than originally anticipated, according to an early enrolment count by the school district.

Catalytic converter stolen from Salvation Army van
A Salvation Army van has had its catalytic converter stolen in Parksville during an especially pressing financial time, says Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army business manager Bonnie Brown.

Teachers disciplines for calling students names
An on-call teacher in the Cowichan Valley School District has had his teaching licence suspended for one week for professional misconduct.

Tuesday, Nov. 26

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - And a good morning it is after City councillors brought their sharp pencils to a finance and audit committee meeting Monday and trimmed some items out of the proposed 2020 budget. They whittled down the proposed residential property tax increase to 5.1 per cent, down from 5.6 per cent. Taxpayers will get to express their views a week from now. Monday's adjustment came when council capped the strategic infrastructure reserve at $2.14 million, the 2019 level, instead of increasing it to $2.55 million.

SOLD OUT - If you have not got your tickets for the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Christmas luncheon, you're out of luck. As usual, it's completely sold out.

Store manager injured in violent assault - The manager of a north end business was violently assaulted Saturday by a shoplifter, who struck him over the head with a shopping bag containing bottles.

Monday, Nov 25, 2019

Province to change building code to allow more secondary suites
The B.C. Government will amend the building code to allow secondary suites in duplexes and townhouses. Local governments will soon be able to allow secondary suites in the side-by-side multi-family buildings.

Emergency shelter opens today
The 35-bed shelter in St. Peters Hall has re-opened for the second year, starting today, from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven nights a week.

Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo’s Hadi Abassi is expanding his business operations across the country but will keep the head office in Nanaimo. Atlas Engineered Products started as a small roof truss manufacturing operation in South Wellington that was purchased by Hadi in 1999. The move comes after it became a publicly-traded company and began rapid expansion into construction markets in Ontario and Manitoba.

MOVING UP - Nanaimo Art Gallery executive director Julie Bevan is leaving her post to become the city’s first manager of culture and special events. Bevan will end her seven years at the gallery in February and join the city in March. Art Gallery president Debra Jacklin said the gallery is a better place thanks to Bevan’s leadership. “Her strategic vision for the gallery and her ability to inspire and challenge the community with art has created a vision that will carry the gallery forward to future success,” she said in a press release. MORE

CHEER UP OUR MILITARY – Many military personnel wil be away from their families in the coming weeks. The Canadian Armed Forces are asking residents to write personnel to cheer them up while they are away from home. The invitation on Twitter where said it would mean a lot if you did. Serving over the holidays can be tough for some, especially for newer members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Here is the address provided by the Canadian Armed Forces to send a card or a letter to military personnel:
Any Canadian Armed Forces Member
P.O. Box 5004 Stn Forces
Belleville, Ont. K8N 5W6

BRIEFLY

Man charged in 2018 crash that killed retired Abbotsford police sergeant
Conrad Nikolaus Wetten. 23, has been charged in connection with a crash that killed well-known retired Abbotsford police sergeant Shinder Kirk late last year south of Nanaimo.

Local police dogs fine-tune their training
A pair of RCMP police service dogs (PSD) had the opportunity to learn some new tricks while training this week.

 

Saturday, Nov 23

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo Mounties were recognized with awards of valour and meritorious service at Government House this week by Lieut Gov Janet Austin. Police Honours Night recognizes members of independent municipal police forces, RCMP, First Nations, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and transit police services who have acted in an exemplary manner. Const. Chris Dufrane was presented with the award of valour – the highest award presented to police officers in B.C. – for attempting to save a suicidal man from drowning in Westwood Lake. Meritorious service awards were earned by Constables Simon Gallimore, Michael Thompson, Gary O’Brien, Mark Smith and Clay Wurzinger. READ MORE

LANTZVILLE WANTS TO HEAR from the public before going ahead with upgrades to Sabastion Road which leads to the beach. The proposed redesign includes a sidewalk on the south side of the street, at least six parking stalls, speed bumps and a turnaround area at the end of the street. There will be a public open house on Dec. 2 at Lantzville district hall from 4-6 p.m.

BRIEFLY

Gasoline theft results in environmental damage
A theft of gasoline from the Fairwinds Golf Club in Nanoose Bay has resulted in environmental damage to the area.

 Province supports smudging policy for schools
A five-day hearing for a Supreme Court case that could determine whether indigenous smudging ceremonies can happen in public schools concluded Friday in a Nanaimo courtroom.

Mosaic Forest Management  announces forestry shutdown
Mosaic Forest Management has announced an early winter shutdown of its forestry operations. The closure, which will take effect on Monday, Nov. 25, will affect hundreds of contracted forestry workers in central Vancouver Island and up to 2,000 along the coast.

Friday, Nov 22

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you’re into the white Christmas thing, you may be disappointed on Dec. 25. If you’re set on snow, better head to the B.C. Interior. Vancouver Island’s winter won’t pack the same punch as it will for the rest of Canada. A mild island winter is expected with slightly above normal temperatures and below-average precipitation, says Weather Network meteorologist Brad Rousseau. Compared to the whole of Canada, the south Vancouver Island region will have a much more pleasant winter with fewer than normal rainy days. READ MORE

BRIEFLY

Nanaimo man awaits sentencing for child pornography
A Nanaimo man who was said to have more than 200,000 images and video of child pornography is waiting to find out his sentence. He pleaded guilty in April to charges of possession and importing and distributing child pornography and is now in the sentencing phase.

Nanaimo juvenile violent crime rate continues to rise
The recent Vital Signs report, which collects data from community organizations to provide a snapshot of Nanaimo society, showed the number of youth-per-100,000 charged with a violent crime rose by 180 between 2013 and 2018.

Oceanside prepares for massive influx of seniors
Parksville and Qualicum are  preparing for a massive influx of senior citizens over the next twenty years. An area profile conducted by Island Health shows approximately 7,500 residents over 75 years old are living in the region, and that number is expected to double by 2038. 

Wednesday, Nov. 21

34 Lowe's and Rona stores to close in Canada
Lowe’s Companies Inc. said Wednesday it will close 34 underperforming stores across six provinces as part of a restructuring of its Canadian business. The stores include 26 Ronas, six Lowe’s and two Reno-Depots spread across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. The announcement did not say which stores will be closed. MORE

EXCITEMENT IN CEDAR – Nanaimo RCMP arrested four people in a high-risk takedown of a vehicle Wednesday after a report of shots fired in Cedar. As officers arrived a vehicle was spotted leaving the house. Officers stopped the vehicle near Raines Road and executed a takedown and arrested four people in the vehicle. Police determined there was a firearm in the home and found a semi-automatic rifle. No charges have been determined.

THE HARBOUR CITY THEATRE ALLIANCE is presenting its adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol  at the Harbour City Theatre from Nov. 21 to Dec. 15. It’s the second presentation of what they want to become a Christmas tradition. Co-director Dean Chadwick said the inaugural production, with a script by local playwright Jim Maher, was extremely successful. “We had tons of feedback from audiences who loved it and are coming back this year,” he said. “They’re already buying tickets so they’re ready to come and see something new.” Sophia Maher, is reprising her four roles from last year as well as co-directing. Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Tickets $10 to $15, available online

CHRISTMAS GIFT CAMPAIGN COMING - The Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside kicks off it 20th annual Rotary Christmas Toy Drive with Meet Santa Sunday Dec 1 at 2 pm at Daynes Park in the Parkwood Subdivision. It goes until 4:30 with crafts, hotdogs, hot chocolate and Santa. Once the party is over, Rotarians will spread through the neighbourhoods collecting new unwrapped toys, non-perishable food, and cash donations. Santa and his team will join the Island Farms float around the Turner Rd/Parkwood area to collect the toys. On Monday, Dec 2 they will visit McGirr/Eagle Point/ Groveland area starting at 5:30 pm collecting door to door. All toys and food collected will go to school district 68 kids and families in need. This is the. Last year, the toy drive helped more than 700 kids in the Nanaimo area.

SALVATION ARMY KETTLE CAMPAIGN launched on Wednesday with a target of $550,000. Starting Friday, volunteers will be in front of shops and standing at malls collecting donations. So, when you see them, drop in some cash for the needy in Nanaimo.

NOT TALKING - There appears to be no end in sight as Western Forest Products and workers on Vancouver Island remain deadlocked in a labour dispute. Talk have broken down again. Members of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 have been on strike since July 1. The union and Western took part in 14 hours of negotiations last weekend, with mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers. An offer was tabled by the company, but the union rejected it outright and there will be no discussions scheduled in the foreseeable future. MORE

 

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – You may get an alert tomorrow (Nov 21) notifying you of the city’s new emergency alert system. The City is switching to a new emergency call alert system tomorrow. The new system has updated features which include the ability to sign up online to receive text messages, phone calls and emails, as well as push notifications through the free Voyent Alert! App. You can choose the method(s) in which you would like to get alerts. Anyone who is on the current system will need to re-register for the new system to continue receiving emergency alerts from the City. Residents can register for the new system now at https:nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts.

ONLINE CRIME REPORTING - Everything is going online – the latest innovation is the Nanaimo RCMP’s online crime reporting tool. It is expected to be launched in the first week of December. It provides an alternate way for citizens to report less serious crimes at www.nanaimorcmp.ca/report . Anyone with an email address can report less serious crimes, where there is no suspect or witness and follow up by a police officer is not required. MORE DETAILS  Here's in the link for reporting a crime HERE

CRIMESTOPPERS DOESN’T USUALLY help get rid of evidence, however, shredding day is back Saturday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2000 Island Hwy. The crime fighting organization is working with with Save-On-Foods Brooks Landing and Best Shredding to shred personal and sensitive documents to and help fight crime in the community. For a minimum $20 donation, personal and commercial documents will be shredded. Crime Stoppers volunteers and RCMP Victim Services will be grilling hamburgers and hotdogs, provided by Save-On-Foods, to pass the time with while waiting for documents to be shredded. MORE

NANAIMO FIREFIGHTERS are in line for increased training to boost their classification to enhanced emergency medical responder (EMR), up from the current first responder designation. Council endorsed about $66,000 in finance and audit committee and that will be rolled into 2020 budget discussions. Assistant Fire Chief Jodi Le Mausier said members responded to 9,500 medical-related calls between 2015 and 2018. arriving on scene before paramedics for 77 per cent of those incidents. MORE

THE SECOND ANNUAL Port Connect marine-related work fair Nov. 7 was a huge success with more than 240 participants, a 20-per-cent increase from last year. The event was created last year by the Port of Nanaimo and Nanaimo WorkBC Centre to link people with contacts in the marine industry for possible employment. FULL REPORT.

Editor@nanaimonet.com

 

 

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The social engineers on city council appear to be running amok. CHEK NEWS reports two councillors want to increase the number of women, and potentially single parents, on city committees. Tyler Brown and Erin Hemmens are calling for staff reports dealing with gender parity on all volunteer city committees and task forces. If that’s not enough, they also want child care expenses covered, if incurred while serving on committees and even for city councillors. A number of citizens have already expressed reservations about the scheme, worried about getting the best qualified people and the costs of the child care benefit. Both proposals will be debated at a future council meeting.

City budget debates start with 5.2% projected tax increase
The City will begin public discussion of its next budget this week and the starting point is a 5.2 per cent property tax increase. The finance and audit committee will hold special meetings the next three weeks as part of the process to work toward a 2020-2024 financial plan.

Monday, Nov 18, 2019

 

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Good news to begin the week. The initial television news coverage of a sailor being evacuated from HMCS Nanaimo turned out to be less dramatic than it appeared. Jason Bergen, the ship’s commander, said a sailor bumped his head while performing routine duty and sustained a laceration on his head requiring stitches. The ship was about five hours from Seattle so he asked the US Coast Guard for help. The Coast Guard offered a helicopter which was conducting training in the area. The sailor was transferred to Seattle hospital where he got 10 staples in his head and returned to the ship five hours later and is staying with the ship. “I was truly impressed with the crew and their reaction to the situation. I work with very professional and competent men and women – Friday’s incident showcased that”, said Bergen in a message to the local Friends of HMCS Nanaimo.

A GO FUND ME campaign has been launched for Daisy Collis and her partner Dave Nutt after Collis was struck by a vehicle while in a south Nanaimo crosswalk last Monday night. She was then taken to a Victoria hospital with life-threatening injuries and is now in stable condition. Nutt, as well, has been by her bedside since the accident and is unable to work. She has a long road to recovery but her family and friends say it is going extremely well. Donations can be made to Collis' GoFundMe campaign online here

Lantzville seeks changes to policing cost model for small towns
Policing costs significantly increase once a municipality’s population exceeds 5,000

Bush cameras installed to deter backcountry vandals and thieves
A Vancouver Island forestry giant has turned to concealed bush cameras in response to thieves, vandals and illegal trash dumpers.

 

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is really getting into the downtown Christmas spirit, starting Thursday with a sneak peek at the B. Gallant Gingerbread Village at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Judging the business community’s Gingerbread Houses starts at 5 pm with appies and beverages. Then on Saturday, Santa flies in via Harbour Air just before noon. There will be photos with Santa, Colouring Contest presented by Telus & and Gallant Gingerbread Homes display (open for public voting) At 5 pm Lions Club Santa Claus Parade on Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street. Activity passes are available on-site by donation; suggested donation is $10 per child or $20 per family with proceeds to the Nanaimo Salvation Army.

Island Highway northbound open intermittently
Traffic is slowly starting to flow along northbound lanes of the Malahat after a small rockslide between Goldstream Provincial Park and Ice Cream Mountain. Northbound lanes will be open for 20 minutes, then closed for 20 minutes to allow for loader and dump trucks to clear the lane, according to DriveBC.

School district to do lead level testing all over again
New Health Canada requirements means more lead level testing in drinking water in schools in Ladysmith and Nanaimo. Acceptable lead levels were previously 0.010 milligrams per litre previously, the Canadian government changed requirements to 0.005 mg/L last March, leading the district to set aside $55,000 of annual facilities grant money for further testing.

Free student bus service coming to RDN table
Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, is expected to introduce transit-related notices of motion at a regular board meeting Dec. 10, including one examining fully-subsidized transit passes for high school students.

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019

Mike Griffin accepts the award via video link.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Congratulations to Nanaimo local guy Mike Griffin who has been named national coach of the year for the Pro 5 Baseball Academy. Mike coaches the Czech team, finishing third in the Tokyo Olympic qualifier held recently in Italy. The next World Baseball Classic Qualifier is in Arizona in 2020.

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE – This year’s Nanaimo Christmas Village will be Nov.  22 - 23, at the German Cultural Centre (71 Caledonia Ave) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is Nanaimo’s original German Christmas Market celebrating 19 years. There will be a lot of local vendors selling everything from jewelry, decorations, German baking, cards, candles, sewing and more. Traditional German food will be served – German sausages, sauerkraut, potato salad, soup, pretzels and more. 

NEW NANAIMO MAP – The city is looking for feedback on its new NanaimoMap, a portal to authoritative information. It includes detailed property information such as addresses, active permits, zoning and utilities as well as new features like bike lanes, trails and historical aerial imagery. The new version is designed to work intuitively on all screen sizes from smart phones and tablets to large monitors and TVs.  It will replace the legacy version of NanaimoMap, which will be retired. You can find the new map at https://nanmap.nanaimo.ca and email your feedback to mailto:mapfeedback@nanaimo.ca.

Three-car crash sends one driver to hospital
One driver was taken to hospital following a three-vehicle collision at the intersection of Nicol and Needham streets Friday morning. There was no word on the nature of the injuries of the driver taken to hospital.

New university president sworn in at Snunymuxw longhouse
History was made when Deborah Saucier took the oath of office as Vancouver Island University’s new president at the Snuneymuxw Longhouse on Friday. Saucier, who is Métis, told the audience she was humbled and honoured to have her installation ceremony at the longhouse. 

Senior dies after medical emergency in car crash
An 81-year-old Nanoose Bay man has died, after driving off the road following a medical emergency at the wheel on Thursday. “It appears that he was in medical distress. He was deceased prior to police arriving on scene,” said Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP.

 

Friday, Nov. 15

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive has kicked off its 37th campaign for Christmas gifts for underprivileged families. The drive is supported by a host of businesses – Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo Clippers, Nanaimo Fire Rescue, Nanaimo Correctional Centre, Island Rail Corridor Foundation, Save-On-Foods, Coastal Community Credit Union, Lantzville Legion Ladies Auxiliary and World Financial Group Otherws brought  toys for Woodgrove Centre’s giant toy box and nearly $20,000 in cash donations, $16,000 from World Financial Group. The public can continue to donate gifts at the giant toy box. MORE

THE VANCOUVER ISLAND MILITARY MUSEUM recently unveiled a presentation focussing on war grooms, the Allied airmen who trained in Canada. Now, on Monday, Yvonne Van Ruskenveld will talk on Nursing Sisters at the Nanaimo Family History Society meeting at Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Road. Doors open at 6 p.m., the meeting starts at 7 p.m. Nurses played an extremely vital role in past wars.

HAREWOOD’S CAMBIE PARK will soon have a half-sport court, a community bulletin board, fencing, and play equipment. Community volunteers and donations have made that possible. The city got the park as part of a subdivision in 2011. Neighbours began planning park improvements in 2017 through the City’s Partners in Parks (PIP) program. The city granted $25,000.00 in 2017. Since that time, the community has raised approximately $10,000 with other donations from Nanaimo Rotary, Chase River Country Grocer, Nanaimo Kinsmen, Lantzville Rotary, Block Watch #43, and through a GoFundMe campaign. Volunteer labour and in kind donations were also provided by Island West Coast Development (IWCD) and Milner Trucking and Excavating. Partners in Parks. MORE   

Thursday, Nov. 14

Ian Thorpe

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Congratulations to Nanaimo City Councillor and regional directors Ian Thorpe for being acclaimed for his second term as chairman of the Regional District of Nanaimo. Gabriola Director Vanessa Craig was elected vice-chairman. Thorpe was first elected last term. Contact the RDN at www.rdn.bc.ca/regional-board.

READY OR NOT – That dreaded time of year – tax time – is approaching. And like many others, a lot of people are confused with all the requirements. You can get a head start at a Tax Clinic on Friday, 8-11 a.m. at Volunteer Nanaimo, 3148 Barons Rd.

FRIDAY HOLIDAY MARKET – Nanaimo Art Gallery has a Winter Weekend Holiday Market at the Gallery at 150 Commercial St. 5 – 9 p.m.

TIDINGS OF JOY - Georgia Avenue Elementary School is having a Tidings of Joy - Christmas Marketplace on Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 625 Georgia Ave.

NANAIMO BC NDP annual general meeting is Sunday, 1-3 p.m. at Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Rd

Wednesday, Nov. 13

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Young or old, if you want to know more about Nanaimo and its history, the city and Seniors Connect are bringing back the popular Living History Speakers on Nov. 19 at the Shaw Auditorium.  The speaker series features prominent Nanaimo residents sharing their stories of living and moving to Nanaimo.  There have been 19 events since 2016 with more than 1,700 participants.
     Opening night speakers include Joan Brown, CAO of Snuneymuxw; Gunter Gutsche, an 89-year-old long boarder and post-war German immigrant; and local author Craig Taylor. A reception will follow. Age Friendly Nanaimo and the City of Nanaimo will present with information on the City's recently-adopted Age Friendly Plan.

HOST FAMILIES NEEDED - A Japanese student visit program that has been running for more than 30 years is looking for host families. Traditionally the visit has been based around John Barsby Secondary School, but this year it’s linked with Ladysmith Secondary School. Families will bring their guest students home from Ladysmith Light Up on Friday, then host them the rest of the weekend. Host families will be compensated $120 for the three nights Dec. 6-8. Students should be provided with a private bedroom and shared meals. For more information, contact MLI homestay co-ordinator Christine Balatti at cbalatti@mlihomestay.com or call 250-619-6605.

END OF CIVILIZATION - What does it mean to be civilized? What happens when the limits of integrity and morality are pushed beyond the breaking point? Canadian playwright George F. Walker’s The End of Civilization follows the story of Henry and Lily, who have lost their house, family and suburban stability. With no job, no money and a growing sense of desperation, they ship their kids to an aunt and move into a seedy motel. The End of Civilization runs Dec. 4, 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Vancouver Island University's Mike Taugher Studio, Nanaimo campus, Building 330, Room 109.  Admission is $5 and tickets are available on Eventbrite with limited sales at the door. Caution: The End of Civilization contains mature themes, profanity and sexual references.

CALL FOR ARTWORK FOR MAFFEO SUTTON - The City is seeking artist proposals for a public art project for permanent display in Maffeo Sutton Park. The artwork of timeless perspective will be on display and seen for years to come. Artists are invited to submit their proposals through “Call for artists to supply and oversee installation of artwork at Maffeo Sutton Park. No. 2489”, The deadline for artist proposals is Jan. 20, 2020 (no later than 3:00 pm). Artists are being afforded an extra-long closing time and date in order to give careful and thorough consideration for the proposed artwork and its connection to the park. DETAILS HERE.

 

John Feldsted

 

 

Censorship – political correctness in overdrive

Tuesday, Nov. 12

THE SECRET IS OUT - Annalise Lam of Brigadoon Dance Academy won the junior division at the British Association of Teachers of Dancing Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarships a couple of months ago but somehow the word did not get out until now. She was first overall in her junior scholarship class, third in her solo and sixth on her written paper. Miranda Lam was second in her solo and fourth in the senior scholarship class.

NOW THAT THE DEPOSIT for non-alcohol beverage containers is 10 cents instead of five cents, when customers redeem them at depots province-wide there’s more incentive for cashing them in. Nanaimo has one of the highest recovery rates in the province for beverage containers, but there is still a percentage of residents who don’t recycle. Regional Recycling Nanaimo General Manager Paul Shorting encourages donating to bottle drive or community groups. Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank Empties Recovery Program has donation bins at more than 20 locations. For a list of the locations where Empties 4 Food bins can be found, visit www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org/get-involved/empties-4-food

Nov. 10-11

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Air and army cadets began a 24-hour honour guard at 11 a.m. Sunday around the Dallas Square cenotaph on Church Street. The Remembrance Day ceremonies will be Monday at 11 a.m. following a parade up Commercial Street. Lt. David Ruel of 205 Collishaw air cadets said an honour guard hasn’t happened in Nanaimo in recent years.

GREAT BIG SALUTE - Mr. Lube knows how to recognize the veterans and active military. The shops on Vancouver Island gave free oil changes to vets on Sunday. The Nanaimo outlet had approximately 30 so vets take advantage of the offer. Thank you, Mr. Lube

ONE CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS - While one service for people in need is launching another is closing. A one-stop-shop for youth is hoped to stop mental health and addictions issues at a young age. Various service agencies and the City of Nanaimo are partnering to apply for a Foundry BC site. These sites bring youth services together under one roof and simplify the often confusing process of getting help.  
    Meanwhile, a safe space for seniors to make friends and build a community will be closed at the end of November. Seniors Connect will finish at the end of November after federal funding granted in 2016 expired. It held workshops for seniors and resources to help them navigate services and assistance. FULL DETAILS.

PARKING THE PROBLEM - Lantzville will look into converting a small park into a gravel parking lot to accommodate beach-goers. Councillors voted in committee to get cost estimates for converting Sebastion Road Park into a gravel parking lot. The park is at the corner of Sebastion Road and Lantzville Road, about 440 metres from a waterfront area sometimes referred to as Sebastion Beach. There have been concerns about the lack of parking at the end of Sebastion Road.

LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS – The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking at ways to limit homeless people from building tent cities in regional and community parks. The regional parks and trails select committee asked for a new bylaw that will allow tents in district parks overnight, from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. It would be limited to areas within parks to ensure designated conservation areas, facilities, trails, parking areas, playgrounds and neighbouring residential properties will not be impacted. MORE

Weekend, Nov 9-10

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Nanaimo and Lantzville remembrance services will be held on Monday. The Nanaimo ceremony will take place at Dallas Square downtown following a parade leading to the cenotaph. The Lantzville ceremony will take place at the Lantzville Royal Canadian Legion branch. FULL DETAILS

 THE CANADA REVENUE SCAM is back with dozens of calls to the RCMP. The latest version of scam appears to be a federal government agency, (i.e. Service Canada, Canada Revenue, CRA, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre). The caller leads you to believe your SIN card has been compromised, and it is necessary for you to provide your actual card number. It is a scam, simply hang up.
   In another version, the caller tells you that you owe money to the CRA and police will call within the hour. Sure enough, the target receives the phone call but it is not actually from the police. They may also try to convince you to provide your credit card number or that you must pay off the amount, by purchasing gift cards or bitcoins. They may also threaten arrest. It is a scam, simply hang up.
   If you are a victim of a fraud, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre.ca  or by calling 1-888-495-8501

Friday, Nov. 8

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Got a report today from Bill Manners who attends the Uplands Walk Community Advisory Meetings. Representatives from Nanaimo Seniors Village, Vancouver Island Library, BC Housing, Pacifica, a tenant, Dover Community Association, RCMP, Fire Department, and the City of Nanaimo attend the meetings. This project is dear to me because I was involved in its development in the face of serious opposition, citizens were up in arms over a “wet house” in their neighbourhood. It’s great to hear that there were “zero issues discussed,” most neighbours and the RCMP see it as just another apartment. The group has changed its quarterly meetings to only twice a year because it is running so smoothly. The next meeting is May 2020.

HMCS NANAIMO ONLINE – We got a note from the commander of HMCS Nanaimo that the ship now has a Facebook page so you can follow their day-to-day adventures. Check it out and like or follow the page. CLICK HERE

CALEDONIA CLINIC is closing its downtown location at 340 Campbell St. on Dec. 21 and will reopen at Nanaimo North Town Centre (Rutherord Mall) on January 2.

HERE’S A GOOD COP STORY – When 12-year-old Cameryn White had his bike stolen in May he was devastated. Cameryn’s Mom reported the theft to RCMP. Just weeks before the theft she had register the bike on the Project 529 app. Then last month, Cst. Mark Long spotted someone pushing two bikes and a scooter. His curiosity piqued when he noticed a 529 Garage sticker on one of the bikes, and lo and behold it was Cameryn’s bike. Here’s the good part – The bike was in rough shape so Cst. Long took it a local bike shop and paid to have it refurbished and repaired. To find out more about Project 529 go to https://project529.com/garage.

Thursday, Nov. 7

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – BC Ferries has added extra sailings for the Remembrance Day long weekend, including Nov. 11. There will be four extra sailings on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route. Travel will be free for military personnel - including active, reserve and retired members, as well as cadets, on Remembrance Day. Personnel in uniform or with military identification get the discount, which is being offered for the first time this year. Remembrance Day sailings will also be free for senior citizens. Seniors can travel for free Monday through Thursday, but usually Monday holidays are excluded.

LOTS OF FLU VACCINE AVAILABLE – There is no shortage of flu vaccine, says Island Health medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback. He urges anyone over 65 to get a flu shot. Anyone older than six months who lives with them to also be vaccinated.  You can usually get the vaccine from a pharmacist or a physician. But children, particularly those under age five, have to attenda a public health setting.

MORE ELECTRIC FERRIES – BC Ferries’ has placed a $200-million order for four more battery electric-hybrid vessels. A shipyard in the Netherlands will build the Island Class vessels. Most recent ferry acquisitions have been built overseas, including three C-Class vessels built in Germany for more than $500 million. The ferry corporation said it put the contract out to a competitive tender in 2018, but received no local bids.

OH HOW SWEET - An anonymous good citizen bought $1,200 worth of Girl Guides cookies and donated them to the Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes food bank. Girl Guides leader Sarah Pachkowksy said the donor wanted the girls to learn about charity and the joy of giving.

KEEPING IT GREEN – The city is continuing its efforts to encourage us to plant more trees. In partnership with Green Thumb Garden Centre, the City will again provide affordable trees for planting on private property. Vouchers worth $25 are available at the Service and Resource Building, 411 Dunsmuir Street. The vouchers can then be redeemed at Green Thumb for designated trees worth up to $90. Only 400 vouchers are available with a limit of two per property. MORE

DOWNTOWN MOBILITY – The city invites public input in developing a downtown transportation plan. The Nanaimo Downtown Mobility Hub Project aims to improve transportation in the City’s core with short-term solutions within the next five years. Focus areas include intersections, cycling, transit, and parking with the goal of taking concrete steps towards a safe, accessible, inclusive, and interconnected downtown transportation network. For more information about the Project please visit nanaimo.ca/goto/downtownmobility.

 

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Can you believe it’s a year since we elected a new city council? New was the operative word as we elected seven new members, including a new mayor, to take over from the previous disfunctional disaster.  “People were looking for a change, they wanted to not be a national embarrassment which to some extent I think Nanaimo had become,” Mayor Leonard Krog told Alex Rawnley of NanaimoNewsNOW. “The reality is that it’s been a fun year.” Read Alex’s assessment HERE.

NANAIMO HAS HAD an excellent emergency call alert system for more than a decade, but as with everything else, technology advances. Registration starts Nov. 21 for a new system which includes text alerts and an app for your phone. If you’re signed up for the current system, you’ll have to re-register, but you’ll get a reminder message. Eventually, other city alerts and informational features will be available to opt into. If you are already registered, wait for notices to register for the new system. More information on the new system will come on the City website at  www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts.

SAFETY SENTINELS - Nanaimo has two search and rescue organizations, one each for water and land. There’s an excellent feature on YouTube looking at Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue’s Nanaimo Station 27. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, Nov. 5

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO — The 7-10 Club feeds many of the community’s less fortunate, and now it needs help. The club is running short of money and will have to generate $20,000 to $30,000 next year. Society staff and volunteers serve hot breakfast and bagged lunches to about 250 people every weekday morning at the Community Services Building on Fitzwilliam Street. The society has an annual budget of about $160,000, with about $55,000 from provincial gaming grants. FULL STORY

MANITOBA SPORTS HALL OF FAME – Congratulations to Michelle Stilwell on being inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame this past weekend. Commenting on the honour, Michelle noted the significance to have her sports story become part of Manitoba sports history. “It is an honour that rivals any of my Paralympic accolades. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy, active and participate in sport -it can be truly life changing. Sport made me focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t, it has highlighted my strengths and it has empowered my ability", she said.

JOBS AVAILABLE – There are more jobs than workers in the Central Island construction industry. We’re short about 7,000 - 10,000 skilled workers, Construction Association (VICA) CEO Rory Kulmala told Nanaimo News NOW. Some people are retiring and some are leaving the Island not enough young people joining the trade. FULL STORY

GET A JOB – If you’re interested in a job in the marine industry, the Port of Nanaimo’s second  annual Port Connect job fair is happening Thursday. The Port and Work BC Employment Services Centre co-ordinate the event to link students and people of all ages with contacts in the marine industry for possible employment. There will be 18 exhibitors, including Seaspan, B.C. Ferries, DP World, Tetra Tech, WCMRC, Search & Rescue, Island Ferries, Herold Engineering, Helijet, Western Stevedoring, BC Vehicle Processing Centre, Canadian Coast Guard, Gowlland Towing, Western Marine Institute, Vancouver Pile Driving, Work BC and the Port itself. CHECK IT OUT. https://npa.ca/portconnect

ONLY IN OAK BAY, YOU SAY? – The community of Oak Bay is known as a little bit upper crust, but now even their wild deer population is on birth control. Dozens of female deer have been vaccinated to reduce the deer birth rate. Urban deer have long been a nuisance, jumping in front of bikes and cars, destroying fences and gardens, and even attacking people.  MORE

Weekend

OH THE HYPOCRISY – Social media is in a tizzy about Pamela Anderson pictured in an aboriginal head dress, presumably for Halloween. Oh now offended they are! Two photos were apparently posted on Pam’s foundation’s website, likely from a U.S. location. The photo looks so old it’s still in black and white, likely a movie prop. If the photo so offensive, how come mainstream media are publishing it at every opportunity? Memo to Pam, don’t do that anymore, okay? Case closed.

YOUR OWN PIECE OF PARADISE - Lily Island, at the entrance to Gabriola Island’s Silva Bay, is for sale for $1.4 million. The three-hectare private island is part of the Flat Top Islands, fully treed and undeveloped. Silva Bay Marina has seaplane service to Vancouver International Airport and protected moorage and other amenities.

ATTENTION GAMERS – Popular games are now available for loan from Vancouver Island libraries. You can PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox Vancouver Island Regional Library’s video game collection, and library card holders have access to the hottest video games in the market. MORE DETAILS

ELIZABETH MAY STEPS DOWN - Elizabeth May has stepped down as the leader of the federal Green party. She told a news conference that after 13 years, she’s stepping down effective immediately and named deputy leader Jo-Ann Roberts as her interim successor. A leadership convention is to be held in Prince Edward Island in October 2020. May is remaining as a member of Parliament. Since Roberts is not an MP, May will be the House leader in the meantime.

Saturday, Nov. 2

THESE LOSERS ARE REAL WINNERS - Now that the federal election is done with, a number of losers are cashing in. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has released its calculations of estimated pension and severance payments to the 94 MPs who were either defeated or did not seek re-election. Seven of them will get more than $100,000-plus a year each in pension income. For example, outgoing Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale gets a severance package as well as $176,000 a year for the rest of his life. Yep, for life. The MPs will collect a projected $104 million in pensions over their lifetimes, and $5.8 million in severance payments. In case you are interested, the list of all of them is HERE

HELP CREATE A COMMITTEE – The City is planning to create an Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness and wants your input on draft terms of the new committee. The mandate is to “promote social and political equity within existing and proposed City plans, policies, bylaws and infrastructure and make recommendations to ensure that they are inclusive and accommodating to citizens of all ages, abilities and walks of life.” Now there’s a mouthful. There are a number of ways residents can participate:
• Online via this link: www.nanaimo.ca/goto/ACAIsurvey
• Submitted via email to public.engagement@nanaimo.ca (a PDF version of the survey)
• Dropped off or filled in-person at City Hall (455 Wallace Street) between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. A staff member will be happy to help those who may require help in completing the form.

DEAR TELUS - Please stop calling me from foreign telemarketing sites. I know your phone number, so if I want to do business, I can call you. Oh, you don't answer the phone? How ironic.

Friday, Nov. 1

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It had all the ingredients for a major disaster when RCMP stopped an 18-wheel fuel tanker driving erratically on the Island Highway in Nanaimo and arrested the driver. Police say he had a blood alcohol level three time the legal limit. The 46-year-old driver was taken into custody and the truck was impounded. The fuel tanks were later found to be empty, but the sheer size of the vehicle could have created a major accident. The man will appear in court on Dec. 17. MORE DETAILS 

REMEMBERING OUR HEROES – Vancouver Island University is staging a video memorial of Nanaimo soldiers who lost their lives during the first and second world wars. Beginning today and continuing until Remembrance Day, the Nanaimo Remembers project will display the names of more than 200 soldiers in prominent locations across the city. A new section this year highlights the contributions of local Indigenous soldiers. The video presentation will run continuously on the large screen in the VIU Welcome Centre; Beban Park and Oliver Woods Community Centres; Vancouver Island Regional Library branches; Nanaimo Museum; Woodgrove Centre and the Port Theatre on November 11. Or you can see the presentation at VIU’s YouTube channel

GET YOUR FLU SHOT - The flu season has arrived early. Flu season typically begins in late December but several regions in Western Canada, including Vancouver Island, report influenza activity. Island Health says some vaccine shipments were delayed this year but have begun to arrive in health units. Don't risk it, check Island Health or local pharmacies about availability. MORE DETAILS

Thursday, Oct 31

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Remember, no fireworks tonight if you don’t have a permit from the Nanaimo Fire Department. Basically it’s illegal to discharge fireworks in Nanaimo or Parksville, but it remains legal in the Regional District. Fireworks are dangerous and should not be in the hands of people not experienced in handling what essentially are explosives.

CITY HALL RULES HAVE CHANGED - If you have something to say to City Council, the rules have changed, effective Nov. 1. The new Procedure Bylaw provides the governance for meeting administration and delegation procedures. So if you want to appear before Council to speak on an agenda item you have to submit a request by  11:00 am the Friday to the Legislative Services Department. Other updates include publishing times for the agenda and addendum have been moved to Wednesday afternoons and Friday afternoons. You can check out the Procedure Bylaw at www.nanaimo.ca.

NANAIMO IS TOPS – The City received the Public Sector - Municipal award At the FortisBC Efficiency in Action Awards for lowering energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. At the FortisBC Efficiency in Action Awards. The a ward recognizes the new high-efficiency boilers at Beban Pool, which now use less energy, and the RealIce technology at Frank Crane and Cliff McNabb arenas, which allow for ice resurfacing with cool water rather than hot. FortisBC has supported these upgrades through its rebate programs, contributing just over $140,000 towards the projects.

BIG CRUNCH COMING TO LANTZVILLE — You’d better keep a tight grip on your wallet if you living in Lantzville. The municipal council has been told director of financial services Jamie Slater that property taxes are projected to increase in the 20 per cent range next year, an extra $170 for the average single-family household. Mayor Mark Swain said the reality is Lantzville taxpayers are likely in for a couple years of substantial tax hikes. FULL STORY

BANNED FROM FERRIES – Don't act like an ass on B.C. Ferries – the company has issued one-year travel bans to passengers in three incidents this month. Ferries has a zero tolerance policy for abuse of employees. The most recent was when a passenger assaulted an employee on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route. In another incident, a passenger threatened use of a firearm at the Horseshoe Bay terminal Oct. 17. Two days earlier, at the Langdale terminal, a passenger aggressively drove his motor vehicle toward an employee.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

From left: Station Leader Michel Morin, Mladen Zuvich, Ruth Sharun and Deputy Station Leader Shawn Corrigan).

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Ruth Sharun and Mladen Zuvich were presented with the Canadian Coast Guard Medals of Merit for Leadership medals at the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue gala ball over the weekend. The medal is given to members of the Auxiliary and RCMSAR in recognition of sustained professional and/or leadership achievements in operations or administration.

HALLOWEEN SAFETY – With the little ghosts and goblins ready to hit the street tomorrow, make sure you check these safety tips from the RCMP.

  • Ensure your child can actually see and be seen. Many times, makeup can achieve the desired effect instead of a mask. If your child cannot see their feet, its only a matter of time before they trip and fall.
  • Is their costume reflective? Attach something to it so approaching vehicles can see them. Also remember, temperatures can drop quickly so ensure they are dressed warmly.
  • Only trick or treat at homes that have their outside light on and respect their right to not participate in the evening.
  • Parents - carry a flashlight with you so your kids can manoeuvre safely along streets and up to households.
  • Do not allow your children to eat anything until you have thoroughly inspected everything. Discard anything that is not wrapped or appears to have been opened.
  • Do not handle any fireworks or firecrackers. Simply being in possession of fireworks could lead to a $150 fine. Firecrackers are prohibited and could result in Criminal Code charges.

RCMP will be out in full force to ensure the evening remains safe and fun for everyone. If you see something that concerns you, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

EAST WELLINGTON PARK – The city is working with the Agricultural Land Commission to create East Wellington Park, which is in the ALR. A draft plan was approved at a committee of the whole meeting. Staff has developed a park management and action plan that considers environmental conservation and restoration, agricultural production and other goals. The city got the 12.7-hectare park in 2014 as part of a land-exchange agreement to expand the Millstone Greenway, a planned network of green space and trails along the Millstone River. MORE

 

Tuesday, Oct. 29

GOOD MORNING NANAMO – Take a week some time and spend it on the Lower Mainland. There’s no better way to re-enforce what a great community we live in, warts and all. We spent nine days in Langley and Maple Ridge and couldn’t wait for the ferry heading back on Monday night.

HERE'S SOMETHING NEWS – We've created a new section which will focus on news and views you might not ordinarily see on social media. Check out NETSCOPE regularly. If we get enough visitors we will continue feeding news stuff as it comes along.

THANK YOU KEN - Ken Duncan has been honoured for more than 25 years of service with Nanaimo Search and Rescue. He has been awarded the Commanding Officer’s Commendation from the RCMP. Thank you Ken. MORE at NanaimoNewsNOW

Monday, Oct. 28

Port Chair Donna Hais and Mayor Len Krog sign the agreement.
Photo supplied

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO –  The Port of Nanaimo and the city have signed a protocol agreement formalizing their commitment to a relationship designed to deepen the understanding for each other’s jurisdiction.” Implementation of the Agreement includes revising and utilizing the City/Port Liaison Committee, which will include two members each from the Port and the City plus staff. The committee will meet at least twice a year to discuss priorities, interests and initiatives. FULL STORY

PROTESTING THE PROTESTORS – Frank Stevens is fed up, so he went out and had a burger and a pop. It's his protest against protestors against meat, the climate, language usage and all the other angry people and causes. He's so up to the gills with it that he expressed his views in a letter to the editor at the News Bulletin. You tell 'em Frank, you're not alone.

STUCK IN THAILAND – Daniel Treacher left Nanaimo two months ago to winter in Thailand, but decided against getting travel medical insurance. Now teh 66-year-old is lying in a Thai hospital after undergoing brain surgery due to a serious fall six weeks ago, Now he has also contracted pneumonia. He put money in a Thai bank account for emergencies as opposed to medical travel insurance because of the cost. The family has launched a GoFundme campaign  and a beer and burger event on Dec. 1 to raise funds to Medivac him home to Nanaimo  It’s no pocket change, they need $150,000. FULL STORY

HANDYDART – The Regional District of Nanaimo has given the green light for price adjustments for a HandyDart supplemental taxi program. HandyDart is a specialized transit service for people with disabilities. The taxi saver program is an additional service that allows users to purchase coupons redeemable for 50 per cent of cab fare in the event HandyDart isn’t available. MORE

HOSPITAL PARKING CURE - One of the leading complaints about our local hospital is the cost of parking. The health authority might want to keep a close eye on Quebec where the government is putting a cap on hospital parking rates. The first two hours will be free and daily rates will max out at around $7 to $10 depending on the region.

Weekend Oct. 26-27

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Just your regular Friday evening commute along the Parkway when traffic was slowed after a three-vehicle collision. Nanaimo Fire Rescue was called to the Nanaimo Parkway at Fifth Street and College Drive at 4:30 p.m. after three vehicles collided in the southbound lanes, blocking traffic. The good news, there were no injuries. READ MORE

HASTE MAKES WASTE – City council relaized it may have acted too fast when it comes to getting rid of the youth advisory council. Councillors will hold an engagement session with young people to discuss future engagement opportunities and ways youths can be included in local government. READ MORE

DON’T FEED YOGI – Education hasn’t worked, so Conservation officers will start handing out tickets to people who don’t bear-proof their properties. NanaimoNewsNOW reports 530 regional bear calls so far this year, compared to 350 for the previous 12 months. Conservation Officer Sgt. Stuart Bates said education has not helped, so a $230 fine may get their attention. READ MORE

CAN IT GET ANY WORSE? – We started with global warming, then came climate change. Next we had a climate crisis, followed by a climate emergency. Now it’s a climate catastrophe. What is the next fear mongering level? Just wondering what I should prepare for.

A TIP OF THE STETSON - Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell was recognized by the Oceanside RCMP, for her “outstanding partnership” with the Oceanside RCMP and the Qualicum First Nations community. Stilwell was presented with a coin from B.C. RCMP Indigenous Policing Services, for her contribution to foster strong community policing programs built on ensuring inclusivity, understanding, respect and commitment in moving forward and changing perspectives. MORE HERE

IT’S DARK OUT THERE – It’s getting dark earlier each day until December 21, and that can lead to visibility problems, especially for pedestrians. Nanaimo RCMP are offering reflective arm bands and zipper pulls which you can pick up during business hours at the RCMP detachment. Most vehicle-pedestrian collisions happen in or near crosswalks in the late afternoon on Wednesday and Thursdays, says Cst. Gary O’Brien.

NO BIG CHANGES – When new owners take over the Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island there will be no substantive change. The big worry for Protection Islanders was the status of the ferry services operated by the Dinghy Dock, and it will keep on transporting residents and pub customers. After 15 years of ownership, John and Cheryl Logan have sold the pub and Protection Island Ferry Service. MORE DETAILS

LONG EXTENSION CORD - Harbour Air Seaplanes is on track to test its first electric seaplane by the end of this year. The company announced earlier this year that it would become the first all-electric airline. The goal is to eventually convert the entire fleet. The first aircraft being converted is a prototype and the company expects to begin testing in early December. MORE

 

Friday, Oct 25

THE ROYAL CANDIAN LEGION poppy campaign is under way. When you see the smiling faces of veterans and other volunteers, stop by and say hi, and pick up a poppy to wear from now until Nov. 11. It's by donation, so you can give whatever you wish, all proceeds go to very worthwhile causes in our community. Thank you.

WINDY START - A number of ferries were cancelled this morning due to the high winds in Georgia Strait. The Queen of Cowichan’s 10:40 a.m. sailing from Departure Bay and the 1 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay have been cancelled to to high winds. There is an Environment Canada wind warning in effect around Greater Victoria, with wind expected to ease this afternoon.

WHAT PART OF NO? The reporters at Nanaimo News NOW spend considerable time at the court house, seeing the under belly of society. A man who wouldn’t take no for an answer will spend 18-months on probation for relentlessly harassing a Nanaimo woman with hundreds of phone calls and messages. Jared William Brown, 29, was sentenced after pleading guilty to unlawfully being in a dwelling, criminal harassment and breaching court ordered conditions. Get the whole story HERE.

Thursday, Oct. 24

Scam Warning – scammers have been calling residents asking for donations to the Legion poppy campaign.  The Legion does not solicit by phone. Scammers ask for credit card information. You can donate at any public locations where Legion members take donation.

The District of Nanaimo will provide up to $700,000 of reserve money for a new fire truck for Extension Volunteer Fire Department. See full story

A Nanaimo elementary student was approached by a stranger on school grounds yesterday Tuesday at about 1:45 p.m. Two sisters were in the back playground area when they were approached by a woman who “offered to take the younger sibling” and when told no, ran back toward a car parked on Northumberland Avenue. MORE

Up to 120 canoes from Indigenous communities along the west coast and across the Pacific Ocean will land at Snuneymuxw First Nation next year as part of Tribal Journeys, a lengthy canoe trip with stops at Indigenous communities to honour and share local culture. In 2017, SFN was one of the stops on the trek toward Wei Wai Kum First Nation near Campbell River. See details

 

Minority Liberals have a lot of
fences to mend – Merv Unger

OCT. 22

HELLO NANAIMO - City council will wait for public input before going ahead witgh a  bikeway  that would trim Front Street to two lanes. The work is already budgeted as part of a larger downtown cycling loop project, but staff requested that the Front Street portion, originally planned for 2021, be moved up to 2020 instead. Front Street will be reduced to single-lane traffic in each direction  with a two-direction cycle track built on one side and on-street parking added on the other side. READ MORE

WOMEN LEAD – Nananimo city councillor Erin Hemmens who led the polls in last year’s civic election is helping to motivate other women to become leaders. Hemmens is partnering with Equal Voice Central Vancouver Island, which was granted $5,000 for a Women Lead program. The money comes from the federal government through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The initiative includes a community dialogue session on the importance of gender parity, a workshop for female youths and a mentorship program. MORE HERE

JUST GOOGLE IT – if you're interest in icloud computing and machine learning and how they are implemented in real-world situations, Toronto-based Google engineer Rohit Gupta, a solutions engineer with Google will speak at an event in Nanaimo. The sessions are at Vancouver Island University, Building 210, Room 275, on Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. Gupta, who has been with Google for six years, will take questions from the audience on topics such as how to work at Google and industry career paths. MORE HERE

Truth and ethics take a real beating
in Canadian politics – Peckford

Sunday, Oct. 20

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Royal Canadian Legion branches in Nanaimo and Lantzville are gearing up for the 2019 Legion Poppy Drive. Every year, from the last Friday of October to November 11, tens of millions of Canadians wear a Poppy as a visual pledge to honour veterans. While the Poppy is distributed freely to all who wish to wear one, the Legion gratefully accepts donations. The Poppy Campaign is a local initiative. Donations collected are held in trust at the branch level to support veterans and their families in their community and to help ensure Canadians never forget. Learn more about how your donations help Veterans. Volunteers to staff the locations are always in need. If you’ve got time to spare, call one of Nanaimo’s two branches or the one in Lantzville.

 

Saturday, Oct. 18

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Rotary Club of Nanaimo 10-day fall book sale is in full swing, starting at 11 a.m. today at North Town Centre and continues through the week. 10-day gigantic used book sale - all books $3 or less, proceeds to Rotary charities

 PLAYING WITH FIRE - With Halloween and Guy Fawkes (or Bonfire) Night approaching, Nanaimo Fire Rescue has a couple of reminders to ensure each night is safe for everyone. If you’re planning a bonfire for Halloween Oct. 31, or Guy Fawkes Night on Nov. 5, you must get a bonfire permit for each event. The sale, possession and discharge of fireworks is prohibited within the City of Nanaimo. The regulations for bonfires and application forms can be found on www.nanaimo.ca. The forms may be submitted in person to Service and Resource Centre building at 411 Dunsmuir Street and the $50 fee for each permit can only be paid in person. The deadline for submission is noon on Thursday, October 31 for Halloween and noon pm Tuesday Nov. 5 for Guy Fawkes Night. 

SPACE EXPLORATION - Phil Stooke, a planetary scientist with a PhD will present a round of up the Solar system at the Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting on Thursday, Oct 24 at 7 p.m at Beban Park social centre. Discussions will include interplanetary missions in progress, missions to the moon and Mars and new missions on the horizon. From rovers on the moon and Mars and efforts to bring back samples from asteroids to orbiters around Venus and Jupiter, there is a lot of scientific exploration happening in and around Earth’s planetary neighbours with more exciting missions on the horizon. To learn more about the the Nanaimo Astronomy Society, visit the website at www.nanaimoastronomy.comMORE

 

Thursday, Oct. 17

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The annual exodus from mid-Vancouver Island is grearing up. Our population is about to drop while Palm Springs’ goes up. The annual trek south by snowbirds has begun and is picking up tempo. They’ll be back in spring, but they’ll keep in touch on a daily basis. Our past tracking of Nanaimonet readers shows heavy web traffic from California from October to March. Have a great winter everyone.

THE CITY'S FALL GO BY BIKE event will run for two weeks, Oct. 21 to Nov. 3. You can register yourself, your family members or a team at gobybikebc.ca. Bring your proof of registration to Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre or Beban Park Pool and you'll receive an LED bike valve light and a ballot where you can enter to win one of three $50 Parks & Recreation Gift Cards and one of two $50 Gift Certificates. Roll in, pick up some swag and enter to win more prize!

  • Oct. 22, 7-9 am along the E&N Trail at Bowen Road, hosted by Eddyfi Technologies 
  • Oct. 24, 7-9 am along the E&N Trail at St. George Street hosted by Thrills & Skills Cycling
  • Oct. 24, 3-5:30 pm at the corner of Fourth Street and Wakesiah Ave hosted by Vancouver Island University Sustainability and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools
  • Oct. 28, 4-6 pm along the E&N Trail at St. George Street hosted by Thrills & Skills 
  • October 30, 4-6 pm along the E&N Trail at Bowen Road, hosted by Eddyfi. 

 

Wednesday, Oct. 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Thanks to Constable Gary O’Brien of the RCMP for a great story to savour your morning coffee. Partially-paralyzed Aragon Klockars’ $10,000 recumbent three-wheeler E-bike was stolen a year ago. So you can imagine his absolute delight when RCMP returned the bike which he needs to get around. Investigators hit a blank wall until this month when the bike was recovered by the RCMP Street Crimes Unit. Here’s the best part. The bike was somewhat beat up from time in the locker so the cops took it to Rock City Cycles. They dug into their own pockets to cover the cost of the tune up and repairs. Way to go guys. The bike was found in a storage unit in South Wellington where police also found another E-bike, firearms, televisions, and miscellaneous items, all believed to be stolen. The investigation is continuing and charges are expected against one suspect for numerous property-related offences.

WHAT COMES FIRST – While looking at fire halls and bike lanes, it becomes a question of priorities. The city’s finance and audit was to vote today on moving up a proposed $400,000 bike lane project downtown to 2020 from 2021. Front Street would be reduced to two lanes from four for the bike lane. A northbound lane would become a bike lane while the southbound lane would be converted into on-street parking. Finance and audit committee decisions must be approved by city council.

ON THE OTHER HAND, Nanaimo Fire Rescue is taking another look at a fire station in the Hammond Bay area. In her annual report, Fire Chief Karen Fry said the fire department is reviewing where a fire station could be placed to provide more rapid response to the area. A station in this area had been on a priority list about a decade ago but has been sidelined numerous times by other projects which took priority. Hammond Bay represents 20 per cent of the area that fire trucks from the other stations cannot reach within six minutes or even 10 minutes in some instances. The incident response standard is to have the first truck with four firefighters arrive within six minutes 90 per cent of the time. With the city’s increasing population, infrastructure and traffic congestion, response times are getting longer.

THE CITY'S FALL GO BY BIKE event will run for two weeks, Oct. 21 to Nov. 3. You can register yourself, your family members or a team at gobybikebc.ca. Bring your proof of registration to Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre or Beban Park Pool and you'll receive an LED bike valve light and a ballot where you can enter to win one of three $50 Parks & Recreation Gift Cards and one of two $50 Gift Certificates. Roll in, pick up some swag and enter to win more prize!

  • Oct. 22, 7-9 am along the E&N Trail at Bowen Road, hosted by Eddyfi Technologies 
  • Oct. 24, 7-9 am along the E&N Trail at St. George Street hosted by Thrills & Skills Cycling
  • Oct. 24, 3-5:30 pm at the corner of Fourth Street and Wakesiah Ave hosted by Vancouver Island University Sustainability and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools
  • Oct. 28, 4-6 pm along the E&N Trail at St. George Street hosted by Thrills & Skills 
  • * October 30, 4-6 pm along the E&N Trail at Bowen Road, hosted by Eddyfi. 

Tuesday, Oct. 15

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – With six days to go, if you haven’t already voted and have the time and curiousity to fulfill, search the dozens of opinion polls available on the net. You will quickly come to the conclusion that the results as just as clueless as some politicians. If the majority were similar in their findings, we might be able to get a reading. As it is now, some have the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals by as much as six points while others have them tied and some have the Liberals in the lead. The NDP and Greens keep bumping up and down a point or so with each polling. So, the only poll that counts will be the one next Monday, so make sure you have your say.

 KEEPING POSTED – Our latest feature – the Poster Wall is filling up nicely with coming events. The wall is open for anyone who has a poster for an event. The biggest problem we have found to date is the number of organizations that put out lovel posters and then don’t post the time, date and location. Send your attachments to editor@nanaimonet.com

Monday, Oct 14

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS UP – We’ve always had our reservations about Victoria, the squirrels are not all in the forest. The latest action by some on city council is bewildering – taking the climate concern to delusional levels. The mayor and some councillors want to cut off the hand that feeds them by asking the Victoria Harbour Authority to limit the number of cruise ships coming to Victoria, and not home-porting ships until emissions and waste issues are dealt with to the satisfaction of the city. Al Hasham, a Victoria business owner and a director from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, says that the city’s action and failure to work with the VHA has already likely caused damage. The Port of Nanaimo has some openings for fmore cruises - come on down. MORE

GIVE ME A BREAK - Flight attendants at Air Canada are no longer greeting passengers as "ladies and gentlemen" or "mesdames et messieurs." Flight staff are going politically correct and will no longer use gender terms and instead use neutral words like "everybody" or "tout le monde". The company said onboard announcements will be modernized to remove specific references to gender, adding it wants employees to feel like valued members of the Air Canada family, while ensuring customers are comfortable and respected when they travel. How about "peoplekind?"

ON THE ROAD AGAIN – Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is hitting the road by bus this week on a tour of Vancouver Island to rally supporters and local campaigns. She will make a number of announcements as well. Tour stops will be in North Island-Powell River, Courtenay-Alberni, Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Saanich-Gulf Islands, Victoria, ending in Metro Vancouver.

SHORT CIRCUITED – California is in its annual fire season resulting in electricity is being shut down. Power outages are bad enough but the news gets badder as vast numbers of Californians are grounded. You see, power outages and, oh yes, electric cars. Ya can't get any juice when electric battery chargers have no volts. Who woulda thunk it?

Saturday, Oct. 12

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The city’s youth council has bitten the dust. The city governance and priorities committee voted unanimously to dissolve the inactive youth advisory council. They also agreed to draft terms of reference for a new committee called the advisory committee on accessibility and inclusiveness. The Nanaimo Youth Advisory Council was formed in 2014 with a mandate of providing council with a youth perspective on municipal issues. The youth council had not met since last October. Staff recommended councillors dissolve the youth committee. MORE

DECISIONS, DECISIONS – Lantzville residents have a major decision to make – the size of waste collection carts they want. The Regional District which manages garbage, is switching to automated curbside waste collection service for all single-family homes beginning next fall (2020). Residents have until Dec. 31 to choose the size of waste carts they want. Those who don’t select cart sizes before the deadline will receive the default 240L garbage cart, 360L recycling cart and the 100L food wastes cart. MORE

WELCOME NEWS – The Stone Soup free meal program for homeless and struggling families has found a new home. The soup kitchen is being rebuilt on a property behind it’s original location near the corner of Nicol and Milton Streets. NanaimoNewsNOW has MORE

Friday, Oct 11

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Advance polls open are open for early voting 9 a.m to 9 p.m. every day until Monday, Oct. 14. Voting locations are on your voter information cards which were mailed out in recent weeks. Polling places have changed in Nanaimo-Ladysmith electoral district since the spring by-election. We attempted to get a list of all advance polling locations but Elections Canada said they don't want such a list published in order for voters to use their information on their voting cards.

PARKS AND REC ACTIVITIES - The city’s skating rinks and pools are where the action is on the next few weekends. Thanksgiving Monday features swimming from 12-4pm at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and skating from 1-3 pm at Frank Crane Arena. And if you’re planning ahead, on October 18, the Halloween Dive-In Movie runs at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre from 7-9 pm. With the movie Coco, popcorn will be served in the Jack Little room from 7-8:30 pm and you can swim before, during or after the. On Friday, October 25, Beban Park Pool will hold the annual Halloween Howl pool party. Jump in between 4 pm and 7 pm. The pool will be transformed into a spooky setting with a haunted water slide tower, pumpkins in the pool, snakes in the lazy river, coloured water, water balloon toss, water running mats, face painting, aqua jousting and prizes.

BETTER EMERGENCY TREATMENT – City council has called for a report on enhancing pre-hospital care by bringing firefighters up to emergency medical responder (EMR) level. The decision came after a report from Nanaimo Fire Rescue Chief Karen Fry which recommended firefighters be trained to provide EMR-standard care. Two thirds of calls Nanaimo Fire Rescue responds to are medical. In more than 65 per cent of those responses, firefighters are on the scene at least one minute before B.C. Ambulance paramedics and in 48 per cent of incidents, more than three minutes ahead. MORE

 

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Tonight’s the night for the big debate for the Oct. 21 federal election. The Chamber of Commerce is limiting the candidates to five parties who had seats in the last parliament. It’s at the Beban Park Social Centre.  Chamber president Kim Smythe said it would be impossible to hold a “meaningful event” with all nine candidates on the stage. Audience members in past debates have said while it’s interesting to hear the views of all the people on stage, the value to an audience is hearing from people who have a real chance of being in elected.

1.1 MILLION BUCKS - Congratulations to all the riders in the 2019 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team – they raised more than $1.1 million for children’s cancer. The annual, two-week bike ride had a team of 20 police officers cycle from Port Alice to Victoria, making 200 stops in more than 27 communities along the route, raising awareness across Vancouver Island for kids with cancer.

SKATEBOARD FOUND – If you are missing a skateboard, the Nanaimo RCMP have it and  want to return to its owner. The Sector 9 brand skateboard was found beside a street in north Nanaimo Oct. 3. It has no identifying serial numbers and police haven’t had any reports of skateboards being stolen or lost. 

While we’re at it, RCMP also have a green Giant mountain bike that was found downtown on Tuesday. Police seized the bike from a person well known to them and is actively involved in property-related crime. Investigators decided to take the bike from him to find its owner. The bike had not been reported stolen. If you know anything about these incidents, call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

GOOD MORNING - We don't make this up – this one's a real gas. Starting September 2020, electric vehicles sold in the U.S. will be required to make an artificial noise while traveling under 30 kmh, for the safety of pedestrians who may otherwise not hear the near-silent vehicles. While most car companies will probably fit their EVs with some kind of whirring or fake engine noise, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggests Tesla vehicles will be able to make much more fun noises, like coconuts being used to imitate horse clip-clops; goat bleats; and, er — farts. FULL STORY

ARTSY WEEKEND – If you're looking for something a little different, check out the Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Studio Tour, the biggest one yet. This year’s tour, Oct. 12 to 14, features 104 artists showing in 82 studios. Gabriola Arts Council executive director Michelle Benjamin says the arts community on Gabriola keeps growing and more energy is going into it. Young, emerging artists and professional artists who are mid-career are making a home here are bringing this great new energy.  MORE DETAILS

Tuesday, Oct. 8

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - When someone in your community suffers from an unexpected disaster everyone needs to pitch in. Two families lost virtually all their possesions in a recent house fire a getting a hand up through online fundraisers. Kayla Barsby, whose parents, sister and grandfather were forced out of their home on Ney Drive, has set up a Gofundme page to help them replace some of what they’ve lost. As of Tuesday, donations had topped their $5,000 goal and donations continued to come in. To learn more or donate, visit https://bit.ly/33jZzWx.

HEROICS HAVE NO TIME AND PLACE - Nanaimo bus driver Neil Atleo has recently learned his actions likely saved the life of a 68-year-old man. It all happened because he put his bus behind schedule when he thought he heard someone in trouble. Neil was checking over his bus in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit yard last May before heading out on his route when he heard some unusual sounds. He started to back out his bus when he took one more look around. That’s when he looked through this fence and saw something wrong next door. THE WHOLE STORY

Monday, Oct 6

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Island Radio’s NanaimoNewsNOW has an exciting election feature asking all nine candidates in Nanaimo-Ladysmith a series of questions. Each was given the opportunity to respond in written form, along with 30 seconds on video.. “No response” indicates a candidate did not submit answers. The written responses are unedited.  NanaimoNewsNOW will update answers up to midnight Sunday Oct. 20. I know from experience there's a lot of hard work involved in doing this type of coverage, especially with nine candidates. Check it out here – https://nanaimonewsnow.com/2019/10/06/nanaimo-ladysmith-candidates-priorities-and-the-key-issue-they-will-take-to-ottawa/

Friday, Oct. 4

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Hey it’s time to Cram the Cruiser as Nanaimo RCMP collect food donations for the Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Food bank. All food and money collected helps feed families in Nanaimo and is hosted by the Real Canadian Superstore. It’s tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 5), 11 am to 3 pm. Employees will have a hot dog and burger barbecue throughout the day.  Customers can donate purchased food items or cash with 100 per cent going directly to the food bank. Const. Gary O’Brien says Nanaimo RCMP are proud to help this cause and officers and a marked police vehicle will be on site to all day for you to cram with food.

JAIL TIME – A Nanaimo woman will be spending her weekends in the Crowbar Hotel after defrauding two Nanaimo businesses out of thousands of dollars. Jennifer Elizabeth Wood, 36, was handed a 90-day jail term to be served on weekends for a fraudulent return scheme against her former employer Slegg Building Materials. She also skipped out on nearly $1,800 worth of unpaid car repairs at Canadian Tire. FULL STORY

ENOUGH ALREADY - Conservation Officers have had enough of people who continue to leave bear attractants on their properties.  The Conservation Officer Service posted on Facebook that said after patrolling several Ladysmith neighbourhoods, numerous homes were found to have their garbage or compost bins out — despite several recent bear sightings in the area. Residents were reminded that they are legally required to secure attractants, or face a fine of $230. Although the post was directed at Ladysmith, this is a problem in the entire Central Island region. So, don’t whine if you get tagged with a $230 ticket. 

Thursday, Oct. 3

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Looking for a job? The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will hold a job fair in Nanaimo to find qualified people to staff one of their B.C. Cannabis Store locations, which is set to open in the north end early next year. The job fair is Oct. 15, noon to 7 p.m. at the Inn on Long Lake.

UNWELCOME MAT IN CEDAR - Cedar residents along Quennell Road are giving the cold shoulder to a new cannabis farm in the neighbourhood. They met this week to sound off on the project. Many were concerned about the impact on the community. A panel of residents included Donna Laing, Murray McDougall, Linda Baxter, concerned about the impact on Quennell Lake; Laurie Quesnel, who has a therapeutic horse riding business; and Marilee Grant, who spoke on regulation for cannabis farms. Rich Dowker, CEO of Crofton Craft, the company that will operate the farm was also on the panel. 

LONG GONE – A contentious Upper Lantzville property once plagued by illegal recreational vehicles has been cleared. The District of Lantzville confirmed a B.C. Supreme Court deadline was met by Stan Pottie to remove the remaining vehicles from his Clark Road property by the end of August. Court documents show Pottie broke several local bylaws, specifically his single residence zoning. MORE

Wednesday, Oct. 2

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO –It’s not too early to start formulating your questions for the Chamber of Commerce all-candidate forum on October 10 at Beban Park. The forum starts with a networking session where you can talk to the canidates. The forum begins at 7 p.m. You can send your questions to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

MORE ENFORCEMENT – Lantzville wants an enforcement crackdown on the Island Highway going through the municipality. First council voted to ask the Nanaimo RCMP to increase enforcement and followed it up with a call on the province to create a traffic management plan for the highway. 

THE APPLICATION PERIOD for the 2020 Social Planning Grant are now open. The program assists organizations in responding to issues of a social. There is a total of $85,000 available under two grant categories: Social Response Grants ($60,000 available) and Community Vitality Grants ($25,000 available). Organizations that apply for funding must be based in Nanaimo and/or be proposing a project that primarily serves Nanaimo residents. Eligible organizations include non-profit societies, recognized religious groups and neighbourhood associations recognized by the City of Nanaimo. The deadline for submitting an application is 4:00 pm on Monday, October 28, 2019. Get the guidelines and application form https://cnan.ca/2A81cZh

Tuesday, Oct. 1

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO  – It’s not too early to start formulating your questions for the Chamber of Commerce all-candidate forum on October 10 at Beban Park. The forum starts with a networking session where you can talk to the canidates. The forum begins at 7 p.m. You can send your questions to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

THE APPLICATION PERIOD for the 2020 Social Planning Grant are now open. The program assists organizations in responding to issues of a social. There is a total of $85,000 available under two grant categories: Social Response Grants ($60,000 available) and Community Vitality Grants ($25,000 available). Organizations that apply for funding must be based in Nanaimo and/or be proposing a project that primarily serves Nanaimo residents. Eligible organizations include non-profit societies, recognized religious groups and neighbourhood associations recognized by the City of Nanaimo. The deadline for submitting an application is 4:00 PM on Monday, October 28, 2019. Get the guidelines and application form https://cnan.ca/2A81cZh